Staff Picks: ‘Weiner,’ Richard Splett’s Blog, and Ali Wong’s ‘Baby Cobra’


Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Scroll through for our picks below.


Weiner is a film about Anthony Weiner, the failed New York City mayoral candidate who became better known as Carlos Danger, the dude who just couldn’t stop sending dick pics. This film doesn’t necessarily succeed in ridding him of that image, but it does manage to paint Danger and his dong in a sympathetic light, casting aside the layers of static that often come between politician and citizen to reveal a guy who maybe would’ve been much better suited to the office than our current mayor, Bill de Blasio. Paired with the too-real satire of Veep, Weiner truly shows how exhausting a life in politics can be. It also highlights the grim way society in 2016 — or maybe always — refuses to allow anyone, public official or otherwise, to rise above their moral transgressions, whether or not those transgressions have anything to do with how one might perform, professionally or otherwise. — Shane Barnes, Associate Editor

America’s Kidz Got Dancing

….Otherwise known as So You Think You Can Dance: The Next Generation, the new season of the reality-competition series features wee dancers between the ages of 8 and 13 — and is quite possibly the best show on TV right now. The season has aired two episodes so far, each featuring the most ridiculously talented kids you can imagine. Be prepared to feel like a heavy sack of wasted potential when you sit down to watch.

Like the show’s regular format, contestants on the new season audition in whatever style of dance they’re proficient in the hopes of getting to the next round. Eventually, the top ten dancers will be paired with an “All-Star” from past seasons of SYTYCD. But don’t worry too much about rules and format; this show is pure pleasure without the bother of plot — or the queasy-making sexual politics of another summer reality staple that I’ve recently come to realize I’m no longer able to stomach. Tune in Mondays at 8 p.m. and feel hope for the future. — Lara Zarum, Contributor, TV

The World Science Festival

Over the weekend, I stopped by the Brooklyn Bridge Museum for the World Science Festival. They were having a stargazing event and as luck would have it, a college friend of mine works in the marketing department for a company that makes telescopes. I expected to see a bunch of really attractive nerdy folks. I came dressed in my best, with a full face of makeup. I was disappointed to find myself surrounded by children and parents running after them. But some elementary school kids were brave enough to ask astronaut Lee M. Morin some of the same questions I wondered about outer space. And while bae was nowhere in sight, I got to enjoy the view of Manhattan from the bank of the East River. — Sesali Bowen, (Pop) Culture and Politics Staff Writer

Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra Special

The Fresh Off The Boat writer, who has also been endorsed by the likes of Amy Schumer, W. Kamau Bell, John Mulaney, Marc Maron, and Hari Kondabolu, for doing her new Netflix special, which premiered a few weeks ago, while pregnant. But the majority of Ali Wong’s content actually hit elsewhere, and is amazing (skip the part about housewives, though, from around the 21 to 28 minute mark. It tries but misses on key points). She talks getting older, her sex life (yeah, it’s graphic, but honestly, whatever), her new husband, and their shared Asian-American heritage.

When she does address the enormous baby bump, though, she has some super sharp things to say about it:

“Once [male comics] have a baby, they’ll get up onstage a week after and be like, ‘Guys, I just had a fucking baby, that baby’s a little piece of shit, it’s so annoying and boring!’ And all these other shitty dads in the audience are like ‘That’s hilarious! I identify!’ And their fame just swells, because they’ve become this relatable family funnyman all of a sudden. Meanwhile, the mom is at home chapping her nipples, feeding the fucking baby, and wearing a frozen diaper because her pussy needs to heal from the baby’s head shredding it up. She’s busy!”

When you’re done, do also read Mary H.K. Choi’s short profile of Wong in New York Magazine , and possibly catch her live if you’re around the San Antonio or San Francisco area. — Carmen Triola, Editorial Apprentice

Let’s Talk About Splett at, and of course Sam Richardson, as Richard Splett

I’m clearly on a Veep kick. But so is whoever’s doing marketing for the show. Richard Splett now has a real Splettnet blog to accompany the fictional one Splett has told people about on Veep. (As the Hollywood Reporter pointed out when the blog first went up in May, Splett said on the show that his email address is also, revealing, “Splett1’s my father. I’ll be sad to see him go, but it’ll be nice to get my hands on that handle.”) And, as expected, there are so many splettacular gems within the blog. Right now, a list of nicknames for baseball home runs is at the top, including suggestions like “humdingers,” “woah nellies” and “Spletts (Just kidding! And yet, not the worst idea. Pretty bad, but not the worst).” He also has a post listing the differences between “Splett” — his last name — and “spleen” — the organ — in case Google tried to correct your search. Of course, none of this would matter, or read as funny, if it weren’t for Sam Richardson’s perfect performance as the the oddly formal, annoyingly well-dispositioned and endlessly socially unaware Splett. —Moze Halperin, Associate Editor