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The Friday High Five
On Killing Demons, Devouring Basketball Diaries, and Melting Ice Queens
Every Friday I share 5 things that brought me joy this week. Also, high fives are inherently cool, and I think we can all agree Friday is the bestest day. Hence the Friday High Five. 🙏🏻
This has been a long time coming, but today I finally ripped off the Band-Aid and dispensed with the ‘high five’ header photo.1 I wasn’t joking last week when I said finding an image from film or TV depicting an in-progress high five was the single worst part of doing this newsletter. Mourn the loss if you must, but this is a big quality of life improvement for me, right up there with wireless videogame controllers and electric toothbrushes that do the hard work. This week, and in the future, I’ll just use a photo from something I dug this week, which doubles as a nice preview of the content herein.
It’s finally summer here in Michigan. Summer always seems so endless in June, but the days have a way of quickly disappearing. So we’re going to carpe the sunny diem.2 We’re renting a waterfront Airbnb starting next weekend to soak up the sun and get our vacation on. Kayaking, mini golf, ice cream, plus ample time for reading and maybe even some writing. I’ve found that the best vacations tend to be the ones less about going places and doing things—Disney World is fun and all, but it’s so exhausting—and more about chilling. So that’s the plan.
Have a great weekend! High five!
5 Things I Enjoyed This Week:
He Got Game
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
Several of my buddies are big time into the Diablo series. I’m more casual in my affection—I’ve never even finished the third game despite owning it for years. When it came down to it, there was always something else I’d rather play. My princess was forever in another castle.
I had no plans on picking up Diablo IV, which dropped earlier this month. All it took was someone dropping a picture of their character in a group text. That was it. I went from Randy Jackson to Fry from Futurama in about 2.3 nanoseconds.3
And now all I wanna do is play. Which is a problem when you have responsibilities.
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A movie about basketball shoes. Not about basketball. About shoes. More specifically, about the middle-aged people who work for a shoe company. It’s a hard sell, but I’d been intrigued by this movie since I saw the trailer.
Air is not the greatest docu-drama, but it is entertaining, and the nostalgia is off the chain. If you were cognizant at all in the 80s, you will love it.
No spoilers but there’s a brief scene where my fav Jason Bateman takes a dump in the men’s room while having a conversation with Matt Damon. It’s the funniest thing, in part because of how real it is. I’ve worked with people like that. For me, there’s a boundary when you step into a work bathroom. Like the bathroom exists in a pocket dimension, a time and space separate from our own, and to bring outside things into that place risks upsetting the natural order. And when someone blatantly prattles on about project statuses or whatever while you are doing your most personal of businesses, it always feels wrong. Or at least uncomfortable. But maybe I just have a problem with public restrooms, I don’t know.
Anyway, Jason Bateman yelling at Matt Damon while squeezing out a deuce is something I’ve never seen in a movie before. Bravo.
He Got Game
Sticking with the basketball theme! I am a sucker for basketball movies. Blame it on a lifetime infatuation with the sport, or the fact that I played, or that I fool myself into thinking I can still play. Hoop Dreams. Above the Rim. White Men Can’t Jump. Etc. If there’s basketball and rap, I’m there.
This week I watched the 1998 film He Got Game, split across several days while working out. It’s probably been 1998 since I’d seen the movie. I’d forgotten just how mesmerizing Denzel Washington is. Denzel is always great, but in some films he dials it up and taps into something special. He’s putting on a clinic in this movie.
If you do watch it, turn it off before the super hokey ending. Trust me, it’s so bad.4
Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story
My wife and I love Bridgerton, but I wasn’t super enthused when I heard they made a spin-off based on the Queen. I am often prone to hyperbole but I mean what I’m about to say: the Queen is the least interesting character on Bridgerton. She’s a one-note ice queen one turn away from full-on villainy.
Nonetheless, this prequel spin-off about her marriage to the king and the beginning of their relationship is great. It’s so well done that I always felt irritated when the show jumped forward in time, back to when Charlotte was the Ice Queen. I liked Charlotte, I despised the Queen. Those feelings mostly remain intact, though the ending may have changed that. It’s pretty damn perfect.
Just a quick plug to mention I am slaving away at the next part of the series. I don’t know if it’s good or not, but it amuses me. Coming soon!
What are you into at the moment? Leave a comment and let me know!
If you enjoyed this, please like it and share it with someone. It’s the best way to show your appreciation and it would mean a lot to me. :)
Band-Aid anecdote: I am very firmly in the ‘rip it off’ camp. It’s over before you realize it hurts. Meanwhile, my wife will slowly nurse hers off under hot water in the shower. I’m not implying I’m tougher than she is—I’m definitely not—or that my way is better—it is—just that I suspect you can neatly divide people into one of two camps based on how they remove their Band-Aids.
Not to be confused with Sunny D, the orange-colored juice that is in no way real orange juice. My daily breakfast when I was a teenager consisted of a glass of SunnyD and a couple of frosted cherry Pop-Tarts. It’s a minor miracle that I’m not diabetic.
Explaining a joke usually ruins it, but in the interest of science, how quickly I decided to buy Diablo IV:
He Got Game spoilers: the film ends with Jake Shuttlesworth shooting ball in prison. He tosses the ball over the prison wall and then the same ball magically appears in a closed arena miles away where his son is shooting hoops. It’s tonally out of whack with the rest of the film and also just plain dumb.