The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.
ITEM NUMBER ONE – Look at this freakin’ guy
The trailer for the third season of The Mandalorian dropped earlier this week, which was nice. It’s been a while since that show was on. It’s a good one, and a blast to watch, which I say even as someone who has not, in the past, been a huge Star Wars guy. I have always been, like, aware of Star Wars, and I watched most of the movies, but it was never my thing. Which is fine. Not everything is everyone’s thing. I like all sorts of dumb garbage so it’s not like I was out here judging anyone about. It’s fine. Star Wars is fine!
The smart thing The Mandalorian did, in addition to casting people like Pedro Pascal and Werner Herzog as space-types, was introduce the world to Baby Yoda. That adorable little guy. He has a real name (Grogu) and is not technically the child version of the Yoda from the originals, but who cares? Look at his little face in his little flying saucer.
This is a screencap from the new trailer. I have not been able to get over it. Look at this freakin’ guy.
I need one of these. I deserve one of these. I have been thinking about it almost non-stop since I saw it in the trailer. I know I could not, technically, make the saucer float like this because I do not have Powers, but on the other hand, and this next part is important… shut up. Let me have this one. Let me pretend I have a little floating saucer. I already have a list of things I would use it for. Examples include:
— I would fill it with snacks — chips, baby carrots and hummus, maybe a whole-ass pot of chili — and have it follow me around wherever I go in case I get hungry
— I would take it to Target and use it instead of a grocery cart, which would be great because a) I could just fling items over my shoulder and make my lil saucer catch them, and b) all the other people in the store would be so jealous and it would make me very happy
— I would ride around in it myself because I am disabled and use a wheelchair and sidewalks are often pretty bumpy and I like the idea of just gliding past people like p-p-p-vroooom on my way home from Wawa without dropping my smoothie
— I would invite people over for a party and fill it with ice and drinks and have it zip around the room so everyone can have a beer or diet soda without crowding around in the kitchen
— I would send it downstairs to pick up my packages with a little note inside it for the delivery man that says like “Put that box in me, thanks” like a huge weirdo
The main takeaway here is that I should not have one of these. I would waste it, at best, and probably end up ruining it because most of my uses for it involve food and/or drinks that could spill and gunk it all up. I don’t even know where to take this thing to get it fixed. Kind of a headache, now that I think about it.
ITEM NUMBER TWO — Look how happy Henry Winkler is
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) January 16, 2023
The thing about Henry Winkler is that I love him. He’s been famous for decades and he’s probably met every famous person you could imagine since like 1975 and he still gets so excited about it every time. He usually takes pictures of it all and posts them on his Twitter. Last week, in this very column, I plopped in one where he was with Brad Pitt at the Golden Globes. This week he went to the Critic’s Choice Awards. Look at him up there between Julia Roberts and Jennifer Coolidge. Have you ever seen anyone more thrilled to be anywhere? The best.
Here he is with Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph.
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) January 19, 2023
Here he is with Jenny Slate.
The very talented MOM of “Marcel The Shell “. Not to be missed . pic.twitter.com/6YEFEDcXQZ
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) January 15, 2023
Look at his face. In every one. God, he’s the best. I can’t wait until he goes on his fishing trip this summer and posts a dozen pictures of himself beaming with various trout in his hands. Until then, I suppose this will have to do.
— Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) January 19, 2023
Perfect. No notes. What a lovely man.
ITEM NUMBER THREE – Imagine getting injured playing dogfight football in a Top Gun movie
Top Gun: Maverick was a fun movie for a lot of reasons. Some had to do with nostalgia and some had to do with fast planes going WHOOSH and some had to do with a new crew of pilots played by actors like Miles Teller and Glen Powell. There was also the football scene. That was a lot of fun. It served as a kind of nod to the iconic volleyball scene from the original while also updating things for the 2020s a little bit. I mean, no disrespect to volleyball but… I mean, you do not see a lot of people playing beach volleyball these days. I don’t know. Maybe you do. I don’t. It’s not a fun sport to play if you’re not already kind of good at it. You just kind of slog around in the sand and bonk the ball and try to spike it once in a while, which a) requires almost impeccable timing and body control, and b) almost never works out the way it looks in your head. Have you ever seen someone go for a spike and miss it? Few things in all of sports are sadder.
Anyway, the football scene. That’s it up there in the video. Watch it again now, or for the first time if you haven’t seen it. Everyone is having a good time in sunglasses, which is cool. It almost didn’t work out too great, though, because Glen Powell almost took himself out before things really got started. As director Joseph Kosinski explained to IndieWire:
“One that I get asked about a lot, which was a very memorable day, was when we shot the beach football scene,” Kosinski said. “The actors were in a very kind of stressed out state, they’d all been working so hard to get ready for that scene. They were under the pressure, the weight of the original scene being so iconic. I remember Glen went out 110 percent on the first play and hurt himself, but he was able to recover quickly and we were able to get a great version of it.”
So, a few notes here:
- I imagine the temptation when you are filming an action-type scene with Tom Cruise is to push a little too hard and it would be really funny to have to explain that to the doctor at the ER when you’re getting treated for the injury you suffered doing trying to impress Tom Cruise
- It’s fun to picture Tom Cruise being annoyed on the set because someone got hurt trying to be as intense as him
- If I hurt myself playing dogfight football on the set of Top Gun: Maverick, I would milk it forever, all the time, like even 25 years later at a barbecue where other people are playing lawn darts and I say I can’t because my shoulder is acting up from the injury I suffered 25 years earlier playing dogfight football on the set of Top Gun: Maverick
Everyone would get so sick of my bullshit.
ITEM NUMBER FOUR – More food should be served on fire
I went out to dinner at a nice Greek restaurant this week. It was great. I love going out to dinner and I love Greek food. I was really pleased with my order, too, which is rare for me because I’m one of those weirdos who orders something and then wishes he had ordered something else the second the server walks away. This was good, though. I had some chicken and some feta mashed potatoes and some roasted carrots. I felt great about it.
For a while.
Because then the people at the table next to me got their food and the waiter pulled out a long lighter and lit one of the dishes on fire. I was immediately jealous. And furious. I looked at my plate of chicken and got mad at it. Stupid non-flaming food. Don’t just sit there. Do something.
Which brings me to my point: More food should be served on fire. It looks so cool. Everyone in the restaurant does little oooohs and ahhhhs. Light all the food on fire. Torch my lasagna a little bit. Blaze my french fries. Drizzle a little rum on my chowder and bring it out like a flaming witch’s cauldron. Make this the whole theme of your restaurant. Every dish comes out of the kitchen on fire and if the fire goes out before it gets to your table the meal is free. Call the restaurant The Inferno if you want. This is a free idea.
Yes, sure, the danger. I get it. But tell the fire marshal I said it’s okay. We can put little fire extinguishers at every table near the salt and pepper. It’ll be fine. Probably.
ITEM NUMBER FIVE – What is any of this?
You remember Tiger King, yes? The reality series everyone got way into a few years ago? The one about the weirdos who collect big jungle cats and run businesses around it all and kiss the big jungle cats on the mouth like they aren’t sticking their whole face right into the teeth of a predator? It was weird. I didn’t love it. All the people involved seemed very unwell.
One of those people was a woman named Carole Baskin. We don’t have to rehash her whole deal beyond saying that she was the business rival of the be-mulleted star of the show, Joe Exotic, and that her husband mysteriously disappeared at some point and Joe Exotic thinks she might have killed him and fed her to her tigers. Again, weird.
Anyway, she’s in the news again this week because an interview she did last year went viral again for some reason. And in the interview she says… well, this.
The “Tiger King” star declared that her missing ex-husband, Don Lewis, was found alive in Costa Rica, but the discovery is just now going viral — over a year later.
During a resurfaced November 2021 interview with ITV’s “This Morning” talk show, Baskin, 61, alleged that her ex, who was declared legally dead in 2002 after disappearing a few years before, was actually alive and well.
And she elaborated on that more — as one should probably do when one implies that the long-missing husband one is suspected of murdering and feeding to one’s pet tigers is actually alive and well in Costa Rica — by saying this.
“One of the really exciting things that came out of ‘Tiger King 2’ is that they produced a letter from Homeland Security and it says that a special agent in charge with the FBI at Homeland Security reached out to the sheriff’s detective George [Jorge] Fernandez, which means this had to have happened after 2002 because Homeland Security wasn’t even around until 2002,” Baskin told the outlet at the time.
“They said my husband, Don Lewis, is alive and well in Costa Rica,” she revealed. “And yet all of this drama has been made about me having something to do with his disappearance when Homeland Security has known where he is.”
Which would certainly be big and important news! If it weren’t for… well, this, as reported by TMZ shortly after this all went viral again.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office — which is in charge of Don’s missing person’s case — tells TMZ its had no communication with federal officials to suggest they’ve located Don Lewis. Obviously, the FBI would’ve shared that info, so as far as the Sheriff’s Office is concerned, nothing’s changed — Lewis is still a missing person, and the case remains a priority for HCSO.
Hmm. So, to recap…
I don’t actually want to recap this. I kind of regret bringing it up at all, now that I sit here and think about it. Let’s pretend it never happened.
If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.
I just wanted to thank you for your recommendation on The Afterparty. I was desperate for something to watch over the holidays and saw you tweet about it and decided to check it out. I finished the whole season in one Saturday and then watched Glass Onion that night. It was a lot of murder for one day but surprisingly fun.
I came away from it all with two questions m. First, why hasn’t Sam Richardson already been in a Knives Out movie? Second, what can we do to get him in the next one?
Kevin, this was a great email. It’s still a great email but it was also good when you sent it two weeks ago. I’m sorry I’m just getting to it now. I do have good news, though. Not about Sam Richardson starring in the next Knives Out movie, though. Not yet, at least. Although that is a legitimately good idea and if Rian Johnson reads this column — HI RIAN — I hope he takes it under consideration.
No, the good news is this: The Afterparty is coming back for a second season. Soon. In April. And it looks pretty great!
Starring Tiffany Haddish, Sam Richardson and Zoë Chao, season two will introduce new film genres and an expanded cast of characters played by Elizabeth Perkins, Zach Woods, Paul Walter Hauser, Poppy Liu, Anna Konkle, Jack Whitehall, Vivian Wu, John Cho and Ken Jeong.
In season two, a wedding is ruined when the groom is murdered and every guest is a suspect. Detective Danner (Haddish) returns to help Aniq (Richardson) and Zoë (Chao) solve whodunnit by questioning family members, star-crossed lovers, and business partners, and hearing each suspect’s retelling of the weekend, each with their own unique perspective and visual style.
Yes, please. The first season was fun and creative and silly and smart and pretty much everything you could ask for out of a little eight-episode murder mystery. Sam Richardson spent most of the season trying to clear his name while he had cat whiskers and the word “DIARRHEA” scribbled on his face. People sang sometimes. One of the episodes was mostly animated. Just a blast.
Listen to me and Kevin. Watch The Afterparty sometime between now and the season two premiere in April. Thank you.
AND NOW, THE NEWS
The Dallas Zoo said on Friday afternoon that a clouded leopard that had been missing all day had been recovered after officials said they found a “suspicious” tear in the animal’s enclosure.
This is the only thing I care about now. I know I just said that about the Michael Bay Italian pigeon murder fiasco, but still. Tell me everything. I need to know it all at once.
Officials said they found a tear in the mesh in the zoo’s two-story clouded leopard enclosure. Investigating further, they found Luna, a 3- or 4-year-old clouded leopard, safely in her habitat. But Nova, her sister, was gone.
Sgt. Warren Mitchell of the Dallas police said at a news conference on Friday afternoon that crime scene investigators had determined that the tear in the mesh had been made intentionally.
“It was clear that this opening wasn’t habitat failure, wasn’t exhibit failure and it wasn’t keeper error,” Mr. Hudson said.
The police arrived at the zoo on Friday morning with drones equipped with infrared capabilities, which they used to help zoo workers to scan the treetops.
Imagine how excited the cops were to break out their little infrared toys to find this leopard. I bet they’re telling everyone about it this week. I bet they’re telling someone about it right now. Reasonable arguments can be made that this was the best day of their entire lives. Good for them.
But wait. There’s more. Like this, from a few days later…
Police investigating after a clouded leopard escaped her enclosure at the Dallas Zoo say a cutting tool was used to intentionally make an opening in the fence of the small cat’s habitat, and a similar cut was found at a habitat for small monkeys.
Dallas police said Saturday evening that they did not know if the two incidents were related. None of the langur monkeys escaped and none appeared to be harmed.
As far as I can tell, one of three things is going on here:
- Someone is running around trying to free the animals at the zoo, for any number of reasons ranging from moral concerns to a deep love of chaos
- We have a copycat on our hands
- One of the monkeys stole a knife and cut itself out and then cut the leopard free and then tried to sneak back into its little enclosure and pretend nothing happened
All equally possible until we know more.