Blog Profile / Slate: Television

Filed Under:Entertainment / Television
Posts on Regator:288
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

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

The 10 Greatest Shots in Mad Men’s Seven-Season Run

The phrase “Television is the new film” has always been a lazy way to frame the emergence of strong cable programming, but over its seven seasons Mad Men has made it easy to understand the impulse to differentiate these shows from the rest of the medium. Show More Summary

“Not Some Secretary From Brooklyn”

There are many ways to choose the best-ever line from seven hugely quotable seasons of Mad Men. You could pick a salient passage from the Draper Doctrine of market-driven nihilism. You could open a pot of Sterling’s Gold. You could tap a maple on a cold Vermont morning or tap a bowl with Peggy Olson. Show More Summary

Is Don Draper Worth It?

As both a professor at Harvard Business School and a Mad Men obsessive, I’ve been considering the final episodes of the series from what is surely an unusual perspective. Specifically, as Don flamed out at McCann, I couldn’t help but think that the company faces a classic managerial dilemma. Show More Summary

Does Don Draper Believe in Love?

Rachel Menken sits down with Don Draper in a dark Manhattan bar one evening in March of 1960. As with many of Don’s most pivotal interactions, the flirtatious exchange that ensues—ostensibly a business meeting between a department store...Show More Summary

“Just Call Me ‘Bean Bag’!”

Every late-night variety program has some sort of signature bit, a catchphrase or conceit or character that sticks in the public imagination. David Letterman’s top ten lists; Arsenio Hall’s woofing, fist-pumping audience; Johnny Carson’s...Show More Summary

We’ll Always Have Parrots

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been bringing animals onto David Letterman’s show for 30 years now. My last appearance on Dave’s show—which was April 29—has been on my mind constantly for the past few weeks. What could I do to make the...Show More Summary

YouTube Killed the Studio Audience 

Attending the taping of a late-night TV show is not a comfortable experience. First, you’ll stand in line on a city sidewalk for hours—chilled by wind, or baked by sun—being herded like a fatted calf to an abattoir. Upon arriving atShow More Summary

We Were With Coco

Half a decade has passed since NBC canned Conan O’Brien as the host of The Tonight Show after 145 episodes, bringing his network career to an abrupt and inglorious end. Before Tonight, O’Brien presided over 2,700-odd installments ofShow More Summary

Extreme Makeover

On Thursday night’s episode of Louie, the series’ long-running tension between cosmetic and substantial character development gets literal: Louie (who in the Season 4 episode “Model” accidentally punched a woman) gets beaten up by another woman who is small, blond, and pretty. Show More Summary

Bourgeois Ghosts

The BBC’s miniseries adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, a pungent, unhappy novel-for-adults by J.K. Rowling, has an especially formidable bundle of expectations to clear. Like any television retelling of a book, it must do right by its (difficult) source material—then factor in the reflected glare of the Harry Potter properties. Show More Summary

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