Posts Tagged: Anne Helen Petersen
15

The Trials of 'Entertainment Weekly': One Magazine's 24 Years of Corporate Torture

Jessica Alba on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in March of 2001, summer of 2006, and again this month.

When I was a young and odd child, one of the oddest things I did was collect Entertainment Weekly. Our family, like so many middle class families, had always had a subscription to Time, and one day Entertainment Weekly began arriving with it. In those early days, it was called entertainment weekly, and in many ways, it resembled many of the entertainment websites (The A.V. Club, Grantland, Vulture) that dominate the field today. There were long, industry-oriented cover stories, buttressed by surprisingly non-banal interviews with stars, producers, directors, [...]

50

You, Me And "Star Trek: The Next Generation"

An obsession in five acts.

I. You're about nine, and you always watch tv with your dad. It's your thing—he's usually nursing a Coors Light, you're doing your best to hang upside down on the couch until your head starts pounding. Sometimes you watch golf and fall in love with Payne Stewart; sometimes you watch "MacGyver" and wish your dad had his hair. But then you start watching "Star Trek: The Next Generation" at 5 p.m. on a Saturday, because obviously that is when the best show on television should be scheduled, and your routine becomes: 1.) watch "TNG" together 2.) Mom and Dad go out to some dinner [...]

14

Bad News Brenda

The first in a two-week series on the pull of bad influences in our lives and in the culture.

Brenda looked great in a bikini. She looked great in everyone’s bikini. She looked like an adult in a bikini, which is to say that she looked like one of those models we call beautiful because they have the face of an adult and the body of a 15 year old.

Brenda was equally great on four-wheelers and horses, and when she got her license, just months after turning 15 (Idaho doesn’t care about your national traffic safety), she’d already mastered the stubborn clutch on one of her [...]

32

What Your Gap Fragrance Said About You

At some point in the mid-1990s, The Gap decided two things were very important: 1) convincing the world that swing dancing in dad khakis was fun; and 2) providing middle-school girls with the illusion of individuality.

Twenty years from now, our grandchildren will spend their Marxist phases critiquing the false consciousness that led us to believe that a “signature scent” could somehow stand in for character. But what is cheaply made, mass-marketed, and ostensibly classy perfume for if not providing insecure teenage girls with eight dollars worth of identity security.

Five fragrances; five personalities. For girls too old for American Girl dolls and their various [...]

7

Things To Drink This Fall: The Chisos Chimney

The Chisos Chimney is named for the Chisos Mountains, the exquisite, rugged range that defines Big Bend National Park in Middle of Nowhere, Texas. (Serious middle of nowhere: it’s so far from civilization and its lights that it apparently has the best stargazing of any of the national parks in the lower 48). If you’ve been to Big Bend, which is to say if you’ve driven the ten hours from Populated Texas to Big Bend, then you’ll understand.

I grew up in the Northwest, so when people say mountains and backpacking, I think of luscious, green forests, glacier lakes, and the smell of wet polar fleece. But mountains and [...]

83

'Crash': The Most Loathsome Best Picture Of Them All

Mallory: Has Crash suffered enough? Sure, it won homecoming queen at the Oscars, but then no one would let Crash sit with them at lunch for the next eight years. Ta-Nehisi Coates named it the worst movie of the decade; Natasha Vargas-Cooper referred to it as a "white guilt manipulation-a-thon." Even Slate wouldn't throw it a contrarian bone. It's The Most Popular Girl That Nobody Liked.

Anne Helen: No, it has not. This movie needs to keep suffering, because it will not stop hurting us. When it came up on Twitter the other night, someone suggested it's a PowerPoint presentation posturing as insight—and that feels true. [...]

29

Long Live The Working-Class Hunk

Look at Jeremy Renner, star of Bourne Legacy, and you'll see something familiar: a certain set to the jaw, a coiled muscle build, a face that looks, quite frankly, like it's been busted. You look at his body—the thick forearms, the barrel chest—and sense it was not made in the gym. It is a body that has labored, inflected with what Vulture's "Star Market" column calls "real, swaggering, gritty machismo." At 5'9", right about 150 pounds, and with the skin of a smoker, he could be your cousin.

I look around my hometown in northern Idaho, a burnt-out crater of a timber town, and I see men with [...]