Jesse Plemons Is a Bully Who We Have Allowed to Fail Upward

How have we let this happen? How have we, as a nation, allowed Jesse Plemons, a.k.a. Meth Damon, to fail upward like this?

There were warning signs. All it took was his second film appearance, as Tommy Harbor (younger brother of star QB Lance Harbor) in Varsity Blues

What do we call this? Bullying. Pure and simple. And the only thing bullying produces is more interpersonal violence: 

Fool me once, shame on you. But fool me twice? 

The red flags were all around us. This bullying behavior by Plemons’ character Ox in Like Mike is textbook. The aggression. The lack of empathy toward a height-challenged Lil’ Bow Wow. Look at how he thrives on the insecurities of others (to hide his own insecurity at being an orphan, perhaps?) while misusing his power over other foster children. 

America appeared to be on to this shitbird after Like Mike. Plemons spent the remainder of the early 2000s schlepping it from CSI to Grey’s to NCIS. But somewhere along the way we lost our focus, and we allowed this bully to continue to fail upward. Worse, we let him continue to think that his antisocial behavior was okay. 

Like most bullies, Landry Clarke’s pals on Friday Night Lights might not have thought there was anything wrong with him. But just tell that to the man he MURDERED. How does a kid go from a stable, football-loving home in Texas (Varsity Blues), to an orphanage in Los Angeles (Like Mike), to committing involuntary manslaughter back in Texas (FNL)? BECAUSE WE ALLOWED HIS WORST CHARACTERISTICS TO DEVELOP WITHOUT CHECKING HIS UNWANTED, AGGRESSIVE BEHAVIOR, THAT’S WHY.

And don’t for a minute think that Landry’s killing (not the last murder Plemons would commit on screen, either) was a once-off, spur-of-the-moment type of thing. No, Plemons would continue to commit ever-more heinous acts of violence against those less powerful than he:

Like most bullies, Plemons’ Todd in Breaking Bad flirts with white supremacy. Based on his meth-slave relationship with Jesse Pinkman, it’s clear that he also struggles with letting his friends be independent from himself. 

The bullying would continue. Take Plemons’ appearance in Black Mirror, in the episode “USS Callister,” for example. Plemons’ intimidation and coercion has progressed into middle age, where he takes out his frustrations and resentments on sentient digital clones of his coworkers. Unsatisfied with bullying on a terrestrial stage, Plemons now appears to have taken his abuse to galaxies unknown. 

And the behavior persists to this day. It was only last year, in fact, that Plemons portrayed Chuckie O’Brien—the man who may have been responsible for Jimmy Hoffa’s disappearance—in Martin Scorsese’s lauded TV mini-series The Irishman.

What can possibly be next for this heinous bully? What new heights will we allow him to climb? Will Jesse Plemons next portray Regina George in a gender-reversed recasting of Mean Girls? Will he transport back in time to join Cobra Kai? 

Whatever he attempts next, it’s time for the American moviegoing public to just say no. Plemons’ bullying has to end. It must end.

Point/Counterpoint: Should Jay Cutler be the next Bachelor?

Love is dead. You heard it here first, or maybe a few days ago when the boys’ group chat lit up with the news that Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari are divorcing after six years of marriage and three years of occasionally meme-worthy TV. 

So what should come next for the newly single Cutler? Should he return to the broadcast booth? Or endorse his favorite brand of smokes? The people have a different idea: Make Jay Cutler the next Bachelor. Our panel of experts weighs in on whether that’s such a good idea:

Pro: Make the Cut with Jay Cut

  • Years of living in Chicago should have primed Cutler for the institutional racism of The Bachelor
  • He’s already used to people talking shit about him behind his back
  • Excelled at the fence jumping portion of the NFL combine
  • Cutty’s charisma, unlike his QB play, is unbeatable
  • It should be easy for ABC’s producers to cut together Cutler’s career highlights for the episode 1 intro
  • He could easily be replaced by a different lead without the show missing a beat
  • We know all of his bad political views in advance 
  • He’s not afraid to get hurt  
  • Is mediocre white guy

Con: Un-Bearable

  • America’s not ready to see his butt again 
  • There’s just no telling what toll that much champagne would take on his diabetes
  • Nobody will be surprised when he makes a pick
  • That man cannot go that long without eating 
  • If we’ve developed a coronavirus vaccine by the time filming starts for season 25, we can’t guarantee that he’ll get it
  • Who knows if he’ll make it through the season
  • Gunslinger mentality ill-adapted to the modern RPO-style offense pioneered by Colton
  • Might force the nation into some weird conversations about goats
  • He’s pretty fat now

Let’s use the de-aging technology from The Irishman to see if Larry King has always looked that way

No child should be able to live and die in the United States today without knowing, once and for all, if Larry King has always looked like Baby Yoda in suspenders. That’s why Left on Read is calling on CNN to use the de-aging technology from The Irishman to see if Larry King has always looked that way.

For too long have we wondered what the nation’s most-trusted interviewer and worst tweeter would look like as a young man. Would it be like if you stretched a white raisin thin, then gave it Buddy Holly glasses and a wife who’s half its age? Or would it be like if we CGI’d Ryan Gosling’s face over Mark Zuckerberg’s body and had it lob softballs at a recently me-too’d celebrity? We deserve to know. 

We have the technology. Thanks to noted Marvel truther Martin Scorsese, we have the power to de-age stars like Robert De Niro to see what a young mobster would look like. It’s time we use Netflix’s unholy power for good. And if Scorsese wants to set this de-aged Larry King on a Rolling Stones–scored montage of cocaine abuse and paisley ties, well, then that’s his right.

CNN, please. Let. Us. Use. The. De-aging. Technology. From. TheIrishman. To. See. If. Larry. King. Has. Always. Looked. This. Way.