Pop Culture Mondays/10.4.21

The “SQUID” Edition

Welcome to my brain…

HAPPY MONDAY my darling pop culture junkies! I am coming to you from the place PCM was born: my dining room table in NYC. I packed for Fall in New York: Sweaters and jackets and boots and I currently have the ACs on at full blast and trying to remember how I lived with high humidity but alas I have my JACK’S STIR BREW MAD MAX coffee and I am ready to DO this. It has been a week. Last week was an abbreviated PCM due to the CODE CONFERENCE which took place in LA and just a shout out to Kara Swisher and the whole VOX family for it being a SMASH. I never thought I would miss conferences so much but being able to congregate and listen to fascinating conversations with the likes of PATRON SAINT (in my head) of PCM, ELON and other icons, it was just really fun. SO…now that I am in NYC and will get all my steps in every single day before noon, I need to crank this out so I can get to Murrays and get myself a bagel with whitefish (not toasted, I am not an animal.)

Welcome to my new subscribers. All I can say is, grab headphones as there is a lot of video in this newsletter. But not a lot of TRUMP in fact NO Trump always and forever so it is a SAFE SPACE.




I kind of want to kick myself for not writing about this show last week before hysteria had totally taken over. This was a show I first clocked almost immediately after it came out as I saw people on the socials starting to talk about it. I was intrigued. I went into it having NO idea what to expect other than it was gory and IT WAS THAT but I mean I could not stop watching it. It is mental but also so well done but also terrifying but also has all the feels. I simply cannot express how wild this show is. And it is fast becoming the biggest show on Netflix and I am pretty sure that’s a lot to do with the social commentary on it. AND ALL THE MEMES. First of all, if you have been living under a rock and have not heard of “Squid Game” then watch this:

While all of these actors are now going to be global stars, I hear from friends who speak Korean that for the MOST part, the English translation in subtitles is abysmal AT best which is annoying. SO I hope someone fixes that (AHEM, NETFLIX). BUT in the meantime, as this has taken over the social dialogue amongst people in EVERY gen….let’s go the memes and tweets and all that jazz.

FIRST of all….there are so many. So let me start here as this is a TWO-FER. Meaning here is a TikTok that ALSO incorporates a new TikTok Trend of the moment:

This trend kills me I cannot with it. I shall show you more of THIS trend before we get back to SQUID ONES.

I mean it is so not funny but so funny at the same time so if you hear this music coming from your kids bedrooms just KNOW they are pretending to be shot which is weird but also…CONTENT.

I known it’s wrong but these make me laugh so much so I am going on a tangent here:

OK so here are more “SQUID GAMES” related content now and in case you missed the memo, the show is about a group of people in debt from things like gambling who are all brought together by a mysterious group promising they can win MILLIONS OF won (the Korean currency everyone has learned about and we have all Googled what a won is in US dollars let’s just be honest. ANYWAY, hundreds of men and women are housed together and told they have a series of 6 games and the winners will take home a HUGE amount of money and clear their debts and provide for the families. And the games, like their own version of RED ROVER RED ROVER is NOT how it was in school…it has like a LOT of death. SO for more memes:



I honestly cannot believe this guy gets his own post but I cannot FIGHT the process man. I am just sitting here and have zero control how this newsletter plays out each week it is like I am possessed. I initially assumed I would lump this whole situation in with a summary of what’s happening on the TikTok for all of you HOWEVER, the demons took over and now I am devoting an entire post on COUCH GUY. So before I get into the controversy, here is the TikTok that has the world spinning:

A sweet video showing a girl surprising her long distance college boyfriend who was seemingly caught off guard WHILST sitting on a sofa with some girls has the Internets in a FRENZY and a million or more videos trying to investigate what was REALLY going on has taken off with the actual people in the video denying there was anything suspect about it. The general belief is that the BOYFRIEND aka COUCH GUY, was sitting with another girl he was into when his GF walks in and he slyly moves his hand and phone in a way suggesting he was up to no good before she walked in. It has also caused a meme sensation. SO sit back and kiss those braincells goodbye!

Many many many have their own take on this:

If you are still confused, this is a great explainer:

AND another good take:

And some are confused why this is even a thing:

Couch guy and his GF have gone on the defensive and denied all of the assumptions people are making as shown by this TikTok:

OHHHHH but what is BERRIES & CREAM TIKTOK?? Jesus we are ALL over the map this week with one trend morphing into another so let me try to explain THIS other viral sensation BERRIES AND CREAM.

BACK in the olden days of 2007, there was a new Starburst flavor called “Berries and Cream” which is I am sorry but horrifying to me. ANYWAY, this is the ad and like so may good TikTok trends, the community re-discovered this and took it to another level:


If you have kids at home then I am GUESSING you have heard this little gem at some point.

This TikTok creator THE REAL LITTLE LAD has set off quite a maddening trend:

BUT man oh man do I love how creative everyone is. IT BRINGS ME JOY.

And the BRANDS notice…for something over a decade old, Starburst has just released a little lad Halloween costume:



WELL A LOT has happened on TikTok this last couple weeks I have to say. BUT maybe nothing as soothing and maddening (can those things happen at the same time? I SAY YES) than Emily Mariko TikTok. IF your kids have asked for a salmon bowl and talked about ice cube and parchment paper then LET ME EXPLAIN. Emily seems to be an influencer….food maybe? Lifestyle? I really don’t knowhow you categorize her but her videos are mesmerizing but ALSO, make me feel like shit because I do not organize or food prep or cook like her at all and I have rage about it now. BUT I will say, I made her salmon bowl recipe and it was annoyingly delicious. OK rather than me talk more…you0 can watch:

This video has stores running out of salmon. Most of her videos she does not speak and she doesn’t actually list out the ingredients or directions so people are on their own for the most part! BUT they are something that have billions of views now:

AND of course the TikTokkers have their own spin….whether a joke or serious, watching people prepare food and eat it on the TikTok is truly addictive:

And then our SWEET SWEET TINXY showed us her take:

AND when I say I followed Emily’s recipe to a TEE including the roasted seaweed and chopsticks and I loved every morsel of it.

For more on Emily:


WOO boy I told you there was a lot. I am THIS close to getting my bagel so we are in the final stretch. JUST a few other things that dominated this week:

  • THIS WSJ tech reporter really had a MOMENT this weekend when conducting an interview in a head band which led to media twitter having a FIELD DAY. But first, let’s discuss THIS…because I am not one to judge (hahahahaha ok that’s funny) but like IF a young woman did this, people would crucify her. But guys are BRO-ing out and while I am all for fashion forward moments, it does take away from the seriousness of the conversation which is FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER:

And then media columnist for the NEW YORK TIMES gets in on it and I love how it goes ignored:

ANYWAY, headband guy was a thing for a minute.

  • FAT BEAR HAS COME FOR US. Apparently it is FAT BEAR WEEK in the US and up until last night I had no idea what that meant but it is a thing and I THINK it is a way to raise money for the National Parks which is a GOOD thing so let me just link to this:

AND Wonder Woman herself helped us all clear up the confusion:

  • APPARENTLY, Kylie Jenner Swimwear is poorly made garbage that the TikTok community is showcasing. The resounding opinion is: DO NOT BUY:
  • And now, THE LAST BUT NOT LEAST FAVE THING THIS WEEK? It is WATCHABLE CONTENT on HBO Max and HAVE FUN kids which is called THE WAY DOWN which has a few meanings though since this is ultimately about people who died recently in a plane crash, the title is a bit dark. But I binged this.

THAT IS IT my darlings. I have to now prep to get out of ath-leisure which I have learned to live in 24/7 i LA and try to get into wearing REAL CLOTHES NOW so that’s my next mission. SEE you next Monday!

Be SAFE. Be kind.

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