Hi! It's R. Eric Thomas. From the internet?
Well, the Emmy nominations came out and once again Smash was snubbed. How many years will we allow the Recording Academy or whoever gives out Emmys to disrespect us by refusing to bestow all of its awards on a show that went off the air three years ago? Yesterday, I was running an errand and listening to songs from Smash on my iPhone (because I’m deeply invested in living my best life.) I raced up the stairs from the subway and burst into the daylight at the exact moment that the show-stopping final version of “Let Me Be Your Star” came on. There is honestly no better feeling in the world. It is an Emmy-worthy feeling. And the Nobel Committee, or whoever gives out Emmys, better get with the program.
I am not even being flip for the sake of comedy. Smash is two of the best shows ever made, smushed into one show that seemed allergic to plot cohesion and I remain obsessed. I am obsessed with the fact that the defining feature of Debra Messing’s character was her enormous collection scarves like she was a red-headed Manhattanite Salome. I’m obsessed with the “dramaturg” character played by Daniel Sunjata, who also was an adjunct professor and had a million-dollar apartment and enough time to make Chemex coffee every day, proving that the writers had never met a dramaturg, seen an adjunct professor’s paycheck or used a Chemex with any real commitment. I am obsessed with Shaiman and Whitman’s bonkers pastiche score. And I am obsessed with the completely insane central premise that Ivy Lynn, a blonde triple-threat who looked like Marilyn Monroe and had the skills of actual Broadway star Megan Hilty, would have to fight Katherine McPhee for the part of Marilyn. This no shade to Katherine. She’s great. Don’t @ me about your McPheever. But really; there was no contest. Let’s all exist in reality for a moment. For a lark.
I am sure that someone is going to write me about Katherine McPhee, despite my pleas. Honestly, I respect that. The internet was built for petty disagreements about minutiae that we care deeply about. That’s why I’ve been tweeting the Smithsonian Institute about their egregious snub of Smash at the Emmys. One of my favorite pastimes is having extreme feelings about mundane things.
Which is why, this week, in the middle of an article about the president’s son, George Oscar Bluth, I decided to go on a rant about the font Calibri. I don’t know why Calibri annoys me so much but it really does. If feels too casual, like when a server squats down next to your table and says “Alright guys, who’s drinking?!” This isn’t a kegger, Chad; pull yourself together, please.
Anyway, I don’t like Calibri. I’m persnickety about fonts. And apparently so are a lot of other people because all these Calibri stans came out of the woodwork to check me for dissing their go-to word processing letter shapes. I was shewk! And honestly, I have never respected anything more. Please keep your negative opinions about my negative opinions about the president to yourself, but please always yell at me about disagreements on minutiae. I am so here for that.
For instance, my husband and I were looking at apartments last weekend and he spent like 45 minutes trying to decide between the view two units offered. They were next door to each other. Both looked at the same trees and highway and neither had “a view of the water,” which was suddenly a huge deal breaker for him. Disney's Pocahontas over here is trying to be reunited with his brothers, the rainstorm and the river. In the moment I was like, “Lord, Jesus, take me now. Rapture me right up from beside this beautiful granite countertop, through the green roof and over the river that we cannot currently see from either of these windows. Take me to that place where they play Smash on repeat and the wifi is always good.” I was over it. But I also loved it.
That kind of commitment to detail delights me. I am always here for the little things that mean a lot, for the primacy of the mundane. We’re all supposed to care about the important things like politics and the earth and who won a Tony, but I think it’s the little things that we can obsess over with little consequence, that we can argue over long after they’ve faded away, that can still fill us with joy the way a song, or a scarf or a river can, that’s what makes life worth living.
This week was full of huge, important things full of hilariously mundane details. I wrote about Donald Trump, Jr. (and his terrible, no-good, very bad font), I wrote about Bey's baby names and I wrote about Meryl Streep's purse. All the most pressing stories of our time.
There are two pages of back and forth about whether the meeting is at 3 pm or 4 pm. This is the most relatable thing I've ever seen. A full third of all the emails I've ever sent have been tiny negotiations about time. There is no way this administration is bringing coal jobs back; they're stuck in the same Sisyphean schedule cycle that the rest of us are in. Isn't email supposed to make everything better? Is this the year we admit that at best it creates more work and at worst it provides solid evidence that we've committed treason? I don't want to go back to phone calls, though. Let's just sit in our offices and silently think about what we've done. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
All news should break in the middle of the night like a "U up?" text. Beyoncé's just wandering the grounds of her palace in Wakanda, draped in fabrics, surrounded by flowers, counting Sprint money and thinking of drama. Bey is apparently unaware that most Americans wake up screaming in the middle of the night anyway. Or maybe she's too aware. She's trying to give us something good to scream about. Our Queen is so benevolent, y'all. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Donald Trump, Jr: Okay, the Kremlin lawyer will be here any minute. Are you ready to talk about "adoption."
Jared Kushner: You don't have to make quotes with your fingers every time you say "adoption."
DTJ: Okay, but how will you know that I really mean "Hillary Clinton's secrets"?
JK: Wait, do you really mean Hillary Clinton's secrets? Or is that a euphemism, too?
DTJ: "I don't know."
JK: Are you nervous this could backfire on us in any way, say 13 months from now or something?
DTJ: Pretty sure we'll all be living in bunkers to escape the nuclear fallout by then.
JK: Oh, so you read Bannon's strategic plan, too? [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Don't sleep on Meryl Streep, y'all. America's lovably eccentric aunt who has visited every one of the the 10,000 Villages and is a member of every pink hat and pantsuit group on Facebook is out here serving you lewks for days. The greatest actress in the world was spotted on the set of her latest movie (already nominated for six Golden Globes) toting an absolutely fetch purse emblazoned with the faces of Barack and Michelle Obama. I'm shewk. [READ THE FULL COLUMN]
Rachel takes Dean to Catholic mass. She’s never been to Catholic mass and it’s in French, which neither of them speak, so in general this seems like it’s going to be un boner-killer. They talk the entire time which I think even the Young Pope would get shirty about. Also, what kind of Catholic church is letting an American television crew all up in their sanctuary? Mon dieu. [READ THE FULL RECAP]
Random Thing from the Internet...
My friend Jonathan sent me this article, The Black Person's Guide to Game of Thrones, this week and I laughed out loud multiple times. I don't watch Game of Thrones (I know. Don't @ me.) but that didn't stop me from being seized with jealousy that I didn't write this article. My life is Smash and every other funny black writer is my Katherine McPhee. I'm a crazy person. Anyway, this article is very funny.