Finally, Something Good: ‘Abbott Elementary’s’ Unexpected, Delightful Rise

Sometimes, even with these wintry temperatures keeping us housebound and lonely in year 47 of an isolating and traumatizing pandemic, you all do something that melts my icicle-caked heart.
That frost is a defense mechanism against crushing disappointment—one that has crystallized after expecting the worst for so long.
Yes, I could be talking quite seriously about, well, pretty much anything you see when you click on any news website. (Might I recommend a scroll through thedailybeast.

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Only Simon Rex Could Play a Washed-Up Porn Star and Maybe Win an Oscar

Mikey is at a job interview at a greasy spoon in rural Texas City, Texas. It’s going well. His fast-talking charm, like a turbo jet fueled by a petrol cocktail of desperation and hubris, is working on the hiring manager, just as it works on just about everyone he meets. That is, until it doesn’t. There’s one hiccup to all this babbling, hustler-like magnetism: that 17-year gap in his résumé.
Mikey doesn’t skip a beat, delivering his bombshell revelation like a wrecking ball, with no qualms or unease. “I’m going to be straight with you,” he says. “I’m an adult film star.

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Harry Hamlin’s Secret Sauce: On Playing Tom Brokaw, Fighting the Paparazzi, and His Legendary Bolognese

At the moment, Harry Hamlin is unexpectedly wet.
It was a bit of a drive-by soaking. He thought it would be nice on a sunny Los Angeles afternoon to take his phone interview outside in the yard of his and wife Lisa Rinna’s Italian villa-style mansion. You know the one—the gorgeous property with the lush garden where, in the most recent season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, a dinner party left the cast drooling over Hamlin’s signature bolognese sauce, as well as to a notorious pair of “ugly leather pants.

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‘Belfast’ Will Win Best Picture at the Oscars—And People Are Already Pissed

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.
Charming and devastating. Humorous and profound. Whimsical and important. Personal and universal.
Nothing gives Hollywood insiders a boner quite like dichotomies. Think of it as literary Viagra. If deciding which wordplay-of-opposites to use as a film’s movie poster pull quote lasts more than four hours, consult a doctor.

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Astroworld, Travis Scott, and the Deadly Pearl Jam Concert We Still Haven’t Learned From

At a 2000 European music festival, nine people were killed after a crowd stampede that occurred while the band Pearl Jam performed.
A day of rain had soaked the grounds of the Roskilde Festival in Denmark to mud. After vendors had run out of boots, concertgoers began wrapping plastic bags around their shoes. That made it difficult to navigate the pavement at the Orange Stage, where an estimated 50,000 fans had turned up to see the Seattle rockers perform.
Before Pearl Jam began playing, audience members pushed to get close to the stage.

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Astroworld, Travis Scott, and the Deadly Pearl Jam Concert We Still Haven’t Learned From

At a 2000 European music festival, nine people were killed after a crowd stampede that occurred while the band Pearl Jam performed.
A day of rain had soaked the grounds of the Roskilde Festival in Denmark to mud. After vendors had run out of boots, concertgoers began wrapping plastic bags around their shoes. That made it difficult to navigate the pavement at the Orange Stage, where an estimated 50,000 fans had turned up to see the Seattle rockers perform.
Before Pearl Jam began playing, audience members pushed to get close to the stage.

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Astroworld, Travis Scott, and the Deadly Pearl Jam Concert We Still Haven’t Learned From

At a 2000 European music festival, nine people were killed after a crowd stampede that occurred while the band Pearl Jam performed.
A day of rain had soaked the grounds of the Roskilde Festival in Denmark to mud. After vendors had run out of boots, concertgoers began wrapping plastic bags around their shoes. That made it difficult to navigate the pavement at the Orange Stage, where an estimated 50,000 fans had turned up to see the Seattle rockers perform.
Before Pearl Jam began playing, audience members pushed to get close to the stage.

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Erika Jayne’s Angry Outbursts During the ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Reunion Did Her No Favors

“How do you think I feel?”
That question was asked by cast member Erika “Erika Jayne” Girardi countless times during the four-part Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion. On the final installment, which aired Wednesday night, she said it so often that the uninitiated watching might have wondered if there was some sort of dare, or perhaps a drinking game that she was pandering to.
Sometimes she screamed it in rage at a cast member she felt may not have been compassionate enough to her situation.

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The Secrets of ‘Encanto,’ the Magical New Disney Film Celebrating Colombian Culture

Encanto, the new film from Walt Disney Animation Studios, is bursting with magic.
That much was clear from the approximately 30 minutes of footage that was previewed at the SCAD Savannah Film Festival last week, including about 15 minutes of its rousing opening musical sequence, another memorable song written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and a tease of the scene that begins to reveal the dark secret that drives the film’s narrative.
Bursting with magic, however, isn’t just a wink at the Disney tradition. Magic itself is at the heart of Encanto, which hits theaters Nov.

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The Bizarre Buzz Lightyear Political Controversy Making People Lose Their Minds

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by senior entertainment reporter Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

The Week’s Biggest Political Controversy… Buzz Lightyear?

Because nothing is pure or sacred, even Buzz Lightyear is now at the center of—I shudder as I type this—“discourse.”
Implausibly, this is not even in reference to the, at this point, very expected and very tired debate about how Hollywood can’t leave anything alone. Listen, it is 2021.

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