Author Archives: Matthew David Brozik

Should The New Yorker Publish Dead Writers?

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: I had zero idea who David Rakoff was before he died. I had read his New York Times magazine “Lives” entry, but that’s all… and I’d had no idea at the time that he was anyone well…

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Best Holiday Movie

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: There are so many wonderful holiday movies—and by “holiday,” I mean “Christmastime”; and by “wonderful,” I mean “boring.” The single best holiday movie, hands down, is the one that has not snow falling from the sky on…

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R.E.M. Remembered

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: There’s not much that I want to write about the decision of Messrs. Buck, Mills, and Stipe to end R.E.M. after 31 years, and not because I don’t have an opinion. To the contrary: For the past…

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Orphaned Opinion: (TMBG, “Join Us” review)

Have a different take? Add it in the comments section, and we will promote the best one into the piece!

“This is Dan, and that’s Dan, and there’s Marty on the drums to complete the band. And I’m John, and he is also John, and all of us are wondering when you’re gonna die.”

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: Join Us is a terrific album, though not without tracks that dip below the high bar set by the majority. TMBG revisit (or at least mention) some of their favorite topics: Death, hair, aliens and astronomy, time travel, alienation, and love. Love? Yes, there is an ostensible love song on this album. And it’s good. Continue reading

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Brady Bunch Vs. Gilligan’s Island

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: Gilligan’s Island was the better show. I’m not suggesting that The Brady Bunch wasn’t a good show… but GI has the edge. Let’s start with the theme song, “The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle” (co-written by Schwarz). TBB has a memorable, catchy theme song (and a charming opening theme sequence), but GI has a tremendous theme song. It doesn’t merely set the scene, it tells a story itself… and a compelling story, no less. “A three hour tour…,” we hear. I get chills even now just thinking those four words.

HOWARD MEGDAL: We lost a TV giant this week, when Sherwood Schwartz, creator of both The Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island, died at the age of 94. In terms of quality TV, I don’t think one would necessarily argue that either show belongs among the pantheon alongside The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Cheers or Seinfeld. But both made indelible marks upon American pop culture, and I think the lasting impact of The Brady Bunch is greater. Continue reading

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Reflections on Go the Fuck to Sleep.. the Movie!

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: “Then the movie studios came a-calling, with Fox 2000 snapping up rights to the film version. Mr. Mansbach didn’t offer to write the screenplay, mainly because he has no idea how it could be done.”

CHRIS PUMMER: There’s probably no lack of possible directions for a Go the Fuck to Sleep movie. Nightly attempts to wrangle two toddlers into bed in my home sometimes turn out to be comedies, tragedies, action-adventure psychological thrillers. Continue reading

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Ferris Bueller At 25

HOWARD MEGDAL: I’ll let Dave and Matthew fight out the specifics of the film itself, though I find myself far closer to Dave than Matthew on it. But there’s an insidious argument in Alan Siegel’s piece that I’ve seen elsewhere and need to address.

Simply, the idea that a story is invalidated due to a lack of representative economic and racially diverse characters is ludicrous. Continue reading

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In Briefs: RIP, Macho Man

CHRIS PUMMER: Macho Man Randy Savage, dead at 58.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: And so it begins. Not with a bang… oh, wait. Indeed, with a bang. And also an “Oooooh yeah!”

CHRIS PUMMER: Begins with a snap — like…

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Judge Judy

NAVA BRAHE: I’m sorry, but “Judge Judy” is every Jewish kid’s nightmare. She may sit on a bench in a black robe with a lace collar, but when she starts berating those who stand before her, she might as well be wearing an apron and wielding a spatula. This has nothing to do with adjudicating legal matters (such as they appear on television), this has to do with being a Jewish mother. Granted, I don’t think many people get that aspect of her persona, but if you’ve had, or still have a Jewish mother, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: My late grandfather loved watching the “judge” shows, and he loved asking me questions about the cases. Invariably, I’d have to remind him that nothing that happens on those shows is anything like what happens in actual court (with the exception of NYC landlord-tenant court, which is really more of a bazaar than an institution of justice). Had he lived just a bit longer, my grandfather would have had the pleasure of seeing my brother on The People’s Court… despite my strenuous objections. My brother won, and he looked good doing it, but I maintain that it was a mistake, and not just because those shows make the American legal system look bad. Continue reading

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The No Way To Win Diner

AKIE BERMISS: I’m no purist. Not by a long shot. But I’m not really a rebel either. This makes for a troubling situation overall, since most purists therefore view me as a rebel and most rebels view me as a purist. Its a numbers game really if you want to know where you wind up on the scale of things. That’s why dining out is hard for me, I have a lot of weird food issues and I’m a persnickety eater over all. I know its declasé to eat with your knife and fork held at the same time, that one should not mix up the various foods on the dish, that one should drink slowly and in conservative sips. And that one should order off the menu and eat it as the Chef designs it to be eaten. That’s why I stay away from the kind of restaurants featured in an article in the New York Times last week — restaurants where the Chef/barista is the law-giver and the customer has no say.

MATTHEW DAVID BROZIK: I’m not suggesting that every restaurant (or any, for that matter) should be inflexible. To the contrary, I think any service industry establishment should be guided by the desires of its customers. Being “puritan” (or just plain unwilling to accommodate patrons) is an enormous risk. It’s less likely to succeed, in the traditional sense, than giving customers what they want. But if you let it go too far, then you risk becoming a doormat, which is also pretty bad.

NAVA BRAHE: I’ve witnessed more than my share of food proclivities over the course of my life, specifically those of my extended family. I have a cousin who is the quintessential picky eater and will likely make a scene in the most easygoing of eateries; yet she will periodically chow down on a Big Mac, fries and a Coke, and then proclaim she’s “hungry” after licking the last of the french fry salt off her fingers. Then, there’s my diabolically certifiable aunt, who’s a food hoarder of a magnitude where someone needs to dispatch an A&E camera crew to track her food-shopping exploits. Me? I eat whatever you put in front of me. I can’t remember the last time I sent back anything at a restaurant that wasn’t to my liking. Continue reading

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