Category: Entertainment News

A Man Named Earl

The many stories of charity work at places like the Children’s Village, the school for troubled children he was sent to in his youth after disobeying and running away from an abusive mother, and visits with children with AIDS in his free time reveal a man dreaming of a world that doesn’t create the experiences that would transform a young Earl Simmons into the Dark Man. DMX was one of us, all of us, really. You cannot argue that he chose crack. Most of the millions hurt by broken systems never make the news; they walk the harrowing path to recovery, or they look out at us through laminated prayer cards, frozen forever in a moment of anticipated promise. His life’s a testament to what finds you when you’re left by institutional neglect and cultural rot to your own devices, and the arduous efforts required to even your odds. In the stretches at the turn of the century where he was arguably the biggest and best thing not just in New York but the country at large, he didn’t forget his origins or the difficulty shaking the history of pain and poverty he felt growing up. His songs served elaborate, believable threats: “I keep my slugs hollow, keep families with sorrow / Keep motherfuckers like you not seein’ tomorrow.” During his tenure as a legitimate action and gangster movie star, he depicted resourceful anti-heroes beating back seemingly insurmountable odds. If he seemed endlessly energetic, consider the price of the fuel. His hometown of Yonkers — split down the middle by the Saw Mill River Parkway, west of which families of color resided in low-income housing, and east of which white families enjoyed public parks and golf courses — was a hotbed of racial divisions where segregation in schooling and housing situated students of color in worse conditions than their Caucasian counterparts, where the more affluent residents fought tooth and nail against development of affordable-housing units on their side of town. Photo: Jonathan Mannion

DMX seemed almost invincible. His life’s a testament to what finds you when you’re left by institutional neglect and cultural rot to your own devices, and the arduous efforts required to even your odds. Too many legends lose their homes and their lives too early. You might know the unmistakable glint of sunlight bouncing off of a steel handgun produced in broad daylight in a place where you’d least expect it. He looked out for children who, like himself, were dealt impossible hands. On record, onstage, and in film, he displayed an almost superhuman intensity. 1998’s “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” serves its threats and aches in the form of skittering nursery rhymes: “N – – – – wanna try, n – – – – wanna lie / Then n – – – – wonder why n – – – – wanna die / All I know is pain, all I feel is rain / How can I maintain with that shit on my brain?” 1999’s “Party Up (Up in Here)” turns crushing pressures and a failing resolve into a rowdy club banger. (There are those who found X’s good-natured, light-hearted moments jarring against the uncompromising brutality expressed in his music, and the more lurid instances of sexual violence and homophobia peppering the catalogue are reason enough to feel that way. You cannot argue that he chose crack. Maybe we put too much faith in his resilience. It’s all over the music, how unlikely and unbelievable that trajectory felt. DMX’s death should inspire us to rethink our flip and puritanical attitudes toward drugs, users, and addicts, and also to call on the music industry to do better by the artists who keep the lights on. In these schools, X, a smart but troubled child who’d later reveal he’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, presented a puzzle they could not solve. The early chapters of 2003’s E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX recount a tale familiar to anyone who grew up in places where the nation’s bureaucratic authority seems to fail, around people whose needs always seem to come last, where regime change feels cosmetic because no president, senator, mayor, or governor raises your bottom line. DMX struggled, but he persevered. X mentored the younger members of his Ruff Ryders label like Drag-On. In reality, though, he dealt with more and worse adversity than any single person should have to bear. He commanded respect as much for the brilliance of his craft as for navigating street life adeptly enough to get out unscathed, a folk hero as much as a rapper. He wasn’t just a celebrity; he was proof that it was possible for everyone else downwind to survive without compromising their beliefs. Too many musicians give their all to the game only to land in dire straits when, years later, they become a burden. He bounced from institution to institution, feeling unwanted and misunderstood, believing that everyone else had given up on him. But morality is a world of often jibing alignments, not a sliding scale, where several things can be true. He hustled his way out of the projects, out of child abuse, out of a lack of opportunities. Lounge on stoops and listen through walls, and you might hear and see too much. He stumbled, but he got back up. This flies in the face of the too-convenient messaging we’ve received about how people “end up in the streets.”

You can argue that DMX chose crime at various points in his journey, but you have to account for all the times people who should have been looking out for him failed him. He talked about how hard life was and still could be, not how good it got. Our elders are worth more than what they’re able to produce for us. “Joke’s on you, we still alive.” “All of your young life, you’ve seen such misery and pain,” Donny Hathaway sang to his “Little Ghetto Boy.” “The world is a cruel place, and it ain’t gonna change.” “If I don’t fly, I’ma die anyway,” X’s “Let Me Fly” promises. His first experience with crack came from a laced “woolie” blunt given to him as a teenager by a mentor who didn’t warn him of the risks. DMX’s life story illuminates the lie in the bootstraps logic and the systemic oversights and failures that hinder the growth of children raised in “bad” neighborhoods. Perhaps it is the price of playing the unflappable, unkillable gangster that we thought DMX could handle more than anyone should. He stayed at street level speaking on street issues. Related

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Tags: As we remember the late Yonkers legend — who passed away Friday, April 9, at the age of 50 due to complications from a heart attack brought on by an apparent overdose — it’s just as important to grasp the far-reaching systemic failures that played into the life that he led, to save others. “We wasn’t s’posed to make it past 25,” Kanye West’s “We Don’t Care” goes. Stats aren’t on our side, and we’re keenly aware of this. Death comes up a lot in the music of DMX, as it did with figures like 2pac, but it isn’t, as has often been suggested through the years, proof of a gift of clairvoyance. The way we think and speak about hard drugs is tethered ineffably to the extreme and quite literally often cartoonish portrayal of use and users perpetuated in the heat of the War on Drugs. “I’ma live on, but I’ll be gone any day.”

For a man whose journey to success included many years as a bold, open-faced stick-up kid, and whose music gave voice to the deepest, darkest thoughts it is possible for a man to have, DMX paid his karmic debts back in spades. He pondered the question of whether we ever truly escape from the circumstances of our births, whether or not our past trauma lies perpetually in wait to create havoc in our present. He inspired fans with music about being true to yourself and noble and loyal to the people who stick with you, no matter what side of the law you operate on. Suddenly, the grim realities DMX portrayed in early ’90s songs like “Make a Move” and “Born Loser” became prescient. Tommy from Belly runs afoul of religious leaders and drug dealers in two different countries and makes it out alive; Cradle 2 the Grave’s bank robber Anthony Fait cracks safes and takes down an international crime syndicate all to save his daughter. He pondered the question of whether we ever truly escape from the circumstances of our births, whether or not our past trauma lies perpetually in wait to create havoc in our present. Whatever the case, we didn’t take his suffering seriously enough. At his peak, DMX was engaged in a tug-of-war between heaven and hell, and weighing his options with coaches from both teams. In public housing, you see the best and the worst of people. What we saw was a man coping, a man hurting and transforming pain into usable strength. You came to believe that a person made a deliberate choice and concerted effort when they dabbled in substances, and this made it easier to grasp harsh charges for selling and possession, to push addicts off of public assistance, to suggest an underclass of citizens had earned its misfortune. And it’s fine to feel conflicted, or even to not and just never engage.) But in moments where DMX’s demons got the better of him, the grace that he extended to the disadvantaged and the less fortunate wasn’t necessarily reciprocated. Perhaps it is the price of playing the unflappable, unkillable gangster that we thought DMX could handle more than anyone should. He didn’t score a hit until his late 20s (like Jay-Z), but when we caught on to his work through “Get at Me Dog” or his appearances on the LOX’s “Money, Power, Respect” and LL Cool J’s “4, 3, 2, 1,” X found himself at the peak of his abilities and in the center of the moment. How many more will it take to break the cycle? The genius of DMX as a writer and a performer lay in his ability to repackage the burdens of Black inner-city life in art that was vibrant and lively even in darkness. On the top, he didn’t dress flashily or turn into a kingpin on record. New York street rap grew coarse in the late ’90s in response to the still-awful prospects of success in an era where, for some Americans, the economy boomed, but for the rest, the shortsighted scope of the Clinton welfare reform program (which, for the sake of bipartisan compromise, placed time limits on benefits and stiffened work requirements, creating paths to work for those able to climb the ladder but leaving the rest assed out down bottom), racist overpolicing, and three-strikes laws made it possible to go away for life without ever committing a violent crime. Each light that blinks out is a reservatory of history and culture gone from us forever. Instead, jokes were often made at the expense of his and others’ addictions, thanks to the dubious crassness of that time and our conditioning with regard to substances. This music can be coarse and offensive and also inspirational. There’s love, camaraderie, and music in rec-room birthday parties, in concrete cookouts, in block parties on the weekend. He philosophized about the rewards for doing good in “Fame,” from his 1999 sophomore album …And Then There Was X: “Now if I take what He gave me, and I use it right / In other words, if I listen and use the light / Then what I say will remain here after I’m gone / Still here off the strength of a song, I live on.” Frequently, on cuts like “Get It on the Floor,” from 2003’s Grand Champ, X grappled with dark forces: “And you motherfuckers wonder why I start shit / ’Cause when you look in my face, you see that hard shit / ’Cause I done been to hell and back, I ain’t with sellin’ crack / I’d rather rob a n – – – -, leave him with a shell up in his back.” On his 1998 debut on Def Jam, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, he bargains with the devil in “Damien,” then asks for guidance and absolution in “The Prayer” and “The Convo.” He recast the ups and downs of hood life as Gothic horror and Shakespearean drama. You might come to meet the mild-mannered child whose parents only seemed to speak in open hands and electrical cords, the “bad” child who left “to see family” for months at a time and came back rougher every summer, the smart one underserved and under-engaged by public school, the beloved neighborhood figure growing wiry and thin and drawing rumors of clandestine habits.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Sheryl Underwood Says Sharon Osbourne Fight Was ‘a Trauma’ on The Talk’s Return

I feel fearful, apprehensive.”

Underwood had previously said on her podcast, The World According to Sheryl, that Osbourne never privately apologized to her, although publicly apologizing for the exchange. Please join us for a very important hour where we discuss openly what happened and how we hope to move forward. In a March 26 statement announcing Osbourne’s exit, CBS said, “Sharon’s behavior toward her co-hosts during the March 10 episode did not align with our values for a respectful workplace.” Further, the network added, “It was clear the co-hosts were not properly prepared by the staff for a complex and sensitive discussion involving race.” April 12’s episode featured guests including the director of a diversity, equity, and inclusion consulting firm and a trauma therapist. Underwood began the April 12 episode by promising it would be “unlike any other” and that the co-hosts would “honestly discuss what occurred” — in short, that Osbourne got heated with Underwood over being called racist for defending her friend Piers Morgan as he attacked Meghan Markle, leading the show to go on hiatus. Related

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Tags: pic.twitter.com/ltq0a3iI51— The Talk (@TheTalkCBS) April 12, 2021

Sheryl Underwood is opening up about her argument with Sharon Osbourne on The Talk’s first episode since its monthlong hiatus. In the time since, more reports of Osbourne’s racism emerged; while she denied the claims, Osbourne decided to leave The Talk, which she has co-hosted since it began in 2010. After Osbourne denied this — by providing screenshots of her texts to the Daily Mail — Underwood said on April 12’s episode that she didn’t know if she could reply to Osbourne’s texts due to CBS’s investigation into the situation. “I didn’t want to be that, and I wanted to remain calm and remain focused, and it’s difficult to go back to that day because I just feel the trauma. Speaking about her televised exchange with Osbourne, Underwood said, “I feel like I’ve been in, like, PTSD, because it was a trauma.” The co-host further said she felt pressure in the moment as a Black woman. “I didn’t want to escalate things with Sharon because I thought I was having a conversation with a friend, but also I knew I had to be an example for others to follow because I didn’t want to be perceived as the angry Black woman, and that really scared me,” Underwood said. Host Sheryl Underwood shares a message from backstage as “The Talk” returns today.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Silk Sonic Charm Their Way to No. 1 With ‘Leave the Door Open’

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Tags: We hope Mars and .Paak can sip some wine in their robes to celebrate. 5 after its previous eight weeks at No. 1 comes during the fifth week on the chart for “Leave the Door Open”; it debuted at No. 1 song for Mars and first for .Paak — whose only previous chart appearance was as a feature on Eminem’s “Lock It Up,” which peaked at 89. 4 last month and stayed in the top three ever since, thanks in part to Silk Sonic’s throwback Grammys performance. Photo: YouTube

“The Hot 100” left the door to No. And speaking of songs that are still in the top ten, the Weeknd’s “Blinding Lights” is at No. 1 after physical CDs shipped to buyers last week, leading to a 138 percent increase in sales, Billboard reported. “Deja Vu,” her follow-up to runaway hit “Drivers License,” entered this week’s chart at No. 1. It’s the eighth No. The No. 9 this week, marking its 70th week total on “The Hot 100,” now officially the fourth-longest run ever on the chart. 90 with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series song “All I Want.”) “Drivers License,” meanwhile, is still sitting pretty at No. 8, making her the first artist to ever debut their first two singles in the top ten. Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars. 🍾✨ https://t.co/VRX0Pxrvn8— Silk Sonic (@silksonic) April 12, 2021

Elsewhere on the chart, Olivia Rodrigo gave us déjà vu back to the beginning of the year and once again debuted in the top ten. 1 open, and Silk Sonic walked right through. (Rodrigo previously hit No. The song hit No. The retro-R&B duo of Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak rose to the top spot on this week’s chart with “Leave the Door Open,” their sensual first single as a group.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Frank Gallagher Met the Most Shameless Fate Possible

Goodnight everyone, a watershed event. I sure as hell did.” He and his barstool then float up into the sky, because we’re somehow expected to believe he is not headed down to join Lil Nas X. Given that this is the finale of an 11-season show, the rest of the Shameless characters are afforded a pretty open ending. “Have a good time. “Time’s precious. Macy (@WilliamHMacy) April 12, 2021

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Tags: Photo: Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

OBVIOUSLY, MAJOR SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. Don’t fucking waste it,” he says, raising a beer. After 134 episodes, the Shameless series finale left troublemaking patriarch Frank Gallagher dying in a hospital from the virus he called a hoax in a previous episode. Speaking on Frank’s fate, Wells told Deadline that it felt wrong to let the man completely off the hook for the damage he has done to his body over the years. I love you Shameless fans. I love you Shameless family. “So, we had to show that there were some consequences,” Wells said. At least that means William H. Perhaps showrunner John Wells had Miss Rona on his mind after she made a cameo on the Shameless set? COVID-19 has done what a failing liver, alcoholism, drug abuse, dementia, being tossed in the Chicago River in the winter, and a suicide attempt could not do: kill Frank Gallagher. “We tried to find some way to make it Frank-like and fun and let him hold on to who he always was in the last moments.” In his final scene, Frank floats over the city in his medical gown and gives his family some parting advice (though he can’t resist a few final insults first). If a spinoff is ever on the table, there are plenty of options to pick the story back up with anyone except Frank. And, of course, the amount of alcohol in Frank’s corpse later causes a small explosion in the crematorium. Macy will get a break. Tami might be pregnant, Carl and Arthur might turn Alibi into a cop bar, Lip might sell his house, Ian and Mickey might adopt a child together, and Debbie might move to Texas. I’m exhausted.— William H.

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Will Smith Movie Emancipation Will Not Shoot in Georgia Over Voting Restrictions

“The new Georgia voting laws are reminiscent of voting impediments that were passed at the end of Reconstruction to prevent many Americans from voting.” The movie is reportedly looking to shoot in Louisiana — coincidentally where part of the story played out in history, when Peter (played by Smith) escaped a plantation after a near-fatal whipping. The move makes Emancipation the first major production to exit Georgia after Governor Brian Kemp signed the bill on March 26. Abrams told the Associated Press that boycotting business in Georgia would not be “beneficial to the victims of these bills,” while still calling on companies to speak out against the law. Director Antoine Fuqua and star Will Smith announced the news on April 12, after it was first reported by Deadline. Related

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Tags: “We cannot in good conscience provide economic support to a government that enacts regressive voting laws that are designed to restrict voter access,” Fuqua and Smith said in a statement, per Deadline. Peter’s whipping became national news in 1863, when he joined the Union Army and a photo of his back scars, noticed during a medical examination, was published in HarperÆs Weekly. Widely criticized as racist and undemocratic, the law includes new ID requirements for voters and restricts ballot drop boxes, among other provisions. Yet Deadline reported that Georgia voting-rights proponents like Stacey Abrams have been meeting with filmmakers about Georgia-based productions to ask them to keep their business in the state, popular for movie and TV shoots thanks to tax rebates. Photo-Illustration: by Vulture; Photos by Getty Images

Emancipation, an upcoming Apple TV+ movie following a runaway slave, is changing plans to shoot in Georgia over the state’s newly passed restrictions on voting. Some Atlanta-based companies, including Coca-Cola and Delta, have spoken out against the law, while the MLB announced the All-Star Game will no longer take place in Georgia this season. Antoine Fuqua and Will Smith.

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Macaulay Culkin and Brenda Song Welcome Their First Child Together

Child actors, they do grow up fast! Because nothing turns you on more than when your lady comes into the room and says, ‘Honey, I’m ovulating.’” The couple first met in 2012 while on a movie set in Thailand. Previously, Song was engaged to Miley Cyrus’s brother Trace Cyrus. Their firstborn came into the world on April 5, at 1:10 p.m., in Los Angeles, weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces. “We practice a lot,” he said at the time. Sources

esquire

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Tags: Dakota’s parents. In a March 2020 profile with Esquire, Culkin joked about wanting to have a baby with Song. New mom Song is healthy and both parents are “overjoyed.” The baby is named after Culkin’s sister Dakota, who died in 2008. Culkin dated Mila Kunis for nine years before breaking up in 2011. Disney Channel alum Brenda Song and boyfriend Macaulay Culkin proudly announced the arrival of their son, Dakota Song Culkin, in Esquire this morning. “We’re figuring it out, making the timing work. Photo: Getty Images

Nothing to remind you of your age like two childhood figures having a baby together. His younger brother Kieran Culkin, star of HBO’s Succession, welcomed his first child with his wife Jazz Charton in September 2019, a baby girl named Kinsey.

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The Oscars Just Did a Cast Reveal for its Presenters

It is a sentence too dumb to understand, like a parody commercial from a lost episode of All That. “In a world filled with award shows, what if an award show was actually a movie?” It is a sentence that will break your brain. This trailer hypes this year’s Oscars presenters, including Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Bong Joon Ho, Don Cheadle, Bryan Cranston, Laura Dern, Harrison Ford, Regina King, Marlee Matlin, Rita Moreno, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Reese Witherspoon, Renée Zellweger and Zendaya. It is the voiceover for the “trailer” to the 93rd Academy Awards, airing on Sunday, April 25 at 8 p.m. on This Year’s Oscar Nominees

The Oscars Will Have No Host and ‘Feel Like a Film,’ Whatever That Means

Tags: “In keeping with our awards-show-as-a-movie approach, we’ve assembled a truly stellar cast of stars,” said producers Jesse Collins, Stacey Sher and Steven Soderbergh in a statement. The trailer even calls the presenters a “cast.” It sounds so crazy it just might work. ET on ABC. Related

Bill Maher Goes Full Gutfeld! Soderbergh previously said that these host-less Oscars will “feel like a film,” and that every “nominee, every person that gives an award, will feel like characters in a film,” with the awards being part of some sort of over-arching plotline that connects everyone. “There’s so much wattage here, sunglasses may be required.” We can’t tell if that’s a reference to the good old days of Jack Nicholson wearing sunglasses indoors in the front row of the ceremony, or if it’s just the first possible Hollywood lingo cliche they thought of.

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All Truth No Lie, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 11 Looks Dramatic

It’s the Garcelle Beauvais and Erika Jayne sitting on a rocky mountaintop shown to us in a sweeping crane shot like it’s the “I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman” music video, for me. It’s Crystal Minkoff saying Sutton Stracke is “just jealous,” and Sutton firing back, “Jealous of what? Kim Richards changed her phone number and didn’t tell Kyle. Might we suggest some light reading until then? Your ugly leather pants?” The trailer for season 11 of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills dropped today, and the volume of drama packed into its brief two-minute run time is astronomical. It’s Kathy Hilton’s hat that looks like a lampshade. Related

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Tags: The trailer revealed that the full cast will be Kyle, Lisa, Erika, Dorit, Garcelle, and new addition Sutton, while Kathy and Crystal will have plenty of screen time and plotlines as “friends of.” We also have a release date: Wednesday, May 19, at 8 p.m. on Bravo. We see that Lisa Rinna’s daughter is spending time with Scott Disick. Dorit Kemsley launched a bridal collection mid-pandemic.

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Uzo Aduba Is In Treatment for the Season 4 Trailer

The 24-episode season (yes, 24 episodes) will premiere on May 23 on HBO. If you thought therapy in itself was a difficult experience, try adding Zoom, a choppy internet connection, and this li’l thing called the pandemic. In the first trailer for HBO’s In Treatment reboot, our new empathic therapist (Uzo Aduba), one of the most sought-after in Los Angeles, does her best to tend to her diverse group of patients as society as we know it adapts to COVID-19. “These people are looking to me to tell them what to do about this moment we’re in,” she explains in the trailer. Related

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Tags: “So if you were treating you, what would you see?” Good question. These patients (which include Anthony Ramos and John Benjamin Hickey) are struggling as it is, but what happens when the therapist herself needs to talk through her problems?

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What Have We Learned from Men in Kilts?

Bonus Episode-Five Easter Egg: Heughan spilled some behind-the-scenes tea on this episode’s sheep guest stars during a Kelly Clarkson Show digital exclusive. Fun facts:

There’s no stopping Outlander family reunions on Men in Kilts.Even if two-thirds of their characters were killed off three seasons ago. Episode 5, “Culture and Tradition”

Heughan and McTavish return to Edinburgh to get outfitted at the oldest tailor in Scotland, Stewart Christie, before submitting themselves to a rigorous Gaelic lesson. Although it’s not a period piece like Outlander or Bridgerton, the modern-day Men in Kilts still falls into the escapist-TV category. In the span of eight episodes, Men in Kilts provides a lighthearted education in Scottish history and culture. The Scottish islands have some punch-line-worthy names.To pass the time on a ferry ride, Heughan and McTavish poke fun at the unfortunately named Isle of Muck. But one glimpse of them modeling their three-piece tweed suits while visiting the 300-year-old haberdashery Stewart Christie and it’s very easy to forgive the guys for not wearing kilts at all in this episode. Heughan and McTavish show off their best wave work at the start of the episode. Later, the Men in Kilts hosts have a similarly awkward exchange with the leaders of Clan MacLaren and Clan MacGregor. Stewart was kicked out of the band in 1963 by manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who felt six members were too many. Technically, they’re reenacting the bloody battle scene from Outlander’s season-three premiere, but it’s totally okay if you mistook it for a GQ photo shoot. Sam and Graham’s kilt-and-pagan-headdress combos would put them right at home at Burning Man. 4) Graham apparently thinks Sam is Jamie Fraser.To prove McTavish’s theory that Heughan is “prone to overindulgence,” Men in Kilts treats fans to a supercut of Heughan’s Outlander character imbibing a variety of alcoholic beverages. Don’t be surprised if Men in Kilts inspires a number of copycat travel series — and, with hope, a second season. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Men in Kilts (@meninkiltsstarz)

If you ever wondered how Sam and Graham would play a Jamie-Claire scene, look no further than this Men in Kilts episode.In a mid-credits scene filmed at the Callanish Standing Stones, Heughan and McTavish “reenact” the Outlander season-two-finale moment when Claire, pregnant with Jamie’s child, unwittingly returns to the 1940s. Hot take: McTavish’s Jamie is too Dougal-y, and Heughan’s Claire is too whiny. He tells the guys a remarkable story about a Second World War bagpiper, Bill Millin, who played during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Though it’s worth mentioning that even though Heughan loses the hammer-throwing contest at Braemar, his arms tell a different story. But if you listen closely to these “Skye Boat Song” lyrics, you’ll notice they’re slightly different than the ones rewritten for Outlander. Afterward, it’s on to the Isle of Skye to try their hand at sheep herding. Turns out the animals weren’t in much of a cooperative mood for the sheep-herding segment …

Episode 6, “Scotland by Air, Land, and Sea”

The Scottish Highlands takes center stage as Heughan and McTavish explore Loch Ness, then head back to Skye to immerse themselves in the island’s stunning locales. Whenever, you know, Burning Man starts up again. Traveling in style should always mean kilt paired with a leather jacket.McTavish may have meant “seaplane” when he talked about first-class travel to Castle Sween, but I personally can’t get enough of this particular sartorial combo. But according to Heughan, the Callanish Standing Stones on the Isle of Lewis served as the model for Outlander’s production team. Fun facts:

1) The village of Pittenweem contains some rock-and-roll history.The jumping-off point for Heughan and McTavish’s fishing-boat work experience is the birthplace of Rolling Stones founding member Ian Stewart. The actors meet with historians and Outlander combat experts before paying their respects at Culloden Moor. Especially when they wear kilts, which happens quite often. Not, as Outlander fans may think, as a way for Murtagh Fitzgibbons Fraser (Duncan Lacroix) to draw attention to himself when searching for his captured godson, Jamie, in season one. The actors meet with a Clan Fraser representative at the family’s ancestral home, Beaufort Castle, where Heughan may or may not have gotten just a little territorial. It’s a very real place that is not, as McTavish jokes, “just up the road from Earwax.”

Freezing-cold water is the great equalizer. Sam would do well in a Dukes of Hazzard reboot.(Just as long as the car undergoes a redesign, obviously.) When boarding the seaplane that will take him and McTavish to Castle Sween — the ancestral family seat of Clan MacTavish — Heughan doesn’t even bother with the lower door. Tags: Photo: Courtesy of Starz

Outlander fans rejoiced when season six finally went into production in early February, but since it’s unlikely we’ll see new episodes of the time-hopping series before the second half of 2021, Men in Kilts: A Roadtrip With Sam and Graham is tasked with quenching our extended Droughtlander thirst. Nearly 450 years after the attack, there is still distinguishable tension between the clans’ descendants. Plus, Heughan, by shedding his shirt and drenching himself in bottled water, fulfills the fantasies of millions of pandemic-exhausted viewers. Highlanders fighting for Prince Charles Edward Stuart, a.k.a. Upon successful completion, the camera pans across the area to show the Men in Kilts crew applauding McTavish’s bravery. Whereas McTavish, who is also no stranger to going shirtless on Outlander, couldn’t do it. While attending a Beltane celebration — a Celtic fire festival (no, not that kind) held to welcome the coming of summer — Heughan and McTavish are encouraged to let their freak flags fly. Fun facts:

The Battle of Culloden marked the destruction of Highland culture.In case you didn’t start Men in Kilts as a card-carrying member of the Outlander fan club, this episode provides a solid lesson in this particular moment in Scottish history: Following the defeat of the Jacobites (a.k.a. Because the Jacobite soldiers used little more than swords and shields, it was imperative that they prepare themselves mentally before getting right into the faces of their enemy. Helmet cameras can be adorable when worn properly.As part of the climactic segment filmed at Kilt Rock (the only kilt that makes an appearance in this episode, BTW), Heughan and McTavish strapped on a pair of cute helmet cams to help them capture not just extra rappelling footage but their couple-worthy bickering as well. The 1962 film The Longest Day incorporated Millin’s story. During a respite at Loch Ness, our hosts take a leisurely rowboat ride with their former co-star Gary Lewis. A sample “Lil’ Red” observation: “In Scotchland …there’s a lot of skirts.”

Bonus Episode 3 Easter Egg: During the cold open, Heughan and McTavish sing a tune that Outlander fans will instantly identify as the series’ main title theme. Claire Fraser and Geillis Duncan really lucked out during their Outlander witch trial. Apparently, he never got the midges memo from his Spy Who Dumped Me co-star Kate McKinnon. 3) Sam and Graham’s formal kiltwear does little to hide the sad truth: Young children are more adept at Highland dancing than they are.During an adorably hilarious lesson with Highland dancer Cerys Jones, the boys are taught a sword dance “that 4-, 5-, and 6-year-olds compete with.” While Heughan is actually not bad — which we can chalk up to his experience doing the Highland Fling in Outlander’s fifth season — we’ll let McTavish offer his own self-review: “There’s the Highland Fling, and there’s the Highland Fiasco.”

4) To Graham’s credit, his hips do not lie.This isn’t exactly news to Outlander enthusiasts — this 2015 clip speaks volumes to McTavish’s dancing skills. By his own admission, Heughan doesn’t know much about his personal family tree. Episode 4, “Witchcraft & Superstition”

The boys put their fear thresholds to the test with visits to creeptastic locales Greyfriars Kirkyard and Wormiston House. Not only did they both avoid being burned at the stake, but neither had to wear the embarrassing iron headgear McTavish bravely models while inside the Wormiston House jail cell. This means we’re treated to some pretty funny Flintstones impressions, plus a few bars of the iconic theme song. Episode 1, “Food and Drink”

Heughan and McTavish visit Edinburgh and Pittenweem to learn about Scotland’s seafood-rich cuisine and the Isle of Islay for a crash course in whiskey. The only bet Heughan fans have ever wished the actor to lose culminated in his taking a naked plunge — no modesty pouch here; the actor is plainly seen holding his genitals against the bitter cold — off the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides on a very windy, rainy day. Episode 8, “Culloden: Scotland’s Most Infamous Battle”

Heughan and McTavish’s Men in Kilts journey concludes with an episode dedicated to the Battle of Culloden, the 60-minute skirmish in April 1746 that irrevocably changed Scotland. Here now are some of the best things we’ve learned from watching all eight episodes of Men in Kilts. Fun facts:

Sam is not kidding when he says “[Scotland’s] barrier between the world of the living and the world of the dead is especially thin.”Greyfriars Kirkyard is a popular tourist location in Edinburgh, particularly for its haunted history. But later in the episode, while attending a traditional Scottish ceilidh — think of the Gatherings featured on Outlander — at Borthwick Castle, McTavish and his hips are given their rightful time to shine. 4) Kilts are a must for athletic success.Both Men in Kilts hosts dress the part when receiving a hammer-throwing lesson at the site of the Highland Games. Sadly, you can’t time-travel through these stones, as Heughan is disappointed to discover. And boy, do they deliver: In front of a massive bonfire, the lads unleash primal screams and funky dance moves. After being locked in a tomb known as the Black Mausoleum — where reports of visitors suffering from mysterious burns, scratches, and bruises are not uncommon — Heughan and McTavish emerge visibly spooked. Then they head to the Outer Hebrides to check out a stone circle before stopping by a Beltane festival. Their respective 18th-century characters may be, but Heughan and McTavish had to learn their Gaelic dialogue phonetically for Outlander. Fun facts:

1) Sam’s well-documented gym time has paid off. It’s science. Episode 2, “Scottish Sport”

The boys compete at various Scottish sports (rugby, golf, hammer throwing, etc.). They also visit a tartan textile mill and a couple of castles near and dear to their hearts. Midges are really attracted to Sam Heughan.The tiny insects come out in full force this episode, swarming Heughan during the Gaelic segment and making it rather difficult for him to carry out his hosting duties. 2) Sword dancing was invented to help soldiers get fit for battle. That, and it’s just fun to watch two cheeky actors goofing around on a road trip through one of the most beautiful countries in the world. At Doune Castle, Heughan and McTavish meet with Iain MacGillivray, Scotland’s youngest-ever clan leader. Fun facts:

“Men in Tweed” would’ve worked just as well as a show title.Eat your heart out, Lord Grantham. 3) A turban pairs quite nicely with a kilt.Interestingly enough, neither Heughan nor McTavish dons a kilt in “Food and Drink,” but Scottish Sikh chef Tony Singh, who whips up a delectable-looking lobster-and-langoustine meal for the hosts, makes a proud sartorial statement in their seaside-cooking segment. But since Scotland is rife with history about his onscreen alter ego’s clan, the Outlander star openly embraces the “I am Jamie Fraser” angle this episode (much to McTavish’s annoyance). But note that during the stone-lifting segment, the winner, Heughan, is wearing a kilt. Like McTavish’s Dougal MacKenzie, Lewis’s character, Colum MacKenzie, dies at the end of Outlander’s second season. Sure, there are the predictable lessons about haggis being the country’s national dish and Scotland being the birthplace of modern golf, but whether or not you’re an Outlander devotee, chances are you’ll walk away from this series with a greater appreciation for the birthplace of Jamie Fraser and Dougal MacKenzie. 5) Sam and Graham do a mean Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble, among others.There’s road-trip banter, and then there’s road-trip banter with professional actors. Dougal MacKenzie’s shirtless “rage fits” before battle in Outlander season two weren’t just for added drama. Turns out Heughan and McTavish are warbling the original version of the song, which was about one of the few real-life historical figures to rub shoulders with Jamie and Claire Fraser: Bonnie Prince Charlie. Bonus season-finale observation: There is something truly endearing about watching Heughan and McTavish profess their unadulterated love for their homeland. Remember in season one when Claire helped some local ladies waulk (shrink and soften) wool by beating a hot-piss-slathered cloth while singing lively folk songs? Afterward, the actors express their bewilderment at the barely veiled animosity that exists so many centuries later. He just slides in through the plane’s window à la Bo and Luke Duke. 2) You can surf off the coast of Scotland! As a travel show shot pre-COVID (with some additional footage filmed during summer 2020) — i.e., a time when two blokes could attend a raucous dance party maskless, share each other’s shellfish platter, and drive the length of Scotland confined to a camper van without risking their health — Men in Kilts can’t help but give off echoes of a bygone era. When employing the Highland charge, it is highly recommended that one wear a kilt and a flowy white shirt.Heughan and McTavish demonstrate this Jacobite Army shock tactic during their Culloden visit, dressed in loose-fitting, 18th-century-esque shirts and dark, roomy kilts, accessorizing with period-correct swords, dirks, and shields. During their Men in Kilts lesson, the lads learn that only one percent of the modern Scottish population can speak Gaelic because the language was forbidden for several centuries. They wrap things up with a rappelling adventure down the aptly named Kilt Rock. Episode 3, “Song and Dance”

Our intrepid hosts visit Doune Castle (which doubled for Castle Leoch on Outlander, and Winterfell on Game of Thrones) and Borthwick Castle to learn more about Scotland’s music and dancing customs. Upon jumping into the magnificent, albeit ice-cold, Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye, their howls of pain don’t let up until we reach the next segment. The Badenoch Waulking Group, whom Heughan and McTavish meet at the Prickly Thistle tartan mill, treat the actors to a jolly reenactment of that particular scene — sans the urine. Graham has a genuine fear of heights.Not everyone is an adrenaline junkie like Heughan — who stops just short of squealing “Whee!” while rappelling down Kilt Rock — so watching the clearly frightened McTavish conquer his phobia is pretty darn heartwarming. Fun facts:

Clans remain a large part of Scottish identity.Even though they were in effect destroyed 275 years ago after the Battle of Culloden, a very well-trodden event on Outlander. So it isn’t any wonder that almost everything about Men in Kilts caters to the fervent Outlander base, from the show’s recognizable hosts, Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish — both native Scots — to the strategically placed clips from the hit Starz drama. Fun facts:

1) Bagpipe music not only is great for wartime morale, it can also keep you from getting shot. Sam Heughan is not above turning Men in Kilts into a commercial for his new whiskey venture.While decompressing at a bar after their sobering visit to the Culloden battlefield, Heughan wastes no time pouring himself and McTavish a well-earned dram — straight from a bottle of the Sassenach, his very own whiskey line. 3) Sam will honor a bet, even if it might give him hypothermia. Especially when it comes to two brawny gents like Heughan and McTavish. Episode 7, “Clans and Tartans”

Heughan and McTavish stick around the Highlands this episode to learn about the centuries-old feuds between Scottish clans. 5) Graham is killing it with his newsboy-cap-and-scarf lewks.Heughan is regularly spotted wearing newsboy caps in Men in Kilts as well, but there’s something about McTavish’s jaunty-scarf game that gives him the edge when it comes to the lads’ travel chic. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Men in Kilts (@meninkiltsstarz)

Playing a character with a rich family history has its perks. McTavish, who loses, is not. Sam and Graham are not native Gaelic speakers. As promised, men in kilts. At the ruins of Trumpan Church on Skye, the site of a 1578 massacre involving the MacDonalds and the Macleods, Heughan and McTavish speak with representatives from both clans. Heughan lifts the 100 kg Puderac stone while wearing a kilt! A total of FIVE James Frasers fought in the Battle of Culloden.However, as confirmed by historian Catriona McIntosh, not one of them was James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser, much to Heughan’s chagrin. It’s a pure, wholesome outlook that’s been missing from much of the world’s existence over the past year. There is no question that Heughan and McTavish’s kilt game has been on point up until now. Despite a record high (human) population of 5.46 million in 2019, there were 6.73 million sheep counted in a June 2020 agricultural census. The stakes: The loser must skinny-dip in the North Atlantic. The stones used on the series are made of Styrofoam, which allows for easy transport to and from multiple locations. Apparently, Millin avoided getting shot because the Germans thought he was insane (whatever works!). At one point, he is forced to place a beekeeper’s net over his face. 2) Sam and Graham are rather squeamish.Their Outlander characters may be fearless warriors, but Heughan and McTavish can’t even bear to witness fresh — read: live — crustaceans being prepared for dinner. Sam can even make haggis sound sexy.The oft-skewered Scottish dish gets a kindly boost thanks to Heughan’s smoldering recitation of the Robert Burns poem “Address to a Haggis.”

There are more sheep than people in Scotland.And you don’t have to take only Heughan’s word for it. 5) Malted barley makes for a strangely enjoyable ball-pit-type encounter.While learning about whiskey-making at the Laphroaig distillery on the Isle of Islay, Heughan and McTavish bail on their peat-shoveling duties, preferring instead to belly flop into the malted-barley supply. During a fireside chat with historian Alistair Moffat, Heughan and McTavish learn that Highland warriors really did use primal techniques to psych themselves up for battle. Bonnie Prince Charlie), the British Army outlawed tartans, bagpipes, and Gaelic. The famed Outlander standing stones at Craigh na Dun are actually located in the Outer Hebrides.Kind of. We also get a taste of “Lil’ Red,” a character of McTavish’s own creation who appears to hail from the American South. Outlander isn’t the only thing keeping Scotland’s old-timey traditions alive.

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How ‘Your Wildest Dreams’ Finally Gave the Moody Blues the ‘Ecstasy of Success’

Do you consider it one of your best songs?I think it’s right up there in the top seven. Some of them went on for hours. It’s the only time for me as a writer where I thought that I hit a nice spot. There’s something in it that’s joyous. We didn’t want to do that anymore. Brian wanted us to do the video literally. If you feel like you can contribute to a song, you’re there. You can’t just do it yourself. They fall for it and they have wonderful times together. It was such an MTV video. You get all excited and get off the bus and walk down the street and you realize, Oh, life is completely different. Another important person I met was Brian Grant, who I asked to do the music video. He had the most beautiful little studio in Soho, right in the middle of London, and every big artist would come and visit. Because it upsets the equilibrium of a lot of things that you really shouldn’t try. I was here in my little music room a few weeks ago and VH1 was doing some sort of ’80s marathon, and it was just like … every single song that came on I just loved. People often ask me about, or expect me to think, that today’s music isn’t as good as the past decades. A lot of people came to the band at that time and they’re still with us now. Even though there’s a lot of truth in the lyrics. Fortunately, it went into all of these greater concepts in the past. The next day when I saw some of the fans going in to the venue and I asked some of them, “Whatever happened to those girls up front?” And someone responded, “Oh, that was their protest at your change. To be in the company of that induction class was a real honor. Hop in to that time machine. Given the subject matter, has “Your Wildest Dreams” grown more meaningful for you as you’ve grown older?The sentiment about love hasn’t changed. They either get on board or they don’t. And I always respond, “You have to remember that people are still falling in love to these songs now.” That’s important and it means it’ll stay with them all their lives. When we started this new material, they got up and walked out. There was no plan, really, we were lost. Exactly 35 years later, “Your Wildest Dreams” remains an incredible case study of a band who met their heyday in the ’60s, only to falter through the ensuing decade and then reemerge with an entirely new sound, resulting in one of their most successful songs ever. There was a promotion guy and he jumped up when he saw me and shouted, “Woooo eeee oooooo! That’s why the Moodies were always a touring band to mitigate that. Hayward, who wrote “Your Wildest Dreams” and still has a fabulous head of hair, recently told Vulture he was inspired by the “common experience” of romantic curiosities and what-ifs that often haunt people as they grow older. Whether you like it or not doesn’t make a difference. Music and young people just go together. We didn’t always have to rely on promotional people. We’ve all written things for the band that we thought, or hoped, would be commercial success. I wrote it at home and I still have the instruments that I wrote it on. I was lucky that they fit in with the rest of the songs. There was no doubt we would get in once that put it over to the fans. While working with him, was there a sense of urgency that the band had to adapt to a more pop-orientated sound?I was never quite sure, but from my perspective, I was the right person for wanting to go in that direction. I’m not even sure if I was serious. As a selfish songwriter, it didn’t stop me. I wonder where they are. So we learned to curb our expectations. For me, wanting to know about the first girl you ever fell in love with, really fell in love with and broke her heart, you always want to know, I wonder what happened. I loved everything about “Your Wildest Dreams.” I thought there were other songs on the album that would be a single, so the ecstasy of that moment of success brought us something we all enjoyed. The music video is so silly and dystopian, I love it.Oh, absolutely. The ecstasy of success that “Your Wildest Dreams” brought us will never be forgotten. Sometimes things happen at the right time. Oh, that’s the guy from the Moody Blues, that kind of identity. I knew when we were nominated the year before that as soon as they offered the Fan Vote, we were going to get in. Where would you rank “Your Wildest Dreams” among the band’s discography? It’s an interesting illustration of exactly what you said. There I was at 40, imagining a person at 17. “Your Wildest Dreams” came just from me at home. We didn’t really know what we wanted. But on that tour, I noticed one night there was a group of fans at the front. That was the big change. So many famous people would just pop in. I can’t say anything more about it than that, except that I would advise against it. The ’80s in London was such a wonderful time in music. I do recall one particular instance when we were touring for the song’s album, The Other Side of Life. Tony is a magnetic character and I decided I wanted to work with him. You previously said that the song, after you were done recording, spurred a personal journey that was “fantastic, amazing, and disturbing.” In what ways?It did set me on a particular kind of personal journey, which I would advise anybody else against doing. 2 on the Billboard charts]. I absolutely love it. When I covered your Rock Hall induction in 2018, I was pleasantly surprised that you all had the biggest and loudest audience response. There’s another song I wrote called “You Can Never Go Home.” You can’t, really. Which was unheard of! And boys are so stupid that they don’t even think about a plan. If you had taken out parts of them individually, they would’ve been pop songs. We’d start at three in the afternoon and come home at five in the morning. There was so much going on that I really enjoyed. What an interesting night that was. He was a great choice for us. I was lucky enough to write what I thought were pop songs but luckily found a home with a much greater kind of concept. Girls do that at school. “Some people might not have preferred our newer sound, but we all knew it was the right direction for the band.”
Photo: The Moody Blues/YouTube

The 1980s were far from temperamental for the Moody Blues, with the prog-rock patriarchs embracing that new decade of pop with the same enthusiasm they’d previously brought to their mystifying poeticisms and luscious interludes about the times of day. I got swept along with that. It wasn’t like we were lost and trying to escape from something, or we knew what we wanted and were trying to find it. You don’t have to be there all the time. In this case, we delivered the album and I traveled to New York City with it. I had previously met Tony Visconti and I fell in love with him. He was like, “It can’t be you starring in the video, it’s too personal and you’re too old.” We still looked all right as 40-year-olds, but Brian was like, “We need younger people for you all.” [Laughs.] It’s got to be about the imaginary youth in the song. The people around us didn’t jump on board. (Hell, even Homer Simpson was a fan.) It began with 1981’s Long Distance Voyager and the synth-lite bop “Gemini Dream,” ushering in what would become the band’s defining MTV moment with the lead track from 1986’s The Other Side of Life, “Your Wildest Dreams.” A catchy-as-hell Billboard top-ten hit, the song’s infusion of pop presented the Moodies with a whole new set of fans: Ones who weren’t, say, old enough to attend or care about Woodstock, or those who lusted after frontman Justin Hayward’s upbeat musings about a first love. I suppose it’s because of the common experience. If my numbers are correct, “Your Wildest Dreams” is the band’s second most-successful song [the first was “Nights in White Satin,” which peaked at No. That’s the first time we had anyone who looked like they were enjoying things onstage. Related

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Tags: [Laughs.] It’s funny, because people often ask me what decade of music is the best one, and assume that my decade would be the 1960s or 1950s. [Laughs.] But we were looking for a new producer. And they haven’t been. That ecstasy happens rarely in life, and it’s very precious. “Nights in White Satin” and “Tuesday Afternoon” and “Question” have something to say about the world, but they still seem to fit in to the pop genre. Did that come as a surprise to you all?From our side of the fence … well, you’re linked with a record company and they choose to promote certain tracks. But I really think it’s the 1980s. People of our own age, I don’t know where they are. He had everything that a musician and songwriter wanted. “And then in 1973 I did this …”

Of course, the Jon Bon Jovi filibuster. I think it was time for us where we had to adapt or else we would’ve drowned underneath a prog-rock label. You don’t think it was just because it took a long time for us to get to the stage that night, and everyone was so relieved when we finally got in and did short speeches? Far less cryptically, we also discussed how super-producer Tony Visconti transformed the Moodies’ sound with The Other Side of Life, the band’s fleeting “lost” feeling, and how “Your Wildest Dreams” gave them their biggest taste of success yet. What kind of journey are we talking about?[Pauses.] Well, you want to know what happened. It wasn’t that we were looking for something new; it was the fact that we were lost. [Laughs.] With all of those people talking. I’m not sure if they came back or not, but that was their protest. We were guided to Tony. I remember John [Lodge] and I were flying back and we couldn’t believe we actually got a budget for something. After they left I saw them outside and they were crying, ‘What do we do now, we made a mistake!’” Girls are like that, aren’t they? Oh, the Moodies are going to be quick, thank goodness! Did you try to find a woman in your past?I was on a journey like that. When you began writing “Your Wildest Dreams,” did you intend for it to become a pop hit?I’m unsure if that’s what I wanted, it’s just that’s what I thought I was doing. We had a keyboard player with us at the time, Patrick Moraz, who was quite demonstrative. Do you feel that “Your Wildest Dreams” created a funny divide of sorts for your fans? We had just come off an album called The Present, and that was our last album that took a lot of time to record. That would be horribly embarrassing. I can imagine a certain type of person hyping up The Other Side of Life compared to Days of Future Passed, and they’re … quite different.I know exactly what you mean. If you feel that you can’t or if it’s in safe hands with somebody else, that’s also fine. We were okay. As a band we still kind of looked good. They often had a voice for that concept. So, it’s the mid-’80s, and the Billboard charts are starting to see a prominent shift away from rock to pop. That’s the most important thing. It was a total open house. There’s a happiness that enters the room when you play that song. “Your Wildest Dreams” was perfect for that. I don’t believe we ever had a discussion with direction or anything like that, thankfully. What character did you play while writing “Your Wildest Dreams”?I just stumble through my life into songs. [Laughs.] He contributed a lot to our music and he was a great member. It’s as simple as that, really. When you say that you and the band were “lost,” what exactly do you mean? However, in the aftermath of the song’s release, it ended up spurring a personal journey for Hayward that he would advise “anybody else against doing.” Well then! But when I met Tony, I knew that I just wanted to be with him. Can you give me a better idea of where the Moodies were creatively at this time?I wish there had been a plan for us, because there was none. They get together and decide on a plan. I was always trying to write a pop song. Some people might not prefer our newer sound, but we all knew it was the right direction for the band. Our record company actually gave us money and a huge budget to do a video. So that’s my memory of “Your Wildest Dreams” — how quickly everyone was on board, because we never experienced that feeling before. Was this shift in sound unanimous or was there some resistance from other members?There was never those discussions; it was always what each member could contribute. “Your Wildest Dreams” is a bright spot in any show for me. There’s an element in songwriting of, well, I wouldn’t say tongue-in-cheek, but it’s kind of playing a character. That’s the lovely part about being in a group. It’s like going back to those streets. It’s interesting what you said about the Moodies becoming a touring band almost by necessity. It’s not fair on anybody to do that. Hey man, we have a hit!” People were behind it from the start. There was no argument there, he had to do this record.

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Adam McKay Calls Aaron Sorkin ‘the Right-Wing Version of Me’

But I would say Sorkin is slightly right of center. His interpretation of that trial was one of supporting the system. That last point may be true, but McKay’s cultural output isn’t exactly Jacobin. I’m not calling him a raging right-winger. There’s a lot of dialogue in that movie about belief in our institutions.”

McKay positioning himself as the leading leftist, anti-institutionalist voice in Hollywood is cute, but at least he had a hilarious reaction to the news that Zack Snyder wants to make a Fountainhead movie: “Ugh. I think that’s fair. In an interview on Monday, the New York Times asked The Big Short and Vice director Adam McKay who he thought was the conservative equivalent of himself — someone making explain-y political comedies about the issues, only from an opposite lens — and he answered, “The real right wing in our country is the moderates; the right-wing version of me — maybe this isn’t the best example — is an Aaron Sorkin.” Yes, the producer who makes us stan soulless right-wing #girlboss Shiv Roy on Succession believes that the creator of Democrat fanfiction The West Wing is his conservative counterpart, because the DNC has become fundamentally conservative. Photo: Jon Kopaloff/WireImage,

It’s the Spidermen pointing the finger at each other meme, but for middle-aged, white, male, quippy, liberal Hollywood directors. Referring to Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, McKay said, “I’m not calling Sorkin a Republican. You can put that in the interview: ‘McKay makes a look like he just ate rancid bacon.’”

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The Met Gala Returns With a Two-Part American Fashion Celebration

Five months out and you already know: Rihanna will win. How will Lady Gaga top four outfits and a show? The first exhibition is constructed within an “imaginary house,” where each room represents an “emotive quality” and is occupied by a fashion ancestor and its descendants. “In the garden, which is joy, the idea is to have a Mainbocher printed floral dress with the Oscar de la Renta dress that Taylor Swift wore to the Grammys.” You mean the one on our Ren Faire mood board? “And I’ve been really impressed by American designers’ responses to the social and political climate, particularly around issues of body inclusivity and gender fluidity, and I’m just finding their work very, very self-reflective. “So for the porch, which is warmth, the idea would be to have perhaps Bonnie Cashin’s blanket coat that we pair with André Walker’s coat made from Hudson Bay blankets,” Bolton explained. Sources

vogue

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Tags: Part one, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” will open in the Anna Wintour Costume Center on September 18 and remain open when “In America: An Anthology of Fashion” debuts on May 5, 2022. I really do believe that American fashion is undergoing a Renaissance.”

The two-part exhibition will be presented over the course of 2021 and 2022 in different areas of the museum. Both shows will run until September 5, 2022. The famed ball benefiting the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will now take place on September 13 instead of in May, per Vogue. The Met Gala, which generates most of the Costume Institute’s funding, will be a smaller celebration timed with the close of New York Fashion Week. Following 2020’s canceled event, the informal formal dress code — inspired by this year’s two-part exhibition — will celebrate the trends born out of the capitalist experiment we call home: The United States of America. “I think that the emphasis on conscious creativity was really consolidated during the pandemic and the social justice movements,” Andrew Bolton, the Wendy Yu curator in charge of the Costume Institute, told Vogue. Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Breaking: Jason Derulo will fall down the stairs at the Met Gala this year. The second part of the exhibition will focus on unfinished stories in American fashion history “in the context of race, gender, and materiality.” This year’s exhibitions are “made possible” by American app Instagram, with additional support from Condé Nast.

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Daniel Dae Kim Still Believes Hollywood Can Be Reformed

So that extends to being color conscious about your showrunner — and I don’t mean arbitrarily. So it is antiquated and outdated as a definition. And then the studio came in with Freddie Highmore, whom we both absolutely loved. There were maybe one or two of us that really had job security, and every other one of us was paging through the scripts as soon as we got them to see whether we survived. Adele Lim is a producer and screenwriter best known for co-writing the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians and, more recently, Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. I was not a very sympathetic character, so it would have been easy for me to get killed off without the show missing a beat. I was very transparent about it with my castmates, with my showrunner, with the studio from the start. These attacks against Asian Americans shouldn’t be a political issue. I’m sure that had a lot to do with my finding a place to fit in. It wasn’t good enough to bring attention to the subject. And so I paid out money from my own pocket to re-up the option, and I redeveloped it for the following year. I’m not digging ditches. My greatest fear was that the pilot of Lost would air but the series would not — because if you were to see the pilot as the totality of my character, you would have been left with that stereotype. There’s one school of thought: Why did it take so long? I’m grateful to theaters in the Asian American community, specifically East West Players and Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, the National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi, because there were so few opportunities. Were you two in solidarity?I really feel like actors hurt themselves by not working collectively, but there’s a lot in the system that deters actors from working collectively and it works against the studios’ interest for the actors to band together. Those things had never applied to me before that point. So about 20 years later, you’re on the other side producing with 3AD, which eventually led to the hit adaptation of The Good Doctor on ABC. At a certain point, it becomes how much are you going to try and buck this system or how much can you work within it? And then, at that point, the power dynamic shifts. At the same time, people shouldn’t fear the police. His dream role, as a budding actor in NYU’s theater program, was to play Henry V, Shakespeare’s sure-footed military king. The Good Doctor is a critically acclaimed KBS drama that aired in 2013 starring Joo Won as an autistic doctor with savantlike skills and spatial awareness. It’s not standard Korean (표준어) because I speak Busan satoori (사투리). I didn’t realize how far off that idea was from the reality of the business. How did those spaces function for you at the time? It’s no coincidence that I met my wife there as well. All of us were. I was used to apologizing, and this was the first time I never had to. Advocacy is not my full-time job. We pitched it to CBS, where I had a first-look deal, and they passed. I’ve probably worked with more difficult lead actors than good lead actors. Kim is the founder and CEO of 3AD, which he started in 2013 and runs with producer John Cheng. Daniel Dae Kim in Lost. At my best, I can serve to be a mouthpiece for a lot of these issues that don’t often get noticed unless someone with a following on social media amplifies it. In fact, there’s a heist movie we’re working on that I’ll be acting in with Randall Park. I’m glad I didn’t know because, had I known, maybe I wouldn’t have continued to pursue it. Understandably, he struggled, and he got frustrated. And the fact that they do says something negative about our society. In response to a viral video of a man being violently shoved in the Chinatown area of Oakland, California, Kim and Daniel Wu offered a reward of $25,000 for information that could lead to “the arrest and conviction” of the man responsible. So I texted Daniel and said, “Brother, let’s draw attention to this issue in a way that we just haven’t before.” That’s when we came up with the idea of the reward. There were times when I would just ask myself, What’s wrong with me? Is it something you discussed with Grace Park, who left the show for similar reasons? Were the demographics mostly white?Yeah, it’s a heavily Eastern European population and very blue collar. I’m curious to hear what your thoughts are and if they have shifted at all around policing. Still, he was able to use that time to start his own production company, 3AD, which is responsible for the ABC hit The Good Doctor. You could even argue it has had an effect on the way we cast now, if you look at the copycat shows that came out as a result of Lost. CBS was kind enough to give me a space on the lot and money for an executive. Sure.I will say this: Now, whenever I develop a show — and since The Good Doctor, I’ve developed maybe 20 — I specify right off the top what ethnicity the lead is. At the time, one of my sons was in elementary school, one was about to enter high school, and I really wanted them to grow up with a continuity of experience. Times called “very gymnastic,” when he was 34. How do you see your role as a celebrity in this arena with politicians, community organizers, and activists? The other school of thought is it’s not a given for anybody. Still, I think it was meaningful to Asian actors in the industry that you and Grace walked away. The original marketing for the show prominently featured Kim and Grace Park alongside the white leads, Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan. Would you say that’s true?Yes. Fun fact: Another alum is Michelle Zauner, better known as Japanese Breakfast. I remember you had originally tried to sell it to CBS, and they passed on it.CBS was nice enough to give me a production deal, but they never green-lit anything I produced. And I do know that the way things got spun by the end changed my relationships with them. Holy shit, that’s 35 years.Yeah. And that was March of 2020. It is a funny thing about my accent. I had just finished doing A Doll’s House at Pan Asian Rep, and I realized at the time that I had been given a great opportunity to work onstage by Tisa Chang. More Conversations

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Throughout the ’90s and early aughts, Kim performed in a number of theater productions in New York and L.A., including Romeo and Juliet (1991), The Chang Fragments (1996), and The Tempest (2002), in a production the L.A. Do I have it right that the show you’re currently shooting, The Hot Zone, is the first time you’ve been at the top of the call sheet?It is. Chin’s death became a rallying cause for Asian Americans. And the second time, when Shore came aboard, we had a conversation about it. The first time we developed it, it was with an Asian lead. It was the second negotiation where it became clear to me that I needed to get to a place that would make it acceptable for me to go on financially. It could be me! These are really nuanced questions, and you’re right in that a reward isn’t the be-all and end-all. At the time, CBS said it had offered them “large and significant” salary increases. There was no way to get reps — as they say, repetitions — because you cannot get better unless you practice it. East West Players and Pan Asian Rep both accepted me with open arms, and I was able to play roles I probably shouldn’t have played, like Prospero and Torvald even though I was too young. I think it would be obvious to most Koreans watching if I didn’t do that work. I also like to think they didn’t think I was so terrible that I didn’t deserve to be on the show. It’s the very first time in television, and I’ve been working in television for 31 years. I’m not going to say he was the one that wanted a white lead, but I will say that it became less clear to him how an Asian lead would work. 3AD now has a first-look deal with Amazon. Kim declined to go into specifics, as many of these projects are still in development, but he did mention that he’s working with America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco on a comedy about being a deaf man in America that’s currently in the works at Spectrum. How big was the difference between your pay and that of your co-stars Alex O’Loughlin and Scott Caan in the beginning?Significant. It ignores the various levels of aggression that come before that. But the two things we had in common were that our contracts were up at the same time and we were both Asian American on a show in Hawaii, where the Asian American population is significant. And then when the ratings come, the power dynamic shifts again because there’s a studio and network involved. So was it perfect? Are you familiar with it? Did you discuss that with the show’s creators?When I read the script for the pilot, I knew this was a land mine. I grew up in a steel town, and I felt very much like the Other for most of my upbringing. What we were doing wasn’t good enough. I’m talking about kindness and displaying leadership ability. Wow, so how long have you been together?Since 1986. When you start working with a showrunner, it has to be a proper meeting of the minds because he’s the one that’ll be running the show every day. Constantly. Tisa Chang started her career as an actor and dancer on Broadway before moving into directing and eventually establishing the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in New York in 1977. It became much more dramatic because of the way that it didn’t come together. Are you trying to move toward race consciousness rather than color-blind casting?Yeah, I don’t really love that term colorblind casting because it connotes this idea that it doesn’t matter, but it’s actually the opposite. It brings up a number of thoughts, one of which is that these kinds of attacks can only be seen in the context of the greater problem that we have in society. Photo: ABC/Courtesy of Everette Collection

How did you feel about the criticism of your accent from Koreans at the time? So it’s discouraged. Does the fact that the victim turned out to be Latino change anything for you?The victim turned out to be Latino? Subscribe Now! There was a card that said, “Daniel, I’m so sorry about what happened on set the other day.” The PA handed me a garment bag with the $2,500 Armani suit that my character was wearing in that scene. When we first moved to Easton, I was in first or second grade, and that time was actually pretty idyllic. I think that was definitely a part of the decision process. There had been a steady drumbeat of incidents since then, and it just seemed to fall on blind eyes and deaf ears. In 1991, I wanted to call that collective the Asian American Arts Directive. You can develop every show you want, but if none of them ever see the light of day, what’s the point? In terms of representation, we probably hired more Asian American actors than any other show over the same time span. And when you see your leads relaxing and comfortable and not being divas, then everyone else relaxes and focuses on the work. I never faulted him for the situation he was in. I think most people who knew me in high school would not have known I was going through this because the way I presented was very much as one of the gang and someone who was easy to get along with. Would you have done anything differently in hindsight?I honestly don’t think I would have done anything differently because it worked. We got married in 1993. What is the role of police, and how can we make policing effective? But once you sign a contract, you’re onboard. And that’s the time when hormones start to rage, and you start looking at girls and then automatically you think about your appearance more. And so when I saw the murder of Vicha Ratanapakdee and then the incident involving the man who was pushed on the street, both within a couple of days of each other, I really just got angry and exasperated and frustrated and hurt. Do you feel like that placed more responsibility on you than there should have been?It was a lot more work than is typical. And I feel much more comfortable speaking out regarding those issues than I do necessarily talking about liberal versus conservative politics. I’ve learned a lot since then, but it hasn’t changed my basic outlook that, in order to solve these issues long-term, it’s going to require a combination of things: investment in our communities through community organizations, education, and deterrence in some form. Everyone loves a good medical drama. Yeah. I was proven to be wrong. [Laughs] I also played Torvald in A Doll’s House in New York when I was 23 or something. Thank you for supporting our journalism. I worked harder on the preparation for that role than any other role I’ve ever done, especially on a day-in, day-out basis, because we were constantly getting revisions. (Kim developed it from a Korean drama.) Now, at age 52, he has his first lead role, on The Hot Zone: Anthrax, an anthology thriller on the National Geographic Channel, a Netflix movie Stowaway coming out April 22, and has evolved into a Hollywood spokesman, testifying in front of Congress on Asian American issues during an acutely violent year. I thought it was going to be more of an ensemble show, and if you look at the early marketing and promotion for the show, where Grace Park and I were featured equally as prominently as anyone else, it led me to believe that it could be. I wanted their personalities to grow in such a way that was free from the standards of beauty or standards of physicality that I grew up with that affected me in ways that I wish they didn’t. I did not want to put them in a situation where we went back to the mainland and they experienced that for the first time in the halls of high school. I made a lot of friends in the neighborhood, and we formed this posse that was fairly multicultural. So there was no reward, per se, to be paid out. When I was done a few days later, I got a knock on my door by a PA on NYPD Blue, and he said Jimmy had a gift for me. The first time I had developed Good Doctor, it was 2015 with Adele Lim. And in some ways they coincided with mine, and in some ways they didn’t. I was class president. So what was the goal at the negotiating table?Make us all equal. I mean, who contributes best to the authenticity of the story you’re telling? There are community organizations that believe in the need for alternative safety measures rather than introducing more cops. How did you cope with it?I tried to be very gregarious. It allowed people like me, who were younger and had a lower standard of living and lower expectations, to play roles like that. Were there other Korean writers in the room?There was Monica Macer and then one Korean American woman named Christina Kim. So it feels like a nice milestone, especially because so many actors who are much more talented than I never get to experience this. There are much smarter people than I who have dedicated themselves to these efforts full-time. The standard Korean pronunciation, pyo-jun-uh (표준어), comes out of Seoul. Was that how it had been pitched to you?I specifically asked if this was going to be an ensemble, and I was told that it would be. In 1982, Vincent Chin, was celebrating at his bachelor party when he was murdered in the parking lot by two white men who worked in the automotive industry. I had such a good experience on his movie Always Be My Maybe with Ali Wong, and I thought to myself, There’s no reason why this can’t continue. I remember that gesture even though it was 20 years ago. I don’t think it’s uncommon for people of Asian descent living in America to go through a period of self-hatred or self-denial. The police arrested the perpetrator, a homeless man who had allegedly shoved other people in Chinatown that day. Which ones? And let that race or gender or sexual orientation be reflected in those choices right off the top. It wasn’t. Not at all.And the thing is, it wasn’t a source of conflict for me. They thought Chin was Japanese (he was Chinese American) and allegedly yelled racial slurs at him, blaming him for the decline of American auto manufacturing. It wasn’t 2020. Ultimately, the show’s A plots would go to the two white leads, while Kim and Park played secondary characters. She lobbied for me. These are human issues. A lot of the perpetrators are suffering from mental-health issues. And it’s always been my dream, literally since 1991. What saved you?There was a writer there named Monica Macer, who’s a friend to this day. And so he had to have a level of comfort with it. We have hard days on set, but he went that extra step to make sure I knew he felt bad about it. *A version of this
article appears in the April 12, 2021, issue of New York Magazine. But that also speaks to the pipeline of actors that were pursuing this career at the time. And really, the question is, now that we have that attention, how can we further refine the solution? While we were shooting, I remember sitting down with Damon Lindelof and J.J. From what I understand, it was planned for me to be killed off in season one. The real question is, how are we looking at the nature of policing now, and how can we change policing so that the stigma attached to it isn’t what it is? We have a lot of income inequality, we have a lot of underprivileged communities who are struggling, and that struggle often becomes manifest in criminal behavior. When I saw The Good Doctor, I thought it was unique in that it had all of those soapy elements that we love in K-drama, but it had an engine to it that was very familiar to American audiences. I know that not every representation is 100 percent something we can stand behind all the time, but I choose to look at things as whether they’re moving the needle of progress on a larger scale. Can you talk about how those conversations went?It was 2017. I knew what my high-school prom king and queen looked like, I knew what all the popular kids looked like, and I knew that wasn’t me. I also made a donation to NextShark because they were doing such great work journalistically. And when I go to a writer, I say, “This is what it is.” I have ownership of the project only until a showrunner comes aboard. Instead, he made his way in the ’90s with small TV jobs and meatier parts with Asian American theater groups before becoming sexiest-man-alive famous through ABC’s blockbuster show Lost. And did you feel that was just not a hill you could die on at that point?Yeah. I’m trying to square the person who is playing Prospero in theater productions doing a hard-core CBS procedural.It’s pretty simple, and it’s that my family is my priority. I think we need to talk about the good with the bad. But it was something to spark the conversation. But was it good enough? Like? Always Be My Maybe is a 2019 rom-com starring Ali Wong and Randall Park as childhood friends who find their way back to each other as adults. So I’m grateful for it. But in sixth grade, I moved to the next town over, which was Bethlehem. Politics is not my full-time job. Did you pay the reward to anyone?It turns out that the police department already knew who the suspect was and then arrested him. So when we first started, because Yunjin spoke standard Korean, it was decided that I was going to try and change my Busan to standard Korean. So that was generally the process. I thought maybe I can parlay my time on the show into trying to direct and produce. Make us all the ensemble that I thought we always were, and get me back to where I was with Lost. In a profile in a local paper in the ’90s, Kim said his decision to become an actor had caused “some friction” with his parents. How did the Korean dialogue come together? Do you watch a lot of Korean dramas?I’ll sample a lot, but it takes a big commitment of time to go through them all. Once you were 40 or 50 in the ’90s, chances are you weren’t able to make a living acting. And I would also say I was proud of the fact that we as a show hired a lot of Asian Americans. I was also really naïve to think I had any real chance of making a living as an actor because I didn’t realize how much the deck was stacked against actors of color and Asian American actors at that time. I still am grateful to her for giving me that chance. Those of us in the Asian American community have known about these attacks for over a year. Were there conversations around casting a white actor versus a nonwhite actor or an Asian actor?I wanted an Asian lead. And then when your lead actor comes aboard, the power dynamic shifts again. When did you realize Hawaii Five-0 wasn’t the ensemble show you had thought it would be?By the middle of season one. Are you producing dream projects that you want to act in yourself? And I didn’t think that was an unreasonable position to take. The laws are considered from a perspective of, well, let’s be frank, white men, which is why the criminals who murdered Vincent Chin in 1982 never served a day in prison because “these are not the kind of men you send to jail.” The judge said that. Now, whenever I develop a show I specify right off the top what ethnicity the lead is. A lot of people may not know that you did a lot of theater in your career before Lost, particularly with Asian American theater groups, like David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child as well as the part of Prospero in The Tempest — which is funny given how young you must have been. I think I made a total of $13,000 for the entire year living in New York City. What did that mean for you?Let me put it this way: One thing that has never really properly been reported is the amount of pay cut I took to do Hawaii Five-0 from Lost. What are the social services that are available or not available to them? But there’s no doubt it stung when I felt like the people I was trying to respect and please the most were the ones who were critical of me. What is that math? You think, Why am I not considered attractive? Though I knew what a CBS procedural was, whether this was naïve or not, I had hopes that Hawaii Five-0 would be different because it was a show set in Hawaii, where the majority of people are not white. So that, plus thinking about the acting of it and realizing I did have an American accent — it became this weird mix of things. After Lost, you signed on for Hawaii Five-0. Nobody knew me, so I was easily labeled the “chink.” Good at math, nerdy, not an athlete. Where were you in 1991? Usually, in that circumstance, the project just dies, but I still believed in it. If you look at my very first video, when I contracted COVID and revealed my diagnosis, I mentioned to please stop the attacks against Asian Americans. When your contract was up for renegotiation, did you see that as an opportunity to have this conversation around equal pay?Yes. They pleaded guilty to manslaughter and served no jail time. That’s a false paradigm. The only time that, as a developer, I have real control is at the beginning. Kim grew up in Easton, Pennsylvania. If people like Grace and I cannot make those kinds of decisions, how can we expect anyone else to? Anyone who wants to commit a hate crime can easily avoid it being designated a hate crime just by understanding the law and how high the bar is for it to be required to be labeled that way. Yeah, according to the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, his name is Gilbert Diaz.That’s the first time I’m hearing that. So it was the work of going through the translation process and then thinking about the Korean of it, the pronunciation, and then going back and thinking about the character and his mannerisms as a Korean person as opposed to an American person, which, obviously, I am. We each took that money for the reward and gave it to community organizations throughout the country. It’s really about all the people who exist in the margins and telling their stories. I also really appreciated what Hawaii had to offer an Asian American family. Yonsei University in Seoul has one of the most popular Korean-language programs in South Korea. To me, I’m not so sure. I remember working with Jimmy Smits on an episode of NYPD Blue. There’ve been sets I’ve been on that have been miserable and lead actors I’ve worked with who I don’t feel were kind people. We had the luxury of being able to say no. What does the name mean? And it needs to be looked at, not from the perspective of the perpetrator but from the perspective of the victim. I was struggling to find any work. Through a lucky confluence of events, I was able to stay on and last the whole six seasons. The tone is set from the top down. “If you’re not aware of politics in any industry, you’re missing all of the ways to navigate it,” Kim says. In the way that Lost transformed that helped my character, this didn’t have the same trajectory. He confirmed his status as a TV staple with a role on the CBS reboot of Hawaii Five-0, which he left after seven seasons when the network wouldn’t raise his salary to match his white co-stars’. Clearly, it was. What helped you pull yourself out of that adolescent self-hatred?One of the biggest things was after my senior year of high school, I went to the Yonsei program. But to be clear, I’d renegotiated before that as well, and that’s how I was able to direct and start my production company, 3AD. The reboot of Hawaii Five-0 premiered on CBS in 2010. Photo: Jingyu Lin for New York Magazine

Daniel Dae Kim’s career is a study in the steady accumulation of power. And then I was an outsider and an Other, and my entire experience changed. So it’s hard for me to collectively say whether they were allies in this. That reward might have been a Band-Aid; it’s certainly not a cure for the systemic problem. It was drastic, and it was never made up. Were you afraid of your character, Jin, dying early on? Is the answer no police? And so it shifted the focus to creating a diverse ensemble. When Lost premiered in 2004, it was such a phenomenon with a huge ensemble cast. Aliens 3 was casting, and I remember thinking, Why can’t there be an Asian American in that group of people who get killed by the alien? That’s a matter of perspective, too. Kim plays Brandon Choi, a successful restaurateur and boyfriend to Wong’s celebrity chef, Sasha. Can you talk a little more about those standards? Lost was ahead of its time with its casting and story line, but I was curious about what was going on behind the scenes. I don’t see myself as an expert in any of these endeavors. I was getting paid well to live in Hawaii, and I was getting paid to act, which is ultimately what I always wanted. And so I felt like it was a bit of a unicorn. Understanding that my family was the priority dictated that I was going to stay with it because, look, I’m not mining coal. So what happened to the $25,000 reward you offered with your fellow actor Daniel Wu for the attack against the man in Chinatown? Why did you decide to do that? So you probably had a second job that limited your ability to pursue your craft fully. Abrams and saying, “Guys, this character cannot progress in this same way.” They basically said, “Trust us.” I did, and it turned out for the best. And that’s when showrunner David Shore came aboard and it [ended up at ABC]. Both Kim and Park left Hawaii Five-0 at the end of season seven after CBS reportedly refused to pay them equal to their white co-stars, O’Loughlin and Caan. One has to ask, What are the policies that are leaving people like them on the streets? Early on, there was some criticism from Asian American viewers about how Jin’s relationship with his wife, Sun [Yunjin Kim], relied on the stereotype of an overbearing man and a submissive woman. The opportunity to be able to learn Korean on an American TV show is once in a lifetime. I thought she would be a great person to shepherd this. And sure enough, there was a greater awareness that came about of Asian American hate. The greatest benefit of it all was that my Korean was never better. He was having a hard day on set because he got a monologue that was written for him 30 minutes before we were scheduled to shoot it. How did you come across The Good Doctor? Can you be more specific?[Shakes head] I’ve spoken more about it here than I ever have, so …

Photo: Jingyu Lin for New York Magazine

I want to return to your upbringing: What was your own experience growing up in Easton, Pennsylvania, that you wanted to be different for your kids?I just didn’t want them to always feel like they were on the margins. It was very clear and simple. And it’s completely understandable given the space we occupy because we all have to figure out a way of coping with it. If you don’t have the opportunity, then you’ll forever be at a certain level. So I think it’s really important just to see how a common system affects all the people of color and not focus on how communities of color are against one another. You received criticism for calling for police involvement. As an Asian actor, you’re just looking to get hired. NextShark.com bills itself as “the leading source for Asian American news.”

Tags: You recently spoke in front of the House Judiciary Committee about the importance of hate-crime legislation and designation in the wake of ongoing attacks against Asian Americans. I do believe that the police have a role to play. What did you want out of your career at that point?When I first started acting, I always envisioned a community of actors and artists much like Andy Warhol’s Factory, where Asian American actors, writers, directors, poets, playwrights, visual artists, and musicians come together and have a place to work collectively. I’ve always tried to be forward looking, and I thought, Well, since Hawaii Five-0 hasn’t turned out the way I was hoping as an actor, what more can I do here? But it really is an homage to — gosh, homage is such a pretentious word — it’s a callback to one of my original goals when I started in this business and the fact that I’ve been able to get to a place to have that dream actually become a reality. And it’s not that my company is necessarily about Asian Americans now. Could you talk a bit about why it’s important to name something a hate crime?In many cases, the standard is just unreasonable. I don’t think you can question the positive effect Lost had on representation. And also, let’s be honest, I was able to make a good living. I also did Yonsei.It was an inflection point in my life because it was that feeling of community that I’d never had before and that feeling that I’d met people who went through the same thing that I was going through. I hope it’s going to be an all-star Asian cast. It’s about working within the system to try and change it when you have the opportunity. I don’t think this is necessarily just about race, but I grew up thinking I was really ugly because I did not look like the traditional standards of what was considered beautiful. How did the casting for the lead come about? That’s the kind of environment that I enjoy the best because I’ve had plenty of the opposite. I felt like we were so close to getting a show made, and ultimately that is the goal. For people to have to yell a racial slur before they physically attack someone in order for it to be designated a hate crime is a little ludicrous. All it takes is working in the New York theater to realize how many incredibly talented actors there are at any given moment. And I think there were some ways where I worked harder to prove myself as American by leading. His father was an anesthesiologist at Easton Hospital, and his mother worked at home. The way the dialogue was put together was they would write it in English and then I would go to someone in Hawaii and translate it together with that person. It’s both an opportunity for me and emblematic of how difficult it was for older Asian American actors to maintain a career. I asked for both of those things, and that’s how I was able to start my company. She is African American and Korean American. Kim was born in Busan, in the southeastern province of Gyeongsang-do, which has its own regional dialect that has often been rendered in popular media as the tough guy’s. I gave to Stop AAPI Hate, Hate Is a Virus, the GoFundMe that was the AAPI Community Fund. That said, I was transparent with Grace about my goals, and Grace had her own goals. That’s a very diplomatic answer. Then I would learn it in Korean. Did you feel like your castmates were allies to you in this?I think any time you have an ensemble of actors, everyone’s objectives are unique and individual. So it also touches on the issue of mental health. Those are the stories I will tell till the cows come home because they inspire me to keep going. But my kids blissfully had never had to experience that. The character grew to a place where I don’t think you’d call him a stereotype by the end. I thought the stakes needed to be raised somehow. I wanted them to feel like if they were going to succeed or fail, it wasn’t because of what they looked like. It was painful because, as my career since then has borne out, I take a great deal of pride in being Korean American.

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John Oliver Has the Last Laugh About Prince Philip

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Tags: (They are, specifically, third cousins from Queen Victoria’s lineage.) “Yeah, it’s true,” Oliver added. Photo: HBO

With the United Kingdom still in its eight-day national mourning period after the death of Prince Philip, John Oliver, a noted detractor of the royal family, seems to want everyone to remember one particular thing about that Windsor rapscallion. Taking a verbal detour on Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver reminisced about how exactly Philip was an ideal suitor for Queen Elizabeth prior to their 1946 wedding, and it involved … genetics. And even if you know a little bit about him, you might not know this,” Oliver cracked, showing a now-viral clip of a British newsman admitting Philip and Elizabeth were related. “In the U.K., Prince Philip died, which is a tragedy if you don’t know a single thing about him. “Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth are cousins who later got married — also known as a Giuliani meet-cute.” That Community writer surely must feel vindicated now.

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In Artist Cory Arcangel’s Latest Show, Kim Kardashian Provides the Material

As Arcangel himself put it, he is “no longer the author of the narrative … In that sense it’s like having an animal in a work or a performance in the gallery.”

The work takes up most of the first room you enter in the gallery: An 8-by-16-and-half-foot-tall monitor shows the feed from a computer running, as the bot’s website explains, a “Deep-Q machine learning super computing system.” (It’s souped up with a heavy-duty processor and other equipment beloved by hard-core gamers that a gallery assistant described as a “Twitch flex”; it’s almost definitely the first time this gear has been used to play Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.) The area where the computer sits is staged like a workspace, complete with what appears to be a commemorative mouse pad featuring a still from Various Self Playing Bowling Games. salads (“While the best things in life are messy, it’s fun to get clean”). The bot playing the game “at random” stands in stark contrast to the not-at-all-random nature of Kim’s campaign of self-promotion, and also to the aim of the game itself: to execute a series of carefully calculated moves in order to get famous. Photo: Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

Money and fame, by any means necessary, has always been Kim Kardashian West’s aim. “Cory Arcangel: Pro Tools” also featured a major video-game work, Various Self Playing Bowling Games (aka Beat the Champ). There are also a few of Arcangel’s so-called “flatware” works, Ikea tabletops affixed with prints showing close-ups of the logos on track pants. The humor of those objects also gives context to his Kardashian-based opus: It confirms that Arcangel is making a joke, and that he’s also making a point. The longer I stood there watching, the more I realized that Arcangel never thought the bot would win the game. Not to mention the Calabasas estate that he and Kim designed with Axel Vervoordt: Their home was literally a white cube, and contemporary art abounded. gallery in 2016 (aptly titled FAMOUS). Kim’s savvy as a businesswoman is clearly not enough to stop her from being the butt of the joke when it comes to the art world. (The game lets you design your own avatar; one looks a little like Arcangel.) You need cash to use transportation in the game, while another currency called stars can be used to purchase condos, furnishings, pets, and favor with other people — it’s Kim Kardashian’s Hollywood, after all. The bot had only $2 to his name when I walked in, and $3 when I walked out over an hour later. There is a group of what you might call works on paper: a series of airplane vomit bags on which Arcangel has printed “now let’s be clear” and “I don’t know who needs to know this” and other phrases that often precede a scolding Twitter thread. While her ascent may seem undeserved to many observers, she made it happen through a series of strategic tabloid story placements and product deals. Her acceptance among the cultural elite has more or less been predicated on her monetary success and proximity to her partner (see: the joint Vogue cover). If you somehow didn’t know what Kim and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood signified (capitalism, consumer culture, casual narcissism, lowbrow pining for highbrow acceptance …), it would appear that all Arcangel has done is create a bot that plays a video game. Each time the machine-learning bot, which Arcangel named /roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ (pronounced like the “Rodeo” in “Rodeo Drive”) recognizes an image onscreen, it decides whether to click or make a gameplay move. It also made me hyperaware of our moment — one in which Kim Kardashian West has already gamed the system and become a household name. (Lindsey Weber, writing for Vulture in 2014, called the game “better than it has any right to be.”)

Now, nearly seven years and tens of millions in residual checks later, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is getting the white-cube treatment: It’s the primary material for artist Cory Arcangel’s show “Century 21,” on view at the Chelsea gallery Greene Naftali, until April 17. A decade later, Arcangel’s more recent algorithm-oriented work feels like a natural successor to his other video-game interventions. In nearly an hour of watching the game, I saw Kim’s avatar only twice, both times because the bot had quit out and restarted gameplay, prompting an intro screen which displays a cartoon version of her face. The joke’s on her, but it’s also on us. After watching this loop for a while, I was ready to scream — ready to grab the computer’s mouse and take over. In the case of Super Mario, he removed all elements except for the scrolling clouds; with his Hogan’s Alley “mod,” he replaced gangster characters with Andy Warhol. And in a way, this is exactly how the game was always meant to be played. This new installation is evidence that the artist has leveled up, meeting the complexity we now require to feel the same sensations he’s always tried to elicit from the viewer; his Nintendo clouds no longer feel absurd enough. But Kim can never really outgrow some of the ventures that got her there. For the piece, he hacked bowling video games to create an infinite loop of gutter balls. Arcangel is known for his technological interventions that wink at the absurdity of the digital age. As much as the joke is on Kim, the piece wouldn’t work without her. She once claimed to have cashed an $80 million check from Kim Kardashian: Hollywood alone, though Forbes estimated that figure was probably closer to $20 million. The 42-year-old artist, who’s now based between Brooklyn and Norway, had his breakout with his 2002 “game modifications,” a series of works for which he hacked classic Nintendo games like Super Mario Brothers and Hogan’s Alley to create something entirely new. Two other bot-related works are also on view: one with multiple monitors that shows a bot automatically liking corporate tweets, and one in which two bots play chess against each other by posting Instagram comments. Crosshairs represent the “mouse”; a “click” noise that sounds a little bit like a guitar strumming comes out of a speaker nearby. Related

Did North West Really Paint This? Over time, her brand-savviness and amassed wealth have earned her the respect of at least some of the “right” people; she now regularly graces the pages of magazines like Forbes and Vogue as an entrepreneur, criminal-justice reformer, and billionaire shapewear creator, rather than a chronically attention-seeking reality star. There’s a reason why the computer station’s plinth is bounded by one of those little gallery stanchions: look, but do not touch. (The sounds were designed by Daniel Lopatin, who performs under the name Oneohtrix Point Never.)

The bot’s gameplay in the gallery. In real life, the game did actually make Kim a solid chunk of change. Often, the bot would be prompted to watch a free ad to gain stars. As he once said of his works, “They seem like a joke at first, but it’s never what they are. It had neither the drive nor the ability to do so. Arcangel’s Greene Naftali show includes his installation /roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ Let’s Play: HOLLYWOOD, which allows us to watch as a bot attempts to play Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. Cory Arcangel’s /roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ Let’s Play: HOLLYWOOD at Greene Naftali. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband, Kanye West, has had more success at the crossover: He studied painting, he’s commissioned artists such as George Condo and Takashi Murakami to create his album covers, and he even staged his own solo show at a blue-chip L.A. He told the Brooklyn Rail at the time that the working title of the piece had been The Failure of Western Civilization, and that his goal was to create a “humiliating, mind-numbing experience” that was both funny and awkward. In that regard, the whole experience scored for realism: If you really were a guy at a bus stop with $2 left in your pocket, you probably would not interact with Kim Kardashian unless you saw her likeness on a billboard or advertisement. If you look at them they’re always a little bit more complicated.”

/roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ Let’s Play: HOLLYWOOD certainly says a lot about the specific nature of Kardashian’s fame. In contrast to his earlier work, the code of the game itself has not been altered. In 2011, Arcangel became one of the youngest artists ever to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum. Photo: Courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York

I dropped in on a bad day for the poor bot: Its avatar in the game, a blonde guy with a goatee, was shown stuck at a bus stop in downtown L.A. Among her iconic lowbrow mid-career ventures: the smartphone game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The other works in the show are supporting characters to /roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ Let’s Play: HOLLYWOOD, but are also more obviously funny. Screen Time at the ‘World’s First Physical NFT Gallery,’ Whatever That Means

Tags: Launched in 2014, the entire point of the game is for players to garner as much money and fame as possible. Kim herself has not broken through in the same way. Every time the bot tried to click into one of the prompted game moves — such as getting on the bus, adopting a stray cat named Charli, or confronting your character’s nemesis, Dirk Diamonds, at “Mirimount Pictures” — a pop-up would inform the player it didn’t have enough cash. These pieces seem to justify /roʊˈdeɪoʊ/ Let’s Play: HOLLYWOOD’s existence in a gallery by showing that Arcangel does work in other media, throwing viewers a bone with tangible objects that are easier to understand as art. And when the bot watches an ad, you, the gallery-goer, watches an ad, too, for everything from Rock & Roll Denim to Walden University. Before she had her own brand, Skims, she stumped for Charmin (the toilet paper), Skechers Shape-Ups (including a Super Bowl spot), and Carl’s Jr.

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Artist Dawoud Bey on 6 of His Photos That Pushed His Work Forward

And she was fully present. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Rena Bransten Gallery, Stephen Daiter Gallery, and Sean Kelly Gallery

Untitled #25 (Lake Erie and Sky), 2017

This was the final destination in America of the underground railroad. *A version of this
article appears in the April 12, 2021, issue of New York Magazine. These became the Brooklyn street portraits, and I had an exhibition of the photographs in Brooklyn, which is another piece of the process: I wanted the people in the photos and people in the community to have access to the photographs that I made. Often depicting Black subjects, Bey understands that the collective aches we feel today are the remnants of yesterday’s agony, attesting to poet Audre Lorde’s verse: “And there are no new pains.”

On April 17, Bey’s retrospective exhibition “An American Project” opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art, with photographs made over the nearly five decades of the native New Yorker’s career. It was the beginning of a new way of making and thinking about my work. It’s 50 miles across Lake Erie to get to Ontario, to get to freedom. I spent a lot of time on both sides of the street at that corner, measuring the light at different times of the day. I’m not sure that I intuited that I was the same age as she was, but that photograph was seared into my psyche. One woman subject said, “You know, you’re making me remember things.” They were all haunted by the memory of that moment. This was a much more deliberate, slower way of working that demands an even greater degree of consent and reciprocity. But this way, they’re able to both confirm and affirm the way that I was seeing them. With these two, I like their own individual sense of style and how they are performing coolness for the camera. I realized in that moment that if I couldn’t figure this out, I wasn’t going to be able to do and be this thing that I imagined myself being because it was clearly going to continue to come up. Where one sees an ocean, he sees the people who drowned in route to freedom. The darkness of these locations made me think of Roy DeCarava, and then Langston Hughes’s poem came to mind, “Dream Variations,” where he writes: “Night coming tenderly / Black like me.”

This was the last photograph that I took for this series. I spotted him and knew that I wanted to make a photograph of him because of the way he was dressed. That’s when I said, This ain’t a place of the imagination, you are standing at a site because their presence was there. When I saw this man, on Sunday morning on 132nd Street near Adam Clayton Powell, he was standing with a group of maybe three other older men having a conversation. In addition to the Whitney show, he has a new monograph coming out with MACK Books, Street Portraits, as well as some work in the New Museum’s current exhibition, “Grief and Grievance: Art and Mourning in America.” Meanwhile, he’s preoccupied with his newest conceptual landscape project, which involves making photographs at the sites of four former plantations in southern Louisiana, along the west bank of the Mississippi River. It was in fact made in Boston. The whole community is proud of you. She got her medals, she pinned them on, and she was walking around the neighborhood — she was passing by on the block I lived on in Brooklyn. That intensity of focus and engagement. This was also the largest photograph that I made, because I wanted the viewer to feel the place, to embody the physicality of the landscape on this scale. But I knew him and he knew me. He was a clear visualization to me of Harlem’s past in the contemporary moment. It’s one of the first successful diptych realizations of a more complex way of thinking about the multiple images in relation to time and a shifting psychology. I had developed a confidence to insert myself into a wide range of social situations and I was just standing there, waiting. At this point, I would basically do anything. I wanted to eliminate the narrative of place. In a boy at a bus stop, he sees a Rembrandt painting. Black people had to go in and out of the water in order to wash away their scent if the dogs were tracking them. The four girls had a kind of mystic and abstract presence. Look how he styles that Kangol in his own particular way. What does an 11-year-old girl look like? It was almost like I could look up and see them. I’m not passing judgment, just allowing them an arena to describe themselves to me and by extension to the viewer. The demeanor of the subject in the portrait is always somewhere between natural and staged, since it’s an unnatural situation. And to focus more resolutely on the subject. And that continued in my work. Then, in the middle of the night in 2005, that picture came rushing back with such a force that it made me bolt upright in bed. Photo: Courtesy Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Hilary and Taro, Boston, MA, 1992

This work moves toward a more deliberate kind of process that also takes into consideration, conceptually and materially, the idea of reciprocation. And the water is also how Black people were brought to this country. Subscribe Now! He was the lone figure in the triangle amongst the light and dark and shadows. In Bey’s 35-mm camera images, his Polaroid portraits, and his large-format landscapes, we feel both the passion and contempt that he holds for his complicated country: In a street corner filled with rubbish, Bey sees the poetics of home. He had a hard-core persona, so I never approached him to photograph him. You realize why people didn’t want to talk about this moment: It’s not something that you want to remember, but we have to. It’s the first time that I saw in my work the thing that I was hoping to see. When I got up to them, I couldn’t figure it out, so I said good morning and kept walking. I made them in Brooklyn so I wanted folks in Brooklyn to see themselves. —Sasha Bonét

A Man in a Bowler Hat, Harlem, NY, c. Water is an important part of the Black experience, and it holds memory, even when we don’t. Those that crossed here. I got to the end of the block. 1976

I would say that everything that I know about making photographs comes from this photograph. I just fixed my gaze on him and I said, “Hi. This was the moment in this project when I stopped working and I went home to regroup. How are you? So I turned around and started walking back. Even when I was photographing in Harlem in the ’70s, I would make eight-by-ten prints and carry them around in my camera bag so that if I saw the person again, I would give them a print. She was really active in school. I started to become uncomfortable with that. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Daiter Gallery

A Girl with School Medals, Brooklyn, NY, 1988

This girl had pinned on all her school medals. I have a long love affair with light and the evocative quality that light imparts on the landscape and on the subject. Many of the locations of the route are unknown. The idea that someone would give me a stipend and an apartment — and every day for 30 days all I had to do was get up and work from sunup to sundown — it was an extraordinary gift. Polaroid had an Artist Support Program, where they would grant artists time in the 20-by-24 studio in SoHo and provide the film. (No matter where his work pulls him, he always follows the water. It’s a very conscious set of choices that he’s made in his self-presentation. They brought home a book called The Movement. Some of the sitters knew some of the girls. The social dynamics involved with photography are about momentarily inserting yourself into the lives of the individuals in order to make the photograph you want to make. “It’s a very odd moment because the retrospective kind of pulls you back into a conversation that you’ve already resolved,” says Bey, speaking from his home in Chicago on a recent Saturday morning. Proving that water is a body too.)

It’s been nearly 50 years since Bey started making work. Birmingham was once called Bombingham for all the bombs that would detonate. Even the warm-brown backdrop that I’ve set up and the single light source were entirely related to what I found interesting about Rembrandt’s work. When Caela walked in, she was so small, and my heart just caught. And then, when she got in front of the camera, her whole disposition changed. I had no formal training up to this point and had largely self-educated myself by spending time in different galleries and museums, looking at the work of James Van Der Zee and Roy DeCarava and Irving Penn. This is the first of what turned into a research-based project. Not four little girls as a group. 1976. For my series “Night Coming Tenderly, Black,” I wanted to imagine the Black subject without placing them in front of the camera — but rather by placing the viewer in their path. But he remembers the street corners, the names, and the way his heart was beating when he encountered every subject. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Rena Bransten Gallery, Stephen Daiter Gallery, and Sean Kelly Gallery

Mary Parker and Caela Cowan, Birmingham, AL, 2012

In 1964, when I was 11 years old, my mother and father went to hear James Baldwin lecture at the church I grew up in. One of them was track, one of them was dance. This man just ignored me, but he knew I was there. We’re all proud. None of those people in my Syracuse photographs ever saw their photos. Related

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Tags: Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Daiter Gallery, and Sean Kelly Gallery

A Young Man at the Bus Stop, Syracuse, NY, 1985

This was made during the first time I was invited to do an artist’s residency. Hilary and Taro were high-school students in Andover, Massachusetts, who had agreed to sit for me at my residency at the Addison Gallery of Art. Dawoud Bey, A Man in a Bowler Hat, Harlem, NY, c. Do you mind if I make a picture of you?” Which is to say: Do you mind if I affirm your presence? When I was setting up the camera that day in Cleveland, I felt this absolutely palpable presence of hundreds of people standing around watching me work. His visual poetics show the America we want to forget. I used to see Biggie (Notorious B.I.G.) because we worked on the same corner every day. I wanted to affirm that: Oh, I love those medals! My series “The Birmingham Project” was a real conceptual shift in my work. This photograph was initially inspired by my encounter with Rembrandt paintings. Thank you for supporting our journalism. I’m so proud of you. He welcomed the chance to discuss six photographs that represent pivotal evolutions in his career — with every image elaborating on the concepts preceding, a navigation through the power imbalances between subject and shooter. I knew that I wanted to make work that gave them a more tangible, palpable presence. I was looking at the lines on his warm-up suit and the coherence of the spatial geometry and the narrative of space and place. This is probably the end of the school year. I wanted to focus on the African American community within the landscape of the city. I had started making black-and-white Polaroids on Cambridge Place between Fulton and Gates in Clinton Hill. Photo: Courtesy of the artist, Sean Kelly Gallery, and Stephen Daiter Gallery

Dawoud Bey’s work is both a documentation and an excavation. There was a photograph of Sarah Jean Collins lying in the hospital bed with her eyes covered in gauze bandages from the dynamiting of the 16th Street Baptist Church that killed her sister, Addie Mae Collins, along with three other girls on September 15, 1963. That’s when I decided to go to Birmingham. I decided that I would make portraits of young people in Birmingham who were the exact same ages as the children killed in the bombing and of people who were the age that the girls would be were they alive today. I only wanted to photograph him, not the group, and I didn’t quite know how to do that yet. I started working with the Polaroid positive-negative film because I could make an instant print that I could give to the person in addition to the negative from which I was able to make exhibition prints later. He could have been standing there in 1920 or 1930 or 1940. There are fundamental problematics in the imbalance in the relationship between subjects and photographers. She did good, so let me immortalize her in a photograph. *An earlier version of this piece incorrectly stated that the Hilary and Taro image was made in Chicago. The photographer is preoccupied with history and its effects on our contemporary experience, chronicling the America that resides largely in the shadows and bringing it closer to the center. I really love the way you look. I was having this intense conversation with myself; I suddenly realized that this outing was going to be a little more complicated than I thought. Some of them remembered feeling the blast.

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Bad Bunny Announces New 2022 World Tour at Wrestlemania 37

The news arrives, as all the best news does, a day after the rapper bested The Miz and John Morrison during his wrestling debut in a tag-team match alongside Damian Priest on Saturday, the first night of the two-day wrestling bonanza. “You did amazing at Wrestlemania,” WWE wrestler Triple H tells Bad Bunny in the tour’s announcement video, released Sunday. Related

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Tags: 🛣#BadBunny has announced his 2022 tour! Soon, however, they’ll be gassed up and rolling all over this beautiful globe of ours for the Puerto Rican artist’s newly revealed 2022 tour, in support of his album El Último Tour Del Mundo, which dropped in November. Hope you enjoyed Bad Bunny’s moves while you could, WWE fans. 🎤 @TripleH pic.twitter.com/aX6zN5VvtF— WWE (@WWE) April 12, 2021

Bad Bunny and his trusty semi rolled into Tampa this weekend to take part in this year’s two-day Wrestlemania. “But now, it’s time for you to do what you do.” The singer nods as he accepts the gift of a skull-emblazoned microphone: “Thanks.” The announcement video also includes a list of upcoming dates in the United States, including Barclays Center on March 19, and the day tickets go on sale: Friday, April 16 at 12 p.m. His truck might not be rolling back ringside any time soon. After an incredible #WrestleMania performance, it's time for @sanbenito to hit the road.

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Watch Logan Paul Take a Stunner During Wrestlemania 37 Night Two

Or, in this case, for Peacock. Luckily, Paul eventually got his, and was kicked and thrown over Owens’s morally righteous shoulder onto the mat and, according to fans on social media at least, taking the stunner with more commitment and dedication than our nation’s former president Donald Trump, who famously received (and sort of biffed) a stunner from Stone Cold Steve Austin during Wrestlemania 23 in 2007. If you like WWE, you already know Sunday evening was the second night of this year’s Wrestlemania 37. Hey, not every heel is ready for prime time. Related

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Tags: If not, we thought you might enjoy watching YouTube star, “modern Benedict Arnold,” and guest announcer Logan Paul receive a stunner from wrestler Kevin Owens after foolishly entering the ring during Owens’s match against competitor Sami Zayn, shoving Zayn to the ground, and, most unbelievable of all, attempting to call the match for a horrified Owens.

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Youn Yuh-jung Thanks British Snobs for Liking Her Minari Performance

Every award is meaningful, but this one, especially [to be] recognized by British people, known as very snobbish people, and they approve me as a good actor. Youn is a legend. Just look at the joy on presenter David Oyelowo’s face as he bowls over with laughter at her little bit of observational comedy. So I’m very, very privileged and happy.” Calling Brits out as “very snobbish people” during a BAFTA acceptance speech, to their faces, and making the whole room laugh and be totally charmed by it? Accepting the award remotely, the 73-year-old actress gave her condolences about the Duke of Edinburgh before continuing, “Thank you so much for this award. Related

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Tags: We hope she wins the Oscar, partially because she gives an incredible performance in Minari but mostly so she can roast us next. Here it is, the best awards acceptance speech of 2021. On the second night of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards (BAFTAs if you’re nasty), Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung won the Supporting Actress award for her role as Soonja in Minari.

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Kid Cudi’s Floral Dress on SNL Was a Tribute to Kurt Cobain

Bang!-era comedy chops in a pre-taped musical sketch with Chris Redd and some other guys. Love you man we did it!!!— The Chosen One (@KidCudi) April 11, 2021

Cudi also announced that he is doing a collection with Off-White, and “the dress will be included”. Virgil designed the dress for me. But the highlights of the show were his musical performances, which he used to pay sartorial tribute to the late Kurt Cobain, as well as late SNL cast member Chris Farley. For his first number, a performance of “Tequila Shots,” Cudi wore a t-shirt with Farley on it underneath a fuzzy green cardigan resembling the famous one Cobain wore for Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged New York concert in 1993. Thank You @virgilabloh ur a fuckin genius!! I told him I wanted to show love to Kurt w a floral print sundress and this man made a masterpiece. On Cudi and Kanye West’s collaboration Kids See Ghosts in 2019, Cobain was credited as a songwriter and composer for the song “Cudi Montage,” which sampled Cobain’s “Burn the Rain” guitar riff. Photo: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

On last night’s Saturday Night Live, musical guest Kid Cudi exercised his Comedy Bang! Related

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Tags: The fashion moment of the night (besides Bowen Yang’s iceberg headpiece of course) came when Cudi wore a floral dress by Off-White for a performance of “Sad People.” Cudi confirmed on Twitter on Sunday that this, too, was an ode to Cobain, and that the dress was designed for him by Virgil Abloh.

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Tags:

This SNL Rap Features Chris Redd and 3 Other Guys

Redd and these other guys rap about how they take proper care of their weird little flutes, and all the non-musical activities they can do with their weird little flutes. But just like Mike Wazowski, Chris Redd is funny, he’s the heart of these sketches, he’s got great flow, and he deserves more. where Mike Wazowski keeps getting cropped out of things like the TV spot and the magazine cover? So let’s talk about last night’s “Weird Little Flute” sketch, in which Redd and some other guys rap over a “Xanned out tempo” about those weird little flutes that pop up in the production on tracks like “Big Pimpin’,” “Sure Shot,” and “Mask Off.” What is it with rappers and those weird little flutes? Something similar has been happening to Saturday Night Live’s Chris Redd. You know that joke in Monsters, Inc. But we’re betting it all on Redd, baby. Related

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Tags: The other guys in the sketch just happen to be Pete Davidson, Kid Cudi, and Timothée freaking Chalamet. It seems that every time he makes a music-video sketch with Pete Davidson, he’s cropped out of the headlines covering it the next day.

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Saturday Night Live Recap: Carey Mulligan Kicks the Drama Into Hyperspace

The War in Words: Bertie & Mary

This iteration of the wartime letter-writing sketch finds Bertie (Mikey Day) sending correspondence to his beloved Mary (Mulligan) from the Atlantic during WWII. It’s a limited concept but a fun beat with a constantly evolving worldview. There’s only so far the cycle of grievance and embarrassment can carry it, but lovers of scat comedy won’t mind. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Good on them for squeezing a lot out of a simple observation. It’s not a flashy sketch, but it’s an excellent character portrait that makes for one of the night’s best. — this year’s Promising Young Woman is something of a comedy despite its darkness, so her Oscar-nominated turn in that film put her on the short list for SNL hosts during this awards season. Thompson and Nwodim do well with the same friendly yet dismissive tack, and Chris Redd brings some necessary relief in the form of his misbehaving weatherman. Between the dick jokes and shots at Days Inn, the hosts don’t have a lot of noteworthy zingers. Down to the word choices about speaking truth and holding onto one’s power, it’s a playful poke at a certain sort of entitled young millennial/old zoomer. While it’s great to see Johnson get some time in the spotlight, and a nice impulse to humanize these twerking-class ladies, the bit relies more on stripper clichés than it does character. L’Eggs

Two ladies (Aidy Bryant, Mulligan) crash an after-school meeting of the Beat Buddies, a bunch of freestyling 15-year-olds. Bryant’s support work, which mirrors many of McKinnon’s choices, is also essential. And specifics including a jellyfish fact and a gecko in a less-than-ideal habitat really help to sell Josh and Jason’s specific sort of dorkiness. Catty, defensive, and emo, Yang gives a pitch-perfect version of a celebrity on an apology tour, deflecting questions about their questionable behavior to the end. A lot of fans love these sketches, but admittedly, I rarely hook into anything revolving around stupid people saying stupid things. After posing as kids themselves, the ladies reveal they’re ambassadors for L’eggs, and hope to convince the kids that pantyhose is cool. In contrast, the final guest is Bowen Yang, as the iceberg that sank the Titanic. Though the sketch has probably had half a dozen incarnations, when counting bits from Maya & Marty, the conceit still works. (Their arrival back into the real world, with the aggrieved employee of a music store (Mulligan), is a nice touch.) Hell, why not throw a sleeping grandma (Aidy Bryant) and a Timothée Chalamet cameo in there? Though Bryant, Redd, and Mulligan all make their idiots likable, the writing wouldn’t succeed without Thompson there to ground it. Then her husband, Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons, offers to provide musical services at any time during the show. In the sea of stupidity, the contestants do create some stories with fun details, e.g., a delivery-room doctor who won’t stop explaining WandaVision or a group of kids forced to compliment a scantily clad 60-year-old. As usual, this week’s sketches are presented here ranked from best to worst. Tags: Even though there aren’t all that many films to cite, this parody teases out an incredible number of clichés that show up in this sort of period piece — how limited the dialogue, how sad the flirting. She exits and a fellow audience member hands her IBS medication Tremfalta, but the rest of the commercial is a distraught janitor (Kenan Thompson) and school administrator (Aidy Bryant) coming to terms with the bathroom disaster. IBS Medicine Ad

In this commercial parody, a woman at her son’s recital (Mulligan) is forced to head to the bathroom due to IBS issues. Lesbian Period Drama

In the tradition of Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Ammonite, Lesbian Period Film stars two actors (Heidi Gardner, Mulligan) in a quiet, tension-filled two hours that may or may not lead to a serious sex scene. While he expresses the standard soldier’s concerns about loneliness and fear, she slowly proves that she is a terrible wife and more than likely a criminal. Gardner and Mulligan milk the freighted glances and brief skin contact for all they’re worth, and Kate McKinnon’s drop-in as the overly familiar ex brings in a new energy that carries through to the end. Carey Mulligan Monologue

Chatty and convivial, Mulligan talks about shopping in New York, quarantining with family, funneling her creative energies into bedtime stories, and being mistaken for Michelle Williams. In the end, it’s a shit joke, so there’s not a lot of surprises to be had. Mulligan’s cheery delivery is nice on its own, but her banter with Mumford turns the monologue into a genuine sketch. For all the drama in the sketch, though, it ends abruptly. Unlike a lot of dramatic actors hosting SNL, the writers gave Mulligan plenty of room to play and she made good use of it. From the stilted, formal speech pattern to the generally awkward body language, McKinnon’s subtle character work kills it here. Study Buddy

After finishing their school project, teenage Chrissy (Mulligan) flirts with her nerdy work partner, Josh (Kate McKinnon), on her papasan. While SNL hasn’t announced an episode for next week, it must be planning another short run of two or three before the end of the season in May. Star Trek Spinoff

Though the Starcharter Andromeda is slowly being pulled into a black hole, young ensigns McKenna (Mulligan) and Zachary (Mikey Day) are losing their minds over criticism from their superiors. It’s fine, not fantastic. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Punkie Johnson comes on as Pineapple, one of the strippers in the Instagram Live video that got ESPN analyst Paul Pierce fired. Bryant and Mulligan have fun with the square ’80s ladies, and there’s a careful dissection of panty hose in general (e.g., wanting one’s legs to look like “sheer beige columns”). While it’s still a leap to the realm of sketch comedy, Mulligan’s public persona has a natural lightness to it, and she’s gone along with plenty of goofy little projects (e.g., the New Yawk–centric short she made with Vogue in 2015). Both Redd and Bennett do justice to their real-world counterparts, and while the premise of the bit is a little dull, they flesh it out well. Mulligan delivers her little misdirections with a wry smile, as Day grows increasingly exasperated with her inexplicable behavior and the unrequested vials of cocaine. Email

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Terms of Service apply. There’s a fun one about why Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants spinoff was canceled, but not much more. The innovation here is the writers stopping and starting the commercial as the extent of the bathroom disaster is revealed. Weird Little Flute

In this pretaped music video, a few dudes (Chris Redd, Pete Davidson, and Kid Cudi) celebrate the “weird little flute” hooks in hip-hop songs. Not only this, but they obsessively incorporate flutes into their daily lives — from using flutes like Harry Potter wands to eating ramen with them. What’s Wrong With This Picture

This recurring game-show sketch finds host Elliott Pants (Kenan Thompson) entertaining three dummies (Aidy Bryant, Chris Redd, and Mulligan) as they fail to identify obvious errors in a series of illustrations. The show even made space for musical guest Kid Cudi to get in on the comedy, and they threw in a cameo for Timothée Chalamet, too. The weirdness of this one pegs it as the ten-to-one sketch, but then again, it articulates what has to be the current L’eggs conundrum — if, in fact, L’eggs is still a thing. Weekend Update

Update’s first chunk begins again with embattled congressman Matt Gaetz, and though it’s less effective than it was last week, Colin Jost doesn’t linger on it. The character, carefully crafted imagery, and costume are all incredible. It’s a silly sketch, with a lot of leg modeling, but very winning in its way. Michael Che has a nice joke about Mitch McConnell and Georgia’s new voter-restriction laws, and Jost’s comparison of Joe Biden to Clint Eastwood feels strangely apt. Then Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen (Chris Redd and Beck Bennett) come on to discuss their Renegades podcast. Saturday Night Live
Carey Mulligan

Season 46

Episode 17

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

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Photo: NBC/Will Heath/NBC

While Carey Mulligan’s filmography is almost entirely wrenching, dramatic roles — e.g., An Education, Wildlife, Mudbound, Suffragette, The Great Gatsby, et al. From political sketches to character-driven pieces, from naturalistic scenes to absurd bits, this week’s show offers a true variety of sketches. Panicked, Josh calls his friend Jason (Aidy Bryant) to talk him through the courtship and mating rituals. They’re charming together, and the word choices here — as when Mulligan is “alarmed” by her husband’s inability to read cues — are great. Minnesota News Cold Open

This newscast finds two white anchors (Kate McKinnon, Alex Moffat) exchanging talking points with two Black anchors (Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson) as they discuss the Derek Chauvin murder trial. Sketches such as “Star Trek Spinoff” and “L’Eggs” show that Mulligan is down to play, and surely made fans of the writers, too. As this is another big Update, two small runs of jokes are matched with two guest appearances. The sketch is less about Star Trek tropes than it is, as one older crew member puts it, “rich white kids” dealing with a “world that doesn’t revolve around them.” Mulligan really sells her overly sensitive drama queen, and Day’s worshipping yes-man helps, too. Mulligan remains involved in much of it, and really gets the opportunity to chew the scenery here and there. Modeled after the memorable 2019 newscaster sketch “Mid-Day News,” it contrasts the white anchors’ optimism about justice and the judicial process against the realism of the Black anchors who have “seen this movie before.” While the structure is not as crystalline as it was in “Mid-Day News,” it’s more about the tone than it is specifics.

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Carey Mulligan Gathers Rocks in a Lesbian Period Drama on SNL

“Witness the world’s saddest flirting,” the voice in the trailer compels you, because this is a lesbian period drama, and quality or originality be damned, “you get one a year.”

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Tags: If last night’s Saturday Night Live parody trailer for lesbian period dramas feels familiar, that’s because it liberally spoofs Portrait of a Lady on Fire and Ammonite, both of which feature melancholic women who fall in love with their female companions away from the world of men, surrounded by rocky beaches and bathed in candlelight. A doctor diagnoses Carey Mulligan at the beginning of the sketch as needing “seagull sounds, gray air, and long, rocky walks.” She’s admonished by Heidi Gardner for picking rocks and putting them in a basket all wrong, but eventually they hook up and sketch portraits of each other, because this is a lesbian period drama and that’s what you do in a lesbian period drama.

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Bowen Yang Is the Iceberg Who Sank the Titanic But He’s So Much More Than That

Tour de force. As if the segment couldn’t get better, we even get to hear a ridiculous track off of the iceberg’s album. I’ve done a lot of reflecting to try and move past it. We beg Yang and writer Anna Drezen to bring this character back to talk about global warming. These are words that can describe the Titanic Iceberg’s new 12-track, no-skips “hyperpop EDM nu-disco fantasia” album Music, and they also describe Bowen Yang’s performance on last night’s Saturday Night Live Weekend Update as said iceberg that sank the Titanic. I’m not here to talk about the sinking.” But when he finally gets into it, it’s like the world’s greatest I Don’t Think So Honey: “First of all, you came to where I live and you hit me. Redefining the game. It’s one very small part me, but there’s so much going on beneath the surface that you can’t see.” Spoken like a true iceberg. I was chilling. Half my ass is gone, which was my best feature. “That was a really long time ago. And I’m literally injured but all anybody cares about is that like, 40 or 50 people died or whatever.” And don’t even get him started on why nobody’s pointing fingers at the water. Bravura. Iceberg feels sidelined by Colin Jost’s line of questions about sinking the Titanic, snapping, “I think my publicist was very clear. The possibilities! Groundbreaking. And then I hear this Irish cacophony behind me.” Emmy for that line delivery alone! “And before I turn around and go, like, what? Yang plays the infamous inanimate object like a former reality star, both milking his former notoriety for sustained pop-cultural relevance while trying not to be defined by it. Related

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Tags: It was midnight.

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Watch Aidy Bryant, Carey Mulligan Almost Break in SNL Study Buddy Sketch

“Study Buddy” is a masterclass in perfectly executed character choices, from Josh’s pronunciation of the word “astute,” to Jason’s assurance that he knows what he’s talking about because he “did have a girlfriend at graphic design camp.” SNL’s costume and makeup department also deserve props for lived-in details like Jason’s top teeth braces and Josh’s too-large jeans. Related

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Tags: Such is the power of the sketch that Bryant almost breaks at the 3:30 mark, while Mulligan comes even closer for the last minute or so. Last night’s “Study Buddy” sketch saw McKinnon’s Josh call his wingman, Bryant’s Jason, while the former is on a study date with “the Beyoncé of science class” (played by host Carey Mulligan). If there’s one thing Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon and Aidy Bryant know how to do, it’s play tween characters with almost painful hyper-specificity.

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Carey Mulligan’s SNL Monologue Derailed by Her Husband

Mulligan made her SNL debut last night as the self-proclaimed “first English person to ever host this show,” and barely got through her requisite Michelle Williams jokes before Mumford (frontman of Mumford & Sons) interrupted, explaining that he left their kids at home with “the Sons.” He breaks out his guitar, despite Mulligan’s pleas not to be “the guy who takes his acoustic guitar out at a party,” (“people love that guy!” Mumford counters). Mulligan eventually relents and lets Mumford onstage to send the audience off to commercial, and the whole thing, while a little predictable, is very sweet and very British. Related

Minnesota News Anchors Agree to Disagree in SNL Cold Open

Tags: What are family members for, if not to interrupt Saturday Night Live hosts’ monologues — and, in the case of Carey Mulligan’s husband, Marcus Mumford — strum a few chords of their hit late-2000s single?

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Minnesota News Anchors Agree to Disagree in SNL Cold Open

With a premise reminiscent of Dave Chappelle’s Election Night 2016 sketch, last night’s cold open saw Thompson and Nwodim’s Black anchors remain resolutely unsurprised at the thought of Chauvin receiving a “not guilty” verdict, while McKinnon and Moffat’s oblivious white anchors say things like, “The video footage alone should tell you everything you need to know about what happened,” and, “After all the protests last summer, there’s no way this doesn’t go the way we hope.” Chris Redd also chimes in as a weatherman who defends Florida congressman Matt Gaetz with an insistent, “17 isn’t that young.”

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Daniel Kaluuya and Carey Mulligan to Host SNL

Tags: This week’s Saturday Night Live cold open featured four local Minnesota news anchors (Ego Nwodim, Kenan Thompson, Kate McKinnon, and Alex Moffat) simply doing their best to cover the trial of Derek Chauvin, even as their differences in opinion over the likelihood of “justice being served” in the highly publicized case become clearer.

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Sound of Metal, Nomadland Win DGA Awards

Sound of Metal director Darius Marder. Also among the DGA winners were Darius Marder, for his feature film debut, Sound of Metal, as well as Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw for their documentary, The Truffle Hunters. Photo: Getty Images for ZFF

The Directors Guild of America honored the best directorial work of 2020 at Saturday night’s DGA Awards, with Chloé Zhao continuing her awards season domination and taking home the top prize for Nomadland. Check out the full list of winners below. Dre Taika Waititi, The Letter, Coca-Cola

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Tags: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Theatrical Feature FilmEmerald Fennell, Promising Young WomanDavid Fincher, MankAaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

Outstanding Directorial Achievement of a First-time Feature Film DirectorRadha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old VersionFernando Frias de la Parra, I’m No Longer HereRegina King, One Night in MiamiDarius Marder, Sound of MetalFlorian Zeller, The Father

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in DocumentaryAmanda McBaine, Jesse Moss, Boys StateMichael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw, The Truffle HuntersPippa Ehrlich, James Reed, My Octopus TeacherBenjamin Ree, The Painter and the ThiefDavid France, Welcome to Chechnya

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic SeriesJason Bateman, Ozark, “Wartime”Jon Favreau, The Mandalorian, “Chapter 9: The Marshal”Vince Gilligan, Better Call Saul, “Bagman”Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland, “Prisoners of War”Julie Anne Robinson, Bridgerton, “Diamond of the First Water”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy SeriesZach Braff, Ted Lasso, “Biscuits”MJ Delaney, Ted Lasso, “The Hope that Kills You”Susanna Fogel, The Flight Attendant, “In Case of Emergency”Erin O’Malley, Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Surprise Party”Jeff Schaffer, Curb Your Enthusiasm, “The Spite Store”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Limited SeriesSusanne Bier, The UndoingScott Frank, The Queen’s GambitThomas Kail, HamiltonMatt Shakman, WandaVisionLynn Shelton, Little Fires Everywhere, “Find a Way”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Regularly Scheduled ProgrammingPaul G. On the small screen side of things, Susanna Fogel won for her work on the The Flight Attendant pilot, and Lesli Linka Glatter bagged a trophy for the Homeland series finale. Casey, Real Time With Bill Maher, “Episode 1835”Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “#1025 Live Show Following Capitol Insurrection”Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live, “Dave Chappelle; Foo Fighters” David Paul Meyer, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, “President Obama: Inspiring Future Leaders & ‘A Promised Land’”Christopher Werner, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, “Trump & Election Results”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – SpecialsStacey Angeles, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents “Remembering RBG: A Nation Ugly Cried with Desi Lydic”Marielle Heller, What the Constitution Means to Me Jim Hoskinson, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, “Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand: Building Back America Great Again Better 2020”Spike Lee, American Utopia Thomas Schlamme, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote 

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality ProgramsDavid Charles, Eco Challenge, “3,2,1…Go!”Jon Favreau, The Chef Show, “Tartine”Ken Fuchs, Shark Tank, “1211”Joseph Guidry, Full Bloom, “Petal to the Metal”Rich Kim, Lego Masters, “Mega City Block”

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s ProgramsKabir Akhtar, High School Musical: The Musical – The Series, “Opening Night”Larissa Bills, On Pointe, “Showtime!”Dean Israelite, The Astronauts, “Countdown”Richie Keen, The Healing Powers of Dude, “Second Step: Homeroom”Amy Schatz, We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest 

Outstanding Directorial Achievement in CommercialsSteve Ayson, The Great Chase, NikeNisha Ganatra, #wombstories, Bodyform/LibresseNiclas Larsson, See the Unseen, VW TouaregMelina Matsoukas, You Love Me, Beats by Dr.

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Check Out This Josie and the Pussycats (Is the Best Movie Ever) Cast Reunion

Honestly? For the cult classic’s anniversary, stars Rachael Leigh Cook (Josie), Rosario Dawson (Valerie) and Tara Reid (Melody) reunited over Zoom to reminisce about how much fun they had on set and just how well the movie holds up. You can call me anytime, I will bail you out of jail, I will drive you to the airport.” Ooh, ooh, now do the Du Jour reunion next. But in 2001, it was groundbreaking. But the fact that the stage came up [and] I was doing the drums, and you guys were there. Reid remembers how they all “worked really hard learning these instruments. It wasn’t about all these other things. Today, an edgy, sexy update of retro Archie Comics IP is literally old hat. And seeing these men being super supportive of these women, and wanting to see them shine, and watching them grow in front of you and being amazed by that. it was about us, and our dreams, and our passions, and our talents. Related

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Tags: There are so many levels in it that are really profound.” And Cook says, “I know we lead different lives now, but, I’ve got you guys forever. I felt like I was a rockstar.” Dawson gives the film the feminist reading it deserves, noting “there was scene after scene after scene that was not about how men were in our lives. The world clearly wasn’t ready for the brilliance of Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan’s girl power pop satire Josie and the Pussycats when it debuted in cinemas 20 years ago.

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