From The Great British Baking Show to TikTok, The Daily Beast Staff’s Favorite Pop-Culture Comfort Food
In honor of the Thanksgiving holiday, I asked my esteemed colleagues at the Daily Beast to tell me what pop culture offers they were grateful for this year. Friends from all over the Beast have weighed in – the art department, the social team, political and media journalists, and more – and, as you’ll see, with great enthusiasm, too. For them, I am grateful.
Cecily Strong, queen of everything
I feel like it was a special gift to me, especially, when Apple TV + rallied during a pandemic to shoot an entire season of a TV show that takes place almost entirely in a magical world where everyone thinks they’re in a golden age hollywood musical. How was it a show, for some reason, but to completely wow me? Schmigadoon! let Cecily Strong show off her range of talent with a splendor we have never seen before SNL… but again she had one of the best years of SNL in recent memory. Her two strongest moments – singing “My Way” as Jeanine Pirro in a bath of red wine and discussing her own abortion dressed as a clown – are of all time, which is amazing when you consider that she probably does the best job of character sketching of anyone in the cast. A genius.
The Great British Pastry FairBest season for years
Haters will inevitably accuse me of recency bias, but this season of The Great British Pastry Fair showcased such a dazzling array of baking talent that it almost made me forget how terrible Matt Lucas is on the show (seriously, producers: bring another woman here for marzipan sake). The penultimate episode of Season 11, “Patisserie Week,” featured more handshakes than we’ve ever seen – prompting Prue to crown the most beautiful challenge in the series’ history – and more suspense than a real Netflix doc (happy trails Jürgen Krauss, everyone’s favorite Disney grandfather and perhaps the most competent baker in the group).
There are currently only three bakers left: Chigs Parmar, the lookalike of Robert De Niro who has continued to grow in power and has allegedly cooked for less than a year; Giuseppe Dell’Anno, a proud “Briton” whose leaning tower was a sight to behold; and Crystallle Pereira, a queen of flavors and quite possibly the love of my life. I haven’t been this excited in a GBBS final in years. But please, more from Matt Lucas.
– Marlow Stern
Being emotionally devastated by CODA
So I spend most of my professional time watching, covering, thinking about comedy and interview actors. But I also don’t secretly like movies that make me cry. And no movie has brought tears to my eyes this year like CODA. I’ve now watched the Sundance hit twice on Apple TV + and both times the two back-to-back songs that end the movie have me completely devastated. Hoping the Oscars make way for the Top 10 nominees for Best Picture for this sweet, funny, heartbreaking gem.
– Matt Wilstein
The crown jewel of Bachelorette Seasons
Michelle Young’s season The bachelorette was a savior for my blood pressure – a warm rose-scented blanket on a cold night. Few of the singles know both what they want and how to say it, so Bachelor Nation has to be very grateful, indeed.
– Laura Bradley
Do the bare minimum with Hilary Duff
All I care about is the Hilary Duff Challenge on TikTok – you know, the one where people recreated his half-assed dance from the “With Love” era of 2007. His minimum boogey is one of the best manifestations of our willingness to do our best, sort of. still standing as the world slowly crumbles. Anyone can try out the moves with the least amount of effort (the less you put in, the better), making this the perfect family bonding activity for Thanksgiving.
The limiting and disturbing comfort of Lifetime Movie Network
Lifetime Movie Network, because it’s a) a content stronghold of horny but also violent cheerleaders and / or victims of suburban sex trafficking; b) a source of moralizing and uplifting stories that run the gamut from “this Indianapolis swingers club in a suburban hamlet will likely have you and your boring husband murdered”, to “the au pair is going to you cut the brakes 1000%, drug your partner and kidnap your baby, so don’t hire an au pair “; (c) the house that Vivica A. Fox built; d) a channel that has as its apparent guiding principles a set of skeptical racial, economic and police policies that are the polar opposite of Fox Business Network.
– Asawin Suebsaeng
The return of Taylor Swift … And the 2000s ?!
“All Too Well” (Taylor’s Version) (10 minute version) (something else in brackets) with the reissue of his album Red brought back all of my own trauma as a 19 year old boy and loved every second of it. I also had a moment of ecstasy where, for once, I felt justified in being a 30 year old “Swiftie” because of her words: “You kept me like a secret, but I did. ‘ve kept as an oath. ” Let’s go! For once, people can see beyond “Shake it Off” and “ME!” pop red herrings and thank my TS daughter for the talented songwriter that she has always been. Signed, judge me, I challenge you.
Britney Spears is free. Lindsay Lohan is playing again. Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie and Kim Kardashian were a threesome at the Paris wedding in November 2021. And Lizzo wore a dressing on jeans on Instagram. The 2000s are back, baby, and I’m here for it.
– Mandy Vélez
The Kristen Stewart Awards run we all deserve
Four Words: Kristen Stewart Awards Season. Finally, one of the most exciting and interesting performers of the past two decades is putting her moment in the spotlight. Yes she was sparkling dusk (pun intended), but not quite like that. For those of us who have seen her shine in movies like Personal buyer and Clouds of Sils Maria, it rewards the attention she receives for her beautiful and tragic turn in Spencer is long overdue. The world is finally seeing K. Stew for the incredible performer she is, and it’s high time. Plus, the plethora of awesome photo ops and in-depth profiles on K. Stew, including an epic of our own Marlow Stern, is just the icing on the cake.
– Shannon O’Connor
Jeff Labes’ perfect musical catharsis
Original and scathing folk song by Jeff Labes, “Jeff found a genie in a bottle” should be the only song on my Spotify Wrap this year because after stumbling across his TikTok a few months ago, I couldn’t get that biting but upbeat tune out of my head (or my speakers)! I even went so far as to transcribe the song (before the lyrics were uploaded to sites like Genius) so that I could sing it myself throughout the day. Jeff’s song and charming performance is the perfect sarcastic, melodic f-you that I needed during some of the most frustrating moments in the hellish landscape we are all living in today.
– Elizabeth Brockway
Weekends spent with Private detective
I am a fan of the written press. I buy newspapers in all the cities I go to. My first stop when I get to London is at the newsstand at WHSmith at Heathrow where I will gobble up The sun (I worked there between 2005 and 2009), Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times from London, Mirror, Guardian, Express, Financial Times, until my hands bleed from newspaper. My three guilty pleasures that got me through 2021 are editions of Private detective, a satirical and topical British magazine to which I have subscribed for about ten years and which is the best of old Gawker, Vanity Show and To spy magazine in one, with new York magazine and the weekend edition of Financial Time. I like Private detective as he kidnaps the mickey of bloated politicians, media fools and tough billionaires. He’ll call anyone to be more flaky than pastry.
The magazine crosses the pond about a week after it hit newsstands in London, and on weekends I take it with NY magazine with the FT to my favorite watering hole in NYC and devour them around. ‘a pint. The three publications never fail to give me moments of fun, lightness and much needed inspiration, but the newspaper after a good reading session lands on the walls of my apartment and takes hours to clean!
– Lachlan Cartwright
Cilla Black sings it Surprise Surprise Theme
In the 1980s in Britain, Cilla Black had two prime-time television hits: Blind date and Surprise Surprise. The latter presented as a climax a big reunion of long-lost relatives (in the days of the heaviest research, remember, before the Internet). Cilla rarely sang the show’s theme throughout, which makes this recording a pleasure for Cilla fans. to listen this voice and these words. Completely silly, completely sincere.
– Tim Teeman
frenzy Golden girls and Sex and the city (Again and again)
Evergreen comfort food alert! Thank god for Golden girls and Sex and the city say again. How else could another day in our current hellish landscape end with a possibility of sleep without either?
– Tim Teeman
Pleasure to watch Phyllis on The young and the restless
Phyllis (the fantastic Michelle Stafford) has at various times been a villain and a victim of the popular daytime show. But she’s often the voice, cynical, alien, and realistic, of us watching at home, so it’s a daily comfort that I often say “thank you” to as she walks along. Armed with her bucket of verbal cold water (or even ice on occasion), she is Y&RThe best character in, and was only saved from writers’ mismanagement by the fierce commitment of Stafford – and also Gina Tognoni when she helmed the role. I just wish Phyllis was allowed to repeat out loud, over and over again, that she was raped by a husband-like impostor at the behest of Newman’s patriarch, Victor Newman. That’s why she hates the Newmans. We know that as fans, and it’s ridiculous and offensive to have ex Nick, or anyone else, questioning that deep animosity. Please let Phyllis say that! It was a huge moment in the show for her, and it’s not referenced enough.
– Tim Teeman
Ridiculously handsome local TV presenters
You would think they would have been quite satirized, Presenter-style, out of existence. But no, they still offer kinky comfort and flicker every day, while simultaneously telling us horrible “if it bleeds, it leads” and our weather very early in the morning and very late at night, all with smiles. and extremely white teeth. You will have your favorites wherever you live. In New York we are spoiled with a range of Salt and Pepper Dads and cute boys including Michael Gargiulo, Maurice DuBois, Raphael Miranda, Michael Herzenberg, Dean Meminger, Adam Kuperstein, Erick Adame, Ken Rosato, Lewis Dodley, Sam Champion , David Ushery, Bill Ritter, Chris Wragge and Anthony Pascale. And really, the list could go on.
– Tim Teeman