December 8, 2019


"I know I won’t be the first to say it, seeing as how Barbra Streisand already sent you a star of David necklace, but on behalf of the Jews who weren’t famous enough to be invited to your recent bat mitzvah, take it from me: Welcome to the tribe..."

"I’m not big on counterfactual historical musings. The hypothetical is tempting and tantalizing, but valueless. History happens but only just. Still, it happens. That events are not inevitable does not make them reversible. There is one exception..."

"Maybe you’ve heard the rumor about the tattoos. Some people believe that Dolly Parton’s arms — which haven’t been seen bare in public for decades — are secretly covered in ink. Roseanne Barr claims to have once spied the elusive tats (“No black..."

"In his decades as a television host and national child-comforter-in-chief, the late Fred Rogers became synonymous with kindness, hope, and compassion. But thanks in part to last year’s documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the constant sharing..."

"Picture this: Jennifer Aniston is the star of a much talked-about TV show. Her love life is constantly being dissected in the tabloids, with headlines perennially concerned about whether she’s really as happy as she seems. Her fashion is the..."

"When I saw Knives Out at an early screening several weeks ago, there was a taped statement from its director, Rian Johnson, before it began. Please, Johnson implored the audience, whatever you do, don't spoil the "who" in my movie's whodunit..."

"In Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, the protagonist, Aomame, a martial arts instructor, is forced to live in a safe house. Tamaru, her bodyguard, suggests that she read Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: “This would be a good opportunity to read the whole..."

"The New York Times headline “This Tom Hanks Story Will Make You Feel Less Bad.” might as well have been a neon sign in a bodega window that blares, “FREE HAPPY PILLS AND ENDLESS COOKIES AVAILABLE HERE.” Consider the minimalist, assuring verbiage..."

"My husband Jonathan’s two earliest memories are watching the moon landing and watching the premiere of Sesame Street. My own (very slightly later) childhood recollections include being hypnotized by Sesame Street’s 1970s trippy hand-drawn..."

"In the spring of 2019, a flurry of headlines sprang up around the blockbuster hit Avengers: Endgame, insisting that the film featured the first openly gay character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When these headlines first appeared, I was..."

"Throughout the Cold War, the Western genre exemplified America both to itself and the rest of the world. It was, as the cowboys say, our brand. The Western, the critic Robert Warshow concluded in a 1954 Partisan Review essay that has become..."

"Zeitgeist-defining movies have a way of reshaping reality so that what was distinctive about them becomes too familiar to even notice. It takes effort to appreciate how unusual it was for Star Wars to treat spaceships like rusty jalopies, that..."

"Against all odds, Charlie's Angels flopped at the box office. But it did all the right things: It capitalized on an existing franchise, it got soccer star and Glamour "Woman of the Year" Megan Rapinoe to appear in a promo spot, and it embodied..."

"On a brisk November night, a solitary man wandered around the plaza outside the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts on the edge of downtown. He had just flown alone from New York to see his favorite comic, Louis C.K., and he had an extra..."

"Bad taste, like a bellybutton, is something everyone has. To be human is to love unwisely but too well, to be thrilled, satisfied by the middling thing that hits the spot, whether it’s a movie or a partner. It’s bad taste, fine taste, whatever..."

"The streaming wars were already heated, but a new combatant is entering the arena: the Walt Disney Company. Mickey Mouse may be a friendly corporate icon. But the new Disney Plus streaming service could have a decidedly unfriendly impact..."

"TV depression looks fabulous. I’d love to have that kind of depression. And it’s not just TV depression; any mental illness on-screen looks rather thrilling. Either it’s dark and dramatic — unlike day-to-day depression, which is at best super..."

"If you spend any time on Twitter, it was all but impossible to avoid being barraged a few weeks back with a seemingly unending thread from one of the biggest companies in the world. The official account for Disney+, the long-touted streaming..."

"Jenny Slate’s new stand-up special on Netflix feels as intimate as a hushed conversation between best girlfriends on the top bunk of a bunk bed after lights out at Jewish sleep-away camp. I realize that this, as an image, is very specific. So is..."

"Classical music and high European culture were at the heart of Theodor Adorno’s philosophy and outlook on life. He was born in 1903 in Frankfurt in Germany, and grew up with music, both as a listener and a practitioner: his mother, Maria..."

"For the first time in decades Keanu Reeves, star of John Wick and national treasure, appeared to publicly confirm that he’s in a relationship. On Saturday, he was spotted strolling down the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala hand in hand..."

"When I was in England in early October, I gave an interview to Empire magazine. I was asked a question about Marvel movies. I answered it. I said that I’ve tried to watch a few of them and that they’re not for me, that they seem to me to be..."

"In the next several months, you’ll be able to access more content on your TV and TV-shaped devices than ever before. Apple TV+ launches this week with a glitzy, high-profile lineup of new shows—Jen! Reese!—and many more to come. In a matter of..."

"In his 2011 biography of Steve Jobs, author Walter Isaacson described how the Apple co-founder planned to conquer TV. “I finally cracked it,” Jobs told him, describing his vision for an Apple-branded television set that would do away with..."

"Stand-up comedy is an interactive art form. Every joke is a strange alchemy of comedian, audience, the background hum of current events, and any number of other factors completely out of anyone’s control. Jokes that seem surefire in the comic’s..."

"Watching the second season finale of Succession the same weekend as El Camino, the movie followup to Breaking Bad, had me thinking about how much "prestige TV" has changed in the last few years. Succession captures the zeitgeist of our moment..."

"Most subcultures get a thrill from seeing one of their own make it big, and evangelical Christians experience this thrill a lot since they forgo any formal conversion process: If a person convincingly announces they’ve embraced the faith, then..."

"When my daughter was 7, I showed her “Jaws.” The following year, we watched “Night of the Living Dead.” Before she turned 10, I had introduced her to “Alien’ and “Psycho.” And I regret nothing, except having robbed her of the fun of sneaking off..."

"In May, Sia, the uber-talented but famously enigmatic pop singer and songwriter walked onstage wearing a hoodie and no makeup and belted out a gospel rendition of her hit “Elastic Heart.” The seemingly-impromptu performance (she was holding her...."

"Jojo Rabbit, the new film by Taika Waititi, is nothing short of a masterpiece. The director is the son of a Maori father and a Jewish mother, a native of New Zealand, and a bright star of the Marvel Cinematic Universe—he directed Thor: Ragnarok..."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"There is nothing like the threat of nuclear Armageddon for focusing minds. That, at least, was true for Nato over the decades from its foundation in 1949. During the Cold War the alliance had a common purpose (collective defence), a common space..."

"Democrats are too “woke” for their own good, or so goes the argument. “Today’s progressivism is more or less a secular form of religion with its own high standards,” Matt Lewis, a conservative columnist, wrote this spring. “Eventually,” he..."

"To secure a stable climate for future generations, humanity will need to permanently bury gigatons of carbon dioxide. There is already too much in the atmosphere — 415 parts per million, when scientists say 350 ppm is the upper bound of safety..."

"Romantic love – seeking it, glorifying it, dishing it – is a human obsession. My English barmaid mother called it a ‘funny five minutes’ never to be trusted and basically dangerous for women. The feminist author Marilyn Yalom saw a mysterious..."

"Friday’s jobs report must have been adapted from a comic book — because everyone’s calling it a “blockbuster” (and Martin Scorsese hasn’t shown any interest in it). In November, America’s unemployment rate hit a half-century low, as U.S...."

"I know I won’t be the first to say it, seeing as how Barbra Streisand already sent you a star of David necklace, but on behalf of the Jews who weren’t famous enough to be invited to your recent bat mitzvah, take it from me: Welcome to the tribe..."

"Many countries would dissolve into chaos and disarray if dealt the same cards Israel has in 2019. The United States, for all its well-deserved democratic admiration, is being torn at the seams ever since President Donald Trump’s election in 2016..."

"Recent national surveys project that 53% of children will own a smartphone by age 11. While the reality of a child being able to utilize the features of a smartphone has provided many new benefits to both them and their parents, the harm of..."