Arts and Culture

Fun Old Birds With Paula Cole

Dec 6, 2019

Did you know "wink-a-puss" is an old name for an owl? Singer-songwriter Paula Cole and Jonathan Coulton team-up to guess what birds were formerly known by much more ridiculous names.

Heard on Paula Cole: Where Have All The Puzzles Gone?

The Showtime series The L Word depicted the multi-layered lives of a tight-knit group of LGBTQ women in LA. Groundbreaking in its day, it tackled issues of love and relationships — and sex — between women in a way that TV had rarely before seen.

When the series went off the air in 2009, thoughts of a reboot periodically resurfaced. But it was President Donald Trump's election in 2016 that lit a fire in one of the original stars, Jennifer Beals.

After two seasons of its original network run, a prequel film, and a recent 18-episode revival on Showtime, many have forgotten the crushing sadness that suffused the two-hour pilot of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, to be eclipsed gradually by a more pervasive eccentricity. Here was a small town that had never experienced anything like the death of Laura Palmer, that precious girl wrapped in plastic, and its reaction was a combination of collective grief and individual peculiarity.

When we meet Alice (Emily Beecham), a single mother and bio-engineer devoted to her work in the effectively creepy indie Little Joe, she's busy propagating a plant whose smell will make all interested smellers happy. So far so plausible: Tampering with nature in the name of the public good — or because we can — is all the rage in life and in movies. Around Alice, apparently normal workplace stuff is going on. A pompous boss (David Wilmot) asserts his authority just because. An ostentatiously diplomatic young assistant with big hair (Phénix Brossard) lurks.

The woman must not know that she is being painted. Her portrait is intended for some faraway suitor, and she refuses to pose for it, because sealing her likeness in a frame is the first step toward sealing her entire self inside a loveless marriage. And so the painter accompanies her subject on walks, gathering details of her face in furtive glimpses: the shape of her ears, the piercing stare of her eyes. Later, in secret, she will commit her memory of this face to the forbidden canvas — an act of love that isolates the lover.