I, Tanya

Father, son, and House of Coolidge.

(Mild spoiler alert for the most recent episode of HBO’s The White Lotus ahead)

There’s a scene in the penultimate episode of The White Lotus where Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) is making out with a man in her bedroom — the daddy staying in the room next to her at the titular Hawaiian resort. She’s been obsessed with him ever since first flirtation, and now, in an effort to avoid a seemingly inevitable ghosting, she stops kissing him and tells him to leave, before spiraling into breathless sobs and screams, monologuing her deepest insecurities and traumas in an effort to show him her anthropomorphized onion’s core. She gasps for air, crying one of those extremely intense cries that’s almost silent, like when a kid actually hurts themselves and you know the caterwauling will begin imminently. Coolidge demands the man (named Greg and played by Jon Gries, who, as a good friend (brag) recently pointed out, also played Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite) leave her room immediately. He absorbs Tanya’s meltdown before refusing, placidly stating: “I still wanna fuck you.”

It’s one of the most moving scenes of television I’ve ever seen in my life. Who hasn’t tried to protect themselves from rejection by getting wildly drunk and screaming to their crush through body-wracking sobs about how they’re too mentally ill to be fuckable? But then, for Greg to still want to plow Tanya after witnessing her psychosis… it’s a huge victory for all us girls out there who have moments (or several) where we feel undesirable, incompatible, too full of hemorrhoids to be worthy of a hot guy’s affections (or something like that)... It’s a life-changer, for we the Tanyas of the world to have our Emmy moment (and trust, Grand Dame Coolidge MUST be showered with long-overdue accolades for her insurmountable performance here) and for the Gregs of the world to be immortalized for their heroic work: still being horny for us women who have given them every chance not to be. It’s important for men in the real world to see that. To know still fucking is an option. Representation really does change lives.

The White Lotus is an absolutely incredible show—in addition to Coolidge’s (latest) star turn, there’s rimjobs, gays taking drugs, hot straights pounding each other by candlelight, marriage issues, porn addictions… all the things we at the Babbling On team value most in our entertainment. And in typical Mike White fashion (the show’s creator), every character feels incredibly layered, human, pained (read: relatable). 

There’s a great LA Times piece by Meredith Blake (Parent Trap supremacy) about White’s journey to creating the show—how HBO needed something that could be filmed quickly, all in one location, to work around COVID-related programming setbacks. Go read Blake’s reporting—it’s truly fascinating. The whole cast and crew actually stayed at the Four Seasons in Hawaii for the duration of filming! I wonder who hooked up… Anyway!

Enamored by White’s work (other projects of his include the HBO dramedy Enlightened and, perhaps most famously, writing and appearing in School of Rock (2003)) I decided to check out his 2007 film Year of the Dog, which turned out to be extremely depressing, and not in a particularly fun way (to be fair, I had already sunk into a vegetative depression before pressing play), despite a stellar cast that includes Molly Shannon, Regina King, and Laura Dern. I will say that there’s some really quirky performances in there, and there’s a scene where Shannon, whose character is obsessed with animals, talks about how the humans in her life always disappoint her that moved me to tears. There’s also some great publicity for Babe (1995), which is what the ‘B’ stands for in LGBT according to GLAAD. 

I looked up his films afterward and realized that I had meant to watch Chuck & Buck (2000), which I’ve heard great things about and looks pretty gay. I made a plan to watch it the following evening, but then could absolutely not sleep so pressed play on it around 3 AM. I finished it the following evening after biking over the Williamsburg bridge through a thunderstorm and blasting the new Billie Eilish, which, may I suggest, is the perfect thing to do if you want an excuse to feel miserable and gorgeous. 

Chuck & Buck is one of the weirdest movies I’ve ever seen. I’m obsessed with it, which is interesting phrasing since it’s about a guy clearly suffering from some obsessive compulsive tendencies, who reconnects with a childhood friend (whom he’s in love with) after the death of his mother and proceeds (mild spoilers) to follow him across the country, stalk him, blackmail him, etc. I felt so seen! Representation really does save lives! Also, a very young Maya Rudolph has a small supporting role and looks really chic—that’s more than most films will ever be able to say.

Halfway through writing this newsletter, the news broke that The White Lotus would be renewed for a second season, with an all new cast in an all new Lotus resort destination. For what it’s worth, here’s who I think should be part of the new cast:

Obviously, I would like to play a spoiled twinkette on a vacation her daddy (the kind that eats you out) has paid for. The daddy can be played by Daniel Craig, I guess?

True fans will know I’ve already gone on the record to say Lindsay Lohan should make her big acting comeback via a Mike White vehicle. 

Someone on Twitter mentioned Joan Cusack is a must, as a former School of Rock cast member—she’d be great as the hotel manager, no?

Following the trend of former White collaborators, let’s get Laura Dern, Regina King, Maya Rudolph, and Sarah Silverman in as four college besties reuniting in, shall we say, the French Mediterranean?

And obviously we need some horny fluid gays for my twinkette to be ogled by: let’s get Tom Hardy and Channing Tatum in as two biological bisexual brothers who will end up making out as they take turns f*cking me… Let’s get Lil Nas X in as himself, with an entourage of CockyBoys in tow? I’m losing track of the conversation now…

The White Lotus finale is this Sunday. There’s still time to catch up if you haven’t already. If you don’t plan to…? Go fuck yourself!

Trying To Enjoy Something? Good Luck, Chuck

On Tuesdays, AMC does this thing where if you sign up for their free membership program you can see movies for $5 (with fees and the inevitable burden of life, it’s actually like $8.34). Still, cheaper than $19.52 or whatever the FUCK theaters are trying to charge nowadays. So, I went to see The Green Knight at the AMC on East 19th. 

I smoked a joint outside beforehand, glaring at anyone who walked past me, interrupting my performative wistfulness. Entering the theater, I clocked that there were about 3 other patrons here for this 4:30 PM screening of David Lowery’s latest. Fool that I am, I felt compelled to sit in my assigned seat, which happened to be right in front of two of the three fellow moviegoers—a duo of youths who were giggling and talking during the Progressive commercials (I arrived that early.)

The seats were recliners, but not the kind where you can really lay back and open your chakras to pure bliss—in fact, they barely reclined at all, and the cushion felt like it was forcing my head to look downward, something I do enough scrolling on my phone all damn day. I assumed about fifteen different seating positions—legs on the chair next to me, head on the armrest, hair in a side ponytail to minimize bounce-back—before ultimately giving up on being comfortable. 

The trailers played and the girls behind me continued talking. I kept looking over my shoulder at them meaningfully, but not saying anything due to cowardice. They didn’t take the hint. About a third of the way through the movie, I gathered my fanny pack and abruptly stood, moving to the other side of the theater to escape those chatty fucks. I sat, and found the bright red light of the ‘EXIT’ sign to now be the source of my all-consuming pain. I crossed my legs in front of me and slouched low enough that my knees could block the light pollution if I held them just so. 

I tried to focus on the film—it was beautifully shot, and Dev Patel was really hot, but I kept wondering if I should go pee just to have something to do. Ultimately I did not go pee, and I’m glad I didn’t, because I would have missed Dev holding his milky cum in a tightly clenched hand. He also gets kissed by a man, which I didn’t understand but also didn’t object to. So that’s something. 

Alaska Thunder and Lightning-fuck

On Wednesday night I saw the greatest drag queen of all time, Alaska Thunderfuck, do a tribute show to Gaga’s Joanne, which turned out to be sung completely live and full of just as many songs off of Chromatica as off the album about Stefani’s dead aunt. The show happened in the middle of a literal thunderstorm and ended up being one of the most incredible, transcendent things I’ve ever seen in my life. It was like being front row at the Chromatica Ball and Joanne World Tour at the same time. 

I also need to acknowledge that a Chromatica remix album appears to be imminent and life-changing. My need to snort poppers on a sticky dance floor to that while having a drink spilled upon me could not be more urgent. 

Christianity is Back

The final and most important thing I would like to talk about is the release of the House of Gucci trailer. It does, in this writer’s humble opinion, look to be the best film ever made. Gaga will be winning Best Actress, which is the moment my body will spontaneously combust and my spirit will ascend to a better place, where the twunks and martinis flow in equal measure (I’m celibate again). If Jar*d L*to were not in it, me do think it would be a perfect film. Though since he’s completely unrecognizable thanks to prosthetics, maybe it still can be. 

It comes out three days after my birthday. I will be gathering my faves for a mushroom-fueled viewing that, if I get a job by then and can afford to blow all my remaining dollars, will be part of an all-day party bus adventure around this godforsaken city. 

Enjoy your evenings, sycophants, and have a nice life!

(I’m including more pictures from my vacation because it cost $80 to have this film developed and I’m milking it for all it’s worth. Got a problem? Call 1-800-588-2300, Empireee! Today.)