Television

RECENT REVIEWS

Mystery on (and off) Television

Mystery on (and off) Television

THE MYSTERIES on television today are almost without exception procedurals. “Mystery” and “procedural” have become synonymous, two words for one genre. If there’s a hint that something is a...

Kingmakers

Kingmakers

ALL OF THE DEBATES — is True Detective a sexist show, or a show about sexism? A plagiarized show, or an original postmodern show? — miss the crucial point. True Detective is a show about HBO shows...

The Anti-Mamet: On Tina Fey’s Men

The Anti-Mamet: On Tina Fey’s Men

THERE’S A MOMENT late in the first season of Tina Fey’s new sitcom, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, when Kimmy’s former captor, Rev. Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (played by Jon Hamm), recounts the story ...

How the Golden Age Lost Its Memory

How the Golden Age Lost Its Memory

THIS MAY BE a golden age of television, but it’s hard to feel particularly blessed about it. According to Brett Martin’s recent book Difficult Men, this TV golden age is actually America’s thir...

The Froth Estate: VICE’s Cult of Immersion

The Froth Estate: VICE’s Cult of Immersion

PARENTS AND CHILDREN of the 1990s will remember the PBS “edutainment” television series The Magic School Bus. For many children of this generation, the animated series melded fact and fantasy to d...

I Want My Anti-TV: On “Tim and Eric”

I Want My Anti-TV: On “Tim and Eric”

Illustration by Vincent Tao TIM HEIDECKER AND ERIC WAREHEIM are not for the uptight or squeamish. Like some sort of anti-Midas, everything they touch turns to golden shit. What’s typically conside...

The Trees, The Trees

The Trees, The Trees

WHEN I WAS 17 my goal in life was to run headfirst into a brick wall. Literally. I can’t claim any original credit for this ambition: the inspiration to pair skull with masonry came directly from th...