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Coffee at Luke's
The Man from Krypton
A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls
Dragonwriter
The Psychology of Harry Potter

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Fri 12/21
Coffee at Luke's

"That's What You Get, Folks, For Makin' Whoopee"

by Kristen Kidderon Gilmore Girls

Having a baby changes everything. At least it does according to Johnson & Johnson, whose advertisements–fuzzy, thirty-second valentines to parenthood–punctuated the commercial breaks throughout Gilmore Girls’s seven seasons. According to the company’s Web site, the concept behind these public service announcements (and really, what else would you call them? No specific product was ever mentioned) is simple: “You were once the center of your universe and now your baby is. Johnson & Johnson understands.” An interesting campaign choice for a television show marketed to teenagers.

Which is not to say that Girls is just, well, for girls. As I enter the third decade of my life I have to admit, Tony the Tiger witness-protection-program style, that I rarely miss an episode of the show. But while I may not be an anomaly, flashy Web sites, contrived marketing tie-ins, and (lately) that infuriating teenage gab fest during commercial breaks confirm that I … read more»

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Thu 12/20
The Man from Krypton

Jewel Mountains and Fire Falls

by Chris Robersonon Superman

When first introduced, Superman’s home planet of Krypton was a fairly notional place. It was originally presented in very little detail, and served as little more than a backdrop for the unfolding drama of the lone scientist Jor-El who, unable to prevent the destruction of his world, launches his only … read more»

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Wed 12/19
A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls

Ladies of the Night, Unite!

by Jon Skovronon The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries is a perfect example of an age-old battle between opposites. Not Good and Evil, of course. Neither the book nor the show is so didactic as to portray any character as purely Good or purely Evil. No, I’m talking about that other age-old conflict: Boy … read more»

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Tue 12/18
Dragonwriter

The Ships That Were

by Mercedes Lackeyon Anne McCaffrey and the Dragonriders of Pern series

It’s really tempting for critics to try to read things about the writer into a writer’s work. And yes, sometimes things in the work really can apply to the writer herself–heaven knows that Anne McCaffrey was fun and funny to be around, and . . . well, if not obsessed read more»

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Mon 12/17
The Psychology of Harry Potter

The Werewolf in the Wardrobe

by Siamak Tundra Naficyon Harry Potter

Professor Lupin, who appears in the third book, is one of my favorite characters. He’s a damaged person, literally and metaphorically. I think it’s important for children to know that adults, too, have their problems, that they struggle. His being a werewolf is a metaphor for people’s reactions to … read more»

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