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.
- Melting down over the Real Housewives scandal.
- Laughing at the best Instagram account right now.
- They’re spending how much on Knives Out?
- The only Benson-Stabler reunion moment I care about.
- Just when Lindsay Lohan couldn’t get any more confusing...
I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is about comedian Kevin Zak’s remixed celebrity interview videos that he posts on his Instagram account (@kevinjzak) that is so deliriously funny.
I just know that each time I open the social media app—so approximately 7 or 800 times a day—I go to his page to see if he’s posted a new one, and, if he has, find a way to work through my laughter to immediately forward it to all of my friends like a warning siren: A new “7 Questions” video has arrived!
The “7 Questions” videos are a riff on Vogue’s “73 Questions” series. The interviews, in which a man with a camera follows celebrities through their homes or offices asking them random questions about their career and hobbies, could be dadaist performance art in their own right were they not so hyper-controlled and shockingly earnest.
In 2014, Reese Witherspoon called skinny jeans the best fashion trend of all-time, and then did a backflip on her trampoline. When Victoria Beckham was asked in 2015, “What is one thing in the world we need to get rid of?” she looked back over shoulder while walking and casually, yet confidently, announced: “AIDS.”
Zak’s “7 Questions” series edits his voice into the videos to ask his own questions—often pop culture-related, and often very deep cuts—with the celebrities’ former answers to Vogue. The result is a perfectly absurd satirizing of the self-seriousness of celebrity media, celebration of gay humor, and just plain fun.
His latest is an interview with Schersxia/Sherbert/Xerxes/Slurpee/Sheba/Sherpa Ronan. Follow immediately!
It was reported this week that Netflix took a swan dive into its endless pool of cash and surfaced with $450 million for two sequels to the movie Knives Out, with star Daniel Craig and director Rian Johnson returning.
That is an astronomical amount of money for sequels to a film that originally cost just $40 million to make. Imagine how many knives they’re going to buy with it. It’s a startling amount of knives!
The most expensive knife in the world is priced at $2.1 million, according to my extensive research (I googled “the most expensive knife in the world” and clicked on the first link). Knives Out 2 and 3 could feature 214 of those bad babies! If they want to go salt of the earth and relate to the people (me) and populate the films with the $9.99 IKEA chef’s knife I use for all of my extravagant cooking, they can put 45 million in there. Knives Out 2: We Bought All of IKEA’s Knives.
Confusingly, the films’ knives budget was left out of the industry reports, though it is said that the price tag is so high because Craig is expected to make a salary larger than the entire production budget to do his little honking Foghorn Leghorn Southern accent thing and wink at the camera. The rest of the budget will go to a meticulous recreation of Chris Evans’ sweater, which will just hang in the corner of every scene, enshrined in its cinematic glory.
At the time of this writing, I have not yet seen the much anticipated episode of Law & Order: SVU in which Mariska Hargitay’s Olivia Benson reunites with Christopher Meloni’s Elliot Stabler that aired on Thursday night. I have, however, watched the trailer for the episode that ends with Elliot off-camera saying, “Liv,” and then Olivia turns around with a face of startled recognition and quietly exclaims, “Elliot,” roughly 750 times.
I am obsessed with the way Hargitay says “Elliot,” like she has seen a ghost, her childhood nemesis, the love of her life, her local pastor, her mom who has been leaving her voicemails to call her back for three weeks, and Beyoncé all at once. She is startled, she is thrilled, she is angry, she is yearning, she is joyful, she is trepidatious.
When it comes to saying-a-person’s-name acting, I haven’t seen better.
Lindsay Lohan released her single, “Lullaby,” as an NFT on Fansforever. NFTs are “unique digital tokens authenticated through blockchain technology and purchased with cryptocurrency.” Lohan has a partnership with Tron blockchain, and, according to Vulture, auction for her “Lullaby” NFT has already eclipsed 500,000 TRX.
That is all to say, congratulations to any person who understands a word of what any of that means. I’m gonna go take a nap.
- WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn: If you want to get real mad about narcissistic white guy businessmen conning people, have I got a doc for you. (Friday on Hulu)
- Chad: Nasim Pedrad’s high-school cringe-comedy will give you extreme PTSD. (Tuesday on TBS)
- Shiva Baby: “Sex-positive cringe”: Both how this film’s humor is described, and my life. (Friday on VOD)
- The Serpent: A series about a terrifying serial killer that somehow manages to be slow. (Friday on Netflix)
- Every Breath You Take: To continue to quote The Police, “I’ll be missing” this. (Friday in theaters.)