Writer covering pop culture, books, and bodies. Bylines include The Guardian, The Washington Post, Glamour, Vice, and Mental Health Today. firstname.lastname@example.org
From "Fat Monica" in Friends to Patty in the new Netflix comedy Insatiable, it's time for TV shows and films to put away the fat suit.
While I loved high school English classes where we read everything from Macbeth to Maya Angelou, my dad finished just one book before leaving school at 15, The Day of the Triffids. (He liked it, but not enough to repeat the experience.)
The show became a literal bloody mess, filled with stabbings, shootings and throat-slittings as almost every major character committed murder without being caught. Viewers went from being on the edge of their seats to on the verge of vomiting.
After decades of erasure, the tide is turning in terms of how people with chronic illnesses are depicted in pop culture—and not a moment too soon.
A surprise pregnancy plotline tore the lovebirds apart and turned them into characters it was difficult to like – or even recognize.
At that moment, the show establishes its worldview: Fat people deserve self-esteem, too. That might not sound subversive, but if you’ve lived and watched TV as a fat person, particularly a woman, you know that it is.
It offered something that was hard to come by in the days before blogs and Facebook groups: community. And not just figuratively – you could call in with your opinion and actually have a discussion, rather than clicking “Dunno” on a Twitter poll.
You might be thinking, “Why not get a job instead of trying to take a shortcut to unimaginable riches?” and you’d have a point.
I’d never craved alcohol, only the confidence it gave me. Is that just me being naive or was I some kind of situational alcoholic?
Imagine if everywhere you looked — even in the dark — you saw static, as if the entire world were an untuned analogue TV. For people with a mysterious condition called “visual snow,” that’s the frustrating, often agonizing daily reality.
As I grew up, I didn’t relate to the way marriage was usually presented, in real life and in pop culture: as aspirational, a source of validation and the only way to escape loneliness.
One episode, in which Leslie locked herself and Ron into an office so they could resolve an argument, was almost as good as the old times. But it didn’t outweigh all the filler, including an inexplicable Bill Murray cameo and that bloated finale.
When it started in 2005, the satire about a suburban Los Angeles mother who risked jail by dealing the green stuff after her husband’s early death felt revolutionary.