How many romantic comedies and television series from the 1990’s and the last decade featured characters who worked for newspapers, magazines or book publishers? We don’t see a lot of Norma Raes (or Roseannes for that matter) up on the big screen these days. But we sure do see producers diving into the publishing industry pool for their storylines.
In the ’90’s we had the groundbreaking TV series “Sex and the City” following the life of columnist Carrie Bradshaw and her friends. Most of the stories focused on Carrie’s love life and her obsession with shoes. But we did get an occasional glimpse into the writing process. As the decade closed, actress Drew Barrymore gave us a somewhat laughable look at life at the Chicago Sun Times in “Never Been Kissed”, which was something like newspaper reporters meet “21 Jump Street”. But allegedly in a California version of Chicago instead of a Toronto version of Hollywood.
In the last decade, we saw a tidal wave of movies and TV shows taking on the publishing world. From 2006’s “The Devil Wears Prada” with Meryl Streep playing an Anna Wintour type editor to the “Confessions of a Shopaholic”, with its pretend fashion and financial magazines. The English import, “Love, Actually” had a side story about life in an English magazine of undetermined editorial content.
This Friday, comedienne Tina Fey will star in the new movie “Admission” and in it there is apparently a scene that takes place in front of a magazine rack in a retail store (As I understand it, Tina is looking for parenting magazines). We’ll also see ever energetic and entertaining Wallace Shawn showing off a “US News & World Report College Guide”. I hate to tell Tina this, but the parenting category is very small on the newsstand. The chances of finding something in the real world would be pretty slim. Even in Barnes and Noble, parenting magazines don’t make up a big part of the category.
All of this makes me wonder two things: How much longer will Hollywood’s romance with the print publishing world continue? And when it ends, will the romance shift to digital publishers? At some point, will we have a contemporary twist on “You’ve Got Mail!” ? In this version perhaps we would see a tycoon of the digital age put a plucky but cute cute and single single title publisher out of business because she doesn’t have an Android platform.
In the comments below, drop in your favorite TV show or movie that involved magazines, books or newspapers.