Mail from our readers
Whew! We haven’t been voted off the island yet — our answers to TV Burning Questions placated fans entering the rerun season. On the topic of Kathie Lee’s replacement, Josh Reed of Ottawa wrote: ”The answer is Darva Conger. She’s already almost as annoying as the Giff.” As for our early Oscar Watch, some took exception to the snubbing of Russell Crowe. Says Suzanne Spencer of Mississauga, Ontario: ”Dismissing Crowe as an ‘action hero’ makes me wonder if Gillian Flynn and I saw the same movie.” Meanwhile, Brian Ramsey of Mesa, Ariz., appreciated our Joaquin Phoenix profile, but asked, ”What [about] Clay Pigeons? This is the real movie that made [him] a star!” We beg to differ — did you see the box office returns?
Popping the Questions
I applaud you for asking if a well-written pro-gay show could hold its own against Millionaire! I watch Will & Grace religiously every week, and the open-air humor is very refreshing. Thank you for being the magazine to raise the question. I think it will!
Newport News, Va.
As long as there have been TV executives, there have been shallow excuses like Keri Russell’s haircut to blame for a dip in Felicity’s ratings. One day the execs will wake up and realize that when you jerk viewers around by drastically changing the TV schedule, ratings can no longer be based on what is watched immediately versus what is watched using the VCR. Try measuring that. Could viewers be lost by running repeats during the regular season or preempting a regular show to run a new pilot? But who am I to say anything? Just someone who has seen every episode of Felicity, employs a VCR, and is in that coveted advertiser demographic market. TV execs, wake up.
For Better or Verse
Chris Willman’s lighthearted article on Yusuf Islam, the former Cat Stevens, insults the victims of the fatwa against Salman Rushdie that Islam/Stevens endorsed. Is Willman aware that people actually died, possibly at the hands of the fatwa (including Rushdie’s Japanese translator)? If so, how could he let Islam’s defense, that even though he thinks the Koran demanded Rushdie’s death, nobody’s ”gonna do that,” go unchallenged? Good journalism at least demanded that Willman inform rather than make a turgid joke about the Clinton impeachment.
Chris Willman should have gone into the reasons why Yusuf Islam and the rest of the Muslim community wanted Salman Rushdie to be punished. We were extremely hurt by Rushdie’s renditions of our religion. Wouldn’t you be, too, if someone called your holy book The Satanic Verses?! Frankly, I’m getting annoyed with how America perceives the Muslim community, from Hollywood’s idiot terrorist movies to articles written by people like Willman!
I just wanted to write to let Ken Tucker know what a great article he wrote about the season-finale kissing scenes. I swear, I was very close to clipping it out and saving it; it was that good. I also loved Mike Flaherty’s article on the growth of advertising on TV. Maybe this will let the networks know we don’t like having our shows cut down to bits for the sake of bad commercials. Thanks for sounding the alarms.
David Browne called Kid Rock a ”rock star” and branded his Devil Without a Cause a ”musically developed force”. It is despicable that such a repugnant nonmusician is hailed as a rock star and his uninnovative, lowbrow form of drivel is considered music. This flash in the pan and his flat music are in no way reminiscent of rock’s pioneers or their music. It simply remains as a lower medium for unambitious, ignorant half-wits. If Kid Rock is what is considered rock & roll, then rock & roll is dead.
What on earth were you thinking when you allowed the photos of rotting, maggot-infested meat to appear in EW? Is it common editorial policy to run material that will elicit revulsion in your readers? I can’t imagine what doesn’t make the cut.
CORRECTIONS: We incorrectly identified a photograph of Baywatch’s Jaason Simmons as Jeremy Jackson. John Denver’s original lyrics to ”Poems, Prayers, and Promises” were slightly altered on the new album Take Me Home: A Tribute to John Denver. His original lyrics are ”Still I have to smile. It turns me on to think of growing old”.