Posts tagged: tv
Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley writes about his past as a soap opera fan and the return of a classic soap opera, The Doctors, and its significance for the genre.
At Salon, Nathan Rabin apologizes for coining the phrase, “Manic Pixie Dream Girl.”“I remember thinking, even back then, that a whole list of Manic Pixie Dream Girls might be stretching the conceit too far. The archetype of the free-spirited life-lover who cheers up a male sad-sack had existed in the culture for ages. But by giving an idea a name and a fuzzy definition, you apparently also give…
Maureen Ryan writes about Tyrant and the lazy use rape as a trope. “I’m just so tired of violence against women being used as storytelling No-Doz–something to juice up the proceedings and then discard at will.”
Screen Editor alex writes about Mad Men's Don Draper, True Detective's Marty Hart and the limits of self-control.
Self-control is rooted in stopping something that feels good because you can see that it will lead somewhere bad later. Adults are pretty strongly motivated by the avoidance of imagined future pain, so if they envision their boss calling them into her office and yelling at them for doing something, that’s usually enough to stop them from doing it. Children, however, aren’t very good at predicting consequences. They need adults to act as a control while they’re learning because their primary motivation is the experience they’re having right now. They’re figuring out how to avoid getting in trouble later by making a better choice in the moment, but they’ll get all the way to being yelled at before they realize it was a mistake, at which point they’d do anything to make it stop. And that anything is often just another thing that seems like a good idea at the time, but actually makes it worse later.
And his article was one of RogerEbert.com’s “Thumbnails.” Check it out here.
Awhile back I had one of those moments where I read something that made all the kaleidoscope pieces shift slightly into a pattern that made more sense: part of our problem in trying to make the best, healthiest choice about everything is that self-control is a limited resource. If you’re constantly forcing yourself to behave in ways that don’t feel very good, by the end of the day you’ve got no…
We all know what we thought before we did that thing we really shouldn’t have done. We had a reason. Maybe it wasn’t a good reason, but unless we’re in an existentialist novel it wasn’t completely random and without motivation. Our understanding of why we do things is inextricably linked to what happened around us and how we were provoked. Other people, however, often do appear to be doing things completely randomly and without motivation because we don’t get to see what preceded their actions. It takes a conscious effort to remind ourselves that maybe that person who just drove through a giant mud puddle and left us dripping on the sidewalk was rushing to get somewhere for a reason we could empathize with and didn’t notice we were there until it was too late. When I do something inconsiderate or idiotic it’s because reasons, but when you do it, it’s because you’re a jerk.
It’s called the fundamental attribution error, and it started me thinking about other kinds of perceptual errors people make, like taking things at surface value and mistaking some element of the appearance for the complete reality.
“Is it so outrageous to think that someone my color would be rocking out in a girl band?” Lindsay Taylor reads an open letter to director John M. Chu, director of the upcoming live action film Jem And The Holograms . Taylor talks about what the character Shana means to her as well as whitewashing, colorism and representation and the erasure of dark-skinned people, particularly women, in film.…
Every April we switch things up at the Cultural Gutter with editors writing about things outside their usual domain. This week, Keith writes about Michael Ginsberg, Mad Men and his own experience being "The Worst Dressed Man In The Room":
Diving into the fashion of Mad Men may seem a tired topic at this point, as the show rumbles into its final season. We’ve seen analysis of the clothing from stylistic, historical, and philosophical angles, and it would seem there’d be little left to say. Even the “Don is not a style icon; he’s a style dinosaur” approach that looks at how the coolest man in the room became a square was made overly obvious in the season seven premiere, when Don Draper arrives in L.A. looking more like the fabulous Megan Draper’s dad than her slick New York husband. Luckily for those of us who obsess about both television and style, however, Mad Men is a show with a deep roster of characters and things to say. Which is why I want to take a little time out to talk about the show’s worst-dressed character, and the one with whom I most closely identify: Michael Ginsberg.