1) Shira Haas is a STAR! Early contender for best performance of the year.
2) Orthodox has 4 episodes. I cried once in every episode. When people say “oh that made me cry,” it’s usually a bit of hyperbole. It made you FEEL like crying, or you might’ve had one tear, but you’re not actually sitting there crying. So let me re-phrase. Orthodox has 4 episodes. I felt like crying in three episodes and I was BOO-HOO SOBBING in one. Had to pause the show, wipe my face, re-center myself, and finish the episode. (Spoilers at the end because I wanna tell y’all where I cried!)
3) Living in NY and interacting with Satmar Jews while still having no idea what their lives are like, I actually love movies about their community when they’re written from a place of reverence. Disobedience (Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams) is one of my favorite dramas of recent years partly because they paid so much respect to the community and took care to portray the traditions accurately. Unorthodox would be interesting simply from a cultural perspective.
4) The details of the movie are unique, but the overall theme is universal — a young woman without options takes a leap of faith to choose her own destiny and discover who she is. It’s incredibly powerful and relatable to anybody who has made a huge detour from the path originally set out for them.
5) The “sex therapist” SENT ME! She’s so good and her Yiddish feels so New York in a way nobody else’s did.
6) I don’t know what else to say without spoiling it, which I don’t want to do in any way because it’s such a fulfilling emotional journey! It’s legitimately the best thing I’ve watched all year.
7) So. Episode 1 I cried when she went into the lake. Episode 2 I cried while she was making salad dressing. Episode 3 I cried when she was telling her husband that his family needs to back off. Episode 4 I STRAIGHT UP BAWLED MY EYES OUT when she sang the second song. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it. That might be my favorite performance of a song in a move ever.
8) Esty really went to a brand new country and found a scholarship, a man, and a new group of friends in like 2 weeks??? Maybe I need to shave my head and move to Berlin to because this New York mess ain’t working out.
9) Yanky is such an interesting character! Part of me was actually hoping he would win her back, and I think it’s because the guy playing him put a lot nuance into how he portrayed the character. He actually cares about her, but he’s not allowed to support her the way he would outside of the confines of the community. I teared up when he cut off his payot for her.
10) Yanky is also super cute. Here’s his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amitrahav8/
Score: 9.5 / 10
Hot Takes: The Last Dance
This is an excellent work of television production even if you don’t care about basketball.
1) I don’t know how you can be a child of the 90s and not have some memories of the Chicago Bulls, but I grew up in a sports household and basketball was very much a thing. (I actually got my very first college scholarships from the Charlotte Hornets when I was in 7th and 8th grade for winning two essay contests.) I love basketball, so I’m interested to see what a casual fan or non-fan thinks of this documentary. I THOUGHT IT WAS RIVETING!!!!
2) I didn’t know any of these details. I did not know the Bulls general manager was a Napoleanic shitgibbon. I did not Michael Jordan failed to make his varsity basketball team the first go round. I did not know Scottie Pippen was SO UNDERPAID!! I did not know some deranged fans poisoned MJ during the NBA finals.
3) The footage is so good. Apparently, Jordan and the Bulls agreed to let cameras follow them around for the 97-98 season under the condition that the footage would only be used if Jordan approved it. He finally did and it’s such a time capsule. Michael Jordan was literally the most famous person on the planet for a few years.
4) It has to be said — some of these men are aging like a fine wine. Isaiah Thomas (who I didn’t know everybody hated!) is STUNNING. Horace Grant can still get it. BJ Armstrong is the cutest lil BB and I just wanna scoop him up!
5) Why is Justin Timberlake here?
6) Why isn’t Oprah here? They got Obama. If you’re gonna do Chicago, it’s Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, and Oprah Winfrey!
7) Michael Jordan was a much better baseball player than I remember. I don’t like baseball, so I wasn’t paying attention to that, but I thought the general consensus was that it was ridiculous and he had no business trying to play baseball, but he actually would’ve made it to the major leagues if there hadn’t been a strike.
8) Oh! Also! Michael Jordan’s children are ridiculously attractive! I was not aware of that.
9) The Kobe episode hits hard and kind of comes out of nowhere. Steel yourself.
10) I love the way this documentary sets up two different timelines and jumps back and forth. This isn’t the kind of documentary that you can listen to like a podcast — you actually have to sit and watch or you’ll forget what year you’re in. I don’t always love that, but it keeps you really invested, which is necessary since you already know the outcome. You already know the Bulls are gonna win six championships.
11) Also love watching the players react to the interviews of other players. The way Michael Jordan still hates Isaiah Thomas 25 years later? Excellent editing.
12) This country is nasty to its heroes. We built up Michael Jordan for ten years only to manufacture a controversy to tear him down. Obviously it didn’t work, but watching the media of the time try to dig for something that isn’t there against the backdrop of the worst period of his life is actually a little enraging. I actually came out of this liking MJ less than when I started, but they really put him through some mess.
13) I forgot Dennis Rodman and Madonna dated. I forgot Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra dated.
14) I think this has replaced Cheer as my favorite sports documentary of all time and I think it’s just an excellent work of television production even if you don’t care about basketball.
Hot Takes: Lenox Hill
Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a more engaging reality TV series and I hope they get a second season.
1) Lenox Hill is a hospital on the Upper East Side that has a freestanding emergency clinic in Greenwich Village. A lot of people don’t know those are the same hospital organization, so I just wanted to put that out there.
1a) Beyonce reportedly rented out the 4th floor of the hospital to give birth to Blue Ivy.
2) I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy for the past 37 years, and I care just as much about these doctors (if not more!) in just 10 episodes. This is excellent storytelling!
3) I had no idea the staff at Lenox Hill was so diverse. Two women of color basically run neuro research. The chief OB resident and her advisor are both Black women. The Black neuro guy is fine and I wonder if he’s married.
4) Amanda, the OB resident they cast, and her husband are ridiculously cute and I would watch a reality show with just the two of them. Her whole family is cute. At one point she talks about her privilege because she had two parents who could put her through medical school and I was like, “See? It’s so easy to admit that if you just own it. Why is it so hard for some people to admit that?”
5) There’s a Trump-supporting family from Tennessee. The white man actually has multi-colored dreadlocks and painted toenails. I wanted to throw a brick through my TV. I put that there without a spoiler because it’s the only part of the show that bothered me.
6) I’m not gonna say too much about it because it’s just great TV. If you like 1 hour medical dramas, you’ll like it. If you like “day in the life” reality shows, you’ll like it. If you like watching nice people help (mostly) nice people, you’ll like it. Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a more engaging reality TV series and I hope they get a second season.
7) The Chair and Vice Chair of neuro are the definition of hot rich daddy and I’m in love.
The story behind Hottie and that microwaved chicken.
Why did a grown woman with a college degree think it was OK to microwave a chicken?
Question: Should I — as a pro-Black person fighting for the betterment of my people — be talking about Flavor of Love in this, the good year of our Lord twenty-twenty?
Ha! Yes I should! That was a moment and we got ten good years of terrible dating/reality/competition shows just because a few women decided to debase themselves for a gremlin with 87 children. I could really sit here all day talking about my favorite moments, from Pumpkin spitting at New York to Deelishis singing that lil white Latina girl under the table to Saaphyri starting a chapstick line from a 15 second fight to that random girl who pooped on the stairs on national television.
But Schatar “Hottie” Sapphira and this damn chicken has remained one of the most inexplicable things I have ever seen on TV.
I didn’t watch Rock of Love, so I don’t know who Lacey Sculls is, but she has a podcast where she gossips with some of the other girls from her show and others from the VH1 “…of Love” universe. She had Hottie on there and we finally got the scoop on why a grown woman with college degrees thought it was okay to microwave a chicken.
14 years later we finally get the story about hottie microwaving the chicken. iconic pic.twitter.com/PljSBSV8lt— winston (@waterslide) June 30, 2020
Do I buy that she was a vegetarian so she didn’t know how to cook chicken? I think so! Listen, I can cook better than the average person, but this time in lockdown has had me experimenting and trying new things. I can cook what I know how to cook, but there are so many things I would embarrass myself with if I had to do it spur of the moment in front of people.
Plus, I’m a 30-year-old Black person from the South and I *still* don’t fry chicken because I burn it or undercook it more often than not and that grease do be popping. It’s not worth it.
Either way, we finally have Hottie’s explanation of the situation and one of reality TV’s great mysteries can be put to rest. So the next time you think about raw chicken, you can think about Pumpkin’s brief foray into softcore porn instead.
Watch: JLo & Maluma “Pa’ Ti” and “Lonely”
Young white murderers are little boys. Young Black victims are grown men.
Young white murderers are little boys. Young Black victims are grown men.
Watch: Whitney Houston “Saving All My Love” (1986 Grammys)
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