Art Can Help Us Understand Reality, Even While Transforming It

It Crafts Beauty and Truth from Mundane—Sometimes Ugly—Daily Existence

In their different ways, David Simon and Jamel Shabazz both have transformed gritty reality into art, drawing inspiration from the complex, often troubled urban-scapes of places like New York, Baltimore, and New Orleans.
 
On Wednesday night, Simon and Shabazz came together before a packed auditorium at a Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event to consider the question, “Does Art Capture Reality Better Than the News?” It’s a subject that Simon, a former newspaper reporter turned television writer, and Shabazz, a former U.S. Army soldier who later worked for a spell as a …

If TV Wants to Bring America Together, It Needs to Show Bipartisan Empathy

Understand Every Character You Write and Avoid “Preachiness and Condescension”

“Can television bring America together?” asked writer John Bowman, the moderator of a panel posing that question. He immediately answered his own query with, “God knows I’ve tried.” And …

Television and Film Have a Role to Play in Repairing a Fractured America

Despite the Bitterness Splintering the Nation, History Shows We’re “All in the Family"

In American memory, if not always in reality, television and film once played a unifying role. During the Great Depression, decadent Hollywood productions delivered welcome diversion. At the dawn …

NASA’s Other Moonshot Helped Revolutionize Marketing

The Apollo Moon Landing Wasn't Supposed to Be Broadcast, Until a Team of Ex-Reporters Pushed for Live TV

On July 20, 1969, an estimated 600 million people watched and listened in real time as astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down on the surface of the moon. …

Why TV Moved Its Crime Bosses to Modesto and Oceanside

In Search of Grittier Settings, Hollywood Embraces California's Metropolitan Edges

At first glance, the setting for Hollywood’s newest gangland drama might be jarring: northern San Diego County, in the small city of Oceanside.

But you really shouldn’t be surprised, at least …