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 will vary, as will 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 don’t know if these will work, but let’s do them anyway
Are you aware that three of the best dramas in television history are making movie-length returns in the near future? You probably are. You’re smart and you follow interesting developments. Let’s run through them anyway, just for the other people: Deadwood is back this weekend for a two-hour conclusion to the unfinished story it left behind over a decade ago; The Sopranos will return at some point in a slightly altered form when David Chase finishes his prequel film; and Vince Gilligan and company are working on a Jesse Pinkman-based follow-up to Breaking Bad. Whether these are all good decisions is open to interpretation and depends largely on the finished products (it’s not like we have any reason to doubt the people involved), but if three of the five best dramas ever made are in on the fun, the cat is already out of that bag. This is a thing now.
And because it’s a thing now, it raises an obvious question: What’s next? What other shows will get movie-length adaptations from the original creative team? The options here are limitless. The three I listed above feature one continuation (Deadwood), one prequel (Sopranos), and one borderline spin-off (Breaking Bad). There’s plenty of room to build out from the source material if other shows want to give it a crack. I’ve got a few options listed below, all of them selected for being my personal favorites as much as any other reason. You probably have your own suggestions, too. Toss them into the ring. Have a blast, I say.
Justified was a very good show with a very good ending. (“We dug coal together.”) There is nothing like it on television right now, with its mix of drama and goofs and action. I would love to have more Justified in my life if the people involved can figure out a way to do it. I’m not the only one, either. Listen to Timothy Olyphant:
[T]here’s no Deadwood-esque Justified revival on the immediate horizon, but Raylan Givens is a role Olyphant hopes to play for the rest of his career. “If [they] want to come back three years from now, or ten years from now, and do a Raylan story—I’ll do them until they say, ‘Tim, you’re too old.’ I’ll do them in a heartbeat. I would love nothing more than for that to happen.”
I read that quote and immediately had this flash in my brain of a series of Columbo-style Raylan one-offs. Four or five of them, one every few years, with the whole gang back together and Raylan breaking up Oxy rings or organized crime groups or hunting Wynn Duffy throughout the surf spots of the Pacific. He can go to Boyd for help with his cases, visiting the wild-haired maniac in prison like Clarice visiting Hannibal Lecter. Again, I don’t know if this is a good idea. I would very much watch it, though. Every time. I miss my devious Kentucky boys. Also, please don’t forget this:
Why yes, I would also watch a spin-off about Boyd Crowder getting out of prison — perhaps early, in exchange for his help — and opening a Dairy Queen. I want to see his rise. I want to see him threaten and intimidate and become the ice cream king of the south. I want this badly. Please.
Who among us doesn’t want to spend more time with the characters from Mad Men? I miss Peggy and Don and Joan and Roger. Especially Roger. Even Pete Campbell, surprisingly. I really started coming around on him near the end, probably related to him shouting “The king ordered it!” while defending his family’s aristocratic legacy.
Hell, I’d even go so far as to say I’d watch an entire spin-off movie about Pete doing business in Kansas, where we last saw him and his family headed. I can’t believe I’m saying this. I once — many times, actually — advocated for Pete getting eaten by a bear. I’d still kind of like to see it, if I’m being honest. Maybe that’s how the movie ends. Best of both worlds.
Happy Endings was one of my favorite network comedies of all-time and I’m still angry it got canceled. It was so funny and so fast and so loaded with talent that it feels unfair that it just doesn’t exist anymore. I’m sure getting everyone together again would be a logistical nightmare at this point. I doubt there’s even the demand beyond me banging pots and pans together about it right now. I don’t care. I want it and I think I should have it.
Okay, listen. I know I’m the only one who cares about Zoo, the short-lived CBS summer series about genetically-altered animals banding together to overthrow the human race. But it’s important to point out that the last thing any of us saw on the show was, well, this.
To be clear, that is a remote-controlled military issue jumbo jet — complete with a fully-stocked laboratory and an also-fully-stocked bar, for reasons that were never explained — crashing through the wall that separates humans from a gaggle of bloodthirsty scienced-up hell-beasts. That was the cliffhanger ending of the third season and then the show was canceled. On one hand, this is the perfect way to end a show that created rubble and chaos everywhere it went with little concern for the fallout, but on the other hand… no, never mind. It’s too perfect. Forget I said anything.
ITEM NUMBER TWO — Give Killing Eve this, if nothing else
Assassin season is over, sadly. Barry wrapped up its brilliant second season a couple of weeks ago and Killing Eve wrapped up its… good… season this week. Yeah, let’s go with good, not great. The show was still cool and visually enchanting and the performances of the two leads — Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer — still lapped most other performances on television. Especially Comer. She’s so good as Villanelle, the show’s sociopath contract killer, that I think I’d just haul off in the opposite direction if I ever saw her on the street. Can’t be too careful.
But the second season lacked the depth and sizzle of the first. Some of that can be attributed to the show’s creator and driving voice, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, leaving the show to go make the basically perfect second season of Fleabag. Some could just be your general sophomore slump. Again, the show was still good and better than 80-85 percent of other options on television. It just fell a little short of the stratospheric highs of the first season. This is the show’s own fault, really, for setting the bar so high.
I will say this, though. In the show’s fourth episode, after Villanelle leaves her handler to work for Constantin again, she takes an assignment in Amsterdam that involves posing as a prostitute who wears a pig mask and gutting some lout from belt to sternum while he hangs upside-down in front of a crowd of Red Light district gawkers, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. I’m almost sure of it. I think I’d remember if I had. It was a wild and fun and tension-packed scene. I’m not sure it did much for the actual forward thrust of the season beyond being very cool. Sometimes that’s enough, though. It’s obviously stuck with me. I definitely won’t be visiting any pig-masked Dutch prostitutes any time soon. Again, can’t be too careful out there.
ITEM NUMBER THREE — LOOK AT THIS PICTURE OF PIERCE BROSNAN
LOOK AT IT
LOOK AT PIERCE
LOOK AT THE GOD OF VACATION
SOAK IN THE SUMMER VIBES THAT ARE RADIATING THROUGH YOUR SCREEN
MIX UP A PITCHER OF MAI TAIS
LOOK AT THE REST OF THE PICTURES FROM THE ESQUIRE PROFILE, TOO
“I love to paint. I don’t paint enough. I have a body of work that I wish to show, expose, exhibit. There’s been word of doing an exhibit in Paris. That’s been talked about. I don’t know,” Brosnan says. “I think if I do an exhibit, I feel it should be in Los Angeles. Have a showing. Turn the lights down low. Have some margaritas and some wine, good music.”
NOW LOOK AT THE PICTURE AGAIN
I MIGHT GET IT PRINTED ON A T-SHIRT AND REQUEST TO BE BURIED IT
ITEM NUMBER FOUR — Why isn’t Kate McKinnon the biggest star in the world?
Here’s Kate McKinnon pretending to be Reese Witherspoon in the latest clip from Billy on the Street. That should be enough to get you to click. McKinnon and Eichner tricking people into thinking they’re meeting Reese Witherspoon is a perfect comedy premise. Her impression isn’t even dead-on. It’s more of a feel thing than straight-up mimicry, starting with the dress and hair and extending to the “heyyy yoouuuu” she drops on the first person they encounter. It’s kind of like Will Ferrell’s impression of George W. Bush. It’s not necessarily accurate but it feels accurate anyway. Kate McKinnon is the greatest.
In fact, the only bone I have to pick with the whole endeavor is that these people should recognize Kate McKinnon. All of them should. Kate McKinnon has been killing it on SNL for years and stole Ghostbusters like a very weird cat burglar. She should be a much bigger star by now. She should be huge. Why haven’t we let Kate McKinnon become a huge star who leads her own raunchy blockbuster comedy? She should be so famous by now that this sketch fails miserably because everyone who bumps into her is like “Holy shit, it’s Kate McKinnon” before she gets into her Reese ruse. The world might be a tiny bit less fun because it’ll rob us of bits like this, but it would be more fair and just. I think that’s a decent trade here. It sets a good precedent, at least.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE — Tell ’em, Vin
Director F. Gary Gray was honored with a star on the Walk of Fame this week. The director of Straight Outta Compton and Fate of the Furious has been kicking around for a while and doing great work. No complaints here. They gave Guy Fieri one last week. I say that not to diminish to achievements of either man. I say it mostly because it is still incredible to me. Matthew McConaughey gave the speech. I may never get over that.
Not to be outdone, though, this ceremony featured a speech by Vin Diesel. I really must insist you watch this speech. It hits every Vin Diesel bullet point. Here, look:
- Refers to Paul Walker as “our brother Pablo”
- Features long dramatic pauses that seem rehearsed
- Includes a long riff about how no one thought they would succeed and the world was against them even though F8 was the latest installment of a multibillion-dollar Goliath film franchise and had just added Helen Mirren and Charlize Theron to the cast
- Ends with a story about Vin’s dad saying F8 was the best Fast & Furious yet, which a) makes me want a full ranking of the franchise’s films by Vin Diesel’s dad, and b) makes me think Vin Diesel’s dad might not have seen Fast Five
What a strange man. I love him.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or, like, whatever you want, shoot them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and 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.
I’ve been watching Collateral on HBO a lot recently. On my fifth or sixth watch, I finally caught it from the very beginning and realized that the person who gives Tom Cruise the briefcase with all the kill list info in it is … Jason Statham! He only in the movie for 30 seconds! My questions are: Are you aware of this? Why is Jason Statham in Collateral for only 30 seconds?
Ryan, this is an excellent point. We discussed Collateral a few weeks ago to note that Tom Cruise’s character is apparently named Vincent Collateral, according to the movie’s supplemental materials. We were all so excited about it that we did not discuss the Statham of it all, though. This was an error on my part, and an unforgivable one at that. I apologize.
To answer your questions: Yes, I am aware and it delights me every time. He and Cruise do the old “bump into each other and swap briefcases” move in the airport. Here’s proof.
As far as the why, let’s go to the most trustworthy and unimpeachable source of information available: user-submitted IMDb trivia.
Jason Statham’s cameo is often regarded as a nod to his character Frank Martin from The Transporter (2002) and its sequels. He delivers a bag to Vincent at the airport and then disappears, no questions asked.
Good enough for me!
It’s fun to think about someone explaining everything that happens after this to Statham’s character. Like, the next day. I picture him listening to it all very patiently and then saying, in total disbelief, “Da fookin cabbie did all ‘is?”
AND NOW, THE NEWS
“Egg Boy,” the Melbourne teen who cracked an egg on the head of an Australian senator after his inflammatory remarks about the New Zealand mass shooting in March, said he’s donated almost A$100,000 (about $69,000 U.S.) to the Christchurch Foundation and Victims Support.
We all remember Egg Boy, yes? We all remember how much Egg Boy ruled? I really hope we do. For all the original reasons, of course, but also for this. Listen to Egg Boy.
For those of you who don’t know, there were 2 Go Fund Me pages set up to help cover the cost of my legal fees and to ‘buy more eggs’. Gratefully, Gordon Legal acted probono for me so I don’t have any legal fees. I decided to donate all monies to help provide some relief to the victims of the massacre… it wasn’t mine to keep.
- Egg Boy transported an egg from his home to a press conference without cracking it, which is an impressive enough feat on its own and one I think we’re all overlooking in this
- He smashed the egg on the head of a bigoted politician who was fanning the anti-Muslim flames that led to the shooting, and he did it on live television so the rest of us could see
- He took the money from his various fundraisers — $69,000 in American dollars, which is perfect in a way — and gave it all to the people most affected by the tragedy
Egg Boy is the best of us.