I am back and I bring with me this wonderful little video of a momma cat showing off her kitten to her doggie friend:
All Other TV News
So, the Olympics. As I wrote last week, I’m not covering them because I don’t believe they should be happening during a deadly pandemic in a country that is only a quarter vaccinated. That said! I do appreciate the athletes and the fact that most of them have been training five years for this very moment, and I would never take anything away from their dedication, hard work and talent.
And speaking of those talented athletes, I’m breaking my Olympics boycott JUST THIS ONCE* to talk about Houston’s hometown hero, Simone Biles. As the world knows, on Tuesday, Biles did one vault during the Team Finals, and after failing to stick it, she withdrew from the competition. The Russians ended up taking the gold in the competition, with Team USA winning silver.
Biles explained later that her decision to drop out was related to her mental state, and not a physical issue. She didn’t want to hurt the team’s chances to medal and she was legitimately worried she could physically hurt herself if she was not in the right mental place:
“I’ve just never felt like this going into a competition before. I tried to go out here and have fun, and warm-up in the back went a little bit better. But once I came out here, I was like, ‘No, mental is not there, so I just need to let the girls do it and just focus on myself,’” Biles said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“It’s been really stressful, this Olympic games, I think, just as a whole,” Biles said. “Not having an audience, there are a lot of different variables going into it. It’s been a long week, it’s been a long Olympic process, it’s been a long year. So just a lot of different variables, and I think we’re just a little bit too stressed out. But we should be out here having fun, and sometimes that’s not the case.”
Today it was announced that she will also be withdrawing from the Individual All-Around set to take place tomorrow. Biles could still compete in the individual events next week, for which she qualified in all four apparatus. She has not announced her decision yet.
A short story: I am a decent skier — not a great skier, but a decent one — who has been skiing since I was eight years old. Several years ago I was slammed into by an out-of-control snowboarder while standing perfectly still on a ski slope. It only resulted in a bone bruise, thank goodness, but it took months and months before I could walk without pain, and it took a couple of years before I could be on the slopes without moments of crippling anxiety at certain turns or at the sound of a snowboarder coming up behind me. But I got there.
Or so I thought.
This past spring, out of fucking nowhere, I found myself on a gorgeous bluebird snow day on a perfectly groomed run having a complete meltdown. I don’t know where it came from or what sparked it, but I was mentally incapable of going down the run. Physically, I did it, but at the end of the run, I was a mess of tears, angry at myself for not having the confidence to do something I had done hundreds and hundreds of times before. Something just … wasn’t right inside of me.
I went on to ski more that day, but I was nervous the entire time that I was going to do something stupid and hurt myself, and I didn’t go through with my plans to ski the next day because I just knew I wasn’t emotionally capable of doing so.
This isn’t to compare myself to the best gymnast of all time, God knows. In fact, if anything, it’s to say that I actually can not imagine what is going on within Simone Biles’ heart and mind right now because to be an athlete of her caliber and magnitude, setting aside the almost inhuman physical strength it requires, the sheer mental strength it takes to push oneself to Olympic status is honestly unfathomable to a couch potato like myself.
That said, I tell my own story to illustrate the delicate relationship between the mental and the physical, that one can be perfectly fine, perfectly healthy, and stable, but if your mental component isn’t cooperating, you are all too aware that you could hurt yourself.
There is a contingent of trolls out there — mostly men, mostly non-athletes — who would argue that this is the difference between someone like myself and a Simone Biles; that the great athlete is the person who pushes through that uncooperative mental component and puts their physical safety on the line for some greater glory.
But I’m going to take the word of people like Dominique Moceanu —
In our sport, we essentially dive into a pool w/ no water. When you lose your ability to find the ground—which appears to be part of @Simone_Biles decision—-the consequences can be catastrophic. She made the right decision for the team & herself. @bisping
— Dominique Moceanu (@Dmoceanu) July 28, 2021
— and Michael Phelps —
"We're human beings. Nobody is perfect. So yes, it is okay to not be okay."@MichaelPhelps reacts to the news of Simone Biles pulling out of the women's gymnastics team final. #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/Jl2gmi7ORu
— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 28, 2021
— you know, actual gold-winning Olympians who have been exactly where Simone Biles is, over the opinion of shameless pigs like Charlie Kirk and Piers Morgan.
This spring I was mad at myself for weeks for not using a day ski pass that I had spent good money on — I can not begin to imagine how heart-breakingly painful it is for Biles to not compete in the Olympics after spending FIVE YEARS OF HER LIFE training for them. Contrary to what the trolls would have you believe, what Biles did by sitting out these competitions took enormous bravery and sacrifice, and displays why she is such a great leader. Biles is providing a model for her fellow teammates and young gymnasts around the world that they can have control over their own bodies and destinies, and that sometimes you have to let go of a dream to take care of your team and yourself. Simone Biles is and always will be my hero.
*I can’t promise this is the only time I won’t talk about the Olympics.
Bob Odenkirk collapsed on the set of Better Call Saul yesterday and had to be rushed to the hospital. I am not even kidding when I say I’ve been refreshing Twitter all day looking for a “Bob Odenkirk is going to be fine!” tweet. It hasn’t happened as of yet.
I will share what I know when I can but Bob is one of the strongest people I know both physically and spiritually. He WILL get through this.
— david cross✍ (@davidcrosss) July 28, 2021
Sending huge love to our @mrbobodenkirk. You got this, brother.
— Michael McKean (@MJMcKean) July 28, 2021
if anything happens to bob odenkirk we blow up the fucking moon https://t.co/i16PXRNuHf
— Jeremy Kaplowitz (@jeremysmiles) July 28, 2021
One small positive observation from this troubling news: can you imagine anyone being more universally loved/respected than Bob Odenkirk? Never seen the entire timeline unite and rally behind someone so quickly.
— Justin Gaynor (@justingaynor) July 28, 2021
The networks have asked the Media Rating Council to pull Nielsen’s accreditation to measure viewership. They’re super-pissed at the job they did during the pandemic and insist they’re still undercounting.
Despite a pandemic and political controversies, Georgia is still doing big business in film and TV. They brought in $4 billion last year and gave out over $870 million in subsidies, more than New York and California combined. Which is crazy.
Warner Brothers is going to continue releasing movies on HBO Max on the same day as theaters in 2022 — 10 are slated for next year.
Queen Sugar, Lovecraft Country, and Underground Railroad were multiple award-winners at the African American Film Critics Association’s TV honors.
Congratulations to Issa Rae!
God dammit God dammit God dammit.
For comparison, last week:
The C.D.C is recommending we (especially down here in the South) go back to wearing masks, even if you’re vaccinated; President Biden is contemplating a vaccine requirement for federal employees (just do it already); patients who refused the vaccination are begging for it right before being intubated; and scientists are warning that we could be just a few mutations away from a variant that could elude existing vaccines.
Toplines from today’s briefing with Dr. Rochelle Walensky:
– K-12 schools should require masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status
– Universal masking should be implemented in areas with high community spread
– Vaccines still reduce risk of hospitalization “twentyfold”
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 27, 2021
With unmitigated spread, Walensky warns that COVID could be “just a few mutations away” from potentially being able to evade vaccines entirely.
— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) July 27, 2021
I swear to Christ, I’m going to start screaming and I’m just never going to stop. This was entirely preventable. ENTIRELY. PREVENTABLE. As Alabama governor Kay Ivey (and normally certifiable crazy person) said: “I want folks to get vaccinated. That’s the cure. That prevents everything … Why would we want to mess around with just temporary stuff?” she said. “We don’t need to encourage people to just go halfway with curing this disease. Let’s get it done. And we know what it takes to get it done.”
And while some conservative politicians like Ivey are having the “come to Jesus” moment they should have had as soon as the vaccine was readily available, don’t give the right too much credit just yet, as we still have assholes like Tom Cotton out here saying that kids seeing their teachers’ facial expressions takes precedent over public health; Marjorie Taylor Green claiming that businesses refusing service to the unvaccinated is “segregation”; Ted Cruz screaming his fool head off about a non-existent mask mandate; and even Sean Hannity walking back his pro-vaccine language. And, of course, Tucker Carlson is gonna Tucker Carlson.
We have church leaders refusing mask-wearers into services; restaurants claiming they will only serve unvaccinated people (which is a thing you can definitely prove); asshole performers claiming that they won’t play in venues that have a vaccine requirement; and the Lake of the Ozarks — literally, a hotspot in a state that is rapidly nearing hospital capacity — where people are not just partying in close quarters, those who are vaccinated or wear masks are treated like pariahs.
Inside, McNay sat along with a half a dozen other customers who likewise lamented, what they viewed as, a breathless push for vaccines. Two bartenders floated in and out of the conversation, dropping comments like “what’s Covid?” to laughter. Just recently, a beloved cook at the restaurant had died from the virus, they said. But that hadn’t changed the thinking around vaccinations. The cook, they reasoned, likely had other underlying complications.
“We don’t know what else was wrong with him,” said Murry Ferris, who frequents Shorty Pants with his wife Jane.
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) July 21, 2021
So why do they still refuse to act?
— Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) July 21, 2021
The NFL is not requiring teams to get vaccination BUT, the rules will now be that if a game has to be cancelled or postponed, the team who tested positive will have to forfeit the game, which will impact their win-loss record, paychecks, and revenue the stadium might bring in. I don’t say this very often, but BRAVO, NFL.
Of course, there are going to be jackasses who refuse to get the jab: DeAndre Hopkins is threatening to resign, and Vikings coach Rick Dennison is on the verge of getting fired. I’m with Charles Barkley: these guys are assholes.
The Washington Post is going to require their employees to be vaccinated to keep their jobs (good); and hospitals around the country are starting to mandate vaccines for their employees. Shockingly, in nursing homes, some 38% of employees are still not vaccinated. Here’s the problem with that: even if all the patients in these homes are vaccinated, breakthrough infections do occur, especially among the immuno-compromised and very old — YOU KNOW, LIKE NURSING HOME PATIENTS.
— Brent Toderian (@BrentToderian) July 27, 2021
Westworld, Gangs of London, and God is a Bullet all had to pause production because of positive tests. These production shutdowns are expensive, and there will certainly be more battles with insurance companies like this one The Morning Show is embroiled in to come.
The Drew Barrymore Show will return with a fully vaccinated audience next month.
Conservative radio host Phil Valentine and San Diego Zoo’s snow leopard Ramil have both come down with COVID. Valentine has put out a statement regretting his anti-vaccine position; Ramil has not made his position on the vaccine known.
- Good Bones has been renewed for a seventh season at HGTV.
- Dino Ranch has been renewed for a second season by Disney Junior.
- My Life is Murder has been renewed for a second season on Acorn.
- Arthur is ending at PBS after 25 seasons.
- An Exorcist franchise revival starring Ellen Burstyn is in the works at Peacock.
- Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman is being rebooted starring Emily Hampshire at TBS.
- The Surreal Life is returning on VH1. It will feature August Alsina, CJ Perry, Dennis Rodman, Frankie Muniz, Kim Coles, Manny MUA, Stormy Daniels, and Tamar Braxton.
- The Night Agent, a political thriller, has been ordered at Netflix.
- Fast & Loose, an action film starring Will Smith, has been ordered at Netflix.
- Good Bones: Risky Business has been ordered at Discovery+.
- Mouse Trap is being turned into a competition series at Fox.
- Switched Before Birth has been ordered at Lifetime.
- BET+ has announced a slate of eight holiday films: A Christmas Wish; A Rich Christmas; The Business of Christmas 2; Christmas Déjà Vu; Christmas for Sale; The Jenkins Family Christmas; Merry Switchmas; Soul Santa
- America Ferrera is joining WeCrashed on Apple TV+.
- Leslie Grace will star as Batgirl in the HBO Max film.
- Delroy Lindo will star in Anansi Boys on Amazon.
- Steven Weber has been upped to a regular on Chicago Med, and Guy Lockard and Kristen Hager are joining the cast.
- Joe Cobden is joining The Sinner on USA.
- Anna Paquin, Cliff Curtis, and Josh Lawson are joining the cast of True Spirit on Netflix.
- Lana Condor will star in Take Out on Hulu.
- Matt Long is joining the cast of the drama pilot, Getaway on NBC.
- Josh Segarra has been added to the cast of She-Hulk on Disney+.
- Marlo Kelly is joining Joe Exotic on Peacock.
- Dee Bradley Baker will return as the voice of Olmec in Legends of The Hidden Temple on The CW.
- Frank Fritz is leaving American Pickers on History.
Mark Your Calendars
- 9-1-1: September 20
- The Big Leap: September 20
- The Resident: September 21
- Our Kind of People: September 21
- The Masked Singer: September 22
- Alter Ego: September 22
- The Masked Singer: September 23
- The Simpsons: September 26
- The Great North: September 26
- Bob’s Burgers: September 26
- Family Guy: September 26
- Thursday Night Football on Fox: October 7
- American Horror Story returns on August 25 on FX.
- Dexter will return on Showtime on November 7.
- La Brea will debut on NBC on September 28.
- The Chair will debut on Netflix on August 20.
- Ex-Rated will debut on Peacock on August 12.
- UFO will premiere on Showtime on August 8.
- Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union will premiere on Netflix on August 3.
- Teddy will premiere on Shudder on August 5.
- Cocaine Cowboys: The Kings of Miami will debut on Netflix on August 4.
- AlRawabi School for Girls will premiere on Netflix on August 12.
- John of God: The Crimes of a Spiritual Healer will premiere on Netflix on August 25.
- An animated Pen15 special will debut on Hulu on August 27.
- Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11 will debut on MSNBC and Peacock on September 8.
- Sparking Joy will premiere on Netflix on August 31.
- Superstar: Whitney Houston will premiere on ABC on August 11.
Jackie Mason, Legendary Borscht Belt comedian
Paola Suárez, Argentinian producer
Turning the Tables with Robin Roberts: Robin Roberts hosts round table conversations with female celebrities of all stripes in this new series, where the interviewees also sometimes become the interviewers. Series premiere. Disney+
Olympics: Men’s Gymnastics (individual all-around); Men’s Diving (synchronized springboard finals); Swimming (finals)7 p.m., NBC
- Watch What Happens Live: Anisha Ramakrishna, Bali Chainani, Brian Benni, Monica Vaswani, Vishal Parvani
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