Money Heist: Korea Recap: Crime and Punishment

Tags: “Fear is the only thing that works to control humans.” By episode’s end, Money Heist: Korea seemingly agrees with Berlin’s take. • If you’re keeping track, Woo-jin’s mom is pro hot barista. This isn’t the story of good guys and bad guys. The viewer (and Young-min) are encouraged to believe that Denver shoots Mi-seon on Berlin’s order, going against the number one rule laid out by the Professor: keep the hostages safe. The actor playing him is 29, but I think he is meant to be younger than that. While the Professor may have planned this entire thing, his control has limits now that he is physically removed from the scene. If I didn’t know the Professor was actively in the process of honey-trapping Woo-jin to win his robbery, I would find Woo-jin’s reaction highly paranoid. Her mom seems to have dementia and is not interested in going to the hospital about it. This show isn’t interested in telling simplistic stories featuring tidy morality or reinforcing the tired mantra that humanity is inherently violent. “Don’t resent me for this,” is the last thing Denver says to Mi-seon before pulling the trigger off-screen. • “You want me to carry out the most dangerous part of your plan?” This was a great Mi-seon episode, and I hope the show knows that she has value outside of whether or not she is pregnant. Are the rules different in the outside world? It’s slightly absurd. Money Heist: Korea
Episode 2

Season 1

Episode 2

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

«Previous
Next

«

Previous Episode

Next Episode
»

Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix/Jung Jaegu/Netflix

Are you ready to start diving into everyone’s tragic backstories, team? — until this line of dialogue. But Woo-jin doesn’t have much time or energy to worry about that right now. We know Denver had at least one loving parent in his father Moscow, but, like Berlin, he lost his mother when he was small to some form of abandonment. Instead, I am impressed by her instincts. (The actress playing Ann is 24. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. I am guessing he did not kill her, but either way, Denver’s apology still stands. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have spent so much time showing just how torn both Denver and Rio are at the prospect of killing Mi-seon, or devote empathetically driven flashbacks to show just how much trauma Berlin has endured. The Professor explains it away by saying he thought she might be seeing someone else, and she seems to believe him. This episode may give us flashbacks to Berlin’s childhood, but it also provides some clues into Denver’s pre-existing issues. Also, any guesses on how old Rio is meant to be? He is part of a team holding this woman and her co-workers hostage, and he is worried the proffered milk might be too cold for her fragile, (maybe) pregnant body. For Berlin, it’s proof that his system is working. In the end, he is only as powerful as the group’s loyalty to him. He watches his mother be shot and killed as she tries to lead her son safely across the border into China. There’s no need to do it properly.” “Since when do we care about who’s going to own the money we print?” Lee Cheongmyung, the creator of the “super note,” is my new favorite character. In Kacheon, Berlin learned to become the biggest bully. We watch Boy Berlin grow into Man Berlin behind the bars of a North Korean internment camp cell in the space of one shadowy shot. It’s why, when he finds out Mi-seon is (maybe) pregnant, he goes into caretaker mode, scouring the Unified Korea Mint for snacks and presenting them to Mi-seon like a proud squirrel. Don’t worry, everyone — Woo-jin has mom issues too! If he didn’t, the apology is still warranted because making someone think they are about to die is also not nice. She went to work in the morning thinking her biggest problem was telling her selfish boss/lover that she is (maybe) pregnant with his child — which, to be fair, does sound like a pretty shitty day — only to be embroiled in a terrifying hostage situation. • “Call me when you’re ready to tell me about the last time you had an orgasm.” Did the Professor stage an elaborate heist just so he could find out if Woo-jin thinks he’s good in bed? In episode one, we got a tell-more-than-show prologue of Tokyo’s upbringing in North Korea. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Or is wielding violence still the best way to survive? Episode two’s flashbacks are much more confident in their narrative presentation — and much, much sadder. Not only does the smartwatch give the task force its first advantage in the hostage negotiation, but she also catches her hot barista not-boyfriend spying on her work phone call. Only time will tell. From the looks of episode two, Berlin will certainly proceed as if it were. Because the threat of violence is deeply traumatizing and something Mi-seon will have to live with if she survives. Am I being overly paranoid? We don’t know much about the Professor yet, and I’m sure that, like all of these characters, he’s experienced some real hardship, but Berlin and his North Korean cigarettes are still judging him. But it’s also endearing and as recognizably human as the fear we see elsewhere in this installment. The camera lingers on the Professor’s face when Woo-jin lets him down easy, saying she isn’t in a good place for a relationship right now. (And, again, Park Hae-soo is such a good actor.)

• When Rio sees Berlin send Denver to kill Mi-seon, he runs to get Tokyo rather than answer the Professor’s phone call. • Ann sure is self-possessed for a teenager in a hostage situation (she pulls the trigger?!?). Whether Denver killed Mi-seon or not, we know Young-min chose to stay silent, fully committed to his decision to throw Mi-seon under the bus. For the viewer, it’s proof that Young-min is spineless (but also understandably scared). (Note: He was already Nairobi’s favorite character.)

• “Is it fun playing the same game you used to play in the north?” Tokyo is not Team Berlin. I doubt the conclusion — and what it means for our ensemble’s humanity — will be as simple as this cliffhanger leads us to believe. I’ve been led to believe by Woo-jin’s love life that there is no such thing. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Banknotes

• Berlin thinks the Professor is naïve — an assessment that is almost surely influenced (perhaps rightly?) by their disparate backgrounds. (True, my girl’s got a lot going on.) The tears stay in his eyes even after Woo-jin has gone, and we’re left to wonder: Is this all an act, or does he have feelings for her? • “If there is a tiny crack in a dam, the entire structure can crumble.” I wasn’t worried about that dam we saw in the first episode — which is maybe Peace Dam? Lee, we’re helping robbers print money. If he shot her, that’s certainly a thing to apologize for. It’s the story of how existing systems are structured to make us think that violence is inherent to humanity rather than a tool used by capitalism and other systems to exploit labor and enforce social conformity. • The task force says that the robbers have enough food for four days within the Unified Korea Mint, but they don’t know about how many snacks Denver just threw at Mi-seon …

• “Mr. Berlin’s childhood is shaped by state-sanctioned violence. I hope we get to see more of her in the next episode. It makes you realize how much anger he is holding inside. At Kacheon’s internment camp, he learns violence as a way to survive. But it’s less clear if the show agrees with Berlin’s view of humanity. As the episode progresses and we learn more about Denver through his many emotional outbursts, it becomes clear that he is at least partially driven by a desire to secure the kind of outcome for this (maybe) baby that he never had: one with a mom who is present. Yes, I looked this up after they kissed.)

• Berlin gets so angry at the smartwatch, throwing it on the floor and pulverizing it with his boot. When he successfully escapes as a grown man, he ponders: “I think I’m gonna miss this place.” It’s flippant, of course, but it’s also an acknowledgment that this space shaped his worldview.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Thanks, Nancy

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, with nearly two full months of warning, foresight, and preparation for this moment, took immediate action in response to the ruling by bravely reading a poem. Related

Donate to an Abortion Fund Right Now

Nancy Pelosi Outdoes Herself, Introduces Riverdance

Nancy Pelosi and Hamilton Commemorate January 6 by Posting Cringe

Tags: The poem was actually lyrics to a song called “I Have No Other Country,” by seven-time Israeli Eurovision songwriter Ehud Manor, who also translated the songs for the Hebrew version of Barney. pic.twitter.com/tEFDbgR04M— The Recount (@therecount) June 24, 2022

Other acts of resistance from elected representatives include yoga and glee club. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Monday, May 2, an unpublished draft of a United States Supreme Court majority opinion leaked to the public, revealing that the judges would be overturning Roe v. Wade. Wade, eliminating Americans’ constitutional right to safe and legal abortion. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reads a poem in reaction to SCOTUS overturning Roe v. On Friday, June 24, the ruling was passed.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Loot Is At Odds With Itself

That titular noun refers to an unexpected fortune after all, the kind that comes from pillaging, plunder, perhaps even piracy, and a cunning series could link that definition to larger considerations of the current world in which we live. When Loot attempts to do so, it ends up melting into a sort of generalized “Be nice” message, the sort of thing that Parks and Recreation eventually wore into the ground. Cynically, perhaps, this is realistic. What’s worse: When a member of Molly’s household staff, someone we never see in another scene, expresses genuine sadness about how he is going to miss her when she goes to work for seemingly the first time ever? If Loot has one thing going for it, it’s the unexpectedly heartwarming best-friendship that blooms between Nicholas and Howard, which Booster and Funches invigorate with their enthusiastic line deliveries and elastic facial expressions. While her assistant, Nicholas (a vivacious, scene-stealing Joel Kim Booster), caters to her every whim, Molly herself has seemingly never held a job, never been involved in volunteer work, never learned any details of her and John’s various business holdings and shell companies, and never figured out how to drive one of their many foreign sports cars or cook for herself. But as a storytelling tool, it means that Loot falls into a frustrating narrative repetition, one in which Molly is clearly motivated by being shamed personally — by John, who dumped her, and by her former friends, who replaced her — while the series insists she is acting altruistically. Or when, at a public hearing inviting feedback about one of Molly’s redevelopment projects, a community member who reasonably asks, “Why do you decide what happens to our neighborhood? The series was filmed in a $141 million mansion, features elite chef David Chang in a supporting role and constantly name-drops other celebrities, and frames everything from Molly’s latest yacht to her mansion’s dedicated candy room in an envy-inducing way — but also positions characters who question or interrupt such materialism as villains. When Loot presents Molly’s declaration of “I’m not asking for thanks; I would just like not to be attacked” as a moment of vulnerability rather than self-involvement? But niceness is different from kindness, and that distinction eludes Loot. The Critics Newsletter
Sign up to get New York’s week in reviews. Roxana Hadadi is a TV critic who also writes about film and pop culture, with the closed captions on and motion smoothing off. Photo: Colleen Hayes/Apple TV+

The name Loot belongs to a more clever, insightful show than the one to which it’s attached. Tags: After they graduated from college, when John was working out of their garage, Molly supported him financially and designed his company’s early logo. Rich people buy their way out of problems all the time. It’s too busy elevating girlbosses, repeating Maya Rudolph’s Beyoncé impression, and making dated references to the marriage of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston to seize upon any relevance to this moment, and the fact that the series is perfectly pleasant while also ideologically hollow makes that name a unique kind of betrayal. The rich are getting richer faster, while millions of Americans in both rural and urban areas live paycheck to paycheck. Is it because you have more money?,” is presented as a baddie? Since his success, though, she has lived a life of luxury for 20 years. What’s the investment-return rate on their endowment? How nice that all these people whose jobs are tied to Molly are so nice to Molly! The finale’s last 15 or so minutes should have been where Loot started, but even the vibe shift promised in that conclusion doesn’t redeem the series’ inability to interrogate its own status quo. Loot is afraid to let Molly be anything but well intentioned, afraid to make the point that no amount of philanthropy can solve systemic problems caused by capitalism, and afraid to offend anyone. Loot demands our sympathy for Molly, but she already has enough. That’s one issue, and the other is Loot’s seeming disinterest in the nonprofit world in which it sets its story. But that’s not what Loot does. It adds up to a “Rich people can be good, actually — please don’t eat them” framing that makes this season feel fundamentally frictionless. During the COVID-19 pandemic, America’s billionaires somehow amassed $2.1 trillion more. The wealth gap between American families is widening at an alarming rate. But it’s odd the degree to which Loot postures as a series that cares about these issues and then retreats by crafting characters who fail to either reflect or internalize the conditions that led to this disparity. But every Loot episode has a Molly-focused A-story, with rage-inducing lines like, “The world is in a much, much worse place than I thought it was, and that’s a real bummer.” It’s only thanks to Rudolph’s ability to balance winsomeness, befuddlement, and sincerity that Molly isn’t utterly infuriating, and even with that in mind, Loot overestimates how much of the character viewers will be willing to tolerate. She lightly flirts with accountant and fellow divorcé Arthur (the precious Nat Faxon, adding to a year of good performances in Our Flag Means Death and Gaslit), who makes her laugh for the first time in ages. It’s no surprise, though, that the early antagonism of their relationship doesn’t last once Sofia teaches Molly how to analyze a grant application and Molly teaches Sofia about the benefits of an expensive skin-care routine. A single television show can’t solve those problems, and doing so isn’t its responsibility in the first place. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Other real-world relationships follow as a result of Molly’s foundation work, and could you have guessed that those help Molly become a better person, too? (Loot co-creators Matt Hubbard and Alan Yang previously worked as writers and producers on that series.) When Loot is focused on Molly, there are no schisms of class, hierarchy, or power that a little treating yourself can’t fix: She buys expensive paintings on a whim, she provides flights on her private jet to people she has wronged, she invites co-workers to a spa day. Loot is at odds with itself, a dysfunction that becomes obvious as the entire season is spent luxuriating in her wealth. Desperate for some kind of direction, Molly decides to get involved in the nonprofit foundation she and John started seven years ago and which she forgot existed until director Sofia (Michaela Jaé Rodriguez) calls and tells Molly to stop getting trashed in public and making the organization look bad. Those in need are props to make Molly feel worse or better, depending on which stage of her getting-her-groove-back journey Loot is focusing on, and that lack of specific detail is one of the many indications that the series’ two narrative paths just don’t work when combined. How has this foundation handed out millions of dollars so far without the oversight of a board or without undergoing an audit that would involve Molly and John? Loot, premiering today on Apple TV+, stars Rudolph as Molly, wife of computer and tech genius John Novak (Adam Scott, tapping into smugness left over from Eastbound & Down and Step Brothers). She walks away with an $87 billion divorce settlement, but why isn’t she happy? Its lack of imagination is its undoing. Molly is unbelievably blank — until she learns that John has been cheating on her and her primary categorization becomes victim. She reconnects with her benefiting-from-nepotism cousin Howard (a joyful Ron Funches), who encourages her to reach out to the other family members she has ignored since she got rich. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Why does an organization that is meant to evoke the Gates Foundation have only about a dozen employees in a single Los Angeles office building when Bill and Melinda have more than 1,700 people working for them all around the world?

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

There’s a Better Story The Black Phone Wishes It Could Tell

The movie is confused in conception, which is a shame because there’s potential here. In industry parlance, it feels like it’s missing a second act. Either way, it’s hard to discuss the picture’s key weaknesses and strengths without addressing where it goes. It would have been easy to play this precocious, strong-willed child as a cutesy, foul-mouthed kid detective, but her concern for her brother shines through. The always-interesting James Ransone shows up as a weird, coked-up amateur sleuth who looks like he’s about to take the movie in a whole other direction — but his presence, sadly, is relatively short-lived and pointless, not quite enough to even count as a red herring. When the dead boys first begin to speak, we get a couple of touching flashbacks to their lives, and it feels like the picture might be headed in a more emotional direction. He brings a welcome mix of intelligence, bewilderment, and fear to the part — a complexity rare in young actors. Whenever Gwen is onscreen, the film locks into its more emotional register: We feel her anguish, her growing sense of helplessness. The reconciliation never really comes, but the cast gets us there anyway. Ethan Hawke and Mason Thames in The Black Phone. Gwen is having dreams that feature specific details about the Grabber’s crimes that have not yet been made public, and the kids’ late mother apparently also had such premonitions and visions. Their alcoholic father is terrified at what might happen if his kids follow in the path of their mom, who we learn killed herself thanks to the voices and visions in her head. These disappearances have understandably invaded the fearful waking thoughts of local teen Finney Shaw (Mason Thames), even though he also has more immediate concerns on his mind — namely, a trio of savage bullies at school and an abusive father (Jeremy Davies, sporting an impressive pompadour and beard combo). Shaw terrorizes both the shy Finn and his headstrong little sister Gwen (Madeleine McGraw), but there is more to this family than meets the eye. Finn has been imprisoned in a large, dark basement by a masked, reedy-voiced psycho (Ethan Hawke, impressively unsettling in a role that almost never lets us see his whole face). These jolts are Finn’s own visions, it seems, but they’re never quite explained within the logic of this world — almost as if the filmmakers came up with them after realizing that mere phone conversations with ghosts wouldn’t provide the requisite genre thrills. But it has to cut away, because Finn’s dramatic thread is where we get all the jump scares and the creepy imagery and the predictable escape-room theatrics. Anyway, spoilers follow. Derrickson also uses these phone conversations to stage a number of jump scares which feel somewhat tacked on. So much so that the film loses some of its power whenever it cuts away from her. This tension between the sister’s narrative and the brother’s seems indicative of the rift at the heart of this picture. That’s not the only promising idea that’s abandoned. In some ways, Scott Derrickson’s film still feels like a short story. … The voices on the phone belong to the boys the Grabber has already killed. What makes it work, however, is 13-year-old McGraw’s electrifying performance as the little girl. The film takes place in the year 1974; The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is in theaters, bandannas are in fashion, and the kung-fu craze is in full swing. Finn can presumably hear them because his family is touched by a divine power. The boys are calling from some sort of afterlife, and even though their memories are slowly drifting away, they are able to guide Finn through his predicament — some of it via specific bits of advice, some of it via gnomic, Signs-like clues. Much of the film involves watching Finn scrape around this basement, and it’s to the 14-year-old Thames’s credit that his character’s predicament never feels repetitive or overtly downbeat. (The movie is, after all, called The Black Phone.) And yes, there is a voice on the other end of the line …

If you don’t want to know anything more about The Black Phone, you should probably stop reading at this point, although some of the following happens early enough that it feels more like part of the setup than an actual plot reveal. Even Gwen’s search for Finn, to which the film cuts at opportune moments, is never as filled out as we might like. All throughout, The Black Phone feels like it’s trying to reconcile typical horror elements with the more expressive and tender story Derrickson clearly wants to tell. More Movie Reviews

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On Is the Gentlest of Gut Punches

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Might Be a Hazard to Your Corneas

Cha Cha Real Smooth Grins and Goes Nowhere

See All

Tags: The deeply unstable Mr. The Grabber’s basement is empty, save for a black phone that we’re told doesn’t work. When Finn himself gets kidnapped, Gwen swings into action, desperately probing her dreams and breaking out a gauntlet of religious items (like some of Derrickson’s other films, The Black Phone has its share of Christian imagery) for clues to her beloved brother’s whereabouts. The Grabber insists he will not hurt the child, but we know that he intends to do exactly that. In the suburbs of north Denver, however, a mysterious figure known as the Grabber is kidnapping teenage boys off the street. The premise is genuinely creepy, and the conceit of phone calls from the afterlife is rife with possibility. It’s all setup and resolution, with little of the incident and complication that usually helps a feature-length movie come fully to life. Photo: Fred Norris/Universal Studios

I haven’t read the Joe Hill short story that The Black Phone is based on, but watching the movie, it’s not hard to imagine what the source material must be like. But thanks to a host of excellent performances (and a few generic but effective scares), most viewers may not mind. Of course, as soon as the captor goes back upstairs, the phone rings. In most other horror movies, this might be a minor narrative nuisance, but The Black Phone at times feels so undernourished dramatically that these dropped subplots feel like missed opportunities.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The 6 Best Movies and TV Shows to Watch and Stream This Weekend

Season four promises Ariana DeBose and the return of James Marsden in an interesting love triangle with Evan Rachel Wood’s new not-Dolores character Christina. Available to stream on HBO Max

HBO Max

Related

What’s Leaving Netflix: July 2022

Onscreen Elvises, Ranked

Real Housewives Songs, Ranked

See All

Tags: Directed by Baz Luhrmann, the film has all the beats and language of a Luhrmann flick, meaning Elvis has a ton of flash, a loaded soundtrack (with a great Doja Cat lead single), and some neat camera tricks, which all culminate in what could very much be your thing or not. It’s a comedy, it’s a drama, it’s a dramedy, but above all, it’s a must-watch. There’s too much to watch and so little time. Available to watch in theaters

Showtimes

The Black Phone

Director Scott Derrickson has done the impossible: make me think Ethan Hawke isn’t hot for once. Bring a box of tissues. Available to watch in theaters

Showtimes

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On

When I was seated for a showing of Everything Everywhere All at Once, one of the trailers that played beforehand was for Marcel the Shell — and readers, that trailer already had me welling up with tears. That’s where we come in to help navigate your weekend viewing. Elvis

Austin Butler is giving his “a hunk, a hunk” in Elvis, a bombastic biopic about the King of rock and roll and his manager Colonel Tom Parker. A child murderer with a scary mask who puts children in a terrifying soundproof basement is just a “no, thanks” from me. Here, a list of movies and shows for you to check out. (Or at least try watching the finale first before you decide.)

Available to stream on Hulu

Hulu

Gordita Chronicles

The recently released Gordita Chronicles is an incredibly sweet and charming sitcom. Available to watch in theaters

Showtimes

The Bear

Released in its entirety on Hulu, The Bear is a fast-paced series about a young fine-dining chef (Jeremy Allen White) who inherits his family’s sandwich shop in Chicago after his brother’s death and struggles with the switch and responsibilities. Yeah, that seems about right, but unfortunately, we’re in too deep. But to be fair, it’s only because I’m deathly afraid of whatever Hawke’s character has going on here. Similar to shows like Fresh Off the Boat, The Wonder Years, and The Goldbergs, creator Claudia Forestieri and showrunner Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz’s comedy recounts its lead character (played effervescently by Olivia Goncalves) Cucu’s coming-of-age — with narration from the character’s older self — as her family moves from the Dominican Republic to a technicolor ’80s Miami. Westworld season one was such an elusive gem of HBO sci-fi prestige (and season two even had its moments), so if you’ve made it as far as season three, we might as well see what’s next … even if the show fell into its own trappings of being a confounding style-over-substance mystery box. Photo: A24; FX

The world of things to watch is vast. Confused? Why stop now? In the feature film, Marcel and his grandmother Connie are discovered by a documentarian who helps bring Marcel’s story online in an attempt to hopefully find his lost family. Available to stream on HBO Max

HBO Max

Westworld Seasons 1–4

How are we feeling, Westworld heads? However, I’m sure I will contradict myself and end up watching this through my fingers, so you win, Derrickson. Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp, this sweet little film is based on Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate’s YouTube shorts about a tender young seashell (voiced by Slate). Ohhhh, Westworld. It’s how it goes with Baz, but an extravagant Baz film is better than another boring biopic. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On; The Bear. But alas! That’s when the weekends come quite in handy: Sure, you can still go out and have a good time (it’s summer, for God’s sake!), but what about the times you want to unwind and relax inside the air-conditioning (it’s summer and it’s hot, for God’s sake!)?

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Onscreen Elvises, Ranked

Most important, he never tries too hard. This is Elvis as doormat in a film that may have been revisionist for its time but is mild compared to later critiques of Parker’s management. Keith is a stiff, passive action figure of an Elvis whose performance is more made for TV than most of the actors in actual made-for-TV movies about Presley’s life. Tyler Hilton, Walk the Line (2005)

Tyler Hilton has less than five minutes of screen time in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line, and it’s telling that one of those scenes features Joaquin Phoenix as Cash watching in awe from the sidelines as Elvis jumps and wiggles across the humble stage of a high-school auditorium. He was a pompadoured cipher onto whom people could project their racial, sexual, and generational anxieties during a period of rapid societal change. Dale Midkiff, Elvis and Me (1988, TV movie)

Meanwhile, Pet Sematary star Dale Midkiff’s portrayal of Elvis in the other ’80s TV movie based on a memoir by one of Presley’s romantic partners isn’t charming at all. In dialogue scenes, Anaheim-born Butler is trying very hard to nail Elvis’s accent, which can’t help but show up on his face. Val Kilmer, True Romance (1993)

We barely see Val Kilmer’s face as Elvis in True Romance, which is too bad— a young Val Kilmer with a forehead curl? Elvis (2022) is now playing in theaters. Rob Youngblood, Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story (1993)

Many depictions of Elvis go out of their way to emphasize his southern manners. He’s not the best lip syncer in the world, but he really feels the Elvis spirit bouncing around onstage like a toddler who’s eaten too much sugar. The Twilight Zone is streaming on Paramount+. St. But it’s an irrefutable fact that Keitel looks nothing like Elvis either in face or in body type. Quickly banished to obscurity, Protecting the King was a vanity project written and directed by David Stanley, Elvis’s real-life stepbrother and a member of his entourage in his drug-addled final days. 12. Throughout the song, one of Butler’s legs bounces like it’s trying to get away from the rest of his body, a small detail that captures so much about the essence of Elvis Presley. There is one fun scene in which Elvis beats up a local tough played by Chris Mulkey, a.k.a. Combined with lackluster lip syncing and a lack of physical resemblance, that shuffles him further down the list. Rick Peters, Elvis Meets Nixon (1997)

Alongside Jack White (more on him in a moment), B-movie jobber Rick Peters’s performance as Elvis in the 1997 Showtime mockumentary Elvis Meets Nixon is the most overtly comedic on this list. And Peters’s perpetually curled upper lip and little-boy sullenness both come across as charming, as does his unexpectedly good a capella singing midway through. He’s introduced waving a flashlight into our heroine’s face and molesting her in a movie theater, and it only gets worse from there. 9. But more so than physical resemblance, what makes St. He’s Elvis by way of Liberace with a voice that’s too high, makeup that’s too contoured, and some wretched fat suit work in the final act. But the thing is, Elvis was also a gangly weirdo. White exaggerates it to marble-mouthed effect, setting up a perfectly clueless reaction shot of Dewey (John C. But Butler and Luhrmann do relax into the performance as Elvis goes on. And despite the quality of St. Drake Milligan, Sun Records (2017, TV series)

Drake Milligan’s performance as Elvis on the quickly canceled CMT docudrama series Sun Records commits the ultimate Elvis crime: allowing other stars to burn brighter than the King. 20. Gerard actually dances like Elvis with the same intuitive looseness and squirrelly energy. Michael St. The mere presence of Elvis in the film is meant to burnish Cash’s star by association, and Hilton does manage to pull focus away from Phoenix with an appropriately jumpy, if perhaps slightly too perky, energy. Walk Hard is streaming on Peacock. Maybe if the show had been renewed, he would have found his edge. A depressed has-been on a collision course with a serial killer in early ’70s L.A., Livingston’s Elvis is deeply dissatisfied with his life. What are you so afraid of?” The real tragedy of it is he doesn’t seem to know. Gerard spent much of his short career playing the King — or someone like him. Jeff Yagher, “The Once and Future King,” The Twilight Zone (1986, TV episode)

George R.R. But St. But given that the real Elvis was ensconced in a bubble of fame from his teen years onward, it’s plausible he didn’t know how to use a credit card or buy his own plane tickets, as Peters struggles to do in this movie. Clad in a leather motorcycle jacket with a little bit of mascara and a roguish smile on his pursed lips, he exudes the sexual magnetism that made this brooding loner irresistible to women. But when the film gets into the more heavily documented portions of Presley’s life, This Is Elvis treads some very iffy territory by using MacKay and Harra to bookend documentary footage of Presley with reenactments that make no meaningful effort to distinguish themselves from their real-life counterpart. Meyers doesn’t do his own singing in the series, but neither do most Elvii. Austin Butler’s version of Elvis is a sulky pretty boy with smokey-eye makeup, loud silk shirts, and lips the color and texture of bubblegum. 17. Michael Shannon, Elvis & Nixon (2016)

On the believability scale, Michael Shannon’s performance as a gun-crazed, patriotic Elvis — he shoots out one of Graceland’s three TVs at the enraging sight of a hippie burning a draft card — in the 2016 dramedy Elvis & Nixon ranks relatively low. 21. Heartbreak Hotel is available on DVD. But when he’s lip syncing and shaking his hips in thrall to the god of rock and roll, that hardly matters. One, Elvis never lived to be as old as Campbell’s character in the film, a washed-up Elvis stranded in a dingy retirement home plagued by mummies. 1. Meyers lets Elvis move through him, the way Elvis let the music lead his own movements. Dobson gets more screen time but is just as pliable in the 2007 biopic Protecting the King. Peter Dobson, Forrest Gump (1994), Protecting the King (2007)

Decades after the real Elvis’s death, actor Peter Dobson became Hollywood’s go-to guy for Presley-related projection. Speaking of baby-boomer wish fulfillment, Dobson makes a cameo in Forrest Gump as a boarder at the Gump house, when in a very Forrest Gump moment he pinches young Forrest’s stiff-legged walk and incorporates it into his act. For the most part, Shannon is just doing his gangly weirdo Michael Shannon schtick in Elvis & Nixon. From what little source material there is to work with, Kilmer’s voice, presence, and outfit as Elvis are all right on. But Elvis’s whole deal is that he radiated enough charisma that all eyes turned to him whenever he stepped into a room. And although he is a natural lover boy, it’s hard to imagine the Memphis vice squad being especially concerned about Milligan’s Elvis. The Stockholm syndrome kicks in almost immediately as Elvis settles into a role as Johnny’s stepdad, courting the boy’s alcoholic mother (Tuesday Weld) and teaching him to conquer bullies through the power of rock-and-roll swagger. He doesn’t have Elvis’s rubbery limbs or stage presence, however, which ultimately makes this delightfully unconventional casting a bit of a letdown. It was also the project that first teamed Russell with director John Carpenter, who would go on to give Russell some of his most iconic roles. But it’s difficult to make a one-to-one comparison between the men for two reasons. Worst of all, he barely tries onstage — his lip syncing and dancing are both subpar, a mortal sin in the land of Elvis. It’s a two-note gag based on two enduring Elvis stereotypes: First, Presley’s fondness for karate, which White declares is only for two types of people, “the Chinese and the King.” Then there’s his low Memphis mumble. As it is, we’ll never know. Both stereotypes are played with obvious affection: White, an Elvis superfan, bought the ten-inch tapes of Elvis’s first studio recording for $300,000 in 2015. Men hate him, and women spontaneously orgasm when they hear him sing, which is a big part of why men hate him. Gerard a standout is his stage presence. He has the devil-may-care attitude and silver tongue that made women chase Elvis everywhere he went even if the movie posits that maybe he wasn’t worth catching. The purpose of the film seems to be to assuage Stanley’s guilt about Elvis dying on his watch, going out of its way to assert that Stanley did everything he could to help Elvis get off of those damn pills. He never claimed to, telling Jet magazine in 1957, “A lot of people seem to think I started this business. He feels intensely, and though he’s loyal to his weepy, clingy mother (Shelley Winters), what he really needs is the validation of screaming audiences to prove to him he really is worth something. 19. Related

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Might Be a Hazard to Your Corneas

The King Puzzle

Tags: Elvis Meets Nixon is streaming on Freevee. Don Johnson, Elvis and the Beauty Queen (1981, TV movie)

It’s bad enough that the Elvis Presley depicted in the 1981 TV movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen, about the King’s post-divorce affair with Tennessee beauty-pageant winner Linda Thompson, is a sexual predator and a smug prick. and the painfully dated desegregation drama Heart of Dixie. Shangri-La Suite is streaming on Paramount+. Up to and long after his death at the age of 42, Elvis became more symbol than musician. It feels like an unplanned, unguarded moment even if it most definitely wasn’t. And in this regard, Youngblood is lacking, a smooth stone skipping across the still waters of someone else’s story. The movement issue is mitigated in the second season of What We Do in the Shadows, however, which sees Klush as Elvis contentedly sitting at a mixing board in the vampires’ basement, spending eternity making music for no one but himself. Kill the King) gives him another opportunity to play a disaffected employee, in a way. What keeps him from rising to the very top is that he’s a little too lead-footed onstage even for late-period Elvis. Austin Butler, Elvis (2022)

Elvis had enough wattage to light up the Vegas strip, and so does Baz Luhrmann’s flashy, glib musical biopic. Elvis & Me is available on DVD. (1989), Heart of Dixie (1989), Elvis (1990, TV series)

Before leaving the entertainment industry to become a minister, Michael St. But like Elvis, Butler is a natural onstage, where his jittery energy stops fighting the more mannered aspects of the performance. Shawn Wayne Klush, “The King & I,” Vinyl (2016, TV episode), Shake, Rattle and Roll (TV movie, 1990), What We Do in the Shadows (2020, TV series)

The Elvis episode of HBO’s Vinyl is another perfect example of filmmakers using Elvis as more of a mouthpiece that a character: At one point, Shawn Wayne Klush, playing a creatively frustrated Elvis who longs to trade Vegas for Woodstock, tells Bobby Cannavale’s character, “You get it, man!” But even though he’s there more to reinforce the show’s belief in its own coolness than to uncover any real emotional truths about Elvis Presley, Klush has the advantage of looking and sounding eerily like Elvis in his later years without having to lean on fat-suit caricature. The result is a ghoulish assertion of Parker’s power over his client from beyond the grave. Vinyl is streaming on HBO Max.What We Do in the Shadows is streaming on Hulu. Looking and sounding like Elvis helps, of course. Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Elvis (2005, TV miniseries)

If Jonathan Rhys Meyers is trying as hard as Austin Butler to imitate Elvis Presely’s speaking voice, he doesn’t show it. Elvis and the Beauty Queen is available on DVD. Finding Graceland is available on DVD. Midkiff’s Elvis is volatile and emotionally abusive with the ability to turn on a dime. Butler has looser limbs and more mobile hips than most onscreen Elvii, and his onstage gymnastics are impressive throughout. Late in the film, Carpenter films Elvis rehearsing “Suspicious Minds” with his band at home in L.A.; as soon as the song ends, Russell shakes out the energy of the performance with a cathartic air punch. Kurt Russell, Elvis (1979)

The first TV Elvis is still the best TV Elvis. Walk the Line is available to rent/buy on Amazon Prime Video. When Memphis radio station WHBQ played Elvis singing a sped-up version of Delta bluesman Arthur Crudup’s “That’s All Right” in July 1954, those wires crossed. Out of those three films, only Waters’s has had much staying power. 5. The series takes its time meandering through Elvis’s early years as he finds his voice in Memphis, and it was canceled after 13 episodes, at which point Elvis’s career was barely getting off of the ground. Gerard’s performance, neither did his biggest role as Elvis in the ABC TV series of the same name. And the grindhouse throwback Shangri-La Suite (a.k.a. That lends Shannon’s loose-cannon portrayal a sort of spiritual accuracy even if a full ’70s Elvis getup, complete with sunglasses and pasted-on sideburns, can’t make Shannon look like the King. Gerard’s Yankee accent. But the performance is undoubtedly lent credibility by association given that True Romance is one of the coolest manifestations of the ’90s retro revival. 10. The difference here is that Meyers is lip syncing to Elvis’s actual vocal tracks, not those of an impersonator, which goes a long way toward enhancing the sense of realism. But it’s his palpable soulfulness that puts him on top. True Romance is streaming on Tubi. Bubba Ho-Tep is streaming on PlutoTV. This Is Elvis is available to rent/buy on Amazon Prime Video. Russell was nominated for an Emmy for his performance, the first (and one of the only) times he received accolades from a major awards body. David Keith, Heartbreak Hotel (1988)

David Keith’s performance in the eyebrow-raising Chris Columbus comedy Heartbreak Hotel is notable mainly for its Ouroboros relationship with the much more believable Kurt Russell, who (a) also plays Elvis and (b) was in the movie Overboard, of which this is basically a gender-swapped remake. His version of Elvis has yet to embrace his rock-and-roll destiny: He’s insecure about his voice and metronomic below the waist. Russell’s Elvis watches James Dean movies alone in the dark, ruminating on his lack of acting talent. Peters plays Elvis with a childlike naïveté, an oversize baby whose face is swollen from eating Hershey bars even though he’s allergic to chocolate and who moves through life with the clumsy destructiveness of a drunk bear. But pretty much any classically handsome white guy can look kind of like Elvis with the help of a spangled jumpsuit, a black wig, and a pair of heavy-browed gold sunglasses. He spends much of the movie staring forlornly into the middle distance; one scene sees him sitting alone in a poolside cabana, watching his many hangers-on having fun in the sun just feet away. The problem is finding the man inside of the legend. It’s not an especially radical interpretation of Elvis, who does seem to have been a real miserable bastard in his later years. But rock ’n’ roll was here a long time before I came along.” At the same time, the 20th century would have looked much different if the “hillbilly cat” with the sensual lips and provocative dance moves had taken early advice and remained a truck driver. Combined with the fact that MacKay, a professional Elvis impersonator, was later murdered in a double homicide, the bad vibes hanging over this thing are nuclear. But the thing that makes Elvis and the Beauty Queen truly dreadful is Don Johnson’s dud of a performance. The tricky part is capturing and channeling Elvis’s magnetism, something only the best and most intuitive Elvii can do. Little about this movie is. 14. Elvis (1979) is available on Blu-ray. His movie-star charisma makes him impossible to ignore, and he actually does look a lot like Presely with the right hair and in the right outfit. 15. Harvey Keitel, Finding Graceland (1998)

Whether or not Harvey Keitel’s character in Finding Graceland is actually Elvis Presley, drifting across the highways of the American West more than 20 years after faking his own death, is left up to the audience’s interpretation. But it does paint the King as an impulsive and selfish man who groomed a teenager to be his ideal plaything (she was 14 and he was 24 when they met), then tossed her aside the moment the novelty wore off. Russell hits all the right notes as Elvis. (With apologies to short kings like Keitel, Elvis was famously tall and lanky.)

That being said, Keitel does have a palpable fuck-you energy, which — combined with some pretty killer lip syncing — means you can see it if you squint a little. 4. But the most convincing moment in the entire movie is when Butler is singing onstage in Vegas. Based on Priscilla Presley’s 1985 biography of the same name, Elvis & Me is less damning than Elvis and the Beauty Queen. Two, we only see Campbell onstage from behind for a few seconds in a flashback sequence, and his moves radiate from the shoulders downward as opposed to the waist up. And Kevin Spacey strains to sound like Richard Nixon when the two do eventually meet, which gives a little shine to Shannon’s less try-hard mannerisms. (The last thing Elvis says to Parker is “I love you.”)

Yes, technically Beau Bridges is the star of the movie as the self-serving Colonel. Forrest Gump is streaming on Netflix.Protecting the King is available on DVD. But when you watch footage of Elvis, particularly in early performances, he’s a live wire, powered by easy charisma, fluid movement, and fidgety, restless energy. Nearly two dozen actors have played Elvis on TV and in the movies since 1979, when Kurt Russell starred as the King in John Carpenter’s made-for-TV biopic. He’s a restless, yearning figure always searching for something that’s just beyond his reach, prompting Priscilla (Season Hubley) to ask, “What are you running from? Sun Records is available to buy on Amazon Prime Video. The latest is Austin Butler, who rises from a minor role as Manson family member Tex Watson in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood (2019) to a starring role as Elvis in Baz Luhrmann’s flashy biopic. Meyers bounces across the stage like his legs are made of rubber bands every time Elvis gets behind a microphone, moving with an easy charisma that has Elvis leading the beat, not the other way around. And nobody stole the spotlight from Elvis. This is because Michael Shannon doesn’t really try that hard to act or sound like Elvis, though he does mutter “Thank you, thank you very much” a couple of times. Paul Bonesch III, David Scott, Dana MacKay, and Johnny Harra, This Is Elvis (1981)

Four actors play Elvis at various stages of his life and career in This Is Elvis, a hybrid documentary released four months before a Memphis judge ordered the Presley estate to sue Presley’s longtime manager, “Colonel” Tom Parker, in August 1981. Luhrmann’s film takes a revisionist view of the Elvis myth, reframing him from a gun-toting Tennessee good ol’ boy into a pseudo-revolutionary force and champion of civil rights. The devilish smile on his face when he’s playing guitar is wholly believable, as is the way he moves his shoulders like an old-fashioned lawn sprinkler. Russell was in the midst of transitioning from a child star into an adult actor when he made the film, and the role would prove fortuitous in more ways than one. 6. And his dissolution as his marriage ends and death looms is genuinely affecting, culminating in a heartbreaking final scene in which Elvis slurs out one last pathetic attempt to enchant his ex-wife back into his arms. Kurt Russell starred as the King in an epic, nearly three hour made-for-TV movie that aired in February 1979, less than two years after Elvis’s death in August 1977. Jack White, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)

Jack White doesn’t sing in his cameo as Elvis in Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, but his rock-star charisma is put to good use for exactly 95 seconds of dick-swinging backstage swagger. As it stands, he appears from the neck down and in the shadows, dressed in a gold-lamé suit jacket and reassuring his biggest fan, Clarence (Christian Slater), that his life of crime is going great and that “two in the back of the fucking head” is indeed the appropriate way to deal with his new girlfriend’s (Alabama, played by Patricia Arquette) old pimp. Before Elvis, country-and-western and rhythm and blues were two crackling electrical lines running parallel to one another in the segregated South. 13. That’s to be expected given that Klush is a professional Elvis impersonator who’s won multiple look-alike contests. (The exception is first-hand accounts from women with whom he was romantically involved, all of whom say he was inconsiderate at best.) But Rob Youngblood’s version of the singer in the 1993 TV movie Elvis and the Colonel: The Untold Story takes the averted eyes and mumbled “yes, sir”s to extremes. Great Balls of Fire is available on Blu-ray/DVD.Heart of Dixie is available on DVD.Elvis (1990) is available on DVD. It’s difficult to say much more about Butler as Elvis in the first hour of the movie because the camera never lands on his face for longer than a second. 2. Paul Boensch III and David Scott acquit themselves as Elvis ages 10 and 18, respectively. He was defanged by the white establishment, held back by old-fashioned management, and at turns romanticized and rejected by subsequent generations. There are no wasted shots with Carpenter at the helm, but Russell makes the most of even small moments; in a scene of him driving around listening to the radio, it’s like he’s possessed by the beat. Directed by Rock ’n’ Roll High School’s Allan Arkush, Elvis Meets Nixon tells the same story as the later Elvis & Nixon but with a totally different take on its main character. He also offers Cash chili fries at one point, an exchange that has no historical basis whatsoever but feels right. 16. 7. Reilly) pretending to understand a single word of whatever Elvis just said. He’s sheepish but confident, funny but volatile, and he spends a lot of time messing with his hair. The film proudly boasts Parker as a “special technical advisor,” and this is obviously an attempt at damage control, restating the Elvis story as Parker would like it to be told. 3. It works! Bruce Campbell, Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

When Bruce Campbell puts on a pompadour wig and a pair of sunglasses, he does look like an older Elvis. It’s unclear how much of Don Coscarelli’s appealingly bizarre horror-comedy Bubba Ho-Tep is based on this realization, but it wouldn’t be surprising if the answer was “a lot.”

Like Elvis, Campbell has the confidence of a handsome guy who knows he’s handsome. 18. Gerard got all that work as Elvis for a reason. And thanks to the film’s icky sexual politics, Thompson (Stephanie Zimbalist) loves it. Martin wrote the teleplay for this particular piece of nostalgic boomer sci-fi about an Elvis impersonator who wakes up in Memphis circa 1954 after being knocked out in a head-on collision with a Cadillac one night after a show. The portrayal isn’t flattering, and Midkiff’s wigs in the film are truly dreadful, but he hits multiple performance notes just right. 11. White clearly took this silly role seriously, which is what makes it work. The basic plot is boomer wish fulfillment with a sprinkling of ’80s-movie amorality, as Ohio farm boy Johnny Wolfe (Charlie Schlatter) kidnaps Elvis after a show in Cleveland circa 1972. Meyers’s southern accent, sad eyes, and overall presence in the 2005 CBS miniseries Elvis (a.k.a Elvis — The Early Years) are all right on with an ease that belies the effort Irish-born Meyers must have put in to create such a representation. What truly keeps Campbell from ascending to the top tier of Elvis-dom, however, is the fact that Ossie Davis steals the show as another rest-home inmate who thinks he’s JFK. Ron Livingston, Shangri-La Suite (2016)

Ron Livingston is probably best known for his starring role in Mike Judge’s Office Space. But the real Elvis’s ultimate fate is too silly to lend “The Once and Future King” much weight, as is the suggestion that Presely’s lifelong melancholy came from the fact that he was an imposter going through the motions of someone else’s destiny. Milligan plays Presley as an affable, innocent mama’s boy with a thick drawl and an oversize curl across his forehead. Photo-Illustration: Vulture

Elvis Presley didn’t invent rock and roll. The one thing that threatens to throw everything off is St. Elvis: The Early Years is streaming on Freevee. In Arkush’s film, Elvis’s dislike of hippies comes from a (wholly fictional) encounter with some potheads who make fun of him on the Sunset Strip rather than your usual hardening of values in middle-aged white people. 8. Jeff Yagher plays both impersonator Gary Pitkin and Elvis himself, who uncharacteristically rejects Pitkin’s performance of “That’s All Right” as “trash.”

The fact that, if you weren’t watching too closely, you might actually believe Gary and Elvis were two different people speaks to Yagher’s skill at impersonating Elvis. Russell’s Elvis is a lonely, misunderstood man who is always trying to buy people’s love because deep down he doesn’t think he deserves it. He does look like the guy, though, even if his physicality is all lip and no hip. Gerard, Great Balls of Fire! He lives for simple pleasures like cheeseburgers and John Wayne movies, and when he waves a gun around, it’s more playful than threatening. Elvis & Nixon is streaming on Amazon Prime Video. And the sparks that flew from that initial meeting lit a pop-cultural fire that still burns to this day. According to Meyers, the key to his Golden Globe–winning performance was to think of Elvis as a poor boy with something to prove rather than a pop-culture icon — which makes sense given that less successful Elvii do tend to forget the man behind the image. Hank from Twin Peaks, even if the blow isn’t exactly credible. His second of 15 acting roles was as an Elvis type in John Waters’s Hairspray (1988), and a year later he graduated to small roles as Elvis himself in the god-awful Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls of Fire! Given his distinctive look and sound, it’s easy for an actor to get lost inside impersonation when portraying Elvis. But as a jaunt through Elvis-related media proves time and again, an accurate vocal impression is only part of the overall challenge of playing Elvis Presley. Unfortunately, however, sadness is the only note Livingston hits in his performance.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The Bear Recap: Charge of the Beef Brigade

• One thing I will say about the Original Beef, though, is that for a Chicago-based Italian Beef stand, they sure do seem to sell a lot of mortadella, which isn’t absolutely unheard of, but it’s unusual. The massive vat of gelatinous veal stock spilling in the walk-in, though? “Brigade” is a sadder, slower, and more defeated episode than the two that came before it, but it’s also more optimistic. Not only does that shit take a ton of time and money to make, but cleaning up something that’s neither solid nor liquid off an already fairly gross floor? (It could also just be because he actually likes her as a human being and thinks she’s talented and worth listening to.) It does feel like things with Richie and the restaurant will eventually have to come to a head, especially as we come to learn that he’s somehow covering for Mikey’s shady dealings with some guy named Nico who didn’t even know he died, but, again, we’re still kind of waiting for that to play out. As episode three’s Al-Anon meeting moderator, Ringwald has a very small part in The Bear, but she gets a fairly (Italian) beefy monologue to deliver about what it means to love someone who’s an addict. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. That would be enough to drive anyone to their breaking point. Ringwald’s speech is spliced with a cut back to the Original Beef, where we find Sydney just trying to get orders out to hungry and bored-looking customers while Richie yells loudly for what seems to be the fun of it. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Bless him. He’s dodging his sister’s calls on his brother’s birthday, and he clearly can’t make heads or tails of what his brother was doing with the restaurant’s money before he died. It’s not the worst idea — some of the Original Beef staff clearly have things they prefer to make, whether it’s meat or bread and pastries — but Camy unfairly stuck Sydney with delivering the news and she walked headlong into the blades of a surly staff. He’s working behind the scenes with Sydney, though, whether that’s for the purpose of turning the tide of the actual food or winning over the non-Richie staff. It’s clear he either believes or wants to believe that he’s the boss of beeftown, and for now Carmy seems to be letting him. If she can get the Original Beef somewhere exciting and good alongside Carmy, she can make a name for herself. I’d fuck with his chocolate cake for sure, and not just because I love all chocolate cake, period. That Carmy is open to hearing Sydney is notable, too, since the show seems to suggest that he doesn’t ever really let anyone in. He doesn’t seem to actually like Richie, and if there’s more to their family besides Uncle Cicero, we have yet to see it. I want to believe they can do it, and I hope that they do. Forget about it. I’d be in tears in my car, driving away at 60 miles per hour. The show is using the exterior of the very good Mr. He’s lovely. “Brigade” is an exceptional episode not because of Carmy or Richie, though. I get the feeling that even if we did, it would just be scenes of people sort of talking at Carmy rather than to him, right up until the point when he could claim work and duck out the side door. When reviews first started coming out for the show, FX was adamant that no one reveal any of the show’s cameos, and with good reason. There can be poignancy to a deep hurt. Tags: It’s never quite as fun when things are spoiled before you can even watch the show for yourself. It’s great because of Ayo Edebiri’s Sydney, who gets the burden of running an Escoffier-style French brigade dumped on her by Carmy. That’s why I love that she comes at Carmy with all of her gripes. Beef at Orleans and Huron in Chicago, and it seems like they either shot scenes in the interior or built out a very good facsimile somewhere. Beef does have a separate eating space, it’s not entirely the same. She believes that, if she’s really picking up what he’s putting down, that he does want to run the Original Beef differently than any place they’ve worked in the past. Things haven’t changed overnight at the Original Beef, but there is a tiny pinprick of light at the end of the tunnel. Poor Sydney. • I hope Marcus gets really great at desserts. She doesn’t want to be stuck wasting her time running brunch somewhere or making food she doesn’t care about. I am also a dork who cares about things like this in TV shows when they really should not. I definitely think they built out the back kitchen and whatever that Ballbreaker room is, Groundhog Day poster and all, because while Mr. The Bear
Brigade

Season 1

Episode 3

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

*****

«Previous
Next

«

Previous Episode

Next Episode
»

Photo: Matt Dinerstein/FX

The Bear really knows how to land a guest star. Beef actually has a stark, minimalist billboard for Chicago’s beloved Malort on its roof, or if The Bear really just went hard on its regional references. I’d expect them to move a few more dogs than the expediting would suggest. Now that the eps are out, though, everything is fair game, which is why I feel confident sharing that I think Molly Ringwald fucking rules. It’s bad enough that she cuts herself on a rogue boxcutter, but to have her sauce destroyed by Tina, her pounds upon pounds of hard-sliced onions hidden by Marcus, and her authority undermined by Richie? It’s sound reasoning, presuming you believe that they’ll be able to turn a dirty Italian beef stand with surly customers and staff into something noteworthy and exciting, but their enthusiasm is, in some sense, contagious. She’s learned that the only way she can get through it all, she says, is by keeping her side of the street clean and doing her part to stay out of bad situations. It’s a reminder that whoever or whatever you cared about actually mattered to you, and that you let a little piece of yourself out into the world. Like the REM song, “Oh My Heart,” that closes the episode, “Brigade” is sad, but also comforting and full of love, in a way. What I do not know, however, is if Mr. Small Bites

• I hadn’t entirely been able to place the Original Beef until this episode, when they showed what was across the street. Not that Carmy, sitting in the back of the room, seems to be able to do anything about his bad situation yet. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows!

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Eminem and Snoop Dogg, Bored Ape NFT Evangelists, Drop a Song

’Cause dope is addictive, just like they call it mari-ju-ana’Cause like marriage, you wanna marry Jane

Whenever I see the phrase “marry Jane,” I think of “Mary Jane,” the Rick James song. The music video, directed by James Larese, is supposed to be hallucinogenic and cool in the same way I thought reblogging Tumblr photos of people blowing smoke rings was delicate and artistic in 2011. #NotAnAd. Both Snoop and Eminem are members of the club, with the former releasing an EDM single called “BAYC” about the venture earlier this year that sounds like a tourist club in Prague. Eminem and @SnoopDogg omfg pic.twitter.com/LUizQOTTKP— Chris Matrecito 🍌💎 (@cryptochris808) June 24, 2022

Related

Watch Dr. Brr. Feast your eyes on these bars from Eminem, paying particular attention to the ad-libs in parentheses:

Always got that bomb weed (That’s why)I feel a calm breeze (Yeah)Every time I palm trees (Get it?), just like that blonde bleach

Every time I palm trees. Dre and Friends’ SFW Super Bowl Halftime Show

SNL Explains NFTs in the Timeliest Way Possible: a ‘Without Me’ Parody

Seth Green Gets Scammed Out of His Show’s Main Character

Tags: There is one notable line from Snoop that is worth mentioning: “Mom all mad, kids all sad; damn, my bad.” Mom all mad, kids all sad; damn, my bad. Anyway, the Snoop Dogg part is just as corny, if not as stoner-y, as Eminem’s bars (we can be generous and call them bars today!) — I guess they wanted to turn the tables, subvert our expectations, and all that. Fred gave us our first highly publicized criminal NFT-kidnapping case with real bearing in the world — until NFT TV show revolutionary Seth Green got his stolen digital child NFT back. The new single extols the virtues of smoking weed — so much weed, in fact, that they turn into the animated primates during a recording-studio smoke session. Not since that one guy kidnapped a Bored Ape NFT named Fred have I been so perplexed and thoroughly fascinated by the possibilities of the crypto frontier. But what this collab has given us the most are Pinterest stoner lyrics retrofitted for this single by two rich rappers who have nothing to lose and NFTs to sell. Get it? (I was 5.)

So put your doobies high if you reside in 213, let’s see them blunts raised (Brr)Whether you east side or west side of the 313, let’s see them guns blaze

I’m glad I reside in neither of those area codes because this is most definitely my nightmare blunt rotation. It has the same energy as the “I’m not a rapper” rapper from the YouTube parody Supa Hot Fire — The Rap Battle Parody, which was my favorite video in middle school. And that is some strong green (Strong green)Gotta contact, my contact lenses are foggyI might end up in Walgreens (Yeah) pharmacy

They should head to CVS instead — if you have the ExtraCare subscription, you get 20 percent off all CVS Health brand items. Anyway, it makes sense that Eminem and Snoop Dogg would team up for an NFT-inspired music video of a laughably corny song full of throwbacks to my youth. When I was singing it in the backseat of my mom’s white minivan in like 2001, I didn’t know I was talking about pot. The crypto market is bottoming out, and their best bet is to sell those digital tokens to people who probably used to pin stoner quotes to their Pinterest boards. Now Eminem and Snoop Dogg are giving the Fred saga a run for its bitcoins. For their new collaboration “From the D 2 the LBC,” the rappers dropped a music video that reads like an extended Super Bowl commercial for the Bored Ape Yacht Club. That goes for redness-relieving eye drops too.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Tags:

The King Puzzle

Vulture 10×10 Crossword Puzzle
A puzzle for pop-culture obsessives sent to your inbox every weekday

Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. More Crosswords

The Basement Puzzle

The Legendary Puzzle

The Lamb Puzzle

See All

Tags:

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The Bear Recap: Health-Inspector Blues

While we’re obviously annoyed that he found that note from Mikey to Carmy stuck behind the lockers and did nothing about it, we also get it. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Small Bites:

• The fact that Richie has a 5-year-old daughter is very sweet, and that phone call went a long way toward humanizing his character. (You really don’t need to in Chicago, though it also rings true with both Richie’s character and what I know about some hospitality lifers that maybe his suspended license could have come after one too many DUIs.) Things go poorly at first, but ultimately they do seem to have at least a begrudging sense of mutual respect, though Sydney still shouldn’t go placing any big bets on his kindness any time soon. Still, back in Chicago, Carmy does seem to hold a sense of pride about where he’s worked, dropping names like the French Laundry and Noma. Sydney has a very professional-looking business plan that could help turn things around a little if anyone will listen to her, but first Carmy has to admit that he’s in over his head. • Much respect to Richie for his love of Arby’s, even though there are barely any in Chicago, save a couple of weird spots in the Loop where I doubt he’s going. The eatery is slapped with the dreaded C health rating. (This is a very real issue, by the way. Tags: It does seem like things could be going that way at the end of “Hands,” when a few tantalizing bits of optimism slip into view. We end the episode with both the reassurance that Sydney is sticking around, since Carmy’s apparently committed to doing what it takes to get her paid, and the realization that it was him, not Richie, who left the pack of smokes near the open flame. If Carmy and Richie can somehow get their aviator-glassed uncle Cicero off their backs while simultaneously getting a better health grade, revamping their kitchen, and convincing people to come to an entirely average-looking Italian Beef stand somewhere in the grittier part of Chicago’s River North, hey, maybe these crazy kids will have a fighting chance at success. There’s a suggestion of some sort of chicken piccata dish, and the Italian beef still looks fucking delicious in those close-up shots. • I loved Sydney’s description of the Original Beef as a place where the food is shitty, everyone acts shitty, and everything just feels shitty. Inside the Original Beef, it certainly seems like he’s worried about the latter. He was just a bad dude in the kitchen — actively abusive, even telling Carmy that he should be dead. We also see Carmy making amends with his sister’s boyfriend-slash-husband, played by a very fun Chris Witaske. (Thomas Keller, per all reports, is in real life not nearly as much of an asshole as McHale’s character.) It’s unclear whether that’s because he’s proud of what he achieved food-wise or just that he actually survived it. On the flip side, Carmy’s past swanky-food life may look cushy, as he served up $700 dinners plated with tweezers in a kitchen so gleamingly clean it looks like the face of the sun, but his boss — played by a ruthlessly shitty Joel McHale in a choice cameo spot — was a walking nightmare. McHale’s white-coated demon is the human equivalent of battery acid. Was this something the pair saw growing up? His brother left him up to his eyes in debt, including fun “break your knees” mob debt we get to hear about from the amazing Oliver Platt. He’s good at what he does, it seems, but he’s absolutely dead set on breaking down every single thing that dares get near him. He just put it back. Their “guys who don’t like to talk on the phone” shtick is charming, and when Sugar actually gets on, we learn that she and her partner have been going to Al-Anon and are encouraging Carmy to do the same. We’ve got six more episodes to find out. Come at me, haters. Arby’s is the perfect working-class fast-food restaurant, and it gets far more hate than it deserves. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! First, after Richie is tasked with fixing the hole he clearly fucked up patching a few years ago, he’s sent off to the hardware store with Sydney because he, like a number of other people who work at the restaurant, can’t actually drive. We’ve all been to those places, whether we like it or not, and frankly, sometimes they’re even more memorable than places that are actually perfectly nice. She makes a valid point that chefs always say part of their job is about taking care of other people, but when do they make time to take care of themselves? Sure, the Original Beef might be getting its food, staff, and overall shit together but — bam! Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. He knows it’s there, and hopefully Carmy will figure it out himself someday. It would be hard to keep up that energy for the whole series, especially as the restaurant does seem to at least be on some long and winding path toward maybe, maybe, maybe getting its shit back together. It’s clear that much of his family seemed dead set on helping Carmy make something of himself — Mikey wouldn’t let him work at the restaurant, after all — so I’m wondering if Carmy’s success is an unholy marriage of his love for food and his fear of letting anyone down. “Hands” isn’t as frenetic and electric as the show’s pilot, but in a way that’s good. Are they going because of their brother, who we learn from this episode “shot himself in the head four months ago?” Or are all these pieces of a much larger tavern-style pie? It’s not like Richie burned it or something. The Bear
Hands

Season 1

Episode 2

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

«Previous
Next»

«

Previous Episode

Next Episode

»

Photo: Matt Dinerstein/FX

If the second episode of The Bear wants to remind viewers of anything, it’s that appearances can be deceiving. Mikey was his best friend, and where’s his note? — in comes a very thorough health inspector who digs up some oil-soaked rags stuffed into an unsealed vent (very cool, by the way) and a pack of cigs near the stove. Chefs are notoriously hardworking and burnout is fast, high, and often drug- and alcohol-related.) Given that Al-Anon is the organization for people who were affected by the alcohol abuse of those around them, that gives us yet another layer of the onion to unpeel. Whether he’ll ever own up to this is anyone’s guess, but it could act as a nice reminder that even as he’s being held back by outside forces, he can occasionally screw up all by himself. This is the hill I will die on.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

No, It Wasn’t All a Dream: Charlie Puth (Feat. Jung Kook of BTS) Is Real

(I will not be getting one. Those vibes? Mostly able to be ignored. Get them back! And it’s with Jung Kook from BTS. The hook — “I can hear you over here, I can hear you over there” — is annoying! Tags: Charlie’s new song, “Left and Right,” was released June 24 along with an accompanying music video. What is clear is that Jung Kook is overflowing with charisma and also that his lip ring is hot. The idea behind this video is not super-clear. Following the hiatus–slash–not hiatus of BTS, Jung Kook is the featured act in the song, with the rest of BTS nowhere to be seen. But the kind of annoying that burrows into my brain against my will, so I’ll be listening to it whether I want to or not. And Charlie, I miss those shockingly sick bass lines! I will not be getting one.)

The song itself? The video opens with Charlie in a stylish therapist’s office before Jung Kook shows up and vibes for a while? Mostly just vibes. Photo: Charlie Puth via YouTube

It looks like famed Maroon 5 fan Charlie Puth has taken a break from his illustrious work queer-baiting and being hot to put out new music.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Baz Luhrmann Had 20 Minutes to Memorize Elvis Presley’s Bedroom

Tags: The singer’s bedroom, and the bathroom where he died, are restricted to visitors, but in an interview with Apple Music Country, Luhrmann says he was granted rare access while doing research for his music biopic, out now. I had to remember everything to reproduce it for the set.” Luhrmann says the details include a white organ in the sitting room next to the bedroom and “a spiritual book open on a coffee table, sitting next to where the guitar was.” Luhrmann’s next movie should be an adaptation of an I Spy CD-ROM game. But I noted because I had to remember everything in 20 minutes; I wasn’t allowed to take a camera or anything. I mean, the Japanese prime minister came and he couldn’t go up there,” Luhrmann says. Related

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Might Be a Hazard to Your Corneas

In Elvis, There’s No Business Like Baz-ness

Is This Just How Austin Butler Is Going to Sound Now? “Lisa Marie protects it because of what occurred up there. But I did go in, and without giving away too much, nothing’s been touched. Photo: Jeremy Chan/Getty Images

The Elvis Presley estate oughta be more careful about who they let into Graceland’s closed-off upper levels because they just might end up making Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. “I had to see it. The clothes have been removed, but nothing’s been touched.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On Is the Gentlest of Gut Punches

He steps in a sticky puddle of honey whenever he wants to walk on the wall or the window. But to any sane person, this probably seems like a pretty thin idea on which to hang an entire feature. As Marcel is interviewed about his own life, he expresses curiosity about Camp’s, noting that the man might be happier if he got out from behind his camera once in a while. (“We just call it ‘the show.’ That’s how much we like it,” Marcel declares.)

But Marcel worries about his grandmother, who shows signs of dementia. Bilge Ebiri is a film critic for New York magazine and Vulture. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On. Photo: A24

Marcel the Shell With Shoes On originated in 2010 as a series of tossed-off, no-budget YouTube videos created by Jenny Slate and her then-husband, Dean Fleischer Camp, based on a random goofy voice Slate reportedly conjured one day while they were at somebody’s wedding. Refreshingly, however, the film version of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On manages to tiptoe around these pitfalls. Any attempt to do so, one suspects, would result in something either annoyingly slight or needlessly grandiose — either a glorified YouTube video or a bloated exercise in world-building. Being the thoughts of a young, sentient, one-eyed seashell, the videos — lo-fi stop-motion combined with live action — soon found a wide audience thanks primarily to Slate’s lilting, self-effacing delivery of Marcel’s alternately wry and innocent observations about life in general and life as a tiny shell specifically. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and the Criterion Collection, among others. One of those drawers included Marcel’s family and his whole shell community. Marcel the Shell With Shoes On is the most unassuming and delicate of movies, but don’t be shocked if it leaves you in ruins. Like many of the rest of us, there’s a twinge of denial in the way he talks about her struggles, as if he’s convinced she’ll get better eventually. As a result, the film is gentle and sweet without ever being twee or precious; it doesn’t dwell on its cleverness or its novelty or, for that matter, its profundity. Marcel discovers the internet when his videos start to go viral, and he learns about the perils of celebrity when fans manage to locate the house and start showing up on the front lawn to take selfies. He sleeps on a slice of bread. The picture is structured like a mock documentary with Camp (playing some version of himself but remaining mostly out of frame) having discovered Marcel and his kindly, doting grandmother (voiced by Isabella Rossellini, whose accent is explained by the fact that “she’s not from here — she’s from the garage”) hanging out in his Airbnb. Its effervescence is its secret weapon: Thanks to the disarming simplicity of the filmmaking — the basic animation, the unostentatious mockumentary style — we might not realize we’re being slowly eased into a story about the importance of belonging, about an individual’s place in the world and about how the only way to forge stronger bonds is to break free of those very bonds. (“Guess why the bus didn’t show up today? Because the bus is a caterpillar, and it grew up.”)

Cute, sure. And right there, we can sense the turn: For all its surreal glimpses into the world of a chatty little shell, the film’s real power comes from its forays into the absurdities of human existence. It makes its own insignificance a virtue, then uses that to slip us into an unexpectedly moving story. All of this could have been insufferable, but by never dwelling on any one aspect of Marcel’s existence for too long, Slate and Camp allow the picture to jump lightheartedly from mood to mood, observation to observation. (He may be a shell, but he’s not a snail.) He and grandma settle in once a week to watch 60 Minutes, especially any segment featuring Lesley Stahl. Not unlike the shorts, the feature gets a lot of mileage out of brief glimpses into Marcel’s miniature life and the ingenious ways he survives and entertains himself. He keeps a piece of lint on a leash as a pet. More Movie Reviews

There’s a Better Story The Black Phone Wishes It Could Tell

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Might Be a Hazard to Your Corneas

Cha Cha Real Smooth Grins and Goes Nowhere

See All

Tags: Slowly but surely, the film goes from being about Marcel to being about the rest of us. There were others like them, we learn, but they were separated when the human couple who used to live in the house split up and the man dumped the entire contents of his drawers into a suitcase and left. He nestles inside a tennis ball to get around the house.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Might Be a Hazard to Your Corneas

I liked it, though my corneas did feel a little crunchy afterward. The Colonel may not ever have access to it himself, but he recognizes it when he sees it and knows enough to mine it for all that it’s worth when he’s given the opportunity. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Formerly, she was the only critic at BuzzFeed News, the first TV editor at IndieWire, and the host of Filmspotting: SVU. Elvis is portrayed as the always-welcome friend and ally of the Black communities he lifts ideas from. There is no subject better suited to Luhrmann’s opulent, excessive stylings than Elvis Presley, which is as much a threat as a reassurance. Like someone who’s been told not to look directly at the sun during an eclipse, Elvis filters the story of its legendary subject through the diffusive lens of manager and Svengali Colonel Tom Parker, a carny turned music promoter who met Presley when the singer was 20 and who accompanied him on his rise to fame (taking a hefty cut in the process). That stint in Hollywood and Presley’s following career stagnation? The Colonel insists, on those occasions when the film thinks to return to him, that Elvis’s death wasn’t his fault but the fault of the audience who couldn’t get enough of him. We hear, at a certain point, that Elvis is fretting about his waistline, but while Elvis changes the singer’s style and hair choices with the times, it opts out of changing his body or face until the very end, as though it can’t bear it. There is one obvious reason for Luhrmann, who wrote the script with Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce, to begrudgingly have the Colonel narrate Elvis, which is that the device frees the film up from having to treat Elvis himself as flesh and blood. Consigned to a montage, while his ’68 comeback special takes up considerable screen time. Related

Baz Luhrmann Had 20 Minutes to Memorize Elvis Presley’s Bedroom

In Elvis, There’s No Business Like Baz-ness

Tags: Elvis is an exercise in consensual objectification — or maybe that’s just what idolization is. Instead, he’s more like a divine being who miraculously ended up among us mortals, which may be the Colonel’s perspective and seems to be Luhrmann’s as well. And you know what? The Critics Newsletter
Sign up to get New York’s week in reviews. The shot is electric with a secondhand lasciviousness — not lust so much as an appreciation of the lust that the screaming fans will soon exude. One of our first glimpses of the young performer, played by Austin Butler, is from behind, draped against some flotsam at a carnival like a country-boy odalisque, his beauty evident even from the partial view. Elvis meanders and mesmerizes not because it’s a great film about Presley but because it’s a fascinating one about the feeling of being at the side of greatness, trying to desperately harness yourself to it in some way with the understanding that you could at any time be left behind. They’re the faces of people who, as the Colonel puts it, were having feelings they weren’t sure they should be enjoying, and that look pops up again and again throughout the movie, not only with women, as though Elvis’s career were one long saga of sexual awakenings. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Butler, that Anaheim-born former teen star, is improbably, absurdly great at playing someone who’s more image than man. Luhrmann, who once had Nicole Kidman die of some delicately coughed up blood, is not afraid of clichés, and Elvis indulges in plenty, from the Colonel narrating from his hospital deathbed to the moment right out of Walk Hard when a bandmate holds out a pill he promises will “put the pep back in your step.” But the movie can’t be confined to formula and keeps spilling out beyond its borders to end up as something weirder. The Colonel, who Hanks plays with a zestful, geography-defying accent that’s downright Leto-like, ages, growing gray and liver-spotted, as though he and his client were in some kind of Dorian Gray arrangement. Alison Willmore is a film critic for New York magazine and Vulture. Who was director Baz Luhrmann kidding, pretending he wanted to ground his film in a character who, played by Tom Hanks in puddles of prosthetic jowls, squats toadlike on the wings? It’s not a very convincing claim, but it feels key to the melancholy running through the film, and that certainty in stardom as its own singular, magical resource. He’s that rare thing, the star that no one else sees as a star yet. He relaxes under the heat of the stage lights and the camera’s surveillance, leveling his heavy gaze and syrupy drawl at the crowds who gather to see him perform and at the audience, one level removed, sitting in the theater. And like someone who can’t help but turn their gaze upward anyway, even if it sears their retinas to crisps, Elvis forgets about its own framing for long stretches to just revel in slack-jawed awe at its version of the King. Inconvenient sections of its subject’s life, like his romancing the teenage Priscilla Beaulieu, are skimmed over, but then so are any parts that Luhrmann just doesn’t seem interested in. Accusations of appropriation? The first time we see Elvis perform, it’s in Shreveport for the radio show “Louisiana Hayride,” and the film cuts frenetically from his jittering hips to the expressions of some of the women in the audience, ecstatic, terrified, letting out the screams bubbling up inside them as though they were feeling the spirit. Elvis is bloated, hectic, ridiculous, and utterly shameless in all it glosses over to present its thesis on Presley as a talent too beautiful for this earth — the Christ of show business, sacrificed to our rapacious desires and the cruelties of capitalism at the age of 42. Photo: Warner Bros.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Tags:

Let’s Go to Provincetown (and 4 Other Podcasts Worth Checking Out)

(I’m far from alone, obviously.) Yet there’s a straightforwardness with which Persona pulls together the story of Gilbert Chikli that feels distinctly old-school. If you like one, you’re gonna love the other. Took me all of 15 minutes to regain my tropical gait, which wasn’t very hard to do when everything feels so moist all the time. Greetings from Malaysia. And that’s a wrap for 1.5x Speed. Shortly before the pandemic, Chikli, along with an accomplice, was sentenced by a French court to 11 years in jail for a money-making scheme that involved them impersonating a government minister using a silicone mask. Meanwhile …

➽ Looks like we now know where the Obamas are taking their audio business, post-Spotify: Audible! ➽ Fans of By the Book, in which hosts Kristen Meinzer and Jolenta Greenberg tangibly test out self-help books on their lives (and the lives of their respective families), should take note: The duo have a new project through Audible in which they transpose that approach onto the equally vibrant (and complicated) genre of romantic-advice books. She has, over the course of her career, exhibited a striking ability to balance the accessible and the experimental, and this new project continues the streak. That notion came to mind as I listened to the first few episodes of Persona: The French Deception, which offers a character study of Gilbert Chikli, a French-Israeli criminal said to be “one of the greatest con artists of all time,” responsible for extracting tens of millions of euros from corporations and billionaires over the years. Persona: The French Deception

A profile of the quintessential conman.Listen here. At this point, I must’ve spent a combined total of a hundred media-consumption hours — reading, watching, listening, IV-dripping — on stories concerning cons, scams, hoodwinks, deceptions, hoaxes, and other assorted antisocial chicanery. The first is to fulfill her assignment of documenting the lives of several individuals across a season in the Massachusetts seaside haven for the queer community. At the outset of a summer not long ago, Mitra Kaboli traveled to Provincetown with two aims in mind. Kaboli has also worked on ESPN’s 30 for 30 Podcast and the sports-media giant’s earlier narrative podcast endeavor, Dunkumentaries (which I adored). The other goal is of a more personal nature: She arrived in Provincetown with a wish, as she notes, to “unlock the secrets to growing old and gay.”

Welcome to Provincetown feels like a throwback, particularly when compared against the kinds of narrative podcasts that make up the bulk of new releases these days. Hope you enjoyed it. Edited by Joel Lovell. 1.5x Speed: A Weekly Newsletter of Podcast Recommendations and Reviews
Listening notes for the top shows, from Vulture’s critic Nick Quah. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. This article was featured in 1.5x Speed, New York’s podcast recommendation newsletter. (Relatedly, Le Roux is sometimes floated as a possible candidate for the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.)

There’s a good deal of connective tissue between Persona and The Mastermind. ➽ NPR’s Code Switch has named a new host: B.A. Parker, who was previously the co-host and lead producer on the previous iteration of The Cut’s podcast. Chikli portrayed himself as a federal agent; the bank manager was given the opportunity to believe she was serving her country. Photo-Illustration: Vulture

Hello, everyone. Home! There’s a unifying emotional architecture to a con: Whatever their personal history, the target, or mark, is often made to arrive at a place where they want to buy into the lie that’s being sold — whether it’s the promise of easy riches, of a life larger than their own, of a world where everything makes sense and they sit at the center of it. To set the scene, the opening sequence of Persona studiously describes a successful Chikli gambit on a French bank manager almost two decades ago, around whom he constructs an elaborate fiction involving a government operation to disrupt a terrorist plot. Henry Molofsky is the senior producer. ➽ Another entry worth noting in the steadily simmering subgenre of dating podcasts: Queen of Hearts, which features the drag queen Jujubee as host, and which sports more of a good ol’ blind-date game-show construction, complete with challenges. More 1.5x Speed

Let Draymond Green Podcast

Class Action, Newts, and 4 More Podcasts Worth Trying

Slow Burn, Stolen, and 3 More Podcasts Worth Trying

See All

Tags: Welcome to Provincetown

Summer of Soul(searching)Listen here. Persona is a scam story, but one told with a clinical eye. Persona is available on all platforms, but new episodes are available early with a paid Wondery subscription. Also produced by Sophie Bridges and Chris Knapp. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Executive producers are Jessica Alpert, John Perroti, Ben Riskin, Bianca Grimshaw, and Kameel Stanley. Welcome to Provincetown is available on all platforms. As always, you can reach me at nicholas.quah@nymag.com or find me on Twitter. It’s called Romance Road Test, and this first season will contain 16 episodes. In the end, she willfully handed over hundreds of thousands of euros. Not too long ago, and definitely dating back to before the pandemic, works like this could probably have been identifiable as its own tangible genre even by casual podcast listeners: personal, subjective, atmospheric, creatively adventurous, emotionally expansive. Produced by Kaboli and Emily Foreman. Executive producers are Jenna Weiss-Berman, Max Linsky, Morgan Jones, Marshall Lewy, and Erin O’Flaherty. Every scam is the same, even as every scam is different in their own way. The beats of that story feel so familiar, almost archetypical. Both also come from a very particular swashbuckling, globe-trotting strain of magazine journalism, not particularly common these days. Of a school, most definitely, with Radiotopia-affiliated shows like The Heart, Love+Radio, and Radio Diaries. She starts next month! ➽ The 11th, Pineapple Street’s experimental feed that houses one-off or limited-run projects, released an hour-long or so “cosmic audio drama” called “His Saturn Returns,” from a New Orleans-based writer-performer named Sai Sion. Sign up here to get it weekly. The series is hosted and reported by Evan Ratliff, one-third of the Longform podcast and the veteran magazine journalist behind 2019’s The Mastermind, an absolute barn burner of a nonfiction book about another elite criminal: Paul Le Roux, a programmer turned drug kingpin. We’re back next week, but in the meantime: Send podcast recommendations, feedback, or just say hello at nicholas.quah@vulture.com. Shit’s wild. Kaboli would construct a group portrait of sorts; among those she shadows were: a performer identified as the summer’s “It Girl”; three beneficiaries from a program designed to help relocate young people from communities that aren’t particularly welcoming of their queer identities; a newcomer to the town looking for some fun; and a newly divorced bear hoping to rebuild his life. Both are deep studies of criminal savants; Ratliff is obviously drawn to such characters, and the bulk of the two projects can be described as an extensive effort to really see who these men are. I shouldn’t bury the connection here: Kaboli, who leads and hosts Welcome to Provincetown, is an audio documentarian, sound designer, and artist once associated with The Heart, so there’s aesthetic genealogy to be traced. Anyway, a relatively quick one this week. Story editing by Gianna Palmer. Though his broader symbolism shifts, Persona fundamentally considers the guy as an unsavory operator who delights in the criminal thrill.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Money Heist: Korea Series-Premiere Recap: Welcome to K-Capitalism

The two Koreas set about forming a — wait for it — Joint Economic Area (JEA), where their common currency will be printed, the first step in merging the countries’ vastly different economies and political systems. I think the Money Heist writers are trolling us with this, but I don’t care, because it leads to Woo-jin delivering this burner: “It’s Sun because [the people who gossip about me] shrivel up and die when I smile at them.” I Tokyo has finished her military service and has moved to Seoul. While the viewer is actively encouraged to like defender-of-the-vulnerable Tokyo, we’re missing a focus for Tokyo’s emotional stakes. Tokyo’s first-episode arc, in particular, loses some tension. (Crash Landing on You would never.) The premiere flits superficially across the surface of this speculative-fiction setting without truly exploring its implications, but this heist has only just begun. • We’re told by Moo-hyuk that Woo-jin’s nickname is Sun, which is Kim Yunjin’s character’s name in Lost. I’m excited to see him bring his talent to this character and show. We’ll see if he can deliver. When he shows up amid the pink-purple lights of Seoul’s backstreets with an umbrella, the poncho-wearing Tokyo sees a savior. Politeness levels — informed by relative status, age, and intimacy between the speaker, the listener, and the person being discussed — are integral to the Korean language, so this is both necessary and probably awkward for native speakers. Taste! What could possibly go wrong? The character will be the on-site leader for the robbery as the Professor pulls the strings (and works on his meticulously crafted model of the JEA) from off-site. There’s also Berlin, who we’re told is North Korea’s most wanted man after escaping the Kaechon internment camp. Fast-forward to 2025. Berlin is played by Park Hae-soo, who demonstrated to international viewers his immense talent at playing morally complex antagonist types via Sang-woo in Squid Game. This is probably a smart choice, as at least a fraction of its audience will have watched La Casa de Papel, but it also makes for a less effective opening episode. Woo-jin is a woman juggling motherhood, a messy custody battle, and geopolitical power plays at the workplace. (Another character implies Tokyo is in love with the Professor, but I await further evidence.) This is a notable dynamic difference and one that could send the show in some very different directions. Our ragtag band of robbers attends the Professor’s Heist Summer Camp, at which they choose the same names as the cast of characters before them, though with some adaptation-specific reasoning: Former street fighter Denver, played by the magnificently maned Kim Ji-hoon, chooses his pseudonym because Rocky is his favorite movie and he knows the city is close to the Rocky Mountains. I wish Money Heist: Korea had a bit more narrative space and confidence to explore details like this. Finally, we have our hostages. Banknotes

• Four years ago, Asian Boss did a series of interviews with South Koreans on the streets of Seoul and a group of North Korean defectors in the studio to ask about the prospect of reunification. It says a lot about the chemistry of these two, and how much I already want good things for Woo-jin, that I am still hoping this somehow works out. One such worker is Yoon Mi-seon (Lee Joo-bin), a North Korean accountant and Young-min’s mistress who may or may not be pregnant with his child. The Professor is the hot barista who runs the place. In La Casa de Papel, the Professor doesn’t intentionally stumble into the lead negotiator’s life until the first day of the heist. If you’re interested in learning about how some of the people who would be most impacted by reunification feel about the issue, I recommend checking them out. Guys, it’s the Professor. When a loan shark attempts to rape Tokyo for daring to question their violent abuse of another woman, Tokyo fights back and begins a life of targeted crime as “the robber who only steals from bad people who prey on immigrants” — the Professor’s (Yoo Ji-tae) words, not mine. However, in this first episode, we are left feeling emotionally distant from our narrator once the prologue fades and the heist begins. He shields a suicidal Tokyo from the rain and promises her a future with greater purpose. But the Korean capital is not like it is in the K-dramas — especially not for North Korean immigrants, who are increasingly being taken advantage of and discriminated against in a South Korea flooded by North Korean workers looking for a better life. BTS bops and neon-noir vengeance define the first ten minutes of Money Heist: Korea, which is tonally distinct from not only La Casa de Papel but the rest of this episode. • Those red jumpsuits just don’t quit, do they? You know who we aren’t emotionally distant from? Like its unwieldy name, Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area could use some trimming, but I’d rather an adaptation premiere that goes too far out of its way to make a case for its existence than the alternative. Tokyo chooses the Japanese capital because “We’re going to do a bad thing.” (Japan has invaded Korea multiple times, including a brutal 20th-century occupation of the country from 1910 to 1945 that still informs the two countries’ geopolitical relationship, depicted in Pachinko.) In another culturally specific moment, the Professor mentions that, in order to maintain anonymity, the group members will use casual language with one another. I am obsessed with how she types, hunting and pecking as she loudly ignores intimidation attempts from Captain Cha Moo-hyuk (Kim Sung-oh), a former special agent and the North Korean representative on the hostage-negotiation team. An extended prologue follows a character we will know as Tokyo (Jeon Jong-seo), a university student living in Pyongyang with seemingly not a care in the world other than how she will get her hands on the next Bangtan comeback (same, friend). Money Heist: Korea
Episode 1

Season 1

Episode 1

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

Previous
Next»

«
Previous Episode

Next Episode

»

Photo: Netflix

Fans love asking the question “Why remake a popular show when people can just watch the original?” and then looking for an answer other than “Money.” But all TV shows are made to make money, so I’m not one to hold that against a series — especially one that’s trying as hard as Money Heist: Korea is in this premiere, which spends the first ten minutes of its 77-minute run time working to convince us how different it is from its Spanish-language source material, La Casa de Papel, to partial success. From the gaggle of school children who are on a field trip when the heist breaks out, there’s the haughty, English-fluent teen Ann (Lee Si-woo), who is still pissed that her father is making her attend school in Korea. Her escape from all of these responsibilities is (1) smoking and (2) a café and the hot barista who runs the place. In Money Heist: Korea, however, Rio and Tokyo have neither a romantic nor a sexual relationship. In La Casa de Papel, we are told Tokyo lost her lover in a previous heist, which is why her intense response to her current lover Rio’s apparent injury in the first episode is both understandable and affecting. But Money Heist: Korea says, “Hold my maekju.” They double down on the icky implications and messy complications of this relationship and have the Professor having dated Woo-jin for two months before the heist even begins. Those themes are here too, but this series has added another incredibly ambitious layer: the promise of reunification for the two countries of the Korean Peninsula. While Tokyo is serving in the Korean People’s Army, the war between North Korea and South Korea comes to an end, 70 years after the initial armistice. From there, the premiere whiplashes us through the next decade of Tokyo’s life and this near future’s history. I hope Money Heist: Korea leans further into its unique setting in coming episodes. Representing the Mint, we have South Korean director Cho Young-min (Park Myung-hoon), who watches porn instead of doing his job and attacks workers with his lips and grabby hands. The rest of the team is rounded out by Denver’s miner dad, Moscow (Lee Won-jong); diamond-loving counterfeiter Nairobi (Jang Yoon-ju); naïve hacker Rio (Lee Hyun-woo); and professional muscle duo Helsinki (Kim Ji-hun) and Oslo (Lee Kyu-ho). Compared to the original, Money Heist: Korea broadcasts how this heist subverts genre expectations much sooner — namely, in the Professor’s partially political motivations for the crime and in how these initial stages of the robbery are really about buying time in order to print money. From here, Money Heist: Korea follows the same broad story and character beats as La Casa de Papel (called Money Heist for English-speaking audiences), with a few changes that could ripple out into a much different story but feel minor here. Negotiator Seon Woo-jin, played by Lost baller Kim Yunjin. In La Casa de Papel, the stakes were challenging capitalism’s inherent inequality — an evergreen topic! I intend to spend less time in future recaps talking about the differences between La Casa de Papel and Money Heist: Korea, as this show needs to succeed or fail on its own merits, but as this premiere seems so interested in proving its purpose for existing past “money,” I decided to meet it where it’s at.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Evan Rachel Wood Previews Her Madonna-pression for Upcoming Weird Al Biopic

What’s truly important is that (allegedly) Julia Garner knows what she’s up against. This is important, of course, because she will be starring as Madonna in the upcoming Weird Al biopic, Weird, which also stars Daniel Radcliffe in the titular role. We’d seen images of ERW all dressed up in Madonna getup, but this was the first prolonged look we’ve gotten at the voice, and, honestly, she sounds pretty good! Photo: The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

In the second most interesting Madonna news of the day, Evan Rachel Wood showed off her Madonna impression on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night. The bar is lower for a Weird Al biopic than it would be for something like … an upcoming Madonna movie that nobody’s talking about, but she gets the early-’80s nasal quality just right. 👀 Evan Rachel Wood is MADONNA https://t.co/t8uEMituGx pic.twitter.com/sEhDqANUe4— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) March 2, 2022

While on Fallon, ERW started with a vocal impression before being prompted by Fallon to do a musical impression to “Material Girl.” ERW then did not only a Madonna impression, but also provided an Alanis and a Janis Joplin impression as well. Related

Julia Garner Must Be the Lucky Star Who’ll Play Madonna

Madame X Is a Movie Star in Madonna Tour Film Trailer

The Oral History of Madonna’s Truth or Dare

Tags:

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

You Should Watch The Bear’s Finale First

Like, literally hungry for food. At a time when religious observation is at a historic low, streaming allows you to play God. Everything is a mess. Photo: Matt Dinerstein/FX

The business and artistic benefits of the “all episodes available at once” arrangement have been debated ever since Netflix gave us the opportunity to gorge ourselves on the onetime pleasure of Kevin Spacey talking directly at you. They thought it was good and it made them hungry. Yes, there is the creator’s vision of how the story should unfold, but it speaks to the series’ episodic craftsmanship that you can watch any installment at any point and feel like you’re getting a better understanding of the characters and their world. It’s like if Uncut Gems was set entirely in the trunk of Howard’s car. So, Gods, may I offer you the option of starting FX on Hulu’s The Bear with its finale if you’d like to watch the series definitively as a comedy. (If you are reading this, FX PR, please order your screeners in ascending, not descending, order.) A finale makes for a very weird pilot, but there is an introductory quality to a monologue a lead character gives in its opening moments and essential exposition in a conversation another lead character has about their background in food. Then, at the very end, something happens that I will not spoil. Knowing what I know, it plays as a hilarious irony. These last five minutes also provide information that fully changes the pilot. The cuts are fast and sharp. So, as of today, you will have all the episodes in front of you. I know how perfectly insulting it is for a chef with Carmy’s pedigree to be compared to TV’s most famous squirt-bottle-sauce dispenser, but I also know the context of Carmy and Richie’s relationship, and more importantly, where it ends up. If you don’t want any more information, please stop reading right now. Just a frantic close-up of Carmy dicing celery as he says, “Don’t call me Bobby Flay.” I laughed out loud. I found it funny. Again, I won’t spoil what happens, but from now on I will be discussing how the ending makes the viewer feel and how that influences the show. The beef shipment is late and wrong. (Or watch the whole season again: You’ll notice they’ve peppered allusions to the end throughout.)

Whether my co-workers found The Bear funny or stressful, all agreed they liked the show. The pilot drops you in on the restaurant’s chaos, with everyone being disrespectful if not downright hostile toward each other. And hungry for more episodes or to rewatch the episodes they’ve already seen. It’s one small thing and he is right there. Crucially, at the very end of the first episode, Carmy does not do something that would’ve changed everything for the character and the restaurant. People are screaming “Behind!” “Corner!” “Hands!” “Fire!” There is, literally, fire and so much bubbling, scalding liquid. It is a comedic ending in an almost Shakespearian sense, as two characters embark on a professional marriage of sorts. Knowing for certain that things work out for this ragtag group of Original Beef of Chicagoland employees radically changes how the series plays from the top. For days over Slack, Vulture employees have been debating whether The Bear is a comedy or a drama, a comedic drama or a dramatic comedy, or potentially post-comedy. The deceased brother’s best friend and employee, Richie (played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach, giving one the best, most natural performances on TV), hates everything about the world changing around him and calls Carmy “Bobby Flay” in response to his attempts to change the Beef’s operating “system.” There’s no break in the music or a reaction shot, nothing to suggest this is a joke. Related

The Bear Never Stops Moving

Tags: It will not be unlike when you order delivery and what was once an appetizer, entrée, and dessert are now all presented at the same time. LAST WARNING. There is a comedy theory called “benign violation” that suggests that for someone to find a joke funny, it needs to violate some sort of expectation, belief, or taboo, and that violation has to be perceived as not threatening. Many of my co-workers found these early episodes stressful. You can eat the dessert first if you think it will make the whole meal sweeter. I did this by accident. So much so that if you decide to watch the series in chronological order, I suggest you go back and watch the last five to ten minutes of the pilot after completing the finale. It would prevent all the conflict and most of the heartache that takes place for most of the season. Violation plus benign. Just know what was apparently the cliffhanger for season two plays like an inciting incident for a television series. It’s your binge. I promise you will find it funny. The show itself doesn’t offer easy answers in its first season until arguably the last five minutes of the finale. I found it fun. The opening riff of Refused’s “New Noise” is playing. In the pilot, Carmy (played by a simmering, inward Jeremy Allen White), the former chef de cuisine of the best restaurant in the country, has returned to run his deceased brother’s Chicago Italian beef shop. Some considered quitting the show if it weren’t for the effusiveness of those of us who kept with it. But really, there are no rules. Ironically, the knives are dull and they’re everywhere. Watching the finale first makes The Bear’s opening episodes feel less threatening.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The Highs, Lows, and Whoas of the Las Culturistas Culture Awards

The winner was Fish, Comma, All, accepted by Tomás Matos holding a bubble gun. And 2022 has been a landmark year for the Las Culturistas hosts. Jackson’s triumphant win for A Strange Loop and Jennifer Hudson’s EGOT. This simply would not stand with fellow nominee Jan from RuPaul’s Drag Race, so she stormed the stage and performed a lip sync to “Beautiful,” ending, of course, with Xtina’s “Moves Like Jagger” verse. For those who couldn’t attend, Vulture presents the first inaugural “Highs, Lows, and Whoas of the Las Culturistas Culture Awards.”

Photo: Sachyn Mital

HIGH: “Cool for the Summer”As with any awards show worth its salt, the Culture Awards began with a musical number, with Rogers and Yang giving a high-spirited performance of their “Global Songbook” No. Dressed not unlike the Morton Salt girl, Escola accepted on behalf of “every actor in the whole world, including the moon!” 

Photo: Sachyn Mital

WHOA: Jan coming in on this bitch mad as hellRogers and Yang presented the Xtina Aguilera Award for Coming In on This Bitch Mad As Hell to Erin Brockovich When Fired by Ed Masry. HIGH: C#5Jo Firestone introduced the next award of the evening, Best Note Ever Sung. All three nominees were performed by Bonnie Milligan and Natalie Walker, accompanied by the band, including the very high note known as C5. They should all be dreamed up by queer Vulture-approved comedians! Not only was this the first of many live musical performances, but it set up a recurring theme of the hosts coming down into the audience to sing and dance, like in Cats or those puppets in The Lion King. Photo: Sachyn Mital

HIGH: Julio Torres presents the MacarenaWhy? Photo: Sachyn Mital

LOW: In memoriam A reel of “moments that slayed from 2021,” set to a remix of Wendy Williams saying “Death to all of them!” reminded us of bitter losses, beginning with Meghan McCain’s departure from The View. The hosts issued a correction and unsnubbed Jan. It wasn’t Wendy Williams (despite her many nominations and her Tina Turner Legend Award win). No need for self-effacement. HIGH: Lisa Kudrow accepts the award for Best FriendMother sent a video! They should all have delightful banter and original bits! Assembling a real rogue’s gallery of queer comedy names, the show was both a highly influential and valid awards ceremony in its own right and a sort of beautiful utopian vision of the heights other awards shows could reach if they stopped getting in their own way. The audience was primed for a Katy Perry–JKB–style switcheroo when Swift won the Best Taylor Swift award for the Baking of Cookies and was delighted with a video of Swift addressing the hosts while taking cookies out of the oven. LOW: The alto part on “All I Want for Christmas Is You”Nothing says Lincoln Center’s Summer for the City like a Christmas sing-along. It’s summer break until the Emmys. WHOA: Taylor Swift filmed her acceptance speeches! WHOA: Four-part harmoniesRogers and Yang began a duet of “drivers license,” which was already beautiful but went over the edge when Josh Sharp and Jackson emerged after the first chorus wearing capes and turned the whole thing into an Il Divo moment. LOW: Selling themselves shortIn the opening monologue, Rogers said they hope to “install this as an awards show that’s taken at least as seriously as the Golden Globes.” We live in a post-Nanette world! More awards shows should do this! You get to exhale now, nerds. I’m not sure. Photo: Sachyn Mital

Unless you’re particularly invested in the Daytime Emmys (besides the riveting Best Talk-Show Host smackdown between Kelly Clarkson and Drew Barrymore). On Saturday, June 18, an audience of 2,500 culture appreciators gathered at Lincoln Center to honor the best and brightest in film, television, music, Housewives, comedy, travel, trends, gays, food, friendship, and the animal kingdom (both literal animals and the Disney theme park). Pat Regan followed with a reference to not being cast in Fire Island. It was Orlando, Florida, which had a category sweep with eight wins, three of those for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The show was conceived and hosted by Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang to honor six years of their podcast, Las Culturistas, a time span that has seen the comedians go from Brooklyn comedy-scene favorites commenting on pop culture to honest-to-goodness pop-culture fixtures. WHOA: The audience knew the tune to “Drive Back,” by Candiace from RHOPThe final award of the night, Record of the Year, went to Candiace from The Real Housewives of Potomac for “Drive Back,” leading to the final sing-along in an evening full of them. More things should be silly in this very way. HIGH: Cole Escola accepts the award for Most Amazing Impact in Film on behalf of the category’s winner, Actors Actors beat out fellow nominees Steven Spielberg and Music & Score in Film. The Culture Awards concept has been in the works since April of last year, and the final production was a spectacular payoff for longtime listeners. Related

Will Ferrell Is Making a New Podcast With Bowen Yang and Matt Rogers

Tags: Prop comedy lives! Best Neighborhood, New York, went to Fort Greene, by the way.]

HIGH: No one got played off by the bandThe respect! Photo: Sachyn Mital

HIGH: Aaron Jackson’s historic winJackson won the Best “I Don’t Think So, Honey” of All Time award and celebrated with a crowd recital of the text: “Going to Church on Sunday and Wednesday?”

LOW: Whales snubbedFire Island hotties Conrad Ricamora, James Scully, and Zane Phillips presented the award for Best Animal in the Sea, a category that demanded Ricamora’s gravitas. Then Swift sent another video to accept the Best Tayla Swiff award for Performance of “Wildest Dreams” in “Enchanted” Mash-up. LOW: Katy Perry could not accept her award in personHannah Einbinder announced the Joy Behar Award for Stand-up Comedy recipient and rolled the losers’ pretaped acceptance speeches. At least they tied for the Funniest Gay Man award. It wasn’t comedy (although it was also that). Walker did her viral alto part, and she and Milligan closed the song with a kiss. -Biggest Flop: Seaworld-Most Iconic Building or Structure: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios-Most Relaxing Destination: Disney’s Animal Kingdom-Best Disney World Ride: Expedition Everest-Best Universal Studios Orlando Ride: Revenge of the Mummy-Six Flags Award for Worst Ride in Orlando: This is a show, but Hall of Presidents-The National Park Award for Nature: The Tree of Life, Disney’s Animal Kingdom-Best Neighborhood, Los Angeles: Universal CityWalk [Note: I know this isn’t Orlando, but it is Orlando in spirit, its sister city being Universal CityWalk Orlando. The deserving winner was “Look” From “Look to the Western Sky” From “Defying Gravity.” They gave a beautiful performance. This was like a big commencement ceremony for people you saw for the first time at the Bell House five years ago. The men were disappointed because their favorite creature of the deep is the whale, but the whale wasn’t nominated. They should all have SNL writer Celeste Yim hand Aidy Bryant one-word note cards individually and have Bryant be totally taken by surprise by what’s on them. LOW: The statuettes are too heavy for Miss Culturista, Patti HarrisonJust as the Golden Globes appoint a “Miss Golden Globes” to hand winners their hardware, so too did Rogers and Yang appoint Patti Harrison their Miss Culturista; she opened the show by complaining that the awards were “heavier than anyone told me they would ever be.” Partway through the show, Harrison revealed that she hasn’t had much muscle mass since “the accident” (we never learned what this was), and by the end of the night, she was dragging the award across the stage on a tarp. But Torres gave a speech “to honor the 1990s dance phenomenon,” then Rogers and Yang shaked their tushies and led the crowd in a mass Macarena. (Album of the Year went to 2017’s Reputation.)

HIGH: Disney’s Animal Kingdom sweepThe winner of the night was unexpected. 1 hit, Demi Lovato’s “Cool for the Summer,” backed by a live onstage band. In sum: all of culture. Joel Kim Booster pointed to the heavens and thanked Behar, saying, “I miss you, and I can’t wait to die so I can —” (the rest was drowned out by audience laughter). Last month, they celebrated the podcast’s 300th episode with a “Great Global Songbook” countdown, and earlier this June, Yang and Rogers co-starred in Hulu’s Fire Island alongside friend of the pod and screenwriter Joel Kim Booster. The micro-generation of queer comedians who gathered for this show is really shaping culture for the better, the goofier, and the goopier, and it brings a tear to mine eye. HIGH: Silliness Best Animal on the Farm went to Chickens of the Coop, Best Video-Game Moment went to When Bowser Arrives, and Best Flavor of Them All went to Tasty. It was giving cult. 📹 | Taylor Swift recorded an acceptance speech for the ‘Tayla Swiff’ award at the @LasCulturistas Culture Awards #LCCAs pic.twitter.com/vvoLQEcdBa— Taylor Swift News 🧣 (@TSwiftNZ) June 19, 2022

HIGH: Presenter banterThis is how all awards shows should be! These were both wonderful and gratifying, but the Tonys were only the penultimate event, the obscure guild precursor awards for what this year’s awards circuit has been building up to: The Las Culturistas Culture Awards. Rogers has been a standout on one of the best comedies of the year, Showtime’s I Love That for You, while Yang has had his fair share of experience at lesser, but still notable, awards shows, presenting at the Tonys and Emmys and earning two nominations at the latter (one for writing, one for acting) for Saturday Night Live. LOW: Lemon Spindrift wins Best Seltzer Flavor I heard boos. And for one night, the Lincoln Center was elevated into something even greater: the clown square. You might have thought the season came to a close with the Tonys, which culminated in Michael R. Photo: Sachyn Mital

HIGH: The assemblage of talent!

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

HBO Max Is Doing Well — So Of Course Changes Are Coming

With new Warner Bros. Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage

So far, Zaslav and his team have made only one definitive pronouncement about the future of the service: HBO Max and Discovery+ will be folded into a single unified app at some point (relatively) soon, once the not-inconsiderable technical challenges can be figured out (there’s a lot of content on Discovery) and the company decides how much more, if anything, to charge for the supersized service. David Zaslav. “It should always have been HBO+,” he said, predicting the current “Max” moniker “will not last.”

As interesting as the pro-name change argument may be, Zaslav may ultimately decide it’s not worth the investment in time and resources to make what is at the core a cosmetic change. Discovery producer (and former exec) I spoke with thinks a rebranding would let Zaslav fix a big AT&T mistake. and elsewhere) for whom 90 Day Fiancé is a bigger draw than Succession. Last year, former WarnerMedia boss Jason Kilar announced an ambitious plan to have Warner Bros. Photo-Illustration: Vulture. But I’ve talked to industry insiders who say it’s now an open question whether Zaslav wants to keep soaking millions into expensive movies that never see the inside of a cinema. Subscriber numbers are way up, its content is connecting with audiences (and awards voters), and even its initially buggy user interface has been vastly improved. One non-Warner Bros. ➽ Does Discovery take over HBO Max’s unscripted unit? One of them — a remake of Father of the Bride — debuted last week. A rep for the studio declined comment. Pictures making movies directly for Max, though it’s possible the studio could still make the same number of films in total: They’d just play in theaters before jumping to streaming. This story first ran in Buffering, Vulture’s newsletter about the streaming industry. That would effectively end the idea of Warner Bros. And while it’s too soon to say how critics and audiences will react, the August arrival of House of the Dragon promises to revive at least a little bit of that Game of Thrones magic. But as Puck also noted, those staffers are likely right to be worried. Insider’s Elaine Low last month reported on industry speculation that top unscripted execs on the Warners side could be headed for the exits soon, while last week Puck News noted that Max unscripted staffers — the folks behind titles such as Legendary and FBoy Island — were convinced layoffs were going to be announced last Friday even though there were no such announcements planned. An HBO Max spokeswoman declined comment. Given Discovery’s expertise on the unscripted front, industry insiders I spoke with this week tell me it’s possible Team Zaslav might decide to just eliminate the HBO Max reality-show division altogether, while continuing to fund the separate (and highly decorated) documentaries unit. Discovery producer (and former exec) I spoke with thinks a rebranding would let Zaslav fix a big AT&T mistake, though he actually argues for a slightly less dramatic change to the name. But as long as the streamer’s core content pipeline remains strong, and subscriber growth stays steady, it seems likely all the changes (and rumors about changes) swirling around HBO Max will end up being remembered as little more than background noise. We got the first hint of this philosophy last month when news broke that the exec had decided to scrap an already-announced Max feature film based on DC’s Wonder Twins characters. Head to vulture.com/buffering and subscribe today! Or he could simply decide that, moving forward, those same titles now deemed “Max Originals” will get at least some form of theatrical release, even if box-office expectations are modest. Speculation about a name change has been going on almost from the minute Max was announced. Discovery’s programming expertise is unscripted television, and with so many Discovery-branded reality shows headed to Max as part of the plan to unite the apps, there has been talk about big cuts to Max’s unscripted team for months. Lots of very talented execs have already been pushed out the door, ambitious film and TV projects have been scrapped, and an entire streaming platform (RIP, CNN+) was shut down days into existence. Discovery execs, there’s once again talk that the HBO Max name may not be long for this world. THR reported the move was made because Zaslav doesn’t want any DC films to debut without making a stop in theaters, and that the other movies on the Made for Max slate should now come in with a budget under $35 million. While this is probably lower down on the priority list for Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav already moving fast to put his stamp on his newly supersized company, industry insiders are buzzing about big changes being contemplated at the streamer, ranging from the elimination of entire program departments to even ditching the HBO Max branding altogether. Beyond that, everything else is speculation — though as usual in Hollywood, that’s not keeping folks from chattering about what may be in store on several fronts:

➽ Will Warner Bros. The 11 months it took for federal regulators to approve the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery gave Zaslav and top lieutenant JB Perrette (now head of global streaming at the company) nearly a year to contemplate how they wanted to do things. Likewise, in terms of Max original movies, THR’s reporting indicates those titles with lower budgets and already in the pipeline will probably be fine. While this would fly against current conventional wisdom in the film business that there’s no longer room for “smaller” films in cinemas, “Zaslav is very much a believer in theatrical windows,” one industry source told me. Even before the streaming era, HBO has gone through periods where things have seemed a bit bumpy and observers have questioned its future (remember all those stories declaring the network toast after The Sopranos and Sex and the City signed off?) It is possible that after a year of non-stop momentum, HBO Max could be in for a little bit of turbulence as new owners step into the cockpit and adjust the service’s flight plan. (In much of Europe, for instance, HBO programs have long aired under the Sky TV banner.) CNBC’s Alex Sherman has been all over this internal debate, documenting dissatisfaction with the branding back in December 2020 and then again last October, when he reported that those same anti-Max dissidents were getting ready to lobby Zaslav to ditch the name for something else once he took over. Pictures produce at least ten big feature films directly for Max. What also seems unlikely to change much is the HBO Max content team run by network vet Casey Bloys, which as noted earlier has been on fire of late. And as for the other possible changes at Max discussed in this week’s newsletter, it is worth repeating: This is speculation. ➽ A name change? Related

Netflix Just Laid Off Twice As Much Staff As It Did Last Month

Maybe Bob Chapek Was Right

TV’s Spring Avalanche Wasn’t Good for Anyone

Tags: If so, that would be win-win for the film studio (it’s still making movies) and the streaming side (they’re still getting movies which will be brand new to the vast majority of subscribers). keep making movies just for Max? So while there are strong hints that some layoffs are all but certain to hit Max’s reality-TV team, they could end up being less dramatic than what some in the reality-TV community fear. But while success usually brings stability in business, the second half of the year will likely be anything but stable for HBO Max. Still, one industry insider tells me there’s a broader debate going on inside the company about whether even lower-budget films like Father of the Bride might benefit from having a brief theatrical run, particularly since all Warner movies now come to Max roughly 45 days after opening in moviehouses. Many folks inside the pre-merger company worried not only about diluting the HBO brand but more importantly were concerned that HBO had very little resonance for audiences outside of the U.S. One non-Warner Bros. This time, as Sherman noted, the justification for a switcheroo is that with all the new Discovery content coming to the platform, “HBO Max” doesn’t offer the best description of what the service offered consumers. Zaslav may decide to keep having his movie studio produce a slate of cost-conscious films exclusive to Max. HBO-produced shows would still be branded as such on the app, of course, but the marketing for the platform would then treat HBO shows as simply one planet in a bigger content universe. Discover execs, very little final has been decided beyond combining HBO Max and Discovery+. If you’ve been paying even a little bit of attention the last few months to the reporting surrounding the Zaslav-led Discovery takeover of the former WarnerMedia, nothing about the notion of significant disruption at any division within the company will come as a surprise. Industry insiders say it’s an open question whether Zaslav wants to keep soaking millions into expensive movies that never see the inside of a cinema. The fact that things are (mostly) going swimmingly at HBO Max isn’t going to stop them from executing his vision for how to build on whatever success the streamer has had to date, as well as fix any mistakes he thinks were made by former owners AT&T. This year has also seen the launch of several hits, including Winning Time, The Gilded Age, Julia, Our Flag Means Death, and Peacekeeper. Don’t worry, there will still be dragons. According to multiple sources familiar with the thinking of Warner Bros. A new ID would thus provide an opening to reach the millions of consumers (both in the U.S. Photo: HBO Max

As much as this has been the year from hell for Netflix, 2022 up until now has been nothing short of heavenly for rival HBO Max. Headed into next month’s Emmy nominations, the combo of HBO and HBO Max is the favorite to score the most number of noms, having just cleaned up in the just-announced TCA Awards nominations.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The Bear Series-Premiere Recap: Ballbreaker

All rights reserved. Let’s all just grab our favorite Italian beef — be it wet, dipped, or dry — grab a seat at the counter, and enjoy the ride. Restaurants invite intrigue and drama — people work long hours, they date (generally ill-advisedly), and businesses can go bust in the wake of one bad review. Episode one, “System,” is really just about establishing the vibe and drama of The Bear, and it does a good job. (We don’t know how yet, but it doesn’t look good.) He’s worked at Noma in Denmark and nabbed a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef, but in the eyes of his asshole cousin/restaurant manager Richie (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), he’s just a little shit who’s running the business into the ground. Set in a worn-down Chicago beef restaurant cleverly named The Original Beef Of Chicagoland, The Bear tells the story of a greasy-haired superstar chef, Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto (White), who’s come home to take over the family business after his older brother passed away. In the run-up to The Bear — Jeremy Allen White’s new FX series about a star chef struggling to revamp his family’s Italian beef spot in Chicago — many TV critics have been wondering why there aren’t more shows about restaurants. Some Chicagoans certainly do talk like Richie, but others turn phrases like Tina or Marcus, and I love that the show represents the diversity of that dialect. It’s a good question, considering how many shows have been made about offices, radio stations, schools, stores, and whatever else. I love restaurants and I love TV, and hopefully The Bear will be the perfect marriage of the two. Having spent over a decade in the city personally, I’ll say that I’m of the firm belief that if word got out that a James Beard Award–winning chef was running an Italian Beef stand that the restaurant would have no problem paying bills, even if he was just whipping out what he considered to be sub-par spaghetti. TV shows set in restaurants tend to try and cast hot, young people, all too clean, too quirky. Still, I can’t be mad at a well-placed “Via Chicago,” because who could? Tags: Small Bites

• I’m thrilled to be recapping The Bear for Vulture not just because I lived in Chicago for so long but because I actually grew up in a restaurant household, with a mom who wrote about food, a dad who was a former waiter, and grandparents who owned a steakhouse for half a century. On the day we step into The Bear, Ayo Edebiri’s Sydney has just started staging, which basically amounts to an unpaid internship. The people who deliver meat or work flattop grills all day just because they love it are capital-c Characters, but you have to learn to love them. I would argue that it’s not just that Hollywood has never gotten the show right, but that it’s never gotten the actual industry right. There are other people on staff at the Original Beef, including Lionel Boyce’s Marcus the baker, Liza Colón-Zayas’s line cook Tina, and real-life chef Matty “Munchies” Matheson, who plays a fix-it man that seemingly gets paid in sandwiches. All will hopefully be revealed shortly, especially since FX is dropping the entire first season at once. Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Kitchens are sweaty, stinky places full of odd characters, singular passions, and semi-greasy floors. What happened to Carmy’s brother, and will The Original Beef survive? And yet TV has never really gotten the restaurant show right. Straight out of the gate with episode one, it’s clear that The Bear gets all of that. • One more minor asshole-ish quibble: It is actually possible to make a TV show in Chicago and not use a Wilco song in the pilot, but you wouldn’t know that from The Bear. I could say that I don’t love that Richie shot a gun straight into the air before he berated a bunch of nerds who were just there to play an obscure video game, Ballbreaker, but honestly, living in Chicago, I heard more than a few guns shot straight up into the air after big sports wins and on holidays, so, really, it all checks out. If “System” is any indication of where The Bear is going, it’s going to be a fast, gritty, and thrilling ride, and I can’t wait to see what happens. The Bear
System

Season 1

Episode 1

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

Photo: Copyright 2022, FX Networks. You leave its tight 27 minutes with more questions than you entered with, and you want to stick around to find out the answers. Because Richie is an asshole. Some critics have decried the fact that only Richie seems to be doing “a Chicago accent,” but I’ll say that I didn’t find that to be much of a problem, especially considering that the vast majority of Chicago’s residents don’t actually speak with the “Da Bears” type affect that outsiders have come to associate with the city. There are minor quibbles to be had, especially if you know anything about Chicago restaurant culture. Restaurant lifers can be weirdos. Abby Elliott makes a brief appearance as Carmy’s sister Natalie, a.k.a. What bug has taken up residence in Richie’s ass, and does Sydney have what it takes to survive the gritty, dirty reality of life in a Chicago neighborhood spot? To do a restaurant show right, you have to actually feel that intensity — to know that there are unspoken rules and roles and that the very best chefs are not just very talented but also very driven. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Sugar, and the show’s creator and showrunner is Chris Storer, who’s best known for directing another very good TV series, Ramy. She’s Culinary Institute of America-trained and has worked at Chicago hotspots Alinea, Avec, and (weirdly, if you know the city) Smoque, but she admires Carmy, who she says was “the CDC (chef de cuisine) at the most excellent restaurant in America.” She always admired The Original Beef, which she says was her dad’s favorite restaurant. Did we mention that Richie is an asshole?

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Ezra Miller Accused of Housing Children in Unsafe Conditions

When the father called Vermont’s Department of Children and Families for a wellness check, the organization said nothing was wrong, according to text messages reviewed by the site. He says that he’s been trying to pick up his children since April, and he learned about the unsafe conditions in mid-May. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

Ezra Miller’s quirky 96-acre Vermont hideaway appears less idyllic by the hour. According to Instagram posts reviewed by the site, the mother and children — who remain anonymous — appear to still be living at the Vermont farm. Local sources tell Rolling Stone that the mother and children have been reportedly living at the Stamford, Vermont, property since mid-April. They also allege that there has been homegrown-marijuana use around the children that hasn’t been properly ventilated. The two sources say they’re concerned with the living arrangements because Miller’s home has unattended guns strewn across the living room, while there are mature marijuana plants growing on the property. Rolling Stone asked why the father has not confronted Miller or gone to the police. I just want them to see that, ‘Hey [Dad] showed up, let’s get in the car and go.’ It’s been traumatic enough,” he says. Ezra Miller. Sources claim that there are as many as eight assault weapons, rifles, and handguns strewn about the home. The marijuana allegedly grown on the property exceeds the limit for unlicensed cultivation, Rolling Stone confirmed with Vermont’s Cannabis Control Board. The children’s father alleges that Miller flew the mother and children out to Vermont without his knowledge. On Thursday, a Rolling Stone investigation revealed that a 25-year-old woman and her three children — age 1 to 5 — have been living at The Flash actor’s Vermont farm in a roommate situation that worries the children’s father, as well as two sources close to the situation. Vulture has reached out to Miller for comment but did not hear back by time of publishing. The father was not able to speak or see his children before their departure, he claims. The mother allegedly met Miller during one of their eventful trips to Hilo, Hawaii, in March. Sources

Rolling Stone

Related

The Complete History of Ezra Miller’s Controversial Career

The Flash’s Ezra Miller Arrested For Second Degree Assault

Hawaii Couple Allegedly Menaced by Ezra Miller Drop Restraining Order

Tags: “I don’t want [the children] to see anything like that. Miller’s friend Whitney Suters has claimed that he and Miller run a weed company together — Rebel Alliance Cannabis. According to one of the sources, the 1-year-old child allegedly played with a loose bullet and placed it in her mouth.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Dario Argento on Acting for Gaspar Noé, Witchcraft, and Directing Chimpanzees

Something that belongs to you. Argento wrote film criticism as a columnist for the Roman newspaper Paese Sera. We were shooting a scene near a forest and the chimp escaped. But he spent the entire day at my house. I spoke to the chimpanzee in Italian when I was preparing for a scene where the chimp has to peer through Venetian blinds. Suspiria was made in 1977 and Inferno followed soon after in 1980 while Mother of Tears was produced much later in 2007. That’s the kind of alchemy that a film should have, and Inferno’s a very alchemical film. Was that scene shot before you ran into trouble later on…or was that just really good acting?That was the last scene we shot, which, in hindsight, was kind of risky. I want the humor in my movies to be like that, kind of classy. We went to Germany, Switzerland, France, and Belgium, looking for historic examples. That’s the secret of the film. Magherini gave us some Freudian insights into scenes like that, as well as Anna’s behavior. We talked with Magherini about how she, as a psycho-analyst, understood scenes from our movie. The third film, Mother of Tears, is a very violent film because the witches in that movie are more ferocious and more numerous than they were in the previous movies. He must not be overwhelming, he must simply understand the character deep into his soul.”

Towards the end of Deep Red, jazz musician and red herring suspect Carlo (Gabriele Lavia) is accidentally killed by inattentive sanitation workers after Carlo’s ankle gets caught by a hook-like attachment dangling from the garbagemen’s truck. From Variety when Dark Glasses played at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival: “the motherly relationship with the child […] pushed me to make a better film.”

Brazilian photographer Elda Luxardo. And then the film belongs to them as well, since they’re putting an important part of themselves into it. Viale Trastevere 154 00153 ROMA
Tel e fax 06/97606876 – 06/97610375

You got great results from another very particular animal performer in Phenomena: Tanga the chimpanzee. I don’t know if you know this, but chimpanzees are incredibly strong. So it’s interesting to hear you say that you don’t believe in witchcraft. They knew that the chimp would eventually get hungry, so they placed food around the forest and caught her when she came out to feed. So if you’ll permit a silly question: What can you tell us about the Inferno scene where Daria Nicolodi gets attacked by a herd of cats? Those scenes came out as they were written. You’ve also directed your daughter Asia in a few movies, including her fantastic lead performance in The Stendhal Syndrome. How did you and she work on getting both her character and her performance where you needed them to go?Preparing for that performance with Asia was really tough. Dark Glasses, your most recent movie, is unlike The Stendhal Syndrome and many of your earlier movies, too, since it follows characters who are defined by stigmatized parts of their overall identity: Ilenia Pastorelli plays a blind sex worker, and Xinyu Zhang plays a Chinese immigrant living in Rome. That word in particular, improvised, rang a bell. He’s a film critic, just like I was before I became a director. She would photograph famous actresses, but also normal women — women of the street, you might say. She was missing in action for three days. We had to call in the forest rangers to find her. What you see in the film is me telling my story. Particularly Suspiria de Profundis, Thomas De Quincey’s hallucinatory, drug-fueled collection of prose poems, originally published in 1845. The Stendhal Syndrome is a psychosomatic condition where the afflicted suffer any number of symptoms, including dizziness, panic, and fainting, as a response to feeling overwhelmed by a beautiful work of art. The truth is we never met anyone who claimed that they were a witch, only people who talked about witchcraft. The chimp would grab her arm and Jennifer would scream and become very agitated. Translated from Fabio Maiello’s interview book Dario Argento: Confessioni di un Maestro Dell’Horror: “The actor is one of many pieces of the cinematic mosaic. The chimp also became a little agitated, but I was lucky. You’re talking about how you conceived these films as a scenarist, but as a director, getting what’s in your head onto the screen requires some negotiating. In this way, the actor enters more deeply into the film. We threw the cats first at Daria and then at her body double. The chimp looked at me very seriously. Argento’s not normally an actor, but in late April, American audiences saw Argento deliver a chilling performance opposite co-lead Françoise Lebrun in Vortex, Gaspar Noé’s harrowing split-screen drama about aging and dementia. That interested me, so I thought, Yes, I could do something improvised. That all being said, I was not interested in being an actor. How would you say that your mother has inspired you and your work?My relationship with my mother did inspire me a lot in making movies. How difficult was it to work with Tanga, and how did you and Connelly get that great final embrace? Vulture spoke with Argento, with the diligent assistance of translator Michael Moore (not that one), about acting in Vortex as well as working with actors like his daughter Asia Argento and his late ex-wife Daria Nicolodi, as well as a gaggle of rowdy cats and a very nervous chimpanzee. And in the movie, he wrote an essay, a book on the relationship between cinema and dreams. He wouldn’t leave. My mother would also prepare the lighting in order to highlight certain features of her models’ faces or their bodies. He was excellent. Then the two of us, especially her, met with different blind people to better understand how they moved about, how they behaved, and what they had to say. Did your attitude towards those movies or their witchy subjects change over the years? We saw a little of that during our journey before making Suspiria. You co-wrote Suspiria with Daria Nicolodi. How did you get what you needed for that scene?That was a particularly difficult scene, for which I worked with Nicolodi and her body double. In terms of humor, I’m inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, who has a lot of humor in his films. And in the majority of my films, the main characters are either women or girls. And then he said the magic words, that the entire film would be improvised. Why didn’t you explain this better?”

“You know, I’d hoped that the audience would come up with their own explanations,” I told her. In The Stendhal Syndrome, Roman police officer Anna (Asia Argento) chases after serial killer Alfredo (Thomas Krestschmann), who rapes Anna after she faints in Florence’s historic Uffizi art gallery. It wasn’t until I started making movies myself and saw actresses in front of me that I started remembering how my mother had done the lighting and how she had done the makeup. I like that kind of British humor; it’s a very refined sort of humor. There was a lot less work to do with Zhang’s character. Dario Argento and Jennifer Connelly on the set of Phenomena. Deep Red also features some relatively straightforward comic relief, like the coffee-shop phone call or the arm-wrestling scene. It doesn’t make much more sense in context, but it’s still pretty awesome. That’s a very violent and a very shocking scene … I didn’t realize it was gonna be quite so hard to make. I also brought the chimp to the window with the Venetian blinds and showed her, with my hands, what I wanted her to do, and how she was supposed to tear apart the Venetian blinds, and then just break them. After Marcus tells Gianna that he doesn’t care for “women’s lib,” they match wills and physical strength by arm-wrestling each other. Like when Anna sees Pieter Bruegel’s painting, “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus,” and fantasizes about plunging into the Aegean Sea. I made that movie for 20th Century Fox, and when I finished it, I watched it in Los Angeles with Sherry Lansing, the president of Fox. Suspiria is inspired by supposedly true stories of witches, as well as other books and writing. I want you to think of something about yourself and bring that to me. In order to prepare for this part, the two of us went to a very famous psychoanalyst named Graziella Magherini, the author of an essay on the Stendhal Syndrome. When we began the shoot, I put her in place and she did exactly what I had shown her. Your performance in Vortex is tremendous and a rare acting role for you. So it was very easy to work with Zhang. An oft-circulated rumor suggests that Tanga bit off a chunk of Connelly’s finger, which was miraculously re-attached at a nearby hospital. After all, I am a child of Italian neorealism, so I am sort of accustomed to the practice of improvisation. So for years, I was inspired by her in a way that I didn’t at first realize. (Full disclosure: I wrote the program notes for the series.) Film at Lincoln Center’s survey also features Argento’s most recent movie, Dark Glasses, a compelling Rome-set thriller that follows a blind sex worker (Ilenia Pastorelli) and a young orphan (Xinyu Zhang) as they’re both stalked by a mysterious killer. Tags: Something personal. Inferno is much more enigmatic; it leaves a lot up to interpretation. Not the kind of humor that is about a funny line or quip here and there. Rather than use professional actors, the neorealists worked with the average man on the street, people who spoke with their own accents and who came up with their own lines. Anna then suffers a psychotic breakdown as she processes her trauma. But there is an interesting culture of witchcraft, and it’s expressed in books and novels and all over the place. Over the course of Dark Glasses, Pastorelli and Zhang’s characters develop a mother/son-like bond. It was a big success in England and France, though. Like my daughter. That was not an easy collaboration for Tanga’s co-star, Jennifer Connelly, though she has a big smile on her face in the film’s last scene when her character embraces Tanga. I had to use a body double for that scene as well, for Jennifer, because she and the chimpanzee fought a lot. I’ve worked with her on six different films. Related

Gaspar Noé’s Vortex Is His Most Human Film. And His Cruelest. Then later on, Anna becomes a blonde by putting on a blonde wig. I tried to play myself … let me go back a little bit. Normally, your protagonists go looking for repressed or marginalized elements of their past, but in this case, your characters are identified by those qualities. Still, this character — he has no name in the movie — had to be somewhat similar to my own. We also watched many films about the subject. I let my imagination guide my research for all three movies, which are all different. “She bit me,” Connelly remembered during a 2008 interview with Conan O’Brien. Photo: Reporters Associati & Archivi/B) Reporters Associati & Archivi srl S.U. “Beware Dario Argento” includes an expansive selection of Argento’s movies, from his formative and lurid giallo thrillers (Bird With the Crystal Plumage, Deep Red) to surreal horror classics like Suspiria and Opera. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. I wondered how you worked with Daria Nicolodi and David Hemmings on performing in these humorous scenes.You know, I didn’t give them many instructions. In the past, you’ve said that Asia was perfect for the role because it required a “spontaneous,” “nervous,” and very “modern” actress. So in my opinion, witches don’t really exist. It’s initially rather long, but she cuts it really short, just like a boy. One person that Pastorelli met had a dog, because her character also has a dog, so we wanted to know how a blind person would work with a seeing-eye dog. There are also houses that are haunted, in a way, and that have an air of witchcraft about them, especially in Belgium and Brussels. You’ve said in other interviews, that that kind of relationship pushed you to make a better movie and that you learned some things about shooting and working with actresses from observing your own mother at work in her photography studio. The tone and humor of your directorial work can be very particular, as in Deep Red, where even the death scenes feel surreal. And starting this week, Film at Lincoln Center celebrates the Italian Hitchcock’s vital directorial work with “Beware Dario Argento,” a retrospective featuring 17 new restorations of Argento’s movies (courtesy of the historic Roman film studio Cinecittà). How would you describe working with her?Daria and I traveled throughout Europe looking to study and to investigate European witchcraft. I often saw how my mom prepared for different shoots, doing the makeup of, for example, Sophia Loren or Claudia Cardinale. That kind of deep research into the reality of blindness was very important, especially for Pastorelli’s understanding of how a blind person manages in life, how they walk through the street, how they meet with people. She plays Anna, a very disturbed person who doesn’t realize how disturbed she is until she’s pursued by a sexual maniac. Noé told us that Vortex’s script was only ten pages long and without any dialogue. We simply wanted him to know how to act like a Chinese boy who’d immigrated to Italy with his family, as he had in real life. How did you shape your character?I didn’t really shape the character. And what does that mean? “What does this mean? She told me that she understood nothing about the movie. The body double’s face was covered with a rubber mask that went all the way down to her bust so that way, the cats’ claws wouldn’t sink into her skin. In your “Three Mothers” trilogy of Suspiria, Inferno, and later Mother of Tears, witchcraft is a very real, if also very dreamy, conspiracy. Photo: Utopia Films

You once said that actors are one part of the “cinematic mosaic.” As a director, how would you describe the way you work with actors?I ask the actors to be themselves. My mother has been one of my films’ greatest inspirations. Argento talks a little more about Luxardo here. I have also written an essay on cinema and dreams. When Gaspar came to my house in Rome to ask me if I would be in the movie, my immediate answer was “No.” I didn’t feel like being an actor. And every evening, before they leave the set, I repeat the same thing: For tomorrow’s part, which you have in front of you, I want you to invent something. Photo: Reporters Associati & Archivi

Italian horror filmmaker Dario Argento is having one hell of a year, both on and in front of the big screen. He loses, repeatedly. Dario Argento on the set of his 1987 giallo Opera. We also tried to meet with witches or people who claimed to be witches. So when Anna realizes how disturbed she is, she first cuts her hair. Dario Argento and Françoise Lebrun in Vortex. It wasn’t really a change of heart or belief. I also don’t feel like what I did was acting — I played myself. Something intimate. Still, Sherry Lansing didn’t like Inferno, and as a result, it was never theatrically released in the United States. She was a well-known photographer of women and when I was a boy, I’d see the different women coming in to her studio to be photographed. How did you work with Dark Glasses’ co-leads on how they’d represent their respective character-defining backgrounds?Pastorelli and I read a lot of books about blindness. Page 205 of Fabio Maiello’s Dario Argento: Confessioni di un Maestro Dell’Horror. She made up for her good behavior the next day. I don’t get it.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Tags:

Netflix Just Laid Off Twice As Much Staff As It Did Last Month

“Today we sadly let go of around 300 employees,” a Netflix spokesperson said. Meanwhile, it’s courting options such as advertising-powered plans and password crackdowns to address the issues. The company’s next quarterly-earnings report is scheduled for July 19. The big red dog of streaming — recently beset by subscriber drops, a massive stock plunge, lawsuits, and a pattern of own goals — has announced yet another major round of layoffs: Approximately 300 employees were let go in today’s round of cuts, as reported by Variety. After losing 200,000 subscribers in Q1 and projecting ten times as many losses in Q2, its stock fell by approximately 70 percent. It faces the same 2022 economic squeeze that’s blown up the price of gas, food, and utilities as well as more competition from streamers than ever before. Streamliner

At your service. Related

Netflix’s Bad Habits Have Caught Up With It

Netflix’s Quarterly Report: Bad! Also: Ads? Illustration: Martin Gee

Netflix’s troubles continue. Tags: “While we continue to invest significantly in the business, we made these adjustments so that our costs are growing in line with our slower revenue growth. Less than six weeks ago, the company eliminated 150 staff roles and dozens of contractors, while in April its animation arm and marketing operation, Tudum, were also hit with layoffs. We are so grateful for everything they have done for Netflix and are working hard to support them through this difficult transition.”

The layoffs come as Netflix navigates a year that’s become an inflection point for the service.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Beanie Feldstein to March Her Wedding Band Out, Beat Her Drum

The couple has been dating since 2014. Feldstein, who plays the — say it with us — titular role in the Broadway revival, broke the news via an Instagram post with the caption “i do, bon.” In the comments, her Booksmart co-star Kaitlyn Dever replied, “I love you both, so much.” According to the photos, it looks as though the fiancées celebrated with an engagement party where Feldstein’s dress matched the tablecloths (her mind …) and brother Jonah Hill was in attendance. Last Thursday, Funny Girl announced that the actor will be ending her Broadway engagement in September. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Beanie Feldstein (@beaniefeldstein)

Related

Beanie Feldstein & Jane Lynch to Exit Funny Girl in September

Tags: Photo: Adela Loconte/Shutterstock

Beanie Feldstein has had a very engaging week. Exactly one week later, she announced her engagement-engagement to her girlfriend, producer Bonnie Chance Roberts. Mazel tov, BeanBon!

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Why Colin Trevorrow Won’t Let the T. Rex Die

I felt like it was a way to differentiate our trilogy and take it in a direction that was a little bit more humanist. After the first Jurassic World, you stepped away from the director’s chair for Fallen Kingdom. Hopefully it doesn’t feel like characters who know they’re in a movie. Tags: In this movie, we were able to kind of let those perspectives coexist. And then imagining a climber finally getting to the top job and the kind of things he would keep hidden from his own employees. I grew up in the Bay Area in San Francisco and that’s a very activist-based community, and film is an opportunity to encourage all of us to be our best selves without lecturing. He was a major character in the book but in just one scene in the movie. “Everything that you see here is because of me,” he says in our first film. My mother trains horses, and I’ve seen her connection with and the intelligence of those animals. Like my deep desire to really just be a writer on SNL and live in that world. And yet, instead of the cynical cash grab I’d feared, Jurassic’s return to cinemas felt to me like a meditation on art and what we’ve done to it. This trilogy approaches the dinosaurs more as animals, less as monsters. I think that’s how we all need to feel right now. But by the end of that movie, Claire strips away and rejects the machine and embraces nature. What draws you to that as a story?We had this conversation at dinner the other night and DeWanda and Bryce pointed this out to me. There’s an amazing improv scene in London right now that I pulled a lot of really smart and brilliant people from. But we had been living together for six weeks or something before we actually shot, so I knew Laura pretty well. I think when people see this film, Fallen Kingdom will make sense in ways that maybe it didn’t when they saw it, because it was a middle film. The relationship between Owen and Blue is, on one side, somewhat preposterous. Was it intimidating to direct the original cast?Well, anyone directing Oscar winner Laura Dern is going to have to look themselves in the mirror before heading out there on the day. It creates a totally different status quo. I was there the whole time when we were making Fallen Kingdom. rex. And yet it was really important for me to let J.A. I think we’re in a moment right now where people have a shared morality and realize that things need to really change, and the younger generation is really stepping up to create that change. These are great achievements that I think are a redemption for him. There’s that great moment with Jake Johnson, where he is talking about them naming the dinosaurs “Tostidodon” and “Pepsisaurus,” and it’s a very cynical way to enter a movie. That, to me, was such a horrifying loss for all of us who grew up with the T. rex from Jurassic Park is like a symbol of our childhoods. And the thing that I find most powerful in the film when it comes to his character is that last moment when it’s revealed that he gave credit to Charlotte Lockwood for the discovery. Your collaboration with Emily was born out of a similar situation for you personally, when you found yourself in a system that’s not necessarily your fault, but you wanted to do something about it. I don’t mind kids hearing that right now. That was me kind of stripping away all my cynicism and embracing that dinosaurs are awesome. It’s something that’s really real to us. We hold these characters that we loved as children very close and it’s really hard for us to let them go. What brought you back?I never felt like I went away. Sometimes I feel like the deaths of these iconic characters are a good dry run for the deaths of our parents. That’s part of the balance that I need to strike when I’m making these movies: to recognize that there’s some things for the younger generation that are gonna really work, and some things that the older generation may side-eye a little bit. I felt like the most relatable idea is that — Ian Malcolm says it in that one scene — they give you so many promotions so fast and take such good care of you that you’re not gonna look behind this door, and you’re not gonna question some of these choices. Now, with his Jurassic trilogy complete, Trevorrow has built a series of successful summer blockbusters that don’t shy away from the original 1993 film’s didacticism. What have you learned from that collaboration?Well, I think there’s two sides to that. Trevorrow is a filmmaker focused on change, specifically of the redemptive variety. Do you think a more definite ending might have been too depressing?In a lot of ways, this is the first Jurassic movie that isn’t about a bunch of people who go to an island that turns out not to be safe. And to me, with the amount of change from start to finish here, it feels like the right place to end that story. To me, it spoke a lot to the value of creative people helping each other out. The T. And over the past five or six years since Emily and I met, to see her go from someone whose short film I loved to a writer who was a working writer on her own, to my co-writer and my collaborator, and now I know she’s got an incredible career ahead of her. I really embraced my role as a producer and a writer and I did know the story that we ultimately wanted to tell. The minute the DeWanda Wise walks on screen, you realize you’re looking at a new hero who’s gonna be with us for a long time. So I didn’t wanna completely shut it down. After all, this is a story about how maybe we shouldn’t make everything we possibly can, even if it sounds cool. Bayona make his movie. Does this franchise feel like commentary on the culture of franchises we now live in?The first one was a bit about itself in a way that I think would be a little too navel gazing if I were to continue it for the whole trilogy. And he, or she, is out there listening. I’ve gone down another path, but I do get little moments of that energy into these movies. The Mamoudou story is my favorite in the movie. He said we demand the Kardashians exist, and then we get mad that they exist. That was an opportunity for me. Just because I don’t think I should necessarily be the one to continue telling the story doesn’t mean that there’s not another filmmaker out there who’s gonna have the same kind of passion for it that I had in 2013. rex dies. Helping others see the mistakes that you’ve made, and learn from those mistakes so they don’t make the same ones. Well, just because we’re talking about something I’m interested in. In each of the films that I’ve made — Bryce’s character in Jurassic World, even The Book of Henry, my third film, and this — there’s always people who are sitting out the fight and need to join the fight, or people who are making the wrong choices and need to look at their life in a different way and make the right choices. Henry Wu’s arc in this movie also felt like justice done for a character who maybe got shortchanged in Jurassic Park. Were there any real-world touchstones that informed the eccentricities of that character? Is having comedians pop up every now and then something you seek out or is that a happy accident?Oh, no, I definitely seek it out. I think you’re doing pretty well even for not being a writer on SNL. Our favorite character dies at the beginning of the movie. But when that much change happens, a new world exists and there’s opportunities in that world. We literally couldn’t leave. It feels like real people who are meeting other real people and then have to power forward and survive. Why is it important that she still wins in the end? But the second film is about moving animals from one continent to another and the dangers of displacing them. I spoke to BD Wong himself a few months ago, and he talked about how our love and hate of the dinosaurs can also be a metaphor for the entertainment industry. Photo: Universal Studios and Amblin Entertainment

It was a snowy day in Vermont in early 2013 when Colin Trevorrow told his wife that he’d been offered the chance to write and direct Jurassic World, the long-awaited fourth installment in the Jurassic franchise. This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity. For his whole career and especially in the book, he had been seeking credit for what he’d done and had felt so unappreciated. Just like putting traffic cones around all the potholes in this industry, so they can kind of weave around and hopefully get to where you are with a little bit less pain. It was such a nefarious thing for a climber to do. We find out in this film that what he was reaching for is actually something that can cause tremendous good and save lives, and in this case, rebalance the planet ecologically. And I think we’ve seen that there were choices made 30, 40 years ago, that we’re all facing the consequences for now, just like the dinosaurs in this film. The last decade has been something of a rollercoaster for the San Francisco native. It’s gonna take us doing it. And we end on a note of hope: if we can find a way to work together and coexist, we can find our way out of this mess that we’ve created for ourselves. Your work is often about characters who want to right wrongs they’ve done — in Safety Not Guaranteed, they literally go back in time to do this. And so for him to finally give credit to someone else, I found that to be the greatest sign of his evolution and his redemption. What Campbell Scott really dialed into with me and Mamoudou Athie is that relationship of someone who is a mentor to others and yet is betraying all of them by betraying their values. Why did that feel like an important decision?It’s something that came from, not my own personal relationship with animals, but observing others’. I immediately drew parallels to Elon Musk and the tech CEOs in scam documentaries like WeCrashed and The Dropout.Well, we wrote it back in 2018, but Emily Carmichael and I — as I’m sure you can tell — we’re pretty progressive people. His heroes are usually people looking to correct something they’ve done wrong, a pattern Trevorrow himself only recently recognized. We were eating breakfast in the morning and were there on weekends. There’s how the movie benefited from a storytelling standpoint in being able to have her perspective on a bunch of different elements that I know I saw in a different way because of the way she thought about it. So when we all stood on that sound stage together, even though they were characters pretending they had never met, there was this sense of camaraderie. He specifically drew a comparison to the Kardashians. When Jurassic World hit theaters in the summer of 2015, it was the season of Mad Max: Fury Road, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Pitch Perfect 2, Insidious: Chapter 3, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Terminator: Genisys, Minions, Ant-Man, Mission: Impossible 5, and a remake of Poltergeist — perhaps the peakiest of peak franchise summers. When it comes to her, when it comes to Alan, Ellie, Ian Malcolm, all of these icons, I wanted people to leave this movie feeling like they were gonna be okay. Giving them that space is something that I, as a comedy nerd, get a lot of joy out of. That year, only two of the top ten highest-grossing films existed outside of some established cinematic universe or franchise. He never saw Henry as a villain and neither did I; he was someone who had tremendous ambition and was always reaching for something. It’s a great character for young people to look to as we realize that our mentors and our bosses aren’t necessarily the ones who are going to create change. To be there and witness that, to see all of his dailies, to learn as much as I did from him during that time and then come back and apply everything I learned to a third film, I found that to be an amazing opportunity in its own right. The ending of this film leaves some doors open with the addition of new characters. There’s actually some British comics in the film: Ben Ashton, Alex Owen, Ahir Shah. He was plucked from the indie circuit by Spielberg to direct Jurassic World, and then found himself briefly at the uncomfortable center of a conversation about the lack of female directors helming franchises in Hollywood after a bad tweet. Other characters call it out in this movie, Jeff Goldblum comments on it. I never like to be asked to talk about something more. From environmentalism to the emptiness of the Hollywood franchise machine, Trevorrow has reflected many of society’s systemic ills on a gigantic, global stage, turning this series into something of an heirloom destined for the next filmmaker looking to tackle the state of humanity today. The episode prompted some heavy self-reflection and ultimately brought him together with his Jurassic World: Dominion co-writer, Emily Carmichael. Freya Parker, who’s also in the movie — she’s the one who’s manning the control tower — that little moment when Dodgson’s over her shoulder and she says, “It’s another Denise in accounts,” that was improv from her. It was a very childlike way to end the film. For me, it’s getting that out of my system. I wanted to create new characters who I think are icons in their own right. It didn’t get to be in the final movie, but in the prologue that’s online, another T. Everything that Ben Ashton says as the barista: all from him, all improv, in a long, four-minute mag of film. He and I really saw eye to eye from the very beginning when I asked him to come back and be in Jurassic World. I like that movies can be a Trojan horse for ideas. I’m a giant comedy nerd. And this movie is definitely about genetic power and not being humble in the face of nature. And yet we also recognize that we’re not solely making these movies for people who think like us or believe like we do. And in this film, she really makes a comeback at the end when she defeats the Gigantosaurus against all odds. What was it about Dodgson, a character from the original Jurassic Park, that made him the perfect villain for this film?I was always really interested in that character as somebody who was so mercenary. I think we can do that for each other. But I think all of us recognize that we got here maybe because of some of the decisions made behind those closed doors that we kept quiet about. (One of those films, Frozen, would quickly become a franchise.) It was, you could argue, the beginning of peak franchise at the movies. To build this into something that feels like a revenge picture that takes place over 65 million years was one of my favorite ideas that we had. It’s only a pattern that I just saw very recently. Your background in comedy, from your internship at SNL to Safety Not Guaranteed, shines through in some of casting for the Jurassic World movies. But on the other side, especially for kids, it’s something they deeply care about and it’s meaningful to them. Like, who was this guy, a low-level dude at the company, who was willing to go to Costa Rica to give a shaving cream can to this other dude? It’s so emotional, it’s so personal.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The Faces of The Tribeca Film Festival 2022

From left: Emma ThompsonJennifer Lopez

From top: Emma ThompsonJennifer Lopez

Robert De Niro

From left: Bryan CranstonBob Odenkirk

From top: Bryan CranstonBob Odenkirk

From left: Dakota JohnsonPeter Dinklage

From left: Dakota JohnsonPeter Dinklage

Sigourney Weaver

Jessica Chastain

From left: Megan FoxMegan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly

From top: Megan FoxMegan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly

Pharrell Williams

Uly Schlesinger

From left: Larry WilmoreRainn Wilson

From top: Larry WilmoreRainn Wilson

Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas

Tags:

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

This Era of Reply All Has Ended

After the “Test Kitchen” incident, the show went on a brief hiatus, and when it returned a few months later, it seemed to struggle to find a rhythm. This news comes, of course, about a year after the “Test Kitchen” brouhaha, a highly public reckoning that ultimately led to the departures of founding co-host P. For a team in Reply All’s position, I imagine it was time for a fresh start. Writes the 1.5x Speed newsletter. In fact, the entire Spotify podcast operation seems to have undergone a dramatic transformation and reorganization. Crypto Island and the Return of PJ Vogt

Reply All Is Having Its Own Reckoning Now

Tags: The show took another short break in January to build out a new season, returning with a fresh batch of episodes in March. Related

What Went Wrong at Gimlet? Member, Peabody Awards Board of Jurors. “The decision to end this iteration of the show came from a desire of the host team to move on,” it read. In hindsight, it was a formidable effort to get back to business as usual, but as this week’s announcement illustrates, perhaps too much had changed in the interim. “And we hope that there is a future where a show about the internet that isn’t actually about the internet can be reborn in Gimlet’s library.”

That said, we do know that the original Reply All — responsible for gems such as “The Case of the Missing Hit,” “Long Distance,” “The Crime Machine,” “The Skip Tracer,” “Zardulu,” and “The Real Enemy,” among countless others — is coming to a close almost eight years after launching. And now they’ll get it. Also unclear is whether this definitively spells the end of Reply All as a podcast. New releases were sporadic through the rest of the year, and what episodes were produced tended to feel … a little off. Vogt and original team member Sruthi Pinnamaneni. A spokesperson for Spotify told Vulture that, beyond Dzotsi and Goldman, the rest of the Reply All team will remain on staff, where they will be given the room to figure out next steps within the Gimlet division. Creator, Hot Pod. Photo: Gimlet

Update, June 23: Well, the day has come — Emmanuel Dzotsi and Alex Goldman’s final episode of Reply All dropped this morning. The Verge reported on an internal Spotify memo that was distributed Wednesday morning announcing that hosts Alex Goldman and Emmanuel Dzotsi will be leaving the show “to explore opportunities outside of Gimlet” later this summer. Contributor, Fresh Air. The final episode of the Goldman-Dzotsi era will be released June 23. Which is a shame given the show’s historical greatness, but for some fans, listeners, and observers (like myself), this development might not be particularly surprising. Nicholas Quah. Original story follows. The internal Spotify memo seems to leave open the door for possible future refashioning. J. Meanwhile, the podcast world is bigger and denser and more consolidated than ever. What comes next for Goldman and Dzotsi is unclear at the moment — though, based on Goldman’s Twitter account, it seems the former is likely to push harder into his burgeoning music career under the moniker Slow Fawns. “There will be no new performances. Very soon, this show will be a place I used to work.”

While Dzotsi and Goldman are gone, we’re told that the show is not canceled and may be revived in some form down the road. Podcast Critic, Vulture. “We’re leaving the so-called field for the last time,” Dzotsi said at the end of the episode. And there has been a lot of change indeed: Gimlet managing director Lydia Polgreen is leaving the company, as is Gimlet co-founder Matt Lieber. Vogt is now independently publishing a new show, Crypto Island, where he carries much of the energy that used to drive Reply All. Reply All as we know it is coming to an end.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

Real Housewives Songs, Ranked

“I See You” — Candiace

This placement may seem harsh because Candiace Dillard’s debut single is a “real song” — it’s not about drama from the show, and it’s not a novelty. In 2011, Whitfield brought the quote back in this diss track about her onscreen nemesis, NeNe Leakes. Related

Every First Real Housewives Episode, Ranked

The 100 Most Unhinged, Unexplainable, Unforgettable Real Housewives Moments

Tags: “Dreamcatcher” — LOCK

This song may not technically be available to stream or download anywhere — except in my mind, free of charge. “I Just Wanna” — Melissa Gorga

This club banger sees Gorga do her very best J.Lo cosplay. It’s a song that feels made for circuit parties and muscle gays sniffing poppers in harnesses. Despite its iconic premise and single art, it’s average at best. “Unbreakable” — Gretchen Rossi

In season six of The Real Housewives of Orange County, Rossi brought her diary into the recording studio to help make her third single. It would make the ideal first-dance song for Bennifer, everyone’s favorite chaotic on-and-off couple. But don’t worry, there are still a lot of other songs left. Roughly two hours in a recording studio, an out-of-work songwriter, and maybe a producer to churn out a medium-to-low-tier song. “Drive Back” is the perfect aughts-inspired bop for the nostalgic moment we’re living through right now. Otherwise, it’s easily skipped. It was written and produced by Burruss and debuted on the second season of RHOA, eventually becoming a story line over several seasons (lawsuits were served). “No Drama” — Real Housewives of New Jersey cast

TONIGHT on an ALL NEW #RHONJ 🍷 the gals record a country song..and @JenniferAydin continues to be the funniest of the group 🎶 pic.twitter.com/jqku7L5EA4— TheBravoThem🌈 (@BravoThem) April 19, 2022

On the latest season of RHONJ, the ’wives (minus Teresa, who was on time-out after throwing drinks at Margaret) headed to the recording studio on a cast trip to Nashville. “Dreamcatcher” is unlike most Housewives songs because it’s a full-on rock track. But thanks to its viral moment on TikTok last year, it’s probably one of the most listened-to songs on this list. “Gone With the Wind Fabulous” — Kenya Moore

RHOA’s Kenya Moore follows in the footsteps of her co-star Whitfield by turning an iconic season-five clapback into a bop. “Coffee & Love” is also about her scandal-embroiled ex, Michael Darby, whom she is finally divorcing this year. “Flatline” — Porsha Williams

This song, by one of RHOA’s most controversial stars, is definitely a grower. Amid their ongoing conflict, Gia gave a tearful performance of her own made-up song, as she put it, “for my mom and Zio Joe.” After going unexpectedly viral ten years later, it was remixed by a pre-Slap Will Smith, referenced by Cardi B, and became an internet sensation. It was a hilariously shady story line in which Burruss — annoyed at Zolciak for apparently not being grateful enough for Burruss penning her prior hit, “Tardy for the Party” — set her up by making the next song incredibly difficult to sing. 25. This placement may seem harsh because Burruss’s voice is clearly superior to the other Housewives on this list and “Haven’t Loved Right” is about the death of Burruss’s former fiancé, A.J. (In fact, the video looks so “expensive” that she has barely released any music since.) This song is where Jayne’s signature nasal vocals are at their best. Absolutely. “XXPEN$IVE” — Erika Jayne

Okay, I’ll say it: The subject matter of this song hasn’t aged well. So if you’re a fan of pre-Bravo Erika Jayne or Simon van Kempen’s “I Am Real,” sorry, they don’t qualify. “Fly Above” — Kandi

The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kandi Burruss begins “Fly Above” by telling us she’s secure in herself and has a shell that is “hard as armor.” Which is just as well because this song kind of sucks. 5. “Never Let Me Go” — Melissa Gorga

This is a club banger straight out of that era when Rihanna and Kelly Rowland were belting over dance beats. The lyrics don’t make a whole lot of sense, including a weirdly placed rap verse that ends with “If my heart was a computer, baby, you’d be the password.” But here it is in the top ten. 27. And it’s good to see these girls inherited their mother’s passion for rock and roll. Honestly, I’m not quite sure whether this song qualifies for this list because it’s not available to download or stream anywhere. 30. It’s all about drinking Champagne, eating caviar, limousines, diamonds, and living a fantasy “chic” lifestyle. The star of this track is, without a doubt, former Broadway star and “hexagonal ice” enthusiast Heather Dubrow, who is by far the best singer of the group. Watch out, Beyoncé! The making of “Money Can’t Buy You Class” was rather excruciatingly documented on season three of RHONY. Worldwide!”) but ends up sounding more like that weird “rapper” guy who featured on Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and all those other viral tween YouTube songs back in the day. Particularly when we know Burruss — a former member of ’90s girl group Xscape — is responsible for some iconic hits in her previous era. Countess Luann

“Viva La Diva” marks a departure for everyone’s favorite ex-countess: It’s her first collaboration with another artist, Desmond Child, and it marks the end of a long run of singles that reference drama from RHONY (more on that later). 13. 11. Sorry, Candiace! It’s a “real” song, too, that takes itself seriously. This song is very much part of the Housewives musical subgenre of tracks based on drama from the show. And while it may not be the best song ever, even in the Housewives musical universe, Williams deserves credit for doing something different. But let’s just say that probably wasn’t necessary because, just like RHONY’s 13th season, this song is not something fans will be holding on to any time soon. But Burruss still managed to craft a bop that is disturbingly catchy, and Zolciak is nothing short of a pop-culture pioneer. Here, Santino Noir fills the role of discount-store Pitbull (minus “Mr. She recorded the song in a music studio her husband, Joe, built in their basement, and her first live performance (in the club, of course) was shown on RHONJ. Due to Zolciak’s, shall we say “limited,” vocal range, the song veers much closer to speaking than singing. While the latest season might not have had a reunion, the cast did unite for a charity Christmas song — led by Countess Luann at her sultry best. Stick to the drama, Jersey Girls! 35. 7. Fans will remember an argument over who would really profit from this song’s royalties; lawyers were even consulted. The thing is, “I See You” doesn’t really go anywhere. We got to watch Zolciak struggling to hit the high notes (and the other ones, too) in the studio. You know, that bit when the relationship falls apart because of a big secret or misunderstanding and there’s a montage of the protagonist feeling very sad before it all works out at the end. De Lesseps has experienced her fair share of ups and downs since it was recorded, so one of its lyrics has now become her mantra: “The little things can take you down, so it’s best to brush them off.”

3. It displays Candiace’s clear intention to be a “real” artist: She was involved in the entire creative process, unlike, er, some people on this list. It’s a shame we never got to hear the final version, which is meant to be a diss track for Zolciak’s former sugar-daddy fiancé (known only on the show as Big Poppa) because this song was truly coming to save pop music. “On Display” — Melissa Gorga

By now, we know Gorga loves very few things more than a song about going to the club and dancing. Here, Gorga delivers a dance song that makes me want to get on the next flight to Mykonos with a gaggle of gays and a suitcase full of jockstraps and start doing shots. 34. (Staged being the operative word here because they still aren’t married and her co-stars seemed pretty convinced it was all for the cameras). (At one point, the Countess even pokes fun at Bensimon’s infamous “Scary Island” breakdown while clutching a bag of jelly beans.) Basically, the whole thing is a mess, which somehow works? The scene of their writing and recording the song — complete with auto-tune-free singing and an overenthusiastic himbo co-writer with a guitar — made for viscerally uncomfortable viewing. “You wanna act like you don’t know me when we’re out in public,” he sings. From wannabe actresses and singers, to socialites and even dancers — like the legendary Camille Donatacci — we’ve seen it all. The narrative of the song is Miss Lawrence calling out a closeted lover. “You better watch yourself before you get checked,” he warned her during the argument. Sorry, Countess, “Viva La Diva” is getting skipped! The song is so catchy it distracted Andy Cohen himself from a performance of Hamilton. It’s the Countess’s sassy clapback to Heather Thomson and Carole Radziwill, who, on the RHONY season-seven cast trip to Turks and Caicos, almost burst in on de Lesseps while she was, ahem, otherwise engaged with a male companion. “Girl Code” — Countess Luann

No actual saxophones were harmed in the making of “Girl Code” — I promise! It wouldn’t seem out of place in Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. “I’m not your closet freak.” The song’s lyrics haven’t aged amazingly, but the actor and singer did go on to find success, appearing on Fox’s musical drama Star. Dare I say it, there are hints of OneRepublic’s “Apologize” and Jordin Sparks’s “No Air” going on here. (It’s just too bad Bethenny Frankel wasn’t a fan.)

6. In season eight of RHOC, Rossi staged a romantic proposal. (By now, we all know about Jayne’s legal and financial issues and the orphans and widows who were owed money while she was singing about her flashy lifestyle on RHOBH.) All that aside, “XXPEN$IVE” is an undeniably great song. Just like the Housewives themselves, these bops are iconic for being simultaneously good and bad, for bringing chaos and cringe, and for somehow giving the fans nothing and everything they want. Yup, I’m talking about the many, many songs made by the stars of Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise. “The Ring Didn’t Mean a Thing” — Kim Zolciak-Biermann

Okay, so we heard this song only as a demo version on the third season of RHOA. Jewell. “Haven’t Loved Right” — Kandi

This song is straight out of a ’90s rom-com. (Even if that probably makes it a tough listen for the plane-crash victims her husband allegedly defrauded.) But regardless of all that, it’s still a good song — not Jayne’s best, but the hip-hop-inspired track is still catchy enough to deserve its spot in the top ten. It’s an upbeat bop with some sassy, inspiring lyrics, which turned out to be a tribute to Slade Smiley’s son, Gavin, who was going through cancer treatments at the time. “Painkillr” — Erika Jayne

Even though club banger “Pankillr” wasn’t technically released while Jayne was on RHOBH, it did become a plot point when she joined in season six. 20. Some have become memes or gone viral years later on TikTok. “Chic C’est La Vie” — Countess Luann

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the Countess speaking. “Coffee & Love” — Ashley Darby

This song shouldn’t work. “Love Comes Through” — Me and Mari

In her first season as a RHOA Housewife, Blaque singer Shamari DeVoe and her husband, Ronnie DeVoe (of Bell Biv DeVoe), dropped the first single by their new supergroup, Me & Mari. Now that’s talent! 17. Whitfield clapped back, “Who gon’ check me, boo?” like a badass. And surprisingly, it works! And, well, the results aren’t half bad! The song works because its lyrics are, frankly, completely ridiculous. 29. A 13-year-old Melania Giudice, whom we’ve watched grow up on our screens, struts around the mall and raps about “chasing checks” and not boys. In fact, they were probably listening to it on that Puerto Vallarta gay cruise that sank in the middle of the COVID pandemic. It’s a serious, cool, R&B love song dedicated to her husband turned “husbanger,” Chris Bassett, whom she wed in season four of The Real Housewives of Potomac. The song tells the story of her spiral into partying and has a catchy, trumpetlike hook. 18. But after appearing in season 11 of RHOC, it qualifies. By this point, de Lesseps’s “Countess and Friends” live cabaret show was already a huge hit, selling out theaters across the country, and this is her most cabaret-inspired single yet. “Feelin’ Jovani” — Countess Luann

“Feelin’ Jovani” was born from one of the most iconic moments in Housewives history. 14. era. Snark aside, this song is about nothing, and its lyrics are pretty toe curling (okay, still a little snark), but it’s catchy. “Whatever I Want” — OC Realz

“Whatever I Want” byThe OC Realz #RHOC 🍊🎶 pic.twitter.com/AzcgE0gJJI— TheBravoThem🌈 (@BravoThem) April 15, 2022

This was one of the most bizarre moments in RHOC history — and that’s saying something. What a catch! 23. Ouch. We watched a pre-auto-tune de Lesseps hitting (and missing) the high notes — which truly walked so Gaga’s “Shallow” could run — and living out her childhood fantasy of being a pop diva. But is it a bop? This certified bop by RHOM alum Adriana de Moura has a special place in the Housewives universe because, after its release, it was used as the show’s title intro music — now that’s quite an accolade. 33. We’ve heard club bangers, tracks with sassy clapbacks to co-stars, and no shortage of love songs about men with, shall we say, checkered pasts. “Can’t Wait to Grow Up” — Melania

This chilled, mellow song is bound to make longtime Housewives fans feel about 1,000 years old. We have arrived,” proclaims a heavily auto-tuned de Lesseps, in the style of Madonna, at the opening of “Chic C’est La Vie.” In RHONY season four, Bravo’s cameras took us behind the scenes on the video shoot for the song, when all the ’wives except Jill Zarin and Kelly Bensimon turned down an invitation to star in it. All-Star Housewives Lisa Rinna and Cynthia Bailey guest star in the video alongside Andy Cohen — it’s full-on Charlie’s Angels cosplay. This underwhelming song was played to Smiley to kick off Rossi’s extravagant engagement stunt — and it is so heavily auto-tuned he had to ask whether he was listening to his beloved’s voice. Photo: Countess Luann/YouTube

Money can’t buy you class — at least according to (former) Countess Luann de Lesseps. “Rockstar” — Melissa Gorga

There are forgettable songs and then there is “Rockstar,” by Melissa Gorga. 16. The song is essentially an ode to girl power: The women sing about letting their hair down and doing “whatever they want,” baby! 26. “What Do I Want for Christmas?” — Real Housewives of New York cast

Season 13 of RHONY was, by all estimates, a total disaster. “Drive Back” — Candiace

A lot of Housewives songs position themselves as novelties or jokes, but “Drive Back” takes itself seriously — deservedly so. 15. True love! A little. 32. Still, “Tardy for the Party” this song ain’t. The current cast of Real Housewives of Miami was recently spotted filming its own group song together, so Housewives girl bands feel like a trend. Real instruments and vocal talent may be in short supply, but that hasn’t stopped our girls. “Coffee & Love” has this infectious happiness, a thumping bass, and (dare I say it?) a slightly reggae dance vibe, which, against all odds, works. The Countess debuted “Girl Code” on Watch What Happens Live!, accompanied by her daughter, Victoria, who features on the track. It’s a very mixed bag that shares crimes against graphic design in its singles’ cover art. The title may seem elitist, but the joke is that releasing such a gauche song about money and class (and performing it at Macy’s) doesn’t exactly scream “classy.” And really, its core message is that, for everyone, elegance is learned, my friends. But you know what it can buy you? “Viva La Diva” — Desmond Child ft. Delusional? Meredith Grey is delivering her opening monologue — and I mean that as a compliment! 21. It’s inoffensive, but unlike Butter Knife–gate, or Salad Toss–gate, it’s pretty easy to forget. “Who Gon’ Check Me, Boo” — Shereé Whitfield

Fans were blessed with one of the most iconic Housewives quotes ever in season two of RHOA, when Shereé Whitfield got into a fight with party planner Anthony Shorter. In the latest season finale, certified rock goddess Storms-Beador brought the OC Housewives together for a one-off group performance of an original song. Since 2006, these shows have been a tractor beam for anyone who has tried (and, in most cases, failed) to be famous in every other way. Whereas most Housewives songs are about being fabulous, beef from the show, dancing in the club, or love, this is a cathartic breakup song through and through. “On Display” was her first contribution to this subgenre, and it’s still her best. In the video, Moore mocks her onscreen rivals and even gives us a “Single Ladies” parody. This song sounds like Miami (or, more precisely, what people who’ve never been to Miami think the city sounds like). The lyrics of “Gone With the Wind Fabulous” aren’t exactly giving Taylor Swift or Shakespeare a run for their money, but it’s a defiant and catchy song. Unfortunately for our eardrums, however, Rossi’s determination to make music seems to be “unbreakable” too. 10. Perhaps I’m too old to really get this song, but the best thing about it is a cameo from Teresa Giudice, the table flipper herself, in the video. Despite being promoted on season six of RHOP, with the cast (and Candiace’s therapist turned villain mom, Dorothy) making cameo appearances in the video, the quality of the song shines through. But as with her previous effort, this track feels easily forgettable. 9. The RHONJ star pips her niece to the post with one of her many tracks about dancing in the club and living life to the fullest. “Waking Up in the Morning” — Gia Giudice

Okay, so this may not technically be a real song you can stream on Spotify. It’s not breaking musical boundaries, but it’s a solid track. In Vulture’s official ranking, we have considered only Housewives songs that appeared on the show. The only thing is, aside from how good her voice sounds (without the robotic auto-tune we’ve been accustomed to hearing on her other songs), this one is pretty underwhelming. 4. 12. “Closet Freak” — Miss Lawrence

After years as a recurring minor character, RHOA guest star Miss Lawrence recorded his first single, “Closet Freak,” in the studio with Kandi Burruss in 2011. 1. and voilà: You’ve got the recipe for pop-culture magic. The fight spawned the infamous quote “Don’t be all, like, uncool” and, some months later, this jazz-inspired song. “Waking Up in the Morning” was performed by a 10-year-old Gia in season three of RHONJ. But either way, it’s a thumbs-down. Not all Housewives songs are destined for greatness. “Money Can’t Buy You Class” — Countess Luann

It’s the song everyone associates with the Real Housewives franchise, the song that truly put money and class on the map and that still sounds just as catchy and audacious as it did 12 years ago. The general gist is that everyone is so obsessed with the former RHOA star that they simply can’t stop Googling her. So Gia’s much-memed song is more than deserving of its spot on this list. Let’s hope this effort is better! “The Time Is Now” — Gretchen Rossi

Rossi recorded this soppy love song for Slade Smiley, her beau who was famously behind on child-support payments to his ex. It’s a romantic, positive track that’s perfectly inoffensive and sounds like it would work at the beginning of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, while Dr. Some have more of a novelty factor, while others aim much higher and want to be taken seriously. (Medley had generously hooked her up with some glittery gowns from Jovani, a fancy NYC boutique, but the Countess didn’t seem very grateful.) “Feelin’ Jovani” is a classic in the genre of “here’s a song based around some drama from the show,” which de Lesseps is a particular fan of. The lyrics are about the perils of being so hot and popular that everyone — including, perhaps wishfully, the paparazzi — can’t stop watching Gorga “do her thing” in the spotlight. 8. And ever since Real Housewives of Atlanta’s Kim Zolciak-Biermann dropped the worryingly catchy “Tardy for the Party” in 2009, the franchise has been a place where its stars can live out their unfulfilled dreams of becoming pop divas. The drama between Teresa Giudice (Gia’s mom) and Joe Gorga (her uncle) had taken center stage on the show. Throw in a hint of desperation and a guaranteed slot to launch your bop on Watch What Happens Live! The song, which she debuted on the show’s fourth season, feels as if it has ambitions to sound like Rihanna’s “Cheers (Drink to That).” But Gorga’s effort sounds like it cost about $1 to make — and sadly, that’s being kind. 28. 2. 31. “Tardy for the Party” — Kim Zolciak-Biermann

When it comes to Housewives stars releasing their own music, “Tardy for the Party” is where it all began. All I can say about the rest is thank goodness for auto-tune. 19. “Google Me” — Kim Zolciak-Biermann

This song is exactly what the title suggests: a sassy clapback to the haters with narcissism woven into every lyric. She even won a Grammy in 2000 for co-writing TLC’s “No Scrubs.” This song feels sort of inspired by Keri Hilson’s “Knock You Down” or “No Drama,” by Mary J. It’s a little bit Shakira, a little bit Jennifer Lopez, and a lot fabulous. During the RHONY season-ten finale, an absolutely furious Dorinda Medley screamed “Jovani!” at de Lesseps during her first “Countess and Friends” cabaret show. Darby, who can’t sing, is auto-tuned to the point of sounding like a robot, as if MSN Messenger’s long-suffering SmarterChild had suddenly started singing. Co-written by Jayne herself, the song oozes sex appeal and has been remixed an impressive 22 times by various DJs. The chorus is pretty catchy — well, as catchy as someone spelling out G-O-O-G-L-E-M-E to music can be. 22. It’s a classic in the genre of “songs about drama from the show,” but let’s be honest: It isn’t great. But even the Countess herself could never have known that this certified bop, which admonishes men for texting on dates amid lyrics including the words grandeur and panache, would evolve into the pop-cultural force it is today. It’s by LOCK (Ladies of Rock) — a band made up of Shannon Storms Beador’s adorable daughters, Sophie, Adeline, and Stella. It’s also very true that coffee and love do taste best when hot — we stan relatability. Against all odds, it does make me want to dance. Jayne (the self-described “million-dollar diamond”) serves a bop that’s as memeable as it is catchy, with a high-production-value video to boot. Blige, but sadly it never reaches those heights. “How Many Fucks” — Erika Jayne

By her own admission, Jayne doesn’t “give a fuck about anyone else but me!” so “How Many Fucks” definitely suits her. “Feel the Rush” — Adriana de Moura

Welcome to Miami, baby!

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News

The Basement Puzzle

More Crosswords

The Legendary Puzzle

The Lamb Puzzle

The Buzz Puzzle

See All

Tags: Vulture 10×10 Crossword Puzzle
A puzzle for pop-culture obsessives sent to your inbox every weekday

Email

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google
Privacy Policy and
Terms of Service apply. Vox Media, LLC Terms and Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us.

No Comments

Categories: Entertainment News