"Roseanne" Or "Frasier"?

Part of a series: Two choices—which do you choose?

Two 90s sit-coms, and at first glance they couldn't seem more different. "Frasier" is set in a fancy apartment with panoramic views of a Seattle that bears little resemblance to the actual Seattle in Washington; "Roseanne," in a linoleum-sided house in a nondescript southern Illinois town that could be anywhere in Middle America. "Frasier" is about the wealthy; "Roseanne" about the working class. However, both programs tell stories of families grappling with the strange social (implicitly political) changes of the decade—and both carry with them the fumes of 80s class tumult. "Roseanne," which debuted in 1988, unspools like a [...]


Angela Lansbury Or Betty White?

First in a series: Two choices—which do you choose?

The mid 80s and early 90s were the golden age for television shows about old people. And no shows did that better than "The Golden Girls" and "Murder, She Wrote." Though both shows ended their runs nearly two decades ago and their stars' lifespans weren't expected, statistically, to last much beyond that, two of them—Betty "Rose Nylund" White and Angela "Jessica Fletcher" Lansbury—are still with us today and going strong.

Betty White, of course, is in the throes of yet another late-career revival. Now 90 years old, she's currently starring in a sitcom on TV Land, hosting a terrible candid camera [...]


Hard-Packed Ice Cream Or Soft-Serve?

Part of a series: Two choices—which do you choose?

Ice cream is way more fun to eat in the summer, especially if you like to go to places where they serve it to you in a cup or cone, because it’s like, a very American Summer kinda activity, hitting the ice cream place for something cold and sweet and bad for you, and in the summer, more than the other seasonals, the mere act of Hey I’m Going To Get Some Ice Cream, or Hey Let’s Go Get Some Ice Cream becomes a Social and Cultural Event, because you are gonna go to a place where lotsa other Peoples [...]


Pop Quiz: Edith Wharton? Or "Girls" Review?

1. “New York’s not very friendly to strange girls, is it? I suppose you’ve got so many of your own already—and they’re all so fascinating you don’t care!”

2. “The chief characteristic of her generation is a kind of creative solipsism: nothing is better material than the absurdities and contradictions of her own life. Successfully mining personal experience of underachievement has, of course, its ironies.”

3. "As a girl, you are a delicate glass vase, waiting to be broken. You are a sweet-smelling flower, waiting for life’s hobnailed boots to trample you. That built-in suspense is part of your appeal."

4. "It is less mortifying to [...]


Wallis Simpson Or The Queen Mother?

Part of a series: Two choices—which do you choose?

Two years ago I read William Shawcross’ immense official biography of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother of England and became enamored of the story of lady who had a front-row seat to the entirety of the 20th century (and a little bit beyond).

Of course, along the way, I learned about the part Wallis Simpson played in Elizabeth's life. Now, as any good ladyblog reader knows, it is Total B.S. to pit two women against each other in the way that Wallis and Elizabeth have been (and as I am about to do). And yet, the Queen Mum probably [...]


Album By Metal Band Or Female Singer/Songwriter?

1. Wearing a Martyr's Crown

2. Hymns for the Exiled

3. Resurrection Macabre

4. Prima Donna

5. Extraordinary Machine

6. Lullabies for the Dormant Mind

7. Middle Cyclone