I’ve Switched Baristas to Whatever Coffee Shop Julia Fox Is Writing Her First Book At
Brief mention of The Slap, Gaga & Caitlyn Jenner throw down, Avril Lavigne and Jamie Lee Curtis get cheesy, Sky Ferreira emerges, Jonathan Majors lets 'em hang, and more rated Top Shelf to Low Brow!
[This edition may be too long for email, so click here to get the full fantasy on the website!]
Hey! How’ve you been? Hear of anything interesting happening in the pop culture stratosphere in the last couple of days? No, nothing? Pretty boring week? Totally uneventful, huh.
I know what you’re saying. “Please god, no more!” Well God can’t hear you now!!!!! Just kidding, we’ll tread very lightly on the subjects from Sunday that have already been covered to death. I’m as tired as you are, so let’s forge forward in the best way we know how: through it. Let’s get into it!
Top Shelf, Low Brow: March 24th-March 31st
I promise, it’s just going to be like four sentences on The Slap
The 94th annual Oscars ceremony, which would normally be irrelevant five days after the it ended, has only continued to permeate our collective consciousness due to The Slap. I so wish I could be talking about the 2011 Australian miniseries turned 2015 NBC Miniseries starring Uma Thurman and Penn Badgley in his first “big” post-Gossip Girl role, but unfortunately, I’m not. You know what happened by now, quite literally the whole world does. The last time news of something spread this quickly around the world, we were still calling COVID “Corona.”
The Slap has done the impossible by proving that the most annoying and insufferable people in your life have always had a much greater capacity for unpleasantness than you ever knew. Where I watched an event unfold on live television and thought, “Holy shit, that’s one of the wildest things I’ve ever seen happen at an award show, and I watched La La Land accept Moonlight’s Oscar, which should’ve been split with Paddington 2,” others decided that this was simply their opening to spout opinions online that ranged from myopic to downright egregious. There was not one moment after this happened where I thought, “Let me read another white person’s opinion on what they think are the ramifications of this situation.” And yet, their fingers were tapping away faster than ever to serve up racist dog whistles anyway.
“He could have killed him” is kind of, objectively, the funniest way to start a tweet. Thank goodness that the director of Knocked Up and Leslie Mann’s husband could offer us this much needed take we were all clamoring to him for.
This following one was actually one of the top funniest things I’ve ever read in my life. Like I actually hope the Smith family had a good laugh about this very tweet the next morning:
So true, not enough people are asking: What if the ghostly specter of Betty White appeared and immediately started tormenting Will Smith like she was Regan in The Exorcist?
Anyway. That’s enough outta me. The only other thing I have to offer is that the G.I. Jane joke was like, the hackiest shit imaginable. You see a woman wearing her hair low and that’s the first thing you come up with, a reference to a 25-year-old Demi Moore film? The whole audience should’ve been throwing tomatoes. Aaaaand that’s about all I have to say on the matter! Everyone’s opinions are already out there, and if you really want another perspective on the situation, ask one of your Black friends! Their insights regarding the optics of the situation and its aftermath are much more important and relevant to the larger conversation than mine.
Now, what I do want to talk about is The Slap for white people: Lady Gaga facing off in a battle royale, Mortal Kombat-style smackdown with Caitlyn Jenner.
Stefani “Kindness Punk” Germanotta was ambushed by Jenner at Elton John’s Oscar Party, where they are apparently just letting anyone in.
Caitlyn approached Gaga and was caught on film by an angel sent to earth to do God’s bidding. Ever the stereotype of herself, she opened the interaction with the question, “You still spendin’ time out in Malibu?” It always comes back to Malibu with Ol’ Cait. “Yes,” Gaga replies. Caitlyn then remarks that she hasn’t seen Gaga at Starbucks lately, leaving Gaga to deliver an earth-leveling blow: “I’ve-I’ve switched baristas,” said with a look of pure disdain toward the Olympian-Turned-Wannabe-Politician who is currently on a mission to “protect the integrity of girls in sports” (not linking to her Insta page so she can get the traffic to buy another new knee, but it’s there) by campaigning against young trans people joining extracurricular physical activities—aka total loser behavior. Your final, precious years on Earth and that’s how you’re gonna spend it? Gotcha.
It’s actually impressive to see Gaga, ever the over-thinker, maintain her decorum in the presence of a person who is so opposite everything she stands for. And to deliver such a quippy, eviscerating one-liner, too. If someone ever told me they switched baristas to get away from while giving me this face, I’d pour my weekly Friday afternoon venti quad latte all over myself just to feel some sensation other than the scarring emotional pain…
The entirety of the 94th annual Oscars was simply a fever dream. Not since the time in 2015 that I ordered suspiciously affordable lobster ravioli and got food poisoning, causing me to spend three days oscillating between my bed and my bathroom, have I experienced such a wild sensation. My head still feels hot when I think about everything that occurred on Sunday night. And we haven’t even mentioned Mac & Cheese, Scientology’s first mascot!
Xenu, keep your claws away from Mac & Cheese or I swear to god I will work my way into Sea Org and take him back myself and bring Shelly Miscavige with me!
Finally, as every celebrity continues to offer their panicked detractions of Will Smith—as if they’re all worried they’ll lose money if they don’t speak up, like they don’t know firsthand there are essentially no repercussions for defending much more egregious examples of systematic abuse in Hollywood—I would like to highlight the one person brave enough to speak out in defense of the situation, taking it to a place of Horny.
“You better suck his dick from the back, girl” got lost on Sunday, but I want to sit with it for just a little bit longer. For what is drama, if not equally balanced with its diametric opposite, laughter?
(Rating: Sunday night goes beyond Top Shelf or Low Brow. It redefined this newsletter. I’m still at a loss…)
The Foxy Fables are Forthcoming
Smoking a fat joint and wearing a dress that appears to be the malevolent hand of Beelzebub gripping your neck all night is, frankly, one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen anyone do in my entire life. Panic attacks when you walk into the bathroom and see yourself in the mirror be damned. Julia Fox, somehow…of all people, continues to be our shining beacon of clarity. An infallible totem upon which all pop culture must be funneled through. An unshakable and omnipotent god. An author, pushing her pen.
Walking the step and repeat of the Vanity Fair Oscars party with “My Edible Just Peaked” bloodshot eye game is one thing, to wear a $15,000 Han Kjøbenhavn dress and a $350 Charlie Le Mindu bag covered in human hair while plugging the in-progress manuscript of a book you’re writing is another entirely. And it’s precisely why Julia Fox rules—she’s playing the game with much more willingness and cunning than anyone else right now. On any other given Oscars night, some of the biggest headlines would be hers, but given that Will Smith’s palm managed to shift the Earth off of its axis, nothing is as it should be.
When asked about what her dream project is, Fox replies, “Oh my god, my book, of couuuuurse. Yah. Well, I don’t want to give too much of it away, because I’m very superstitcho-…superstitious, so I don’t like to speak of things before they’re finished. But it’s, um, so far a masterpiece, if I do say so myself…it was like a memoir at first, but now it’s just like my first book, you know?” I totally do!
Complaining about the above gets you a big old honking BORING on the Am I Fun and Do I Enjoy Silly Things scale. What do you want celebrities to do? You don’t want them to smack each other in the face, you don’t want them to wear Xenomorph grip necklines and offer satirical humor to reporters, you don’t want them to win Best Actress for the best performance of the year? Tell me what you’re looking for…quickly, because it sounds like you’d be better off finding that in the pages of a good, old-fashioned thing they call a book. Luckily, Julia Fox’s will be out sometime soon.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
*Hulu/Madonna voice* I’ll be your one stop (one stop), Candy Shop!
It is with great pleasure and also a little bit of humiliation that I must say, I am simply craving Candy! The new Hulu miniseries, premiering May 9th, is the six billionth true crime series to begin airing this year alone. But this one has what none of those others do: the strangely enigmatic presence of one Jessica Biel!
By all accounts, Jessica Biel is someone who I should not like—or, at the very least, not trust. She’s married to Justin Timberlake. First strike. Her stance on vaccinations is murky at best. Second strike. She starred in not one but two Garry Marshall celebrity-cameo-compilation-vignette films (Valentine’s Day AND New Year’s Eve). Strike three! Now, I don’t know much about baseball besides that I like that they wear their socks over their pants and they all have fat asses, but I do believe that’s a three strike and you’re out-er! Except…I just can’t resist a Jessica Biel role!
Miz Bee-él should absolutely not have this kind of hold over me. She is, by all accounts, one of (if not the) most boring actresses working today. Virtually no captivating presence outside of her roles and not a lot of bankable charisma to interest an audience. AND YET I find myself completely entranced by her. Dare I say…she’s a great actress! And I was never convinced until I saw the first season of The Sinner aka That’s One Twisted Sister! (Real Sinnerheads know). As both star and executive producer on that show, Jessica Biel managed to prove to me that I know nothing about anything. Maybe I shouldn’t be vaccinated! Just kidding.
Candy is being billed as a “five-night event,” meaning that a new episode will air for five consecutive nights in May, which is something that they just don’t do enough of anymore! It’s reserved purely for Christmas specials and Grey’s Anatomy’s 29th season finale. Personally, I can’t wait to see Jessica Biel portray an axe murderer in the 80s across five nights in May. That just feels like home to me. And certainly, this is a woman who knows a thing or two about candy. Never forget the now-shuttered Au Fudge restaurant, gone too soon. Let’s just say, WeHo was not the place to market decadent desserts unless they come with a shooter and a hit of Rush.
But I digress. Rise up, Little Biel-zebubs! (All three of us, I assume). Our time is coming.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Best News of this week or any week
Peacock, once thought to be the failing brainchild of NBC and whatever sick mind thought up The Boss Baby, continues to prove its worth (after Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip and the same-day streaming premiere of Marry Me, naturally).
If you aren’t already, now would be a fantastic time to familiarize yourself with every collaboration Kate Berlant and John Early have ever done.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
The Music Section
No one ever, ever thought this day would come, but Sky Ferreira really is back. And it’s not a joke! And not a tease! And (hopefully) won’t be another single drop before three years of ghosting.
No, there is not yet a release date, but Capitol Records (Sky’s longtime label that has been her apparent source of beleaguered duress since the release of her 2013 debut, Night Time, My Time—though that’s somewhat up for debate) has even posted the same clip to their Twitter account, meaning that she is indeed coming and there seems to be a release plan in motion! It seems almost astonishing to be talking about this moment as reality now, in 2022, but maybe great art really just does take time. Maybe there really was nine years of roadblocks and speed bumps. We’ll see when “Don’t Forget” is released…sometime in the near(?) future! See you in 2032, Sky!
Harry Styles has released “As It Was,” the first single from his upcoming album Harry’s Home. The song’s release comes alongside a gorgeous Tanu Muiño-directed visual that finds the Ukrainian director trading the CGI-heavy visuals she has recently helmed for artists like Lil Nas X and Cardi B for a pared down, colorful video that finds Harry frolicking through Camberwell’s South London Gallery in both a glittery red jumpsuit and nothing but his underwear (scroll down to The Horny Section for some additional feral musings on that, at your own risk).
“As It Was” features a propulsive, glittering synth to underscore its tender, nostalgic melancholy. It’s unquestionably Harry Styles’ most interesting and immediate lead single yet, finding a more accessible point of entry for the uninitiated while maintaining his avant-rock sensibilities. It’s more confident than anything he’s done before, and the video beautifully matches that energy, with Harry traversing through murky memories of relationships past to come out on the other side of that dangerous mental k-hole, able to appreciate the place he finds himself in now. Hands flailing through the air, jumping, twirling—accepting life and all of its memories for their beauty, both tragic and wondrous—and all with a 1000 watt smile.
Okay, not relevant to this week, but I have listened to this song approximately twenty eight million times in the last four days. Timbaland put something special in this one.
Something about his 2000s call and response tracks. This shit sounds like traversing a haunted house on a near-lethal amount of Concerta and caffeine. Keri Hilson, get behind me! I’ll take any strays that come your way forever for this one song alone. (Side note: this video of her performing the song live in 2009?! Her mushroom cut…the stunner shades…the cracking of her voice. I would give every earthly possession I have to go back to this for just 24 hours).
Meanwhile, no one is safe from label marketing pressures in the cutthroat world of the music industry in 2022. Florence Welch has been forced to make lo-fi TikToks of her singing. Someone please help her. Baby, this isn’t you!!!! Trapped in a basement somewhere in The Cotswalds.
Notes on a Tisdale
Ashley Tisdale’s journey from aughts-era Disney celebrity to Architectural Digest favorite has certainly been an interesting and unexpected one. Does it make sense? Well, not until you watch her give her second home tour for the publication in three years.
No one is turning to Ashley Tisdale for strings of killer comic punchlines, and yet she manages lilt her way through the video and charm the assumptions off of anyone. Even when she’s owning up to being completely unwilling to part with a sharp-edged coffee table with a newborn at home.
Lethal table be damned! Miz Tiz is going to do things her way or the highway and keep her baby in their designated baby areas. And I respect that completely!
Elsewhere, she speaks of her refusal to let medical-grade ass anesthesia keep her from getting her god damn Noguchi lamp:
But the move that really cemented her AD Open Door icon status was her admittance that she sent her husband on an errand to buy ~400 books from a local used booked store to fill their shelves before the cameras showed up.
Truly, props to Ashley for admitting that she’s using props. Props for props! Who would’ve thought she’d be the next one to join the ranks of Dakota Johnson in admitting that they simply dressed their homes up for the occasion. Transparency now! We’re all in this together, and it shows when we stand hand in hand.
(Rating: Top Shelf)
I’m still thinking (read: reeling) about Avril Lavigne’s feature in The Strategist this week. I always devour the publication’s “What [Blank] Can’t Live Without” features, and I was genuinely hoping that Avril Lavigne, a pop cultural mainstay for the last two decades, would have some really interesting items to discuss! Unfortunately, I was wrong. She likes tea, like every singer. She likes beer, like every Canadian rock chick who likes to rock ooout. Meh! But one thing on her list, I just can’t stop thinking about…
Huge middle school birthday party energy emanating from this. I love “I’m With You” as much as the next person with two ears and a misplaced nostalgic obsession with a punk-rock youth in 2002 Canada that I never had, but I simply can’t get behind this one. Something about “it’s cheesy and spicy, but none of the flavors overpower one another” really sends me to a place of sheer and utter, inescapable, artificially yellow-colored darkness. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected authentic cultural reverence from the singer of “Hello Kitty.” And that’s my own fault. I brought myself here. No further questions, your honor.
(Rating: Low Brow)
The Horny Section
Jonathan Majors was spotted alongside Michael B. Jordan on the set of Creed 3 (Creed III? Creed The Third? Creed I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I?) and…I simply just don’t have the words. Can’t get em, baby! How am I supposed to quiet the chattering of the chronic feral vibration in my brain that occurs when looking at this pictures long enough to churn out some coherent thoughts!
Those fat honkers absolutely OILED up in the afternoon sun. I’ve made so made wrong turns in my life that have led me away from my true career ideal—being Jonathan Majors’ Melon Oiling Man—and I’m just now coming to terms with that fact. Those things SIT. A literal spice rack. And he’s just walking around with them every day? With those Sock’Em Boppers hanging off his clavicle? I am on my knees (hold on HOLD ON, I’m going somewhere else with this) thanking GOD that Michael B. Jordan was clothed this day, otherwise I’d be coming to you from the east wing of Mount Sinai Beth Israel, shoveling hospital Jell-O in my face and requesting that the nurse keep me away from any device with WiFi lest I seek out these photos and take my heart rate up to 300 BPM, killing me instantly.
If you thought you were getting out of this newsletter without seeing Harold’s nipples, think again! I accidentally let out a small yelp watching this on the B Train last night. Choosing to believe this was done for me and me only.
Can we zoom in here…I’m trying to see something. Let’s just say I’d like to see if Harry’s got a House…if you know what I mean! Trying to see if it was left…As It Was. And if you don’t get what I’m saying then consider yourself lucky. What I would give to be unsullied by celeb-worship depravity!
My man really said, “The ice cubes stay ON the nipples until those cameras are ready to roll. Four nipples…three dimensions…right through the screen in eye-popping realism.”
Channing Tatum dunked himself in an ice bath on Instagram while recovering from a day of filming Magic Mike’s Last Dance, a film that is sure to kill me instantaneously from the first nipple I see through poking through a shirt.
Brief aside but speaking of Magic Mike, if you don’t believe what I said last week about The Thing About Pam being the Best Worst Show of 2022, a truly evil little program, please watch:
Lastly, my beloved Twinkothée Chalamet showed up to the Oscars sans shirt.
Like I don’t know what you want me to do. I can’t make the boy not hot. I can’t take away his natural charisma. All I’m able to do is soak it in…let me draw my bath in peace!
That’s all for this week! Sorry for a late delivery, but things were unexpectedly chaotic (in a good way) for me this week. I hope you’re all doing well. What’re your weekend plans? Did I miss any Menz from this week? Any important touchstones that happened amidst the deafening noise of unwarranted Slap opinions? Tell me everything in the comments and like and share this post if you feel so inclined! I love you and I’ll see you again soon! 💖
Okay, wait, one more thing. Please watch this vid but specifically :32 because I’ve been thinking about it all week long and every time I do it makes me cry to the point of tears.
I lied (I’m so craaaazy), one more thing. I Know Who Killed Me is now streaming on Hulu! This is a great time to watch it and read my interview with its screenwriter and my friend, Jeff Hammond. And then if you really want to get crazy, read the TSLB defense of it (which turns one year old tomorrow!). Okay, NOW I’m done. Love you, bye!