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Just Rankin’ Sh!t

It’s April, fools!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium. Source: Getty Images.

The best elements of Punk’d tend to be natural reactions to manufactured shenanigans; Tyler’s didn’t disappoint. After a taco truck explodes at a children’s charity event, the former Odd Future frontman smiles ear to ear while running toward a man engulfed in flames — not to offer help, but to capture footage on his phone. Fake reality sets in when he’s blamed for the blast. “Yo, is he okay?” asks Tyler, the destroyer. “I can’t go to jail if I fucked up, right?”

Leave it to Ashton Kutcher to turn racial profiling into a riotous prank. When stopped by two…


Showtime turning the siege into a show tells us everything we already knew about this country

Photo:Olivier Douliery/GettyImages

Within just two months, the attempted fascist coup by White nationalists caught its first Hollywood green light. Last Thursday, Showtime announced that the network has ordered three scripts about the Trump-incited riot on Capitol Hill for a series to be helmed by Billy Ray, director of political drama The Comey Rule. The three-part act has been made plain: the waning days of the pumpkin presidency, the insurrection, and its aftermath.

The speed with which this happened was as predictable as tax season. Twitter saw it coming from a mile away: A conspiratorial assault called forth by fascist animus and a…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

From babies to bigots!

Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Viacom via Hulu

Can you verifiably prove that the very first words spoken by Rugrats’ youngest member weren’t “All lives matter?” We’re gonna need receipts is all we’re saying.

Ever since he popped out of the womb, this bespectacled youngster had the type of timidity that would be catnip for Trumpism. You just know this ginger would hide his red hair beneath a matching cap.

Her mom is a liberated second-wave White feminist — and it’s safe to assume that the hair bow doesn’t fall far from the tree. …


Photo: Josefina Santos

The LEVEL Man at 40

Daniel Baker developed his gifts. Desus Nice gave them to the world. Now it’s time to expand.

When your moniker is Desus Nice, you can’t afford to be mediocre. You’ve got to be quicker, wittier, more aware of and conversant with the surrounding world. You’ve got to be able to distill information, to disseminate your born knowledge to those not as learned or perceptive. You have to speak the language of your audience while raising their bar. A high-wattage smile doesn’t hurt either.

These are the attributes Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker had to accrue in order to make a living being himself. …


Photos: Myles Aronowitz/Netflix, FOX/Getty Images, CBS All Access

Some of the genre’s best and brightest come together to talk about why they made the transition from rap magazines to TV and movies—and how

It’s easy enough to pinpoint the birth of hip-hop: August 11, 1973, when Kool Herc threw that pivotal back-to-school party for his sister at 1520 Sedgwick Ave. in the Bronx. Doing the same for dedicated hip-hop journalism, though, proves tougher. What we do know is that college student David Mays started The Source as a one-pager at Harvard University in 1988. By 1993, Time Inc. had launched Vibe; XXL would follow in 1997. …


Netflix’s newest bingeable heist series plays with race, but insists on doing so in a lily-white version of Paris.

Photos: Emmanuel Guimier/Netflix

In Lupin, Netflix’s new French heist series, the first score takes place below the Louvre. Having joined the building’s janitorial crew weeks before, Assane Diop (Omar Sy) ascends into the opulent showrooms of the historic museum, transforming with the scenery from musty custodian to self-made tuxedoed playboy. The seamlessness of his metamorphosis nods at Assane’s Blackness — singular among the snowflake elite in the Louvre, nondescript among members of the working class in its bowels.

We’ve seen this fish-out-of-water juxtaposition before: Think Sammy Davis Jr. in Ocean’s 11. But in Lupin, as viewers get to know Assane Diop, it becomes…


18 years after its premiere, the reality show finally has a Black man at its center. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

Photo: Craig Sjodin/Getty Images

This week, after resisting it for nearly 18 years, I finally watched The Bachelor. And the first four words out of my mouth were “Wait, that’s a dildo!”

On the screen, a White woman waved a lightsaber-style vibrator (censored, of course, given that this is an ABC production) towards a Black man, his face frozen in a nervous smile. And thus began my foray into the bizarro world of the Bachelorverse. Yes, I’m here on CP time — but it’s because they finally gave the CP time.

After approximately 7 million seasons, reality competition The Bachelor has finally cast a…


Just Rankin’ Sh!t

The recently rebooted cartoon classic had slaps!

Photo: Warner Bros. Animation/Amblin Entertainment

The Animaniacs break down the way Hollywood frames its stories for Variety magazine. Seriously, they talk about contracts, movie box office performances, show cancellations, and all kinds of insidery stuff. These are straight-up bars. This can’t be for kids, right?

What can’t the Warners do? They got more styles than Drake. And just like when Drizzy went through his rude bwoy phase, Yakko, Wakko, and Dot tapped into Caribbean styles on this steel drum-powered calypso joint that even has a little dance to it.

Yakko gave us Mars bars on a track that does a great job of…


The show’s first season raised many questions — chief among them being ‘does it actually care about Black people?’

Photo: Eli Joshua Ade/HBO

Before it even premiered in August, HBO’s Lovecraft Country promised to be ambitious — in its process if not its story. The series is based on a 2016 novel by a White author (Matt Ruff), set in the Jim Crow era, riffing on the language and tropes of horror writer and noted racist H.P. Lovecraft, now in the hands of Black creators (Underground’s Misha Green as showrunner, with Jordan Peele executive-producing). Even in the adaptation-happy streaming era, that’s a lot of adapting.

The result wrapped on Sunday with a frenetic, scatterbrained finale reflecting a roller-coaster season that jostled viewers’ sensibilities…


Comedians aren’t getting dragged for being offensive — it’s for writing bad material

Photo: NBC/Getty Images

Last weekend, Bill Burr’s Saturday Night Live monologue did exactly what anyone familiar with Bill Burr’s comedy could have expected: It blew up the internet.

The money shot, of course, was his bit on White women taking over movements made for and by people of color. It was masterful. It was also just good enough to make us forget that moments before he had tossed out a series of jokes that landed like a turd in a bucket of Kool-Aid. And they were all about comedians’ favorite subject: cancel culture.

First, Burr brought up how people last year tried to…

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