The cast of Canadian sitcom "Schitt's Creek."
The cast of Canadian sitcom "Schitt's Creek."

Rappers, ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and homophobia in the time of Covid

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

Rappers, gay culture and intense stares

In a movie that premiered April 24 on Apple TV Plus, Adam Horovitz and Mike Diamond of the seminal rap trio the Beastie Boys reminisce in an evening of anecdotes, stories and trivia (the group’s third member, Adam Yauch, passed away in 2012). “Beastie Boys Story” is a filmed version of a stage show Horovitz and Diamond did last year and is directed by Spike Jonze. One of the lines from a 2004 Beastie Boys song: “The truth is brutal, your grandma’s kugel.”

“Circus of Books” is a new documentary on Netflix about Karen and Barry Mason, the Jewish couple who owned and operated a legendary L.A. bookstore that was once the country’s largest distributor of gay porn and which is now closed. The film was made by their daughter, Rachel Mason, who makes it both a family saga and a story of the AIDS epidemic.

Even though no one can go to the movies and production on sets is halted, new movies are still being planned. Shia LaBeouf is joining Florence Pugh and Chris Pine for “Don’t Worry Darling,” a psychological thriller set in an isolated, utopian community in the 1950s California desert. The script will be adapted from an earlier version by Katie Silberman, who co-wrote “Booksmart.”

Happy endings and mazel tov

The TV show “Schitt’s Creek” has come to the end of its sixth and final season. Starring father and son Eugene and Dan Levy, the series followed a wealthy family that lost its fortune and was forced to live in a motel in a middle-of-nowhere town. The show started with a quiet debut on Canadian television in 2015 but blew up when it started streaming on Netflix a couple of years later. In the fall, the show is scheduled to go into syndication in the U.S.

More than 3.5 million people have watched a clip of Mandy Patinkin from 2012, recently shared by former entertainment journalist Marc Snetiker. In it, Patinkin’s interviewer has to leave because his wife has just gone into labor. Patinkin is supposed to be talking about his hit show, “Homeland,” but instead he calls out “mazel tov” and can’t stop talking about the baby. “My God, that is the most exciting thing I’ve ever had happen!” he shouts.

Homophobia in the time of Covid

Andy Cohen, the talk show host who was diagnosed with Covid-19 in March and has since recovered, is being excluded from plasma donation because he is gay, he said. Plasma therapy is one way of transferring antibodies from someone who has had Covid to someone with the virus; blood is drawn and the plasma is separated and injected. But FDA restrictions on blood donations from gay men mean he can’t donate. “It’s crazy,” he said.

Trouble, trouble, trouble

Taylor Swift has got herself into a bit of an imbroglio. As part of an ongoing fight over control of her own master recordings, she recently called out “the Soros family” and others. “In my opinion … just another case of shameless greed in the time of Coronavirus. So tasteless, but very transparent,” she said on Instagram. Alex Soros, son of oft-vilified financier George Soros, is a financial backer of producer Scooter Braun, who bought Swift’s music, and Swift’s comments have kicked up a dust-storm of accusations and counter-accusations about using anti-Semitic tropes.

Maya Mirsky
Maya Mirsky

Maya Mirsky is a J. Staff Writer based in Oakland.