Welcome to Hyperfixate! This weekly newsletter would usually publish on Wednesdays, but didn't this week for personal reasons beyond my own understanding. If you can let consistency slide every now and again, why not sign up here, it’s free.
A quick apology to you, my lovely readers, that were expecting this week’s Hyperfixate in your inbox on its usual Wednesday. Lots have been happening, my apologies for the delay. It was also Eid this week and I like not working on holidays that I love.
Here’s what you missed on the proverbial Glee:
Are They… You Know… Friends of Lily James?
Celebrity friend groups are only a tiny bit fascinating to me. Clearly an extension of the parasocial relationship industrial complex, there’s something about them that’s akin to observing friend groups via their Instagram presence from rival schools at a debate tournament. It’s some twisted, morbid, invasive curiosity bred into me and my peers via tabloid osmosis. I don’t know why I want to know more, because I know those people do normal friend shit that my friends and I do anyway.
Lily James has a particularly interesting celebrity friend group. The best and brightest in British talent: Gemma Chan, Billie Piper, Douglas Booth, Richard Madden et cetera; and former Captain America: The First Avenger cast members Hayley Atwell and Dominic Cooper. I wonder what that group chat is saying about Dominic West.
I want to focus on this Captain America connection a little bit because Miss James has been pulling a Dianna Agron on me. If you recall the gossip columns last October, James was spotted with White Captain America himself, Chris Evans. And now, she’s starring opposite one Sebastian Stan in Hulu’s Pam and Tommy, an unauthorised look at Pamela Anderson’s relationship, and abusive one at that, with Tommy Lee. Anderson herself has expressed distaste for the adaptation, and obviously, she’s right to.
I think my fixation with this is simply because James looks almost unrecognizable as Pamela Anderson, unlike Leonardo “RihNavy” DiCaprio in the first look at Martin Scorcese’s Killers of the Flower Moon. The show’s make-up department deserves some accolades, that’s for sure, because wow:
It’s not too on the nose, but the look comes as close as it can get. I’m a simple person, I see a hot girl, I click. I’ve seen Lily James on stage as Eve in All About Eve. I saw that at the Noel Coward theatre for Gillian Anderson, where I first saw Jessie Mei Li. She was good! I don’t think she’s ever been in anything that lets her demonstrate whatever acting abilities she has; Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again and Baby Driver doesn’t really feel like her moments despite her being the lead. Apparently she’s mean on set? I don’t know, this is what I hear through the grapevine. I don’t think it’s any of my business. But that's unfortunate, isn’t it? Why aren’t people nice?
I don’t know what to expect from Pam and Tommy. I don’t know what to expect from Sebastian Stan’s rabid, almost Pedro Pascalified fanbase. As for Lily and Friends, I hope they’re having fun? Yeah, I hope they’re having fun. Good for her for having lots of friends. We all should if that’s what we want.
Norman Reedus is a Capricorn, like Jesus Christ
This is an actual thing Norman Reedus has said in a WIRED Autocomplete Interview. Reedus also knows the Big Three in his natal chart (A Scorpio Rising and Leo Moon, what a combination). I’ve been catching up on The Walking Dead with my parents, so naturally, I’m on YouTube watching a lot of Steven Yeun on Conan and Norman Reedus answering the Internet’s most searched questions. He posted the following on his Instagram the other day, and I am simply obsessed:
This bike is everything. This bike probably has everything.
Also, I was unaware that Reedus doesn’t actually sound like his Walking Dead counterpart, Daryl Dixon. Like, he doesn’t have a Southern accent, and he’s very, very relaxed when he speaks. He sounds like someone I know or another actor whose name is at the tip of my tongue but I can’t remember for the life of me.
I also just found out that Norman Reedus was in a very popular Prada campaign in the 90s. We love to see it. I do, however, have a problem with him riding cross country on a motorcycle with M*r*lyn M*ns*n on his show Ride with Norman Reedus.
good 4 u is good 4 us all
I was going to save this for next week but since this is coming out on a Friday instead of a Wednesday, why not! I think Olivia Rodrigo’s good 4 u is her best single yet. It’s part Avril, part Lorde, part Taylor, and full Olivia. Love seeing the Filipina girlies win! Always!
The music video is right up my alley, what with the clear homage to the early noughties from the cheer uniform all the way down to the flip phone product placement. Petra Collins did a stunning job directing it. The ending of the video is giving Jennifer’s Body, and of course, I’m obsessed.
A Personal Note
There’s a quote that’s been ringing around in my head for the past few days. It’s John Mulaney saying: “When I’m alone, I realize I’m with the person who tried to kill me.” Those in attendance during his post-rehab show, From Scratch, at NYC’s City Winery recall him saying this at the end of his set after profusely thanking them for being there.
That quote has been rattling around in my brain because I’m coming up on being 500 days sober next week. It’s the longest I’ve been sober in a really long time, and even then, every day is difficult, egregious, and exhausting. What he said really resonated with me; whenever I look in the mirror, I am looking at my biggest saboteur. Someone who could really hurt me, or worse. I’m never candid online about my mental health; there’s the obscure blog post or tweet but I’m not really the sharing type. I’m aware of the irony in that since I share every stupid thought about everything else online.
I think of Mulaney often, I admire his work and admire it publicly. It’s bizarre seeing all this press about him. People Magazine is covering his personal life like he’s Jennifer Lopez at the Dunkin Donuts Drive-Thru. PR as an industry will always elude me. It’s part of celebrity culture, to be sold a window into their equally bizarre but human lives. People make a living off that, isn’t that insane? I’m writing about it, too, which is just as insane!
It’s why I feel so much dissonance sometimes between the person that used to tweet about any ol’ Harry Styles non-events and the person I am now. But to be fair, Harry Styles has embarrassed me a number of times and the 10-year One Direction anniversary took up most of my July last year. A lot of this newsletter is an attempt to re-examine my relationship with celebrity culture and an American-saturated media landscape, even if I’m caught between Britain and Indonesia. Nobody’s perfect, in the words of the great Hannah Montana. Is divesting from it an option? Probably. But it’s so funny sometimes, too. I’ll do my best to walk that line.
I guess this edition of Hyperfixate is another longwinded way of saying I’ll do my best to follow through. And I hope you stick around for the journey. Thank you for sticking with me thus far. I’m very grateful to you.
If you have some money to spare, please consider donating it here. If you need epub copies of The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi or Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis, feel free to drop me a line (firstname.lastname@example.org or message me if we know each other), I’m more than happy to share1.
I hope you, reader, are doing okay.
See you next week.
if you don’t mind keeping where I got the copies from on the low