Logo for Critics at Large | The New Yorker

Critics at Large | The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Critics at Large is a weekly culture podcast from The New Yorker. Every Thursday, the staff writers Vinson Cunningham, Naomi Fry, and Alexandra Schwartz discuss current obsessions, classic texts they’re revisiting with fresh eyes, and trends that are emerging across books, television, film, and more. The show runs the gamut of the arts and pop culture, with lively, surprising conversations about everything from Salman Rushdie to “The Real Housewives.” Through rigorous analysis and behind-the-scenes insights into The New Yorker’s reporting, the magazine’s critics help listeners make sense of our moment—and how we got here.

Condé Nast 2023

Critics at Large is a weekly culture podcast from The New Yorker. Every Thursday, the staff writers Vinson Cunningham, Naomi Fry, and Alexandra Schwartz discuss current obsessions, classic texts they’re revisiting with fresh eyes, and trends that are emerging across books, television, film, and more. The show runs the gamut of the arts and pop culture, with lively, surprising conversations about everything from Salman Rushdie to “The Real Housewives.” Through rigorous analysis and behind-the-scenes insights into The New Yorker’s reporting, the magazine’s critics help listeners make sense of our moment—and how we got here.

Condé Nast 2023
30hr 26min
Thumbnail for "Why the Sports Movie Always Wins".
Thumbnail for "The Changing World of Nature Documentaries".
Thumbnail for "From The New Yorker Radio Hour: Emily Nussbaum on the Beginnings of Reality TV".
Thumbnail for "Summer Obsessions".
Thumbnail for "The Therapy Episode".
Thumbnail for "Is Travel Broken?".
Thumbnail for "The Many Faces of the Hit Man".
Thumbnail for "The Rising Tide of Slowness".
Thumbnail for "The New Midlife Crisis".
Thumbnail for "Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and the Benefits of Beef".
Thumbnail for "Our Collective Obsession with True Crime".
Thumbnail for "“Civil War” ’s Unsettling Images".
Thumbnail for "“Curb Your Enthusiasm” and the Art of the Finale".
Thumbnail for "Why We Want What Tom Ripley Has".
Thumbnail for "Kate Middleton and the Internet’s Communal Fictions".
Thumbnail for "Is Science Fiction the New Realism?".
Thumbnail for "The New Coming-of-Age Story".
Thumbnail for "Why We Love an Office Drama ".
Thumbnail for "The Politics of the Oscar Race".
Thumbnail for "How Usher, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift Build Their Own Legacies".
Thumbnail for "The Painful Pleasure of “Wretched Love”".
Thumbnail for "Why We Can’t Quit the Mean Girl".
Thumbnail for "From In the Dark: The Runaway Princesses".
Thumbnail for "What Is the Comic For?".
Thumbnail for "The Case for Criticism".
Thumbnail for "Can Slowness Save Us?".
Thumbnail for "Portraits of the Artist".
Thumbnail for "From The New Yorker Radio Hour: a Conversation with Dolly Parton".
Thumbnail for "The Year of the Doll".
Thumbnail for "George Santos and the Art of the Scam".
he ex-congressman has already pivoted from politics to pop culture—and become the latest beneficiary of America’s enduring fascination with con artists. Are we the ones being duped?
Thumbnail for "Hayao Miyazaki’s Magical Realms".
The Japanese filmmaker behind “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away” is renowned for stories about resourceful children navigating surreal, often perilous circumstances. In “The Boy and the Heron,” the eighty-two-year-old makes a rare return to his own youth.
Thumbnail for "The Past, Present, and Future of the Period Drama".
“The Buccaneers,” a new television series based on the Edith Wharton novel of the same name, is the latest in a string of shows to mix a historical setting and a distinctly modern sensibility. Are the updates revelatory, or pandering?
Thumbnail for "Samantha Irby Knows How to Be Funny".
Samantha Irby Knows How to Be Funny
Thumbnail for "Is “The Golden Bachelor” Too Good to Be True?".
Is “The Golden Bachelor” Too Good to Be True?
Thumbnail for "Why We Dine Out (or Don’t)".
Why We Dine Out (or Don’t)
Thumbnail for "Britney Spears Tells Her Horror Story".
Britney Spears Tells Her Horror Story
Thumbnail for "Martin Scorsese’s America".
Martin Scorsese’s America
Thumbnail for "Are Straight Couples O.K.?".
Are Straight Couples O.K.?
Thumbnail for "Spies, Sex, and John le Carré".
Spies, Sex, and John le Carré
Thumbnail for "Taylor Swift Is Everywhere All at Once".
Taylor Swift Is Everywhere All at Once
Thumbnail for "The Myth-Making of Elon Musk".
The Myth-Making of Elon Musk
Thumbnail for "What Is Cringecore, and Why Is It Everywhere?".
What Is Cringecore, and Why Is It Everywhere?
Thumbnail for "Introducing: Critics at Large".
On a new culture podcast, The New Yorker’s critics take on some of the defining texts of our era, from Rushdie to “The Real Housewives.”

Why the Sports Movie Always Wins

Thumbnail for "Why the Sports Movie Always Wins".
May 2, 202445min 49sec

From “Raging Bull” to “A League of Their Own,” films about athletes have commanded the attention of even the most sports-skeptical viewers. The pleasure of watching the protagonist undergo a test of body and spirit, proving their worth to society and to themselves—often with a training montage thrown in for good measure—is undeniable. Luca Guadagnino’s steamy new tennis film, “Challengers,” applies this formula in a different context, mining familiar themes like rivalry and camaraderie for their erotic potential. On this episode of Critics at Large, the staff writers Vinson Cunningham, Naomi Fry, and Alexandra Schwartz discuss how recent entries like “Challengers” and last year’s Zac Efron-led wrestling drama, “The Iron Claw,” reflect a more contemporary view of masculinity than their predecessors do. The hosts also assemble their “hall of fame” of sports films, including Spike Lee’s “He Got Game,” the nineties classic “Cool Runnings,” and the rom-com “Love & Basketball.” They argue that the genre, at its best, offers auteurs the chance to embrace their instincts. “For our most stylish filmmakers, I would just lay down the gauntlet. If you want to express to us your personal vision, do a sports movie,” Cunningham says. “Because we’ll know what you care about: visually, sensually—we will know.”


Read, watch, and listen with the critics:
“Challengers” (2024)
“The Iron Claw” (2023)
“Rocky IV” (1985)
“Black Swan” (2010)
“A League of Their Own” (1992)
“Cool Runnings” (1993)
“Raging Bull” (1980)
“He Got Game” (1998)
“Love & Basketball” (2000)
“A League of Their Own” (2022—)
New episodes drop every Thursday. Follow Critics at Large wherever you get your podcasts