I read an excerpt of this in Entertainment Weekly, about just how badly the first run of the pilot went (it's all in the fine balance between mean and...moreI read an excerpt of this in Entertainment Weekly, about just how badly the first run of the pilot went (it's all in the fine balance between mean and funny when it comes to discussing the pros and cons of spunk), and it was so interesting - the small things that can make or break a show.(less)
I finished this one, but I wasn't happy about it. It felt more like an attempt to capitalize on the so-called "age of the geek" than anything an actua...moreI finished this one, but I wasn't happy about it. It felt more like an attempt to capitalize on the so-called "age of the geek" than anything an actual geek might produce. I might be older and more organically "geeky" than the intended audience of teenage girls, but I don't see why teenage girls should have to suffer through this book.(less)
Yes, I picked it up, don't judge me. For what it's worth, I skimmed rather than read.
I giggled a couple times, simply because of the vocab definitions...moreYes, I picked it up, don't judge me. For what it's worth, I skimmed rather than read.
I giggled a couple times, simply because of the vocab definitions he used (a Pink Hat is, among other things, a fan who thinks that Kevin Youkilis is consistently booed). But Andy isn't as funny as he thinks he is.
Not as insightful or engaging as the Uglies series, but a (literal) take on our society's eternal search for the Next Big Thing. An enjoyable read, bu...moreNot as insightful or engaging as the Uglies series, but a (literal) take on our society's eternal search for the Next Big Thing. An enjoyable read, but it didn't leave any particularly lasting impressions with me.(less)
An interesting and well written look at - as the title implies - women in pop culture. Douglas focused on the ERA for a couple chapters, something I a...moreAn interesting and well written look at - as the title implies - women in pop culture. Douglas focused on the ERA for a couple chapters, something I am apparently not as familiar with as I previously thought.
My only problem with the book is that it's over ten years old. She briefly discusses Hillary Clinton's stint as First Lady (a First Lady who didn't obey the rules), and I would love to see what she thinks about (former) Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Not to mention all the other topics that could be discussed: Buffy, Britney, Desperate Housewives, BSG, Danica Patrick, Nancy Pelosi, Ann Coulter... the list goes on. But outdated or not, her look at the 50s-80s is well worth the read.(less)
I'm going to start right off by pointing out that the subtitle (Teenage Girls in Twentieth-Century Popular Culture) is a bit of a misnomer. "Teenage G...moreI'm going to start right off by pointing out that the subtitle (Teenage Girls in Twentieth-Century Popular Culture) is a bit of a misnomer. "Teenage Girls From 1930-1965" would be much more accurate, as the first 117 pages were devoted to Nancy Drew and her contemporaries, while the next 100 focused on Gidget, Patty Duke, Shirley Temple's various roles, all of which came out in the 50s or 60s. I was disappointed, as I was looking forward to discussions of, say, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, My So-Called Life, and Britney Spears. (For the record, Buffy and Britney were mentioned three times each in the epilogue, while Angela Chase was never brought up. More on that in a second.)
I found Nash's writing to be dry and vague, and overly academic - though the book does appear to be aimed at academic circles rather than popular culture. She provided quite a few examples to back up her theory, most of which I was unfamiliar with, seeing as most of them predated my parents' adolescence, much less my own. Her theory was, boiled down to its simplest form, that popular culture is threatened by teenage girls because it doesn't understand them and believes them to be in opposition to the default cultural viewpoint, that of middle-aged white males. Nash theorizes that because the people producing popular entertainment see teenage girls as a threat to the patriarchy and all that it stands for, it marginalizes, ignores, or trivializes them, in large part by making them appear stupid or fetishizing their blooming sexuality - or both.
I can completely get behind her complaint that when books featuring strong, competent, three-dimensional, sympathetic, realistic, female characters are made into movies, they frequently lose all of those characteristics except female. She pointed out the Nancy Drew movies of the 1930s, where Nancy went from unnaturally smart - she knew the answer to everything, after all - to a blithering idiot. The ideas she had in the book were given to her boyfriend or her father, who she was regularly rescued by, in direct contradiction with the original text. More recent examples (both of which I am very fond of) include Anne Hathaway in both Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries, where the main female characters are both turned into silly, clumsy girls, obsessed with boys and noticeably less competent than their book counterparts. (Honestly, Anne, must you continue to ruin my favorite young adult novels?)
That said, the early slight of the Anne of Green Gables novels made me cranky. Yes, Ms. Nash, as Anne grew older, she matured. That's actually character development, rather than an anti-feminist message. If she had been as scatterbrained and naive as a mother of 5 as she was as a girl of 11, you would have made a big case about the dumbing down of an adult woman. Back away from my childhood favorite.
Those interested in the subject will find some good points here; those who are looking for a cranky feminist might find that as well. Those looking for some perspective on Buffy and Britney won't find much of anything. What I'd really like to know, though - were they left out because there hasn't been enough time to see what their impact on mainstream culture was? Or because they didn't fit with Nash's theory?(less)
This review is going to be less of a review, and more of me talking. You've been warned!
I hunted this book down because I read somewhere that Aaron So...moreThis review is going to be less of a review, and more of me talking. You've been warned!
I hunted this book down because I read somewhere that Aaron Sorkin got a lot of his ideas for Sports Night from watching Keith and Dan on SportsCenter. And Sports Night being one of my favorite shows, and my sports mania still in full swing post-Red Sox victory, I figured I needed to get my hands on it.
And it's good. Very, very funny. It makes me cranky that I never actually watched SportsCenter when they were the hosts - I mean, I had good reasons, what with being ten years old then, a girl, a reader rather than a tv watcher, and lacking cable - but, man, was I missing out.
As a terrible storyteller, I appreciate a good one, and these guys are good. They wrote the book in their same back-and-forth banter style that they used on the show, and it worked much better than I expected it to be. Probably in large part because when they interrupted each other, it was usually to mock each other. I can't really remember any one or two stories vividly, which is a good sign: they were all so good that none of them stood out.
Keith's list of baseball players who should be in the Hall of Fame was far more interesting than a list of 100 guys I've never heard of before should ever be. I'm going to have to hunt down some of the names, to see if they ever made it in. (As, of course, this book was published in 1997, and presumably, things have changed since then.)
I suppose I should make it clear that even though it is a book about their lives working in sports, and what they think about sports, their favorite parts of different sports, their problems with sports, their craziest moments in sports, their favorite things said about sports - sports sports sports - you don't need all that much knowledge about sports to read it. It probably makes it more interesting, and you'd get more of the jokes, but it's still a fun read without much prior knowledge.
I especially enjoyed "A Sort of Glossary of Terms", explaining where the catchphrases and sayings they used came from. Very funny.(less)
There are some interesting viewpoints and takes on Gilmore Girls in Coffee at Luke's. There are essays considering the mathematical presence of father...moreThere are some interesting viewpoints and takes on Gilmore Girls in Coffee at Luke's. There are essays considering the mathematical presence of father figures in Rory's life (no, really), the contention that the Girls are really just a latter-day screwball comedy, a guy's perspective on what food means within the Gilmore verse (a lot, naturally), and (my favorite) a passionate defense of Emily Gilmore, the third and oft-ignored Girl. I'm an Emily fan, and I think she was one of the most complex and enjoyable characters on tv for years, and was played to perfection by Kelly Bishop (but I digress), so including that essay was enough to earn this collection a solid 4 stars.(less)
A great "Super Size Me!" premise, with a bit of a let down ending. While it's certainly a funny book, he didn't go into the experiment with the intent...moreA great "Super Size Me!" premise, with a bit of a let down ending. While it's certainly a funny book, he didn't go into the experiment with the intent of mocking conservatives. He checks out the Intelligent Design museum, he listens to Fox News non-stop, and he learns, as some of us in the country could probably afford to, that political beliefs don't make the person. (apparently there are friendly, decent people who are conservatives. who knew?) It's a biased book, certainly, but it's less insulting than anything ever written by Al Franken, Michael Moore, Bill O'Reilly, and especially Ann Coulter.(less)
Poorly argued, poorly written, obnoxiously partisan, and just generally annoying, and I'm the choir she's preaching to. I found Sue Hertz's Caught in...morePoorly argued, poorly written, obnoxiously partisan, and just generally annoying, and I'm the choir she's preaching to. I found Sue Hertz's Caught in the Crossfire, which I read at the same time, to be much more engaging, fair and timely, and it was written twenty years ago.(less)