Blog Profile / Slate: Television

Filed Under:Entertainment / Television
Posts on Regator:337
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive


Turning historical atrocities into entertainment is a tricky proposition. Doing it on television is trickier still, because most TV, unlike other art forms, still equates entertainment with escapism and fun. Literature, art, theater, and film are permitted, on occasion, to entertain in more painful ways. Show More Summary


Binge-watching, unlike the binges of gluttons and addicts, has positive associations. When a TV show is described as bingeable, it is a compliment. The idea that binging is something one does when a show is good, and not just something one does when a show is good enough, is the foundation upon which Netflix has built its heady reputation. Show More Summary


In February 2012, Hulu aired one of its first scripted original series, the charmingly lo-fi comedy Battleground, set behind the scenes of a Wisconsin senatorial race. Battleground was the sort of pleasant but slight, watchable but forgettable,...Show More Summary

Better Call Saul Keeps Getting Better

Sequels, prequels, spin-offs, reboots—by their very nature, they have something to live up to. Sometimes they surpass what begat them. More often they do not. But only rarely do they aim for, let alone achieve, an entirely distinct mood from their predecessor. Show More Summary

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Has Become the Best Late-Night Show on TV

Three months into Stephen Colbert’s tenure as the host of CBS’s The Late Show, no one in late night looks happier to be there. At the beginning of each episode, Colbert bounds onto the stage and surveys the applauding audience—whichShow More Summary

Stephen Colbert Used to Be the Toughest Interviewer in Late-Night

Stephen Colbert is arguably the best on-camera interviewer of his generation. During his years at the helm of The Colbert Report on Comedy Central, Colbert—in the guise of his vain, right-wing alter ego, “Stephen Colbert”—specialized in creating interrogative disequilibrium. Show More Summary

Has Network Television Defanged Colbert’s Political Bite?

To a certain type of liberal, April 10, 2014 was a day of mourning. At around noon, news broke that Stephen Colbert would be the new host of The Late Show on CBS. As a result, the character of the same name—the bombastic, proudly ignorant,...Show More Summary

Just Being Honest

The Pfeffermans, the dysfunctional family at the center of Jill Soloway’s Transparent, return for a second season more poisonous and captivating than ever. Chatty charismatics, as bright and blunt as they are self-obsessed, the Pfeffermans...Show More Summary

How Jessica Jones Absorbed the Anxieties of Gamergate

Marvel’s Netflix series Jessica Jones is many things. It’s possibly the biggest surprise spotlight grab by a B- or even C-list comic book character since Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s one of the grimmest, darkest, boldest shows out there: a TV show that’s essentially 13 hours of PTSD related to the aftermath of sexual assault. Show More Summary

Jessica Jones Is Our First Real Super-Antihero

The first thing that jumps out about Jessica Jones, the new Netflix series about a “gifted” private investigator running both from and toward her haunted past, is how startlingly different it is than anything Marvel Studios has done to this point. Show More Summary

The Man in the High Castle

One of the reasons streaming services have been so destabilizing to the television industry status quo—besides, you know, stealing viewers and buzz—is that they’ve made the standard development process look foolish. Historically, the...Show More Summary

It’s Insane, This Guy’s Sketch

Halfway into With Bob and David, the too-brief sketch reunion series that has just debuted on Netflix, there’s a clunker of a joke saved by who is telling it. A laundromat owner, played by Bob Odenkirk, is receiving an award for a musical about a house’s magical singing rooms. Show More Summary

Into the Badlands

A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece about how boring television fight scenes are. Such an opinion might reasonably lead one to predict that I would dislike AMC’s Into the Badlands, a new martial arts series that’s raison d’être is the fight scene, and which features two extended Hong Kong–style kung fu sequences in every episode. Show More Summary

Nothing’s a Hit Anymore

A hit TV show, never easy to make, at least used to be easy to identify. Through the end of the 20 th century, a hit was a show watched by tens of millions of people, if not many more. You know what happened next. The explosion of content,...Show More Summary

Charge It to the Race Card

There’s a moment in the first episode of Master of None when Dev (Aziz Ansari) and Arnold (Eric Wareheim) are in a boutique toy store, seeking a gift for a friend’s child. One of Dev’s ex-girlfriends strolls in, and the two begin to chat. Show More Summary

Master of None

Master of None begins with sex gone awry. Dev Shah (Aziz Ansari), a working actor, is humping and pumping over a woman named Rachel (Noël Wells), whom he has just met, when the condom breaks. For a moment, it seems we are in the familiar...Show More Summary

The Indispensable Project Greenlight

At the dawn of the 21 st century, Netflix was a small company mailing out red envelopes, The Sopranos was new, AMC was short for American Movie Classics, and reality TV was going to steamroll every other form of television. Survivor debuted in 2000. Show More Summary

The True Detective of Network TV

In the past few years, the networks, chasing anything that might bring them buzz and ratings, have frequently tried to copy cable by importing large amounts of sex and violence into their shows, as though what was good about The Sopranos were the wackings and the strippers. Show More Summary


After eating dog food for a month, a hamburger, any hamburger, would taste pretty good. That’s what CBS’s Supergirl, which premieres Monday night, has going for it: It’s a competent and cute drama that benefits from being served up after...Show More Summary

How I Turned My Love of The Simpsons Into a Freelance Gig

In the fall of 1990, when I was 7, my parents barred me from watching The Simpsons. Less than a year removed from its premiere, the show was a phenomenon. Most of my classmates were wearing Bart Simpson T-shirts over their Z. Cavariccis,...Show More Summary

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