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Lori Loughlin’s ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Comeback Is So Twisted

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Max
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Max

This week:

  • Why Kate Middleton’s Photoshop disaster is so funny.

  • Why aren’t we talking more about this TV episode?

  • One of the most fascinating TV episodes I’ve seen.

  • A message to all you “I’m Just Ken” lovers.

  • It’s called fashion, sweetie.

I Can’t Believe This Happened

There are simply not enough people talking about Lori Loughlin on the most recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Once in a while I’m reminded of just how much news there is—and how quickly we move on from the things that briefly seem like the biggest stories in the world. That Loughlin appeared as herself in Curb, with the storyline she was given, isn’t headline-making news is one of those cases.

Do you remember how big a deal it was when the college admissions scandal broke? Wildly rich people paid more money than I’ll make in my lifetime writing this silly lil’ newsletter to fake college applications, fraud test scores, and bribe admissions officials so that they’re twerpy rich-kid children could get into good colleges (only to drop out and become influencers)? It was the biggest news story when it broke, kind of for the same reason the Kate Middleton Photoshop brouhaha is so wild: The hubris and delusion that brainwashes you when you become rich and/or famous is astounding. Y’all really thought you’d get away with it???

Part of what made the scandal really capture our gobsmacked attention was that there were legitimate celebrities involved, and those celebrities were actually arrested and served jail time. Among them was Loughlin, who was affectionately known as Full House’s Aunt Becky and is now unaffectionately known as someone who would probably be the villain on the Snowpiercer train.

A scene featuring Lori Loughlin on 'Curb Your Enthusiasm'
HBO

Back to Curb: Sunday night’s episode had a subplot in which Larry David was roped into the effort to un-cancel Loughlin as she endeavors to re-enter the L.A. social scene and get back into acting. The baggage from her scandal is a part of the plot. The fictional (I hope) Curb flourish is that, scandal aside, she’s an unapologetically horrible person who takes advantage of her Rich White Lady privilege constantly, assuming she’ll never get caught. She cheats at golf, bribes service workers, and lies about being handicapped in order to get preferred parking. And despite all that, she gets welcomed back to Hollywood with open arms.

The storyline is brutally reflective of how we operate as a society when it comes to how we forgive and forget—which is to say, conveniently forget as long as you’re paying us off somehow.

The most damning part of that truth is that Loughlin participated in a storyline about that very thing, and we’re barely reacting to it. It’s a funny episode of Curb, but it’s not, based on the news response, any sort of scandal that Loughlin’s role and this arc happened. Just another Sunday night on HBO. It’s truly wild to me.

Changing the Game

I had an opportunity in this last year that I will never stop thinking about or being grateful for. I got to go to Tanzania to spend a week with National Geographic filmmakers as they guided me around the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater showing me the locations and wildlife they filmed for the groundbreaking new series Queens.

It is the first wildlife series from any network made by an almost entirely female-led team, and also the first time a show focuses on the matriarchs of the species it’s documenting. It’s truly wild for that to be the case in 2024, but it’s true. It’s also, because of this fresh perspective, one of the most engaging, surprising, and riveting series of its kind that I’ve watched.

Please read all about that experience here. But I also wanted to highlight one other special part of the series. Its final installment is a “making of” episode directed by Faith Musembi. We all know what “making of” features are. The filmmakers brag about how taxing the shoot was, boringly narrate the technicalities behind a big shot or scene, and show off the fancy new camera equipment they got to use. They’re not, let’s say, enriching to watch. (They are, let’s say, masturbatory.)

Episode 7 of Queens however, is an emotional documentary in its own right, fitting right alongside the other episodes of the series. We learn about the lives of the women who were, most for the first time and only because of Queens’ mission, given the opportunity to work in the field with the animals filming this show. The thrill and the struggle is immediately palpable, as is the tenacity required to pull off a series like this. But in depicting the connections that these women make with each other—and, in several scenes that might actually make you weep, with the wildlife they’re following—the episode illuminates the power of a project like Queens in another, visceral way.

The whole series is about disrupting the norm we’re conditioned to by decades of white, male, Western filmmakers who held the power. That final episode is the gorgeous coda.

I’m Just Obsessed

I’m a dweeb who is obsessed with the Oscars the way that normal people obsess over sports or comic books or anything that doesn’t involve Meryl Streep. So I feel comfortable saying that Ryan Gosling’s “I’m Just Ken” performance is one of the greatest Oscar moments ever.

It’s not just that he nailed it. It’s the fact that a movie like Barbie could defy expectations in such a profound way and shift our entire culture’s attitude toward cinema and the simple act of going to the movie theater, and then, at Movie’s Biggest Night, celebrate that achievement so perfectly. It’s not often we get a TV moment that meets the cultural moment!

All that aside, I find the people who were blown away by Gosling’s performance because they’ve never seen something like it before to be quite amusing. May I show you to this tweet:

Werk!

It’s time for another installment of “the man who only wears clothes from the J. Crew factory outlet and has no taste (but is gay!) gives his award show fashion take.”

Each time I look at Carey Mulligan in this dress I gasp at how perfect every single thing is, from the fit to the styling to the “this is the Oscars, dammit!” drama of it all.

Image of Carey Mulligan on the Red Carpet at the 2024 Oscars ceremony.

Carey Mulligan attends the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California.

Jeff Kravitz/Getty

But it’s Melissa McCarthy’s cannoli purse that I’ll be telling my children about.

What to watch this week:

Girls5eva: It’s the new 30 Rock. High-fiving a million angels. (Now on Netflix)

The Girls on the Bus: The CW-ification of Hillary Clinton politics is more endearing than it sounds. (Now on Max)

9-1-1: This show is out of its mind, and I couldn’t love it more for that. (Thurs. on ABC)

What to skip this week:

Irish Wish: Lindsay Lohan, this ain’t your pot of gold. (Now on Netflix)

Manhunt: How do you make killing a president seem like a slog? (Now on Apple TV+)

Love Lies Bleeding: A sexy, fascinating, thrillingly adventurous hot mess. (Now in theaters)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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