The 'Secondarily' Edition

Dear Subscribers,

In media, sometimes the simple fact of longevity breeds something in between sweet nostalgia and semi-ironic accolades. I’ve been making media for so long that I frequently get to reflect on something that I feel like I was working on yesterday. But it turns out it was a long time ago. Sheesh.

For its 20th Anniversary, I really enjoyed participating in this oral history of KIDS, the film by Harmony Korine & Larry Clark. You spend two or three years of your life trying to get one film made. This one turned out to be meaningful, if disturbing, and launched a ton of “scare the parents” tv content, too, from ‘Girls’ to ‘Euphoria.’ I was talking to the writer for this, remembering things from two decades ago, which were hazy to begin with, and this is the pull quote. Sheesh:

Lauren Zalaznick: “That last scene was about rape, it was about non-consent, it was about HIV. And most of that sex scene, the entire freaking night we spent having a meltdown with the sound guy, who was out of his mind because the couch that had been established in the master party shot was this white, cheesy, awful vinyl thing and when it came to do the actual rape scene, the squeaking of their bodies on this couch was rendering the entire audio track absolutely unusable. We couldn’t swap out the couch because we had seen it in a million other shots. The gripping, devastating scene at that (climactic) moment was all about making sure a robe was out of sight but within [Chloe Sevigny’s] arm’s reach, and then worrying about this squeaky freaking couch the whole time.”

Oral histories are really popular now. Lots of people tell their story to a good writer and it really builds a three hundred and sixty degree picture of the process. I think I mentioned this Vanity Fair piece for 20th Anniversary of Zoolander a few weeks ago, but I just loved how it came out. Just like the film, it was amazing to see how much of the cast came out for Ben to share their remembrances. From Justin Theroux to Fabio. Sheesh.

But absolutely nothing in the pop culturezone comes close to the coverage and excitement—usually with a touch of nose-holding— of recognizing just how long and how deeply the Real Housewives franchise has been going. These shows still really resonate, but the art of Season 1 is really something to behold. Yes! 2006’s own ‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ debuted fifteen years ago! A terrific writer (and fan) wrote a book which just came out. Much of the press has focused on the fact that Season 1 barely made it on the air. We had to throw it on because we didn’t have anything else in the development pipeline. And hardly anyone was watching, anyway, It was called “The Real Housewives” from the start, a play on the wildly popular but fictional Desperate Housewives of network TV at the time. I made our marketing team throw “…of Orange County” on the end of the title because I thought we would have only one season there and then move on to produce one season per City (…of NYC, …of Atlanta, …of New Jersey). We were convinced none of the casts or storylines would last more than 8 episodes. 16 Seasons and ~200 episodes later there’s a chance— a small one— that I could have been wrong. Sheesh.

Here we are at the Season 1 press luncheon:

Kadoos to me and Andy who have owned our looks every day of our lives. Sheesh.

Oh and don’t worry, even though I told the nice writer so much about the origin story of the OC, there is plenty of material left — from my KIDS, Zoolander, and certainly Bravo days — for TBTIWLNW**

I had to quit all that time-consuming work stuff so that I could read the internet every week, so you don’t have to. From Politics to Pop Culture, and everything in between, I deliver an amazing list of content to you, every Sunday morning in the LZ Sunday Paper. Curl up, and dive in.

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See you next week, Halloween’s a-comin’…

**The Book That I Will Likely Never Write

The Pic(k) of the Week:

A Woman Takes A Lead Path In Confucian Ceremonies, Breaking A New Path In South Korea via NPR


The White House Reveals Nation’s First Gender Equity Strategy, Aiming To Close The Pay Gap and Increase Abortion Access via The 19th

The Decision Of My Life via The Daily

What Does Kyrsten Sinema Really Want? via The New Yorker


As Chinese Women Seek To Crack Male Professions, Schools Stand In The Way via The New York Times

Three Ways To Rethink Outdated Workplace Practices That Stigmatize Working Mothers via Fast Company


Prosecutor Casts Doubt On Account Of Train Passengers Not Intervening In Rape via The New York Times


For Some Breast Cancer Survivors, October Is The Cruelest Month via The New York Times


How TV Lied About Abortion via Vox

Emily Mariko Has Us Obsessed — For Now via Bitch Media

Solange Launches Free Library Of Rare, Out-Of-Print Books By Black Authors via HyperAllergic

Ashley M. Jones—Alabama’s Youngest, First Black, and Possibly, Dopest Poet Laureate—On The Need For Reparations Now, Tomorrow, and Forever via Reckon South

Katie Couric On ‘Going There,’ Her Wild, Unflinching Memoir via The Cut

Strange Gardens: An Effervescent Vision Of Plastic’s Impact On The Ocean via VQR


Remembering The ‘Tireless’ Halyna Hutchins, A Rising Cinematography Star via Vulture

And What’s Not To Love About…

Star System: Architecture’s Last Grande Dame, Denise Scott Brown, Is Going Solo via Believer Mag