books and reading · pop culture

What I’m Reading and Thinking About this Week

These are the things that got me reading and thinking this week.  Let’s dive right in!

A Controversial Ranking of Mr. Darcys (The Hairpin)

This silly list of a ranking of pop culture’s best Mr. Darcys is what I need to distract myself from the state of the world (a mess) and finishing a couple of pretty heavy-shit books.  While I think the list does a great job overall, I take issue with Matthew McFadyen as the number one choice, because BBC version with Colin Firth is obviously the one true Darcy (will also take Mark Darcy from Bridget Jones).

50 Shades of Grey Made a Bunch of Money, and that’s Okay (The Verge)

So I haven’t been quiet about how much I abhor the 50 Shades franchise in general, but I always knew it would make bank its first week at the box office.  It did, obviously, and projections for this second week are still pretty good (estimates are around $30 million, which is still like a 75% drop off).  I’m okay with the movie making money, not because it’s a good movie (I think it’s pretty clear that it’s not) or because I want the book to have even more success (I really don’t, and the more I read about E.L. James, the more I hate her), but because it’s success for women in Hollywood.

Fifty Shades of Grey had the biggest opening weekend for a film directed by a woman (Sam Taylor-Johnson) in box office history. It grossed $81.7 million domestically in its first three days, over $10 million more than the Catherine Hardwicke-directed Twilight, which made $69.6 million in its debut.  In somewhat fuzzier demographic terms, you could make a strong argument that Fifty Shades of Grey is the largest opening weekend for a female-targeted motion picture. It is further proof for those that still stubbornly refuse to believe that women will go to the movies when they are marketed to.

The hand-wringing about how this signifies the downfall of culture is total bullshit, though.  Like, please disabuse yourself of the notion that this movie is the straw that broke the height of culture’s back.  But it’s also important to recognize the significance of a movie like this doing well, because it further disproves the “women’s movies don’t sell” bullshit we are constantly bombarded with.

What is The Mindy Project Going to Do With a Baby? (Vulture)

Margaret Lyons lays out her argument about why babies are never funny on sitcoms and worries about what a baby means for The Mindy Project, a very funny show that has me very, very worried right now.  Babies ruin shows.  This is a mistake, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea that this will be a good thing for the show in any way.

Mindy and Danny are callous. They can both be selfish and shortsighted; Mindy is ditzy, and Danny is short-tempered, and that’s what makes them funny and special. But those aren’t good traits for parents, even fictional ones on a comedy — especially on a show that relies on our affection for its characters.

I am worried.

What got you reading and thinking this week?


3 thoughts on “What I’m Reading and Thinking About this Week

  1. My editor wrote a missive about the whole 50 Shades thing where he said that, while it was fine that it made a bunch of money, the financial success crowded an already confusing and overcrowded marketplace with people wanting to get rich. He likened it to the gold rush in Black Hills. Pretty good read. People are all in a tizzy about it!

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