Displaying all articles tagged:

Close Reads

  1. qui-bye
    Did 2020 Kill Quibi? Or Did Quibi Kill Quibi?Name aside, the upstart streamer actually had a lot of things going for it — and it failed in spite of all of them.
  2. twist endings
    Let’s Discuss That The Haunting of Bly Manor EndingLots of spoilers, obviously.
  3. role muddles
    The Boys Is the End of the Superhero As We Know ItThe dark satire’s second season has illuminated the rotten core of superheroism, and cast our collective obsession with it in an unflattering light.
  4. reality tv
    The Real Housewives Versus RealityCan a class of reality stars weaned on outrageousness find a way to respond to the current moment — and do we even want them to?
  5. close reads
    Emily in Paris’s Biggest Faux Pas Is Emily HerselfAmid the show’s many indulgent clichés about French life, its take on the American-in-Paris trope rings even more hollow.
  6. close reads
    Actually, the Cultiest Part of The Vow Is the Night VolleyballLong before anyone in NXIVM got to the point of branding, there was volleyball.
  7. emmys 2020
    The Failure of Mrs. America’s Phyllis SchlaflyRevisiting the show, I started to think about Bette Davis’s performance in In This Our Life and what it takes to create a white female villain.
  8. close reads
    P-Valley Reclaimed TV Strip-Club Drama for the DancersThe pole-dancing workplace drama is a rebuttal to the Bada Bings of the TV world, but it’s also so much more than that.
  9. close reads
    The Mod Squad, Kojak, Real-Life Cops, and MeWhat I relearned (about well-meaning liberalism, race, my late father, and my young gay self) rewatching the TV cop shows of my 1970s youth.
  10. connective tissue
    I May Destroy You, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, and the Therapeutic Power of StoryThough markedly different, the two series are complementary voices in the ongoing conversation about sexual assault and its aftermath.
  11. close reads
    Let’s Talk About That I May Destroy You EndingIf trauma is a closed loop, then fantasy — which Michaela Coel makes nimble use of in “Ego Death” — is a field of endless potential.
  12. close reads
    At the DNC, Nostalgia Went Backward and ForwardThe four-night virtual political event sought to take us, in the words of Don Draper, “back home again to a place where we know we are loved.”
  13. close reads
    Yellowstone Is the Most (Anxious, White, Male) American Show on TVIt’s no coincidence that a story about outside threats to an insular way of life is one of cable’s biggest dramas.
  14. korrasami forever
    Legend of Korra Walked So Queer Characters on Kids’ TV Could KissBy 2020 standards, the series’s final beat looks like a small step for LGBTQ+ representation, but it helped embolden other series to make big strides.
  15. close reads
    The All-Virtual DNC Is Good, ActuallyFor the first time, the national convention was designed primarily as a screen experience rather than retrofitted for TV.
  16. close reads
    I May Destroy You’s Structural EpiphaniesIn the penultimate episode, Arabella remembers what has been eluding her all season. But it is what comes just before that is the true revelation.
  17. close reads
    About That ‘Controversial’ Black-ish Episode …Watching the newly resurfaced episode “Please, Baby, Please” today, it seems even more ridiculous that ABC wouldn’t air it back in 2018.
  18. close reads
    P-Valley Shows Stripping For What It Is: LaborAmid the glitz and glamor of The Pynk, we’re reminded again and again that strippers are workers, and they have worker concerns.
  19. nasty
    The ‘Clean’ Version of ‘WAP’ Is Actually So Much FilthierIt’s much more detailed in a sensory way.
  20. close reads
    Untangling Taylor Swift’s ‘Teenage Love Triangle’ Trilogy“Cardigan,” “august,” and “betty” tell a story of high-school romantic drama from three different perspectives.
  21. close reads
    The Innate Black Britishness of I May Destroy YouWithin Michaela Coel’s searing drama, Black British culture is everything in that it is treated as nothing. It just is.
  22. close reads
    When Black People Appear on SeinfeldThe things you notice when you rewatch, rather than cancel, old sitcoms.
  23. black is king
    Black Is King Works Best When Beyoncé Can Be BeyoncéThe Disney+ visual makes it clear that Beyoncé is too big for even the biggest IP.
  24. master class
    What Beyoncé Tells Us Without Saying a WordA close read of nine formative images tell a complicated story about the artist’s politics.
  25. close reads
    Search Party’s Elliott Is the Limit Case of the ‘Gay BFF’John Early’s “gay, energetic, self-diagnosed narcissist” is a satirical figure as funny as he is terrifying.
  26. close reads
    I’ll Be Gone in the Dark Makes Us Ponder Our Own True-Crime FixationsBy making writer Michelle McNamara its protagonist, the HBO docuseries compels viewers to reexamine their own relationship with true crime.
  27. 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?
  28. close reads
    The Bold Type Embraced Its Worst Self This SeasonKat Edison’s season-four story line is more than a betrayal of the character. It’s a betrayal of the show’s most appealing fantasy.
  29. close reads
    Padma Lakshmi’s Flirty Charm Is What Makes Taste the Nation So SpecialHer winsome style reflects the Hulu show’s optimism about what food can do in the face of racism.
  30. close reads
    Santana Lopez Kept Glee HonestAs played by Naya Rivera, the ever-unapologetic Santana could be straight-up cruel — and it was the best thing about her.
  31. like never before
    What Naya Rivera’s Glee ‘Songbird’ Performance MeantSantana Lopez gave a generation of queer people a flawed, deeply human role model to remember.
  32. tens across the board
    A Legendary LegacyPride Month may be over, but the ballroom competition series’ unapologetic celebration of Black queerness keeps its spirit alive.
  33. emmy insider
    Why Isn’t Every Show Like Los Espookys?It’s a world where we don’t have to fight for representation, and TV can be as weird and queer as it wants.
  34. close reads
    The Real Mud on The Golden GirlsThe blackface on The Golden Girls wasn’t blackface. But the entire series was still mired in racism and rape culture.
  35. close reads
    Taste the Nation With Padma Lakshmi Reclaims the American DreamThe new Hulu food series examines how immigrants shaped the definition of American cuisine.
  36. close reads
    The Impossible Role of the First Black BachelorLike many Black men before him, Matt James has to make his Blackness seem palatable, amiable, and safe to appeal to white audiences.
  37. close reads
    Avatar: The Last Airbender Will Always Feel RelevantBy drawing on Japanese anime tropes about postwar trauma, the American animated series echoes through cultures and generations alike.
  38. close reads
    The Peril of Issa and Molly’s Fractured Insecure FriendshipIt’s not about who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about the emotional damage of falling out with your best friend.
  39. cancellations
    Good Riddance to CopsFor three decades, the show was a key cheerleader of American law enforcement’s manicured self-image.
  40. close reads
    What Is an Anti-Racist Reading List For?It is unclear whether each book supplies a portion of the holistic racial puzzle or are intended as revelatory islands in and of themselves.
  41. close reads
    Cops Are Always the Main CharactersTV perfected the cop show, metastasized it, and then franchised it into ubiquity. How does that affect the way audiences think about police?
  42. legacies
    On Watching Mad Men in the Middle of a PandemicYou can see our world’s present-day crisis peeking through the negative spaces in Matthew Weiner’s 1960s saga.
  43. close reads
    What Did The Last Dance Tell Us About Michael Jordan, Really?It boosted Jordan’s standing as the greatest ever, but, like Mike himself, there was a hollowness at its center.
  44. close reads
    What’s With the Fake A.I. on Netflix Reality Shows?It’s a new age of reality-TV producer meddling.
  45. close reads
    Blackness Is Mythical in Netflix’s BlackAFWhat BlackAF demonstrates above all, in spite of itself, is that there may be nothing internally consistent about blackness in our current era.
  46. profile
    In Case of Emergency, Read Olivia LaingFrom The Lonely City to Funny Weather, the author writes to find a path forward through pain.
  47. finales
    How to Get Away With Murder Was Queer TV RoyaltyThe unsung legacy of the show that risked putting queer sex front and center on network TV.
  48. 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.
  49. endings
    With Final Fantasy VII Remake, Video Games Have Their Last Jedi MomentIt’s not a story, but a struggle against fandom.
  50. find a way
    Homeland’s End Brings the Show’s Defining Relationship Full-CircleThe final fate of Carrie and Saul’s partnership after eight seasons underlines what has always worked best about this series.
Load More