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.
- Grocery shopping on TV!
- Thinking too much about Zac Efron’s body.
- The ahmahzing Happy Endings reunion.
- Were there tights on the boat?
- Me, as groceries.
I don’t like talking in hyperbole, but the worst phrase in the entirety of human existence is “dad bod.” The word “moist” is found shaking.
There are dissertations that should be written and then read by every human being who consumes pop culture about the ways in which female celebrities’ bodies and images are judged, policed, and exploited. As a footnote to that necessary work, though, here are my thoughts on Zac Efron’s “dad bod”: I HATE IT!
Here’s the backstory: You people are asinine. Here’s the backstory to that: The Netflix series Down to Earth With Zac Efron that y’all binged once you ran out of Supermarket Sweep episodes has become very popular this week.
In this show, Efron for some reason travels the world to explore culturally specific environmental sustainability tactics. (Sexy!) I didn’t so much learn that it exists as I was assaulted with hot takes over the assertion that this previously chiseled handsome man’s physique had apparently evolved into a “dad bod.”
It all started with a New York Post article that aggregated reactions from fans who called out Efron’s body as “looking a bit huskier and labeled him Daddy, slang for an attractive older man,” which is unquestionably the most heinous sentence to ever have been published.
In the series, Efron, who had previously maintained an obviously unhealthy sculpted gridiron in lieu of a human form, displayed a slight bloat to his hitherto nonexistent body fat ratio. The result was still an inhumanly muscular torso, but one that wasn’t as lean as the last time we had seen him shirtless.
Most of the reaction was still in celebration. Would 10/10 people still masturbate to a Google Image search of him? Yes. But there is something about the “dad bod” label that construes negativity, like a judgment on him and his fitness. And that’s what set Twitter on fire.
Part of that is the lunacy that anyone without a six pack has a body that has to be qualified in its praise. Part of that is the lunacy that a male celebrity should be criticized for eating what appears to be one slice of pizza over the course of seven years. Part of that is the lunacy that the phrase “dad bod” even exists.
It’s all the worst. These are already hard times. Let people lust over Zac Efron in peace.
One weird quirk of the pandemic has been every single TV show you ever watched coming together for some sort of reunion. Some have been great. Some are 30 Rock.
In any case, the only right answer to the question “what show did you love that was prematurely canceled?” was revived for an original new episode acted out on Zoom this week: Happy Endings.
The writing was so smart and the acting was so fantastic that when there’s a meta joke midway through the episode about how ABC fucked around with its scheduling and essentially manifested its doom, you’ll seethe with hilarious rage.
But that’s all secondary to the best joke, indisputably my favorite joke of the week that involves a cup. “It’s not just a plain cup. It’s a Busy Philipps cup, from the Busy Philipps collection, Fill Ups by Busy Philipps.”
If you watched the show, can remember that it aired at one point adjacent to Cougar Town, and can recall the similarly epic “Angela Bassett collection, Bassett by Angela for Angela Bassett” line from the series, you know why it’s so genius. If not, it’s all on Hulu. Go watch.
“Cuz boy you know exactly what you did on my boat…”
Well after listening to The Chicks’ new album Gaslighter roughly 47 times in 24 hours, I thought I knew. Especially since there was a song titled “Tights on My Boat,” a vengeance anthem about lead singer Natalie Maines’ ex-husband having an affair with a woman and getting caught when she left her tights on the boat Maines paid for. (Big Grey’s Anatomy “whose damn panties are on the bulletin board” energy.)
Well, Maines was a guest on Howard Stern’s radio show this week and explained that, due to a NDA agreement with her ex, she couldn’t explain the specifics of every story about their relationship on the album. The tights on the boat? “I hate to disappoint, but that’s not true. That’s just fun,” she said.
She elaborated that the essence of the story is real, just not the details.
A boxed wine of rosé/white cheddar Cheez-Its combo pack was briefly on sale this week. This is me as a grocery item. (It sold out immediately.)
Room 104: The room where it happens, indie anthology version.
The Weight of Gold: Remember the Olympics?
In My Skin: A charming British coming-of-age dramedy? Real original. (But actually, this one is.)
Canada’s Drag Race: Premiering on Logo this week, more “meh” than “eh.”
The Kissing Booth 2: You shouldn’t watch everything on Netflix!