32 episodes

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.

Criticism Is Dead Criticism Is Dead

    • TV & Film
    • 4.8 • 35 Ratings

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.

    We Are Lady Parts, Bo Burnham: Inside, and 15 minutes or less

    We Are Lady Parts, Bo Burnham: Inside, and 15 minutes or less

    We discuss We Are Lady Parts, about an all-girl Muslim punk rock band, and Bo Burnham: Inside, the comedian's quarantine musical solo endeavor.

    02:41 The new UK series We Are Lady Parts, available on Peacock stateside, is a bright, bombastic, witty effort to subvert Muslim stereotypes.

    24:13 Bo Burnham's new special Inside, streaming on Netflix, is a visual and sonic feast made all the more impressive by the labors of creation.

    44:02 Plus, culture notes about characters who had 15 minutes or fewer in a film.

    ...

    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

    Find out more at https://criticism-is-dead.pinecast.co

    • 48 min
    The Underground Railroad, Couples Therapy, and Taika/Rita/Tessa

    The Underground Railroad, Couples Therapy, and Taika/Rita/Tessa

    It's a long — but good, if we may say so ourselves — one this week! We discuss The Underground Railroad, an alt-history epic about the rotten foundation of this country, and Couples Therapy, a docuseries about excavating the past to address troubles of the present.

    02:50 The Underground Railroad, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, is one of the best works of television/cinema in recent memory.

    28:55 Couples Therapy, available on Showtime (and with some episodes on YouTube), is so voyeuristically fascinating and revealing, it's hard to stop watching.

    52:32 Plus, culture notes about that threesome — celeb culture isn't dead!

    ...

    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

    Find out more at https://criticism-is-dead.pinecast.co

    Girls5eva, Hacks, and Olivia Rodrigo nostalgia

    Girls5eva, Hacks, and Olivia Rodrigo nostalgia

    We discuss Girls5eva and Hacks, two comedy series about grasping for new life in an industry that's all about the young and the fresh.

    07:04 Girls5eva — _the latest in the Tina Fey/Robert Carlock universe, streaming on Peacock — is the closest to _30 Rock we're going to get (although it doesn't quite go all the way).

    22:333 Hacks, airing weekly on HBO Max, is a Jean Smart vehicle about generational differences and conflict.

    37:34 Plus, culture notes about why people our age are going gaga over a teen pop star's teen angst oeuvre.

    ...

    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

    Find out more at https://criticism-is-dead.pinecast.co

    • 45 min
    Mare of Easttown, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, and crumbs of excitement

    Mare of Easttown, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, and crumbs of excitement

    We discuss the limited series Mare of Easttown and the film The Mitchells vs. the Machines, two works that are basically as far apart as you can get in color palette, among other things!!!

    03:53 On Mare of Easttown — streaming weekly on HBO Max — the drama of community entanglements is as compelling as its murder mystery.

    23:12 The Mitchells vs. the Machines, new to Netflix, is a family film with enough action, jokes, and texture to hold adults’ attention, too.

    35:41 Plus, culture notes about a couple previews we’re hyped about: the currently in-production seasons of Succession _and _Selling Sunset. 

    ...

    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

    Find out more at https://criticism-is-dead.pinecast.co

    • 43 min
    Shadow and Bone, The Mosquito Coast, and Bennifer??!?

    Shadow and Bone, The Mosquito Coast, and Bennifer??!?

    We discuss Shadow and Bone, about a Chosen One coming to terms with her deeply held secret, and The Mosquito Coast, about a patriarch fleeing his.

    05:53 Shadow and Bone, out on Netflix, manages to fill a fun fantasy-sized void in the TV landscape, in spite of its lackluster heroine.

    24:11 The Mosquito Coast, streaming weekly on Apple TV+, is a high-octane drama that has the potential (hopefully?) to produce a new antihero à la Walter White, Tony Soprano, etc.

    44:05 Plus, culture notes about our favorite Boston boy and Miss J.Lo, reunited.

    P.S. CORRECTION: Jenny said Top Chef 2006 in the opening, but that season was NOT from 2006, it was from 2010. My bad!!!

    ...

    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

    Find out more at https://criticism-is-dead.pinecast.co

    • 48 min
    Stowaway, The Other Two, and Oscars

    Stowaway, The Other Two, and Oscars

    We discuss Stowaway, a movie about surviving in space, and The Other Two, a show about surviving a pop star kid brother.

    04:13 Stowaway, new to Netflix, is an unusual space film that is also a horror story about mathematics and employer negligence.

    23:03 The Other Two, now streaming on HBO Max, is a comedy series about adults figuring out how best to ride a tween pop star's 15 minutes of fame.

    35:51 Plus, culture notes about the Academy Awards, which have already happened, but not by the time we recorded this! Find out how good/bad we are at predicting things!

    ...

    Follow us on Twitter and Instagram. For extended show notes — including links that we reference, plus bonus b******t — 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

    Find out more at https://criticism-is-dead.pinecast.co

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
35 Ratings

35 Ratings

Q.Ledbetter ,

Thoughtful, honest, nuanced. I LOVE IT!

What I love about this podcast is how it defies the unproductive lambasting of film and television that has become so popular lately. These conversations are thoughtful, researched, and funny.

A new favorite!

Nick Bachan ,

An Excellent Pop Culure Hang

This podcast is always a fun and insightful listen. The hosts have great chemistry and interesting perspectives on the pop culture they consume each week. I find myself listing things to check out or revisiting things I originally skipped after hearing each episode.

My favorite pop culture conversations revolve around how and why cultural artifacts come into being. This show explores those questions in smart, engaging, and sometimes hilarious ways. It's just a really good hang for the kind of person that can watch half of a director's filmography in a weekend followed by some really good trash TV. There is absolutely no sense of gatekeeping and that's why the show stands out. It's just about some stuff these two creative, talented people like and that's that.

bbcwybaby ,

calming/insightful/hilarious!!

Even if I’m behind on watching the films/series they’re discussing, I love listening because I trust their opinions! They have amazing taste and are able to point out things about media that I don’t even think about. I learn so much from listening to this podcast!!!!! They’re voices are soothing and they’re so fun to listen to. 10000/10 would recommend!

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