THE BEST OF THE WORST

Let’s agree not to say or write 2020 was the worst year we can remember because, well, we don’t know what’s coming next.

I mean, no one could have predicted this sh-t show, this confluence of events, this utter turd avalanche that hit the world, and the United States in particular, for the last 12 months.

Sure, some of it.  But…all of it???

You can’t primarily blame any one person, but here on my throne in Hollywood I do

so, privately, each day.  And I do so publicly once or twice a week when I go on his twitter page and simply type –

LOSER. YOU LOST!

It’s cheaper than renting this van!
(currently googling how much it would be to rent this van #2021)

My husband thinks it’s immature and silly but hey, it makes me feel productive AND a lot better, two things I haven’t experienced much of since, well, 2019.

Admittedly, I do it partly in the hopes that he might see it or someone else will who could tell him.  But I mostly do it because one of the few positive things I’ve learned in this horrifically awful past year is that if some small act that doesn’t involve drug taking or violence lightens your load then hey, why not?

Does that make me no better than a Karen or a Ken

I’m gonna need to talk to the manager

Well, that’s for others to judge.  Which, I’ve also learned in the last year, is inevitable.

Speaking of judgments, I will admit that in wanting to normalize 2020, i.e. not give it any MORE than the already underserved and very extra special attention it’s currently getting, I attempted to make a traditional best and worst list.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Everything bad couldn’t come close to the totality of the year itself, so why list any one of them individually?  Everything good was simply just that — good.  Not great, not list worthy and certainly nothing much to write home, or here, about.

Perhaps there should be a moratorium on lists and awards for anything to the end of time for this entire year? 

Can someone make that rule? 

Joe?  Kamala?

She’s on it. #MOREMAYA2021

Do we want to give anyone that much executive power ever again?

I gotta say once I get past all the virus, disease, death, mask wearing and hand sanitizing of it all, well, there isn’t a lot left except the nascent smell of alcohol permeating everything in my room or on my person. 

Certainly not enough to explore the issue of executive power with.

And if there were I left them in a recorded Zoom chat that has likely already been permanently deleted. 

2021 – Year of the Hammer

Though as we all now know, nothing is permanent and certainly not one bit of it is EVER permanently DELETED.

I will say binging all six seasons of Schitt’s Creek nicely filled up a dozen or more evenings in our house this year.   And learning I’m not that unlike David Rose, only THREE decades older, filled a few online therapy sessions.

I found my religion

There were also the Sarah Cooper videos lip synching to audio of that LOSER spouting off recommendations of bleach injections; Leslie Jones’ Twitter commentary on those opining on the state of the world due to the LOSER; and a barrage of so much cable news that I became obsessed with writing to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki, gay man to gay man, in an effort to get him to purchase a shirt, jacket and pair of pants that fit him right.  That’s how much I felt obligated, as a newfound friend, to tell him. The same for Pete Buttigieg.

Of course, Kornacki was just voted one of the sexiest guys alive (Note: People’s “Chartthrob’) and Pete is moving to D.C. to be in Biden’s cabinet so in the long run it’s probably a good thing I didn’t excel at follow through all during all this turmoil.

Leaving that to Chasten… for now

Though watching Ryan Murphy’s Netflix version of The Prom was a great big gay piece of bubble gum that gave me relief for about as long as, well, bubble gum lasts. I could also say the same for Disney’s Hamilton, David Fincher’s Mank (Note: Watch Amanda Seyfried steal the Glenn Close’s eighth chance at an Oscar this April!), every Christmas movie on Hallmark and Lifetime and all of the many offerings on Turner Classic Movies that temporarily kept me from going insane.

Except for the Westerns.  I hate the TCM (or any, really) Westerns. There, I said it. 

Way harsh Chairy!

Though I did enjoy Damien Chazelle’s dramatic musical limited series, The Eddy (Note: Somehow sorta gay) as well as The Queen’s Gambit (Note: Somehow VERY gay).  Thanks Netflix and don’t think I haven’t noticed your 2020 recommendations have now confirmed a sort of, VERY definite pattern.   

Though not a list.  Never a list.

Which brings me to the one thing I DO gravitate towards and couldn’t resist this year  — the 2020 f-k off videos.

This… exactly.

If there were a best of list to be rightfully made for this past road kill of an almost obsolete calendar it would be each and every one of them.

You might want to listen to this viral TikTok ditty from this all female group called Avenue Beat, literally entitled “Fuck 2020.”  This year being what it is, it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that these three young childhood friends from Quincy, Ill., who have been singing together since they were 14 year old, have already been getting major nasty Internet blowback for all the attention they’re getting.  To which I reiterate their message of:

Though equally as good was the Toronto advertising agency, Public Inc., that produced the ultimate mental health PSA, #Eff2020.  It’s everything you’ve thought and/or screamed at your TV, or out loud in small, socially distanced groups when you were feeling especially feisty  – aka – All. The. Time.

That being said, perhaps we should close out the year on some small positive note of… hope? I’m not an especially spiritual soul except when it comes to the white witchery of Stevie Nicks. 

She released this haunting new song in October and no one told me. 

But, I found it anyway.

And if that’s not a road map for 2021, well…..

Stevie Nicks – “Show Them The Way”

Not So Green with Envy: An Oscars Post Mortem

Oscars 2019 proved that you don’t need a host to produce a watchable awards show but you do need at least a handful charismatic stars, inspiring musical moments, unexpected wins and, of course, heartfelt speeches.

This year’s show featured all of the above and often did it quite well – sometimes a little too well.

There was something ultimately schizophrenic about the show, the choices and the moments the evening offered.  It was as if the members of the Academy were so unsure of what they truly loved this year in cinema that they decided to people please and pick almost everyone from as many films as it could.

See: Green Book

Green Book took home the top prize of best picture while its director, Peter Farrelly, was not even nominated in his category.  Roma won Alfonso Cuaron best director and cinematographer but his movie was passed over for best film.  (Note: It did win foreign film, meaning it’s only the best if…you don’t speak English?).

Spike Lee won his first competitive Oscar trophy ever for co-writing BlackKklansman but was passed over in the director category, as was his film for best picture.

But he did give us one of the best shots from the whole show

Glenn Close, who had already won almost everything during this awards season, became the first actress to be nominated SEVEN times for acting Oscars without a win.   Olivia Colman won best actress for The Favourite in a bit of an upset over the heavily favored Ms. Close (The Wife), while Rami Malek swept in as best actor winner for bringing beloved Queen front man Freddie Mercury back to life onscreen in Bohemian Rhapsody.

We know Glenny.

Though interestingly, neither of the two top actor winners appeared in the movies awarded either best film, director or screenplay, either original or adapted.

Rounding out, or perhaps butter knifing around the gold, Black Panther, the biggest box-office hit nominated, took top prizes for score, production and costume design; A Star Is Born (the second biggest b.o. juggernaut) won best song; and Regina King was bestowed best supporting actress honors for If Beale Street Could Talk.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with spreading the wealth around.  But by the time Green Book was announced as best picture, veteran Oscar watchers couldn’t help but recall that time almost thirty years ago when another middle-of-the-road road movie about race, Driving Miss Daisy, won the best picture prize despite the Academy denying its director, Bruce Beresford, even a nomination in his category.

One supposes it is better for voters to widely disperse the joy rather than to ignore artists like Mr. Lee, whose more cutting edge film on race in 1989, Do The Right Thing, failed to gain either a best picture or director nomination and was subsequently overlooked in one of the few categories it was even nominated for – best original screenplay.  It took three decades but in 2019 the Academy managed to give Mr. Lee just a bit of his competitive due while still denying yet another of his masterpiece movies about race a win in favor of yet another rival film that chose the safer, more benign Driving Miss Daisy-ish route.

Look! They are in a car! How genius!

Whether that compromise was enough (Note: Um, no..) and others got too much (Note: Uh, hella yes..) is for each of us to say this week and then forever hold our pieces because that’s about how long the conversation will remain relevant to anyone given what’s in the zeitgeist these days.

What will hang around a bit longer is the memory of Melissa McCarthy entering the stage in a comic riff on The Favourite’s Queen dragging a train strewn with stuffed bunny rabbits, one of which somehow became situated on her hand and helped her to open an envelope.

Personally, I marveled at the age-defying beauty of actors like Angela Bassett and Paul Rudd, who will respectively turn 61 and 50 this year.  As Rosemary Woodhouse once said about her intimate evening with the Devil: IT CAN’T BE!

But like.. HOW?!

Even better was the opening musical number where the remaining members of Queen, aided greatly by Adam Lambert as its fill-in front man, gave us a soaring song in tribute to Freddie Mercury, whose larger than life image looked on from above.

Equally riveting in a totally different way was when Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper performed a stripped down version of their film’s mega-hit (and now Oscar winner) “Shallow” and managed to turn the Dolby Theatre stage into a master class pairing of artistry and intimacy.

Um… his wife was 5ft away. #icant #THEHEAT

It was also fun to watch Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph goof it up in an elongated comic bit early on and actually prove you can still be fresh and funny on any awards stage.  Ditto Awkwafina and John Mulaney presenting best-animated short.

Was any of this indelibly memorable?  Not exactly, but it was fun and watchable. This may or may not translate into a ratings boost from the all-time low numbers of last year’s Oscar broadcast, which is pretty much all the Academy and network seems to care about at this point anyway.

Welp, there it is.

That and no doubt the fact that in giving Universal’s Green Book this year’s best picture Oscar over Netflix’s Roma, both could breathe a huge collective sigh of relief for denying the streaming giant any more of the industry gold it had already managed to swipe right out from under their collective noses.

Cornelius Brothers and Sister Rose (BlacKkKlansman soundtrack) – “Too Late To Turn Back Now”