I don't want the Russian Doll takes to stop

I’m not going to spoil any of the fun surprises this show has in store for you - really! But even if I told you how it ended, you’d still love watching it from start to finish. As soon as I saw Russian Doll’s opening shot of Natasha Lyonne staring at herself in a mirror, I didn’t really care what was about to happen; I just wanted to watch her. I wanted (and always, still, want) to hear and see a story about someone like Nadia, but not just about her. It’s not enough to create a story about a woman without also creating within it an endless fascination that goes beyond sex appeal or a desire to “fix” her. We’re not going to figure her out by watching her for eight episodes; that’s not how people work. But we’re going to dive in because even if we never get to the bottom, the experience will be worth it.

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Go Ahead and Love Something an Embarrassing Amount: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend in the age of the Male Glance

I finally managed to write a thing about what I consider the best show on TV right now. And I did it without spoilers! Even though it’s in its final season and it just keeps getting better, and even though I would love to write about what’s happening right now, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend had the goods starting with Season 1, Episode 1. It knew exactly what it was doing the whole time, and while we were busy laughing at its near-constant jokes, it was setting itself (and us) up to become a masterful exploration of mental illness and the damage people are coping with in their lives from a joyfully feminist perspective. It’s still really, really funny, too. But the point is, if you haven't seen the whole series, or any of the series, this essay was written for you.

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Go ahead and love something an embarrassing amount, Vol. V: Lightness and its meaning

The world is an objectively heavy place to live in right now, and this has paradoxically become almost routine. As Sarah Koenig put it in the fifth episode of Serial’s third season, “‘what are you going to do’ starts to feel like an answer, rather than an urgent question.” But even when you do pose it as a question…what are you going to do? If you are so weighed down by the heaviness of the world at every moment, how will you ever see the ways in which you can engage with it? Italo Calvino means, I think, for us to stop thinking of literature as an escape or a frivolous pursuit and to reframe it, instead, as an engine for creative and flexible thinking.

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