Binge-viewing was just the beginning. Netflix has a plan to rewire our entire culture
Binge viewing was just the beginning. What you need to know to understand life after the end of mass culture.
This piece originally appeared on newstatesman.com. Under conditions of war, a British prime minister learns that a heavily armed warship belonging to the hostile power has been detected.
America's least-favorite city is television's favorite backdrop.
In the our upcoming cover story, writer T.A. Frank takes a look at the new epidemic of television shows set in our nation's capital—"Homeland," "House of Cards," "Scandal," "The Americans," and "Veep"—to see what they say about power in today's Washington. Read the story online next week. Photo illustration by Gluekit.
The New Republic Covers The Assassination of JFK
To read more of The New Republic's coverage of the Kennedy Assassination, click here.
It’s as hard to keep a longform television narrative going as it is to raise a child. Sometimes shorter forms are tempting, with old-hat conventions like climax and closure. But these longform series now have a pressing ambition to be as good as the best modern novels. That raises an awkward question: Are we watching the predicament of the characters, or the cornered rat antics of the writers?
In a video clip that has gone viral today, Jon Stewart rips into CNN for asking the same question of its guest: "Is X good or bad?" Whether the subject is Obamacare, the war in Syria, or the balance between liberty and security, CNN analysts seem intent on defining things in this somewhat simplified manner.
How the worst job in Washington became television's favorite role
If Joe Biden really wants to get the most out of his time as vice president, he should sign a development deal instead of forming an exploratory committee. On television, the Naval Observatory is the hottest real estate since Melrose Place—far more popular, even, than that mansion over on Pennsylvania Avenue.
In their conversation about Episode 3 of Homeland, New Republic Senior Editor Isaac Chotiner and former CIA man Robert Baer discuss the way the Agency exerts psychological control over its agents, and whether the show is becoming more like "Breaking Bad."Isaac Chotiner: Did you notice that this episode had a lot of spy-movie clichés? The first was the guy waking up in bed not knowing where he is. I suppose I should ask whether that has ever happened to you.
Why he should ditch the direct-to-camera format
When the president of the United States plans a military strike, the received wisdom says he is supposed to address the nation to tell us about it. We all have memories of gathering round the TV as presidents loved and hated (or in most cases, both) assured us that whatever long-expected military action was now underway, tidily, resolutely, and only because there was no other choice. But these ritual appearances usually fail to bring us closer to national consensus; they also tend to earn the White House poor reviews.