Links We Loved This Week — 10/13/17

The New Inquiry has a fascinating piece on the “American monomyth” of good outsiders saving the American community from “bad” outsiders, and how Wonder Woman critiques it even though it eventually upholds it.

Joss must be so happy. Harvey Weinstein made him look like a feminist hero again (but only comparatively).

  • The New Yorker‘s article, after the explosive New York Times one started the whole thing, included stories of actual rape.
  • Word to the wise: If you’re a mid-level, garden-variety creeper, it’s probably best to just stay quiet when the really big, dramatic creepers (that you probably DID already know about) get caught. Here’s video of Ben Affleck assaulting Hilarie Burton, and Salon’s write-up of how the internet called him on his many hypocrisies after he got sanctimonious about Harvey Weinstein.
  • Twitter keeps digging its own grave: after letting our president, an admitted sexual predator, harass and threaten people on Twitter with impunity, they’ve suspended Rose McGowan’s account after McGowan bravely spoke out against her rapist.
  • Just as a fun bonus, here’s an interview with Tom Hanks that delves into Weinstein a little. Isn’t it crazy that Tom Hanks has a book coming out? TOM HANKS, you guys! (via the NYTimes)

Hallie’s plotline on Nashville kind of annoyed us (until we just stopped covering it altogether), but we are super psyched that the talented Rhiannon Giddens won a MacArthur. (article on Billboard)

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Links We Loved This Week — 8/11/17

Vulture has a list of Taylor Swift’s best comebacks from her testimony in a sexual assault trial (for those who missed it, she is accusing a man of reaching under her skirt and groping her butt during a photo shoot). I think my favorite is when someone asked her why the front of the skirt doesn’t look mussed: “Because my ass is located in the back of my body,” she answered.

Here’s an interesting article in the Washington Post about the culture of songwriting, competition, and collaboration in real-life Nashville. Makes you wonder what might happen if Scarlett and Gunnar’s best early songs had been put on hold by Rayna or Juliette in the first season and never released!

The New York Times has a long, in-depth profile of one of my very favorite living authors, Claire Messud, who writes about angry and disappointed women in a beautiful and precise prose style. I learned that like me, she’s never learned to cook, which just makes me more sure that she is my hero.

The new season of Rick and Morty is shaping up to be truly incredible, and Film Crit Hulk has a wonderful meditation on/appreciation of the devastating third episode.

Rayna looks freaked out while an angry man behind her holds onto her and a gun points towards them both.

Taking The Leap: Our All-Time Top (or Bottom) Jumping-the-Shark Moments

You may or may not have noticed that we have stopped recapping Nashville, and it’s not because we’re lazy and/or behind (although that’s often the case). It’s because–and we’re sad to say this–Nashville has jumped the shark, an especially impressive feat for a show that was already about feuding country singers. So instead of recapping a show that has become too ridiculous even for our teen-soap-loving sensibilities, we’re going down the list of the best (or, more accurately, worst) jumping-the-shark moments that we’ve seen on television.

There are only three (loose) rules for something to qualify as jumping-the-shark: 1) It has to be f*cking ridiculous, in direct proportion to how ridiculous the show was to begin with; 2) it should preferably be a ratings ploy; and 3) it has to mark the point-of-no-return that begins a downward spiral, an evolution into a significantly stupider and/or offensive show that we never would have watched if we weren’t already attached to the characters. Enjoy.

SPOILERS ABOUND! Continue reading →

Nashville Recap: 5×05 “Love Hurts”

OK guys. I, your dilatory Nashville recapper, have been looking forward to recapping this TRAGICALLY MISOGYNISTIC episode for so long now, and since then, this show has descended into such a pit of bathos and absurdity that I almost… almost… feel bad about making fun of it. But I have assuaged my guilt by reminding myself that the real sufferers here are not the creators of this show but the people who are watching it.

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Nashville Recap: 5×03 “Let’s Put It Back Together Again”

Previously on Nashville: Rayna used her sheer stubbornness to pressure Deacon into writing a concept album with her; Avery was taking care of Juliette after her plane crash, and Juliette was trying to get in touch with her savior; Will suggested to Kevin that they look for a place together; Rayna got a dweeby social media assistant named Randall; and Maddie told the court that she feared for her safety around Deacon.

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All of the Nashville Characters’ Real-Life Counterparts

There are many reasons you should be watching Nashville–Hayden Panettiere’s fierce performance, the relatively progressive politics, Connie Britton’s hair–but one of the most distinct pleasures is the soundtrack, which manages to represent almost all of the archetypes of country music. Down-home hillbilly country is mostly left out (unless the detested Vita comes back), but otherwise it has everything from Juliette’s bubblegum pop country to Zoey’s Southern soul country to Avery’s weird punk country. And best of all, most of the characters have obvious real-life counterparts who share the same artistry and/or biographical legend, and sometimes even the same face. Continue reading →