Was It Twisted to Be So Obsessed With the Gwyneth Paltrow Trial?

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters
Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Reuters
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

“I Wish You Well”

I am utterly devastated that my favorite TV show ended this week, though, as a true fan, I’m glad that it ended on such a perfect note. Now, I am just waiting for Rolling Stone to update its list of Greatest TV Shows of All Time to include Gwyneth Paltrow’s hit-and-run ski trial.

We’re supposed to revel in pretentious celebrities’ downfalls. Schadenfreude! Cancel culture! Other talking points! Yet here we were, not just rapt by this SNL sketch of a bizarro trial—in which Paltrow was accused of crashing into a fellow skier, she counter-sued for $1, and what Taylor Swift receives for Christmas was invoked—but also actively rooting for the GOOP Queen to triumph. Public opinion on the Oscar winner shifted quicker than a cup of bone broth moves through my body.

Her matter-of-fact, almost catty smugness was heralded—not criticized—as peak rich white lady behavior. We fawned over her courtroom outfits with such fervor, you’d think “expensive sweaters for lounging around your chalet” was just announced as this year’s Met Gala theme. And then there was her grand-finale kiss-off: a whispered, “I wish you well,” to her accuser, as she floated out of the courtroom victorious—a poison-dart pleasantry if I’ve ever seen one.

<div class="inline-image__credit">Twitter</div>

But people were injured, and lives, ostensibly, altered from the incident in question. The money in question seemed almost petty to go to court over for someone like Paltrow. Wasn’t it all a bit twisted to be so cheery about all of this?

Some of the finest minds at the most renowned publications have attempted to analyze this phenomenon. (Naomi Fry at The New Yorker called the trial Paltrow’s “best role in years.”) That I was more emotional when her verdict was read than I was when I heard Trump was indicted, just minutes before, is something for my therapist and me to parse for years to come. But while on that journey, at least I’ll have this mash-up of Paltrow singing “Landslide” on Glee with quotes from her trial to help me through. (Watch it here.)

Kelly Clarkson Rises… Again… Even Higher

Scorned Kelly Clarkson Season is upon us, and, like the first few mildly sunny days of spring bringing the calls of scattered songbirds back early from their migration, the early signs of what’s to come are warming my soul. Or, in this case, setting it on fire.

On Instagram this week, Clarkson revealed the name of her new album, Chemistry. Fans had already been calling Clarkson’s “divorce record,” as she’s opened up about how she wrote it following her ugly breakup and legal battle with ex Brandon Blackstock.

The album won’t be just “I’m angry, I’m sad,” she promised in the video, which, great! No one wants The Greatest Gift to Pop Culture in Modern History to feel badly. That said, she did tease a bit of what those emotions might be like in her new music during an epic recent rendition of “Kellyoke” on her talk show. She covered “abcdefu” by Gayle, changing the lyrics to reflect what seems like her own breakup experience and…damn. Here’s what she sang: “Forget you, and your dad, and the fact that you got half, and my broken heart, turned that shit into art.” I’m salivating for more of this energy. (Watch it here.)

<div class="inline-image__credit">NBC</div>

Which brings me to the most important update in the Kelly Clarkson beat: She is doing a short Vegas residency this summer. That’s actually not the big news, though. The big news would be that I have secured tickets to one of the shows, a momentous moment both for myself and for Clarkson, who will be gifted the experience of a Kevin Fallon sob-scream as she performs live, a magical sound that I’m sure is going to change her life in meaningful ways she never imagined.

Madonna Gets It

One way celebrities, especially musicians, express their outrage over a state’s political decisions is to remove their business, i.e. not film a TV show there or cancel a concert. Madonna has employed the opposite tactic, and I love the meaning behind it. In the wake of Tennessee’s drag bans and anti-LGBT legislation she added an additional stop to her tour, which features RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Bob the Drag Queen as an opening act, in Nashville. And she released this statement:

“The oppression of the LGBTQ+ is not only unacceptable and inhumane; it’s creating an unsafe environment; it makes America a dangerous place for our most vulnerable citizens, especially trans women of color. Also, these so-called laws to protect our children are unfounded and pathetic. Anyone with half a brain knows not to fuck with a drag queen. Bob and I will see you from the stage in Nashville where we will celebrate the beauty that is the queer community.”

<div class="inline-image__credit">giphy</div>

This Means Something; I Don’t Know What

The New York City building where a grand jury indicted Donald Trump is directly next to the steps where Lady Gaga shot major crowd scenes for the Joker sequel, in which paparazzi captured her making out with a female extra.

This means something for “our times.” Check with me in 2043, should the world/America still exist then, when I’ve figured out just what that is.

What to watch this week:

A Thousand and One: It won the top Sundance prize this year. Those mountain people have good taste! (Now in theaters)

Rye Lane: We thank our Lord and Savior, Nora Ephron, every time a new rom-com comes out and it’s this good. (Now on Hulu)

Schmigadoon!: The musical-comedy spoof I never knew I needed is back, and it’s still so bizarre and brilliant. (Wed. on Apple TV+)

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Sometimes a movie I can’t imagine would be good is actually a ton of fun, and I just have to admit that I was wrong.

What to skip this week:

Murder Mystery 2: A truly terrible Adam Sandler sequel. Make him stop! (Now on Netflix)

Tetris: You’re better off just playing the game instead! (Now on Apple TV+)

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.