In ‘Tales of the City,’ A Netflix Reboot that Celebrates our Differences

Pamela Hill NettletonEssays, U.S. CatholicLeave a Comment

This miniseries will change how you see the world. When you turn on the television, the people you see may look like you. But if they don’t, you may feel invisible to the very culture in which you live.  The most powerful tasks media perform are to show us ourselves, show us one another, and show us how others see us. For example, most Christian Americans were taught what the Crusades were about—which side was honorable, which side was godless. I recently edited a military history novel, Brotherhood of the Mamluks (The Sager Group) by former Marine Brad Graft, about a disillusioned crusader who switched sides to fight with Muslims. That uncommon perspective changes how you see the world working—just … Read More

An Unlikely Antidote for a Male-Centered World? Hallmark Movies.

Pamela Hill NettletonArticles, U.S. CatholicLeave a Comment

Romances validate what women bring to the table. Often, the acting is awkward, the plots shopworn, the wardrobes odd, and the holiday decorations tacky. The scripts are hardly witty and what passes for humor amuses only the characters on the screen. And for some reason everyone’s hair always looks a little goofy. The stories are so formulaic that apps have been built to generate fake Hallmark plots if you just plug in a few nouns.  A successful New York/Chicago/Atlanta/Boston career woman wearing edgy clothes and stiletto heels is forced to travel to a small town because she inherited a bed and breakfast/gift shop/newspaper. She is played by a B-list actress who is pretty, but not so thin or sexy she … Read More

In ‘Good Omens’, an Uncommon Take on the End of Days

Pamela Hill NettletonArticles, U.S. CatholicLeave a Comment

Could it be that humans are lovable even with all our faults? A demon and an angel, sitting on a park bench, commiserate about imminent Armageddon and agree: The loss of excellent bookshops, neighborhood cafes where they know you, and Mozart is too much for the divine, who have been visiting Earth and working at cross-purposes since the beginning, to bear.  They vow to collude to thwart the end of days. The thing is, heaven and hell are eager to clash swords and are not concerned about trashing the Earth as collateral damage. Can the ultimate fight between the mighty armies of good and evil be sabotaged by a single demon, Crowley, and one lone angel, Aziraphale?  Most media tales … Read More

A Cancelled Series Shows Women’s Inequality Is Still At Work

Pamela Hill NettletonArticles, U.S. CatholicLeave a Comment

Women can now wear pants in the office, but has so much really changed since the days of “Good Girls Revolt”? Once upon a time, in 1969, women weren’t “allowed” to wear slacks at the office. This wasn’t for modesty—miniskirts and tight dresses were fine, 9–5. The dress code was to keep gender differences clearly delineated, as in the classic insult to assertive wives: “She wears the pants in that family.” When the chino ceiling finally cracked in office buildings across America, women could wear trousers in public, but only if they also wore a matching jacket. The female pantsuit was born. In the 1960s women were paid roughly half of what men earned, about 59 cents for every dollar a man … Read More

A Woman At Last

Pamela Hill NettletonArticles, U.S. CatholicLeave a Comment

In ‘Wonder Woman’ accomplishment trumps beauty. In Wonder Woman, there are moments so uncommonly witnessed in film that the audience can almost hear paradigms shifting, like giant tectonic plates of cultural attitudes grating over one another as they struggle to realign. Of course, such shifts should have happened long ago, or should have never been needed at all, and there have been lesser and occasional positive tremors along the fault lines before, here and there in film.  But the current production of Wonder Woman brilliantly bundles a female protagonist of superior physical strength, compassion, and logic with pyrotechnical computerized special effects and unusual restraint regarding cleavage, and voila! suddenly a woman becomes a marketable hero, possessing the physical power and athletic ability that male viewers … Read More

Two documentaries that will change your perspective on the planet

Pamela Hill NettletonArticles, U.S. CatholicLeave a Comment

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Get down to Earth with ‘Behind the Curve’ and ‘One Strange Rock.’ Two documentaries currently trending on Netflix take a look at the planet from decidedly oppositional perspectives—and they might change how you think about the ground you stand on. Behind the Curve is a new documentary (November 2018) by Daniel J. Clark about Flat Earthers—people who believe, against all human knowledge and scientific proof, that the Earth is flat. Some of them imagine the Earth as a Frisbee-like disc. Others think it’s like a cheese plate, covered with a transparent dome. There is, of course, no evidence supporting either model, but Flat Earthers don’t require evidence. Instead, they value personal experience.  As they walk around the neighborhood, things appear … Read More