So, a major men’s magazine did this crazy thing where they asked me, and a bunch of amazing writers and actresses, to give men Valentine’s Day advice. I’m sure it will surprise precisely none of you that I went the nerdiest route possible (and, uh, also have the nerdiest head shot of the bunch). But check ‘em all out. It’s a great package. And a shoot out to the totally rad Mary Elizabeth Ellis, who rocks it on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and is redeeming Perfect Couples for me, and whose piece is right before mine.
I don’t think it will end up being substantively important to the Charlie’s Angels remake that the characters will end up having acquired their badass skills through criminal means—the characters were always going to have semi-dramatic pasts that came back to nip at them occasionally one way or another—in as much as I don’t think anything about the Charlie’s Angels remake is terribly important even though I think it will be fun. But I do find it slightly intriguing that they’re supposed to have acquired said ass-kicking skills illicitly. The first time around, it probably mattered that the women had at least gone through a male-sanctioned means of learning to fight crime, namely, police academies. Now, that societal barrier’s less important to have breached, especially in a world where women are closer than ever to seeing combat regularly in war. But there’s still something threatening about women with power, so the assumption is once they were bad, but now they’re tame.
I’ve written elsewhere about why I don’t really watch Mad Men, but for those of you who do, what do you think of Daniel Mendelsohn’s critique of the show in the New York Review of Books (which, on good weeks, is the best publication in the country, I think)? I thought Brian Moylan’s argument for why the show is emotionally compelling to him was a reasonably good response, but it still didn’t convince me about why I should care about it. I always felt like I was under some moral obligation to watch The Wire, as if being entertained by it was an act of bearing witness. But I just don’t feel as urgent about Mad Men, and for me, Mendelsohn crystalized why fairly well.