Monday’s pop culture moment was supposed to belong to Toy Story 4. Disney dropped that trailer early, undoubtedly expecting to dominate the full news cycle. But then, at noon, our lives were permanently derailed as a trailer for Detective Pikachu(?) was released and it actually looks…good(??). And then we were all, Toy Story 4? I don’t know her. In case you somehow missed the absurdity bonanza, Detective Pikachu is a real movie that exists(???), and it stars Justice Smith and Ryan Reynolds(????) as Detective Pikachu(?????). They’re searching for a missing person in a world where Pokémon and people co-exist, it’s live-action, and Pikachu is a detective(??????), with the voice of Deadpool(???????). My email to Lainey about this reads, verbatim:

Ryan Reynolds????


The most amazing thing about Detective Pikachu is not that it is a real movie(????????) and not a joke(?????????), but that it really does look good(??????????). I laughed a lot at this trailer! There are several good jokes! The way Justice Smith says, “I’m not!” is perfect! Ryan Reynolds’ voice is weird and unsettling coming from that adorable Pokémon face but that somehow only makes the joke better(???????????)! I’m so confused by it and into it at the same time!

It occurs to me that the tone struck in this trailer is what The Happytime Murders was going for. Profanity aside, the mesh of fantasy characters and humans seems to be working better in Detective Pikachu(????????????). Which is insane because “live-action Detective Pikachu movie” sounds like an end-of-the-world pitch, the kind of utter nonsense you throw out when you think you’re about to be fired and you try to slip in one last pitch to keep your desk. It sounds like something you blurt out on a cocaine bender. It does not sound like a real movie. But yet, it IS a real movie(?????????????). 

But don’t let the memes blind you to some shady sh*t. Detective Pikachu is co-written by Nicole Perlman. She also co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy—that movie literally only exists because Nicole Perlman pulled those characters out of the bowels of Marvel and wrote a movie for them. James Gunn came in later and did a re-write, but Perlman remains a credited writer on GOTG (though Gunn tried to have her credit demoted, if not outright removed). Now, with Detective Pikachu there immediately started a story on social media about a big-name comedian, who shall remain nameless but is definitely Bo Burnham, who worked on the script in an uncredited capacity. I doubt it was meant to discredit or disregard the work of Nicole Perlman, but it sticks in my craw because it’s not the first time her work on a major movie has been sidelined because a dude also worked on it. Film is collaborative, and pretty much every script is the work of multiple writers, credited or not. You can acknowledge someone’s contribution without ignoring another’s, and yet Nicole Perlman is routinely ignored. Just say her name. 

This is all just so goddamn weird. It’s SO weird it makes me think 2019 will be the year of weird. And you know what, after the last couple years of sh*t, I am ready for some weird. Bring on Detective Pikachu(??????????????) and let’s get REAL WEIRD.