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The New York Times can't decide what its new TV show is about

click to enlarge The New York Times can't decide what its new TV show is about
Annie Flanagan for The New York Times/FX
In the first episode, the show talks with students of T.M. Landry high school

In an effort to expand its media empire to more non-readers, The New York Times has created a TV show, The Weekly, (named in harmony with its popular daily podcast, The Daily). The show airs on Sundays on FX, with episodes released the next day on Hulu.

Each 30 minute episode follows New York Times journalists as they report a story, from research, to interviews, to outlining. Episodes are tied to an article or series of articles published within the past couple months. One episode digs into accusations against T.M Landry College Preparatory School, a high school in Louisiana where it was purported that administrators doctored applications to get its students accepted to Ivy League colleges. Another tackles the financial corruption of the medallion system among New York City taxi drivers. White House correspondent Maggie Haberman breaks down how the night of Trump’s inauguration bred much of the corruption of his administration. 

The episodes are informative, well made, and interesting, but still feel incomplete. The main subject of the shows often feels like the New York Times and not necessarily the issues at hand. But at the same time, it only provides a surface level look at how the reporters cover the story in a way that feels hollow because the journalists have likely already done most of the reporting off-camera. The Weekly feels like it can’t decide between being a documentary show about cultural issues or a documentary about New York Times journalists.

The Weekly airs Sundays on FX and streams Mondays on Hulu.

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