When so many celebrities are reduced to whingeing from their mansions, the actor proves he still has a role to play
Matthew McConaughey became a bingo caller for the residents of an assisted living facility in Texas last week and I started to realise that its all gone a bit 1970s, hasnt it? I dont mean that sitcoms are racist again or that bin bags are piling up in the streets, although, for those of us who are lucky enough to be able to work from home while semi-dressed, the concept of a regular work week is starting to lose its shape, like a baggy old pair of pants. Which, incidentally, may also have been deemed a suitable work outfit, not so long ago.
Like seemingly everyone else on the internet, celebrities have begun to put a retro filter on their lockdown activities. McConaughey playing bingo is a big 70s vibe, but the pinched optimism of Good Life potential is everywhere, which might be why banana bread is having such a moment. I saw two members of Little Mix on the BBC talking about learning how to cook, baking and calling their mums. Victoria Beckham is tie-dying T-shirts.
This practical turn marks a shift from the high hopes some of us had for using our time well when the lockdown began. It was all self-improvement this and reading list that. I talked about starting a book club. I signed up for a four-week course in Irish language and culture, but its been three weeks and Im languishing at 15% of week one: Rebecca is ainm dom. Instead, Im hoovering up articles that say its normal to spend entire days and nights refreshing news pages in a state of idle despair, because these arent ideal circumstances to do much of anything else, with apologies to key workers, who must be thoroughly over people moaning about boredom and these endless catch-up guides to all the telly you simply must watch.
As hashtag content goes, in the watchability stakes, a low-level hum of inert worry is more Andy Warhols Sleep than Avengers: Endgame. Ill take the chirpy do-something celebrity stories over the ones carping on about mansion life oh, the horror, which garden shall I choose? because at least it throws up some curveballs. Would McConaughey have found his calling as a caller if he had not been forced to take time off from movies? Though I think he missed a trick by not doing it all in a True Detective mumble. Im pretty sure theres a charity money-maker to be had in a Zoom-able edition of Matthew McConaugheys Bingo Noir. Severed Legs Eleven, anyone?