May 19, 2019

Hollywood

"Like its final scene, the show is clipped, hackneyed, and desperate to be empowering. Its simple message is good, and much-needed... Women who don’t fit into factory-size clothing should be unashamed."

"Clint Eastwood was “The Man with No Name,” Steve Martin played “The Man with Two Brains,” but alt-right rogue Stephen K. Bannon—the subject and star of two new documentaries—is “The Man with Two Shirts.”"

"Former Nick Jr. kids are now reckoning with this all-grown-up intrepid explorer, whose obstacles are a lot bigger than Swiper the Fox. And that is a hard pill to swallow."

"Us is stranger than Get Out, with deeper philosophical undercurrents flowing through it. The rabbit that greets you at the movie’s start is an invitation. Will you follow, like Alice in her Wonderland?"

"Every character, from political icon Leslie Knope to eternally put-upon Jerry, got their rightful happy ending, proven by glimpses at their lives as far into the future as the 2070s. It was satisfying and, most of all, truly conclusive."

"Listening to The Joe Rogan Experience is sort of like crashing an intense, intimate dinner party in which the only courses are whiskey and weed."

"20 years ago, if you saw something on TV that offended you and you wanted to let someone know, you would’ve had to get a pen and paper and write, “Dear BBC, I’m bothered.” But you didn’t do it because it was too much trouble."

"“So, I am a fat lady, and I deserve respect,” she said recently, recalling her mindset on this solo mission. “Here’s a list of all the horrible things men have done to me.”"

"Netflix has received credit from many critics for championing diverse content. An assessment of the number of stories by and about Latinos in the United States paints a very different picture."

"The Ellen DeGeneres Show, popularly known as just Ellen, is in its 16th season. It made its debut during the reign of Bush II. It effervesced in the Obama era. It has survived the internet."

"The Bachelor, ABC’s long-running dating reality show, had quite an eventful 23rd season, featuring a highly anticipated fence jump, an outsize fixation on virginity, and an unprecedented twist in its finale."

"...by 1994, Tim Meadows was portraying the singer on SNL as an asexual naïf incapable of relating to adult women—if not necessarily an abuser, at least someone whose sexuality had been permanently stalled in childhood."

"Syed is one of the nation’s most famous murder suspects, thanks to the massively viral success of the 2014 podcast Serial, which took a magnifying glass to the case."

"Us, as soon as you’ve shaken off the chills it leaves you with, will send you off on a Google mission. First, you’ll look up the full text of a particularly apocalyptic verse from Jeremiah."

"Netflix resembles Hollywood in the 1990s, when the local cineplex featured a healthy mix of films: romantic comedies, blockbusters, indie dramas, Oscar bait, and so on. But this is unsustainable for any company that is hellbent on monopoly."

"Captain Marvel may not be the most complex or finely shaded of the MCU protagonists. But given that she’s the first woman to be charged with the duty of saving this cinematic universe, I for one totally support her avenging."

" People have been saying that Perry died too young, and they are right, of course. But what I also heard, in their voices as well as my own, was the realization that something of our younger selves had gone with Perry, too..."

"Almost exactly a year ago, Steven Spielberg made it clear how he felt about Netflix muscling its way into Hollywood's most illustrious event, the Academy Awards."

"As Dan Reed’s HBO documentary, Leaving Neverland, caused me to revisit the allegations against Michael Jackson as they were covered at the time, I was unnerved, most of all, by the mothers."

"In 2016, the company expanded to 190 countries, and last year, for the first time, a majority of its subscribers and most of its revenue came from outside the United States."

"...what makes the Israeli series “Shtisel,” currently on Netflix, such groundbreaking television is that the characters are the black-hatted, side-curled men and bewigged women of ultra-Orthodox Judaism..."

"We cannot exist as a pluralistic and diverse society if the price of admission to any American industry is the abandonment of religious faith to conform to the demands of the intolerant."

"And the choice of winners? The usual tossed salad, I would say, comprising the dumb, the deserving, the downright bewildering, and the meh."

"“Green Book” is the worst best picture Oscar winner since “Crash,” and I don’t make the comparison lightly... The differences between the two movies are as telling as the similarities."

"Why attempt something as premature as to predict the 2020 Oscar winners before the 2019 Oscar winners have even been announced? Because the way things are looking, the 2020 Oscars are going to be a doozy..."

"IFC’s series Documentary Now! began as an affectionately parodic tribute to the classics of nonfiction cinema. Its first episode, “Sandy Passage,” was a note-perfect evocation of the Maysles brothers’ Grey Gardens..."

"When H. Alan Scott looked up through the mikvah waters, he says he saw the shadows of his past and present lives undulating above him: Poor Mormon kid. Gay man. Comedian. Cancer survivor."

"This year, the Oscars gift bags will include chocolates infused with THC, CBD skin care, private therapy sessions for “phobia relief,” and, for some reason, a toilet plunger."

"Chicago Police sources now suggest he staged what he says was a racist and homophobic attack on him. Smollett vigorously denies it. Whatever the truth, it's a moment to reflect."

"Like “30 Rock,” “Kimmy Schmidt” obviously slanted leftward, but most always exhibited a similar eagerness to skewer politics more generally than just the GOP."

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JJ Editor's Daily Picks

"Thousands of gay rights supporters gathered in heavy rain outside parliament in the capital, Taipei, to watch a live broadcast of the proceedings. Supporters shouted “First in Asia!” after the article was passed."

"It’s increasingly clear that Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision protecting a woman’s right to choose abortion, is in jeopardy. But what is Roe all about? Privacy? Liberty? Women’s equality?"

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being cautious about engaging Israel in the US-Iran tensions, though he would surely not object to an American attack on Iran."

"Hello. I’m a person who has never watched Game of Thrones. You’re a person who has watched every episode. Here is what I have learned about you through the cultural osmosis..."

"The vacation rental industry is mired in claims that it harms neighborhoods and housing markets. Can a nonprofit co-op make the tourist trend a community asset?"

"One of the many important facets of special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry is his observation that President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter and other mass media could subvert the criminal-justice system."

"Even in a profession where major commissions rarely materialize before a man (and, beginning only recently, a woman) is well past fifty, it is hard for anyone alive today to remember a time when I.M. Pei was not a dominant, commanding figure."

"If you’re old enough to remember the Soviet Union, you’ve probably wondered why so many young people today seem attracted to socialism. One influence is Howard Zinn, who published “A People’s History of the United States” in 1980..."

"Moms and dads may be new to microdosing, but the trend has been bubbling for years in Silicon Valley. The tech set claim that taking 10 to 20 micrograms of LSD every few days makes them more creative..."

"In 1983, the Italian-Israeli professor Sandra Debenedetti Stow stunned the scholarly world with an explosive article that proposed that Jews introduced pizza to the European diet."

"During a military mission, whether in peace or in war, if a pilot or soldier can’t identify an object, they have a serious problem: How should they react, without knowing if it is neutral, friendly or threatening? "

"Wouk, an Orthodox Jew, embodied the new postwar possibilities for American Jews and his writing helped normalize Judaism within the larger American landscape..."