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.
- Tom Hanks and the coronavirus (as if anyone is obsessed with anything else).
- What to watch during coronavirus quarantines.
- Dakota Johnson, saving us all with weirdness.
- An unexpected Real Housewives Harvey Weinstein connection.
- The Daniel Craig photos we don’t deserve, but will enjoy nonetheless.
It has come to my attention in recent weeks that you all are watching some hideously bad reality television.
The Circle? Unwatchable. Love Is Blind? Arguably one of the worst made and most implausibly orchestrated reality series in years, infinitely more enjoyable to gossip about and meme than to actually watch. As for whatever is happening on The Bachelor... Look, the smartest and best people I know watch The Bachelor, a fact that colors everything about how I look at pop culture. And yet...why?!?!
In any case, there is still some great reality television to celebrate. Now that you’re all trapped in your houses until the end of time, you should watch it. May I suggest starting with this most recent season of Project Runway, which wrapped up this week?
The season garnered the most attention the long-running series has gotten in years—and produced what may have been 2020’s first meme—when contestant Tyler Neasloney responded to host Karlie Kloss’ criticism that she would not wear the dress he designed for her with the fantastically cutting, “Not even to dinner with the Kushners?” Kloss, you see, is married to the brother of Jared Kushner. The more you know!
I actually have known Tyler for more than 10 years, and couldn’t be prouder that he has, in that time, turned his passion for fashion and design into a legitimate career and business. And that he also blossomed into the bitchy reality TV gay he’s always had inside him? Tear to my eye.
What’s remarkable about Project Runway is that, even after all these years and massive changes—new channels, new talent—it is still fresh and fascinating. Rival competition series are everywhere now—Netflix’s Next in Fashion, for example, or Amazon’s upcoming Making the Cut from none other than original Project Runway hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn—yet there’s still something about the PR formula that, while familiar in a great way, still manages to be invigorating.
(It also happens to be the rare reality series to weather a recasting of hosts and judges without catastrophe.)
I was lucky enough to be at the taping of the finale runway show that aired this week. If you happen to scan the crowd and are struck by a sweaty gay infinitely less fashionable and fabulous than everyone else around him...hi there!
Like much of the audience, I suspect, I know nothing about fashion and have nothing even resembling style. Yet I’m transfixed. I will not spoil anything about the finale because I really do encourage you to binge the season, but being there in person was a hoot.
I can honestly say that I left with no inclination as to who won. The designer who showed the prettiest dress—it really took my breath away—had a collection that I otherwise despised, the one with the most inclusive and youthful design also had the least dramatic looks, while the other two simply thrilled me with pieces that I still to this moment am baffled by.
Good or bad? I couldn’t say. With certainty, though, they were not fit for any meal with the Kushners.
I am eternally grateful to the Twitter feed of writer Evan Ross Katz, who this week alerted me to an Architectural Digest video tour of actress Dakota Johnson’s Hollywood home, which ranks as one of the most fascinating documentary shorts of our time and final proof that Johnson is a hero weirdo among the famous.
It starts like a standard tour, and then becomes increasingly delightful as Johnson peppers her commentary with the kind of observations that can only come from the descendant of massive celebrities narrating the peculiarities of her life in real time. Here as some choice quotes:
“This is cool. It’s a wax mushroom. This, I was working with Chanel a long time ago and my alias was Punk Rock and I thought it was funny. They’re silly awards. I don’t even know. I’m not an awards person.”
“That is a photo of my grandma with one of her tigers.”
“I don’t understand why anyone would collect loads of dishes.”
“This was made out of the wood from Winston Churchill’s yacht. I’m not lying.”
“My cat, Chicken, is buried here, which is not funny. I don’t know why it’s funny to tell you that. The pool is heated a little so I can go in it all the time.”
The whole thing is very much worth watching.
The same week that Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison (bye, bitch!), it was announced that Real Housewives of New York City star Barbara Kavovit, who owns a construction firm, was awarded the contract to demolish the former Weinstein Company headquarters in Tribeca—proving there is truly no headline in 2020 that was not generated by a Mad Lib.
It’s been almost a week since GQ first published these photos of Daniel Craig for a cover story that was pegged to the now-delayed No Time to Die James Bond film, but they are more important now than they have ever been. They’ve proven invaluable on a daily basis, really, particularly for those required to work from home, who pull them up on the computer at just about 2 pm…
In any case, everyone stay rationally and responsibly safe, be kind, and pray that the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen has enough of a backlog of videos to get us through these hard times.
What to watch this week:
Never Rarely Sometimes Always: A Sundance standout with an uphill release journey, given things going on.
Black Monday: Regina Hall and Andrew Rannells routinely make me laugh VERY HARD in this show.
Little Fires Everywhere: Imperfect, but Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are incredible.
What to skip this week:
Westworld: I try so hard with this one.
Public gatherings of 250 people or more: It’s for the best!