Readers respond to TLC, Angelina Jolie and "The Insider"

By EW Staff
November 26, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Mail: ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’

”I can’t stand Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Regis, that is my final answer,” writes Daniel Hanke of Charlesburg, Wis. Guess Daniel wasn’t as thrilled with our cover story (#511, Nov. 5) on the game show as, say, Phyllis Wirick of Youngstown, Ohio, who gushes, ”Move over Jeopardy! Regis has my complete attention.” Other readers, like Anita Jenkins of Detroit, queried our decision to note that 85 percent of The Best Man‘s opening-weekend audience was African-American. Editor Mark Harris replies: ”The big box office question about The Best Man was whether the film would ‘cross over’ to white moviegoers the way Waiting to Exhale did. We think the fact that it didn’t—and that it was the week’s top movie anyway—was newsworthy.”

Quiz Master

I loved reading your cover story on game shows. I am a trivia junky and have tried out for a few game shows. Why couldn’t you have had this issue a year ago? Well, now that I’m armed with my EW, they’d better watch out! But I have to say how pained I was that there was no mention of the wittiest game show there is, Win Ben Stein’s Money! It’s well written, hilarious, and has killer trivia. The show won Emmys for goodness’ sake!
Hollywood, Calif.

In addition to gender and minority biases, there was also a geographical bias in the contestants picked for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: During its August run it seemed to me that a large number of them were from the East Coast corridor with just a couple of people (per show) from other parts of the country thrown in. Otherwise, the show is a blast.
Los Angeles

Will Lee’s article ”Nothing but Net” really hit the spot. I have to agree: What is the point of all the dot-com commercials? Are they trying to confuse us so that we have to visit their website to understand the ads? In a twisted way these commercials might even be considered art, for the simple reason that there is no direct way to interpret their meaning. The creative idea or concept is admirable, but come on, they need to at least let us in on what they want us to buy.
Arlington, Tex.

Battle of the Band

Thank you for the informative article on TLC. I love all three girls, but I have to side with Left Eye. Listen to TLC’s first album and you’ll hear Left Eye on almost every track; I was upset when I could hardly find her on FanMail. I understand some have more talent than others, but in TLC’s case all three ladies are talented and each brings her own kind of flavor—which makes them TLC. I don’t blame Left Eye for thinking about leaving them. And if T-Boz and Chilli can’t understand that, then that’s not only ”unpretty” but also uncool.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Quelle Jolie!

Great article on Angelina Jolie. You neglected, however, to mention one of her first feature-film credits: the Renee Taylor-Joseph Bologna comedy Love Is All There Is (1996). I had the honor of doing script revisions for the film and was immediately taken aback by her talent after watching the audition tape of this young actress. It has been a pleasure watching her climb to stardom.
North Hollywood, Calif.

Smoking Ire

As a whistle-blowing high school journalism teacher suspended without pay and benefits for over 200 instructional days, I found The Insider a chilling masterpiece. Despite Owen Gleiberman’s simplistic conclusion in his review that ”truth telling in America” is not nearly as ”imperiled” as the movie suggests, most school board members’ arrogance resembles that of the tobacco company CEOs who casually lied in front of Congress. Just ask any institutional or corporate employee if he or she believes Truth is alive and well and living in the workplace.
Allentown, Pa.

Peak Performance

I applaud Jeff Jensen for his article on actor Richard Farnsworth of The Straight Story. Farnsworth’s inspired performance is deeply moving and most certainly worthy of an Oscar nomination. I truly hope the Academy doesn’t forget this movie as the big Hollywood Oscar contenders start to roll out.
West Bloomfield, Mich.