1. tv review
    Shrill Doesn’t Need ClosureThe low-key yet insightful closing episodes of the Hulu comedy eschew resolution in favor of continued evolution.
  2. tv review
    Girls5Eva Is 2 Funny 2 IgnoreThe Peacock series about a girl group reuniting in middle age cranks out joke after joke about the ridiculous exercise that is show business.
  3. best of 2021
    The Best TV of 2021 (So Far)A slow start to the TV year has left room for some smaller, less expected highlights (and, yes, one giant event series) to make themselves known.
  4. tv review
    The Handmaid’s Tale Gets Its Mojo BackAfter two seasons stuck in a hamster wheel of ugly conflict, the series finally delivers some much-needed forward movement and emotional payoff.
  5. oscars 2021
    Oscars 2021 Was Not a Movie. It Was Prestige TV.And like most celebrated prestige dramas, it was pretty good until the ending.
  6. the office
    How Hollywood Depicted the New York OfficeIt was where our dreams and anxieties unfolded.
  7. a long talk
    The Co-Creators of Rutherford Falls On Sitting in the Mess of American History“We’re piss-poor, frankly, at trying to live in nuance.”
  8. tv review
    Rutherford Falls Reckons Optimistically With America’s Flawed Past and PresentThe Peacock comedy tackles heavy topics like Indigenous erasure and revisionist history with the light touch expected of a Mike Schur co-production.
  9. tv review
    Mare of Easttown Is More Than It Appears to BeThe HBO limited series starring Kate Winslet is not not a familiar-looking crime drama, but its appeal goes much deeper than that.
  10. tv review
    Big Shot Shoots and Mostly ScoresJohn Stamos plays basically the anti–Ted Lasso in Disney+’s new family drama centered on a girls’ basketball team.
  11. tv review
    Younger Goes Full Rom-Com in Its Farewell SeasonWith its central narrative tension resolved, the series shifts all the way into fun and frothy mode.
  12. in memoriam
    Allow Anne Beatts to Set the Record Straight About Square PegsThe late, great comedy writer wanted to correct the narrative surrounding the demise of her influential teen sitcom.
  13. the lost canon
    Anne Beatts Was Always More Interesting Than John HughesEvery teen series and movie that followed Beatts’s Square Pegs owes it, and her, a debt of total gratitude.
  14. tv review
    Made for Love’s Tech Looks FamiliarCristin Milioti leads a great cast that brings some necessary distinction to a series full of recognizable future-paranoia components.
  15. tributes
    Lucille Bluth Was Jessica Walter’s Comedic Pièce de RésistanceWalter had an amazing, varied acting career, but making us love such an entitled, acerbic character may have been her greatest feat.
  16. role call
    Judy Reyes Answers Every Question We Have About Jane the VirginOn passing up “sassy” roles for powerful ones, not being the only Latinx person on set, and the sexed-up Netflix period piece she wants to join next.
  17. movie review
    Even If You Know Tina Turner’s Story, You Should Watch TinaThe HBO documentary is a comprehensive and moving look at the wild, inspiring life of a rock icon.
  18. ooh it’s them!
    The 32 Greatest Character Actors Working TodayWe asked critics and Hollywood creators: Which supporting players make everything better?
  19. close reads
    This Week’s The Real World Homecoming Gets Real About RaceIt’s practically a checklist of exactly what not to do when confronted about racism.
  20. tv review
    The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Is More Sturdy Product From the Marvel MachineThe latest Disney+ foray into the MCU should keep fans engaged for exactly the amount of time it takes for the next tentpole to arrive.
  21. tv review
    Waffles + Mochi Is Educational, Trippy, and a Bit OverstuffedThe first TV series from the Obamas’ production company feels like a kid-friendly version of shows like Ugly Delicious and Salt Fat Acid Heat.
  22. showrunners
    How Jac Schaeffer Made WandaVision Inside the Marvel MachineLike the sitcom-superhero show itself, Schaeffer’s work on WandaVision involved a hybrid approach.
  23. tv review
    Last Chance U: Basketball Is a Riveting, Heartbreaking Sports DocThe end of the eight-episode season, now on Netflix, has a twist you’ve probably never seen in a sports documentary.
  24. keeping up with the royals
    Why We Watched Oprah Interview Meghan and HarryThe widely viewed special felt like a turning point in an ongoing TV saga that millions of Americans have been following for decades.
  25. close reads
    Allen v. Farrow’s Dylan Farrow Videos Are a Necessary Shift in FocusWhile it’s unsettling to watch a 7-year-old Dylan describe her abuse, it feels right that as an adult she’s finding healing in an on-camera context.
  26. tv review
    The Real World Homecoming Is a Welcome Revisit of a Reality-TV Time CapsuleWhat happens when seven strangers stop being polite and start getting real 30 years later.
  27. late night tv
    Fallon Takes a WandaVision Trip Through Late-Night History With Elizabeth OlsenApparently Wanda isn’t the only person who turns to old TV as a coping mechanism.
  28. moxie
    In Moxie, They Are Young Women, Hear Them (Nicely) RoarThe movie about a feminist uprising at a high school is well-intentioned but lacks the edgy spirit it supposedly celebrates.
  29. golden globes 2021
    This Year’s Golden Globes Were the Wrong Kind of MessTina Fey and Amy Poehler were fine hosts, but the ceremony overall was an exhausting reminder that this whole pandemic is really getting old.
  30. the art of ending things
    What Makes Viewers ‘Tune In Next Week"?Veteran TV writers share how they craft cliffhanger endings for everything from comedies to soaps to docuseries.
  31. golden globes 2021
    Who Should (and Will) Win at the Golden Globes This Weekend?Even in the middle of a pandemic, the Globes will go on, and so will our prognostication.
  32. wrap party in paradise
    Live Together, Party Together: The Story of Lost’s Final Wrap PartyCast and crew reminisce about the epic send-off thrown by Evangeline Lilly and featuring an unplanned guest performance by Jimmy Buffett.
  33. the art of ending things
    No, They Weren’t Dead the Whole TimeAn oral history of Lost’s daring, divisive finale, our last truly communal broadcast TV experience
  34. the art of ending things
    The 101 Greatest Endings in Movies HistoryGood finales offer catharsis. The best deny us closure altogether.
  35. gotcha! gotcha again!
    Okay, Let’s Talk About Behind Her Eyes’s Double Twist EndingThat final reveal gives some of what comes before greater context, but that doesn’t mean it’s good context.
  36. tv review
    Allen v. Farrow Places Dylan Farrow at the Center of Her Own StoryThe new HBO docuseries reexamines the familiar allegations against Woody Allen from a different perspective with context we have not seen before.
  37. tv review
    Portrait of the Rock As a Young ManYoung Rock is a sweet sitcom about the life of Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson that implies he may be president someday.
  38. tv review
    The Great North Finds Warmth in a Chilly PlaceThe new animated sitcom from the team at Bob’s Burgers is as quirky and good-hearted as … well, Bob’s Burgers.
  39. tv review
    Hello, Clarice. Good-bye, Clarice.The CBS series’s attempt to put Clarice Starling at the center of a narrative doesn’t rise to the intelligence and complexity of the woman herself.
  40. spoilers
    That WandaVision Ending Gives Deeper Meaning to a Crossover Event“On a Very Special Episode …” is indeed a very special, brilliantly layered episode of WandaVision.
  41. tv review
    The Beagle Remains a BlessingApple TV+’s new The Snoopy Show is a welcome reminder that happiness still is a warm puppy.
  42. golden globes 2021
    The Biggest Snubs and Surprises of the 2021 Golden Globe NominationsEmily in Paris was nominated for Best Comedy Series?
  43. trump tv
    What American Horror Story: Cult Got Right—and Very Wrong—About the Trump EraDebuting less than a year after Trump took office, the anthology series’ messy attempt to speak to the moment was both flawed and prescient.
  44. tv review
    The Lady and the Dale Is a Multifaceted Look at a Multifaceted Con ArtistThe HBO docuseries offers a sharp, engrossing reconciliation of Liz Carmichael’s crimes and her identity as a trans woman.
  45. tv review
    Blown Away Is a Cozy Blanket Made of Hot, Molten GlassIn its second season, now on Netflix, the glassblowing-competition series offers the warmth you crave on a cold January day.
  46. inauguration day 2021
    Inauguration Day 2021 Was a Colorful Beam of LightVisually and thematically, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s inauguration was suffused with brightness.
  47. hbo
    In Tiger, a Portrait of a Phenom Who Was Never Allowed to Be a KidA two-part HBO documentary shows the toll of an overbearing father and life as a golf prodigy.
  48. tv review
    Marvel’s WandaVision Is a Time-Traveling DelightElizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany hopscotch through sitcom history in a new Disney+ series.
  49. close reads
    Cobra Kai Season 3 Sends Mixed Nostalgia MessagesThe series argues that nostalgia is toxic but also can’t stop reminding us that the ’80s rule.
  50. 2021 preview
    48 TV Shows We Can’t Wait to See in 2021There’s still a whole lot of TBD ahead, but also some definitive promise of great things to come.
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