Still Processing

Still Processing

United States

Welcome to the world according to Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham! They’re talking every week (to each other, to colleagues, to friends, to makers) about culture in the broadest sense. That means television, film, books, music — but also the culture of work, dating, the internet and how those all fit together. Wesley is The Times’s Pulitzer Prize winning critic at large, and Jenna is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine. They're working it out, one week at a time.

Episodes

Obama’s Last Cultural Statement | Episode 13  

Jenna is off road-tripping across Southern Africa, so this week Wesley reunites with Alex Pappademas, his old co-host on Grantland’s podcast “Do You Like Prince Movies?” Wesley explains why he found President Obama’s final Medal of Freedom Ceremony to be the most emotional cultural moment of the year, then he and Alex imagine the people who will be honored by President Trump. One artist they hope won't be on the list: the Weeknd, who after some debate Wesley and Alex decide is a phony.

The Brilliance of Kerry James Marshall | Episode 12  

Join our field trip to The Met Breuer, the Metropolitan Museum’s new space in New York dedicated to contemporary art, where we give you an audio tour of the painter Kerry James Marshall’s astonishing retrospective. We also have picks for movies to see this weekend. “Almost Christmas” is a film for the whole family; “The Handmaiden” is more of a solo midnight show.

How to  Survive Thanksgiving | Episode 11  

To nourish your souls this week, we’re serving up some serious comfort food live from the kitchen of the New York Times food editor Sam Sifton. Sam literally wrote the book on Thanksgiving, and he walks us through how to make the perfect gravy, his tips for carving the turkey and his most important rules for the meal. And because this year’s Thanksgiving is going to be different for many families, we talk about how to navigate postelection tensions and practice radical acceptance. Plus: the case for replacing turkey with fried chicken and Jenna’s tips for traveling.

The Day After | Episode 10  

Through tears, and with the help of our oracle Margo Jefferson, we begin to process the election of Donald J. Trump.

Dancing in the Moonlight | Episode 9  

To combat the stresses of an election we want to end and the onset of winter, we’re offering a whole episode dedicated to things that make us feel good. We talk to the Times film critic A.O. Scott about “Moonlight,” a movie everyone agrees is perfect. We celebrate “A Seat at the Table,” Solange’s lusciously spare new album, in which she comes into her own as an artist. And we end with a few tips from Jenna on how to survive not only the next week but maybe the rest of your life.

Nudity Clause | Episode 8  

This week we’re talking about penises. Specifically, penises on the big screen. There are more and more of them, but the penises deemed safe enough to see tend to be white ones. We talk about the role of black penises and black sexuality in popular culture. Plus, Jenna puts Barack Obama’s digital legacy in perspective, and then our boss, Jake Silverstein, joins us to discuss the one thing we never got from the president.

Peak Black TV | Episode 7  

This week, we devote an entire episode to our favorite (and not so favorite) shows on TV, touching on “Queen Sugar,” “Westworld,” “Insecure,” “Empire,” and more. We give out superlatives, delve into the brilliance of Donald Glover’s “Atlanta,” and attempt to answer the question: Have we reached peak black TV?

America, What You Doin’ Gurl? | Episode 6  

This week we’ve got some questions. What show could possibly hold your attention for 24 straight hours? (Wesley found it.) Should you still feel obligated to see “Birth of a Nation,” even though Nate Parker is Nate Parker? (You most certainly should not.) And how differently would this country work with a woman in the White House? (Susan Dominus, who’s covering gender and the election for the New York Times Magazine, joins us to answer that one.) Plus: we answer a question from the last debate.

A Journey to the 'Blacksonian' | Episode 5  

This week our entire episode comes to you from inside the Smithsonian’s brand-new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. We talked to children. We talked to curators. We sat together in the Oprah Winfrey Theater and it felt like church, and together we tried to understand the first museum that has tried to understand us.

Maintaining Higher Ground | Episode 4  

This week we catch up with Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair, the husband-and-wife team behind “High Maintenance,” HBO’s new show (which was just renewed for a second season) about a weed dealer in New York. It's billed as a stoner comedy, but the show is actually about the vulnerability of life in the city, and we swap stories about the moments we've felt most alive in New York. Then, in honor of “The Magnificent Seven” topping the weekend box office, our beloved colleague Nikole Hannah-Jones joins to break down her all-time favorite Denzel Washington performances. Wesley has a list too.

'Identity Is a Hoax, People!' | Episode 3  

While we are discussing the Emmy Awards, which Jenna barely wanted to watch, something amazing happens: a call from somebody who has an Emmy! Yup, it’s RuPaul. He talks about both the importance of his Emmy-winning show, “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and its non-importance, which, according to him, is its actual importance: “Identity is a hoax, people!” Then it’s on to a conversation about “Bridget Jones’s Baby” and “Snowden,” two films with nothing in common — well, except in Wesley's experience of them. Ultimately, the week’s news — police shootings, political insults, and, yes, superstar divorce — proves too much for us. So we escape to Bryant Park, where Jenna gives Wesley some advice for how to detox.

‘You Can’t Code Your Way Out of Racism’ | Episode 2  

This week, Wesley and Jenna meet for breakfast to talk through their conflicting feelings about the new film “When the Bough Breaks,” the No. 2 film in America — she loved it, he not so much. They also decode the inherent racism of the sharing economy [9:30] and bring in dance writer Shanti Crawford to review the moves we watched during the U.S. Open [23:00].

First Date | Episode 1  

In this inaugural episode, Wesley and Jenna work through their feelings about America's reaction to Colin Kaepernick and Leslie Jones [2:30], take a romantic stroll through Central Park [22:30], and talk to Tika Sumpter of "Southside With You" about the art of the first date [25:45].

Introducing Still Processing  

The first episode of Still Processing will drop on Thursday, Sept. 8, and Wesley and Jenna will be back every Thursday after that. Here’s a quick taste of what’s to come.

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