EMST faculty give recommendations for shows, movies, games

Grady College encourages all students, faculty and staff to remain informed with the University of Georgia’s information and resources regarding coronavirus at: uga.edu/coronavirus.

In following the advice of national health officials to stay home, many people are searching for movies, shows and games to consume. Grady College asked entertainment and media studies professors which content they recommend others see. Here are their recommendations.



Taylor Miller

The Peabody Awards iOS app
“It curates a list of the previous four years of winners, citations by jurors for why they won and links to where they can be watched.”

“It is a search tool into which you can type a show and season and see which all streaming services carry it/or where it can be purchased.”




Matthew Evans

Streaming platform: Hulu
“Normally, I’d wax poetic on classic movies. But given today’s headlines, I recommend “Seinfeld.” Although there are “Best Of” lists available, you can pretty much pick up anywhere. They’re all hilarious, and at 22-minutes a pop, it’s a nice break without making a huge commitment. Sure, it feels like “Curb Your Enthusiasm”-lite, but that’s okay: we all know that Larry David was the real genius behind NBC’s hit. It’s the best way to distract yourself from living in a real-world version of “Contagion,” which I’d also recommend, by the way.”

Jay Hamilton

“Better Call Saul”
“New season of the best character study on TV since Mad Men. No need to watch its related show “Breaking Bad” to be immediately immersed and marvel at the writing and acting. Start with Season 1 if needed.”

Garland McLaurin

“Mad Men”
Streaming platform: Netflix
“It’s a good series that follows interesting characters over a period of time.”

Streaming platform: Netflix
“A great show that follows the 80’s ballroom culture.”

“Who Killed Malcolm X
Streaming platform: Netflix
“Great doc series about the facts surrounding the murder of Malcolm X”

Taylor Miller

Streaming platform: HBO
“This Mini-Series asks a simple question: what is the cost of lies? With its incredible storytelling, an event from history is scripted into a powerful parable that could not be more prescient for this moment. I simply don’t know of a better mini-series. Make sure to listen to the accompanying podcast after each episode to learn why certain production choices were made, hosted by “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me” host Peter Sagal.”

“Schitts Creek”
Streaming platform: Netflix
“While the first two seasons may seem a little slow, they set the important groundwork for a very funny show with way more heart than you’d imagine. If laughter through tears is your favorite emotion, you’ll love a refreshing swim up Schitts Creek.”

“The Golden Girls”
Streaming platform: Hulu
“With 180 episodes, there’s enough charm, humor, and good ol’-fashioned nostalgia to last you quite awhile! And the studio audience laughter will make you feel less alone.”




Kate Fortmueller

Anyone who wants to watch great movies should at the very least sign up for the 14-day free trial for The Criterion Channel. This month they have a series called “Film Plays Itself,” which has movies like “Sunset Boulevard,” “The Player,” and “The Bad and the Beautiful.”

“The Player”
Streaming platform: Criterion Channel
“Satire of Hollywood filmmaking staring Tim Robbins. As with all Robert Altman films it has a stellar ensemble cast, overlapping dialogue, and a mix of genres (in this case black comedy/film noir). I like this film’s biting critique of Hollywood filmmaking and culture.”

Streaming platform: Criterion Channel
“Bank heist set in Germany starring Warren Beatty and Goldie Hawn with a score by Quincy Jones. This is a stylish movie that combines Goldie Hawn’s quirky style of humor with a genuinely suspenseful bank heist.”

Jay Hamilton

“Lady Bird”
“Greta Gerwig’s breakout feature is infinitely better than “Little Women.” Lead Saoirse Ronan and the script captures the sassy turmoil between a single mom and her on-the-cusp young adult daughter. A paean to following your own path to find yourself.”

“I, Daniel Blake”
“Palme d’Or winner at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival by long-time gritty realist Ken Loach. The northern English accent may be tricky for American ears, but turn in the subtitles if you need to. A heartfelt, unyielding portrayal of the precarious times in which we live, plus the need for a deep human response to confront it.”

Garland McLaurin

“Purple Rain”
Streaming platform: Netflix
“You can’t go wrong with Prince.”

“Sorry to Bother You
Streaming platform: Hulu
“A great film from Boots Riley”



Shira Chess

“Dash Adventures”: “For those who have not previously played a game in the Dash franchise, you are in for a fast-paced treat. In “Dash Adventures,” you work through zany adventures as a waitress and entrepreneur, saving a town from a variety of disasters. Kicking in a little bit of money from time to time gives you more abilities to complete levels and areas. The level styles are varied and the challenges are fun and just a bit weird.”
“Hungry Babies Mania”
“Polar Pop Mania”

“Donut County”: “You play as a hole in the ground. Seriously. An army of racoon bros are destroying an area oddly similar to Los Angeles and the player guides a hole in the ground as it sucks up items, becoming larger with the more things that fall into it. In our chaotic times, there is something oddly cathartic about swallowing up everyone and everything into a hole in the ground.”
“Monument Valley (1 & 2)”

“Stardew Valley” “For more involving play I cannot possibly recommend a game more than Stardew Valley. Stardew is what is referred to as “slow gaming” – you are farming, mining, fishing, and performing other tasks that seem relatively normal, on the surface. But the game is infused with some odd moments of magical realism (it’s like FarmVille but really weird). Also, you can have involved relationships with non-player characters. If you are looking for an absorbing experience to take you out of your doldrums or anxiety, I can’t recommend a better experience than Stardew Valley.”
“Ticket to Ride”
“Broken Age”

“For those with iOS, getting a one month subscription to Apple Arcade gives free play for a long list of games that are included. Ticket to Ride (mentioned above) is a great asynchronous board game with a digital version. You can play with up to 4 friends over the course of hours/day/weeks.”


From the Peabody Awards:



“Independent Lens: Dolores”   [Peabody Winner] Network/Platform: PBS
“Peter Bratt’s exhilarating portrait of activist and community organizer Dolores Huerta serves as a timely reminder of the power of collective action in service of social justice.”

“Blue Planet II”   [Peabody Nominee] Network/Platform: BBC AMERICA
“A view of our oceans using the latest diving and submarine technologies reveals we have more in common with, and are more connected than we ever imagined, to our deeply threatened seascapes.”

“The Jazz Ambassadors”   [Peabody Winner] Network/Platform: PBS
“A story about the people, especially African Americans, who created jazz and the pivotal role their contributions played in cold-war diplomacy, American race relations, emerging black identities, and newly independent third world nations around the world.”


“The Americans”   [Peabody Winner] Network/Platform: FX Networks, Hulu
“A rare show that has won two Peabody Awards, including one last year for its final season.  It tells the complex story of two Soviet spies deeply undercover as middle-class American parents dealing with patriotism, family, relationships, and duty.”

“Hannah Gadsby: Nanette”   [Peabody Winner] Network/Platform: Netflix
“A blistering treatise that finds the tragedy in comedy, in which Hannah Gadsby commands, breaks apart, and reconstructs the standup comedy special format all while delivering a powerful message.”

“My Brilliant Friend”   [Peabody Nominee] Network/Platform: HBO
“The adaptation of the first of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet novels follows two girls and their personal triumphs and tragedies against a setting that swirls with political, social, and cultural strife in post-war Naples, Italy.”


Miller Named Peabody Media Center Academic Director

The Peabody Media Center has appointed Taylor Cole Miller as academic director, where he will administer the scholarly initiatives of the center’s work along with Nate Kohn, professor and fellow academic director. Miller is an assistant professor in the Grady College with joint appointments in the Department of Entertainment & Media Studies and the New Media Institute. His position with the Peabody Media Center begins immediately.

One of Miller’s most recent projects is writing cultural histories about some of Norman Lear’s work.
One of Miller’s most recent projects is writing cultural histories about some of Norman Lear’s work.

“Taylor brings fresh energy and insight into the scholarly outreach arm of Peabody,” said Jeffrey P. Jones, executive director of Peabody. “His research areas align with where we need to go and want to be in the future.”

Miller teaches courses in media studies, broadcast histories, and digital/docu-series production. His research uses a cultural studies approach to analyze the TV industry, media distribution, and production cultures especially at their intersections with issues of gender and sexuality.

“As a broadcast historian who is also training a new generation of media makers to be critical thinkers, I am right where I’m supposed to be here at Peabody,” Miller said. “I think success in history is better marked by significance than popularity, and Peabody’s interest in recognizing stories that matter—even in the smallest of markets—directly connects to my interest in how television serves various publics.”

In his new role, Miller will serve as co-coordinator and liaison with the Media Center’s seven Fellows, will work with the Peabody Student Honor Board and the Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award, and assist in the Peabody Digital Network and Peabody Archive.

Miller will also handle Media Center programming and production, including serving as primary interface with the Peabody Archive, housed in the University of Georgia’s special collections libraries. With the director and the communications team, he will help strategize, plan, and execute programming for the Peabody Digital Network, utilizing archival content as appropriate.

Miller received bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish from the University of Kansas; a master’s degree in radio/TV/film from the University of Texas-Austin; and his doctorate in media and cultural studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining Grady College, he taught courses in television criticism, critical internet studies, and new media production at the University of Wisconsin, served as an editor for Mother Earth News, and worked as a jack-of-all-trades at an independent cable TV station.

Miller’s current work investigates the transgressive and queer potential of television syndication. Additionally, he has been working with Norman Lear and Louise Lasser to write cultural histories of Lear’s first-run syndicated serials “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “All That Glitters.” 

About Peabody Media Center

The Peabody Media Center is a scholarly research center and media production arm of the prestigious Peabody Awards. The Media Center creates public programming that spotlights the yearly award winners and finalists, as well as critical scholarly engagement that addresses today’s changing media industry landscape. Resources unique to the center include the Peabody Archive, part of the third largest collection of audiovisual materials in the United States, and the Peabody Academy, which focuses on inspiring storytellers of the future. Peabody Fellows are a distinguished group of television and media studies scholars from across the country who provide fresh perspectives and commentary on how and why stories matter and their impact on media, culture, and society.

Grady faculty member interviews Norman Lear for research project

Norman Lear and Taylor Cole Miller, Oct. 2017
Norman Lear and Taylor Cole Miller, Oct. 2017

In October, Taylor Cole Miller, assistant professor of Entertainment and Media Studies, conducted a one-on-one filmed interview with TV icon Norman Lear, the legendary creator of some of the biggest shows in the 1970s including “All in the Family,” “The Jeffersons,” “Sanford and Son,” and “Maude.”

The two talked about a collection of his lesser-known shows such as “Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman” and “All That Glitters,” as well as his current projects, the “One Day at a Time” reboot for Netflix and his new pilot, “Guess Who Died,” for NBC.

The interview, which took place in Lear’s production offices in Beverly Hills, will be featured in a documentary Miller is producing on the history of sexual nonconformity on American television.

This segment below was filmed about a week after Bob Schiller, one of Lear’s writers for “All in the Family” and “Maude” passed away. He reminisced about how they kept adding a few years to one another’s lives through laughter.

“If there is anything that adds time to life, I think it’s laughter,” Lear said.

Lear was recognized by the Peabody Awards this past May with an Individual Award for revolutionizing and democratizing “a traditionally timid, overwhelmingly white-bread medium with a collection of recognizable, risible characters whose racial and gender diversity was as unprecedented as their biases and brash opinions.”