News of the Week: The Best of the Year, Campbell’s Soup, and Never Leave a Sports Reporter Out in the Cold

In the news for the last week of 2022 are a bajillion “best of” lists, an anniversary for a Santa Claus, a soupy history, potent potables for your next party, and more.

"Midnight and Nobody to Kiss" by Constantin Alajalov for the cover of the December 31, 1949, Post (©SEPS)

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It’s That Time of Year …

This is the week when I usually link to various lists for the best movies, TV, books, music, and podcasts of the year. It’s always, well, a slog finding 30 different sites that have the lists and then adding the links and making sure I have a nice, varied selection of sources. But the Year-End Lists site has it all! They have all of the lists in one place, on a clean, nicely designed site that’s browsable by category, so you don’t have to click on a million links and deal with pop-up ads and paywalls.

Thanks, Year-End Lists site!

75 Years of 34

… if I may be allowed one last Christmas story for 2022. I didn’t realize that this is the 75th anniversary of one of my favorite films, Miracle on 34th Street. CBS had a feature on it last week.

It was released in the summer of 1947 and really wasn’t marketed as a Christmas film.

Soup Is Good Food

CBS also had this feature on one of America’s iconic foods, Campbell’s Soup. Reporter Mark Strassman talks to the company’s CEO and its archivist about the soup’s history, how they made a mistake a few years ago by not emphasizing soup as much, and the artwork of Andy Warhol. The Campbell’s chef even prepares the famous Green Bean Casserole.

Uploaded to YouTube by CBS This Morning

Hey, We Were Promised Ana de Armas!

U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson has ruled that two movie fans who were angry that actress Ana de Armas was in the trailer for the 2019 film Yesterday but never actually appeared in the final film can sue Universal Studios. They each spent $3.99 on Amazon Prime and waited for her to appear but she never did!

Lawyers for the studio argued that trailers are protected by free speech, but Judge Wilson says they should follow the laws of honest advertising.

Video of the Week

It’s winter, and that means endless videos of reporters standing out in the cold and in blizzards to tell all of us that it’s really cold and snowing out. A sports reporter in Iowa was drafted for some reason to be one of those reporters this week, and he spent most of his reports complaining about having to do it.

They should have sent him some Campbell’s Soup.

Uploaded to YouTube by WRAL

RIP Pelé, Vivienne Westwood, Mike Hodges, Sonya Eddy, Diane McBain, Kathy Whitworth, Elena Xausa, and Charlie Gracie

Pelé – born Edson Arantes do Nascimento – was a Brazilian soccer superstar for 21 years and the only player to win the World Cup three times. He died yesterday at the age of 82.

Vivienne Westwood was a British fashion icon known for being one of the main influencers of the punk rock style of bands like The Sex Pistols. She died yesterday at the age of 81.

Mike Hodges directed such films as Get Carter, Croupier, Flash Gordon, The Terminal Man, and A Prayer for the Dying. He died last week at the age of 90.

You may not know the name, but you saw Sonya Eddy on dozens of TV shows over the years. She was a regular on General Hospital and appeared on Seinfeld, ER, Fresh Off the Boat, The Middle, CSI, House, and many other shows. She died last week at the age of 55.

Diane McBain was a regular on Surfside 6 and appeared on Maverick, 77 Sunset Strip, Batman, Dallas, Charlie’s Angels, General Hospital, Days of Our Lives, and co-starred with Elvis Presley in Spinout. She died last week at the age of 81.

Kathy Whitworth was not only the first female pro golfer to earn a million dollars, she holds the record for most wins by both women and men on the U.S. tour. She died last week at the age of 83.

Elena Xausa’s colorful, clever artwork appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, and Rolling Stone, and also in ads for companies like Apple, Nike, and Airbnb. She died last month at the age of 38.

Charlie Gracie was a Philadelphia singer and guitarist who had such songs as “Butterfly,” “Fabulous,” and “Boogie Woogie Blues” and was a big influence on The Beatles and Elvis Presley. He died last week at the age of 86.

This Week in History

To Kill a Mockingbird Movie Released (December 25, 1962)

It’s the 60th anniversary of the classic film based on the Harper Lee novel. Here’s the trailer. Hey, Gregory Peck’s intro isn’t in the movie!

Woodrow Wilson Born (December 28, 1856)

The 28th president served two terms and was going to run for a third but had a stroke. He opened a law firm and also tried to write but never fully recovered.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Happy New Year (December 29, 1945)

This Norman Rockwell cover shows what many places are going to look like about an hour after the clock strikes midnight.

New Year’s Eve Cocktails

You have the appetizers for your guests, and maybe you’re even making dinner, but what are the basic drinks for a good New Year’s Eve party? Besides bottles of champagne, that is.

Serious Eats has the recipe for a classic Negroni, while Delish has the Manhattan. Food & Wine has recipes for an Aviation, a Grasshopper, and a Tom Collins. AllRecipes has the classic Old Fashioned, and writer Vince Keenan tells you how to make a Gimlet and the Rob Roy.

I had Strawberry Champagne by André last New Year’s Eve and it was really good!

Here’s to 2023.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

National Hangover Day (January 1)

This is one of those holidays that needs no explanation.

The Rose Parade (January 2)

The 134th parade airs on ABC, NBC, and Peacock at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Fruitcake Toss Day (January 3)

If you haven’t done it already, this is the day to do it.

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  1. Great opening shot by Constantin Alajalov, always a favorite. I just put comments on Cable Neuhaus’s New Year’s Naughtiness feature and how to get out of the parties, only to have to use it myself just minutes afterwards!

    Interesting feature on Campbell’s soup and getting it back on track. CEO Mark Clouse seems like he knows what he’s doing. I’m glad the Andy Warhol picture still helps identify the brand. As far as any artistic talent goes, I’m just as good as he is/was in taking existing images and making something new out of them myself.

    Some good news this week is the film Babylon was a major bomb. Don’t care for Margot Robbie at all. Although Ana de Armas isn’t Margot disgusting, she was in that lying piece of garbage ‘Blonde’ earlier this year. Not good.

    I can identify with Iowa sports reporter Mark Woodley here, who shouldn’t have been asked to report on the snow and cold for hours. He handled it in a manner similar to how I know I would also. Not biting the hand that feeds you, but taking some not-so-nice nips at it.

    Sonya Eddy was a great actress, singer, and important cast member of (guilty pleasure) General Hospital. I remember her from Seinfeld and The Middle also, enriching every show she appeared on. No hangovers January 1st, but will watch the Rose Parade with Leeza Gibbons on the 2nd, then the game.


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