Welcome to ‘What Is Your Damage,’ Annie Barrett’s summer shop of all the melodrama and self-absorption she misses from springtime reality TV. Every Tuesday and Friday, she’ll rant about a current offense to her humanity, then assess readers’ damages via video replies. Don’t be shy about admitting what annoys or intrigues you. We’re all in this pop cult together!

What is your damage, EMAIL?

Why did you let yourself get corrupted by Aaron Sorkin’s bizarrely outdated concept of you on The Newsroom this week?

Have you no principles? (Look to the men of The Newsroom for guidance.) You’re embarrassing yourself. I know it’s been, like, 15 years since you could qualify as a compelling plot device — and I know you’re hurting in general because people dread you now and prefer texting, Facebook, Twitter, and that bitch Siri for all the fun stuff — but this was the wrong way to act out.

You’re not a cool new app. You can’t just muscle your way to the forefront of the plot in a 2010-set television show, scream until you get attention (“S***!”), and return later in the episode for a painfully telegraphed disaster scene in which an award-winning newswoman — who has been alive and not in a coma for the past few years — can’t figure out how to use you and ends up sending the entire staff a humblebrag about how she broke Jeff Daniels’ heart and not the other way around, LET HER TELL YOU.

Whoa, email. Did Mackenzie McHale actually know what she was doing? Was she listening carefully to your Sesame Street lesson gone wrong (“asterisk means staff and so does the letter s”) so she could orchestrate that second nonsensical flub-up on purpose? Wouldn’t that be delicious? Alas, I think she was just being stupid. This is a woman who thinks “I,” “I,” and “I” are three different letters. Besides, why would an executive producer in 2010 know how to use email?

I know I should be bitching to Dev Patel and the newsroom’s tech department instead of you, email, but seriously where is your head? Are you stuck in 2002? Did you recently re-watch season 6, episode 3 of Dawson’s Creek — appropriately titled “The Importance of Not Being Too Earnest” — on Netflix? That’s when Joey accidentally sent a very personal email for Dawson to the entire student body, and it didn’t make any sense because Dawson didn’t even go to Worthington. I know you remember; it was one of your darkest hours. Excusable then; over-the-top anachronistic now.

Come on, email. You’re second nature to people with jobs and/or money for devices. You just exist, a quiet but constant threat in our pockets or (how rude!) on dinner tables. There’s no carnival tune of beeps and buzzes when people “get one” of you, even when it’s a super-important staff-wide sex tell-all. You’re not God’s gift anymore. Just face it. Nobody wants to open you. Everyone in that conference room was “getting one” of you every three seconds, even decades ago in 2010. I got three of you just now. They were trash.

(Why am I being so mean to you? I’m like Maggie Jordan!)

What was even UP with you on Sunday? I couldn’t figure it out so I emailed our tech guy, Darren, and even he was stumped! Maybe the two of us should co-run the EW newsdesk.

Here’s the thing, email. NO ONE WOULD USE AN ASTERISK. Do you know how unwieldy it is to even type an asterisk, even on a Blackberry? It’s like, not possible. I just tried a few times without looking and accidentally unpaused iTunes (No Doubt).

This is all so frustrating, not understanding things. I just want to stomp the life out of a Blackberry and then pour coffee on it to erase ALL OF THE EMAILS. And then I want to go SHOPPING! Yayyyyyyyy new clothezzzzzzzzzzz.

Look, email, we go way back, so quit f—ing with me. I know all about you. I wake up to you every morning (PST). Pssst, you’ve got 152 emails. Just last night, I fired off seven of you during the opening credits of The Newsroom… while snoozing! The vicious cycle continues.

Our long-term relationship is not healthy — you’re too controlling; I’m using you — but it’s worked for us. You are NOT AN ASS and I might still love you. I want everyone at the company to know, but I can’t find the asterisk in order to send a mass email about it so I have to resort to this crappy blog post instead. Ooh boy, does it stink.

Stand up for yourself next time! Just do it quietly because you’re on silent.

“Good show.”


Internet Girl


(Found it.)



A skinny Ursula the Sea Witch featured in Disney’s new Villains Beauty Line. It’s sad, but true. MAJOR DAMAGE. [via Jezebel]


WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE THIS WEEK, READERS? Tell me! Reader Damages for July 3, 2012: I’ve ranked the following atrocities, submitted by readers this week, on a scale of 1 (harmless) to 10 (Heather Chandler) in the ‘WIYD’ video player below.

–Alex Pettyfer’s “gross facial stubble” in Magic Mike

–Nastia Liukin’s “middle school soccer practice” hair in the U.S. Olympic trials

–TomKat in general

–Alexa Anderson’s bright red lipstick on So You Think You Can Dance

–white girls named Trina

–grannies who caption Channing Tatum pics with “come to mama” on Facebook

–Kendall and Kylie Jenner are “writing” a sci-fi novel

–Kurt not getting into NYADA on Glee

–the Olympic swimming trials DJ from Omaha

–creepy, targeted internet ads based on browsing history

Click on the text prompts in the video player below to see my expert assessments.

If you’re having trouble with the player, visit the ‘What Is Your Damage?’ channel on VYou.

What is your damage? What is with you today? What’s with today, today? Let me know what’s annoying you by sending me a “question” in the video box. Start with “From [your name, or a code name if it’s too embarrassing to be seen with me]” so I can address you properly). You can also tweet and/or e-mail me your damages. Do not mail me your damages. I do not believe in paper.

Thanks for playing along, and I’ll see you Friday!

Read more:

Episode Recaps

The Newsroom
Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series follows the lives of a fictional cable news room ensemble.
  • TV Show
  • 3