Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Notes on Pop Culture: 'The Good Wife,' Sad About Miley, Fey & Motherhood, 'Mars Needs Moms' (But Hates Dads)

Image credit: CBS
 The Good Wife: Sleazy Male Pol Skates While Female Pol Gets Put Through the Wringer

During my blogging break, several pop culture subjects were still rattling around in my now under-caffeinated brain (it’s a long story) . . . including a storyline on one of my favorite shows, The Good Wife which has been, to my dismay, treating Peter Florrick like Eliot Spitzer.

My pop culture column criticized the show for its harsh treatment of a fictional female candidate while allowing the disgraced politicians to flourish:

"What I find particularly interesting is that the female candidate, [Wendy] Scott-Carr has been absolutely pummeled in this race throughout the season, while the other [male] candidates haven’t, at least not to the degree that she’s been attacked.

. . . For a show that holds up Alicia Florrick as its haloed hero -- as the betrayed wife and mother who’s risen from the humiliating ashes of her husband’s incarceration and scorchingly public marital infidelities after she’d paused her own career for her family, having Alicia play the loyal, responsible moral compass -- it’s been dispiriting to watch this fictional political campaign where Peter Florrick, a man who did his best Eliot Spitzer impersonation, seems to be neck-and-neck with someone whose biggest flaw was having hired a nanny whom she didn’t know was in the country illegally.

It’s as dispiriting as watching the real Eliot Spitzer -- who resigned his governor’s post in disgrace nearly three years ago after his own call girl scandal came to light – be rewarded with a CNN primetime talk show, Parker Spitzer, and then seeing CNN fire Kathleen Parker, his female, Pulitzer Prize winning columnist co-host, in what some called a move that smacked of sexism.”

Image credit: Marie Claire
 Sad About Miley

My daughter’s reaction to Miley Cyrus’ photos in the March issue of Marie Claire -- juxtaposed with Miley’s father Billy Ray’s interview in GQ (he said he feared for his daughter and that the Hannah Montana show destroyed his family) -- prompted this column on how sad I felt for my daughter, for Miley and her dad.

“[I feel badly] For the father who somehow lost the ear of his multi-millionaire daughter and who has to helplessly watch while she makes decisions which he thinks will harm her; for the teen star – who’s still a minor who can’t legally drink in those bars she’s been photographed in – and comes across as a kid who’s surrounded by a bunch of people giving her advice on how to sex-up her image at age 17 and who doesn’t have the wisdom or the courage to say, 'No;' and for my daughter, who looks at all of this and wonders what it means for when she’s 17 or 18 and whether the world will expect her to be like Miley."

When Miley hosted Saturday Night Live soon after she appeared on the Marie Claire cover, her opening monologue included a snarky song about how what she’s done (the infamous bong video, the pole dancing included) and suggested that what she’s been up to hasn’t been as bad as, say, the antics of Charlie Sheen or Lindsay Lohan so back the “bleep” off, like, okay?! I’m not, like, perfect, ya know!

Feminism, Working Motherhood & Tina Fey

I was impressed with Tina Fey’s recent New Yorker column in which she shared her angst over whether she should have a second child. (Her daughter Alice is now 5.) She wants to have another child but Fey, 40, said she’s worried that 30 Rock -- for which she serves as executive producer, head writer and star -- would be irreparably harmed if she took a leave of absence to have a child, as would the 200 people who make a living off the show. (Consider her the anti-Sheen.)

While I pointed out in my column that other TV actresses (Parks & Recreation's Amy Poehler, 30 Rock's Jane Krakowski, Grey's Anatomy's Ellen Pompeo and Jessica Capshaw, etc.) have been able to combine having a baby and hid their bellies on the show (sometimes poorly, sometimes well), none of the actresses played as pivotal a role behind-the-scenes for their show as Fey does for hers.

Mars Needs Moms . . . And Hates Dads?

I took my 9-year-old son with me to see Mars Needs Moms this past weekend, one of few parents who did that according to its paltry box office receipts, and, when we walked out of the theater it was after seeing a whole bunch of contradictory messages on the screen. Sure, Mars may need moms, but it really were seeking were the skills of human moms, not actual Martian mothers. Fathers were irrelevant as the matriarchal Martian society was run by a violent, evil, angry Martian female known only as The Supervisor. You can read the review here.

Image credits: CBS and Tesh/Marie Claire.

1 comment:

Tristan said...

It's pretty sick that nobody seems able to tell Miley to cover up and act your age (17 not 21 or 25). Why can't we let kids be kids, not turn them into cover models?