Joyce Millman

Pop cultural essayist and blogger

San Francisco, CA

Joyce Millman

Veteran of alt-weekly journalism (music and TV critic, Boston Phoenix), daily newspapers (Pulitzer-finalist TV critic, San Francisco Examiner) and web media (original staffer and TV critic, Blogging about music, pop culture and personal history at



I’m a Copy of Born to Run in a Bed Bath & Beyond and I’m Pulling Out of Here to Win

The car door slams, Mary’s dress waves. Like a vision she dances through the automatic doors as the in-store radio plays… Taylor Swift, it’s always Taylor Swift. I think they have her on an endless loop. Did you know Bed Bath & Beyond sells albums now? Neither did I, until I woke up on a shelf here one day, shoulder to shoulder with the soundtrack to the animated movie Trolls.
McSweeney's Quarterly Link to Story

Donald Trump Is Pleased to Announce the Very First Pollution Day!

8 a.m.: President Donald J. Trump signs an executive order withdrawing the United States from the international celebration of Earth Day and proclaiming April 22 “Pollution Day,” honoring the destruction of the environment and commemorating America’s triumph over regulations and Obama. 9 a.m.: President Trump annexes the Great Pacific Floating Garbage Patch in the name of Manifest Destiny.
The Belladonna Link to Story

Music therapy on the anniversary of awfulness: The Rails’ “Other People”

Has it only been a year? It feels like a century. There’s a Reductress satire headlined, “Why I’m Preparing for the Anniversary of Trump’s Victory by Rolling Myself Up in a Rug and Dying in There.”. Oh, such a tempting option! But the tiny flicker of optimism that hasn’t yet been beaten down tells me that a better way to mark this obscene milestone is by denying our doll-handed pretender the satisfaction of our despair.
The Mix Tape: Personal blog of Joyce Millman Link to Story

Daily Itinerary: How Rep. Maxine Waters Stays in Fighting Form

6:00am: Up and at ’em, Maxine! Time to get these 78-year-old bones moving! Trump’s ass isn’t gonna kick itself. 7:00am: House gym. Six miles on the bike, 15 minutes of jump rope, then I put on the gloves and do some heavy bag work. Got to get in shape for the fight of my life. Impeaching Trump is going to be tough, no doubt about that.
The Belladonna Link to Story

Veep Persisted

HBO’s acid-bathed Beltway satire Veep didn’t exactly predict our absurd political reality. But it did come close enough that revisiting past seasons is like watching footage of a train wreck run backward in slow motion. The episode called “C**tgate” brought a vaginal euphemism into a presidential election.
LA Weekly Link to Story

All the anger! "To Walk Invisible: The Brontes"

Some of us can never have too much of the Brontes. But I understand if your response to another dose of costume drama on the moors is, "Shoot me now."
The Village Voice Link to Story

Don Corleone Declares a Mattress War.

My friends, do you toss and turn all night, or wake up in the morning with aches and pains? These are the signs that you need a new bed. I am Don Corleone, founder of Mattress Godfather, the capo di tutti capi of the Five Families of Mattress Retailers. At Mattress Godfather, you always get the best deals in the Tri-State area, but this weekend will be extra special.
McSweeney's Quarterly Link to Story

FFS: A mind-meld you can dance to

Consider the Cronut. what could go wrong? A lot, actually. Some things, while fine on their own, are not meant to be combined. But once in a while, a collaboration comes along that’s so harmonious it enhances the distinct charms of each element, while becoming something entirely new and astoundingly delicious.
The Mix Tape: Personal blog of Joyce Millman Link to Story

From the Desk of Miss Katharine Hepburn

I’m as pleased as punch to welcome you to my new lifestyle blog, HEP. Each month, I’ll deliver my tips for healthy living right to your in-box. Why anybody would need instruction in living is beyond me, but this is all the rage I’m told. You have to dispense advice whether you’re qualified to or not.
The Reject Pile (humor site) Link to Story

Cheerio, Seinfeld

My Salon piece on the end of "Seinfeld," and how the show about nothing changed TV. Link to Story

On Grief and “Seinfeld”

Ever since my father died in July, I’ve been watching Seinfeld reruns every night. Oh, I’ve seen the whole series before, nine seasons’ worth, top to bottom. This is different. This viewing feels like compulsion, borders on ritual. Perhaps I’ve discovered a new stage of grief, the one where Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer appear to you in a flickering vision and whisk you away to a land of familiar punchlines, where only happy memories dwell.
Medium Link to Story

The death of Buffy’s mom

You can keep NBC Wednesday — TV’s best night of drama is the WB’s Tuesday, and no, I’m not kidding. To those of you who’ve never seen “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Angel,” well, I’m sorry, but you are beyond my help. To those of you who have been watching this sublime two-hour package of passionately original storytelling, my advice is this: Enjoy it while you can, because “Buffy” may not be back on the WB next season. Link to Story


Joyce Millman

Freelance TV reviewer. Recent work has appeared in the Village Voice/L.A. Weekly.

Blogging about music, TV and pop culture from a personal view at The Mix Tape

My funny stuff has appeared on McSweeney's, The Belladonna, Bullshitist and The Toast.

The backstory:

Boston Phoenix (1981-1987): Music critic, TV critic.

San Francisco Examiner (1987-1995): TV critic. Finalist for Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, 1989 and 1991. (1995-2001): Founding staff member, TV critic, assistant editor Mothers Who Think vertical.

Freelance pop cultural essayist (2001 - present). Work has appeared in print and online in the New York Times Sunday Arts & Leisure section, the Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, The New Republic, Variety and the Boston Phoenix.

Original essays appear in seven anthologies published by BenBella Books, including "Neptune Noir: Unauthorized Investigations into Veronica Mars", and "Flirting with Pride and Prejudice."

Co-authored the Harry Potter anthology "The Great Snape Debate" (BenBella/Borders, 2007).

Contributed an original essay to Eric Meola's "Streets of Fire: Bruce Springsteen in Photographs and Lyrics 1977-1979" (HarperCollins, 2012).