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A Lot Of Old Sitcoms Don’t Hold Up. “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” Does.

The rise of video streaming services has opened up a vast array of TV series’ back catalogs, and with it a debate: Just because we can mainline older shows, does that mean we should? There are more than enough new viewing options being produced (including an endless parade of reboots and revisionist remakes for the nostalgia-inclined) to keep anyone entertained. So why are Gen Z teenagers who weren’t alive in 1994 bingeing Friends on Netflix? And should someone stop them?

Billboard

Britney Spears’ ‘Blackout’ Turns 10: How Her Worst Year Gave Us Her Best Album

In February 2007, Britney Spears walked into a California beauty salon and shaved her head in full view of the snapping paparazzi. After the iconic public meltdown, she checked into a rehab facility. In July 2007, she finalized her divorce from her husband of less than three years, dancer Kevin Federline. In September 2007, she ambled through an infamously terrible performance of a new single, “Gimme More,” at the MTV Video Music Awards. Not long after, she temporarily lost custody of her children….

Lion’s Roar

Dan Harris is 10% Happier

Network anchor Dan Harris keeps his Buddhism real. His bestselling book and popular app offer down-to-earth wisdom and achievable goals. As Harris tells Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, he wants to help bring meditation from the fringes to the mainstream.

Smithsonian Magazine

‘Drunk History’ Bends History in All the Right Directions

Actress and writer Amber Ruffin has only just begun telling the story of future Civil Rights activist Claudette Colvin, and she’s already in trouble. She can’t seem to get the word bespectacled out of her mouth. “Claudette Colvin is a 15-year-old bespectalcaled teenager … uh-oh … It’s a hard word.” She pushes through her slurring speech to pronounce each syllable precisely, the way one often does when trying to prove one isn’t that drunk: be-spec-ta-cled. As she continues to narrate on camera, clearly inebriated, she’s intercut with reenactors portraying Claudette and her friends as they get on the bus after school one day in 1955. And in Ruffin’s telling, “Her friends are like, ‘Hurray, we’re having a nice trip to … home.’”

Lion’s Roar

How Mr. Rogers Taught Us to Love

While he was changing his tennis shoes, Mr. Rogers was quietly changing children’s lives — and ours as well. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong tells us about the man who used television to teach us to love ourselves. From the November 2019 issue of Lion’s Roar.

Vanity Fair

How Sex and the City Holds Up in the #MeToo Era

Sex and the City premiered on HBO 20 years ago today, staking its claim to a bold thesis: maybe women want sex as much as men do, and maybe they don’t need men for much else. This represented a huge shift at the end of the millennium, a time when sex was on everyone’s mind and newscast: Independent Counsel Ken Starr’s investigation into President Bill Clinton had just taken a prurient turn by focusing on Clinton’s sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and the nation was hanging on the intimate details. But the dominant narrative was still the tale of a powerful man taking advantage of a much younger woman.

The Washington Post

I thought I was a Brandon girl. But Luke Perry helped me realize all I really wanted was a Dylan McKay.

From the moment Luke Perry first appeared as Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210,” he felt like the perfect pop song: You couldn’t believe you’d ever lived in a world where you hadn’t known of him. His impossibly chiseled cheekbones, throwback pompadour, sideburns and perpetual squint made every scene he was in look iconic. He spoke French, read Lord Byron for fun and surfed.

The Verge

Translating ‘Seinfeld’

Translator Sabine Sebastian tried to bring Seinfeld to Germans, yada yada yada, it flopped.

Like so many of Jerry Seinfeld’s girlfriends on Seinfeld, Dolores was TV-beautiful, with glossy, reddish-blond hair, big blue eyes, full lips, and impeccable bone structure. Most of Jerry’s girlfriends brought with them a joke about the trials of dating and/or the self-centeredness of Jerry’s character, and Dolores was no exception: Jerry very much wanted to sleep with her, but he hadn’t asked her name when they met, and by the time they went out, he was too embarrassed to admit he didn’t know it. He surreptitiously searched her purse for an ID, but came up short. He asked friends to introduce themselves to her, hoping she would introduce herself back; she didn’t.

Literary Hub

What Pop Stars Can Teach Writers About Failure

If you’re interested in having a commercial hit as an author, you’re interested in being something akin to a pop star. Pop stars are artists who, by happenstance or design, make something lots of people like, then dedicate themselves to reproducing that success at the behest of their corporate benefactors. Many find this process suffocating, since they are dynamic human beings who seek new experiences and expressions as they change, while the market demands they replicate the same fun trick they did that one time on their hit record. Successful pop stars must keep making the same thing, slightly differently each time, but not unrecognizably differently, or they must do something difficult and rare: come up with a totally new trick that people like just as much as the first one.

New York

What Would Sex and the City Look Like in 2018? The Show Writers Plot Out 6 Episodes

With Sex and the City celebrating the 20th anniversary of its premiere and almost every other old TV show getting a reboot, I couldn’t help but wonder: What would the story lines be if SATC returned in 2018? To find out, I canvassed show writers Jenny Bicks, Cindy Chupack, Amy B. Harris, Julie Rottenberg, and Elisa Zuritsky — all featured in my new cultural history of the show, Sex and the City and Us.

More Articles from Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Anne Hathaway Is Our Kind of Cool Girl (Refinery29)

Are Shamans the New Therapists? (Mind Body Green)

The Best-Laid Wedding Plans (Altared)

Beyond ‘Mad Men’: What Is the Greatest TV Finale Ever? (BBC Culture)

Brie Larson Breaks Out of ‘Room’ (Refinery 29)

Britney Spears’ 2016 VMA Performance (Billboard)

Britney Spears’ ‘Glory’ Is Another Comeback Album — And This Time It Might Be for Good (Billboard)

A Buddhist Chaplain Disrupts Suffering in Rikers Island (Lion’s Roar)

Buddha’s Champion: a profile of Robert Thurman (Lion’s Roar)

Celebrity Death Rumors (Entertainment Weekly)

Diversity in Entertainment: Why Is TV So White? (Entertainment Weekly)

Elaine Benes Is a Feminist Heroine (Dame)

From ‘Cop Rock’ to ‘Atlanta’: How Music TV Shows Went from Punchlines to Prestige Programs (Billboard)

Gay Teens on TV (Entertainment Weekly)

A Gentleman in Moscow (Nob Hill Gazette)

The History of wikiHow in 7 Fascinating wikiHow Articles (Mental Floss)

How Sugarland’s Kristian Bush and Online Game My Singing Monsters Came to Make Music Together (Fast Company)

Mary Richards wasn’t trying to be a feminist icon. She would have marched anyway. (Washington Post)

Mary Tyler Moore’s 7 Best Musical Moments (Billboard)

Mary Tyler Moore Was a Progressive Hero (Vice)

Meet the Woman Who Invented ‘The Daily Show’ (Dame)

‘Re Jane,’ by Patricia Park (New York Times Book Review)

Rock On (Northwestern)

The Secret History of Women in Television (Bust)

Secret Lives: Lisa See’s ‘China Dolls’ and More (New York Times Book Review)

‘Sex and the City’: A Global Revolution (BBC Culture)

Taylor Swift’s Debut Album Turns Ten (Billboard)

TV’s Transgender Revolution (BBC Culture)

Was ‘Seinfeld’ Really ‘About Nothing’? (BBC Culture)

What Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ Shows Us About Adulthood: Critic’s Take (Billboard)

What’s So Feminist About Liking Boy Bands? (Dame)

When Did Feminism Become a Job Requirement for Pop Stars? (Billboard)

Why Beyoncé Could Be the Next Bob Dylan (Billboard)

Why The Odyssey’s New Translation Matters to Women (Dame)