The Puzzle of Docudramas — Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #167


When we’ve already heard about someone’s per­son­al scan­dal in the news, do we need to also see it dra­ma­tized with A‑list actors? Your hosts Mark Lin­sen­may­er, Lawrence Ware, Sarahlyn Bruck, and Al Bak­er dis­cuss Todd Haynes’ 2023 film May Decem­ber fic­tion­al­iz­ing the long-after­math of the much pub­li­cized Mary Kay Letourneau sto­ry.

The main events of May Decem­ber are fic­tion­al (based on a sto­ry by screen­writer Samy Burch along with Alex Mechanik): An actress (Natal­ie Port­man) research­ing her future role vis­its the renamed Letourneau (Julianne Moore) and her now-adult hus­band (Charles Melton), whom she seduced (molest­ed) start­ing at age 12. So is this art film fun­da­men­tal­ly unlike the oth­er recent drama­ti­za­tions that we touch on, includ­ing Joe vs. Car­oleInvent­ing AnnaDirty JohnThe ActThe Shrink Next Door, and The Thing About Pam? We also talk about Real­i­ty. as an exam­ple of films depict­ing how hor­ri­ble it is to be arrest­ed.

Note that while Aman­da Knox’s sto­ry was made into a TV movie, the pres­tige TV dra­ma ver­sion is still in process. Her pod­cast is called Labyrinths.

One of the arti­cles we reviewed about May Decem­ber is this one from Vox.

Fol­low us @law_writes@sarahlynbruck@ixisnox@MarkLinsenmayer.

Hear more Pret­ty Much Pop, includ­ing recent episodes that you haven’t seen on this site. Sup­port the show and hear bonus talk­ing for this and near­ly every oth­er episode at or by choos­ing a paid sub­scrip­tion through Apple Pod­casts.

This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.