‘The White Lotus’ was the best show of the summer

In mid-July, as the delta variant just began to tighten its grip on American communities, viewers turned their minds to the luxurious Hawaiian fantasy presented in HBO’s “The White Lotus” (2021), which follows a spattering of ridiculously wealthy vacationers and staff at a fictional resort of the same name. Instead of blissful escapism, though, the […]

Hollywood can’t break the male gaze

The “male gaze” is a term that was first used in the context of cinema by feminist thinker Laura Mulvey to describe the depiction of women in media as seen through a heterosexual male lens. Film has often relegated female characters to mere side pieces or love interests for leading men — the women of the James Bond franchise are an obvious example of the male gaze at work. However, even the most independent, ambitious and authoritative female characters can still be portrayed by the male gaze.

‘Dickinson’ gets distracted in season 2

First airing in 2019, the same year that “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” had its debut at Cannes, the show stood out as a satire of these oft-moody dramas, stuffed with modern music and language alongside observations of the ridiculousness of 1850s New England life. Season 2, which premiered on Jan. 8, features new characters, fun new cameos and a touch of witchcraft.

‘Minari’ redefines the rural American experience

Unlike awards-bait movies, though, "Minari" doesn’t feel like work to watch. Instead, it offers a portrait of a young family that provides a critical balance of comedy, drama and emotional beauty that allows its viewers to bask in its glory.

‘WandaVision’ takes Marvel to new heights

Marvel has always offered a reliable distraction, and “WandaVision” is no exception. While its recognizable characters offer relief from the dullness of life in quarantine, its sitcom format both distracts from and builds toward the broader plot that introduces the franchise’s next chapter.