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Content Consumed

Content Consumed: House of the Dragon and Harry Styles

Happy Monday! I’m finally back home in Portland after what feels like weeks of travel on and off. Always good to get back into a routine. Speaking of…. in today’s edition of Content Consumed:

🐉 House of The Dragon premiere review
🌈 Harry Styles on Rolling Stone: main takeaways
👵🏻 Going gray on national TV
🌚 That “Bodies Bodies Bodies” / Lena Wilson drama

Premiere: House of the Dragon

I wasn’t planning on watching this. Game of Thrones ended so badly. I didn’t think this could even compare to the iconic early seasons. And I was wrong.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

It’s good. It feels like we’ve been transported back to Seasons 1–5 (the good ones) of Game of Thrones (give or take a couple hundred, or thousand years). The visuals, the music, the characters and narratives, the violence and sex—all very on theme.

Milly Alcock is captivating as the young heroine Rhaenyra and Matt Smith projects excellent villainy and moral complexity as Prince Daemon. Once we got past the slog of an exposition montage, it all kicked off from there. Interpersonal conflicts are set up, battles fought, and futures determined.

The most negative feedback the premiere received seems to be the gruesome forced C-section scene, which was a shift from George R.R. Martin’s book. Aemma was always going to die birthing Baelon, but did they need to make her the victim of a sadistically nonconsensual and bloody belly-slice forced onto her by her husband, who desperately wanted a male heir, ultimately murdering her for a baby that ended up dying within 4 hours anyways?

There are arguments to be made, however, about its importance and effectiveness in our post-Roe world.

Harry Styles hits the cover of Rolling Stone

The world’s biggest musician of the moment and the main subject of my One Direction Tumblr blog (2011–2014, R.I.P.) is on the cover of this month’s Rolling Stone. The main takeaways, in my opinion:

  • He thinks the queerbaiting allegations are silly, saying: “Sometimes people say, ‘You’ve only publicly been with women,’ and I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone. If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something.” While I agree with the truth behind this sentiment—that he may have been with men and we’d never know—he has certainly been with Olivia Wilde very publicly.
  • His social media habits fascinate me, but are also exactly as expected: “He uses Instagram to look at plants and architecture posts, has never had the TikTok app, and calls Twitter ‘a shitstorm of people trying to be awful to people’.” And yes, he’s very aware of the vitriol for Olivia Wilde from his own fanbase.
  • Crucial television-related content to me: He’s soon planning to “go on vacation with some friends, maybe catch up on the Love Island season he was “gutted” to miss, or see if The Bear is as good as everyone tells him it is.”
  • Am I in love with him? Is this Rolling Stone writer in love with him? Are we all in love with him? If you weren’t before, the details of this piece will get you there. Overall, it’s thoughtful, romantic, detailed, and real—a well-done article. They even interviewed Olivia Wilde for it.

Read the full story here.

Going gray on television

I have seven gray hairs right now. Just counted them this morning. I’m almost 25 years old, and I have seven gray hairs.

I’m okay with it, I think. But my recent fascination with my own premature graying had me diving into a recent Canadian national scandal.

Lisa LaFlamme, a beloved Canadian journalist who was the chief anchor and senior editor of CTV National News, was just let go abruptly after letting her hair go gray during the pandemic.

The backlash has been strong with accusations of ageism and sexism, especially after comments from the head of CTV News, Michael Melling, leaked—he asked who “approved of the decision” to “let Lisa’s hair go gray” and noted on a separate occasion that it “looked purple under the studio’s lighting.”

This brings up plenty of questions about going gray in the workplace, especially for women. When men are gray, they’re called “silver foxes” and praised for their wisdom and years of experience. But when a woman is gray, she’s “old” and “unprofessional.” Ugh. Ughhhhh.

That “Bodies Bodies Bodies” drama…

A quick summary, and where we’re at now:

  • New York Times nepotism baby and journalist Lena Wilson wrote a review of the new and popular horror-comedy Bodies Bodies Bodies. One line in particular from the less-than-kind review was that the movie “doubles as a 95-minute advertisement for cleavage.”
  • Star Amandla Stenberg responded by DMing Wilson on Instagram: “maybe if you had gotten ur eyes off my tits you could've watched the movie.”
  • Wilson publically posted this DM with the caption “Always weird when the homophobia is coming from inside the house, but this is something.” (Note: Both Wilson and Stenberg identify as gay.)

Something that critics of Wilson have jumped on is her assumption that Stenberg, a young queer woman of color early in her acting career, has more “social power” than Wilson, a slightly-older gay white Brooklynite of significant inherited influence in the world of media.

And, of course, Wilson accusing Stenberg of homophobia rubbed many people the wrong way. I can’t say I’m a fan of Wilson either, and this TikTok from her solidified that for me.

And that’s it for this beautiful Monday morning! I’ll catch you all tomorrow.

Cheers,
Casey

P.S. Interested in more long-form pieces? Read my Original Sins: A Memoir book review and “I Finally Read A Colleen Hoover Book”.

P.P.S. Subscribe to this Medium column to see Content Consumed in your feed every weekday.

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Casey Miller

Writer by profession and hobby. My daily series, Content Consumed, lets you know what everyone’s talking about—and what everyone should be talking about.