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  • TV Picks: 'Danger 5,' 'It's Okay To Be Smart'

    TV Picks: 'Danger 5,' 'It's Okay To Be Smart'
    "Danger 5" (Netflix). Let the word go forth, let the people know, that the second season of the Australian action comedy "Danger 5" has reached America. I hesitate to call it a comedy, somehow, as if that were an affront to its thoroughgoing, towering weirdness; but of course it is made to be funny, and it is. The first season, you may recall -- we're going to fix that if you don't, hold on -- was a World War II story filtered through a 1960s, low-budget, super-saturated, Tohoscope, genre sensibility, following (to lazily quote my own review) "an international team of variously styled blue-clad agents as they battle Nazis, robots, dinosaurs, clones, espresso-drinking Italian truck drivers and fascist Atlanteans in an attempt to win the war 'and as always,' says the eagle-headed superior who gives them their assignments, 'kill Hitler.'" The second series (whose production followed the first by three years) begins in the 1980s, with Hitler still alive and coming out of hiding and the Danger 5, scattered to their mostly separate fates, recalled to try to kill him again. (They have not perceptibly aged in the intervening four decades, although one member, the irrepressible Pierre, is now black, an entrepreneur with "1,000 hit singles, 1,000 fashion lines and now 1,000 nightclubs," a cocktail book and a Japanese-speaking, white lion-headed sidekick sensei named Mackenzie.) The '80s setting means a whole new set of allusions to make, of film styles to pastiche and parody, and there is an era-appropriate emphasis on sex, drugs and violence -- so much blood, so much fake blood. And saxophones.
  • Good social media strategy helps terror groups attract teens, spread word

    Terror groups such as the Islamic State have a secret weapon when it comes to recruiting teens, but it's probably not what you think. It's a solid social media strategy, the kind anyone with even limited knowledge of online demographics could put...

    'David Bowie Is' and the dangers of 'theme creep'

    'David Bowie Is' and the dangers of 'theme creep'
    The Museum of Contemporary Art is going all out for David Bowie — some 400 objects, a gala, a Tumblr blog, a sponsorship from Louis Vuitton. This is understandable; the exhibit, organized by London's Victoria & Albert Museum, is making Chicago its...

    Everybody's a curator

    Everybody's a curator
    You have a Netflix queue, which you maintain, nurture, cull and arrange just so. Therefore you curate movies. You have iTunes playlists on your computer, each of which probably tells a kind of story. Therefore you curate music. I don't have a...

    TV Picks: 'Los Jets,' TV podcasts, mini-sitcoms, 'Wizard Wars'

    TV Picks: 'Los Jets,' TV podcasts, mini-sitcoms, 'Wizard Wars'
    "Los Jets" (NUVOtv). This six-part documentary about an all-Latino North Carolina high school soccer team is also a tale of the changing face of the South and asks again that elastic and inexhaustible question, What Does It Mean To Be an American? Created...