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.
- Crying and gasping at The Crown and Watchmen.
- The cooking videos I can’t stop watching.
- The Cats movie is only getting more ridiculous.
- Sara Lee is undone by SNL.
- Amazing Julia Roberts casting news.
I am equally obsessed with watching television shows about cooking as I am with never cooking. I don’t understand that relationship, but that’s something for my therapist and I need to work out, and for my boyfriend to be constantly aggravated over.
So it is to my utter DISMAY every holiday season when my one true love, the Food Network—sorry to said boyfriend—betrays me and airs endless marathons of holiday baking championships and cookie decorating contests instead of its usual endless marathons of cooking shows.
But as I scrolled through delivery menus in hopeless despair over having no Guy Fieri to share my overpriced pad thai with, I was alerted to what is apparently a very popular YouTube sensation: cooking videos from the staff of Bon Appétit. These videos are so good!
There are various series all hosted by extremely engaging members of the magazine’s editorial staff, whose chemistry and distinct personalities have made them roughly equivalent to YouTube’s Vanderpump Rules cast. Except, like, they eat.
There’s Carla, who hosts “Gourmet Makes,” in which she attempts to make from scratch her own, elevated version of popular junk food. My new husband Brad hosts “It’s Alive,” which focuses on food with live cultures. Carla guides celebrities like Antoni Porowski from Queer Eye through cooking dishes with an assuredness and warmth that I would like to employ her to use in guiding me through every life decision.
Around the same time I became aware of these videos I also became aware that I am apparently the last person alive to become aware of these videos. They are wildly popular. In googling them, I learned that even The Daily Beast has covered them already, and also that I should apparently read my own website. Just call me The New York Times, because I am six months behind the trend.
In any case, the public service I am offering you is a call to watch the fairly new season of “Making Perfect,” which is focused on Thanksgiving. Each episode centers on two staff members collaborating to figure out the perfect approach to a Thanksgiving dish staple, from the turkey to stuffing to sides.
It’s fun because it illuminates how everyone, even professional chefs, get pissed off when the potatoes at Thanksgiving aren’t done the way they remember from growing up. But also because it’s fun to think about how different your Thanksgiving meal could be if you had access to every ingredient and cooking utensil in the world for free. (As with every cooking show, my favorite moments are when they say with a straight face that someone “could do this at home!” as they add the 47th ingredient into a $3,000 food processor.)
Every family has their Thanksgiving food traditions. I noticed that the staff of Bon Appétit did not create one dish of broccoli and cheese casserole with bacon and croutons on top, and then another dish that is all of that but without the broccoli. Weird. But nonetheless, the YouTube videos were exactly what I needed.
We got further confirmation this week that the Cats movie is, in fact, real, and not the hallucination of a collective fever dream.
There had been some meows throughout the industry that director Tom Hooper was having trouble finishing his notorious “digital fur technology” in time for this movie to save/ruin Christmas. But now there are reports that it will be done in time to screen for Golden Globes voters before the Dec. 4 eligibility cutoff, so what am I doing typing this when I should be calling my grandfather and figuring out how to get an Irish passport to join the Hollywood Foreign Press.
A new Cats trailer also landed this week, like a hairball vomited directly into your new pair of shoes right before you had to leave for work. (Watch it here.)
Even without previewing the musical numbers or once uttering the word “jellicle,” the trailer reveals untold curious decisions. In the Cats movie, for instance, these pussies have boobies! Also, who decided that the fix for handling this property’s insane plot was to add more scenes from the book highlighting its lunacy? On the other hand, I guess Judi Dench telling me that if my soul is judged well then I can die and leave this world is precisely the 2019 holiday mood I’m into right now.
I’ve always wondered whether companies know they are going to be name-checked or parodied on Saturday Night Live before it happens. Sara Lee let us know loudly this week that THEY DID NOT.
Thanks to Harry Styles, Sara Lee had to temporarily disable its Instagram comments after his SNL sketch about a gay Sara Lee Instagram account manager keeps forgetting to switch to his personal account before commenting things like “wreck me daddy” and “destroy me king” on Nick Jonas’ photos.
People who had watched the sketch started to do the same on Sara Lee’s account, flooding it with “rail me to death” messages, understandably unexpected content for the baking company to wake up to on a Sunday morning.
According to the screenwriter of Harriet, at one point in the 26 years of the biopic’s development an unnamed Hollywood exec suggested that Julia Roberts should play Harriet Tubman. I don’t for one minute believe this actually happened, but I do laugh every time I read the clickbait headlines that spread like a demented virus after the original interview started to garner attention.
What to watch this week:
Knives Out: You haven’t lived until you’ve heard Daniel Craig’s Foghorn Leghorn accent.
Frozen 2: Resistance is futile!
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers is the niceness summit we deserve.
What to skip this week:
21 Bridges: Excessive number of bridges, if you ask me.
The Knight Before Christmas: I will never understand the whole “we love these bad Christmas movies!” thing.
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