The Battle of the Sexes Can Be Murder, She Wrote

Illustration by Christopher A. Jones

Illustration by Christopher A. Jones

Are there any six words in the language more delightful than “Angela Lansbury is in the news?”

Well, probably. “Have this bag full of money,” ranking chief among them. But you can’t deny that it’s always exciting when A-Lans pops up on the cultural radar, if only to bemoan NBC’s Viola Davis-starring reboot of Murder, She Wrote.

It’s tempting to see dusting off Cabot Cove as another sad signpost of Hollywood’s steadfast refusal to have any new ideas, but why dwell on the negative? If you completely ignore the implicit lack of faith in any ability to craft the future, remakes and reboots are really about a “that looks so much fun, I want to go on the ride too” attitude toward the past. It’s like the bumper cars, but with flop-sweat pitch meetings. This brings us to the week’s big news:

Stepping up to the carnival 40 years after the Bobby Riggs-Billie Jean King Battle of the Sexes match (and 21 years after the little-noted Jimmy Connors-Martina Navratilova match at Caesars Palace—in both events gambling is rumored to have played a significant role) are Andy Murray and Serena Williams. According to Britain’s Daily Mail, the idea started up as a half-joking Twitter exchange (21st century update!), but has evolved to the point where negotiations will take place over the next month to do the match somewhere here in town.

When Anthony Bourdain was done eating his way through the city for a Parts Unknown Season 3, he did his live broadcast November 10 on CNN from the rebooted Atomic Liquors for the Season 2 wrap-up. Before he left, Bourdain soaked up the retro charm of the Huntridge Tavern, where if they ever reboot to reflect modern trends in drink pricing, there will be a riot. Started by us.

It seems like the Harmon might be remade into an entirely new mascot for CityCenter. (And not just one to “Measure twice, cut once.”) Crystals architect Daniel Libeskind was spotted in town, purportedly working on plans to design a large-scale crystal to take the place of the Harmon, if and when we get treated to a new, exciting implosion.

Smiths Keep it Classy; Bieber Doesn’t. (In Other News, Water is Wet.)

What do you get for your 21-year-old son when you’ve already bought your younger kids a movie career and a music career? Apparently, dinner at Hakkasan. Will Smith celebrated eldest son Trey’s 21st on November 10 along with stepmother Jada Pinkett Smith and half-siblings Jaden and Willow. The Smiths took over the Ling Ling Club for a private dinner along with about 50 friends and family before going to Lavo, where Trey manned the turntables as DJ Ace. Jaden and Willow had to stay in the dining room at Lavo while the over-21 crowd hit the club, but a live feed was piped to the restaurant. … Ashanti can’t be stopped by bronchitis. She was in Ghostbar on November 8 to celebrate her Soul Train Award win at the Orleans Arena for Best R&B/Soul Performance. She just drank cranberry juice, which is basically like staying home and being half-dead, anyway. … Security footage from the back of the house at the Palms turned up online last week showing Justin Bieber, in town for the Floyd Mayweather fight in September, stealing a bicycle and riding it around the halls there before security stopped him. Unfortunately, they didn’t stop him with a cattle prod.

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