Todd Matthew Van Poppel is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the Oakland Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and Cincinnati Reds. He retired during spring training with the New York Mets in 2005.
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Hi there! I'm Todd VanDerWerff, culture editor for Vox Dot Com, formerly the TV Editor at The A.V. Club. Before that, you probably don't care about what I did. Though I cover all aspects of the cultural world, my primary interests are in TV and film, where I've written some recent articles that may be of interest.
The big story in TV this week? Community is back. You can [read my review] (http://www.vox.com/2015/3/17/8230443/community-premiere-recap-ladders) of the premiere here. And over in film, there's lots to talk about with the release of the amazing horror film [It Follows] (http://www.vox.com/2015/3/13/8205857/it-follows-review-scary) and the less exciting [fairy tale adaptation Cinderella] (http://www.vox.com/2015/3/14/8213087/cinderella-review-disney-remake).
But as the title says, ask me anything. I will be answering questions until 5 p.m. Eastern time!
Here's some proof, in the [form of Twitter] (https://twitter.com/tvoti/status/578277878313263105).
Edited at 5:03 Eastern: Thank you, all! I had a great time, but I should go do other things. Thanks for checking this out, and keep reading Vox!
I got a Community notification for this?
(But the actual question: From an industry-specific perspective, what would you peg fan-driven revivals of programs like Community/Veronica Mars/etc to? Besides giving #millennials the misguided assurance that even death can be avoided with a funding drive, is it a net positive when creators are more closely tied to their viewers?)
I just answered a very similar question below, but the tl;dr. I think it's exciting fans can do this, but I'm ambivalent about the ability of consumers to determine the natural life of a story. Community, for all intents and purposes, seemed done to me at the end of season five (even if I hated the finale), but now it's back, and it seems a little unsure of the fact that it is. I'll keep watching, because I love the show. But I would dearly love to see what Harmon and McKenna do next, too.
Hi Todd! Can you rank the premieres from every season of Community?
S2 premiere > S1 premiere > S3 premiere > S5 premiere > S6 premiere >>>>> S4 premiere.
Weirdly, would not be surprised if those end up being my season rankings as well. Huh.
Do you miss doing weekly TV reviews?
I would be lying if I said no. I would also be lying if I said yes.
I DO NOT miss the weekly grind of having to come up with something new to say about dozens of different shows. I enjoyed doing it, and I enjoyed the shows I covered (mostly), but now that I can write about more varied things, I'm loving the fact that I can just drop in on, say, Agents of SHIELD (as I did today) when it does something really interesting. I like having that freedom and flexibility.
On the other hand, I do miss feeling like a part of that episodic recap conversation. And I expect once Vox has more latitude in this area, I will get back to doing at least a few of these. (I still really want to write about Mad Men weekly and probably will.) But right now, we're a staff of four, and I just can't make the majority of what I write episodic reviews, especially when I'm ALSO writing about film.
What are the three films that most influenced your critical perspective?
Toy Story: This is a weird one, but it came out right when I was in high school and trying to be "cool." I went to see it, and I adored it, even though most of my friends thought it was stupid. I stood up for it and realized that I didn't particularly care what they thought, so long as I liked it.
Moolaade: Though basically nobody has seen this film from Senegalese master Ousmane Sembene, it was the first time I really felt like I had to tell people about a movie on the extreme outskirts of the release schedule. Of course, at the time, I lacked a mechanism to do so, so here I am, 11 years later, telling people in a Reddit comment.
It's a Wonderful Life: I have stuck up for this film in argument after argument after argument, as the perfect movie about both sides of what we believe to be true about America. It's a place of wondrous opportunity, but it's also a place where that opportunity crushes so many people. This is a dark, dark film, with a glimmer of light. And, hey, that describes most of the stuff I like.
What kind of feedback/reaction have you gotten about the piece you posted about adoption recently?
(kudos for posting a really excellent blend of personal + reported)
The feedback has been very kind! I've been especially happy with how fellow adoptees and parents of adopted children felt the piece came at least somewhat close to their own experiences. And even those who fundamentally disagreed with me on one point or another, as it pertained to their experiences, were very kind in their pushback.
Which of your cats is your favorite cat?
The definitive ranking of Todd's cats:
Linus > Sally > Pippa = Boo > Riley
But they are all great.
Hi Todd, do you have any plans to compile The Complete Adventures Of Frank Fisticuffs and release them as a book and/or sell them to Hollywood?
I was late answering this question because I just got off the phone with a BIG-TIME PRODUCER who works with REAL HOLLYWOOD ACTORS about adapting Frank Fisticuffs in Moon Fury.
Where is it more fun to work? And who's been your favorite colleague ever?
I actually have worked from home for both the A.V. Club and Vox, so my experience has been largely identical at both. Vox has Slack, though, and Slack is great. So that's a big leg up.
My favorite colleague is my cat Linus and/or my wife, whom I briefly edited at AV Club before leaving. Is that a cheat? Yes.
Why no TVOTI podcast with Libby in ages? Still my favorite, but I miss you guys. Edit: Just saw your answer, great news, hope it comes back soon.
Also, what do you think of Netflix's strategy this spring and going into summer of releasing a new original show almost every week? What do you think of their most recent offerings and what are your expectations for future shows like Bloodlines and Sense8?
Thanks and keep up the great work.
I sort of wonder if Netflix isn't going to burn itself out with this strategy, but I think it can probably maintain if it keeps up a smart mix of acquisitions (like The Fall) and original shows (like Bloodline). I find Netflix in general sort of exciting, even if they haven't figured out entirely what they're doing creatively. They remind me a lot of early FX — cool business strategy, programming that's all over the map.
In terms of recent shows, I roll my eyes at House of Cards, but I love The Fall and really like Kimmy Schmidt. I don't think Bloodline is going to be for me (having seen a few episodes), but I really enjoyed another prominent Netflix release that's coming in April that I cannot mention by name just yet. I had a devilishly good time with it.
I am looking forward to Sense8!
Do you still watch 2 Broke Girls?
I sometimes catch it at the Laundromat. Which is how I watch all shows I feel ashamed of once giving a good review.
What do you miss most about AV Club?
A few things!
1.) The ability to be comprehensive. TV Club could cover pretty much anything we wanted to, because it commanded legions of writers. Hopefully Vox Culture will get to that point someday, but we're still technically in our first year of existence. (It doesn't seem that way to me either, because the site's so great.) With a team of four, we have to let a lot of stuff slide, and that goes against my very nature.
2.) Instant feedback. In the wake of Gamergate and other incidents in the past year (some at AV Club), I've become much more of a comments agnostic than I used to be. I think great comments sections are cool, but most sites don't have the time to curate their sections and prevent trolls/misanthropes from taking over. And when a community reaches a certain size, it's all but certain they will. But I do miss posting an article and immediately having a legion of reactions to read through. Now, I have Twitter, but that's not quite the same. It's why I'm trying to get into Tumblr.
3.) Dumb running jokes.
Any updates about future TVOTI podcasts?
All I can say is stay tuned. Libby and I are working out a new format that will be easier to produce on a regular basis. Since I started at Vox and she started writing full-time, we have a lot less time to just screw around than we used to. But we're committed to getting TVOTI up and running again because we love doing it.
(If you're unaware, you can check out my podcast [here] (http://tvoti.net).)
Big fan of your work, Todd, thanks for doing this.
With the releases of It Follows, The Guest, and The Babadook garnering so much critical praise, do you see the Horror genre making a critical comeback, or are these merely the exception rather than the rule? What do you think needs to happen for young directors to not fall into the tropes or mistakes that plagued bad 90's and 00's horror films?
Other question: Fans seem to be driving the marketplace more and more every year, especially with Yahoo picking up Community. Similarly, comedians who have a wide fanbase can now release their own material direct to the fans without having to go through providers. I guess my question is, when fans have as much of a say as they do, does it make for more middling content, or is it a good thing that we vote with our money and get more from these content creators?
I love the horror boom we're in right now. Babadook was on my top 10 last year, Guest was close, and it will have to be a really great year for film for It Follows to miss my list this year. Horror is probably my favorite genre (if I have to choose), so it's great that so much amazing stuff is happening there.
I would say to any prospective horror directors and writers that the best way to make sure this horror boom (which I very much think is real) continues would be to make sure that what you write is grounded in something real. I don't mean by this that the monster should have a logical explanation — of course it shouldn't. What I mean is that the monsters in Babadook and It Follows are both grounded in very real, very terrifying emotions every human being feels at one point or another. We've all had to deal with an annoying child or with unforeseen consequences of a romantic encounter. These movies just heighten that idea and take it to a terrifying place. Horror is always best when it's playing up things we already feel, and I think directors and writers should remember that.
(You didn't ask, but my pitch for an It Follows sequel: '70s swingers. Make it like The Ice Storm as a story of marital malaise, but have a monster there killing people.)
I am deeply ambivalent about fan-driven projects. On the one hand, it's great that consumers can so directly drive the marketplace as to effectively be gatekeepers. On the other hand, consumers generally just want to keep consuming, until they realize they stuffed themselves hours ago and have just kept eating. I wasn't a big fan of the Veronica Mars movie for this reason — it never suggested a solid reason to exist other than the fact that the fans wanted it to exist. And, arguably, the fans being so gung ho for it hurt the story Rob Thomas had originally wanted to tell.
On the other hand, I think we'll eventually come to a place where this evens out, so I'm not too worried about it.
Along the lines of your adoption piece, what are some other non-entertainment subjects you'd like to tackle? Does your role at Vox give you the flexibility to branch into writing about other topics on occasion?
In a word, yes! Vox is a general interest site, so it's easier to branch out and write about other stuff than it was at A.V. Club. I'm sure the people I worked with there would have loved the adoption piece, but there wasn't really room for it without a pop culture hook. (Indeed, I took some of it from the Nerd Curious I wrote about Superman, which I stripped a bunch of personal material out of in the editing process.)
I will hopefully be writing some other non-entertainment pieces in the very near future. I don't want to say what they are just now, for various reasons, but keep an eye out.
Which show was your favorite to review at the AV Club?
Ps: I really enjoyed your Sopranos and Mad Men Reviews. I'm hoping you'll review the final 7 Mad Men episodes over at Vox.
My favorite show to review weekly has always been Mad Men. Because AMC doesn't send out screeners, there's a race aspect to it, and there's also the fun, performative, puzzle-solving aspect of it. It's a delight.
Will you continue to do TV reviews? And if so, will you include the new shows at Yahoo!Screen such as Sin City Saints and Other Space?
I admit, I was disappointed with your review of Community, but willing to read more.
I will still primarily be writing about TV, yeah! And I'm hoping to write a more overarching thing about what Yahoo is up to in the very near future.
I suspect what you're asking about, though, is more traditional episodic reviews, in which case the answer is ... sort of, but not probably what you expect. That space is very crowded with sites that do that very well (in particular The AVC and Vulture), and we have a very small staff at present. My hope is to write SOMETHING about shows of note every week after new episodes. What that something will be will change from week to week, though.
Who are your favorite critics and why?
I will inevitably forget someone, but--
It's impossible to do what I do and be the age that I am and not be a LITTLE influenced by Siskel and Ebert. One of the great joys of my life was having sporadic email contact with Roger Ebert when I had a newspaper job and would occasionally email his editor corrections. (Hey, I was a copy editor. It was my job to catch this stuff before it went to print.)
And I would be nowhere without Matt Zoller Seitz and Keith Phipps, who both took huge chances on me and helped me develop into the writer I am today. I went back and reread some of my early email correspondence with Matt the other day, and I was such an eager beaver kid, irritating and over the top, and he kept grinding out drafts with me. I will be forever grateful for that.
Finally, I do what I do because Alan Sepinwall did it first and best. That he's now a good friend is something 2005 Todd is a little blown away by.
As far as critics I read, it's a long list. I really love any piece that argues something I completely disagree with incredibly well.
Are there any shows that you've really enjoyed but haven't found a way to write about?
What's a show you want people to stop asking you to review?
I actually don't really have that problem. Because I'm kind of hardcore about breaking shows down to structural components, I can always just fall back on, "They were trying to do this, but it ended up doing this instead." That usually leads to other approaches.
I guess if I had to pick a type of TV I have the most trouble with, it would be reality. I'm not great at straight recaps with ample snark, and that's a genre that really benefits from it.
In general, any British show that hasn't debuted in the US yet is a show I'm not going to touch, for hopefully obvious reasons. (I get that torrenting has opened up the world of television in exciting ways, and I've used it to acquire imports as well. But I think we should also reward programmers who acquire adventurous stuff from overseas by giving them press on their release timetables.) So any time somebody is, like, "You need to review Utopia right now!" I shake my head.
Good afternoon Todd! Your thoughtful reviews of Glee were one of the things that brought me to the A.V. Club, and subsequently the world of TV and film reviews. Have you been keeping up with the show these past few seasons? If so, what are your thoughts?
I have mostly fallen off of Glee entirely in the last two seasons. I kept up with season four, for the most part, but it was also clear all involved were circling the drain around that point.
I will probably watch the finale.
Glee is almost certainly going to be one of those shows where I wish it had gone differently. There was so much potential there. So much squandered potential.
Is the greatest song of all time "Accidentally in Love," "No Rain," or "MMMbop"?
THESE LINES OF LIGHTNING MEAN WE'RE NEVER ALONE. NEVER ALONE. NO NO.
(Have you seen the music video for "Accidentally in Love"? It's insane.)
What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?
The sadness here is that it is basically impossible to get any more.
I have so many fond memories of going to Happy Chef, a small restaurant chain in the Midwest, and ordering a scoop of cinnamon ice cream to complete my meal. All is loss, children! All is loss!
Hey Todd! I'm a longtime fan and reader of your tv criticism. I'm only 24 but having trouble finding new tv shows to watch and experience. I was hoping you could recommend two or three deep cuts for me to search out. I've seen just about every major series since "The Honeymooners" and I think I've exhausted just about every series --major or minor-- of the past twenty-five years. Are there any interesting shows that you could suggest?
Fascinating TV shows people probably haven't heard of:
1.) Sons & Daughters: This 2006 ABC sitcom is what Modern Family should have been.
2.) He and She: The prototype for the '70s sitcom revolution. Aired for one season on CBS in the late '60s.
3.) Rev.: One of the best shows of the new decade. And it's on Hulu!
If you're looking for a drama, consider St. Elsewhere. I often find people just haven't checked it out, and it meshes very well with modern sensibilities. I also love Route 66, which is on DVD and has a great back-story: it was actually filmed all over the country.
One of the things I love most about Vox is that there's no comments. Slate has the stupid box that shows the top rated one, and most blog's comment sections give me a headache if I accidentally scroll down too far. AV Club is 100% the exception to comments- so maybe you just got spoiled there?
From having talked with my Vox colleagues about comments at their old sites, it is 100 percent the case that I got spoiled at AV Club.
Do you have a top ten list of your favorite shows?
I actually made a top 100 at my old blog, South Dakota Dark, which aimed to take into consideration personal opinion, historical importance, and general critical regard. I missed a lot in that list, but I'm still proud of the top 10, which strikes me as a list of shows you could watch and have a pretty good overview of television as a whole. It was:
1.) The Simpsons
2.) The Mary Tyler Moore Show
3.) The Sopranos
4.) The Wire
6.) Hill Street Blues (hugely underrated at this point in time)
7.) Buffy the Vampire Slayer
9.) The Twilight Zone
10.) Freaks and Geeks
Hi Todd, first of all, I love your writing - I've come to seek out and appreciate so many new TV shows because of your passionate reviews, and I also love when you write about non-pop culture stuff like the very thoughtful adoption piece.
I was just reading your remark RE: the British shows you don't want to review (yet). I agree that programmers who aquire them should be rewarded. I live in the Netherlands and there's so much more foreign content to choose from. It's a shame that so many successful foreign shows end up being remade for the US entirely. Can the audience of these foreign shows do anything to draw the attention of Hulu, Netflix, Sundance TV, Pivot etc to the stuff Americans are missing out on?
Believe me, these outlets are well aware. In many cases, they're more aware than viewers are.
I think as time goes by, the notion of remakes will become less of an instant solution for American broadcasters. Already, we've seen Sundance have some success with the original French Returned, and Hulu has apparently done well with foreign imports. Netflix, too, has had a lot of luck with British stuff.
I think the tide is turning here. It's just a matter of time. But I may be too optimistic on this point. After all, HBO is remaking Utopia (granted, with an all-star behind the scenes team).
Do you listen to any podcasts, TV-related or otherwise? Which ones?
I don't listen to nearly enough podcasts, I'm afraid. It's an area that I have just let slip.
When I do, though, I tend to listen to stuff that's not about TV. I like the little bite-sized podcasts that focus on one ultra-specific topic, like The Memory Palace. I just like that NPR aesthetic, because I am exactly the person you would expect from hearing that I am a 34-year-old white guy who lives in California.
Hi Todd. I really loved your adoption piece this week. I've got 2 questions.
1) Is the podcast coming back anytime soon? I love hearing you and Libby talk about TV.
2) What was your process going from a TV editor to a more general culture editor? I watch a lot of TV, but I've been trying to see more movies and read more books lately and it feels like there isn't enough time in the day. What's it like to have such a large area of interest that you not only have to follow, but also write analysis about?
Thank you for the compliment!
See elsewhere for a podcast answer. Libby and I will hopefully return very soon.
As for number 2: It's been weird! In particular, trying to balance both film and TV means I'm always catching up on both. (I've become, by default, one of our main film AND TV writers.) I'm blessed to have such talented people working with me. Alex always knows what's happening in comics and comics-related industries, and Kelsey has introduced me to so much great music while also allowing me to proclaim my love of Taylor Swift without shame. Brandon's area of expertise — religion — lines up less with mine, but I've loved hearing about how he sees that world, and he's a tremendously promising young film and TV critic, too. So it's been hard but fun.
And, yes, we need to write more about books. That's my next thing to tackle.
if you had to give up movies or television, which would it be?
Movies, probably, but I would be very sad about it.
My brain is just built for long-form storytelling in ways that I don't entirely understand. The movies were my first love, and will probably always be my most passionate love, but I would probably miss television too much.
I know you and your wife are both creative folks -- do you collaborate on projects together, and if so, do you have any advice for other collaborating couples?
Second question: would you ever consider coming at media discussion from another perspective, perhaps by visiting and writing about a film and television archive? Is that the most leading question a moving image archivist could possibly ask? (I think we're pretty cool.)
I love the work archivists do, and I'm always trying to give it more attention. Just last year, Kelsey wrote a great piece about music archiving that you should all [go and read right now] (http://www.vox.com/2014/10/13/6840233/music-archiving-disappearance-history). So, yes, I would always enjoy a visit to an archive. I just have to find time to do it.
As for the first question, I find that having somebody you love to talk to as much as I love talking to my wife helps with collaboration. There is nothing I write that I don't run by her, and she is the smartest person I know about stuff like this. It's been fun to go on our frequent walks and talk about pieces we're both wrestling with, and that will only increase as we take over the planet.
Todd, thanks for all of your great writing over the years. Can Mad Men recover momentum lost from AMC's bewildering decision to bifurcate the final season, and in your mind, what would a successful denouement look like for Don Draper?
I am not worried in the slightest about Mad Men having a bad final season. I suppose it theoretically could, but I feel like the show has made very few missteps, and it won't start doing so now.
I want Don to end the show where he's always been — on the cusp of realizing that no thing can make him happy, but falling just short of the ultimate revelation.
Or Tony Soprano, stoned out of his gourd, in the desert, crying, "I get it!"
Hi Todd, like others here I've been reading you for a long time so this is way cool. As a 20-something reporter currently getting paid to write news but who hopes to end up in culture writing, what kind of advice do you have? Right now it seems all the pop culture jobs are a them that got situation, and despite blogging it's hard to break into.
As a former 20something newspaper copy editor, I feel your pain! Breaking into culture writing is tough, because so many people want to do it, and because the paths to success are so often fluky. So here is my advice.
1.) Blog. Or Tumbl. Or whatever it is you kids are doing these days. The thing you need to be doing is developing your voice. Culture writing is SO dependent on voice, and that's something you can't fake. A lot of people think culture writing is about your opinions and how intelligent they are, but it's not. It's about how well you express them.
2.) Network! Fortunately, Twitter has made this easier than ever before. Be polite and respectful, but definitely respond to people who have careers you would like someday. Just remember they're super busy/bombarded with @ replies and may not always see you.
3.) Figure out what you do that makes you different. You like making GIFs? Do that. You like doing shot-by-shot analysis? Great. You like writing about stuff through a feminist lens? Cool! Any or all of these are great approaches. But above all, find out what makes you you and start applying that to your writing as often as possible.
4.) Write something at least four times a week. Ideally five. Ideally daily. When I was blogging for free (on top of a day job), I was typically writing 10-15 posts per week.
5.) Be ready. When the opportunity comes — and it will, eventually — have your clips ready. Have your pitches ready. Be ready to walk in the open door. Too many people trip on the doormat. Don't be them.
What anime series have you watched and what do you plan to watch in the future?
Too few! I have watched some with friends I could not tell you the names of, and I have plans to watch more for a book project I keep putting off.
I have watched the usual suspects when it comes to anime films, however.
Hi Todd. How do I come work for you at Vox?
Keep an eye on our [careers page] (http://www.voxmedia.com/careers).
I missed your weekly Girls review a lot. Are you still watching it and what do you think of this season so far?
I am not QUITE caught up on this season, but I think it's been a very interesting experiment. It's also prompted me to have some thoughts that I will express in a piece Monday morning. I kind of love how the season has been about the various characters having to confront mostly functional human beings and realizing how they fall short. And that's caused Hannah to do some serious self-reflection, while causing, say, Marnie to spin even further off her axis.
How about your top ten of the last ten years?
I don't remember that far back! But I believe they're mostly on the internet, with a little judicious googling.
How has the transition between AV Club and Vox been different than you expected? I really like Vox, but in a way I did not expect to when it was first announced. I would assume that feeling is mirrored in several of the writers.
I love both publications and love my jobs at both!
So I mean this as no slight against AV Club, which is one of the best publications on the internet. But it was built out of a print publication, and it maintains a lot of vestigial inefficiencies that come from that, particularly in its editorial process (deadlines are still a week in advance, for the most part, etc.). Vox doesn't really have that issue, because it's been built from the ground up for the internet.
Of course, Vox also doesn't have to deal with freelancers to the degree that AV Club does, so I'm sure that plays into it to a great degree as well.
Todd, first let me say I'm a huge fan of your writing, especially for the AV Club. Your piece on A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorite pieces of writing on the holiday, full stop.
...so a question: What do you think about the tradition of the holiday episode (like Community's "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas") going away with all these changes in how people are consuming media? If Netflix is going to drop 13 episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt whenever, is there incentive for a Christmas episode or is that just going to kind of go away?
I think there will always be room for the Christmas episode or the Halloween episode or etc. There will always be room for stories based around particular holidays, which come with built-in moods and tones that shows can then coast off of. One of the things I'm loving about Fortitude, for instance, are the occasional hints that all of this horrible stuff is going on while it's Christmas.
What path will lead me to writing TV reviews for the AV Club?
(College. Help. Pls.)
Read and learn as much as you can about as much as you can, but particularly literature, film, history, psychology, and religion. These five items are the building blocks of most TV, and if you have them at your disposal, you'll be in good shape!
There is no set career path to writing criticism for a living. Roger Ebert, for instance, trained as a sports writer, and I was unemployed when I randomly sent the AV Club a pitch document. The best thing you can do is learn what you can and hone your skills.
Or, put another way (and cribbing from the great James Rocchi), you're not really writing about TV. You're writing about life. So learn as much about that as you can.
Todd, what are your feelings on the 1970 Lauren Bacall musical Applause?
Also, are you going to make a trip back east to see Fun Home now that you'll be able to get tickets?
I am sadly unfamiliar with Applause. I have been mainlining the Bridges of Madison County cast album, though, thanks to the influence of one David L. Sims.
And I'm hoping to get back to NYC very soon. When I do, Fun Home will be on the list (and maybe Hamilton if I can snag a ticket).
Are there any TV shows/movies that have done a particularly good job telling stories about adoption?
Most adoption stories are crafted metaphorically. I actually thought Mom did a really good job telling a straight-up story about a teenage girl giving her baby up to a couple last season, and I liked the Parenthood arc about the same thing in season three. (The Victor stuff was sometimes kind of a mess, and it largely ignored how Victor felt about the thing, which was a problem.)
I always found Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles a really great symbolic telling of a typical adoptee narrative.
What would be your Top 3 new shows of the 2010s thus far, and why?
Louie: It's by far the most influential program of the new decade, even if nobody watches it. And in its willingness to blow up TV templates, it reminds me most of The Sopranos.
The Americans: I think this will come to stand as THE drama of its era, even as right now, it's pretty much ignored. Desperately hoping it's not canceled.
Hannibal: I feel like this might be recency bias, but this and Americans are just ... where it's at for me in recent years.
I'll do two more.
Orange Is the New Black: Here's where the streaming model proves its relevance. Complicated, beautiful, moving. Telling stories nobody else is.
Rectify/Girls: Two different shows coming at the same ideas in some very different ways. Love 'em both.
I want to do what you do when I grow up. What advice do you have for me?
See elsewhere, where I gave some hopefully helpful tips!
How did you get the job?
A lengthy interview process.