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 — Look at the bright side
Ranting about snubs is one of the best parts of awards season. It’s great for a bunch of reasons, one of which is the fact that you don’t even need to do anything to take part. You just wait for other people to do something — in this case, release a list of nominations — and then tell them how wrong and stupid they are. It’s great. You don’t even need to watch everything that was eligible. You just need to watch and like one thing and then shout “BUT WHAT ABOUT” at the people who made the list. Then you get to feel smart and superior for a few minutes, which is all any of us are going for most days. I really recommend it.
I used to feel bad for the people who got snubbed, too. All that hard work and nothing in the way of recognition. Walton Goggins was only nominated for one Emmy for playing Boyd Crowder on Justified, which seems insane to me. Boyd Crowder was one of the best television characters of the last 15 years. Goggins should have an armful of trophies for playing him, or at least, like, one. Instead, almost every year, the voters looked at all he did right there on the screen, waved their hands dismissively in his direction, and said “meh.” It used to make me pretty upset.
But I realized something recently. There’s a silver lining to getting snubbed by major awards like the Oscars and the Emmys and the Golden Globes. If you aren’t nominated for any awards… you don’t have to go.
Do you understand? You don’t have to go to the big stupid ceremony. You can just stay at home. You can watch eight episodes of Schitt’s Creek in your sweatpants and then go to bed at 9:45 if you want. Isn’t that all any of us truly want out of a Sunday evening?
Think about all that attending one of these events entails. Choosing something to wear that hopefully won’t get roasted to hell by jackals on social media, doing press and press and more press, strolling down a red carpet while dozens of photographers hope you trip or your pants fall down so the pictures are actually worth something, answering a bunch of superficial nonsense questions shouted at you by whoever has wrangled a microphone away from Ryan Seacrest. Is that how you want to spend any day of your life, honestly? Not me.
And then you have to actually go inside and sit through the whole thing in your little seat. If you think the ceremony feels long when you’re watching it on television, buddy, imagine watching it live in uncomfortable clothes with cameras hovering around and waiting to turn you into a meme the instant you make a little face because your mind drifted off and started thinking about how much you’d rather be at home. And you have to do that for hours. It’s like going to the prom if the prom also had a three-hour assembly in the middle. Or a wedding reception that featured 30 speeches. Blech.
And guess what: you probably won’t even win! Just statistically, if there are five nominees for every award, that means 80 percent of the people there are going home empty-handed. They went through all of that for nothing. Nothing! And they have to act happy about it so no one thinks they’re ungrateful. And they have to go to a little party afterward where all the winners dance and mingle. It sounds like hell on every level. I would probably try to wriggle out of it even if I did get nominated. They can always mail a trophy.
The point I’m rambling toward here is this: Maybe we shouldn’t feel bad for the people who get snubbed for awards. Maybe they’re the real fortunate ones in all of this because, well, they’re off the hook. I’m sure it would feel good to get the recognition, and I imagine going to an award show is kind of like running a marathon in that it’s more about having done it than the actual doing of it. I can wrap my head around all of that. But I also bet that, at some point of the evening, almost every person in attendance will glance at their watch or phone and realize they still have three hours of this night left and, right then, they’ll get a little jealous of their friends who got to stay home.
Don’t pity the snubbed. Envy them. They’re the ones who are free.
ITEM NUMBER TWO — I must know which Pope is skiing
My favorite part of the official trailer for HBO’s The New Pope, the follow-up to the wild and kind of beautiful limited series The Young Pope, is that John Malkovich, in character as the new Pope, says “I am the new Pope.” I like this because I appreciate any show or movie that has one of its main characters say the title out loud during the proceedings, and I especially appreciate when it happens less than 30 seconds into the trailer. I also like it because Jude Law said “I am the young Pope” out loud during The Young Pope…
… and this kind of commitment to consistency is to be lauded whenever possible.
My second favorite part of the trailer for The New Pope is everything else that happens, from beginning to end, all of it. Dear Heavenly Father, I cannot wait for this show to be on television again so I can write about it. Do you see John Malkovich out there as a bitchy power-obsessed pontiff, crossing his legs on a papal sofa and altogether just Malkovich-ing his way through the frame? Do you see Jude Law sauntering and smirking through different frames, often in luxurious white tracksuits as though the Catholic Church has gotten into leisurewear? Do you remember that Jude Law’s character is named Lenny Belardo? Lenny Belardo!
The biggest takeaway from the trailer for me, though, comes from this moment around the 1:00 mark.
I must know which Pope is skiing here. My gut says it’s Jude Law because there was a whole sports theme to The Young Pope (nuns playing soccer, Diane Keaton shooting a basketball with the worst form you’ve ever seen in your entire life), and there’s a vibrancy to athletics that jibes with being the hip and sexy one. But it could also be Malkovich, the usurper, gliding through the powder like he glided through the bureaucracy. It could be either. Or neither. It could be Voiello, my sweet duplicitous underling with the comically large mole.
Please let it be Voiello. I missed him.
ITEM NUMBER THREE — My sweet lanky huckster
It’s always cool when an actor or actress from something you like makes a little leap. It’s one of the things that made John Wick 3 so much fun, seeing Asia Kate Dillon (Taylor from Billions!) and Jason Mantzoukas (Jason Mantzoukas… from… everything!) get folded into a franchise I already adored. There’s also something personally validating about it. Last year, after AMC’s Little Drummer Girl miniseries ended, I wrote a piece about how great Florence Pugh was in it and how I thought she was an absolute star. Cut to the present and Florence Pugh is everywhere. I feel great about it, partially because she deserves it and partially because ME ME LOOK AT ME I CALLED IT.
I mention this now because it appears to be happening again and I could not be happier. From THR:
Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content have acquired TV rights to the forthcoming book from Wall Street Journal reporters Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell and are prepping a limited series with Succession favorite Nicholas Braun attached to star as WeWork founder Adam Neumann. As part of the rights deal, Chernin and Endeavor are also prepping a documentary about the embattled company that is also based on the duo’s book.
Part of this makes a lot of sense. Nicholas Braun looks a little like Adam Neumann. They’re both very tall and mostly arms and legs. The list of actors who could play him credibly is not all that long, although Hollywood let Tom Cruise play Jack Reacher, so who knows? The interesting part of this to me, however, is the personality swing. Neumann is all confidence and hooey, just about the polar opposite of Cousin Greg’s pile of nervous energy. It will be weird and fascinating to watch him try to flip that switch. I guess that’s what acting is, though, right? Flipping switches? Levers and such? It will not surprise you to learn that I have never taken an acting class.
Regardless, I will one hundred percent be watching this show on whichever network or streaming service acquires the rights. Every show could use a few Greg sprinkles.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR— A holiday party tip
This year, when you’re making your Christmas themed playlist for your holiday party, please consider slipping the song “Scotty Doesn’t Know” from Eurotrip maybe 15-20 track in. I know it’s slightly outside the box. “Scotty Doesn’t Know” is not, in the most technical sense, a Christmas song. It doesn’t even mention Christmas. And your nana might not exactly be overjoyed at the inclusion of a song that discusses having sex in a van with another man’s girlfriend. But consider this:
- It would be funny
- You could instantly pick out the cool people at the party because they be the ones whose ears perk up at the opening guitar riff like “Yo, did this Christmas playlist just go from ‘Silver Bells’ to ‘Scotty Doesn’t Know’ from Eurotrip?”
- It would keep people on their toes for the rest of the party because if you’re willing to drop “Scotty Doesn’t Know” from Eurotrip into the playlist then who knows what else you’re capable of
Really just a win-win. And it gives me an excuse to link to the time Mike Ryan put together an oral history of the song, which remains the best thing this website has ever and will ever produce. Merry Christmas.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE — I… I feel like I know these guys
Did you ever read a news story about some allegedly crazy event and immediately get walloped by the realization that you know the people involved. Not “know” know, like personally. I mean “know” like you are very aware of who these people are at their core and you could probably picture what their apartment looks like in staggering detail, just on account of encountering enough people like them in your life. That kind of know.
The men said they had gone to the Packers game in Green Bay on Sunday, where they drank, and then drove to a downtown Janesville bar before driving to Rotamer Road.
It was not clear why the men were arguing over the TV show, which ended in 2014, other than that Huschka said they both loved it, according to the complaint.
There’s a lot going on in those two paragraphs. You probably jumped straight to the thing where one of the guys involved said they both loved the show that they were fighting over to the degree that the police became involved. There’s also the very slick “which ended in 2014” aside, which was inserted by the writer at just the person spot to drive home how silly all of this is.
But please don’t overlook the phrase “according to the complaint,” because that little gem means that the cop at the scene wrote all of this down. That the fight started over an argument about How I Met Your Mother. That both of them claimed to love the show. There’s an attention to detail there that I really appreciate. I can see this now. I can visualize all of it. The smart money here is on a Slap Bet re-enactment that one person took a little too far.
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.
An evil wizard shows up at your house and announces that he is placing a curse on. From that moment on, you can only watch one movie for the rest of your life. All other movies still exist, but whenever you try to watch one you can only see your movie. The nice thing is, the wizard is letting you pick. You have 30 seconds.
This is so hard. There’s so much to consider. Can we just bonk the wizard on the head with a shovel and tie him up? No, that might make him mad. Let’s just play by his rules. Okay…
I guess there are two keys here: It has to be a movie I like and it has to be a movie with a very high rewatchability factor. For example, I like a bunch of fancy Oscar-type movies but I don’t think I could watch any of them that many times. I need something that moves, with enough action that I can get into it on a 200th viewing but also enough passive appeal that I can have it running in the background while I’m doing other stuff on some rainy Saturday afternoon in March.
And I suppose there’s alsAHHHH I ONLY HAVE THREE SECONDS LEFT THIS IS SO HARD CRAP CRAP CRAP…
Sheesh. I feel okay about my pick but that was a stressful email, Bob.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
An Alaska dentist accused of fraud and unnecessarily sedating patients also performed a procedure while riding a wheeled, motorized vehicle known as a hoverboard, authorities said.
Well, this is and should be horrifying but, if you’ll excuse me for a moment, it’s going to take me quite a while to get over the phrase “Alaskan hoverboarding dentist.” I mean, it’s kind of perfect, crimes aside. It sounds like a character who gets murdered in like episode three of a season of Fargo. And, somehow, it’s still not the best part of this story. The best part is the quotes from the trial. There is some really great lawyering going on here.
“When did Dr. Lookhart get your approval to take out your tooth on a hoverboard,” prosecutor Joan Wilson asked in court.
“He never did. I obviously wouldn’t have approved that. That’s dangerous,” [the victim] said.
I love the phrasing. “When did he get your approval to take your tooth out on a hoverboard?” The set-up here is beautiful. Like she’s some rube who wonders if there was a form he forgot to have her sign. I can see the prosecutor’s face now as she turns toward the jury. It probably screamed “gotcha” with such intensity that the court reporter wrote it down with her having to say it.
Let’s see what the defense has up its sleeve.
Stockler described the dentist’s actions as “absolutely stupid.”
“But I’ve seen much more dangerous things where no doctor has been charged,” the lawyer said.
You know you’re fighting an uphill battle when your own lawyer describes your actions as “absolutely stupid” in court.
An important thing to note here is that this lawyer’s hands were tied a little by a videotape, because the kind of guy who would remove someone’s tooth while riding a hoverboard is also very much the kind of guy who would film himself removing someone’s tooth while riding a hoverboard. But still. This is endlessly fascinating. He’s seen “much more dangerous things” than a dentist removing someone’s tooth while riding a hoverboard? That didn’t result in charges?
This is why I could never be a judge. I mean, there are other reasons, too. Lots of them. But this is a biggie. Because I probably would have stopped the trial dead in its track and said “Name five. Name five things you’ve seen that were much more dangerous than removing someone’s tooth while riding a hoverboard.” I would have given him a full night to think about it, not because it matters to the trial but because I’m curious. The entire judicial system would grind to a halt. I’d have to hold myself in contempt for my own courtroom shenanigans. It would be chaos.
“I don’t have anything bad to say about taking out my tooth, I appreciate that, but I just think that what you did was outrageous, narcissistic you know, and crazy,” she said.
I gotta say, this lady took it all pretty well. This reads like a two-star Yelp review, which is pretty generous, considering he pulled her tooth while he was riding a hoverboard.