It’s Wednesday, and everyone has that one friend:
I have a ton to say about the two recent mass shootings in this country and I also have nothing to say. I’ve ranted here about gun violence in the face of horrific and preventable shootings before, so many times. You’ve all heard it, we’ve all heard it. It will change nothing. And honestly, that’s what hurts this time around almost as much as the loss of so much innocent life: the fact that I am numb because I know nothing is going to change thanks to the cynicism and intransigence of one political party, combined with the all-consuming thirst for power from one particular Senator.
Sen John Kennedy: “We don’t need more gun control; we need more idiot control.”— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 24, 2021
Today, Republican Congressmen have blamed gun laws, mental illness and idiocy for America’s gun violence rates, which are 25 times higher than any peer nation.
It’s the guns. pic.twitter.com/iMC99TyqDu
"Every time there's a shooting we play this ridiculous theater" –Ted Cruz, hours after 10 died in a shooting.— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) March 23, 2021
"What Democrats are pushing is a gun control agenda." One month post-El Paso.
"We shouldn't be engaging in a sideshow of gun control." Four days after 50 died at Pulse. pic.twitter.com/8UjOxno7e0
As you know, in January the Democrats took back control of the Senate by a razor-thin margin, giving them the levers of power in the White House, House and Senate. However, because of the stupid filibuster which requires a 60 vote margin for any legislation to pass in the Senate, the only way Democrats can actually get anything done, like the COVID-relief bill, is through procedural means, like reconciliation. But that’s a trick that can only be used so many times, which means that the Republicans actually continue to wield a great deal of power despite not being in it.
As I’m sure you’ve heard, there’s been a lot of talk about doing away with the filibuster. A reminder: the filibuster is not some Constitutionally protected procedure that must be preserved at all costs, but instead is the relic of a system that used to be able to occasionally work in a bipartisan fashion. That is, until Mitch McConnell showed up. When this fucker became Senate Majority Leader, he revoked the filibuster for appointments, but left it in place for legislation. On the face of it, this sounds like the Republicans were respecting the minority with a nod towards bipartisanship — after all, when McConnell came to power, there were only 52 Republicans in the Senate, far less than the 60 needed to pass legislation with a filibuster in place.
That, however, assumes that they wanted to pass legislation — which the Republicans absolutely do not. The Republican party has fully embraced being the anti-government party to the point where they have no real agenda other than: lower taxes for the rich, ban abortions, protect unimpeded access to guns, and appoint conservative judges. And because McConnell is not a stupid man and he knows that the first three of those items are not exactly popular with the American public, he used his power to prevent any legislation from ever coming onto the Senate floor for debate, lest his Republican colleagues actually have to vote on something and put into the record where they stand on an issue that voters might disagree with.
After having been dicked around by McConnell and the GOP during Obama’s administration with insincere nods towards bipartisanship, some Democrats have finally learned a valuable lesson: the Republicans’ only real power lies in inaction, and the filibuster gives them that, it allows them to obstruct and prevent anything from being accomplished. As a result, more and more Democrats are calling for an end to the filibuster so that a simple 51 vote majority can actually DO something legislatively to help the American people in regards to a number of issues including voting rights, the minimum wage, and yes, gun violence.
All of this talk about killing the filibuster has prompted pearl-clutching from Republicans who claim the filibuster promotes bipartisanship, and Mitch McConnell has begun making threats that if the Republicans retake D.C., THERE WILL BE LEGISLATIVE HELL TO PAY. But it’s all bluster: even if the Republicans do retake all three parts of government necessary to pass any laws, McConnell and the Republicans have no intention creating any legislation that will make his party controversial with the average voter. Furthermore, killing the filibuster would actually give the Republicans — at least the more moderate ones — an actual reason to work with the Democrats: if they know the Democrats are going to pass a bill with or without their input, the more moderate Republicans would be finally incentivized to actually work with them to create a bill that might also serve their interests. In short, Democrats need to call McConnell and his party on this bluff.
Except! There’s this other asshole, Democrat (or “Democrat”) Joe Manchin, the senator from West Virginia who has an A rating with the NRA and considers himself a bipartisan player in the Senate. And because there is such a narrow margin in the body, because even if they do manage to get his vote to kill the filibuster — which he has said is unlikely to happen — the Democrats will still need his 50th vote to get ANYTHING done. That’s a lot of power in one man’s hands, and he knows it.
Which brings me to my original point about gun control: it’s probably not going to happen thanks to this goober. Over in the House, they passed two bills that would strengthen common sense background checks for purchasing guns — bills that passed with some actual Republican support. But Manchin has already announced — MERE HOURS AFTER TWO MASS SHOOTINGS — that he does not support either bill. And I could give you his reasoning, something about not wanting to prevent people from being able to sell their guns to people they know, but the truth is, he doesn’t want to give up this newfound power granted to him because of this unique political moment. Any legislation the Democrats might want to pass has to go through Manchin, and he’s made it perfectly clear that he’s not going to give that up just to prevent future bloodshed.
And so, yeah, I’m numb. I’m angry, and I’m tired, and I’m scared for my community, my friends and my family. I’m scared for my kids. I’m scared for my country. Our system is inherently flawed if a minority — if one man — can hold practical solutions to life-or-death problems hostage to their own ambitions. And I don’t know what we can possibly do to fix that.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look at pictures of baby ducks or something because otherwise I might start screaming and never stop.
All Other TV News
If you are not much of a Twitter user, you might not know that there’s this whole thing going on with a guy who claims he found shrimp tails in a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and it turns out he’s married to the actress who played Topanga on Boy Meets World and wow we are living in a weird time.
Imagine saying “wow the shrimp cinnamon toast guy is married to Topanga” to any normal person— Chris Branch (@cbranch89) March 23, 2021
Okay but Topanga's actual human name is Danielle FISHel KARP, and her husband, also named KARP, found SHRIMP in his cereal. This reads like a Spongebob episode in real life.— Nate Hankz (@natehankz) March 24, 2021
The writers for the ABC game show, The Chase, have gone on strike in a contract dispute with ITV America.
A study using Game of Thrones characters helps explain why some people are so heavily impacted by works of fiction — basically, some people deeply identify with certain characters, enough to subsume the character’s thoughts and feelings.
The GLAAD awards will host a Glee reunion to honor the 10th anniversary of Naya Rivera’s character Santana Lopez coming out as a lesbian.
Aliens prevented us from having a Channel 37 for decades. ~shakes fist at aliens~
The fifth anniversary of Prince’s death is coming up. Paisley Park will be displaying his ashes, but you’ll have to pay your respects online — reservations for an in-person visit have already been snatched up.
A deeply sincere thank you to Matthew McConaughey, Camila Alves McConaughey, and all the wonderful performers for raising millions to help our fellow Texans who suffered during our recent winter storm. (STILL FURIOUS.) And you can still donate if you’re so inclined:
Middling news: cases are still plateauing and I’m concerned what they will look like in a week or two once we see the real effects of spring break play out. And worldwide, deaths are rising after a long downward trajectory. Good news: American deaths are continuing to go down. For the first time in a long time in checking, the daily reported deaths on a weekday (weekend numbers are always lower) were below 1,000 for two days in a row. It’s getting better but we have to get those shots in those arms.
Jimmy Fallon welcomed a small live studio audience to The Tonight Show this week.
Film at Lincoln Center is reopening next month.
To call these people “deplorables” is an insult to deplorable people.
We really need to have a conversation in this country about toxic masculinity, and the fact that so many men would rather die than feel less manly.
And on the other side of the spectrum: MY GOD, JUST LET PEOPLE ENJOY A DAMN DONUT.
- Judge Jerry has been renewed for a third season.
- Queens of Mystery has been renewed for a second season on Acorn.
- Home & Family has been canceled at Hallmark after nine seasons.
- Poker Face, a detective series starring Natasha Lyonne and directed by Rian Johnson, is coming to Peacock.
- The Man Who Fell to Earth is moving from Paramount+ to Showtime.
- Beef, a dramedy starring and produced by Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, has been bought by Netflix.
- Single All the Way, a gay holiday rom-com starring Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers and Luke Macfarlane, has been ordered at Netflix.
- The Hype, a fashion competition series, is coming to HBO Max. Offset will host.
- Koala Man, an animated comedy from the producers of Rick & Morty, has been ordered at Hulu.
- A Jazzman’s Blues, a Tyler Perry film starring Joshua Boone and Solea Pfeiffer, is coming to Netflix.
- Shaka: King of the Zulu Nation has been ordered at Showtime.
- Heritage Rescue has been ordered at Discovery+.
- Fried Barry has been picked up at Shudder.
- We Are Lady Parts is coming to Peacock.
- The Greatest Beer Run Ever, a Peter Farrelly movie starring Zac Efron and Russell Crowe and possibly Bill Murray, is close to being ordered at Apple TV+.
- Issa Rae has signed a five-year deal with WarnerMedia.
- David E. Talbert and Lyn Sisson-Talbert have signed an overall deal with Netflix.
- Discovery+ has picked up 250 hours of content from All3Media International Content.
- King of the Hill might be returning.
- Evan Peters is your new Jeffrey Dahmer in the Ryan Murphy Netflix series, Monster. Also joining the cast are Niecy Nash, Penelope Ann Miller, Shaun J. Brown, and Colin Ford.
- Adrien Brody has been cast as Pat Riley in HBO’s L.A. Laker’s series.
- Halle Berry will co-star in the Netflix thriller Our Man From Jersey.
- Jimmi Simpson and Naomie Harris are joining The Man Who Fell to Earth on Showtime.
- David Thewlis will co-star in Landscapers on HBO.
- Sherri Shepherd will star in Black Don’t Crack, an ABC comedy pilot.
- Kaia Gerber has joined the cast of American Horror Story on FX.
- Jerod Haynes is joining 61st Street on AMC.
- Anthony Boyle will co-star in Masters of the Air on Apple TV+.
- Vir Das, Rob Delaney, Galen Hopper, Samson Kayo, Guz Khan, Nick Kocher, Ross Lee, Harry Trevaldwyn, and Danielle Vitalis have joined The Bubble on Netflix.
- Stan Shaw, Sheila E., Denise Boutte, Jasper Cole, Lew Temple, Horace Dodd, Ben Stephens, Jasmin Brown, and Kearia Schroeder are joining The Family Business on BET+.
- Sinqua Walls has been cast in At That Age, an NBC drama pilot.
- Ben Hardy and Jessica Plummer have been cast in The Girl Before on HBO Max and BBC One.
- Daniel Kaluuya will host Saturday Night Live with musical guest St. Vincent on April 3. Carey Mulligan will host with Kid Cudi on April 10.
- Pam Dawber will guest star on NCIS.
- Paul Rodriguez will guest star on A Million Little Things on ABC.
- Adrian Scarborough will star in The Chelsea Detective on Acorn.
Mark Your Calendars
Disney has made decisions regarding their summer releases:
- Cruella: Theaters and Disney+, via Premier Access, on May 2
- Luca: Streaming on Disney+ beginning Friday on June 18, with no additional charge
- Black Widow: Theaters and streaming on Disney+ via Premier Access, Friday, July 9
Disney+ has also set April 2 as the streaming date for a number of rare Star Wars spinoffs from the 80s and the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special.
- Supergirl returns on The CW on March 30.
- The Real Housewives of New York City returns on Bravo on May 4.
- The Last Cruise will debut on HBO on March 30.
- The Nevers will premiere on HBO on April 11.
- Exterminate All the Brutes will debut on HBO on April 7.
- Everything’s Gonna be Okay returns on Freeform on April 8.
- The Circle will return on Netflix on April 14, and will not drop all episodes at once. Too Hot to Handle will also return, but no date has been set.
- Stowaway will premiere on Netflix on April 22.
- Sasquatch will debut on Hulu on April 20.
- Big Shot will debut on Disney+ on April 16.
- A Black Lady Sketch Show returns on HBO on April 23.
- WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn will stream on Hulu on April 2.
- Confronting a Serial Killer will debut on Starz on April 18.
- Life in Color with David Attenborough will premiere on Netflix on April 22.
- Black Ink Crew: New York returns on VH1 on April 19.
- The Challenge: All Stars will debut on Paramount+ on April 1.
- Malika the Lion Queen will air on Fox on April 4.
- The Upshaws will debut on Netflix on May 12.
- The Great Pottery Throw Down will premiere on HBO Max on April 1.
- Worn Stories will debut on Netflix on April 1.
- Deadhouse Dark will debut on Shudder on April 29.
- Birdgirl premieres on Adult Swim on April 4.
- The Last Kids on Earth: Happy Apocalypse to You will premiere on Netflix on April 6.
- Arlo the Alligator Boy will stream on Netflix on April 16.
- The Mitchells vs. The Machines will debut on Netflix on April 30.
A slew of new voices join the previously announced #TheMitchellsVsTheMachines cast, including:— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) March 23, 2021
Griffin McElroy pic.twitter.com/nmPvBOydKk
- Mighty Express will debut on Netflix on April 13.
- You’ll be able to stream The Nanny on HBO Max beginning April 1.
- My Little Pony: Pony Life returns on Discovery Family Channel on April 10.
- Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time will premiere on Discovery+ on April 29.
- Spy City will debut on AMC+ on April 15.
- Chopped 420 will debut on Discovery+ on, appropriately enough, April 20.
- False Positive will debut on Hulu on April 25.
- Endangered will begin streaming on Discovery+ on April 24.
- House of Athlete: Going Pro debuts on FS1 today.
George Segal, Legendary actor known for his roles in The Goldbergs, Just Shoot Me!, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and one of my top ten favorite all-time movies, Flirting With Disaster (if you haven’t seen it, trust me: honor George and watch it tonight)
My heart is broken. I lost a dear friend. Working with George was an honor and some of the happiest moments of my life. What a sweet & wonderful man. He was my confidant & teacher. When he smiled it changed my day. I wish everyone could have met him. Prayers are with the family. pic.twitter.com/fp8WvwdOdv— Sean Giambrone (@seangiambrone1) March 24, 2021
Today we lost a legend. It was a true honor being a small part of George Segal’s amazing legacy. By pure fate, I ended up casting the perfect person to play Pops. Just like my grandfather, George was a kid at heart with a magical spark. I think these memories say it all… pic.twitter.com/D1aNZuT20e— Adam F. Goldberg (@adamfgoldberg) March 24, 2021
So sorry to hear about George Segal‘s passing. We had such fun making Owl and the Pussycat. May he Rest In Peace…— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) March 24, 2021
Farewell to the hugely talented & prolific George Segal, a brilliant comic and dramatic actor in more great movies than you can tackle in 140 characters. Some personal favs: The Hot Rock, Where's Poppa? The Terminal Man, California Split, Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? RIP… pic.twitter.com/nbPReKWieu— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 24, 2021
So sorry to hear of the passing of the wonderful George Segal! We did The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood together & I guested on Just Shoot Me. One of a kind and always a joy! #RIPGeorge #RIPGeorgeSegal 💔💔 pic.twitter.com/fEZpQSUkBU— Morgan Fairchild (@morgfair) March 24, 2021
So sad to hear or #georgesegal passing. I loved working with him on #CarolineintheCity and directed him recently on @TheGoldbergsABC he was class talent and a gift to us all #rip friend. pic.twitter.com/8z7u6FsXt1— Lea Thompson (@LeaKThompson) March 24, 2021
So beyond sad and heartbroken to say goodbye to my film dad, the late, great #GeorgeSegal – I was so starstruck on set. To my surprise he not only let me ask him about all of his incredible experiences but indulged me in stories I could have never possibly imagined. RIP 🙏 pic.twitter.com/LcIeOXof1c— Josh Gad (@joshgad) March 24, 2021
My personal favorite George Segal movie is “The Hot Rock”. What a career. What a nice man, what an iconic cool funny 70’s movie star. #RIP— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) March 24, 2021
George Segal was in so many great movies, but my personal favorite was the hilarious Flirting with Disaster. RIP to a king. pic.twitter.com/9kQx8gCAh1— Maggie Serota (@maggieserota) March 24, 2021
Nicola Pagett, Actress known for her roles in Upstairs, Downstairs, and Anna Karenina
Sabine Schmitz, Race car driver and Top Gear participant
The Day Sports Stood Still: This documentary looks back on the events of March 11, 2020, when the world of sports shut down in response to the pandemic. Premiere. 8 p.m., HBO
Seaspiracy: An exposé of the commercial fishing industry, and how criminal over-fishing is destroying our oceans and planet. Netflix
Baroness Von Sketch Show: Series finale. 11 p.m., IFC
- Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Alexander Skarsgård, Karol G
- Late Night with Seth Meyers: Kevin Bacon, Retta, Ash Soan
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Sharon Stone, Ken Burns
- The Late Late Show with James Corden: Minnie Driver, Benny Blanco + Gracie Abrams
- The Daily Show: The Daily Social Distancing Show
- Watch What Happens Live: Teresa Giudice, Jackie Hoffman
- A Little Late with Lily Singh: Whitney Wolfe Herd
|Call Your Mother
|CBS||Tough As Nails
|FOX||The Masked Singer
|Game of Talents