By Bill Vaughan
2022 will be remembered as a period many of us returned to attending movies and concerts, traveling and dining out en masse. This year’s Tasty Clips Faves reflect those things that proved to be more than worthy of our time and attention. Submitted for your pleasure …
MOVIES: Jordan Peele’s history-making IMAX-filmed summer blockbuster “Nope;” “The Inspection,” Elegance Bratton’s moving autobiographical directorial debut with awards worthy turns from Jeremy Pope and Gabrielle Union; Stephen Spielberg’s “The Fabelmans;” Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis;” Gina Prince-Bythewood’s “The Woman King;” “Hustle,” starring Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah; and the sequels “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” “Avatar: The Way of Water,” and “Downton Abbey – A New Era”
DOCUMENTARIES: “Descendant” (Netflix); critic Elvis Mitchell’s love letter to films of the 1970s and 80s, “Is That Black Enough for You?!?” (Netflix); “The Captain” (ESPN), detailing the life and career of baseball hall of famer Derek Jeter; “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (Netflix)
TV: “Atlanta” (FX): Delivering a fitting swan song; “Earthquake: Legendary” (Netflix): Funniest stand-up special of the year; “Euphoria” (HBO); “Interview With The Vampire” (AMC); “Only Murders In The Building” (Hulu); “Peacemaker” (HBO Max); “Station Eleven” (HBO Max): A dystopian love letter to the arts with another stellar performance by Danielle Deadwyler; (“Till”); “Stranger Things” (Netflix); “The Bear” (FX); and “The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey” (Apple TV+)
BOOKS: “Scenes from My Life – A Memoir” by Michael K. Williams and Jon Sternfeld. A captivating read into the mind of the superb character actor gone too soon. A pity he wasn’t around to lend his unmistakable voice to the audiobook. “The Way Home – A Celebration of Sea Islands Food and Family with over 100 Recipes” by Kardea Brown. The Food Network’s popular “Delicious Miss Brown” authored her first cookbook with spins on beloved Low Country, South Carolina dishes. The dives into her background and Gullah Geechee culture are a plus and the scrumptiously photographed recipes scream “Make Me!”
CONCERTS: H.E.R. “Back Of My Mind” Tour; Sheila E. (with the unsung Lynn Mabry)!
TRAVEL: Toronto, Canada. Went to cover the Toronto International Film Festival and was reminded of all the things that make this cosmopolitan city so very special. Go, if you haven’t and return if you have.
DINING: dLeña (Washington, D.C.): Chef Richard Sandoval’s modern approach to classic Mexican fare was a winner and provided the best brunch and flavors tasted this year (not to mention a mean Mezcal Margarita).
Now for some Faves from our illustrious contributors …
EARTHQUAKE – Radio Host (Sirius/XM’s “Quake’s House”)/Actor/Comic (Netflix’ “Earthquake: Legendary”) – TV: I buckled down and watched “Harlem” for the first time. It really shed a lot of light on the mindset of women and how they see things. As a man, this was a very interesting watch. BOOKS: I don’t get an enormous amount of time to read as much as I would like, but what I will say is “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” will forever be considered life changing. TRAVEL: Joining Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock in London and Amsterdam this year took the cake. I’ve been to both places before, but this time I experienced it from another prism, and I loved it. DINING: I love the food at Horses [in L.A.]! And Mr. Chow is my all-time favorite!
MARVIN SAPP – Pastor/Singer/Producer (TV One’s “Never Would Have Made It: The Marvin Sapp Story”) – MOVIES: “The Woman King” was the bomb. It has so many different messages in it as it pertains to affirmation and encouragement. The best thing about it was when old girl found out that the girl she was training and raising up was her actual daughter. It speaks to how even when we try to discard things in our lives, that God has a way of bringing it back around again. DINING: Perla’s in Austin, Texas. They fly in their seafood daily. It’s an amazing restaurant. Go there and sit outside.
ISAIAH WASHINGTON – Actor/Producer/Director (“Corsicana”) – MOVIES: “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Corsicana” BOOKS: “Black Star; Silver Gun” by Art T. Burton and “True Believer” by Jack Care TV: Amazon’s “The Terminal List” TRAVEL: Visiting Louisville, Kentucky DINING: Jay’s Backyard BBQ in Westside Chicago.
GRACE KELLY – Saxophonist/Singer/Composer (“All That I Need“) – TV: “Stranger Things,” “Love Death + Robots” MUSIC: Jonathan Butler. Had the pleasure of joining him as a featured guest on his Christmas tour this year, and wow. His voice, his guitar playing, and his presence are so powerful. I was moved to tears watching his show. BOOK: “The Artist Way” by Julia Cameron. Changed my life and allowed me to embrace my creativity and, more specifically, work through moments where I was experiencing a heavy writer’s block. Her words and exercises are inspiring and work. The morning pages exercise has become a meditative practice for me every morning. DINING: Damian in the Arts District in L.A. This restaurant is incredible. The Mexican-inspired food has unique dishes, a beautiful ambiance, and food presentation. A stand-out dish was a celery root entree that was so flavorful and cooked in a very soft and juicy way that I hadn’t experienced before. It’s a true experience for both the palate and eyes!
WILLIE MOORE JR. – Actor/Singer/Social Media Influencer/Broadcaster (Cleo’s “What’s Cooking? Atlanta”) – MOVIE: “Tyler Perry’s A Jazzman’s Tale.” “Wakanda Forever” was really, really good, but I was just excited to see [Perry] in a different light. I realized that you have to give the world what they want until you can give them what you want. MUSIC: This little dude out of L.A. named Blxst. I guess y’all were expecting gospel but no, I’ve been listening to him all year … and then I stay on Nipsey Hussle.
BARACK OBAMA – Former U.S. President/Producer (Netflix’ “Descendant”) – MOVIES: “The Fabelmans,” “Decision to Leave,” “The Woman King,” ”Aftersun,” “Emily the Criminal,” “Petite Maman,” “Happening,” “Till,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” “Top Gun: Maverick” MUSIC: “The Heart Part 5” (Kendrick Lamar), “Tití Me Preguntó” (Bad Bunny), “POF” (Ari Lennox), “Break My Soul” (Beyoncé), “Last Last” (Burna Boy), “Sunshine” (Steve Lacy featuring Fousheé), “Shirt” (SZA), “About Damn Time” (Lizzo), “’Round Midnight” (Adam Blackstone & Jazmine Sullivan), “Saoka” (Rosalia).
NEW YEAR’S EVE HAPPS: The Roots are at Walt Disney Concert Hall as Howard Hewitt is part of the gala at the Hyatt Regency L.A. International Airport. Also, Katt Williams’ 2023 & Me Tour kicks off at the Microsoft Theater, while the Hollywood Improv hosts Bringing In The New Year with Craig Robinson.
TC ON TV: Dec. 31 – “Lizzo: Live In Concert” (HBO Max): With special guests Cardi B, SZA, and Missy Elliott. “Dick Clark’s Primetime New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2023” (ABC): Co-hosted by Billy Porter, Ciara, D-Nice and Roslyn Sanchez with performances by New Edition, Shaggy, Halle Bailey, Wiz Khalifa, Fitz and the Tantrums and more. “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash” (CBS): Jimmie Allen, Elle King and Rachel Smith are emcees with Sheryl Crow, Darius Rucker, Flo-Rida, The War and Treaty among the acts. “Miley’s New Year’s Eve Party” (NBC): Miley Cyrus and Dolly Parton co-host with songs by Latto, Sia, and Rae Sremmurd. “New Year’s Eve Live” (CNN): Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen usher in with contributions from Don Lemon, Kevin Hart and Usher. “The Shaq’tacular Spectacular” (Meta): A virtual reality special with Shaquille O’Neal, aka DJ Diesel, spinning with performances from Ludacris, Lil Yachty and Killer Mike.
Jan. 1 – “Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over” (CNN): Blends archival footage with personal photographs, and newsreels of the legendary singer’s career. With observations from Burt Bacharach, Clive Davis, Snoop Dogg, Berry Gordy, Elton John, Cissy Houston, Quincy Jones, Gladys Knight, Carlos Santana, Stevie Wonder and more. “Kaleidoscope” (Netflix): Giancarlo Esposito stars in this thrilling, action-packed fact-inspired heist drama that allows viewers to watch episodes in any order.
Jan. 2 – “Fantasy Island” (Fox): Season two features guest appearances by Lynn Whitfield and Kyla Pratt. “TMZ Presents” (Fox): “Lamar Odom: Sex, Drugs & Kardashians” “Surviving R. Kelly: The Final Chapter” (Lifetime): The Peabody award-winning documentary series concludes in a two-night event connecting unspeakable details never shared with the public, culminating in the verdict heard around the world.
Jan. 3 – “Sometimes When We Touch” (Paramount+): A three-part docu-series exploring the history of soft rock music with Ray Parker Jr., Kenny Loggins, Daryl “DMC” McDaniels, LA Reid, Robert “Kool” Bell, Sheryl Crow, Verdine White and others. “Finding Your Roots” (PBS): This season, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps Viola Davis, Tamera Mowry, Niecy Nash, Angela Davis, Jamie Chung and Danny Trejo, to name a few. “Will Trent” (ABC): Ramón Rodríguez stars as a Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent in this new series with Sonja Sohn (“The Wire”).
END QUOTE: “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – OPRAH WINFREY
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.