THE VAULT: An archive of past work for print and online media

Bad perm, shoulder pads – yes, that’s me in my cubicle at the San Francisco Examiner awaiting the outcome on Pulitzer Day, 1989. I didn’t win, but my colleagues made me feel like I did.

Here’s a small portion of my work for print and online outlets since the 1980’s. Much of my work has ceased to exist online due to site closures, newspapers going under and carelessness on the part of publishers in preserving their archives. Wherever possible, I’ve posted JPGs of newspaper pieces from my own archive of clippings, and printouts of web pages. The rest are on PDFs. I’ll continue adding to this page, so check back often.

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San Francisco Examiner (1987-1995)

TV commentary

I was fortunate that my tenure as the San Francisco Examiner’s TV critic (1987-1995) coincided with a new Golden Age of television. Here are some pieces that best represent my output at the time.

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Three of the many Examiner pieces I wrote about David Lynch’s mind-blowing entrance into weekly TV, “Twin Peaks.”

TWIN PEAKS feature column, San Francisco Examiner Image Magazine, July 22, 1990

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THE SIMPSONS feature column, San Francisco Examiner Image Magazine, Aug. 19, 1990

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And here it is, my legendary 3-star review of Chris Elliott’s movie CABIN BOY, a movie so widely detested, I got hate mail about this piece for weeks. (SF Examiner, Jan. 10, 1994)

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As the daily TV critic of the Examiner, I had to write about a lot of crappy TV. This review of a Judith Krantz-potboiler miniseries review is an example of me at the end of my rope fighting back with humor.

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MIAMI VICE series finale

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Examiner music pieces

The Examiner allowed me the freedom to occasionally write about music. I used it to write about Bruce Springsteen a lot.

SPRINGSTEEN VIDEO ANTHOLOGY RELEASE

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SPRINGSTEEN’s “OTHER BAND” (“LUCKY TOWN”/”HUMAN TOUCH”) TOUR REVIEW

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END OF THE DECADE: THE 10 BEST ALBUMS OF THE EIGHTIES

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SALON.COM (1995-2001)

I’m trying to scan my own printouts of the TV and music pieces I wrote while on the staff of Salon, which was one of the first online publications. Until I can get that done, I’m linking to some representative pieces with the full knowledge that these Salon site pages could disappear at any time. Salon’s online archive is woefully incomplete, especially from the first couple of years.

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Seinfeld

This is one of my favorite pieces, truly a labor of love. “Cheerio, Seinfeld” was my farewell to the greatest sitcom of all time. It’s a shame that Salon’s archives are so haphazard that the only way to access this piece online now is via the Wayback Machine.

CHEERIO, “SEINFELD”: An Appreciation – Salon, May 4, 1998

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE FESTIVUS – Salon, Dec. 11, 2000. In which I discuss the lasting cultural impact of the “Festivus” episode of “Seinfeld” and air a few grievances about stuff that appeared on TV in 2000.

And here’s my Salon piece about the first season of “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David’s follow-up (and as becomes clear in later seasons, continuation of) “Seinfeld.”

BY GEORGE (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) – Salon, Oct. 9, 2000

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Freaks and Geeks

First review of FREAKS AND GEEKS – Salon, Sept. 4, 1999

GIVE ‘FREAKS’ A CHANCE — Salon, March 6, 2000. A plea for viewers to watch the endangered “Freaks and Geeks.”

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Buffy/Angel

Finale thoughts: Season enders, plus commentary on the decision to pull part two of the “Buffy” Season 3 finale, “Graduation Day,” because of a real-life school shooting. – Salon, June 1, 1999

CITY OF ‘ANGEL’: Review of first season of the “Buffy” spinoff. – Oct. 4, 1999

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO – Midseason Reviews of “Buffy” Season 4 and “Angel” – Dec. 6, 1999

THE GAY, THE BAD AND THE HOTTIE – Season-end wrap of “Buffy” (Willow comes out) “Will and Grace” and “The Sopranos”. – Salon, May 8, 2000

The Death of Buffy’s Mom – Salon, March 13, 2001

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The Sopranos

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY AND SCREW YOU: A salute to Livia Soprano. – Salon, May 3, 1999.

WE ARE FAMILY: Feature on Season 2 opener of THE SOPRANOS. (2000).

Review of THE SOPRANOS Season 3 opener (2001).

Review of THE SOPRANOS Season 3 finale (2001).

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Miscellaneous TV

‘NYPD BLUE’ IN THE FAMILY WAY – Salon, Dec. 30, 1998. My favorite “NYPD Blue” piece, focusing on the pregnancy of Diane and the leap of faith people make when bringing a child into the world. This was a theme I returned to in …

A piece about Scully’s pregnancy on a late season of THE X-FILES (Feb. 1, 2001). One of my favorite “X-Files” pieces.

20 WAYS THE ’90’s CHANGED TELEVISION – Salon, Dec. 22, 1999.

BRILLIANT CAREERS: MISTER ROGERS – Appreciation written for the Salon series, Aug. 19, 1999

THE COLOR OF MONEY – The segregation of prime-time TV, and a review of “Strange Justice,” the first TV movie about the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings. Salon – Aug. 23, 1999

TOP TEN REASONS DAVID LETTERMAN’S HEART BYPASS OPERATION WAS A GOOD THING – Salon, March 20, 2000

Review of two weird, forgotten artifacts that aired on VH1, a TV movie about Lennon and McCartney and “Rotten Television starring Johnny Rotten. — Salon, Jan.31, 2000

THE POTUS WITH THE MOSTEST: My review of THE WEST WING as it opens Season 2. – Salon, Oct. 18, 2000.

A look back at the 1970’s daytime vampire soap opera DARK SHADOWS. — Salon, May 20, 2002

I’m ambivalent about this 2002 piece on SEX and the CITY. But, whatever.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s THAT’S MY BUSH!, 2001 (pre-9/11) live-action sitcom about wacky president W. Included here as an artifact of its time. If we only knew then what we know now.

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Salon music pieces

This was a review of AMY RIGBY’S wonderful 1996 album “DIARY OF A MOD HOUSEWIFE”.

A review of JONI MITCHELL’S 1996 “HITS” & “MISSES” COMPILATIONS

Review of ELVIS COSTELLO’s 1996 album “ALL THIS USELESS BEAUTY”

Appreciation of CHRISSIE HYNDE, written for the “Brilliant Careers” section. – Salon, April 6, 1999

And this was my 1997 Valentine’s Day tribute to the music of BURT BACHARACH AND HAL DAVID.

More to come …