Looking for the ghosts of the 1990s in the “Friends” reunion, and finding an inverse of Sondheim instead

they’ll be there for you, forever

Look at these people, Aren’t they eerie?

Look at this party, Isn’t it dreary?

I’m so glad I came

— Sally, ‘Don’t Look at Me” from Follies (1971)

The Friends set is not crumbling. The Russian dressing colored couch in Central Perk is not in tatters, and the moths haven’t eaten at the corners of its upholstery. The foosball table in Joey and Chandler’s apartment isn’t in pieces. The garish purple paint in Monica’s apartment isn’t wilting and weeping off the walls. Everything is as it was, unmoored by time. Well, except its cast. One by one, they tacitly enter…


The creators behind “Circle Jerk” make its audience look at people looking in a mirror, waiting to be consumed

I never wrote the essay about my sort of-ex that I had intended to, one that started out drawing the ironic comparison between his flawed communication style and inconsistent articulation of his desires with the fascination he had (which he then shared with me) in the flawed communication style and inconsistent articulation of desire, of the women on the Real Housewives of New York. It was intended to be a poisoned lollipop of a personal essay, a mode I generally avoid, vacillating between the mild transgressions of someone who didn’t know what they wanted, the person who got strung along…


The Housewives are back, and more surreal than ever

For a brief moment, as it was both truly brief and momentary, The Real Housewives of New York returned to its quasi-anthropological (or at least by Bravo standards)/Lauren Greenfield-esque roots. In the premiere episode of its 13th season, the reality TV show paused to show us a reality that was beyond the grip of producers and could not be manicured or performed or contrived in the way that many of us reductively understand how reality TV functions. It was just about time and space for a second: the relentless streets of New York on March 1, 2020, everyone going about…


A humorous short story about a boy, a girl, a tattoo, a boy, and a little divine decadence

After speaking with five designers, three friends who had recently gone through the ordeal, reading no fewer than fifteen Yelp reviews per each seven parlors, pestering two people who had stepped out for a smoke break from each of the respective seven parlors, and contemplating six iterations each of four design ideas, getting the tattoo of bowler hat donning Liza Minelli balancing on a chair, lavender lipstick and emerald green nails smirking, on a Thursday evening in November in Connecticut was the most spontaneous thing Eli had done in his life. …


Never thought I would say that again…

The last time I cared about the Academy Awards with any kind of sincere or earnest investment was 2011, I like to tell people who didn’t ask, like the barista who once complimented my “Fuck You” Mario Kart blue shell pin on my pin as if it were then the green light to tell him my life sory. I had been transformed by Melancholia and Lars von Trier was the first auteur that I fell in love with high school (a problematic fave, to be sure), and Kirsten Dunst’s full throated embodiment of depression, of the cosmological end days, of…


You won’t catch me in seats for “ The Avengers 45: Electric Boogaloo” unless Kylie Minogue starts singing “Who Are We?” or something

That Adam Driver in Marriage Story, Every day I wake up and Marvel hires an actor I like to try to get me to watch their silly little 40 hour movies. Well, nice try Mr. Kevin Feige! Nice try! I won’t give in that easily! I have strength, will, self-respect (not really), and, most of all, I am stubborn, which I get from my Irish Catholic mother, and she and I haven’t had a pleasant conversation since 2017, and at this point, I can’t remember why.

Michelle Yeoh. Rachel Weisz. Elizabeth Olsen. Marisa Tomei. Tessa Thompson. Linda Cardellini. Michelle Pfeiffer…


On broken hearts and lost time in Sondheim’s “Follies”

In Sally’s eyes, as played by Imelda Staunton in the 2017 National Theatre revival of James Goldman and Stephen Sondheim’s musical Follies directed by Dominick Cooke, you can see madness, pain, a dream slipping through her fingers, curdling into nightmare. It’s Sally’s folly in the back part of the show, the ghosts of the past not so much stalking her, her pathetic and unfaithful husband Buddy, her former best friend Phyllis, and the object of her desire Ben, so much as creating a phantasmagoric vaudevillian performance space which forces them to confront their ills. This is “Loveland”, as the hoofers…


Give me a Baumbachian dramedy about Bossk, you cowards!

With the announcement of the new Obi-Wan Kenobi show’s production beginning, as well as its new cast comprising such luminaries as that lady from that cult, one of the brothers from Good Time, and stand up comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s tethered, I thought to myself, I’m so glad that they got the star of Little Italy Hayden Christensten to join the cast! I also thought about other Star Wars shows I would rather watch than one with Ewan McGregor being dragged back into a galaxy everyone gave him Hell for.

(Also, I watched the Star Wars movies stoned recently — so…


The kind of sexual racism that many of us have experienced is embedded in the kind of queer life that’s been designed for us to follow without a ton of alternatives, or the space to create those alternatives. And online spaces like Grindr take advantage of that, monetize it, build an infrastructure around it. Of course, you have places like Bubble Tea and Papi Juice, spaces that were borne out of a need to exist outside of a white gaze. And, my own identity, I have felt ambivalent about for a long time, because I am adopted, my parents were…


The pizza from “Mystic Pizza,” the Furby from “Uncut Gems,” and the Greeting Card from “Easy A” tell their side of the story

The part of the late winter, that time just as the winter’s frost gives its final kisses to the ground goodbye, is perhaps my favorite to return southern Connecticut: to the aquarium my mother took me to, splashed in homosexual blues, lesbian purples, and bisexual penguins; to the bookstore nearby, the Book Barn, lovingly named for the area on the farm where my queer ancestors squirreled away to discuss Judy at Carnegie Hall and have orgies scored to Maria Callas; and, of course, the pizza joint from that cult Vincent D’Onofrio movie from the 1980s co-written by the guy who…

Kyle Turner

Snarkoleptic. Queer monster. Amateur critic. Professional snob. Writer person. I am relieved to know that I am not a golem. Words in Slate, GQ, the NYTimes, etc

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