Do you think a depressed person could make this?
Master of None, Lucifer, Bo Burnham: Inside
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Every year I tell everyone my favourite season is winter (because, like, layering…obviously…) and every year I am reminded that I am lying to myself when I am shivering beneath an incredibly ill-equipped doona in my room where the doors don’t close properly so a minus-5-degree draft is blowing into my face at all times. Chaos! Also chaos — the tabs I have open this week:
7 Master of None tabs
Master of None is one of those shows that feels truly polymorphous, never stagnant, never quite holding a straight face, never quite sitting still for long enough to let you catch a glimpse of what’s ahead. When it does quiet its most restless urges in this latest season, it feels revelatory. It’s in its folklore era. It’s in its Ingmar Bergman era. It’s in its heavy-drinking-at-7pm-while-watching-Masterchef-in-lockdown era. It’s in its…Snoopy-crying-in-the-rain era?
Amidst it all, Naomi Ackie provides the emotional bedrock of the season. She plays Alicia — the new partner of Master of None stalwart Denise (Lena Waithe) — with understated precision, pirouetting between small moments of anguish, grief, and joy as she navigates both a dissolving marriage and a difficult IVF process. She is, quite simply, the moment.
Over at Entertainment Weekly, she talks about the personal artefacts — including that Goldie Williams mugshot — which made it into the show. “I was telling stories, and they were finding themselves in the script,” she says, “even down to Goldie Williams. The picture of Goldie Williams is a picture I have in my house. I sent [Aziz] a photo of it, and he was like, ‘I love it, put it in.’”
And speaking of houses, Denise and Alicia’s upstate New York cottage functions as its own character here, both breathtakingly beautiful and infused with the level of minute, true-to-life detail Master of None has always excelled at.
Look, the house is so nice that people are even tweeting in French about it.
Translation: Leaving everything to live in this cottage and no longer work. (I believe this counts as praxis.)
The fertility process is still so rarely seen on screens, and at Vulture, Jen Chaney pens an ode to show’s unsanitised portrayal of just how “monotonous, scary, and sometimes heartbreaking” the journey can be. “After a year in which medical workers have been celebrated for their courage and care, Cordelia is another reminder of what a difference it makes to a patient, in any context, to have a compassionate advocate holding their hand,” she writes.
3 Lucifer tabs
The first sign that Lucifer: Season 5 Part 2 will be one for the ages is in its title. Part 2s of anything are boisterous (or at least surprising) affairs; the implication, of course, that one part alone was hardly enough to cover all the bases. I’m talking The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 (now streaming on Netflix); I’m talking The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 (a movie I unfortunately and confusingly watched without having seen any previous instalments); I’m talking Paparazzi (The Remixes Part Deux), where Lady Gaga’s French era speaks for itself.
Lucifer: Season 5 Part 2 joins that lineage with many extravagances, chief among them a much-awaited musical episode in a series that has always hinted at the possibility of a musical episode via earlier, one-off songs. At E!, Tom Ellis AKA Lucifer — the Devil reimagined as a nightclub owner-cum-LAPD consultant — talks about the episode’s divine intervention: “God comes down to sort it [all] out and decides he is going to stay for a while. It’s quite fun. He just kind of goes, ‘I’m going to make them sing and dance right now.’”
More extravagances: this season finally journeys to Heaven! “We wanted to make everybody’s Heaven their own,” showrunner Ildy Modrovich tells Variety. “We envisioned…these doors that you can go through…that you created your own Heaven. And so we tried to imagine what [love interest] Chloe would think Heaven was and that’s what we landed on: this beautiful pastoral scene with her dad, having a picnic, eating some egg sandwiches.”
Finally, the most extravagant: this image.
2 Bo Burnham: Inside tabs
I famously love crying in the club, so I guess the next best thing is crying in my living room with neon lighting, a very specific mood that tall king Bo Burnham gets all too well in his new comedy (?) special Inside. After a few years spent directing movies (Eighth Grade) and drinking spit (Carey Mulligan’s), Inside sees him return to his early YouTube roots: just a man, a camera, and a manic descent into anxiety.
Here is a picture of Bo Burnham and/or a picture of me writing this newsletter:
And here is a picture of Bo Burnham and/or Master of None and/or Hannah Gadsby. Basically what I am saying is that all good comedy should be depressing and ultimately make you existentially question both yourself and the nature of the world, identity, art, and mental health, and WHAT of it!!!!!!!
Thank you for coming to my TED talk.
Okay, 1 more tab
This 2019 tweet from under-appreciated genius, Men in Black scene-stealer, and goddamn poet Vincent D’Onofrio:
Me after reading this tweet: