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 – I missed my sweet Chechen prince so much
It got a little lost in the Succession-related hoopla this week, but Barry is back for its final season, too. Two episodes premiered on Sunday night, right after Succession, which helps to explain how it got a little lost. There’s really just a lot happening on Sunday nights on HBO right now. It’s a good problem to have. But it’s still a problem. I wanted to talk about Barry a lot this week but the discussion was dominated by the Roy family and their various issues. Luckily, I have this column and place to talk about NoHo Hank, who remains one of the best characters on television. So here we go.
Quick backstory, for those unaware: NoHo Hank is a Chechen mobster in California who is buddies with Bill Hader’s character, Barry, who is a hitman that tried to go clean by becoming an actor but is now in prison for one of the many murders he committed. Hank also just recently started living as a proud and out gay man and began dating a high-ranking member of the Bolivian mob named Cristobal. It’s really a delight on a number of levels. He’s a wonderful man who sometimes shows up on screen looking like this.
I do not have a single note to add to anything here, other than to thank Bill Hader and Anthony Carrigan (the actor who plays Hank) for making it all possible.
The best part is that Carrigan is starting to really get recognized for it all. He did a big fancy sit-down interview with the New York Times before the season started where he compared the character to a friendly scorpion, which I have not been able to unsee since I read it. You probably won’t be able to unsee it either. Because I’m going to paste that section riiiiiight now.
NoHo Hank, intended as a minor antagonist, is a member of a Chechen mob. Carrigan had little interest in playing another villain. But the script’s violent comedy delighted him. He went back to the formal exercises of his college days. How should Hank move? What animal would he be? A scorpion, he decided, which explains the puffed-out chest, the hands on hips, the scuttling walk.
“He’s a lovable scorpion,” Carrigan explained at the oyster counter. “He doesn’t want to sting anyone, he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. But that’s just his nature.”
Two things are worth noting here:
- Hank was supposed to be killed off at the beginning of the series but Carrigan made such an impression that they decided to keep him around and make him a main player
- I want to see a scorpion wearing a sombrero and sunglasses now
Carrigan did another big profile over at Inverse, too, which was also a hoot to read in many ways — I interviewed him a few years ago and it always makes me happy when people I identified as being cool and fun blow up a little like that — but also very troubling. I am on the record as saying that I will hunt down Bill Hader and yell at him if anything happens to Hank this season. I know he’s a mobster and a killer and bad things usually happen to those kinds of people at some point. But… I adore him. I am not conflicted about this at all. I feel fine about it, actually.
Which is why this part is… yeah, troubling.
Organized crime aside (and with the finale in sight), does NoHo Hank deserve a happy ending? Carrigan seems unsure.
“I love Hank so much and I want everything for him. I have such a soft spot for this character,” he says. “But there’s something interesting about the progression over the seasons. Hank has slowly started to realize that his naivete and his foolishness have gotten him into major trouble. You can’t go into a life of crime lightly, and some of the consequences do show up for him.”
LEAVE HIM ALONE.
I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gone all-caps on you there. I just get a little excited. It’s hard not to, especially given the stuff that happened in the second episode of the season. I’ll dance around spoilers but the short version goes like this: Hank and Cristobal are making a big presentation to other mobsters in a private room in a Dave & Buster’s. (Already perfect.) And they’re doing this thing in a long single shot where they circle the table in opposite directions and pick up each other’s part of the speech as they cross paths. But Hank gets out of place as Cristobal is talking and needs to rush to be ready and then, well, this happens.
A perfect bit. A legitimate out-loud laugh in an episode that was otherwise pretty dark. NoHo Hank is a damn oasis. I am going to miss him — the show, too, but definitely him — when this all ends for good in a few months. But I am going to appreciate the hell out of it all while it’s happening.
Welcome to NoHo Hank season.
ITEM NUMBER TWO – Halle Berry gets it
I love you all very much but you are out of your mind if you think I am going to discuss Twitter on this or any other website, including Twitter. I use the stupid site every day, too much, but even I have enough shame to not go running around tweeting about Twitter whenever something silly happens. I do not have time for that. That’s a lie. I have plenty of time for that. I am barely doing anything most of the time. The other day I realized that I had just been, like, staring at one of my houseplants for a solid 90 seconds. If that does not sound like a long time to you, set a 90-second timer and go stare at one of your houseplants until the timer dings. You’ll see my point around the 44-second mark.
Anyway, ugggggghhhh, I do have to talk about it briefly to set up something cool. So… here we go: Twitter CEO Elon Musk has been claiming he was going to take away the little blue check marks from verified users unless they signed up for the paid service. You probably heard about this. He finally did it — or figured out how to do it — this Thursday, on 4/20 (weed day, epic, etc.). It’s all very stupid. But something fun did come out of it. On Wednesday, the day before it happened, Halle Berry tweeted this.
Me joining you all tomorrow unverified 🥰 https://t.co/ujDlcsV8aL pic.twitter.com/1p6Q0uRuj1
— Halle Berry (@halleberry) April 20, 2023
That’s… cool. It’s just cool. Halle Berry rules. And she was in the third John Wick movie, which has very little to do with anything I’ve discussed to this point but is always fun to remember. She and Keanu Reeves were just running around the desert with some dogs and shooting at crooked dopes on rooftops. That was great. Good for Halle Berry, man. Still out here doing it like 30 years after she was in the Flintstones movie. I’m happy for her.
ITEM NUMBER THREE – God, I am so excited for this dumb movie
This is the second trailer for Fast X. It’s not, like, wildly different from the first one, which I wrote over 1000 words about a few months back. We will not need 1000 words here. I bet I can get us out of this section in about 300-350. Mostly I just want to talk about Jason Momoa. Again. It feels right that he’s in this franchise now. The fit is so perfect. Jason Momoa was born to be a Fast & Furious villain. I can’t wait for the next movie — just announced, same director — where he gets folded into the team and takes a bullet for Dominic Toretto. Probably. We can’t rule it out. Take a few minutes this weekend and think about the arc of Jason Statham’s character in the movies. This is cinema to me.
This trailer did give us at least one little update/clarification, though. Remember in the first trailer when Jason Momoa — I’m sure his character has a name, let’s just agree to call him “Jason Momoa” for now — raised his arms like Jesus on the cross and blew up half of an Italian city that sure looked a lot like the Vatican? Here, a refresher…
Well, now we have confirmation. It’s the Vatican.
Jason Momoa plays a villain who blows up the Vatican because Vin Diesel and his buddies ripped a safe out of a crooked businessman’s wall in Brazil over a decade ago. This is… perfect. It’s perfect. Also, Jason Momoa called his henchmen “dorks.” That seems important, too. I can’t wait to see this movie in a theater next month with a thousand gummi worms in my lap and a soda as big as my thigh in the cup holder next to me.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR – Is Matthew McConaughey… starting.. a cult?
Okay, let’s take this slow. On Monday, Matthew McConaughey is hosting a free event — streamed online — titled “The Art of Livin’.” It has guest speakers like Tony Robbins and a whole website full of words with dropped Gs at the end and it really all… look. I am sure Matthew McConaughey means well. I’m sure he’s just trying to help. I bet a few people have come up to him over the years and been like “Matthew McConaughey, you seem so chill and relaxed all the time. Please teach us how to be like that, too.” Which is fine. But… like…
This all sounds a little cult-y on paper, right? Here, look at the section of the website titled “WHAT IS MCCONAUGHEY DOIN’?”
It’s simple – a live one day virtual event like nothin’ you’ve ever experienced…
To show you the roadmap to livin’ again.
This is a coming together… a movement you and the world need right now…
A chance for you to draw a line in the sand, put the last three years behind you and shape your life with trust, joy and a little more outlaw logic.
It’s McConaughey. It’s guests like Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. It’s one day, live, virtual and free.
And it’s only happenin’ once. So be cool to your future self and show up.
See you there.
I like to imagine the person who forgot to drop the G in “coming” in the third sentence was fired and dragged outside by a team of shirtless glistening security guards.
There’s more. But please look at the section titled “WHY IS MCCONAUGHEY DOIN’ THIS?”
After three years of uncertainty and losin’ the opportunity to live life on your terms, McConaughey – the “Minister of Culture” – knew it was time for a revival.
That’s why he’s doin’ something he’s never done before and inviting you to lock arms with him to create a more compelling future for yourself.
This one-day event is about YOU.
About learnin’ to navigate the red and yellow lights in your life and findin’ more Greenlights.
About wakin’ up your soul, your passion, your hunger.
About defining your “MORE”.
And it’s all happenin’ LIVE, one time only for about 3 hours with McConaughey and his powerhouse guests.
Don’t miss it. IT’S TIME TO START LIVIN’ AGAIN.
I mean… come on.
It does have some cult vibes.
Thousands of people logging in for three hours on a Monday afternoon desperately trying to learn how to chill out a little. Just chanting “alright alright alright” in dead-eyed unison. Wearing cargo shorts and suntan lotion and nothing else. I kind of want to tune in, purely for investigative reasons. Potential Zoolander situation here.
I really think Matthew McConaughey might be starting a cult.
I’m sorry. That’s not what I meant to say. That’s not fair.
Matthew McConaughey might be startin’ a cult.
There. Much better.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE – Mrs. Davis is wild as hell and I kind of love it
There’s a new show dropping on Peacock this weekend called Mrs. Davis. It stars Betty Gilpin as a warrior nun who sets out to do battle against an all-knowing AI thingy that plugs into the ears of every human on the planet and tells them what to do. If that sounds weird to you, there’s a good reason for that: it is so, so weird. But, like, good weird. It’s a blast, kind of the way The Leftovers and Watchmen were a weirdo blast in parts, which also makes sense because this series was created by Damon Lindelof, too. I’ve seen a few of the screeners and I found it all delightful. My colleague Kimberly Ricci summed it up well in her review earlier this week.
You’ll be impressed by the sword-fighting nuns in the action-packed opener of the series, but man, as trippy as that scene is, Mrs. Davis is only warming up. The show consistently one-ups itself while bouncing back and forth in time almost effortlessly, bringing us tales of magic and mysticism, and the battle between faith and technology, which somehow coalesce into a coherent story that will keep people coming back each week. Is there a Lube Man crossover? No, but he’s there in spirit.
Two things worth noting here:
- I am so happy she mentioned Lube Man from Watchmen because it gave me an excuse to watch that video a dozen times this week
- Yes, that did say “sword-fighting nuns”
This is where I get to share something incredible with you. This is a GIF from the show. From the first episode. From the first 10 minutes of the first episode. There is very little dilly-dallying here. Look at this.
Please give Mrs. Davis a try at some point. I fully concede that you might hate it. The show is strange to the degree of nonsense in some places and I’m not entirely sure any of it comes together in anything resembling a whole singular piece, but it is wild and ambitious and silly and I think we should always support the people who at least try to do that. Big swings can mean big misses, sure. But they can also mean you smash a dinger into the upper deck.
I’m not sure exactly which of these Mrs. Davis is. We can find out together.
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.
A few days ago I was talking to a friend of mine about a girl he started dating and he said he really “dug her vibes.” That’s nice and all but all I could think about for the rest of our conversation was “Doug Vibrations would be a great fake name.” He was talking to me about this lovely new woman in his life and I was looking him in the eye and nodding but there was nothing going on between my ears but creating a whole backstory for a dude named Doug Vibrations. What I’ve got so far is that he’s a private investigator who does undercover work as a DJ to track down people who move illegal party drugs through the country at raves and techno clubs. This is your fault. But thank you.
I would absolutely watch this show. It stars Jake Johnson as Doug, and the illegal party drug smuggler is Ike Barinholz doing a ridiculous and unplaceable European accent, and maybe… let’s say Patti Harrison is in there as a person who goes to a lot of the clubs and kind of accidentally helps Doug uncover a bunch of clues.
This is good stuff. I’m ready to watch it as soon as someone makes it. Let’s get the team from The Afterparty on it ASAP.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
A total of $20 million worth of gold and other high-value goods have been stolen after being offloaded from an aircraft at Toronto Pearson International Airport, police say.
You cannot imagine how excited I am to type the words that are about to appear after this colon: WE HAVE A MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR CANADIAN GOLD HEIST.
And “other high value goods,” too. Which I am not very curious about. I must know what these other goods were. Priceless works of art? Diamonds? Green Philadelphia Eagles t-shirts that say “GO BIRDS” on the front in big white letters?
What? It would be high-value to me.
“An aircraft arrived here at the airport in the early evening. As per normal procedure, the aircraft was unloaded and cargo was transported from the aircraft to a holding cargo facility,” Inspector Stephen Duivesteyn said while announcing the theft.
Duivesteyn said after the cargo was secured in the holding facility, it was removed by “illegal means.” The container was holding gold and other “high-value goods” worth $20 million.
I kind of love that he said it was removed by “illegal means” instead of saying “they went and stole the damn gold.” It sounds so professional. I should also point out that the first reports about this that dripped out yesterday put the totals at $100 million, which now makes the $20 million figure look less impressive, even though $20 million worth of gold and other high-value goods is still, like, a lot of gold and high-value goods.
You can’t tease me like that. I got all excited. Please try to be more accurate going forward.
“This is very rare,” Duivesteyn said, adding that it’s too early to know if the theft was carried out professionally.
Police also said they don’t know where the gold is or if it’s still in the country. Police said they believe this is an isolated incident.
What I like about this blockquote is that it does not rule out the possibility that the eight-figure gold heist was carried out by some dude named Randy who works at the airport and saw a crate of gold sitting there and was like, “Screw it. Today is the day,” before plopping it into the back of his truck and driving off into the night with his backend dragging on the ground behind him from the weight of the precious metals.
I’m just going to believe this is what happened. Please do not take it away from me.
No arrests have been made and police did not release any information on suspects.
“We are three days in, so our investigators have their eyes open to all avenues,” Duivesteyn said.
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