We start, this week, with the latest – which is to say, the fourth – installment of our Slow Reviews. They’re our way of making sense of the complicated history of popular culture through the moments that mattered. Our critics, who include Tortoise members and the leaders of some of the country’s most significant cultural institutions, are picking out the books, films, albums, paintings and other artefacts that really changed the world around them.
Five Slow Reviews will be published each day this week – all available in good, ol’ fashioned text and accompanied by audio readings from the authors. Today’s selection includes Matthew Sweet on the 1960s TV show that broke the fourth wall and much else besides; Scott-Jordan Harris on a more recent show, The Simpsons, that was no less influential; Sarah Manavis on Snapchat and the birth of the ephemeral internet; and Suba Das on the album that may well be Madonna’s most personal… and political.
I shan’t spoil the rest of this week’s Slow Reviews, although I would ask you to look out for the latest episode of the Slow Newscast on Wednesday; itself an extended Slow Review of the newsletter Popbitch, which has both reflected and reshaped celebrity culture.