This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
Bring back the diva mess.
Fun at the movies again.
The execs have, as usual, lost the plot.
Excuse me, there are how many TV shows?
Will this get you to watch The Bear?
The Best and Worst Horror Scene of the Year (Same Scene)
I’ve been lucky enough to see the new A24 horror film Bodies Bodies Bodies twice with raucous crowds, whose reactions to the film blew the roof off the building. Well, the second time was in a park in Brooklyn in August, so it blew the smelly sweat off the people. Or at least tried. (My sweat persevered.)
It’s a wild movie. During a hurricane, a bunch of rich Gen Z elders (if I have to live with the absolute hate speech of “geriatric millennial,” then today’s 23-year-olds have to live with that) gather with their boyfriends and girlfriends to get wasted. They play one of those “who’s the murderer” games—also featured on a recent Only Murders in the Building—except they keep discovering that people are actually dying. It’s also very funny.
There’s one scene that played like gangbusters at both screenings I attended, and both times it made me roar with laughter, cringe, groan, and then giggle again. It’s the best and worst scene of the movie. It is the kernel of what the film accomplishes so well and why it deserves so many accolades, and it is why it will be written off as pandering trash by others. It’s satire, but it’s played straight—because the conversation is both outlandish parody and also a total transcript.
As people are literally dying and blood is everywhere and the risk of being the next to be killed is being waved in their faces via a handgun, the group of friends debate ableist language and who is the most privileged, then correct each other on anti-woke threats and wage a war of who is the biggest victim. Tucker Carlson just had a back spasm.
It plays hopscotch between absolute brilliance and lazy Saturday Night Live sketch so nimbly that, in the end, it may be the scene that makes the movie work.
At the Brooklyn screening, star Rachel Sennott screamed in an introduction that the film isn’t just scary, it’s horny—which is a vibe we support. To that end, Lee Pace is there, and he is very tall and very handsome. Perhaps the tallest and handsomest a celebrity has ever been. This is also the first time, I hate to say it, that I understand the whole Pete Davidson thing. But the horniness is in the tangled web of hookups between the girlfriends, and it is captivating. It’s spectacular for a horror movie to be this fun, and for it to be this unabashed and inclusive.
And if you’re not reading the title of this film in the style of Megan Thee Stallion rapping “body-ody-ody…” you’re not doing it right.
The Reason I Haven’t Slept Since the ’90s
There’s major news this week that affects your streaming services and what you can—and, more pressing, can’t—watch. It mostly has to do with the merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, which impacts HBO Max and Discovery+. It’s also why, if you’re so unfortunate as to be on Twitter, you’ve seen people tweeting things like, “If they cancel _____, they’re dead to me.”
As far as HBO Max’s new shows go, they didn’t cancel much. That being said, if you follow someone on Twitter who posted, “If they cancel The Other Two…” then marry them. They have great taste.
You can read about all of this in my colleague Allegra Frank’s fantastic column breaking down the mess. But I want to draw attention to one graphic that was posted during this wonky Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call that was supposed to explain the difference between HBO Max and Discovery+, two streaming services that are about to combine.
What the hell is this? The two genders: HBO and Discovery? What is it about Hacks, The Flight Attendant, The Other Two, or And Just Like That… that screams “male skew”? Did they mean “gay male skew?” Bifurcating TV content by gender is the most retrograde strategy I can think of, to the point that I almost wish ill on this company. Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus and would never subscribe to HBO Max unless Joanna Gaines is there. (She is now!)
This slide, to me, encapsulates how absolutely boneheaded boardrooms are when it comes to this nonsense. What’s your favorite “genredom,” readers? I totally know what the hell that word means and have my own pick, but you go first.
There Are Too Many Shows!
As shows were being canceled left and right this week—and more shows seemed at risk of ending—I thought about this little bit of information that slipped under the radar.
I often cite the well-worn statistic of more than 500 scripted shows premiering each year (which is to say, far more exist when you factor in reality TV, docuseries, and sports). If that figure was already baffling and exhausting, this new one is, for me, validating; now I can tell my therapist an actual reason why I don’t sleep.
These things aren’t exactly related—there’s emotion involved—and yet they are. It’s funny to watch everyone in hysterics over TV shows possibly ending when they’re the same people who are complaining about there being too many shows in the first place. (These people are me.)
If you’ve watched The Bear, you’ll know why this photo shoot forced me to stop work in the middle of the day and take a cold shower. If you haven’t watched The Bear, shame on you—and maybe these photos will convince you. Thanks, chef. Chef, thank you.
What to watch this week:
Bodies Bodies Bodies: Go scream and be slutty! (Fri. in theaters)
I Love My Dad: The wildest movie I’ve seen this year. (Fri. in theaters)
I Am Groot: Let’s all let something adorable into our lives. (Wed. on Disney+)
What to skip this week:
They/Them: I guess they don’t make gay conversion therapy camps like they used to. (Fri. on Peacock)
Bullet Train: Just look at photos of Brad Pitt’s press tour instead. (Fri. in theaters)