Saturday, September 28, 2013

Girls season 2

Ray and Adam and dog

Thanks to Netflix, I have now season 2 of Girls. The seasons are only ten shows long, but that's modern TV I suppose. Some of you may remember when I reviewed Season 1. Season 2 is actually quite good. In an unexpected shift, the men, at least some of them, seem to have matured into real characters, while the women have shown themselves to be needy and problematic. I would definitely say this was the season of the men.

Ever since watching last season my self esteem has suffered. I have always defined life through television situation comedies and most of them lately seem to show men as being either weak or as assholes.  Today, according to Girls, it's okay to be a man again. I feel so much better about myself now.

Traditionally, in old movies, the solution to the problem of what do single girls do when they get to New York has always been solved by marriage to well heeled men. Ginger Rogers lived in a crappy room for most of the movie but married Prince Charming in the end. Such conclusions were played with in Season 2. All of the leads in one way or another got involved with older, richer men and seemed happy for a while but things fell through in the end. In classic movieland they would have married and lived happily ever after. It would be funny if in the series finale, Girls ends with marriage to men with good careers, suburbs, and babies.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Interstings

Similar in subject matter to Jonathon Franzen's Freedom but gentler and more fun, the Interestings is a book that describes a generation of privileged youngsters, slightly post boomer but pre Generation x that came of age in the 70's. It begins in a garden of Eden like summer camp and ends with the problems of middle age. It's a journey of forty years for a group of people who go through bohemianism, yuppie-ism, comparative poverty, parenthood, cult religion,  mental illness, disabled sons,  and disease. Sort of like us, but more privileged.  They lived in Manhattan while we lived in Hoboken and Denver. They had wealthy, hip parents who sent them to the artsy Camp in the Woods while we went to Boy Scout Camp. I can't imagine my parents sending me to the Camp in the Woods.

The characters in the novel also are touched by celebrity. Ethan becomes a famous animator and Jonah's mother is a famous folksinger (my guess is someone like Sandy Denny) and is given drugs by someone like Don MacLean.

As a friend once said about Thirty Something, "it's sort of true to life but the women are better looking." So many of us tried to join the interesting crowd when we were young and this is how one lady managed to get into and thrive amongst the interestings. This may well be the novel that people in centuries to come will use to teach students in Twentieth Century Culture about the lives of a certain class and generation of young, now middle aged Caucasians. Wonder what the movie will be like. 

Editor's note: When this blogger has nothing else to say, he may occasionally do a book review. We'll see how it goes. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Miss America

Yes, Sunday night, Miss America is back in dear old Atlantic City. I have many memories of watching this show on the old Philco as a kid. The different competitions were fascinating. We all had our favorites. My mother was always loyal to the girls from the South. "You know, Southern girls are prettier than those Northern girls."  The judges must have agreed with her.

I still remember the commercials where you got to see the contestants putting on Noxzema cold cream as they prepared. And at the end, the whole family would bawl as the lucky girl walked down the aisle with Bert Parr singing that same old song. It was one of the few times I saw my father cry. 

Now the major story is that one of the contestants has a tattoo. I know the younger generation love their tattoos. Mother would not have approved.  

Thursday, September 5, 2013