Ever since the beginning of the Trump presidency and the explosion of political satire that accompanied it, one question has nagged at me: Whatever happened to Jon Stewart? As host of the Daily Show for 16 years, Stewart was the godfather of a new generation of late-night TV hosts, who infused their comedy with a pointed, often … Continue reading The Problem With Jon Stewart
I’ve been a latecomer to many of the limited series that have inundated the TV streaming services over the past couple of years, monopolizing so much of our time during the pandemic. But I’ve now seen enough to offer one general observation-slash-warning. With a few obvious exceptions, these shows tend to go downhill after the … Continue reading ‘The Morning Show’ and the Sophomore Jinx
My 18-month, pandemic-enforced hiatus from theatergoing is finally over. Ever since my last visit to a Broadway show (on March 11, 2019, the night before all New York theaters shut down), I have gone to no live, in-person performances, indoors or out — and even steered clear of most of the Zoom plays that popped … Continue reading Broadway is back. No cheering yet
It was nice to see Simone Biles compete in at least one event at the Tokyo Olympics, after dropping out for most of the Games because of the stress. Just before her bronze-medal performance on the balance beam, I weighed in on NBC's hyperventilating Olympics coverage — and the whole media frenzy surrounding her — … Continue reading Is NBC to Blame for Simone Biles’ Meltdown?
Like many liberal Democrats who had trouble sleeping during the Trump presidency, I found myself relying on MSNBC for nightly solace, shared outrage, and any signs of hope that the Trump nightmare might soon be over. Eventually it was. With the advent of the Biden administration, that nightly MSNBC fix began to seem less urgent. … Continue reading Fear Factor: A Game Plan for the Democrats
Even the most woke readers of the New York Times, I suspect, may have blanched at the lead paragraph of a story in the Real Estate section a couple of Sundays ago. “They never wanted to call it retirement,” the article began, “but for Susan Farnsworth, Leigh Hough and Jean-Philippe Jomini, a throuple — a romantic … Continue reading Enslaved by the Style Watchdogs
I didn’t really want to dump on Sunday night’s Oscar telecast any more than I already have (see previous post). But I don’t think critics of the show have quite captured what made it, in my view, the worst Oscarcast in history. The big gaffe, of course, was the bizarre decision by Steven Soderbergh and … Continue reading Anthony Hopkins, Take a Bow
Like nearly everything else in this year of Covid, Sunday’s Oscar ceremony will have a strange look. It’s coming two months late, for one thing — the deadline for eligibility having been extended to give more films time to qualify. It will be an indoor-outdoor event, with no host (for the third year in a … Continue reading What Covid Hasn’t Quashed: Our Fetish for Awards
Bad omens for the future of newspapers have become depressingly familiar in recent years. Still, I wasn’t prepared for the rude shock I got in the Los Angeles airport a week ago. Getting ready to board an American Airlines flight back to New York, after a week’s vacation in California (a reward to myself … Continue reading For Newspaper Readers, the Unfriendly Skies
I tempted the cancel-culture gods last weekend and watched a Woody Allen movie. Right in the middle, no less, of plowing my way through Allen v Farrow, the four-part HBO documentary series that (for many viewers, at least) seems to nail down the case that Allen was guilty of molesting his seven-year-old stepdaughter Dylan a couple of … Continue reading Is This How Woody Allen’s Career Ends?