You have to laugh at these people getting sucked out of airplane windows. And why is that?

Because if it isn’t you getting sucked out of an airplane window, it’s actually pretty comical.

 

**

 

I had a lot more faith in humanity before the invention of Twitter.

I didn’t always feel the way I do now. I used to believe that Twitter was great, because it gave voice to millions of regular people who previously had little or no voice.

But now I’ve heard that voice and … well.

 

**

 

Apparently, some prematurely balding dude in England got married to this fanny on Saturday:

 

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That’s about the extent of my interest in the bride and groom. Unless, of course, the topless-on-the-beach photos (below) are not really fake, as the royals insist, but are indeed real.

 

 

Real or fake — how on Earth are we supposed to know?

 

**

 

 

When people make fun of Fox News they must be thinking of things like the ridiculous piece of “journalism” on Martha MacCallum’s show Tuesday night, in which Martha discussed – at length – the “angel” some idiot discovered on security footage of his car in a driveway.

 

**

 

 

 

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Entertainment sites are revisiting 1980s American movies and not liking what they find. Apparently, movies like Revenge of the Nerds and Sixteen Candles are “problematic,” largely because of sexism.

I’m still enjoying Killing Eve, but man …. Just midway through the season, we’ve already witnessed an Asian dude having his balls … something … and another dude get castrated by a female assassin. These cringe-inducers are treated as sort of a running gag on the show.

From the Killing Eve recaps on Vulture:

“When Eve later finds his body, Frank has her dress on … and his dick cut off. (Gross.) The camera then zooms in on two sausages sizzling in a frying pan.”

“A Chinese businessman in Berlin decides to give himself a birthday treat at a BDSM brothel, but his usual nurse is unavailable. The businessman will settle for his usual ‘vigorous scrotal massage’ … and it’s a mercy when the mercenary doesn’t draw out his torture, but gases him relatively quickly. Villanelle can’t wait to get to her climax: watching her victim die.”

I have to wonder who would be laughing if the plot featured female genital mutilation. Just sayin’.

 

**

 

 

CBS Evening News on Wednesday featured the tongue-twister of the week – “lower lava levels” – courtesy of Carter Evans in Hawaii.

Try saying that three times in a row – real fast.

 

**

 

 

Trump fans don’t like it when they are accused of wanting to turn the clock back in America. But during Trump’s speech in Indiana, I couldn’t help noticing the kid in the background taking pictures with his camera and flashbulb (above).

They still make cameras with flashbulbs?

Or maybe that isn’t a flashbulb.

Never mind.

 

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Michelle Wolf at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

 

The problem wasn’t that Wolf skewered Trump and other Republicans, because they’re all fair game. The problem wasn’t that her jokes weren’t funny; some were and some weren’t. No, the problem is that she only attacked one side.

Here are a few targets that escaped Wolf’s attention: Tom Brokaw, Joy Reid, and James Comey, all of whom were in the news and all of whom are eminently target-worthy.

 

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“The Swedish four-piece announced on Instagram that they had recorded two new songs for a project in which members of the band will perform as computer-generated avatars … the band had been digitally scanned and “de-aged” to look like they did in 1979, when they performed their third and final tour.”

 

Probably a good idea to come back as avatars – unless Agnetha’s butt still looks like this:

 

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I watched the first episode of Maigret, starring Mr. Bean himself as the famous French detective, and I wasn’t completely sold. Rowan Atkinson’s Maigret seemed too one-note, and that note was “glum.”

But now I’ve watched more episodes, and now I’m sold. If a British-produced cop show is even halfway decent, I’m the sort of Anglophile who almost always gets hooked.

 

**

 

 

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Cold War is a new romantic comedy with Madeline Walter about a young couple whose relationship is tested — to put it mildly — when a crippling flu bug confines them to close quarters for days on end. We talked to Walter about the movie. We also let Rip van Dinkle ask her a question. Just one question.

 

**

 

GE:  Your movie reminded me of Hollywood “bickering couple” classics like War of the Roses, His Girl Friday, etc. Were you familiar with those movies, and was Cold War a conscious attempt to carry on that tradition?

 

MW:  I believe it was! I have a woefully limited knowledge of classic films, but [co-directors] Stirling and Wilder are both film buffs, and I know they were inspired by many of the classics. When I was preparing for the shoot, Wilder referred me to some movies that had inspired him, and the one that I actually drew from the most was the original Odd Couple with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. I think that movie is brilliant, and just really beautifully captures the dynamic of two people with intensely different lifestyles and hangups trying to live together (and making it work because they ultimately deeply care about each other). Also, fun fact — in the scene in the movie where Jon notices that Maggie’s labeled their duplicate DVDs, the DVD that he pulls out is His Girl Friday.

 

**

 

GE:  Which comic actresses inspire you?

 

MW:  A bunch! Kathryn Hahn, Issa Rae, Sharon Horgan come to mind — they all make such funny choices that really come out of such grounded, surprising emotional places. I’m also an improviser, and I learned pretty much everything I know about performing at the UCB theatre, so a lot of the women I perform with are really inspiring to me. So much of the time I’m just stealing what they do and trying to make it my own.

 

**

 

GE:  The movie was basically a two-person show (I can see it as a stage play), and you and Michael Blaiklock are in most scenes together. Is that a good working situation for you, or do you prefer a larger cast?

 

MW:  This was my first feature film, so I really loved working with such a small cast. It really allowed me to focus on my character’s relationship to one person, and gave me the time to explore and examine that relationship and make clear choices about its evolution. Also, I have to say, doing a two-person movie with Michael specifically was awesome- everything he did was so present and surprising, and he made it really fun. I highly recommend doing a two-person movie with him if the opportunity comes up!

 

**

 

GE:  I’d say one lesson of Cold War is that yes, you can spend too much time with a significant other. Assuming you were/are in a relationship with another person, what would you say is the ideal amount of time to spend together?

 

MW:  I think it’s nice to spend enough time apart so you both have interesting answers to “how was your day?”

 

**

 

GE:  Between you and Michael, there was quite a bit of puking in the movie. Was that method acting, perhaps residual memories from college days?

 

MW:  I wish … but unfortunately my wildest college experience was a time I stayed up all night organizing a filing cabinet. I am very proud of our puking sounds though — the most fun was doing ADR. Something feels so wrong (yet so right) about standing in a super polished recording studio and gagging into a state-of-the-art microphone.

 

**

 

Editor’s note: Rip van Dinkle was impressed by a scene in Cold War in which nurse Madeline shares screen time with a nude actor and his noodle. We let him ask Madeline one question.

 

 

Rip:  The scene in which you examine the naked patient was hilarious. I was in “The Smallest Penis in Brooklyn” pageant and I know that it can be like pulling teeth trying to find men who are willing to do something like that. Was that an awkward scene for you to film? Did the actor have any qualms about revealing his shortcomings to the world?

 

MW:  You know, it wasn’t as awkward as I thought it would be, because Kenneth [Yoder], who played the patient, is a total pro. And I really just super appreciated that Wilder and Stirling showed full frontal male nudity in the type of movie where female nudity is usually much more common. They really made an effort to flip rom-com tropes in a lot of ways, and that’s what made this movie so exciting to me.

 

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 **

 

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The Kanye and Donald bromance is making me angry — not because I give a crap that the two of them are BFFs, but because I am now going to have to listen to Kanye’s music to see what all the fuss is about. I am unfamiliar with Kanye’s music.

Sorry, but I’m old. I have become my father, who used to argue that The Beatles didn’t make music, they made noise.

 

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Speaking of things I’m not big on, I’m not a big fan of most “family” shows. They are usually sappy, sentimental, and insipid.

But I kind of dug Lost in Space. The characters are likable, the dialogue is often amusing and, if you don’t mind a few ridiculous plot elements, the story is fun.

 

**

 

On the other hand, thumbs down to Netflix’s foreign imports Requiem and The Chalet, both of which put me to sleep.

 

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Cold War

 

Imagine odd couple Oscar Madison and Felix Ungar (Felicia Ungar?) as a cohabitating male and female. Now give them a debilitating flu bug and confine them to their small house for several days. Will either of them come out of that situation in one piece?

That’s the premise of Cold War, a romantic comedy in which lovers Maggie (Madeline Walter) and Jon (Michael Blaiklock) find out the hard way if there is such a thing as too much togetherness.

A movie like this can go sour if your two leads aren’t engaging enough to hold the audience’s attention for 90 minutes, but I never got sick of Maggie and Jon.  Release: 2017 Grade: B+

 

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I’m sorry, but even decades ago (above), Barbara Bush looked like George’s mother.

 

**

 

I don’t spend a great deal of time on YouTube, but I might start. It’s a bit like having a video version of the Smithsonian on your computer, with a treasure trove of historical interviews and clips.

Last night I was up way past my bedtime watching old videos of literary curmudgeon Fran Lebowitz (below), the New York wit who is woefully misguided on some issues but always, always amusing.

 

 

Of course, if you tire of highbrow interviews with the likes of William F. Buckley, James Baldwin, or Fran Lebowitz, you can always escape to YouTube’s other attraction: Jack Vale’s fart videos.

 

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And who might be the anti-Fran Lebowitz? I’d nominate this chick, who is finding her 15 minutes of fame by posting provocative pictures like this one:

 

 

But be warned: If you scroll Brenna Spencer’s Twitter or Instagram seeking more pics for your erotica collection, you will have to wade through roughly 12,000 annoying “fish face” photos.

 

 

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TV Updates

 

McMafia is a good-looking, globetrotting crime show on AMC. It takes itself very seriously. I watched about three episodes and the boredom was killing me, so I quit watching.

 

 

Killing Eve (above) is a good-looking, globetrotting crime show on BBC America. It’s a tongue-in-cheek thriller, never taking itself too seriously. I liked the first episode and intend to keep watching.

 

 

If I lived in the Middle East, I don’t know that I’d care to watch the Israeli drama Fauda (above). Its realistic depiction of Arab-Israeli conflict, complete with endless bombings and shootouts, might hit too close to home. But for the rest of us, this is a smart, top-notch thriller.

 

Season two of Netflix’s La Casa de Papel (a.k.a. Money Heist) is even sillier than season one. But it remains an absurdly entertaining show.

 

No matter what you think of its star, the Roseanne reboot is all-around good.

 

 

After reading a few early reviews of Netflix’s Lost in Space (above), I wasn’t expecting much. After watching the premiere episode, my first impression is: not an amazing show, but it’s reasonably entertaining. But WTF is the deal with black Judy and her white parents? Is Judy adopted? A genetic fluke of nature?

 

FX’s Trust and AMC’s The Terror continue to intrigue. And kudos to AMC for not rewriting history by casting women as members of the captain’s crew.

 

**

 

Latest word that the media loves:  Granularity

 

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That’s quite a trick. Whenever I’m naked and afraid, the last thing in the world I can do is pop up.

 

**

 

People complain about Donald Trump being constantly in the news.

Maybe, but whenever I tune in to the news, it seems to be the media covering the media.

 

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I don’t understand all the “surprise and outrage” over news that Mark Zuckerberg has been shopping Facebook users’ personal information.

Doesn’t anyone remember The Social Network?

 

**

 

How to Write for a “News” Web Site:

 

A)  Your headline is the most important element. It needn’t have anything to do with the story beneath it, and it should be either misleading or sensational or both. Just get readers to click on the article.

B)  The story itself can be fairly straightforward and non-controversial. But at the end, the reporter must sum things up by inserting his or her own opinion about the issue in question. Preferably, the writer will be some snot-nosed kid straight out of college who knows next to nothing about real life. Readers aren’t smart enough to draw their own conclusions, so it is essential that said snot-nosed kid explain things for them.

C)  The above applies to both liberal sites like The Huffington Post and conservative sites like Breitbart.

 

**

 

 

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Roseanne Repercussions

 

There’s good news and bad news about the ratings success of the Roseanne reboot:

 

Good news:  By now, even coastal “elites” must be a bit tired of every new show being set in Southern California or, to a lesser extent, New York. Thanks to Hollywood, I feel like I’ve lived in every L.A. neighborhood and worked in every liberal profession. Enough already. We need some shows set in Enid, Oklahoma and Ames, Iowa. Maybe Roseanne will lead to that.

 

Bad news:  God help us if TV executives decide to shower the nation with heavily religious, “family”-oriented shows. In decades past, Hollywood knew how to make entertaining films that were both wholesome and smart. But just reading the titles of recent religious films on the big screen makes me feel like I’m being lectured.

 

Bottom line:  Deplorables who are hoping that the success of Roseanne might trigger an outpouring of empathy and understanding from TV types are in for disappointment. I’m afraid that for Hollywood execs to truly grasp the mindset of America’s heartland, they would have to do the one thing they are most loath to do: move there.

 

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Yes, we get that there’s a great deal of public interest in Stormy Daniels right now.

But it’s depressing to see a beloved channel like TCM jump on the bandwagon:

 

 

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I am liking both AMC’s The Terror (above) and FX’s Trust.  Ancient icebergs are featured in both shows:  Arctic landscapes on The Terror, and Donald Sutherland on Trust.

 

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Commercial Hell

 

grouchyeditor.com Marie Osmond

 

Marie Osmond has been telling Nutrisystem (weight loss) customers who are “busy” that she’s “been there.” Uh, no, you haven’t. You’ve been filthy rich your entire adult life, and rich people “busy” is not the same as middle-class “busy.”

 

grouchyeditor.com Mark

 

Dear “Mark,” the dude who’s so pleased with himself for quitting smoking in the Chantix commercials:

If you are so concerned about your health, Mark, maybe you should lose some weight. I’m surprised you can even see the menu past that double-chin of yours.

 

**

 

Current events are so dire that when I hear reports that pieces of a Chinese space station could plummet to Earth and crash through the roof of my house this weekend, I consider it trivial entertainment news.

 

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