November 13, 2019


"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..."

"When Fiddler on the Roof opened at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in July 2018, it seemed an unlikely hit. The revival had a small budget and only three weeks of rehearsals—not to mention the fact that it was entirely in Yiddish. Yet, after..."

"How do you update Watchmen for 2019? That might sound like a question with an obvious answer: You just do Watchmen. After all, the graphic novel, which has been consistently in print since its 12-volume run ended in 1987, is pretty terrific..."

Americans are lucky they can't see it. Starring Selena Gomez and Timothée Chalamet, ‘A Rainy Day in New York’ won’t be shown in the U.S. because of the sexual abuse allegations against its famed director. Good thing; it's terrible."

"Of all the terms to gain prominence in 2019, few have provoked more pontification, more pearl-clutching, or more caustic dismissal than “cancel culture.” Depending on where you get your discourse, you’ve probably already seen the phenomenon..."

"Movies like Gemini Man are usually ideal airplane viewing. Take a formulaic plot about spies and cloning, then add dialogue so predictable that getting interrupted by pilots’ announcements and turbulence and your seatmate’s need to get up and..."

"For me, Star Wars movies are a lot like dental appointments: I feel obligated to go at regular intervals, but I always get a little nervous as the date looms. The series is a cultural juggernaut, especially on the internet. You can't escape the..."

"I’ve been getting death threats. Not a lot of them. Probably because I gave Joker a lukewarm score of 2.5 out of 5. Also, it’s extremely unlikely any of these people has seen Joker since it doesn’t open in theaters until October 4. That hasn’t..."

"Deeply caustic and supremely confident, Bill Maher is the kind of satirist who causes even his many admirers — his HBO talk show “Real Time” draws more than four million viewers per episode — to throw up their hands now and again. Avoiding the..."

"For many stars, the road to Oscar nominations has, in recent years, led them to play stars of previous generations—and now that road is paved with yellow bricks. In the new bio-pic “Judy,” Renée Zellweger stars as Judy Garland, in a story that..."

"What can we glean from the fact that so many of this year’s best dramas are based on relatively recent tragic events? HBO has already given us “Chernobyl” and “Our Boys,” about the 1986 nuclear disaster and 2014 murder of Palestinian youth..."

"After the Academy Awards successfully proceeded without a host earlier this year, the 2019 Emmys decided to do the same thing, a move that suggested the awards-show host, as a concept, might be officially dead and buried. After Sunday night’s..."

"A lot happened in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell, the Iron Curtain crumbled and a young political theorist named Francis Fukuyama announced that with Western liberal democracy’s triumph, we had reached “the end of history.” Also that year, the pilot..."

"It’s a formula that we turn to again and again to affirm the value of inclusion, especially in the realm of popular culture: the importance of people who “look like me.” The actor Eva Longoria, who appears in the film “Dora and the Lost City of..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Streaming is the future of TV. But for now a big part of the streaming business revolves around old TV shows. Latest case in point: Netflix is paying a lot of money for the rights to show Seinfeld to its 150 million subscribers around the world..."

"A few years ago, I was given a Muppet Show Season 1 DVD. My expectations—or, rather, recollections, since I first met the Muppets back in 1977—was that I’d see a puppet-based variety show that had aged well in some ways and poorly in others. As..."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"When Mark Twain observed that rumors of his death had been “greatly exaggerated,” he left out the fact that those words would become true eventually, as they did in 1910 when the great American author died. Similarly, given the huge resources..."

"No one is going to confuse President Trump’s remarks Tuesday at the Economic Club of New York with anything approaching eloquence. He is at his worst when he stiffly reads the teleprompter or flies widely off script with gratuitous remarks about..."

"Everything we think we know about the shape of the universe could be wrong. Instead of being flat like a bedsheet, our universe may be curved, like a massive, inflated balloon, according to a new study. That’s the upshot of a new paper published..."

"Being lonely hurts — it can even negatively impact your health. But the mere act of being alone with oneself doesn’t have to be bad, and experts say it can even benefit your social relationships, improve your creativity and confidence, and help..."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren is campaigning for a 2% surtax on anyone’s net worth over $50 million and 6% on more than $1 billion. Most discussion of the wealth tax has focused on whether it could generate sufficient revenue to fund Ms. Warren’s..."

"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..."

"Hebrew remained, to Oz, Zionism’s greatest achievement. Certainly, it was the one he was least ambivalent about. “I have said many times that I’m a chauvinist only in respect of the language,” he told the Paris Review. “I feel for the language..."

"Talk about missed connections. Earlier this week, hundreds of people received seemingly random text messages, out of context and out of the blue, addressed from friends, family, and loved ones. The first part of the mystery was solved pretty..."