Smile, You’re on Jury Duty!

First Came Candid Camera. Then The Truman Show. Now, a New Swath of TV Speaks to 21st-Century Voyeurism

Since The Truman Show premiered 25 years ago this summer, the premise—about a man unaware his entire life has been a reality TV program—has gone from thought experiment to reality.

Jury Duty, which recently debuted on Amazon Freevee, is the most recent example. The docu-style show follows a group of jurors through a civil trial. The process looks and feels real, but everything, from the judge to the jurors to the case itself, is fictional with the exception of one “juror,” a likable 29-year-old contractor from San Diego named Ronald.

What I …

A still from Lupin

Hello (Bonjour) From Your Friendly TV Translator

I Hope You Enjoy My Subtitles and Dubs—Then Forget I Exist

If you don’t notice my work, it means I’m doing my job properly.

I’m an audiovisual translator, which means that I—and others like me—help you understand the languages spoken on screen: …

Where I Go: Coming Together ’Round the Telly | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Coming Together ’Round the Telly

In Praise of TV-Watching, the Pinnacle of Evening Entertainment

I wish I was watching TV right now. When I’m not watching TV, I like to reflect on all the previous times I’ve watched TV or look forward to the …

How Bullwinkle Helped Us Laugh Off Nuclear Annihilation

The Dim-Witted Moose and His Squirrelly Sidekick Calmed Our Cold War Fears with Subversive Humor

“Mr. Chairman, I am against all foreign aid, especially to places like Hawaii and Alaska,” says Senator Fussmussen from the floor of a cartoon Senate in 1962. In the …

If TV Wants to Bring America Together, It Needs to Show Bipartisan Empathy

Understand Every Character You Write and Avoid “Preachiness and Condescension”

“Can television bring America together?” asked writer John Bowman, the moderator of a panel posing that question. He immediately answered his own query with, “God knows I’ve tried.” And …