The Sound of the ‘Broad City': A Musical Guide to TV’s Coolest Comedy

From Drake’s “Started From the Bottom,” in the now-famous nod to Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Super Dupa Fly)” video last season, to Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory” soundtracking Abbi’s naked strut last week, the scene-stealing montage song plays an important role on Broad City — and will continue to as Season 2 progresses. But it’s also just one way the show’s music supervisor, Matt “FX” Feldman uses songs to flesh out Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer’s wild and weird New York. Click through to read more about how he curates the music for Broad City and listen to his playlist of ten tracks that will define its second… Read More

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The Demise of Blink-182: A Gchat Play in Five Acts

Millennials everywhere are in mourning, bless them, because Blink-182 have officially parted way with singer Tom DeLonge (although apparently that’s news to him). The band have been famously dysfunctional for years, and as such it’s not surprising that the communication around their apparent break-up has been lacking. Perhaps the most notable detail to emerge was that Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker haven’t spoken to DeLonge in months, preferring to communicate digitally. Their medium of choice was email, but really, it could and should have been Gchat — because then we wouldn’t have had to write these transcripts for them. … Read More

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‘I Smile Back': Why Did Sarah Silverman Need a Serious Drama to Become a “Serious Actor”?

PARK CITY, UTAH: Since its premiere Sunday night, one of the biggest stories of the Sundance Film Festival has been Sarah Silverman’s revelatory performance in the addiction drama I Smile Back. Indiewire called her “completely riveting.” Variety insisted, “rarely has a performer striven so concertedly to shed any trace of his/her comedy roots.” And Hollywood Reporter wrote of her “gutsy performance” “annihilating almost every trace of her comedy persona.” On the ground, the skill of her turn has generated nothing less than surprise — she’s so good, and so dramatic! But it should no longer shock anyone that a comic actor is also skilled at drama, not just because there’s such precedence for it, but because comic actors are too often regarded simply as second-class thespians. … Read More

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Louis C.K.’s ‘Live at the Comedy Store’ Is a Special With the Spontaneity of a Workshop Set

In Louis C.K.’s (second) email accompanying the announcement of his surprise new special Live at the Comedy Store, the comedian talked about small comedy clubs (as opposed to the larger theaters he’s been performing in) and why they have been — and remain — so important to him as an inventive, constantly performing comedian. Live at the Comedy Store was, as the title suggests, filmed at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles, one of the many smaller comedy clubs where C.K. paid his dues as a comedian, and one that he still goes back to. Available via his website for $5, the special is something of a tribute to these clubs. It is also, of course, uproariously funny. … Read More

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Parks and Recreation’ Season 7 Episodes 5 and 6 Recap: “Gryzzlbox” and “Save J.J.’s”

After the emotional crescendo of Leslie and Ron’s rapprochment last week, the focus of last night’s Parks and Rec episodes swoops around among the other members of the gang, to our immediate benefit. These were two of this season’s most thoroughly satisfying episodes, with their scary-silly satire of tech culture and gentrification, the retirement of the Leslie-Ron feud and the return of “treat yo self.” … Read More

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Winter Storm Juno Makes a Yeti: Links You Need to See

If you’re living in New York, you probably spent yesterday and today curled up with a novel — or, if you don’t have the attention span for literature that’s quite so extensive, perhaps you curled up with a Chipotle Cup. You’re also probably wondering, after so many curled up hours, why a massive chunk of the state was shut down for what was not nearly as much snow as was expected from Winter Storm Juno. You’re probably upset that you couldn’t gleefully make snow-people and have snowball fights without somehow feeling like you were dishonoring the utter gravity of reporters’, mayors’, etceteras’ warnings. For those who obeyed and stayed indoors, you can vicariously experience all the literal ups and downs of snowstorm reporting through the miracle of the Internet. We all know there’s nothing better than watching strangers fall on their asses in the snow. … Read More

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‘This American Life’ Episode Humanizes Internet Trolling as Only Radio Can

Just about every writer whose work is posted on the Internet has to deal with the bane of the comments section, but for Lindy West, a former Jezebel staffer who currently writes for publications like GQ and The Guardian, the comments section has become a war zone. She’s candid and funny, unafraid to criticize rape jokes or explain how airlines discriminate against fat people, and her fearlessness has made her one of the most notable voices on the Internet. … Read More

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Indiana’s Republican, State-Run News Service Might Be Even Scarier Than You Think

Indiana, the trashcan where I was born, has come an inch closer to fulfilling its greatest ambition. More than ever it resembles Francoist Spain.

Yesterday, the Indianapolis Star reported that Republican Governor Mike Pence’s administration will launch “Just IN” — the IN stands for Indiana — a taxpayer-funded, state-run news outlet that “will make pre-written news stories available to Indiana media, as well as sometimes break news about his administration.” The outlet will feature “stories” and “news releases” written by state press secretaries. … Read More

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In ‘The Americans’ Season 3, the Real War Is Over a Young Girl’s Beliefs

The greatest asset of FX’s The Americans is that it has always been less of a spy thriller and more of a compelling family drama. This isn’t to take away from the bloody but brilliant aspects of the inherently engaging story of two KGB agents posing as a married couple during the Cold War. Rather, it’s to praise how deftly this series balances the two vastly different narratives — espionage and family — and rarely misses a connection between them. What’s more, it makes the two narratives seem like two sides of the same coin instead of disparate stories. Season 1 brought together the job and the marriage, Season 2 developed the family as a whole, and now Season 3 has its sights set on indoctrinating 14-year-old Paige Jennings. … Read More

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Jonathan Chait Doesn’t Really Care About Free Speech

“Can a white male liberal critique the country’s current political-correctness craze (which, by the way, hurts liberals most)?” asks the print-edition subtitle of New York Magazine pundit Jonathan Chait’s latest provocation. (For maximum outrage-baiting effect, the version that appears in the magazine is also titled “Trigger Warning,” and the subhead ends with the tease, “We’re sure you’ll let us know.”) A better question would have been, “Can any writer connect the Charlie Hebdo shootings to trigger warnings in college classes, protests against universities hosting bigoted speakers, the term ‘mansplaining,’ and a Facebook group for women writers without sounding hysterical?” The answer, of course, is “nope” — and, furthermore, “grow up.” … Read More

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