The Metropolitan

Welcome to The Metropolitan, a weekly newsletter about the pop-cultural and social experience of British Generation X.

We’ll be covering movies, books, films, TV programmes, music, advertising and marketing, social trends, and other cultural phenomena that we find brilliant, interesting or resonant. This could mean Life On Mars or Angela Carter, Jaws or Jack Reacher, Kaye Webb’s reign at Puffin Books or the way that men’s friendships play out in the presenting teams on popular podcasts.

We aim to write honestly and thoughtfully about how our generation’s cultural viewpoint was formed, and how we interact with culture to this day. This means we’re writing with an explicit focus on the viewpoints of British people aged around 45-65, but if we do it right we hope many other people will find it interesting too.

Pieces we’ve written so far include:

The Metropolitan
Beck and the 1990s Angel Dust Bowl
‘Butane – veins – junkie – kill – flaming – insane – shotgun – violation – maggot – Mace – burning – kill – double-barrel – buckshot – kill – evil – nightmare – gas chamber – weasel – cocaine – hung himself – hanging – hate – choking – kill – crazy – kill – drive-by – pierce – kill – kill – kill – kill…
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The Metropolitan
The Metropolitan #16: Up in smoke
“I truly feel pity for you both. You are grown up now! And yet you still act as children, who want to do nothing but run and play. You cannot run and play all your life, Dianne!” Drugstore Cowboy (1989) 1992 was a bad time to graduate from university. I was lucky to have gone at all, of course; just 19% of…
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The Metropolitan
The Metropolitan #17: A Wizard of Earthsea revisited
We were raised by Puffins. With three TV channels and no internet, for long stretches of our lives reading was the best (and sometimes, the only) way to pass the time. In X Libris we return to the books that made us and analyse what makes them great…
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We won’t be providing instant reviews and hot takes, because the internet is full of them. We won’t be doing hit jobs either; it’s harder, and more interesting, to put your finger on why something works.

As Tracey Thorn sang in Oxford Street, we ‘grew up in a little world’ that flared and guttered between Playschool and Facebook, and would be unrecognisable to those younger than us. That little world influences us to this day. The Metropolitan is our swing at analysing pop culture and social trends from this specific viewpoint. We’d love you to come along with us.

Weekly emails

Every week we publish a short essay (about ten minutes of reading). It might be art, it might be children’s TV, it might be lost and haunted shipwrecks at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

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At the moment, paying for The Metropolitan doesn’t bring you any extra content, so we’re very grateful to those of you who have signed up for the paid subscription option. We’re thinking about producing a second weekly email for paid subs only, possibly focusing on really deep dives into long-running series such as Doctor Who or the Jack Reacher books. If you’ve got any ideas about what you’d like to see in a subscribers-only email (or if you have anything else at all you’d like to share with us) please email us on

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Tobias Sturt
Writer and Creative Director, I also play a man who knows about data visualisation in several Guardian Masterclasses
Rowan Davies
Ex-policy and campaigns at Mumsnet; freelance writer for national publications and gun-for-hire.
Jon Millington
Bad at computers
The Editors
No dunking. No hot takes.
Chris Waywell
Deputy Editor of Time Out, occasional Sunday photographer and painter