For the cover of New York Magazine’s annual TV issue, E. Alex Jung profiles Michaela Coel, whose devastating series I May Destroy You is one of the most sublimely unsettling shows of the year. Elsewhere in the issue: Rachel Handler talks to Alia Shawkat about being in the spotlight; Mark Harris speaks with TV-makers about the race to figure out how to film before we run out of new shows; Benjamin Wallace takes a deep dive into how phone-based television network Quibi is faring three months into its launch; Kathryn VanArendonk explores how, several months into a global pandemic, comfort TV is triumphing over prestige TV; Lila Shapiro talks to the writers, directors, and producers behind police shows; Thandie Newton in conversation; and more.
“Television, as everything, is reflecting and refracting our global moment of crisis and political transformation,” says Vulture’s deputy editor Gazelle Emami, who edited the issue. “New York’s TV issue this year is more driven by the news than in years past, and more interested in capturing the medium as it undergoes a great rethinking. It’s made it trickier to plan, but it’s also sharpened our thinking, which has been driven less by access and more by the ideas we wanted to explore. At the center is the ferociously talented Michaela Coel, the creator and star of the best show this summer, who never tried to fit into the old ways of doing things.”
Photographer Ruth Ossai shot Coel for both the cover and inside images. “Michaela is an incredible auteur,” says New York photography director Jody Quon. “We wanted to capture her depth.”