Jun 24 2013
The last couple of weeks, I have been surprisingly emotional over the death of actress Jean Stapleton.
The television show All in the Family was a big part of my childhood and Jean Stapleton’s passing almost feels like a member of my own family has died. I know that sounds starstruck and kind of stupid, since All in the Family was a television show and not real life. Yeah, yeah, I should pick up a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird and spend my life doing something meaningful rather than watching TV. Got it.
“One of the most acclaimed and controversial shows on television.” is what Henry Fonda said about this show and it holds true today. Watching old episodes on DVD, the show holds up beautifully, still uproariously funny and touching in just the right way, despite the 70s fashion and the infusion of political correctness that has permeated American life in the decades since this show went off the air.
I love it for those reasons certainly, but I love it for something much more.
For a half hour a week, on Saturday nights my family gathered around the television and watched this show–and we laughed. Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 21 2013
If you’re not pregnant like me, I recommend washing the show down with a nice Long Island Iced Tea.
Princesses: Long Island is a show that defies words. But fear not, Kveller readers–that will not stop me! I will be live-tweeting (as @Kveller) this car wreck of a “reality” show which implicitly defames Long Island, Jewish women, women in general, relationships, and basically all that is holy. My live-tweeting and the show will be on Bravo at 9 pm EST on (mark it on your calendars) Sunday night. And I CANNOT WAIT!!!!!
“Why on earth should I follow your live-tweets, Jordana, and about such an insane show?” you are thinking. “What’s in it for me?” I’ll lay it out for you below.
1. My credentials for both live-tweeting and reality TV are solid.
I think of myself as a smart person, and yet in certain instances, I am drawn to reality TV the way some people can’t help but slow down when they see an accident being cleaned up on the Long Island Expressway. This has been true ever since I snuck out of work to watch Temptation Island back in 2000. There are certain shows that hit a nerve in me for their sheer idiocy. This show is one of those cultural moments.
I last live-tweeted for Kveller on Oscar night… and if you were there, you know what a hit that was. Admittedly, I was seriously inebriated at the time but JUST THINK HOW FUNNY I WILL BE ABLE TO BE SOBER!!! The mind reels. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 24 2013
Were you among the millions who tuned in to watch ABC’s new primetime show Bet on Your Baby, which premiered earlier this month with 2.36 million viewers? This past Saturday the show increased its audience by 17%, with 2.92 million viewers. But it’s actually one show you shouldn’t be watching.
Bet on Your Baby is a game show with the vibe of a real-time America’s Funniest Home Videos. Five families appear in each episode. The parents come out one after another to chat with comedian hostess Melissa Peterman before deciding who will lead their child in a task inside something called the “Babydome.” After all the families compete for a chance to win a $5,000 scholarship, one representative parent comes back out to solve a puzzle for the chance to win a full college scholarship (valued at $50,000–which likely won’t cover a year of college by the time these tots are ready). Then those parents can smash up to five piggy banks to find the largest dollar amount possible. Read the rest of this entry →
Apr 17 2013
I admit it: there was a long period of time when Law & Order: SVU was my favorite TV show. I’d set the DVR and watch it every week, giving myself crazy nightmares. But like any good addiction, it was hard to quit. Week after week, I’d watch–sometimes covering my eyes for half of the episode–because I needed to know how Elliot and Olivia would handle the latest “ripped from the headlines” tragedy.
Then I had kids. And suddenly, a show about special victims went from appealing to appalling. I can barely watch the commercials anymore. SVU has lost its glamour. Read the rest of this entry →
Mar 5 2013
If my relationship with Hebrew had to have a status, I’d pick, “It’s complicated.” But as I’m rapidly closing in on the fourth anniversary of my move to Israel, it really should be better.
For a while–just as Sarah wrote a few weeks ago–I was learning Hebrew from my eldest child, but that stopped. One day, two years ago, at the tender age of 4, he decided he wanted to speak English and that was that. How does a 4-year-old make that choice? Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 13 2013
My parents and I immigrated to the United States from the then-Soviet Union in 1977. My father is a staunch anti-Communist. He is also a very cryptic, closed off man (teddy bear rescues aside). As a result, my brother and I are in agreement that, should he turn out to actually have been a Soviet sleeper agent for all of this time, we’d be surprised–but not too surprised.
When FX announced their new series, “The Americans” for Wednesday nights at 10, I knew I had to give it a shot. For two reasons. One) It was about a pair of Communist agents living undercover in the States, pretending to be a couple of perfectly normal, Mom and apple pie loving, suburban citizens. And Two) It was set in the 1980s. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 20 2012
As someone who learned English from watching TV, wrote a Master’s Thesis about TV, then worked in TV, I feel I can say with certainty that Christmas specials, be they rip-offs (sorry, homages) of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “A Christmas Carol,” or “Miracle on 34th Street,” all share a common message: Nonbelievers Snooze, Nonbelievers Lose. Read the rest of this entry →
Aug 15 2012
When F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote that the very rich “are different from you and me,” I doubt he had pregnant women on the brain. But Bravo’s producers took his sentiment to its logically rotund conclusion with the reality TV show “Pregnant in Heels.”
Each week, maternity concierge Rosie Pope caters to New York’s super rich and their sometimes absurd pregnancy needs. Client-facing Rosie is always polished, professional, and the best friend you don’t yet have, though Rosie’s client commentary can be less rosy. Overall, it’s a televised spectacle, alternating between appealing and repulsive.
Read the rest of this entry →
Jul 26 2012
In “Do Kids Raised By Nannies Really Turn Out Okay?” Renee Septimus asked the question:
Yet again we read a piece from the points of view of the mothers and the nannies. What always seems to be missing in these articles is the point of view of the children, arguably the most important actors in this story. The grown–up children, I mean–people who were raised with nannies, who by now have some perspective on the experience. Wouldn’t it be interesting and important to hear from them?
I confess, I did not have a nanny growing up. I was, however, from the age of 7 on, a latch-key kid (though I did not wear said key on a latch around my neck. It was hidden under a flower pot. Deviously clever, no?). Read the rest of this entry →
Jun 14 2012
I love the show Mad Men, and am amused that Sally Draper and I are about the same age. Nostalgia is not my reason for my being such a fan. Rather, the storytelling is great, the characters are complex, and the narrative is compelling.
We baby boomers thought we invented sex. Don and company prove us wrong. We thought women were treated primarily as sexual objects and had a hard time getting ahead professionally, even if they were smart and capable. Peggy and Joan prove us right. We thought that our mothers didn’t do very much at home (I still wonder about that) and Betty shows us what the consequences of that can be. And, in the Mad Men world, and my own world at that time, the only mother who was “working” did so because “she had to.” Many of the rest of us, like Betty’s family, had “Negro maids” to do the housework and child care. Read the rest of this entry →