Tik But Also Tok
On getting TikTok for the first time, Jon Bernthal's very good year ahead, Bennifer, and more.
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I’ve only had TikTok on my phone for the last 72 hours and already I’m concerned for myself.
My consumption of TikToks as a medium is limited to whatever I find on Twitter, Twilight TikTok YouTube compilations, and whatever my friends send me on Messenger before they realise that I don’t have the app on my phone. I didn’t have the app on my phone until recently, when I had to say goodbye to my loyal but ultimately doomed iPhone 6 and traded up for an iPhone 8 Plus (I am a fan of the home button, but this is as far as I will go without a headphone jack.)
I had to download it once for work last year, and it did not go well for my phone. We did end up making something pretty funny on someone else’s phone though. The first time I became aware of the app I was at a Halloween party in 2018, and my friend was going on about how weird she thought it was and how it might end up filling the short-form video chasm Vine left behind after its demise. I messed around with it on another friend’s phone on a hike through the woods where he insisted on doing Naruto Run videos.
To be honest, I’m still having a hard time figuring out the app right now. But I see the appeal. I see how kids my brother’s age or friends in my age bracket spend so much time on it. But in my eyes, it’s like the Wild West on there. But not The Quick and The Dead kind. It’s the kind of Wild West I don’t enjoy: lawless in the sense that people are just saying anything; not a second thought to fact-checking or critical thinking. But that’s most of the internet. I digress.
I sound like an out-of-touch journalist barely trying to understand What The Kids Are Into These Days. I genuinely have no idea what goes on within TikTok because there’s so much going on there. For every subgenre you can think of, there are probably subgenres within that. The “discourse for the sake of discourse” culture circulating around the app is reminiscent of the kind of brainrot you’d find on Tumblr in 2013, as is most “discourse” on social media nowadays anyway. But it’s not all bad though! There are so many wholesome corners of TikTok like booktok or little video diaries that are like better edited Instagram stories.
In an attempt to try and manipulate my For You page algorithm, I went through my old Tumblr process: tracking tags of whatever I was obsessed with at the time and furiously liking posts. I started with the basics: One Direction, New Girl, and my current, intense fixation with The Walking Dead. I took cues from friends: recalling TikTok’s they’ve shared about being attracted to Sebastian Stan, teenagers dragging Camp Rock and rightfully so, and videos they’ve made. I found out I’m actually really into travel TikToks and house tours, and I’ve got a couple of favourite Indonesian users off the bat. I thought I’d share with you what I’ve enjoyed so far:
how to pronounce [insert country]’s food correctly
I’m obsessed with this waiter-customer romance saga. TikTok user @shaturday is a gem. She’s a gift to that app and to the members of my nation. Love seeing us polyglot girlies win.
tik of toktown (maretok)
I love the odd Philly resident in the Mare of Easttown tag just living their absolute best Delco-accented life. Here are some faves. This one, in particular, speaks to me re: my fixation with Siobhan being a Pharb1. What I did find interesting though, was how Evan Peters’ own fanbase has dedicated many a fancam to his Mare character, Colin Zabel. It’s hilarious watching these kids talk about Zabel the same way I used to talk about Bucky Barnes back in the day. I talk about Bucky in a very different way if you search the back catalogues of this newsletter.
This is self-explanatory; it’s my bread and butter, my lifeblood, even. I like knowing that I’m not the only 20-something that thinks Norman Reedus is ridiculously hot, nor the only person that is both deeply annoyed with but still very attracted to Sebastian Stan. It’s validating. It’s nice. It’s a sense of community built on the foundations of one of the most common human struggles: horny.
ilana glazer and jessica chastain’s tiktoks
I am intrigued by the celebrity presence on this app. Like, traditional celebrities. I know Glazer is of the hybrid television-internet phenom generation but Chastain was in A Most Violent Year. It doesn’t get any more traditional than that. Glazer and Chastain are the equal and opposite reaction to whatever it is Liam Payne and Jason Derulo are doing on TikTok right now.
tiktoks that make fun of rich jakarta kids
This is something I wish I did more of in high school, and something I definitely do now. My family is from Jakarta, but I’ve become a bitter, well-adjusted, commie Tangsel hoe, so all of this is so specific and so personal to me. I love understanding references! I love all the ones dragging anak swasta as well! We don’t shame private school Jaksel kids (myself included) enough for me!
Hot Bernthal Summer
I received multiple tweets, texts, and alerts on the subject of today’s biggest headline in “the trades”: the reboot of American Gigolo goes to series order on Showtime, starring Jon Bernthal.
That’s right, besties! Our man stays booked and busy! This contemporary adaptation of the 80s crime drama starring Richard Gere received a 10-episode order for Showtime. The co-president of entertainment at the Network likened Bernthal’s performance in the pilot to being charmed under a spell, his searing, brooding, and vulnerable spell. Where do I sign up? I’d like to be under his spell. As if I haven’t already been hypnotised, mesmerised, enchanted, enthralled, and every other synonym under the sun by him.
In this modern update, Julian Kaye (Bernthal) tries to find his footing in LA’s sex industry after being wrongfully imprisoned for murder for 15 years. It’s like if the original film started in the middle, or rather it explores the aftermath of the events of the film if it all had gone horribly wrong. I’m so excited. I know we all complain about Hollywood’s lack of original IP, but this re-telling/re-imagining could be so, so good. And I’m not just saying that because Bernthal is the lead and Showtime has a pretty lax nudity policy. I’m hoping for some LGBTQ+ updates in this adaptation. I’m looking for Leading Man Status to finally mean something again. This is a shot for men to be slutty and get out of their flop era. And I can’t think of anyone better to lead the charge than Bernthal.
It was also announced last month that Bernthal would be starring in an HBO Limited Series from the people behind The Wire alongside Josh Charles and Jamie Hector about the rise and fall of the Baltimore PD. I can’t believe Jon Bernthal is getting his own Mare. He’s in his Mare of Easttown era. I keep saying this but I’ll say it again: Jon Bernthal is too hot to be playing cops. No more copaganda. Although, my bestie and friend of the newsletter Stephanie argues that he “does look like a cop.” I’m not having it.
Do you know what I am having? A great time after finding out that Jon Bernthal is a Virgo Sun, like me. His former Walking Dead co-star Andrew Lincoln is also a Virgo Sun. Norman Reedus is famously a Capricorn. There was something in the water on that show. All those Earth Sign men and Steven Yeun’s Sagittarius ass… absolutely unhinged. I think I don’t know enough Virgo men to speak on what the internet seems to feel about Virgo men. They’re alright in my book. They’re my people, no?
Another thing that absolutely fascinates me about this man is his Instagram presence. Like, I love it. It’s distinctly him. He’s pointing in nearly every selfie or group photo. There are many videos of him playing pick-up basketball in California. Current and former Walking Dead cast members leave him a lot of love in his comments section. It’s amazing.
Jon Pointing, Exhibit A:
Xzibit B - Bernthal playing basketball + his very talented offspring sinking a three:
I also found out Bernthal’s middle name is Edward. Loyal readers of Hyperfixate will recall that I am famously Team Edward, not Team Jacob.
Bennihere, Bennifar, Where Ever You BenniAre
Whenever there’s a new Bennifer headline, everyone should take the day off. It’s a national holiday. Dare I say it, it’s an international holiday. In keeping with Mercury Retrograde and conceptual symmetry with A-Rod spotted leaving Katie Holmes’ apartment block, Jenny and Benny from the Block were straight up making out at Jen’s sister’s 50th birthday party.
The photo alone was enough to egg everyone on. It’s the perfect culmination to the utter parade of press build-up we’ve been seeing since Affleck broke up with Ana de Armas. I love it when celebrities do their jobs: doing nothing and entertaining us. Enough Imagine videos! Give me drama! Give me mess!
The video where this picture is from put me in a trance. The more you watch it, the less you’re able to tear yourself away, but the more hyperaware you become of how intrusive it really is. It’s bizarre. 2004 is still going strong. It’s going so strong that the girls from One Tree Hill are starting a podcast.
Powers of Persuasion
I still can’t believe there are not one, but two adaptations of Persuasion in the works right now. One stars my Roy sibling of choice, Sarah Snook, and the other stars everyone’s favourite fake lime enthusiast, Dakota Johnson. The first looks of the Netflix adaptation starring Johnson hit the net this week and I just about lost all sense of control. Dakota looks exquisite. Between the costuming and the look in her eye, it’s giving “that’s not the truth, Ellen” but in 1817.
It’s giving “yond’s not the sooth, Ellen.”
I want to bring attention to the most pressing matter at hand: Henry Golding balancing a teacup on his thigh.
I have no words. None I can say without getting me into trouble with future publicists and God.
Run, Maze, Run!
Today marks the triumphant return of my podcast, A Drip Town Lemory Mane, from its accidental hiatus. I promised episodes once a month and did not deliver. I’ll try and be better with it this time around. This month’s episode, I take bestie Dea into a very convoluted way to solve a pandemic—a Maze—to talk about The Maze Runner trilogy! Check it out here:
Paging Doctor Love
I’m on my buddy Yiannis’ show tonight where he attempts to try and cure me of my singleness and unrequited romance with Steven Yeun! Join us tonight 7PM BST / 1AM WIB on Twitch!
Phoebe Bridgers stans are called Pharbz, like Barbz, but Phoebe.