I really enjoy this issue in general. It’s fun to read/hear people who may not know each other very well, if at all, getting together and swapping stories, comparing experiences, or even just reacting to each other’s anecdotes. It works because the women can freewheel and play off of one another if they want to, yet the moderator is still a journalist, who can steer the conversation when necessary and who will ask meatier questions (for example, here: “[T]here has been some controversy in the past year over who should be playing which characters. Scarlett Johansson was going to portray a transgender character and dropped out when there was backlash. Who gets to play what role?”).
The photos, however… oy. The lede makes it sound like the photographs and the roundtable were done on the same day, but I’m curious how many setups they got with all six of them at once. Doesn’t the cover seem like a cut-and-paste job? And a chilly one, at that? The piece talks about finding joy in a whole new sense of community spawned by the #MeToo and Time’s Up conversations — with women connecting in an advisory capacity with one another, sparking frank talk about salaries and speaking up for oneself, and abandoning this sense that they need to put gratitude above fair compensation — but this cover is like a kold Kardashian Khristmas Kard. Do we think Kathryn Hahn was really on a pedestal, or did they just shoot her alone and then plonk her up there for height variety? Regina King looks like she was Photoshopped in from the opening credits of a ritzy nightime soap. Lady Gaga is giving us some major Kim Kardashian. Nicole is standing as if she was told to be as compact and rigid as possible. Glenn Close looks like she got to do whatever the hell she wanted, because she’s Glenn Close, and Rachel Weisz is looming up there like the vampire matriarch who is about to turn 300 years old and is pretty depressed about it. I would totally watch this show, by the way, but make no mistake: It is absolutely one in which they all hate each other and are seducing each other’s partners, and only about two of them have actual real jobs, and Regina King is looking around like, “Seriously? Everyone is white but me? In 2018? Ooookay.”
This other photo is mildly more connected, but in perfunctory ways. Regina’s head on Glenn’s shoulder is basically our main proof that they were in the same shot at the same time. Lady Gaga appears to be trying to sit as far away from Glenn and Regina as possible despite apparently being determined to clutch at them — perhaps she is going to lift their watches and hide them in her arm sacks — and I know there is a hand around Kathryn Hahn’s waist, but if you told me they cut out Nicole Kidman’s torso only and rotated it and plopped it back in there, I’d believe you. She is popping out to say cuckoo. And Rachel up there is clearly annoyed that her human lover might be having an affair with someone less tempted to eat his platelets. She’s been waiting for three hours in her Merlot-colored robe and nobody has ever kept her waiting before, and when she finds out he’s having threesomes with Lady Gaga and her husband — who runs an aerospace company and does a lot of coke — she is going to be ENRAGED and probably turn one of them into a vampire just out of spite. So… again, totally watching that show, but I’m not clear on why it was the direction for this shoot.