I write about TV and film as well as other areas of pop culture.
'Some Like It Hot' Was Amber Ruffin's Chance To Bridge The Generation Gap
Writer-comedian Amber Ruffin helped give Black women an authentic voice in the stage update of "Some Like It Hot."
Illustration:Jianan Liu/HuffPost Photo:Marc J Franklin
In 1959, a cheeky comedy did what few films at the time were willing to do: defy Hollywood’s Motion Picture Production Code, a restrictive set of censorship guidelines aiming to keep any allusion to queerness, and other taboo subjects, off the big screen.
The movie, “Some Like It Hot,” follows two cisgender, heterosexual whit...
'The Little Mermaid' Doesn't Make Its Point
Halle Bailey (right) delivers a standout performance opposite Jonah Hauer-King (left) as Prince Eric, but it's not enough to justify the otherwise hollow "Little Mermaid."
Just a few days ago, an announcement went out about an upcoming “feminist retelling” of an iconic novel. It doesn’t matter which one. And maybe tons of people will read it and love it. Just like the many people who have probably preordered their tickets to see a “reimagining” of a beloved Disney animated film — ...
'You Hurt My Feelings' Challenges What You Can And Can't Say In A Marriage
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (pictured with Tobias Menzies) reteams with Nicole Holofcener for a LOL-funny comedy that disrupts an otherwise harmonious relationship with a single white lie.
This article discusses minor plot details from “You Hurt My Feelings.”
Two years ago, Nicole Holofcener was working on a slightly different idea for “You Hurt My Feelings,” her hilarious and tender new relationship comedy about, well, a number of things, but chiefly the question of whether to be nice and...
'The Other Two' Shows Life On The Other Side Of Standom
"The Other Two," starring Case Walker as an adored pop star, understands both the privilege of famous people problems and the irrational relationship fans have with celebrities.
Greg Endries/HBO Max
This article discusses minor plot details from Season 3 of “The Other Two.”
The parasocial relationship is a phrase often passed around these days as a nod to the vapid yet hyperintense connection exclusively felt by a fan to a celebrity. It’s become so rampant and irrational that recent small scr...
At Its Height In The '90s, 'Jerry Springer' Exploited Black, Trans And Poor Experiences
Throughout the '90s, "The Jerry Springer Show" used some of the nation's most vulnerable people as a source of entertainment and mockery.
Illustration: Damon Dahlen/HuffPost; Photos: Getty
It’s always more than a little uncomfortable when a divisive public figure dies and so many obituaries and tributes emerge that go out of their way to avoid a pretty glaring truth. This came to mind after politician-turned-talk show host Jerry Springer died last week.
If you were around during his heyday in...
The Novel ‘Saint X’ Was Hailed For Its Social Commentary. A New Hulu Series Lets It Down.
The series adaptation of Alexis Schaitkin's acclaimed novel, starring West Duchovny and Jayden Elijah, doesn't have anything to say.
It’s a well-known fact that murdered white girls and women get a lot more attention and respect than, well, literally any marginalized person who is brutalized. That truth is meant to be an undercurrent throughout “Saint X,” the new Hulu series that untangles what led to a — you guessed it — white college student’s death while on vacation wit...
In 1993, Tupac Assaulted Allen Hughes. ‘Dear Mama’ Provides The Director Some Catharsis.
Thirty years after Allen Hughes and Tupac Shakur's friendship ended, the director attempts to understand what happened to "one of the most misunderstood figures of the 20th century" while also demystifying Afeni Shakur's story.
Illustration: HuffPost; Photos: Michael Becker/AP/FX Networks
After watching all five episodes of director Allen Hughes’ new docuseries “Dear Mama,” which astutely threads the influential and turbulent lives of late rapper Tupac Shakur and his mother and former Black P...
With 'Beau Is Afraid,' Director Ari Aster Has The Same Problem As Jordan Peele
"Beau Is Afraid" hurtles off the rails, putting Ari Aster alongside Jordan Peele as a leading horror director whose latter films don't hold a candle to his debut feature.
Illustration: HuffPost; Photos: A24/Universal/Alamy
One bit of oft-repeated advice, often attributed to Coco Chanel, could be applied to more than just the fashion realm: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” In other words, you should streamline before walking out the door looking goofy.
'Sick Of Myself' Bitingly (And Accurately) Portrays Our Need For Social Validation
In Kristoffer Borgli's "Sick of Myself," Kristine Kujath Thorp plays a young woman who goes to dangerous lengths to seem interesting.
This article discusses plot details from “Sick of Myself.”
If you’re reading this, it means you’ve probably already consumed your daily dose of unreality and self-important posts on social media that scream: Look at ME! Look at what I’m doing! Aren’t I great? Isn’t this cool?
It’s enough to make you — I don’t know — maybe want to create an alternate scri...
Ben Affleck Gambles With An Air Jordan Movie That's Not About The Basketball Star
Ben Affleck's films seldom include Black characters. "Air" relies on the adoration of one of the most revered Black figures in history.
Illustration:Jianan Liu/HuffPost Photo:Getty Images, Courtesy of Amazon Studios
It took all of a few minutes after the “Air” trailer dropped for folks to begin casting doubt on the entire idea of it — with good reason. The movie revolves around Nike’s monumental 1984 signing of then-rookie Michael Jordan for the now-immortal Air Jordan sneakers.
And it’s told...
The Problem With 'Yellowjackets' Is That It Needs More Cannibalism
"Yellowjackets" is at its best when it takes bold, unexpected and grisly leaps — like in this jarring scene with young Jackie (Ella Purnell) and Shauna (Sophie Nélisse).
OK, but where is the cannibalism?
That question has been front of mind ever since “Yellowjackets” first put Twitter users in a chokehold when the Showtime series debuted in late 2021. Right away, audiences started calling it the “cannibalism show,” even though the first season just grazes the concept...
'Creed III' Explores Complex Black Masculinity — And Makes Room For Women
With "Creed III," director-actor Michael B. Jordan helps complicate past reflections on heroism and virility throughout the franchise and allows more space for female voices.
Eli Ade © 2023 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.
Too often, when we see deeper and more complicated reflections of masculinity, particularly Black masculinity, on screen and throughout media, the reaction becomes about how those images hurt Black men or distort our ideals of them.
Take, for instance, what some folks said...
In 1997, 'Scream 2' Was Poised To Become Elise Neal's Calling Card. That Didn't Happen.
By the second half of the ’90s, Black talent seemed to be everywhere on screen. The explosion of hip-hop helped catapult the music video era. Black audiences had a plethora of TV shows like “Living Single,” “Moesha” and “The Wayans Bros.” And there was always a new Black movie to catch in theaters — from “Waiting to Exhale” to “Eve’s Bayou” and “Love Jones.”
On top of that, Black actors were in demand. Not only by the many Black filmmakers like John Singleton and Spike Lee who helped amplify ...
Ellen Barkin Worked On A Number Of Toxic Sets. Then Came 'Poker Face.'
Ellen Barkin was fighting off an illness in bed and about 13 pounds underweight when Rian Johnson offered her an opportunity that would soon become a major highlight of her four-decade career: a part in Peacock’s “Poker Face.” And she had only about three days to prepare.
“I actually didn’t know if I had the stamina to do it,” she told me on the phone as she sipped a ginger ale. “And then I just said, ‘No, this is too much fun.’”
To her point, it is an irresistible role. Her cha...
What 'Magic Mike's Last Dance' Understands About The Erotic Fantasy
From left, Channing Tatum and Salma Hayek are a tantalizing pair in "Magic Mike's Last Dance"
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
It takes about 15 minutes into “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” for Channing Tatum’s Mike Lane, a stripper-turned-gig-worker, to have Salma Hayek’s wealthy businesswoman Maxandra Mendoza yearning for one of his personal lap dances. You know, he dims the lights, transforms the room, turns on [insert any baby-making R&B jam here], then grinds on her.
That goes on for several ...