About three months ago, issues of Entertainment Weekly started showing up unbidden at my apartment. They contained neither a return address nor a customer-service number to call if receiving the magazine in error.
Bafflingly, our culture has evolved such that now Entertainment Weekly is something you have to “opt-out of.” Like when I buy something at Best Buy, the clerk who rings me up always asks if I want to receive a free Entertainment Weekly subscription. (I always say “no.”) When I buy plane tickets or book a hotel online, there are sometimes boxes to check if you want to try a free trial Entertainment Weekly subscription. Ditto buying books online. (And frequently, the boxes you click to add “3 Free Months of Entertainment Weekly” arrive on the page pre-checked. )
And gosh, once the issues start arriving, they take over fast. I’ve started to feel like the villain in Good Omens whose magical car eventually turns any cassette left inside it into Queen’s Greatest Hits. All of the magazines in my stack have turned in EW.
Anyhow, yes, in my idle moments, I do read them. And this unsolicited immersion into Entertainment Weekly has allowed me to notice the heroic zombie-like assault that Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the book by Seth Grahame-Smith, has made upon the fortifications of EW. First, there was a cutsie, dismissive note about the book on January 29. Then, a more serious interview on February 21. Then, in the issue arriving at my home over the weekend, the glowing full-page review.
Most books–even ones by canonical and/or best-selling authors– seem to get a cursory 100-word review in a quarter-page in “infobox” in Entertainment Weekly. It can only be a testimony to the inveterate dedication of zombie fans everywhere that such an institution as the insipidly-tied-to-the-latest-whim-of-the-public Entertainment Weekly has now thrice bowed before the altar of the zombie. Woe betide the institution that would seek to halt our undead advance!!!
Final Thought: Bidden or not, the magazine is not all bad. I have enjoyed reading Stephen King’s column “The Pop of King.” (Though sometimes I feel I must be the only reader left in America who enjoys both Stephen King and John C. Gardner, two men who hated the other virulently in real life, and whose conflict almost seemed to propose a literary culture-war… in which a side required to be chosen.)