A version of this story appeared in Pop Life Chronicles, CNN’s weekly entertainment newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free here.
I am on a mission to get people to stop thinking about shows that bring them happiness as a “guilty pleasure.”
This is an ongoing campaign of mine, as many people continue to use that description for the entertainment they enjoy — but the way I see it, we should place a heavy emphasis on the “joy” part of the word.
Let’s lean in to that, rather than feel bad about it!
‘Bling Empire’ Season 3
Reality TV makes me happy, and none more so than shows about the well-to-do (and über-well-to-do).
So, color me thrilled that the new season of “Bling Empire” picks up right where last season’s high-stakes drama ended.
This group of wealthy Asian friends in Los Angeles is pretty entertaining, and I cannot wait to see how the feud between Christine Chiu and Anna Shay shakes out. Trust me when I say that you are going to want to binge the first two seasons to get ready for the latest.
The third season of “Bling Empire” is streaming now on Netflix.
“The Problem With Jon Stewart” Season 2
Has anyone talked to Jon Stewart about returning to “The Daily Show” since the news broke that its current host, Trevor Noah, is leaving?
I’m just kidding, as Stewart is super busy with his latest Apple TV+ series. The second season of “The Problem With Jon Stewart” will see the advocate and humorist continuing to use common sense comedy when it comes to “tough, topical and culture-moving conversations.”
The first episode of of “The Problem With Jon Stewart” season 2 is streaming now on Apple TV+.
Luckiest Girl Alive
Consider this new film true crime adjacent, which is close enough for me.
That’s because the plot of “Luckiest Girl Alive,” based on the 2015 novel by Jessica Knoll and starring Mila Kunis, is about a New York-based magazine editor who seems to have the perfect life. That is, until “the director of a crime documentary invites her to tell her side of the shocking incident that took place when she was a teenager at the prestigious Brentley School,” according to Netflix.
“Luckiest Girl Alive” is streaming now on Netflix.
You can whip your hair back and forth in disbelief, but it’s true: Willow is about to drop her sixth album.
That’s right — if you factor in her collaborative album with Tyler Cole, “The Anxiety,” which gave us the earworm “Meet Me at Our Spot,” the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith has an expansive discography to her name.
Her latest, “Coping Mechanism,” has the 21-year-old continuing to perform — and excel — in musical genres not everyone expected her to pursue after her 2010 megahit.
“Rock has always been inspiring to me,” she told Guitar.com, citing the alt-metal band Deftones and heavy metal group Lamb of God as examples. “I think that when you start doing something at such a young age, your mind is still growing in a lot of different ways. Then you grow up and you understand (that) you need to really apply yourself in a way that you might not have thought of.”
“Coping Mechanism” is out now.
As it happens, Charlie Puth almost didn’t name his new album “Charlie.”
In a recent interview with Ryan Seacrest, Puth explained that he “handled the production of the entire album” himself. “I almost called the album ‘Conversations With Myself’ because that’s how I wrote all these songs,” Puth said.
Songwriting is Puth’s superpower, so expect the self-titled record to be a deeply personal one.
“Charlie” is also out now.
Wasn’t it just last week I was noticing that Thanksgiving season is approaching fast — too fast? Well, now it turns out that Christmas movies are coming, too.
Some of you are thrilled by these festive films (I’m looking at my wonderful CNN colleague Sandra Gonzalez) and their feel-good mix of holiday cheer and romance.
This year, there is even more to be excited about because Lindsay Lohan is starring in just such a project, “Falling for Christmas,” which hits Netflix on November 10. And its plot summary sounds like everything you’d hope for: “Lohan plays a newly engaged, spoiled hotel heiress who gets into a skiing accident, suffers from total amnesia and finds herself in the care of a handsome, blue-collar lodge owner.”
It will be good to have Lohan back in front of the camera, with “Falling for Christmas” marking the first of two films she has agreed to star in for the streaming platform. In other words, her screen presence is a gift that will keep on giving into 2023.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Stanley Tucci recently about the new episodes in the second season of “Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy,” the first of which is airing on CNN Sunday. As someone who loves food and travel, Tucci said quite a few things that resonated with me.
One in particular was what he hopes to pass on to his children about food.
“That they appreciate the effort that people go through to grow good food, to raise good food,” he said. “That they really end up having an appreciation for that. And then cooking good food and sharing good food, all the wonderful things that come from that.”
We live in a culture that often can make food the enemy, especially when we focus on how unhealthy we can be eating junk on the run. But sitting down with good quality food, shared with people we love, is one of the best pleasures in life.
And it’s not a guilty one either.
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