This Hilarious Star Trek Podcast Perfectly Captures the Spirit of The Next Generation

This Hilarious Star Trek Podcast Perfectly Captures the Spirit of The Next Generation

Star Trek reruns are a little like Carpenters greatest hits albums: You’ll rarely find someone proclaiming unironic devotion to either one, but clearly someone is watching and listening, because ratings and sales figures don’t lie. Nerdy self-consciousness aside, 2016 has been a big year for Star Trek. Following on the heels of 2009’s acclaimed feature film reboot directed by J.J. Abrams, and Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013, the franchise’s latest offering, Star Trek Beyond, has been met with praise by critics and fans alike. The recent newfangled Trek films have lots of panache, and at their best, they pay sincere and beautifully realized homage to the original series. But for people who came of age in the late 1980s and early ’90s, it will always be the commanding BBC gravitas of Patrick Stewart’s Captain Picard—along with that series’ generally impressive acting, sharp writing, and spurts of earnest goofiness—that sets the standard for Trek fare. Fortunately, there’s now a place for fans of the original show to revel in nostalgia while discovering that series anew: the smart and hilarious Star Trek podcast The Greatest Generation.

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The Labyrinth of Litchfield

The Labyrinth of Litchfield

In the third season of Orange Is the New Black, which premiered on Friday, Piper Chapman is no longer be the central focus of the story. Over the course of the season, characters we haven’t heard much from before, including the soft-spoken Chang, get their backstories revealed, and new characters arrive to offer Litchfield Penitentiary more intrigue.  This has long been one of the best things about OITNB: the way it pivots from prison scenes to places on the outside—the homes, apartments, playgrounds, and schools where characters had lives before jail—then back again to the beige halls of Litchfield.

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50 Shades of Beige

50 Shades of Beige

FX’s Cold War spy thriller The Americanswhich returns Wednesday for its third season, benefits from the sort of reverse novelty that made early Mad Men so enchanting: It lets us remember (or imagine) what it was like to live in the days of phone booths, cabinet-sized computers, and TVs with rabbit-ear antennae. The Jennings’ studied suburban ordinariness makes all the intrigue of their day jobs seem even more ludicrous. Elizabeth does laundry in their harvest-gold washer and dryer; Philip serves the kids waffles. Then they strap on Colt handguns and dart off to assassinate a scheming Russian oligarch or covertly test the loyalty of an unwitting fellow KGB spy. At night, they come home from “the office” to chat about movies or baseball with the kids as if nothing unusual had happened at all.

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How Design Tells the Story on Masters of Sex

How Design Tells the Story on Masters of Sex

Mad Men has trained a generation of TV watchers to become eagle-eyed connoisseurs of Saarinen furniture, IBM Selectric Typewriters, and Western Electric Model 500 telephones, raising the bar for set designers who are acutely aware that accuracy counts. But designers also know that television sets are not museum installations: The verisimilitude of physical details must work in tandem with aesthetic choices that help us understand who characters are.

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