Mallika Rao is a freelance writer of criticism and reportage since 2016. For New York, she has profiled Ruth Negga.

  1. profile
    Celine Song Is the One That Got AwayIn the director’s semi-autobiographical debut feature, Past Lives, there are two love interests and no easy choices.
  2. profile
    Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah Is Asking the Hard QuestionsAfter his first book was a hit, he decided to use his follow-up to tackle the most pressing issue he could think of: the US prison system.
  3. book review
    In These Novels of Tech Dystopia, Memories Belong to the CloudJennifer Egan’s The Candy House and Vauhini Vara’s The Immortal King Rao are two very different books with a troubling shared prediction.
  4. the best of the lot
    New Yorkers Live Side-by-Side and Worlds ApartPerhaps no film shows the pain and the poetry of the assimilative process quite like The Namesake.
  5. fall preview 2021
    ‘Imagine a Black Woman Just Wanting Something’In Passing, Ruth Negga plays a character who dares you to disapprove of her choices.
  6. close reads
    Indian Matchmaking Is Just Telling It Like It IsWhen the game itself is dirty, why yell at a mirror pointed at it, reflecting the moves for all to see?
  7. close reads
    In Never Have I Ever, the Real Love Story Is Between a Mother and DaughterBy the finale, Paxton Hall-Yoshida and Ben Gross feel like an afterthought.
  8. remembrances
    The Undefinable Something of Irrfan KhanThe actor, who died this week at 53, is a study in contrasts — a Bollywood star and Hollywood Everyman, sexy yet never fit for leading-man status.
  9. first person
    In Defense of Cousins Who Fall in Love, on Ramy and IRL(Not to be read by any of my cousins.)
  10. pen15
    How PEN15’s Mutsuko Erskine Wound Up Playing Herself on TVThe real-life mom of Maya Erskine talks acting, the “déjà vu” of the Hulu comedy, and life in America as a Japanese woman.
  11. a long talk
    A Friend Date With Dating Around’s Gurki BasraThe Punjabi-American divorcée and surprise heroine of the new Netflix show Dating Around sat down with her demographic twin.
  12. first person
    On PEN15, Everyone Is (Refreshingly) a BullyThe excellent mid-season episode, “Posh,” plays like a fable about race in American middle schools.
  13. reconsiderations
    Believing Women, and the Gaslighting of M.I.A.The big revelation of MAYA / MATANGI / M.I.A. is how it vindicates the singer at its heart.
  14. Anthony Bourdain Was the Best White ManFor so many nonwhite people, he was the white man who finally made us feel understood.
  15. Wild Wild Country’s Ma Anand Sheela Did It All for Love“I didn’t join the movement. I was in love with him and I could not pull myself away from him.”
  16. Why I Hate GurusWatching Wild Wild Country, I feel I am witnessing a repeat of Osho’s vanishing act, of the man behind the Oz curtain.
  17. chat room
    Why Hari Kondabolu Had to Explain What The Problem With Apu Is to America“I honestly wanted to call it Seriously? I need to explain this?”
  18. The Legacy of Both Mindys on The Mindy ProjectThe first Indian-American to run a show, Kaling has to know the cruelty of the speed of change more than most.
  19. chat room
    Karan Soni on Getting His Room 104 Role With 24 Hours’ Notice“The whole process was very stressful.”
  20. Hasan Minhaj Took a Job No One Wanted“I was told repeatedly, ‘Don’t go after POTUS, don’t roast the administration in absentia.’”
  21. ‘Khan,’ the Name That Rules Bollywood and Stalls Airport Security LinesThe world’s most bipolar name.
  22. How Mindy Kaling Became the ‘Bill Murray of the Brown Internet’“She’ll just show up with random comments and make everyone’s day.”
  23. emmy insider
    Aziz’s Dad on Auditioning to Play Himself, Trump“America is great because of the immigrants. You cannot shake the foundation.”
  24. essays
    Why We’re Still So Bad at Talking About ColorismEven as terms like “yellowface” and “whitewash” sink into our cultural vocabulary, there remains confusion on basic matters of colorism.
  25. the vulture tv podcast
    When Does TV Handle Trauma Well?And why comedies have done some of the most affecting work in this area. 
  26. overnights
    Master of None Recap: Pasta-bilitiesDev’s last stand.
  27. overnights
    Master of None Recap: Real LoveThose early hours before the day begins, when working people get to love.
  28. overnights
    Master of None Recap: Call Your GrandmaAging in America is a thankless task. 
  29. overnights
    Master of None Recap: It’s Harder Being a WomanMen live in a different world from women. I could write that ten times, and it still wouldn’t be enough.
  30. overnights
    Master of None Recap: on Indian Actors Who Date WhiteWe fall in love with the people around us.
  31. overnights
    Master of None Recap: Dev Tries to Be BadThis episode’s last scene is a manifestation of Aziz’s most unique trait as a budding auteur.
  32. dying tropes
    Let’s Talk About the Apu AccentMost brown people in Hollywood — men in particular — cannot escape it.
  33. overnights
    Master of None Recap: Love in the Time of Cartman ImpressionsWaitress Alice is a nightmare dressed like a daydream.
  34. chat room
    MON’s Ravi Patel on Aziz Ansari’s Second Coming“[Aziz] is acknowledging that he doesn’t have to ignore being Indian to be recognized as a guy who is talented in America.”
  35. the vulture tv podcast
    Master of None and How We Talk About Race on TV“When Asians get to be regular and mediocre and, you know, not the top student, that’s when we’re finally getting into equality territory.”
  36. first person
    On Master of None, the Kids Are All Right, But the Parents Are BetterWhen I first watched episode two, “Parents,” I couldn’t quite catch my breath.
  37. overnights
    Master of None Series Premiere Recap: Red, Brown, and BlueDoes anyone really want to sacrifice personal happiness given the choice?
  38. first person
    The Mindy Project Brings TV’s First Awesome Arranged MarriageTarun and Sonu Lahiri are pioneers of a sort.