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.
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
It is my favorite time of year. I love the coziness of Christmas. I love the desire to indulge and celebrate. I even love the tinges of melancholy that creep into the merriment—it makes the season more dynamic and human. Most of all, though, I love the incest.
What was that? You’re not familiar with that last holiday tradition? Allow me to explain: One of my absolute favorite parts of every year is when the Folgers coffee commercial “Coming Home” resurfaces on social media. I have seen it countless times. I watch it each time it comes across my timeline. And each one of those times, I am still rendered speechless, flabbergasted, and stunned by what I’ve just watched.
If you’re unfamiliar, “Coming Home” began airing in 2009 and ran for three years before being preserved on YouTube as internet legend. (Watch it here.)
The commercial starts with an attractive man being dropped off at a suburban house for the holidays after a presumably long time being away in, we later learn, “West Africa.” He smells the Folgers coffee brewing and pours a cup, and then hands his sister a wrapped gift. She grins and pulls the bow off, placing it on his chest. “You’re my present,” she says, smiling at him with a tinge of naughtiness. He grins back flirtatiously. You, at home, scream in horror: “ARE THESE SIBLINGS ABOUT TO FUCK???”
It is baffling that no one at Folgers caught on to the palpable eroticism of the commercial and the bizarre sexual chemistry between its actors. There’s a fun oral history of the ad in GQ, where everyone involved claims to have been blindsided by the reaction to it. After anyone’s first viewing, it’s impossible to see the commercial as being heartwarming (as intended), and anything but foreplay between two people who are about to rip each other’s clothes off and get down and dirty by the fireplace. It is one of my favorite pieces of holiday content.
Grab a Kleenex
On the opposite end of the spectrum from the horny travesty that is Folgers’ “Coming Home” is Chevrolet’s new commercial, “A Holiday to Remember.” (Watch it here.)
While inexplicably five minutes long and, at first, alarmingly corny, it eventually becomes so beautiful that you will absolutely cry. A grandmother who appears to have Alzheimer’s is having “more bad days than good,” so, on Christmas while everyone is getting ready for dinner, her granddaughter goes up to her and says, “Let’s have a good day.” As John Denver’s “Sunshine on My Shoulders” plays, they drive past all the locations of the grandmother’s fondest memories, with her perking up and coming more alive after each stop.
Finally, she reunites with her husband, the two of them breaking down in tears, replicating exactly what was happening on my couch as I watched it. The best part? Not a single sibling came on to another.
The Must-See Event of the Season
It has come to my attention that Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Dorit Kemsley will be performing in a stage production of Peter Pan in the U.K., with Boy George as Captain Hook and her children as two of the Lost Boys. She will, apparently, be playing a mermaid, a role I do not even recall from Peter Pan, but which has earned her major billing on the production’s poster nonetheless.
Beyond “What in the world?” and “Whose idea with this?,” the most pressing question surrounding this news is: “Who is going to fly Kevin to England to see this?” ’Tis the season for giving!
We Are Now Sabrina Carpenter Stans
There was a mini saga this week when a priest who allowed Sabrina Carpenter, a pop star who I had barely heard of but is now the source of my extreme obsessions and devotion, to film a music video in a Brooklyn church. He was apparently relieved of his administrative duties after it was revealed that Carpenter’s “Feather” filmed there.
In response to the controversy, Carpenter told Variety, “We got approval in advance, and Jesus was a carpenter.” Stunning. Perfect. Never has there been a greater “statement” made about a scandal. No notes. This is now a Sabrina Carpenter fan newsletter.
What to watch this week:
Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé: We knew this was going to be good. But it’s like good good. As in, like, a masterpiece. (Now in theaters)
Family Switch: Jennifer Garner in a new body-swap comedy? Be still my 13 Going on 30-loving heart. (Now on Netflix)
The Artful Dodger: What if Charles Dickens had seen Grey’s Anatomy? He might have written The Artful Dodger. (Now on Hulu)
What to skip this week:
Candy Cane Lane: Eddie Murphy, you are getting nothing but coal in your stocking this year. (Now on Prime Video)
Post source: TDB