New Year, new look, same great Friday Five content! To kick off 2022, we've got an Oscar contender, some laugh-out-loud comedy, new music, and a design follow to add to your Instagram feed. So whether you're still shaking off that New Years hangover, or you're already back at it, there's a little something for everyone!
The Tender Bar
This might just be our New England upbringings shining through, but if Ben Affleck is in a movie, we feel obligated to see it. And not only does The Tender Bar feature Affleck with a Long Island-by-way-of-Boston accent, but it’s directed by another King Penguin favorite, George Clooney. What more could we ask for? On Friday, The Tender Bar drops on Amazon Prime, and we know we’ll be taking the opportunity to check out an Oscar contender from the comfort of our own couch this weekend. At the very least, Affleck was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role, and while there are lots of issues with those awards, it still counts for something. The film is based on the J.R. Moehlinger’s best-selling memoir about his own upbringing at a local pub, and we might have to go pick up a copy once we see the film. After all, some of Moehlinger’s other credits include collaborating with Phil Knight and Andre Agassi on their own autobiographies. What better way to start off a New Year than with an Oscar contender and a brand new read?
If you’re looking for something a little lighter to stream this weekend, we suggest turning your attention towards Peacock for the long-awaited MacGruber TV series. At long last, the iconic SNL character-turned-cult movie classic hits the small screen, and we couldn’t be more excited. The beloved character originally showed up in sketches parodying MacGyver, and while the movie adaptation wasn’t well-received by critics, it was an instant classic in the eyes of many comedy lovers. A MacGruber TV series has long been rumored, stoked mostly by talk show appearances, and it finally came to life during the pandemic. Will Forte returns as MacGruber, and the supporting cast featuring Ryan Phillipe, Kristen Wiig, and Laurence Fishburne is more than willing to go along with the over-the-top, gross-out comedy that defined the original film. Lonely Island’s Jorma Taccone, who created the character and directed the movie, is back as a co-creator and director on the show, which helps keep the voice consistent. We could all use some light, dumb comedy these days, and MacGruber has plenty of it. And if you are feeling nostalgic and want to watch the movie, that’s on Peacock, too!
Seth and Will Go Day-Drinking
Speaking of MacGruber, Will Forte appeared on his good friend Seth Meyers’ show just before the holidays, and we have been waiting to share the segment with you. One of the recurring segments on Late Night With Seth Meyers is “Day Drinking With Seth,” where the host and a guest get hammered at a local bar instead of a sit-down interview. As expected, the results are hilarious, especially when the guest is a friend from the comedy world. Meyers and Forte play a series of drinking games that get them progressively wasted, and it is incredibly entertaining to watch such funny people get drunk. The “MacGruber Drinking Game” was a great way to kick things off, tying the haphazard nature of the sketches into the bar set-up. After that, the games stick to a tried-and-true drinking game formula: Keep it simple. The rules are straightforward, and there’s just a lot of booze and even more laughs. Forte’s impressions of old SNL castmates are especially great, and he finally breaks Seth while doing the voices to famous paintings. Nothing we can write here will do the segment justice, so our advice is just to go watch, because everyone deserves a good 10-minute comedy break.
Khruangbin + Leon Bridges - B-Side
Leon Bridges and the band Khruangbin have been hard-at-work on a follow-up to their Texas Sun record, and we finally get to see the results with their new single “B-Side.” The track is the first off of their much-anticipated (in our eyes) album Texas Moon, and it only makes us more excited to hear the full thing. The beat hits right away, and “B-Side” gets grooving right off the bat. There are definitely some disco vibes mixed in, mostly from the sound of the guitar and the hi-hat, and it’s the kind of funky track that can instantly bring our mood up. Leon Bridges’ voice is just so, so smooth, and pairs perfectly with the instrumentals of the track. Like most of our favorites, “B-Side” is versatile; it can be played at any time, from early in the morning to late at night. It’s mellow enough to add to a work playlist, but has enough of a groove that it could get you out of your seat at a party. If you don’t at least get your foot tapping or your head nodding when this track comes on, we’re concerned for your well-being.
Gabriele Verga - @Gabriverga
It’s the first Friday Five of the year, and we’re already getting to highlight some awesome new designers on Instagram. First up is Gabriele Verga, a video creator and VFX designer out of Milan who has a really cool account. The main video that caught our eye was of a monster (?) dancing on the surface of a pool. It had really great effects, from an eye-popping storm cloud to kick off the video to the fun, dancing figure that brought some levity to our Insta feed. But even cooler, at least in our eyes, was Verga’s follow-up video where the artist broke down the process behind the dancing monster. He strips away everything to the most basic level, going behind the scenes to show how he created the video. There are key frames, editing software, effects programs, and all of the other nuts-and-bolts in the creative process. We love the transparency of an artist like that, not just for the technical knowledge, but for how it could potentially inspire others to enhance and push their work even higher. If you are interested in motion graphics, or just love cool videos on your timeline, give @gabriverga a follow.