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Criticism Is Dead

Criticism Is Dead
94 episodes   Last Updated:Jan 24, 23
Film Reviews
TV & Film
A weekly podcast about the film, TV, and culture we're consuming and what it all means (if it means anything at all). Hosted by producer and writer Pelin Keskin-Liu and culture writer and critic Jenny G. Zhang.

Episodes

We discuss Elvis and The Makanai, a film and a series about the people behind the performer. 03:37 Elvis, streaming on HBO Max, is a gaudy, flawed, stirring love letter to the King of Rock and Roll. 17:43 The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House, streaming on Netflix, is a comforting series about friendship, life choices, and following one’s dreams. ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
This is a grab bag episode, a.k.a. one of our occasional watchlist dumps. We’ve been getting through plenty of TV and film, not all of which can make it into our main episodes, so this is where it’s going! 02:39 His Dark Materials s3 (HBO Max) 05:47 Emily in Paris s3 (Netflix) 07:59 The English (Amazon Prime Video) 11:26 Slow Horses s2 (Apple TV+) 14:18 Gossip Girl s2 (HBO Max) 18:06 Babylon (theaters) 21:23 Single’s Inferno s2 (Netflix) 25:17 The Traitors (U.S.) (Peacock) 28:22 SAS Rogue Heroes (Epix/MGM+) 32:02 Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Peacock) 36:03 The Stranger (Netflix) 39:04 Old Enough s2 (Netflix) 41:59 Fleishman Is in Trouble (Hulu) ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and Triangle of Sadness, two films that beat us over the head with cynicism about money and power. 02:01 Glass Onion, streaming on Netflix, is neither outstanding nor terrible, but basically akin to a fine or even fun Scooby-Doo mystery. 20:06 Triangle of Sadness, available VOD, is blunt, vulgar, and chaotic — and very good. 37:33 Plus, culture notes about M3GAN the doll and M3GAN the film’s viral fame. ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
It's our year-end special! To close out 2022, we each present our top 5 picks for film and TV, respectively, from this year. 01:45 Movies! 15:26 TV! (For honorable mentions, check out criticismisdead.substack.com.) Thank you so much for tuning in this year. See you in 2023!! ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss Emily the Criminal and Decision to Leave, two films about crimes of passion. 02:05 Emily the Criminal, streaming on Netflix, is an impressive feature film debut that hits all the right notes, and then some. 18:27 Decision to Leave, streaming on Mubi, is stylish, unbridled, and utterly, unexpectedly romantic. 35:34 Plus, The White Lotus SEASON 2 FINALE!!! ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss Wednesday and The Big Brunch, two shows that highlight how nice it is to be a part of a community. 02:14 Wednesday, streaming on Netflix, is a surprisingly great mix of supernatural hijinks, murder mystery antics, and teen boarding school escapades. 16:24 The Big Brunch is HBO Max’s answer to The Great British Bake Off: a cooking competition series where good vibes are paramount. 29:47 Plus, culture notes about the controversy surrounding this decade’s newly crowned Sight & Sound “Greatest Films of All Times,” and why it’s good to shake up our notion of the “canon” every once in a while. ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss The White Lotus season 2 and The Menu, two works highlighting the relationship between those who serve and those who take from the silver platter. 02:39 The White Lotus’s second season, streaming on HBO Max, is even better than the first, poking with a sharper, slyer stick at sex, power, and gender dynamics. 23:01 The Menu, currently in theaters, sufficiently skewers foodie culture and fine-dining fetishism, but fails to cut as deeply elsewhere. 37:58 Plus, culture notes about Andor, which has found itself in the middle of a squabble on the left about mass-culture art and revolutionary politics. ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss The Banshees of Inisherin and See How They Run, two films that raise the question of the importance of art over lives lived. 03:28 The Banshees of Inisherin, playing in theaters, finds equal parts comedy, tragedy, and emotional resonance in the dissolution of a friendship. 24:49 See How They Run, streaming on HBO Max, is a tight parcel of a self-aware whodunit that’s carried by its cast. 39:24 Plus, culture notes about Twitter, part 2 (please kill us). (#GetJennyto10kBeforeTwitterDies) ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss Andor and Paterson, a series and a film that hone in on the details of ordinary people’s lives. 06:20 Andor, streaming on Disney+, is not just great Star Wars television — it’s great television, period. 22:46 In Paterson, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, characters and viewers alike find art and beauty in everyday circumstances. 35:53 Plus, culture notes about what comes after Twitter (if anything). ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu
We discuss Derry Girls and The Mole, two shows about groups of people trying to get what they want, episode after episode. 02:28 Derry Girls, streaming on Netflix in the U.S., strikes a sweet balance between teenage self-obsession and adulthood. 21:11 The Mole — Netflix’s revival of the early-aughts reality competition show — has some flaws, but is ultimately a fun ride for anyone who likes puzzles, heists, and gameplay. 42:04 Plus, culture notes about James Corden getting banned (possibly twice?) from Balthazar. ... Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus more — subscribe to our Substack. Inquiries, complaints, and recs for what to watch can go to criticismisdead@gmail.com. Music: REEKAH Artwork and design: Sara Macias and Andrew Liu