• Screen Time

    Screen Time: The Affair, Doll & Em, Transparent, Portlandia

    From New York’s annual Best Of issue: Best 35th-Birthday Bar “Here’s a new one: ‘midlife millennial.’ That’s who Bryce David and his partners had in mind when they opened this bar and dance club, a spot for grown-ups who still want to rage but feel too old for the hangar-size dance bars like Output and Verboten.”

    First off, no. Uh-uh. Millennials don’t get to start laying claim to middle age now too. I’m already bracing for an even Bigger Chill over the next decade.

    Ok, just had to get that out of the way before playing catch up with some TV portrayals of elder women in bars.


    The Affair: Helen is only drinking white wine alone in Brownstone Brooklyn because she got stood up by a Tinder date. “Tinder is more of a hookup site for millennials,” the server informs her, while suggesting Match.com because that’s where the divorcees hang out (hello, OurTime.com). It’s frightening to think I’d be roughly in the same dating pool as this character because I don’t look like Maura Tierney (51), own a home in Park Slope, or a housewares shop, and this probably goes a long way in explaining why I end up with 30 year olds with roommates not middle-aged salt-and-pepper drunk doctors, who hump you in the basement during a rainstorm while your kids are upstairs.

    Doll & Em:  I might say spoiler alert, but does anyone watch this? Plus, season two has been out since September. Keeping with the brownstone theme, Doll gets knocked-up by Ewan McGregor in the bathroom of what I’m pretty certain is Prime Meats. That’s all you need to know. Can 44-year-olds seriously get pregnant that easily? This is a legit question.


    Transparent: I would say Maura (not to be confused with Tierney) is well past middle age yet the moment when one crosses into the next phase is a question I hope to not think about for at least another twenty years, sorry seniors. But still, she is a woman alone in a bar. Though because I’m apparently terrible at reading signals even on TV, I didn’t realize she was hitting on the harried attorney played by Sonya Walger (41) by buying her a glass of sancerre and suggesting tapas until reading a recap. The actress I always think of as Lost’s Penny (but also wives of a certain type in cable dramas a la Tell Me You Love Me and The Mind of the Married Man) could be the subject of a thinkpiece on the art of  permanently looking 39. It’s kind of like Bernie Sanders superficially looking the same now as decades ago. Maybe you look a little too mature as a woman who’s only 30, but by the time you’re 50 you seem ageless.


    Portlandia: Claire is how I’m afraid I’d appear if I moved back home in as much as I would be too uptight and rigid for a middle-aged manchild, but then I’d have to quit my NYC job to move to Portland and if anyone works there at all it’s service-oriented so I wouldn’t even be drinking pinot noir in a cream blazer, and this is all something I’ve given some real thought to lately because it’s possible that I’m over New York and what I’m doing here. So…the coworker’s boyfriend shows up and is all “Hi, are you ladies over 21?” and that’s a hoot.