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Thursday, February 05, 2004

 

The Gray Lady Finds a Bottle of Manic Panic to Her Liking



Appearing soon in the newly-focussed NYT Book Review:

Books of the Times | 'Feb. 9, 2004 Issue of Teen People'
by Michiko Kakutani


"Salut," begins Vanessa Carlton with a distinctly multicultural flourish in her Teen People diary entry. "First off," continues the not-quite-a-teen, not-yet-a-woman pop star with that endearing introductory tick that teens often use to kick off their prose, "Id like to preface this confessional with a statement of love for Teen People. It is by far one of the best mags on the newsstand. Im not just saying that because theyve put me on the cover and have commissioned me to blab away."

First off, Vanessa, let me second your enthusiasm for Teen People. And no one's commissioned me to blab away, unless of course you count Bill Keller for prevailing upon me to do this review. Seventeen, YM, and Elle Girl, are, to borrow a phrase from the girl at the copy desk, totally lame. It's precisely this reason that Teen People towers over the adolescent newstand, a totally rad Colossus astride the teenybopper glossies [note to ed.--Have the girl at the copy desk include a more culturally relevant superlative than "rad." I didn't get this far by sounding out of touch!] . Their editors, like a big sister giving kissing tips to kid sis, talk to teens, not at them. And they sagely turn over the pens to such talents as Carlton [note to research--she's the one with the piano and not the guitar, right? Or is she the one with that stupid fucking tie? God, I'll make it through this, I swear.] so that they can chat [note to research--or is it IM now?] directly with readers. The magazine's a heart-to-heart at a sleepover, minus the pillow fights.

Lest my enthusiasm for Teen People seem a little, ahem, uncritical, let me note that not everything between the purple cover and the Playtex ad on the back lands as effectively as Carlton's surpassing journalling skills. A photo of Adam Sandler embracing Drew Barrymore (whom I've heard is no slouch with a word processor) at a recent episode of TRL to promote the upcoming 50 First Dates (excuuuuse me, I totally can't wait!) rings false; everyone knows her taste for geeks ended when she kicked the execrable Tom Green to the curb. A rocker chick now, she kicks it with Stroke supreme Fab Morretti.

Maybe Drew and Vanessa should get together for a little girl-girl jam session. I bet Teen People would be there, behind the drum kit, keeping the "Tiger" beat.



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This is the internet home of Mark Lisanti, a Los Angeles writer sometimes known as Bunsen. He is the founding editor of Defamer, a weblog about Hollywood, where he now serves in the nebulous capacity of "editor-at-large."
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