January 16, 2019


"I've always wondered what fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary..."

"From Freddie Mercury to Queen Anne, awards season is set to be dominated by queer characters played by non-LGBT performers. So is this sexuality’s equivalent of blackface – or is it simply acting?"

"I don’t think we need only Jewish actors playing Jewish roles. This is not in any way a statement against diversity in screen representation. Quite the opposite..."

"Fluidly capturing the trajectory of a ruinous obsession, the writer and director, Sara Colangelo, skillfully fudges the line between mentoring and manipulation, and between nurturing talent and appropriating it."

"Of the many people accused of sexual misconduct as part of the #MeToo movement, C.K. and Ansari seemed like they might be uniquely equipped to reckon with the allegations against them, perhaps even adding something to the public conversation..."

"... if you’re looking for the definition of a worthy case for a boycott, you’ll find it in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” miniseries, which concluded last weekend, and the long-running #MuteRKelly campaign."

"The term “successful comedian” has always been something of an oxymoron—there’s nothing funny about a rich entertainment icon. This is the premise of Ellen DeGeneres’s new, decorous Netflix special, “Relatable.”"

"Paris, Lindsay, Britney: Ten years later, Lili Anolik looks back at the starlets who introduced a new kind of fame—and a new kind of epic flameout."

"What was Netflix really thinking when it caved to Saudi pressure and yanked an episode of the comedian Hasan Minhaj’s new show, “Patriot Act,” which featured a monologue criticizing a Saudi Arabian royal?"

"The show features Japanese neatness queen Marie Kondo... as Kondo systematically helped her clients comb through forgotten corners and cull excess, I did feel an itch to get up and do it myself."

"The comedian’s controversial post-#MeToo path to redemption sees him trashing Parkland survivors, mocking gender identity, and whining that he’s still not forgiven. Bye, bitch."

"This season alone offers plenty of evidence for superhero movies’ role as a surrogate religion—as in “Aquaman,” where the money line is “The king is risen.”"

"The actor, accused of misconduct by more than 30 men, may believe that talent and fame can save him from public disgrace. It’s not a crazy notion."

"This year served us a smorgasbord of reality television escapism in the form of wholesome programming: shows that deal primarily in compassion, support, and empathy, and make you weep out of joy and closure, rather than sadness."

"On the Basis of Sex, and Vice. They're both biopics — Sex about a liberal Supreme Court Justice, Vice a conservative vice president. But they differ in ways that go far deeper than politics."

"Mrs. Maisel" ended its second season with a surprising twist of fate for Midge. Unlike many female characters, it seems that she's going to have to choose between her career and her family.

"Trump might be afraid of comedians and comedy shows because he thinks they threaten his job security. I suppose he might be right, but that’s not comedy’s fault..."

"What went unsaid was that since the last time he toured new material, Ansari had become the high-profile subject of an internet furor himself."

"For a long time now, the Oscars and White House Correspondents’ Dinner have been shows built to fail for comedians—stacking the odds against them, then blaming them completely when they crumble..."

"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."

"So since it’s in your Netflix account now, do you have to see it in a theater to really enjoy it? Short answer: Of course not. Longer answer: If you can... then you absolutely should."

"Some things never change. The sun rises in the east. Forks are set on the left. And if there is a pregnant woman in a movie, she will go into labor at the worst possible moment."

"A rumor that the TV show 'Friends' was leaving Netflix almost broke the Internet this week. Why do we love this show so much?"

A look at the networks that churn out nonstop, formulaic Christmas movies; the actors who star in all of them; and the fans who can't stop watching.

"While it’s easy to see Hart’s predicament as a result of internet mob justice, that’s a drastic oversimplification... How each of 2018’s “shamed” figures reacted to their shaming also had a lot to do with the outcome of their situation."


"YouTube star Trisha Paytas cries into Domino’s pizza boxes on her kitchen floor with the hypnotic facility of Britney Spears gyrating in a Catholic schoolgirl uniform while pleading, Hit me baby, one more time."

"With a decade’s worth of hits under her belt, Gaga is definitively one of the biggest stars in the world. Rolling Stone dubbed her the “Queen of Pop” in 2011."

"The high-class problem for a series that had an impressive first season is how to keep that momentum into the second. This is one problem that “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” does not have."

"From her cookbooks to her dessert-themed lip gloss, Teigen’s been busy crafting her own lifestyle brand. Somehow, it’s not insufferable."

"There aren't enough creative Yiddish insults in the world to adequately express how much I hate Adam Sandler's "Eight Crazy Nights." ...But the problem with "Eight Crazy Nights" is that it is the most famous Hanukkah movie out there. "

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JJ Editor's Picks

"In a bid to create new space for green industries and fossil-free energy production, greater Copenhagen wants to build an entirely new business and infrastructure district on the city’s southwestern edge."

Donald Trump ran for president saying that he would be a shrewd businessman with a propensity for making deals. Why, then, are we in the longest government shutdown on record?

"There isn’t an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the way that many outsiders seem to think... In the Israeli view, no peacemaker can bring the two sides together because there aren’t just two sides. There are many, many sides."

"I've always wondered what fans see in her. After debating with a friend about her “merits” for over half a decade now, I thought I had found the one thing that could probably change my opinion of the pop star: the Reputation tour documentary..."

"Even if the economy is on a roll, many Americans aren’t feeling the benefit... In fact, when adjusted for cost of living increases, real wages actually declined 1.3% since the end of 2017, PayScale found."

"Cutting ties with Facebook would mean consciously cutting ties with my own community, and I can't bring myself to do it. When I asked my connections on Facebook why they were staying, their answers were very similar to mine..."

Fear of the news; fear of climate change, fear of touch screens... these New Yorker cartoons portray the modern phobias that are driving us crazy.

"Texts replaced authors as the privileged objects of scholarly knowledge, and the performance of critical operations on texts became essential to the scholar’s identity."

"When I speak to parents’ groups about kids who are addicted to Fortnite and other video games, I tell them that it is the parents’ job to limit, govern and guide their kids’ use of video games..."

"Startups like Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Produce say they're helping to reduce food waste in America. Critics say they're deceiving their customers and making the problem worse."

"Scholars are now interested in whether having a vocabulary item for a concept influences thought in domains far from language, such as visual perception."

"The much-documented anti-Semitism of the British Labor party leader is no accident... Jeremy Corbyn reminds us that anti-Semitism is not just an irrational hatred, harbored by madmen at the fringes of British society."