2016 So White: The Year in Onscreen Diversity and the Same Old Bullshit

Many of the films and TV shows that held our attention this year were centered around the black experience. Barry Jenkins’s elegant depiction of a black man’s love in Moonlight earned due praise, and several other prominent titles told black American stories: Fences, Hidden Figures, Loving. On television, the subtle…

A Fictional Guide to Surviving the End of the World 

Here’s the thing about the apocalypse: You don’t know when it’s coming. It’s an obvious truth, yet it’s what grants the apocalypse narrative endurance. The Apostle Paul warned the Thessalonians that destruction will come like a “thief in the night.” Even as prophecies go, Paul’s is particularly devastating, his…

'How Could You Do This to Me. Question Mark:' The Making of a Real Housewives Fight in 2016

In 2016, I spent too much time distracting myself from the pain of being by focusing instead on Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. If I were a wiser person, I instead would have spent my year considering the consequences and sociological impact of reality TV, but I’m not and I didn’t, so why let all that time go to…

The Year in Overrated Pop Culture

“A MASTERPIECE” reads the poster of Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea in a font larger than the title. It’s a font so large that the blur of motion doesn’t render it illegible—it’s in, I think, every subway station along New York’s L line, which means I’m confronted at least a few times on most days with “A…

The Best TV of the Year That We Haven’t Watched and Will Not Watch

In this so-called golden age of television, saying “there’s nothing to watch” is one of the biggest lies you can tell yourself. On the contrary, there’s too much to watch—and a lot of it is good! Remember when “Must See TV” was just one night? Now it’s every night. It’s 10 times a night. Must-See TV is just any TV…

80 Things Besides Donald Trump That Gave Us Panic Attacks in 2016 

The year 2016 has been an ice cream sundae of realized horrors, topped off by a human that actually looks like a cherry if that cherry was radioactive and run over by a convertible. A lot of fears that used to feel outlandish suddenly seem pretty plausible: apocalyptic climate change, nuclear war, fascism, close-up…