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culture on television

“SMILF,” a Rude, Nimble Comedy of Sex and the Single Mother

Troy Patterson reviews Showtime’s “SMILF,” starring Frankie Shaw as a young single mother in Boston.

Maria Bamford’s “Lady Dynamite” Sends Up the Mania of TV in an Age of Streaming

Ian Crouch on the delightful and deranged second season of Maria Bamford’s “Lady Dynamite.”

“Mindhunter” and the Presentation of the Serial Killer in Everyday Life

Troy Patterson on Netflix’s “Mindhunter,” a drama about an F.B.I. agent who becomes infatuated with the depraved mind.

Gobble Gobble: Rating Trump’s Performance at the Turkey Pardon

Troy Patterson on President Donald Trump’s first Thanksgiving turkey pardon.

The Brilliantly Self-Absorbed Millennials of “Search Party”

Troy Patterson reviews Season 2 of the TBS dark comedy “Search Party,” starring Alia Shawkat, John Reynolds, and John Early.

Spike Lee Circles Back to “She’s Gotta Have It”

Troy Patterson reviews Spike Lee’s new Netflix series, “She’s Gotta Have It,” an updated version of his 1986 début film.

I’m Slightly Addicted to HQ Trivia

Troy Patterson writes about the quiz app HQ Trivia, which is hosted by Scott Rogowsky.

With “Black Mirror,” Our Dystopia Gets the Television Show It Deserves

Troy Patterson reviews the series “Black Mirror” and its fourth season, which was released on Netflix in December.

Barack Obama Is in His Element on David Letterman’s New Netflix Series

Ian Crouch on former President Barack Obama’s appearance in the premi`ere episode of “My Next Guest Needs No Introduction,” David Letterman’s new Netflix series.

The Enduring Miracle of Tyra Banks on “America’s Next Top Model”

Eren Orbey writes about the return of Tyra Banks to “America’s Next Top Model.”

How Late Night Handled Trump’s Physical

Troy Patterson writes about reactions to the results of Donald Trump’s physical, including responses from Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, and Trevor Noah.

The Evolution of “Sesame Street” on HBO

Troy Patterson writes about recent seasons of “Sesame Street,” now broadcast on HBO, which feature new recurring characters such as Smartie the smartphone.

“Blue Planet II” Reviewed: The Ocean Continues to Impress

Troy Patterson reviews “Blue Planet II,” the British nature documentary series produced by the BBC and narrated by David Attenborough.

Trump’s State of the Union Address Broke the TV-News Cycle

Troy Patterson writes about television coverage of Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, including a C-SPAN preview and responses from Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, of MSNBC’s

The Best and Worst of the 2018 Super Bowl Commercials

Troy Patterson writes about memorable commercials during Super bowl LII, including ads from Budweiser, Amazon, Dodge, and Coca-Cola.

Watching “The Bachelor Winter Games” Instead of the Olympics

Troy Patterson reviews “The Bachelor Winter Games,” which tweaks the formula of the long-running dating show in order to loosely link it to the Olympics.

The Powerful Calls to Action by the Teen-Age Survivors of the Parkland School Shooting

Troy Patterson on the telegenic and charismatic interviews given by students who survived the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

How Much Yelling Do We Need in Our Olympics Coverage?

Ian Crouch on TV commentary at the 2018 Winter Olympics and the former skier Bode Miller’s subdued announcing style, which has received criticism.

“Black Lightning,” Reviewed: An Ambivalent Superhero (and Superdad) for the Post-Obama Era

Troy Patterson on the CW superhero series “Black Lightning,” based on the DC Comics character and starring Cress Williams as Jefferson Pierce, a high-school principal.

The Aspirational Anima of the Netflix Revival of “Queer Eye”

Troy Patterson reviews the 2018 reboot of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” which has been reimagined on Netflix for a less binary world.