Sophie Gilbert
Sophie Gilbert
Staff writer @TheAtlantic covering TV, books, culture. Twin parent. Tabasco superfan. Brit-ish.Source
London, England
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Curse of the ’90s Bombshell

Curse of the ’90s Bombshell

The Hulu miniseries Pam & Tommy could have had a fascinating focus. We see glimpses of it in the first minute, on a grainy TV screen where Jay Leno (played by the comedian Adam Ray) is interviewing Pamela Anderson (Lily James). “Speaking of sex, and I have to ask,” Leno says, throwing his hands up and down in the faux-innocent shrug of someone just asking questions. “The tape.” The audience audibly inhales. Anderson, whom James imitates in uncanny fashion—the protruding tongue, the hands perched nervously on crossed legs, the slightly hunched posture—plays similarly dumb. “What tape,...

Feb 3
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The Problem With Emily Ratajkowski’s 'My Body'

The Problem With Emily Ratajkowski’s 'My Body'

Rewatching the for “Blurred Lines,” the totemic Robin Thicke song, is an interesting project. In 2013, when it was released, the song spawned a new microeconomy of commentary denouncing it as a , or fretting over whether . (“I know you want it,” Thicke croons presumptively over and over, even though honestly, no, I do not want it at all.) In the video, directed by the veteran Diane Martel, three models dressed in transparent thongs peacock and pose with a baffling array of props (a lamb, a banjo, a bicycle, a four-foot-long replica of a syringe) while Thicke, the producer and one of the...

Nov 11
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Why TV Is So Worried About Free Will

Why TV Is So Worried About Free Will

Devs, the new eight-part drama written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, Annihilation), is the kind of series that signals its grandiosity from the word go, with an abstract montage featuring choral music, saxophone interruptions, and fragmented scenes of San Francisco. In the opening seconds, the camera pans in slowly on the darkened features of Forest (played by Nick Offerman), a tech-company CEO with a bedraggled beard and a frozen expression, like a GEICO caveman who’s seen some stuff. Then it cuts to a triptych of video installations featuring a small girl blowing puffy white...

March 11, 2020
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Why You Can't Stop Streaming 'Seinfeld.' Or 'Frasier.' Or 'Bones.'

Why You Can't Stop Streaming 'Seinfeld.' Or 'Frasier.' Or 'Bones.'

For the past month I’ve been existing mostly on Broadchurch, Frasier, and the earliest seasons of The Great British Baking Show, to the dismay of the needy, precipitous pile of unwatched screeners in my various digital libraries. Apologies, new shows, but bleak times call for comfort television: familiar, pacifying, predictable episodes of 1990s sitcoms, crime procedurals, and cooking contests. I don’t want active emotional engagement, or intricate plotting, or even particularly well-crafted performances. I want David Tennant frowning ominously and slurring several extra syllables into the...

March 22, 2020
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