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In the season finale, his name is Berkman. Barry Berkman. In the season finale, his name is Berkman. Barry Berkman.

“Telling the truth is the right thing to do, right?”

Barry foregrounds Hollywood satire just as the dominoes collapse Barry foregrounds Hollywood satire just as the dominoes collapse

Barry generally tends to let its Hollywood satire exist in the margins. Its main comedic targets are actorly desperation and amateur theater, both of which ultimately privilege individual behavior over industry machinations. Yet, the specter of Hollywood overshadows everything, not just because the series features Los…

The Biggest Little Farm is a simplified, PR-friendly look at an agricultural triumph The Biggest Little Farm is a simplified, PR-friendly look at an agricultural triumph

John and Molly Chester’s entire life changed when they adopted Todd, their beloved rescue dog. After his incessant barking forced them to move out of their small Santa Monica apartment, the couple decided to fulfill their dream of starting a “traditional farm,” one driven by regenerative agricultural practices that…

Barry finally uses his truth and it's not pretty Barry finally uses his truth and it's not pretty

For the first hour of David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., Betty Elms, played by Naomi Watts, is naiveté incarnate. An aspiring actress, she approaches Hollywood like it’s a grand adventure, one that promises glamour and glory. To Betty, the dream factory isn’t the land of false hope and broken dreams, but a playground just…

Cultural backdrop aside, El Chicano isn’t much more than a shoddy imitation Batman Cultural backdrop aside, El Chicano isn’t much more than a shoddy imitation Batman

“Two clichés make us laugh. A hundred clichés move us. For we sense dimly that the clichés are talking among themselves, and celebrating a reunion.” Umberto Eco wrote that about Casablanca, positing that its synthesis of myriad archetypes, combined with the audience’s ingrained understanding of them, elevated the film…

Bill Hader embraces absurdity and breaks Barry wide open Bill Hader embraces absurdity and breaks Barry wide open

The first thing you notice is the title card, which appears without a cold open or accompanying fanfare. Then, it’s the complete stranger walking into his house with a six-pack in tow, itching to spark a joint. After that, the judicious camerawork takes hold: the steady right-to-left pans that literally survey the…

Just when Barry thinks he's out, they pull him back in... Just when Barry thinks he's out, they pull him back in...

“I pray that human beings can change their nature. Because if we can’t, then you and I are in deep trouble.”—Gene Cousineau

Even as it spins its wheels, Barry showcases Bill Hader's excellent performance Even as it spins its wheels, Barry showcases Bill Hader's excellent performance

Personally speaking, reactive performances are generally much more interesting to watch than traditionally active ones. It’s not just the inherent difficulty of expressing internal emotions via external movements, or the subtlety required to pull that off without defaulting to exaggeration, but it’s also a more…

Barry tries to break the cycle as his past catches up to him Barry tries to break the cycle as his past catches up to him

“Am I evil?” Barry quietly asks Hank. “Am I, like, an evil person?”

The moment Aretha Franklin steps on stage, Amazing Grace enters the concert film pantheon The moment Aretha Franklin steps on stage, Amazing Grace enters the concert film pantheon

The first time you see Aretha Franklin in Amazing Grace, she’s walking down the aisle of the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, bathed in shadows, preparing to be received by her band, the Southern California Community choir, an enraptured audience, and God. It’s a fitting introduction to a living legend who, after…

Jimmy and Gretchen choose to love each other, wholeheartedly, for that one day, on the series finale of You're The Worst Jimmy and Gretchen choose to love each other, wholeheartedly, for that one day, on the series finale of You're The Worst

“And I hope when you think of me years down the line / You can’t find one good thing to say / And I’d hope that if I found the strength to walk out / You’d stay the hell out of my way”

Barry returns from the brink funnier and darker than ever before Barry returns from the brink funnier and darker than ever before

When Barry’s first season ended last May, a common refrain from critics was that it functioned perfectly well as a series finale. Barry’s decision to kill Janice out of self-preservation scanned as proof that he’ll never break free from a vicious cycle of violence. No matter how much he tries to escape his past life…

The Other Two closes out a strong debut season with an unexpected reset The Other Two closes out a strong debut season with an unexpected reset

The Other Two had a successful debut season because creators Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider focused on the fundamentals. Their main duo—Brooke (Heléne Yorke) and Cary (Drew Tarver) Dubek—were fully realized characters with nuanced motivations from the jump. The other members of the ensemble, like manager Streeter…

Hard truths and old fears arise on the second-to-last episode of You're The Worst  Hard truths and old fears arise on the second-to-last episode of You're The Worst 

“No one wants to hear these things. If you insist on sharing them, you’ll just push everyone away,” Gretchen’s mother, Vanessa, (Rebecca Tilney), condescendingly tells her daughter after being confronted about her parental neglect. She expresses Gretchen’s single worst fear: no one will ever fully accept her because…

Lies, damn lies, and romance star in You're The Worst's antepenultimate episode Lies, damn lies, and romance star in You're The Worst's antepenultimate episode

There are two lies at play in “Four Goddamn More Days,” a big one and an even bigger one. The first is that Gretchen was fired immediately after the listening party incident and has subsequently been hiding it from Jimmy for two weeks. The second is that Gretchen isn’t at all excited about getting married, or, at the…

Gretchen chooses to bail once again on another strong You're The Worst Gretchen chooses to bail once again on another strong You're The Worst

“You should be with her. She’s gonna do something dumb.”

Revelations, murder, and Paul F. Tompkins star in You're The Worst's final Sunday Funday Revelations, murder, and Paul F. Tompkins star in You're The Worst's final Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday has always been a bit of a misnomer. The holiday’s eponymous song might promise raucous celebration before the workweek begins, but the day’s activities and binge drinking belie the customary growth moments that historically occur. After all, Sunday Funday is the day when Jimmy told Gretchen not to leave…

Paul, Vernon, and Becca become closer than ever on You're The Worst Paul, Vernon, and Becca become closer than ever on You're The Worst

TV shows in their final season historically provide their beloved recurring characters a nice send-off so that audiences can say their last goodbyes. For You’re The Worst, “beloved recurring characters” mostly amounts to Paul, Vernon, and Becca, the three broken souls on the outer orbit of Jimmy and Gretchen’s life.…

Noir gunplay aside, The Wedding Guest is another scenic travelogue from the director of The Trip Noir gunplay aside, The Wedding Guest is another scenic travelogue from the director of The Trip

While Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip series exists to show off Steve Coogan’s and Rob Brydon’s improvisational skills and dueling impressions, it’s also an excuse to capture the lush romance of different European countries. Increasingly, the director makes travelogues, even when he’s chasing other interests; regional…

Jimmy and Gretchen make new couple friends on an outstanding You're The Worst Jimmy and Gretchen make new couple friends on an outstanding You're The Worst

One of You’re The Worst’s best episodes followed Gretchen’s obsession with an older couple that seemingly had it all figured it out. They both had cool jobs, a great kid, and were seemingly in sync. Behind closed doors, of course, things weren’t as simple or easy as they appeared. The guy is stuck in the past, wishing…

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