Saturday Morning Brain Drain [17/6/23]

Image via Netflix

What I Watched: Season seven of Queer Eye, set in New Orleans. By now you all must know the schtick, even if you do not watch the show. So . . . I like the home renewal, Bobby Berk is talented, even if everything used is from his license with IKEA and Walmart. I mean – the dude used white upholstered furniture in a frat house. And Tan France does a mostly fine job in revitalizing wardrobes, and Jonathan Van Ness is a talented hair stylist.

That said, I fast-forward through Antoni Porowski’s food sections: here is how you make a sandwich; you can cut up vegetables as appetizers, etc. There is zero skill involved. Eater gave a damning review of his restaurant, Village Den. “The sweet potato wedges were overcooked to mushiness, the lemongrass brown rice didn’t taste much like lemongrass, and the purple potatoes were all color and no flavor. Moreover, though the main dishes were unfailingly delivered slightly warm, the sides were room temperature, and sometimes slightly desiccated. If I remember correctly, real TV dinners came out of the oven piping hot.

I also fast-forward through the “culture” guy, Karamo Brown’s sections. He is an American television host, reality television personality, author, actor, and activist. He is NOT a licensed therapist! Yet every show, he makes people cry, brings emotional drama, and pretends to solve issues that won’t be worked out without years of therapy. I growl at the TV, “Dude! You are NOT a licensed therapist!”

As per House Beautiful: Perhaps the biggest project the Queer Eye crew tackles in season seven is a University of New Orleans frat house. Yes, they upgrade the fashion sense, hygiene, and overall lifestyle of multiple fraternity members—including fixing up their house. The house was in an unsurprisingly horrific state, with an uncleaned toilet, moldy shower, trash bags on the floor, red cups abandoned on a beer-pong table, and a sticky pole covered with flies (yes, you read that right). Design expert Berk and his team were in for quite the challenge with this abode. “Everyone check your toxic masculinity at the door,” grooming expert Van Ness said during the episode, referring to the group of fraternity members. “You get a makeover! You get a makeover! You get a makeover! “The Fab Five also lend their expertise to other locals throughout the season, including a New Orleans Saints superfan and a formerly incarcerated thrift-store owner.

Season Seven trailer

What I Read: The Bride Wore White by Amanda Quick (who also write as Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle). Her three nom de guerre’s write in different periods (post WW1-pre WW11, the Victoria Era, current day, and future off-planet,  but all are linked by family names, historical precedence, and psychic talents. I like her stuff, quite a bit, but she has become quite expensive – this book was $14.99 on Kindle – and I will bet that your library will have it in some format.

Here is the blurb: A psychic desperate to escape her destiny—and a killer—finds her future in the coastal town of Burning Cove in New York Times bestselling author Amanda Quick’s latest novel.

Being Madame Ariadne, Psychic Dream Consultant, wasn’t Prudence Ryland’s ideal gig, but it paid well which was reason enough to do the work—until she realizes that her latest client intends to kill her. But Prudence, a master at reinvention, finds a new job and home as far away as possible and is finally able to relax—which turns out to be a big mistake. Letting her guard down means being kidnapped and drugged and waking up in a bloodstained wedding dress in the honeymoon suite next to a dead man. With the press outside the hotel, waiting with their cameras and police sirens in the distance, it’s obvious she’s being framed for the man’s murder. Prudence knows who is responsible, but will anyone believe her?

It doesn’t seem likely that rumored crime boss Luther Pell or his associate, Jack Wingate, believe her seemingly outrageous claims of being a target of a ruthless vendetta. In fact, Prudence is convinced that the mysterious Mr. Wingate believes her to be a fraud at best, and at worst: a murderer. And Jack Wingate does seem to be someone intimately familiar with violence, if going by his scarred face and grim expression. So no one is more shocked than Prudence when Jack says he’ll help her. Of course, his ideas for helping her involve using her as the bait for a killer, but Prudence feels oddly safe with Jack protecting her. But who will protect Prudence from her growing fascination with this enigma of a man?

What I Listened To: Generationals – Hard Times for Heatherhead;Lloyd Cole – Warm By The Fire (he stills sounds good, a bit raspier, and has a new album out June 23); Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Pretty Boy (Robert Smith Remix); and Ghost Woman – Do You.

Thank you for playing Brain Drain! How are you, dearest ones? Darling DeadSplinterites, what is up with you? Please do share your status!

About Elliecoo 519 Articles
Four dogs, one partner. The dogs win.


  1. I saw the latest Spiderverse movie and enjoyed it a ton. It’s not as much as a stunner as the first, because now you know what they’re capable of doing. But it’s still a great sequel. The story is still a lot of fun and the animation is fantastic.

  2. Watched:  Lewis Black, Thanks for Risking Your Life.  This was the last show that Black did right before everything shut down due to the pandemic.  This was part of a tour that Black was on which was going to lead up to one of those comedy specials.   So, the production values here are raw compared to what you’re used to seeing, but the comedy is—as always—spot on.

    Listened:  Damon Fowler


  3. …seem to have been catching up of late…so haven’t got to the new season of strange new worlds quite yet

    …if you missed it when it came out & are partial to one-scene plays then the tilda swinton/idris elba double act in 3,000 years of longing is…better than I expected from the premise

    …& I finally got around to starting the second season of the perry mason reboot with the guy from the americans

    …also…forget if I mentioned having seen the ant man & guardians of the galaxy outings from recently…neither of which is the sort of fun the first of their sequence was…but the ant man one suffered worse from being blended into enough phase-whatever-we’re-at-now homework that it started to lose sight of the film you thought you’d set out to watch?

    • The Perry Mason is on my wish list; sadly, not available to my streaming services. I may have mentioned this before, but I remember watching (and enjoying) the original black and white version as a child.

  4. Black Mirror is back! I watched the Josh Hartnett episode (he was my teenage crush) and was intrigued because the concept could be taken down many different plot paths. Instead I was disappointed by the boring misogynistic one they landed on. I can’t talk about it without spoiling it but I just want to shred it. Anyone else see that episode? What were your thoughts?

    • Hmmm – I have Netflix, and have apparently missed – six – seasons of this highly recommended and reviewed show. I know that many DeadSplinterites have really enjoyed it; it still “felt new” to me. (Scurries away to add to list, hangs head in shame.)

      • …so…charlie brooker has done a lot of good stuff…from satirical pastiche of TV listings through being a columnist of righteous ire about pop culture with an emphasis on tv…used to be a great bit of the tv guide supplement the guardian ran on a saturday…& in some ways black mirror is the natural progression of his stuff

        …&…it had its moments…so I don’t want to bash it exactly…but…it wasn’t what it once was last time I checked in on it & I can’t say as I’ve been particularly eager to circle back & see if it regained its footing?

          • They are all stand alone episodes (with exception of one being self-referencial). The first season was ground breaking at the time. Bandersnatch is unique in that it is a choose your own adventure. I would pass on any that don’t interest you within 10min of watching.

  5. i am a gently running stream of cold mountain water

    minding its own business

    being cool…and refreshing

    unbothered by the yellow death orb

    for it matters not

    as i am water

    fucking sweet water at that HA! none of that salty shit

    but yeah…didnt watch or read anything….house is an oven

    currently making myself less warm by dancing around like a moron in dutch party mode

    it seems to be counter productive

    but i figure if i keep it up for long enough ill get the results i want

    if that how politics work…then thats how everything works right?

  6. Finished FUBAR.

    It was strange to see the cast shoot up the church where a friend of mine once got married in.

    The climactic fire fight was more fun than the reception afterwards so… progress?

    The series itself was okay/mediocre. I wouldn’t have hung on without Ahnuld so there is something to be said about the ole Hollywood star draw.

    • …at least in so far as I can imagine it FUBAR minus arnie would still have been head & shoulders more enjoyable than citadel minus tucci

      …so I’m not advocating for it to been put on a pedestal or anything but it has that going for it, at least

      …citadel really is the nearest thing I’ve seen to the sort of written-by-chatGPT fare the writer’s strike is saying will inevitably result from rendering it impossible to earn a living writing entertainment…FUBAR was just the regular sort of formulaic, I figured?

    • Thanks to the miracle of remote TV earbuds, I can read while others watch stuff that isn’t necessarily my cup of tea. So I saw the bit with the lady fighting and Arnie showing up in his suit tailored to hide flaws. His plastic surgeon rocks, because he looks a very well-preserved age 75 as opposed to Liberace.

    • …good point

      …saw the first couple or so episodes round at a friend’s place

      …should probably angle for a repeat invite & see how it’s coming along

      …got the impression it might be like the expanse in being good but partly by knowing how to deviate from the source material to make something better suited to the medium?

    • okay….now how the fuck did this comment end up down here when it was in reply to splinter above

      well technically it was a reply to my reply to splinter

      (who is not called rip today apparently)

      wierd shit going on here

          • …they were only teenagers…maybe when they got old enough they’d mature into master oogway from kung fu panda?

            …& splinter was a fine chap but if I could pick…I’d either want to be master shifu from those movies…because you can’t fight nominative determinism

            …or the latest in a long line of drunken masters like the venerable sam seed…aka “beggar so”

            …I mean…if the cap fits?

        • roger wilco….living room is back down to the high 70s courtesy of my fancy fan i think

          may be an hour or two till i brain properly again

          alcohol may throw that estimate off by about as many hours as i stay awake for tho

  7. I binged Fubar last week, I enjoyed it but it is pretty silly.  I think they should spin off Tom Arnold’s character.  That would be some great Dexter dark humor kind of show!

    I’m listening to new The Heavy (because they are some Bad Muthafuckers!):


  8. Randomly ended up watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2  last night, it was surprisingly good. Definitely recommend if you like romcoms, yet also it wasn’t really a romcom since there was no new relationship to wait for the ending for. Anyways, would watch again casually on tv for sure.

    • What is the best romcom ever, in your opinion? I tend to get frustrated by the stupid decisions characters make to advance the plot, but I’m willing to try one!

      • …I’m going to assume picking the princess bride is cheating

        …but I quite liked grosse point blank?

        …& some of the smuggled shakespeare ones like 10 things I hate about you punch above their weight

        …for some reason when I started typing I thought I had an answer from the not-so-distant past but now all I think of are things like one crazy summer…which weirdly also has john cusack in…or license to drive…which I’m almost certain will have aged more poorly than they have in my memory?
        […I know mine wasn’t the answer you were looking for…but I thought if I kept typing the answer I almost had might come back to me…& now I’m hoping maybe someone else will suggest it & I’ll know it when I see it?]

      • @elliecoo, this is a tough one!!!

        I’m going to set some ground rules for my answer. I’m excluding straightforward adaptations of classics (i.e. The Importance of Being Earnest or Pride & Prejudice). For me, a romcom needs to be a story where I am wrapped up in the story, empathizing with at least one of the romantic leads, the leads have good chemistry, and they end up together.

        I’m excluding fantasy movies as they also kinda jump among genres (best examples being The Princess Bride  and Enchanted).

        I personally hate the trope of *OMG she just needs a makeover and then she’s so pretty and the dude likes her!* so there’s none of those.

        Also, I want both leads to interact with eachother for most of the film, so I’m excluding movies like Love, Simon which was a great film but you’re waiting for him to find his admirer the entire time, not seeing them together.

        My favorite one is probably 27 Dresses. They have such good chemistry and the b plot with the sister and the boss is really well done.

        I also love the dynamic between Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore, so hard tie between 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer. That being said, Adam Sandler is not everyone’s cup of tea so if a person doesn’t like him, those movies will be intolerable.

        Also, Sandra Bullock is a delight in romcoms and my favorites of those with her are Two Weeks Notice and The Proposal.

        Honorable mention to The Holiday which is a fantastic romcom, but also I have a lot of emotional baggage around Christmas so that makes that one a little less enjoyable for me.


      • @elliecoo, it appears that *no one* has given you the *correct* answer to your “best romcom” question;

        Ever After (the Cinderella story starring Drew Barrymore!)…

        It has *everything* in it, is immensely quotable (where else would one hear Leonardo DaVinci say, “Yes! I shall go down in history, as *The Man who opened a door!*”), and it’s just cute & GREAT!

        It quotes from Thomas More’s Utopia, has Angelica Huston as the stage-eating Wicked Stepmother, and a young “wicked” step sister who fiiiiinally started getting credit for all her excellent portrayals, just in the last few years (Melanie Lynskey)…

        It’s a really fun movie, the costumes are great–even if there is the occasional *noticeable zipper*–and the cast still apparently like each other–which is, in and of *itself,* a rarity!😉

        Second runner-up would have to be 10 Things I Hate About You–a fabulously accurate then-modern-day retelling of The Taming of the Shrew.

        It’s Shakespeare at his BEST, modernized to the era, and–again, with some eminently quotable lines;

        “Pipe down, Chachi!” Probably being the one which was most commonly used over at the Old Jez & GT😉😈🤣💖


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