C’mon Netflix — renew it already.
Of course, we’re all on pins and needles waiting to see if Bridgerton will get renewed for a second season from Netflix. (Although, let’s be real, it’s gonna happen — this show’s pretty damn popular.)
More importantly, what would be next for the show? Well, Bridgerton‘s showrunner and stars dropped a few hints of what might be to come.
While showrunner Chris Van Dusen told Cosmopolitan UK that they’re still “just focused on the first season,” he also pointed out that the book series Bridgerton is based on is eight books long — with the first season covering the events of the first book.
That means, potentially, there’s eight seasons’ worth of stories for Bridgerton to tell. Let that sink in.
Granted, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, even though Dusen himself has expressed interest in “[exploring love stories and romances for all the Bridgerton brothers and sisters” in potential future seasons.
In the meantime, we can start dreaming of what the next season could look like, especially since Bridgerton star Phoebe Dynevor recently offered her own take on what could happen next in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
“Obviously, if we’re sticking to the books, it’s sort of Anthony’s turn now,” she said. “But there’s no such thing as a happy ending, is there?”
“I think love’s always shifting and changing. So who knows? I’d like to see what happens next. And also, I’d like to see Daphne get involved in Anthony’s love life, since he was so involved in hers.”
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what comes next.
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David Arquette: ‘I got stabbed in the neck during a wrestling match’ | Film
Born in Virginia, David Arquette, 49, rose to fame starring in the Scream film franchise. In 2000, he became a professional wrestler. His latest movie is 12 Hour Shift, which is digitally released on 25 January. He has a daughter with Courteney Cox and two sons with his second wife, Christina McLarty. He lives in Nashville and Los Angeles.
When were you happiest?
With time and experience you figure stuff out, so I am happiest right now.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I beat myself up; I’m self-critical.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Lack of empathy.
What is your wallpaper?
Bozo the Clown.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I fluctuate in weight pretty easily.
If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
I don’t know if they ever existed, but I’d want unicorns or dragons.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Investing in creative projects. That’s what I waste the most money on.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Literally, amazing, um.
To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
My daughter, Coco, because divorce is so difficult.
What is the worst job you’ve done?
When I was young, selling maps to stars’ homes in Hollywood, somebody flashed their wiener at me. It was traumatising.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
The American wild west.
When did you last cry, and why?
This morning: I lost a couple of friends recently and it’s been tough.
How do you relax?
I watch wrestling and Bob Ross, the TV painter.
How often do you have sex?
A couple of times a week at least.
What is the closest you’ve come to death?
I got stabbed in the neck with a light tube during a wrestling “death match” two years ago. It was scary. I thought I was dying: your life does flash before your eyes.
What has been your closest brush with the law?
I used to be a graffiti writer, so I’d get picked up all the time. And once I got kicked out of my own nightclub in Aspen on New Year’s Eve and was almost arrested.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
David Bowie’s Life On Mars.
How would you like to be remembered?
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To savour it.
Tell us a secret
I’m a brown belt in karate.
Are mother-in-law jokes a thing of the past? Not at Pixar | Soul
It’s always weird when a good film suddenly lets you down – like meeting someone at a party who you think might become a proper friend, and then they turn around, bend over and fart. Like, really? I expected better of you, man.
For me this happened (almost literally) with Bridesmaids, a terrifically smart comedy about female friendship, aside from the scene in which all the women develop chronic – and public – diarrhoea. And it happened with Booksmart, which zings with subtle truths about dorky teenage girls, aside from the pointless running joke about a female teacher sleeping with a student. Dontcha love movies that celebrate women, but also gratuitously humiliate them?
Now on to Soul, the new Pixar film streaming on Disney+, and the first from the studio to feature primarily African-American characters. Third only to movies about American high schools and female friendship, I love Pixar: Toy Story, Up, The Incredibles, Inside Out – these films are the closest the modern age has to religious texts. They teach us how to live, how to feel; they reflect the best of us back to ourselves. I had especially high hopes for Soul, because people had been tweeting about how transcendent it is. So what better way to spend a lockdown Saturday than watching it with my children?
Obviously, there will be spoilers here, so look away, easily spoiled people. Soul is about a jazz musician, Joe (Jamie Foxx), who has a terrible accident just as he gets his big break. He starts to go up to “the Great Beyond” but, desperate to return to Earth, agrees to mentor a soul about to be born in the hope of sneaking back himself. Joe is assigned the notorious soul 22, whose constant negativity drove previous mentors, including Muhammad Ali and Carl Jung, to despair. Soul 22 is voiced by Tina Fey and, understandably, given she’s yet to be born, Joe asks, “Why do you sound like a middle-aged white woman?”
“I just use this voice because it annoys people,” 22 replies.
“It’s very effective,” says Joe.
Record screech! OK, this middle-aged white woman has some questions, starting with what, exactly, the directors (two men) and the writers (three men) of Soul think the little girls watching this film – who may have a middle-aged white woman for a mother, who may themselves one day be middle-aged white women – should make of the implication that this is the most annoying voice in the world? Also: does Fey actually believe that her perfectly nice voice is annoying? Mind you, a running joke on her sitcom 30 Rock was how fat and unattractive the (very slim and pretty) Fey is, so perhaps she has vocal as well as body dysmorphia. (Alternative theory: perhaps this is Fey’s atonement for all the criticism 30 Rock has received in recent years for its use of blackface.)
Soul 22 ruins everything with her whining, only finding happiness when she literally steals Joe’s life from him. Then I understood: Fey is playing Pixar’s Karen. Coined in America, “Karen” denotes a white woman who endangers minorities, such as by maliciously calling the cops on them (Amy Cooper, AKA “Central Park Karen”, who last year was charged with filing a false report on birdwatcher Chris Cooper) or erroneously accusing them of theft (Miya Ponsetto, AKA “Soho Karen”, charged last month with attacking a teenage boy in New York).
But this trope gained such momentum in 2020 that it is now commonly used to refer, simply, to middle-aged white women, just as “boomer” has long since lost its “baby boomer” associations and means “anyone older than me”. Over the summer, the alt-right blogger Paul Joseph Watson posted a video in which he called a woman a “Karen” for asking a cyclist to maintain social distancing. British school kids now laugh about whether or not someone’s mum is a Karen, meaning simply that they are boring, annoying, old. Last month, newspapers and dictionaries declared “Karen” to be the word of 2020. Any woman who complains that maybe this term has become a bit sexist is told, with impeccable witch-trial logic, that they are proving their own Karen-ness.
And this has been seen as fair enough by people who would usually abhor such stereotypes – because white women have privilege and some abuse it, like Cooper and Ponsetto. But, by and very large, the people who perpetuate racial violence and injustice are white men. Of course it feels safer to make fun of women; but this generalised sneering is just an updated version of the old mother-in-law jokes, with added self-righteousness.
The endpoint of this is a running joke like the one in Soul, in which children are taught that middle-aged women are the worst. Even their souls are bad! A few decades ago, movies like Fried Green Tomatoes and Steel Magnolias dismantled these obnoxious jibes, revelling in older women who fought back against ageism and sexism. Now Pixar, of all studios, endorses them. Sometimes progress in one direction feels a lot like going into reverse in another.
Streaming: the best movie portrayals of US presidents | Film
At long last, Donald Trump is out of the White House. His story, one suspects, is far from over: any screenwriters hovering eagerly to write the quintessential film about America’s 45th president would be best advised to keep their powder dry. But write they eventually will – the presidential biopic practically being the due of most men who have held the position, however eventfully or otherwise. Few stick around for long in the popular imagination: when last did you have the urge to watch Merchant Ivory’s dreary Jefferson in Paris (1995; not even streamable) or Ron Howard’s righteously bland Frost/Nixon (2008; iTunes)?
Cinema has certainly done a lot for Richard Nixon, who got one of the funniest of all Hollywood political satires in Andrew Fleming’s smart, fleet Dick (1999; Google Play), as well as the greatest of all “straight” presidential biopics in Oliver Stone’s wild, wavy Nixon (1995; Chili). A brashly ambitious, messy sprawl about a brashly ambitious, messy man, it takes great liberties of psychological interpretation to humanise Tricky Dick while still holding him rigidly to account. Stone couldn’t quite summon up the same dark majesty for George W Bush in 2008’s cartoonishly absorbing but strangely lightweight W. (YouTube), a strike-while-the-iron’s-hot effort that gave itself no distance from Dubya’s reign to really consider his legacy – though it’s already a fascinating time capsule.
The Obama presidency hasn’t been so speedily brought to screen, but we’ve already had two portraits of the leader as a young man. Obama can certainly claim to be the only president ever portrayed as a romcom hero – in Southside With You (2016; iTunes), a mellow, affable if somewhat inexplicable speculative portrayal of his and Michelle’s first date. From the same year, Netflix’s sturdy, earnest Barry, meanwhile, took a little more interest in his formative political education as a student at Columbia.
As for Bill Clinton, perhaps nobody thinks they can do better than Mike Nichols’s briskly amusing, thinly disguised takeoff Primary Colors (1998; BBC iPlayer), which was released mere months after the Lewinsky scandal broke and is now ageing rather well as a window into that mid-90s era of slippery liberalism.
Other 20th-century presidents haven’t fared as memorably on screen. Tom Wilkinson’s Lyndon B Johnson is rightly a secondary figure in Ava DuVernay’s rousing Martin Luther King study Selma (2014; Netflix), though at least he has a first-rate film surrounding him. Which is more than can be said for Bill Murray’s Franklin D Roosevelt in the bizarre throwaway romp Hyde Park on Hudson (2012; Chili) – FDR fared better in 1960’s stately, well-acted and hard-to-access Sunrise at Campobello – or the parade of stars-in-their-eyes presidential impressions (Robin Williams as Eisenhower! Alan Rickman as Reagan!) in Lee Daniels’s The Butler (2013; Amazon), which is ropy as drama but high on camp value. Even John F Kennedy, history’s most glamorous president, has yet to be nailed by Hollywood: instead we have Pablo Larraín’s eerily magnificent Jackie (2017; Amazon), a White House tour haunted by his absence.
For now, no one seems likely to top Abraham Lincoln as cinema’s most generously depicted president, for sheer variety of approaches alone. As a straightforward biopic, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln (2012; Microsoft) is as meticulous and dignified as it gets, graced as it is by Daniel Day-Lewis’s artistry. Yet I prefer the less expected vision of AJ Edwards’s The Better Angels (2012; Amazon), an impressionistic boyhood portrait with a heavy but worthy debt to Terrence Malick, or, from 1939, John Ford’s surprisingly pacy Young Mr Lincoln (Amazon again), which fashions the future president’s early legal career as a straight-up courtroom drama.
A film of George Saunders’s 2017 Booker-winning Lincoln in the Bardo is doubtless forthcoming, but in the meantime, it’s been unusually adapted as a rather beautiful VR video, commissioned by the New York Times and available on YouTube. All that, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Rakuten) to boot? Donald Trump should be so lucky.
Also new on streaming and DVD
Bill and Ted Face the Music
(Warner Bros, 15)
The 1980s nostalgia machine continues apace, cranking out this amiable but oddly low-energy new instalment of adventures for Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter’s time-travelling dimwit dudes. The stars are obliging, but 30 years on, their goofy connection feels just a tiny bit forced. Fans, however, will feel duly serviced.
The Australian outback western has evolved over the decades into a rich independent genre in its own right, and it gets another fine entry in Roderick MacKay’s robust debut feature. Portraying the unlikely partnership between an Afghan camel driver and a white gold thief in the wild days of the late 19th century, it’s a satisfying fusion of revisionist politics and old-school adventure.
Two lonely pensioners meet while walking their dogs on Hampstead Heath and after bristly beginnings a tentative romance blossoms. Paul Morrison’s exceedingly mild film counts heavily on the down-to-earth warmth of stars Alison Steadman and Dave Johns to take it up a level: they only get so far, but many viewers will ramble happily along with it.
The Masque of the Red Death
Given a sleek 4K restoration by Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation, Roger Corman’s 1964 Edgar Allan Poe adaptation gets a welcome Blu-ray rerelease. Always a high point of the B-movie maestro’s career, it’s never looked a more ravishing exercise in grand guignol: the revived colours of Nicolas Roeg’s cinematography all but melt the screen.
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