Comments: Week of June 19, 2023


“Drew Barrymore Is Figuring It Out Live,” June 5–18

Cover Story

In the Television Issue 

For New York’s annual “Television ­Issue,” E. Alex Jung profiled the new face of morning TV. Author Art Tavana observed that the cover “not only tells a story, but it somehow looks like a retro ‘TV issue’ that knows exactly what Drew Barrymore is about.” And podcaster Gibson Johns said the image “looks like it’s from 1997 and I mean that in the best way possible.” Of the host’s ­enduring appeal, Jezebel’s Caitlin Cruz wrote, “The adult Barrymore will forever be characterized by her relatability. And frankly, not knowing how to navigate a complicated relationship with your mother, or being dropped by a therapist, will only add to her accessible and sympathetic nature.” @rasa­danirama called the story “truthful, sensitive, poignant, charming,” adding, “it has everything you expect from Drew. This is the best.” Several tabloids seized on the former child star’s comments about her fraught relationship with her mother, including the Daily Mail, which announced, “Drew ­Barrymore admits she wishes her mom was dead as she opens up about the ­lasting trauma of her tumultuous childhood.” Barrymore posted a video on ­Instagram in response, saying, “You know what? To all you tabloids out there: You have been fucking with my life since I was 13 years old … Don’t twist my words around or ever say that I wish my mother was dead. I have never said that. I never would.” Those remarks generated yet another round of coverage with Glamour calling the video “more Firestarter than Ever After.” Meanwhile, a raft of shelter publications from House Beautiful to Domino found design inspiration in ­Barrymore’s apartment, along with the Telegraph, which ran a story ­titled “I want a scream cupboard just like Drew Barrymore’s.”


“The Binge Purge”

Josef ­Adalian and Lane Brown ­investigated how streaming broke television’s business model. The Financial Times’ ­Stephen Bush called it a “brilliant long piece on what I think will go down as the maddest single trend of the near zero ­interest rate years: TV companies’ rush into streaming services.” Rolling Stone’s TV critic, Alan Sepinwall, praised the article’s “terrific, but depressing, ­reporting. We all knew the current amount of programming was unsustainable, but Joe and Lane get into just how shaky the foundation of the business has become.” And Alex Daniel ­lauded the “unreal, spit-out-your-coffee detail too — what a shitshow.” Many industry figures wrote that the story validated what they’ve been experiencing. “I’m not quoted in this piece,” tweeted Watchmen producer Lila Byock, “but it feels like a direct transcript of every conversation I’ve had with anyone in the tv business in the last year.” John Zaozirny of ­Bellevue Productions wrote, “Every word of this rings as painfully true. None of it was a surprise to me — it’s what we’ve been discussing for years — but undeniably sobering to see it all collected so ­suc­cinctly and eloquently here.” ­Saturday Night Live co–head writer Bryan Tucker said the story “made me feel terrible about the ­future of TV,” while the writer and ­comedian Steve Bugeja tweeted, “I’m off to reconsider my career choices.”


“Yes, You Should Pay to Drive in Manhattan”

Justin Davidson’s column on what New York can learn from London’s congestion-­pricing model provoked an impassioned response. In a ­letter to the magazine, Harvey Levine wrote, “Glad Justin will finally get his wider bike lanes as The Bronx gets ­buried by collateral damage; transposed traffic congestion, pollution, and ­parking spaces ­becoming rare as four-leaf clovers with drivers leaving their autos here for New York’s crystal palace in newly ­funded trains. I understand Justin, like many ­others, recognizes The Bronx is not a part of N.Y., thus making his piece a natural for your magazine.” And ­Michael Gross, the best-selling writer and a ­former New York contrib­uting editor, added, “Davidson leaves out one huge difference between London’s congestion charge system and the plan proposed for New York. Residents of the charging zone in London are eligible for a 90% discount. Most of us who live and own a car in the Manhattan ­charging zone get no such consideration, zip, nada, ­nothing. So, our elected officials will throw many of their constituents ­under the buses and subways we, too, use to get around.”

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Comments: Week of June 19, 2023