Issue #21: Fashion and Wins!
The SAG Awards recap. Plus, an update on Fezco and a note to Ben Affleck.
This is Obsessed!, a weekly entertainment newsletter packed with fresh and distinctive takes on celeb gossip, TV, film, music, and fashion. If you like this kind of thing, join the fun by subscribing now!
Depressed, But Still Obsessed!
This issue of Obsessed! almost didn’t make it.
Prone to taking on the world's weight, I have struggled to cope with my emotions about Russia’s violent attack on Ukraine and the maddening government response to COVID-19 in Ontario, Canada. This week, a personal loss compounded the challenge. My niece and nephew had to say goodbye to their 20-year-old cat, Toonie (yes, 20!). I have known Toonie since she was a kitten, but over the last two years of “bubbling” with my sister and her family, she has become an essential source of joy and comfort for me.
Toonie’s death unleashed an unexpected torrent of grief. I have been holding myself together for the most part, but this week I came apart.
My wild fears about my decision to step away from my full-time job as a social worker, putting career and financial stability on pause, resurfaced. I was simultaneously gripped with terror about the state of the world and the smallness of my daily life. I’ve only had in-person visits with one friend and my sister’s family and pets since Christmas! Losing one of those beings was another unwanted reminder of impermanence when I am desperately seeking certainty.
So how could I write an entertainment newsletter when I could barely get up from my horizontal position on the Kleenex-littered couch?
Well, I took the advice that I gave to a fellow writer the day before. Ramona Grigg, the author of Writer Everlasting, posted a beautifully vulnerable piece about how Russia’s war on Ukraine’s democracy has her questioning her place in the world and her role as a writer. I was feeling very sure of myself on Monday, and I left this comment on her post:
“The only way I know how to keep sane(ish) is to keep my eyes on the horrific, speak up when and where I can, and find ways to dip into the light and silly for a reprieve. You are not alone in your anger; try not to get lost in it. Your writing (the serious and the light) will help you and others.”
Oh, how wise I was just twenty-four hours before my breakdown!
So, I am turning to the light for a reprieve, writing about my silly entertainment obsessions and the oddest parts of my psyche, hoping that it helps you and me.
Last week, I wrote about facing a Meryl Streep-Esque Sophie’s Choice decision. The SAG Awards and the Euphoria Season 2 finale aired and overlapped on Sunday evening. Unfortunately, Canadian television stations and streaming services did not air the SAG Awards, so Euphoria was my only choice. But, as Sunday approached, I found myself feeling restless, unsettled, and disturbed.
On Sunday afternoon, I knew that I could not give up the SAG Awards, and I would do anything I could to gain access to the show. So I researched VPN services and downloaded one, only to be met with the following dilemma: I needed an American credit card and address to order TNT or TBS.
AHA! My parents are Candian Snowbirds who currently reside in Florida!
At 4:35 p.m., I messaged my mother and asked her if she and dad had an American credit card. I told her what I needed it for and what my timeline was. She replied at 4:55 p.m., “Yes, we do. We are at Bob and Shirley’s. Will talk a bit later.”
A BIT LATER? I didn’t have time for a bit later! The SAG Awards started at 8:00!
For the next two hours, I waited for a notification on my phone, alerting me to the arrival of the vital card information.
Apparently, unlike me, my parents have a life.
At 6:27 p.m., I got an email from my dad with the necessary information. By 7:00 p.m., I was in!
And so, if you’ve ever wondered why this newsletter is called “Obsessed!”, now you know!
The SAG Awards Silver Carpet Review
The SAG Awards chose a silver carpet over red, but it was still the serotonin-boosting spectacle that I needed it to be. Color! Glamour! Surprises!
It is tempting to take you through every single look, but this is a curated newsletter written (most of the time) with the understanding that not everyone shares this particular obsession. So message me if you want to discuss the silver carpet looks for ten hours.
Before we begin, I must share some disappointing news — Bennifer no-showed. You can imagine my upset, but I’ll share more about that in what is now becoming a semi-regular feature: Dear Ben.
My Top 5 Fav SAG Awards Looks
5. Jung Ho-Yeon in custom Louis Vuitton. I love this sleek, black silk gown with crystal embroideries; it perfectly fits her slim frame! LV styled the look with a matching daenggi hair ribbon to honor Korean culture.
4. Cynthia Erivo in custom Louis Vuitton. This look is the color and the drama combo I have been hungry for — a red vinyl gown topped with a vinyl and faux fur cape! R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
3. Vanessa Hudgens in custom Atelier Versace. This aquamarine silk gown hugs her body in all the right ways. She looks like she is ushering in Spring!
2. Lady Gaga in custom Armani Privé. You know that I love an over-the-top Gaga look, but she knows how to tone it down when she is looking for respect as an actor. This simple white silk gown, silver bodice, and Tiffany & Co. necklace say, “I belong in Hollywood.” But don’t worry, the white Pleaser platforms hidden beneath the gown remind us that you can’t separate the Lady from the Gaga. Oh, and she didn’t wear Gucci. I told you, she’s afraid of Patrizia Reggiani’s curse! No more Gucci for Gaga!
1. Kerry Washington in Celia Kritharioti Couture! Kerry Washington radiated sunshine on the silver carpet. The yellow strapless gown, with gorgeous ruching at the waist, is from Celia Kritharioti’s Couture Spring 2022 collection. The designer presented the collection with this meaningful explanation:
“A collection that celebrates colors and craftmanship, that celebrates life. It has been two years. Two dark, difficult and gloomy years. But creativity never ends; being present is the best present.”
This color is what my eyes and my soul have been yearning for. Hallelujah!
Gucci, Gucci, Dior
None of the men wowed me, but as follow up to my previous newsleter, I felt the need to comment on these three. I predicted Gucci for Lee Jung-jae, Jared Leto, and Kodi Smit-McPhee, but the young kid threw me off my game with a white Dior ensemble! I loved Jung-jae’s navy Gucci suit — so classic. Unfortunately, Leto’s Gucci madness needs to be stopped. It was interesting the first time, but we have seen a variation of this theme for months. Oh, and someone please get him a steamer! I love the monochromatic white on Smit-McPhee. I have seen him in real life and he is one of the palest humans I have ever seen (almost translucent!), so I am surpised that this look didn’t completely wash him out.
Not Feeling Pretty In Pink
Poor Jeremy Strong had a Ralphie in a pink bunny costume moment on the silver carpet. His stylist must have read fans’ pleas for the Succession star to be suited in color other than brown, but this pink velvet Prada pushed Strong waaay out of his comfort zone. The attempt to lighten up the notoriously serious actor did not work, making Strong, who does not accept the comedic elements in Succession, look like a fool. I actually like Strong and felt bad that he obviously wasn’t comfortable wearing this beautiful color.
What were your favorite (or most hated) fashion moments of the night?
And The Winners Are…
I was 99% fulfilled by the SAG Awards wins (damn you, Ted Lasso)! I won’t go through every category, so if you missed the show and you haven’t seen the outcome yet, here is a link to the list of winners.
Let’s start with the big one! The award for Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture went to CODA!!!
I called this film “the quiet contender” in my previous newsletter. However, everything changed on Sunday night when the cast (consisting of three deaf actors and two hearing actors) took their rightful place on the stage and showed the world that communication through American Sign Language speaks volumes. This win is monumental for the cast and the film, pushing them closer to an Academy Award win for Best Picture.
Four Historic Wins!
Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor and A Male Actor In A Supporting Role went to my two favorites, Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) and Troy Kotsur (CODA)! DeBose became the first out queer woman and the first Latina performer to win an individual film prize at the ceremony. Kotsur became the first male deaf actor to win a SAG Award.
Squid Game’s Jung Ho-Yeon and Lee Jung-jae won Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor and A Male Actor In A Drama Series. The Korean-speaking actors are the first from a non-English language series to win SAG Awards. They were up against some of the most established actors in Hollywood, making their wins all the more delightful!
My Bestie Won!!!
Jessica Chastain took home the heavy hardware for Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role for her portrayal of the lead character in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye. Her physical transformation into the heavily made-up televangelist has gained a lot of public attention, but her spiritual embodiment of the character makes her performance award-worthy. I grew up in a Baptist household during the ‘80s and ‘90s, yet I knew almost nothing about Tammy Faye other than that her husband did something terrible, and she cried about it a lot. The film and Chastain’s performance shine a spotlight on Tammy Faye’s big, open heart and her groundbreaking public acceptance of gay men living with AIDS. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
Oh! And I forgive Jessica for forgetting to mention me in her acceptance speech!
Lady Gaga forgave Chastain for stealing one of her last chances to win an award for playing Patrizia Reggiani in House Of Gucci. Gaga was the first person who stood and clapped when Chastain’s name was called, proving that this lady is a class act(or).
Will Smith won Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard. The lack of buzz around his performance and the movie has been surprising. I was sure that a film about Venus and Serena Williams and their dare-to-dream-big father would appeal to the masses. I don’t like sports, and I certainly don’t know anything about tennis, but I thoroughly enjoyed the film that makes a strong case for manifesting impossible dreams. If you are looking for an inspiring, feel-good movie, this is one to watch. Smith moves closer to a big win at the Oscars in securing this award!
I’d love to hear what you thought about the wins and losses. Let me know!
Fezco Lives To See Another Season!
The Euphoria Season 2 finale was anything but exhilarating, but Fezco lives! As for the rest of the show, I will turn to this adage: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Oh, except for this: Where is the f*cking suitcase?
Please don’t take the brevity of this section of the newsletter to signal that I don’t want to talk about the finale! I have too many thoughts about it, and I thought I would spare you. But if you would like to get a discussion thread going, I’d be more than thrilled!
I was seriously concerned when you and Jen were no-shows for the SAG Awards. I watched the E! live coverage of the silver carpet event, and I kept waiting for the crowd to part like the red sea upon the arrival of Bennifer. My blood pressure rose as the clock crept closer and closer to 8:00 p.m.; time was running out!
These were the thoughts swirling in my desperate mind: Is Ben worried about a SAG Award defeat? Is there trouble in paradise? Did they secretly get married and not want to face questions on the carpet? Did Bennifer get into a deadly accident on the way to the show? Did they die holding hands? What was Jen wearing?
The truth is that you skipped the SAG Awards for your son Samuel’s 10th birthday party. You ran some errands with your mother, spent some time strolling the Brentwood streets wearing a cozy cardigan, and arrived at Jen Garner’s house for the party.
Benji, I am so proud of you. Stay on this path; you are doing everything right. Oh, and please keep up the t-shirt, jeans, sneakers, and cardigan look.
If you enjoyed this issue, show me some love 💕 and buy me a coffee. ☕️
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