The Daily Beast’s Obsessed
Beyoncé’s ‘Homecoming’ Proves She’s the Greatest Entertainer Alive
Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.
- Stop everything and watch Homecoming.
- The best part of the Game of Thrones premiere.
- Really? A modern-day Oklahoma!?
- The Big Little Lies trailer arrived.
- Very important Antoni from Queer Eye news.
Beyoncé Is So Damn Good It Hurts
This week’s edition of The Daily Beast’s OBSESSED is coming to you from a higher plane of existence, from which I now reside after watching Beyoncé’s Homecoming documentary and concert special on Netflix.
My vision is corrected. My pores are cleared. My anxiety is gone. My future is boundless, and without hangovers. The air is crisper. Colors are brighter. There are no more nightmares, only dreams involving sex with Jake Gyllenhaal. This morning, the cashier at Dunkin Donuts handed me my coffee and said, “Here’s your change. You are a gift to this world.” The subway arrived on time. Beyoncé did that.
You see, Beyoncé is peerless, the kind of unrivaled superstar who invites that kind of hyperbole. She’s been at the top of her game for two decades, and yet is still throwing down the gauntlet: Homecoming, which chronicles the making of and shows off the brilliance of her 2018 Coachella set celebrating HBCU culture, proves she is the Greatest Living Entertainer.
There may be better vocalists, artists with more musicianship, and others who are more cunning provocateurs. But no one lassos showmanship, craft, identity, tradition, ingenuity, politics, sex, and plain-old bops from the different corners of culture where they usually reside disparately—especially in the music landscape—and marries them in her power.
It’s transcendent because she’s so meticulous about it. Every person on stage with her, every bead on her costume, every beat of the drum, twitch of her neck, direction of her gaze, and snarl in her voice has purpose. Multiplied on the scale that it was for the Coachella performance, with risers filled with musicians, dancers, and vocalists, it was one of the most stunning things that I’ve ever seen. It had so much swag, and so much beauty. I was struck especially by the jubilance of it all. It was a celebration.
I’m more than aware that I’m Whitey McCracker O’Caucasian writing about all this. But that, at least I think, is part of Beyoncé’s gift. Homecoming is a rapturous celebration of black culture that must be meaningful in a way that I can’t speak to. But as a good friend pointed out to me, it showcases a culture that is so American that, by bearing witness to it, it’s almost as if we all should feel more American, too.
And the work—the work—that went into this. Beyoncé spent eight grueling months crafting this for us, because she felt like we deserved it. The amount of dedication to the craft. More, the amount of certainty that we needed it. There’s no one else. Beyoncé is it.
Jaime Lannister Is the Best Game of Thrones Character
Of all the schemers having incest on Game of Thrones, Jaime Lannister is by far my favorite. Without a doubt, he is the most captivating of all the people having sex with a relative but also going through an existential moral crisis on this drama series. And that is why, when he finally arrived in Sunday night’s Thrones premiere, I squealed with delight. His scene was the best scene!
In the last minute of the episode, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Jaime is seemingly the last of the main actors to arrive back in Winterfell. He takes off his helmet, sending hearts-a-putter for the first time in 20 months by revealing his dashing, chiseled, Prince-Charming-in-Shrek good looks. You swoon, remembering all the ways in which Jaime has changed for good. The noble decisions he’s made in the last few seasons. The purest of all the Lannisters, for sure, after standing up to Cersei.
Then he sees Bran. Bran, whom he hasn’t seen since shoving the then-young boy out of a window for the crime of accidentally seeing him banging his twin sister in the show’s first episode. It’s a thrilling face-off, and Coster-Waldau masters the combination “oh shit I’m still so pissed at you” and “oh shit I’m scared of you still” in his staredown. But it’s also a brilliant reminder that this guy is just as much a monster as everyone else on this damn show. I almost forget!
I have no idea who will end up on the Iron Throne. I couldn’t even begin to guess who will die. But, as a casual watcher, these are the moments that I enjoy the most. The reveals are amazing. No one does a narrative payoff better than this show, like the Jamie-Bran reunion proves. Other shows do a lot of other things way better—you know, like character development and plot coherence—but few get me as excited to settle down for my Sunday night squeals of delighted surprise.
I’ve Never Been More Intrigued By a TV Pitch
There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow, and this time it’s probably due to smog and some air pollution, y’all! It was announced this week that a modern-day version of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma! is coming sweeping down the plain and right to your TV screen.
The timing is clever, with New York all abuzz and aroused over a revisionist Broadway production of the show that reimagines the characters as much hornier than you’d remember from that version you starred in during senior year of high school, and which portrays the show’s nostalgic promise of manifest destiny as much darker and more macabre.
It’s unclear how edgy this new TV version will be, or how writer John Lee Hancock and Bekah Brunstetter plan to modernize an entire second act revolving around cowboys and farmers purchasing women at a box social. But I’m at the very least excited to see my beloved buffoon Will Parker, the second-banana character I played in high school.
Obviously, my rendition of “Kansas City” brought down the house, though there was a part where I was meant to jump onto a fence and the fence broke when I landed on it. The entire audience laughed and loved it, but anyway that was the start of my weight anxiety and this whole story is basically me in a nutshell.
Of Course the Big Little Lies Trailer Is Excellent
I under no circumstances thought they should have greenlit a second season of Big Little Lies, since the original iteration of the HBO drama was the rare show, I think, to be actually perfect. (I named it The Daily Beast’s top show of 2017.)
That said, the just-released trailer for this ill-advised second season is exceptionally cut, thus moving up the date of my inevitable copping to loving the new season, thinking it’s a wonderful idea, and exposing myself as a hypocrite. The way Reese Witherspoon gasps her breath in the last second just won an Emmy. (Watch it here.)
Antoni From Queer Eye Used to Star in Musicals?
It came to the attention of Gay Twitter this week that Antoni from Queer Eye, long before bringing avocados into the kitchens of straight men all across rural America, co-starred in a production of the Legally Blonde musical. It was in 2011 at New York City’s Neighborhood Playhouse, where he apparently studied acting, and also featured Halt and Catch Fire’s Mackenzie Davis as Elle Woods.
This is all to say there is a handsome reward waiting for the person who sends me video of this. (The reward is a hug from me!)
What to watch this week:
Someone Great: Gina! Rodriguez! In! A! Rom-com!
Gentleman Jack: It’s British and weird and fun.
Little Woods: The Oscar goes to whoever thought to cast Tessa Thompson and Lily James as co-leads.
Under the Silver Lake: This was a see/skip toss up, as it very much loses its way. But a riveting start lands it here.
What to skip this week:
The Curse of La Llorona: I mean the name alone, people.
Guava Island: How could a Donald Glover/Rihanna film manage to feel like a waste?