In Which I Criticize A Magazine That Came Out Over Six Weeks Ago

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How do you not buy a magazine with Gollum on the cover? A publication about Gollum is to me what the One Ring is to Gollum himself: a must-have. This being said, the Entertainment Weekly sporting everyone’s favorite Ring-fiend and the headline “Return of the Ring” was a wank. A total wank. No new information about The Hobbit movie. Just tons of recap of the old Peter Jackson vs. New Line controversy. Super wank.

The EW guys cynically put Gollum on their cover to sell guaranteed copies to dorks — it’s the exact same way People would put Princess Di on their cover to sell guaranteed copies to housewives.


I guess that makes Gollum the new Princess Di. (What? They both craved jewelry, were attracted to power, died tragically, and made reluctant love to Dode El Fayed.)

Anyway, here is the one paragraph in the issue of EW that justifies the entire cover story:

“There has been a dĂ©tente,” says one insider. “There is now the beginning of a discourse between Peter Jackson and New Line that’s running parallel to the litigation proceedings.”

That’s right, guys. Devote an entire magazine to a rumor. A RUMOR. Articles, sidebars, timelines, and all in the service of… a not-for-attribution quote. Ug.

Look, we all want P.J. to make the Hobbit. (If not him, let me put a word in for Henry Jaglom.) But give us something more than this empty soufflĂ© of old news. Give us something to hang our hopes on, something with real journalistic oomph! Give us… “The Hobbit” FANTASY CAST.

Speculative casting is where Entertainment Weekly really outshines the other members of the Fourth Estate. So why hide your best side? Spit it out, EW! You know, Sean Connery as Thorin Oakenshield, Jake Jake Gyllenhaal as Bilbo, jam Legolas in there somehow, Alan Rickman as the voice of Smaug, Robbie Coltrane as Bombur — with Photoshopped pictures of the actors in Middle Earth armor and everything. (Why I am telling EW how to fake cast a pretend movie? Would I tell Chuck Yeager how to fly a jet?)

This is the hard-hitting stuff that EW is great at. Maybe, just maybe, the best.