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 here.
In this week:
I’m still crying over the end of This is us
There was a time, unsurprisingly, that I became very interested in the television series This is us.
You tell me there was an aired TV drama (Love) starring Mandy Moore (Love!) that started with a shot of Milo Ventimiglia’s bare bottom (LOVE!) and the whole idea was for you to tune in every week special Cry? I bought shares of Kleenex stock and immediately stopped recurring DVR recording.
Especially around the time the show premiered, the series stood out because, frankly, it was uncool. Yes, it became popular. Unbelievable. But then having TV “taste” meant you knew those really dark, derogatory, cynical, violent anti-hero shows were the good ones. That family soap opera whose soundtrack is accompanied by warbling guitar strings that don’t last for a second in any episode? The most pretentious among us looked down disparagingly from their towers of intolerability.
But what done This is us so special is that what it did, it did so well. It was played so well. The writing was great. It has often been accused of emotional manipulation, and perhaps that was justified at times. But it knew how to orchestrate a powerful moment. It knew how to ground the surge of emotion in something universal and relatable. It found sharp, distinctive ways to validate our own pain, struggles, and trauma, but could also amplify and celebrate the victories and beautiful moments we sometimes miss in our own lives.
It ended up being a television series about how wonderful and rewarding it is to journey through life as part of a family who love each other so much, but also how incredibly difficult and at times devastating or upsetting that journey can be. These shows about serial killers and Wall Street assholes are great and deserve their dues. But a show like that is also important.
I fell down This is us somewhere in season 4 but reappeared here and there. It wasn’t because I didn’t like the show anymore. Sometimes you just fall off shows. I braced myself for the last two episodes, a phenomenal showcase for Mandy Moore in the penultimate episode, and then the perfectly understated finale.
There were about a dozen characters that I had no idea who they were. But it didn’t matter. I was still moved. i cried Apparently.
There is no other drama series still airing that is as popular and garnering the attention of regular awards This is us does. His deregistration is the end of the era. I wonder what next This is us will be.
I don’t think there will be a copycat. Such shows surprise with their emotional fireworks and their closeness to everyday life. Has anyone thought of the TV version of friday night lights would play that role? Or another attempt to make a production version of it parenting? Before that something like Gilmore Girls, a series on The CW, of all stations? Or when it comes to it This is usa time-jumping broadcast drama?
I hope there is something that fills that gap because I think we need shows like this. But I wouldn’t dare predict what the next one will be.
What will become of Ellen?
Speaking of the TV series that said goodbye this week, it’s wild for me that the ellen Show, which was such a huge hit for so many years, was signed off Thursday with little more than a shrug in response.
Of course, DeGeneres’ popularity led to a swan leap into a tar pit after investigating her show’s allegedly toxic work environment and her own behavior. And we as a country are certainly preoccupied with this week’s terrible news and the vexing debates that have resulted. Interestingly, there was a time when ellen‘s entire public service has been a respite from the pain we all feel, an hour’s escape to be reminded that it’s okay – and maybe even necessary – to choose joy, that there is in our world there is still happiness to be kind and lead with compassion.
Thursday’s finale added to the raucous impact of the show’s insistence on celebrating joy and kindness, but it’s hard to deny that the message came out more as whimpers.
It’s so complicated to talk about DeGeneres’ legacy. I’ve tried to address that in this review, which I wrote after the last episode aired on Thursday. (Read it here.)
Unlike This is usI can imagine what the next version of ellen could be. (The Kelly Clarkson Show literally takes over her time slot.) But I don’t know exactly what the next Ellen could be, the person who was such a heroine until she was viewed as such a monster.
She’s made an impossible comeback before. I have no doubt that she will do it again.
i need to see this elvis movie immediately.
The Cannes Film Festival is taking place right now. Perhaps the biggest premiere happening there is the Elvis Presley biopic, elviswhich was helmed by the notorious maximalist Baz Luhrmann, who directed Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby.
Early reactions included treasures such as “Your enjoyment of Baz Luhrmann’s ELVIS will depend on your appetite for Bazamataz, here elevated to explosive levels” by The Hollywood Reporteris David Rooney. The Daily Beast’s Caspar Salmon called it “such a banging, buzzing, unrelenting object that stumbles around for 2.5 hours flashing its gold like a drunk old millionaire in a strip club.”
And there’s this description of a scene by David Ehrlich indiewire Review:
But it’s the report out The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan about the film’s musical moments that radicalized me from “I need to see this so I can hate it” to “I need to see this because I’m about to make uncompromising love my whole personality.”
The funniest and most shameful casting of the week
You did it. They found a way to get me to actually buy a ticket for the new movie at this godforsaken theater Fast and Furious Franchise. bastards.
What to watch this week:
Top Gun: Maverick: Put all of Scientology off the back of our minds because we need that joy. (Fr. in the cinema)
The real housewives of Dubai: This can only be a mess, and that’s why we’re so excited. (Wed. on Bravo)
The Bob’s Burgers Movie: Very funny show! Very funny movie! (Fr. in the cinema)
What to skip this week:
stranger things: We don’t always have to look at the popular! (Fri. on Netflix)
dance with myself: The credits for this reality show read, I’m kidding you, “created by Shaquille O’Neal and Shakira and Liza Koshy”. (Tuesday on NBC)
The daily beast is possessed
Everything We Can’t Stop Loving, Hating, and Thinking About in Pop Culture this week.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/what-will-be-the-next-this-is-us?source=articles&via=rss What will the next “This Is Us” be?