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A noisy You're The Worst features a divorce party, an erotica convention, and an important phone call A noisy You're The Worst features a divorce party, an erotica convention, and an important phone call

“A Bunch Of Hornballs” might be a noisier episode of You’re The Worst than usual—a $6,000 lavish divorce party and a gaudy erotica convention doesn’t add up to “quiet”—but make no mistake, it tracks the muted moment following a major realization when you have nothing else left to do but take the next logical step.…

Great News misses the mark in its sexual harrassment episode Great News misses the mark in its sexual harrassment episode

It’s entirely coincidental that “Honeypot!” aired a week after The New York Times’ expose accusing Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual harassment, and two days after The New Yorker’s companion piece that included further allegations of assault and rape. Unfortunately, workplace sexual harassment/abuse is an…

Gretchen reconnects with an old friend on a wistful You're The Worst Gretchen reconnects with an old friend on a wistful You're The Worst

Near the beginning of “Not A Great Bet,” Gretchen pulls into the driveway of her family home, walks inside to the atrium, and anxiously pulls her hoodie over her head. It’s a small gesture but it wonderfully captures the uneasy feeling of returning to a familiar place that has moved on without you. It’s compounded…

The gang finds Chris Elliott on a deserted island on The Last Man On Earth The gang finds Chris Elliott on a deserted island on The Last Man On Earth

This week’s episode of The Last Man On Earth features not one, but two guest stars. First, Kristen Wiig as Pamela Brinton, a former socialite and philanthropist who sought shelter in an underground bunker for three years, slowly found the gang aboard their yacht, alienated them all with her haughty behavior, and then…

Great News continues to embrace its inner weirdness with fantastic results Great News continues to embrace its inner weirdness with fantastic results

This might be an obvious statement, but it’s enormously fun to watch a show find and explore its true potential. In its first season, Great News honed its voice but always held a little back, largely because of standard first season concerns—stating and restating the premise, establishing and re-establishing the…

Jimmy and Gretchen move on in a subtly emotional You're The Worst Jimmy and Gretchen move on in a subtly emotional You're The Worst

You’re The Worst has frequently excelled at introducing broad premises and deepening them so slowly and effectively that oftentimes you don’t notice when shit becomes real. That’s arguably the basis of the original series—two commitment-phobic, toxic narcissists enter into a relationship—but that one’s a bit obvious;…

Kristen Wiig joins the gang with mixed results on The Last Man On Earth season premiere Kristen Wiig joins the gang with mixed results on The Last Man On Earth season premiere

It’s been four months since we last caught up with the Malibu Crew on The Last Man On Earth, but not to worry, they’re exactly where we left them: On a yacht and headed for Mexico to escape nuclear fallout and the unstable, heavily armed Pat (Mark Boone Junior). At the very end of last season, Pat had tracked them…

Tina Fey becomes Nu-Jack Donaghy on the Great News season premiere Tina Fey becomes Nu-Jack Donaghy on the Great News season premiere

From the very beginning, Great News was comedically indebted to 30 Rock. Though the premises are pretty different—cable news producer deals with her overbearing mother as intern vs. comedy writer for a third-rate sketch show struggles with modern-day Mary Tyler Moore-esque problems—the quick-fire, madcap humor, the…

Gretchen goes to war with Jimmy on a claustrophobic You're The Worst Gretchen goes to war with Jimmy on a claustrophobic You're The Worst

Last week, I expressed some doubts about the decision to keep Jimmy and Gretchen apart during this season of You’re The Worst. I wondered about the sustainability of that approach over the course of an entire season, using “This Is Just Marketing” as a model for what the series’ future might look like. Though I don’t…

You're The Worst explores the world outside of Jimmy and Gretchen's relationship You're The Worst explores the world outside of Jimmy and Gretchen's relationship

After four episodes, it’s become clearer what Stephen Falk and company want to accomplish with this new season of You’re The Worst. Instead of artificially reuniting Jimmy and Gretchen, or even keeping them in the same orbit, the move is to keep them apart as much as humanly possible. This risky approach could only be…

Jimmy and Gretchen finally confront each other after three months apart on You're The Worst Jimmy and Gretchen finally confront each other after three months apart on You're The Worst

In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus returns home to Ithaca after a 20-year absence to find that 108 suitors are reveling in his palace and courting his wife Penelope. In order to reclaim his throne, Odysseus disguises himself as a beggar, completes a seemingly impossible archery challenge, and then kills all the suitors.…

Everything counts a little more than we think: An oral history of The National’s Boxer Everything counts a little more than we think: An oral history of The National’s Boxer

In Lizzy Goodman’s recent oral history Meet Me In The Bathroom: Rebirth And Rock And Roll In New York City 2001-2011, The National’s Aaron Dessner reminisces about the band’s first practice space being right next door to Interpol’s, where they would overhear them rehearsing songs that would eventually land on Turn On…

Jimmy and Gretchen are on the run in the one-hour You're The Worst season premiere Jimmy and Gretchen are on the run in the one-hour You're The Worst season premiere

“It’s pathetic to live in anything but the truth,” Jimmy tells Bert (Raymond J. Berry), his crusty retiree friend, near the halfway point of the You’re The Worst hour-long fourth season premiere. That line scans as a clichéd quip you would read in a mediocre self-help book under the best circumstances, but coming from…

With Spettacolo, the team behind Marwencol travels to a Tuscan town that plays itself With Spettacolo, the team behind Marwencol travels to a Tuscan town that plays itself

Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s documentary Spettacolo ostensibly operates as a story of creation, but it’s really one of decay and exhaustion. The film follows the residents of Monticchiello, a small Tuscan town perched atop a hill, who have put on an annual summer play about their lives for the past 50 years.…

From Shaun to Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s characters withdraw into music From Shaun to Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s characters withdraw into music

For a film ostensibly about driving, Baby Driver’s most emblematic scene has nothing to do with a car or the road. It features the eponymous Baby (Ansel Elgort) at home futzing with retro electronic equipment, creating a mix from a tape recording that’s reminiscent of collage-style turntablists like Steinski and DJ…

Silicon Valley falters slightly by dealing with a troll Silicon Valley falters slightly by dealing with a troll

This season, Silicon Valley has excelled by shifting its focus towards episodic narratives over a strong seasonal arc. The backbone of the fourth season has so far been loose enough to allow individual episodes to embody their own identities, generally creating more opportunities for comedy. Think “Terms of Service,”…

Great News closes out its debut season with a heartfelt scoop of justice Great News closes out its debut season with a heartfelt scoop of justice

Great News closes out its debut season by concluding the Biscuit Blitz arc and reexamining Katie and Carol’s relationship, the series’ emotional throughline. The former is a mixed bag, mostly because the plot mechanics of Katie’s scoop are fairly tired (the president of the network owns Biscuit Blitz, and she’s Greg’s…

Great News finally hits its stride with two stellar episodes Great News finally hits its stride with two stellar episodes

Last week, NBC decided to renew Great News for a 13-episode second season, and it couldn’t have come at a more creatively opportune time for the show. After six episodes of showing promise, the series finally hit its stride this week with a fantastic double-header. “The Red Door” and “Celebrity Hacking Scandal”…

The Great News ensemble shines as they get drunk and enter the field The Great News ensemble shines as they get drunk and enter the field

After four episodes of relying on Katie/Carol stories and John Michael Higgins’ performance, Great News starts opening up the ensemble this week and spreading the comedic wealth. The show isn’t quite up to part just yet—generally speaking, the timing still feels a little slack and it’s clear the show hasn’t cut loose…

A change is gonna come on a great Last Man On Earth season finale A change is gonna come on a great Last Man On Earth season finale

There’s only so much change that can ever occur on television. Sure, locations change, new faces are introduced, some characters are born, others die, but the central dynamics of any TV show, whether it’s a network sitcom or a prestige cable drama, essentially remain the same. It’s a central tenant of the medium and…

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