🎥 Welcome to Thirty, Flirty & Film! 🍿

Hot takes and cultural criticism in 30 minutes or less.

🌟 a newsletter written by Zosha Millman and Cate Young.

The point of this newsletter is still to force ourselves to concretize our ideas in a limited timeframe and fight against the tendency to languish over the actual writing.

How does it work?

We were inspired by Matt Zoller Seitz's 30 Minutes On column over at RogerEbert.com. We've adapted the rules a bit, but the general idea is the same. Here are the basics for posterity so you can follow along:


  1. Each issue will have two essays on two different film or television shows*, loosely arranged by a weekly theme.

  2. All reviews will be written within a strict time constraint of 30 minutes. Free writing baby!

  3. Reviews can take any form and include any supplemental materials desired (links, gifs etc), as long as they are included within the allotted 30 minutes.

  4. No note-taking! You can look things up for reference while writing but no taking notes while watching the film.

  5. No issue will be written entirely by one author**.

*We know it's called "Thirty, Flirty & Film" but the pun holds up and it's our newsletter so we'll do what we want! We're going to limit the amount of TV we post, so please bear with us if you're really in it for the Films™️.

**Lol we’ll see.

It's still likely that we'll add or relax rules as this project continues, but those will likely stay between us so that no one yells at us for fudging it. If nothing else, we still hope this project allows us to work through our Netflix queue.

But trust us, we know what we’re talking about.

What sorts of movies do you review?

All kinds! In the past we’ve written about The Blair Witch Project, Palm Springs, Waves, The Watermelon Woman, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, The Paper, Dirty Computer, Mr. Deeds Goes to Washington, Hamilton, Contagion, Happy Together, Mulan, Batman and Robin, Da 5 Bloods, When Harry Met Sally, Eighth Grade, Death Becomes Her, The Fast and the Furious, Fast & Furious, The Fate of the Furious, Ocean’s Eleven, and lots more.

If you can find an overarching theme there, be our guest. (Except for the F&F franchise — what can we say, we have taste!) But as two voracious critics, our coverage is constantly expanding, and guided only by our whims.

Each issue has a theme — some connective tissue we find either through our writing or the films themselves. Sometimes we hope it helps you think or respond to the films; sometimes it’s just a unifying force. And sometimes we just need to make sure the subject field of your email isn’t empty when we hit send.

And don’t forget we do TV too, like Lovecraft Country and Schitt’s Creek.

Do you do music recommendations?

Only casually — have you listened to Chloe x Halle?

Can I follow you on other platforms?

Sure! We are on Twitter and Instagram (as @30FlirtyFilm if that hyperlink isn’t hitting you right). If you want to follow along with our ranting, be sure to check out the #movieyelling hashtag.

Our Tinyletter is now dormant — it’ll only hold our archives, not our new stuff! So if you want the latest delivered to you weekly, you’ll want to subscribe here on Substack. Eventually, old issues will be migrated, but no promises on when.

Why subscribe?

If you subscribe, you get full access to the newsletter and website. You’ll never miss an update because every edition of the newsletter goes directly into your inbox.

To find out more about the company that provides the tech for this newsletter, visit Substack.com.

Subscribe to Thirty, Flirty + Film

Hot takes and cultural criticism in 30 minutes or less.


Cate Young is the co-creator of Thirty, Flirty + Film with Zosha Millman. In her real life, she is a podcast producer, film critic and general curmudgeon about the internet.
Zosha is: Co-creator of 30, Flirty & Film with Cate Young Senior editor @ Bright Wall/Dark Room TV writer @ Bustle Social media producer @ FiveThirtyEight