The sex on Hulu's Shrill isn't just good, it's life-affirming.

Today, I feel optimistic about the future, and that’s because of the sex Aidy Bryant is having on TV.

Sex on TV has changed a lot in my lifetime alone. For one thing, we are regularly seeing male frontal nudity on HBO - thank you, High Maintenance! Even more importantly, Issa Rae’s Insecure celebrates the sexiness of black women through its (frequent, hot) sex scenes without any kind of white mediation or approval. I didn’t even realize until I found myself in the thrall of that show how rarely - if ever - I had seen black people having sex onscreen, especially emotionally satisfying sex. And now, thanks to Hulu’s Shrill, we get to see a fat woman have good and fulfilling sex onscreen, and no matter what you think of the rest of the show, that all by itself is a really big deal.

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A farewell to Crashing

Pete has wanted to belong here ever since we first met him. One of the central questions the show has confronted is precisely that of belonging. What is comedy now, and who belongs in it? What do we owe guys like Pete, who might be very talented but who might also, in truth, not be talented enough to be essential? In the words of Estee Adoram (playing herself), the holder of the Comedy Cellar keys: “who are you, why are you, and why now? I’ve got a lot of white guys up here talking about nothing.” She has a point, and even though Pete is understandably crushed, Crashing isn’t asking us to feel that he’s been denied some kind of rightful place.

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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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Books are going back to the library, baby

I’m a little sheepish about the fact that I chipped away at John Le Carré’s A Perfect Spy for…let’s see…two months and even got 3/4 of the way to the end before throwing in the towel. I should have seen the signs much sooner that I was wasting my precious reading time with The English! The Americans (ugh, no class, those Americans)! The wives and their prattle! The Czechs! What’s the deal with Pym anyhow - is he running away because he’s sad about his father or because he’s been double-crossing the English and spying for the Czechs, or has be been double-crossing the Czechs the whole time, or is he really only loyal to the one Czech guy, the father-figure who loved him the way his asshole of a real father never could? Magnus Pym writes through all of this, addressing himself to his own son, but is he really a reliable narrator? WELL? IS HE?

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