Russell Tovey’s big ears, “Jolene” by Dolly Parton & Cadbury eggs: 10 things we’re obsessed with this week

Russell Tovey’s big ears, “Jolene” by Dolly Parton & Cadbury eggs: 10 things we’re obsessed with this week

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Three-panel image. In the left, comedian Stephen Brower wears a tan beanie and blue hoodie. He has a thin black mustache and talks about Cadbury Mini Eggs in a TikTok. In the middle, the album cover for Dolly Parton's "Jolene", featuring a vintage photo of the singer with big, blonde hair, framed in the middle of a yellow tableau. It reads "Jolene by Dolly Parton. Featuring I Will Always Love You." In the right, Russell Tovey softly smiles with short gray hair and a brown mustache. He wears a blue and white plaid button-down shirt, open a few buttons to reveal his chest.

We live in a culture defined by hyperbolic language –– from “iconic” to “This song literally changed my life.”

Amongst such exaggerations, you’d think a word like “obsessed” might lose its meaning.

But that assumption neglects what it means to be gay, entrenched in pop culture, and eternally online. For us, there’s ALWAYS something to talk about.

Like this week, Cole Escola and Conrad Ricamore gave us the scoop on Oh, Mary! , a beach volleyball couple revived our belief in love, and Johnny Sibilly hard-launched his partner.

And if that wasn’t enough, Travis Kelce gave us a dad-bod moment, Luca Guadagnino lined up more movies, scientists confirmed our beliefs about gay grooves, and once again, we begged the question: “Is it still OK for straight actors to play gay?” (Spoiler alert: the jury is split.)

However, the discourse didn’t stop there. Even in the wake of a Beyoncé drop, there’s been a steady stream of lewks, hilarious TikToks, books, and boys to engross ourselves in.

Here are 10 things we’re obsessed with this week…

1. “Jolene” by Dolly Parton Merch

Three-panel image. On the left, an off-white long sleeved crew neck featuring a black and white image of vintage Dolly Parton and her husband. In cursive text: "Jolene" and "Dolly Parton," as well as "I'm begging of you, please don't take my man." In the middle panel, a black vintage shirt featuring Dolly Parton performing in 1977. The shirt reads "Live in Concert Dolly Parton." In the right panel, a black-and-white vintage concert poster with a photo of Dolly Parton, reading, "8 PM Saturday June Seventeen."
Image Credit: Dolly Parton Official Store

The biggest story of the week might just be Beyoncé’s cover of “Jolene,” featuring an intro by Dolly herself calling out “that hussy with the good hair.” And while Queen Bey puts a more aggressive spin on the would-be-homewrecker classic, the spirit behind Parton’s 1973 hit remains. All women with auburn hair be warned!

Dolly is certainly cognizant of how powerful her most-covered song is. She even dropped a well-timed merchandise collection in honor of the track’s belated 50th anniversary, featuring a “Please don’t take my man”-emblazoned shirt ($40) and crewneck ($75), as well as a classic Live 1977 Tee ($40) and vintage live poster, going for $20 on her official store.

2. Gay Easter Cards

Two-panel image. On the left, five cards showcasing AI-generated images of shirtless men holding Easter baskets, wearing bunny ears, and smiling broadly. In the right panel, four similar-looking cards are pictured on a gray table next to a green succulent.
Image Credit: Etsy

In curating this week’s column, I wondered out loud a lá Carrie Bradshaw, “Does gay Easter even exist?” Yes, it’s a religious holiday akin to Christmas. But because there’s far less pageantry involved, I worried LGBTQ+ capitalism may not crossed over to the decor market.

Boy, was I wrong! I’m amused to report that you can score two different packs of Gay Easter cards on Etsy ($18.68 for five). There’s an uncanniness to these chiseled hunks touting chocolate eggs and flexing next to rabbits. Nevertheless, whether you’re an avid churchgoer, navigating a complicated relationship with religion, or just a chocolate aficionado, it’s nice to know these cards exist.

3. Kelly Clarkson covering KT Tunstall

Kelly Clarkson (and her powerhouse vocals) are singlehandedly saving daytime TV. The original American Idol is once again dominating our television screens as a talkshow host, but there’s no denying each episode’s highlight is the music.

In her appropriately titled Kellyoke segment, Clarkson covers modern pop songs with such authenticity, dedication, and vocal intensity that her rendition of “Wide Awake” had Katy Perry joking, “I can never sing that again.” Still, my recent fave is her take on KT Tunstall’s gripping 2004 hit “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” Woo-hoo, indeed.

4. Martini Time Embroidered Hat

Two-panel image. On the left, a navy blue baseball hat with a line drawing of a martini with a green olive stitched in the center. In the right panel, a close-up of the white illustration.
Image Credit: Uncommon Goods

As the recent survivor of a bad haircut, I’ve never understood the power of a good hat until now. That’s not to say all caps are created equal –– and this is in no way an endorsement of casual fedora-wearing.

I’ve found the best hats are usually solid-colored and simple, with a little bit of personality. Case-in-point, this seemingly queer-targeted martini cap ($30 at Uncommon Goods) which even has “Tini Time” stitched on the back. It’s so cute that I’ll be returning to it, even after those awkward “growing-back-out” weeks pass.

5. Comedian Stephen Brower ranking the most dateable Easter candy

@stephen_brower Hey, Alexa. Play Candyman by Christina Aguilera @Amazon Fresh #ad #greenscreen ♬ original sound – imstephen

Queer comedian and actor Stephen Brower –– who’s currently in Broadway’s Lempicka –– is one of my all-time fave social-media follows. He typically offers thirst traps and enlightening commentary on what birds, board games, and breakfast cereals he would date.

His latest TikTok about the romantic appeal of Easter candy is egg-specially hilarious –– and has me hankering for some Cadbury.

6. Beyoncé sparking a fight between Uber & Lyft

In the latest example of brands gone wild, the two biggest rideshare apps got into a fight on social media while vying for the patronage of Beyoncé’s fans. It all started with Uber, who revealed –– via a ridiculously hyped-up announcement –– that they were offering 16% off rides in honor of “16 Carriages.” After Lyft’s sassy social media manager replied, “Crumbs were left” on Twitter X, another user suggested they better the deal. So, the company did just that, announcing fans could get 50% off rides through the same period. Got ’em!

Personally, I think we’ve let brands get way too unhinged on social media. But to quote the Cowboy Carter singer herself: “You know you that b*tch when you cause all this conversation.”

7. Criterion Collection faves

Three-panel image. On the left, the Criterion Collection DVD cover of "All the Beauty and the Bloodshed" featuring a woman in a taxi in a huge purple feathered boa. In the middle, Criterion's "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" cover featuring John Cameron Mitchell posing as Hedwig in a blonde wig and yellow crop top. In the right panel, Criterion's "To Die For" cover featuring a blonde Nicole Kidman close to the camera, smiling uncannily.
Image Credit: Criterion Collection

Queerty fave Joel Kim Booster recently shared his “famously terrible taste” in movies for a recent interview with Criterion Collection, picking out his favorite titles from their elite catalogue of films. (Don’t listen to the haters! Your picks were great, Joel!)

Nevertheless, it had me digging through their impressive collection to boost my own pretentious assemblage of “important” DVDs. I couldn’t escape the massive list without checking out Nicole Kidman‘s campy 1995 comedy To Die For ($31.96-$39.96), Nan Goldin documentary All the Beauty and the Bloodshed ($23.96-$31.96), and of course ultimate queer classic Hedwig and the Angry Inch ($23.96-$31.96).

8. Russell Tovey embracing his “big ears”

Two-panel image. On the left, Russell Tovey softly smiles with short gray hair and a brown mustache. He wears a blue and white plaid button-down shirt, open a few buttons to reveal his chest. In the right panel, a screenshot of his Instagram Story showing a black tee reading "Russell Tovey's ears are my kink" and a poll with 99% of voters saying "yes."
Image Credit: Getty Images/@russelltovey on Instagram

From Looking to American Horror Story, and most recently Feud: Capote Vs. The Swans, I’ve been crushing on Russell Tovey for years and years. Or should I say ears?

In response to recent internet thirst over his lugholes –– that’s British slang for “ears,” innit? –– Tovey took to his Instagram Stories to pitch his followers on potential merch: a tee reading “Russell Tovey’s Ears Are My Kink.” Oh boy! Judging by the resounding 99% of dudes who voted “Yes” in approval, it sounds like he’s got a lucrative idea on his hands. Time to hit up Shark Tank!

9. Pastels for spring. Groundbreaking.

Three-panel image, each featuring a male model in a short sleeved button down shirt. In the left, a man wears a striped white, pink, and gray shirt. In the middle, a man wears an aqua blue shirt with a dragonfly design. In the right, the man wears a blue and white floral print.

Let’s cut to the chase. It’s springtime, and you’re going to need some cute, low-effort (read: no iron required) shirts as you prepare to re-enter society post-hibernation. I know florals and pastels are cliche during this season, but they’re typically a fail-safe lewk.

Thankfully, these slim-fit button-downs (on sale for $18.40 at Target) come in a variety of colors, plus big and tall sizes. We will pray to Miranda Priestly –– Meryl Streep’s floral-hating Devil Wears Prada character –– for forgiveness later.

10. Long Live Queer Nightlife: How the Closing of Gay Bars Sparked a Revolution by Amin Ghaziani

It’s no secret that gay bars are important community hubs –– and unfortunately closing in droves across the country. On top of that, judgment and a yearning for a different kind of connection has scared a generation of queers away from walking into their local clubs.

But that doesn’t mean that the party is stopping, especially for those who know where to look. It’s a world that author Amin Ghaziani dives into in his new book, $29.95 via Princeton University Press. Based on evenings in London and more than 100 interviews, he documents “a dazzling scene of secret parties” where “episodic, nomadic, and radically inclusive [club] nights are refashioning queer nightlife in boundlessly imaginative and powerfully defiant ways.” From the safety of my couch, I’m living through him vicariously!


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