The Daily Beast’s Obsessed
The Most Controversial Movie of the Year Is…‘Poms’ (?!)
Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.
- The wild drama behind Poms.
- Loving the Met Gala.
- We stan Killing Eve.
- The saddest TV episode...ever?
- Royal baby!
I Live For the Poms Drama
In a shockingly candid, alternately fabulous and troubling interview that published last week, Anjelica Huston explained why she only appears sporadically on film. “Quite honestly, I’m looking for movies that impress me in some way, that aren’t apologetically humble or humiliating like, ‘Band of cheerleaders gets back together for one last hurrah,’ you know,” she said. “An old-lady cheerleader movie.”
When that interview went viral, what some people didn’t realize is that such a movie actually exists. It comes out this weekend! Anjelica Huston wasn’t just waxing poetic on a hypothetical. She was putting on blast Diane Keaton, Jacki Weaver, Rhea Perlman, Pam Grier, Phyllis Somerville, and the cast of Poms.
The interview’s publishing date happened to coincide with the release of the movie, and that meant that the Poms cast were on a press tour, because sometimes God is good.
“I just laughed,” Weaver said about the Huston interview. “And then I said, ‘Well she can go fuck herself.’” (!!!) Perlman called out Huston’s “vendetta” against the movie, labeling her comments “cruel” and “mean.” The Cheers star had been booked to appear on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen alongside Huston, just randomly, but the show was forced to scramble to rearrange the schedule following this Poms brouhaha.
Huston has since apologized, saying, “I hope I didn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. And if I did, I hope they come back at me.”
All of this over an innocuous feel-good movie in which Diane Keaton moves to a retirement community, starts a cheerleading club, screams the word “cunnilingus” once, and everyone cries at the end. You’ll love it on an airplane.
This is a cast that has six Oscar and 11 Emmy nominations between them, not to mention four trophies won. Should we wish they had better material than Poms to work with? Yes. But it’s still a delight to see them on screen, together, having fun.
Katy Perry as a Hamburger Won the Met Gala
My favorite thing about this year’s Met Gala is that, while it’s perhaps the most glamorous event in entertainment, it’s still only starting to really gain mainstream attention as a “thing” that people watch and care about. So I love to think about those people who are maybe finding out about the Met Gala for the first time, this extravaganza of fashion and beauty that they were promised, and then scrolling through the photos from Monday and seeing Lady Gaga crawling on the steps of the Met in her underwear and Katy Perry dressed as a chandelier.
The brilliant gag of the event is that each year, Anna Wintour declares a ridiculous theme and mandates that the celebrities she invites adhere to it, like a mischievous high-fashion dare. So bless Empress Anna for this year making the theme “Camp.”
If you’ve been on Twitter this week, you’ll see that perhaps the most interesting thing about camp is that no one can really explain what it is, but they sure as hell can tell you when they see something that isn’t. So reports that A-listers were shaking in their stilettos at the prospect of having to adhere to a theme that celebrates gaudiness, theatrics, irony, and humor instead of classic beauty was a particular kind of privileged schadenfreude.
Maybe the most fun thing about reviews for the evening was that, perhaps in reflection of the theme, there was little nuance. Instead, just: Yep, that’s camp! Or: Ew, nope, not camp. Gaga, Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Janelle Monae, Tessa Thompson, Billy Porter, Cardi B, Michael Urie, Violet Chachki: Yep...camp! Demi Moore, Karlie Kloss, Gwyneth Paltrow, nearly every straight white man: Ew, nope!
Celine Dion, explaining in an interview that she at first didn’t know what camp meant—she thought Wintour was literally inviting everyone camping—and leaving it unclear whether she was joking, all the while dressed in fringe-and-feather showgirl drag? Finally, a definition for camp.
There are several cases to be made for the best camp moment from the red (actually pink) carpet, but it never occurred to me, though it delighted me endlessly, that the camp would continue inside the gala and at the after party.
So I present to you the most camp moment of the night: Katy Perry changing outfits and trying to shimmy into an actual cheeseburger costume while J. Lo struts by, paying Perry no attention and simply saying “hey girl” to the person filming—all taking place in a nasty-ass Met bathroom on par with the one at the “good” rest stop on the Jersey turnpike.
I can’t embed videos in this newsletter—though please, God, go watch it here—so instead here is a photo of Celine Dion kissing Katy Perry, who is wearing the cheeseburger costume, on the lips, while copping a feel of a sesame seed as if it is a boobie.
Killing Eve Is the Best Drama on TV Right Now
For all the talk about the nonsense happening on Game of Thrones—and after Sunday’s episode, I truly mean nonsense!—I fear that we are not paying enough attention to what is, for all the viewers the HBO drama is getting, actually the best drama currently airing on TV, Killing Eve. (Sorry, Thrones fans! That’s the tea, served in a craft services coffee cup, left in the shot on a table.)
We’re just over halfway through the BBC America series’ second season, and while GoT was angering fans, Killing Eve was airing its strongest episode of the new season yet.
We won’t spoil exactly what happened, just to say that it featured, finally, a reunion between Sandra Oh’s Eve and Jodie Comer’s whimsically psychopathic assassin Villanelle. (The entire show is about these two orbiting each other; to tease that they meet again is as much of a spoiler as saying Sheldon screws up a social interaction on The Big Bang Theory.)
It’s an acting masterclass from Oh and Comer, at once terrifying and arousing and thrilling and hilarious. They cycle through so many tones and notes, dancing a tantalizing tango of who knows what information about the other person. I don’t know what else to say. It was so good. Watch!
The TV Episode That Made Me Cry the Most
Let me tell you about the first time I cried while watching TV.
Twenty-five years ago this week, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air broadcast the season four episode, “Papa’s Got a Brand New Excuse.”
In the episode, Will’s father, who has been absent for 14 years, comes to Bel-Air and spends quality time with Will, something he’s been waiting for his entire life. Everyone warns him not to become too attached, but they also don’t want to diminish any of the joy Will is experiencing. It’s a sitcom, not Shakespeare; what happens next is fairly obvious. The father, who is played by Ben Vereen, abandons Will again, breaking a promise and devastating his son.
Will blusters to Uncle Phil (James Avery) that he’s not broken up about it, that he doesn’t care. But the peacocking eventually lays bare his real emotions: his pride in the things he has managed to accomplish without his father, and then the bitterness about that same thing. He breaks down into Uncle Phil’s arms: “How come he don’t want me, man?” Uncle Phil, making explicit how strong a father figure he has become, wordlessly embraces him, tight enough for Will to know exactly how much he’s worth.
Having not yet seen what is sure to be his tour de force as a husky rapping genie in Aladdin, I’d say it’s still the best acting Will Smith has ever done. It’s hokey and cheesy. Duh, it’s a sitcom. But he and Avery somehow tap into something explosively powerful. I was [age redacted] and burst into tears the first time I watched it. I just had to hide my face at the office because I started crying immediately while watching it again.
There’s a lot of TV that I’ve watched since, and a lot of sad scenes I’ve wept through. But this, to me, may be the most memorable. That it just turned 25 years old, well that just makes me want to cry even more.
Royal Baby Mania!
It’s true! After much anticipation the royal offspring is here! And adorable! They are my twin nephews, born just before this “Archie” fellow, whoever he may be. Their precocious perfection will soon, as all have expected, be the beacon of unity our fair countries so sorely need.
What to see this week:
Detective Pikachu: It is truly wild that this exists, and even wilder that it isn’t terrible.
The Hustle: Spoiler Alert: I will forever endorse any Anne Hathaway movie.
What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali: It packs a real punch. (Heh.) But really, it’s a great doc.
What to skip this week:
L.A.’s Finest: Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba should have major star vehicles. This isn’t it!