Ted 2 and Translating Seinfeld: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about entertainment

Universal Pictures

Dumber Than Your Average Bear
Wesley Morris | Grantland
“You never expect a movie to hurt you. Disappoint? Dismay? Depress? Fine. But when a movie has a field day asserting the humanity of a fake toy bear at the expense of your own, it hurts.”

The Truth About TV’s Rape Obsession: How We Struggle With the Broken Myths of Masculinity, On Screen and Off
Sonia Soraiya | Salon
“Rape on television is the theater through which both men and women grapple with masculinity—with the fact that in its most corrosive form, masculinity is a quality that wreaks violence on those closest to it. Destruction and power are built into our concept of maleness; rape plots on TV work desperately to allow men that access to power while also codifying when it’s acceptable to use.”

Translating Seinfeld
Jennifer Armstrong | The Verge
In one Radboud University study of Dutch viewers’ reactions to Seinfeld, viewers commonly reported being baffled by the show’s laugh track; the audience regularly missed the joke. Some of those who did laugh told researcher Elke Van Cassel that they were laughing only because the characters reminded them of Americans they knew.”

How Minions Destroyed the Internet
Brian Feldman | The Awl
“Minions are the Target graphic tees of the Internet.”

Taylor, Apple, Tidal and the Politics of the Rip Off
Eric Harvey | Pitchfork
Those born during the CD’s late ‘90s/early ‘o0s sales peak have lived their entire lives in a world in which the economic and cultural value of music is an open question.”

Kate Bolick Was My On Call Dating Advice Guru
Allison P. Davis | The Cut
​“As we prepare to part at the end of the meal, a bride and groom walk into the restaurant. They were literally just married: She’s still clutching her bouquet. I look at Kate. Kate looks at me. The meaning is clear: Kate Bolick’s advice is going to get me married by the end of the weekend.”

Why Women Apologize and Should Stop
Sloane Crosley | The New York Times
“When a woman opens her window at 3 a.m. on a weeknight and shouts to her neighbor, ‘I’m sorry, but can you turn the music down?’ the ‘sorry’ is not an attempt at unobtrusiveness. It’s not even good manners. It’s a poor translation for a string of expletives.”

How Smosh’s Doofy YouTube Videos Got 7.4 Million Views
Jane Borden | LA Weekly
“Smosh is exceptionally childish and dumb. But teens and children are their market, and that market regenerates. When asked why teen-focused digital content is so popular in general, Hecox replies, ‘People have a lot of time when they’re younger. Then they start getting jobs.’”

The Mark Wahlberg Playbook Is the Oldest One in Hollywood
Anne Helen Petersen | Buzzfeed
“When people say they love Mark Wahlberg films, they’re saying they love this kind of film—like their classic Hollywood antecedents, they’re basic, broadly palatable, and incredibly enjoyable, if not entirely memorable. They rank high on the ‘I’ll totally watch this on Netflix’ scale.”