‘Normal People’ Star Paul Mescal Discusses the Importance of the Intimacy Coordinator

Normal People — Episode 8 – Episode 108 — (Photo by Enda Bowe/Hulu)

The Me Too movement has also led to the rise of Intimacy Coordinators on set, and it begs the question — how did actors go so long without them? An actor/friend once told me that sex scenes are often so uncomfortable because they are so poorly choreographed, and because many directors are also uncomfortable with the scenes, the actors are left to their own devices, which can lead to problems.

After binging Normal People on Hulu, I was extremely curious about the sex scenes, especially since they were so raw and believable. In the interview below, series star Paul Mescal details the importance of the Intimacy Coordinator. And kudos to the interviewer for asking well thought out questions.

Hulu’s ‘Normal People’ — The Best New Show to Watch

I’m only four episodes into Hulu’s Normal People, and I can already say it’s one of the rawest, most realistic portrayals of young, complicated love that I’ve seen in nearly a decade. Based on Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, the series follows Irish lovers Connell Waldron (Paul Mescal) and Marianne Sheridan (Daisy Edgar-Jones) as they navigate their on/off romance, which is complicated by different upbringings, the opinions of others, personal insecurities, and all the mistakes we make before we know better.

The Guardian reviewed this gem of a series with a heavy, unforgiving hand, calling it “little more than a gutless soap opera for millennials.” And the takedown didn’t stop there. They also said it is “a tedious reworking of a romance plot as old as time. I’d rather read an honest bodice-ripper.” I don’t think I’ve ever been more pleased to read a review. Why? Because it’s so incredibly wrong it just proves that jaded hearts and elite television palettes simply won’t understand it’s beauty — and that’s okay. Yes there’s a class struggle “as old as time.” But the story is more about young love and when acted out by two people with Sheridan and Mescal’s prowess and earnest chemistry, it will inevitably feel fresh.

Podcast Week #3: “The Dishmaster Does Things”

Hi, friends! It’s week three of my new podcast, and I’d like to thank everyone for their support. This week we cover a lot of romantic entanglements, including Jay Culter and Kristin Cavallari’s messy divorce, Nikki Bella wanting Artem Chigvintsev to get a job,  and Demi Moore and Bruce Willis quarantining together. Plus, I’m coming for the producers of MTV’s The Challenge, and I hope they’re listening.

Jax Taylor Doesn’t Like the Vanderpump Rules’ Youngins

VANDERPUMP RULES — “Don?t Do It, Brittany” Episode 804 — Pictured: (l-r) Brittany Cartwright, Jax Taylor — (Photo by: Gustavo Caballero/Bravo)

When I say Jax Taylor is the voice of reason on Vanderpump Rules, friends and fellow fans tell me I’ve “lost my mind.” But if you watch the clip below, you just might agree.

The show introduced a new cast of characters, and longtime fans rightfully say that it is changed the dynamic for the worse. Though I was originally on board the fresh blood, it has become clear that their storylines are over-produced, and the drama is artificial. Since the original cast was already friends, the show has always been organic and authentic. Now, it’s manufactured attempt to keep things alive given that the main cast is getting married and growing up. While I appreciate the effort, I’d rather the series and then morph into something forced.

Watch below to hear Jax’s honest and blunt take.

‘Songland’ Season 2 Premieres — Hit for Lady Antebellum

SONGLAND — “Lady Antebellum” Episode 201 — Pictured: (l-r) Lady Antebellum, Shane McAnally, Ester Dean, Ryan Tedder — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

Once upon a time, I spent many days inside a recording studio as a fly on the wall listening to the songwriting, recording, and production process. Those days are over — but NBC’s Songland has provided a surrogate experience, as unknown songwriters looking for a break pitch their tune to some of the most successful artists in the business.

With a little help from an A-list songwriting panel — Ester Dean, Shane McAnally, and Ryan Tedder — the show has managed to churn out number one hits for the artists that participate, and the season two premiere delivered the goods with Lady Antebellum.

Watch below to see Madeline Merlo’s “Champagne Night” clinch the win. Merlo was teamed with lyricist-wiz Shane McAnally who was so damn good Ryan Tedder tossed his notepad mid-song, as he realized there was no longer a competition.

Quarantine Podcast #2: Michael Buble, Kourtney Kardashian, and John Mayer

Hi, friends! My podcast is still in its experimental stages, so please be kind when you listen below, as the audio situation deserves a little more attention. But for those of you looking for a little reprieve from the Covid-19 catastrophe, this podcast is for you. Enjoy your pop-culture rundown.

Crisis Averted: Your Celebrity News Has Arrived

Image courtesy of @TylerCameron3

The Bachelorette’s Hannah Brown and Tyler Cameron are cozying up in Florida and former star of The Bachelor Nick Viall has something to say about it. Cosmopolitan

E’s Morgan Stewart is dating Dr. Phil’s son, Jordan McGraw. E! Online

Vanessa Hudgens landed in hot water over her controversial Coronavirus comments. USA Today

Lana Del Rey and her boyfriend split. The Sun

Former Lost star Evangeline Lily refuses to social distance, despite being immune compromised. Just Jared

Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington were almost cast in Clueless. Too Fab

More evidence has been revealed Lori Loughlin’s trial. CNN

Victoria’s Secret is capitalizing on the inclusivity movement instead of setting the standard. Daily Mail

Chris Evans seems like a good dude. Gossip Cop

Tori Spelling posted a racist photo, and the Internet is dragging her for it. DListed

Lily Allen might be married. Hollywood Life

Fiona Apple’s New Album on the Horizon — Gives Detailed Interview With The New Yorker

Photograph by Malerie Marder for The New Yorker

Those who know me might be surprised to discover that Fiona Apple and I actually have something in common— and no, it’s not her artistic genius. I too have had an unforgettably awful conversation with Quentin Tarantino, and while I’ve never had the desire to do drugs, that conversation could have been an PSA for anyone even considering it.

In a new interview with The New Yorker, Apple says she was inspired to get sober after spending an “excruciating night” with Quentin Tarantino and her ex-boyfriend, director Paul Thomas Anderson, while listening to the two brag. Apple goes on to detail some disturbing moments in her relationship with Anderson, which provides stark insight into her personal life, along with many other very deep confessions.

Her upcoming, highly-anticipated album, “Fetch the Bolt Cutters.” promises to have all the passion and raw emotion that the classically trained pianist is known to deliver, and its journey began in 2012. Its title is a reference to The Fall, a British police procedural starring a sex crimes investigator. Her interview is especially worth the read given Apple’s talent for lyrics. Every single word that comes out of her mouth is cutting in its profound honesty, including her take on comedian Louis CK, whom she encouraged to dig a little deeper with some more self-scrutiny claiming that if he could not, he is “weak.”

To read the rest of the interview, click here.

Jessica Simpson is Still Having a Rough Go of It

I’m rooting for Jessica Simpson. I’ve always been a fan, I watched newlyweds, and when she and Nick Lachey split up it felt like the end of an era. But they were young, and they didn’t stand a chance with the monkey of Hollywood on their back.

Since the show has ended, Jessica Simpson has had great success as a businesswoman and mother of three, and Nick Lachey has started a family of his own. It therefore baffles me why Jessica Simpson would take the route of writing a memoir, especially if she is not in the mental place to do it.

Though I know absolutely nothing about her on a personal level, it took me two seconds to watch her interview on The Today Show to surmise that even though she proclaims to be sober, something is awry. I by no means want to pick on her, but I also want to make it clear that I’m not buying what she’s selling, literally and figuratively.