Joshua Alston

Stories by Joshua Alston

  • MTV Delivers 'The Paper'

    The kids on 'The Paper' aren't as glam as the ones on 'The Hills,' but that doesn't mean they're less vicious.
  • Craig Ferguson: Late Bloomer

    Craig Ferguson can't beat Dave's or Jay's ratings, but he's got something bigger: a date with the president.
  • Post-MLK: Barack, Jesse & Al

    Barack Obama is asking us to talk through our racial problems. But what if that actually works?
  • Still Remembering Selena

    Selena was only 23 when she was murdered. But 13 years after her death, the Tejano star is being mourned now more than ever.
  • TV: 'The Tudors' Returns

    If you like family dramas, 'The Tudors' is the best-dressed--and undressed--place on television.
  • Is Blackface Ever OK?

    Minstrelsy may be dead, but white actors playing people of color is still a thorny issue.
  • 'The Wire' finale

    It wasn't the most satisfying finale ever, but even a mediocre night in TV's Charm City beats everything else on the dial.
  • Diversity Training

    Clinton and Obama may be breaking new presidential ground, but Hollywood beat them to the top decades ago.
  • FAQ: Returning to 'Lost'

    TV's most ambitious, and frustrating, show is back. Fans ask: should I stay or should I go? We give you some clues.
  • Finally, Spike’s First Joint

    Filmmaker Tyler Perry has built a mini-empire in Hollywood by portraying a certain type of African-American character: articulate, urbane and upwardly mobile. But Perry ("Why Did I Get Married?") hasn't broken any creative ground. In 1986, a scrappy NYU film graduate named Spike Lee laid the foundation for Perry's empire, introducing like-minded characters in his debut feature, "She's Gotta Have It"—and when Lee did it, Perry would've been barely old enough to see the salacious dramedy without his parents. This week, more than two decades later, Spike's first joint is being released on DVD.I saw the film when I was 13, a case of my parents' being absent-minded or progressive, but either way, a fluke. I had never seen a character break through the fourth wall, so it felt as if I were hallucinating when the movie opened with Nola Darling (Tracy Camilla Johns) wriggling out of a neatly made bed and talking straight to the camera. "I want you to know," she says, "the only reason I'm...
  • Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm: Get ‘Bad,’ Get ‘Mad,’ And You’ll Get Glad

    Unless you're reading this to kill time until Senior Swim at the Y, you're probably not used to tuning into AMC (formerly American Movie Classics). So if you flip past and see a man wearing just white briefs and a gas mask barreling through the desert in a Winnebago, no, your eyes aren't deceiving you, and no, that's not a deleted scene from "The Graduate."It's "Breaking Bad," AMC's new original series premiering in January. If the show's premise— a high-school chemistry teacher starts dealing crystal meth—sounds odd for the channel that once specialized in Cary Grant retrospectives, well, that's the whole point.AMC has reinvented itself as the next powerhouse for cutting-edge programming, and it's had quite a run of beginner's luck. Its first series, "Mad Men," premiered in the summer to justifiably rapturous praise, and earned two Golden Globe nominations (including one for its leading man, Jon Hamm). The network owes its success to what could be called the HBO formula: attracting...
  • He’s Still A Bit Crushed

    Everyone knows the most memorable scene in the June finale of "The Sopranos." But a close second had to be the outrageous death of Tony Soprano's nemesis Phil Leotardo (Frank Vincent), who was shot twice, then got his head smushed by an SUV. Vincent spoke with NEWSWEEK's Joshua Alston. ...
  • The Best TV of 2007

    Our critic catalogs his favorite episodes from his favorite shows of the year.