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.
- Someone’s finally going to see Hamilton.
- Someone’s very much going to regret writing this.
- Someone can’t stop watching cooking shows.
- Someone has a crush on Ina Garten.
- Someone wants nothing but the best for Insecure’s Natasha Rothwell.
In these times scored by endless, relentless monotony, it is the little thrills that keep us alive, that keep us going. It is for this reason that I am thankful for the many butts of quarantine.
Maybe this is objectifying. Maybe this is a cry for help. Maybe this is a fun little column item for a pop-culture newsletter and everyone can just calm down, OK?
I clap every evening at 7 pm for the frontline workers, so gratitude is often on the mind these days. It is in that spirit of thanks that we acknowledge those who have brought peace to the horny chaos of social distancing.
The moody Irish butt of Paul Mescal in Normal People, we couldn’t make it through this without you. The swaggering douchebag butt of Nicholas Hoult in The Great’s sixth episode (you know, in case you were wondering when it appears), you’ve done such great work. Insecure, your male cast is always here for us and we won’t forget it. Jay Ellis, bless you, sir.
A flash of Rock Hudson bum (actor Jake Picking) in Hollywood is appreciated, if not as generous as we had hoped. Same goes for the side view of David Corenswet, a skimpier display than we would have expected from the lead of a Ryan Murphy production.
The men of Outlander, you’re our rock, always there when we need you. Mexican production The House of Flowers and Spanish teen soap Elite confirm that, all across the globe, we really are all in this together. I learned there was a show called The Last Kingdom while “researching” this piece. For certain purposes, I would highly recommend.
So there you go. Much thanks to all of you. I am going to wish I had deleted this entire thing the minute it is published.
Developing new traditions to navigate the monotony of quarantine has been crucial to stay sane. And the one I have managed to maintain religiously is spending every waking hour complaining about cooking while also for some reason watching cooking shows. Constantly. I can’t stop watching cooking shows, and I am not good or a happy cook. I cannot explain the dissonance.
In any case, as a recent connoisseur of the genre, I highly recommend Amy Schumer Learns to Cook. The concept is refreshingly simple, in contrast with the trend of increasingly elaborate high-concept series. (You must rob a convenience store for ingredients, grow your own herbs, and cook your dish blindfolded on a plane tarmac using candlesticks for flames!)
Amy Schumer’s husband is a James Beard Award-winning chef. She is a novice cook. While stuck at home together, he teaches her how to make a few things. She cracks jokes while he does it. Their nanny films the whole thing. It’s a delight.
The show is also both a sly homage and deconstruction of TV cooking programs. The title cards labeling what they’re cooking are written on ripped pieces of cardboard using Sharpies. Schumer roasts her husband, cooking shows, and the entire idea of cooking while they work. “Who the FUCK has a food mill?” she asks at one point. “We do,” he shrugs. “OK.”
In the end, the food they make looks delicious and totally doable. The whole thing is a nice vibe where you just kind of giggle the whole time.
You may recall from a few weeks ago the moment that changed history. The seismic event that shifted the world on its axis. The triumph of comedy and cultural understanding that spoke to our times, our present anxieties, and our hopes for the future: Ina Garten made a bigass cocktail.
This week, our queen continued her culinary philanthropy, posting an Instagram photo of her latest creation, hot dogs wrapped in puff pastry. Barefoot Contessa made some pigs in a blanket. The caption was, “It’s Week Whatever in quarantine and I needed dinner in a hurry so I wrapped some hot dogs in puff pastry and baked them.”
Ina Garten is on my level, and it is beautiful. I shed a single tear.
I don’t know if you watch Insecure. You absolutely should, because it’s great. But whether or not you do, I just need everyone to know that Natasha Rothwell’s performance as Kelli may be among the funniest things I’ve ever seen. The fake British accent this week? A masterpiece.
Also, she tweets a version of this every single day. Hero.
What to watch this week:
The Great: It’s the whole vibe of The Favourite, but with Catherine the Great.
At Home With Amy Sedaris: Amy Sedaris nailed the quarantine madness vibe before it was cool.
Smash ‘Bombshell in Concert’ Reunion: The kindest thing we could do for ourselves is pretend it is 2012 and the good season of Smash is on.
What to skip this week:
Ultimate Tag: Testing the limit of “desperate times.”