From ‘Nice British Baking Present’ to TikTok, The Day by day Beast Employees’s Favourite Pop-Tradition Consolation Meals
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I asked my esteemed colleagues at The Daily Beast to tell me which pop culture offerings they were grateful for this year. Friends from all over the Beast contributed – the arts department, social team, political and media reporters, and more – and, as you will see, with great enthusiasm too. I am grateful for them.
Cecily Strong, queen of all
I feel like it was a special gift for me, especially when, during a pandemic, Apple TV + came together to shoot an entire season of a TV show that takes place almost entirely in a magical world where everyone believes they are in one To be the Hollywood Musical of the Golden Age. How was that a show for any reason other than to please me completely? Schmigadoon! let Cecily Strong show her talent spectrum with a magnificence we’ve never seen before on SNL … but then again, she’s had one of the best years the SNL has had lately. Her two strongest moments – singing “My Way” as Jeanine Pirro in a red wine bath and discussing her own abortion disguised as a clown – are all great, which is amazing considering she’s probably doing the best character sketch of anyone in the occupation. A genius.
– Kevin Fallon
the Great British baking show‘s best season in years
Haters will inevitably accuse me of timeliness bias, but this season of the Great British Baking Show has featured such a dazzling array of baking talent that I’ve almost forgotten how awful Matt Lucas is on the show (seriously, producers: get it another woman here out of love for marzipan). Season 11’s penultimate episode, Patisserie Week, saw more handshakes than we’ve ever seen – which led Prue to crown it the greatest challenge in the show’s history – and more suspense than a Netflix documentary about true crimes (lucky traces Jürgen Krauss, everyone’s favorite Disney grandpa and perhaps the most competent baker in the group).
There are currently only three bakers left: Chigs Parmar, Robert De Niro’s doppelganger, who is steadily gaining strength and has allegedly been baking for less than a year; Giuseppe Dell’Anno, a proud “Briton”, whose show stopper with the leaning tower was an unforgettable sight; and Crystelle Pereira, a taste queen and probably the love of my life. I haven’t looked forward to a GBBS final in years. But please no longer Matt Lucas.
– Marlow Stern
Emotionally devastated by CODA
So I spend most of my professional time watching, reporting, thinking about comedies – and interviewing comedians. But I also don’t secretly love films that make me cry. And no other film brought tears to my eyes this year like CODA. I’ve seen the Sundance hit twice now on Apple TV + and both times the two consecutive songs that close the film have absolutely ruined me. We hope the Oscars make it into the 10 nominees for Best Picture for this cute, fun, and heartbreaking gem.
– Matt Wilstein
The crown jewel of Bachelorette Seasons
Michelle Young’s season of The Bachelorette saved my blood pressure – a warm rose-scented blanket on a chilly night. It is rare to find a Bachelor (ette) who actually knows what he wants and how to say it, so Bachelor Nation really has to be very grateful.
– Laura Bradley
Do the bare bones with Hilary Duff
All I’m interested in is the Hilary Duff Challenge on TikTok – you know, the one where people recreated their half-hearted dance from the 2007 “With Love” era. Your absolute boogeying is one of the best manifestations of all of us doing our best to somehow still stand while the world is slowly falling apart. Anyone can try the moves with the least amount of effort (the less you invest the better), which makes it the perfect Thanksgiving family bond activity.
– Alaina Demopoulos
The marginally disruptive amenities of the Lifetime Movie Network
Lifetime Movie Network because A) it is a content bastion of horny but also vandalized and / or sex-smuggled cheerleaders in the suburbs; B) a source of cautionary moral tales that range from “This suburban Indianapolis swingers club is likely to murder you and your boring husband” to “The au pair is 1000% going to cut your brakes” numb yours Spouse and kidnap your baby so don’t hire au pairs “; C) the house Vivica A. Fox built; D) a channel whose obvious guiding principles are a number of racist, economic, and police-skeptical policies that include the Are opposite of Fox Business Network.
– Asawin Suebsaeng
The return of Taylor Swift … and the 2000s ?!
“All Too Well” (Taylor’s version) (10 minute version) (something else in parentheses) along with the re-release of their album Red brought back all of my own trauma to a 19 year old boy and I loved every second of it. I also had a moment of ecstasy when, for once, I felt vindicated as a 30-year-old “Swiftie” because of her lyrics: “You kept me like a secret, but I kept you like an oath.” Come on! For once, people can look beyond the “Shake it Off” and “ME!” Pop Red Herings and pay tribute to my girl TS for the talented songwriter she always was. Signed, judge me, I dare you.
Britney Spears is free. Lindsay Lohan is playing again. Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian were a party at the wedding in Paris in November 2021. And Lizzo wore a dress over jeans on Instagram. The 2000s are back baby and this is what I’m here for.
– Mandy Velez
The Kristen Stewart Award is running, which we all deserve
Four words: Kristen Stewart Award season. After all, one of the most exciting and interesting actresses in the last two decades puts her moment in the spotlight. Yes, it sparkled in Twilight (pun intended), but not quite like that. For those of us fans who have seen her shine in films like Personal Shopper and Clouds of Sils Maria, this award she receives for her beautiful and tragic twist in Spencer is long overdue. The world is finally seeing K. Stew for the amazing actress she is – and it’s about time. The abundance of wonderful photo shoots and detailed profiles about K. Stew, including an epic one from our own Marlow star, are just the icing on the cake.
– Shannon O’Connor
Jeff Labes’ perfect musical catharsis
Jeff Labes’ original and devastating folk song “Jeff Found A Genie In A Bottle” should be the only song on my Spotify wrap this year, because after stumbling upon his TikTok a few months ago, I couldn’t get this bite, but peppy Melody out of my head (or out of my speakers)! I even went so far as to transcribe the song (before the lyrics were uploaded to sites like Genius) so I could sing it myself all day. The song and Jeff’s charming performance are the perfect sarcastic and melodic F-Du that I needed in some of the more frustrating hellscapes moments we are all currently going through.
– Elizabeth Brockway
Weekends with Private detective
I’m a die-hard print media fanatic. I buy newspapers in every city I travel to. My first stop when I arrive in London is the kiosk at WHSmith in Heathrow, where I’ll devour The Sun (I worked there from 2005-2009), Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times of London, Mirror, Guardian, Express, Financial Times until my hands are bleeding from newsprint. My three guilty joys that helped me through 2021 are issues of Private Eye, a UK satire and time magazine that I’ve subscribed to for ten years and the best of the old Gawker, Vanity Fair and Spy magazines is one along with New York magazine and the weekend edition of the Financial Times. I love Private Eye as it picks up the mickey on inflated politicians, media fools, and die-hard billionaires. It will point out to everyone that it is more puff pastry than pastry.
The magazine wanders the pond about a week after it hits London newsstands, and over the weekend I take it and NY magazine with the FT to my favorite NYC pub and gobble it up over a pint. All three publications keep giving me moments of joy, ease and much needed inspiration, but the newsprint ends up on the walls of my apartment after a decent read and it takes forever to clean!
– Lachlan Cartwright
Cilla Black sings the surprise surprise topic
In the 1980s, Cilla Black had two prime-time TV hits in the UK: Blind Date and Surprise Surprise. The latter was the culmination of a major reunion of long-lost relatives (in the more research-intensive days, remember, before the internet). Cilla rarely sang the show’s theme all the way through, which makes this recording a delight for Cilla fans. Listen to this voice and these texts. Absolutely silly, totally sincere.
– Tim Teeman
Scramble The golden girls and Sex and the City (Again and again)
Evergreen comfort food warning! Thank goodness there are reruns of The Golden Girls and Sex and the City. How else can every other day in our ongoing hellish landscape end in sleep without either being possible?
– Tim Teeman
Good to see Phyllis up The young and the restless
Phyllis (the fantastic Michelle Stafford) was a villain and victim on the popular daily show at various times. But she is often the voice we observe at home, cynical, strange and genuine, and is therefore a daily consolation for which I often say “thank you” as she continues. Armed with her bucket full of verbally cold water (or occasionally even ice), she is the best character in Y&R and is only saved from the poor treatment of the authors by the fierce commitment of Stafford – and also Gina Tognoni when she took on the role . I just wish Phyllis could say aloud over and over that she was raped by a husband-double scammer at the behest of Newman Patriarch Victor Newman. That’s why she hates the Newmans. We know this as fans, and it is ridiculous and insulting for ex-Nick or anyone else to question this profound animosity. Please let Phyllis say that! It was a big moment on the show for her, and it isn’t referenced enough.
– Tim Teeman
Ridiculously handsome local TV presenters
You’d think they’d been satirized enough, Anchorman-style, and couldn’t have existed anymore. But no, they still pervertly give comfort and a sparkle every day while telling us gruesome “if it bleeds, it leads” news and our weather very early in the morning and very late at night – all with a smile and extremely white teeth. You have your favorites wherever you live. In New York City we are pampered with a number of badass dads and handsome guys including Michael Gargiulo, Maurice DuBois, Raphael Miranda, Michael Herzenberg, Dean Meminger, Adam Kuperstein, Erick Adame, Ken Rosato, Lewis Dodley, Sam Champion, David Ushery , Bill Ritter, Chris Wragge and Anthony Pascale. Indeed, the list goes on.
– Tim Teeman