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Dumplin' Is The Latest Netflix Movie That's Got Everyone Talking And It's Easy To Understand Why

Drag queens + a Dolly Parton soundtrack are a recipe for magic.

Dumplin’, a movie based on the Young Adult novel by Texas-based author Julie Murphy, was released on Netflix yesterday, and to summarise it in one word, it’s wonderful.

 

The movie follows a teenage girl in Texas, Willowdean, played by Australian Danielle Macdonald, whose mum, played by Jennifer Aniston, is obsessed with pageants, having won one in 1991 and evidently never getting over it.

Willowdean was taught to love Dolly Parton by her aunt Lucy, whose death precedes the events in the movie. Dolly’s music is a key part of the movie, and Parton recorded six new songs exclusively for the movie; there are also two amazing remixes of ‘Jolene’ and ‘Here You Come Again’.

Willowdean and her best friend El decide to enter the pageant, initially as a protest, but they eventually come to enjoy themselves, largely thanks to the power of drag queens.

Harold Perrineau stars as Rhea Ranged, the star of a local bar’s Dolly Parton night, and Ginger Minj, real-life drag queen and actual angel, also plays a part in getting Willowdean and her friends ready for the pageant.

As someone who read and loved the book, I’m in love with this adaptation. It’s faithful to the content and spirit of the book, and brings it to life in a delightful and enjoyable way.

It’s the movie I wish had existed when I was a fat teenager struggling with my body image. It shows fat girls triumphing, being unapologetic about their bodies (in the swimsuit contest, Willowdean and El walk out in swimsuits that say “Every Body Is A Swimsuit Body”), and being loved.

Speaking of which, Luke Benward, who plays Bo, Willowdean’s love interest, is already being described as the ‘next Peter Kavinsky’, so get on that train ASAP.

While it didn’t exist for teenage me, I’m so glad it exists for everyone who’s currently a teenager and struggling with body image issues. Plus, adult me enjoys it just as much as teenage me would have.

Positive representation of fat people is still pretty rare in Hollywood. ‘My Mad Fat Diary’ and ‘Dietland’ are two TV shows that come to mind, but there aren’t that many big movies that focus on fat teenagers in a positive way.

And then there’s ‘Insatiable’, which was released by Netflix earlier this year to a slew of negative reviews, and which was a complete step back for body positivity.

If you like cute movies, drag queens, Dolly Parton, body positivity, or all of the above, watching Dumplin’ is a fantastic way to spend part of your weekend. And even if you don’t like any of those things, you should watch it anyway – it might surprise you.

The Spice Girls Just Shut Down Jack Whitehall's Offer To Replace Posh With One Tweet

They're obviously fans of 'Travels With My Father'.

Upon hearing news of the Spice Girls reunion, like most of us, Jack Whitehall’s first thought was ‘Where’s Posh?’

Unlike most of us, his next thought was ‘I’m the new Posh.’ And to be fair, he is quite posh, so it makes sense.

On Tuesday, Jack tweeted:

“Spice Girls Reunion. Yes please. Apparently they are looking for a replacement ‘Posh’? You know where to find me.”

Yesterday, the band responded, but probably not in the way Jack expected…

“Is your dad available?”

For the uninitiated, Jack Whitehall’s dad Michael has gained his own fanbase following his appearance on Jack’s Netflix series, Travels With My Father. His dad is incredibly posh, and travels with a weird childlike doll called Winston, but we won’t talk about Winston.

Jack then confirmed that yes, his dad is available, and he looks great in leather. Good to know, Jack. Thanks for that visual.

Father Whitehall seems keen.

So keep an eye out for a Michael Whitehall cameo during next year’s Spice Girls reunion tour! And hopefully he leaves Winston at home.

Netflix's Upcoming Documentary Series On Dogs Will Celebrate Our Relationship To All Good Boys

Let's hear it for the (good) boys.

Netflix has announced a new docuseries that will premiere worldwide on November 16, and it’s all about dogs.

The aptly-named Dogs is a six-episode documentary series created by Glen Zipper and Amy Berg, and it will document six stories “celebrating the deep emotional bonds between people and their beloved four-legged friends” from around the world, including Japan, Costa Rica, Italy, Syria and the US.

The trailer is pretty powerful stuff; I’m already getting emotional and the show hasn’t even premiered yet. This is the perfect series for our time, when people seem to be more obsessed with dogs than ever, understandably so.

Co-creator Zipper told Variety:

“Dogs don’t just make us feel loved, dogs make us feel safe. In the world we live in today, no matter how divided we are, we should take care to realize how much dogs mean to all of us, and how our bond with them can help bring us together.”

The first episode follows an 11-year-old girl who experiences traumatic seizures and her therapy dog, Rory.

Another episode documents the process of Ayham, a man who fled Syria, bringing his dog Zeus across the border to Lebanon, and another episode follows a charity as they rescue dogs from kill shelters.

I’m already a wreck.

The series premieres Friday November 16 on Netflix.

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