Blog Profile / Slate: Television

Filed Under:Entertainment / Television
Posts on Regator:300
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Hello, Friend

The unreliable narrator is commonplace in fiction, but not in television. On TV, narration is often used to pull viewers into a familiar blandness, a genre and tone they’ve experienced before. (See Grey’s Anatomy, Revenge, Burn Notice,...Show More Summary

Fear the Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead, the new spinoff of AMC’s monstrously popular The Walking Dead, put a pit in my stomach, made me jumpy and jangly, and generally filled me with anxiety and dread—which, really, is all you can ask of a zombie show. Show More Summary

Show Me a Hero

I recently told a friend that I had just watched and liked Show Me a Hero, the new series from David Simon that premieres this Sunday on HBO. “Oh, what’s it about?” he asked. “It’s about desegregating housing in Yonkers, starring Oscar Isaac,” I said. Show More Summary

How the Press Fell in Love With The Daily Show

In a space that was more walk-in closet than office, the man was seated atop the metal-boxed heating unit, smoking a cigarette and wearing a rubber rain slicker. The smell was a mix of airport lounge and New York downpour. The words he spoke still make me laugh nearly 20 years later: “Man, this show is never going to make it. Show More Summary

Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

“The end” does not mean what it used to. Which is to say, it does not mean the end. Once, Veronica Mars, Arrested Development, Full House, Coach, The X-Files, Heroes, 24, Roots, Twin Peaks, and The Muppets had all ended. Now, they have not. Show More Summary

If a Sadistic Ringmaster Ran the Olympics  

I have spent the last couple of days imagining scenarios in which one might need to scurry across slanted boards that are staggered like a jack-o’-lantern’s teeth. Maybe it’s good practice for trying to cross a stream without getting wet. Show More Summary

I Am Cait

One thing many feared with I Am Cait—the eight-episode reality series following Caitlyn Jenner as she begins to live life as a transgender female—is that it would be exploitative, either of Jenner herself or the trans community at large. Show More Summary

Sex & Drugs & Middle-Aged White Guys 

In Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, which begins Thursday night on FX, Denis Leary plays a washed-up rock star named Johnny Rock. In the early ’90s, Johnny, who never met a drug he didn’t like, was the frontman for the Heathens, who broke up the day their first album was released. Show More Summary

Reality Check

A series started earlier this summer about a tortured antihero operating in a corrupt world of immense psychic violence. Before you shout, “I have seen that one before! And before and before” let me stop you: You have not. Lifetime’s...Show More Summary

The Golden Age of TV Credits

I’m not a superhero. I don’t technically have any superpowers, but I come pretty close in my ability to remember TV theme tunes. I can whistle the melodies of shows I haven’t seen in decades, and identify them by the briefest glimpse at the credits. Show More Summary

You Eat What You Are

In the first episode of Hannibal’s third season, the title character serves one of the most elaborate—and entrancing—dishes that has ever been presented on television. It’s the roasted leg of a long suffering animal, richly glazed and studded with spears of sugar cane. Show More Summary

Stuffy British Period Miniseries Are My Comfort Television

Writing recently in the New Yorker about Wolf Hall and the tradition of Masterpiece Theatre, Emily Nussbaum observed that “before The Sopranos broke the monopoly, PBS was America’s primary source for prestige television.” She went on...Show More Summary

The Astronaut Wives Club

It’s 1961, and Alan Shepard is lifting off is his rocket ship, endeavoring to become the first American to travel in space. At home, his pillar-of-strength wife, Louise, watches on television with her stone-faced exterior slowly crumbling,...Show More Summary

Angry at the World

True Detective’s first season was a detective story slathered in a unique Bayou funk. A sweaty, metaphysical, eerie take on buddy cops who jawed about philosophy instead of doughnuts, it turned its audience into sleuths for the Yellow King. Show More Summary

The Labyrinth of Litchfield 

In the third season of Orange Is the New Black, which premiered on Friday, Piper Chapman is no longer be the central focus of the story. Over the course of the season, characters we haven’t heard much from before, including the soft-spoken Chang, get their backstories revealed, and new characters arrive to offer Litchfield Penitentiary more intrigue. Show More Summary

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell 

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which premieres this Sunday on BBC America, is seven hours long and still leaves a lot of stuff out. Its source material, of course, is the 2004 best-seller by Susanna Clarke, in all its 1,006 pagesShow More Summary

Prison as Playground

Four months ago, the Emmys tried to answer the heady question “what is comedy” by avoiding it: Whatever comedy is, the awards show decided, it happens in 30 minutes. With this rule, the Emmy judges were hoping to solve the problem of...Show More Summary

This Season of The Bachelorette Is a Bust

The Bachelor franchise has outlived many other dating shows by avoiding being easily pegged as a vehicle for cheap objectification. Yes, it’s romance in a highly artificial environment, but romance is all about artificiality—we all engage...Show More Summary

The Perfect Pivot

Until recently, pivot—an elegant little word centered around an evocative hinge of a V—called to mind necks, Ross Geller, and avoiding the double dribble. It has lately been drafted by Silicon Valley, where it has become a term of art to describe a tech company’s swiveling mission, often under duress. Show More Summary

Outside Amy Schumer 

In the new season of her show, Amy Schumer’s feminism has gotten blunter. While Season 1 tended to come at feminist issues from askew, with weird, surprising sketches like “clown panties”—in which her boyfriend has an affair with a clown—recent episodes feature clunkier riffs on Hollywood’s gender norms and female empowerment. Show More Summary

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