T Lo’s Weekend Pop Culture Reading List

Posted on June 15, 2018

Kittens, as we dash out for some sunshine and recreation, we leave you with this humble list of reading material, the reading of which will instantly make you much more fascinating and popular. We swear! Also, it’s just a fun bunch of links and articles that caught our eye, piqued our interest and/or tickled our fancy. Enjoy!


To mark Grease’s 40th anniversary, The Hollywood Reporter is looking back at the stars who made beauty school dropouts and summer flings iconic and who sang the songs that have been iconic to generations of high school students.

The Cast of ‘Grease,’ Then and Now by Lou Vanhecker at The Hollywood Reporter



Clueless, The Musical will debut in November. The production is based on the 1995 Paramount film written and directed by Amy Heckerling, who also penned the stage version. A riff on Jane Austen’s Emma set in modern-day Beverly Hiills, the show tells the story of Cher Horowitz (immortalized onscreen by Alicia Silverstone) and her overly optimistic attempts at playing Cupid for her friends.

‘Clueless, the Musical’ Set for Off-Broadway Premiere by Evan Real at The Hollywood Reporter



Haddish’s personal and professional motto, “She Ready,” is the name of her production company, and is emblazoned on a lot of her clothing and multiple pairs of shoes (including black Converse high-tops and a pair of Gucci slippers). As for its origins: “It started with me and my cousins when we were younger,” she says. “We used to go out to the club, and you’d get ready and come outside the house, and if you look good, we’d be like, ‘She reeaaady.’ And if you come outside the house and you don’t look good, we’d be like, ‘She not ready.’ I just started saying it all the time. It’s really empowering, too. And I know it’s improper English but the energy of it, it just makes you feel good.”

Tiffany Haddish: Dating Colbert, Nixing Nudity and 12 More Things Left Out of THR’s Cover Story by Lacey Rose at The Hollywood Reporter



There are Atlanteans riding great white sharks, giant octopi, seven different underwater kingdoms, trench-dwelling cannibals, and even sea dragons (Wan’s fearsome take on the oft-mocked image of Aquaman riding a seahorse in the Super Friends cartoons).

EW’s Aquaman cover has a sopping wet Jason Momoa by James Hibberd at EW



On the morning of the Tonys, a team began at 6 a.m. to construct what eventually formed the striking backdrop for the red carpet. Each flower was painstakingly inserted in a small tube filled with water. “Imagine what would happen if you didn’t do that,” Stacy Jones, who handles PR for Passion Roses, told me. “They would all be dead by the time of the ceremony.” Then they were assembled in a display that extended 197 feet and stood 9 feet tall, a vertical carpet of pink tones. This year, the arrangement will require 40,000 flowers; in past years, the designs have required up to as many as 200,000 stems. Jones estimated that the cost of the donation this year—and the company has contributed for the past several years—was $120,000. After tonight, the arrangement will be dismantled and the flowers distributed throughout the city, to hospitals and other such places.

How 40,000 Roses Find Their Way Onto the Tonys Red Carpet by Chloe Schama at Vogue



Bowing to pressure from women who argued that the dress restrictions were not only unfair, but could also hinder their ability to play comfortably, other major orchestras have moved in recent years to let women wear pants if they choose. But gender equality is not the only consideration at the Philharmonic. At a moment when all orchestras are struggling to attract new audiences, some in classical music worry that old-fashioned formal wear can be off-putting to newcomers. So the Philharmonic is also re-examining its rule requiring men to wear white ties and tails, to see if it still makes sense now that the top-hat era has passed.

Women of the Philharmonic Can Play It All. Just Not in Pants. by Michael Cooper at The New York Times



The newly minted Duchess of Sussex and the grandmother of her husband, Prince Harry, made the trek 165 miles outside of London to Cheshire to unveil a new bridge. From the moment they stepped off their extremely fancy and official train — a nine-car luxury coach used by the royal family since the days of Queen Victoria, complete with “saloons,” dining rooms, private bathrooms, and the works — Meg and Liz (can we call them that?) looked like a duo from a buddy comedy.

Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth Are Having the Best Time on Their Road Trip by Lisa Ryan at The Cut


Smith had adapted quickly to the life of a media mogul. In 2014, the staff of Vice’s HBO show was sitting around the pool during an off-site retreat in the Hudson Valley, when a helicopter suddenly appeared over the trees and landed on the lawn. The door opened, and out stepped Smith. In 2015, Bloomberg reported that Smith spent $300,000 on a single dinner at the Bellagio, a figure Smith later disputed: “It wasn’t a $300,000 dinner. It was $380, plus tip.” That summer, he bought a $23 million home in Santa Monica that had been used in filming Entourage, which gave editorial employees at Vice all the inspiration they needed to move forward with a unionization push.

A Company Built on a Bluff by Reeves Wiedeman at New York Magazine


Tommy Nutter lived a life that was, to put it mildly, filled with operatic plot twists. Though most people knew him as the “Tailor to the Stars” — the bon vivant Savile Row designer who dressed everyone from the Beatles and Elton John to Diana Ross and Twiggy — his private life was where the most interesting things happened. From underground London clubs in the 1960s, before it was even legal to be gay, to the infamous bathhouses — and trucks — of hedonistic Manhattan at the height of the sexual ’70s, Nutter was there, both witness and participant. His own biography is also, in miniature, the biography of gay life over the second half of the 20th century — flagrantly joyful, traumatically brutal.

Requiem For a Fashion Rebel: Tommy Nutter Embodied the Agony and Ecstasy of 20th-Century Gay Life by Lance Richardson at Out magazine



The gender-swapped comedy satisfies a couple of-the-moment entertainment industry imperatives: It allows Hollywood to reanimate lucrative old properties (“Ocean’s Eleven” was, of course, itself a remake), while recasting them with diverse casts and woke politics. That’s resulted in a boom in comedic parts for women, but they come with baggage. These reboots require women to relive men’s stories instead of fashioning their own. And they’re subtly expected to fix these old films, to neutralize their sexism and infuse them with feminism, to rebuild them into good movies with good politics, too. They have to do everything the men did, except backwards and with ideals.

The Trouble With Hollywood’s Gender Flips by Amanda Hess at the New York Times


Likely, Rihanna’s apparent anime style lineage has something to do with our cultural moment too. Fitzgerald, who with his husband Lorenzo Marquez has been blogging and dissecting red carpet and street style for over a decade, additionally credits the ascension of Rihanna-anime comparisons to a larger awareness, appreciation, and vocabulary for black fashion: “This is the year where black celebrities were able to get their Afrofuturism on, their sci-fi/fantasy on, in a really big way with Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time. Culturally, we’re seeing the way black celebrities dress in a broader term. It’s easier now in 2018 to see someone like Rihanna and see anime influences. Ten years ago, no one would’ve made that observation about a celebrity of color.”

Rihanna Is the Ultimate Anime Style Icon—Or Is She? by Lilian Min at Garage


Pulse, especially in the days immediately following the massacre, punctuated this disparity in experience. Well-meaning straight people, eager to make room for themselves in a grief that felt specific to queer people, sought to universalize the tragedy, as Longhurst and Hartley-Brewer had. There was much talk of “coming together” and “solidarity.” But that night, looking at the faces of the Latinx queer people who comprised the majority of the dead, people who looked like my friends and my community, I cried, feeling acutely alone.

It’s Two Years After Pulse and Too Little Has Changed by John Paul Brammer at Them


Mysterious though it may seem, Netflix operates by a simple logic, long understood by such tech behemoths as Facebook and Amazon: Growth begets more growth begets more growth. When Netflix adds more content, it lures new subscribers and gets existing ones to watch more hours of Netflix. As they spend more time watching, the company can collect more data on their viewing habits, allowing it to refine its bets about future programming. “More shows, more watching; more watching, more subs; more subs, more revenue; more revenue, more content,” explains Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer. So far, it’s worked spectacularly well: Netflix has gone from around 33 million global subscribers before House of Cards premiered to over 125 million today.

Inside the Binge Factory by Josef Adalian at Vulture



Winfrey said she would love to be Harry and Meghan’s first interview as a married couple, and said that the wedding itself felt “transformative.” She continued, “It was more than a wedding, I thought. It was a cultural moment. And you could not be there or watching on television . . . and not feel that there was a shift that just happened in the middle of it.” She went on, “I think it’s bigger than them and I think it bodes well for hope for all of us.”

Why Oprah Winfrey Gave Meghan Markle’s Mom a Basket of Kumquats by Josh Duboff




[Photo Credit: EW]

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