This Friday, Ana de Armas will become...Melinda
Kim Kardashian has as some advice for the girlies, Heidi Montag goes raw, Ana de Armas has an exotic new name, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa frighten us all, and more rated Top Shelf to Low Brow!
We meet again! How’s your week going? Been to any nice restaurants lately? Taken a lover or two? Perhaps you made that banana bread recipe you’ve been wanting to try. Whatever has been going on, you look gorgeous! Are you using something new? It’s really working on you.
Sorry for no newsletter last week, I flew to Minnesota to surprise my parents for their 34th wedding anniversary (a rousing success) and was simply too preoccupied enjoying precious time with my beloved family. And if you’re wondering, yes, my mom did tell me that she laughed at something in a recent edition. Another win to take back to the TSLB offices. Let’s get into it!
Top Shelf, Low Brow: March 4th-March 17th
The original stunt queen still has some tricks up her sleeve…and in her Ziploc bag
Heidi Montag was recently papped strolling the streets of L.A. biting into a raw bison heart like a silly little feral dog. A raccoon who has run out of trash! A sapphic teenage plane crash survivor a la Yellowjackets. A woman on a mission to increase her rate of fertility!
In an effort to boost her body’s natural ability to conceive, Montag has been going farm to ziploc and indulging in some nibblings of raw meat whenever she can to consume as many fresh nutrients as possible. "I have been trying to get pregnant for over a year and a half, I'm willing to try different things," she told People. "It's a great source of nutrients! I have felt incredible on this diet. A lot more energy, clarity, increased libido, and overall improvement on chronic pain I have had.”
In an Instagram Reel posted a couple weeks back, Montag bites into a piece of raw animal liver as if it’s an apple…and it essentially makes the same sound. She crunches into a slab of raw meat like it’s nothing, this red meat is her red delicious. A liver a day keeps the doctor…on speed dial!
Whether or not Heidi Montag is eating raw meat (or, at least, what appears to be a very convincing copy) for attention is beyond me. I’m more than willing to give her exactly as much attention as she wants, something that I think we should all continue to do. It’s not as if she hasn’t put the work in over the years. In terms of Stunt Queenery, she’s essentially our legacy act—the Madonna or Cher or aughts-era pop culture buffoonery. And no one has managed to be better at it than her since (except maybe like, Lil Nas X).
There was, of course, the candid grocery shopping photos:
The candid beach workouts:
Extremely candid photos of her crying after abysmal response to her music video for “Higher”…
…which she then iconically bought back from the photographers she had called to take the pictures so she could use it as the cover for her next single, “No More.”
And, of course, one of my favorite photos ever taken. The modern Norman Rockwell.
All that’s to say, I want more raw meat photos. I want stunts, I want drama, I want the theatre (yes, with the -re!) of celebrity to return in all of its messy glory. We briefly caught a glimpse of that excitement at the top of the year thanks to Julia Fox and Ye, but like Icarus and his foolish hubris, they flew too close to the L.A. sun. But Heidi Montag never did; the wax of her proverbial wings and the silicone of her literal implants are safe from falling prey to the same melted fate. Thank you, Ms. Montag, for always taking one for the team, even if it means a little salmonella from time to time.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
Melinda has notifications silenced
Tomorrow, the long-delayed erotic thriller and genesis of Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas’ PR relationship, Deep Water, will be released to streaming. Now that you know that, please have a look at this important marketing material that 20th Century paid hundreds if not thousands of dollars to promote to people, including myself, on Twitter.
Reading this from top to bottom on Tuesday was like fucking whiplash. You’re going to start by serving me up a piping hot scoop of shitty text bubble promotional marketing and then hit me across the face with MELINDA. I believe I watched the entire trailer for Deep Water (maybe on mute, but still at least with subtitles) and it never registered that Ana De Armas is playing a character named MELINDA. MELINDA! A name that nobody has ever really had. Have you ever met a Melinda in real life? And if so, what if I told you that was wrong. It was really Belinda…which is somehow more believable.
What could her character’s last name possibly be. How can a Melinda have a last name? If Ana De Armas is not playing a woman named Melinda Melinderson then I don’t know what else to do. I’ll throw my hands in the fucking air.
Imagine being Ben Affleck in this film—which, if you don’t yet know, is about a man becoming a suspect in the disappearance of his wife, who he has allowed to have affairs with other men to preserve their marriage—and earnestly texting your wife who is out at, like, Horse Meat Disco at 3am, “This isn’t a game Melinda.” How would you not simply just regret your decisions right there? Not only is Melinda’s name Melinda, but she’s out catching crrraaaaazyyy dick all around town while you’re at home eating your cold dinner. A person named Melinda is taunting you! She’s playing games with you. She’s silencing her notifications. Melinda is being fucking bad tonight, she’s gonna get a little crazy with her friends Joanie and Bev and she’s not coming home.
Like, I am sooo sorry to Ana de Armas—really, I am—but henceforth you will forever be known as Melinda to all who come across Deep Water. When you sign on the dotted line to play a Melinda, you’re basically asking for that to be the role that defines your career. It’s like Sarah Jessica Parker never being able to quite escape Carrie Bradshaw or Mischa Barton always being known for Gladys, the leopard-coat wearing sex worker she played in episode 11x14 of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Sorry, The O.C.? Well, fine, but let’s just say it’s no The Beautiful Life: TBL!
But I digress, pre-streaming reviews are already rolling in, and it looks as though Deep Water is going to be as completely ridiculous and insanely watchable as it should be with a main character named Melinda at its helm. It it’s even half as stupid and horny as 2019’s Serenity, we’ll be in for a treat.
MELINDA HIVE, RISE UP! It’s our time.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
And speaking of thrillers and raw meat, watch Fresh!
As a proponent of the mid-to-big budget thriller—a genre that is dying at a speed much faster than most people realize—it’s critical that you all watch Fresh, Mimi Cave’s new grisly dark comedy/thriller starring Sebastian Stan and Daisy Edgar-Jones. It may not be for the faint of heart (no, mom, you won’t like it), but it does precisely what it aims to do: gross you out, make you anxious, and maybe mildly offend you, depending on your reaction one way or another.
Now, a certain few people I know on a certain few social media sites haven’t been responding too favorably to this film, to which I say, you simply are no fun! I have this horrible sneaking suspicion that if a film like Wes Craven’s 2005 masterpiece thrillride Red Eye was released today that film bros would watch it and say, “Ugh! What a poor allegory for post-9/11 anxiety and a shitty commentary on the difficulty of modern dating. One and a half stars.” I’m sorry but what are we doing here? The thriller genre was never designed to be particularly realistic, it’s called THRILLer. You’re supposed to be thrilled! You get your popcorn and your diet soda and you sit down to watch some sort of power struggle between two opposing entities. You want your Jeanne Dielmans, your Opening Nights, your Clouds of Sils Marias? Hit the Criterion Channel, bub! This is Hulu! And just because something is chosen to screen at a festival does not necessarily mean that it’s aiming for prestige on any level. Sometimes things just want to be exactly what they are, with no hidden intentions or motives.
The thing about Fresh is that the audiences who are hating it simply feel that it’s trying too hard to be something it’s not, when it is in fact nailing exactly what it’s trying to be: a fun, anxious romp through psycho psyche with some added stylistic flair to edge it out beyond some other kind of streamer-dumped, nu-horror thriller. Somewhere along the way, people started assuming that every new thriller wants to be Get Out. And they don’t! They just want to be crazy and gnarly and fucked up. Fresh doesn’t reinvent the wheel, nor does it want to. but it is, indeed, fresh!
And on that note…
(Rating: Top Shelf)
I am here today because I got my ass up and worked
Hey girlie! I know we haven’t really talked much since high school, but I’m always keeping up with your posts and I really wanted to message you because I think you would be so amazing for this business opportunity I have to offer you! Have you ever wanted to work from home and be your own boss? I know that kind of freedom is so important as a mom. Well this week only, I am taking on new members of my team! If you’d like to join, all you have to do is get your fucking ass up and work by selling Skims shapewear directly to hardworking moms like ourselves—the product is so amazing is basically sells itself! So what do you say, my boss babe girlie? Ready to stop making money for someone else and start living life for yourself?
In case you’re living under a rock, The Kardashians that never left are back. Gracing the cover of Variety, Kim, Kourtney, Khloé, and Kris all banded together to tell us about their new reality show on Hulu and why it’s so much different from the one on E! that just ended a year ago. For them, reality television is an essential part of their brand portfolio, one that keeps the money rolling in and the multimillionaire status cemented. During the interview, Kimberleigh was kind enough to offer some of her excellent business advice for her fellow femmetrepreneurs:
I’m sorry but she’s so fucking funny. Prefacing that line with “I have the best advice for women in business.” Like omg thank you, they’ve been dying to hear it. And coming from the person that failed The Bar Exam twice…cherry on top.
Understandably, women who are out there working far harder for much less were, well, outraged and quick to point out that Kim and her sisters were born into a dynasty of generational wealth that existed even before Keeping Up With the Kardashians ever aired. But hey, these 3-4 sisters—depending on where Kris’ face has settled on a given morning—have never been the most down to earth people. I kind of don’t think anyone could hear this and take it totally seriously, besides the girls you went to high school with who quit their nursing jobs to sell leggings or makeup in a multi-level marketing scheme, of course.
And, hear me out, I know that they were born into wealth and they never had to have a day of real work in their life or whatever, but as someone who is currently re-working their way through the KCU (Kardashian Cinematic Universe), those cameras never went down for a second. The third season of Kourtney & Kim Take Miami ends and the chronologically-following next season of KUWTK begins with the girls promoting THAT season of Miami, which is just about to start airing at the time of filming but that we’ve already seen. And I know that makes no sense to you! Everything is a confusing blur of past and present, multiverses and multiple cities, and we’re all being Pooshed into the future together whether we like it or not. Which is to say, yes, I will be watching The Kardashians with a snack, ready to fry my brain.
And one quick note, I love this photo.
Bionic femmebots. Androidettes. Additionally, Bustle published a profile on the eldest of the Kardashian Originals that claims “Kourtney was right all along.” About what, we simply don’t know. Her style of eating Kit-Kats? Well, that was a no brainer.
(Rating: Low Brow. And I love that!)
The Music Section
Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa have released their collab single, “Sweetest Pie,” along with its video, which contains more CGI and special effects than Spider-Man: No Way Home. As in the level of effects that are in this video amplify the video’s silly horny-macabre aesthetics to make it truly scary. Watching this feels a little like being a teenager reading a creepypasta story you know is going to keep you awake all night. I don’t think I like it one bit! Nevermind the fact that you simply will not be able to convince me that Megan and Dua were ever in the same room at any point during this shoot.
The song? It’s fine. I could take it or leave it. It’s lacking the irresistable groove that made the fan-made Dua/Megan remixes so sexy. No disrepect at all to my girl Megan, who wrote the video’s treatment, but the video genuinely makes me like the song less. It unnerves me! I’m so sorry, Meg.
Florence + The Machine have released two new songs from their upcoming album, Dance Fever, out in May. The second was “My Love” (the first song I’ve really taken to of the three released so far) and the first was “Heaven is Here,” which I heard playing from my boyfriend’s phone and the instrumental made me think he was watching a video of someone’s cheeks getting clapped.
The perennially cool queen of Bloghouse, Uffie, has released the third excellent single from her upcoming album Sunshine Factory (also out in May). “where does the party go” feels so infectious, so fun, so Uffie. Very few people can spit the lyrics “Obama, call me if you wanna/You can talk about your trauma, I’ll take on all your drama” with such sincere irony. One of the most fun things about Uffie’s music is that you can rarely tell exactly what she’s talking about, everything’s a string of references and inside jokes with the occasional moment of glistening clarity, but it’s just so good that you’ll always feel like part of the in-crowd anyway.
YOU CAN BUY CRASH IN STORES AND STREAM IT ON YOUR PREFERRED PLATFORM TOMORROW!
Oh, that’s…that’s not…no…
Last week, Jane Campion responded to Sam Elliott’s comments about her film, The Power of the Dog, with a rousing punch to his old ribs. “He’s not a cowboy, he’s an actor” is such a clear and concise evisceration.
And just as everyone began to cheer…we were reminded that no one is immune from coming down with an unfortunate bout of Foot-In-Mouth Disease. With Venus and Serena Williams in the awards conversation this year for King Richard, Campion stupidly made an ill-conceived joke, saying “Serena and Venus, you are such marvels. However, you don’t play against the guys…like I have to!”
Obviously that’s totally wrong and completely disparaging and Campion quickly apologized, saying, “I made a thoughtless comment equating what I do in the film world with all that Serena Williams and Venus Williams have achieved. I did not intend to devalue these two legendary Black women and world class athletes. The fact is the Williams sisters have, actually, squared off against men on the court (and off), and they have both raised the bar and opened doors for what is possible for women in this world. The last thing I would ever want to do is minimize remarkable women.”
The apology feels very genuine, and it seems clear that Campion intended no malice, but the response did immediately reminded me of the reaction of Kelly Osbourne’s View cohosts when Kelly said, “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilets, Donald Trump?” Rosie Perez’s immediate, “Oh, that’s...no…that’s not…” with Kelly’s blabbering attempt at defense always kills me. It’s good to have a laugh in these oh so troubled times!
(Rating: Low Brow)
Thank god for Hilary Duff and her relentless work ethic
Hilary Duff sat down for Vanity Fair’s lie detector test series, and it was the best twelve minutes of my week thus far.
I think we need to get every single child star who is still working today down into that chair and strap them in. I want to hear more! We need the opportunity for more celebrities to say that winning a Teen Choice Awards surfboard was absolutely not a career high!
I was cracking up at her being asked if having a gymnastics background and being able to do her own stunts on Lizzie McGuire gave her an advantage over the other child actors.
She’s right, and she should say it! Throw all those lazy non-gymnast kids under the bus! Christy Carlson Romano wasn’t doing her own stunts and that’s why she’s a YouTuber and didn’t co-star in the Debi Mazar TVLand vehicle Younger and a Hulu spinoff of a late-aughts CBS sitcom that once was supposed to star Greta Gerwig!
Hilary continues to answer questions about her career, life, and relationships, and at one point says that all of her Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award blimps are somewhere in storage in The Valley. I just wish one of the child actors still working today had the good humor to be like, “No, of course this cheapo ‘award’ isn’t displayed in my home, I can’t let my child play with the Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award blimp, are you kidding me? I’m lucky I’m on HULU and not fighting for my life getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld on Crackle. Things could all go south and I’d have to list those suckers on eBay at the drop of a hat! They’re not touching the orange blimps that I practically crawled my way through electric green slime to get my hands on.” We didn’t quite get that, but Hilary gave us enough.
At one point, Hilary is asked if she knows that people think she looks like Victoria Pedretti, star of YOU.
Why didn’t anyone ask her if she thinks she looks like THIS WOMAN!
or THIS WOMAN!
I have the best advice for women in business…high bun…hoops…get your ass up and work.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Horny Section
Sometimes K-Pop star and always-thot Wonho is back to slutting it up on the gram for no reason at all. And for that I just want to say thank you to GOD!
Sebastian Stan at the premiere of Fresh…I’m not saying that I would definitely fall prey to getting trapped in his remote house in the woods like Daisy Edgar-Jones in the film…but I’m also not not saying that.
The Too-Horny Section
Brooklyn Beckham posting this Instagram story of underwear that his wife (fiance? I don’t care!) gave him for their anniversary? Please keep it to yourselves.
Kibosh on anything like this, especially from straight couples. I do not want to see it. This is basically like seeing people fucking in a public restroom. Get a room, oh my god. British people can never make anything like…normal. “Brooklyn’s Bum.” I would have more respect if she got “Brooklyn’s Badonk” embroidered instead. At least something sort of funny. But no, everything’s got to be cheeky, mate! Oi! Barf.
That’s it for this week! Thanks so much for reading and, as always, I love you. 💖 For more external TSLB threads this weekend, watch Bimini’s What’s In My Bag video for Vogue UK, this video documenting the behind the scenes of the first night of Katy Perry’s Vegas residency vids, and Vanity Fair’s Reframed with Grimes. And of course, comment and like and send this to your ex-lovers to see if maybe it’ll start a conversation. What have you got to lose! Jk.