The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.
ITEM NUMBER ONE — My curiosity about this is limitless
The thing about the world is that it is big and weird and full of mysteries and the second you think you have any of it figured out in any substantial way it grabs you by the collar and yoinks you into wondrous new uncharted territory. This usually happens for people when they have a life-changing experience, like a brush with death, or when they have their first child, or, sometimes, when they learn a new piece of information that changes everything for them. It happened to me this week. Not the brush with death or the baby. The thing about the new piece of information. The thing, specifically, about Salma Hayek and her fancy pet owl.
Did you know that Salma Hayek had a fancy pet owl? I hope not, because that would mean you learned that fact at some point prior to today and never thought to share it with me. It would mean you read or saw or heard that Salma Hayek had a fancy pet owl and at no point did you think, “Hmm, I should tell Brian about this. I bet he would like to know.” Come on. Come on! Of course I want to know about Salma Hayek and her fancy pet owl. It is, to some degree, the only thing I want to know about, especially now that I’ve started to know about it. I thought we got each other, you and me.
Luckily, for me and for those of you who did not know and have not been keeping this information from me, People Magazine asked Salma Hayek about her fancy pet owl. Or maybe they didn’t and she just started talking about it unprompted. Either way, she is now on the record on the subject. And it makes me so happy. Let’s start at the beginning.
The actress, 54, is the proud mom of an owl named Kering, who she met around two years ago after responding to an advertisement about rescue owls. After researching the work the goes into caring for creatures, Hayek decided to adopt Kering, a southern white-faced owl.
Well, guess what: I love it. Salma Hayek saw an advertisement for rescue owls and researched how to care for them and just went ahead and got one. This raises a few questions, including but not limited to:
Where does one see advertisements for rescue owls?
Have you ever seen an advertisement for rescue owls?
How would you react if you saw an advertisement about rescue owls?
Do you think this was like a targeted ad she got while cruising around online?
What kind of other targeted ads do you think Salma Hayek gets, presuming, as I have now chosen to do, that this was one of them?
How does one research how to care for an owl?
Do you just, like, Google it?
We should read on.
“I gave it to my husband as a Valentine’s present and named her Kering because that’s the name of his company and their symbol of the owl,” Hayek says in PEOPLE’s 2021 Beautiful Issue, on newsstands Friday, of when Kering the owl and her husband, François-Henri Pinault, first met. “And he was like, ‘Well, thank you, but I know this is your own present for yourself.'”
Okay, a few more questions:
What would you do if your spouse got you an owl you didn’t ask for on Valentine’s Day?
Like, what if you got them some nice clothes and a thoughtful gift or maybe a nice watch or some jewelry and then they said, “Wait right here, I’m going to go get your present” and then they went into the next room and they were gone a while — like, a while — and they came back and they said, “Surprise!” and they had a freaking owl perched on their wrist?
Probably the same thing Salma Hayek’s husband did, right?
I think it would help to see this owl. Let’s go to People Magazine’s Instagram page to look at the promotional photo that accompanied the story.
Okay, yes, that is definitely an owl. For a second there I was wondering if they meant a different kind of owl, or if there even was a different kind of owl. I thought maybe I had a break with reality and just forgot what the word owl meant. But no, definitely a real, whole, entire owl, just chilling out with Salma Hayek.
And this, somehow, is where it all got weird because this is where Salma Hayek discussed how the owl will hang out with her friends and perch on the edge of her iPad while she reads. And that gets us to this part.
Celebrity best friends and iPads aren’t the only things that set Kering apart from other birds. She is more “curious” the most owls, according to Hayek, and has an unusual but “good” sense of taste.
“Even though owls don’t drink liquids because they take everything from their prey, she likes good wine, this one,” the star says.
Okay, again, a few questions:
Does Salma Hayek get drunk with an owl?
Is that what this is implying?
It seems like it’s what this is implying, right?
Do you think it’s strange that Salma Hayek just casually tossed in that thing about how owls “take everything from their prey”?
Does Salma Hayek let her owl out at night to hunt?
Is that another thing we’re supposed to take from this?
That Salma Hayek’s owl sips some fine wine and then goes out to hunt inferior mammals like some sort of supervillain?
And even if not, just to circle back, and I really want you to think hard about this one, what would you do if you walked into a room — any room, doesn’t matter — and international movie star Salma Hayek was sitting there reading from an iPad that had an owl perched on it and the owl was dunking its beak into her glass of wine?
Take as long as you need on that last one. I’ve been going for a solid week now.
Kering also enjoys getting cozy with Hayek and can often be found “on my head or my shoulder, my arms. Sometimes, when she is really close to me, I can feel her rubbing against me, which is really nice. And I feel so blessed.”
I need a movie starring Salma Hayek and this owl. I need them to solve crimes together. I will settle for them solving crimes together in real life if we cannot get the funding, but let’s really try here. In my dream scenario, they’re avenging the death of a famous wildlife conservationist who was murdered by evil fossil fuel tycoons and the owl is always a little tipsy and is voiced by Tracy Morgan and maybe wears a little Sherlock Holmes hat. I would watch that movie tonight. I would cancel plans to watch that movie, if I had plans, which I do not. I kind of want a pet owl now, too?
I don’t know. I don’t know. This has given all of us so much to consider. Too much, possibly. But again, that’s just how the world works sometimes. Sometimes, when you least expect it, there are fancy wine-sipping owls. I guess that’s the lesson here.
ITEM NUMBER TWO — Welcome to leg chat
We are living through a tremendous period of leg-related social media posts and no one is talking about it. It’s maddening to me, in part because it’s important to recognize when history — real, important history — is being made around you, and in part because it is all I want to discuss every day when I am not thinking about Salma Hayek’s pet owl. Thank God I have this column, this little stupid sandbox to get these things out into the world, because otherwise, I’d be out on the sidewalk yelling about legs to passing cars. To be fair, I could use the sun.
But back to legs. The Rock posted that image on his Instagram this week and sweet rippling heavens, look at the man’s thighs. I can’t tell if he’s wearing shorts with a one-inch inseam or if that’s his underwear and his pants leaped off his body in terror and ran away. His veins look like little snakes swimming around under his skin. He appears to have muscles over his kneecaps, which is not something I thought could happen. Until provided with indisputable evidence to the contrary, it is the position of this column that The Rock could probably squat the moon.
There are two important takeaways here:
- This is as good an excuse as you could ever ask for to go read or re-read Caity Weaver’s 2017 GQ profile of The Rock, in which she describes his leggings clinging to his calves as “like nightfall descending over a mountain range” and says his firing triceps are “like captive wild horses that have finally been set free,” which are both so good that I’m now embarrassed I even tried to use words to describe his muscles.
- It was somehow not even the best leg-related social media post in the last couple of weeks
No, that honor goes to this tweet from the official Twitter account for Better Call Saul.
Just three cool, terrifying dudes. pic.twitter.com/BKrPQvuZpd
— Better Call Saul (@BetterCallSaul) March 27, 2021
Do you see it? What am I saying? Of course, you see it. How could anyone not? Look to the far left of the shot.
Look at Tony Dalton giving the camera the full-on Lalo Salamanca charm.
Look at that smile.
Look at that shirt.
LOOK AT THAT ANKLE.
He legitimately has more charisma in the area between his foot and shin than most people possess in their entire bodies. It’s obscene. It’s captivating. It’s one of the many reasons Lalo Salamanca is the best villain in any currently airing television series, and it’s one of the main reasons I need the show back in my life as soon as possible. I am at most a week away from cropping him out of this picture and printing up 500 t-shirts with him on them and going back out to that sidewalk to sell them to pedestrians. I am barely kidding.
ITEM NUMBER THREE — Mythic Quest is, of course, very good
Ted Lasso captured the world’s heart last year, which is both fine and good, because Ted Lasso is awesome. But there’s another Apple comedy series that is awesome, and it bugs me a little bit that it’s living in the shadow of Jason Sudeikis’s mustache. That show is Mythic Quest. You would love Mythic Quest. It’s from a chunk of the It’s Always Sunny creative team and it stars Rob McElhenney and it features Danny Pudi from Community. The first season followed the development of a new video game and it was so good. It was funny and heartfelt and featured a surprise Jake Johnson and Cristin Milioti appearance and its one-off episode about quarantine was one of the best episodes of television I’ve ever seen. I wrote a huge thing about it. And I got to shout “Go Birds” at fellow Philadelphia Eagles fan Rob McElhenney over the phone at the end of the interview, which was maybe not the most professional moment of my career, but whatever, you only get one go-round in life. I stand by it.
Anyway, I bring this up now because Mythic Quest is dropping another one-off episode next week in advance of its second season premiere in May.
In “Everlight,” the creative team, once again, presents a relatable subject that people all over the world are currently facing — the return to offices and co-workers. In addition to the award-winning returning ensemble cast, special guest star Academy Award winner Sir Anthony Hopkins (“Silence of the Lambs,” “The Father”) lends his voice to the episode. This new, half-hour special episode finds the team behind the biggest multiplayer video game of all-time returning to the office for their annual Everlight party, with Poppy and Ian rigging a LARP (Live Action Role-Play) tournament in an underdog’s favor.
“‘Everlight’ is a special episode that addresses the practical and emotional difficulties of returning to normalcy,” said McElhenney. “It’s full of hope and joy and optimism for a bright future. Ahead of our upcoming second season, we felt it was the perfect way (and the perfect time) to invite the audience back into the world of ‘Mythic Quest.’”
This is very important to me. I’m excited. Maybe too excited. This show is so damn good and hopeful and funny and mean and happy. Charlotte Nicdao, who plays the game’s lead developer, Poppy, gives an incredible comic performance straight through. You have enough time to binge the first season before this special episode drops on the 16th. You definitely have enough time to binge all of it before the second season starts. Do that. Do something nice for yourself. You’ve probably earned it.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR — On the subject of Daniel Craig doing silly Southern accents…
Let’s get the timely news in all of this out of the way fast so I can yell at you some more. Knives Out is the best. It is filled with cool twists and terrific performances and I almost spent $300 on a sweater after watching it. And we’re about to get more of it, as the creative team reached a deal with Netflix for two more sequels. Here, look:
But on March 31, in a twist worthy of Agatha Christie, came the reveal that Lionsgate would not be releasing the sequel at all. Instead, two sequels would be made by Netflix, which inked a dagger-driving $469 million deal with Johnson and his producing partner at T-Street, Ram Bergman, both of whom are represented by CAA.
Deal points were noteworthy: The pact gave Johnson immense creative control, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. He doesn’t have to take notes from the streamer. The only contingencies were that Craig must star in the sequels and that each must have at least the budget of the 2019 movie, which was in the $40 million range. Sources say that Johnson, Bergman and Craig stand to walk away with upward of $100 million each.
Fantastic. Pay them all. Daniel Craig deserves $100 million for his delivery of the donut hole monologue alone. But please, when you’re running around discussing movies in which Daniel Craig does kind of silly Southern accents, do not forget about Logan Lucky. Logan Lucky rules so hard. It’s got everything. It’s got Channing Tatum and Adam Driver playing brothers. It’s got an elaborate heist that goes sideways. It was directed by heistmaster Steven Soderbergh. It features the best use of the song “Country Roads” by John Denver that does not also feature the phrase “Here’s the situation.” Everything.
But most relevant to the discussion here, it’s got Daniel Craig as a hillbilly explosives expert named Joe Bang. Behold Joe Bang.
Go watch this, too. It’s a perfect, highly rewatchable movie, and it’s currently just sitting there on Hulu. Make two sequels of this movie. Only make movies where Daniel Craig talks like Foghorn Leghorn. Cast him in Fast 10 as an evil tobacco magnate. Bring him back for another Bond movie but give him a fake mustache and a cowboy hat and have him play an American spy from Georgia named Tex Carolina who assists the next Bond on a mission. See what I care.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE — This is my favorite show now
James Wolk is an American treasure. This is not in dispute, for reasons we’ll discuss later, but also for reasons we’ll discuss now. This reason, to be specific:
Ordinary Joe explores the three parallel lives of the show’s main character (played by Watchmen’s Wolk) after he makes a pivotal choice at a crossroads in his life. The series asks the question of how different life might look if you made your decision based on love, loyalty or passion. Natalie Martinez, Charlie Barnett and Elizabeth Lail co-star. An episode count has not yet been determined.
To be extremely clear, James Wolk is starring in an upcoming network series in which he plays the same character in three alternate universes, one in which he is a nurse, one in which he is a cop, and one in which he is a rock star. This is my favorite show now. It might be my second favorite show ever. And the craziest thing about it is that it is not even the weirdest network television show James Wolk has played the lead in, because James Wolk also starred in my first favorite show ever, Zoo. A show where he played a renegade zoologist who was trying to put down an animal revolution. A show in which, for reasons, he pushed a car out of an airplane and into a volcano. A show in which he did this, like the goddamn prince of television he is.
I do this every time he comes up but, I’m sorry, I’m going to do it again. I don’t know why I said I’m sorry just now. I’m not. I’m elated, actually. James Wolk has so many legendary television moments in his resume. He delivered the “squid pro quo” line on Watchmen, for the love of God. He played a fake sexy Elon Musk on Billions and died by blowing up in his own rocket on live television.
HE WAS BOB BENSON ON MAD MEN, FOR PETE’S SAKE.
All the man has done for over a decade now is pop up in either the best or weirdest shows on television and make them a little better and weirder. And now he’s going to play a cop and a nurse and a rock star on the same show on network television. It’s incredible. I hope this show becomes a massive hit. I would feel so much better if I lived in a world where James Wolk bathed in the riches he so deeply deserved. He’s given us — me, at least — so much. It’s the least we can do.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.
What are we thinking about the new Space Jam, Bri-guy? I watched the trailer as soon as it came out and I hated it, but I thought about it later and realized it was probably me being a cranky old man about it. I watched it again with a more open mind the next day and I thought it was fine. Not great, not bad, but fine. Is this me maturing or surrendering to the content overlords? I can’t remember being this confused about a movie. Especially not one aimed at people less than half my age. Tell me how to feel, man.
Let’s get one thing out of the way before we get started here, Zach. I cannot support the nickname “Bri-guy.” I almost didn’t answer the email because of it. This will not do. Please make a note.
Now, in no particular order, via bullet point:
- You are right that it is probably not targeted at you
- You are right now that it’s fine
- It’s a little weird how much intellectual property they slammed into one short trailer, but that’s kind of the point
- There should have been a Space Jam sequel in 2002 or 2003 that starred Allen Iverson and featured him getting sucked into the cartoon world through a hole under the table in a TGI Fridays
- The original Monstars were a poorly constructed basketball team that featured two centers (Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing), two power forwards (Charles Barkley, Larry Johnson), and one undersized point guard (Muggsy Bogues), and they might have actually defeated the Tune Squad and altered history if they had instead stolen the talent from a sweet-shooting wing, like a Mitch Richmond or a Glen Rice or maybe even Reggie Miller, which would have been hilarious
- Yes, I think about this a lot
To recap: It’s fine. The soundtrack better be good, though.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
To South Korea!
The couple saw brushes and paint cans in front of a paint-splattered canvas at a gallery in a Seoul shopping mall. So they added a few brush strokes, assuming it was a participatory mural.
Oh man, that “assuming” is really doing a lot of work here. I think I see where this is going. I think we all do. But I want to read it. I want them to tell me. Say it.
Not quite: The painting was a finished work by an American artist whose abstract aesthetic riffs on street art. The piece is worth more than $400,000, according to the organizers of the exhibition that featured the painting.
Okay, let me back up. I know this is bad. I know that this artist created something and then people altered it and I know that’s not good. But I love art mishaps. I really do. I loved the time a lady tried to fix the one painting and mangled it beyond recognition. I loved Nora Ephron’s story about billionaire Steve Wynn accidentally smashing his arm through a million-dollar masterpiece. I really loved the time a cop at Temple University told me a big huge modern art sculpture on campus had actually fallen over on its side during a bad wind storm and no one noticed until the artist came back to visit the next year.
Is this because I’m an uncultured swine who doesn’t understand art and therefore subconsciously wants to see it destroyed as a way to knock those pretentious art-knowers off of the stupid pretentious high horses? Uh… perhaps.
Let’s move on.
A few suggest that the incident itself was a form of contemporary art, or that the couple’s abstract brush strokes — three dark-green blotches covering an area about 35 inches by 11 inches — have improved the piece.
Name the entire gallery after this couple, in my opinion.
The couple were arrested but released after the police determined that the vandalism was accidental, the local news media reported. Mr. Kang said the couple told the police that they had thought the artwork was open to public participation.
JAILBIRD: What are you in here for?
THESE PEOPLE: Well, we thought a piece of modern art was actually participatory and so we smeared it with blotches of dark green paint almost at random. But then, and this is where the whole story moves from hilarity to tragedy, we learned the piece was in fact finished and a statement on art itself and we had defaced it entirely through sheer misunderstanding. As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of egg on our faces. And that was before we were taken out of the gallery in handcuffs like a pair of common scoundrels. Our lawyer is clearing it up right now. It will assuredly make for a raucous story at a cocktail party many years from today, once the shame wears and everyone can appreciate the humor of the situation.
THESE PEOPLE: I’m sorry, here we are blabbering away and being so rude as to not inquire about what brought you to this cell this evening.
THESE PEOPLE: Ah, yes. Right right.
Julien Kolly, a gallerist in Zurich who specializes in graffiti art and has exhibited JonOne paintings over the years, said that they often prompted strong reactions from viewers.
“Some are full of praise and others think that a child could do better,” he said. “Of course, I am in the first category.”
Ladies and gentlemen, a perfect news story.