The 12 Best Magazine Movies And TV Shows Ever

Real or fictional, glossies have always made for good subject matter on telly and in the movies, but don't always believe what you see...


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Ugly Betty

This show came out around the same time that I started working in magazines, so I couldn’t help but compare KISS to Mode – the only similarity? They had Marc St James, we had Dillon St Paul. Yet I digress. This show was so fun, and of course completely ridiculous – murder plots, bitter rivalries, haute couture wardrobes and of course, poor oul Betty in the middle of it all with her train tracks and wonky fringe. A perfect fish out of water story, it was actually a great series and worth a rewatch.

Everything Is Copy

Any woman who ever wants to write ANYTHING needs to watch this HBO documentary about the wonderful Nora Ephron (it’s on Sky!). She started her career as a mail girl at Newsweek as she was told they didn’t hire female writers (oh, the Sixties). What’s a gal to do? Well, in this case, take part in a class-action lawsuit against the publishers, and win. Ephron’s writing caught the eye of several New Your editors, and eventually resulted in a position at Esquire where she wrote essays about anything and everything. All of this experience culminated in her film career; she’d go on to write Sleepless in Seattle (about a lady journalist) and When Harry Met Sally (also about a lady journalist) and cement her reputation as one of the greatest writers of all time.

The Bold Type

Executive-produced by former Cosmopolitan head honcho Joanna Coles, this American series follows three American gals as they work for Scarlet magazine in NYC. Imagine an Irish mag called Scarlet? Gas. Of course, it’s absolutely ridiculous but in a good way… kinda. Everyone is riding everyone else, the stories they pitch are outrageous and the carry-on means they’d never actually get anything done, but if you want gloriously silly escapism, this is for you. Also, the editor in chief has the same surname as my married name. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.


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The Eye Has To Travel

A fascinating look at an early fashion magazine icon, this doc is about the legendary Diana Vreeland is a must for anyone who loves beautiful editorials. Diana Vreeland walked so Anna Wintour could run, basically! She started out as a columnist at Harper’s Bazaar in 1936 but, hurt when she was passed over for promotion, defected to  Vogue in 1962 and served as its editor until she was fired in 1971. She also precedented Wintour at the first Met’s Costume Institute, serving as its consultant on 12 fashion exhibitions. A legend!

The Hills/The City

Whitney Port interned at Teen Vogue for so long that the least the producers of the MTV hit reality shows could do was transport her to the real beating heart of media, New York City, and get her a job at a grown-up mag. The second she leaves her little fashion cupboard where she’d listen to Lauren Conrad whine about Heidi, and steps into the ELLE offices to be confronted with the uber-stylish villain Olivia Palmero, we know that this is a different ball game. Sadly, it only lasted a couple of seasons as Whitney was (whisper it) not very exciting. Still, it was fun while it lasted!

13 Going On 30

This is the flick that made many of our staffers long to work in magazine land, Thirteen-year-old Jenna Rink makes a wish to be older, and hey presto, wakes up the 30-year-old co-editor of a women’s magazine the next morning, However, Poise is in trouble thanks to bitter rival Sparkle constantly getting the best scoops. I can tell you that I have never saved a STELLAR party by dancing to Thriller, but perhaps I should have? This is a lovely fantasy romp, totally innocent and sweet with the added bonus of sexy Mark Ruffalo in his Just Like Heaven rom-com era.


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Fade Street

Come on, we couldn’t have a piece about magazines on screen and not mention our own iconic foray into reality television? granted, most of the action of Fade Street took place away from the hallowed halls of STELLAR HQ and that’s mostly because Paul from Drogheda never darkened our door (boo!). But we did have several great moments – our publisher Michael calling the Dublin Ink lads “tattooed f*uckwits”, Louise saying congratulations instead of thank you to editor Susan, and Vogue naively working on shoots even though she’d already been in the mag as a professional model. Ahh, those were the days.

The September Issue

In what was perhaps an act of retaliation to the “fictionalised” Devil Wears Prada, Anna Wintour allowed a documentary crew to film the production of the September 2007 edition of Vogue. It’s an eye-opening documentary, not least because it’s not very glam for the most part. In it, we see Wintour discard shoots that cost upwards of $40,000, tweak cover star Sienna Miller’s head relentlessly, and drink an awful lot of coffee. The result? Well I don’t know about you, but I felt a bit sorry for her. And no, we did not start working on our September issue last January. That would be insane.

How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days

As a former “how to” girl myself, I understand that articles often work best when you put yourself into them. However, I have never used myself as a guinea pig to the lengths that Kate Hudson does as Ally in this film. Tasked with finding a guy by her editor, she must do all the classic things women “do” to freak a prospective beau out in the space of ten days, and essentially watch him run for the hills. But little does she know, Matthew McConaughey’s Ben has his own little wager going, and must hold on to his gal. Of course, they fall madly in love but when does that ever go smoothly? Realistic, but also asking a lot of the poor journo, TBF.


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Almost Famous

It’s easy to forget, but all the action in this iconic movie takes places because teenage wannabe writer Patrick is commissioned to write a piece for Rolling Stone magazine chronicling the happenings on an up and coming band’s tour. The editor thinks Patrick is a grown man of course, and things go awry when Patrick falls in love with the band’s head groupie, get emotionally involved with the group themselves and their foibles, and lets the whole rock star lifestyle go to his little head. It’s absolutely fantastic, with a soundtrack to die for. And Kate Hudson’s Penny Lane wardrobe? 70s heaven.

The Devil Wears Prada

Perhaps the most famous film about working at a magazine, I’m sorry to say that there’s little truth in it – compared to the Irish industry anyway! I do not have one assistant, let alone two, and would I throw my coat at them if I did? Maybe, for the craic. I kid! Based on the novel of the same name by Lauren Weisberger, the film’s star is Andie (Anne Hathaway, in a career-making role) who accepts a job working for fearsome editor-in-chief of Runway, Miranda Preistley, played to perfection by Meryl Streep. Andie’s life is turned upside down as she’s forced to work all hours of the day and night, change her appearance at her boss’ behest. It’s a great film, and Weisberger did work for Anna Wintour for a while… but I think it’s greatly exaggerated.

Sex And The City

The first few seasons of SATC aren’t really about magazines – Carrie’s weekly column is in the fictional New York Star newspaper, but don’t for a second ask me how she sustained her lifestyle on that income. It’s only in season four when she’s desperate for money that she deigns to write features for Vogue for a mere $4 a word – UNHEARD OF. However, in typical Carrie fashion, she doesn’t wish to be edited so her new boss Enid has her work cut out for her. The best bit? Carrie gets drunk at Vogue in the fashion closet with her pervy superior. Fab.


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