The Rundown: Are You Doing Everything In Your Power To Make Rhea Seehorn A Huge Star?

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.


The end of the year is a great time to take stock of things. Things that happened, things that didn’t happen, things you want to happen before the end of the next year so you’re not beating yourself up about the same junk next December. It’s a time for looking back and looking forward at once, which is kind of impossible but we all try to do it anyway. It’s one of the stupid things about having a brain. We should be thankful it just does its job of keeping us alive, but then here we are, every year, just as it starts getting cold and dark and miserable outside, cranking away on all of our successes and failures. Again, stupid.

But if we can’t change it, we might as well make the best of it. And with that said, I’d like to look back and forward at two things I think are pretty important:

  • Better Call Saul ended this year and we should really all be so thankful that show was as good as it was, mostly because a prequel of another good show based on a character who was there for comic relief has a degree of difficulty about **thisclose** to “impossible”
  • We should all probably focus more of our energy going forward on making Rhea Seehorn as big of a star as she wants to be

How good was that lady in that show? I mean, honestly. Everyone was good in that show, to be fair, and I promise this is not me preparing to launch into another 1000-word rant about my beloved Lalo Salamanca, but still. It is both fair and a little wild to say that Seehorn, as Kim Wexler, was the best part of the whole thing. The show was about Bob Odenkirk’s character journey from Slippin’ Jimmy to the devious Saul Goodman, but none of it would have worked at all without Kim’s journey next to him. Look at these two.

kim saul

But you knew that. Or you should have known it. Or you know it now. Either way, not the main point I’m getting at. The main point I am getting at is that we all — you, me, everyone — need to focus on continuing this momentum for Rhea Seehorn going forward. I am doing my part by writing these paragraphs. Vince Gilligan, the mastermind of the whole Breaking Bad universe, is doing his part, too, with the mysterious new series he sold to Apple TV earlier this year that will star her and occupy a little beachfront condo in my mind until I learn more about it.

“After fifteen years, I figured it was time to take a break from writing antiheroes… and who’s more heroic than the brilliant Rhea Seehorn?” Gilligan said in a statement. “It’s long past time she had her own show, and I feel lucky to get to work on it with her.”

So he and I are good here. We’re checking our own individual boxes. That leaves… well, you, the person reading this. What are you doing to help Rhea Seehorn continue to thrive? Have you even started doing anything? I say this with only minimal judgment, I swear, seeing as I just wrote this thing up last night to get myself on the board with Vince, but it is something to think about as we head into 2023. Maybe you think there’s not much you can do, at least not without big-time Hollywood connections or a WordPress login and a very patient editor. But this is where you need to think outside the box. Think big. And think small. And medium, too, just to cover all your bases.

I’ll give you some ideas to get started:

  • Pool some money together with friends and rent space on a billboard near the highway and have it say “RHEA SEEHORN IS PRETTY GOOD”
  • Start a little appreciation group that meets at the library every other Tuesday to talk about ways to get the word out
  • Make t-shirts
  • Hold a bake sale and put little notes that say “HEY DON’T FORGET ABOUT RHEA SEEHORN” inside the aluminum tins so people see them when they finish their pie
  • Share this article with everyone you know
  • Skywriting
  • Take a hostage and wait for the news cameras to get there and then read a manifesto about it

Hmm. Maybe not that last one. That’s too far. But some of the others could work. Something to think about over the holidays, I guess.



This one is great for a few reasons, which we can cover quickly both for efficiency and to avoid over-explaining an objectively good thing.

REASON NUMBER ONE: It is a screencap of Jennifer Coolidge doing cocaine in Palermo on the most recent episode of The White Lotus. That’s a fun sentence to type and then read back to yourself, maybe out loud. It’s not quite as much fun as “Judith Light doing cocaine at the rodeo in the short-lived basic cable reboot of Dallas,” but it’s close, which, given the competition, is its own small achievement in a way. The silver medal ain’t so bad when you’re swimming against Michael Phelps.


REASON NUMBER TWO: The caption on this sucker is “[GRUNTS, SNIFFS]” and that’s… I mean, it’s beautiful. It’s the GRUNTS that really does it for me. Reasonable arguments can be made that it’s my favorite caption since The Righteous Gemstones gave us “[ALL SOBBING AND RETCHING]” last season, which I will use to link to this and remind you to always watch television with the captions turned on.

REASON NUMBER THREE: It allows me to remind you about all the slurping this season. I did not think they could ever top that in the caption department. But then, blammo, “[GRUNTS, SNIFFS]” right there in all caps. It will take me weeks to get over this. Maybe months.

It’s a good show.

ITEM NUMBER THREE – Inside the NBA is one of our finest television shows

The important thing here is that Kenny Smith shoved Shaq into a Christmas tree. He really did. Watch the video up there one or 800 times if you don’t believe me or want to experience joy in your life for a while. It’s so good. He catches him mid-stride and sends about 375 pounds of NBA Hall of Famer flying into a physical representation of Christmas cheer. I could watch it every day. I kind of have watched it every day since it happened earlier this week. I suspect I’ll keep watching it every day until Christmas. I might just keep going until spring. It’s good to keep the holiday spirit in your heart throughout the year.

The other thing worth noting is that the show this happened on, TNT’s Inside the NBA, is one of our finest and funniest television programs and has been for a long time. I should put it on my Top 10 list every year. It’s as reliable as SNL for laughs and it does it with zero career sketch comedians, just Charles, Kenny, Shaq, and Ernie pontificating about basketball or whatever the hell else is on their minds between or after the game they’re allegedly covering. I watch a lot of television for this job and still, to this day, after watching probably thousands of hours of scripted comedy in my life, I do not think I’ve seen anything funnier than Shaquille O’Neal explaining that the moon can’t be that far away because he can see it from the ground in Georgia, unlike California. Please watch this clip. Watch everyone’s face as he keeps talking. Tell me any episode of The Office has ever been better than this.

It’s not just me, either. Bill Hader — a pretty funny guy! — appeared on a recent episode of The Steam Room and said that comedians routinely share clips from the show with each other even if they don’t watch basketball.

So there you go. Confirmed. And I don’t want to hear anyone coming to me with theories that the tree shove was faked or embellished or that Shaq jumped into the tree himself. Yes, I know he is a very large man and that sending him hurtling through the air would require a significant amount of force. My responses to this line of reasoning are as follows:

Shut up.

Let me have this.

Leave me alone.

Thank you.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR – Let Brett Goldstein make a damn Muppet movie!


It remains my position that The Muppet Christmas Carol is both the best version of the classic Dickens story and one of the top five Christmas movies of all-time, despite only being the second-best Muppet movie. I don’t really need an excuse to talk about it every year at the holidays, but I have one this time anyway, because this year marks the 30th anniversary of its release. So here we are. Also, here Brett Goldstein is, doing a lengthy interview with the Muppets about it. This is good. I love that Brett Goldstein loves the Muppets, in part because the Muppets rule and in part because he — as we’ve learned from Ted Lasso — is one of the world’s best cussers, and I like that juxtaposition.

Here’s a little taste from the chat, which I recommend reading and/or watching in full sometime this weekend:

GOLDSTEIN: Yeah. Gonzo, you are famously a stunt artist and you put your body through a lot in this film, falling out of windows, smashing into churches, all sorts of things. But actually, Rizzo is put through a lot worse. What was the biggest injury you sustained on set? And what was the hardest stunt to film?

GONZO: You know, as an actor, I use the Stanislavski method. He always told us, “If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not acting, and if it does hurt, you don’t have to act.”

KERMIT: Wait a second, Gonzo. You’re saying that you learned that from Stanislavski?

GONZO: Yep, good old Crash Stanislavski.

KERMIT: Different Stanislavski. Okay, got it. I’m sorry, Brett. Next question.

Three things are important to note here, and I’m going to knock them out via bullet point as well:

  • It has been too long since we had a new Muppet movie
  • We should let Brett Goldstein make one where he is allowed to cuss a little
  • I don’t think we as a society spend enough time praising the people who do the Muppet voices for being brilliant improvisers who manage to whip out funny lines on the spot in character despite crouching on the floor under a table

I will say it again: The third Knives Out movie should take place at a ski lodge filled with Muppets and Daniel Craig should show up to investigate a murder that was committed by either Walton Goggins or maybe Christoph Waltz. I am not joking. It would be so good. Someone call Rian Johnson and yell at him about this.

ITEM NUMBER FIVE – Quinta Brunson rules

Abbott Elementary

Everyone knows that Abbott Elementary and Quinta Brunson are great. I don’t need to hammer that point home. Especially not after an episode that featured appearances by both Vince Staples and NBA champion (and former Sixer) Andre Iguodala. We can file all of that away as previously known information and move along. To… well, to this. GQ honored Brunson in one of their big year-end award things and interviewed her a little bit and she said this, which I want to highlight quick.

“I am more interested in stories like Abbott that are about a neighborhood of a certain socioeconomic class that are more realistic for most Black Americans, I think,” she continues. “I think most Black Americans, they’re not fish out of water. Most of them live in neighborhoods with other Black people. And I loved my Black-ass neighborhood and where I’m from and my Black-ass upbringing. It wasn’t a sob story. It’s much like Abbott—these people who get by and love each other and that’s that. I know we put a lot of emphasis in American society on winning and big triumphant shit. But for a lot of people, just getting up out of the bed is the biggest task they could have completed that day—and it means something. It means that they made a choice to keep going. And to me that is where the real inspiration for Abbott comes from.”

This is… cool. It’s cool and true and a good philosophy and perspective to have about life, just generally. It’s also, in a way, something I’ve tried to hammer home about my own stuff, the thing where I have a spinal cord injury and use a wheelchair etc etc etc. So much of the scripted programming that focuses on people with disabilities is about overcoming obstacles and this big triumphant feel-good hooey where it all ends with the town throwing a parade. And that’s… I guess it’s fine. But there are so many other stories worth telling about cool and smaller things that are just as good, if not better, and it would be cool if we could all work on telling those, too. I’ve gone on this rant before. I’ll probably go on it again.

But the point here is that Quinta Brunson gets it. One of the best.


If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at (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 Rebecca:

Back when you and Alan Sepinwall were doing your TV Avalanche podcast, you mentioned that you always sing the wordless Brooklyn Nine-Nine theme song as “Brooklyn Nine Dash Niiiine” and ever since, that’s all I hear when the theme song plays (which is often, since the show is on a constant repeat in my home). You’re not the only one who has further broken my already quite broken brain in this way- the same thing happens with the South Park “flopping weiners” version of the “Game of Thrones” theme, and with Demi Adejuyigbe’s rejected lyrics to the Succession theme. I’ve even done it to myself by singing my own lyrics to the Stranger Things theme song (it goes “stranger things and stranger things and stranger things and stranger things.” I am not a complicated person.) I will watch these shows, and then these fake silly versions of the theme songs will get stuck in my head for hours or days at a time if I’m not careful. Just walking around singing nonsense while my boyfriend exhausts every synonym for the word “lunatic” he can think of. As previously mentioned, my brain is very broken.

My question is, what other wordless theme songs can you ruin for me with silly lyrics that reside in your own broken brain?

Well, this is a lovely email. I suppose it requires a little backstory, maybe, although Rebecca did a good job of hitting the main points. I did, in fact, used to do a podcast with Alan Sepinwall, and I did, at some point, torture that poor man — one of the nation’s most respected television critics — with the lyrics I created in my head for the lyric-free theme song to Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The lessons here are twofold: I am an idiot and I should not have a podcast.

But anyway, to answer the question… I do not actually have another good one right now. Which stinks! I’m going to place most of the blame on the Skip Intro button and some of the blame on lots of shows just straight-up bypassing theme music recently. But I will say these two things:

  • I will once again be on the lookout for these now because they are fun to uncover and they ruin people’s lives once they get lodged into a brain, and I kind of love to do that
  • If you have a good one, please tell me, because it makes me very happy

Thank you and I’m sorry.


To Germany!

Authorities say about 60 containers of bull sperm were stolen from a farm in the town of Olfen, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of Cologne, late Monday or early Tuesday.


Police said in a statement Wednesday that while it’s unclear how the rustle happened, the precious cargo needs to be supercooled with liquid nitrogen at –196 Celsius degrees (–320 Fahrenheit) so it isn’t spoiled.

I have been thinking about this for days now and I can’t get over the mental image of a team of thieves wearing tuxedos with thermal vests underneath executing a multi-stage plan to steal dozens of containers of bull sperm and make off with it in refrigerated trucks like they’re stealing nuclear material from a facility in the polar ice caps in the first act of a James Bond movie.

That sentence was way too long but I was too excited for punctuation. This happens, too.

They are seeking tips from the public that might lead to the recovery of the sperm, which was intended for artificial insemination.

I like that they included the last phrase here. Just for clarity. Like there was some other reason a facility in Germany was storing 60 canisters of nitrogen-cooled bull semen. You never know, you know?