Comments: Week of July 18, 2022


Nathan Fielder Is Out of His Mind (and Inside Yours),” July 4–17

Photo: New York Magazine

For the cover of New York’s annual television issue, Lila Shapiro profiled Nathan Fielder, the “reality comedy” absurdist behind projects like Nathan
for You and HBO’s new The Rehearsal. Producer Chris Bentley called it “hilarious, uncomfortable and sneakily poignant, just like its subject,” and The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum wrote, “Great piece on a slippery fish of a performer, with insight into how the subjects of his shows feel (multiple, contradictory ways).” The Daily Beast’s Helen Holmes said, “This profile convinced me I genuinely dislike someone I previously had a warm opinion of, which means it’s great writing,” adding, “There’s something sinister about a person who lives to interrogate and flummox everyone around him but who thinks he’s entitled to remain a complete mystery.” For Longreads, Peter Rubin wrote, “The profile manages to wring out laughs and pathos in equal measure, though rarely from Fielder himself. Instead, the piece’s finest moments come courtesy of Fielder’s collaborators (intentional and otherwise), who embody exactly why so many people adore his work—and why so many others feel burned by their unwitting role in it.”


“Netflix to Its Techies: Shut Up,” July 4–17

Zoë Schiffer reported on how Netflix’s internal culture has soured. Tech writer Paris Marx tweeted that the article captured “how the open culture that Netflix was once praised for is a thing of the past and executives have far less time for employee questions and criticism, particularly of its transphobic comedy specials.” Forbes’s David Armano called it an “excellent piece highlighting the duality that has become Netflix. The clash between bottom up engineering culture and top down Hollywood business reality.” @patronofthe wrote, “Every company is two companies: the one they claim to be and the one they actually are.” Filmmaker Chris Osborn noted, “Netflix wants to be seen as warriors of free speech globally, but their immense infrastructure of capital, buoyed by self-fulfilling data, cherry-picks which titles to defend and which to abandon when the heat is on.” Activist Emily Gorcenski said, “Netflix makes a critical error too many tech companies make: forgetting that all you have is your people.” @sumbuddyonce countered, “Sounds like Netflix is still fine with brutally honest feedback. The disconnect seems to be some employees (and authors) assuming that to also mean the company has 11,300 little CEOs.” Jonathan Crabb added, “If a programmer has questions and objections to a particular show on Netflix, they can ask about it but it’s not their job to make content decisions in the same way that a showrunner could have opinions about JavaScript but shouldn’t be able to influence a code review.”

Photo: New York Magazine


“Awaiting the Adams Doctrine,” July 4–17

David Freedlander examined what — if anything — Eric Adams has done in his first six months as mayor. The New York Post’s Sam Raskin tweeted that the story “points out right at the top that—despite all the ‘get stuff done,’ grinding, no sleep, etc. schtick — Mayor Eric Adams’ actual agenda is not very ambitious compared to his predecessors.” Leslie Ehrlich called it “a devastating portrait of our mayor. Style over substance — or even basic governing competence — at a time of need but also opportunity.” Yoni Rechtman added, “Rent, crime, traffic fatalities, unemployment, and COVID cases are up in the city and the mayor is moonlighting as a club promoter with no agenda and no platform.” Commenter majork1972 said, “My first reaction to the article on Eric Adams was that NYM is bashing him for not being sufficiently progressive. But then I realized he may be all hat and no cowboy. Both are probably correct.” And Tom Gara noted, “Awesome reporting here on the early days of the Eric Adams era, an unprecedented experiment in vibes-based governance unfolding at a time of unprecedentedly fucked vibes.”


“In Conversation: Larry Wilmore,” July 4–17

Zak Cheney-Rice talked to comedian Larry Wilmore about his long career navigating an industry plagued by exclusivity and brash personalities. Writing for Mic, Brandon Yu said the interview offers “a fascinating window into the cutthroat, and often racist, ways the industry operates—and also the ways it’s changed.” @popp0x added, “Wow, Larry’s a treasure and the interview is so well done — the childhood police experience, the Keenen writer’s room details, the Bernie Mac paradigm breaking, the first The Daily Show performance.” Commenter noncompliant noted, “I hate reading memoirs so this was a great interview: context, industry insights, and emotional range. And the archival photos — yes, please, do that more, Vulture!” @kendalljamaal tweeted, “A legend goes deep and I loved reading every word of it. What a spectacular career and approach to storytelling.”

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Comments: Week of July 18, 2022