pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About

There’s a lot to unpack this week in terms of things that got me thinking, so without further ado, let’s jump right in!

Roxane Gay Talks to Lena Dunham About her New Book, Feminism, and the Benefits of Being Criticized Online (Vulture)

Two of my favorite people collide in this interview about Dunham’s new book, her creative process, and feminism.  Because I’m reading Dunham’s book right now this interview hit me at the perfect moment.  Both of them are super smart and have interesting things to say in this interview:

In what ways does feminism influence your work?
I just think feminism is my work. Everything I do, I do because I was told that as a woman, my voice deserves to heard, my rights are to be respected, and my job was to make that possible for others. And I am not saying I always succeed at that, but that is the value system that I was raised with and the one that I still hold dear, and it is one that makes all this possible, and it makes it possible for me to not shrink under a couch when there is criticism. It is what makes it possible for me to write about my experiences without feeling as though I am wasting everyone’s time or sounding hysterical. It is the thing that makes space for all of it. It means everything to me because it sort of is everything. It is the closest thing I know to being religious, if that makes any sense.

Dunham’s book IS really good by the way.

Why the New York Times Television Criticism is So Bad (Buzzfeed)

If you’ve been following the backlash after that horrifically racist piece at the times about Shonda Rhimes and her new shows, this piece will be of particular interest to you.  It’s a great piece by Ann Helen Peterson, and it examines not only why the NYT struggles to remain relevant in the face of the way 21st century media is consumed.

The way cinephiles look back with nostalgia at critics like the New Yorker’s Pauline Kael and the Village Voice’s Andrew Sarris sparring week to week in the incendiary pages of their columns — that’s what it feels like to read and comment and engage with television criticism today. Whether or not it’s another golden age of television, it’s absolutely a golden age of television criticism.

Just not the Times’ television criticism.

It’s an interesting piece and definitely an indictment of not only the racism in that stupid piece that ran in the Times but also the series of gaffs the paper has had in recent years, because of their reluctance or inability to GET WITH IT.

10 Things to Look For on Your Gilmore Girls Rewatch (Vulture)

Are you already watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix?  Is it not your first time with what is arguably my favorite show of all time (whatever guys)?  This excellent list will forever change the way you watch the show.  Like, I had noticed before what a bad hugger Rory is, but now I can’t see anything else.  And Lorelai IS a total dick when she’s the customer in a retail interaction.

The richest, most powerful scenes are between Lorelai and Emily.
Gilmore Girls is a precious treasure to me, but sometimes I wonder what the show would be like if everyone could genuinely, truly act. Alexis Bledel was certainly a beautiful elf princess, but when I watch Parenthood and Lauren Graham is acting opposite heavy hitter Mae Whitman, I think, “Oh, what if GGcould have been like this?” Blasphemy, whatever, I know. But this is why the scenes between Graham and Kelly Bishop stand out so much: They’re the rare scenes that barely need dialogue.

The Passion of Kathy Griffin (Splitsider)

Look, I love Kathy Griffin, and I get that she’s not everyone’s cup of tea.  I’ve seen her live, and she’s amazing.  I think she’s a really brave woman in a field where it’s hard to be a woman anyway, and I also think she’s funny.  This piece is an excellent look at her work and her life, and it’s worth your time, even if you think you hate her.

I watched the early seasons of My Life on the D-List, and I agree with all of this:

Griffin did not just let viewers into a controlled version of her real life; she was often totally exposed on camera. In early seasons she experienced both a very painful divorce and the death of her father. Where other shows of its ilk would present these subjects in a dramatic and ultimately sympathetic manner, Griffin just told the truth. She sat in front of the cameras and cried, ugly, painful tears. She talked about being embarrassed to have realized that her husband probably never loved her, she revealed the immense pain she felt watching her mother, Maggie “Tip It” Griffin, the frequent butt of her jokes, trying to cope with the loss of her father.

At any rate, it’s an excellent article please go read it okay thanks.

What got you reading and thinking this week?



2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading and Thinking About

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