A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.
It’s that time again: Welcome to awards season!
Like clockwork, the beginning of the year heralds not only a clean slate, but also plenty of opportunities for Hollywood to applaud itself.
That leads me to this week’s Tinseltown celebration.
Don’t judge me, but I am old enough to remember having attended an awards show viewing party.
Granted, I was wearing pajamas and carrying my favorite blanket at the time, but it happened.
Before the rise of social media, awards shows used to be a huge deal — a source of glamor and prestige, even for those of us in our sleepwear.
You may see where I am going with this.
Shows like this week’s Golden Globes, the Grammys or the Oscars used to shine so much brighter before we were all so connected by Twitter or TikTok. Now we can not only enjoy daily glimpses into the lives of the celebrities we see on the red carpet, but we can also feel famous in the moment ourselves, basking in the attention from our followers.
Now, the Golden Globes has also suffered some tarnish due to controversy in recent years — over a lack of diversity at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which is behind the show, and ethical questions related to some of its members brought to light by a Los Angeles Times investigation.
While last year’s live broadcast was dropped by NBC, the show returned to the network Tuesday night, though there was plenty of chatter that its star power had significantly dimmed.
So do we still need these types of extravagant events? Declining ratings for so many of them would suggest perhaps not. But I, for one, believe the argument about relevance in and of itself points to their continued relevance.
If that was too meta for you, feel free to focus instead on the sartorial spectacle.
Mark me down as someone who does not believe RuPaul Charles gets nearly as much credit as he deserves for the media empire he’s built.
He’s played a major role in advancing the LGBTQ+ community’s visibility in mainstream media, across fashion, music — remember his 1993 hit “Supermodel (You Better Work),” which had us all wanting to twirl? — movies and shows like “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and its many spinoffs. (He landed a seventh consecutive Emmy win last year for outstanding host for a reality or competition program on the show.)
And he now is hosting a game show which is so of the moment.
We can probably thank the success of Wordle for a new CBS reboot of “Lingo,” which Charles has in charge.
Teams compete to guess words based on their letters and can win MAJOR jackpots. (Granted, they’d need to guess the word “major” with likely just the “M,” “A” and the “J” in place.)
If you have ever watched Charles host, you know how well-suited his energy is for this type of series, which debuted this week on CBS and Paramount+.
You better work, RuPaul!
‘Death in the Dorms’
Whenever someone says, “I love that you include so much true crime content in the newsletter,” I know they are part of my tribe.
Enter “Death in Dorms,” a fascinating docuseries about true crimes that have occurred on college campuses. The cases are chilling and the storytelling is well done.
As I’ve said before, many of us are voyeurs when it comes to the genre for multiple reasons, including the desire to play armchair detective. Couple that with the current fascination over the tragic murders of four University of Idaho students currently playing out in the national media (and, again, all over social media) and there’s lots of interest in this new series.
“Death in the Dorms” is streaming now on Hulu.
‘BMF’ Season 2
“BMF” has been such a big success for Starz.
The show — which has also spawned a documentary series — is based on the times and crimes of the Detroit-based Black Mafia Family crime syndicate, started by brothers Demetrius “Meech” Flenory and Terry “Southwest T” Flenory in the 1980s. And adding an extra layer to the on-screen drama is that Demetrius Flenory’s real-life son plays him on the show.
Its second season is airing now on Starz.
Yes, so much has been made over the sexuality of this cartoon character, but honestly can we just give Velma Dinkley her roses, period.
The turtleneck-clad brainiac is the backbone of the “Scooby-Doo” crew in so many ways. One of the cartoon genre’s first female STEM heroes, she has finally gotten the starring vehicle she deserves with a new, eponymous series on HBO Max (which is owned by CNN’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery). Mindy Kaling will voice the character, alongside Sam Richardson as Shaggy and Constance Wu as Daphne, among others.
The show’s humor is definitely more for adults than kids, and promises a story exploring Velma’s “complex and colorful past.”
It’s streaming now.