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in the premiere show The New Yorker On the New Culture Podcast, staff writers Vinson Cunningham, Naomi Fry, and Alexandra Schwartz break down what’s happening in the world of television. An emerging trend: an embarrassing new genre of comedy that bridges the gap between reality and artifice in ways that make viewers deeply uncomfortable. “As a shorthand, I just started calling it ‘cringecore,'” Schwartz said, referring to shows like Nathan Fielder’s “Nathan for You” and “Rehearsal,” as well as the documentary series “How to John Wilson”. What are the definitions of these projects? What attracts the audience? One theory: At a time when many of our preferences, relationships, and experiences are mediated by algorithms, these shows reflect a deep suspicion of reality itself. “I feel like the reality in our culture is like the last undiscovered tribe in the Amazon,” Schwartz said. “We’ll never touch it again.”
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