Braindead was officially cancelled this week, according to TVLine. It’s probably for the best since it was hard to imagine the storyline extending into another season, but we’ll miss seeing Johnny Rae Gill and Aaron Tveit every week next summer.
The Baffler wrote a thoughtful analysis of the state of realism in contemporary literature:
Nor do critics worry that the “social issues” presented in our novels rarely attain the complexity of cable television. Or that a novel genuinely concerned with social life (or even the social role of a single person) could itself, against this backdrop, be idiosyncratic. It’s sad, in other words, that the novels of Jonathan Franzen register to most as sociopolitical literature. Freedom isn’t a social novel on the level of Wharton. It’s a decelerated twenty-four-hour news channel.
The first Nashville season five teaser has been released!
People aren’t loving Ewan MacGregor’s directorial debut American Pastoral, which is sad because the book was great. The NYT mildly disliked it, and Rolling Stone haaaated it (and it’s always fun to read a pan).
The New Yorker says Westworld caters disproportionately to stereotypically male fantasies in the excellent piece “The Meta-Politics of Westworld.”
Joss Whedon says he’s a Spuffy shipper, because Spike is a “more evolved” character than Angel. We only agree with the latter statement.
This week, The Good Wife‘s Josh Charles got in costume as a lawyer one more time for an excellent cause:
Not to get TOO political, but you should also check out this collection of the best #TrumpBookReport tweets.
Keith & the Movies gives a rave review to one of our favorite movies from this year, Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship.
“I can’t imagine anything a black man would want to be more right now than bulletproof,” says Mike Colter in an article on the Huffington Post, “Marvel’s Luke Cage is the Bulletproof Black Superhero We Need Right Now.”
Aaron Bady of The LA Review of Books calls HBO’s Westworld “the most consciously reflexive TV show I’ve ever seen.”
The New Yorker argues that the so-called “first conservative art show in America” inspired by Donald Trump is quite terrible from an artistic perspective, which, sure.
You know you want to read an epic fanwank from 2009 about the theory of management (supposedly) underlying The Office.
At the LA Review of Books, Aaron Hanlon passionately argues against the tired notion that humanities Ph. D.s are irrational for pursuing their degrees at all.
Mindy Kaling wrote a short piece about the season premiere of Mindy — check it out at The Cut.
Emily Blunt discusses her role in Girl On the Train, which is very different from her own personality–and how she objects to the need for female characters to be “likeable.” (At Hollywood Reporter.)
Did you get to go to a pop-up Luke’s this week? Luke himself showed up to the one in Beverly Hills! (USA Today)
EW interviewed the cast of That Thing You Do! for a twentieth-century retrospective. Can you believe it’s been 20 years since the O-need-ers?
You wish you cared this much: The Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge
Svetlana Mintcheva, writing for Salon, manages to tackle the Great Lionel Shriver Internet Meltdown without herself melting down, articulating a nuanced but still socially responsible take on the responsibilities of fiction writers:
Whether they succeed in communicating empathy and in creating a character that is complex and true, depends on the capacity of the writer as a writer and his or her creative integrity, not on the person’s skin color, sexuality or cultural background.
Do you follow Rabih Alameddine (author of one of my favorite-ever female fictional characters) on Twitter yet? The New Yorker wrote an interesting piece about his process.
Not technically a pop culture related piece, but by one of our favorite novelists: Michael Chabon wrote a devastatingly beautiful piece about his teenage son’s love for fashion, for GQ.
In case you missed it, the New York Times published an exquisitely mean review of a new Jane Jacobs biography, including jabs like this:
It often seems to be muttered as much as written, like one of those garbled subway announcements you cannot understand but suspect might matter.
Joss Whedon got basically his whole stable of actors to film an irreverent PSA on exercising your civic rights to vote. (This should hardly need saying, but don’t read the comments.)
“Do we want to just be the white male anti-hero network? We need to try to broaden out.”
–an FX exec, on turning down Breaking Bad
At Hitfix, Alan Sepinwall writes about the ascendancy of FX, which is apparently due in large part to the creative direction of the network head, John Landgraf. (via Longform.org)
AV Club wrote a great review of This Is Us, but it paled in comparison to this delightful Gilmore Girls-related exchange in the comments:
Elliott Holt writes on the return of omniscient narrators in contemporary fiction, comparing them not to God, but to a smartphone (via the NYTimes)
Vulture has a complete breakdown of this fall’s TV reboots. Obviously we’re excited for Gilmore Girls here at Adversion; we’re also definitely going to be watching Westworld.
Read Fusion.net‘s breakdown of why this year is a good one for women of color on TV (financially, at least… we still feel pretty bad for Mindy that her new love interest sucks so bad).
One of the smartest literary blogs I follow is Word and Silence by Tim Miller. This week, he posted a link to an exquisitely scathing NYT piece on Thomas Wolfe by Harold Bloom.
We liked Braindead this summer, but apparently the Kings are planning to have larger bugs each season, so we’re not sure we can in good conscience hope for it to be renewed. The first season bugs are disgusting enough! (via MovieNewsGuide.com)
Previously on Braindead: So much happened! No, literally, the voiceover says that, and then basically skips to summarizing a fake show called Gunsmoke, involving a sheriff and a fatal shootout and other Western-reminiscent things. (I have no idea why, but I’m glad Jonathan Coulton is having fun with his task I guess?) In actuality, what has recently and relevantly happened is that Gareth and Laurel broke up because he is a slut-shamer, Luke’s possibly-infected wife Germaine gave birth to a possibly-infected baby, Wheatus had this secret room called SRB-54 that we know will be important because they mentioned it so much, and Ella and Wheatus let their ear-bugs mate and it was totally gross.
Gareth is trying to compose a stilted resignation letter in a Word document when Wheatus interrupts him to announce that he likes the new Jewish intern. The intern, Gary, says he’s half-Jewish and Wheatus trumpets that he’s “a friend to the Jewish people.” How nice of you, dude. Then he ushers Gary out, casually mentioning the “rumors” that are going around due to the fact that his other interns have died very bloody, very disgusting deaths. Gary is too dumb to be worried about this. He just grins and bobs his head and leaves.
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Renee Zellweger gave a starkly honest interview to Hollywood Reporter about sexism in media coverage. (That’s a problem that Leslie Jones and Margot Robbie have suffered this summer too — and they’re just two of the best-known out of many, many examples.) It doesn’t mean we want to see Bridget Jones’ Baby, though.
Vox agrees with us that you should probably be watching Braindead (among other things, including Mr. Robot and You’re the Worst), in its list of 18 summer shows you should be watching.
OK, this one is old, but somehow we missed it. Rory Gilmore gives Michelle Obama some books. And then some more books. And then some more…
Don’t forget that Rory got her start as a journalist on Obama’s campaign bus, just months before he was elected the first black president. CALLBACK!
This was amazing:
The Mountain Goats are definitely an acquired taste, but her description is beyond perfect: “I don’t know if you ever heard of that band; it’s more just this one guy. He’s got a guitar, he has 4 chords—odd little white man—and he has a voice that should not work for me… but when he sings, he will flense your heart.
I don’t agree with the characterization of Buffy as “vapid,” but otherwise this analysis of Buffy the Vampire Slayer from Hitfix‘s Alan Sepinwall is delightful.
Stylus writes about Echo and the Bunnymen‘s eerie–and apropos–“Villiers Terrace.”
EW‘s Fall Book Preview, including Zadie Smith’s Swing Time, Elena Ferrante’s “dark and eerie” tale of a doll abandoned on a beach, and Margaret Atwood’s comic about a part-bird, part-cat superhero.
Variety‘s list of most anticipated movies this Oscar season, including Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence starrer Passengers, Derek Cianfrance’s Light Between Oceans–starring real-life couple Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender–and Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival.
Speaking of Arrival, it’s getting RAVE reviews out of Venice. Here’s our favorite, from The Playlist.
You’re the Worst came back this week! We’ll be posting coverage of the premiere shortly, but for now, here’s Stephen Falk on the characters’ unsuitability for parenthood and the “traumatic” romantic experiences of the writers.
[Saying “I love you” is] never a mutual thing, it’s always one person says it. But yeah, in the writer’s room, we tell a lot of personal stories, and I do remember, yes, a lot of stories of saying it and getting a “thanks” back, or something horrible like that. All the writers have a lot of romantic trauma in our past, so there’s a lot to mine in that room.
Did you think Kafka made up the hunger artist idea? I did, but Atlas Obscura revealed that this was actually a long-running obsession in Europe.
This blog has officially been in existence for one year, since we published our intro post on August 28, 2015. It’s been a fun year for Adversion. Every week we get together at a local cafe and work on our posts and argue about Gilmore Girls. And we’ve published some things we’re really proud of, from fanwanky TV recaps to “short” posts on whatever we’re reading that week (that often turn into essay-length screeds).
Here are the top ten most popular posts we’ve published in our first year:
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