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television



  • In ‘Genius: Aretha,’ Respecting the Mind, Not Just the Soul

    "The full scale of Franklin’s contributions to her own music has long been obscured. She was a gifted songwriter and a superb pianist. In the studio, she was a taskmaster, pushing herself and her collaborators until they captured the exact sound she heard in her head — not easy for a Black female musician of her time."



  • Ken Burns Still Has Faith in a Shared American Story

    "The most important thing about me talking about race now is to say that I am in a position where I have to be quiet. You have to be quiet. There are other voices that need to speak. The dismantling of white supremacy is not just white people continually talking about the dismantling of white supremacy. You have to shut up and listen."



  • Reflecting on Capitalism Through "I Care a Lot"

    by Walter G. Moss

    The new Netflix film "I Care a Lot" features a protagonist who preys on the elderly as an appointed conservator, and reflects the dangers of a social safety net entrusted to the profit motive. 


  • Unforgettable Images, and Something New in TV News

    by Ron Steinman

    A month past the Capitol Riots, a veteran television news journalist observes that the coverage of the chaotic protest and breach of the Capitol relied on something new: masses of journalists and citizens (including the rioters) recording video on their phones where TV cameras couldn't operate, forming a rich and important composite of the day's events. 



  • The Life in "The Simpsons" Is No Longer Attainable

    In the 1990s, "The Simpsons" drew humor by putting bizarre dysfunction in the context of middle class suburban banality. Today it's the idea of homeownership paid for by a stable single income that seems outlandish.



  • The New Comedy of American Decline

    Two new comedy series revisit the trope of the American abroad; one works because it looks critically, if humorously, at the idea of American exceptionalism. 



  • Wishbone of The Good Lord Bird

    by Mark Lause

    "In the end, The Good Lord Bird spins a worthwhile and entertaining yarn, but each episode starts with the unfortunate and misleading words: 'All of this is true.  Most of it happened'."



  • "The Crown" Takes the Shine Off Queen Elizabeth’s Reign

    In its sharp and splashy fourth season, the show finally criticizes Elizabeth for her ignorance, characterizing her as a ruler whose stubborn devotion to tradition makes her and her family out-of-touch fools caught off guard by change. 



  • Aaron Sorkin’s Inane, Liberal History Lesson

    by Charlotte Rosen

    Aaron Sorkin's Chicago 7 film strips away the radical, anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-capitalist politics of the 1960s New Left to make the defendants heroic defenders of liberal democratic politics.