Burn Victim Competes In Mrs. Colorado Pageant To Inspire Others
DENVER (CBS4) – The survivor of a terrible fire has overcome a new challenge. Saturday, Danette Haag competed in the Mrs. Colorado Pageant. (credit: CBS)
She took to the stage at the Denver Center of Performing Arts as one of 35 contestants, determined not to let her burns stop her from fulfilling a dream. (credit: CBS)
Haag was 10 years old when her home exploded from a gas leak, burning nearly 70 percent of her face and body. Her dad escaped the same blaze.
He joined other family members at the competition to support Danette. (credit: CBS)
“We came here as a family, and as a husband, to support her as much as we can,” said Danette’s husband, Michael Haag.
The fire almost destroyed her dreams. Danette Haag (credit: CBS)
“It was a big deal in our family to watch the Miss America pageant every year. So, when she first watched it after the fire happened, she remembers feeling like a little girl who was crushed,” said Danette’s sister, DeAnn Cheney.
Through years of pain, surgeries, and physical and emotional scars, the 48-year-old wife, mother and professional now inspires others to see their true beauty the way she sees her own. Mrs. Windsor in Mrs. Colorado Pageant (credit Danette Haag)
“We are all flawed. We are all imperfect,” Danette said to women attending a motivational speech that she made in February.
Working as an inspirational speaker, Danette also holds the title of Mrs. Windsor, Colorado. Standing in the spotlight is not all about her. (credit: CBS)
Danette hopes her time in pageant heels will heal other people who are suffering.
“She wants everybody to know that beauty comes from within, not from the outside,” DeAnn said.
Kylie Jenner Weighs in on Jordyn Woods Lip Kit Price Cut and ”Self-Made Billionaire” Title
Kylie Jenner Weighs in on Jordyn Woods Lip Kit Price Cut and ”Self-Made Billionaire” Title By by Corinne Heller | Sat., Mar. 30, 2019 12:21 PM Share Up Next Kylie Jenner Is “Over” The Jordyn Woods Drama
Last month, days after it was reported that Tristan Thompson had allegedly cheated on Khloe Kardashian with Kylie Jenner ‘s bestie Jordyn Woods , fans noticed that Kylie’s “Jordy” lip kit’s price on her Kylie Cosmetics website was slashed from $27 to $13.50 .
In comments made to the New York Times , posted on Saturday, Kylie says she was unaware about the discount and called an employee when she found out about it, adding that the item had been put on sale a couple of weeks beforehand as her company switched from white to black packaging.
“That is just not my character. I would never do something like that and when I saw it, I was like, thrown back,” Kylie told the newspaper. “Jordyn knows I didn’t actually put it on sale.”
Meanwhile, the “Jordy’ lip kit is currently sold out. Photos
Growing Up Kardashian: Kylie Jenner
Last July, Forbes featured Kylie on the cover of its “Richest Self-Made Women” issue and ranked her No. 27 on the list, with an estimated $900 million fortune. Jordyn accompanied the reality star and her then-baby daughter Stormi as she stepped out to buy copies of the magazine . Noa Griffel/BFA.com Kylie released her first Lip Kits, her signature product, in late 2015 as a test line and established her company’s name months later. In 2018, she signed a distribution deal with beauty retailer Ulta and products hit its shelves over the holiday season. According to Forbes , this helped Kylie Cosmetics’ revenue increase by 9% that year, reaching an estimated $360 million. In March, the magazine estimated again that Kylie Cosmetics is worth “at least” $900 million, and dubbed Kylie the “youngest self-made billionaire ever.” This title was met with a large degree of skepticism among many, who note that Kylie was born into a rich and influential family. “There’s really no other word to use other than self-made because that is the truth,” she told Interview Germany in comments published last week. “That is the category that I fall under. Although, I am a special case because before I started Kylie Cosmetics, I had a huge platform and lots of fans. I did not get money from my parents past the age of 15. I used 100% of my own money to start the company, not a dime in my bank account is inherited… and I am very proud of that.” In her interview with the New York Times , Kylie said, “I can’t say I’ve done it by myself. If they’re just talking finances, technically, yes, I don’t have any inherited money. But I have had a lot of help and a huge platform.”
Keeping Up With the Kardashians returns for a new season on Sunday at 9/8c only on E!
Check out our new Keeping Up With the Kardashian channel on YouTube for show clips, recap videos and more! Share
Jordan Peeles Us: the ending, explained. Beware spoilers!
Maybe not the best idea to hang out with these folks. Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures Guess what? Spoilers follow! First things first: I’m going to give this article a headline that’s something like, “ Us ’s ending, explained” or “ Us ’s ending, dissected,” and I should tell you upfront that I’m not going to explain Us ’s ending. I can’t. Jordan Peele’s second film has an ending that dares you to bring what you think to it. Where the ending of his first film, Get Out (for which he won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay), was a series of puzzle pieces snapping into place, Us ends in a way that causes the film’s structure to sprawl endlessly. It’s five different puzzles mixed up in the same box, and you only have about 75 percent of the pieces for any of them at best. Related Us is Jordan Peele’s thrilling, blood-curdling allegory about a self-destructing America But I found that approach incredibly engaging. The audience leaving my screening the other night seemed sharply divided on the film — and its last-minute twist — but I plunged deeper and deeper into it because of that messy, glorious ending. So let’s talk first about what happens in that ending and how we could read that ending, and then try to find a way to synthesize all of these ideas. What happens at the end of Us Us breaks evenly into a classic three-act structure. The first act is all unsettling setup — first with a flashback to our protagonist, Adelaide ( Lupita Nyong’o ), as a young girl, meeting an eerie mirror version of herself, then to the first few days of a family vacation that she takes with her husband ( Winston Duke ) and kids as an adult. The second act follows Adelaide’s and her family’s actions after being menaced by horrifying double versions of themselves — played by the same actors — over the course of one long, gory night. The second act — roughly the middle hour of the 116-minute film — is pretty much perfect, the kind of expertly pitched horror comedy we see far too rarely. And all along the way, Peele is seeding in exposition, like when we learn that Adelaide and her family aren’t the only ones being menaced by their doubles (who are called “Tethers” in the film, because they’re tethered to their mirror images), and the film cuts away to the vicious murder of two of their friends ( Tim Heidecker and Elisabeth Moss ) by the friends ’ doubles. Some of this exposition is stated outright, as when Adelaide’s double, Red, explains exactly who she is and who her compatriots are. Other exposition is mostly implied. (Pay close attention, for instance, to whom the Tethers kill and whom they just maim.) And still other stuff is probably just me reading my own opinions into the movie. Anyway, the third act begins when the family finally makes it to daylight, having killed two of their doubles, with a third double falling right at the top of Act 3. The only Tether left is Red, who absconds with Adelaide’s son, Jason ( Evan Alex ), and races with him down into a gigantic complex of tunnels that exists beneath the Santa Cruz, California, boardwalk and — it’s implied — the entire country. The tunnels have the feel of an abandoned military facility more than anything else, and they’re filled with rabbits, which have been set free from cages. (The bunnies are the only food the Tethers get.) This vague military feel tracks with something Red tells Adelaide when the two finally face off in what seems to be a classroom. The Tethers were created by a nebulous “them” to control their other selves. Adelaide descends. Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures But the experiment was abandoned for unexplained reasons, leaving the Tethers belowground, mimicking our every movement up here, and living lives where they have no free will, lives entirely dictated by our choices. (The long expository monologue where Red basically explains all of this is the movie’s weakest section and kills its momentum. This was also true of the long expository monologue in Get Out !) The status quo held until Red and Adelaide met as young girls, and the two begin a fight that’s almost a dance but still recognizably a fight. (Peele intercuts this with footage of the teenage Adelaide — a great ballerina — dancing beautifully as Red replicates her actions in a weirdly grotesque mirror belowground.) Finally, Adelaide overcomes Red and kills her. She finds Jason and exits the tunnels. But aboveground, the many Tethers have joined hands together in a mirror of Hands Across America , the 1986 event meant to raise money and awareness of hunger, which stretched a 6.5 million-person chain (almost all the way) across the Lower 48. The presence of this massive chain of Tethers should hopefully clue in viewers to the film’s final twist. An ad for Hands Across America is one of the last things little Adelaide sees before she goes to the Santa Cruz boardwalk with her parents — which is where she meets Red and (the final scene reveals) is forced to take Red’s place in the Tether world while Red comes up to ours. The movie never makes clear whether this is long-buried trauma that Adelaide is resurfacing as she and her family ride off into the new, post-apocalyptic landscape of a world where seemingly millions have been murdered by their doubles and a chain of those doubles stands athwart the continent, or whether it’s something she’s pointedly avoided referencing throughout the film. You can make an argument for either. The movie leaves you with the twist: Adelaide was Red, and Red was Adelaide, and they switched places as young girls. Jason, somehow, seems to realize this in his mother’s eyes, and he looks worried as the scene cuts to the camera tilting over the hills surrounding Santa Cruz — where a long chain of Tethers stretches, presumably from sea to shining sea. What’s it all mean? There is no single meaning to the conclusion of Us , and the beauty of it is how elastic its metaphor is The Tethers are us, but we are also the Tethers. Claudette Barius/Universal Pictures One of the reasons Get Out took off so readily with online theorists was that every single piece of it was crafted to add up to the film’s central revelation about elderly white people literally possessing the bodies of young black people. It was a potent commentary on racial relations, yes, but Peele seeded hints about the big twist into the plot as well. He had clearly thought through every little detail of the movie’s world. You can’t really say the same for Us . Every time you think you’ve got the movie pinned down to say, “It’s about this!” it slips away from you. Its central metaphor of meeting a literal evil twin of yourself certainly can be read as a commentary on race, but it’s also a pretty brilliant commentary on class, on capitalism, on gender, and on the lasting effects of trauma or mental illness. You can probably add your own possibilities to this list. All of these concepts keep informing one another. If you want to read what happens to Red and Adelaide as a commentary on how differently traumatic incidents weigh on children of means versus children who grow up with little money, doing so can support both an interpretationof the film as being about mental illness and one where it’s about class. What’s more, Us doesn’t seem to want to be read as social commentary in the same way Get Out was. That middle hour is so fun precisely because it never really bothers to stop and make you think about the movie’s deeper themes. It’s too busy killing off Tethers by chewing them up in a boat’s motor. Now, granted, my experience of Us was pretty different from a lot of folks’ experiences (at least from the people I’ve talked to), because I guessed from the first flashback sequence that Red and Adelaide had switched places as kids. I assumed the movie wanted me to figure this out, because it was essentially the only way the movie’s larger plot — the idea that everybody has a Tether, and not just this specific family — could make any sense. Something had to have caused this breach in reality, and the connection between Adelaide and Red seemed the most likely culprit. Yet it’s honestly remarkable that the movie works as well as it does when you figure out its big twist early on, because Peele does a terrific job of teasing you in ways that make you think maybe you didn’t figure it out, or that the twist is something else entirely. ( Get Out , after all, didn’t really have “a twist” in the way this movie does, only a reveal that happens before the ending.) Still, set the twist aside, and let’s take Red at her word when it comes to the origin of the Tethers. Some strange experiment produced them, and now they’re a kind of national id, a barely checked shadow self that every American has. (At one point, when asked who she and her family are, Red croaks, “We’re Americans,” which … fair.) The natural pushback to this is — it’s preposterous. By giving so much information but still so little, Peele creates a situation where it feels like he’s going to answer all our questions and then just doesn’t. (Credit where it’s due: I love how accurately the whole third act replicates the experience of falling down a particularly disturbing Wikipedia hole at 3 am, right down to somehow finding yourself reading about Hands Across America .) And yet … is the twist that preposterous? I don’t literally have a shadow self, but there’s some other person out there in the country right now who could have had my life and career but, instead, has some less comfortable one because he grew up with parents who didn’t have enough money to send him to college, or because he grew up some race other than white, or because he was born a girl, or … fill in the blank. Taking Red at her word means believing in an idea that seems self-evidently kooky, but it’s also an idea that drives much of modern society. Capitalism demands that we cling desperately to what we’ve got, and the fear that some dark underbelly might come and rob us of what little we have is always present. Yet the very idea of society means we’re all tethered together somehow, and the actions of those of us with power and money often make those without either jerk about on puppet strings, even if we never know how what we do affects our doppelgängers. And all the while, “they” — whoever “they” are — get richer and richer and more powerful. Thoughts on a universal read of the ending of Us (with apologies to Stanley Kubrick) Adelaide is just that worried about me trying to do this. Claudette Barrius/Universal Pictures But Us isn’t really “about” capitalism, unless you (like me) want to read that into it. The movie’s metaphor is so elastic that you could easily mount a read of the film that says it’s about climate change or the 2016 election or zombies. (In the scenes set in the underground complex especially, Peele plays off the familiar images of zombie films, like legions of people shuffling about, shadows of some life they should otherwise be living.) And I also want to be clear that if you just want to watch Us as a super-fun horror comedy, it is absolutely possible, and you should do that. But I think you can get to a kind of universal understanding of Us, one that drills down into what the film is about at its core while still leaving room for the elasticity that allows you to read as much or as little into its central metaphor as you’d like. To get there, we have to look at the hall of mirrors that first brings Adelaide and Red together as kids. In 1986, the hall of mirrors features a stereotypical painting of an American Indian that sits atop its entrance. The art is offensive in the way all thoughtlessness is. Nobody cared who might be hurt by this painting; they just went ahead and painted it. Peele isn’t digging into one of America’s original sins here in the way he alluded to slavery in Get Out , but the evocation of a terrible genocide is at least there . In 2019, the hall of mirrors has now, clumsily, been converted into one for Merlin the wizard. The inside is the same. Most of the outside is the same. But the painting of the Indian has been replaced — not particularly convincingly — with a painting of Merlin that’s seemingly just been mounted over the old American Indian one. It’s a really good joke, honestly; it’s a spin on how willing modern America is to gloss over the horrors in its past in the name of simply coming up with some other story entirely. It’s also key to the movie’s more universal read. The hall of mirrors was constructed in the first place as a distillation of tropes around a racially charged stereotype. Just because it’s now ostensibly about Merlin doesn’t mean that it’s no longer built around those darker ideas. You can’t simply scrub away the darker past by putting a more palatable face on it. America (okay, this is, like, 99.9999 percent on white America) likes to pretend it’s a country without a grim history, that its self-proclaimed exceptionalism makes it free from anything too dark. But, of course, that’s not true. The hall of mirrors was constructed with an American Indian atop it because whoever built it could be reasonably certain no one would care if it was offensive. Those who might care are mostly sequestered on reservations or died generations ago. And you, if you’re an American, live on the land you live on because they died. (Sidebar: This could also be a really elaborate riff on Peele’s part on The Shining , another horror movie that is occasionally read by some of its hardcore fans through the lens of America’s general inability to deal with the genocide lurking in its root system. Peele has been dressing like The Shining ’s Jack Torrance on the press tour…) Now consider Hands Across America. The movement did raise some money for hunger — around $34 million — but much of that was eaten up by operational fees, leaving $15 million to be donated to the actual cause. That isn’t chump change, but it’s a drop in the bucket of the problem of actually trying to fight hunger. Is there anything more American than thinking you’ve solved a problem by creating a gigantic spectacle that accomplishes less than you’d think? Again — something dark is covered up by something glossy, and we celebrate the glossy surface. Us put me in mind of a book I read recently. In The City in the Middle of the Night , the new novel by science fiction author Charlie Jane Anders,the protagonist, Sophie, meets members of an alien species whose telepathic links mean that they are essentiallyforced to remember everything that has ever happened, stretching back into their distant past. Even when one member of the species dies, that member’s memories are carried forward by those who knew them, and those memories become part of the collective consciousness. Anders not only shows just how hard this could be for those who don’t quite feel at home in the collective (those who are dealing with huge emotions that they need to understand privately, say), but she also keenly contrasts this species’ long memory with humanity’s short one. Sophie carries the burdens of decisions made millennia before she was born, back on the massive spaceship that brought her ancestors from Earth to this new planet. Those ancestors were shaped by the decisions that you and I are making right now, even as we’re shaped by decisions made hundreds of years ago, and so on. And many of those decisions are now half-remembered dreams. It is hard to really deal with this, maybe all but impossible. To really sit and think about all of the ways that you are a product of human history, floating through the immense sweep of time and space, rather than someone who can take control of their life and make a difference, is so dispiriting . So we try to gloss over all of that. We put up paintings of Merlin where once paintings of an Indian stood, and we smile and say, “That’s better.” But the painting is still there, underneath the surface. If the aliens Sophie meets in Anders’s novel are doomed to remember, then we, perhaps, are doomed to forget, to pretend that we are more powerful than we are, simply because we’re alive. This, I think, is why both Anders’s novel and Us spoke so profoundly to me. To try to escape the past is to try to escape yourself. But to try to escape the past is also deeply, deeply human, because to make any progress, we have to find a way to excuse, forgive, or ignore our own faults, to lock them up in a subterranean basement and hope we don’t remain tethered to them forever. But what a fool’s errand that is. And this reading of the film’s ending, that it was always about the perils of trying to ignore inconvenient truths when they’re looking right back at you in the mirror, is one that unites every other possible reading of the film, too. Race, gender, class, trauma — they’re all covered by the idea that you can have a great life and be a good person but still unknowingly be causing so much suffering. All of which is to say, when Jason looks at Adelaide late in this movie, seeing, for the first time, his mother’s true self, he’s not realizing that she’s Red, or that she’s Adelaide, or anything like that. He’s realizing that she is, and always has been, both. In this Storystream
Real-Life Romance, Casting What-Ifs and Problems Drawing a Penis: 20 Secrets From 10 Things I Hate About You
Touchstone Pictures; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration
Remember the 1990s, when Shakespeare was all the rage?
Not that he’s ever gone out of style, but a slew of his most famous works made their way to the big screen during that decade, and in 1999—a banner year for teen rom-coms if there ever was one—the Bard was given an update for the ages in the form of 10 Things I Hate About You .
Based on The Taming of the Shrew , the scene shifts from Padua in northern Italy to Padua High School in Seattle to tell the tale of the Stratford sisters—the younger one, Bianca, who enjoys fitting in and being popular while the other, Katarina, or Kat, is totally over it and ready to go far away to college. Their protective single dad, who as a gynecologist has seen far too much teen pregnancy, says that Bianca can’t date until Kat does.
Bianca has two potential suitors: Cameron, a chivalrous sweetheart, and Joey, a rich d-bag jock. Cameron and his nerdy but ballsy friend Michael conspire with Joey to pay the mysterious and conveniently hunky Patrick Verona to woo Kat, thinking that’ll clear the way to date Bianca (who doesn’t quite yet realize that Cameron is better than Joey).
Kat, of course, spurns Patrick’s advances until he shows her what he’s really made of, starting with his unabashedly corny, endlessly romantic rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” in the football stadium.
All the while, prom is imminent. Photos
Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures
The setting is idyllic and glossy and one boy is paying another to take a girl, whom they all say awful things about because she marches to the beat of her own drum, out on a date. But Kat, who pines for a guitar and bemoans the lack of feminist writers on the curriculum, is the queen of the woke comeback (“I guess in this society, being male and an a–hole makes you worthy of our time”) and it all holds up.
As the story has for 400 years, since translated from the original misogyny.
But 10 Things I Hate About You wouldn’t be nearly as watchable—and rewatchable—if the cast wasn’t impeccable. Julia Stiles and Larisa Oleynik play the sisters. Susan May Pratt and Gabrielle Union are the best friends. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the sweetie, David Krumholtz is the nerd, Andrew Keegan is the jerk and, forever in our hearts, Australian newcomer Heath Ledger is the misunderstood bad boy who falls head over heels for the intelligent, untrusting and delightfully tempestuous girl he’s hired to romance. (Not to mention, Allison Janney is the guidance counselor who’s writing an erotic novel on the side, and Daryl Mitchell is spot-on as the English teacher who rolls his eyes at the woes of the suburban privileged.)
It’s much ado about everything and it came out 20 years ago today, featuring more than a few star-making performances and toting its fair share of behind-the-scenes secrets. Buena Vista Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com Reader, They Dated
As Kat and Patrick were falling for each other onscreen, according to some of their co-stars on the DVD commentary, Julia Stiles and Heather Ledger became an item off-screen—the only thing that can make a choice movie romance even better , as with the star-crossed couples in The Notebook or Twilight .
Moreover, Heath was Julia’s first onscreen kiss.
“He was so nice. He was such a force; he was—even at that age—a very, very powerful, lovely human being,” Stiles remembered her late costar to Us Weekly in 2014, calling the experience of working with him “amazing.”
Opening up a little more to Australia’s ABC in 2016, Stiles said, “Heath and I did not keep in touch after filming ended, but when I heard about his death, I was incredibly sad, I was very shocked. He was such a force, such a vibrant person, right at the really exciting time of his life.” Kevin Winter/Getty Images First Time’s the Charm
The screenplay was the work of first-time movie scribes Kirsten Smith and Karen McCullah Lutz , who went on to write Legally Blonde , Ella Enchanted , She’s the Man , The Ugly Truth and The House Bunny .
“We knew we wanted to write a teen movie and when Clueless came out, we thought Amy Heckerling was a genius for contemporizing a classic [ Jane Austen ‘s Emma ], so we decided to try that as well,” McCullah told The Script Lab in 2015. “We chose Taming of the Shrew and figured out which story lines we wanted to keep and update and how we’d go about it and then outlined all the characters and the story while we sat on a beach in Mexico.”
They were long-distance writing partners and would send pages back and forth via express mailing service Airborne.
It’s easy to see where the empowered Kat got her modern-day spirit—and the entire movie got its fresh, witty and whip-smart vibe.
McCullah described their work to BuzzFeed News as “badass and full of mirth.”
“I think our legacy is just these fearless, funny female characters who are sort of radical by their confidence,” Smith said. “They’re changing the world even though they don’t really know that they’re doing it.”
“We did get a note that said, ‘Why is she so angry?'” Smith recalled. Added McCullah, “they didn’t understand that sometimes as a teenage girl you’re just angry at all the bulls–t you have to put up with.” Moviestore Collection/Shutterstock What’s in a Name
McCullah and Smith, hearing that Disney’s Touchstone Pictures wanted to make a teen romance, stat, raced to finish their rewrite to hopefully beat out the other script the studio had purchased—called School Slut .
Somehow, that one didn’t end up getting made. By Disney.
The title of the winning 10 Things I Hate About You , meanwhile, was inspired by an actual list McCullah made about a high school boyfriend.
“The title is based on a diary entry I made in high school,” she said in a sit-down with UCTV . “I had a boyfriend named Anthony that I was frequently unhappy with. I made a list called Things I Hate About Anthony. When Kirsten and I decided to write this, I went through all of my high school diaries to bone up on the angsty memories, and when I told her about that list, she was like, ‘That’s our title.'”
Moreover, “Anthony is very proud of that fact,” McCullah added. “We’re still friends today. And every now and then I’ll get a random phone call in the middle of night: ‘My nephew doesn’t believe that this title is about me. Tell him.’ On the phone, I’m like, ‘Yes, I hated Anthony in high school.'” Article continues below Getty Images What If Goldie Hawn Said Yes ?!
“We saw hundreds and hundreds of actors,” recalled producer Andrew Lazar, “but halfway through the process we did stumble upon an amazing girl, who we felt was perfect for the lead role, and that was Julia Stiles. And then we really turned out attention to finding the perfect guy to play opposite her.”
It’s impossible to picture this movie with anybody else in the lead roles, but ponder this for a minute: Larisa Oleynik, perhaps the biggest star of the bunch going in thanks to her Nickelodeon-fostered fame from The Secret World of Alex Mac , wanted to play Kat. And that begot the rumor, since debunked, that Julie Stiles was interested in the role of Bianca.
And at one point it might not have been Stiles—or Ledger—at all in the pivotal roles of Kat and Patrick. Josh Hartnett and Ashton Kutcher were in the running for Patrick, and Hartnett screen-tested with Eliza Dushku , hot off her turn as Faith in Buffy the Vampire Slayer .
“They were all terrific,” producer Andrew Lazar recalled about all three potential male leads, noting that they saw “hundreds and hundreds of actors” before whittling it down to Stiles and
“But Julia and Heath just had the best chemistry together,” casting director Marcia Ross recalled to The New York Times in 2019 for an oral history about the film. “I loved Katie Holmes . She was about to get Dawson’s Creek , and we had to make a decision really fast. The other person I loved was Kate Hudson . But her mom didn’t like the script for her, so she passed.”
Well, don’t all of those names sound familiar. High school still beckoned for Hartnett, who was the BMOC in The Virgin Suicides , and Dushku, whom we cheer to this day in Bring It On. And luckily Goldie Hawn saw the promise in Almost Famous , for which Hudson earned an Oscar nomination. Buena Vista Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com Sister Act
“I auditioned for both Kat and Bianca pretty much up until the very end, and I really wanted Kat,” Oleynik told the New York Times. “I think I was so obsessed with wanting to prove to them that that’s who I was, that by the time I’d get to the Bianca stuff, I’d be like, ‘Oh, yeah, sure, whatever.’ And I’m sure that’s why it worked, because I was super-relaxed about it.”
And no wonder Oleynik thought she was right for Kat. In real life, she’s the one who went on to attend the elder Stratford sister’s dream school, Sarah Lawrence College, in New York.
“College was the best decision I’ve made,” she told Girls’ Life in 2006 . “I knew that I wanted to go to school and I wanted to go for four years and in New York. My favorite [classes] were the writing workshops. I took poetry classes, and courses in playwright and screenwriting. They were very comforting and productive. Everyone was respectful of each other. No one claimed to know everything.”
As for Stiles, she told Entertainment Weekly , “I was desperate for the part. It was so refreshing to see a teenage girl who was so feisty. I thought that the writers had a healthy dose of cynicism with their humor that you don’t always find with teen romantic comedies.
“I was an auditioning actor and mostly I would go out for commercials and they would tell me that I wasn’t bubbly enough. They always thought I was angry so to read a part like Kat I was like, ‘Ah, this is perfect for me!'” Richard Cartwright/Touchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock He’s All That
Turns out Joseph Gordon-Levitt and David Krumholtz wanted each other’s parts too!
“I wanted to play Cameron, but I had worked with Gil on a couple of TV projects, and he knew I could do Michael in my sleep, in the sense that you play a neurotic Jewish kid,” Krumholtz told the New York Times . “I know that Joe wanted to play Michael.”
Said Gordon-Levitt: “I auditioned both for Krumholtz’s part and my part, because I thought [that role] was funny. Then [Gil] wanted me to play Cameron.” Article continues below Touchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock International Man of Mystery
“He needed to be masculine without trying to be masculine, he needed to be smart, he needed to be removed, he needed to be unbelievably charming,” director Gil Junger recalled in an interview included in the 10th-anniversary DVD extras about the specific requirements for the part of Patrick Verona. “A complicated role, a very complicated role, and we had read a ridiculous amount of guys.”
Enter Australian actor Heath Ledger, who had yet to be in an American film, and everyone who watched his audition thought “movie star.” “He was just magnetic,” Karen McCullah said.
Ledger said that he most aspired to play Hamlet, but a close second was Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew , “and this is the closest thing I’ve had to playing Petruchio so far,” he said, flashing that full-faced grin of his.
In another set interview, the 18-year-old explained, “I’m using bits and pieces of Richard Burton’s portrayal of that character in perhaps the best known The Taming of the Shrew film, but my Patrick has also got a Jack Nicholson edge to him with his cheekiness and his smiles.”
It’s still unclear how Ledger could look remotely like the sort of guy who would eat a live duck, as one of the rumors about Patrick claimed, but the actor himself was as much of a mystery when he finally arrived on set a week into filming, fresh from the Australian swords-and-sandals TV series Roar .
“We had only heard stories from the producers about the disarming charisma of a handsome Aussie from Perth with an infectious smile,” David Krumholtz wrote in a piece for Vulture in 2015. “We had all established such strong friendships … We worried about how someone named Heath could possibly manage to find his place in our inner circle.” Quickly they realized that “the group, with Heath, only got stronger.” Buena Vista Pictures/Entertainment Pictures/ZUMAPRESS.com Queen of the Teens
At 27, Gabrielle Union was almost a decade older than the actors who played her peers in the film—but, as anyone who saw Bring It On in 2000, age was (and still is, really) but a number for the relentlessly youthful-looking actress.
“I was over 10 years older than my younger cast members, some of whom were still in high school,” Union told the Times . “So, it was kind of like, how close is this to my high school years? Do I look crazy playing a 15-year-old? Don’t mention Earth Wind & Fire or give away your age.” Wikimedia Commons That’s a Real High School
Padua High is actually Stadium High School in Tacoma, Wash., a public school overlooking Commencement Bay that was originally going to be a fancy hotel, hence it having the bones of a French chateau.
Construction began in 1891. The Panic of 1893 sent investors scurrying and the unfinished building was used as a storage facility until a fire gutted the structure in 1898. The Tacoma School District purchased the shell in 1904, local noted architect Frederick Heath finished the job and the school was open for learning in 1906.
The 15,000-seat Stadium Bowl where Patrick did his song and dance is shared by Stadium and Woodrow Wilson High School. Article continues below Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank Reunited
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Larisa Oleynik also played an off-and-on teen couple in 3rd Rock From the Sun , which bridged the child-to-teen stardom gap for JGL, and he never looked back.
“If I’m really honest, I didn’t want to do a high school romantic comedy,” Gordon-Levitt admitted to the Times . “I wanted to do Sundance movies. I’m very lucky that five years later, I got to do that. The truth is, I was a naïve or stuck-up 17-year-old.” Touchstone Pictures Dave’s Anatomy
David Krumholtz had to give Andrew Keegan some, er, pointers when it became obvious Keegan was out of his artistic element drawing a penis on Krumholtz’s face, when Mike goes to Joey to float the big idea.
“I remember having to teach Andrew Keegan how to draw a proper dick on my face,” Krumholtz recalled to Huffington Post in 2014. “Which was a little strange to have to do? He was nervous; I was like, ‘I draw tons of dicks. Start with the head, do the shaft, get to the balls. Make sure to put hair on the balls.’ It’s a nice dick. It’s a chub. It’s halfway there.” Touchstone Pictures
Catching up with the New York Times in 2019 , Keegan concurred, “Quite frankly, I did not know how to draw a dick on someone’s face, and I believe David was the one that helped creatively with that.”
The actor turned founder of Full Circle , a spiritual and wellness center in Venice, Calif., concluded, “I have heard about that scene for my whole adult life, so I think I did a pretty good job.”
“You know, people still say, ‘I have a dick on my face, don’t I?'” Krumholtz added. “And I have to be like hey, you got me. It’s haunted me for the rest of my life. It’s wonderful.” Article continues below Touchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock All’s Well That Ends Well
“I remember on 10 Things , seeing Kat’s room for the first time and being like, No, why does the room look like that ? I was upset about the music, because I had envisioned way more of a hardline, riot grrrl soundtrack,” Smith told Broadly. “I was certain those things were going to sink the whole vibe, but obviously I was wrong, and it turned out great. Part of it is just growing up as an artist and a writer. You can cling to the idea of what something should be, but the beauty of collaboration is that a new take on it could turn it into the best version it could become.”
Another big tweak: Kat and Bianca’s mom was originally present, but she was made into an absent parent who up and left to give some more relatable context to Kat’s perpetual state of defensiveness. Touchstone Pictures Her First Dance
Stiles’ drunken dancing atop a table to Notorious B.I.G.’s “Hypnotize” during the house party apparently won her the role of a ballet dancer with Juilliard aspirations in Save the Last Dance .
Junger told the Times that he was thinking of bringing his pal Paula Abdul on to choreograph the scene, but Stiles volunteered to just figure it out.
“I would never have the guts to do that now,” Stiles said. “I’m glad somebody got that on film. I mean I love dancing, but sort of provocatively on the table? I was pretty guileless at that point. I also have heard that that is what got me the part in Save the Last Dance . The director said to me that he had seen that scene, then realized that I could do hip-hop, not just ballet.” Touchstone Pictures Seattle’s Finest
The movie was shot entirely on location in the Seattle-Tacoma area, from the opening credits—an aerial view of Kerry Park and Queen Anne Hill—to the Stratford family’s 5-bedroom Victorian home on North 28th Street, which sold for $1.54 million in the spring of 2018, to Lake Union, where Kat and Patrick go pedal-boating. Article continues below Touchstone Pictures And We Couldn’t Take Our Eyes Off Him
The script originally called for Patrick wooing Kat with the Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You.” Then it was the Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself.” But Ledger insisted upon Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons’ “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” for the big musical number in which Patrick serenades Kat with the help of the school marching band—and he took creative control of the instantly classic scene.
“He was so specific about what he wanted to wear; it had to be this certain type of dark shirt with a precise fit,” Smith told Broadly. in 2017. “Oddly, it’s kind of a nondescript ensemble when you actually watch the movie, but seeing him architect the costume as part of his preparation was so impressive, especially because he was only 19.”
(No word on whether Jerry McConnell serenading Neve Campbell with “I Think I Love You” in Scream 2 in 1997 and Austin Powers having already conquered the fembots to “I Touch Myself,” also in 1997—and the fact that Kat never would have gone for that—had anything to do with the change-ups.) Touchstone Pictures Going With the Flow
Stiles famously nailed her emotional reading of her poem in one take, the unplanned tears coming naturally.
“They were not intentional,” the actress told Cosmopolitan UK in 2015 . “On some level I knew that I was supposed to be somewhat emotional, because when we did the table read I remember I just said the poem, and I could have been reciting the phone book.”
In the moment, “I never expected that I was going to start crying. I don’t know why I did, whether it connected to something going on at the time, or if I was just overwhelmed by the whole experience of making my first big movie.”
There is a bit of a discrepancy when it comes to the moment that ties the film and the title together, but, to be fair, “14 Things I Hate About You” doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Meanwhile, without further explanation, Stiles told the Times that her reaction was probably a combination of joy and sadness that the shoot was about over, but she also acknowledged being “just in a very raw place.”
“I remember Heath,” she said, “when they turned around to do his reaction shot, he said something like, ‘I don’t need to do anything because this isn’t about me.’ A lot of times you get one actor crying in a scene and the other actor feels like they have to cry, and he knew to be sort of restrained. I thought that was really cool.”
Hmm. Pam Berry/The Boston Globe via Getty Images Dear Cleo
Letters to Cleo —the band that played the club, the prom (Kay Hanley and Michael Eisenstein performed “Cruel to Be Kind” with Save Ferris) and closed the film covering “I Want You to Want Me” on the roof of Padua High—was basically the official house band of 10 Things I Hate About You , adding a hefty helping of mainstream fame to their already impressive indie rock credentials. They split up in 2000, but later reunited for a reunion tour and the EP Back to Nebraska in 2016.
And yes, that was really them—singer Hanley, guitarists Eisenstein and Greg McKenna, bassist Scott Riebling and drummer Jason Sutter—up on that roof.
“We’re all arranged on top of this postage-stamp-sized roof with chicken wire the only thing protecting us from toppling to our deaths into the Puget Sound,” Hanley, who went on to provide Rachael Leigh Cook’s singing voice in Josie and the Pussycats , told the New York Times . “The music starts playing [and] we start pretending we’re in a music video. We hear the whir of a chopper right above us, and then it dive-bombs us. We did two takes, and it was pretty much assumed that this shot wasn’t going to work, and Gil would never work in Hollywood again because he had just blown through half a million dollars doing this shot he was forbidden to do. And it ended up being a pretty iconic scene.” Article continues below ABC FAMILY/Randy Holmes Lost in Translation
Most TV show adaptations of hit movies don’t work, and the short-lived 2009-’10 sitcom 10 Things I Hate About You on ABC Family (now Freeform) was no exception—but not because it wasn’t good. It’s just that the movie was so good.
“The movie has such cult status that it seems almost sacrilege to tamper with it for television, but as a series 10 Things is not terrible; it is even at times fun. It’s just not very inventive,” wrote the New York Times ‘ Alessandra Stanley in her review at the time.
Lindsey Shaw and Ethan Peck (grandson of Gregory) valiantly played Kat and Patrick, while Meaghan Martin and Nicholas Baum did swell turns as Bianca and Cameron. But comparisons were inevitable and an audience more nostalgic for the original than anything else wasn’t all that interested.
Still, it had its devoted fans and lasted for 20 episodes, and before the back 10 aired in the spring of 2010, Shaw told Pop Sugar , “Obviously coming from a remake, you have a whole slew of things stacked against you. Nobody wants to see a remake because it’s everybody’s favorite movie. But we came at this and wanted to create something different and entertaining, and I think we’ve done that.”
Added Peck, who had the tougher role of not just stepping into a beloved character but also one played by an actor who had passed away, “I think the pressure really always only came from within, speaking for ABC Family and for the television show, because we knew that we weren’t trying to replace anything or anybody. We all came to it seriously and with big open hearts and open minds and I think that’s why we are where we are today.”
After they were canceled, series creator Carter Covington told EW.com , “I was telling someone it feels kind of like a breakup. Like you got dumped by this person and you’re like, ‘Wait a second. But we had such a great thing going on. Why would you dump me?'” 10 Things Films More Things to Hate
There was brief talk of an 11 Things I Hate About You sequel, but a tonally synonymous follow-up called 10 Things I Hate About Life did get underway in 2012. It starred Evan Rachel Wood and Thomas McDonnell as two kindred spirits who meet when they’re both in the middle of trying to commit suicide—and it never came out.
But director Gil Junger, reteaming with producer Andrew Lazar, hit the ground running. “We were open, we wanted to get a fresh, young cast,” Lanz told Vumanity , “but it just so happens, as we started meeting girls, Evan Rachel Wood—much like Julia Stiles did—just so out-shined all of the other actors in terms of talent, in terms of depth and emotion, that we settled on her.”
After six screen tests to pair Wood with the right guy, “we ended up with somebody phenomenal.” Lazar called the chemistry between McDonnell and Wood “electric.” They also had Skylar Grey in the Letters to Cleo role as the cool-live-music presence .
Production, however, was halted in February 2013 when the CEO of Intandem, the U.K.-based company financing the film, stepped down .
Also by then, Wood was pregnant with her son, who was born that July; the new Intandem CEO claimed the production was delayed because of her pregnancy but would resume in September. Instead, in June 2014, 10 Things Films sued Wood for breach of contract and $30 million, claiming she was paid $300,000 and then “seemingly changed her mind about desiring to complete the film during principal photography, ultimately refusing without any legal justification to fulfill her contractual obligations and instead opting to walk out on the project.”
A rep for Wood called that “preposterous,” stating that Wood was ready to resume work in November 2013, when producers promised they’d be ready, but they “still could not get their act together.” Anthony Harvey/Getty Images Heath Ledger Was the Real Deal
Not surprisingly, every single person involved in 10 Things I Hate About You (plus a billion other people) wishes Ledger was here to reflect on the film’s 20th anniversary. Hell, he tragically wasn’t even there for the 10th anniversary, having died in 2008 of an accidental prescription drug overdose.
“I loved Heath,” Krumholtz told the Times . “As I get older, and as the movie takes on greater relevance with new audiences, it’s harder to wrap my head around the idea that Heath passed on the way he did. I would’ve very much loved him to be part of this article, to feel appreciated for his work in the film, because he worked really hard on 10 Things I Hate About You .”
Remembered Gabrielle Union, “Heath had the ability to look at you, and you feel like Princess Diana. In a very crowded Hollywood landscape, he could make you feel special and seen. That’s a pretty special gift, and I don’t think it’s talked about enough.” Article continues below
Heath pretty much left comedy behind after this film, going on to do some incredible dramatic work—he would have made a compelling Hamlet one day—and won a posthumous Oscar for his haunting turn as the Joker in The Dark Knight .
But the list of reasons to love 10 Things I Hate About You , in all its light teen romance glory, will always start with him. Share
Doctor Who: The Eighth Of March
Doctor Who: The Eighth Of March Spread the love
Doctor Who: The Eighth Of March – Starring Sophie Aldred , Lisa Bowerman, Louise Jameson, Alex Kingston, Neve McIntosh, Ingrid Oliver, Jemma Redgrave, Catrin Stewart, Dan Starkey, James Joyce, Tracy Wiles, Lucy Pickles, Julie Teal, Catherine Skinner, Lewis Rae, Orlando Gibbs, Rosemary Ashe, Robert Gill, Julie Atherton, Nigel Fairs, Tom Bell, Louise Faulkner, Alix Dunmore, Dan Blaskey and featuring Sylvester McCoy. Written by Lisa McMullin, Lizzie Hopley, Gemma Langford & Sarah Grochala & Directed by Helen Goldwyn – CD / Download ( Big Finish )
Let’s get one thing out of the way at the outset. If you think that women shouldn’t be starship captains, superheroes or previously-male Time Lords, this probably isn’t the set for you. On the other hand, if you’re one of those fans who use the ‘Why not just create new female characters instead of changing previously-male characters into women?’ argument – you’re on. Big Finish has called your bluff to celebrate International Women’s Day, and it’s done it in spectacular fashion.
The Eighth of March is a collection of four stories, putting some of the women of the Who-universe front and centre. Each story is written by a woman, the whole collection is directed by a woman, and while it’s a technical stretch to say all the main heroes and villains are women with the exception of Strax the Sontaran, certainly all the underlying issues against which they fight and triumph have their analogues in the real world fight for equality between the sexes – which still goes on in 2019.
The result is a breath of bright, fresh air as sharp as Madame Vastra’s sword, as arch as a Bernice Summerfield quip, as twinkly as a River-wink and as brilliant as Petronella Osgood. Strap in, people, we’re about to have some fun.
Emancipation , by Lisa McMullin is a gorgeously rich, layered face-slap of issue-flagging, woven into a hell of a story. In the first place, it finally brings together two absolute archetypes, Professor River Song and Leela of the Sevateem. Their different approaches to dealing with the universe, and the fact that River knows of Leela, but Leela only recognises a familiar spirit in the mad-haired, motormouthed archaeologist, make for initial sparks, but then the two fall into a productive sync, a way of working together that acknowledges their individual strengths (especially as this is Leela in Gallifrey mode, more rule-conscious than she used to be, but invigorated by River’s more ‘What the hell?’ approach to universal gittery). The challenge they face is absolutely carved out of feminist issues – while the villain of the piece is female, she’s as arch and evil as any historical king or grand vizier, and the institutions she upholds have distinctly male counterparts in our own world. The idea of two princesses (yes, really, River and Leela are rescuing princesses from dungeons – take that, patriarchal fairy tales!) being sacrificed for the good of the state and the dictates of religion is disturbingly real in a world which still includes honour killings. The idea that their bodies and lives are not their own to control is potent in a world which is rolling back women’s healthcare and which still includes female genital mutilation as a cultural practice. Lisa McMullin even brings the issue of coerced consent into play, as the Princesses Myrahla are coerced to vocally collude in their own destruction, while their minds scream the absolute opposite.
It’s important to understand that the feminist underpinnings are not as blatantly front and centre as I’ve made them sound – they’re there if you want to pick up on them, but Lisa McMullin has actually written a cracking, fast-paced fairytale princess-rescue with an evil queen, an innocent victim, quiiiite a bit of time-travel, and even, importantly, a bit of post-Happily Ever After realism. You can listen to Emancipation perfectly easily as a time-travel buddy movie with the irrepressible River and the more cautious Leela, and there are proper consequences to River’s mis-reading of a crucial situation here to give you moments of in-story pause and weight. Or, if you have your checklist of ‘Stuff That Still Needs Tackling In 2019’ to hand, you can also listen to the story as a full-on feminist dialectic. The genuinely exquisite thing is not that it works either way, but that it works both ways, and leaves you with so many pinball-lights going off in your head, it sets you up for the spirit of the set, while you realise you’ve just heard River and Leela in White Knight mode, rescuing princesses from evil queens, and then dealing with the consequences of that action in their own unique way.
The Big Blue Book by Lizzie Hopley takes us back into New Adventures territory, with Ace and Bernice Summerfield battling the Librarian From Hell. While the Seventh Doctor has swanned off on a train journey, Bennie and Ace go undercover at a Liverpool university, Bennie doing her archaeology thang, and Ace acting as the world’s most unlikely cleaner (‘Nitro-9 – BOOM! And the dirt is gone…’ – sorry, mind wandering…). What follows is a suitably esoteric, mindscape-heavy tale which fits perfectly well with previous stories featuring this pairing, while allowing Ace the bulk of the intellectual heavy lifting, showing us (but more importantly showing herself) that she can deal with things that would normally be out of her pay grade if there were a Bennie or a Doctor around to do them for her. There are messages here too – again, Ace proves she’s more capable than perhaps she believes, but there’s also an undercurrent of people using other people’s intelligence and ideas for their own ends, and leaving them burned out rather than rewarded, which may well chime with girls and women in every kind of job there is.
Mostly though, this is first and foremost a problem-solving drama, with the responsibility of life and death and right and wrong on one young woman’s shoulders, showing how she copes with the incredible sequence of annoyances, difficulties and threats that keep coming her way. Basically, it’s The Martian , but starring Ace. And a bit more off the wall and bookish. With alien librarians and criminals, and set in Liverpool. Alright fine, it’s actually quite different from The Martian , but the point is this is Ace having to work a string of problems with science and courage and a different type of bravery to the kind she knows she has.
It gets perhaps just a little exhausting in the last couple of rounds, but by then, you’re so invested in hearing how Ace wins the day that that’s at most a minor irritant, and when Ace and Bennie are re-united, there is enough air-punching satisfaction to make the whole drama worthwhile.
Inside Every Warrior by Gemma Langford is, apart from its rightful place in an International Women’s Day release, the ‘pilot’ for the Paternoster Gang series. Not gonna lie – I have an enormous soft spot for the Paternoster Gang, because, well, what’s not to love about a ninja detective lizard, her wife-cum-maid and a comedy Sontaran, running around Victorian England solving space-crime?
There’s nothing about this story that particularly screams ‘pilot’ either, which is a good decision. We’ve seen them do their thing on screen, and here we’ve dropped in on them again, but with the focus firmly on the gang themselves, in the absence of any moody Time Lords. The story – essentially A Victorian Werewolf In London – is more complex than it at first appears, and when we discover what makes the werewolf go…erm…were, there’s a degree of ‘Huh…didn’t see that coming’ to it that takes the tale to a different level. Mostly though, what we’re dealing with here is a famous scientist treating his own maid like…well, like a terrorised partner, and the various reactions of the gang to his behaviour as they investigate a break-in at his lab and the theft of some all-important notes by…apparently…a werewolf. There’s everything you want from a Paternoster Gang story here – there’s Strax arguing with the horse and threatening to use some thoroughly bonkers-sounding weaponry, there’s Jenny’s forthright adoration of her wife, there’s Vastra standing up to sexist idiots, there’s some pretty cool sword fighting, and there’s an ultimate re-statement of what links the team together, which is love, respect, friendship and an additional almost parental care of one another, the ‘oddities’ in a society that wouldn’t accept them individually, but that can’t afford to dismiss them together. That ultimately is the point of the title, and a crucial point of difference between the Paternoster Gang and the villains of the piece. It’s worth keeping your ears open as you go through Inside Every Warrior , because what was going on and what is going on might well be different things, and if you’re not tracking, the subtleties might slip by you among all the werewolves and aliens and misogynists and the Truly Hideous Thing that happens to Strax. Ultimately though, Inside Every Warrior announces the coming of a new Victorian series that, on the evidence of this story, will come to stand alongside Jago & Litefoot for fun, chills and affection from fans. Oh and incidentally, whoever composed the theme music deserves a raise – personally I want to be able to download that little beauty. (Hmm – download album of Big Finish themes, anyone? Missy? Jenny? UNIT, Jago & Litefoot, War Doctor, War Master…and so on?)
And to finish this set, we’re with the new UNIT crowd, with three strong women front and centre – Kate Stewart, Petronella Osgood and Jacqui McGee, journalist and increasingly strong player in the UNIT-adjacent team, played by Tracy Wiles. Four strong and brilliant women actually, because we’re moving forward into Capaldi-era UNIT with Zygon Osgood fully on board here. Narcissus , by Sarah Grochala, is a story of insidious social standards of ‘beauty’ and how they can be used to exclude people from love, sex, fun and potential futures. There’s a newish dating app on the market which only allows the ‘beautiful people’ to meet one another.
Just from the concept, you know that’s gonna be run by all kinds of wrong-uns, don’t you?
And so it is, but for reasons more subtle than the fury that’s raging in your brain right now. While not strictly in any sense a female-specific targeted app – Captain Josh Carter, for example, is the first of the UNIT crew to fall prey to it – the pressure on women in society to look, dress, trim, pluck, prepare and perfect themselves to some notional social standard of ‘beauty’ is exponentially higher and broader throughout women’s lives than it is throughout men’s, and while absolutely refusing to beat anyone over the head with that idea, Sarah Grochala’s script allows you to understand it, as Jacqui, Kate and both the Osgoods all feel the effects of the alien skulduggery that needs people to believe in their own objective beauty, and mercilessly stokes their sense of self-pride in order to trap them and use them for alien ends.
Petronella has a particularly bad day at the office when she encounters the Narcissus app, which takes some unravelling at the end. It’s highly important unravelling, speaking to an even more insidious ‘need’ that’s very definitely targeted at women in our society – the need to be ‘completed’ by someone else – so make sure you don’t miss it, otherwise you’re just left with aliens being mean to our Osgood.
Narcissus is a neat, pacey UNIT adventure that allows us to focus on the leading women of everyone’s favourite United Nations military arm, in the absence of Sam Bishop and with Josh Carter captured almost immediately by the app and its alien data-fiddlers.
Overall, this is an enormously satisfying set of stories, each with their own individual tone, paced for fun, meaning, and storytelling. They open up windows into the lives of some of the best and most engaging characters in the Doctor Who universe, give you plenty of adventure, from the physical to the intellectual to the trans-temporal and back again, and for those who want the strong feminist thread in their International Women’s Day stories, they deliver on that level too. The temptation is not only to request more of the same next March, but also to stud the year with other celebratory, groundbreaking, awareness-raising sets in future years – 28 th of June (date of Stonewall – come on, you know the Doctor was there!) to highlight the fight for equality of sexuality (Jack Harkness, River, Vastra, Jenny etc), a set for Black History Month, etc.
Could such sets be economically viable?
They could if, as with The Eighth of March , they lead with story, and character, and stakes, and pacing, while never shrinking from the issues underpinning the struggles. Above all, T he Eighth of March stands on the quality of its writing, the direction of Helen Goldwyn, and knock-down drag-out heart-lifting performances all the way down the cast sheet. More please! Tony Fyler Share this: