Twilight

Now That ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Is a Hit, Let’s Make More Movies About Women and Sex

There was a delicious energy in the theater at my preview screening of Fifty Shades of Grey, and when the film began and an appropriately absurd grey landscape emerged on our screen, I felt a collective shift around me: people were settling in to enjoy themselves, even if the enjoyment came from hating the thing. The only events that were going to happen in the next two hours on our screen were flirting, sex, some helicopter flights, and other kinds of sex. … Read More

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How Amazon and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Created a Golden Age for Self-Published Romance Authors — and Why It May Already Be Over

“Romance never does go out of fashion. It’s radical.” – Bob Dylan, AARP Magazine

For Monica Murphy, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance writer living in the foothills of California’s Yosemite National Park, a typical day goes like this: she spends an hour online tending to her social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Then, when her three kids are off to school, she gets down to the serious business of writing sexy romance novels. … Read More

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‘Camp X-Ray’ Proves Kristen Stewart Can Act — But We Already Knew That

Here’s how terrible the Twilight movies are: they convinced the world that a good actress was a terrible one. I would like to tell you that her very good performance in the new film Camp X-Ray is some sort of revelation, but if you have to be told that, you haven’t been paying attention; she’s been good several times before (Adventureland and The Runaways leap to mind), even in films that were, to put it charitably, problematic (like On the Road and Welcome to the Rileys). But those pictures were all bookended by entries in The Twilight Saga, so even if the few people who saw those other films were impressed by her work in them, there was another awful Twilight movie on the horizon to remind us of how bad she could be. Those films ended in 2012. Camp X-Ray is the first Stewart film to hit theaters after them. It marks the beginning, hopefully, of a reconsideration. … Read More

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It’s OK to Start Out Reading ‘Harry Potter’ — But Not Because It’s a Gateway Book

In a recent essay at the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks argues against the prevailing notion that it is A-OK for people, particularly young people, to read lowbrow/genre novels because “so long as they are reading something there’s at least a chance that one day they’ll move on to something better.” He essentially argues that that never happens, and moreover that, “If anything, genre fiction prevents engagement with literary fiction, rather than vice versa, partly because of the time it occupies, but more subtly because while the latter is of its nature exploratory and potentially unsettling the former encourages the reader to stay in a comfort zone.” … Read More

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10 Toxic Relationships in Teen TV and YA Books

Shailene Woodley is making the press rounds for the imminent release of her potential blockbuster, Divergent, and in an interview with Teen Vogue, the 22-year-old ripped into Twilight. “Twilight, I’m sorry, is about a very unhealthy, toxic relationship,” Woodley complains. “She falls in love with this guy and the second he leaves her, her life is over and she’s going to kill herself! What message are we sending to young people? That is not going to help this world evolve.” That’s true, Woodley, but here’s the thing: unhealthy relationships are the lifeblood of YA books and teen dramas. Attempted rape, stalking, and emotional abuse is painted as dreamy if it’s just coming from a dreamboat who needs redemption and rilly likes you, too. To pay tribute, we’re counting down the unhealthiest romances in teen lit and… Read More

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Come On, People: Start Watching ‘Dracula’

NBC’s Dracula is hanging in there, although perhaps not for long. To be fair, it has a terrible time slot assignment, because no one is sitting at home on Friday nights, all ready to tune in. In the age of the DVR we may all no longer be beholden to an airing schedule, but you still give a hint of, well, self-doubt to a show when you shove it in at that time. I admit that’s the reason why I, myself, did not watch Dracula at first. … Read More

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‘Mad Men’s’ Split Season 7: You’re Killing Me, AMC

Here in the “responsive commentary” racket, the only thing that rivals writing something too late is writing something too early. Last week, this site looked at the dire-sounding Breaking Bad spin-off Better Call Saul, surveyed the less-than-promising post-BrBa/Mad Men AMC line-up, and asked the question, “Is the golden age of AMC over?” For asking said question, I was branded with both the “e-word” (elitist) and the “h-world” (hipster). Such accusations prompted, as usual, a worried removal of my artisan organic wire-rimmed glasses, a long pull off my home-brewed stout, and a few heartfelt spins of Animal Collective on vinyl. And then AMC announced that their solutions to filling the original programming holes in their schedule are a) a Walking Dead spin-off and b) splitting the final season of Mad Men into two seven-episode halves. Can I say “told you so” yet? … Read More

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