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.
- Chrissy Teigen leaving Twitter is suddenly something I care about.
- Tina Turner’s documentary is obviously something I care about.
- My favorite Jessica Walter Arrested Development moment.
- The Nanny is coming to save us all.
- The most absolute trash thing I’ve ever seen.
There is footage of Tina Turner in the new documentary, Tina, in which the music legend appears to be un-human, like she’s transcending the abilities of our form.
The jackhammer-like speed with which she ponies to the microphone. The physics-defying gyrations while she dances. Her ability to execute athletic choreography with the stamina of an Olympian, only to then belt the next verse as if she’s not even winded. Then when that sound comes out, it is summoned from the depths of her soul—the pure, guttural vocals of a person in touch with her spirit in ways that are almost mystical.
Of course, maybe it’s not that Turner is un-human at all, but an entertainer more tapped into humanity and what it means to live than the rest of us are.
Tina, which premieres Saturday on HBO, is a documentary that traces the entirety of Turner’s life and career, a story that has become a sort of iconography of outlasting and overcoming trauma: the abuse she suffered at the hand of her husband and music partner Ike Turner, her decision to break from him, and the tenacity with which she clawed her way back to the top on her own accord.
The big revelation of Tina is how troubling it is for Turner to be defined by that story, and for it to haunt almost every conversation about her. She shared it in her memoir, which became the movie What’s Love Got to Do With It, to end that fascination by speaking the truth. Her regret is that it instead prolonged the interest forever. In Tina, she discusses how she’s handled that. It’s a portrait of the singer that makes the point that resilience and survival aren’t as interchangeable as we think.
Listen, I’m a gay pop-culture fan obsessed with Tina Turner. Real Original. Of course, this documentary was going to light up my heart like a fireworks show over the Washington Monument while Katy Perry belts the hit song also called “Firework.” It is that on-the-nose for me to rave about this. (These days, aren’t we all just plastic bags drifting through the wind, waiting for Tina Turner to help us start again?)
But it’s such a considered and, with the concert footage shown, exhilarating capsule of a brilliant entertainer’s life, the kind that anyone and everyone should watch.
Acting legend Jessica Walter, maybe most famous over her decades-long career for Arrested Development, died in her sleep this week at the age of 80, one of those “wow, this one really stings” celebrity deaths.
It’s as solid a reminder as any to live every day like you’re Walter as Lucille Bluth and you’ve just seen Gene Parmesan. (If we’re ever at dinner together and you want to make me cackle with laughter, pick up the parmesan cheese and shriek with glee like Lucille.)
Will anyone ever again be as good at delivering the delicious comedy zinger? I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.
Just as I had finished slowly, painfully tunneling myself out from my burrow of doom and despair, drained of the desire to ever partake in any pop culture again—I made the foolish decision to actually watch the four-hour Snyder Cut last week—I heard the siren call of beauty, hope, happiness, and humanity in the distance: Fran Drescher’s laugh.
While I hated Zack Snyder’s Justice League, and everything about the toxic journey it took to its HBO Max existence, the streaming service announced this week that it is finally offering a return to the world of style, flair, and such joie de vivre: All six seasons of The Nanny will be available for streaming on the service starting April 1.
I woke up Thursday morning to violence/this headline: “Pepsi and Peeps Have Joined Forces to Create Marshmallow Soda.” Any and everyone involved in this venture should immediately be sent to jail.
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers: Gordon Bombay is back, baby! (Friday on Disney+)
Made For Love: A story of the perils of technology, surviving trauma, and Ray Romano in love with a sex doll. (Thursday on HBO Max)
Top Chef: Still the classiest, best-produced reality TV competition. (Thursday on Bravo)
Godzilla vs. Kong: You could actually watch all the Oscar nominees available on streaming. Or, you know, freaking Godzilla vs. Kong. (Wednesday on HBO Max)