Watch This, Not That: Death to 2020 vs. Best of Stand-up 2020

I can’t think of a better way to kick off the first Watch This, Not That of the year than with a comedy edition. We need a laugh now more than ever so I took the liberty of watching a couple of Netflix specials to give you something to brighten your weekend at and something to avoid.

My recommendation on what to watch is the opposite of all those stupid “have we tried unplugging 2020 and plugging it back in, hur hur” memes. I recommend the absolutely hilarious Death to 2020. Created by my favorite writer of all time, Charlie Brooker (also the creator of Black Mirror) and Annabel Jones (Black Mirror producer), Death to 2020 is a recap of the year you had to see to believe and features a handful of A-listers such as Hugh Grant, Tracey Ullman, Lisa Kudrow, Kumail Nanjiani, and my personal favorite, Samuel L. Jackson, as well as a few actors from the UK such as Diane Morgan and Samson Kayo.

True, it was a dreadful year but leave it to Charlie Brooker – with the help of his hysterical cast – to retell it in a way that made me snort-laugh. Listening to Samuel L. Jackson call the Oscars a real “rainbow coalition” in response to their attempt and failing at being more diverse was gold.

From the presidential election to the pandemic to things we didn’t care about – like Harry and Megan and their royal departure – Charlie Brooker and his writers managed to take a dismal year, extract the funny and deliver it to us in the form of a 70 minute mockumentary. 10/10 recommend, as the kids say.

If your goal is to not laugh, then you’ll want to watch Netfilx’s Best of Stand-up 2020. I don’t know who picked “the best” but it’s the exact opposite of that. And it tricks you too because the first 3 minutes feature some good jokes and then, nothing. Look, I get that 2020 was a hard year to find stuff to make fun of but the writers of Death to 2020 did it.

Admittedly, it’s probably hard for anyone other than Dave Chappell to successfully joke about current events. But shit, they could at least try. There was a joke about a dog pooping and another about how guys don’t watch your Instagram stories after you blow them. I’m no prude but what’s funny about drinking a load? Do you laugh at that when you’re beating off to those scenes on YouPorn? Yeah, that’s what I thought. The majority of the jokes featured were low-level at best.

If you can watch hours of people falling over in golf carts and laugh at every single video, or think those “have we tried unplugging the year and plugging it back in” memes then yeah, you’ll probably like Best of Stand-up 2020. If you like jokes you’ve never heard before and are risky (which is annoying to say because jokes shouldn’t be considered “risky” – THEY’RE JOKES), then Death to 2020 is right up your alley.

Photo by: Wikipedia

Vanderpump Rules: Call Me Jason

It must be difficult growing up on camera. Your voice is changing, you’re growing hair all over like you’re morphing into a werewolf, your face is pulling a backward Benjamin Button. It has to be traumatic. Thank god my dreams of childhood stardom never came true. It’s not all sadness, though. The flip side is you could wait until you’re in your 30s to grow up and then just fix your face with Botox. You see? There’s always a silver lining, you negative Nancy’s.

I realize I’m being way too optimistic about these people but it appears as though some of the gang are growing up. Even Jax; he wants to now go by his birth name, Jason! I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start from the beginning: mature Stassi making fun of James for having a boyfriend. Stassi and James are meeting with Lisa to finalize details for the Beverly Hills Lifestyle party and to prep for it, Stassi questions what equipment he’ll be bringing to the party, and if he’ll be bringing his boyfriend, Logan. He’s not. James isn’t the only one not doing things because Stassi asks the staff if they’ll work the party for Lisa and they pretty much tell her they will not.

Meanwhile, Katie and Schwartz are preparing for the triplets arrival. Grown-up triplets. Schwartz’s brothers. Schwartz’s boyfriend, Sandoval, helps pick out clothes for the triplets to wear during their time in LA, and eventually, Florida. Katie assists them and is surprisingly OK with Schwartz’s plan to have the triplets stay at his and Katie’s apartment.

While they prepare for the triplets, Stassi prepares to do her podcast with special guest, Billie. Unfortunately for Stassi, Billie had a girls day with Ariana, Lala, and Scheana and Ariana made sure to bring up the podcast that Stassi got in a lot of trouble. I didn’t listen to it either but apparently, it was bad. Anyway, Ariana calls Stassi a racist and this breaks her. Her lashes came off and everything, but the podcast must go on.

Stassi isn’t the only one with problems. The electrical room in SUR caught fire the night before the Beverly Hills Lifestyle party, forcing Lisa to close the restaurant but keep the bar area open. She has plenty to worry about, doesn’t she? Haha, no, because Stassi tells Lisa about the difficult time she’s had getting people to work for her and then starts crying about what Ariana said. Fortunately, Stassi’s able to pull it together for the staff meeting where Lisa tells everyone they have to listen to Stassi. And you know what? She didn’t even gloat about it. Look who’s really growing up.

The party gets going and Stassi’s troubles mount. Ariana is being an asshole to her about her bartending duties, Jax is nowhere to be found, and now Stassi has to bartend. Brittany finally shows up and for the first time, shows that she’s capable of having an attitude, proven by her facial expression when Stassi asks “where’s your boyfriend, Satan?” I laughed. Jax eventually shows up an hour late and is met by an angry Lisa who responds by kicking him out of the party. He then sounds like a 14-year-old me talking about how everyone else makes mistakes, it should totally be OK for him. Listen, the show wasn’t over yet so my “they’re growing up” theory was still intact.

Anyway, Jax heads over to SUR to meet Schwartz and the triplets and then begins talking about his favorite subject: himself. To which one of the triplets responds, “so what about Jaeger bombs”. This is officially how I will change a subject I have zero interest in. Thank you, triplet number one.

Back at the party the rest of the staff is happily working, until an overly Botoxed Kevin Lee decides to tell Katie that she’s “gained weight” and “needs to work on it”. I genuinely wasn’t sure how to respond to that except to say, Fuck You, Kevin Lee.

The party eventually moves over to SUR where James is DJing and Jax is being a drunken asshole. While surrounded by all of the girls he begins to go off about how fake he believes Kristen to be and how upset he was that Kristen brought in Sherry and Brittany’s sister just to get to him. And even though it was true Brittany tries to get him to calm down. Don’t worry, she still doesn’t leave him. I know that’s what you were concerned about.

So it’s the next day and Katie tells Schwartz, Sandoval, and the triplets about Kevin Lee and after some reassuring compliments decides to let it go. And not a moment to soon because we’re then treated to an on-air commercial for PRIV – the delivery beauty salon. Everyone gets spiffed up and then it’s time for a night on the town.

And then THE NEXT DAY, Jax visits his Reiki therapist and opens up about becoming an actor/model, a decision that turned him into Jax. Because he’s not Jax, he’s Jason. You see, it wasn’t him being a complete dildo at all. It was Jax. Jason is the good guy. Jason would never cheat and lie to his girlfriends, roll his best friends under the bus, sleep with his best friend’s girlfriend, or steal and be disrespectful to his boss. That’s all Jax, the actor/model he’s been possessed by.

Listen, if he really decides to become Jason again I’m all for it. But if he starts sleeping with Kelsey we all will have been Jaxed, and this will have been the most ultimate Jaxed of all time.

Photo from: tamaratattles.com

Vanderpump Rules Recap: It’s Not About the Pasta

I once had a boyfriend who was the epitome of an asshole. He was so awful that I chased him, couldn’t eat if he was mad at me, was only happy if he was, and couldn’t bring myself to leave him. I was 17. And here I am, 17 years later, with a grown-up job and responsibilities, writing about people my age who get paid to have neither while acting like 17-year-old me, trying to get you people to read what I’m peddling.

Because really, if this week’s episode of Vanderpump Rules didn’t remind you of high school then nothing will. We start out with Stassi assisting Lisa with styling her Gay Pride event. While picking out the clothing the staff is going to parade around in, Lisa calls out Stassi for picking out the skankiest outfits for the girls she’s not so fond of. That conversation turns into Stassi mentioning her boob job, followed by proof with pictures.

From there we’re transported over to the guys (Peter, Jax, Schwartz, and Sandoval), who are headed to a Reiki class (or whatever it’s classified as) so they can all center themselves, I think. It’s going as well as any Reiki class (?) would go and then… Jax starts crying. Yeah. He becomes so sensitive that at the end of it all he pretty much wants to bang the instructor. Her Reiki might be broken.

While the boys are meditating the girls (Brittany, Schean, Lala, and Ariana) go to a spa for some facials and botox. OK look, this isn’t exactly high school but I promise it gets there. Anyway, Scheana brings up the Rob making out with another woman rumor and is terrified he’s going to leave her and I hope he does it in the next episode because I cannot take this anymore. I CAN’T. And I doubt any of you can, either.

Later that day (or who knows when) Brittany accompanies Katie, Kristen, and Stassi to a showing of Lala Land. While waiting for the movie to start Katie brings up Scheana for the billionth time and Brittany informs her that she tried to tell Scheana that Katie didn’t make up the rumor, which prompts Katie to talk more shit about Scheana. However, that gets interrupted by the waiter flirting with Brittany, which excites Kristen because she would love nothing more than for Brittany and Jax to break up. Unfortunately for Kristen, Brittany informs the ladies that she will be working things out with Jax, to which Stassi responds by giving Brittany a play-by-play on how the duration of their relationship is going to go. You know, I used to think Stassi was an evil wizard. Now I think whatever she was possessed by has moved over to Jax via osmosis. If you don’t believe me just look at how his face has morphed into a Disney cartoon villain.

Meanwhile (or the next day) Lala is having a drink with James and his friend Logan. James begins taking shot after potent shot and when he’s fully drunk he decides it’s time to tell his friends that Raquel is moving in with him. And then Lala tells him she ate Raquel’s pasta at his DJ event and then James loses it and starts verbally attacking her like a psycho. That’s not even the best part. She leaves, Logan makes him go after her, and he yells about 100 times “It’s not about the pasta! It’s not about the pasta!” That was pretty memorable.

Back at SUR (still not sure what day we’re in) Scheana confronts Brittany about some information she received from her mother, who conveniently had a friend at the Lala Land event who overheard the girls talking about Scheana and Rob. Brittany tells her that Katie was just upset because she thought they had an understanding that neither would talk about the other one’s relationship and of course they still did. Then Scheana says that her boyfriend is too successful for this tom-foolery and for the love of God can we PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS?

While this is going on Tom and Tom are at Tom Tom’s cleaning up the joint when Schwartz tells Sandoval that Katie wasn’t mad that he didn’t come home the night before. Yes, Schwartz was told not to have guys nights, not to take shots and not to get blackout drunk and he pulled off all three in one single night. However, Katie didn’t get mad about it so now he loves her again. Then Lisa walks in and asks Schwartz how him and Katie are doing and Sandoval spills the beans about their sleepover and Lisa is once again annoyed with him – as is the rest of us because this “give me a hug I love you” bit is getting old. And then we have Katie hanging out with Stassi and Kristen, telling them about this ordeal and how when he FINALLY came home they started talking about their future kids and then Kristen got over-animated and talked about stalking her boyfriend, Carter, and Jesus Christ these women need help. Oh, and I saw that face, Stassi. You weren’t having any of that conversation either.

And that was just the beginning of the high school throwbacks. We’re now at Pump for the Gay Pride parade and event. Scheana is rolling silverware when her boyfriend Rob walks in. Scheana, who is apparently unaware that nobody likes crazy, starts telling Rob how she went off on people and how the girls are making her “lose her smile”, and Rob’s face is great because he’s not smiling either and looks over it – kind of like all of us. At the parade, Lala tells Lisa about James drunkenly losing his mind, which, of course, makes Lisa unhappy. Upstairs at Pump, Stassi is dressing the staff. Or at least dressing most of them because Jax refuses to dress up. Christ, and then there’s Scheana, telling Lala about everything going on with her and Rob: they haven’t had sex in a week, she knows he’s trying to act like to rumor doesn’t bother him but it does (he actually doesn’t care), and that she can only function if he’s functioning and she’s only happy when he’s happy. Tell me that’s not a high school relationship.

While Scheana is busy whining and not eating, Lisa is downstairs introducing Billie Lee: a transgender woman who is awesome and I hope replaces Scheana. Somewhere around the corner Schwartz and Katie meet up and even though Schwartz says he’s not drunk, um, he’s not fooling anyone. Those are his drunk sunglasses to hide his drunk eyeballs.

He’s not the only drunk; James is wasted and is all over his friend Logan which prompts Raquel to finally adopt a grown-up voice and face, which is clearly disapproving of what she’s witnessing. Then Lisa sits Scheana down and Scheana starts crying about what’s been going on and starts with the whole “we’ve been perfect” bullshit and thank God Lisa shuts her up by making her eat. AND THEN, as though it were written somewhere, Rob is at Pump, hanging out with Scheana. She tells us all that he told her things were good and now she’s ready to eat again.

James apologizes to Lala.

The next day Katie and Kristen show up at Jax and Brittany’s, but they’re not alone. SURPRISE! Because Kristen is a psycho she flew Sherrie (Brittany’s mom) in for a visit in an attempt to break up Jax and Brittany.

So then, minus the botox, Reiki, styling events, and getting blackout drunk, they basically stole my high school experience. When should I expect to see my royalty checks?

Photo from: thecut.com

For more fact-based opinions, email jenn@typicaljenn.com