Pop Culture Mondays/7.18.22

The “UNIVERSE” Edition

Welcome to my brain…

HAPPY Monday my darling pop culture junkies. I am so happy to be back after a break last week. I am currently writing this on a flight back to the US from London — slightly comatose, totally exhausted, and sad to be leaving Europe or the NON-EU but you know what I mean. But I am leaving London just in the knick of time as London is scheduled to be 40 degrees (that’s like 100 degrees for you Fahrenheit people) for the first time in recorded history. So, yeah. Good news for people like Elon who will be welcoming us all to Mars soon. ( I have been watching a lot of post-apocalyptical stuff recently because…obviously. I am really enjoying Netflix’s new “Resident Evil” series tbh…also, if you watch “The Wire” or “Bosch” you will be VERY happy:)

The timing feels perfect tbh with regards to this SPACE news that took over the socials. I was in Poland and flying to Greece to work with Choose Love (more at the end of this!) when the news broke about these new images. Honestly, I was like OK more space…yawn. Because I am a jaded, horrible, cynical person. I mean I remember the Hubble stuff from a lifetime ago and it was….MEH. WELL….it turns out there is a REASON for the excitement and for the difference in images that OF COURSE the NYT pod “The Daily” told me all about. Turns out there was an embarrassing (to NASA) error in the configuration of the Hubble so the images were LESS than one would hope. Please don’t make me talk science…it is as painful for you as it is for me. SO trust me…listen to the pod here:

SO look…time never has made sense to me so I am not going to try to understand this which seemingly means the pics we are seen are actually from basically shortly after the Big Bang which was basically the beginning of time. THAT’S HOW LONG IT TOOK to get to us. But let’s look at the reactions on the socials because they truly got me through it all:

See, the one on the right was from the Hubble images, and the one on the left? WEBB, baby. Here are more:

OK SO…let’s get to it. There has been a LOT since I took a week off. I am not going to get to all of it…I am just going to summarize a few things so you guys are IN the know the best that you can. Of course, most of you are on a Greek island or in Puglia or Portofino or exploring Athens or just somewhere better than a Delta flight from London. BUT I digress…

Welcome to my new subscribers. Hi to my readers in Poland — I learned I have actual subscribers IN Poland who read PCM every week which was amazing to learn. We are a pop culture newsletter. We are NOT TMZ or the Daily Mail or Deux Moi…Sometimes we cover funny things, sometimes it's tragic. Sometimes it's silly. Sometimes it's political. Sometimes it's terrifying. It is what’s taking over the socials or the kid's convos. Sometimes I skip stuff. Sometimes I miss stuff. It’s chaos. So buckle up…



OK as I said…we are in catch-up mode. Plus, Robinson keeps pouring wine into my glass so we need to move along here. See below for things you might have missed, or might want to know more about, or will need therapy for…enjoy:

BENNIFER FINALLY DID IT. Let’s be clear. I still have PTSD from when JLo and Ben Affleck broke up in 2004. Let me paint the picture of ME at that moment in time. It was the year I was turning 30. I had moved back to NYC from San Francisco. I had broken up with a BIG love at that time and was looking for signs that fairy tales existed. I still wore barrettes in my hair, and a slight glitter shimmer was in all my products. But let’s look back at what else happened in 2004:

  • Facebook launched at colleges
  • Martha Stewart went to prison
  • Lance Armstrong was still winning Tour de France’s
  • The Red Sox won the World Series for the first time since 1918 and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl.
  • Napoleon Dynamite was the hit movie
  • William Hung was pop culture gold:
  • Friends had its finale.

There were other bad things like tsunamis and shootings but we are going to skip right over that. It was a LONG time ago. It feels like a long time ago. Social media did not exist yet. So I learned about Jlo and Ben breaking up from places like Gawker and People and it BROKE me. He had gone from scruffy Boston boy to Vogue cover boy with fancy suits and new teeth. JLo had gone from dancer to Selena to a global sensation. It was TOO much. Too much glitz and glam and paparazzi and it blew up spectacularly. Rumors ran amok but the agreed-upon narrative was that it got too much for Ben. He was terrified of the life it was going to bring. The showcase, the non-stop media attention. DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?? How about this….

Stick with me here….

ANYWAY…JLO and Ben went forth into new relationships and marriages and kids. So, we have covered this rekindling here and I have said before it felt like a SIGN…of something great. and we all woke up to the news that they are NOW married. A simple marriage, in Vegas. Ben wore a jacket he owned and changed in a bathroom with graffiti. JLo wore a simple dress and had her hair down. It was just them. In Vegas. At a chapel. Just them.

Are you still with me? (If you watched Sex and The City movie then yes…YES you are…) Does it NOT remind you of what ultimately became of Carrie and Big?

Anyway, I am happy for the newly married couple and the socials have gone wild trying to figure out which movie her dress was from as she wore two dresses but one was from a movie….the detectives are at work.

A lot happened on the fashion front the last two weeks because of fashion shows in Europe. Balenciaga had a field day with celebs. From Oscar winners to a reality show “star” whose dog continues to run away to make out with my dog, were had Christmas early.

My fave was Nicole…who was done dirty in my opinion:

There was a lot of Kim K and her daughter but I am tired you guys.

But then we had the Valentino show that looked spectacular. And the beautiful actress Flore Pugh was in attendance in a glorious new pink Valentino moment:

Like could she be more flawless and beautiful. And as someone who had recent breast reduction surgery, I am obsessed with her breasts and basically they look exactly like the picture I gave to my doctors.”THESE….I want these.” But people took to the interwebs to call her all sorts of names but the biggest outcry was not even that she was showing her breasts,…but that they were “tiny” and she should be embarrassed. It took over and people came out defending her…but then she came out publicly and commented and I am so happy she did but sad she had to:

So there we are. The world is a mess.

But do not fear…we have something to make you feel warm and fuzzy.

Sometimes trends happen on TikTok that are not real but they become real because everyone starts talking about the THING and doing the THING. I think this is what vabbing is but I just cannot say. Here is the deal guys. Vabbing is um….it’s when a woman uses her own…um…look there is no other way to say this…her juices as a perfume. Fingers go IN…and then you dab it behind the ear and on the wrists like the finest Chanel Number 5. They say it makes the person of interest fall in love with you. LORD whatever it is o isn’t…I have watched enough for me to put TikTok down for a while.

I am sorry. In advance.

Moving onto more innocent things…

Have you watched the most recent season of Stranger Things yet? I really urge you to if not. We already know it has brought Kate Bush back into the charts and introduced her to a whole new generation. But it also brought us Eddie Munson. We all have had an Eddie Munson in our loves and especially if you grew up in the ’80s. He was a bit of a misfit, a bit of a rocker, a Dungeons and Dragon’s fan…but with a heart of pure gold. Viewers fell in love with him. SO much so, the actor playing the villain (SPOILERS ALERT) had to apologize.

Joseph Quinn is the actor who plays Eddie Munson and he is having a MOMENT. This season may single-handedly boost Netflix as it was MASSIVE and Quinn is one of the reasons. He is so beloved by fans that this past week at Comic-Con, he was mobbged by fans and apparently tried to make time for everyone. Allegedly, some Comic-Con staffers were frustrated with him for taking too much time and they snapped at him or something went down. WE ARE NOT SURE. But what happened the following day has gone viral and a star was born (he was already well on his way…)

But the bromance between the villain and the hero from the show is also bringing TikTok great joy…

It seems all the cast are having a bit of fun. The show has so much amazing young talent but then also incredible talent from my generation including Papa, who is played by Matthew Modine. Let’s give Modine the respect he deserves…he was in maybe one of my favorite music videos/movies of all time and that is Madonna’s “Crazy for you” from the movie VisionQuest.


I digress…but here is an older and even more darling Modine at Comic-Con this past week when fans have some fun:


We are a hodge podge this week I know but that’s because it really is just a summary as so much has happened. I am not even talking about Boris…remeber him? No…let’s end on the PCM ZADDY himself, Chris Meloni aka Stabler aka Elliot Stabler from LAw & Order SVU and his new one I don;t talk about and AKA the man who admitted he loves working out naked leaving many of us…well it was a lot.

Look, I don’t love my Peloton anymore. I am not sure I ever loved it let’s be clear. I am not a Peloton person…I want to be for sure but I don’t have the rhythm or the coordination like me on a bike is NOT cute. But I am now tempted to keep trying with the APP because yet another genius creative move from Ryan Reynolds owned advertising company….

Also…the ending is GENIUS.


I started this newsletter on the plane but then the wifi crapped out so I am finishing it at my desk in a NYC hotel room and I have to take a shower but before I do….this week’s podcast will be AMAZING. The co-founder and CEO of Choose Love, the organization I was just traveling around Poland and Greece with meeting refugees and people helping refugees, will join me.

So definitely check it out and see why Harry Styles — among others — Choose Love.

If you aren’t already a subscriber (PLEASE PLEASE SUBSCRIBE!!!) and please do SHARE this with all your friends…and IF you want this in your inbox, please send an email to:





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Brooke Hammerling

Brooke Hammerling

Talk to me about tech, pop culture, cheese or dogs.