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 — Guess what, there are sharks now
It is my position that the series of Lincoln commercials featuring Matthew McConaughey are a single connected series about a man who is losing his mind. You can see it if you look closely. He’s out in the middle of the desert, unshaven, talking to bulls. He’s doing backflops into swimming pools in a full suit 30 seconds after all his party guests leave. He’s sitting on some sort of astral plane in both the driver’s seat and the backseat, grinning as though he’s finally at peace. It’s a lot. I adore them. I hope someone turns them into an entire movie.
I mention this again for two reasons; one, because I love talking about them and don’t really need an excuse to go on a whole rant about them; two, a new one just premiered in the last two weeks. Guess if this one has sharks in it.
This one has sharks in it.
Kind of. He’s driving through a purple/pink haze as Fast & Furious type cars drift around him. Every now and then the fin of a shark zips by. The point seems to be that Lincoln represents a sort of calming luxury that doesn’t result in neon fog and sharp-toothed predators and spinning tires, which, fine. I agree. I don’t think I’d bring a Lincoln to a street race. Although that would be pretty funny. Like if Fast & Furious 9 hinges on a street race for ownership of the moon or whatever and Vin Diesel shows up to the starting line in a tricked-out 2004 Town Car. You laugh now but I called the thing where the eighth movie had a submarine. Can’t rule it out.
Anyway, three additional notes about this commercial:
– It was directed by Johan Renck, who just won an Emmy for directing Chernobyl. It’s really quite fun to say “The Emmy-winning director of the series about the Chernobyl nuclear disaster also made a car commercial where sharks chase Matthew McConaughey through a thick cloud of pink fog.” I recommend telling everyone you know. Strangers, too. Really good elevator small talk.
– This commercial would have been the funniest thing I’ve ever seen if there was someone in the passenger seat who was just sitting there as McConaughey hallucinated all of this and then stared at him in confusion when the commercial switched from voiceover to spoken word and he said “That’s the kind Lincoln’s about” and stared out his window. Put yourself in that spot. You’re minding your business, maybe playing with your phone, and out of nowhere the driver says “That’s the kind Lincoln’s about” as if you’d been having a conversation. You might just fling the door open and barrel roll into the brush. Probably safer than staying in the car with a lunatic.
– The little “huhmm” at the end is killing me. I’ve backed up and watched it a dozen times. That wasn’t in the script. That’s pure McConaughey, baby.
I hope the next one features him picking up customers as an Uber driver and having these conversations with them.
ITEM NUMBER TWO — Pepperwood lives
There’s a new show on ABC called Stumptown. It debuted this week and it stars Cobie Smulders as a loose cannon private investigator and the series premiere featured both a car launching into the sky Dukes of Hazzard-style in the cold open and a fight scene set to “Sweet Caroline.” As far as fun, escapist network dramas go, you could do a heck of a lot worse. It also co-stars Jake Johnson. This brings me to my point.
Jake Johnson played my beloved Nick Miller on New Girl. Nick Miller was a charming goof and a mess who wrote a wildly popular book called The Pepperwood Chronicles and eventually ended up running the local bar. Jake Johnson’s character on Stumptown, through one episode, appears to be a charming goof who runs the local bar. Do you see where I’m going here? I bet you do. I’m very predictable. But I’m going to do it anyway.
Until I am explicitly proven wrong, I am going to watch Stumptown under the assumption that Jake Johnson’s character is Nick Miller. I’m going to assume he hit hard times in Los Angeles and fled to Portland and changed his name. I am going to possibly assume he’s on the run from someone. You don’t have to do this. It’s admittedly far-fetched and borderline unhealthy. I should let things go sometimes.
Not this time, though. Pepperwood lives, in my own warped brain if nowhere else
ITEM NUMBER THREE — What a week for Nic Cage
This is the trailer for Primal, a new movie starring Nicolas Cage, the king of nutty movies. I am pleased to report that this trailer features Nicolas Cage punching a jungle cat. Why is Nicolas Cage punching a jungle cat? It’s not important. I’ll tell you anyway, but it is not important. You probably didn’t even blink at that, not that I think about it. Like, of course, Nicolas Cage punches a jungle cat in a new movie. It’s actually more surprising that he hasn’t punched a jungle cat in a movie before now. Anyway.
When Frank Walsh (Nicolas Cage), a hunter and collector of rare and exotic animals, bags a priceless white jaguar for a zoo, he figures it’ll be smooth sailing to a big payday. But the ship bearing Frank’s precious cargo has two predators caged in its hold: the cat, and a political assassin being extradited to the U.S. After the assassin breaks free – and then frees the jaguar – Frank feverishly stalks the ship’s cramped corridors in hot pursuit of his prey, right up until the climax.
I will absolutely watch this movie
This is not the wildest animal-related Nicolas Cage movie news of the week
Not even close. This is the summary of an upcoming movie titled Pig.
The feature project, which began production today, follows a truffle hunter, played by Cage, who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness. When his beloved foraging pig is kidnapped, he must journey into Portland – and his long-abandoned past – to recover her.
Unless I am mistaken, this movie appears to be Taken, but with Nicolas Cage as Liam Neeson and a truffle-sniffing pig as the teenage girl. That’s… that’s a heck of thing we’ve got here. I also love the phrase “journey into Portland.” It’s like they’re talking about the Amazon. I have this image in my head of Nicolas Cage carrying a machete around Portland like it’s a jungle. I will see this movie, too.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR — Pictures of Jason Mantzoukas as Derek in The Good Place holding a martini glass filled with various objects, presented with no additional context
ITEM NUMBER FIVE — Here’s the thing…
I knew Jodie Comer is British. I read it places and comprehended it just fine. “British actress Jodie Comer” is a phrase I’m not unfamiliar with. And yet, this past Sunday, when she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama and took the stage to accept her award and opened her mouth, I was still a little shocked to hear a British accent come out of it. I was just too used to hearing her Russian accent on Killing Eve. It did not compute.
It’s not the first time this has happened to me. I’m sure it’s happened to you, too. A lot of us were in that boat together when we first heard Idris Elba’s real voice after seeing him play Stringer Bell in The Wire. Andrew Garfield, too, for people who first really noticed him in The Social Network. I think the most shocking one for me was Damian Lewis, who now plays Axe on Billions but in 2012 beat out Bryan Cranston for Outstanding Lead Actor at the Emmys and then this happened.
These secret British people are melting my brain. I half-expect to find out McConaughey has been a dude from London doing deep method work as a Texan for two decades now. Say “alright, alright, alright” in a British accent. It works. We could be onto something.
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.
I don’t really know what the point of telling this story is, but I felt compared to share after being made aware of the cool breeze quote from Righteous Gemstones.
My buddy went to law school with a guy that everyone called Cool Breeze. I have no clue what his real name is. Actually, the only thing I know about him is that he absolutely LOVES Steve Winwood. Anyway after a couple of semesters nobody ever heard from Cool Breeze again. He just disappeared. I can only hope for the best, i.e. that he is now a writer for Righteous Gemstones. Higher love indeed…
This email references last week’s item about Baby Billy from The Righteous Gemstones calling his nephew “cool breeze.” It is a really good email.
I have never wanted to be anyone more than I want to be this Winwood-loving law school dropout. It sounds to me like he just figured life out in his mid-20s and bounced. He is my idol. I hope he’s living on a beach somewhere sipping umbrella drinks and blasting CVS Bangers so loud the neighbors call the cops but when the cops show up they’re like “Come on, Cool Breeze. Take it down just a litt-… is that Steve Winwood? Hell yeah. Nevermind, buddy.”
Take us home, Steve.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
A White Rock man says he no longer feels safe after a gaze of raccoons punched a hole in his ceiling and ransacked his house.
See, this is how you start a local news story. Exactly like this.
There was a hole, about a foot in diameter, in the 10-foot ceiling of his garage. The raccoons, Rechik said, ripped away protective wiring and dug a hole through his wooden-shingle roof to get access to the garage attic.
Okay, these raccoons rule.
Inside, they ate mounds of sugar, smashed Rechik’s mother’s crystal, overturned tables, went through drawers, dug up and overturned nearly every plant in the house, chewed wires, ate a speaker, and defecated and soaked the carpet with urine.
It seems the only thing the raccoons didn’t do, oddly enough, was go through the pantry.
Well, I guess I’ve officially reached Stage Four of having “Misbehavin’” stuck in my head because it’s all I can think about while reading this.
People said not to
Ate the speaker anyway
“What do I have to protect me? Nothing. What am I going to do? Throw a spoon at them? These are aggressive, they’re getting more and more aggressive.”
I do feel bad for the owner here because, as he points out at another point in the article, you can’t really call the cops on a gang of unruly raccoons. It’s a really tough spot. And I would take all of this more seriously if he hadn’t jumped straight to “throw a spoon at them.” That’s a desperate man right there. Think about how out of options you’d have to be in your life to start throwing spoons at raccoons.
I hope one of the raccoons ran through the house with a pickle in its mouth.