Ranking the All-Time Personal Growth of the ‘Girls’

After six seasons of controversies, hot takes, empowering female nudity, depressing racial politics, and a few near-perfect bottle episodesGirls has finally taken its final bow. Girls grew immensely over the years, transforming from a tragically self-conscious drama about privileged brats into a slightly more self-aware and compassionate story about (still privileged) young women adulting for the first time. But while the show itself became vastly more mature, the same cannot be said for all of its protagonists. Here are our final personal growth rankings for all of the Girls characters, based on their respective farewells in the last three episodes. Continue reading →

Links We Loved This Week — 5/5/17

The Huffington Post published a fascinating and somewhat contentious oral history of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, which had its twentieth birthday this week.

“Fuck that guy”, writes a fictional J.K. Rowling, claiming she is not at all sorry she killed Cedric Diggory. “If I had my way, the entire fifth book of the series would have been a long description of what a terrible time Cedric Diggory was having in hell.” (via Above Average)

Guess what ELSE is being adapted on streaming TV these days: Anne of Green Gables! This may be even more exciting than Handmaid’s Tale, although nothing will ever replace Megan Follows and Jonathan Crombie in our hearts. The NYT wrote a long feature about how the new adaptation brings out the darker side of Anne’s lonely, maltreated childhood that was always present but subtextual in the books.

Viet Thanh Nguyen writes in the New York Times that writing workshops can be hostile environments to minorities, because they often reinforce established power structures.

At Full Stop, Fran Bigman writes of the importance of female friendships as an act of resistance in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Two women in matching dresses, one pink (Michele), one blue (Romy), walk down a hallway looking fierce.

20 Times Romy and Michele Had the Perfect Quote For The Occasion

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, the movie that changed the way we all think about Post-Its, came out twenty years ago this April. Which makes two whole decades that I have been quoting this movie at every possible opportunity.

In honor of this important milestone, here are the top 20 times that Romy and Michele had the perfect thing to say for any occasion you can possibly think of:

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Maia is seen hugging a man who is her father. She has her eyes closed and a sad expression.

The Good Fight Review: 1×10 “Chaos”

So this episode was where we got to find out the answer to the question the Kings have perhaps unwittingly posed: Is it easier to write a great ten-episode season than a great twenty-two-episode season? Or, more specifically, would having a ten-episode season enable the Kings to write a flawlessly brilliant season, as they often implied it would? For background, the Kings, bless their hearts, sometimes responded to implied criticisms of The Good Wife‘s more uneven moments with the defense that cable television shows have it so durn easy with only ten episodes a year. So now that the first season of The Good Fight is over, we can see if their theory panned out!

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Links We Loved This Week — 4/28/17

The internet is super excited about Hulu’s new adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale (as are we, and not just because Rory is in it, we swear).

We missed this when it first came out a couple weeks ago: Brian Edwards penned a nuanced exploration of Homeland‘s attempts this season to interrogate and perhaps undo the Orientalism it hath already wrought, and the “double bind” it faces by still needing to play on our suspense and anxieties. Very worth reading. (at the LA Review of Books)

The SCP Foundation just wrapped its contest for writing SCP-3000. If you haven’t come across the Foundation before in your Internet itinerations, you can think of it as a collaboratively-written X-Files—the contest is a particularly interesting way to see how something like that comes together.

Previously.tv summarizes season 1 of ER in one headline per episode. There are many gems, but my favorite is “Oh My God We Get It Jen And Mark Like To Fuck (Not That The Interminable “Ma Benton Needs To Go In A Home” Arc That Starts Here Is Much Of An Improvement).”

For Earth Day, Read This Beautiful Icelandic Book

When Bjork blurbs a book using fully 8 exclamation points (“A true pioneer!!!!!!!!”), that’s probably all the motivation you need to read it. But I’m going to add my two cents: this Earth Day, you should read Oddny Eir’s slim, inventive feminist-environmentalist hybrid novel/journal/essay collection, Land of Love and Ruins.

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Links We Loved This Week — 4/21/17

Men Recommend David Foster Wallace To Me” (its title clearly a nod to Rebecca Solnit’s seminal “Men Explain Things to Me“) speaks what is in all of our hearts. At twenty-three, I thought I was the only woman to have figured out that you NEVER go on an OKcupid date with a guy who mentions David Foster Wallace in his profile. As it turns out, every literarily-inclined woman discovers this sooner or later. Janes and I call it “Bernie syndrome”: the thing itself may be great, but its fans SUUUUCK. (via Electric Literature)

“Sylvia Plath: just because she wrote about her life doesn’t mean it’s public property.” An examination of literary scholars’ performance of ownership in the wake of those newly surfaced Plath letters. (Via The Conversation)

Who would be in YOUR Jane Jacobs biopic fantasy cast? What, never thought about it? Uh, leave our blog right now. JK. Kind of. (via Curbed)

The Atlantic enumerated the failures of the Girls finale, and we agree with 80% of it. (Review to come)

[HOMELAND SPOILERS] Rupert Friend agrees with us that Quinn’s suffering had started to feel sadistic and that this was the right time for The Thing That Happened to happen. He also essentially says the exact same thing I’ve been arguing all along about Quinn: “He takes responsibility and has a moral code. And I’m not sure that Carrie does.” (via EW — and 17 bajillion bonus points to Rupert, by the way, for graciously but firmly correcting EW when they referred to an adult sexually abusing a child as a “sexual relationship.”)

Female authors took to Twitter this week to tell us #ThingsOnlyWomenWritersHear. This one is our favorite: