Blog Profile / Slate: Television


URL :http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/television.html
Filed Under:Entertainment / Television
Posts on Regator:352
Posts / Week:0.7
Archived Since:June 9, 2008

Blog Post Archive

BrainDead

In BrainDead—a satirical B-movie of a TV show from Robert and Michelle King, the creators of The Good Wife—space bugs (the show’s term) are taking over politicians’ minds. “Taking over” is perhaps too polite. These little critters, who...Show More Summary

Friend-Zone TV

Watching a television show with any regularity bears a resemblance to being friends with it. You start seeing a new show, hit it off and one thing leads to another. You become pals. The show makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it distracts you, it engages you, it makes you think, it passes the time. Show More Summary

O.J.: Made in America

Twenty years after a California jury declared O.J. Simpson not guilty of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman after a trial that changed the way people watch TV, the two best things on American television this year have been FX’s The People v. Show More Summary

“The First Black Suitor! We’re Gonna Make History!”

This summer, an idiotic bozo obsessed with bogus notions of masculinity is duking it out with a competent, amoral bitch for control of a lucrative kingdom. They are Chet (Craig Bierko) and Quinn (Constance Zimmer), two of the supporting players on Lifetime’s brilliant and bitter UnReal. Show More Summary

Roots

The miniseries Roots originally aired for eight consecutive nights in 1977 because executives at ABC were convinced the chronicle of an enslaved black American family would flop, and they wanted to burn through it as quickly as possible. Show More Summary

Julian Fellowes Presents Downton Abbey II

Downton Abbey just finished its six-season run two months ago, but if you have been fiending for British accents, period costumes, poorly managed hereditary estates, class tensions, love stories revolving around a young woman named Mary, and the nostalgic eye of Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes, here comes Julian Fellowes Presents Doctor Thorne. Show More Summary

Preacher

AMC has had tremendous earthly success adapting comic books into television shows. The Walking Dead, based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series, has been dinged by critics but has nonetheless infected the brains of a huge audience; the show has been a massive hit for the network. Show More Summary

Lady Dynamite

Maria Bamford has long been a comedian’s comedian, perpetually on the verge of breaking out, as she does comedy about living on the verge of breaking down. Her new Netflix show, Lady Dynamite, aspires to break the rules of the stand-up...Show More Summary

The Euro Thriller, Tinkered With and Tailored to Our Time

The European Union may be in a state of perpetual simmering crisis, but the Euro thriller, a particularly debonair and moody subset of the genre, is booming. These dark and stylish miniseries are multilingual and peripatetic, with plots featuring vast commercial conspiracies, corrupt spy agencies, and the reverberations of past violence. Show More Summary

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which returns for its second season today on Netflix, is still the fastest show on television. The Tina Fey and Robert Carlock creation races by in a blur of relentlessly quotable lines. Jokes that would be the funniest in almost any other series are tossed off as an aside or stepped on by the next high-speed crack. Show More Summary

Confirmation

HBO has been making glossy films based on relatively recent, juicy political incidents for some years now. Recount, its drama about the drama of Bush v. Gore, aired in 2008. Game Change, its drama about the farce of Sarah Palin’s vice presidential bid, aired in 2012. Show More Summary

The Girlfriend Experience

When it comes to the relationship between sex and television, it’s complicated. On the one hand, there are more shows with graphic sex than there have ever been before. Titillation is titillating! Very attractive naked people are something audiences will pay to see. Show More Summary

“Not Everyone Has to Like You”

The sitcom that has brought me more pleasure than any other TV comedy so far this year has an episode that begins with a couple slogging their way through a bitter, petty argument and ends with a man scooping his dead dog into a black plastic bag. Show More Summary

The Path

Hulu’s effort to establish itself as a big-time purveyor of original content kicked off in earnest earlier this year with the release of 11.22.63, a just-OK alt-history miniseries connected to various splashy names: James Franco, Stephen King, JFK. Show More Summary

The Ranch

In January 2013, Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer at Netflix, told GQ that the streaming company’s “goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become us.” At the time, House of Cards, Netflix’s first heavily promoted original series, had yet to premiere. Show More Summary

Underground

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

Love

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

11.22.63

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

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