On Television
June 14, 2021 Issue
“Hacks” Pits Zoomer Against Boomer
It’s Carhartt versus caftan in this HBO Max series, which depicts a generational war between a young TV writer and a Las Vegas standup legend, played by Jean Smart.
By Doreen St. FélixJune 7, 2021
May 31, 2021 Issue
It’s Ryan Murphy’s World—“Halston” Is Just Living in It
In the Netflix series, Murphy keeps such a tight rein on Halston’s world that the designer is unable to breathe as a subject.
By Naomi FryMay 24, 2021
May 24, 2021 Issue
The Achievement of Barry Jenkins’s “The Underground Railroad”
We have known Jenkins as a portraitist. In his reimagining of Colson Whitehead’s novel, he is a virtuosic landscape artist.
By Doreen St. FélixMay 14, 2021
May 17, 2021 Issue
Netflix’s Flat “The Circle”
On Season 2 of the reality show, a middle-aged author posing as a young waiter, a volleyballer playing herself, and a personal assistant pretending to be ’NSync’s Lance Bass all sound the same.
By Naomi FryMay 10, 2021
May 10, 2021 Issue
Gender and Genre in “Made for Love” and “Mare of Easttown”
The tech-world satire, starring Cristin Milioti, and the Kate Winslet crime drama, both streaming on HBO Max, put a spotlight on different kinds of male violence.
By Doreen St. FélixMay 3, 2021
April 12, 2021 Issue
A New Hemingway Documentary Peeks Behind the Myth
Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s film examines the burden of the author’s performance of himself.
By Hilton AlsApril 5, 2021
April 5, 2021 Issue
Michelle Obama’s Lesson to Kids: You Are What You Watch
According to “Waffles + Mochi,” Obama’s food-travelogue series for kids, being good means absorbing good, organic things, like fresh mushrooms and politically astute children’s programming.
By Doreen St. FélixMarch 29, 2021
March 29, 2021 Issue
The Haredi Jewish Family of “Shtisel” Returns for a Third Season
The runaway-hit series from Israel delivers pleasures similar to those of an expansive nineteenth-century novel.
By Alexandra SchwartzMarch 22, 2021
March 15, 2021 Issue
Queen Latifah Obliterates Trumps n’ Musks in “The Equalizer”
The CBS crime procedural is a gimme for an audience who’d die to have this therapeutic queen dismantle racial capitalism in one fell girl-boss swoop.
By Doreen St. FélixMarch 8, 2021
March 8, 2021 Issue
The Dizzying Hairpin Turns of “Behind Her Eyes”
It is hard to tell who is warden and who is prisoner, who is crazy and who is sane, and the Netflix show revels in this uncertainty.
By Naomi FryMarch 1, 2021
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