With a title like “Whips and Regret,” safe words, gimp masks and sex tapes, you’d figure this episode of The Following would be exciting (or kinky, at least). Instead, it was the most snooze-worthy chapter yet. Bouncing back and forth between Carroll’s hideout and Ryan and Debra’s sex-club sting, the plot didn’t stir up as much scary tension as we’re used to seeing. It was also, for the most part, fairly plausible. Perhaps that’s the problem—we, like the Followers themselves, have been conditioned, and anything resembling reality is just plain boring. So rather than examine the story itself, which didn’t take us very far, let’s take a look at where the central characters stand as we head into the show’s final four episodes.
Like most of the rest of the women in America, I read the recent New York magazine essay on “The Retro Wife” with my mouth wide open in disbelief. In case somehow you missed it , "The Retro Wife" tells the story of the brave new anti-feminist wives and moms who are turning their backs on careerhood and instead digging deep down into the pleasures of being a stay-at-home mom. Yes, we’re back to that war again. What I like most about the piece is that its brave poster-mom, Kelly Makino, turns out to have actually been a stay-at-home mom for less than a year—and confesses she’s, well, a little bored. I’m sure things have picked up for her since the story appeared in mid-March, however, since it’s now spring-cleaning time.
So, how was your Nerd Christmas?Yes, after a long wait, Game of Thrones—the excellent fantasy soap opera adapted from George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series—has returned for yet another season. I have no interest in the books, and I'm not usually a fan of the fantasy genre. But, damn, this a good show. Let's recap! Since this show's cast is so large, I'll link names to the Game of Thrones Wiki. I have to look everyone up anyway.
Winter is almost here.This Sunday at 9 p.m., the third season of Game of Thrones begins on HBO. Anyone familiar with the show—or the books—knows they are jam-packed with places and characters. Oh, and zombies.
Historically, Philadelphia has had a bad case of cainophobia. Whether we’re talking about building a highway or bumping up trash day, Philadelphians generally don’t react to change too well. “It’s my city,” we say, “I like it the way it is.” Reinvention, alteration—these things are a threat to the very identity of native Philadelphians everywhere. Progressives, generally speaking, we are not.
Math is not my strong suit, but something seems wrong here: A new study tells us that one-third of Americans are cutting back on gluten, but less than one percent of the population suffers from celiac disease, the condition that is the only reason for omission of gluten from the diet. So, why is everyone else buying gluten-free foods when they don’t have to?
Last week, when I read that a Goosebumps movie was in the works, potentially under the direction of Rob Letterman, of Monsters vs. Aliens and Shark Tale, I practically wormholed through time, back to my third-grade math class.Maybe others remember this. The pandemonium that ensued when a kid brought the newest Goosebumps book to school, fresh from Border’s. Teachers could be in the middle of multiplication tables, but when one of those glossy covers was pulled slyly from under a Lisa Frank binder, stops were pulled. Everyone swarmed the lucky new owner, begging for a spot on the “borrow-when-you're-done” list. I was the first to whip out How I Got My Shrunken Head. It is still the closest I have ever been to rock stardom.
My daughter is in college now with, hopefully, one more year to graduation. I guess you’d call that young adulthood or “almost adulthood,” or not, depending on the financial or emotional crisis du jour. I’m proud of her accomplishment and her character. I feel as though her father and I have done a good job raising her, and believe me, it wasn’t easy. There is so much that affronts young girls today that it’s all a parent can do to stay ahead of the danger curve.
It was couples night on The Following, as a number of duos were introduced, pulled together, or ripped apart—and in one case, set us up for the best twist ending of the series so far. Since the plot didn’t move ahead by much, let’s take a look some of the odd couples that made for another solid episode.
I never thought I’d say this, but I feel sorry for Jay Leno.Once again, NBC is trying to dump Leno as host of the Tonight Show. This time, it’s for Late Night darling Jimmy Fallon. Leno is 62. Fallon is 38. Leno is unhip. Fallon is cool. Leno drags out corny bits and works like a mule. Fallon "Mom dances" with Michelle Obama.Nobody ever accused the TV business of having a heart, but NBC’s latest humiliation of Leno—the king of late night for two decades—lacks even the slightest semblance of humanity. Have you no sense of decency, NBC?No wonder the...
If you bother to read music reviews, and if you happen to have read any reviews of Beyoncé's music, you'll notice that critics always say the same thing: Show us who you are. Strangely, many critics said the same about her recent Life Is But a Dream documentary effort for HBO. For some reason, Ms. Knowles-Carter's true persona remains elusive. Her most formidable attempt to do so was on the ironically schizophrenic double-disc I Am ... Sasha Fierce, a mix between lethargic, weepy, self-affirming ballads and oversexed, too-hot-to-trot anthems for "all the single ladies."
Stuff a bunch of ground-up weed into a metal tube, run some clean butane gas through, evaporate the solution from the resulting mixture, and what's left? A marijuana concentrate known as hash oil, and if the Internet is any indicator of where we’re going with drugs (it is), then this is what my children will be hiding from me in their sock drawers come parenthood.
I don’t know how the idea started, really. I mean, we’re not even potato chip people. But once I had the thought to buy Lay’s new "limited-edition flavors" potato chips for my daughter’s 22nd birthday, I became obsessed. As I said, we're not potato chip people, but classic potato chips and French onion dip has always been my daughter's favorite treat; she indulges maybe four times a year.
It amazes me how frequently, in our new media Twitterverse, a perfectly obvious fact becomes controversial. A headline might read, "Beer bottles can be recycled!" and the ensuing Twitter conversation will become a debate on climate change. Things spin so quickly out of control.
It was going to be my crowning achievement of college.I didn't go to class all that often during my four years, preferring to spend my time in bed at the school newspaper instead. Because I spent a lot of time covering basketball in college instead of going to class, I liked to think I knew the sport better than most of my peers. I didn't, but what I did in March of 2004 almost made me think I did.Going into the Final Four, I'd missed just six winners in the NCAA tournament. I was in line to win both my mom's and dad's work pools and five pools at my college. I was going to clear so much money from my NCAA tournament pools that going into journalism didn't seem like such a bad idea after all, even as job rejection letters started to pour in. So what if it took a while to find a gig? I could live on the interest from the 2004 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship indefinitely.
This episode is titled “Love Hurts,” but I’d recommend a longer, more accurate version: “Love Hurts (But Not as Much as Spear Guns, Nail Guns, and Being Smothered to Death With a Pillow).” In another gleefully sick and satisfying outing, Carroll turns the next chapter of his real-time murder mystery into a Choose Your Own Adventure, allowing a new cult member to take a crack at the manuscript. And of course, the FBI manages to (mostly) stay one step behind him.