The reason excellent newspaper Sunday magazines are better that the Parade/USA Weekend crap you’re probably being served today: The WashPost takes a look at the PG-13 rating, 20 years old this year and more profitable than all others. More problematic, too: After describing a scene in which a wealthy-looking woman in an expensive car drops off five children, ages 5-13, at a multiplex, just in time for the 10 p.m. screening of “S.W.A.T.,” writer Liza Mundy notes,
Afterward, I found myself often thinking of that late-night drop-off at Wheaton Plaza. The question seemed not so much what was wrong with it as what was most wrong with it. Small children dumped on the sidewalk of a crowded theater at a time when all but the oldest should have been in bed; taking their seats in a hormonal mass of older adolescents; put in this position by a mother or aunt or babysitter who couldn’t be bothered to get out of her car to see them safely inside. What movie they saw seemed almost inconsequential. Given even this limited evidence of their upbringing, “S.W.A.T.” was in some ways the least of these kids’ problems.
Yeah, but the rest of the story’s worth reading, too.