Here for It w/ R. Eric Thomas, #177

Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?

This week: SMASH FOREVER! Kimmy Schmidt makes me do labor. And Harry Styles: produce fiend.

Excuse me, but I just have to say I find it very offensive that I am not one of the thousands of people currently quarantining with a ghost. I read an article this week featuring people who willingly spoke to an actual journalist about the fact that their places of residence were being haunted and the pros and cons of having that happen during quarquar. I have not stopped thinking about it. Can you imagine? Someone from the Daily Bugle or wherever rings you up on the landline and is like “Shello! Je suis Lois Lane and I’d like to speak with you about the haint what lives in your walls.” And you say “Yes, here is my first and last name and some information about the otherworldly experience I am undergoing in reality.”

It’s wild what people will allow themselves to be quoted saying. We live in an era when someone can respond to a story that they don’t like by calling it “fake news” but we’ve completely ignored the fact that humans are basically chomping at the bit to confess literally anything to the press like they’re special guest stars in the climax of an episode of Matlock. Why would journalists make up stories when they just have to go to their local mall and stick a microphone in someone’s face and say “Would you like to make a bad choice?” Early in quarquar, the article about the Nashville hand sanitizer grifter went around and I was agog that this dude who was openly and unabashedly hoarding and price gouging essential cleaning supplies at the height of a pandemic not only revealed this information to a journalist but gave his full name and his brother’s name and let a photographer take pictures of himself, his stock, and his baby child. Not only was this deeply unwise, it’s just embarrassing!

That said, I don’t think it’s embarrassing to speak with the press about ghosts. Live your truth. Or, I guess, afterlive your truth. It is embarrassing to me, personally, however that a ghost has not chosen to be on my quaranteam.

Also, and I have no evidence with which to back this up, but I feel like being in a platonic living arrangement with a ghost is a queer value. Like, it’s queer to live somewhere that’s haunted. So I feel like I’m letting my community down, as well. Why do I believe this? I have no idea, but if you think about it, you agree.

I know what your next thought is, too: Eric, everything I know about you leads me to believe that you would be staunchly anti-apparition. So what gives? Yes, you are correct. I don’t like being scared and I don’t like a lot of unannounced visitors. If a ghost wants to haunt my house, they better call first! And bring dessert. Yes, I already have dessert but we could use more. But in this scenario, I’m mostly thinking about benign ghosts. Or even friendly ghosts. A ghost that will put on the coffee in the morning. My issue with all these people soul-cial distancing with a ghost is one of popularity. My place isn’t good enough to hang out in, rattling chains to the beat of the song I’m playing and writing encouraging aphorisms on the mirrors? Rude. I don’t want to be haunted but I do want to be wanted. A common predicament.

Should I put up a Craigslist ad? No. No. That is too much. What if the wrong kind of ghost responds? What if I reject a ghost and the ghost accuses me of discrimination and I get publicly dragged and Lois Lane calls me to do an article about the ghost bigot and I get cancelled? While I would prefer to be more well-liked by both the human community and the haints of this world, I cannot risk my fair-to-middling reputation with bad press. I ain’t afraid of no ghost but I am afraid of misquotes.

This week, choosing your Kimmy Schmidt’s own adventure and water you melon about, Harry? But first, SMASH!!!!

Humanity Saved By Smash Reunion And Broadway Reboot

Bombshell in Concert was everything a Smash fan has come to know, love, and begrudgingly accept. And all of it—the stunning vocals, the strange live-tweets, and this morning's announcement that a Smash Broadway musical is officially on the way—is proof that there is still goodness and delight in this thing we call life. I haven't felt this hopeful since I watched the Hot Priest Andrew Scott recite a poem aptly titled "Everything Is Going to Be Alright."


Harry Styles Is Horny For Produce And Euphemisms In The 'Watermelon Sugar' Video

What I absolutely did not expect to come rolling across my timeline on this Monday in the 112th week of quarquar is Harry Styles in a crocheted shirt performing an ode to how much he wants to bang a watermelon right now. Abso-fruit-ly not! The melon is the sensual star of Styles' new music video, in which most beloved member of the Cucurbitaceae plant family becomes the former One Directioner's Cucurbita-Bae. (Look, if H. Styles can get away with tongue kissing a melon, I can get away with that pun. THERE ARE NO RULES HERE.) To paraphrase the central joke from Harry's viral Sara Lee sketch, the singer wants to: 🍆🍆🍉💦🚂👻


How Can I Run Kimmy Schmidt's Life When I Can't Even Run My Own?

On my first three watches of Netflix's new interactive special Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend,I made all the wrong choices. Much like 2018's interactive Black Mirror film Bandersnatch, a set of options for what a character should do next appear onscreen, and I'd have to make a choice to continue the story. Apparently, I failed. Thrice.

First, my random selections wrapped things up in about 15 minutes, without even introducing Jon Hamm's Reverend character; my second and third times through were slightly longer but still didn't involve any conflict the titular "vs."might suggest. Each time, Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) and her fiancé Frederick (Daniel Radcliffe) announced I'd reached the happy ending too quickly and sent me back to make better choices for a more satisfying narrative experience. This was great, because if there's one thing I love as a casual TV watcher, it's revisions! More constructive criticism for me, the person who hasn't left his couch for hours, please!


Random Thing on the Internet

I really love this wedding column from today’s Philadelphia Inquirer about a globe-trotting couple that, because of quarantine, ended up having an impromptu local wedding with a delightful twist.

A ghost that will put on the coffee in the morning,