Mail from our readers
Hollywood’s labor pains are not provoking much sympathy from EW readers. In fact, some may be looking forward to a year without movies. ”What, pray tell, are we going to do with our kids?” asks Douglas Brown of Royersford, Pa. ”Have them actually read a good book?” Adds Donald Steele of New York City: ”A year without movies? After the dismal summer and the so-so films of the last year, who cares? I think I can live without another bad Harrison Ford film.” Elsewhere, David Browne’s review of Christina Aguilera’s latest CD, Mi Reflejo, rubbed fans the wrong way. Writes Ryan Asavisanu of Walnut, Calif. ”Give the genie some credit for trying to transcend the ‘pop princess’ stereotype.”
On the Picket Fence
I was both impressed and chilled by your feature ”Quiet on the Set.” While Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America strikes might not seem as important as Social Security and education reform, the situation in Hollywood is far-reaching and, frankly, unimaginable. John Wells is a smart, talented guy, but I hope he doesn’t let his labor leader fantasies get in the way of his real job — keeping his union members working.
New York City
Contrary to what Daniel Fierman writes in the ”If They Picket, Will It Ever Heal?” sidebar, the Internet issue at the heart of the current and upcoming SAG negotiations is not that ”Courteney Cox Arquette is eyeing the day you can download Friends, and she wants some of that action.” It’s more that some hardworking actress who waits tables at night (or has two kids to feed) may have two lines as a woman Joey tries to pick up at the coffeehouse, and [needs the] Internet residuals. Please stop giving credence to the mistaken notion that SAG members are all $750,000-per episode celebrities.
Though I will miss my favorite shows should a strike occur, perhaps these strikes will bring about lasting changes in American society. With nothing of quality on television or at the cinema, Americans may get up off the couch and do something besides visit the refrigerator. Some people may even resort to opening a book. Could falling obesity rates and rising SAT scores be a side effect of strikes in Hollywood? We can only hope.
All I have to say to Hollywood is ”Boo hoo hoo.” Oh no, we can’t get Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise; I guess we better just shut moviemaking down. Give me a freakin’ break! Instead of bemoaning the fact you can’t get overpriced talent, why not [give a chance to] some newcomers? The crappy thing about this whole SAG strike for hardworking nonunion actors is although there is a large amount of work, opportunity, and demand, if we take the chance and cross the picket lines we end up blacklisted by the industry we’re all trying so hard to break into.
I was pleased after reading your sneak peak of Everybody Loves Raymond‘s season opener taped in Italy (”Amore the Merrier”). It’s sure to hold the great laughs that the show always has. ELR is destined to become a classic, and I am glad that Patricia Heaton was [recognized] at this year’s Emmy’s, and maybe next year the rest of the show will finally get their honors.
I just about busted a gut when I read David Browne’s article about Christina Aguilera’s new album in Spanish, Mi Reflejo. Nothing could have captured the vapidness of the teen pop movement better. Sure, these girls can sing, but they hardly have the life experience to back up any of the lyrics their writers give them. Like, gag me with a spoon!
It was unnecessarily tacky of David Browne to make fun of Christina Aguilera. If he didn’t like the album, great, but when I read music reviews, I expect reviews of the music, not the performer’s personality.
Getting Their Irish Up
Okay, David Browne, how about getting off that music critic pedestal for a moment and start listening to music for what I think it was intended for: to make you feel good, and hum or sing along with. Yes Irish band the Corrs sound ”mainstream” and ”pop”. Is that so bad? Isn’t that what sells CDs and gives a bigger fan base? I bought their CD after hearing ”Breathless” and was pleasantly surprised at how good the other songs really are. In my humble non-music critic opinion, I think it’s a whimsical and pleasant and vocally excellent CD.
Michael W. Mason
Sterling Heights, Mich.