Content Consumed: July 18
Goooood morning and happy Monday!
In today’s edition of Content Consumed, we’re covering the Devon Allen controversy, the trailer for HBO’s The Idol, what “hot” really even means, Netflix’s expensive bet on The Gray Man, and the lobbyists you don’t even know about.
How .001 seconds matters and rules suck sometimes (SI).
In a story that has split the niche world of track and field this weekend: Devon Allen was DQed from the 110m dash, which he was the favorite to win, because he reacted too quickly to the gun. Yes, he started after the gun went off, but too soon. His reaction time was .001 seconds faster than the .1 threshold that all competitors must meet for a clean start. He’s just… too good? Anyways, he may have lost out on a track medal, but now he’s headed to the Eagles’ locker room ASAP for training as a 27-year-old NFL rookie. As always, sco Ducks.
The Idol promises to be “sick and twisted” (Variety).
The trailer just dropped for this new HBO show, which follows a self-help guru and cult leader (played by the Weeknd) who develops a complicated relationship with an up-and-coming pop idol (Lily-Rose Depp). Directed by Euphoria’s Sam Levinson, it’ll have all the basic tenets of an HBO-Levinson project: plenty of sex, endless cocaine, mind-melting visuals, hypersexualized teens, and colorful parties.
Hotness is no longer just in the eye of the beholder (NYT).
“Hotness is a self-declaration, and that’s that. It’s a mood. It’s a vibe.” According to the Times, we of the People Online are reinventing what “hot” means. Going to law school? Hot. Eating spaghetti after a workout? Hot. In a beautiful mess of social media oversaturation, does it even matter to be physically attractive and relatively symmetrical? Not really. Not when a trucker hat can be hot, or texting the right way can be hot, or walking around your neighborhood can be hot. Hotness, one may say, is simply a mindset.
Netflix bets big on The Gray Man (NYT).
What do you get when you add up a $200 million budget, the Avengers: Endgame directors, and two splashy A-list actors? A desperate attempt to woo more subscribers to Netflix. The Gray Man is essentially a “trot around the world” with Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans portraying shadow employees of the C.I.A. who are trying to kill each other. One action sequence took a month to produce in Prague’s Old Town, and supposedly it’s a real showstopper that gets audiences cheering. However, that one sequence cost roughly $40 million to make. Will it be worth it?
Meet the lobbyist next door (Wired).
“What do a Real Housewife, an Olympic athlete, and a doula have in common?” this article’s author asks. “They’re all being paid by an ad-tech startup as influencers — peddling not products but ideologies.” This company employs influencers from every conceivable niche of society reflected on the internet to spread political messages (often right-wing—this particular startup is funded by former Trump administration staffers). Of course, there are complications: are federal disclosure rules being followed? And in an internet flush with untraceable money, what’s an earnest opinion vs. a paid one?
And that’s all I’ve got for you today. Thank you so so much for reading. Hit the follow button if you’d like Content Consumed in your feed every weekday!