In the season finale of Divorce titled “Alone Again, Naturally,” the song that was number one the day I was born (because I’m old) but that I never heard until the late ‘90s, I got a nice bit of middle-aged drinking on screen.
Molly Shannon’s rich Westchester lady character is getting drunk on Seven and Sevens (a drink I’ve never tried or ever seen anyone order) at a townie bar in Peekskill. At some point she gets cut off, “ma’amed” and kicked out…then proceeds to hit a bunch of cars in the parking lot, which did not read as realistic to me at all but the show, at times, leans towards broad comedy rather than subtlety.
I was more immediately enamored with my Graham & Brown kitchen wallpaper showing up in what seemed like government housing in “I, Anna.”
But I was more of impressed that Charlotte Rampling’s character showed up at what seemed to be an all-ages speed dating event.
I mostly noticed this interview with Patricia Resnick, the “9 to 5″ screenwriter (who was only 26 at the time) posted on Facebook because this image is very relevant to my interests.
But then, I immediately wondered if any of these actresses were over 40 at the time since women–well, people generally–just had more mature looks in the ‘80s. (Practically everyone in my high school year book, which technically was class of 1990, looks 25.) And my perception is clouded by being a child during that decade. All adults seemed old.
Dolly Parton, it turns out, was the only youngster (34). Lily Tomlin was 41 and Jane Fonda 43.
It goes without saying that this film’s relevance 37 years later is kind of bleak.
I do like Netflix for surfacing random indie movies that I don’t recall ever playing in theaters. I mean, I a lot of them aren’t very good (Blue Jay) but it can be a break from all of the blockbusters a la Stranger Things (this Tumblr theme does not let my italicize which is maddening).
Strange Weather featuring a rather sinewy Holly Hunter (as well as Carrie Coon) was my latest find. It was not bad, though the reviews were not great. I love her in Top of the Lake and also appreciated her role here as Darcy, a mother seeking answers from her dead son’s friend who has gotten rich off of a stolen idea for a hot dog chain.
Apparently, you can still smoke indoors in Georgia.
You would be forgiven if you aren’t familiar with my Henry Thomas obsession from the ‘90s, so you can’t fathom my joy when he not only showed up as a middle-aged love interest for Sam on “Better Things,” but they meet while middle-aged drinking. Some of my most favorite things in one place.
Duh, I haven’t watched this show in ages but I’m pretty sure it’s the currently aired show with the most screen time devoted to over-40 (ok, over-50) women getting drunk.
I’ve seen detractors of this show, a few “it’s ok’s,” and one “love it” from a woman who suffers the most severe case of the Dunning-Kruger effect I’ve ever encountered. It’s not a great show–college-themed premises don’t work on me because I went to a weird, really small school–but I keep watching anyway. Keegan-Michael Key is turning 40 (the actor is 46) so these friends from college, I assume, are similarly aged.
In the second episode, Lisa, played by an actress who is only 35 which is specious since she’s married to an actor a decade older, both pretending be 40, drinks too much at a bar presumably in Manhattan and is boorish at her friend’s play.
In the third episode, all three lady friends go for drinks at Bemelmans, an uber-age appropriate venue. In fact, that’s the joke, played very broad, that the women glom onto a table of rich octogenarians and pretend to be models who also sing.
As an aside, the opening scene shows an affair between Keegan-Michael Key and Annie Parisse (42) where he runs out of condoms, wants to do it anyway, and asks if she’s in menopause, bolstering my theory that menopause will be a growing part of pop culture and eventually made cool.
I’ve only watched the first three episodes of Gypsy yet there is already a plethora of middle-aged lady drinking and in all sorts of age-inappropriate venues that begins with a bourbon (Naomi Watts’ character asks for a chardonnay) in one of those weird cafe hybrids where I would never have a drink.
“Diana” also gets a drink spilled on her when she goes to see a barista’s show in a bar and shows up at a dance party in Bushwick.
Jean, her real name, takes her husband Billy Cruddup to some new bar she knows about that seems ok for 40somethings.
Diana is never presented as old or out of place, though her new lady friend mentions that she likes older women.
P.S. The character has a hands-in-pants masturbating scene that clearly echoes Mulholland Drive.
This isn’t a sudden realization; it’s been building for years. I am now older than the TV characters who seemed like quintessential grownups on shows when I was a kid: Kate & Allie, Alice, Anne Romano. Yes, all the women that spring to mind immediately were single mothers. There was always something I romanticized about packing up a car with my kids and just starting a new life somewhere in ways that, say, the characters on thirtysomething did nothing for me. (I only watched that show for the first time five years ago, DVDs rented from the library, on the cusp of 40 to see if I gleaned any knowledge about that decade of life.) Doubly strange considering I don’t have children. It always seemed fun to have casual boyfriends who maybe drank a little too much and would hang out with me and my kid (my fantasy involves only one child) from day one, no fussy modern rules about keeping my love life separate from being a parent.
I recently got caught up in a mini One Day at a Time marathon and there was an entire episode around a single’s bar that Anne reluctantly visited at her sassy neighbor, Ginny who waitressed at the behest. There is a scene where a desperate divorcee goes home with a gross guy because she’s lonely and Anne realizes this isn’t her milieu (she also gives away her age by agreeing with this woman that “the joint was really jumping,” apparently, a dated reference) . I watched the entire episode assuming Anne was like 40-ish, still cute, but had been off the market for a while. She does have older teenage daughters. I couldn’t stand not looking Bonnie Franklin’s birthday up and it turns out she was only 33 when that episode aired in 1977.
Sorry to be so Twin Peaks-centric but when Laura Dern appears as previously unseen Diane, smoking and drinking a martini, you can’t let that slide.
I thought the Bang Bang Bar would be the coolest fictional place to have a drink.
But now Max Von’s Bar is a contender. Plus, you can smoke indoors?