Samin Nosrat cooks for dinner guests in her home.

‘Salt Fat Acid Heat’ Shines Brightly Among Food Documentaries

Netflix has advertised their new food documentary, Salt Fat Acid Heat, for several weeks now, billing it as a delightful tour of the globe to teach their viewers about the vital elements of good food. With vibrant cinematography, a cheery soundtrack and compelling direction by Samin Nosrat, it delivers a unique take on the food documentary a la the late Anthony Bourdain. Part observational and part educational, this four-part series is an enjoyable watch with production value rivaling Chef’s Table. Samin begins her tour (albeit out of order) on the intricacies of fat, traveling to northern Italy to discover the secrets of such delicacies as red cow parmesan and traditional focaccia. This episode first captures the process of olive oil production straight from the source, complete with funny-looking harvesters and an industrial-size press.

Courtesy of CBS All Access

Fighting The Good Fight in Trump’s America

The stakes are real and authentic in The Good Fight on CBS All Access. This rawness is visible in the show’s opening sequence, which intersplices explosions of luxury items like aged Scotch and Birkin bags with footage of top news stories, including Trump’s criticizing the media and the rally in Charlottesville. The show’s connection to current America is even deeper than just these references. Each episode is give the title “Day XXX,” which represents the number of days Trump has been in office as each episode airs. This show does not attempt to escape or shy away from reality as some other shows do, but rather embraces the uneasiness and division within the real world.

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The Beauty and Vulnerability of Netflix’s Queer Eye

On Feb. 7, Netflix released its reboot of mid-2000s hit reality series Queer Eye. For the uninitiated, Queer Eye features a crew of gay men — the “fab five” — who rejuvenate their subjects’ lifestyles. Each fab five member has a specialty: fashion (Tan France), grooming (Jonathan Van Ness), interior design (Bobby Berk), culture (Karamo Brown) and food and wine (Antoni Porowski). At first blush, Queer Eye sounds like an indulgent, if light, watch.

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Black Mirror: What Would Wilbert Do

I believe that we (“we” being those who watched the show, so yes, there will be spoilers) can all agree that “USS Callister” is the best installment on this season of Black Mirror. It had terrifying technology, surprising humor, an introspective meaning and plot twists that make M. Night Shyamalan gasp. But, it’s really the technology that I am concerned with. Since we are on the same page, here is the question: What will we do if the Black Mirror world arrives? Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror paints a universe that takes place in the future.

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Mindhunter Drove Me Crazy

If, like me, you spent your Thanksgiving break binging a show about serial killers instead of spending time with friends and family, Charles Manson’s recent death probably struck you as a “crazy” coincidence. See I’ve spent the last couple days watching one of Netflix’s newest original series, Mindhunter, which follows two late ’70s FBI Behavioral Science Unit agents as they attempt to delve into the psyches of the nation’s most heinous criminals. Produced by David Fincher and starring Jonathan Groff, whose voice who might recognize from Hamilton (King George) and Frozen (Kristoff), and Holt McCallany, who you’ll recognize from something or other, the series’ first season explores the depths of human depravity and the ripples it creates in the lives of those around the edge of the pit. The material this show covers is pretty inherently interesting. The team’s interviews with the killers are wonderfully chilling but it was seeing our “good guys” slowly start to change as a result of those interviews that was the icing on the cake for me.

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Grey’s Anatomy, Back Tonight, Faces Mixed Expectations

A fair warning — this article doesn’t hold back any spoilers. If you’re not prepared to read about some of the biggest shocks of the show, this is your chance to turn back. 

There is nothing I hate more than when producers make terrible sequels to original movies or when TV shows drag on too long. Mean Girls 2 and 3? Terrible. The five millionth Bring It On movie?

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The Defenders Meets the Hype

The Defenders, like the four superheroes who make up its name, is ambitious and flawed, yet overall entertaining. Surprisingly, it truly does feel like the worlds-colliding TV show it was billed as, as well as feeling fresh and original. Since 2012, viewers have seen Avengers assemble, CW shows crossover, X-Men band together, will soon witness the Justice League unite, and thus the mere prospect of seeing another spandexed group of individuals in the same room (or in The Defenders case: a chinese restaurant) does not excite as it used to. Nonetheless, seeing these heroes from all over New York City set aside their differences to sacrifice for the collective and greater good is still exciting. It is a gripping series that services each individual’s character arc and adds another dimension to the gritty, street level noir setting of New York.

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Laughing at Myself in Silicon Valley

As a native of the place, I have an interesting relationship with HBO’s comedy show Silicon Valley. If it were to lionize the tech industry that gives my hometown it’s name, I would probably not like it very much, but the show’s writers choose to take the route of a somewhat affectionate parody instead. As such, it’s always a bit hard to tell whether the show is celebrating the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that the Valley likes to think it has, or offering a serious critique of those ideas.

COURTESY OF HBO

The Political Jokes in Veep Are More Realistic Now

Almost every Grey’s Anatomy fan I know went through the “I’m going to be a surgeon” phase. Despite hating every one of my science courses and getting a 2 on AP Bio, I did too. However, Veep pushed me into a more realistic phase: to work in politics or government. I wanted to work on the Hill in D.C. like Vice President Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). I thought her chief of staff Amy Brookheimer (Anna Chlumsky) was absolutely one of the coolest, funniest and most competent people ever.

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Iron Fist Is Surprisingly Soft

Every time I watch an action movie I walk out with delusions of grandeur. I’ve been a kung fu master without a shred a discipline, a fearsome swordsman without a blade and a lethal sharpshooter without a day of training. Rocky turned every mirror into a fierce boxing opponent and the top of every staircase into the end of an epic training montage. Gladiator turned every oblong cylinder I could find into a sword and every room into a colosseum. Saving Private Ryan turned literally every object into a gun — and I mean that!