Analysis: Inventing Anna is Shonda Rhimes’ drama about a con artist who tricks New York’s elite

Let’s go ahead and make “Superness” the topic of the week.

Two of this week’s new releases have ties to the Super Bowl halftime show, and Rhimes is definitely one of Hollywood’s most valuable players.

The latter was a huge hit for Netflix, and now Rhimes has a new project for the streaming giant that I’m so excited to kick off this issue of Pop Life Chronicles.

Three things to see

“Invent Anna”

The case of Anna Sorokin, aka Anna Delvey, has intrigued me ever since I read the New York Magazine article about her in 2018.

A good scammer almost always makes for good content, and Sorokin has been condemned as one of the best for pretending to be a wealthy German heiress in a scheme that has scammed so many, including banks, hotels, and people who hire her for a girlfriend held.

Rhimes has a keen eye for a story and even more storytelling skills, so naturally there are high hopes for Inventing Anna, which streamed on Netflix on Friday.

‘Marry me’

(From left) Jennifer Lopez as superstar Kat Valdez and Owen Wilson as math teacher Charlie Gilbert in

Remember I mentioned those Super Bowl connections?

Well, here’s the first: Jennifer Lopez, who beat the Super Bowl halftime show in 2020, is back with a rom-com that’ll get you feeling.
She plays a superstar singer (big stretch, huh?) about to get married during a streaming concert when she finds out her intention (played by Colombian singer Maluma, who’s hot in every way) is a cheater.

So what is she doing? Of course marrying a guy in the concert audience played by Owen Wilson.

And as a bonus, the soundtrack is top notch by J.Lo.

“Marry Me” was released in theaters and on the Peacock streaming service on Friday.

“Love is blind” season 2

A scene out

Isn’t there love at first sight?

That was the premise of the first season of Love Is Blind, which took fans by storm in 2020, leading to some marriages and even more drama and heartbreak.

In this reality show, the contestants have to get to know each other without being able to see each other. The real test comes when they meet.

We’ll see if Netflix can generate bottle lightning (or in this case, the pod the participants are in when they’re talking) a second time. The new season started streaming on Friday.

bonus watch!

My colleague Kendall Trammell and I disagree at times, but we agree on the hit ABC comedy Abbott Elementary. We talk about the important lessons it teaches to date Pop Life Pop Off. Listen:

Two things to listen to

Mary J. Blige performs at the 2019 BET Awards in Los Angeles on June 23, 2019.

The Queen of R&B Soul is back!

Mary J. Blige has focused on acting in recent years (she most recently played a mother who’s also a badass crime boss on the Starz series Power Book II: Ghost), but she’s also made music.

She releases “Good Morning Gorgeous” on Friday. The album features collaborations with Usher, Anderson .Paak and DJ Khaled.

Oh, and she does this little thing called the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sundays.

Eddie Vedder performs live at the Pilgrimage Music & Culture Festival in Franklin, Tennessee on September 24, 2017.

Eddie Vedder’s third solo album packs some serious hits.

“Earthling” features collaborations with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Ringo Starr. Perhaps that star power isn’t all that shocking given how respected the Pearl Jam frontman is in the industry, but Vedder says Wonder made him and producer Andrew Watt wait six hours before showing up for his session at the studio.

“We wrote a song in between, and it’s going to be a Pearl Jam song, and right now the working title is ‘Waiting for Stevie,'” Vedder told Variety.

How to use time, sir.

“Earthling” was released on Friday.

One thing to talk about

A scene from Puppy Bowl 2021 is shown.

If you’re not a big soccer fan like me, don’t forget there’s always the Puppy Bowl.

Discovery offers us all the cuteness of puppies “playing” a game not only as an adorable distraction, but as a way to encourage animal adoption from shelters and rescue groups.

I was on a Puppy Bowl shoot a few years ago and it was one of the highlights of my career.

It’s even better because it’s once again hosted by the doggiest dog of them all, Snoop Dogg and his BFF, Martha Stewart.

You can cheer on Team Ruff or Team Fluff during Puppy Bowl XVIII on Discovery+ Sunday.

Something to swallow

This is a view of SoFi Stadium as workers prepare for Super Bowl LVI on February 1 in Inglewood, California.

There’s a meme circulating that basically says that some of the Gen Z kids are “about to find out who their parents really are as soon as the beat falls at the Super Bowl halftime show.”

I know that’s right.

Mary J Blige, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Dr. Dre and Kendrick Lamar are going to BRING it. Although I can’t help but wonder how many people are going to have them working on the bleeper button because some of these rap lyrics are definitely raw.

Or do they just change the words? How will this all work?

The music in its unedited form isn’t exactly family-friendly, but the beats are banging and someone’s mom – and probably dad too – is sure to be twerking on Sunday.

What did you like about today’s newsletter? What did we miss? Drop by [email protected] and say hi!

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