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The Week in Recommendations 5.31.23
Feelings on the "Succession" finale, more #Scandoval, a maternity-friendly nightgown and some fun ballet flats.
We are GOING ON (mini) TOUR! If you live in the Philly, Boston or New York City areas, come hang out with us and see Love To See It LIVE! We’ll be recapping an iconic — and hilarious — vintage episode of “The Bachelorette” (season 8, episode 5, featuring Emily Maynard tossing the villainous Kalon from the show) with some very special guests: “Normal Gossip” host Kelsey McKinney, BIP alum Jill Chin and comedian Arden Myrin. Get your tickets here.
This is the free edition of Rich Text, a newsletter about cultural obsessions from your Internet BFFs Emma and Claire. If you like what you see and hear, consider becoming a paid subscriber. Our latest podcast was about “XO, Kitty.” Rich Text is a reader-supported project — no ads or sponsors!
We’ve been reading…
Finally got a physical copy of my dear friend Alison Greenberg’s forthcoming novel, “Maybe Once, Maybe Twice,” and I have been racing through it. (I read an earlier version, but there’s nothing like having the actual hard copy with all the edits completed!!!) It’s a romantic novel about singer-songwriter Maggie Vine, who is 35, single, childfree and still intermittently yearning for two very different men from her past. Alison is so good at writing fully fleshed out women in their 30s who are fulfilled and whole in their own right, and yet still are allowed to have big, bold desires for their futures. -Emma
Oooh, I’m so jealous! Can’t wait for that one. I spent most of the week finishing up Steph McNeal’s “Swipe Up for More!” and Jessie Gaynor’s “The Glow” — which I got extra time to read because we spent most of the holiday weekend on the couch with our strep-riddled toddler while he watched “Spidey and His Amazing Friends” and puked up Pedialyte. (Did you know that strep in small children often presents with copious vomiting? I did not!) He got amoxicillin and started perking up right as I was about to dig into the next thing on my TBR list, so I will be back with a new recommendation next week. -Claire
We’ve been watching…
The “Succession” finale!!! As a Shiv (girlboss, sister of many brothers, sanctimonious liberal, desperate to be recognized as the best baby of all), I was obsessed with her flailing moves in the finale and even more fascinated by the discourse that arose afterward, in which it became clear to me that a lot of women actually find Shiv sort of… aspirational? Life is a rich tapestry!
I have also begun watching “The Ultimatum: Queer Love,” and I am dying to discuss all the chaos in detail — which we will be doing on “Love to See It” starting next week! -Claire
I also watched the finale of “Succession,” and thought that it was a fairly perfect ending to a story about rich, flailing, self-absorbed, broken people whose massive, fragile egos wreak havoc on themselves and the world around them. Jesse Armstrong has described his masterpiece of a show as fundamentally a tragedy. If you take that view, this was always how things were going to end for the Roy siblings: isolated, empty, unfulfilled and unable to grasp the only thing they were taught to value — power and legacy, specifically of the Logan Roy variety. If there was ever anyone to root for in this series (and I honestly feel that out of the principal players there really isn’t), it was Shiv. And yet, she was never going to “win.” (Let us not forget that the Roys are the Murdochs.) Beyond the obvious patriarchy of literally every room Shiv walks into, she was never the radical that it was tempting for liberal female viewers to brand her as. She was as complicated and shitty and as captivated by proximity to white male power as her brothers were. That limp hand drape at the end of the finale will haunt me forever. -Emma
We’ve been listening to…
“American Scandal: The ‘Kids for Cash’ Kickback Scheme” — the latest miniseries in the Wondery podcast about crimes, coverups and exposés. I don’t consistently listen to the podcast, as the approach is a little old-school true-crime for me, from the rumbly-voiced narrator emphasizing every twist with a knowing “Welll…” to the obviously fictional “reenactments” of incriminating conversations. But I did want to know more of (and listen to some creative writing about) this truly awful case, in which Pennsylvania minors were sent to juvenile detention over trivial offenses, all to line the pockets of for-profit prison investors and the local judges who agreed to keep them fully occupied. Unfettered capitalism gets the job done once again! -Claire
Lala Kent’s podcast, “Give Them Lala,” in which the “Vanderpump Rules” star has started recapping/reacting to the previous week’s VPR episode. I know we’re months in, but I am still delighted and captivated by Scandoval content, and I need to soak it all up before VPR season 10 ends and the new season of The Bachelorette begins. (Go Charity!) Lala has always been reality TV gold, but there is something especially delicious about her uncensored commentary when the target of her barbs seems to genuinely deserve each and every one. -Emma
We’ve been buying…
I found the Tradlands v-neck sweater I’ve been hankering for on Poshmark last week, and am excited for it to arrive. It is sold out on the site in most sizes and colors, including the one I wanted, but the colors and sizes remaining are heavily marked down! I have tried it on in the past, and can confirm that it’s a beautiful soft, drapey cotton knit, slightly oversized, and great for these “is it summer yet” days.
I also recently got this Hatch Collection pointelle nightgown during a sale, and I want to wear it every night. I’m at a point where even my maternity tees and my husband’s shirts are tight over the belly, so I don’t have much left that’s comfortable to sleep in; this super-stretchy, super-soft nightgown has plenty of room for me. Plus: buttons and a scoop-neck for breastfeeding! (My section of this newsletter will just be “cute clothes that open in front” for the foreseeable future.) -Claire
I’ve been on a Zara kick recently, and grabbed a pair of these metallic ballet flats. Ballet flats are so trendy right now, and I’m usually not a fan of them — I don’t love a fully rounded toe and as a short gal I like a bit more height. But I also am getting older and my feet hurt all the time, so I’m embracing flats and sneakers more these days. These ballet flats have a flatter toe, and I enjoy the pop of silver.
I also went to the Hill House store to return a bunch of things (the jersey dresses just did not work for me), and ended up buying a Cosima dress in Blueberry Stripe. This dress didn’t catch my eye online, but it’s floaty, light and eminently wearable. I’d recommend sizing up because the arm holes are a bit narrow. -Emma
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