The Stephen tWitch Boss Dance That Made Us All Fall in Love With Him

The Stephen tWitch Boss Dance That Made Us All Fall in Love With Him

Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.

Photo Illustration by Luis G. Rendon/The Daily Beast/Everett

This is a preview of our pop culture newsletter The Daily Beast’s Obsessed, written by editor Kevin Fallon. To receive the full newsletter in your inbox each week, sign up for it here.

This week:

The tWitch Dance I Can’t Stop Watching

There was a time—for years, really—when So You Think You Can Dance was my favorite show on television. Its return each summer was the highlight of my year. It all worked for me: creator and judge Nigel Lythgoe’s entertaining smugness; Mary Murphy’s cringey catchphrases; choreographer Mia Michaels’ emotional battiness; and, of course, host Cat Deeley’s warm, compassionate enthusiasm. But, duh, the real draw was always the spectacular dancing.

There are so many graduates of the show that I still stalk—I mean, follow. (Thank you Instagram.) Going to a Broadway musical these days doubles as a game of “Spot the So You Think You Can Dance Alum” in the chorus. But for fans of the show, no career has been more thrilling to observe than that of Stephen “tWitch” Boss.

Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

He was a phenom in the hip-hop style like the show had never seen. Yet tWitch also proved to be a surprise star of the show’s most gripping element: challenging dancers to perform routines outside of their speciality—disco! salsa! contemporary!—and seeing who has the patience, versatility, and star power to excel. Judges and viewers were reliably stunned by the grace with which tWitch handled being outside his comfort zone, not to mention how his specific skills shined unexpectedly in other styles of dance.

After the news broke that tWitch died this week in an apparent suicide, fans and colleagues of his shared their favorite videos of him dancing. Anecdotally, none have been shared as often as the hip-hop routine he performed with Alex Wong, when he returned to the show in 2010 as an “all star.”

Set to “Outta Your Mind” by Lil Jon and LMFAO, it was one of the most energetic, complicated, and thrilling routines ever performed on the series. (It’s also what started his decade-long friendship and work partnership with Ellen DeGeneres, who asked him to help her learn the routine to perform on her show; she eventually brought him on full-time as her DJ and a producer.)

It is just so good. Watch it here, and do so over and over again. You won’t regret it.

Save Our Show!

The boom of streaming services and ensuing explosion of content has often been referred to in the industry as “the Wild West,” which feels especially appropriate given how lawless—and ruthless—circumstances seem to be right now.

This is some show business mumbo-jumbo that might make your eyes glaze over, but the short version is that Warner Bros. and Discovery merged, which means that their respective streamers, HBO Max and Discovery+, will soon combine. One mandate of the merger was cutting costs, leading to a spate of abrupt cancellations of many WB series and the removal of past seasons from HBO Max’s library entirely.

Some of those choices in the past weeks have seemed especially jarring. The company canceled the HBO Max show Minx while it was nearly finished shooting Season 2; it will not see the light of the day on the streamer. (It’s being shopped around elsewhere.) Westworld, which at one point was the most-watched series on HBO, is among the series that are being wiped from the Max library. (Warner Bros. also hopes to sell it to another service.) But if a show that big is gone, what chance do smaller, beloved gems have?

Which brings me to my point. Friends, loved ones, kind strangers: We must do everything in our power to protect The Other Two, a perfect comedy series. It was renewed and has been shooting Season 3, but, as this week taught us, that means nothing! Let us join hands in spirit and faith. Let us pray: “Our Molly Shannon, who art in Heaven…” And don’t forget to say the “Hail Mary (Katherine Gallagher).”

These are scary times. The thought of losing The Other Two might be the scariest thing about them.

The Collaboration of the Century

It’s the time of year when all kinds of organizations are announcing the nominees and honorees of their annual awards. Among them was the Boston Society of Film Critics, which made waves with the announcement that its selection for Best Ensemble this year was a tie. One winner is Women Talking, which is a predictable, worthy choice. The other: Jackass Forever.

This is the kind of delightful, borderline-camp, but also completely justified left-field choice that we love. (More daring would have been to select Johnny Knoxville and his band of bruised stunt idiots on their own.) Chief among those who are giddy about this decision are Women Talking writer-director Sarah Polley and, according to her, the film’s cast. She encapsulated her enthusiasm in the perfect tweet:

Too Hot to Handle

The revelation this week that Paul Mescal, Joe Alwyn, and Andrew Scott have a group text chat with each other that is called “The Tortured Men Club” is too intensely sexually appealing that, to protect myself, I can’t allow myself to fully process it.

What to watch this week:

Avatar: Way of the Water: I think this is one of those “resistance is futile” situations. (Now in theaters)

Emily in Paris: See above. (Wed. on Netflix)

I Hate Suzie: It’s one of those shows that epitomizes “underrated gem.” I’m so glad it got a Season 2. (Thurs. on HBO Max)

What to skip this week:

Kindred: A trailblazing sci-fi masterpiece gets a terrible series adaptation. (Now on Hulu)

National Treasure: Edge of Tomorrow: You expect me to care about a National Treasure sequel series that doesn’t have Nicolas Cage? (Now on Disney+)

The Daily Beast’s Obsessed

Everything we can’t stop loving, hating, and thinking about this week in pop culture.

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