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Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Fall TV And Whether Criticism Is Too Nice

Pop Culture Happy Hour: On Fall TV And Whether Criticism Is Too Nice

A drawing of two clinking martini glasses.

This week, I managed to return from press tour, but we are still without Trey Graham. Fortunately, that means that the lovely Barrie Hardymon joined us for this episode, which kicks off with me fully (and exhaustively — sorry!) debriefing the team about fall television as I experienced it out in Los Angeles. ( Here's the Timothy Egan book I could not remember the name of, which is related to the Ken Burns documentary.) What actually looks interesting? What looks awful? What would I encourage you to avoid even if it means unplugging yourself from the grid? (Note that some of these, I've seen full pilots, and some of them, I mostly saw the panel discussion and a bunch of clips, so stay tuned for more complete information.)

After that, we consider Jacob Silverman's Slate essay, "Against Enthusiasm." In it, Silverman argues that book criticism has become too "nice," and that the culture of authors and readers communicating on social media has made everything entirely too cozy. Suffice it to say we have some differences of opinion with Silverman, although there's certainly something to be said for guarding against too much chumminess when your professional reputation might be at stake.

Of course, as always, we close the show with what's making us happy this week. I'm terribly happy about having read a book Barrie had already recommended. Glen is happy about Mars interrupting the Olympics at three in the morning — "the Poindexters over the Heathers and the Chads," and the meme it birthed. Barrie is happy about something related both to that and to her lovely child. (And here's the documentary I was thinking of, which is PBS and not Discovery — sorry, PBS!) Stephen is happy about an album reissue for which he wrote some liner notes.

So find us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter: me, Stephen, Glen, Barrie, producer Jess Gitner, producer emeritus Mike, and absent panelist Trey.

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