Television

"Reese Witherspoon is the patron saint of middle-aged actresses"

This piece offers a short answer to a question I've had. There have been an increasing number of complaints about the status of women in Hollywood: there aren't enough good roles for women, there aren't enough female-directed movies, there aren't enough female-written projects, women don't have enough lines in the top grossing films, etc. Etc. 

My question is this: if the problem is that Hollywood is run by direly misogynist men, why don't some women start their own studios or otherwise bring their own projects to market? Compared to 50 years ago, or even 20 years ago, there are now a number of women in entertainment who are supposedly quite, quite wealthy. Couldn't they do it themselves and let the market work its magic?

Well, Ms. Witherspoon seems to be doing it. If she continues to succeed, she'll attract imitators and the issue will tend to evaporate. If she doesn't, we'll need either a new crisis to worry about or a new explanation. (I strongly suspect the latter would occur: I'd bet it would turn out to be  the direly misogynist audience that needs fixing. Sigh.)


"The Case for Savor-Watching"

First World problems, #293865:

But more and more, the streaming era is also coming to be defined by a constant, overwhelming feeling of excess. (Netflix has been at the forefront of this content deluge, and last month’s manic release schedule suggests that the company has little interest in slowing down.) There are too many shows, most of them drag on for too many seasons, and even the ones that once seemed to have quite definitively ended (et tu, Roseanne?) are now returning in rebooted, zombified forms. And even though we haven’t yet found a way to add more hours to the day, there’s still this impossible cultural pressure to watch all of it, to cover the bases on every possible water-cooler conversation (especially since these conversations are now happening incessantly, and publicly, on social media). At best, this means there is an unprecedented number of good shows to choose from, but at worst it also means that “catching up on TV” has come to feel like a second-shift job, far from the relaxing diversion it once was. Half the time I’m watching something anymore, I’m thinking about what I’m supposed to be catching up on next, usually with the begrudging feeling of a chore. I miss when TV felt less like washing the dishes.

Thank heavens when I grew up there was no streaming, no DVRs, and just--count 'em--four TV channels.