Faith Herbert, Definitive Performances, Liam Kyle Sullivan’s “Shoes,” and More: Today’s Recommended Reading


Here at Flavorwire, we pride ourselves on not only writing some of the best content on the Internet, but keeping an eye on all of the great writing that other folks on the ‘Net are doing, too. Today, we’ve got an art therapist weighing in on Justin Bieber’s recent stint in adult coloring, an interview with Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Tituss Burgess, film writers weighing in on definitive performances, the tenth anniversary of that one time a certain girl named Kelly really wanted to “get some shoes,” and more.

Justin Bieber recently got the world’s attention (a sentence that very unfortunately is probably written every day) by posting a suggestive picture from an adult coloring book — which he, himself, had colored in — on Instagram the other day. Seeing the forever-adolescent star partaking in a semi-pornographic version of the activity we often affiliate more with middle aged quaintness was, much like Bieber, both a little cute and a little gross. But beyond that assessment, Broadly has analyzed it on a more psychological level, inviting the opinion of an art therapist:

The fact that Bieber is coloring in a pre-drawn figure and not attempting to create his own is an important aspect of his psychological profile. “The drawing is already there, so you don’t have the anxiety of the blank page and you also kind of already know that its going to look kind of pretty when its done and also you don’t have to make many decisions.” Bieber has taken strides away from the cookie-cutter path designed for him at the start of his career. There is a certain familiarity in working with art that is pre-made, that demands very little creative input from the “artist.”

Vulture spoke with Tituss Burgess on what’s in store for his character Titus Andromedon in the just-released season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as his own Kimmy Schmidt-inspired brand of pinot noir. When interviewer Maria Elena Fernandez asks him if he thinks his character’s story is “essentially sad,” he replies:

This is where I was bothered by the initial critique in season one. Certain critics had not seen the entire season where they wrote Titus off, or attempted to write him off as this flamboyant, vapid, empty, gay mouthpiece. Titus is more everyman than Lillian, Kimmy, or Jacqueline. He’s the one who doesn’t have a job, he can’t afford his rent, he’s been after a goal that seems to be further and further away from him. He’s gay. He doesn’t fit in anywhere. And the more he tries, the more he seems to fail. It is more a blanket representation of oppression in America than any other of the story lines and all of the superlatives that you would attribute to Titus. All of the quick wit and the selfishness, those are just a residual effect of things that are not working. You know? Miserable people tend to act out.

The Atlantic published a piece about Faith Herbert, the plus-size superhero from the Valiant Comics series Harbinger who’s now getting her own series:

With her 2016 comeback, Faith finally seems to exist in the right time, and readers seem to agree: The miniseries has received the fastest third, fourth, and fifth printing in comic history. Instead of hearing more fat jokes, readers see Faith lounging around her apartment in her underwear or going to her job as a writer at a celebrity-gossip site. And she’s not as ditzy as she was in 1992 and 2012; here, she comes off as whip-smart, effortlessly kind, and supremely confident as she navigates the transition to adulthood. It also doesn’t hurt that she appears to be the consummate Millennial, a woke member of the Tumblr generation working at a BuzzFeed knock-off. Faith’s return to the comic-book landscape represents twin achievements for the medium: an increasing willingness to tell stories featuring heroic women, and a tendency to celebrate the ways in which those women to deviate from (or challenge) gender norms.

10 years ago, you may have come across a video called “Shoes” — which was, it turns out, a whole precursor to the era of viral online entertainment. In a genre (can we call it a genre?) of so much forgettably consumable junk, “Shoes” remains engrained in many of our memories the dawn of Internet entertainment, and now feels almost like a historical marker. Noisey interviewed Sullivan, and here’s where he is in life now (yes, Kelly is married and has a daughter):

I got a real job! Well, sort of. I’m a video editor, and that’s something I taught myself back in the “Shoes” days. I edited all of my own stuff, so I managed to pick up a skill, and I’m thanking the maker for that because I don’t know what else I would do. But I’ve also been auditioning for things again, looking at my channel and trying to figure out what I could do with it in a smaller way. I have a daughter now, I got married—I grew up I guess. Sometimes I wistfully long for my days of touring the country and all of that, but then it’s great that I have this job too. I still get up in front of an audience every now and then to get my fix in.

Today, A.V. Club staffers and readers answered the question of what roles have already been definitively portrayed — that can’t possibly be surpassed. Contributor Caroline Siede poses the question:

In other words, which performance is so good that no matter who takes on the role in a future adaptation, your view of the character has already been set? Maybe Tobey Maguire will always be your Spider-Man no matter who’s cast in the seventh reboot of the franchise. Or perhaps Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet will never be outmatched in your eyes. What piece of casting is so perfect, it makes all other casting moot?

Read the answers on the site.