Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I was invited by Christin Haws to participate in this blogaround!

1) What are you working on?: Next week, I'm going to wrap up my tour through various aspects of the 80's treatment of feminism in pop culture by taking a look at feminist backlash, as encapsulated by movies like "Overboard".  I am otherwise working on two screenplays a novel.

2) How does you work differ from others of its genre? It's sassy, smart, intense and impassioned.

3) Why do you write what you do? Because pop culture is a deeply rooted influence in my life and I have a burning need to explore it.

4) How does your writing process work?: One day of research, one day of writing, one day of editing.

I sadly don't have any authors I know offhand who I'd like to nominate, but if you'd like me to include your blog in this post and be next, reply to this post.

80’s Month: Casual Sex? And love in the time of AIDS

Among the many innovations exclusive to the era, The 80’s reinvented – through pure necessity – the sex comedy.   You can neatly split the era into two halves:  the freewheeling pre-HIV-era (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) and the neurotic post-AIDS years, of which Casual Sex? Is the epitome.

Popular culture dealt with the AIDS crises in numerous ways.  Some sought to confront it directly (various TV movies, and eventually TV sitcoms, did bits about the disease, culminating in popular explorations of the disease in movies and plays like “Rent”, “Angels in America” and “And The Band Played On”.).  Others ignored it by delving into the past (a general rise in nostalgia for the 60’s first occurred in the late 80’s, eventually culminating in a second Woodstock celebration in the 90’s) or advocated for free-love-with-a-rubber (80’s video culture).  And even more made jokes; many a 90’s child likely remembers watching Lt. Drebbin and his lady love Jane roll across their bed while wearing full body condoms in Naked Gun.   Casual Sex takes the comedy approach with a twist; it tries to be touching and whimsical in the same breath – and occasionally succeeds.

80’s Month: The Glass High Top: The deconstructed fairytales of Maid to Order and Pretty in Pink

Let’s face it, there’s only one major ensemble dramedy that dissects the high school experience and manages to be relevant even to this day – The Breakfast Club.  After the movie became a major hit, its two female leads were sent off on entirely dissimilar career paths:  while Ally Sheedy immediately took on adult roles in hits like St. Elmo’s Fire and Short Circuit, Molly Ringwald, much like her princessy character Claire, would end up stuck playing teenagers for five more years before testing the waters with The Pick Up Artist, Fresh Horses, and finally transitioning firmly into adult roles with Betsy’s Wedding in 1990.

The two would each take one more stab at trying to create classic films for teenagers; Ringwald would essay the role of poor teenager Andie Walsh in “Pretty in Pink” and Sheedy would play rich girl Jessica Montgomery in “Maid to Order” .  One would be a wild success, the other would be consigned to the one dollar cut-out bins across the country.  But why?  Let’s stack the classic against the unknown and see how – or if – they stack up.