FROM Sonia Saraiya
Sophomore slumps & niche streaming services The Spin-off crew sums up the summer. They talk about Olympics ratings, discuss why two hot cable shows are struggling in their second seasons and contemplate whether the myriad niche streaming services can ever offer them the TV line-up of their dreams.
TV: L.A. in Prestige Comedies HBO’s Togetherness aired its last show over the weekend. It’s an example of a genre that’s been called “prestige comedies.” And in prestige comedies, LA seems like a particularly depressing place. Despite its sandy beaches, gorgeous vistas, and year-round good weather, the LA of shows like Togetherness, Love, The Comeback and BoJack Horseman is a pretty awful place filled with existential despair… and traffic. What’s driving this West Coast dreariness?
Re-boot Nation, the News Host Blues, Cable Domination A slew of new re-boots is headed our way. How much of the original gang must be on board to make a re-boot a success? The Trevor Noah backlash was swift and fierce. Do we have unrealistic expectations for hosts of news shows, comedy or otherwise? The cable-broadcast divide continues to fall and cable continues its ratings takeover. Finally, our monthly downloads.
From Trump to farm to slaughterhouse to restaurant So many hands go into bringing our food to the table, from farm and slaughterhouse to market and restaurant. We hear about how President Trump's immigration policies will affect business at Taco María, Maddox Dairy and La Niña del Mezcal, and examine the travel ban's impact on the way even your sausage gets made. Plus, meet the people behind the local produce, fungi and seafood at the Hollywood Farmers' Market.
Securing Public Spaces, Super Wealthy Asians Vehicles are increasingly being used as weapons, as seen in the London Bridge attack over the weekend and in New York’s Times Square last month. The Compton-based company Calpipe is designing security bollards to help make public spaces safer. And novelist Kevin Kwan satirizes the “crazy rich” Asian jet set and their luxurious tastes in his latest book, “Rich People Problems.”
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."