I'll be the judge of that.

DOPE Digest Returns! vol. 23 – Housewives, Bieber, Grimes & More!

DOPE Digest is a weekly roundup of pop culture miscellany, with succinct analysis from our contributors.

 Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 6 Trailer


syvo: Yep, this is gonna be good. My only quesion is: “How good? Because I need to be really ****ing good.”

Based on the trailer, I am surprisingly psyched for this. “Surprisingly,” you say? Shouldn’t I be pretty much rapturous? Well, when I heard that Brandi and Kim Richards were departing for this season, I was extremely disappointed. Along with Lisa Vanderpump and Kyle Richards, they represent the dramatic core of the show. It’s strange to think about a Kyle with no Kim to cry over, or a Lisa with no Brandi to be politely fed up with. Plus, season 5 in many ways felt like the end of a long, sad road for some of these women. I’m still not sure how much I like Rinna and Eileen, so adding two more new women (while losing two established ones) makes me feel like I don’t recognize the show anymore.

But this trailer is pretty inspiring. The two new women, Kathryn Edwards and Erika Girardi, both appear to be awesome. Plus, I was stoked to see cameos from Kim, Brandi, Taylor, and Bethenny Frankel (Faye Resnick, not so much). Alongside season 4 of the inimitable, sublime spinoff Vanderpump Rules, this winter sesaon is peak Bravo.

The season premiers December 1, and a week before that Bravo airs a retrospective special The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Uncensored. Cannot wait.

BK: Oh you Housewives, why you gotta be so REAL?

Unlike the relatively-simple universe of my preferred reality show, The Bachelor, the housewives have replicated themselves across the nation (and around the world!) like some Andy Cohen-powered Skynet – except instead of Terminators we have white wine and Botox. Typically with this level duplication leads to a drop-off in quality, but from where I’m sitting (usually on our couch, watching a split-screen of football and Housewives because life is about balance, people) there is always quality drama to be shared whether we’re in NYC, Beverly Hills, Melbourne, New Jersey, or… wherever.

But seriously, was that butt-waxing in the trailer? Classy.

Julia: Even with cancer-faking Brooks on the OC, RHOBH is by far the darkest of the Real Housewives franchise. This new trailer features the poison that is Brandi Glanville, Yolanda’s ongoing issues with Lyme disease, and the sad saga of the Richards sisters that made the end of last season almost too tragic to watch. But we have many reasons to be optimistic about this season: 1) comic relief from Lisar (Lisa Rinna), 2) dynamic duo Kyle and Lisa Vanderpump in a pink convertible, 3) Yolanda’s refrigerator and 4) a huge list of cameos including Gigi+Bella, wonderful Camille, and BETHENNY. We need to think positively, people! Vanderpump herself said it best, “life isn’t always diamonds and rosé, but it SHOULD be.”


Entertainment Trailer

syvo: I think this looks pretty remakable. I can’t say I’m too familiar with the director’s work, but the trailer seems haunting. It looks like a much more serious and competent take on whatever Judd Apatow was going for with Funny People (2009), a highly imperfect albeit interesting film about how sad you can be while still making people laugh. I’ve been anxious to see what Tye Sheridan would do after his awesome starring role in Mud (2012), and here it looks like he’s landed himself some incredibly interesting work. Looking forward to this.

BK: This one looks nice and uplifting!

Even if this 2:30 trailer just made me feel like life is completely meaningless, I have to agree that the movie looks pretty dope indeed. John C. Reilly and Michael Cera are welcome headline names, giving a certain instant-levity to an otherwise (potentially) overwhelmingly depressing plot. The shots look good, the hair looks greasy, and the glasses look thick. Sign me up!


Justin Bieber – “I’ll Show You” Video

BK: All aboard for the Bieber comeback, amiright?!

NOT so fast, internet. Yes, this song is excellent (though not as good as Sorry) and yes, I like seeing a kid with some talent rehabilitate himself and hopefully make some good music along the way.

But all the comeback talk is a little bit much. Confident was as good a track as he has in his discography and that was from his last album. I mean hell, on his previous release he put out Backpack, one of the single weirdest/greatest songs ever.

So yes, it’s great to have him back getting love from the ‘mainstream media,’ but I also seem to remember offering to have him on our podcast even when he was egging houses in Malibu. The offer still stands, Justin!


syvo: You’re right, King. We’ve always supported this young man and I will continue to do so. That said…I do have a lingering question concerning his comeback. Why, oh why, does the production on every one of his new songs have to be composed of tiny, annoying noises? To be honest, most of it is fingernails on a chalkboard to me, some more than others. Overall, this song is pretty mediocre. It’s not as good as “Sorry”. Meanwhile, the production is fairly annoying, but not as annoying as “What Do You Mean?” Lastly, this video is totally lame.

But yeah, anyway, go Bieber!


Grimes – “Flesh Without Blood//Life in the Vivid Dream”  Video

syvo: I’m glad to have Grimes back. It’s been nearly four years since her last album Visions, and it feels like a decade. Her new album Art Angels is out this week. The lead single and its accompanying video offer pretty standard fare. “Flesh Without Blood” has the sound of one of Charli XCX’s less inspired efforts, but it’s fun enough and a bit more becoming than the poorly-received “Go” from summer 2014.

For a stronger track off Art Angels, check out “REALiTi“, released earlier this year.

BK: Stronger than this?? Pish Posh, I say. Or, you know, something people actually say that means ‘you’re crazy.’

This song RULES. It’s quick and poppy without being cheap. The video is a stitch more original than standard pop video fare (especially when things get a little bloody toward the end), and her vocals sound fantastic. Even if she’s following in the relatively-unheralded steps of Charli XCX, to me that would be a welcome change for Grimes.


Ariana Grande – “Focus” Video

syvo: I went into this expecting it to be really crappy but…hey! I’m pretty into it. I dunno know what it is, but I’m powerless against her charms. This sounds to me pretty much like an Ariana Grande song, and I mean that in a good way. I dig the lavender color palate of the video. Not to mention the exciting new look!

BK: I’m mixed on the bleached blonde thing – get back to me in a couple weeks (you won’t!).

Ariana Grande is super talented and I have no doubt that with her donut-licking days behind her, she’ll be Focused (see what I did there) on putting out a great follow-up to her last album My Everything, which I still pop on the ol’ Apple Music player from time to time. This track, even with its mix of Mystikal-esque vocals and Mark Ronson backbeat (usually two of my favorite things) isn’t quite what i was looking for, but I still dig it. And apparently it sounds nothing like her album as a whole, whatever that means. Oh Ariana you woman of Mystery!


Krampus Trailer

syvo: So, Halloween is apparently over but horror fans will be happy to know that there are some Christmas scares on the way.  I think this movie looks awesome. Holiday-themed horror movies are always welcome, especially Christmas ones: Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984), Black Christmas (1974), Jack Frost (1997), Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Add Krampus to the list of yuletide frights.

Also, I was pleased to learn that apparently Krampus is a real thing in Europe.  He represents the terrifying dark side of Christmas for misbehaving kids in Austria, Christoph Waltz recently explained on Jimmy Fallon. And, yep, should’ve known, Brooklyn’s Morbid Anatomy Museum apparently hosts an annual Krampus costume party. We may need to hit this, BK.

BK: You’ve outdone yourself with this one, syvo. It looks PERFECT!

It’s great to see Adam Scott branching out beyond Smirnoff commercials, especially in such a bizarre movie. As far as I am concerned he can do no wrong, so I’d already be headed to the theaters for this one even if it didn’t feature a giant clown-faced goat monster.

But the clown-faced goat monster definitely helps.

 Spotlight Trailer

BK: This is the danger of taking time off, syvo. A movie like Spotlight with its stellar reviews and great cast – and which opens TODAY in a few theaters across the country – can sneak up on you like like a camouflaged night-panther.

I’m pretty intrigued by the plot as well, even if it might be a bummer to relive the tough times before the  Cool Pope was handling things for the Catholic Church. And the more movies about self-righteous journalists, the better.

syvo: Agreed, this is a great looking cast. I think it looks good, if kinda sanctimonious in a very “Hollywood” kinda way. The director, Tom McCarthy has had mixed success as of late. His last movie was the unspeakably stupid-looking Adam Sandler movie The Cobbler (2014), and before that he did the excellent and truly underrated high school wrestling indie Win Win (2011). Let’s hope this one has more the latter. But hey, maybe Adam Sandler will make a cameo as a bufoonish priest.


DOPE Throwback – Taking Back Sunday – “You’re So Last Summer”

syvo: As the second big single from Tell All Your Friends, this was the song that solidified Taking Back Sunday as the premier third-wave emo act. This song contains some of the most iconically emo lyrics ever whined or wimpered in the history of the genre. By 2003, I was already coming to terms with the harrowing realization that pretentiously sad boys, like me, were a dime a dozen. More than a decade later, that’s still the case. Happy Emovember, BK.

BK: What a song! What a band! And who would have known that Flava Flav is emo too?

This is the perfect combination of catchy and depressing, the ideal pairing for an emo anthem. It feels good to be back in Emovember, syvo. Let’s spend the weekend whining about life.

Happy Friday.


Follow syvo, Julia and BK on Twitter.



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