Good-bye to Vulture

Photo: Universal Pictures

The best scene in an American movie this summer has got to be the end-credits montage from Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. I’m serious!

To describe it won’t spoil the movie because this sequence exists both outside the main plot of the film and outside of the boundaries of time and space entirely. Still, I’ll give you the benefit of a spoiler alert in case you haven’t seen the Mamma Mia! sequel (in which case, how dare you) or if you’re simply curious why I’m going long on the Mamma Mia-verse in what’s supposed to be a good-bye post.

The closing-credits sequence begins with an incredible juxtaposition: Directly following Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’s final scene — which is the most emotional, intimate moment of the entire franchise — we fade to white, and a spike of wild camp energy arrives in the form of Cher, who will be performing an auto-tuned, single-song concert in what I’m guessing is Swedish Heaven. She launches into “Super Trouper,” ABBA’s relatable anthem about megastars who are tired of touring, and a truly wonderful chain reaction begins: Cher throws the song to the flashback versions of Donna and her Dynamos, who throw the song to Amanda Seyfried and Dominic Cooper vamping on a Romeo and Juliet balcony, who throw the song to Young Harry, Young Bill, and Young Sam, smoldering in three separate doorways like the cover of a dating board game for junior-high-school girls.

And then. And then! The boys coo, “’cause somewhere in the crowd, there’s you,” point into the middle distance, and Dead Meryl Streep arrives in a halo of feathers, looking fabulous even when deceased. (Did you doubt? Go watch Death Becomes Her!) It’s a true all-bets-are-off moment, and things escalate wildly from there. Young Christine Baranski and Actual Christine Baranski share a duet, somehow! Sparklers and dry ice go off wherever Cher walks to, like the floor is just so excited to be there! Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan, and Stellan Skarsgard all dance with the young men who play their flashback versions, and even though it makes no sense, you kind of ship it! And amidst it all, there’s this wonderful moment where Dead Meryl Streep walks up to her true love, Alive Pierce Brosnan, and they have the sort of fantasy embrace that their characters surely took for granted when both were living, but now must miss more than anything. It’s as if someone set the final scene in Titanic to ABBA, which someone really ought to do.

Anyway, the whole thing is a tonal mishmash, and that’s exactly why it’s so sublime.

So why am I telling you all this? For one, because this post is sort of like my end-credits montage on Vulture, except that instead of Mamma Mia’s “Produced by Rita Wilson” title card, you’re likelier to see me shout out editors like Neil Janowitz and Rachel Handler, or fabulous writers like Alex Jung and Hunter Harris. But it also comes to mind because my eight years at Vulture have let me be just as much of a tonal mishmash as that bonkers Mamma Mia sequence, with my funny side and my serious side butting up against one another in a truly gratifying way.

One day, I could write about 100 Women Directors, and another day, murder twinks. I could cover awards season, dive deep into screenwriting and cinematography, then discuss patterns of inequality in Hollywood; I could also go long on reshoot wigs, Space Dern, the gayest Marvel movies, and why Fifty Shades Freed is just Memento with butt plugs.

And the crazy life experiences that Vulture made possible were like no other. I held hands with Shia LaBeouf and made him cry, and I FaceTimed with Jean-Luc Godard about Michael Bay. I will never forget the specific way that Cate Blanchett inhaled sashimi while wearing couture, or when Ava DuVernay made Ryan Coogler tear up in front of a crowd, or especially when Isabelle Huppert heard me discussing a tale of romantic woe at a dinner party, asked to have my conversation translated for her, and then visibly lost interest halfway through the translation. (Truly, to be deemed unworthy by Isabelle Huppert is to touch grace.)

But while I’ll think back fondly on those moments and remember all the amazing people I got to interview, the main thing I’ll miss about Vulture is the company. Whether we were making each other laugh in Slack or enjoying late nights at karaoke, some of the best people I’ve ever had the good fortune to work with passed through this website. Many of them are still here, turning in truly amazing articles every day, and as I go off to the New York Times, I’m excited to be able to read Vulture as a fan — to be surprised and challenged and engaged anew, and to go from something serious to something silly without any idea of what’s to come. This is the best entertainment website on the internet. And it still will be.

So Vulture, I’ll miss you. But I won’t feel blue.

’Cause somewhere in the crowd… there’s you.

Good-bye to Vulture