JANUARY 2020 PREVIEW

jellicle songs for jellicle cats

Jellicles can and jellicles certainly do!!!!

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gif: Skimbleshanks tap-dancing
Skimbleshanks the railway cat, Kelsey’s personal favorite of the Cats

CATS (2019) isn’t one of our topics for our January letter……but it’s not NOT one of our topics. We’ve now both seen it, both been irreparably broken by it, both need an outlet for our babbling, so you can expect a significant amount of that in the full letter. Even if we aren’t wise enough to avoid this movie wholesale, we’re at least wise enough to know that trying to analyze it is a fool’s errand so we’ll stick to exclaiming “what was THAT” and trying to figure out whether we’re Practical cats, Dramatical cats, Pragmatical cats, Fanatical cats, Oratorical cats, Delphic-oracle cats, Skeptical cats, Dispeptical cats, Romantical cats, Pedantical cats, Critical cats, Parasitical cats, Allegorical cats, Metaphorical cats, Statistical cats and Mystical cats, Political cats, Hypocritical cats, Clerical cats, Hysterical cats, Cynical cats, Rabbinical cats.

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gif: Mistoffelees making a heart with his hands
The Magical Mister Mistoffelees, Hannah’s personal favorite of the Cats

Now onto our ACTUAL topics, both of which are almost painfully on brand for us:

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gif: Saoirse Ronan as Jo March running in a city and a forest

Little Women - you knew it was gonna happen, we knew it was gonna happen, hold a moment of silence for our sheer predictability in this choice. We’ll be enthusing wildly about Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of the classic book (and because again, we are who we are, probably referencing the 2005 musical adaptation as much as possible), including but certainly not limited to the exceptional casting, inventive narrative structure, and MY GOD THE COSTUMES.

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gif: the four March sisters walking together

The Crown - This one turned out to be more of a surprise to us — we’ve both been skeptical about Netflix’s dramatic retelling of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign as monarch. Biopics of people who are still alive are already walking a tricky line, especially when something as fraught as the British monarchy is involved. (By the way, we are HYPED about Meghan and Harry’s recent announcement that they’ll be stepping back from the royal Family. As Meghan supporters we’re thrilled about what this means for her in particular, especially given the absolutely horrid way she’s been treated by the British press and majority of the royal family [if this interview from a few months ago doesn’t break your heart WHERE IS IT]. Plus…..we are certainly not immune to the drama of it all. [THEY DIDN’T CONSULT THE PALACE!!!!])

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gif: Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth walking across frame, which then focuses on Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret holding a cigarette

Getting back on topic, we were both taken aback by how impressed we were by this season. The new cast works together compellingly and the storytelling seems to be taking a more critical perspective on the monarchy and we’re ready to DISCUSS.

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gif: Erin Doherty as Princess Anne in The Crown, looking annoyed and wearing blue
Erin Doherty’s Princess Anne rendered Kelsey incoherent more than once

We’ll be talking most specifically about Season 3, but there’ll be some references to Seasons 1 & 2. If you want to watch Season 3 but are worried about not being caught up, our official stance is that you…..don’t really need to. Season 2 in particular is rocky (Kelsey forced herself to finish it last January during a particularly cold spell and the results were….not pretty), but the good news is that if you want to watch at least some of it, a few months ago Kelsey (who is writing this right now and feels deranged talking about herself in the third person but that’s what she gets for going to see CATS on opening night) compiling what she believes to be the Essential Episodes of Season 1 and 2:

By the time this letter comes out, so also will have the Oscars nominations, so we’ll also likely have a lot of rage to share about some of the inevitable snubs. We skipped the Golden Globes because Ricky Gervais can eat shit and we were particularly disgusted about the lack of inclusivity in the nominations. [p.s. did you know there are literally no more than 90 people in HFPA, the voting body of the Globes. NINE.TY.] But we are tethered to the Oscars [one of us largely by the power of arts and crafts] so we will have THOUGHTS.

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gif: Helena Bonham carter smoking a cigarette and wearing dark sunglasses

In place of the Globes, we both watched the movie Fast Color, which flew almost entirely under the radar last year and deserved so much better. It’s streaming on Hulu and Prime and is a cool 90 minutes!! And is also gorgeous!!!

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gif: Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Fast Color holding a bowl as a white cloud swirls in a very blue sky

Jellicle on,

Hannah & Kels

image: striped grey kitten on a couch
image: black cat on tile floor looking directly into the camera
image: fluffy white and grey cat looking into camera while a striped grey kitten moves around him
image: black cat on bed
image: striped grey kitten lying on back on carpet looking at camera while fluffy white and light brown cat stands over him looking down

Official Newsletter Cats Jose, Fisher, and Ralph endorse neither this message nor the 2019 film CATS.