Every HBO Documentary is good, so this is full of spoilers and it’s more “thoughts on the series” than it is bulletpoints about the quality of the production. So you can skip this Hot Takes entry if you don’t want spoilers.
1. I always believed Dylan from the first time I became aware of the story. However, I never actually went looking for much detail about what happened and I figured it was a He Said / She Said situation where his supporters simply believed him instead of her. I had NO IDEA there was SO MUCH corroboration of various parts of her story from so many people. I refuse to believe that all of the people who support Woody Allen actually know the details. I believe the misogynists and the basement babies and the members of the Woody Cult have the ability to read it all and still side with him, but I can’t wrap my head around so many people in the industry supporting him and knowing the details of what Dylan had to say and the statements by people around her.
2. Dylan isn’t super likeable. It is what it is. It’s much easier to disbelieve a victim you don’t like, and I think part of her uphill battle rests on that. We see it all the time. Likeable victims, The Perfect Victim — they’re more likely to see justice served.
3. Why does Mia have so many kids? And why are they all brown? Including the kids who have passed away, Mia has 14 children. The only white ones are the ones she gave birth to and Dylan. All of the children Mia Farrow adopted were brown, until Woody wanted a white girl baby.
4. Hindsight is 20/20, but sometimes flags are RED right in your face right in the present. When Woody told Mia he didn’t want any children and didn’t want to be a father to the gang of kids she already had, that should’ve told her he wasn’t fatherhood material. Since he didn’t want to have kids, she asked him if he’d be open to adopting a child, and he still said no. And then. He said he might be okay with it if she adopted a little blonde girl. Is that not a red flag???? The man you’re with, who has shown zero interest in any of your children and doesn’t want any children at all, says he’s fine if you adopt a child as long as it’s a blonde girl. WHAT!
5. If ten children say “Mia was a great mom” and two say “Mia beat us” which kids do you believe? What if one of those two kids was married to a child molester and the other was being financially supported by the child molester? I don’t know why people give Moses or Soon-Yi any airtime. They are clearly lying for Woody. Mia’s ten other children are not lying for her.
6. Woody Allen has 40 years of films that say “This old Manhattan twerp has a barely legal girlfriend” because he is an old Manhattan twerp who wanted a barely legal girlfriend. That movie where Mariel Hemmingway is 17? How do people watch that? And hold it up as a classic piece of great cinema?
7. I wholly support the prosecutor who declined to take the case to trial. I had this vague notion that he didn’t push forward because Woody was rich and powerful, but the fact that he didn’t want to put Dylan through a trial was the correct decision at the time. Sometimes all of the options suck, and in his case, he had no good ones. He could retraumatize her — likely to no effect — or he could let it go.
8. I’m glad people who worked with Woody are starting to come around and support Dylan. Unfortunately there aren’t enough of them, but some is better than none, and ten years ago it was none. Dylan’s determination to speak out is part of the reason there are more supporters now. She has contributed to a climate where we listen to women more and a climate where women are more likely to speak out against powerful men. Props to Dylan Farrow.
Hot Takes: The Housewife & The Hustler
This is a good True Crime Documentary for anybody, not just Housewives fans.
1. Imagine sitting at home with a bowl of popcorn watching a documentary about how your co-worker funds her hobby with money her husband stole from burn victims and families of plane crash victims? What is it like being on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills right now?!
2. You don’t need to like, watch, or even be remotely familiar with The Real Housewives (of Beverly Hills or anywhere else) to enjoy this quick little documentary. If you like true crime and/or you enjoy that feeling of outrage you get watching grifters grift, this is just another documentary about rich people stealing money.
3. For backstory: Erika Girardi was a young, struggling actress who married a mega-wealthy lawyer 40ish years her senior, Tom Girardi (of Erin Brockovich fame). She then decided she wanted to become a popstar and Tom funded her career, spending millions of dollars to turn her into a bonafide artist (she had nine consecutive number one hits on the Billboard Dance/Club chart, before she was ever on Real Housewives. Only Katy Perry, JLo, and Madonna have longer unbroken strings of hits.) Now she’s divorcing him because he’s a grifter and she’s pretending she didn’t know about it.
4. The fact that the first person we see in this documentary is Danielle ProstitutionWhore Staub absolutely sent me to the moon.
5. I’m ready to fight when somebody owes me $50. If I gave you money, but then I see you on Instagram at the club, I’m ready to fight, because you are drinking the money you should be giving back to me. I cannot imagine the amount of rage in my spirit if I knew you owed me millions and millions of dollars and I see your wife on TV spending my money on hair and makeup and clothes. I would be in jail right now.
6. The fact that Erika is still filming the show is beyond my powers of comprehension. Your husband, who stole money from his clients to fund your career and your image because you wanted to be a celebrity and you wanted to be on a reality TV show, is giving depositions about being broke….and you are still letting the cameras follow you and your $2,000 a day glam squad? Are you joking?
7. She absolutely knew. I think Tom was a grifter long before Erika came into the picture and she genuinely had no knowledge of his business when they got married. I think she was young and saw a meal ticket, which isn’t a judgement of her character. Tom saw youth, beauty, vitality. Erika saw money and stability. And they both like each other. Great partnership. But you cannot convince me that she didn’t put the pieces together over the years and she was just sitting in the dark about everything her husband was doing.
8. And she divorced him so she could shelter his ill-gotten assets under her own corporation.
9. Tom Girardi is going to jail. I don’t know what would make a crook want to go on national television and risk being exposed, but we saw the same thing with Russell Armstrong (and he eventually committed suicide because of the light shown on his shady business due to his wife’s visibility on this same franchise.)
10. This is so dark. I just be trynna watch Housewives for petty arguments and fashions. It feels so dirty watching Erika walk around in Chanel now…
Vanity Fair: A Different World: Cast Members and Crew Tell the Oral History
In 1987, one of television’s most influential shows was born. The stars, writers, and producers look back on their years at Hillman College.
This is faaaannnnntastic!
Random things I did not know:
Meg Ryan was almost cast as Marisa Tomei’s character.
Dawnn Lewis wrote the theme song for A Different World — is that common knowledge?? Am I late?
Jasmine Guy got the role of Whitley and 20 minutes later was sitting at a table read.
A Different World was the #2 show, between Cosby and Cheers. I didn’t realize it had been so big.
Yvette Lee Bowser fought for a job on that show. It was her first one and she was a glorified intern for awhile. And look at her now!
This wasn’t in the article but I just looked it up: A Different World still holds the record for the highest rated premiere pilot.
Watch: Abbott Elementary (ABC) first look teaser
From “he got money” to “she got top billing over Sheryl Lee Ralph in a network sitcom”
We must AS A FAMILY throw our entire weight behind this show. How often do we see Black people — not beige ones either! — leading a primetime sitcom? That they’re also creating and writing?!
Eric Adams supports terrorizing Black people.
Carl Nassib is the NFL’s first active gay player.
France is giving the United States another Statue of Liberty.
Casey Frey has a boyfriend.
Women of color and emotional trauma in white Real Housewives casts
Hot Takes: Cruella
Race1 year ago
How to respond to “riots never solve anything!”
LGBT10 months ago
Niecy Nash ties the knot with singer Jessica Betts.
Pop Culture2 years ago
Today I Learned: Betty White Gave Arthur Duncan His Start
Race11 months ago
Why don’t we say “Ebonics” anymore?
LGBT12 months ago
Valentina Sampaio, Sports Illustrated, and trans women under the male gaze.
LGBT7 years ago
A lesson on what bisexuality means and what it doesn’t.
On Television12 months ago
The story behind Hottie and that microwaved chicken.
Pop Culture2 years ago
Aubrey O’Day is a blowup doll and I love it.