Aaron Rodgers and Gossip Girl: The Week in Pop-Culture Writing

Highlights from seven days of reading about arts and entertainment

Aaron Rodgers
Jeffrey Phelps / AP

The Search for Aaron Rodgers
Mina Kimes | ESPN
“Rodgers, 33, isn’t studiously bland, like many of his elite brethren, and he isn't evasive either. He’s just ... cautious. Wary of being misunderstood or revealing too much. Over the years, as his celebrity exploded, he closed certain windows, sequestering his private life while he charmed the public with his dry wit and quirky hobbies. (He does crosswords! He likes Wes Anderson films!) He showed us everything and nothing at all. And for a while, that was enough.”

When Gossip Girl Ruled the World
Josh Duboff | Vanity Fair
“If every generation has its one or two shows that prove defining, that essentially everyone seemed to watch as if there were no other choice in the matter, Gossip Girl—which is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its premiere this September—would be that show for anyone who was a teenager or twentysomething (or, in many cases, older than that!) when it first aired.”

Elaine Welteroth, Teen Vogue’s Refashionista
Jazmine Hughes | The New York Times Magazine
“One tenet of the magazine under Welteroth is that a person can be interested in fashion and politics. She already knew how to make a fashion-and-beauty magazine appealing to her readers—and the advertisers who wanted to be inside. But could Elaine Welteroth really lead the #Resistance and make a glossy magazine at the same time?”

The Poetic Work of Trailer Recutters
Patton Oswalt | The New Yorker
“The Trailer Recutters ... have discovered cinematic transcendence through sheer practicality and commerce. These people are very clear about their aim of finding work in the industry—the videos they make are calling cards, audition reels. But in this prosaic pursuit they sometimes kick loose aesthetic revelation. The film whose guts they’re rearranging yields a sleeker, differently breathing animal.”

Mystery Solved: Why Literature’s Greatest Detectives Are All Obsessed With Food
Mackensie Griffin | Eater
“They were not just detectives, but detective gourmands: a detective of stunning intellect who obsesses over food, knows his tastes, and does not compromise them for any reason. … Each of these prolific authors used food—and the access their characters had to it—to illustrate their characters’ high status in society, secured by wealth as well as knowledge.”

Off With Her Head
Yashar Ali | The Cut
“[Kathy] Griffin, who made her career by mocking celebrities, is not the most likely comedian to be martyred over the inalienable right to criticize the president. But in the past couple of years, her act has become more and more political. … In the course of our talks, the theme she returned to most forcefully was the right to provoke with humor.”

Can the Onslaught of TV Reboots and Revivals Survive in 2017?
Rebecca Nicholson | The Guardian
“The most talked-about TV revivals all had a huge impact on culture, but crucially, those impacts were of their moment. … The danger is that if the show changes too much, people will miss its familiarity and its legacy may suffer—but in order to remain relevant, it must adapt to its current context. This is a delicate balance to find.”

Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ Is the First Pure Piece of Trump-Era Pop Art
Mark Harris | Vulture
“If nothing else, ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ finds a new way to commercialize self-exoneration. It’s perfect for a world in which our chief executive’s chief subject of fascination is his own size, his reach, and the way in which he is received. If he ever puts out a record, it will surely be called, like hers, Reputation.”