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


APRIL 21, 2012 12:00AM

Future Fringe 4.19

Just when all four Fringe realities finally are beginning to make some sense - original and original alternate Fringe realities (the first three seasons, with Peter surviving his passage from over there to over here), and the new there and over there, in which Peter did not survive, but to which/… Read full post »
APRIL 17, 2012 1:05AM

Bones 7.9: Tabitha's Salon

Tabatha Coffey is well known to viewers of Bravo's Tabatha's Salon Takeover - she'd make a good murderess.   So would've Tabitha, also in a hair salon, on tonight's Bones 7.9.  But she turned out to be no murderess, either.

But the show turned out to be pretty excellent nonetheless, wit/… Read full post »
APRIL 16, 2012 1:37AM

Mad Men 5.5: "Ben Hargrove"

Who is Ben Hargrove?  He's the nom de plume - fictitious name - which Ken Cosgrove uses when his science fiction and fantasy stories are published.  We learn this in Mad Men 5.5, one of the best episodes ever in this series.

Hargrove is probably most based on Alfred Bester - who/… Read full post »
APRIL 13, 2012 10:56PM

Fringe 4.18: Broyled on Both Sides

Broyles - alt-Broyles - is the key figure in Fringe 4.18 tonight, in a story we've seen before - on Fringe and in other series - but is nonetheless good.

We found out last week that alt-Broyles is working for Jones, and was thus responsible for alt-Lee's death (even though that's not/… Read full post »
Unbelievably, MSNBC cut away from George Zimmerman's attorneys, as they were explaining to a press conference why they were resigning from the case.  Back to Dylan Ratigan and his planned concluding segment.  Fortunately, CNN provided continuing coverage (I didn't check about Fox).

MSNBC is/… Read full post »
APRIL 9, 2012 11:10PM

Bones 7.8: Parents

Bones continues to break new ground with every episode.   Think about it.   In the past 60+ years of television, we've had crime fighters, male and female, single and married, some even with kids playing a significant role (for example, 24 and The Shield).  But Bones is now o/… Read full post »
APRIL 9, 2012 8:10PM

Awake 1.6: Popper's Penguin

Another excellent Awake last Thursday - 1.6  - which, like all the episodes, teaches us something profound and useful about Britten's condition.  Indeed, the show in effect makes use of philosopher Karl Popper's observation that we increase our knowledge not by finding or proving what's tru/… Read full post »
The best part of Game of Thrones 2.2 last night was the brother-sister conversation/confrontation between Tyrion and Cersei.   Tyrion knows and gets everything Cersei has been up to - he even thinks she gave the order to kill all of Robert's bastards, and is mildly surprised to find that it/… Read full post »
APRIL 9, 2012 2:02AM

The Killing 2.2: Holder

As intrepid as Linden is, she's never going to catch Rosie's killer entirely on her own - there are just too many people and obstacles in the way of that.  She needs Holder.  In The Killing 2.2, the two get back together.

Holder is in some crucial ways as powerful a character/… Read full post »
Three fine stories in Mad Men 5.4 tonight -

Greg's back home on leave from Vietnam.  I wrote a few weeks ago that I didn't see much of a future for Joan and him - an obvious point, because she and Roger belong together - but I was thinking Greg just wouldn't/… Read full post »
APRIL 7, 2012 12:57PM

Fringe 4.17: Second Chances

Another tip-top Fringe last night - 4.17 - which delivered on a good, possible advantage of having an alternate reality at hand:  a place to get a second chance at what didn't quite work out right for you in this reality.

The pinpoint character in Lincoln Lee, whom we first met years/… Read full post »
APRIL 2, 2012 11:05PM

House 8.15: Fake Out

I've watched a lot of television, and I'm usually not taken in by deceptive advertising - but I have to admit I was tonight, regarding House 8.15, and I liked it.

All week and longer we've seen ads for the final 8 episodes of House, and tonight's in particular, telling us that/… Read full post »
APRIL 2, 2012 10:31PM

Bones 7.7: Baby!

The last 10 or so minutes of Bones 7.7 were pure gold.   Bones, highly pregnant, and Booth in a prison riot, but with just right touch of lightness to make the scene hilarious.  Then, Bones and Booth in the car when Bones goes into labor - also presented in just the/… Read full post »
My favorite scene in the Season 2 premiere of Game of Thrones on HBO last night was Cersei tutoring Little Finger in the realities of power.   He seeks advantage over her by indicating that he knows King Joffrey Baratheon is not really a Baratheon.  "Knowledge his power," advises Litt/… Read full post »
APRIL 2, 2012 12:38AM

The Killing Season 2 Premiere

Lots of critics were complaining that The Killing did not reveal Rosie's killer at the end of Season One.  They prophesied a mass abandonment of the show this second season, as frustrated fans with short attention spans turned elsewhere.  I certainly hope not, for their sake - the first two/… Read full post »
APRIL 1, 2012 11:39PM

Mad Men 5.3: Heinz Is On My Side

"Hei-i-inze is on my side," is the client Heinz's idea for an ad campaign, replete with The Rolling Stones, who sang "Time's On My Side," doing the jingle.  The Heinz guy's daughter loves The Stones, Megan's knows their music, and that's enough for Don to give it a shot - try… Read full post »
Lots of drama with serious issues at stake in the heated exchanges between Piers Morgan and Touré about Trayvon Martin Friday night, on Morgan's CNN show.  Here's a Mediate article about the conversation, with video of the complete interview.

The source of the exchange was Touré's unhappiness w/… Read full post »
With all the conflicting accounts of what happened on the night that George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, two things remain clear:

1. George Zimmerman had no business being anywhere near Trayvon Martin when the shooting occurred.  He was told to stop following Travyon by the police.

2./… Read full post »
MARCH 30, 2012 11:19PM

Fringe 4.16: Walter Likes Yiddish

We learn in Fringe 4.16 that Walter's no fan of Sumerian - "not my favorite ancient language," he explains, "I prefer Yiddish."  Of course, Yiddish is a medieval language - a combination of ancient Hebrew and high German that arose in the shtetls in Europe, but zayr gut, anyway.  That's par/… Read full post »
MARCH 30, 2012 5:45PM

Awake 1.5: Stretching A Dream

Another good, thought-provoking Awake last night - 1.5 - which raises the possibility of what might happen if Britten and Hannah in yellow world move from Los Angeles to Oregon.

Here's why that's important:  At this point, yellow and blue worlds are both in the same place.  Although Britten/… Read full post »
A pretty good Person of Interest 1.18 last night, which offered a new twist on the perennial POI question of whether the number belongs to a victim (usually the case) or villain.  This time the number belongs to both - because it relates to an identity (victim) stolen by another (villain). /… Read full post »
So, with the two-hour Season One finale of Alcatraz on Fox last night, I'm still not sure if this new series is worth watching.  The fact that the single best part of every episode is Sam Neill's (Hauser's) dead-pan, chilling voice-over intro is probably not the best sign.  Still -

It was/… Read full post »
A fine Mad Men Season 5 debut tonight on AMC.  Here are some of the highlights -

Don and Megan are married and, actually, all things considered, more or less happy together.  The more - Don is crazy about Megan, or at least her body.  He wants her so much he wants/… Read full post »
MARCH 23, 2012 10:54PM

Fringe 4.15: I Knew It!

Well, I've been saying all along - see my reviews of Fringe this season, beginning with 4.14 and back, listed below - that Peter was really back in the original Fringe reality, transformed by his erasure to have no memory of his existence (that is, no memory after he "drowned" in/… Read full post »
MARCH 23, 2012 4:07PM

Awake 1.4: The Banker and the Hooker

Given the rapacious performance of some bankers in our reality, one might say they're the same as hookers.  In Awake 1.4, that becomes literally true, as Kate, former babysitter for Rex, turns up as an investment banker in yellow world, and druggie/kept woman in grittier blue world.

This was a go/… Read full post »