Open Levinson

Paul Levinson's Open Salon Blog

Paul Levinson

Paul Levinson
New York City, New York, USA
March 25
Fordham University
Paul Levinson's The Silk Code won the 2000 Locus Award for Best First Novel. He has since published Borrowed Tides (2001), The Consciousness Plague (2002), The Pixel Eye (2003), and The Plot To Save Socrates (2006). His science fiction and mystery short stories have been nominated for Nebula, Hugo, Edgar, and Sturgeon Awards. His eight nonfiction books, including The Soft Edge (1997), Digital McLuhan (1999), Realspace (2003), and Cellphone (2004), have been the subject of major articles in the New York Times, Wired, the Christian Science Monitor, and have been translated into ten languages. New New Media, exploring how Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogging have changed our lives, was published in September 2009. Paul Levinson appears on "The O'Reilly Factor" (Fox News), "The CBS Evening News," the “NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” (PBS), “Nightline” (ABC), and numerous national and international TV and radio programs. He reviews the best of television in his blog. Paul Levinson is Professor of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City


SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 7:17PM

Revolution 1.2: Fast Changes

Revolution - the new J. J. Abrams' show on NBC about a post-digital apocalypse age - continues to surprise.  After shocking us with the deaths of the protagonist Charlie's parents in the first episode - a daring move, given that they were both played by major actors - it turns out/… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 12:11PM

Bones 8.2 of Contention

A good, realistic Bones 8.2 tonight, as Bones and Booth begin to come terms with the three months they've spent apart.

In ordinary television, a couple in love, reunited after three months apart, with a baby part of the separation, might face a hitch or two, but would be pretty much nothing/… Read full post »
Boardwalk Empire has done a great job portraying the new media of the early 1920s - such as boxing matches broadcast on radio.  In episode 3.2, the plot hinges on the new transportation tech of that era - in particular, trucks, which Nucky uses to transport booze from Atlantic City to/… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 17, 2012 11:10PM

Bones 8.1: Walk Like an Egyptian

One thing I missed in the past season of Bones was a cracking good mystery, the kind in which Bones excelled in the first few seasons.  We get that and more in the superb return of Bones tonight for its 8th season.

Among the highlights -
  • Booth and Bones reuniting as Bones, now/
Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 16, 2012 11:21PM

Boardwalk Empire 3.1: Happy New Year 1923

It's New Year's Eve 1923, the hour of Boardwalk Empire's Season 3 premiere.   It's a little after Nucky shot Jimmy dead, at the very end of last year's finale.  It's not clear who among Jimmy's people know what happened to Jimmy, but we'll get to that presently.

In the meantime, we meet/… Read full post »
SEPTEMBER 8, 2012 8:02PM

Revolution: Preview Review

I caught the complete first episode of Revolution last night - set to premiere later this month on NBC - courtesy of NBC putting this up On-Demand. Herewith a review, with soft (non-specific) spoilers.

Revolution is J. J. Abrams' latest. Now, I know what you're thinking - or, what/… Read full post »
AUGUST 31, 2012 11:52AM

Stan Schmidt Retiring from Analog

I read the news today, oh boy - came like a kick in the solar plexus - Stan Schmidt's retiring from Analog.

It's a cliche to say people made a difference in your life.  But like everything else Stan did at Analog, this was no cliche.  When Stan published my first AnalogRead full post »
An O'Henryesque thread which has wound its way through many a narrative is the letter that never arrived.  Whether through mis-delivery or act of nature or plane crash, a letter professing true love never reaches its intended recipient.  In an age prior to email, such a gap could wreak emot… Read full post »
AUGUST 25, 2012 3:58PM

Neil Armstrong, RIP: Lament for Space

Neil Armstrong's passing is sad not only for the man and his family, but for the whole human species, and, in particular, everyone who regrets how little we have progressed in space faring since Armstrong's steps on the Moon in 1969.

No further walks on the Moon since the end of the/… Read full post »
AUGUST 25, 2012 3:12AM

Falling Skies Second Season Finale

Falling Skies wrapped up its excellent second season on Sunday.   The last few episodes, especially, were outstanding, with these highlights -
  • the fake-out of getting to Charleston, and seemingly finding ruins, only to find a vibrant underground community of new United States
  • the fake-out aft/
Read full post »
Political Animals wrapped its first season on TNT - a "mini"-season - with a fine episode and a great twist, which may utterly change the show next season.

Secretary of State Elaine Barrish had been first preparing to fight President Paul Garcetti in the Democratic primary, but then was having second/… Read full post »
AUGUST 22, 2012 12:09PM

The Real Motive for Todd Akin's Comment

I just heard Hogan Gidley tell Thomas Roberts on MSNBC that Rep. Akin's comment about women not getting pregnant from "legitimate" or forcible rape has no connection to the view that life begins at conception and abortion should therefore be prohibited at any time after conception and regardless of t… Read full post »
AUGUST 18, 2012 8:39PM

Boss is Back for Second Season

Boss was back for its second season last night on Starz.  Aptly compared to The Sopranos and Rome in its no holds barred intensity and life-and-death plotting and plot twists,  Boss stars Kelsey Grammer as the ruthless Mayor Tom Kane of Chicago, ready and willing to do anything to keep in/… Read full post »
AUGUST 17, 2012 7:38PM

New Dallas One Season One Evaluation

The new Dallas wrapped up its first season last week.  A good time to size up its strengths and weaknesses.

Among the best parts of the new Dallas:
  • J. R. and Bobby are both excellent.  J. R. continues to be a pleasure to see, and Bobby is frankly better - a more powerful/
Read full post »
AUGUST 14, 2012 10:49PM

The Closer Opens into Major Crimes

A very smooth and satisfying segue last night as The Closer closed for good and Major Crimes opened for business.

The best part, for me, is that Gabriel is ok.  He won't be on Major Crimes not because anything bad happened to him, but because Brenda took him with her to her/… Read full post »
AUGUST 11, 2012 9:56PM

Social Media and Politics

I talk to Steve Adubato on PBS's WNET about Pinterest, Foursquare, and social media and politics ...



AUGUST 11, 2012 3:42PM

The Romney Cylonic VP App

Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan with a spiffy VP app, available to anyone who wanted it on social media.  This announcement came a little past 7am New York time, a few hours before the two appeared together on television.  But this was hours after Chuck Todd had said on MSNBC… Read full post »
AUGUST 8, 2012 10:49AM

The Newsroom and The Hour

I just saw the first season - or, first series, as the say in the U.K. - of The Hour, the 2011 BBC2 show about a news show struggling to be news worthy, during the Suez Crisis and the Soviet Union's invasion of Hungary (to crush its attempt to leave the/… Read full post »
AUGUST 7, 2012 2:03PM

Penultimate Closer

And in the next-to-last ever Closer, we find out who the leak was: Gabriel's fiance.

The big advantage of this solution is that it explain how Gabriel - who we know was deeply disturbed about how Brenda Leigh left Terrell Baylor to die, but who we also know is loyal to her/… Read full post »
The show, after all, is called Breaking Bad.  Which means just about new venture goes very badly, much worse than expected, at first and throughout most of the season.   Walt did his best to entice Mike into Walt and Jesse's new business.  Mike said no.  But with Gus's people/… Read full post »
JULY 26, 2012 12:25PM

MSNBC's Olympic Gamble

MSNBC has already begun its Olympic programming, with pre-Olympic coverage for most of the day prior to 6pm this week.  When the actual games start, there will be no regular MSNBC programming until Rev. Al Sharpton at 6pm and then continuing with Hardball, Ed, Rachel Maddow, and The Last Word wi/… Read full post »
Some thoughts about the horrendous shootings in the Colorado movie theater showing The Dark Night 3 last night:

1. The single most effective way of preventing such tragedies in the future, or reducing their likelihood, is for President Obama and Congress to step up and restore the ban on assault (semi/… Read full post »
JULY 17, 2012 8:33PM

The Newsroom and McLuhan

I've seen the first four episodes thus far aired of The Newsroom on HBO, and I think it's the best show on television.

I've heard some people say that The Newsroom, though good, is not in a league with Aaron Sorkin's signature television creation, The West Wing, and of course it isn't/… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
JULY 17, 2012 3:03PM

Political Animals: Alternate Hillary History

Political Animals (6-part mini-series) debuted on the USA Network Sunday night.  The Hollywood Reporter called the 2.6 million viewers "soft ratings"- I disagree, those numbers are pretty decent. I hear tell that the producers say that series was not really inspired by Hillary and Bill Clinton -/… Read full post »
Breaking Bad, one of the best and most unique series ever to be on television, was back with Season 5 on AMC last night - as good as ever, or superb indeed.

This one begins with a glimpse of the future, and Walter with a head of hair and a life-and-death mission/… Read full post »