Since the days that Mad Men depicts, blatant workplace sexism may have retreated, but it’s in no way been eradicated. In fact, a woman can go through a long career feeling like she’s been squeezed into being a Megan, then a Peggy, then a Joan, even taking a detour into being a Betty when she has kids. Yet Peggy Olson is perhaps the most predictable focus of identification for the female fans of the show, because her journey is so painful, and feels so real. From the first-episode moment when she tries to comfort Don Draper with a flirty hand-squeeze and that habitual secretary seducer essentially laughs her out of the room, we knew her story would be different. … Read More
After two-plus months of sponsored tweets, film-critic pushback, Google ad buys, and an often desperate attempt at spin control that ultimately did nothing to disprove characterizations of utter control freakery, the Church of Scientology’s worst nightmare came true last night: Alex Gibney’s incendiary and excellent adaptation of Lawrence Wright’s scorching CoS exposé, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, aired on HBO. It proved, true to prediction, a bit of a bombshell, with viewers taking to social media to express shock over the film’s allegations of physical abuse, blackmail, kidnapping, wiretapping, celebrity control and more. … Read More
At 4:50 on the afternoon of March 1, @BillMurray tweeted a joke to his 497,000 Twitter followers: “I always say ‘morning’ instead of ‘good morning.’ If it were a good morning I’d still be in bed instead of talking to people.” His fans responded enthusiastically. “I knew we’d have something in common,” replied one follower; “Thanks for the laughs this am,” replied another. A third took the opportunity for a personal connection: “I watched Meatballs today for the first time in roughly 30 years. It was a good morning with some good memories.” In all, the joke was re-tweeted 1,243 times, and 1,587 Twitter users favorited it.
There’s only one problem: the person tweeting as @BiIIMurray isn’t really Bill Murray. As those with even a passing knowledge of the comedian and actor’s personality could guess, Bill Murray isn’t on Twitter. But “Bill Murray” is. … Read More
During the 1980s, Times Square in New York City was a radically different place. A center for sex and sleazy goings-on, the city was economically depressed, and crime rates hit an all-time high. One basement bar in Times Square became a center for artistic expression during one of New York’s darkest times, Tin Pan Alley.
Named after a section of the city where music publishers set up shop, former Tin Pan Alley bartender Cara Perlman created a series of finger-paint portraits of bar patrons — including now-renowned artists like Kiki Smith and Nan Goldin. … Read More
The opening credits of former Comedy Central’s series Strangers With Candy immediately sets the tone for the show. In a voiceover monologue, we hear Amy Sedaris’ Jerri Blank describe her unusual situation as a 46-year-old ex-drug addict who did time and has since returned to high school. As critic Maryann Johanson wrote of the show: “It’s all the awful nightmare of high school shrink-wrapped and served back to us piping hot with snark and dripping with a secret sauce of extreme warpedness.” While Jerri behaved badly at Flatpoint High, poking fun at some seriously sensitive subjects, she also encouraged her fellow students to steer clear of her former lifestyle — in her own special way. Author and cupcake lover Amy Sedaris brought Blank’s bizarre character to life. On the weekend of Sedaris’ birthday, here are some of Jerri Blank’s most outrageous quotes and tips on life that you absolutely should not heed — or maybe you should, and we’ve just been doing it wrong this entire time. … Read More
Contra dancing hails from 17th-century English country dances and French dances. Couples partner up for the folk-style moves, though it can be performed in groups or lines of dancers facing each other. It’s a social dance that’s catching on with a whole new generation, according to a new report from the Wall Street Journal. … Read More
Last year, I watched Wrestlemania XXX in a Manhattan bar with a rowdy group of fans who were as embarrassingly passionate about wrestling as I am. The highlight — or lowlight — of the night was the notorious Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar match. Quick backstory: Undertaker had previously won an incredible 21 Wrestlemania matches in a row. Each year, someone plans to “beat the streak” but ultimately fails… until Lesnar shockingly won the match, prompting mass disbelief in both the arena and the bar. … Read More
If there was any remaining sliver of a doubt whatsoever that, seriously, you can get anything green-lit for at least a limited television run as long as it was previously on television, NBC has announced the revival we’ve all been waiting for: a 13-episode return of Coach. No, that’s not a typo, nor an Onion story, nor an early April Fool’s prank by Entertainment Weekly’s Twitter feed; Coach, the Craig T. Nelson/Jerry Van Dyke sitcom that you’ve somehow forgotten even existed despite the fact that it ran for nine seasons (from 1989 to 1997), a show that no one remembers fondly and no one wanted back on television except for maybe Craig T. Nelson, is coming back to television, 18 years after it disappeared. … Read More
Sadly, stories about hideous injustices being meted out to people of color in America are so prevalent that it’s hard to be surprised at them — but even so, there’s something uniquely horrifying about the case of Kamilah Brock. As per Gawker, Brock was pulled over in Harlem by police who accused her of being high on marijuana. No proof of this was ever found, but her car was nevertheless impounded by the NYPD. When she went to demand its return, she was restrained, sedated, and committed to Harlem Hospital for being “emotionally disturbed.” It took her eight days to convince staff that she was in fact perfectly sane, during which time she was dosed involuntarily with lorazepam and lithium and forced to attend group therapy. Once released, she was hit with a $13,000 medical bill. … Read More
A&E is launching a new “reality” “docudrama” series called 8 Minutes, featuring one of the more appalling concept in recent years. Set to premiere April 2, it’s basically an intervention-style TV show, except for sex workers, and under time pressure. An old interview with the producer at EW reveals that he’s also the man behind Sex Box, and this show is his bid for respectability. … Read More