Thursday, January 30, 2020

Other People's Writing

* I probably should've cited this at some point in 2019 when it actually was 25 years since the first season of Friends, but better late than never.  It's Wesley Morris of the New York Times discussing the show's still-rather incredible cultural influence, touching on such interesting topics as how the six characters both seemed to Flandersize and evolve at the same time, how younger fans today see Friends as sort of a fantasy of what adult life is like, and (perhaps most interestingly) how there were six of them.  Much has been written about how Friends nailed its casting to the nth degree, yet the actual size of the cast was a key factor.  It was an even gender split, nobody new was ever added, nobody ever left, and the dynamic never altered through all ten seasons.

* The Ringer's Brian Phillips writes a fascinating piece about the state of murder of entertainment, both in fictional and non-fictional varieties.  As someone who has read a thousand mystery novels and devoured all sorts of detective shows, it made me I a bloodthirsty voyeur?  Not the kind of self-analysis one necessarily expects as one sifts through the Ringer's usual collection of stories about Joel Embiid's social media, and staff-wide exit polls about movie trailers.

* Maybe I'm not obsessed with murder, but just with odd crime narratives in general?  Like when the New York Times' Corey Kilgannon relates the story of how the American Museum Of Natural History was robbed in 1964, a.k.a. the biggest jewelry theft in known U.S. history.  They made a movie version of the heist in the 70's, but why the Coen brothers haven't turned this particular cast of characters into a modern film yet is beyond me.

* Oh, make that the Ringer's usual collection of stories about Joel Embiid's social media, staff-wide exit polls about movie trailers, and oral histories of pop culture or sports events --- or both, in the case of Alan Siegel's oral history of Prince's halftime show at Super Bowl 41.  The good news is that, like any Prince anecdote, you can't help read it like a Charlie Murphy Prince story, so it's endlessly entertaining.  I guess my main quibble is, if you think Prince had the best halftime show ever, that's certainly a defensible stance and maybe even the correct one.  But U2 isn't even mentioned anywhere in the story?  Really?

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