Karen Townsend

Contributing Writer


Latest from Karen Townsend

In the May 22 season finale of ABC’s Roseanne, titled “Knee Deep,” Roseanne is in need of knee surgery but the family doesn’t have the money to cover it. Desperate to find a way to bid jobs cheaper to win contracts, Dan decides to hire illegal aliens for the first time.



The 2018 Miss USA pageant aired May 21 on Fox. Hosted by the husband and wife team of Nick and Vanessa Lachey, got political by delving into feminism, gender inequality, and #MeToo.



During the May 16 episode of Fox’s Star, ICE agents were portrayed as unfeeling ogres, as is currently the style this season on network television shows, but this one hit a new low. After a funeral, ICE surrounded a church to haul off one of the pallbearers, leaving his family and friends crying and screaming in the street with the casket.



Season Two of Netflix’s Dear White People began airing on May 4 and this season’s ending took a real twist. Instead of ending in violence or tragedy, the 10-episode series ends by exposing a controversial black conservative as a performer, her beliefs for sale and not at all sincere.



The May 8 episode of ABC’s Roseanne titled “Go Cubs” introduces the Connor’s new neighbors, a Muslim family from Yemen. Roseanne uses a visit to their home as a way to ease her fear of them.



The May 6 episode of Fox’s Family Guy titled “HTTPete” took great pleasure in lampooning a favorite target – Millennials. In order to reverse lagging sales, Peter Griffin’s employer realizes he must reach out to Millennials to capture their market.



With a title of “The ICEMen Cometh,” the April 30 episode of CBS’s Superior Donuts had no intention of dealing with the issue of illegal immigration and lawful deportation in an honest way. The liberal narrative that ICE agents are arresting innocent people and legal immigrants are unreasonable for expecting everyone to obey the immigration process dominated the story.



In the April 29 episode of Fox’s The Simpsons, “Forgive and Regret,” the Legends of Demolition Derby comes to Springfield and Homer’s old car is entered. His car makes it to the final round and the challenging car is called "Car-rak Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Mobile," which, the announcer adds, “You can’t kill no matter how hard you try.” That would be funnier if it weren’t so true about the struggles against Obamacare.



It's April 25, 2018, and the bitter feelings about the November 2016 election of President Trump continue to carry over into primetime television shows. The episode of Fox’s Empire, titled “False Face,” included a reference to a vote for Hillary Clinton from one of the show’s regular characters. How timely.



In a particularly distasteful storyline involving a war veteran, Lifetime’s UnREAL cynically used a soldier’s service in Iraq to win the affection of the bachelorette, aka suitress, in the fictional dating show Everlasting. One of his rival contestants is a liberal pacifist, so the producers of the show decide to exploit the veteran’s story and pit the two against each other as a rating winner.



In the April 18 episode of Fox’s Empire, titled “Of Hardiness is Mother,” a random profane line is inserted into a conversation about Cookie’s rising blood pressure as she blames it on President Trump’s tweeting. Yes, really. Cookie Lyon (Taraji P. Henson) suffered a heart attack during last week’s episode and the Lyon family is scrambling to help her fully recover. In order to change her lifestyle into a healthier one, Lucious (Terrence Howard) hires a chef to prepare heart-healthy meals for the family.



What is it lately that makes the Hollywood left work Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg into ordinary, even rather boring, sitcoms? It happened again in the April 16 episode of CBS’s Man With a Plan titled “King for a Day.” This time it is because a liberal mom doesn’t want her daughter playing dress up like a princess.



In the April 12 episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, titled “Beautiful Dreamer,” ICE comes to Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital looking for Dr. Sam Bello. It’s the usual kind of story painting the DACA student as extraordinary and the ICE agent as the bad guy for enforcing the law.



I would like to say that the April 11 episode of Fox’s Star, titled “Dreamers,” included a surprise random plot twist but the fact is that this show seems to thrive on random plot twists. In this episode, a character randomly discovers that he is an illegal alien.



In the April 11 episode of Fox’s Empire, titled “Sweet Sorrow,” Becky decides to get an abortion even though her baby’s father doesn’t want her to do so. She justifies her selfish decision by using the same old tired trope that generations of feminists have used – "my body, my choice."



The April 8 episode of Stephen Colbert’s Showtime anti-Trump cartoon, Our Cartoon President, titled “First Pitch” included bitter losing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. She is less than kind to Ivanka Trump as Trump is trying to open a school for women and girls in Africa.



In the April 6 episode of CW’s Jane the Virgin, titled “Chapter Seventy-Nine,” Jane’s Grandmother "Abuela" Alba prepares to take the citizenship test to complete her requirements to finally become an American citizen. And, of course, there was a jab at President Trump and love for President Obama.



During the April 2 episode of Lifetime’s drama UnREAL, titled “Transference,” a contestant vying for the affections of a wealthy Silicon Valley bachelorette spends $400,000 in an attempt to win her over. But the way in which he spent the money was truly icky.



On Easter Sunday, Stephen Colbert’s anti-Trump animated cartoon show on Showtime, Our Cartoon President portrays President Trump as desperate to increase his waning support from evangelical voters. In “Church and State” he is caught on an open mic saying to Vice President Mike Pence that he would "cut off God’s penis” if his wife were to become pregnant as Joseph’s wife, Mary, did.



It is not unusual for the plots of episodes of CW’s Riverdale to take a turn into darkness, but in the March 28 episode titled “Chapter Thirty: The Noose Tightens,” the random inclusion of evil Catholics practicing gay conversion therapy was unexpected.