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Close Read

  1. spoilers
    Let’s Talk About the End of Better Call SaulAs it turns out, the Breaking Bad prequel turned sequel is also TV’s best time-travel show.
  2. close read
    Better Call Saul’s Most Surprising Crossover Transcends Fan ServiceThere’s a lot more to Kim Wexler and Jesse Pinkman’s chance encounter than meets the eye.
  3. close reads
    Natalie Portman Put on a Cape for This?Thor: Love and Thunder lets down Jane Foster, who never makes it past a catchphrase in her return to the MCU.
  4. endings
    Let’s Discuss Borgen’s Unsurprising Surprise EndingOn paper, Power & Glory’s final move is the least shocking twist the revival season could’ve offered. So why does it feel so unreal?
  5. finales
    Barry Doesn’t Let Us Turn AwayA trio of carefully crafted scenes in the season finale compels us to confront the consequences of killing.
  6. finales
    Under the Banner of Heaven Was No MysteryIt was the patriarchy all along.
  7. close read
    Never Mind the Anarchy, Here’s PistolHow do you resolve music-biopic convention with a genre rooted in unpredictability? Danny Boyle’s Sex Pistols series never quite figures it out.
  8. trial tribulations
    The Circus Was TelevisedThe American Depp v. Heard case played to an audience primed for out-of-context spectacle, and it worked.
  9. close read
    The Phantom Nostalgia of HeartstopperThe YA Netflix series taps into an audience famished for cloyingly sweet high-school stories.
  10. finales
    We Own This City Ends in an Echo ChamberAn unnerving revisitation of the miniseries’ opening speech drives home its guiding thesis with jarring clarity.
  11. close read
    The Winds Have Shifted for Jimmy and Kim on Better Call SaulVisual cues and callbacks illuminate the dark implications of that shocking ending.
  12. close read
    Tom Cruise’s Last StandThirty-six years after the original, Top Gun: Maverick eulogizes the actor’s entire career, and an America that may not exist anymore.
  13. close read
    Winning Time Was No Match for the Showtime Lakers LegacyThe series made some fascinating moves in its debut season, but in its final moments, it succumbed to the inertia of a preordained narrative.
  14. close read
    Undone Takes Us Back Into MadnessThe second season’s finale rewrites everything that precedes it and opens the door for Alma to experience real healing.
  15. spoilers
    Anatomy of a Scandal’s Final Line Achieves GreatnessGreatness in the category of ‘Most Absurd Ending.’
  16. delayed gratification
    Severance Earned Its Cliffhanger EndingIt’s understandable to feel resentful of the abrupt denial of closure. It’s also the point.
  17. close read
    This Week’s Atlanta Insists That Attention Must Be Paid“The Big Payback” makes a case for reparations and a case for how much small details can matter.
  18. close read
    The Dropout Revealed Its Truths via Needle DropMusical moments are used so effectively throughout the miniseries that even their absence in the finale is illuminating.
  19. close read
    Atlanta Returns, Singular As EverThe long-awaited third season kicks off with yet another stand-alone episode that suggests Donald Glover’s comedy is, at heart, an anthology series.
  20. let’s talk about it
    In the Euphoria Finale, Real Life and Our Life CollideLexi’s play is key to everything.
  21. docuseries
    Tiger King Is a Train Wreck — Nothing More, Nothing LessNetflix’s latest must-see series is an extreme, flawed example of a WTF docuseries that generates lots of conversation but little clarity.