This can be a preview of our popular culture publication The Day by day Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior leisure reporter Kevin Fallon. To obtain the total publication in your inbox every week, sign up for it here.
The Jeopardy! Scandal Is Very Upsetting to Me!
It’s actually astonishing that Jeopardy! managed to screw issues up this badly.
Few issues in leisure seem as sacred as the show, which, after a long time on air fostering intimate relationships with viewers every evening as they sit down for dinner, discovered its cultural significance solely heightened within the final 12 months. That was partly a product of the local weather by which it was airing. There was the fear of the pandemic and its unknown. There was the lunacy, anger, and precise violence of the political panorama. And there was the information that Alex Trebek was probably in his final run as host as he battled most cancers.
Tenets of what the present stood for had been a consolation in distinction to the fact exterior of our dwelling rooms. Fact within the age of disinformation. Stability within the face of unrest. Certainty in unsure occasions. The present was a soothing nightly reminder of what we valued, all the pieces from its instance that seriousness can nonetheless be foolish and enjoyable to the recollections of time spent watching the present with household baked into each episode’s theme music.
That the present would keep on its legacy following Trebek’s dying with class didn’t appear to be an arduous duty. To most of us, it appeared like an inevitability. One other certainty. One other truth. The present is an establishment, and the establishment would keep on nobly.
How, then, did we find yourself on this disagreeable catastrophe, a PR nightmare that’s already threatening to taint the present’s future?
Within the wake of reviews that newly introduced replacement host Mike Richards, who will tackle nightly duties whereas actress Mayim Bialik emcees primetime specials, had made sexist remarks whereas government producer of The Worth Is Proper and as co-host of The Randumb Show podcast, Richards released an apology and stepped down from his position this week. It got here after intense social media backlash and outcry from Jeopardy! followers—followers who had been already sad that Richards had been chosen over frontrunners like Ken Jennings and Levar Burton.
It’s a hurricane of negativity rattling the muse of the one factor in popular culture that was speculated to be stalwart and undisturbed. Can the present dig itself out of this wreckage?
It was exhausting to inform how a lot the social media uproar surrounding Richards had infiltrated mainstream audiences, most of whom would possibly nonetheless be extra upset that Burton didn’t get the gig than even conscious of this controversy. Somebody questioned if the present would undertake a “this too shall go” perspective and hope the storm blows over. Or would producers reduce it off on the go and change Richards earlier than the brand new season begins, which might solely reignite the unhealthy press and the ugliness of the host search?
To that latter level, Richards mentioned, “I wish to apologize to every of you for the undesirable detrimental consideration that has come to Jeopardy! over the previous couple of weeks and for the confusion and delays that is now inflicting.” The brand new season will now start with visitor hosts as soon as once more whereas one other substitute is sought out.
When Richards was introduced as Trebek’s successor, I personally didn’t thoughts. He was, I felt, the strongest of the contenders that I watched throughout the check trials. In actuality, the present appeared like such an establishment—and Trebek so singular and irreplaceable—that the selection of everlasting host didn’t appear to matter to me. The truth that nearly everybody who took half within the trials was competent, endearing, and entertaining proved that it might be the present’s popularity that will carry it into the longer term greater than the magnetism of any substitute.
However now that popularity has been tarnished, and that future is threatened. Lots of people wished Richards, whose Machiavellian dealings have additionally been off-putting, to step down. Is that sufficient to restore the harm that’s already been achieved to the hallowed present? I really feel like, for the primary time relating to Jeopardy!, there isn’t a proper reply.
Extra Like One Good Sandra Oh, Am I Proper?
In distinction to 9 Good Strangers, a collection by which, in its first three hours, primarily nothing occurs, Netflix’s The Chair is a collection for which three hours is its complete season, and all the pieces occurs.
It’s a swirl of so many concepts—provocative, thrilling, heady concepts—that it begins to resemble a kind of kaleidoscopic Magic Eye posters that, if you stare at it, one other picture emerges. On this case, it’s the picture of Sandra Oh, holding an performing trophy for the best way she lassoed all these concepts from the messy twister they may have created into one more tour de power efficiency.
In six episodes so breezy I had windburn after watching them, The Chair tackled (deep breath): paperwork in academia, institutional misogyny, institutional racism, institutional ageism, cancel tradition, disinformation, journalistic duty, cultural assimilation, gender norms, web trolls, grief, sexual harassment, and even touches of When Harry Met Sally’s “can a person and a lady simply be mates” query.
And but it’s actually humorous and, one way or the other, coherent—a feat pulled off by actress Amanda Peet, who created the present and produced it alongside along with her husband, (watch for it) Recreation of Thrones’ David Benioff and his producing associate D.B. Weiss. Possibly it’s not that shocking of a follow-up collection for the Thrones duo. In spite of everything, Sandra Oh is and all the time might be our Khaleesi.
It Is COVID-Problematic Celeb Season!
The Nice Celeb COVID Comeuppance is upon us and I haven’t felt this electrical and excited since that one time a glitch in my native pizza place’s supply order laptop system brought on them to ship me a shock second pie the day after the primary one without spending a dime.
It’s not as a result of I’m significantly comfortable about the truth that there are wealthy and influential people who find themselves anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers as we enter month 400 of this contemporary hell. It’s as a result of karma is a raging bitch and I can’t watch for all of them to really feel her wrath as they get uncovered.
This week, Broadway star Laura Osnes lost out on a performance gig as a result of she refused to be vaccinated and American Idol Carrie Underwood was caught liking a tweet by conservative hemorrhoid Matt Walsh raging in opposition to faculty masks mandates. There might be extra of those revelations. These individuals would possibly fancy themselves discreet, however like teenage boys contemporary off their runs as Ren of their high-school manufacturing of Footloose, they are going to all the time come out.
It’s unhappy to be taught that a few of your favourite performers are absolute dipshits. However [grabs karaoke mic] possibly subsequent time she’ll thiiiiiiink earlier than she [likes] tweets.
Lovely Images From The Crown to Soothe Your Soul
What I really like about this photo of Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana within the upcoming season of The Crown is how a lot care was taken in all the pieces from her look to her facial features to the best way she’s lounging to evoke a close to, nearly eerie mimicry of the late icon.
And what I really like concerning the accompanying picture of Dominic West as Prince Charles is that they had been identical to “eh, comb his hair just a little completely different and that’ll do.”
The Chair: Nothing extra satisfying than six episodes of Sandra Oh excellence. (Fri. on Netflix)
Work in Progress: Season two of a real gem of a present that I want extra individuals would uncover. (Solar. on Showtime)
The Different Two: One of many funniest reveals on TV, plus a superior Molly Shannon efficiency. (Thurs. on HBO Max)
Memory: 2021 has been surreal sufficient. I don’t want my thoughts being bent in my leisure, too. (Fri. in theaters and on HBO Max)
The Strolling Useless: Really the one present I’ll tolerate a “wait, that’s nonetheless on!?” response. (Solar. on AMC)
The Day by day Beast’s Obsessed
All the things we are able to’t cease loving, hating, and excited about this week in popular culture.