Discover more from Pop Culture Brain
'Bridgerton' star to host 'SNL'
And why is every Oscar movie a bummer?
What to know
Bridgerton breakout star Regé-Jean Page will take center stage at 8H on Feb 20. SNL is clearly adapting to the times in finding not only more diverse hosts but also ones that come from brand new streaming shows. It’s impressive that Bridgerton debuted just 7 weeks ago and Page is already hosting SNL, but when your show reaches 82 million people and earns you a SAG Award nomination, the proof is in the pudding.
Nothing about this headline should really surprise you. It’s Marvel’s first Disney+ show, it was practically guaranteed to be popular, but what I found surprising is that it took 5 weeks to get there. Parrot Analytics, which measures popularity based on social media, fan ratings, and piracy data, says that Netflix’s binge releases create a big splash at first, but Disney+’s weekly rollout allows shows to build momentum. Makes sense. I can’t imagine Netflix switching it up, but it’s cool to get confirmation of this.
Good question, Scott Feinberg! The Awards Chatter podcast host has this new piece arguing that there aren’t any uplifting award season movies this year. It’s hard to disagree though I think he’s painting a little broadly. While there’s plenty of struggle in Minari, Sound of Metal, and Soul, I would say they’re ultimately optimistic. Then at the end of the article he argues for Hamilton to be Oscar eligible, which I just can’t get behind.
Ah, the old fan service debate. Should we give fans what they want? How much fan service is too much? It can be the sharpest of double-edged swords and trying to play both sides is basically what brought down the Star Wars sequel trilogy. While I’m sure HBO would like to avoid repeating the GoT season 8 backlash, it should tread lightly in terms of fan service. In my opinion, a strong vision that tunes out the fandom noise is preferable to capitulation and compromise. More Last Jedi and less Rise of Skywalker is what I’m saying.
ENDGAME SPOILERS: Almost 2 years later, some Marvel fans are still trying to figure out how old man Steve Rogers was able to return to Sam and Bucky at the end of Endgame. Co-director Joe Russo is putting his foot down and saying that Cap traveled from his new timeline (where he’s living with Peggy) to the prime timeline to give them the shield. With Marvel expanding into the multiverse, this could make sense, so no more questions on the matter!
Netflix is making its own Britney Spears documentary … in case the Hulu one didn’t bum you out enough 🎤
Jerrod Carmichael’s suicide pact dark comedy picked up by Annapurna … sounds strange, but what do I know 🔫
The Justice League Snyder Cut trailer includes popular ‘we live in a society’ meme … you either care a lot about this or have no idea what I’m talking about 🦸♂️
What to watch
From Fleabag to I May Destroy You, the “young London woman in crisis” has basically become its own genre — and Billie Piper and Lucy Prebble’s take on it is another winning addition. Like its forebears, HBO Max’s I Hate Suzie is a darkly comic, somewhat experimental half-hour star vehicle set in and around London that explores relationships, sexuality, consent, and grief. It then mixes in a shot of celebrity satire, a dash of chaotic energy, and whole lot of Piper’s expressive acting chops to really stand apart. But the bottom line is if you like “young London woman in crisis” shows, you’ll definitely dig this.
New notables this week:
Young Rock s1 premiere (Feb 16) — NBC sitcom about The Rock’s life story, starring Dwayne Johnson, Stephen Adams, Lexie Duncan | No RT yet
Kenan s1 premiere (Feb 16) — NBC sitcom starring Kenan Thomspon, Chris Redd, Don Johnson | No RT yet
Nomadland (Feb 19) — Hulu awards season drama, starring Frances McDormand and David Straitharn | 94% RT
I Care A Lot (Feb 19) — Netflix thriller feature, starring Rosamund Pike, Peter Dinklage, Dianne Wiest, Chris Messina | 92% RT
Allen V. Farrow (Feb 21) — HBO Max docuseries about Woody Allen | No RT yet
Before you go… presidents, they’re just like us
Thanks for reading! If you like this and aren’t already subscribed, please consider signing up or forwarding this email.
As always, Tuesday and Wednesday editions are free, while the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday editions are accessible via monthly or the more-affordable yearly subscription. You can subscribe or upgrade via the ‘Subscribe Now’ button below.
Thoughts? Reply to this email or hit me up @alexrab on Twitter.
About the author: Alex Rabinowitz has led the way on social media and story packaging at media outlets big and small. With his acclaimed Tumblr site PopCultureBrain.com, Alex became a leading figure in emerging social networks and entertainment news. Sourced by many top destinations, including New York Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Videogum, Pop Culture Brain was featured by BuzzFeed and TIME as the best pop culture blog on Tumblr. Alex's writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, GQ.com, Mic, and Time Warner Cable.