Times pop music critic Mikael Wood’s reference to Miley Cyrus as an auteur and Demi Lovato as a hack [“Miley, Demi Switch Places,” Sept. 30] is like calling a corn dog haute cuisine and a filet mignon a burger.
It’s a casting conundrum
Regarding “She’s Blazing a Trail in a ‘Transparent’ World” [by Yvonne Villarreal, Oct. 1]: The casting of transgender actors in trans roles is a heartening trend. But if Alexandra Billings, trans cast member of “Transparent,” has her way, only trans actors would be considered for these parts.
Does Billings truly want to put producers and directors in a creative stranglehold, dictating who they select for certain parts? Since writers initially create these characters, should only trans writers be allowed to craft these stories
Do we extend this to other marginalized communities? How far do these constraints on personal artistic vision go, and who gets to decide
As a gay writer, I understand the need for struggle and commitment to the cause. One hopes that education, activism and time lead to more open minds and hearts in Hollywood and beyond. By all means, keep the pressure on. But the idea of trading one kind of implicit oppression for another strikes me as misguided and unworkable.
John Morgan Wilson
Back story on ‘Blade Runner’
Josh Rottenberg’s article [“No Mere Copies,” Oct. 1] has me looking forward to “Blade Runner 2049.” What he overlooked is that there were two screenwriters on the original “Blade Runner” — Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples. He mentioned only Fancher.
The best of TV — or the worst?
Only The Times would recommend “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” while not saying a word about the incredible interview with House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) on “60 Minutes.” [“TV This Week,” Oct. 1]. That’s as good as TV gets?
See it first, then snark if you must
Regarding “Underrated/Overrated” [Oct. 1]: I like the snarky column even when Chris Barton is a bit churlish or pulling his pistols before there is a target. Case in point — the score for “Blade Runner 2049.”
Hold the laughs till end of joke
Regarding “They’re Back in Fine Form” [by Lorraine Ali, Sept. 28]: I was looking forward to the return of “Will & Grace,” but the canned laughter cut into every witty crack. If it wasn’t canned laughter and there was a real audience, then they must have had a copy of the script. It spoiled the whole show for me.
He’s got a way with directing
Yvonne Villarreal’s piece on actor Ken Olin’s transition to multiple roles behind the camera [“In His Element at the Heart of ‘This Is Us,’” Sept. 26] was long overdue, but I was surprised to see one of Olin’s finest early achievements as a director go unmentioned: “Doing Time on Maple Drive,” a poignant drama about a conflicted young man coming out as gay to his family, fiancée and best buddy, it is the kind of sensitive material Olin seems well suited for, as Villarreal’s profile suggested.
John Morgan Wilson
The philosophy of ‘Enthusiasm’
Regarding “Ethics of Larry” [by Meredith Blake, Sept. 30]: “Curb Your Enthusiasm” is “hell is other people” writ small.
Tip of the horn to Herb Alpert
Thank you for your fine article on Herb Alpert [“Tunes for Trying Times,” Sept. 25], who almost single-handedly lighted the flame for my lifelong love of music. I pretty much wore out his 1968 album “The Beat of the Brass,” to the extent that my mom told me to turn it off.
That same year, I would pick up the cornet in band and continue playing that trumpet-like instrument for nine years. This first love shall abide till my dying days, so I’m happy — yet obligated — to say, “Thank you, Mr. Alpert!”
William P. Bekkala