What to watch: TV characters that didn’t stand the test of time. Plus, ‘American Rust’ and what we want to see at the VMAs

One night this week, I was in a heavy camping mood, so I turned on “Death Becomes Her,” the 1992 dark comedy that in no way deserves the cast it already has ( Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Bruce Willis).

The film tells the story of two women with a long-standing feud – Madeline (Streep) and Helen (Hawn) – who sign an illegitimate contract in an effort to stay young forever.

20-Year-Old Spoiler Warning: Madeline robs Helen (Willis)’s man from her, propelling her into an emotional spiral. In her darkest moments, Helen is said to be overweight (with Hawn in a chubby suit), lives in an apartment with too many cats, binge eats cakes in front of the TV, obsessed with the idea of get even with Madeline. She was arrested and taken to a hospital.

Yes, the movie is camp, but since the fat clothes hit the brain this week (see below), I can’t believe I’ve been stumbling across this scene for years and have no problem with oh- so -many problematic and harmful messages it is sending.

Then I started thinking about television and all those characters that look so different with the 2021 goggles.

Of course, there’s Monica Gellar, whose “friends” on “Friends” teased her for being overweight as a teenager. The story point is called “Fat Monica“and was completely evaded In recent years. I also grew up full of passion trash people Zack Morris, people with bad qualities are well documented.
Jon Cryer and Ashton Kutcher in

However, thinking deeper, there are many other things, for example:

  • Creepy TV sitcom – I’m looking at you “How I Met Your Mother” Barney Stinson, who introduced a generation of men to the so-called “hot/crazy scale”. Also you, Dennis Finch from “Just Shoot Me.” The problem is, these people have never Not admittedly scary in their shows, but they went to great lengths to make the audience see through it rather than getting the characters to stop their behavior.
  • The ‘dumb’ blondes – Poor, Chrissy Snow and Kelly Bundy. Your creators owe the blonde generations an apology. While, Heidi from “Home Improvement” isn’t a blonde, but I wish someone would write a reboot where the once miniaturized woman “Tool Girl” runs a valuable construction company Millions of dollars hired Al and Tim until they died from unfortunate accidents involving power tools. (As a reminder that Pamela Anderson, the blonde, was the original tool girl Lisa, and made room for Heidi.)
  • Everything about “Complete any male house” – I was at a bar once when I overheard a Wall Street friend at another table talking about his favorite show “Two and a Half Men” and then calling his bar “” adultery bar”. I left. No further comments.
  • And don’t start with the older shows, as CNN’s Brian Lowry reminded me. “‘Honeymoon ‘ is a classic comedy, for good reason,” he writes. But even if it were understood he would never actually do it, it wouldn’t be cool to watch Jackie Gleason’s Ralph Kramden threaten to pull and knock his wife Alice (Audrey Meadows). way to the moon. “
That doesn’t even go into the descriptions that are groundbreaking but end up representing mistakes we don’t want to see repeated. As Maura Pfefferman in “Transparent” who was at the center of a groundbreaking show but played by a non-transgender actor. Or Artie Abrams from “Glee”, who uses a wheelchair but is played by a non-disabled actor.

Good news: Television is doing better. The bad: Mistakes are still being made. Fact: I’m not even sure this stretch will last, so all we can do is try and learn from our mistakes.

Trippin’ friend

"  Impeachment: America's Crime Story
Speaking of roles that I don’t think I’ll grow old with, count me among those who had problems with the first episode of “American Crime Story: Impeachment,” specifically Sarah Paulson’s Portrait of Linda Tripp. It’s a fat suit. The show’s seemingly constant focus on what the character is eating and consuming – from her morning Slim Fast to how she steals her candy – extends beyond creating a portrait of a woman. Women with self-esteem issues enter the area of ​​bullying. That’s all of it.
There have been many good pieces wrote about this topic this week, but I can’t get over my frustration. (Tripp’s real-life daughter no problem with description.)
In defense of his participation, Emmy-winning Paulson told LA Times that she took issue with the idea that “the only thing any actor cast in this part would have to offer is their physical selves” and called the concept “a real reduction of the offer that the actor must make.” That may be true, but then, I wonder, how does “Crime Story” defend her physical reduction of Tripp?
The history of television and film is rife with examples of people who did not look exactly like the people they portrayed them to be. Have you ever seen real Maria Von Trapp? Or someone booked Michael C. Hall in dentures to play John F. Kennedy? No, because the performances overcome the difference.
I’ve also heard people say that an oversized actress should have played the part, if physical precision was so important to the producers. The pretext that their picks are only better for this part – and no one can argue that Paulson isn’t a phenomenal talent – sounds a lot like the words of the makers who didn’t want to put manual work into casting people of color – or in this case, an actress more physically like Tripp.

Some have praised the show for giving the women in this scandal back their voices, but one episode in the series, only Monica Lewinsky actually sang here. Lewinsky, the show’s producer, succeeded in recreating her story. The show’s image, on the other hand, is larger than it’s intended, leaving it starving a bit for grace.

‘American Rust’ is a bit rusty

Jeff Daniels as Del Harris in & # 39;  American Rust.  & # 39;
I really like intro video for this miniseries, but after watching several episodes, Lowry provided this announcement: “‘American Rust’ feels like some sort of sequel to the series. ‘Your honor,’ about a Showtime miniseries that combines a strong cast with rather dull material. In the former case, it was a judge (Bryan Cranston) trying to save his son. Here, it’s a world-weary sheriff (Jeff Daniels, new to the pay network in ‘Comey’s Rule‘) who must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the adult son of the woman (Maura Tierney) he loves. There are only three pre-made episodes, so it’ll probably kick off after that, but for starters, ‘American Rust’ (showing on Sunday) is just a good result. ”

A few more rounds with Muhammad Ali

& # 39;  Blood brothers: Malcolm X & amp;  Muhammad Ali & # 39;  examine the complex relationship between these two symbols.
Hungry for some Muhammad Ali content? Why wait, Lowry said. Ken Burns’ four-part, eight-hour “Muhammad Ali” hits theaters September 19 and is well worth the wait. But for those who can’t, Netflix just premiered ‘Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali,’ a documentary that focuses on the complicated relationship between the two men and how Ali separates himself from the activist civil rights movement. Burns’ doc includes much of the same material and is a two-part sequel to 2019’s What’s My Name / Muhammad Ali’ – produced by LeBron James’ company – on HBO Max. Finally, if you haven’t seen it, there’s the (slightly speculative) movie’One night in Miami,’ directed by Regina King, available on Amazon. As they say, float like a butterfly, flow like a potato.”

7 Things I Do and Don’t Want to See at VMAs

Original MTV VJs Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn and JJ Jackson (Photo by Mark Weiss/WireImage)

I’m a young person who remembers when the MTV Video Music Awards was one of the biggest nights of the year. And while I wouldn’t say the same is still true, it’s safe to assume they’ll draw in more viewers than a repeat of “Beat Bobby Flay” airing on the Food Network and less than football. With modest rating expectations in mind, I humbly present to you my hopes for one of the weekend’s biggest nights.

DO: Give a nod to MTV’s 40-year history. Hey, Nick Jr. gave us Steve from Blue’s Club, what if MTV surprises us with Mark, Nina, Alan, Martha and JJ?

DO: Explain to me what the Kelly Shooter is.

IMPOSSIBLE: Running late. Grandma needs to go to sleep.

DO: Lil Nas X took advantage of being one of the most anticipated artists of the night (get up there with Normandy!) and has his Britney Spears moment with the snake symbol.
SHOULD NOT: Speaking of Spears, don’t joke about her current court drama. As one Clever man once said, leave Britney alone.
DO: Presenter’s performance Doja Cat’s cat.

DO: Reminds everyone why the MTV VMAs are so much fun.


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