Toilet Paper Ads, Then and Now

Every time a Cottonelle toilet paper ad comes on, I hit the remote, either to mute it or to change the channel. According to the usual US television trope, people who speak with a British accent are supposed to be classy. Toilet paper ads have been with us since the early days of television. An…

Marigold, Lady Edith, and the Word “Ruse”

Because of the taciturnity and often blank expression of the little girl who plays Marigold Gregson on Downton Abbey, I wondered if the character was supposed to have developmental problems. Several online comments by Downton followers suggest that the character was written to be autistic. Others speculate that the child playing the part may have been…

Scruffy-looking Celebrities

For some time now, I’ve wondered about the male celebrities who seem never to shave. I don’t mean the men who wear discernible beards and/or mustaches. Well-kept facial hair is attractive on a man. I mean the ones who look as if they just forgot to shave that day. I suppose that if I’ve thought…

Earth to Echo to Ennui

When I took my eight-year-old granddaughter to see Earth to Echo, I expected that she would like it even if I didn’t. The television ads showed a cute little metallic alien that reminded me of the owl in Clash of the Titans. We settled down with our movie treats and waited to be entertained. And…