This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beasts Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter delivered to your inbox each week, Sign up for here,
good for you, melissa mccarthy
after seeing the little Mermaidambitious new take on the beloved 1989 animated classic, I’ve come to one irrefutable conclusion: The best live-action Disney reboot is… yet Aladdin, (I’m right, and I won’t apologize for saying it.)
must have elements of the little Mermaid This one exceeded my admittedly low expectations, and there are others that are as disappointing as I expected.
Halle Bailey is as sensational as any you’ve heard as Ariel, and Daveed Diggs’ voice work as Sebastian is a comedic tour de force. It’s a shame that Sebastian, as well as Jacob Tremblay’s Flounder and Awkwafina’s Scuttle—were all meant to be photorealistic but just not enough Real enough to look like—than any sort of CGI triumph, Chuck E. The thing bears more resemblance to traumatizing animatronics. It’s especially bad when they’re talking, their mouths basically flap open and shut. And Ariel’s scenes on land were unexpectedly moving and gorgeously filmed, while everything under the sea was a dud — not great when the movie is, uh, the little Mermaid,
For all the controversy over casting (so much uproar over a black Ariel, but not a peep about the reprehensible decision to make Prince Eric British), by poor Hollywood standards, the film was admirably diverse. So I was surprised that it’s the most obvious and boring casting decision—Melissa McCarthy as Ursula—that blew me away the most.
Nothing seemed too inventive in casting McCarthy. In fact, choosing the industry’s most famous, relatable plus-size actress instead of a more creative choice came across as lazy; it shrugged Absolutely, But she’s deliciously good in the film, shattering expectations (at least mine) for what Melissa McCarthy-as-Ursula would be like.
McCarthy arranged her voice in a register that eschewed over-the-top, villainous histrionics for something more sinister—which, in turn, allowed Ursula’s assertiveness and camp moments to be even more fun. Her Ursula is an obvious and necessary homage to original voice actress Pat Carroll, but it’s also original enough so that it doesn’t sound like a blatant copycat. And, of course, it’s a performance in tribute and honor to Divine, the legendary drag queen who inspired the Ursula character in the first place.
McCarthy’s press tour for the film has been impeccable and thrilling to me, in particular, because of her insistence on speaking about Devine, Varla, and the countless drag queens who have made “Poor Unfortunate Souls” a staple of their acts. Gave. You could say that history is personal to McCarthy, which is evident in his performance.
And while Devine’s inspiration for Ursula is well known to a contingent of Disney fans, and certainly to the LGBT community, that McCarthy has been adamant in publicizing it and making it common knowledge, it is now clear that vitally important. At a time when drag and LGBT pride are at the center of an outrageous and embarrassing culture war, she’s making sure all families watching the movie this weekend know they’re celebrating the art and community of drag.
Wonderful the wonderful mrs maisel the end
after this weekend, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, successionAnd Barry will be over for good – and a few days later, depending on what Apple TV+ decides to do, ted lasso Could be too. (for the season finale yellow jacket And someone somewhere are also airing this weekend, with the former, at least, guaranteed to return, and a renewal of the latter hopefully coming — if there is such a thing as God.) The TV programmer actually said, “A Have a lovely long weekend, America! Except you, TV reporter. Don’t even think about planning.”
Over these past few years, several pivotal, era-defining series have come to an end. It creates an awkward moment — for the industry, but also for me, a person who writes about TV and how it relates to it. I’m not sure yet what this moment means… but it does mean something!
I think that Mrs Maisel Actually stuck landing. I found the finale episode to be fantastic, with just the right amount of fan service, while doing justice to the characters. (Plus, there was a random scene in which Broadway star Leslie Kritzer came in as Carol Burnett singing “Shy” once upon a mattressWhich I think was added to the episode just for me.) And while I often cite titles within a project for being hokey, there is a moment when Midge is called “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” for the first time. Is. , and I cried.
Plus, the series ended with a scene of laughter, which I won’t spoil – but know it felt right. boobs up!
barbie The bonanza is just beginning
New one barbie The trailer came out this week, along with the actual plot details. Judging by the overwhelming response on social media, it previews what will be a cinematic masterpiece unlike anything mankind has ever experienced before. (Personally, this made me more skeptical of meeting potentially high expectations. But, like Prince Harry, I can’t provide my own security details, so I won’t elaborate further for fear of Internet mobbing.) .)
However, there are two moments from the trailer that have gone viral, and which I am obsessing over. This line that Barbie blurts out in the middle of a group dance routine is extremely relevant.
And it’s not just that Ryan Gosling is periodically hot as Kane, but it also raises an important question: How long does this screengrab suggest Kane/Gosling?!?!
A TikTok user @throatgoatnancyreagan recently attended a Taylor Swift concert Era tour and posted a video montage of herself eating a new hot dog each time Swift transitioned into a new “era” of her career on her setlist.
More from The Daily Beast’s Obsessed
This is the best deep-dive I’ve read on why everyone hates vanderpump rules One participant in the infamous #Scandoval, star Raquel Lewis, is pretty damn cool. Read more.
New Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom game sets a new high bar for video-game excellence, and is apparently monopolizing all of my colleague’s time. Read more.
in front of succession This weekend, read this excellent take on the Kendall Roy characters, and why she’s doomed to commit the same sins as her father. Read more.
What to watch this week:
the little Mermaid, If I am to witness the horrors of “scuttlebutt,” we must all see it. (in theaters now)
idealist, Seth Rogen? Charming and funny. Rose Byrne? Charming and funny. both of them together? You’ll never believe it: cute and funny! (now on Apple TV+)
Kandahar, Gerard Butler keeps making the most Gerard Butler-ist movies. (in theaters now)
you hurt my feelings: This Julia Louis-Dreyfus starrer is one of my favorite movies of the year. (in theaters now)
What to skip this week:
fuber, Believe it or not, Arnold Schwarzenegger deserves better. (now on Netflix)