Culture

The GOOD Report Card: “Lady Dynamite” Rules, James Bond Gender-Bends

by Jordan Crucchiola Katie Wudel

May 27, 2016

Take these culture snacks into your weekend for plenty of Memorial Day BBQ talking points.

GOOD:

Maria Bamford's Lady Dynamite shows us the comedy of crisis

After Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's take on post-cult life and Jessica Jones' snapshot of PTSD, Netflix's Lady Dynamite completes its trifecta of flat-out entertaining and somehow totally sensitive portrayals of complex female characters struggling with trauma and mental illness. The time-hopping, fourth-wall-shattering show from Arrested Development's Mitch Hurwitz and South Park's Pam Brady stars Maria Bamford as a (slightly) stranger version of herself recovering from her real-life mental breakdown at the height of her success. Since its release last weekend, the sitcom has collected superlative reviews from The New Yorker, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, which called it "2016's Must-See TV Show."

Bamford's been turning her battle with OCD and bipolar disorder into fodder for hilarious (and heartbreaking) material for years, so supplement your Netflixing with Maria Bamford: The Special Special Special (likely the only comedy special ever to be performed in someone's house for an audience of two—her actual parents), and if you're still into it, check out the intensely personal web series, The Maria Bamford Show.
—K.W.

Priyanka Chopra wants to be James Bond

Chopra in an image from her Complex magazine photo shoot.

In her cover story for Complex magazine, the Indian actress was asked what she thinks of the buzz around her playing a Bond girl and she responded with a pitch perfect retort, saying “I get that all the time, but fuck that—I wanna be Bond.”

Don’t threaten us with happiness, Priyanka. Don’t you do it!

NOT SO GOOD:

Tom Hiddelston will likely be the actual next James Bond

Right on the heels of Priyanka Chopra’s expressing her desire to be the next Bond, we received considerably more predictable and mediocre news later in the week about who is actually going to get the part. Tom Hiddelston is reportedly in advanced talks to play 007 in the franchise’s 25th installment, and while Hiddelston is wonderful and amazing and we treasure him, the idea of him just feels so, well, boring after everyone fantasy casting Idris Elba in the role and Chopra saying she’s like to bring Bond into the 21st century for real. It’s not the worst thing. If we’re going to watch another handsome blue-eyed British man in the spy’s shoes, Hiddelston is just about the best possible option. But it still feels so utterly unadventurous.

PART OF THE PROBLEM:

David Brooks is out of touch

If Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers were still together to do their “Really?” sketch, David Brooks’ column for The New York Times would be a prime candidate to land in their incredulous crosshairs. Because, really, the reason people don’t like or trust Hillary Clinton is that they don’t know what she does for fun? That’s your hot take for the United States paper of record as to why Clinton is attacked like it’s a sport by her fellow politicians and criticized so heavily by the public as untrustworthy? Brooks explains that because we know Barack Obama golfs we think of him as a whole person, but asserts that when it comes to Clinton people, “tend to talk of her exclusively in professional terms… At least in her public persona, Clinton gives off an exclusively professional vibe: industrious, calculated, goal-oriented, distrustful.” Brooks never gets around to mentioning that Clinton’s gender has made her a target for nearly her entire public life, or that she’s held to a more fickle standard of relatability on account of the fact that women can’t be perceived as career-driven, lest they be “unlikable.” Good one Brooks.

 

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The GOOD Report Card: “Lady Dynamite” Rules, James Bond Gender-Bends