The liminal phase

She didn’t sleep with scuzzy car guy just because she was desperate for the stability. She slept with him because she’s in a liminal phase.

Liminalty is the scary in-between times in our lives, the weird time when we’re not who we used to be but we’re not quite who we’re going to be. Joan’s in a classic — classic! — liminal phase right now. She’s not the office vixen anymore, but she hasn’t really transitioned to doting mother. And to top it all off, she’s in the middle of a particularly traumatic divorce. Joan doesn’t know who she is anymore; her entire identity is jeopardized.

Why No One Should Be Shocked By Joan’s Big Move on Mad Men, Vulture.

Can she really become a partner at that firm, a member of the inner circle, with everyone around her knowing just how she got that step up? Joan knows better than anyone there that secrets rarely stay hidden. It seems like a strategic misstep, and so, for this to make sense, I have to believe that Joan’s thinking was not so much pragmatic as a statement of her disgust: a furious response to the news of that closed-room discussion among men she knew—and of course, a way to get into that room. Joan might be a man’s woman, but this felt like a decision to both embrace their opinion and up the ante—to throw herself into the flames, not be thrown.

Joan’s Decision, Culture Desk, The New Yorker.

Je ne suis pas le seul à être hanté par cet épisode.

[Edit 03/06/12]

You know, there’s a moment where Pete is pitching this idea, and he says, « Haven’t we all done something, made a mistake one night for free? » All the men in this office have done sort of off-color things, and acted in ways that we’ve all hissed at throughout the entire series. She acted like one of the guys, to a certain extent. And she’s a single mother. When Lane comes in [with the $50,000 offer] and she says, « It’s four times as much as I make in the entire year »—are you kidding me? How moral are we all? How much can it help my family, and how much can it help my son? And once it’s done, it’s done; it never has to be spoken about again. But it’s a terrible price to pay.

Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks on Joan’s Epic Moral Moment, The Stream, GQ.


« Smash » : The walk of shame

Since I wrote that passionate defense of the NBC series, I’ve tumbled out of bed, grabbed my purse, and taken a long walk of shame. Because—to switch metaphors mid-stream, the way “Smash” does with plots—since its delightful pilot, the show has taken a nosedive so deep I’m surprised my ears haven’t popped. All the caveats I noted but dismissed in my earlier review have become the definingly awful features of “Smash”.

Hate-watching “Smash”, Culture Desk, The New Yorker.

Quand une critique prend le temps de faire un deuxième article qui explique longuement pourquoi elle s’est trompé en encensant Smash, et pourquoi cette série est, en définitive, pourrie, je crois que c’est vraiment mauvais signe pour la dite-œuvre.

L’audace de la fiction

Pourquoi les chaînes françaises achètent-elles si peu de séries britanniques ?
Dans ce domaine, je relève un paradoxe. Producteurs, sériephiles ou spécialistes français semblent très enthousiastes face à la qualité de nos productions, alors que les responsables des chaînes françaises, eux, nous reprochent tous la même chose : nos séries sont trop sombres, trop difficiles, trop clivantes, trop dérangeantes…

Ce qui m’étonne toujours tant il nous paraît naturel de faire preuve d’audace dans le domaine de la fiction.

Kate Harwood : « Les chaînes françaises trouvent nos séries trop sombres et dérangeantes », Le Monde.

Kate Harwood est responsable de la production de séries pour l’ensemble des chaînes de la BBC, au Royaume-Uni.

Publicité et nouvelles façons de regarder la télévision

Here’s the wow-quote of the day, from Jeff Gaspin, the head of entertainment at NBC, explaining to The New York Times, with remarkable clarity and certainty, that watching TV shows on-demand is more satisfying than watching them live.

« The commercials broke the tension … I hate to say this to the AMC executives and everybody else in the business, but I will never watch ‘Walking Dead’ live again. »

Primetime Mystery: Where Did All the TV Viewers Go?, The Atlantic.

Même les têtes de NBC reconnaissent que les incessantes coupures de publicité détériorent la qualité de ces programmes. (En Amérique du Nord, le nombre de pub par émission est beaucoup moins limité que chez nous.) Je pense qu’on a sous-estimé l’attrait de la possibilité de voir d’un bon programme sans avoir à se taper les pubs dans les raisons qui poussent les gens à télécharger, en tout cas aux USA.

Bossypants en 8 citations

Gay people don’t actually try to convert people. That’s Jehovah’s Witnesses you’re thinking of.

I had grown up as the “whitest” girl in a very Greek neighborhood, but in the eyes of my new classmates, I was Frida Kahlo in leggings.

I think God designed our mouths to die first to help us slowly transition to the grave. But I am a big believer in “Intelligent Design,” and by that I mean I love IKEA!

At really fancy shoots, a celebrity fecalist will study your bowel movements and adjust your humours.

By the way, when Oprah Winfrey is suggesting you may have overextended yourself, you need to examine your fucking life.

Ah, babies! They’re more than just adorable little creatures on whom you can blame your farts

One of the best-kept secrets of “country life” is that people accidentally crush their own pets a lot.

I have a suspicion that the definition of “crazy” in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to fuck her anymore.

Une amie m’a récemment demandé : «Tu connais Trente Rock? Je suis à la fin de la première saison et je n’ai pas rigolé une seule fois.» C’est très stoïquement que je lui ai répondu que 30 Rock était une de mes sitcoms préférées de tous les temps et Tina Fey mon idole, en tant que scénariste, actrice et surtout en tant que personne-malaise. Elle m’a regardé comme si elle découvrait que j’aimais manger mes étuis de lentilles de contact.

Pour toutes mes homegirls qui goûtent l’humour un chouïa absurde de la série, ça vaut le coup de se pencher sur Bossypants, le livre de Tina Fey revenant sur son parcours jusqu’ici, avec des gros morceaux de SNL et de gay best friends dedans.

That terrible lost world

For one thing, he’s willing to unambiguously talk about his sexual orientation. His eight-month role in Angels was both “the most challenging thing I’ve ever done as an actor and the most rewarding” he says. Having to inhabit that terrible lost world, if only in his mind, took a toll. “And at the same time, as a gay man, it made me feel like there’s still so much work to be done, and there’s still so many things that need to be looked at and addressed.”

— What’s Up, Spock?, New YorK Magazine. Ce qui est intéressant ici, c’est que ce qui le pousse à faire son coming-out, c’est ce qui a, en grande partie, alimenté le feu du mouvement de libération gay : la proximité de la mort à travers l’épidémie de sida. La puissance de Angels in America reste intacte. «Ce terrible monde perdu», comme il dit, n’est pas si loin qui ça.