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This week, the critics discuss the death of comedy legend Harold Ramis. Actor, director, and co-writer of landmark films like Animal House, Caddyshack, and Ghostbusters, Ramis helped to define a generation of anarchic humor and anti-establishment omega males. Next the gabbers turn to Frozen, Disney’s latest animated film and an Oscar nominee. Grappling with the film’s ambiguous gender politics, the critics focus on the climactic power ballad “Let It Go,” which has become the soundtrack for households of elementary-school girls everywhere. And finally, the critics use Megan McArdle’s essay in The Atlantic, “Why Writers are the Worst Procrastinators,” to discuss their own writing habits. Between Web browsing and needless shopping, it’s a wonder that writers ever write anything.
Links to some of the things we discussed this week follow:
- David Edelstein’s tribute to Harold Ramis in New York magazine
- Actor Stephen Tobolowsky’s essay about working with Ramis on Groundhog Day
- Animal House
- Groundhog Day
- The Ice Harvest
- Year One
- SCTV, the 1970s–’80s Canadian sketch comedy show, for which Ramis was head writer
- Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up
- Girls, created by Lena Dunham
- Dan Kois’ review of Frozen on Slate
- Dana’s discussion of Frozen’s “Let It Go” on Slate
- “Let It Go,” sung by Idina Menzel
- Jennifer Lee, Frozen’s screenwriter, interviewed on Scriptnotes
- Frozen, the soundtrack
- The Book of Mormon, the soundtrack
- Pixar’s Brave
- Finding Nemo
- Megan McArdle’s piece “Why Writers are the Worst Procrastinators” in The Atlantic
- Julia’s 2010 piece “The Secret Language of Signs” on Slate
Dana: Gerard Manley Hopkins’ poem “Pied Beauty” for its delightful sprung rhythm and many “dappled things—”
Julia: The experimental, romantic fifth episode of Looking on HBO
Steve: His friend Naomi’s “counterintuitive” granola recipe with shredded coconut
Outro: Dana’s 8-year-old daughter’s rendition of “Let It Go” from Frozen
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