West Week Ever: Pop Culture In Review – 2/2/24

This is a rare “Late Edition” of the post, as I had a ton to do today, but the show must go on! Plus, can we take a minute to applaud me for never missing a week in January? I haven’t a streak like that in quite some time, so let’s see how long I can keep it going!

Y’all really need to stop believing what you read on these Net Worth websites, because not everyone in Show Business is “RICH”. I say that because there was a big controversy this week, when Alyssa Milano promoted a GoFundMe to raise money for a trip for her son’s baseball team. Of course, everyone said she should have paid for the trip herself, seeing as how she’s a “rich celebrity”.

While Milano has had pretty steady work over the years, she hasn’t had a *hit* since Charmed, which ended in 2006. Unless she invested in real estate or a car dealership, that money is gone! Since that time, she was what you could call a “Working Actor”. Sure, we all remember her from Who’s The Boss?, and she’s been working a long time, but she hasn’t been #1 on the call sheet in almost 2 decades. So, no, she can’t pay for a whole kid baseball team trip. I completely believe that.

That said, I don’t think she should have gone to GoFundMe, either. This is gonna be controversial, but I think, as a society, we’ve gotten way too comfortable depending on the “kindness of strangers”. I see folks boosting GoFundMes for the SAME PEOPLE all the time. Like, I get it: “When it rains, it pours”, but at some point, I’m gonna need you to “right the ship”. I’ve got my own bills to pay. So, no, she was somewhat abusing the platform because she didn’t need it. Surely she knew someone who could help her out. Maybe get a studio to sponsor the team of something. Or call up Tony Danza! They’re supposed to be working together on that Who’s The Boss? revival anyway. So, this was handled poorly on all sides. However, she’s reportedly surpassed her $10,000 goal, so what do I know?

Trailer Park

Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (theaters, March 22nd)

Well, I’m glad to see Paul Rudd. I’ll watch that guy in anything! I’m gonna level with ya here, though, and some of you aren’t going to like it. Ya see, over the past almost decade, a large swath of the Ghostbusters fan base became toxic as Hell. I’ve written in the past how I grew up thinking of myself as a Ghostbusters Fan, but I later came to realize I’m just a fan of the cartoon and the toys. I never felt that movie was some sort of sacred cow, and I’m that rare breed who likes the second one more than the first (Shout out Chad!). The fandom REALLY showed its asses when the 2016 film was announced, more commonly – and derogatorily – known as “Girlbusters”. Y’all wanted to run Paul Feig out of Hollywood – the man who gave us Freaks and Geeks! A lot of these folks would go on to join the whole Rick and Morty Szechuan Sauce debacle. Anyway, that put a bad taste in my mouth. Then Afterlife came along, with its fanwankery, and nothing about it really made me want to see it. Like, sure, they had to bid farewell to Harold Ramis, but did they have to do it that way? And then the whole “Winston is rich and in charge now” angle? I’m not feelin’ it, dawg. Everyone is saying this film takes its cues from The Real Ghostbusters, but if I wanted that, I’ve got the DVD set downstairs. I feel like big screen adaptations should have higher stakes than a TV episode. Am I supposed to be WOWed that it’s essentially a live action TV episode? I dunno. So, I’ll get around to seeing it, but I won’t see it in theaters.

Ricky Stanicky (Prime Video, March 7th)

I love crap like this, and I don’t even have to leave home to watch it (SCORE!). While y’all are in the theater, trying to track down some Slimer popcorn bucket or whatever, I’ll probably be at home, watching this. Plus, I just really dig Andrew Santino. I have loved him in everything I’ve seen him in – we’re talking Mixology, Sin City Saints, and Dave. So I’m definitely seeing this!

Megamind vs The Doom Syndicate (Peacock, March 1st)

I liked Megamind, but that movie came out FOURTEEN YEARS AGO. There’s something about DreamWorks Animation where so much of it is disposable, even when it’s good. Those movies don’t worm their way into your heart like Pixar does. Every now and then you get a Shrek, but you typically end up with a Monsters vs Aliens – a perfectly entertaining movie, that lived out its days as an animated series. Their strategy was just as weird with Boss Baby, which was a huge movie for DreamWorks. Instead of rushing out a sequel, they pivoted to an animated series, and then did the sequel. That’s certainly not from the Disney playbook! Even stranger here is that this trailer introduces both a movie AND a subsequent animated series. Couldn’t they have staggered it a bit? Let folks swallow the fact that we’re even getting a movie first? The trailer says “If you love Megamind as much as he loves himself, then check out the series!” Well, maybe I did, back in 2010…

Despicable Me 4 (Theaters, July 3rd)

So, when I first heard this trailer had dropped, I made a joke on social media that it was called Despicable Me  4: Gru’s Vasectomy, but according to this trailer, he NEEDS one! Walk with me here: Gru’s meeting with the Minions is shown at the very end of the first Minions – a film set in 1968. He’s about 10 years old then. So, in this movie – if set in present day – he’s heading up the ramp to 70. Now, it’s not biologically impossible, but I don’t really want to think about how Gru made this baby. I’d much rather assume it was made in one of his labs than to think his little Danny DeVito body is putting the Kama Sutra to work! Anyway, that’s all I could think about during the trailer. The movie itself looks fine. Nothing to write home about, but kids don’t demand that much.

Things You Might Have Missed This Week

  • I just mentioned Andrew Santino costarred in Dave, which was sadly cancelled by FXX this week. Joining it on the chopping block are Obliterated (Netflix) and Secrets of Sulphur Springs (Disney Channel).
  • In the run up to her Saturday Night Live hosting gig this weekend, The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri has dropped out of Marvel’s Thunderbolts, due to “Scheduling”. Just like Steven Yuen. I swear, that whole cast will be replaced by the time cameras start rolling.
  • Milly Alcock has been cast as Supergirl in James Gunn’s DC film universe. She’ll finally show all those boys who surely made fun of her name in grade school!
  • Following up on this lie perpetuated by the entertainment media that it’s “the most streamed show”, Suits is getting a spinoff, called Suits: LA, which will air on NBC as opposed to USA. Should have been called Ties
  • Universal Music Group screwed over TikTok users when they removed their song catalog from TikTok on February 1st. They felt they weren’t being paid accordingly, but I’d feel better if this move had been encouraged by the artists themselves, who won’t see more money from this.
  • In a recent interview, Star Trek frequent guest John de Lancie (Q himself) said that he feels that, due to the strikes, the window for producer Terry Matalas’s proposed Star Trek: Legacy series has probably passed.
  • The title of the Beetlejuice sequel was revealed yesterday, and I HATE it: Beetlejuice Beetlejuice. Now, if you’re familiar with the franchise, then you know that title is teeing up a third movie that hasn’t even been earned yet.
  • Television mogul Byron Allen has reportedly made a $1.4 billion offer for Paramount Global. I hope he one days gets the network he’s been wanting all these years, but I don’t see this deal happening. Maybe one day I’ll write about why
  • Last weekend was WWE’s Royal Rumble, capping off a news-filled weekend for the brand. I’m not gonna get into all that, since I haven’t read the full report yet, but it was pretty cool to see current TNA Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace make an appearance in the Women’s Rumble!

Whoever is working publicity for Sesame Street deserves a raise, because it’s been quite some time since a children’s show has been in the news for something good. It all started last week, when social media posts showed that Big Bird was now small. Why was he small? We didn’t know. But grown folks were worried! Usually at a height of 8’2″, Bug Bird spent the week at a diminutive size, asking folks to help him get back to normal. In any case, he was returned to his normal size after 7 days, but the questions remained. Apparently, it was a throwback to a 2005 story where a spell made Big Bird small for 2 episodes. All of the images being posted to Sesame Street‘s X account were taken from that episode. However, we still don’t know the why of it all. If they weren’t publicly (and HBO) funded, I’d assume it was a lead-up to a Super Bowl ad. And the craziness didn’t stop there!

Earlier this week, fan favorite Elmo asked folks on X how they were doing, and people had ANSWERS! In less than 48 hours, there were over 12,000 replies. People were TRAUMA DUMPING! However, sometimes that’s just what people need. Plus, I trust Elmo more than I trust the folks at BetterHelp (It’s a scam – Don’t trust anything you learn about during a podcast ad break! That goes for the ball shavers!). Folks saw this exchange as an example of emotional intelligence and, once again, Sesame Street showed us why they’re important to development – of not just kids, but for all of us. That’s why Sesame Street had the West Week Ever.