1. “Rape of Thrones.” Why are the Game of Thrones showrunners rewriting the books into misogyny?
“It seems more likely that Game of Thrones is falling into the same trap that so much television does—exploitation for shock value. And, in particular, the exploitation of women’s bodies. This is a show that inspired the term ’sexposition,’ and a show that may have created a character who is a prostitute so as to set as many scenes as possible in brothels. And though it has done both those things with surprising grace, it’s still making a play for male viewers who want skin. Because unlike Ginia Bellafante, in her infamous pre-air review of the series in The New York Times, I don’t think the sex is there to ’patronizingly’ draw in female viewers—I think it’s there to reel in the all-important male demographic.”
2. “George R. R. Martin Distances Himself from Game of Thrones Rape Scene.” The author posts his response to the scene on his LiveJournal.
“If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression—but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline. That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing…but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.”
3. “Julia Roberts on Her Family and Fame.” The Academy Award winning actress, thankful for the life she shares out of the spotlight with her family, brings her star power to the small screen in HBO’s film adaptation of The Normal Heart.
“Roberts is nostalgic for the Hollywood of her early career, where having arrived meant a dinner invitation to agent Sue Mengers’s house and ’there seemed to be a method to it,’ she says. ’You had your job and you got paid $1, and you got your next job and got paid $2. It made sense to me.’ Today, when the only surefire hits are star-packed blockbusters like The Avengers or tent-pole franchises starring relatively unknown actors, it’s unclear who can reliably open a movie anymore. (It’s telling that both Roberts’s current film and her most recent one, August: Osage County, were adapted from plays that have a more narrow, focused appeal. Meanwhile, Pretty Woman is currently being transformed into a splashy Broadway musical.) ’It used to be that you could build from weekend to weekend and people talked,’ says Roberts, who also has a production company. ’Now, if there have been two showtimes and it hasn’t sold 10 bazillion tickets, you’re dead in the water.’”
4. “The Agony and the Honesty of Lindsay.” Rich Juzwiak on Lindsay Lohan’s reality show.
“I don’t know whether she did or not, and I don’t even think there’s much to derive from her stoicism during this brief reveal—her miscarriage is hers to feel however she does about it. I did, though, think back to her telling Ellen Degeneres in March that they were done filming ’for now,’ which I interpreted as signaling hope for another season. I also thought back to the letter that Courtney Love wrote to Lohan a few years ago, when Lohan started cultivating her former-child-star/current-bad-girl image. Referring to Lynn Hirschberg’s Vanity Fair profile, in which it was alleged (in what Love called a misquoting) that Love had shot heroin when she was pregnant with Frances Bean Cobain, Love wrote to Lohan, ’I thought the world had split open and was going to swallow me whole. All I wanted to do was kill that woman. I realize now that as hardcore as it was, it made me a lot more interesting and somehow employable.’”
5. “A Couple of Heirs of Travis Bickle.” J. Hoberman on The King of Comedy and Ms. 45 and how they explore pathologies.
“Nearly every scene starts as a potential Pupkin fantasy and yet, stocked with celebrities and noncelebrities playing themselves, The King of Comedy comes close to documentary fiction—not least in its extended use of improvisation, particularly in the scenes where Pupkin and his date (Mr. De Niro’s wife at the time, Diahnne Abbott) invade Langford’s Long Island weekend house, or the one in which Ms. Bernhardt’s high-strung and unpredictable Masha holds Langford captive.”
Video of the Day: Brian Williams Raps “Gin and Juice”:
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