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  • 'Dune: Part Two' Review: Denis Villeneuve's Sequel Soars Where the First Film Fell Flat — the Script

'Dune: Part Two' Review: Denis Villeneuve's Sequel Soars Where the First Film Fell Flat — the Script

Plus, my thoughts on the 'Borderlands' trailer, and why Gareth Edwards is perfect for the 'Jurassic' franchise.

It’s Wednesday, which means that Shane Gillis has started promoting his upcoming hosting stint on Saturday Night Live. I can’t wait to see the ratings for this episode, as I expect them to be high — but not as high as Seth Simons’ blood pressure.

Simons is one of the best comedy journalists on the beat, and his Substack newsletter, Humorism, is fantastic. This week, Simons wrote two pieces — one for the L.A. Times, and one for the Daily Beast — in which he exposes Gillis as an unapologetic racist, and explains why it’s dangerous that he’s being given a platform as big as SNL.

I understand his logic — that people will watch Gillis on SNL, like him as a performer, seek out his other work, and then stumble upon his podcast, in which he espouses his “dangerous” opinions and has blatantly racist and antisemitic guests on all the time, and that from there, it’s a slippery slope, as who knows what violent hate crimes his new fans will be incited to commit?

I truly encourage you to read Seth’s work (and subscribe to his newsletter) because he’s clearly very passionate about the issue, and he makes some fine points, though I completely disagree with him in this particular instance, and sort of think he’s being a stick in the mud.

When Shane Gillis mentions his “Jew agent,” he’s a comedian trying to make his audience (a significant portion of whom may, in fact, be racist) laugh. I don’t think that Shane Gillis himself truly hates Jews. Case in point? His agent is Jewish! Would he have a Jewish agent if he were truly antisemitic, and more importantly, would a Jewish agent agree to represent Gillis if they thought he was truly antisemitic?

Do I think Gillis plays up the Trump stuff for his fans? Of course! Obviously, it’s his bread and butter. But when he’s in a voting booth this fall, do I think he’s going to vote for Trump? No, I do not. And why should I care if he does? Are Trump voters not allowed to be funny? Am I not allowed to enjoy the comedic stylings of anyone who votes for Trump? I’m hardly a Trumper — fuck that orange Cheeto — but please, wake me when this madness ends!

Now, Gillis may emerge from that voting booth and tell his audience that he voted for Trump, but I honestly don’t believe that Shane Gillis even believes half the shit he says. I think he just plays into the public’s perception of him as some hateful, right-wing Republican hoping to both make his fans laugh and get a rise out of his haters.

Seth is, admittedly, one of those haters, and that’s fine. He’s allowed to be, and I understand why he’s no fan of Gillis — or SNL, for that matter. To Seth, SNL is an institution with its own set of problems, and Lorne Michaels has been gatekeeping the comedy world for nearly 50 years. I get it.

But I’m a proud fan of both Gillis and SNL, and while I know he’ll have to tone it down on NBC airwaves, I’m expecting fireworks come Saturday night. It’ll be very interesting to see whose episode fares better ratings-wise — Gillis’ episode or the one next week hosted by Madame Web star Sydney Sweeney, who should absolutely be lampooning her co-star Dakota Johnson’s trainwreck of a press tour. Those numbers are going to be fascinating next to each other.

I’m filing from Palm Springs this week, as boyfriend duty called, so forgive me if I’m a little light on scoops. I’ll hit the phones twice as hard next week to make up for slacking off poolside.

In tonight’s edition, you’ll read about Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Austin Butler, and their Dune: Part Two director Denis Villeneuve, as well as Gareth Edwards, Steven Spielberg, and Kathleen Kennedy, plus Josh Brolin, Joseph Quinn, Julia Fox, Cate Blanchett, Eli Roth, and The Crow.

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