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New School Critics

New School Critics

By New School Critics
Discussing movies, tv shows, books, and albums. Taking requests for what to talk about.

The New School Critic movement is focused on steering criticism away from review, away from the binary judgments of "good" or "bad." It focuses on the exploration of meaning, the examination of formal techniques, and what we can gain from the works in question.
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Hunter x Hunter - the highs and lows of Gon's journey
I wanted to love Hunter x Hunter but issues with exposition and the lack of consequential moments really kept me from thinking of highly of it as other shows. 
November 21, 2020
An American Dream - Mailer failed to nail it
An American Dream is a 1965 novel my Normal Mailer. Chris details his back and forth relationship with Mailer's books and attempts to process the highs of lows of what he expected to be a dynamite read. 
June 25, 2020
Ozark Season 3 - conflict of the heart
The discussion of Ozark Season 3 focuses on the tension between plot arcs and character arcs, and the question of whether or not Ozark has started to fall into a bit of a pattern with its character arcs. With that said, I have a lot of praise for this season. I probably didn't praise Ben enough, as his arc in the show is perhaps the high point of all 3 seasons. 
June 21, 2020
Ozark Season 2 - character arc power rankings
To talk about Ozark Season 2, Chris breaks the show down into its character arcs. Then, for some reason, decides to rank them. But if you love Ozark, you'll learn a lot about the plot dynamics and the way in which the show uses the characters as the foundation to advance the story. As opposed to something like Stranger Things that uses the story to advance the characters.
May 11, 2020
Final Fantasy VII Remake - the true meaning of "remake"
The addition of "Remake" to the PS4 version of Final Fantasy VII had always seemed a little clumsy and on the nose to me. Like bad marketing? But it turns out there was a deeper, story-specific meaning to the title that you would never guess unless you played the game! We'll talk about that, the nature of FVIIR being a sequel, and how this compares to Stephen King's Dark Tower series.
May 10, 2020
Rick and Morty - erasing the canon
If you love Rick and Morty, odds are you've been excited by the idea of larger story arcs, like Evil Morty or the eventual return of Evil Bird Person. But with the latest episode, it seems Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon may have just softly erased those things from the canon. Telling fans that the show has no interest in larger story arcs. Chris is here to breakdown the elements of this episode and what this means for Rick and Morty moving forward.
May 07, 2020
Ozark Season 1 - advanced lessons in problem solving
The first of three episodes on Netflix's show Ozark. Chris discusses what he admired about season 1, with comparisons to Breaking Bad and House of Cards.   ----------  A channel dedicated to the new school critics approach to discussing and reviewing movies, TV shows, books, albums, and more. Led by Travis Bean and Chris Lambert.   Projects under the New School Critics name:  -Watching the Throne, a lyrical analysis of Kanye West -The Igor Podcast -Your Brain on Film -The Yeezus Book -Film Colossus
April 09, 2020
Pale Fire - does it matter what the author thinks
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov is a controversial text in that it ignited a debate about whether or not authorial intent matters. It's been something I've thought about since I first encountered the book in 2008 as part of my senior capstone. So here are some thoughts on Pale Fire, scholarship, authorial intent, and more!
April 07, 2020
Whiplash - you can never rest
Chris reflects on how meaningful Whiplash has been for him. And the implications of Andrew's journey and Fletcher's motivation tactics. Does Andrew go on to have a successful career? What's it mean that the movie ends where it does? Why Whiplash will motivate some and cause others to have a mid-life crisis.  ---------- Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
April 03, 2020
"After Hours" by The Weeknd - paradise gained/reality lost
Chris discusses the newest album by The Weeknd, "After Hours." What does it have in common with the Martin Scorsese movie "After Hours"? Why does it stand out in Weeknd's discography? And how inspired by Kanye West's 808s & Hreatbreak is it?   ---------- Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
April 01, 2020
The Lord of the Flies - the horror of isolation
Chris talks about how much Lord of the Flies surprised him, assuming that it was...kind of childish? How Australian grade school kids prepared him to take the book seriously. As well as a line by line reading and lesson in what makes Golding's writing so "literary." The word pretentious gets said a lot. Like, a lot.   ---------- Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
April 01, 2020
Watchmen (HBO) - GOAT to goat
I thought HBO's Watchmen was going to be the GOAT tv show, then it failed to land. A breakdown of where I thought the show went wrong, how it failed to live up to the graphic novel, and how it continues the disappointing legacy of Damon Lindelof's almost-tremendous projects.   ---------- Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
March 28, 2020
Uncut Gems—lucky at being unlucky (not a movie review)
Poor Howard is lucky at being unlucky. Chris takes a look at the dynamic characterization of the hero of Uncut Gems, a man who is as endearing as he is frustrating. Plus thoughts on what the meaning of going into the gem and into Howard's body could mean. Is there a deeper thematic element or not?   ---------- Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
March 23, 2020
2666—an oasis of murder
2666 is one of the best books ever written. On this episode of Chris, I give my thoughts on the book's structure and writing style. How Bolano builds out two mysteries in two different ways. And how he uses a "telling" style rather than a "showing" style in a way that still creates the narrative depth you expect from literary fiction.   ----------  Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
March 21, 2020
Westworld Season 1 & 2 — The Courage to Evolve
Westworld had the courage to involve after each season, changing the status quo in a way that most shows are too scared to do. It's bold, it's refreshing, and it among the many reasons why Westworld has established itself as an immediate classic in the world of TV. Plus lots of other discussion. ----------  Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
March 18, 2020
“A Written Testimony” by Jay Electronica - promise kept
Jay Electronica has finally released his debut album, "A Written Testimony" (with some help from Jay-Z). Here are some of the broad level thoughts after the first handful of listens. Discussion about how the album compares to Black Star and Watch the Throne. And much more!
March 16, 2020
Her — the highs and lows of digital love
A discussion of the 2013 Spike Jonze movie Her. Learn more about the structure, the character arcs, methods of creating tension through high and low cycles, as well as what the end of Her has in common with Fight Club, and why the ending bothers me. ---------- Have a request for a movie, TV show, book, or album? Send them to, or send a tweet to @NewSchoolChris or @KanyePodcast.
March 15, 2020