The only Taylor Swift news I care about.
Have you taken the time to appreciate Reba today?
A classic Gwyneth Paltrow moment.
You'll never guess how Disney is celebrating 100 years.
Sweet Britney Spears news.
I would rather drown myself in a bathtub full of ketchup and seemingly ranch than continue to discuss the Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce hysteria.
(A summary of my opinion: The rapt attention the couple receives, as if we're a nation staring at a UFO hovering above us, wondering what would happen next, is exhausting, bizarre, and—I say this as a person who writes about pop culture for a living—quite embarrassing. Do I think it's weird that after such a short time, two major stars are being so public? Sure. Is there a reason to wonder if it's a PR stunt? Maybe. But these are grown people, I hope they are happy and getting some, and it all just seems like none of my business.)
Swift once again attended Kelce's game this Thursday, which happened to be the day Swift's The Eras Tour concert film hits theaters. In response, I have commissioned a bunker to spend the weekend in, a haven from the hoopla. DM me if you'd like to join. I will have lots of Cheez-Its and a box set of Diane Keaton DVDs to comfort us through the trauma.
But before I retreat, I wanted to pay homage to the Taylor Swift news that I do endorse, admire, and think deserves a proper amount of fawning: her unprecedented success, the way she owns how empowered it makes her feel, and her refusal to play into the misogynistic narratives in which the media, her industry, and even her fans relentlessly and exasperatingly attempt to cast her.
That is all to say that this Taylor Swift and Beyoncé moment at Swift's movie premiere this week actually means a lot to me. (And, based on the reaction I've seen online, to a lot of other people too.)
Beyoncé posed for photos and social promotions with Swift at the event, a summit viewed as respectively magnanimous acts from two titans. Each released albums that have been at the forefront of music's discourse over the last year and change. Both launched blockbuster, record-breaking, industry-shifting tours. And both will release films celebrating those epic concert runs in theaters before the end of the year: Swift's release this weekend was considered so formidable that studios essentially cleared their own films from the schedule so as to not be squashed by it; expect a similar situation when Beyoncé puts out Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé Dec. 1.
Stats like revenue, crowd sizes, and ticket prices for the stars' respective tours were reported on as if they were poll numbers for dueling politicians in a heated, ugly race. When there was positive news about the wild success of one tour, it wasn't uncommon for fans of the other artist to jump onto Twitter (or X, ugh) to minimize or refute the accomplishment, while arguing that "their" performer was actually the one winning—whatever "winning" means. The news that both concerts would become major films was, by some, treated as some kind of showdown.
But the fact is that both tours generated billions of dollars for the U.S. economy—an unprecedented, shared accomplishment. The photo of the pair together at Swift's premiere—and the rumor that they had dinner together prior—was viewed as some sort of monumental truce.
It's true that just the mere sight of these supernovas together is blindingly thrilling. I revived from my zombie state of late-night social media scrolling and sat up with an excited start when I saw it; you should know just how powerful an image must be to elicit that kind of reaction from when I'm in that state.
I want to make a comparison of what might be just as exciting—Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie posing together?—but that and every other example I come up with fails, because they all assume animosity. Swift and Beyoncé haven't historically just been cordial. They've been vocal supporters and uplifters of each other's work and careers.
When it was reported this summer just how much money the Renaissance tour generated, Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, celebrated the news by congratulating not just her daughter, but Taylor Swift as well. And in the immediate aftermath of the frenzy over her and Bey's red carpet photo this week, Swift posted an incredibly sweet Instagram note gushing over the influence and impact Beyoncé's music and camaraderie has had over her entire life.
Monologuing over a photo of two pop superstars together feels sheepishly fangirl-y and flamboyant. But it is no more ridiculous than the attention these damn football games have gotten, so if I'm forced to be pummeled with that news on what feels like a second-by-second basis, allow me to emerge, bruised and tired, to meagerly coo a little "yay!" over seeing two of my faves being pretty and supportive at the biggest moments of their careers.
The Perfect Late-Night TV Episode
At my advanced age, I've learned some unimpeachable truths about life. Chief among them: Reba McEntire makes everything better.
"Fancy"? That was a Bobbie Gentry song before McEntire put her iconic spin on it. Annie Get Your Gun? Sorry to theater legend Bernadette Peters, but that became McEntire's show when she took it over. The multicam sitcom? Not sure why it even bothered to exist before she starred in Reba. And KFC? Somehow McEntire made even that, literal fried chicken, better when she took over as the Colonel, dressed in male drag.
Heck, even The Voice, a once-fun show that hasn't been watchable in years, finally has a pulse again now that she's on it.
So it shouldn't be a surprise that her appearance Wednesday night on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen was the biggest delight of my week. Yet I couldn't have imagined how much of a blast the pairing of the country star and Troye Sivan—plus an exceptionally giddy Cohen—would be.
WWHL works best when the guests are game for the silliness, and McEntire showed up for that. She delivered a dramatic reading of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Meredith Marks slurring her threats in a recent episode of the series. "I watched the clip," she said, winking, after Cohen was in awe of her delivery.
Then came the true highlight: Because Sivan was also the night's guest—and doing poppers, a party substance popular in the gay community, has been a cheeky part of his new album's rollout—a viewer asked if McEntire has ever done them. She turned to Sivan and asked, "What's a popper?" He and Cohen giggled and promised to tell her during the commercial, but, for now, we'll always have an episode of television in which Reba McEntire channels an unhinged Real Housewife and is part of a conversation about poppers.
I am fully aware that 90 percent of this will read like it was written in a foreign language to many of you. But to those of us for whom these words are, in fact, a love language, McEntire's WWHL appearance was pure joy.
I get that people are turned off by Gwyneth Paltrow's particular brand of rich, white-woman privilege, and alarmed by the messaging and, often, ignorance of safety of the products and practices that GOOP promotes. But also…she's hilarious.
I'm not negating those other things. I'm just stating the truth. Whether or not I should add the caveat of "shamefully" here, I find her personality and general vibe to be incredibly entertaining.
Case in point is the "73 Questions" interview she did with Vogue this week, which has her prancing around her garden in the Hamptons—sometimes quite literally—and answering anodyne questions about her life, as is the series' gimmick.
At one point, while carrying a wicker basket of flowers, she walks through a gate that is being propped open by her Oscar. "My doorstop!" she exclaims. "It works perfectly." Her actual Oscar.
I don't know if Paltrow is trolling, being playful with her own image, or is oblivious—though I doubt the latter. I don't know because—I don't want to shock anyone—I don't know Gwyneth Paltrow. But she seems to be so unserious, even whilst being intensely serious. I love it.
The Walt Disney Company turns 100 next week, which marks an occasion to look back at its history in fun posts like this (disputable) ranking of the "25 Most Iconic Disney Characters" and the animated short Once Upon a Studio, which features those characters and many more coming to life and mingling, and will be available on Disney+ on Oct. 16.
In honor of the milestone, we're all apparently giving the company gifts. Increased pricing for the Disney+ subscriptions kicked in this week, as did the cost of Disneyland tickets. I can't think of anything more Disney than to capitalize on the nostalgic event by taking more money from fans.