Duana Taha

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Duana is a television screenwriter whose credits include Degrassi: The Next Generation, Lost Girl, Lost & Found Studios, and many more. On LaineyGossip.com, she raves about television, feminism, and "Hamilton", and writes the popular name column "Duana Names". She also hosts the hit podcast 'Show Your Work' with Elaine Lui, and is the author of the bestselling book, 'The Name Therapist'.

Duana Names: The Name That Begins At The End

Duana Posted by Duana at February 21, 2020 20:49:28 February 21, 2020 20:49:28

Dear Duana, Guess how many people in this world have the surname Lee? Over 100 million people, and my partner for life is one of these Lees. We are expecting twin girls at the beginning of March, but are at risk of delivering sooner due to a high risk pregnancy, and we are faced with finding not one, but two names that roll off the tongue landing gracefully, while avoiding a pronunciation collision course, with Lee (e. Full Story

Duana Names: Embrace The Clonk

Duana Posted by Duana at February 19, 2020 21:17:29 February 19, 2020 21:17:29
istock/ Getty Images

Dear Duana, Before finding out we were having a girl, we had two very solid boy names selected which, although I am very excited to be having a girl, am a little bummed I will not be using these names I love so much. The first is Jack Wallace (Jack after my PopPop) and the second Jonathan Rupert (Jonathan after my cousin who passed away of cancer some years ago). Full Story

Duana Names: The Almost-Updates, And Updates-Plus!

Duana Posted by Duana at February 12, 2020 21:14:18 February 12, 2020 21:14:18
istock/ Getty Images

Welcome back to another round of name updates – I love how excited you guys have been to read these, and I especially want to thank people who have sent their own updates after seeing some of last week’s columns! One glorious thing that happens in the writing of this column is that people write in constantly even if they’re not naming a baby or named theirs years before. Full Story

Janelle Monae: Oscars Best Dressed (Duana)

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 21:22:15 February 10, 2020 21:22:15
Kevin Winter/ Amy Sussman/ Jeff Kravitz/ Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

Last year, at the Emmy Awards, Lainey and I made the difficult decision to retire Zendaya from competition in any sort of fashion capacity. It was this epic green dress that did it, but to be honest, she’d been problematically excellent for some time, and we risked a can’t-be-caught situation at every event, kind of like this year’s acting categories. Full Story

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Saoirse Ronan: Oscars Personal Worst (Duana)

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 20:51:55 February 10, 2020 20:51:55
Amy Sussman/ Kevin Mazur/ Steve Granitz/ Jeff Kravitz/ Getty Images

This is going to hurt.  Well, for me. It’s going to hurt me.  I am, of course, a huge fan of Saoirse Ronan. I think she’s skillful, clever, and nuanced as an actress, and I like watching her play the red carpet game. I’m just going to come out and say it – I think she knows she’s smarter than half the people she’s talking to, but she has fun with it instead of stewing in her own juices like some Best Actors I could mention. Full Story

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Joaquin Phoenix & Renee Zellweger: Arrested Award Winners?

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 20:19:00 February 10, 2020 20:19:00
Steve Granitz/ Kevin Winter/ Jeff Kravitz/ Rachel Luna/ Amy Sussman/ Kevin Mazur/ Kevork Djansezian/ Getty Images

Joaquin Phoenix and Renee Zellweger have had the dubious distinctions, this awards season, of being the de facto winners in their categories almost as soon as the season started. Like, everyone sort of agrees on the Golden Globes being a pace setter, but other shows having the ability to move the needle – these two have been a sure thing from jump. Full Story

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Florence Pugh: Committed and Chill?

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 19:16:55 February 10, 2020 19:16:55
Amy Sussman/ Jeff Kravitz/ Kevin Mazur/ Steve Granitz/ George Pimentel/ Frazer Harrison/ Jon Kopaloff/ Getty Images

You know the one awards show custom I totally don’t get? Changing into a totally different look for the after party – or parties.  I mean, I do get it, of course: why limit yourself to one outfit if you could choose two? I would have so much fun if I didn’t have to make one ultimate choice for every occasion where I’m putting together a significant ‘outfit’. Full Story

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Gal, Brie, & Sigourney: Oscars Superhero Sisterhood

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 17:59:21 February 10, 2020 17:59:21
Amy Sussman/ Kevin Mazur/ Kevin Winter/ Steve Granitz/ Getty Images

Points to the producers who put this grouping together; I don’t know which of these women was secured as a presenter first or last, and of course there don’t have to be obvious links between the celebrities who present an award – like, what’s the connection between Ray Romano & Sandra Oh? – but I liked this one, a nod to the present becoming the future…  At least until they had to deliver those cheesy lines about how ‘every woman is a superhero’. Full Story

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Lin-Manuel’s Oscar Mission: Usnavi Awareness

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 16:39:09 February 10, 2020 16:39:09
Kevin Mazur/ Steve Granitz/ Jeff Kravitz/ Kevin Winter/ Amy Sussman/ Getty Images

The following account of Block… let’s say six, of the Oscars, reads like one of those brain-teaser riddles in logic puzzles, where you have to extract one piece of verifiably true information and use it to determine the rest can or can’t be true.  (I think it’s also the kind of puzzle you find on the LSAT, which explains a lot. Full Story

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Kristen Wiig & Maya Rudolph: Oscar Pirates

Duana Posted by Duana at February 10, 2020 15:13:36 February 10, 2020 15:13:36
Jeff Kravitz/ Kevork Djansezian/ Amy Sussman/ Kevin Mazur/ Steve Granitz/ Kevin Winter/ Getty Images

You know what we never really talk about, even when we talk about it? Televised awards shows have a built-in power imbalance – and that’s why they work. The Academies, hosting the shows, know they need talented performers, amusing enough to hold the audience’s attention. And those performers – actors, musicians, comedians, whatever – know they’re needed, which gives them power, which they often use to push back on creative restrictions, wanting freedom to do and say whatever they like. Full Story

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