Pop Culture Mondays/7.17.23

The “MOVIES” Edition

Brooke Hammerling
Pop Culture Mondays


Welcome to my brain…

Hello and HAPPY Monday, my darling pop culture junkies. Greetings from one of my absolute favorite places, London. Most of you know I am a true Anglophile, but despite this fact, I have never been to Wimbledon, one of the most English things to exist. But that has all changed, and my brain has been altered because not only did I get the chance to go this year, I got to see the men’s final, which was the most mind-blowing thing I have ever seen. In case you missed it or any of the news, I encourage you to go back and watch it. It was like 5 hours of the most insane tennis, and I cannot imagine how these guys have the stamina to do what they do. I couldn't wrap my head around it. But it was all so English with strawberries and cream and Pimms and rosé champagne and men in linen suits and Brad Pitt being Brad Pitt and women in beautiful dresses, and it rained and then was sunny and then rained and then was sunny. My friend Chrysi had the unfortunate task of ensuring full protection should my dress blow up as it was so windy. The whole experience was insane.

The most talked about moment, other than 20-year-old Spaniard Carlos Alcarez winning the whole thing in 7 sets, was when Anti-Vaxxer Novak Djokovic broke his racket in frustration:

But from the very start, it was obvious that the Wimbledon crowd was very much against Djokovic and very much rooting for “CARLITO” and the crowd was just hilarious and so joyful and riveted, and it was just an incredible experience.

I also cannot lie, but I spent much of my time watching Brad Pitt watching the match because it was almost as exciting as the game TBH. OK, no, the game was insane, but I will say Brad’s haircut is really great. So points to THAT stylist.

ANYWAY, thank you for indulging me. This is a bit of a hodge podge of a week of pop culture things, so let’s just jump to it. Apologies if it seems rushed, but while I am sitting in the library of the really beautiful NOMAD Hotel in Covent Garden, I am anxious to get out and be IN London as it is a city I never get sick of exploring.

In case you missed last week’s pod…


Hollywood is being rocked by now both the writer’s and the actor’s strikes, and the minute the SAG strike was announced, actors at premieres and on red carpets of movies dipped out in support of their union. And it is ironic since it is the biggest summer for blockbusters in a while…so let’s first discuss the movies and then circle back to the BIZNESS of it all.

NOT sure you guys were aware, BUT there is a “Barbie” movie hitting theatres on July 21. Oh, you didn’t know? (This is sarcasm.) Then you have not seen the billion pieces of content on it or the integrated marketing campaigns with every brand known to man. From Progressive:

…to Airbnb:

…to Candy Crush (the game us olds seem to love):

…to Bumble, the dating app:

….to jewelry brand Kendra Scott:

…to Crocs:

…to NYX Cosmetics:

I mean, for the LOVE OF GOD, it’s a lot. Go to Google RIGHT NOW and type in “Barbie,” and see what happens. Go. I mean, it is never-ending, and there are 100 more brands that have done collabs, from furniture companies to rug companies to a company that makes POOL FLOATIES. So, it will be fascinating to see how this translates next weekend into ticket sales. I mean I am over pink at this point…give me something dark and brooding.

But of course, there is an answer to that since “Oppenheimer” opens the same weekend, in what could not be a more opposite movie. How many of you are going to do a double feature and IF so, do you start with “Barbie” and then go to “Oppenheimer” or the other way around?

I mean, it is truly the polar opposite of what we are going to get with “Barbie”:

OK, so next weekend will be a fascinating one to watch and see what ends up happening. Will the success of these films be due to the marketing? The CEOs in charge of the studios? Or the acting, writing and directing?

Not really a hard one there.

But we had Daddy Hollywood, AKA Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, make a rare gaffe the other day. I mean, the man looks good in a suit or layered casual gear, I will give him that. BUT, the things that came out of his mouth while sitting for an interview at the Sun Valley Allen & Co conference known as SUMMER CAMP FOR BILLIONAIRES were realllllllly something:

I mean…ill-advised, ILL-ADVISED like I was SCREAMING at the TV when this unfolded live, and as a communications professional, I was like, “Oh, dear lord, wtf is wrong with you??”. Look, I am not saying there are not both sides, but even if Iger was 100 percent right (he IS not)…he delivered the message entirely wrong and really maybe shouldn't have attempted the convo AT all whilst dipped in Loro Piana atop Sun Valley. It’s a “no” from me. Because THIS was the obvious response:

And SAG president and America’s NANNY, Fran Drescher, ripped him a new one:

And speaking of Fran Drescher, she really has become the Norma Rae of the moment. This was pretty spectacular:

So…it is a BIG moment for the movie business. And an unnamed studio exec told Deadline that the studio execs will just let this strike pay out til people start losing their homes and therefore have to give up, and so that was REALLY well-received. Scary dude from movies like “HELLBOY” and shows like “Son of Anarchy” Ron Perlman, went viral for his video:

It is all a mess, and it sucks, and my heart breaks for my friends being impacted by this.

The first Hollywood strikes in a TikTok world. Will be fascinating to watch.

And speaking of movies, the first trailer for “Wonka” dropped. The movie comes out CHRISTMAS, but we are getting our first taste now, and you ALL know how much I love me some Timothee Chalamet but this…..THIS…is maybe not it. I don’t know…what do you guys think?

And again, TikTok has spoken, and I fully agree with this analysis:


I think we ALL need one collective holiday to clear our heads and our hearts. In the meantime, let’s look at some highlights (and lowlights) of some OTHER pop culture-y things that have gone down this week.

If you are a parent and have a staircase in the house that is stone or wood and you have found broken pieces of glass around, well, here is why. The kids have found a new obsession:

You get the idea. This one gives me so much anxiety.

This one really hit everyone hard. Whether you are on Twitter or Threads or Instagram, this got you and awoke something in your soul that was VERY unhappy. But basically, if you could describe hell in ONE picture, this is it. It almost seems like this is AI-generated. Like someone said, “Show us a picture of what hell looks like,” and this is what was delivered back.

BUT alas, it is real. For a more in-depth look, here you go (thoughts and prayers):

SO, you might have seen this image floating around. It’s like a Who’s Who of celebs…there is ONE thing everyone has in common here and can you guess what it is?


So this is apparently an annual dinner party of friends (no pun intended) hosted by the actress Kirsten Bell, but apparently, it was held at Jimmy Kimmel’s Idaho ranch. I mean, this is what TikTok tells me, so who knows? But MAN did this go viral and not because of all the people in it, but because it was….well, it’s very white. YES, Olivia Munn is there so yay…diversity. But the reactions were not great. I mean, I don’t agree, but I do agree with the fact that in 2023, people with platforms need to be more aware of what the socials will take offense to…this is one of those times, and we have everything from parallels to the workplace to taxes…it’s a lot:

And then you have the reactions to the negativity:

Not since the picture of THIS dress has there been so much controversy over a photo:

SIGH. No one can have fun.

Maybe they can have fun, I stand corrected. New sports trend unlocked! HOBBY HORSE COMPETITIONS have taken over the TikTok.

I mean…I am obsessed. I covered this a few years ago, but I am glad to see it’s making a resurgence.

This is Haley Odlozil and her husband, Taylor, and son, Weston. TikTok was captivated by this family's story as Haley was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer and Taylor documented her progression and ultimate understanding that she would die. They brought TikTok into this journey for the family, and it was hard/heartbreaking to watch and as someone who lost her mom to cancer and the daily heartbreak you faced as the disease progressed, it was pretty impossible to get through. There are so many TikToks, but here are some examples:

They all started with, “Haley is still fighting…”

Until this:

And it has brought many in the TikTok community together who felt a part of her family throughout this journey.

It was pretty hard to avoid this story over the weekend. Everyone was posting to their socials about Carlee Russell, who went missing after apparently pulling over after seeing a toddler walking along the road alone. Carlee was on the phone with a family member at the time, and she went out to check on the child and then screamed, and then the line went dead. People go missing all the time, but something about THIS story captivated everyone.

And every creator made a video about it or posted to Instagram about it.

It went everywhere.

And then….in what seems like a miracle, she was found. Or appeared is a better description as she showed up at her parent's house. They are saying she was kidnapped, but of course, now EVERYONE is wondering what really went down. As this creator says, let’s just be relieved she is OK:

This is just a little analysis of ONE trend unfolding increasingly on TikTok. And it’s not new, but it might be new to you. And the reason why I am talking about it is that it dawned on me a few weeks back that as CRAZY as it sounds….Jeffrey Katzenberg’s main premise of Quibi was ultimately NOT wrong.

You remember Quibi, right? The failed before it launched streaming service for short-form content to be watched on your phone. The premise was people would watch shows in little moments…QUIck BItes of content like 10 minutes long.

People laughed. And laughed. AND laughed.

But what is happening on TikTok is bananas.


People are watching shows and movies on TikTok. Creators are literally just recording 3-minute clips of shows, including Greys Anatomy, House, SVU, and so many others. Shows you can watch in their entirety on Hulu or Netflix, but users are watching it on TikTok. And out of order sometimes. And movies…so many movies.

And creators generally don’t tag the show or movie in the description and you have to find out in the comments. Like this show starring Gemma Chan I have now watched almost entirely on TikTok:

To be honest, I had not heard of this show called Humans which has three seasons, but now I have seen a LOT of it in 2 to 3-minute clips.

And the numbers are staggering….look at just this one random show:

Many are tagged #movieclips and you can see here by this number of views on this tag alone, well QUIBI was not wrong:

Yeah, babe…B IS FOR BILLION.

And maybe the Spotify podcast with Meghan and Harry was a bust, but Spotify does have a huge success on its hands with “Call Her Daddy” pod hosted by Alex Cooper. Years ago, I covered the drama around this pod and its creators, but since then, it has grown into a giant. Spotify built Alex an amazing studio, and she gets amazing guests as she sits in her athleisure across from them in her living room setup. She is not a trained journalist or interviewer…yet she is pulling guests that historically would have gone to Oprah or Gayle or Diane Sawyer. But alas….they are going to Alex Cooper. And the pop culture world was shook last week when it was revealed that Zayn Malik of One Direction fame, among other things, gave his first interview in 6 years to her:

Zayn is a good kid. He’s a smart kid at least from what I gathered in my experience with him. Speaking to Alex is like speaking to your peer, your friend, your mate. She's not trying to have a GOT YOU moment. He had a lot of controversial ground to over and could do so on his terms in a chill and relaxed setting. And it is a really amazing thing to watch and see how it is all unfolding.

And lastly, just some of my fave TikToks this week:

Can you imagine being at this concert?? My head would explode:

And this one from artist Yung Gravy responding to an “older” fan is hilarious:

AND speaking of Yung Gravy….he got on the whole trend making its way around TikTok…and it’s the new food trend that is all about dipping protein and whole raw veggies into cottage cheese and mustard. Yep. I know, but hear me out…it is delish.

Here is the trend:

And we will end with this TikTok, which I have watched a million times:

THAT IS IT, my darlings…

This was a bit longer than anticipated, but I am writing this from the gorgeous library of the Nomad Hotel, which is glorious — and I ate my veggies and mustard while writing this, so I am LIVING the dream, my darlings. Also, the hotel thinks I am a mental patient for my order, I am pretty sure — so there is that.

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