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.
- Welcome to my Bridget Everett obsession.
- Two decades of Courteney Cox’s Scream bangs.
- Network sitcoms are good again!
- May Lady Gaga’s Oscar campaign never end.
- The perfect song, from an iconic vocalist.
I don’t love gratuitous violence. Excessive gore instills a trauma that can haunt your every waking moment, a shadow that lurks menacingly, ready to trigger psycho-emotional pain at any time. That is why I plead—I beg—all of you to stop bringing up Courteney Cox’s Scream 3 bangs.
Cox and two of her original Scream co-stars David Arquette and Neve Campbell have been on the press circuit promoting this weekend’s release of the fifth film in the franchise. It’s apparently great—a lot of fun and quite scary. Wonderful news! The return of the series’ veterans more than 20 years after they appeared in Scream 3 has been occasion to revisit the highs and lows of the initial trilogy. That has also meant non-stop talk about the aesthetic abomination that is Cox’s hair in the third film. Absolutely heinous! Make it stop!
The baffling hairdo, in which Cox sports blunt, frayed, confusingly short bangs, has been an internet fascination for years. Who did she offend in the makeup and hair trailer to deserve this? Did she lose a bet? Did she blow the world’s biggest bubblegum bubble and it popped all over her hair and, like many a kindergartener who’s done the same, there was no other recourse besides cutting the bangs of shame?
Arquette talked about it this week while guesting on Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live, barely able to get out a coherent sentence while recounting the atrocity. He was just as giggly on The Drew Barrymore Show as Cox gave a tick-tock account of the botched haircut, complete with the mechanics of where on her crown the bangs were supposed to start and how that was bungled. The quotes have been picked up by nearly every entertainment news outlet.
There is so much to celebrate about the return of Scream and it actually being good. So, for the love of Ghostface, can we stop talking about those bangs? We live in dark, troubling times. The pain and horrors of the world are inescapable. It is overwhelming. We don’t need that constant visual assault every time the hair is brought up. We can’t survive it. We’re too weak.
Cox deserves better. She’s getting rave reviews for her performance in the new movie. Last year, she finally became a long-overdue Emmy nominee for executive producing the Friends reunion. And fun fact! She’s already on the shortlist to become a 2022 Oscar nominee for producing the Best Documentary Short finalist Sophie & the Baron. Stop talking about the bangs!
As a person who spent years of his youth sporting a mullet, I am a staunch advocate of surviving bad hairstyles from 20+ years ago. Unlike Cox, I have been able to destroy all photographic evidence of this time in my life. Like my Wordle score, memories of that hairdo are between me and God.
This is to say we’ve all had embarrassing hair. We’ve moved on, left the mortification in the past, and only grown stronger and more beautiful after the carnage. Let us lend Courteney Cox the same dignity.
When it comes to broadcast TV comedies, critics and entertainment journalists love nothing more than to play God. But Mary M. Cosby, we are not.
I can’t count how many times the grand pronouncements have been made since I’ve been in this profession: The TV comedy is dead!!! And then, sometimes even just a year or two later: The TV comedy is alive again!
Yes, there have been years when no one seemed to watch any comedy series on the “Big Four” networks—ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC—and the new crop of shows each launched were dismal duds. Many years, if we’re being honest.
Then there have been years when Modern Family happened. Or The Big Bang Theory had breakout success. Or Mom started to gain awards traction, black-ish opened doors, people were talking about Fresh Off the Boat, people started bingeing Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Carmichael Show announced a fresh talent in Jerrod Carmichael, and The Goldbergs became a long-running hit.
Recently, both The Big Bang Theory and Mom, two of the last broadcast sitcoms to be ratings, critical, and awards successes, ended their runs. This is the final season of black-ish. That ostensibly left two spinoffs, Young Sheldon and The Conners, as the last two of their kind that, seemingly, anyone watched.
You could sense death watchers beginning to circle, especially as cable and streaming services up their more “prestige” comedy outputs. Is this the end of the broadcast sitcom?
While, yes, we are still in the newborn stages of the year, some of my absolute favorite new shows I’ve seen are freshman comedies that air on network TV. They also happen to be some of the strongest new series to come from the broadcast networks in a long time.
Abbott Elementary (Tuesdays, ABC) is a delight. Quinta Brunson created the show and plays a teacher at a struggling Philadelphia school exasperated by her students’ lack of resources. It’s filmed like a documentary, featuring a cast that includes ICON AND LEGEND Sheryl Lee Ralph (yes, the all-caps is necessary) and scene-stealer Janelle James. It’s sharp. It’s resonant. It has something to say about who we are as a society, but it’s also incredibly amusing and relatable.
American Auto (Tuesdays, NBC) doesn’t reinvent the wheel. It’s a classic office sitcom, relying on the quirkiness of the characters and their chemistry to carry things. Led by Ana Gasteyer, who, honestly, never misses, they deliver actual belly laughs at a time when the comedy genre is more overrun with character study and introspection than ever.
Pivoting (Thursdays, Fox) stars a Charlie’s Angels of “Favorites of Shows Kevin Used to Love”: Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings), Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), and Maggie Q (Designated Survivor, which, for most of its first season, was great fun). The trio is forced to reevaluate their lives after the death of their best friend. As Variety’s Caroline Framke put it, Pivoting is “maybe a better version of whatever And Just Like That is doing.” As AJLT’s most prominent apologist—the series’ Voldemort notwithstanding—it pains me to agree.
As a person who professionally covers the award season lead-up to the Oscars, it is torturous that the season defies laws of space and time and somehow lasts 17-21 months each year. I know that doesn’t seem possible, but it is true. It is interminable.
As a person who delights in every batshit thing Lady Gaga has said during this endless award season in hopes of securing her second Best Actress nomination while promoting House of Gucci, I want it never to end.
My colleague Jordan Julian wrote a piece chronicling in detail every outrageous story Gaga has told about her method preparation to play Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted of ordering the assasination of her husband, Maurizio Gucci, and the ways in which she believes Reggiani has haunted her during and since. But there’s a late-breaking contender for the wildest.
In an interview with W magazine that came out this week, Gaga claimed that, following her last day of filming, she was still in character as Reggiani, dancing to “Mambo Italiano” on her hotel balcony, when a swarm of flies arrived and began following her around. “I truly began to believe that she had sent them,” Gaga said, referring to Reggiani. “I was ready to let her go.”
Absolutely outrageous. May it last forever.
Now, the question remains: What the hell did Whoopi Goldberg do to piss off Patrizia Reggiani this week?
Ronnie Spector, lead singer for the iconic ’60s girl group The Ronettes, died this week at age 78. It’s on a precarious see-saw of nice and ghoulish that it takes sad moments like these to celebrate such things, but this is an occasion to remind everyone that “Be My Baby” may just be the one and only indisputably perfect song.
Scream: What if even a fraction of the people who saw the new Spider-Man movie a dozen times in a pandemic lent the same support to queen Sidney Prescott? (Fri. in theaters)
Somebody Somewhere: You’re all about to be obsessed with Bridget Everett. (Sun. on HBO)
Peacemaker: A spin-off series of The Suicide Squad sounds like personal hell. But, apparently, it’s some critics’ heaven. (Now on HBO Max)
How I Met Your Father: Absolutely stunned to hear this sucks. (Tues. on Hulu)
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania: That title alone. I can’t even. If you’re a good parent you’ll just put Encanto back on instead. (Fri. on Amazon)