The "Hunger" Edition
We’ll get to *all that* in a minute.
A couple of things that I’m planning on watching this week, which is my way of saying “I haven’t seen this but am going to give you an opinion, unencumbered by the facts. Which seems to work for politicians so I’m going to try it on and see how it feels.
The Summer I Turned Pretty. First of all, I’m still waiting for The Summer I Got Good At Tennis. But in the meantime, based on the exceptionally popular YA novel, this TV show is adapted by the ultra talented writer, Jenny Han. The series is reviewed generally very positively! It appears that on the surface, it is going to be sweet, moving, and keenly evocative (of adolescence). More deeply, it seems to be another audio-visual chance to contemplate the moments (years) in life when your body takes over and gives way to a new portal of experience that you never really contemplate. Or, if you did, you really couldn’t begin to fathom it until your endocrine system took over and left your brain behind. See related topic: puberty. Amazon Prime Video.
Good Luck To You, Leo Grande. Same issues, different lifestage: the questioning of sex, desire, taboos, choices. In this film, the body and the mind go toe-to-toe, so to speak. Surface plot: “I’m going to have sex for the express purpose of having an actual orgasm, never having had one in this unfulfilling (in every way) marriage.” Second (and more) layer, it also seems to be about the traps of the female body, the baggage of expectation and hope, the disappointments of aging. See related topic: menopause. Hulu.
Calling all Media Studies majors: watch both shows and write a very intellectual, theory-based paper in the rubric of good ole’ “compare and contrast” 16 and 66, body, mind, sex, perception, male enabling/disabling. Drinking game alert: every time you say “male gaze,” you know what to do.
Finally, one I actually watched (most of)! Gaslit. FYI I could watch Julia Roberts all day long. In anything. She is a big wow of an actor. In this, she is Martha Mitchell. While it is the story of Watergate, it is her story in this multi-part series. Other than Deep Throat, it seems like she’s the one who called it like she saw it and was, titularly, gaslit (and drugged and silenced) every step of the way. Incidentally, she undergoes a great physical transformation to be a stocky Southern matron which is fun to watch. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Watergate, I guess, there are many stories of Martha Mitchell out there and every one is worth watching or listening to.
Speaking of physical actor transformations, it took me all the way until the credits of the first episode to discover that Sean Penn got bejowled, be-balded, and befatted to play John Mitchell. I’m watching episode one and I’m like wow, this actor I’ve never seen can really go toe to toe with the sublime and powerful Julia Roberts. He must have been very intimidated! But he really brings his own space and energy to these scenes with her. Very powerful. Good job, unknown actor! Hahahahahaaaa.
How did yet another retelling of “Watergate” leave me satisfied and hopeful, especially this week? In part because this particular take really focuses on the clowns and boobs who thought they could alter the course of an American presidential election. Through illegal means. And that it took cranks and weirdos *and* women who weren’t listened to, and very conservative people on the right side of the law and the constitution, to take the boobs and clowns — the witting and un- — down. And it took them years. The familiarity, probably futilely, is comforting.
Anyway, the point is that we women have all been Martha’d at some point in our lives, and Gaslit was a pleasure to watch. Confusingly it’s on “Starz” which I don’t think anyone actually subscribes to? So start your free 7-day trial today!
Now I’ll be lame and turn to the “world keeps spinning” section of the newsletter and also demonstrate my brain’s ability to compartmentalize.
Funfact: I used to go to this party every year. In Malibu. Kind of regular people (like me) would be there alongside crazily famous. I mean nutz famouz. While I would be having a completely normal party conversation, my mind would go “Look, there’s Barbra in shoeboots and a beret!” or “Wow, Tom Cruise actually has a blinding smile and wears well-fitting white-tshirts in real life, too!” And at some point during this party Julia Roberts would walk in. Super-casually, unobtrusively. All of a sudden there was some late-arriving, underdressed guest in not-that-fabulous bluejeans and a white t-shirt with her hair in a not done-to-look-like-it-was-not-done ponytail. Just all of a sudden she’d be across the room. Except that the reason you would notice is that there was a star forcefield around her not of her own creation, it just *is,* like all true stars I’ve ever been around.
Thanks for letting me have opinions on things I haven’t watched. But rest assured I have actually read all of this week’s news round up and about 1000 other articles. That’s how I come up with the most important news of the week, delivered straight to your inbox. Politics, Pop Culture and everything in between. Even this week.
Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Also, you can follow me for important things all week: Instagram.
If you have a story you think I may have missed, email me at (click here:) LZSundayPaper@gmail.com.
And if you’d like to tell a friend about the Paper, please do:
See you next week, if there is a next week, the way things are going…