TV

The Rundown: A Few Good (And, Uh, Less Good) Ideas For A ‘Mare Of Easttown’ Spinoff

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 — Yeah, screw it, let’s do this

Mare of Easttown was fun. Maybe fun is the wrong word, actually. It was a bleak and sad murder show about depressed people and teenagers who were massively betrayed by the adults in their lives. It was somehow cloudy every day. A better name for the show would have been It’s Never Sunny in Philadelphia.

But it was fun that we all watched it together and speculated and went a little nuts about it all. It’s been a while since we did that. And that’s a shame, as it remains the position of this column that television is better when we experience it like that, all in a group, with theories and takes and a zillion goofball mid-week blogs to read.

The big question after Mare wrapped things up, though, is whether we’ll do it all again. Whether there will be a second go-round of Delco/Philly accents and murder and heaugies and such. The Hollywood Reporter spoke to series creator Brad Ingelsby and he was skeptical but did not expressly rule it out.

“If there was a world in which we were convinced, this is a continuation of the story that honors the first chapter and does things an audience will appreciate, then maybe. But as of right now, I have no idea what that could be.”

Oh, so all we need is an idea? Well well well, looks like it’s my time to shine. Because I have ideas. Lots of them! Most of them pretty bad, but still. Here, look:

Mare of Ibiza — We take the Knives Out approach to sequels and keep only the lead investigator. That franchise is sending Daniel Craig and his southern accent to Greece. We can send Mare to Ibiza. Let her investigate the death of a LaSalle student who went there on Spring Break. Just thousands of sun-drenched teens in bathing suits and Mare, still vaping and wearing a parka for some reason, poking around, asking inebriated party bros what happened in the heautel. You would watch. Don’t lie to me.

Go(ne) Birds — The finale wrapped up most of its mysteries but did open up one new troubling development…

HBO

A whole season, seven hour-long episodes, spent on nothing but finding this cup. It goes all the way to the top, too. To the fat cats in city hall. To secret societies throughout history. Nicolas Cage shows up in character as Ben Gates from the National Treasure series to assist. The people need it.

Untitled Guy Pearce Prequel — It remains unfathomable to me that this show introduced Guy Pearce as a nomadic English professor and author who shows up in town the same week a teenage girl is murdered and he ended up just being a kind, sweet man who drove a Jaguar. I know it was all explained and had more to do with a favor to Kate Winslet after another actor pulled out, but still. Still! I said it before and I’ll say it again: This dude has secrets. I remain convinced he is guilty of something the show just has not yet addressed. Show me more. Age Guy Pearce down with the Benjamin Button machine and take me down that rabbit hole.

Grocery Dog — I love this guy.

HBO

Just do the same timeframe as the first season, but from the perspective of this dog that apparently goes grocery shopping. Like, just follow him around on his adventures. Give him an inner monologue with, like, Paul Rudd doing the voice. Every now and then we see Mare in the background vaping as he trots on by and then we go right back to his business.

The important thing to know here is that I am only kind of joking about these. The other important thing to know is that I should not be in charge of a television show. But you probably figured that out after the first time you saw the word “Ibiza.”

ITEM NUMBER TWO — Bosch

This is the trailer for the seventh and final season of Bosch. Bosch is a good show. I swear Bosch is a good show. I know I have some — okay, “a lot of” — fun with the way it leans its “loose cannon cop who plays by his own rules but gets results” tendencies, and the way characters on the show grumble Bosch’s name when he’s up to his shenanigans, and the way Bosch is not great at putting his hands in his pockets, but there’s a good reason for all that: I really like doing it. It makes me happy. I’m excited to do it again when the new season premieres on the 25th and I’m sad I won’t be able to do it again after that.

But still, again, Bosch is good. It’s like the best version of the loose cannon cop show you can have, with action that moves and crooked bureaucrats and criminals who think they’re smarter than they are and all of it. This is not a huge surprise when you look at its pedigree. The series is straight-up littered with veterans of The Wire, both behind the camera and in front of it. That’s what makes this particular moment from this trailer so fun.

AMAZON
AMAZON
AMAZON

What we have here, to be clear, is people who worked on The Wire referencing a character from The Wire and a character on their show, who played a different character on The Wire, reacting to it. It’s all very fun and very meta once you know the backstory, and it raises a number of questions that are fascinating to me and annoying to anyone I corner at a cocktail party or in a laundromat, like, for example, “If The Wire exists in the Bosch universe, does that mean that Jamie Hector’s character in Bosch, Jerry Edgar, is constantly being told that he looks like Jamie Hector’s character in The Wire, Marlo?” It’s a fair question. I’ve been thinking about it all week.

But yes, this is all great. I’m very excited. The only way I could like it any more is if it was accompanied by a video that recapped the events of previous episodes and was presented by a cute little French dog. I know, I know. That could never happen. And this now makes two sections in a row where I’ve mentioned talking dogs. I really need to stop being th-…

All my shows are coming back and they appear to be tailoring their preview materials directly to my deranged sensibilities. This summer rules already.

ITEM NUMBER THREE — This seems like a bad idea for many reasons that do not involve Jason Statham movies, but also for one reason that does

I do not like this. Swimming pools should not have glass bottoms or be suspended many hundred feet in the air between skyscrapers, let alone both of those things. And I should point out here that I’m not some big fraidy cat. I have no fear of heights. I like things that go way too fast. I would probably hang out in or at least around this pool if I were invited. But that does not make any of it a good idea. Too many things could go wrong. One of those things, to choose an example at random: Jason Statham could drill a hole in the bottom of the glass and suck people out via whirlpool and send them tumbling to their death.

The fact that this is the first thing I thought of when I saw this clip can be chalked up to two primary reasons: One, I have seen the Jason Statham movie Mechanic: Resurrection; and two, Mechanic: Resurrection rules.

Look at Statham. Look at him.

This is somehow not even my favorite part of the movie, either. It’s somehow also not the first time I’ve mentioned the movie in this very column. I don’t care. We’re doing it again. Because I want to remind you that, within the first like 10-15 minutes of the movie, Jason Statham escapes bodily harm by leaping off of a suspended gondola through the air and onto the top of a passing hang glider, as shown in this GIF…

Summit Entertainment

… and that Tommy Lee Jones, of all the people in the world to show up in the last 30 minutes of a movie where Jason Statham assassinates a guy via airborne swimming pool and makes a completely separate getaway on a stranger’s hang glider, shows up in the last 30 minutes of the movie. And he looks like this.

Summit Entertainment

So I guess my point in all of this, to the extent I have one (debatable), is that I would like to thank the makers of this exceedingly dumb and dangerous swimming pool for giving me another excuse to mention a Jason Statham movie that runs on expanded basic cable like twice a month. I appreciate it.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR — We really need to start cutting each other some slack

Netflix

If you are not already familiar with the Ellie Kemper Debutante Ball Saga from this week, please, I beg you, stop reading here. Skip straight to the next section. You don’t need it in your brain if it’s not there already. Go. Get out of here. There’s a trailer for a wild apparently unauthorized movie about Celine Dion coming up. You won’t believe it.

Okay, now that it’s just us too-online sickos…

What are we doing here? Honestly. Because I’ve been following this story closer than I’d like to admit for a few days now and here’s what I’ve got: Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper won some weirdo debutante ball at age 19 in St. Louis, and the ball had some extremely not-great roots involving racism and classism and other gross -isms that have plagued American society throughout its history, but by the time she entered the ball it had mostly just become a standard fancy party for rich people. When people found out about it this week, though, or re-discovered it, they ran with the racist history part of it and dragged Ellie Kemper all over social media for being like a secret member of the KKK or something. It was weird.

I think this is another one of those Two Things Can Be True At Once situations. In this case, those things are:

  • You are correct to be suspicious of large institutions and to question the grosser parts of history because that’s how you start to root out the bad stuff and make improvements
  • We have got to start cutting each other a little slack here

We’ve all been through a lot, man. The last year and change has been traumatic, whether we’ve all come to terms with it or not yet. There was a pandemic and a particularly ugly election and an insurrection and we all experienced it largely isolated and alone inside our homes from behind various screens. We are all fried in ways we probably haven’t even realized yet. But that’s why we need the slack-cutting. I promise you it is not that hard. Just try to cut the same amount of slack to other people that you’d like other people to cut you. Even if they’re famous and starred in a couple good television shows. Most of us are just out here doing the best we can, you know?

Again, none of these words I’m typing are meant to wash away hundreds of years of injustice and bad behavior. Remember all of that, forever. But also, like, maybe if you see something questionable that someone did when they were a teenager, an age when some of us are still calling our moms to figure out what can and cannot go in a microwave, consider just letting it slide a little. Or at least looking at the person they are now and seeing if they’ve grown from whatever it was before you dive head-first into the fray. Again, most of us are just trying our best, and we’re all going to screw it up now and then. The point is to learn from those screw-ups and get better. Let’s try cutting each other a little more slack, okay? Just a little. It’ll probably make you feel better and less on-edge, too. Baby steps, people. This is all I ask.

ITEM NUMBER FIVE — I do not know what any of this is but I love all of it very much

There was this classic arc on 30 Rock a number of years back where Jane Krakowski’s character, Jenna Maroney, landed the lead in a troubled Janis Joplin biopic that, for myriad legal/comedic reasons, was not allowed to use Joplin’s name, which resulted in the lead character of the fake movie being called Jackie Jormp-Jormp. I bring this up now in part to remind you that 30 Rock was an incredible show and in part because it’s kind of happening in real life.

The trailer above is for a movie called Aline, which was written by and directed by and stars a woman named Valérie Lemercier, and it is very clearly a biopic about Celine Dion, whose music is used but whose name is not, and who is portrayed by the 50+-year-old Lemercier from about age 17 to the present day. I’m… thrilled by all of this? I am. At least I appear to be. I love the audacity of the whole thing, on every level. I love the chaos of it all, all laid out pretty well in this paragraph from Pajiba.

The whole trailer is fascinating, if nothing else. Dion would have had to sign off on the music. It’s not like the film is making Aline sing nothing but covers, although it would have been one way to avoid potential copyright issues given that Dion’s done a lot of very popular covers. But those are Dion songs. ‘I’m Alive’ was written for her! So they decided to make a very traditional biopic, detail the most notable and talked-about aspects of their subject’s life, pay for the music, make the whole thing super polished, then… just not call it Celine? I have to assume there’s a legal barrier in place or something but I honestly haven’t the foggiest.

I haven’t the foggiest either. But I wouldn’t want the foggiest. It’s too fun without it. I hope this becomes a huge hit and I hope it leads to a zillion copycats and I hope one of them is a thinly-disguised Bruce Springsteen biopic where the main character is named like Barce Summersteen.

READER MAIL

If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at brian.grubb@uproxx.com (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.

From Marshall:

Have you watched Search Party? I ask for two reasons – First, because it is a great show that just keeps making increasingly wild choices and it seems like it would be right up your alley.

Second, the show keeps adding amazing guest stars and increasingly funny side character names. It’s not on the level of Fargo (yet), but I feel like you are the only person who will appreciate the silliness of them. Some of the best ones:

– Twins named April and June
– A lawyer named Bob Lunch (played by Louie Anderson!)
– A skeevy investor named William Badpastor (played by Wallace Shawn!)
– A villainous stalker named Chip Wreck (Chip Wreck!)

Just wanted to bring this to your attention, both for your own entertainment and selfishly so that I might be able to read the inevitable appreciation post you write about the show.

Well, I have some good news and some bad news here, Marshall. The good news is that this is a great email for reasons I will elaborate on in the next paragraph. The bad news is that I have not seen much of Search Party. I don’t know why I haven’t. It seems like a show I would like. I bet I’ll watch it all in one 10-day marathon about three years from now and then get angry that no one recommended it to me before then, as though you did not send this very good email. I know this much about myself.

But more importantly: Bob Lunch! Mother of God. Bob Lunch! What a perfect name. I wish I knew someone named Bob Lunch. I wish my name was Bob Lunch. Bob Lunch. Come on. There’s a part of me that wants to never watch the show now, just to preserve this in a perfect little amber case. You have given me so much to think about, Marshall.

AND NOW, THE NEWS

To China!

A herd of elephants that packed its trunks for an unexpected 500km (300 mile) trek has arrived at a Chinese city where millions of people live.

I have a confession to make: I love these guys. I love these elephants. I’ve read every article I’ve seen about them all week and I’ll keep reading articles about them until people stop writing them. I love my sweet traveling boys.

It is unclear why they left their habitat to embark on the journey, which has captivated residents and experts.

Some have suggested an inexperienced leader may have led the herd astray, while other believe the elephants could be searching for a new habitat.

“An inexperienced leader may have led the herd astray.” Tell me you don’t have this image in your head right now, some dopey elephant — I’m picturing one who just got back from its freshman year of college and is trying to be more grown-up — like 350 miles into this trek, still insisting it knows where it’s going. God, it’s so perfect. Make a movie about this right now. Let Jonah Hill voice the hopeless lead elephant.

The Kunming Daily says the cities of Kunming and Yuxi deployed almost 700 police and emergency workers armed with 10 tonnes of corn, pineapples and other food. They were backed up by trucks and drones to try to divert the animals on to a safe path.

Don’t gawk or leave corn or salt out; keep your distance and don’t disturb them with firecrackers, residents have been told.

“Do not disturb the elephants with firecrackers” is definitely one of those notes that does not get written unless some dude or dudes had already been disturbing the elephants with firecrackers. I bet the idea started with one extremely confident guy saying “I know how to stop these freaking elephants” and then marching off toward a shed. Everyone in this story — the hiking elephants, random fireworks enthusiasts, etc. — is doing so much. Good for them.

There were thought to be 17 elephants initially, but two appeared to turn back when reaching Mojiang county. Other reports say it was 16 originally but a newborn calf helped the number back to 15 once the two abandoned the trek.

Big fan of the two who were like, “That’s it. Larry doesn’t know where he’s going. We can figure it out ourselves” and then split. These guys are voiced by Danny McBride and Walton Goggins in the movie.

A video on social media showed people running down the street shouting “they are coming”, followed soon after by a police car and the elephants, the South China Morning Post reported.

A Yunnan government notice said the herd had “caused trouble 412 times” there.

I love it. Let the elephants have the city. I think they’ve earned it.

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