Daily Archives: February 8, 2021

SNL’s Zillow Sketch Speaks the Truth

The American dream has always been a version of the following: owning one’s home, happily married, raising healthy and content children, and perhaps owning a pet.

But for some of us who are part of the millennial generation, the dream is just that.

The Zillow sketch that aired on Saturday Night Live over the weekend speaks of the painful truth.

The professional and social security net that our parents and grandparents knew does not exist anymore. Decades ago, it was not uncommon to get a job straight of school, stay in that job for decades, and retire comfortably in one’s fifties or sixties. With that steady income, homeownership was almost guaranteed.

For most adults under a certain age, this is a pipe dream. Due to any number of factors (which Covid has only made worse), the job market has ebbs and flows, creating highs and lows when it comes to employment numbers. The housing market is worse. According to experts, one’s rent or mortgage should be no more than 30% of their monthly bills.

I would love for that to be the case. I don’t know about other housing markets, but in New York City, some homes cost millions of dollars. The 30% rule is already out the window when the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment is the same as a mortgage on a four-bedroom house with a large plot of land and a driveway outside of the city.

The skit was not meant (in my mind at least) to shame Zillow (or any real estate company). It simply pointed out that for many people, home ownership is being their reach and will never come to fruition.

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Filed under Life, New York City, Television

Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise Book Review

When it comes celebrities, there are sometimes two different people: the real person and the persona created by the public relations department.

Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise, by Scott Eyman was published last October. On screen, Cary Grant, was charming, affable, and an audience favorite for decades. But the actor movie fans thought they knew and the man who walked off the soundstage was two different things entirely. Grant (nee Archie Leach) was born in 1904 in Bristol. To say that his childhood was not easy is an understatement. His father preferred the bottle to his son and his mother was committed to an asylum before her son was a teenager.

His ticket out from his miserable childhood was to join a theater troupe as an acrobat. Eventually, Archie became Cary and the movie star we know him to be. But behind the scenes, the trauma from his youth was never far behind. Married five times, the inner conflict was just beneath the surface, but hidden from those who flocked to see him in the movie theaters.

I loved this book. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a teenager, but I was not aware of the man behind the screen. In digging into both Cary/Archie’s personal life and career, Eyman gives the reader an insight into the person, not just the actor.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History