Still Processing

Still Processing

Step inside the confession booth of Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham, two culture writers for The New York Times. They devour TV, movies, art, music and the internet to find the things that move them — to tears, awe and anger. Still Processing is where they try to understand the pleasures and pathologies of America in 2020.... Show More

Episodes

May 14, 2020 39 min

In our final episode from our living rooms, we visit the dystopia of “Westworld” and the utopia of “Hollywood” to see if we can glean anything about what might be in store on the other side of this pandemic — and about who we want to be.


Discussed this week:

  • Westworld” (HBO, 2016-20)
  • Hollywood” (Netflix, 2020)
  • Ryan Murphy
  • The Stepford Wives” (directed by Frank Oz, 2004)
  • The Stepford Wives” (directed by Bryan Forbes, 1975)
  • The Motion P...
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    Covid-19 isn't "the great equalizer" – except when it comes to making us need our devices more than ever. Screens have revealed superstars as civilians, and turned sitcom grouches into teddy bears. Basically: We’re ready to be more open with one another. 


    Discussed this week:

  • Take Me to the World: A Sondheim 90th Birthday Celebration” (Broadway.com)
  • The ‘Credibility Bookcase’ Is the Quarantine’s Hottest Accessory” (Amand...
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    April 30, 2020 35 min

    "Fetch the Bolt Cutters" is Fiona Apple's master class in channeling frustration and anger into what can only be called wisdom. Also, we hear from listeners all over the planet, sharing how they are taking care of the people in their lives.


    Discussed this week:

  • "Fetch the Bolt Cutters" (Fiona Apple, 2020)
  • Fiona Apple on the VMAs in 1997
  • "Regret" (Fiona Apple, "The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of ...
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    April 23, 2020 104 min

    We’re trying something new this week. We want you to watch a movie with us, and not just any movie, but the 2004 superhero bomb “Catwoman,” starring two of our favorites: Halle Berry and Sharon Stone. We’ve got fun facts, some questions and a little bit of, um, cattiness.

    Discussed this week:

  • Catwoman
  • Halle Berry
  • Sharon Stone
  • Benjamin Bratt
  • Alex Borstein
  • Pitof

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    April 16, 2020 33 min

    Activists stood up against the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s, but the tools they used to make themselves heard are unavailable during our coronavirus pandemic. Still, many of that era’s strategies and warning signs seem alarmingly relevant now.


    Discussed this week:

  • How to Survive a Plague” (directed by David France, 2012)
  • ACT UP New York 
  • How ACT UP Remade Political Organizing in America” (David France, The New York Times, Apr...
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    April 9, 2020 39 min

    Lions, and tigers and barely suppressed glee at criminal weirdos, oh my!

    What has big personalities, big issues and big cats? Netflix’s hit streaming show “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.” We explore what the show says about America’s unique relationship to freedom.


    Discussed this week:

  • Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness” (Netflix, 2020)
  • Blue Caprice” (directed by Alexandre Moors, 2013)
  • The Wire” (HBO, 2002-08)
  • Breaking B...
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    April 2, 2020 40 min

    Not all reboots deserve to exist. Lots of them aren’t even things we want.

    But the new "High Fidelity" on Hulu is the reboot we didn’t know we needed.


    Discussed this week:

  • Barack Obama’s Twitter
  • Cardi B’s Twitter and Instagram
  • "Celebrity Culture is Burning" (Amanda Hess, 2020)
  • "Oprah Talks Covid-19" (Apple TV+, 2020)
  • Britney’s Instagram
  • "High Fidelity" (directed by Stephen Frears, 2000)
  • "High Fidelity...
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    March 26, 2020 30 min

    From our living rooms to yours, “Still Processing” is back.

    During this unprecedented time in our lives, we talk routines, dreams and what’s on our screens — or at least what will be on our screens. Because screens are all we have left.


    Discussed this week:

    Darn That Dream” (Dinah Washington, 1954)

    The Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC)

    Working out with Mr. and Mrs. Muscle

    Ra Ma Da Sa” (Amanbir Singh, 2017)

    The Wiz (directed by Sidney Lumet, 1978...

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    March 20, 2020 2 min

    New episodes coming March 26! You’ve got a lot of time on your hands, and so do we. Let's spend it together <3.

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    November 7, 2019 45 min

    We examine how HBO’s series “Watchmen” and Bong Joon Ho’s film “Parasite” bring to light the hidden histories that shape our modern lives.

    Discussed this week:

  • Parasite” (directed by Bong Joon Ho, 2019)
  • Watchmen” (HBO, 2019)
  • White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination” (Jess Row, 2019)
  • In the Wake: On Blackness and Being“ (Christina Sharpe, 2016)

  • We're going on hiatus, but we'll be back in your ears in early 20...

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    October 31, 2019 38 min

    California’s new legislation allowing college athletes to make money off endorsements. One step forward. The backlash against victims who came forward in the wake of #MeToo. Two steps back. Does big, sustainable change have to feel like grasping at straws?

    Discussed this week: 

  • California Tells the N.C.A.A. to Share, and It Pitches a Fit.” (Michael Powell, The New York Times, Oct. 4, 2019)
  • The Toll of Me Too.” (Rebecca Traister, The...
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    October 24, 2019 42 min

    We revisit "Fight Club" on the 20th anniversary of its release, and consider how the trope of the "psychobro" is showing up onscreen — in the new blockbuster “Joker” and HBO’s critically acclaimed series “Succession” — and off.

    Discussed this week: 

  • "The Unbearable Bradness of Being" (Chris Heath, Rolling Stone, Oct. 28, 1999)
  • "Fight Club" (directed by David Fincher, 1999)
  • "Joker" (directed by To...
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    October 17, 2019 43 min

    Jennifer Lopez is having a triumphant 2019. From her Motown tribute at the Grammys to the success of “Hustlers” to the announcement that she’ll be performing at the Super Bowl halftime show, she seems to be enjoying the fruits of her labor from about three decades in show business. So we want to know: is Jennifer Lopez finally getting her due?

    Discussed this week:

  • How Jennifer Lopez’s Versace Dress Created Google Images” (Rachel Tas...
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    October 10, 2019 56 sec

    We'll be back with a new episode next Thursday, October 17th.

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    October 3, 2019 40 min

    Comedy is changing. Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix comedy special, "Sticks & Stones," makes us wonder if he can keep up.

    Discussed this week:

  • "Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones" (Netflix, 2019)
  • "Aziz Ansari: Right Now" (Netflix 2019)
  • "A Black Lady Sketch Show" (HBO, 2019)
  • "My Favorite Shapes" (HBO, 2019)
  • "Ramy Youssef: Feelings" (HBO, 2019)
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    September 26, 2019 36 min

    We’re in love with MTV’s dating-reality TV show “Are You the One?”

    Discussed this week:

  • Jenna Wortham. "How Queer People Brought Some Actual Reality to Dating-Reality TV" (The New York Times Magazine, Aug. 28, 2019)
  • Wesley Morris. "Rom-Coms Were Corny and Retrograde. Why Do I Miss Them so Much?" (The New York Times Magazine, April 24, 2019)
  • "Are You the One?" (MTV, Season 8, 2019)
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    September 19, 2019 39 min

    How "Old Town Road" gave us hope without making us cringe, and became our song of the year.

    Discussed this week: 

  • Joe Coscarelli, Alexandra Eaton, Will Lloyd, Eden Weingart, Antonio de Luca and Alicia DeSantis. "Diary of a Song — ‘Old Town Road’: See How Memes and Controversy Took Lil Nas X to the Top of the Charts" (The New York Times, May 10, 2019)
  • Jon Caramanica. "The Short Rise and Long Tail of Lil Nas X" (...
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    September 12, 2019 31 min

    Remember that beer test? It’s not enough. That’s why this election season, we bring you: Still Processing’s Rubric for Leadership and Democratic Excellence.

    Discussed this week:

  • Astead Herndon, Jon Caramanica and Jon Pareles. "What Do Rally Playlists Say About the Candidates?" (The New York Times, Aug. 19, 2019)
  • Clara Guibourg and Helen Briggs. "Climate change: Which vegan milk is best?" (BBC News, Feb. 22, 2019)
  • The AP...
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    September 4, 2019 1 min

    Still Processing will be back in your ears on Thursday, September 12th.

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    March 28, 2019 30 min

    We dissect Jordan Peele’s new psychological thriller, “Us,” and discuss the film’s central question (WITHOUT SPOILERS): Are any of us ever truly free from the past?

    Also, we’re going on a short hiatus. Happy spring, and we’ll be back in your ears soon.

    Discussed this week:

  • Us” (directed by Jordan Peele, 2019)
  • Suspiria” (directed by Dario Argento, 1977)
  • The People Under the Stairs” (directed by Wes Craven, 1991)
  • It Follows” (directed ...
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