Screen

“A Little Late with Lilly Singh” Has a Code-switching Problem

Lilly Singh is trailblazing as a South Asian woman on late night TV while also dismantling that good work by continuing to perform a Blackness that isn’t hers. Read more »

Hell Is Older People: Aging as the Ultimate Cinematic Horror

Unlike horror-movie fates such as, say, decapitation by paper cutter, aging is the ultimate fright because viewers recognize that they cannot escape it. Read more »

No Good Deeds: “Succession” Rejects the Redemption Arc for Its Ruthless Characters

HBO’s hourlong drama about a Murdoch-inspired family slyly toys with Americans’ impulse to see the good in the worst people, particularly when those people are white.  Read more »

Housebound: Why the Dollhouse Metaphor Remains So Indelible

The dollhouses of today are not, then, miniature playgrounds that train girls to believe their future paths go no further than their front door. Read more »

Uneasy Spirits: Black Vengeance in Supernatural Pop Culture

There’s a specter in our midst, and it’s white people’s projection of their own guilt and fear onto the Black search for justice. Read more »

Girl Watchers: The Uneasy Female Gaze of “Black Conflux” and “The Other Lamb”

Two new films challenge sexist coming-of-age tales where teen girls are master manipulators. Read more »

Transmitting Culture: A New Slate of Films Serve as Love Letters to Korean American Mothers

Always Be My Maybe, Searching, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before depict Asian American mothers as worthy of the same care, sympathy, and compassion that they bestow on their children, family, and friends. Read more »

In “Batwoman,” Lesbians and Queer Women Are Complicated—and Brave

A lesbian superhero who saves the city and her girl stands out considering that pop culture is still learning how to stop killing off lesbians onscreen. Read more »

“Big Mouth” Endlessly Explores Sexuality, but Still Stumbles on Queerness

It’s not that I’m surprised a television show failed to accurately represent bisexuality and pansexuality. It’s that I’m surprised Big Mouth was one of those shows. Read more »

Cord Jefferson Finds a (Good) Place for Pop Culture Optimism

In 2016, Michael Schur’s The Good Place started as another quirky NBC comedy that then blossomed into a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Read more »

Pages

Films and TV Portray Abortion as More Dangerous Than It Is

Films and television shows tend to present a skewed portrayal of abortion—when fictional movies and TV shows include a plotline about abortion... Read more »

"Moonlight" is an Essential Work of Art for the Current Political Moment

Moonlight displays the kind of empathy and humanity that we desperately need right now. Read more »

Saying Goodbye to Maria and the End of a Sesame Street Era

Growing up, Sesame Street's Maria was one of the best Latina role models I had. Read more »

The Dramatic History of American Sex-Ed Films

In 1948, in a seventh grade classroom in Eugene, Oregon, a teacher dimmed the lights and flipped on 16mm projector. A film called Human... Read more »