The Big Questions Surrounding Jussie Smollett’s Hate-Crime Hoax Trial, Answered

The judge informed the potential jurors that the trial could last until at least next week. If the actor is found guilty on any of the six felony charges, he could face a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Since then, the case has taken some unexpected turns, first when two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, admitted that the actor paid them to stage the attack and later when charges were dropped against Smollett, who ended up facing a grand jury that eventually indicted him in 2020. But weren’t all the charges already dropped against Smollett? Chicago paid out at least $130,000 in overtime alone, according to city officials. What could happen to Smollett? What’s his plea? The actor claimed two white men attacked him, tied a noose around his neck, and poured bleach on him while shouting racist and homophobic slurs in the early morning of January 29, 2019. Cook County state’s attorney Kim Foxx was also investigated after she dropped the disorderly conduct charges against Smollett with no explanation. Attorney Dan Webb, to reinvestigate the case. He’s pleaded not guilty on all charges. Subsequent digital and video evidence would eventually surface backing up their claims. The brothers, who were later released, admitted Smollett paid them $3,500 to fake the attack. Yes, the prosecutor’s office initially dropped all charges against the actor about a month after they determined the attack was a hoax. How long could the trial last? Smollett even appeared on TV in tears, telling his story and affirming to the American public that he was being honest about the alleged attack. The 39-year-old, who arrived at the courthouse early this morning arm in arm with his mother, Janet, is accused of lying to police about being attacked outside of his apartment in the Chicago area of Streeterville in January 2019. What charges is Smollett facing? It was only later when evidence surfaced that two brothers who worked as extras on Empire were arrested that Smollett’s story completely fell apart. So why is he facing new charges? While Foxx and her office were cleared of any crimes other than prosecutorial wrongdoing (she later recused herself from the case), the evidence once again pointed back to Smollett who was indicted on six new counts by a grand jury. What is he accused of lying about? In 2019, the city also filed a federal lawsuit against Smollett in hopes of recouping the estimated six figures spent investigating his initial attack claim. The outrage led to the appointment of a special prosecutor, U.S. Afterward, several political and LGBT leaders came to his public defense. In reality, he would likely face probation. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

As jury selection starts today at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Jussie Smollett, the former Empire actor, is accused of making false police reports and faces a six-count felony indictment. The initial agreement came under intense scrutiny by community leaders and law enforcement alike, particularly after so many resources were dedicated to solving what many believed to be a hate crime. He’s charged with making false reports to the Chicago Police Department, specifically six felony counts of disorderly conduct. The office had reached an agreement with Smollett to pay his bond to the city of Chicago and to do community service. Smollett claimed that he was the victim of an anti-gay and racist attack that stirred national controversy at the time. The trial in Cook County, Illinois, is being overseen by Judge James Linn, who rejected a motion to have the trial streamed live. Tags:

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Yellowstone Recap: You Can’t Wash Lonely Off

(Caroline Warner acquiesced to her demand for controlling interest in Schwartz & Meyer off-screen, so Beth has taken the job at Market Equities.)

The most consequential plot movement in “Under a Blanket of Red” happens in Jamie’s story. Friendly Texan cowboy Ross (Barry Corbin) has a revealing conversation with Jimmy, explaining that ranching is “art without an audience until the day you die. The Last Round-Up

• Rip is really holding a grudge about the fight Lloyd started with Walker, but to be fair, Lloyd’s still being a baby about it. The warmth in John’s relationships with Kayce and Beth has been one of the nicest parts of the last couple of seasons. Yep, folks, it’s the long-delayed return of Christina, Jamie’s assistant/love interest who we last saw in season two, demanding he get his priorities straight if he wanted to be part of his son’s life. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. With Kayce and his family back on the reservation, John no longer has enough distractions to keep his loneliness at bay; if Beth’s filthy suggestion last week was any hint, this is the time for John to consider whether he always wants to sleep alone. I’m okay with tuning in each week just to watch some short stories play out, but “Under a Blanket of Red” feels like just reading the first few pages. Their drive, at least, allows for some nuance: John proves to Summer that he does see the way the world is, acknowledging that “There will come a time when Earth sheds us like dead skin, and it will be our own fault.”

That’s about it so far, though, so if Summer is being positioned as a love interest for John, it might take a while. What exactly is this plot setting up for the spinoff, and what could make a better (temporary) ending for Jimmy than last week? We see Tate smiling and eating again after a few days in the sweat lodge; Monica finds a nice house in Pryor so she and Kayce can live without a father on either side hanging around all the time, and Beth drives to Salt Lake City just to look Bob in the eye when she fires him. I’m curious if he’ll eventually come around to her thinking in any regard or if he’ll remain entrenched in his beliefs the way he has for most of the show. At this point, John has taught Summer more about his way of life than she’s taught him about hers. Later, when John mentions he’s struggling with his conscience, Beth drops a funny gem: “I’d offer advice, Dad, but I’ve never been in that situation.”

And even though the scenes at the Four Sixes Ranch feel like a different show (because eventually they will be), there are some lovely moments there. But we’re now halfway through the fourth season of Yellowstone, and it’s hard to feel much momentum. Email

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Terms of Service apply. She’s pleased with his new job and estrangement from John, but once again, we’ll have to wait longer to see what this means in the grand scheme of things and to get a clear read on Garrett. But as is so often the case in Yellowstone, everything happens slowly except when Sheridan is itchy for some movement. Enter Summer Higgins, a protester at the Montana Livestock Association who takes issue with the “state-sponsored police force that protects industrialized animal farming and the mass murder of millions of animals every year.” So far, Summer is a character straight from the Taylor Sheridan playbook: generically liberal, needlessly aggressive, and out of touch, with no consistent political agenda besides defeating the rich old white man and his way of life. As Kayce requested, he meets with Terrell Riggins, the man who set up the Dutton hits from prison. He suggests that snakes, mice, and worms killed in field-plowing aren’t any different from slaughtering cattle; Summer’s just sensitive to how cute the animals are. He has her arrested (completely by the book, as the sheriff clarifies), then later pays her bail and offers her a tour of the ranch, clearly coming from a place of loneliness. One son is dead, one he hasn’t talked to in months, and now the third is spending time away from the ranch. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! And then after you’re dead, you don’t have an audience, either.” And Jimmy later meets the real-life horse-training legend Buster Welch without realizing it. • Does anybody else keep thinking we’ve seen Jimmy for the last time on this show? Jamie offers him immunity in exchange for intel, and Riggins seems to confirm the obvious: Garrett Randall, Jamie’s biological father, was behind the whole thing. That technique can work well if the stories are satisfying and complete, as in “Winning or Learning.” But “Under a Blanket of Red” is an even more scattered episode of Yellowstone than usual, one that introduces a number of new character stories but can’t commit to following through on any of them. These isolated moments and low-key stories have their charms, even without a greater purpose. Tags: John relishes pointing out to her that no matter how ethical she thinks her diet is, animals were killed in making her food. It’s a paradox: almost nothing seems to happen in this episode, and yet it still feels like it’s doing too much. I totally thought the final scene of the last episode was his final scene on this show. Yellowstone
Under a Blanket of Red

Season 4

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

2 stars

**

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Photo: Cam McLeod/Paramount

Last week, I wrote about Yellowstone’s tendency to cram half a dozen stories into one episode. I enjoy his frank discussion with Beth about the impossibility of finding solace and the necessity of seeing the world as it is. I do like the nice camaraderie he’s developing with Carter, though. The saving grace, as is so often the case in this show, is the details. I thought his final moment in the last episode was a breakthrough, but in this episode, he’s back to staring down Walker, even watching as he and Laramie have sex outside. (What are the chances Riggins winds up murdered in prison sometime soon and Jamie helps cover it up?)

But when Jamie gets back to Garrett’s house, he’s ambushed before he can confront him. Take John Dutton, our ostensible protagonist, whose reclusiveness following the attempt on his life has suggested an interesting internal conflict for him this season.

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Channing Tatum Won’t Stop Grinding Until Magic Mike’s Last Dance

Photo: Warner Bros. It follows ten men who have “lost their magic” as they follow their stripper calling. Channing Tatum is getting his saddle ready once again for Magic Mike’s Last Dance. The upcoming sequel to the stripperverse will see the return of director Steven Soderbergh and writer Reid Carolin. “There are no words for how excited I am to blow the doors off of the world of Magic Mike with Steven, Greg, Reid, and the amazing people at HBO Max,” Tatum said in a statement, referring to the director and the writer in addition to Magic Mike XXL director Gregory Jacobs, who is returning as producer. The film is set to premiere exclusively on HBO Max. Related

A Magic Mike Reality Series Will Bump and Grind at HBO Max

Magic Mike Musical Experiences Bump (and Grind) in Road As Creative Team Exits

Tags: In 2017, the franchise launched Magic Mike Live in Las Vegas, expanding to London, Berlin, and Australia. The success of the live show inspired the upcoming HBO reality competition Finding Magic Mike. Mike Lane’s dream of connecting people through dance must be realized.”

The first two films, released in 2012 and 2015, grossed $300 million worldwide. Reprising his role as star stripper Mike Lane, Tatum announced the news on Twitter with a photo of the script of the new movie. @hbomax pic.twitter.com/V9Ce62n710— Channing Tatum (@channingtatum) November 29, 2021

Soderbergh also expressed his excitement. “The stripperverse will never be the same.”

Well world, looks like Mike Lane’s tapping back in. “As soon as I saw what Channing, Reid, and the Magic Mike choreographic team did with the live show, I said we have to make another movie. A North American tour is set to begin April 6 in Nashville, followed by Miami with upcoming cities to be announced. Looks like there’s lots of male stripping to keep you entertained before Magic Mike’s Last Dance.

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At Twitter, @jack Is Out As CEO and @paraga Is In

The hedge fund is run by Republican megadonor Paul Singer, but the real force behind the Twitter pressure campaign was Jesse Cohn — a dealmaker who’s led bruising efforts for control of tech companies like SAP and Citrix, though his most notorious target is probably Athena Health. “It’s his time to lead.”

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z Set Sail With Jack Dorsey

Tags: In his letter, Dorsey said Agrawal was “behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around.” As CEO, he will likely face a period of more intense demands from investors — more daily users, more content, more ways to make money — than what had been the norm during the Dorsey era. It’s always struggled to grow at the levels that its bigger rivals have, making it a relative underperformer among social-media platforms, despite its wide cultural influence. Unlike Facebook, Twitter’s interface had hardly changed all that much prior to last year, and the newest additions — Clubhouse-style voice chats, the new tipping features — were attempts to push up the company’s stock price. There aren’t many companies that get to this level. In Silicon Valley, Dorsey is not really known as a hands-on executive in the Mark Zuckerberg mold. @jack) over Twitter has come to an end. Enter Elliott. Dorsey has had a complicated relationship with the company that made him one of Silicon Valley’s most iconic founders. My trust in Parag as Twitter’s CEO is deep,” Dorsey said in a statement. He started it with Biz Stone and Evan Williams back in 2006, later left the company in a long tussle over control, and returned in 2015 — only to see the company’s stock crater in the months that followed. Cohn was officially replaced in June, which seemed to have defused the activist threat. And many had tried. Dorsey also owns just a bit over 2 percent of the shares, which made him not only an oddity among his generation of tech founders, who tend to retain control through complex stock structures, but also a prime target for an outsider to come in and push the company in a different direction. “I’m really sad … yet really happy. If anything, he’s cultivated a persona as a CEO who stays above the fray, planning trips to Africa and advocating for cryptocurrencies, gushing about the benefits of intermittent fasting and his vegan diet. And there aren’t many founders that choose their company over their own ego. With Cohn pushing for changes at the health-care company, its then-CEO, Jonathan Bush, stepped down when a sexual-harassment claim and lewd video surfaced. That this came right before the pandemic, when Twitter’s influence would balloon, was pure dumb luck. So when Elliott came to Twitter last year, Dorsey looked like a dead man walking. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, tried to buy the company the following year, but caved to shareholder pressure (and later attributed his reticence to a sign from the universe). “I’ve decided to leave Twitter because I believe the company is ready to move on from its founders. He seemed to be more focused on Square, his payments company. Agrawal has been at the company for about ten years, rising up from the ranks of software engineers after a career of short stints at Microsoft, Yahoo!, and AT&T, according to his LinkedIn profile. Last year, the hedge fund revealed it had a substantial stake in the company and wanted board seats and a plan from the company on how it could make more money in the future. The bearded CEO and co-founder of the social-media company — who also, let’s not forget, is the CEO of Square, a $98 billion market cap payments company — resigned from the social network’s C-suite on Monday. (That he’s kept in place a ban on Donald Trump from the platform is his biggest foray into the culture wars.) Inside Twitter, that attitude trickled down. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The reign of Jack Dorsey (a.k.a. In his place will be CTO Parag Agrawal — @paraga on the platform he now oversees — who starts immediately, though Dorsey will stay on the board until next year. I know we’ll prove this was the right move.” Though Dorsey’s decision to run two enormous tech companies at the same time had drawn criticism for years, ultimately, the co-founder’s exit seems to have been a result of Elliott Management, one of Wall Street’s most ruthless activist hedge funds, making the case that Twitter shareholders would be better served by new leadership. Dorsey was the last of the original founding team to go, which means that, for better or worse, Twitter will now be more fully in the hands of shareholders. What Cohn wanted, according to people who know him, was to make Twitter more of a central place for communication and information (and, by extension, ad revenue) at a critical time — the 2020 election. “I want you all to know that this was my decision and I own it,” Dorsey wrote in an email to Twitter staff, which he later tweeted out. Disney and Twitter were this close to a deal in 2015, but Bob Iger, the media conglomerate’s head, said he got “cold feet” and walked away. He was long reluctant to assess any role Twitter may have played in the rise of Donald Trump. (For what it’s worth, Trump is plotting his escape from his digital Elba through his own social-media copycat.)

But still, the last year for Dorsey was a good one. At its February peak, Twitter’s share price had tripled from the pandemic lows (now it’s up a respectable 110 percent or so).

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RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. Season-Finale Recap: Camp As Christmas

However, the group dance provides the most tension in the episode as Krystal is as adept at picking up the choreography as morning dog walkers are scooping up the runny poos of a dog who got into a box of chocolate chip cookies. Yes, Veronica Green has her real tits out once again for us to see her flat stomach and pierced nipples so that we can be jealous of her body and also roll our eyes. does this crazy thing every year where there is a winner who is absolutely great and totally deserving. RuPaul’s Drag Race U.K. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. I feel like we’re going to have a very similar situation this season. Ella and Kitty, of course, are trained theater professionals; they just need to see it once and they already know all the steps and are doing the choreo from “Single Ladies” just to show off. Probably not. The holiday season has been going on for a week or so in England, but this still seems somehow way too early. However, the best part is the matching coterie of gold chains both around her neck and her hips. We want a little bit more. Of course, we also get to see all of the eliminated queens’ Eleganza, and most of them are not surprising. She does not look like a Louis. Krystal is eventually the obvious choice, particularly because Kitty and Ella are offering up the same thing. Email

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Terms of Service apply. The dress looks great and has a nice, big bottom. It’s Thanksgiving in America, but in the U.K., it’s just … Thursday. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! There can be no tricks, there can be no hair flips, there can be no dancing. But I wouldn’t be surprised if a year from now, the one we’re still seeing and still talking about is either Kitty Scott-Claus or Ella Vaday. I think Krystal is a great winner, and she is obviously a young queen who grew up not on drag but on Drag Race. The only shock is that there is no harness. However, I think we’re going to see a lot more of Ella when she plays Edna in the national touring company of Hairspray and Kitty when she becomes a regular culture correspondent on This Morning With Phil and Holly. She is wearing a tight black dress squeezed over tits so shiny that they blind all of Jeff Bezos’s satellites and he can no longer watch our every move. Where is my prize? Anubis is dressed as, well Anubis. River is underwhelming; Choriza is dressed as a Spanish Señora all in roses; and Scarlett looks just like Cinderella. At least Kitty, the consummate professional, has a tearaway skirt so that she can move freely. If they’re planning their own kicks and splits and walking around the stage pointing, why are they paying Jay? I guess it makes sense considering all of the girls are wearing ball gowns (the only time Ella goes down to her knees, she demands Kitty’s help getting back up), but it’s the finale. Krystal looks amazing and is funny on the show, but would you pay £20 to see her cabaret show? The girls all have to write their own verses, do their interviews with Ru about their lives, and, of course, learn their choreography. In season one, The Vivienne totally deserved to be the show’s first star, but since then, Baga Chipz has been the one we see on celebrity reality shows. Kitty is the funniest, mugging and pointing like she’s a comedic robber in a Paddington movie. From the get-go, Krystal Versace won two challenges in a row and has remained strong throughout the entire competition, including in her final runway look, which is one of the all-time greats. I miss Charity. But the one to really steal the show and to be the most on-character is Veronica Green, who has on a giant wig, a full face of makeup, and just one of the sheer blinds from your nan’s front room wrapped around her body to barely conceal her man candy. It is actually very Versace, and you can’t be mad at Krystal. As for the final looks, it is, as always, Eleganza Extravaganza. When Ru gets into the workroom, we find out that the finale will be Christmas-themed, which is, dare I say it, a choice. She has similar hair, and they’re both giving us drag glamour in a very predictable way. This is the best look of the bunch. Ella looks like a purple Marilyn Monroe in a stoned dress with a giant bow on the back and hair as high as Justin Bieber about to watch the new Dune. Ella reminds us that Krystal always struggles, and then when the performance comes, she kills it deader than Anubis in a sarcophagus. They do the number, and it’s all just great and lovely. We can’t be talking shit about the lady who will be prancing in a crown in just 40 minutes, now can we? Who doesn’t love a big bottom? Anyway, Krystal is the real Amazon. It’s like saying, “Would you like this turkey sandwich, this other turkey sandwich with spicy mayo, or a hamburger and fries?” You’d pick the burger all day, but mostly because you really want the fries. Drag Race U.K. Then there is The Winner, who is the queen who will walk away from the show a loser but with enough clout to go onto a career with a bit more longevity. She had exactly the tool kit one needs to dominate this program, except for a decent Snatch Game character. The dress has big shoulders and a tight waist and is very Morticia Addams at junior prom. The biggest surprise Kitty delivers is when she talks to her younger self, and we learn her boy name is Louis. The episode starts and Krystal informs us that she is the youngest queen ever in a Drag Race final three. Yup, this all tracks. I was once the horniest guy on an Atlantis cruise. Tags: They’re with Jay Revell, the hottest choreographer in the land, and at first, the girls are just telling him what they’re going to do. Charity looks like a demon from a Korn music video, and she will delightfully haunt my nightmares forever. While the song is dramatic, it only really allows for prancing around the stage and mugging. Krystal is shockingly the best dancer, throwing her still-supple limbs all around the stage in a way you would never have guessed since we just saw her shuddering like a newborn foal on poppers about five minutes previously. Ella sings her verse, which is as rare as a talking emu. Kitty Scott-Claus is done no favors by going second because her dress, while having a bigger skirt, is basically a white version of Ella’s. At first, I’m like, “That is true, so why are you going to rob us of the tension of Krystal maybe not being able to perform?” Then I realize it’s because she’s the winner. All of the eliminated queens are back in their sexy Santa costumes as backup dancers, and I can’t stop checking out Charity Kase, who in classic style looks like something that Jack Skellington would have delivered to a horrified child in Nightmare Before Christmas. Lawrence Chaney gave us great looks and lots of laughs as the victor in season two, but it’s Bimini Bon-Boulash at the House of Gucci premiere and having lunch with London mayor Sadiq Khan. And this is coming from a man with a Christmas podcast (available now on iTunes, just like the latest version of “Hey Sis, It’s Christmas”). While the judges are complimentary of everyone (except Graham, who hates Ella’s silver shoes and that Kitty made a joke about Santa pulling down her knickers), there must be one final lip sync to Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t Own Me,” which is the worst choice made on This Sceptered Isle since Boris Johnson tricked everyone into voting to leave in 2016. Grand Finale

Season 3

Episode 10

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

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Photo: WOW! Krystal turns the corner, and immediately the judges are stunned, as am I.

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Best The Beatles: Get Back Memes: Pretend Brits, George Getting Upset

A Model for Baroque Painters

haven’t watched the Beatles documentary yet but my main takeaway so far is that Paul McCartney apparently posed for baroque paintings in a former life pic.twitter.com/nC3wRdglv1— Sarah McGonagall (@gothspiderbitch) November 28, 2021

Museums, commission his face now — before it’s too late. Directed and produced by Peter Jackson, The Beatles: Get Back covers the years leading up to the band’s 1970 album Let It Be. There’s everything from the Beatles revealing they aren’t even real Brits to wanting to break up the band because of “Wonderful Christmas.” Here are the best memes from The Beatles: Get Back. This Beatles documentary is INSANE #TheBeatlesGetBack pic.twitter.com/09Nii0tHqr— Darth Yavin (@DarthYavin) November 27, 2021

Get friends who hype you up like Ringo and George. The Lord of the Wings

The Beatles: Get Back starts tomorrow but Peter Jackson is already at work on the sequel: The Lord of the Wings— Ed Cumming (@edcumming) November 24, 2021

The fans think The Lord of the Ringo. Angry George

The Beatles: Get Back part one pic.twitter.com/qWoNpS4cgs— Dean Says 'No' To Pot-Smoking FBI Members (@danceyrselfdean) November 26, 2021

Watch part all three parts, out now on Disney+. The Beatles, but all-American

this part was shocking pic.twitter.com/TKz1ehiqqz— Ben Rosen (@ben_rosen) November 29, 2021

And this is why British artists always sound American in their music. Related

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Tags: *Smooching Noises*

OK this was the my fav part of the Beatles documentary pic.twitter.com/R8SEe7lW8p— jerf🛹 (@jeffdsilva) November 27, 2021

The backstory to “All My Loving.”

Yawning at Genius

Watching Paul come up with “Get Back” out of literally thinking air while Ringo and George just yawn is a marvel to watch. Bechdel Test Approved

this close to passing the bechdel test pic.twitter.com/dOoi4odmCv— Aaron Bady (@zunguzungu) November 29, 2021

It’s everything Alison Bechdel was hoping for. Libma Balls

wow this Beatles documentary is truly enlightening pic.twitter.com/aBKsekAaMM— Quinton Reviews 🎬 (@Q_Review) November 26, 2021

And I oop. The Grinch (2021)

my favorite moment from the beatles doc pic.twitter.com/UWaeoKV0gi— Ben Rosen (@ben_rosen) November 26, 2021

The real reason why the Beatles broke up. In the days since its release, Twitter has graciously extracted the show’s most memorable moments for meme-ing purposes. Photo: Walt Disney Studios/YouTube

Disney+ has rolled out its three-part docuseries on the Beatles, made entirely from never-before-seen restored footage of John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

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Selling Sunset’s Davina Potratz Swears People Actually Like Her IRL

I’ve more than owned everything I’ve done in season three. I didn’t feel like they were genuinely willing to be open-minded or actually give a second chance. But it is a culture clash, and I think in American culture, it is politer to not necessarily say what you think. I said, “I don’t know what happened. It looks like I’m asking to come back, but it was really a joint decision, and he was very interested in having me return. I’m certainly not the favorite, and I never have been, so there’s really no change, but I don’t think anyone at the office is really the favorite other than Chrishell and Mary. It was funny. I will say I did see Chrishell and Mary at an event in April. But I can also tell you with certainty that you don’t know my entire personality. We said, “Christine really does want to talk to you. I do enjoy 90 Day Fiancé because it’s so brave of them to put their love lives out there and meet someone they’ve met online and then potentially marry them. I would be friends with you.” And I said, “Right? Photo: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Davina Potratz isn’t a villain, but as far as Netflix’s Selling Sunset is concerned, she’s a little bit of a heel. Keep that in mind: We know the entirety of events that happen, and then we see what the audience sees and the final version of the show. That unfortunately didn’t make it into the final edit. With the $75 million listing, there was a lot of history with the client because I had sold him some condos that we successfully purchased then sold. I’m proud of how I handled myself. Of course, no one wants to have their feelings hurt, and the fact that I did hurt someone’s feelings in the past made me feel bad. She was so kind to me, and she made me feel very welcome. One particular person I talked to — I won’t mention from which publication, but it was a very big one — she really expected to dislike me. I’m always so amazed at how Maya manages to never be too involved in the drama. So we usually watch it once to see what they highlighted. And that goes for everyone on the show, good and bad. What do you think shapes that portrayal?I don’t know exactly what powers shape that, but I will say everyone said and did everything they did on the show. She travels a lot, and she lives in Orange County now, but we do talk and we’re very supportive of each other. I don’t know how to help really. When I hugged her, she was not really wanting to hug me. It really seems like kind of a stalemate at the end of season four.It’s so sad, and I care about everyone involved. Is there anything you think I should ask her?Uh, does she feel good about what she said about me? They want to talk to you.” And actually Maya and I talked to Heather. I don’t want to say what really happened versus what not-really happened — it’s not like that. When I saw that go sideways, it really broke my heart because I feel like, Okay, now there are more separations going on and further feelings hurt. We were trying to encourage Christine to communicate with the other women and especially Heather. I like when people are honest and direct with me. But there’s lots of other people at the office, so I don’t think I’m singled out. Now, having filmed seasons four and five, I’m very close to Emma. In my opinion, if you focus on something very negative and repeatedly talk about it, you’re going to attract more of that. But I’m also a very genuine, authentic person. Is there ever a listing you would turn down or have turned down?Yes, definitely. I know reality-TV editing really chops things up out of context, but I also know you’re originally from Germany, and my family way back is German. But I was a little taken aback seeing their commentary. She’s a sweetheart, and I don’t think you see how warm she is. This is why the Housewives get reunions, folks! How much of your relationships with people on the show bleeds into real life? Whether it was friends or co-workers or romantic at the time was not clear to me, but I did see that they have a real connection. I did everything I could to start on a new page and move forward. Maya and I talk multiple times a day — we’re very close, and I don’t think that is documented much on the show. It felt like you were kind of frustrated at being lumped in with her.Christine is my friend. You famously would not turn down that listing. You know, I don’t think I did anything wrong as far as the press is concerned. Do you think there’s a culture clash between all these Southern Californian blonde women and yourself?I do think that is a cultural thing. But I would turn down something that doesn’t make any sense, whether it’s price or location or expectations of the seller. They can’t possibly show every single interaction or every conversation in the three hours, so they have to cut it down to the most interesting or relevant parts. So if they’re the ones that keep talking about it, they’re going to manifest more. Was there a point during its lifespan when you realized, Oh, I need to hire a PR person to deal with the media coverage?I had a publicist since day one — actually, Maya and I shared the same publicist. It’s like, Are you sure you want to hug me? While she assumed her story this season would be a redemption narrative, the truth never really comes out until everyone gets to watch each other’s interviews. What began as a show about selling expensive real estate is quickly approaching Real Housewives levels of conflict, and agents like Potratz have found themselves in the unfamiliar position of having their conversations edited by a third party for the small screen. I was about to cry, honestly, when I saw Christine, because I know how many emotions she had going on. Did you watch the other seasons before you went into season four?Yeah, of course. I live less than one minute away from the office. Is that at all alienating?That’s not really alienating to me. Chrishell offered to hug me at the end of my apology, and that was awkward, but it was her — she wanted to hug me. You can’t just put everything on me. And I said it was great — I thought it was good energy. I’ve seen Jason become even sweeter and warmer. You and Jason have butted heads in the past. I’m pretty close to Heather too. He just seems softer all around, and I think Chrishell has had a great effect on him. But you don’t see my perspective or why I said something, and you don’t see me being funny or laughing or joking around in the past season. And so was Emma. I’m really happy for them, and I did see them have genuine chemistry. It’s very difficult to go into an office with those emotions you saw displayed in that team meeting. But for example, an event could be three hours long, so they have to make it fit into a 45-minute episode. When you saw me talking to Maya and Christine on our night out, Maya said, “We’re celebrating your return to the Oppenheim Group.” Christine asked me, “How was that?” because she wasn’t there. I wanted to focus more on new development. I could probably walk there, which is super-convenient. There’s also the matter of navigating relationships with people who are both co-workers and co-stars, most of whom embody a bubbly blonde Southern California archetype that feels very at odds with the German-born brunette’s distinctly European frankness. The scene where they’re having the meeting about you coming back to the brokerage — what was it like to watch that?It was upsetting to watch that. Emma is actually really lovely. I’m kind of amazed how much they talked about me when I didn’t talk about them at all. She didn’t realize this, however, until she saw the final cut of season four the day before our interview. I can’t say either way because I wasn’t there.”

How did you feel about that finale where you’re all at the party?Really, really sad and heartbroken. I noticed there were a lot of Mean Girls references this season. How’s the $75 million compound going?Oh, I cannot reveal that just yet. I’m interviewing Chrishell next. There was a good history there, and I thought the house was worth a shot, and it was so much money at play. Are you a fan of other reality-TV shows?Um, not really. I don’t even know exactly some of the things that happened, but whatever it is, I’m not involved, so don’t put me in that same category. I didn’t know that people still had such strong hate toward me. I’ve processed that, and I’ve answered questions about that and cleared up whatever confusion there might’ve been. Tags: I don’t think it’s fair to lump me in. She was really late, and I texted her and said, “Please come here. I honestly don’t know what else I could do, and I’m kind of over it at this point. Everyone has felt that way. They must be very confident in their relationship to come out officially and put it on the show. Mary talks about giving second chances with Jason when they meet me for coffee, but then you saw so many awkward moments. I’m really confused about how people actually feel. For me, maybe I’m too real, and that’s okay. However, I feel like there were a lot of very strong opinions and emotions directed at me because I was Christine’s friend, and there are things that happened between some of the other ladies that I was not involved in. And it is a two-way street, which I said in my interview — starting anew requires both parties to agree to that. And they were very lovely to me and very happy to see me and super-welcoming and nice. I thought of that moment when Lindsay Lohan walks into the gym and she’s like, “Have you ever walked into a room and know everyone’s been talking about you?” That must’ve been a lot to deal with.To be fair to me, I hadn’t seen that scene until yesterday. It was made very clear to me that Chrishell was very hurt, and I completely understand that, so I own that, and I apologized. What I love about Selling Sunset is it’s about real estate but also your relationships in a Real Housewives kind of way. What brings you back?Well, I have a great relationship with Jason. So it’s especially jarring for me to see how they talked about me considering how nice they were to me when I walked in. That was not filmed. I think you guys can have a good conversation.” And we were very hopeful they would. And I own that and apologize for it. And I think Jason is very fair. I’m a little bit like, Wow, this feels like bullying. Do you watch the show? I didn’t know what to do, but it wasn’t my battle to fight. Potratz returns in season four looking to rejoin the Oppenheim Group after wrapping up an outside project, but as a condition of her return, she must make amends for the comments she made about Chrishell Stause’s divorce at the end of season three. That’s what you identify that person with, but that is not the entire person. I wanna hang out with you. I think I was also really genuine with Christine, and I think that what I said to her was really fair. He’s fantastic, and he didn’t want me to leave and tried to get me to stay. So I was a little bit confused as to why they were still so upset when we were filming. Did you go into season four feeling like you wanted to distinguish yourself from Christine? This is not my battle to fight. I know you just taped season five and you can’t reveal anything, but how has it been with the revelation that Chrishell and Jason now have this relationship? I will happily ask her that.There were a lot of scenes that were harsh, so I’m curious how she feels seeing that. How do you differ from your character on the show? You have, like, three relationships with everybody: They’re co-stars, they’re co-workers, and you have personal relationships with them. Once in a while I’ll watch Below Deck or something, but I don’t watch too many other reality shows. But my friends are very genuine. You’re gonna see more in season five. There’s no right or wrong here. Once reporters talk to me, they’re like, Wow, you’re so nice, you’re really great. Get over here. Sometimes when I see your bluntness that people react to, I just see a different way of relating to people. We usually just watch it once because we know what happened in its entirety. It’s important for viewers to understand that a lot of time has passed since Christine’s wedding. Now you’ve left and come back to the Oppenheim group. That was a real response because when I did walk in that day, Heather was especially welcoming. I have seen the ladies in the meantime, and we’ve really moved past that. She’s there, but she manages to be on the sidelines.Yeah, well, there’s lots of things involved in that. You don’t see very much of me — you only see maybe 10 percent of me. I think they’re playing up certain things that were portrayed on the show. In season four, you see more of that. When you don’t see any other part, then your perception is only what you see: You think that person equals something negative, but whatever was shown was pretty harsh. I think Christine and Emma could be good friends, but unfortunately, how things fell apart, it’s tough to imagine them getting together at this point. I was a little surprised to see how much they’re still talking about the past. Because I didn’t talk about them at all. He said, “Please come back.” You didn’t see much of a conversation he and I had offline where he’s asking me to come back. Mary and Chrishell and I are on good terms as well. I could tell that for both sides, things were becoming worse. And I am friends with the girls in the office. And it’s like, Yeah, this is a very different article than how you expected it to go, right? It’s not completely shocking that they’re dating because we do spend so much time with each other. So now what do we do?” So the headline was jarring, but then the article was positive. She’s had a baby. That was Jason’s birthday party. That makes me feel like it must be very significant. Who on the show would you consider your real-life friend, where you’re hanging out when you’re not filming?In the past, it was definitely Christine and Maya. I think she feels very different now, but seeing season four doesn’t make me feel good about what people say about me. But she goes, “I really like you. I mean, the show puts you on display as a celebrity. But then I also feel like people need to move on, and they keep talking about me being so negative.

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The Unbearable Sadness of Tom Wambsgans

Government officials don’t phone the Roys and remind them that they’ll need to offer a blood sacrifice. Kendall longs for approval, especially from his family. Tom Wambsgans is now the most unbearably unhappy character in the whole shebang, and unlike the Roy family, he wasn’t born to this. Everyone reverts to the norm once the dust settles from Kendall’s move — everyone except for Tom, who was already so unhappy playing along with the game that maybe the idea of going to prison became a relief. It was a way to get out while saving face. Photo: Macall Polay/HBO

Note: Spoilers ahead for Succession season three, episode seven, “Too Much Birthday.”

Last night’s episode of Succession was chiefly, crushingly, mortifyingly, and gruesomely about Kendall Roy. When that promise dissolves, Tom is supposed to revert to the norm like everyone else. So it’s not especially surprising when the specter of Tom’s imprisonment suddenly vanishes. He takes drugs, and they don’t seem to work; he watches Shiv melt down, and even though he felt sidelined by her rise to power, he can’t take joy in her fall, either. No one hovers around in the background mentioning that the authorities are here to question people yet again. Now that he’s back in, he can’t pretend the game is fun again. Tom is legitimately hurt in a way he can’t seem to shake off as he has in the past. He doesn’t know what actual emotional support would look like, so he confuses spectacle and value signifiers for the experience of being valued. He walks into Kendall’s party all raring to go, ready to feel thrilled by the closeness of his escape. Tom and Shiv are on a little deserted beach, some cove they have asked the yacht staff to find so they can have a private conversation. The end of season two was this bomb that suggested a game-changing scenario: Kendall turns on his father, apparently taking Greg and all the secret cruise documentation with him. While Kendall’s big season-ending mic-drop move has become just another part of the familiar Succession dance, it has started to look as though Tom’s much-quieter declaration of unhappiness is the more lasting power shift. At various moments, it has seemed like there might be a hidden undercurrent. Maybe he’s going to betray the family to get out of jail time and just hasn’t done it yet? Although Succession is better at this circling perpetual-motion machine than any other show on TV, it’s probably time for the game to end — or at least for it to change in some pronounced way. The most galling is Greg. He’s every bit as sad as he ever was, and Logan is nearly as powerful. You expect you’re sitting down for The Forsyte Saga. The title suggests epic continuance, an ever-changing handoff from one generation to the next. See All

Tags: (And the saddest thing of all is how sad he is that they don’t even know what kind of fancy watch he’d actually want.) Although they play out on a new, upsetting scale in “Too Much Birthday,” the basic contours of the Kendall Conundrum don’t change all that much. Until “Too Much Birthday,” Tom’s flirtation with a criminal conviction has hung out there in the background, a classic sad-jester situation that looked as if it could easily be remedied once the threat of imprisonment disappeared. He prepared for that prison sentence as if it were a bleak wedding: venue hunting, food tasting, trying to predict the interpersonal dynamics. More From This Series

Succession Recap: All Bangers, All the Time

Who’s Afraid of Podcast Provocateur Dasha Nekrasova? Or maybe he has a conscience, and even though imprisonment clearly terrifies him, there’s some part of Tom that actually wants to be punished? Who knows what the future will hold, but if there’s any avenue for meaningful change, my money’s on Wambsgans. He wants people to see him, and all they can see is someone who might want a fancy watch. What’s Up With These MIA Succession Characters? But there’s something striking and unsettling about Tom here, and as much as Succession continues to be the best imaginable version of a story spinning its wheels, Tom is the signal I keep looking at to suggest that things might change. The whole prison idea was always so vague, anyhow, in part because Succession puts very little energy into making that threat feel imminent. It was the promise of change. At this point in the show’s third season, however, the title is its chief joke because succession is the one thing that never happens. The show looks like a marathon, but it’s really just running in place. Maybe he’s wearing a wire? Now that Tom’s back in the game, he can’t pretend the game is fun again. It is one of Succession’s many repeating circles, a kind of looping stasis that gives the appearance of metastability but is really just status quo. He’s still hanging around the office, still trying to get the same job he was trying to get at the beginning of season one. But for all his morose terror, something about Tom seemed excited about the prospect of leaving. “I wonder if the sad I’d be without you would be less than the sad I get being with you,” Tom tells her. But he can’t get it up. He knows what it looks like to live another life. Yet as season three has played out, Kendall’s betrayal looks less dramatic. As the Roy siblings have spent all season playing another round of Waystar Royco musical chairs, the cursed game in which the one person with a seat refuses ever to stand up, I have wondered if Tom may be the only character who could force the game to end. Succession has become an exercise in increasingly baroque ways to make nothing happen, and the cruel, rotted misery of that status quo is just as key to Succession’s satire as its bleak depiction of wealth and the idiocy of those in power. They walk through the compliments tunnel, and Tom states it plainly: “You seem much happier than me, Greg.” Greg is buoyant and optimistic; Tom cannot manage to pretend he’s happy about any of it anymore. He is the saddest birthday boy. All season, while the siblings squabble and tug at the lines of power, Tom has sunk into a depression, contemplating the likelihood that he’s going to jail. While the Roys continue their grim, endless circling, though, Tom has sat out this round, contemplating what it would look like if he got out altogether. He has just enough self-awareness to decide against the most cringeworthy pinnacle of the performance, enough to realize how empty he actually feels, but he doesn’t have enough self-love, courage, or sheer self-preservation to exit the cycle that puts him in that terrible emotional place. Lili Loofbourow’s writing about this season pokes at this idea (“Is Succession Stuck in a Rut?”), and Naomi Fry’s question about whether Succession is best thought of as a sitcom points to the same general premise. There’s another scene in that season-two finale, though, that in retrospect looks like a much bigger deal. Succession is a show that looks like it’s running a marathon. It always lived more in Tom’s fear than in any detailed part of the plot. It wouldn’t be because he finally decides to grab power; it would be because he’s finally too miserable to make the game worth it. It’s hard not to focus on Kendall in “Too Much Birthday,” what with the VIP tree house and the crucifix he almost hangs from and the frantic search for presents from his kids. Except — maybe — for Tom Wambsgans.

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Ari Lennox Says She Was Racially Profiled Before Arrest in Amsterdam

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock

Ari Lennox is in custody in Amsterdam after saying on Twitter that she was “racially profiled.” The R&B singer-songwriter was arrested by Dutch military police at Schiphol Airport on November 29 for disturbing public order, Reuters reported. I’ll never leave my house again.— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 29, 2021

Wow— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 29, 2021

They’re arresting me— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 29, 2021

I’m being arrested in Amsterdam for reacting to a woman racially profiling me— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 29, 2021

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Tags: Police told the outlet that Lennox, 30, had confronted an airline worker and was drunk. Police said they are currently investigating possible threats Lennox made and could not clarify how long she would be in custody. “Our unit found a woman full of emotions, that wouldn’t calm down,” Robert van Kapel, a police spokesperson, told Reuters. They hate black people.— Ari Lennox (@AriLennox) November 29, 2021

I just want to go home. They hate black people,” she wrote. In a later tweet, she added, “I’m being arrested in Amsterdam for reacting to a woman racially profiling me.” Per Reuters, Lennox claimed an airline staff member was the person discriminating against her. “Fuck Amsterdam security. “That’s why she had to be taken into custody.” Lennox, meanwhile, claimed in a series of tweets before her arrest that the incident was racist. The arrest came just hours after Lennox performed her single “Pressure” at the 2021 Soul Train Awards and joined Summer Walker for “Unloyal.”

Fuck Amsterdam security.

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Jussie Smollett’s Trial Begins in Chicago Today With Jury Selection

Smollett continues to stand by his story. Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The criminal trial against Empire actor Jussie Smollett begins today in Cook County court in Chicago. In June 2019, Cook County approved a special prosecutor to investigate the handling of the Smollett case. According to CNN, no cameras will be permitted in court. Goldberg also predicts that Smollett will probably be sentenced to probation and not serve any time in prison if the jury finds him guilty. In addition to criminal charges, the City of Chicago has filed civil litigation against Smollett for the costs and resources expended in response to his staged attack. These findings were confirmed by phone records and video footage. That March, Smollett was indicted on 16 felony counts by grand jury for staging the hoax. After national media coverage and a month of police investigations, the Chicago PD stated that the assault was planned by Smollett and that he paid the attackers to rehearse and stage the incident. Related

All Your Questions About Jussie Smollett’s Indictment and Trial, Answered

Tags: Their findings led to another grand-jury indictment of Smollett, this time on six counts in February 2020. The bizarre case revolves around an incident in January 2019, when Smollett claimed he was attacked in Chicago by two white men who shouted racist and homophobic slurs, tied a noose around his neck, and doused him with an unidentified substance that Smollett said was bleach. This civil suit is stalled in federal district court pending the criminal trial. He is accused of planning and staging a hate crime against himself in 2019 and filing four separate false reports to the Chicago Police Department, and he’s facing six criminal charges of disorderly conduct. The trial will start with jury selection, and Smollett has already arrived at court. There were delays in the case due to the aforementioned dropped charges and special investigations as well as the coronavirus pandemic, but according to The Wall Street Journal a court official says the trial “could be completed within days.” Chicago criminal-defense attorney Darryl Goldberg, who is uninvolved with the case, told the WSJ that the defense will most likely try to give alternate explanations for Smollett’s payments to his two fake “attackers”; in 2019, Smollett’s attorney claimed that his payments to them were for personal training. He pleaded not guilty, and prosecution suddenly dropped all charges.

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Maxwell and Ashanti Throw It Back With 2021 Soul Train Awards Medleys

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Tags: “Some people may look at my journey and think it was easy. Maxwell did a little sumthin’ sumthin’ at the 2021 Soul Train Awards, where he performed a medley of hits after being recognized with the Living Legend Award. It was not,” Ashanti said. “And to be able to stand here before all of you and to be part of the community of R&B and soul music is truly the award that I’ve always wished for, but this literally is blowing my entire mind.” The recognition came ahead of his upcoming album blacksummers’NIGHT, the third in a trilogy, which is currently set for spring 2022. When he accepted the award from Album of the Year winner Jazmine Sullivan, at Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Maxwell reflected on growing up in low-income housing in New York City. The neo-soul pioneer took the stage for an extra-suave, 11-minute performance that included “… Til the Cops Come Knockin’,” “Bad Habits,” “Lifetime,” “Sumthin’ Sumthin’ (Mellosmoothe),” new single “Off,” and “Ascension.” Between getting the crowd to stand and sing along during “Sumthin’ Sumthin’,” Maxwell added a line to the song about Soul Train’s 50th anniversary. Backed by four shimmering, masked backup dancers, the R&B hitmaker ran through her songs “Happy,” “Rain on Me,” “The Way That I Love You,” and “Foolish,” and she brought out Fat Joe for “What’s Luv?” and a very enthusiastic Ja Rule for “Always on Time.” She’d performed with both rappers recently at their Verzuz battle as well, where she did “What’s Luv?” and Ja Rule’s “Mesmerize.” Ashanti’s performance came after she accepted her achievement award from performer Normani. Ashanti also rained a career-spanning medley on the crowd in honor of her earning the night’s Lady of Soul Award. “The radio was the window to my dreams,” he said. “My career has been filled with so many peaks and valleys, and it definitely wasn’t easy.” She also mentioned that 2022 will mark the 20th anniversary of her self-titled debut album, and she’s set to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Aboriginal Australian Actor and Artist David Gulpilil Dead at 68

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Tags: “It is with deep sadness that I share with the people of South Australia the passing of an iconic, once-in-a-generation artist who shaped the history of Australian film and Aboriginal representation onscreen — David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu (AM),” he said. He is survived by his two daughters. In addition to acting, Gulpilil continued his renowned career in traditional dance, organizing dance troupes for competitions, festivals, and national events; he danced at the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gulpilil’s death was confirmed on Monday night in a statement by South Australian premier Steven Marshall. Gulpilil grew up in the Northern Territory of Australia as a member of the Mandjalpingu clan of the Yolngu people, attending school in the Maningrida Aboriginal community and developing skills in hunting, tracking, and dance. His abilities as a ceremonial dancer landed Gulpilil his breakout role in Nicolas Roeg’s 1971 film Walkabout. Actor David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu, considered one of Australia’s greatest Aboriginal artists, has died at the age of 68, four years after being diagnosed with lung cancer. In 2014, Gulpilil was awarded the Un Certain Regard Best Actor award at Cannes for the film Charlie’s Country. Earlier this year, he attended the premiere of a documentary about his life, titled My Name Is Gulpilil. Gulpilil became a fixture of Australian cinema, appearing in Storm Boy, The Last Wave, and The Right Stuff, before crossing over in his role as Neville Bell in the Crocodile Dundee films.

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All Your Questions About Jussie Smollett’s Indictment and Trial, Answered

But then on March 26, 2019, prosecutors in the case abruptly dropped all charges against the actor, leading to a lot of questions and prompting a new investigation that took a sharp turn this week when Smollett was indicted for a second time. Both the FBI and U.S. By February 20, a Cook County, Illinois, grand jury found probable cause that Smollett staged the attack. “We were advised at 9:30 a.m. The sealing of a court case immediately following a hearing where there was no reasonable notice or opportunity for the public to attend is a matter of grave public concern and undermines the very foundation of our public court system.”

The prosecutor’s office was also criticized by the association for suggesting that somehow sealing the records in this case was mandatory. What happened after Smollett was first charged?Because Smollett was charged with making a false police report, a felony disorderly conduct charge that could bring jail time and/or monetary fines, he was booked by police and had a bond hearing on February 21. As a convicted felon, Smollett could be denied approval as a foster or adoptive parent. In order to have charged Smollett, the investigators needed to prove to the grand jury that he knowingly lied to police about the incident, which resulted in a false police report. At the time, the police were trying to establish a timeline of the attack based on Smollett’s own statement that he was speaking on the phone to his manager when the alleged attack happened. The actor was initially interviewed at Northwestern Hospital. Usually when charges are dropped, the bond is returned to the defendant; in this case, Smollett agreed to give the bond he paid to the city, which is unusual in a case like this. To date, the nature of the purported emergency has not been publicly disclosed. On March 8, 2019, Smollett was charged with 16 additional felony counts of disorderly conduct for filing a false police report. His last Twitter post was in early 2019, and he hasn’t posted to Instagram since June 2019. This could have also carried jail time. One of the counts was, interestingly, giving false information to the police. He added:

I’ve been truthful and consistent on every single level since day one. on the morning of January 29, when Smollett first reported that he was the victim of a hate crime. Smollett … The attempt to re-prosecute Mr. As this case moved forward, prosecutors may also have been considered adding an obstruction of justice charge, which basically would have meant that Smollett would have stood accused of “knowingly” resisting or obstructing the work of an investigator. He thanked his family and friends, the people of Chicago and around the world who supported him. The then-36-year-old told police that he was beaten outside of the Loews Hotel by two white men in ski masks who yelled racist and homophobic slurs, and championed “MAGA country,” as they tied a rope around his neck and poured bleach on him. Former presidential candidate Kamala Harris even called the incident a “modern-day lynching,” while Smollett appeared on a television interview on ABC with Robin Roberts, where he reiterated that what he told police was unequivocally true. He would also very likely serve jail time, pay fines, or be put on probation. On the night of February 20, his lawyers released a statement saying, “Like any other citizen, Mr. At the time, TMZ also reported that the Chicago Police were “furious” with the State’s decision to drop all of the charges. And Foxx herself had been criticized for not properly recusing herself over having a personal tie to a witness, by appointing someone within her own office to take over the case; legal experts said a special prosecutor should have been appointed in the case. Has Smollett had any other trouble with the law?In 2007, Smollett pleaded no contest to three misdemeanor counts related to a DUI in Los Angeles. Smollett one year later on the eve of the Cook County State’s Attorney election is clearly all about politics and not justice.”

So why were the first set of charges against Smollett dropped last year?All of the criminal charges against the actor were dropped as of March 26, 2019 by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Smollett was also slapped with 16 more felony counts after allegedly lying to police about the alleged hate crime. Law enforcement will now not be able to acknowledge that Mr. What happened to the video evidence mentioned in the initial complaint?Any and all evidence in this case would have been considered by the prosecutors and may have also led to the new charges being filed. About 35 different police cameras and 20 private-sector cameras were used to track the suspects. The judge granted a bond of which Smollett was required to pay $100,000 based on the defendant not being a danger to the community or a flight risk. Though he eventually provided redacted phone records to investigators, it’s unclear if any of the phone records were edited. this morning [March 27] that the CPD records and investigative files are now under seal by order of the court,” he said at the time. He also signed autographs and said he would continue to “fight for the betterment of marginalized people everywhere.”

His attorneys also said in a statement, “He was a victim who was vilified and made to appear as a perpetrator as a result of false and inappropriate remarks made to the public, causing an inappropriate rush to judgment.”

The statement adds: “The entire situation is a reminder that there should never be an attempt to prove a case in the court of public opinion. At this time, there’s no evidence to suggest that the district attorney would even accept a deal, especially given the high-profile nature of the case. At this time, it’s unclear whether any alleged video of the alleged attack exists or what evidence could or will be used in a criminal trial. He’s retreated from public life with no news about either his singing or acting career. A week later, the Chicago Police said they would be opening an investigation into the alleged leaks in this case. Honestly, one of the worst of my entire life. Even before he was formally charged, he hired two criminal-defense attorneys, Victor Henderson and Todd Pugh, who said they intended to vigorously defend their client against all charges. Did leaks and press appearances by the Chicago Police contribute to the decision to drop charges the first time around?It probably didn’t help. And that’s because a new court order has prevented the CPD from releasing any additional records, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. The initial investigation cost the city a lot in man hours. Smollett’s record at this immediate stage is counter to transparency. Based on the evidence the brothers provided (including the payment from Smollett), the State Attorney’s Office approved charges against the actor. …While details of the case remain sealed, several observations must be made in order to increase, not diminish, the public’s confidence in the criminal justice system.”

Ultimately, they advised that “when a chief prosecutor recuses him or herself, the recusal must apply to the entire office, not just the elected or appointed prosecutor;” “prosecutors should not take advice from politically connected friends of the accused;” “when a prosecutor seeks to resolve a case through diversion or some other alternative to prosecution, it should be done so with an acknowledgement of culpability on the part of the defendant. That is wrong. Webb said that he’s pursuing the case against Smollett because “reasonable grounds exist to further prosecute the actor.”

What could happen next?With new criminal charges filed against Smollett, he will likely face a trial in Cook County unless he and his attorneys somehow make a deal with the prosecutors. They even tied a threatening letter that was reportedly sent to the actor prior to the alleged attack to the investigation. Smollett’s should not be resolved without a finding of guilt or innocence;” and “expunging Mr. Additionally, Smollett had been reluctant to meet with investigators for a follow-up interview. His attorneys likely made the case behind closed doors that the actor being vilified by the police and press would have made it next to impossible for him to get a fair trial. His testimony to police immediately after the incident, as well as his second interview with police, had both contributed to the last grand jury decision in 2019, the prosecutors said. But all 16 of the additional charges were dropped as well on March 26, 2019. How did Chicago police come to the conclusion that Smollett orchestrated the attack?Commander of the Chicago Police Department, Edward Wodnicki, outlined the timeline of the investigation during the February 21 press conference.He said the investigation officially began at 2 a.m. … This has been an incredibly difficult time. First, he said, Smollett attempted to gain attention by sending a false letter to himself. The two brothers Smollett allegedly hired, men he knew from working on Empire, were wearing gloves and punched the actor “a little bit,” Johnson said. The actor reportedly gave police a false name when he was arrested, that of his brother Jake. Smollett could have ended up facing a very public criminal trial. At this point it’s unclear if Smollett will face any charges for the letter since the new charges were filed. But I am a man of faith and a man who has knowledge of my history and would not bring my family, our lives and the movement through a fire like this. The young actor was arrested, charged with felony disorderly conduct, and released on bond shortly before being written off the hit show Empire. Below, we’ve answered some of the biggest questions about why the case was reopened and whether Smollett could actually face jail time if convicted. This piece has been updated throughout to incorporate information about the new criminal charges filed against Smollett. Technically, it’s considered a Class 4 felony, the least serious of all possible felony charges, but it still carries a sentence ranging from one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000. In addition to the criminal charges, Smollett also faces a lawsuit from the City of Chicago to recover the costs of investigating “Mr. The two brothers seen in the video were eventually identified through a rideshare service they used to flee the scene. On March 28, 2019, the Illinois Prosecutors Bar Association accused the prosecutors of having “fundamentally misled the public on the law and circumstances surrounding the dismissal,” saying that the way in which the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and her office resolved the case was “abnormal.”

The association specifically said: “The appearance of impropriety here is compounded by the fact that this case was not on the regularly scheduled court call, the public had no reasonable notice or opportunity to view these proceedings, and the dismissal was done abruptly at what has been called an ‘emergency’ hearing. It appears that the phone records showing communication between Smollett and the brothers came from the brothers’ own phone records, which they handed over willingly. The Chicago PD also released several police reports from the case after it was announced the charges were dropped. No.”

In the same press conference, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also called the decision to drop the charges “a whitewash of justice,” citing the grand jury’s decision to bring 16 felony charges after seeing “a sliver” of evidence. Due to the serious nature of the allegations, the Chicago police immediately began investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. It may preclude him from certain things, like being able to vote or even run for and hold political office. The 16 additional charges that were added (and since dropped) each also carried up to four years in jail or probation. From the start, Smollett’s attorneys argued that the police overstepped when they initially held a press conference calling Smollett a criminal. Smollett’s false statements,” according to TMZ. What happens when someone is charged with a felony?A felony remains on a person’s criminal record for the duration of his life. The police interviewed more than 100 people in the area after the supposed attack. In addition, Republican State Representative from Chicago Michael McAuliffe introduced legislation that could prohibit any production that hires the actor from benefiting from the Illinois Film Tax Credits. He accused the prosecutors of treating Smollett differently from other defendants because of his fame. Smollett’s volunteer service in the community, and agreement to forfeit his bond to the City of Chicago, we believe this outcome is a just disposition and appropriate resolution to this case.”

As a result, Smollett did not face trial and had his record expunged. This time, a Chicago grand jury indicted Smollett on six new charges as of Tuesday, which, according to court documents, allege that the actor “planned and participated” in staging a hate crime against himself. How did Smollett respond after being arrested inititally?The Empire actor has maintained his innocence from the beginning of the investigation. At that point, one of the best-case scenarios for the actor at the time would have been to plead to a misdemeanor to avoid prison time. When that didn’t work, Smollett then paid $3,500 to two brothers, Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo, to stage the attack because, according to Johnson, Smollett “was dissatisfied with his salary” on the hit TV show Empire. Dismissal of charges against the victim in this case was the only just result.”

They said that Smollett is “relieved to have this situation behind him and is very much looking forward to getting back to focusing on his family, friends and career.”

Would Smollett have faced jail time if he’d been convicted in 2019?Yes. (The reports can be read here and here.) They reveal, in part, that Smollett was never handcuffed, placed into a cell, or “subjected to the media” while he was in custody.The reports do not, however, include most of the materials related to this case. Johnson also confirmed that the police had evidence of money payment in the form of the actual check Smollett paid the brothers. The grand jury specifically returned two separate sets of charges related to the actor’s allegations that his supposed attackers called him racist and homophobic slurs, used a noose, and poured a chemical on him. I just wouldn’t. Technically, it’s considered a Class 4 felony, the least serious of all possible felony charges, but it still carries a sentence ranging from one to three years in prison and fines up to $25,000. Who opened the new case and why?Special prosecutor Dan K. “We quickly found two persons of interest on video that we believed were the likely offenders in this case,” said Wodnicki. He has cost Chicago a lot more than a $10,000 bond.”

As to the way the case was handled, well, the National District Attorneys Association also released a powerful statement: “The recent incident in Chicago involving actor Jussie Smollett is no different and has garnered national attention as the case has made its way through various phases of the investigation and prosecution process. He also completed a mandatory alcohol-treatment program. State House Republican Jim Durkin asked the state’s attorney general to do a “thorough review,” while President Trump tweeted, “FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago.”

The FBI and Justice Department were expected to evaluate the prosecutor’s involvement in the case after the police union also called for an investigation. It is a reminder that a victim, in this case, Jussie, deserves dignity and respect. Felons are also disqualified from jury duty for at least seven years. Smollett’s attorneys had also requested and were granted that the records be sealed. More From This Series

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Tags: Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

More than two years after reporting he was attacked, Jussie Smollett is headed to trial in Chicago. He was sentenced to three years’ probation. Just when it looked as though former Empire star Jussie Smollett may have dodged the criminal charges that were filed last year and later dropped in the controversial case in which he allegedly faked an assault, he’s back in court again. The actor has also since made a counterclaim against the city that is still pending. As news broke of what many were calling a shocking hate crime, many celebrities and politicians rallied behind the openly gay actor, both in the press and on social media. He said it appeared that the scratches may have been self-inflicted. “Jussie was not hurt,” said Wodnicki, other than a few scratches on his face and some bruising. Smollett hasn’t been active on his official social-media accounts for quite some time. Another red flag for investigators early on may have been when Smollett initially refused to turn his phone over to the police. It contained anti-gay rhetoric and a mysterious white powder. Other lesser options include probation or even making restitution. As such, the Chicago corporation counsel asked on March 28, 2019 that Smollett be required to pay more than $130,000 for the cost of the investigation, while officials in both Illinois and the White House had even suggested there should be an investigation into why the charges were dropped in the first place. On March 14, 2019, he pled not guilty to all charges and denied any involvement in fabricating the attack. While the prosecutors did not reveal why exactly they dropped the felony charges, they said the decision was made after reviewing all of the facts in light of Smollett’s forfeiture of his $10,000 bond. At the time, Chris Alexander, a spokesperson for 20th Century Fox Television and the Fox network that produces the hit show, said in a statement, “Jussie Smollett has always maintained his innocence and we are gratified that all charges against him have been dismissed.” There have been no further comments from the network since the case has been reopened. Some big questions to consider if there is a criminal trial is how and where Smollett would be able to get a fair trial (this will likely become a major talking point for the actor’s legal team), what evidence would be submitted (is there a video of the alleged attack?), and who ultimately would take the stand (two brothers testified to a grand jury last year that Smollett hired them to stage the attack, and there is video of the men buying supplies that were allegedly used in the alleged attack). Depending on what happens next, prosecutors could even add an obstruction-of-justice charge, which basically suggests that Smollett “knowingly” resisted or obstructed the work of an investigator (this charge also carries jail time). (He paid 10 percent of that, as is standard.) He was also asked to surrender his passport. Postal inspectors were investigating the letter, which said, “You will die black faggot,” in cut-out magazine letters. The actor could also have been forced to pay restitution for the cost of the investigation, which, given the high-profile nature of the case, could have been substantial. Could Smollett end up in jail?Yes. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked.”

They also added: “Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense.”

How did Smollett react after the charges were dropped?When the charges were dropped in 2019, Smollett spoke briefly outside the courthouse. The charge for filing a false police report is a felony in Illinois. “Hate crimes are serious and so is the time and effort of the CPD. But again, given the high-profile nature of the case, a judge may not have been been so lenient as to accept the plea. If found guilty in a criminal trial, the actor could also be forced to pay restitution for the cost of the investigation, which, given the high-profile nature of the case, could be substantial. “After reviewing all of the facts and circumstances of the case,” the state’s attorney’s office said in a statement at the time, “ including Mr. What about the threatening letter Smollett says he received last year?Johnson said during the original press conference on February 21, 2019, that the police believed Smollett did fabricate the letter. And while he has every legal right to not answer questions as per his attorney’s advice, some critics argued from the beginning that his story had holes in it, like the 40-minute gap between the supposed attack and when police were contacted. If charges are brought, Smollett could be charged with federal mail fraud, which carries its own set of criminal charges beyond what he is already facing in the state of Illinois. Charges for being convicted of mail fraud range from fines up to $250,000 to prison time up to 20 years. He also said that phone records between Smollett and the two brothers show communication both before and after the staged attack. It all started after midnight on January 29, 2019, the night Smollett says he was attacked on a Chicago street. As such, he was charged with false impersonation, as well as driving under the influence and driving without a license. There was also the financial expense of the case. It will ultimately depend on a judge’s discretion and the seriousness of the charges. Jussie Smollett. What is Smollett charged with now?The actor is facing six new criminal charges, including that he planned and participated in the staging of a hate crime and made four separate false reports to the Chicago Police Department. Webb, who had been investigating the case for months, helped bring the new charges in Cook County after taking over from the former state’s attorney Kim Foxx who dropped the charges against Smollett last year. Felons are also unable to own firearms. The penalty really depends on the severity of the case and the criminal history of the person or persons involved. To be convicted of mail fraud, a prosecutor would need to prove that the actor intended to perform a fraudulent act and that he used the mail purposely to execute it. Her controversial decision shocked many and led to an unprecedented press conference by the Chicago Police Department in which it blasted the decision. The charge for filing a false police report is a felony in Illinois. How has Smollett reacted to the new charges?The actor’s legal team released a statement that says, in part: “This indictment raises serious questions about the integrity of the investigation that led to the renewed charges against Mr. Former Police Superintendent Johnson said in a press conference on March 26, 2019 following the charges being dropped, “Do I think justice was served? Weren’t there 16 different charges added to his initial charges last year?Yes. On Friday, February 15, 2019, after 47 hours of the brothers being in custody, and hours of interrogation, they were no longer considered suspects in the case. During the hearing, Smollett faced a judge to officially make his plea. Smollett was indicted and charged with these horrible crimes and the full record of what occurred will be forever hidden from public view.”

What evidence did the police say they had against Smollett in 2019?During a press conference on February 21, 2019, Eddie Johnson, superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, said Smollett orchestrated and paid to stage the attack. It also featured a stick figure hanging from a tree. Was there any backlash after the charges were dropped last year?Yes, there was criticism in both the political and legal worlds. A case with the consequential effects of Mr. What’s happened to Smollett’s career since the alleged attack?His bosses at Empire initially “removed” the actor’s character Jamal at the end of last season. Below, some of your biggest questions about the trial and his February 2020 indictment, answered. “A lot of valuable Chicago Police Department (CPD) man hours and resources were wasted chasing down a bogus crime arranged by Smollett,” he said. It wasn’t until February 2019, when investigators uncovered a blurry video of two men walking near the supposed crime scene that the case took a very unexpected turn, one that would eventually cast suspicion on the actor himself. He’s scheduled to appear in court on February 24. In addition, felons risk losing permits or licenses for work depending on the nature of the crime. Smollett claimed the payment was for services rendered in the form of fitness training.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Celebrity and Pop-Culture Merch Worth Gifting This Year

Lord knows I am never seeing any of this: neither the makeup I purchased nor the makeup I requested to review. Here’s a script: “Wait, you haven’t seen this movie? Good morning, Mr. —Rachel Handler

$24

at R.E.M. Her publicity team at first said yes, but then said there was some kind of mysterious delay on the sample, likely having to do with it coming from space. But why not make the activity even more fun, and even more of a “hit slay button”? It’s been the moment. Hey, this guy says he’s never seen The Virgin Suicides. Enter every meeting like the first queen in the workroom. Which is why I recently spent $70 on several items from her new makeup line, R.E.M. Boss Man, let’s get sickening! It’s entered the trendy candle market with scents based on different genres, made collectors swoon with gorgeously bound screenplay books, and, for the true film nerds, it offers this aspect-ratio blanket, with a pattern made up of seven of the most common proportions in cinematography. I enjoy being cucked by Ariana Grande’s merch. It’s an instant way to cosplay as a micro-influencer and/or shut down any pretentious film bros. —Wolfgang Ruth

$15

at Lady Gaga

Buy

Kacey Musgraves Nalgene + Sticker Pack

$30

$30

No one understands what the audience wants to spend money on like Kacey Musgraves. It’s all about the ~aesthetic~. Will that make it much harder to clean the bottle? Instead of rearranging your home to have the most ~aesthetic~ décor situated directly behind you (or else reveal a mountain of Coke Zero boxes crushed in the corner), get yourself and your household of capitalist slaves a RuPaul’s Drag Race backdrop. It’s a million-dollar idea she knows we can’t resist spending our pennies on. The poplin button-down features a pre-Spider-Man KD as Lux in one of the Sofia Coppola film’s iconic stills, telling everyone the wearer both is cultured and has good taste. From that one actress who didn’t get cast in Funny Girl, to royal couple after royal couple, pop culture wouldn’t be the same without the ones we love the most! —Devon Ivie

$150

at Tom Petty

Buy

Rihanna Rih-Issue Bundles

$110

$110

Rihanna doesn’t need a new album to participate in the flooding of the vinyl industry. Give your dog something to do while you chow down. The best part? There’s a translucent purple purse, a heart-shaped Magic 8-Ball, a broken-heart necklace. Assuming the recipient already has all the merch from that tour, the “Goodbye Cowboy” tee is a transitional piece that honors the past while embracing the uncertainty of a future spent “working for the knife.” Also, it rules. —ZH

$110

at Rihanna Merch Shop

Buy

RuPaul’s Drag Race Backdrop

$25

$25

No, I don’t have a Zoom setup yet, thank you for asking. No offense to the McDonald’s streetwear Travis Scott was trying to peddle last year, but Megan and Popeyes reached an unmatched level of synergy with “4oe’s 3 Piece Plush Toy.” Inspired by her trusty sidekick, 4oe the French bulldog, the plush dog toy has fuzzy chicken strips you can hide in a classic orange Popeyes box. Then again, … Unapologetic slowed down could just be what the world needs until R9. —ZH

$25

at Mitski Merch Store

Buy

Popeyes x Megan Thee Stallion Dog Toy

$35

$35

Not only is the Megan Thee Stallion x Popeyes Hottie Sauce bussin’, the merch is fire, too. So in celebration of the holiday season, we’re doing what we always do: rounding up just a few of the most necessary entertainment- and celeb-inspired merch of the year. Wait no further! Oh! —ZH

$25

at World of Wonder

Buy

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Tags: It’s ecofriendly, is only $15 (lol), and is the perfect pair to any demon twink’s (cc: Sh*wn M*nd*s) “Rain on Me” bathroom-break playlist. That’s okay. After releasing a grinder, rolling papers, and tarot deck tied to her fourth album, Golden Hour (which was very popular among those of us at the Venn diagram intersection of “stoner” and “witches”), she’s back with a retro-inspired merch line tied to her nostalgia-feuled star-crossed. Taylor Swift got to do it with Red (Taylor’s Version). Who cares! Beauty, named after one of her hit songs but based on the concept of space. This merch line looks like it was pulled straight from the shelves of Limited Too, and as an aging millennial, I am obsessed. She even sent out a dELiA*s-style catalogue to fans. —Emily Palmer Heller

$120

at A24

Buy

(The Concept of) Ariana Grande’s Makeup Line

$24

$24

I have been burned countless times by Ariana Grande’s merch, which either takes months to arrive, never arrives at all, or arrives as something other than what I bought. The Anti Rih-issue is already sold out, but OG fans have their pick of bundles, ranging in price from $100 to $140. And that’s why I am here to recommend you buy somebody the idea of R.E.M. Everyone has seen this movie. I remain vigilant, however, in my efforts to learn nothing from my mistakes. —Zoë Haylock

$165

at SSENSE

Buy

A24 Aspect Ratio Blanket

$120

$120

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: A24 is doing the most when it comes to movie merch. Ever the businesswoman, Rihanna “rih-issued” all eight of her albums onto limited-edition vinyl records, and she’s selling them bundled with merch. Yeah, it’s a perfect T-shirt. —EPH

$30

at Kacey Musgraves

Buy

Mitski “Goodbye Cowboy” Tee

$25

$25

Some of us measure our time in Mitski eras, not “years.” Commemorate the coming of Laurel Hell, her sixth studio album, with a new “Goodbye Cowboy” T-shirt, bidding adieu to her Grammy-nominated, critically acclaimed album Be the Cowboy. Anticipating that the makeup purchase might take a very long time to reach my doorstep, I also asked her PR team to send me some R.E.M. Beauty. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Retailers

There’s always one gift that keeps on giving (… Cher), and it’s the celebrities who continue to allow us to troll them. If you’re not looking for the numbers, the pattern just looks like a cool Art Deco-y thing — so your guests don’t have to know how much of a dork you are (unless you want to subject them to a lecture about the history of screen sizes). Are you kidding? Like space itself, the idea, sometimes, is enough. samples so that I might review the makeup line for work in a more timely fashion. Marc Jacobs Heaven “Lux” Shirt

$165

$165

Manifest an Academy Award for Kirsten Dunst with an homage to The Virgin Suicides. The Navy can have some old music, too. Wait, do you even know who Francis Ford Coppola is?” Guaranteed to run them out of whatever bar they’re bothering you in. Oh, and some Rih-issues come with two records, so maybe add our guide to 33 RPM versus 45 RPM to the card for any newbie audiophiles. (I’m very, very picky when it comes to merch.) Rodarte delivered and then some, much to the chagrin of my bank account: The collection, in collaboration with Petty’s estate, was created with his sentimental Wildflowers era in mind. I would love to learn what a “cut crease” is, and this seems like the perfect opportunity. The woman knows exactly what she’s doing!!! Don’t you feel embarrassed? It looks really cool and I actually really need new eyeliner. Miss Lady Gaga’s 3.75” x 3” x 1” Chromatica soap is New York’s hottest, well, bar of soap. My personal favorite is the clear Nalgene water bottle that comes with a sheet of stickers (in a very Lisa Frank color scheme) that you can use to personalize it. The floral designs are gorgeous, as are the big blocks of font, which look like they’re politely screaming TOM PETTY at you. It has become something of a tradition for me. Beauty

Buy

Chromatica Soap

$15

$15

Let’s get super-serious for a second: Washing your hands … it is hot. And PS: We’d include something for the Bennifer stan in your life, but that’d probably just entail us trying to promote a gift card to a Dunkin’. —ZH

$35

at Popeyes

Buy

Radarte Tom Petty Wildflowers Tee

$150

$150

I sometimes like Tom Petty more than my own father, and I’ve been holding my breath for an aesthetically pleasing Petty merch collection since his passing four years ago. Maybe they read Vulture. Wow, they look cool, strangers on the street will think.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Watch Silk Sonic Thrive on the Re-created Soul Train Set

Not since the first Charlie’s Angels movie has the Soul Train set been so lovingly redone. When you are presented with a perfectly good wheel, do you reinvent it? You do not. It deserves the accolades. But it’s a good set! Silk Sonic performed two songs on the gorgeous little set: “Fly as Me” and “Smokin Out the Window.” The collab’s full album, An Evening With Silk Sonic, came out this month. Related

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Tags: And the video for “Walk It Talk It.” Okay, honestly, the Soul Train set gets a lot of love. Obviously, the best way to pay homage to Soul Train’s height as well as keep their throwback style was to lovingly re-create the set of the old TV show.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Insecure’s Leonard Robinson Wants to Show You Taurean’s Softer Side

So when we pick up in season five, we see that they processed that and they’ve been allowed to grow and let bygones be bygones. Photo: Frazer Harrison/FilmMagic

Warning: spoilers ahead for “Tired, Okay?!,” episode six of season five of Insecure. Coming in off of two seasons myself I was pretty sure I understood Taurean and what’s going on. Did the writers give you any backstory on Taurean’s dating history or past? But Yvonne is a great actress and at this point she definitely knows exactly who Molly is and what she’s gonna do. That also allows him to give other people the benefit of the doubt and be more open and understanding. There’s probably about 20 different alts just for that little scene. Any time a man shows up on screen, you really can’t expect much. I think that’s also why the end of that scene catches Taurean off guard. I was going to say, Taurean has always been the antagonist in Molly’s life. Did you have an inkling that you may get a bigger arc before the series wrapped up?When I signed on in season three, there really wasn’t a guaranteed episode count, so I was taking it episode by episode. Do you think that poses any hurdles for Molly and Taurean’s future?It definitely is a precarious situation to be dating somebody you work with. It was a complete surprise for me, the amount of involvement that I’ve had as it unfolded. Natasha is a great improviser and has a great background in improv, as do I — I’ve spent many, many years doing improv and I’m a main company member at the Groundlings Theater. If I remove that stress and allow Taurean to enjoy himself and enjoy what’s happening, what does that look like for this man? It really had nothing to do with me. That being said, that does not necessarily mean it’s day one of a relationship. She was very kind and very patient. All this stuff that I thought was personal or targeted was all in my head. Vulture caught up with him to talk about how he prepared for Taurean’s romantic reemergence, workplace relationships, and swag-bag mugs. Are we fools if we get our hopes up about Taurean and Molly ending up together?First of all, I’m just surprised and really loving that there are people who are have their hopes up, period, about a Taurean and Molly relationship, because I never saw it going down like that. It can also be a benefit when you work in high-pressure situations or very intense long hours — you do get to know somebody. It’s easy to attribute their connection to Molly’s personal arc this season: She’s finally actually friends with her co-workers instead of being combative at work, which everyone jokes about at the retreat in this episode. The funny thing about this episode is that this was my first week of work coming out of the pandemic. But since we haven’t seen as much of your character, do you think Taurean’s mind-set has also changed, and contributed to the budding relationship between them?Yeah, 100 percent. I think one of the notes she kept giving me, which I enjoyed, was “just keep smiling.” Even if it’s just in my eyes, just keep smiling. What can you tell us about the remaining four episodes of the season (and series)?One thing I really love about this season in particular are the time jumps and the different fantasies. Taurean’s big win in the episode is that he’s there for Molly while she’s going through a serious family crisis. Taurean says, “I also had a problem when my brother was dealing with cancer.” That really justifies why and pays off why there’s all that tension and why Taurean hasn’t really been very personable. They hint at things, but basically Taurean is kind of a mystery. So we just went on a run and let the camera roll. Did you make up a backstory for him?I imagine that Taurean is the kind of guy who works long hours, is very competitive at work, and doesn’t really have a lot of time for dating. As businesslike and shark-like as Taurean is — and Molly too — when they clock out, they have a great time, so I just imagined Taurean on his best day without the stress. But you know, the show is really about the friendship between the women. It helped me out because, again, coming out of the pandemic, it was easy to think about the darkness and things going on in the world … but she just kept reminding me to lighten up and enjoy myself. Sparks are flying, okay?! Was there anything she said that guided your performance, especially in that last scene at Molly’s hotel door?Natasha was the kind of director I needed for my first time back on set. Even after watching all this time, you can’t expect or predict anything. You could use it as a doorstop, you could put it on your desk just to remember …

Getting involved with a co-worker is messy territory. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. No. I think that revelation, and being personal with a co-worker opens that up. You realize, Oh, I made all this stuff up. Now, that new mind-set is extending to Molly’s work sphere, where she’s often played hardball and butted heads with her co-workers. There were little clues here and there in some other seasons, like in season three where Taurean is going out of town or he gets dressed up and is going out. He was dealing with personal things and doing the best that he could do, but that kind of affects your personality. Related

Blowjobs, Breakups, and Beychella: The Insecure Writers’ Room Says Good-bye

If an Insecure Movie Ever Happens, Just Know Issa Rae Is ‘Down Bad’

Tags: How did you approach crafting this character, especially now that we start to see more of Taurean’s personality in this episode? They’re really playing with different forms and mixing it up, and every episode is so fresh and engaging. What was your reaction to it?I was pretty shocked. Also, if you backtrack a bit to season four, Taurean confronted Molly about how she behaves in the office. How did you fill in those blanks for yourself? You start to see people in a different light. Knowing what I know in this episode really helped inform everything else because it allowed me to show a different side of Taurean’s personality. When her mom finally wakes up after her stroke, Molly finds herself falling into the last pair of arms she ever expected: those of Taurean, played by Leonard Robinson, who has been a reliable scene partner for Yvonne Orji since his introduction in the series’ third season. Taking into account that he acknowledges that he has some strong family issues that really affected his personality in the office, it felt like, Okay, if I remove that stress, who is this person? I don’t think he saw a personal life as a priority, probably because he needed to find someone who aligns more with his values and career goals and personal goals. He walks in with no intentions, just making sure she has a swag bag, and because of the timing and the emotional state that Molly’s in at the time, they share that awkward moment. Then Taurean walks out and you don’t really know where that relationship is gonna go in the office. So I’d like to say there was a lot of prep time, but really there wasn’t a whole lot of opportunity for us to connect beforehand. I did not necessarily see it going where it’s headed, even with just that little scene where they’re tipping that something might be happening. My favorite one-liner in the episode was your deadpan delivery of “my mom had a mug.” Are those written in or did you improvise on set?That was a real fun run. What would you put in your swag-bag mug?I think we said water, pens, soup or chowder or gumbo, or really anything liquid. This week, Insecure fully leaned into Molly’s reinvention, a season-long arc that’s seen her addressing her past actions (and reactions) with her family, friendships, and romantic life. But the finale comes out at Christmas, so maybe some people will get what they wish for and maybe some people will get some coal. It’s her first time saying it, it’s her first time doing it, so I think it feels a little spontaneous. So when he does, he was probably very efficacious with that — probably a lot of surface-level relationships up until this point. At the work retreat at the center of “Tired, Okay?!,” things soften between Molly and her nemesis Taurean — first, when Molly lets loose at the company off-site drinks, and later when the two of them bond over their families. Even though it is messy, I also think sometimes in these jobs where you work so much, that’s the only opportunity you’re gonna get. How did you and Yvonne Orji prepare for the episode? Taurean doesn’t need her to be his friend, he just needs her to be professional at work, and then she comes clean about how she wasn’t really proud about everything she did in season three. To be honest, I was kind of happy being the antagonist in the office, but at the same time I joked with the producers and Issa, like, “Thank you for letting me smile this season.” In all of season three, I don’t think I smiled once. There’s a great scene in the episode where they’re talking and getting real, and Molly comes clean and admits that she’s been dealing with some things at home. That opens the door to potentially what’s next. What do you think makes him a realistic romantic interest for her? How early during development and production of the fifth season did you find out about Taurean’s romantic arc? I think Taurean is relieved that people can now start to see him a little more, and be open to him and the full spectrum of his personality. And it’s kind of a big relief — now we can just have some fun. He’s allowing more people in. I think that’s what is also exciting about this episode: All of our reactions are happening in real time. But I think it opens up some possibilities. Taurean has been in and out of scenes and story arcs for the past few seasons. Natasha Rothwell directed this episode.

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Insecure Recap: Get In Where You Fit In

As usual, her first instinct is to fly into action, but Curtis assures her that they’ll be fine. But there are only so many ways things can end as the chess pieces move across the board. White people know.” — Jerome

• “Your mom knows you love her. He tells her that she made a choice to abandon him, and she should own it. They went from weepy sex to taking it slow to being in love in a matter of weeks, and he can’t keep up. Expect blowback for this one, Nathan! They coax her from her phone and talk about how Molly has come a long way from when she started. Sebi said cow cheese is toxic. But they decide the Blocc’s event isn’t for them because of Issa’s beef with Crenshawn. But it’s what Issa needed — that was supposed to be her life with Lawrence. But Crenshawn reminds her that the purpose of the Blocc wasn’t supposed to be about money. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. They drop it and eat dinner in silence. Later, Curtis calls Molly with good news, their mom is finally awake and can leave the hospital tomorrow. At the Clips, the top barber Shug is late and all his clients are waiting. And your family don’t even miss you. Issa balks then … somehow makes it about Nathan not saying “I love you” back. They pull out a video of her going absolutely buck wild. Nathan points out that her affections have been inconsistent. She’s worried her mother will never wake up and she’ll miss her last moments. There are only four episodes left of the final season and lots of story ground to cover. They don’t seem to be holding it against her, but she’s mortified. Molly is distracted at a semi-casual cocktail hour at her work retreat, waiting for updates about her mom. He then shows her the new sweatshirt she inspired — a red and blue ombré crewneck with “Integrity” emblazoned across the chest in gold thread. It’s not information she’s owed, given that it’s been more than a year since their breakup and she’s dating someone new herself. And in a rare moment of vulnerability, Molly tells him the truth. They didn’t sleep together, but Molly did have a wild night. Issa, on the other hand, seems to be nearing the end of her rope. Taurean marvels that she was even able to work at all given her family emergency but admits that he’d been through something similar. What will the future bring? This is probably not the end of those two. When Issa gets to Nathan’s place with dinner, he tells her that he might be done at the Clips and that he’s not sure if L.A. It turns out the watch is Taurean’s. It’s almost as if her behavior is … a pattern? Then Issa yeets the baby, yells “Fuck them kids!” and kicks Condola in the chest before she walks off, cackling maniacally. Issa has another fantasy: She waits in line for food when Condola walks up and thanks her for leaving Lawrence. Back at the hospital, Issa brings lunch to Molly’s family, who are still sitting vigil at the hospital for her mom. Just then, Taurean knocks on her hotel room door to bring her a swag bag from the partners. Season 5

Episode 6

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

*****

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Photo: Merie Weismiller Wallace/HBO

We begin this week right where we left the last — Issa staring across a hospital hallway at Lawrence and his beautiful little family, Condola and Eli. It’s the kind of thing that would have made her resentful when she first joined the firm, but that she’s grateful for now. But when one of the men begs for a haircut, Nathan commits the Black Man Cardinal Sin™ of cutting another barber’s client. This is common for Shug, but Aric (Curtis Hamilton) points out that Shug’s celebrity clients are why the shop is blowing up. Oh, and it’s not the mall ring he bought you. Your dad was like, ‘Who’s Molly?’ And I was like ‘Your daughter!’” — Issa

• “It was just trust falls. When she opens the door, Molly hugs him tightly in relief, but it lingers just a little too long. She says that she feels like she made a choice to commit to him, but he hasn’t done the same for her. They argue about it until Shug threatens to take his famous clients elsewhere, and when Nathan essentially tells him to make sure the door doesn’t hit him on the way out, Shug confronts him and calls him crazy because of his bipolar diagnosis. But the news clearly shakes her. She taunts her, telling Issa that she and Lawrence are back together, engaged and happy, and that his dick grew two inches after getting a new job that pays him a billion dollars. Back home, she looks Lawrence up on Instagram and finds out Lawrence moved back to L.A. It’s bigger.” — Condola

• “She still ain’t speaking yet, but her eyes said ‘Molly is a disappointment.’” — Curtis

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Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! and never bothered to tell her. Back at the Clips, Shug finally shows his face — late as usual — as the barbers pay their booth rent. Issa’s understandably defensive, but Crenshawn is right that she acted out of fear instead of principle, even if it felt like the right decision at the time. The next morning, Molly wakes up late, hungover, half-dressed, and confused with a stranger’s watch in her bed. When Aric asks for his cut, Shug says that Nathan will cover his portion since he’s so comfortable stealing his clients. Later, during sex with Nathan, Issa tries to get him to say that he loves her, but he doesn’t take the hint. Email

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Terms of Service apply. is the right fit for him at all. It feels safe to predict that this pairing might be of the “the right guy was under her nose all along” variety. She inspired him to participate then left him high and dry when the check was threatened. She flubs the presentation, but Taurean swoops in to cover. Sentimental music kicks in as Condola and Lawrence look on as Issa holds Eli. Crenshawn isn’t having it and points out that he was upset because she cared more about her relationship with NBW than about supporting his artistic vision. Later, Issa and Quoia celebrate that Los Angeles magazine included the Blocc’s Art Walk in their calendar of events. You still managed to keep it all together and still be rude as shit.” — Molly

• “Yeah, we’re engaged. Later that evening, they catch a drink and Taurean asks if she’s okay. Issa apologizes to Crenshawn (with a pan of brownies??), but frames their falling out as more of a mutual misstep. It seems that their little Twitter tiff is having lasting repercussions on Issa’s reputation. White people be trying to make pets outta everything.” — Nathan

• “I didn’t know I wasn’t ugly until you became my barber.” — Nathan’s client

• “Dr. As Molly and Taurean begin their marketing presentation, Curtis starts blowing up her phone. It’s a hell of a way to end a fantasy sequence, especially one with such an emotionally loaded setup. Issa doesn’t take this well and says that she isn’t wrong for taking opportunities to focus on her passion instead of splitting her time between weekend projects and driving Lyft. Week’s Best Woot Woots

• “I swear I saw somebody walking a coyote on my way over here. It was supposed to be about elevating Black culture. Tearing up as she hangs up the phone, Molly finally unclenches and releases all the pent-up tension she’s been carrying around. William dropped Patrice again.” “She ain’t never gon’ trust nobody.” — Co-worker/Molly

• “Wow, I didn’t even notice! They pitch to a group they want to join the event, saying how enthusiastic NBW is to sponsor them. Molly calls her from a work retreat to check-in and confesses that she feels guilty for not being at the hospital. He tells her that work can’t take precedence over their lives and that he’s always there to back her up if she needs it. Condola’s parting words, “Own your choices,” make it clear that Issa is still mulling over her conversation with Crenshawn earlier that day. Insecure
Tired, Okay?! Related

Insecure’s Leonard Robinson Wants to Show You Taurean’s Softer Side

Tags: Issa asks if they can pretend it isn’t awkward, to Condolad and Lawrence’s relief. Afterward, while they’re cuddling, she tries again, but Nathan is either extremely oblivious or very intentionally refusing to say those three little words.

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Succession Recap: All Bangers, All the Time

He cannot even pretend to enjoy the party, which he comes to hate because he’s gazing at his own grotesque reflection. “I’ve gone anti-fragile,” he tells his girlfriend, Naomi Pierce. Succession
Too Much Birthday

Season 3

Episode 7

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

*****

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Photo: Macall Polay/HBO

It’s a relief that Kendall’s 40th-birthday party doesn’t go off as planned because no one could have survived this episode of Succession. The presents were a sign that all might not be lost, but now they’re gone. It’s the scene in Goodfellas where Paulie gives Henry a big wad of cash from his pocket and sends him on his way, a cold rebuke from the head of the family. Kendall can handle (most) bad tweets, but as we saw with Shiv’s letter that crushed him on the evening of his talk show appearance, the Roys know all the right buttons to push. Then his siblings show up, but Shiv and Roman pelt him with insults, and Connor will not respect the vibe by taking off his Members Only jacket. The Roy siblings are given to razzing each other relentlessly — that’s just everyday patter, though it’s gotten nastier recently — but Kendall could at least credit them for showing up. (“It just feels like an asshole’s birthday party. There’s the game of “good tweet, bad tweet” in the back of the limo, the obsession with talk show host Sophie Iwobi, and the repeated denial, on social media and by the DOJ, of his role as a righteous whistleblower and “defender of liberal democracy.” Beneath all the hurt is self-loathing, too. All four Roy siblings hurt each other at their father’s behest — it seems like the only thing that legitimately pleases the old sadist — but Kendall needs them to knock it off at this moment, and none of them, Roman especially, can bring themselves to do it. And my thing, from the very first meeting, is that it shouldn’t feel like an asshole’s birthday party.”) Then there’s the missing homemade presents from his kids, a reminder of the absentee parenthood that had his people livestreaming a pet rabbit for their benefit. Why else would he invite New York City’s elite to watch him sing a Billy Joel cover and post himself to a cross? 1 son, in his turtleneck and chain, descending from the rafters for an earnest cover of Billy Joel’s “Honesty.” And even those who might have survived the initial blast could not withstand the additional radiant shock of Kendall mounting himself to a crucifix, dying for the sins of his father’s company — sins that, well, he told the Feds he knew about. Roman casually undercuts Shiv three times in the episode — first by co-signing the birthday card to Kendall, second by planting his flag in the GoJo deal, and third by revealing his knowledge of a corporate plan to harass Kendall’s family — and he doesn’t flash a hint of remorse about it. Waystar has an ugly, laggy streaming interface that, per the pleading cries of the Roy children, is characteristic of the company’s fuddy-duddy old-media qualities. Imagine the tweets! • “Are they playing from the approved playlist in the main room? Let it fizzle.”

Sad Sack Wasp Traps

• Tom’s jubilation over (most likely) not going to jail should make him the happiest character among this miserable bunch, but he realizes, as everyone else does, that he is still sentenced to a bad marriage. It’s just nasty. Following up on last week’s king-making episode, “Too Much Birthday” does open up a new rift between Roman, the ultimate daddy’s boy, and his siblings, particularly Shiv, who simply isn’t amoral and cutthroat enough to play the game at her little brother’s level. A heartfelt apology? The end of this extraordinary episode, with Kendall finally back home with Naomi, wrapped up in a blanket, feels like the end of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? But never mind about that. when a long night of drinking and bruising fights leads to a quiet moment with George and Martha alone as dawn approaches and friction has dissipated. Kendall can occasionally psyche himself into a kind of zombie fugue state when the sadness numbs him and allows him to take ruthless action — recall his demolition of Vaulter — but we’ve seen plenty of moments this season when “going anti-fragile” is a pose that he’s assumed none too convincingly. Here, Kendall starts to fret again about what might be happening at the birthday bash he’d abandoned. “You’re not a real person,” Kendall tells him. In a way, the gift is like the poisonous version of grandma tucking a check into a Hallmark card; only it’s not for $20 but for $2 billion, contingent on Kendall cashing out and fucking off. That it doesn’t cost him a date with her puts their relationship on solid footing. Connor seems turned on by it, but it’s not for his benefit. His 40th birthday may as well be his 4th, a hoped-for sugar rush soured by bad gifts and mean kids ending with him at home, swaddled in a blankie. Related

The Unbearable Sadness of Tom Wambsgans

Tags: They just keep twisting the knife. He believes that he deserves to be humiliated. Logan’s card is a “Dead Dove: Do Not Eat” situation: What could it contain that would not damage Kendall? Comfry’s efforts to exchange Connor’s jacket for a VIP cashmere sweater earn her a noxious rebuke from Willa. (“Now I gotta turn my back on you.”)

The card eats away at Kendall from that point forward. But they’re at the party to hunt down Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård), the Scandinavian tech wizard and world-class asshole behind a streaming company called GoJo. • Kendall singing that Billy Joel number might have killed me, but it’s also possible that the “tiny Wu-Tang Clan” may have brought me back to life. Shiv and Roman’s ulterior motives make it worse. Email

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Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! • Willa hates Connor, but one reason she stays with him is the privilege of treating people below her station with unbridled contempt. By the end of a sour night, as Kendall realizes why Shiv and Roman have bothered to show up, he’s had it. As with the fascist Mencken last week, Roman has a talent for relating to vile shitheads in bathrooms, even if he has to entertain Mencken’s talk of Hitler’s (“H”) good ideas or Matsson openly fantasizing about the day Logan dies. Earlier in the afternoon, Logan had abruptly canceled a meeting with GoJo brass because Matsson blew it off, which he took as a grievous insult, made worse by the knowledge that he wouldn’t be blowing off Kendall’s party. • Kendall’s boorishness proves to be the glue that brings Greg and his PR assistant Comfry (Dasha Nekrasova) together, despite Tom’s believing Comfry to be so out of his league that “it’s like a haunted scarecrow asking out Jackie Onassis.” When Comfry assures Greg that she will make Kendall’s efforts to smear him “targeted rather than terminal,” he expresses his gratitude in an accent that suggests a pre-Civil War–era southern belle. Because my thing was all bangers, all the time.”

• Let’s not forget that while Kendall is a pitiable figure, this is definitely an asshole’s birthday party. With all the caveats you might want to make about his vile qualities, most of which he shares with the Roys family at large, Jeremy Strong has always played Kendall like a man-child — petulant at times, given to lashing out, but vulnerable to the core. Lately, we haven’t seen much evidence to the contrary. No duck-and-cover drill could prepare you for the atomic cringe explosion of our No. Naomi settles him: “It’s just a party. She just wanted someone to abuse. “I can accommodate anything.”

This is a lie. He is the most sensitive of the Roy children, the most fragile. As usual, it’s his family that knows how to hurt him the most. Roman wasn’t the only one to notice Shiv’s disappointment that her husband wasn’t going up the river. Earlier, the two had riffed on Kendall bragging “Who isn’t?” when asked about who was at the party, offering plenty of examples: “Your dad,” “Your mom,” “Your wife and kids,” “Any real friends.” But Shiv and Roman are absent, too, in all but the most malevolent of ways. The party turns out to be an astonishing window into his psyche — the vanity, pettiness, and neediness, the apparent need to return to the hospital nursery and his mother’s birth canal — but “Too Much Birthday” is an ingenious fake-out of an episode, a presumed sequel to the “L to the OG” rap of last season that curdles into a genuine heartbreaker. His just-kidding-or-not words to Greg, who he calls a parasite and a tapeworm, are not even couched in the wit he deploys with his siblings. Terms & Privacy Notice
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Selling Sunset Recap: Ex Marks the Spot

This is what you should be working on. I have only one question: Are they fucking? It’s like white refrigerator old. Anyway, Christine is now losing allies as Davina and Vanessa are like, “Why is this crazy lady making these things up and why does she even care now that she’s married and has a kid?” And everyone, both at home and sitting on the loungers across from them next to a pool where Slash defiled countless groupies, just nod their heads in befuddlement. I mean, if you like these kinds of amenities, great. She talks about her struggles raising the kids, sleeping on the couch for two years so they could have their own bedrooms, having to tell them that their father isn’t coming back home, and it is all sad and awful and I just want to give Amanza a big hug and tell her it will all be better. So if the women were to believe that she would do these things, it actually says more about Christine and the person she was than the women. She says that all of the girls in the office are “obsessed with an old version of me, and that says more about them than it does about me.” Everything about this is wrong. Heather says she finally decided that Christine is not invited to her wedding, which totally makes sense considering all the shit she talked about Tarek, an HGTV star on loan. “I was 27 years old,” she says as if that is young enough to excuse any indiscretion. Christine should be uninvited for the same reason Davina wasn’t invited to Mary’s wedding (she talked shit about the groom). Houses come and go, but a man like that, you snatch him up and never let him go. Twenty-seven is old enough that you should have your first credit card, your first car loan, and your first federal indictment by then. Why haven’t we even heard a name? Was his hat just a little too low? Shang Chi) a house with a waterfall and a huge wall of bookshelves. Oh, hi, Page Six, I’ve been waiting for you to call back. This is a $1 million commission.” He introduces her to Sean the Realtor. As for the endowment, the jury is still out, but I feel like Brett’s tattooed girlfriend is about two months away from releasing the dick pics on Reddit, so I’m sure we’ll know soon. This is L.A. Maya is like, “I know the jeweler who made Emma’s ring, so I know he proposed to her,” and all of this sounds sketch and coincidental, but I am not above being on a jury that gives a woman the electric chair based on circumstantial evidence if the woman in that chair is Christine. She says it is caused by the stress of Christine talking about how Heather also dated this ex of hers that Emma also dated. No. What do you mean it’s all a ruse? That’s only me. The whole thing is amazing, extra tall, very attractive, swarthy, big smile, wearing a cute outfit. I’ve talked shit about every groom I’ve ever come across, and I still get wedding invites. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! I’m still on Sean the Realtor. Is Jason sleeping with the owner? Christine, Maya, and Davina go out to lunch at Moon Juice, the most intolerable “eatery” in America, and the waiter shows off their very lovely manicure while displaying a whole vat of “Collagen Protect, which is good for hydration inside and out.” How much did Moon Juice pay for this? Godspeed, Amanza. Okay, thank you for your service, and we will respect your privacy during this difficult time.”

There is a brief interlude where Jason takes Vanessa to a $50 million, 5BR house in Malibu and is like, “Um, lady, why are you messing around with $1 million sales? He says it needs an update and what he means is the kitchen is old. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. The gist of the whole conversation is that Maya doesn’t believe that this mystery dude, who we still haven’t met or heard his name, proposed to Christine and she’s totally making it up. Also, if they believe these things about Christine, she admits that there is an old version of her that would have done it. Oh, you thought I meant the house? Heather says she’s telling everyone and it wasn’t even a real relationship. “Hello? Outside, the ladies get to talking and Emma and Mary lay out all the evidence for how and why Christine is lying about this engagement to this dude that we still haven’t heard from. Brian M-O-Y-L … It doesn’t matter. But Sean. Is the new you just an Instagram filter only you can see? Yes, this is Brian Moylan. If they are obsessed with an old version of you, when did you become the old version because no discernable change has been detected? Selling Sunset
The Truth Hurts

Season 4

Episode 8

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

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Photo: Netflix

When discussing Selling Sunset, a show about the ravages of capitalism and female friendships, I like to talk about how real and fake it is. We have questions and we need to know if he’s taller than Jason, which he definitely is. Page Six? Amanza gets a pass for the rest of the season because unlike these other heifers, she is dealing with some real actual shit. And it was seven years ago. Can that possibly be true? “Yes, this is Brian Moylan. But if Emma is freaking out about this guy, Christine is waging fake Instagram account wars because of this guy, and Heather is ruing the day that she met this guy; who is this guy? Next, Chrishell shows Simu Liu (a.k.a. That leaves Jason still at 5’9” which is Chrishell in a kitten heel. There’s an in-home spa with an inside hot tub and a twink has definitely died in there. Sean looks like the kind of guy who will let you eat Sour Patch Kids in bed while watching Housewives reruns after you get a little bit too stoned. Oh, scratch the last one. When did this show do product placement for anything other than obscene real estate? Y/N? But for Christine to admit this or change, she would have to take accountability for her actions and she avoids accountability like Justin Bieber avoids leaving the house with clean hair. Look, I have a case for you guys. I believe all of this to be true as well, but only because the show told me to. Then we see a massage room next door, and, I take it back, multiple twinks have definitely died here. However, the real purpose of this conversation is for Heather to talk about her stress rash, which is really just a red blotch on her forehead. But you’re right, we will need some verification at some point.” Sorry about that. Amanza goes to Mary’s house, and Romaine is there to open champagne for them shirtless, and after I pop my cork, we listen to Amanza talk about what happened when she went to her lawyer’s office. Well, I’m just going to keep assuming he’s real. Cueing up a romance we all know is coming, Chrishell is all, “Oh, but he pulls it off because of his swag.” It is a scientific fact that swag can only add a maximum of four inches to any man’s height and only one point five inches to his endowment. Anyway, the house is nice. I love a short joke, but I try not to indulge that often, but they bring it up, so this is Heather and Chrishell’s fault. Will you find the missing Selling Sunset former fiancé? It’s a box of Boo-Berry from 1987 rotting in the cupboard old. She says her children’s father gave a letter to the court two years ago giving up custody and any right to his children, so all this hunting for him has been in vain. Who even has books? Why was Slash living in a time capsule for all of those years? Oh, honey. The start of this episode really strained all credulity for me, though. Email

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Terms of Service apply. Bookshelves? Speaking of obscene, Christine says she has no time for these fake DM games with Emma, which we all know is false because if she had time for filming a reality show two weeks after giving birth, she has time for fake social media accounts. Chrishell and Heather meet at an outdoor coffee spot and decide to bring up Jason’s height. Anyway, they say he’s 5’5”, which is more generous than the portions at Cheesecake Factory. Yeah, I guess the house is nice for a sort of opulent mansion overlooking the water with an infinity pool, balconies, and a view of both the sunrise and the sunset. Take the hint, people. What do you mean this man does not exist? Finally, Jason takes Mary, Davina, and Vanessa to a $7.85 million house that used to belong to Slash from Guns ‘N’ Roses and now belongs to a Dodgers pitcher. Where is he going to get the other three inches he needs. Oh, hold on one minute, my phone is ringing. Tags:

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Lindsay Lohan Is Engaged

My life. My family. My future,” she captioned the photos, adding a ring emoji to complement her real-life diamond engagement ring. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Lindsay Lohan (@lindsaylohan)

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Chord Overstreet Reunited with Fellow Gleek Lindsay Lohan in Netflix Rom-Com

Lindsay Lohan to Add Podcaster to Her Résumé

Tags: Lindsay Lohan does not believe in a boyfriend soft launch. Lohan and Shammas, who started dating in 2020, have kept their relationship extremely private. Friends and family of the pair congratulated them in the comments of Lohan’s post, including Lohan’s younger brother Dakota, who wrote, “my best friends!” Check out photos below, and congrats to the happy couple! Lohan announced the engagement on Instagram, alongside a cute slideshow of photos of the two. Photo: Instagram

Lindsay Lohan has had quite the year — from announcing her return to the big screen to making her podcasting debut, to now getting ready to tie the knot with her boyfriend, Bader Shammas. Shammas, according to LinkedIn, lives in Dubai and works in wealth management. “My love.

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HBO Max Mistakenly Uploads Censored Version of Birds of Prey

Thanks ^YB— HBOMaxHelp (@HBOMaxHelp) November 27, 2021

HBO Max has replaced the R-rated version of #BirdsOfPrey with a censored version that was “edited for content,” @ScreenRant reports.Several scenes in the film have been changed, which include Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn giving peace signs instead of middle fingers. Will be updated on Max.” HBO Max’s customer support Twitter has confirmed that they are working to restore the original, uncensored version to the streaming site. Our team is working to restore the original, unedited, version as soon as possible and will let you know when it is available. Photo: Mike Marsland/WireImage

HBO Max has mistakenly uploaded the broadcast version of Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) instead of the uncensored version previously seen in theaters and streaming online, according to the Verge. Or… counterpoint. Johanna Fuentes, head of communications for Warner Media, tweeted that, “​​We have a version of the film that airs on broadcast cable and the unedited version of the film for streaming which has been up for a year (which the original post on CBR noted). This isn’t the first time the film has been changed for audiences; the film’s name was changed to Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey during its theatrical release. Will be updated on Max.— Johanna Fuentes (@jfuentes) November 27, 2021

Hi Sué, we appreciate you reaching out about Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) on HBO Max. We have a version of the film that airs on broadcast cable and the unedited version of the film for streaming which has been up for a year (which the original post on CBR noted). The original film is rated R and features a molly party where Quinn danced in a nightclub after her breakup with the Joker. When starting the current version of the film on HBO Max, it begins with, “This film has been modified as follows from its original version: It has been edited for content.” During the film, instead of Harley Quinn flipping off the camera with both hands, she is alternatively holding two peace signs. pic.twitter.com/6RJ4IJ4RYd— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 27, 2021

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John Hersey Denies Bachelorette Katie Thurston Cheated in Their New Relationship

It is apparent that many of you misjudge how both her and I view that commitment. I have tried to respond directly to those individuals that were affected, but I know that I don’t have the capability of finding absolutely everyone; so I hope this message finds you well.I appreciate you all taking time from your day to read this message. I hear you. The circumstances by which this friendship formed was a series of crazy, random, and coincidental events, that I’m sure you will all hear about at a later time. On the other side of the Bachelor coin, Moynes spent last night on Instagram sharing a story about how he learned to cry in his car (buddy, join the club!) He’s continued to keep his social media presence all about animals and his conservation efforts. Because this is sure as hell the first time for me.To those of you that suggest we should have waited- I understand. You guys are fun (most of the time, haha).I’m sure there’s no question why I’ve chosen this moment to speak up- this has been a wild couple days to say the least. You guys- she was engaged. My point for now, is that we were ALWAYS platonic. This is the first and likely only time I will ever address you all, the bachelor sub, directly. Photo: Alberto E. As I mentioned before, cheating in any form is unacceptable, and I’m sorry if it looked as though either of us were taking advantage of anyone’s trust. Keep being real, much love 🙏🏼-John (week 2 guy)

Tags: I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season, and I can’t wait to be sent more ridiculous SpongeBob memes and “John who?” comments. Moynes did address the breakup on the latest episode of the Talking It Out With Bachelor Nation podcast. It is not okay. I cannot (and do not) blame anyone for this, because it is the nature of a private situation to be clear only to those closest to it. I am absolutely in favor of everybody having their own opinion, voicing that opinion, and hell, arguing and yelling about that opinion. But try to understand what it’s like for me, a regular guy, falling helplessly for his best friend, not being able to take her out for dinner because photos would likely leak and everybody would assume we were trying to foster some sort of secret and scandalous relationship haha. The speed at which I fell for this incredible, nurturing, and genuinely caring human being was honestly terrifying. It is not meant to be delivered from atop a soapbox; it is an honest conversation from me to you. Hey everyone!John Hersey here. The boundaries of our friendship with respect to her ongoing relationship never even required addressing, because it was never a thought in our minds that we would ever be anything more. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Dear Joooooooooohhhhhhnnnnn, we can see it all now. But every step of the way felt so right.We knew that the only difficult part would be the optics of it all. What hurts me, however, is watching SO many of you build assumptions and throw around accusations based on very limited knowledge of a situation. Check out John Hersey’s full statement below. “I really don’t think there was any physical cheating there, but there [was] clearly emotional [cheating] for it to transition so quickly as it did,” said Moynes on his ex-fiancée’s new relationship. It deeply saddens me to think that my and Katie’s relationship could have been a source of anxiety for ANYONE. However, I do intend to share some insights that will hopefully allow you to better understand me, katie, and our relationship.Katie and I developed an incredible and deep friendship over the last half year or so. So let me take this opportunity to first thank all of you for the support, the laughs, the love, and the undeniably outspoken personalities that I have had the wonderful pleasure of being exposed to while here. Our decision to come out publicly was a decision to pursue happiness in the way we wanted. I understand.Lastly and most importantly, I want to apologize to those of whom have felt emotionally triggered by how our actions have been perceived. On second thought, maybe this message deserves its own paragraph:There was no wrongdoing prior to the end of their engagement.Furthermore, I understand that the timeline seems fast and messy. Regardless of the true timeline of the Hersey/Thurston/Moynes journey, all three parties seem to find their own ways of coping. It is not in our nature. Once Katie and I realized there was a romantic connection that we were interested in exploring, we were not starting from scratch; we were building off of the foundation of a close friendship through which, we had already gotten to know each other so well. The circumstances by which this friendship formed was a series of crazy, random, and coincidental events.” Despite how “omg so random” their new friendship was, Hersey clearly states that the couple was “ALWAYS platonic” during her engagement to Blake Moynes. It is not acceptable. Hersey took to Reddit to post his “Notes app apology” letter, stating that, “Katie and I developed an incredible and deep friendship over the last half year or so. Neither Katie nor I would ever cheat, push someone to cheat, or be involved in cheating. But I urge you to put yourselves in our shoes. And that’s a shitty thing- worrying about how a natural and organic connection will be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people… when was the last time you had to think about that when you fell for a partner? Disagreeing with someone for how they decide to go about it is okay. Everybody is different. Week-Two Guy John Hersey, from Katie Thurston’s season of The Bachelorette, has addressed the criticism of his relationship with the newly single vibrator queen. Even during my short stint on the season, we never had a chance to foster anything romantic (read as: John blew his chance and left the next day hahaha). He addresses that “the timeline seems fast and messy,” but he fell “helplessly for his best friend.” The messiness of the timeline seems eerily similar to the John Mulaney/Olivia Munn saga, where fans tried to piece together the timeline of how it all happened. I was scared.

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Dionne Warwick and Chance the Rapper Release New Song for Charity

I cannot stop thinking about this.— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) December 5, 2020

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Tags: Nonetheless, her Twitter is real, and so is her collaboration with Chance the Rapper for their new song. She tweeted, “Hi @chancetherapper. If you are very obviously a rapper why did you put it in your stage name? I cannot stop thinking about this.” Warwick made news last year because of her hilarious tweets, with some people even questioning if she was really tweeting from her account. Warwick posted a video promoting the song on Twitter, thanking Hunger: Not Impossible’s involvement in the track, stating she “felt that if she could be of service to [Hunger: Not Impossible] with my talent, as I always think, well why not?” The duo first met on Twitter when Warwick famously came for any musician with “the” in their name. Hi, @chancetherapper. If you are very obviously a rapper why did you put it in your stage name? Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Legendary singer Dionne Warwick has teamed up with Chance the Rapper for their new song, “Nothing’s Impossible.” The track’s proceeds will be raising money for SocialWorks and Hunger: Not Impossible.

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Dave Chappelle Took on Criticism From Teens at His Old High School

Chappelle was reportedly met with a mixture of boos and cheers. “This is my family and whether they know it or not I love these kids,” a student recalled him saying. However, Chappelle later wrote on Instagram that he would “gladly step aside” if a majority of donors noted that they objected. Related

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Tags: Photo: Eamonn M. In the statement, the school said it still planned to move forward with the event, which was initially requested by one of its founders, in April. But according to a November 12 statement from the school, the delay was only made in order to address community concerns and create an opportunity for a “teachable moment” around artistic freedom and responsibility. The comedian reportedly singled out a student who left the room, saying, “Of course she left early.” Seemingly confirming the interaction, Chappelle’s spokesperson told Politico that the person in question “couldn’t even entertain the idea of a conversation.”

Chappelle was said to have softened his tone toward the end of the event, noting that he did not want to hear of any death threats against students who protested against him. Asserting that his only intention is to help the school train its artists, he said he would follow the opinion that brought in the highest collective dollar amount by the naming ceremony in the spring. McCormack/Getty Images

Dave Chappelle recently invited students at his old high school to speak with him amid continued controversy surrounding his Netflix special The Closer. A spokesperson for Duke Ellington told Politico that the comedian specifically invited “the voices of discontent” to question him, adding that this made his supporters “the silent majority.” Around eight out of 580 students in attendance were said to have stepped up to the mic. According to his alma mater, the comedian has contributed millions of dollars to the school and created several high-profile opportunities for its students. I’m sure that will change. The naming of Duke Ellington’s theater in his honor was previously postponed due to student pushback. “And if you don’t care enough to donate … please, shut the fuck up, forever,” he wrote. I’m sure you’ll be household names soon.” Per Politico, after a student in the audience shouted, “Your comedy kills,” the comedian shot back, “N- – – – – are killed every day.” He reportedly then asked, “The media’s not here, right?” The two students who spoke with Politico said they were afraid to speak up during the assembly because Chappelle often responded to questions by laughing or making jokes. One student reportedly called the comedian a “bigot,” adding, “I’m 16 and I think you’re childish, you handled it like a child.” According to two anonymous students who spoke with Politico, Chappelle responded, “My friend, with all due respect, I don’t believe you could make one of the decisions I have to make on a given day.” (As with many of his live shows, phones were confiscated at the door to prevent recordings.)

Another question that Politico merely described as “antagonistic” reportedly prompted Chappelle to reply, “I’m better than every instrumentalist, artist, no matter what art you do in this school, right now, I’m better than all of you. According to a Politico report, he and a camera crew made a surprise visit to D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts on November 23 for an hourlong Q&A session. Before leaving, Chapelle also gave out tickets to a screening of his documentary Untitled, along with 600 Thanksgiving meals for students and staff.

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Tonight’s Performance of Company Became a Tribute to Stephen Sondheim

I couldn’t help thinking, as the cheers thundered in at the end of that one and the performers took their bows shortly afterward, that the cast’s customary upward sweep of the arm toward the band seemed to also be a gesture toward the heavens. Photo: Christopher Bonanos

“We got the news alert on the train at 96th Street,” Daniel Hrdlicka was telling me tonight as we stood in the aisle of the Jacobs Theatre with his husband, Tyson Jurgens, “and had booked the tickets by 116th.” The tickets were for Company, the Stephen Sondheim–George Furth musical that is now in previews for a December 9 opening, and the news alert had been the startling fact of Sondheim’s death earlier today. The laugh lines got extra-big laughs, and the emotional high points of the show — the chattering freight train of a song that is “Getting Married Today,” and of course LuPone’s “The Ladies Who Lunch” — both pulled in thunderous responses. Elliott introduced the cast, saying she wanted to “share this pain and love together,” and the curtain rose to reveal the assembled company of Company. The cast of Company convened onstage before the night’s performance began. Company director Marianne Elliott addresses the crowd before Friday night’s performance at the Jacobs. The latter one actually did stop the show for a standing ovation. A lot of the songs will have a resonance that we haven’t seen before.”

And it’s true: This already-moving musical seemed tonight to get to the audience a little more than usual. Then Marianne Elliott, the production’s director, stepped onstage. Elliott explained to me, after her introductory remarks, that she’d gathered the actors after they came offstage to tell them the sad news. The mood was somber, with “lots of tears,” she said. Lenk and LuPone, exiting the stage after the bows, leaned heavily on one another, as if it had been a draining night. “I really hope tonight will be a celebration of his joy.” It took only two or three sentences before she had to pause, because the crowd was on its feet, cheering and applauding. Outside, as we all made our way into Times Square, cellophane-wrapped bouquets of roses had begun to pile up on the steps by the stage door. “We usually don’t sit down here” — he gestured to his very good seat, on the aisle a few rows back from the stage, “because our theater budget is limited. “Truly the greatest artist in our lifetime that we possibly will ever know in this art form,” she said in her short tribute. Katrina Lenk, who sings it here, performs the song differently from some of her predecessors, with a little less desperation and more sweetness and hope. The tributes began to accumlate as the performance ended. (Although one suspects that Patti LuPone might be able to do that on any given night.) And of course the big emotional thunder sheet that is Company’s closing number, “Being Alive,” is an intense one under normal circumstances. Photo: Christopher Bonanos

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Tags: “People want to keep his words alive, to do it for him. “But then we all got together and had something to eat and were sharing anecdotes — it was a lovely thing.” It’s the show’s ninth preview; coincidentally, she noted, this production had reached its ninth preview a year and a half ago, in March 2020, on the night Broadway shut down. But …” He paused, and his point was clear, even before he continued: “We wanted to pay tribute in this very small way.”

Usually when the lights go down in a Broadway house, a few minutes after 8 p.m., there’s a sort of excited quiet murmur, an exhalation as everyone sits up and prepares to take in the show. There was no talk of going dark tonight, she said. Patti LuPone, who has starred in three Sondheim productions on Broadway in the past decade and a half — not to mention a moment in his 80th-birthday concert that was truly one for the ages — spoke briefly, dedicating this one to him. Photo: Christopher Bonanos

The cast had been wrapping up a Friday matinee when the announcement came in. Tonight at Company there was instead flat silence.

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Ye Is Praying That He and Kim Kardashian Get Back Together

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Surface Magazine

There’s nothing like a holiday to make you want to reach out to an ex. “The one thing that all my successes and failures have in common is me,” the 44-year-old reflected. pic.twitter.com/5QbzQIV0Hy— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) November 26, 2021

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Tags: View this post on Instagram A post shared by ye (@kanyewest)

Kanye West appears to push for reconciliation with Kim Kardashian in new Instagram story. “I made me and our family a target by not aligning with Hollywood’s political stance and that was hard for our marriage,” he said. “The narrative that God wants is for you to see that everything can be redeemed in all these relationships,” he said, adding that he would not let E!, Hulu, and Disney — all associated with Kardashian-Jenner reality shows — write the narrative of his family. He went on to address alcohol habits that heightened his already “hair trigger temper,” as well as an on-and-off relationship with medication that he said left him susceptible to manic episodes. On Thursday, November 24, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) posted an Instagram video captioned “Thanksgiving Prayer,” in which he expressed his desire to reconcile with his former wife, Kim Kardashian. (Ye was previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016.) He criticized his ego, “self-righteous Christian behavior,” and handling of finances. I embarrassed my wife in the way that I presented information about our family during the one and — thank God — only press conference.”

View this post on Instagram A post shared by ye (@kanyewest)

The impassioned message came a day after Ye took the mic during a charity event in Los Angeles to acknowledge that he had made mistakes “that were not acceptable” as a husband. Later, he shared TMZ’s coverage of the speech on his Instagram story alongside a photo of him and Kardashian kissing. And he also noted that Kardashian had disapproved of his support of Donald Trump. And yes, he tagged her. In the five-minute clip, a choir dressed in black was shown singing while Ye explained via voice-over that he wanted to take accountability for his actions. If this is what Ye is doing in public, we can only imagine what his private pleas are like. “Then I ran for president without proper preparation and no allies on either side. The couple known as “Kimye” got divorced in early 2021 after nearly seven years of marriage, and Kardashian is reportedly now dating Pete Davidson. “All I think about every day is how I get my family back together and how I heal the pain that I’ve caused,” he said.

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The Shrink Next Door Recap: A Tree Grows in the Hamptons

It’s a reverse What About Bob. We’ve also reached the 90’s, a fact that is made apparent by Ike’s giant clunker of a cell phone and his fluorescent basketball attire in the opening scene. Progress Notes

• Ike check-in: The scene at the gravesite sees Ike whispering to Bonnie about another woman named Pearl. An absolutely gorgeous cherry tree stands in the backyard of the house. Ike is a shape-shifting force of nature, and Bonnie is the one who knows him the best. Yet, Marty is happy with what he has, and he amiably rejects the idea. Admittedly, Marty was starved for these things because Ike had effectively cut him off from the rest of the world, but if we take a look from Marty’s perspective, painting the wall with Ike really does look like a ton of fun. The film features Bill Murray as an eager, puppy-like patient who follows his psychiatrist (Richard Dreyfuss) to his summer home and then staunchly refuses to leave. Markowitz’s “inappropriate desire” for Marty. Without context, this moment may have been a bit confusing. Tags: The show also wants to illustrate that the relationship between Ike and Marty is also marked by good times. Marty does not. So, when Marty invites Ike and his family to the Hamptons for Memorial Day weekend, Ike uses it as an opportunity to deflect from his grief by taking over Marty’s childhood home. If Marty wasn’t getting something out of his relationship with Ike, he wouldn’t have continued to engage in the relationship. Ike gets a call from someone telling him that his father has died. In fact, she is the youngest Holocaust survivor in history(!). In the show, it’s made clear that Ike feels a strong resentment for this woman as she took away a portion of his father’s attention and affection in his childhood. He probably had a crap therapist if he did because the man has a venomous lack of self-insight. And, Joe Nocera tells me that, in real life, Ike’s stepsister survived the Holocaust along with both of Ike’s parents. As Marty strongly protests the removal of the tree, Ike gets outright hostile and borderline terrifying. A delightful montage set to “Waiting For A Star To Fall” by Boy Meets Girl shows the two men bopping around the house and getting into hijinx as they gleefully paint one of the rooms … and each other. Wilson lends Bonnie a subdued but curious demeanor. Fresh from the ceremony at his dad’s gravesite, Ike breaks out of his glass case of emotion and goes HAM on the fence between the two properties. It’s that psychological warfare all over again; it’s all an act to get Marty to fall in line. The movie is ostensibly a comedy, but I know that What About Bob is a literal horror show to all the therapists. It’s a moment with no dialogue and, while attentive viewers may remember that Phyllis’s eldest daughter’s name was Nancy, this moment is another example of how the series does a lot of showing, not telling. Oddly enough, What About Bob came out in 1991, right around this exact time in history. This anniversary happens to coincide with Marty finally closing on the second house in the Hamptons. It’s a devastating moment. When Marty tells Ike that the house next door has structural problems and his real estate agent advises him not to buy, Ike threatens to head to Jerusalem to get some headspace and write the great American novel something something. Email

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Terms of Service apply. But he draws the line at the tree. Then, he brushes himself off, picks himself up, and tells Marty that they’re going to have a party. • Ike and Marty check-in: As the overall tone of this episode is one of looming doom, Ike and Marty’s painting dance party might seem a bit out of place to some viewers, but it does serve an important purpose. Surprise! Instead of climbing into his own mind and examining the damage there, he has taken up residence in Marty’s childhood home — a physical representation of Marty’s own childhood demons in many ways — and proceeds to tear it apart. Ike ever attended therapy to work through his dense family history. Ike literally cannot admit when someone else is extending kindness to him. Marty is dumbfounded. His mom also unintentionally provokes him here by saying that his father didn’t have it in him to love another boy after Baruch, his first son, died in the Holocaust. Here, the episode jumps several months to the one-year anniversary of Ike’s father’s death. It’s also Marty’s link to his mom, who loved the tree so much that she would talk to it sometimes. This episode is peppered with examples of genuine and electric human connection that Ike offered up to Marty as their relationship progressed. It’s the Laura Linney of trees. In fact, I’ll invoke another subreddit, r/menwritingwomen, and say that Ike belongs there. • Marty check-in: When Marty sees his niece Nancy’s boogie board in the guest house, he gets a case of the sads. He starts screaming Freudian accusations, claiming that the tree is “a big looming totem” of Mrs. But Marty is predictably delighted when Ike starts to make gestures toward staying for a while. Ike is dictating, so we can hear every word of his hacky, icky prose. Check out the glorious r/treelaw subreddit if you don’t believe me. When Ike and Marty get back to the city, Ike immediately starts in on the Hampton home. And Marty looks worried. Ike is seeking catharsis from his own grief in exactly all the wrong ways. In fact, he takes a sabbatical so that he can fully devote himself to his new house. These subtle cues have been sprinkled throughout the series so far, but Ike really begins to use these tactics as a form of psychological warfare against his patient. • Apparently Ike has zero clue how much trees are worth. Bonnie and Ike lounge by the pool while their daughters have a ball splashing around with Marty in the pool. Bonnie seems to know this, but she also gently pushes back against her husband’s protests. And then, feeling lost and trapped, Marty chops down the tree. There’s so much generational trauma to unpack here, and one certainly wonders if Dr. • We briefly see Ike and Marty working on Ike’s novel. At first, if you set aside the whole Ike-is-Marty’s-therapist thing, the situation seems like a good time. The house needs to be updated and renovated and, in fact, the property next door is for sale as well, and he thinks that Marty should buy it! Ike is terrible at writing women. But then Ike changes. Unfortunately, the weekend takes a turn when Bonnie mentions how nice and generous Marty is. For some reason, she continues to stand by him even though she’s often perplexed by his actions and frustrated by his “more more more” mentality. He rips his tank top at the collar to indicate he is mourning and jumps right back into the game. Too bad Ike has to go and be Ike. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. This is the only time that Rudd comes close to looking like a yummy “Sexiest Man Alive” in this series, and I may or may not have watched him run up and down the court more than once. We haven’t talked a ton about Casey Wilson’s portrayal of Bonnie yet, but this moment is indicative of the great work she’s been doing. Not all men, but definitely Ike Herschkopf. Usually, this tactic would be an effective storytelling device, but there’s often not enough explicit context for the “show” part to land with the desired emotional impact. She’s not afraid to question Ike’s motives, but she also allows him to exit difficult conversations without pressing or challenging him, making her quietly complicit. Despite a small protest, Marty quickly accepts most of the changes that Ike wants to make, including redecorating, painting, and even hacking apart the bathroom. He becomes sullen and withdrawn. The tree is totally stunning. It honestly doesn’t matter what he’s saying here. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
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We’ve officially hit the halfway mark of The Shrink Next Door, and things are starting to get painfully real for both Marty and Ike. Coming from Ike, it sounds more like a threat than a good time. Marty begs Ike to stay, and he does because that’s what he wanted all along. Ike is a master at repressing feelings. In a matter of milliseconds, he disengages with Marty, making him feel abandoned and alone and desperate to reconnect. A LOT. Pearl is Ike’s stepsister. Gorgeous, well-kept, mature trees like Marty’s cherry tree are worth a lot. Marty is a very generous host, offering up the master bedroom for Bonnie and Ike while he plans to sleep in the tiny guest house. And yet. Ike bristles at this idea, saying that, no, actually, they’re helping Marty by coming to visit. And for some vague reason, Ike wants it gone.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda, Barbra Streisand, and More Pay Tribute to Stephen Sondheim

Thanks for the songs. Rest In Peace. #StephenSondheim— Ariana DeBose (@ArianaDeBose) November 26, 2021

Devastated to hear one of the most important musical theatre giants of our generation, #StephenSondheim, has died. He did indeed set the standard for the American musical. Why not pay tribute to the great Stephen Sondheim by watching his parlor game cult classic ‘The Last Of Sheila’. What extraordinary kindness & generosity. -LMM pic.twitter.com/6aeHW4CWFH— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 27, 2021

Thank the Lord that Sondheim lived to be 91 years old so he had the time to write such wonderful music and GREAT lyrics! We shall be singing your songs forever. Broadway has lost a musical genius. The greatest loss to theatre imaginable.— Matt Lucas (@RealMattLucas) November 26, 2021

I met him once for 30 seconds backstage after a production of Merrily We Roll Along. RIP. We will spend our lives trying to make you proud. Stephen Sondheim's legacy of song and lyric is unparalleled. No need to even talk about how you changed what we do. RIP Stephen Sondheim.— Jesse Tyler Ferguson (he/him/his) (@jessetyler) November 26, 2021

Rest In Peace Stephen Sondheim. Now I’ve got one less. No one will ever come close to his genius. From Broadway stars to fellow composers, people shared messages honoring Sondheim’s legacy and reflecting on their memories of him. Sondheim was known for his transformative and enduring impact on the American musical, working on beloved productions like Into the Woods, West Side Story, and Sweeney Todd, among many others. Oh, my heart hurts…— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) November 26, 2021

Every so often someone comes along that fundamentally shifts an entire art form. Never did I expect this letter, which arrived in my dressing room the next day. You gave us something new. They don’t have to act against it.” -Stephen Sondheim pic.twitter.com/zQlN7gKfSh— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 27, 2021

TodayThe world was just an addressA place for me to live inNo better than alrightBut here you areAnd what was just a world… is a starTonight-Stephen Sondheim https://t.co/Gsudtf5RJx pic.twitter.com/kIbkkFTHgO— Ava DuVernay (@ava) November 27, 2021

RIP Stephen Sondheim, master musical man. Stephen Sondheim. Thank you Stephen Sondheim so much. Sondheim for your Demon Barber, some Night Music, a Sunday in the Park, Company, fun at a Forum, a trip Into the Woods and telling us a West Side Story. What an honor it was to perform your work. pic.twitter.com/4KlnJJJipq— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) November 26, 2021

RIP Stephen Sondheim. I avoided meeting him (failed only once) and refused dinner because I didn’t have many heroes. Steve: you repaid your debt to Oscar 1000 times over. I write conversational songs, so the actors find that the rise and fall of the tune, the harmonies, the rhythms, help them as singers to ACT the song. 🙏 https://t.co/jHX7ob9JWv— Josh Gad (@joshgad) November 26, 2021

Let the endless tributes begin. "Say it loud and there's music playing/Say it soft and it's almost like praying…"— Nell Scovell (@NellSco) November 26, 2021

Perhaps not since April 23rd of 1616 has theater lost such a revolutionary voice. pic.twitter.com/iF3iMKd5YJ— Mario Cantone (@macantone) November 26, 2021

“As a writer, I think what I am is an actor. Harris (@jeremyoharris) November 26, 2021

I’ve nothing to say…— Alexandra Silber (@alsilbs) November 26, 2021

He wrote me a wonderful permission letter to use “Old Friends” in American Gods. Performing his work has been among the greatest privileges of my career. #stephensondheim— Idina Menzel (@idinamenzel) November 26, 2021

American musical theater has lost a towering giant. pic.twitter.com/5MI2Y1JBLM— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 27, 2021

He only wrote one screenplay, but it’s an absolute gem of a whodunnit. pic.twitter.com/soRo4G2ZFU— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) November 26, 2021

Stephen Sondheim was the best there ever was. Just the greatest, a legend, a true titan. Stephen Sondheim was one of those. From West Side Story to Sweeney Todd, from Gypsy to Sunday in the Park with George, there will never be a master like him.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) November 26, 2021

Pacific Overtures with the great master himself. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

The theater world mourned the loss of a giant after legendary lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim died at age 91 on Friday, November 26. (Co-written with Anthony Perkins, no less). I have never been more tongue tied or star struck. RIP dear man pic.twitter.com/1u8RURvcix— Elaine Paige (@elaine_paige) November 26, 2021

One of the greatest honors of my career was performing THE LION with Stephen Sondheim in the audience. RIP Stephen Sondheim. And dim those mother fucking lights #SondheimForever— Jackie Hoffman (@JackieHoffman16) November 26, 2021

The eulogies written won’t cover a quarter of the impact you had on every theatre artist working today.Your corporeal absence will be felt at the openings of new artists you often attended (including mine—thank you) but you will continue living in so many works.RIP Sondheim pic.twitter.com/sJEZ4SBNmB— Variety Screenwriter To Watch Jeremy O. Thank you🙏🏽❤️🕊— Anika Noni Rose (@AnikaNoniRose) November 26, 2021

Stephen Sondheim. His words for West Side Story alone would have guaranteed him theatrical immortality but there was so much more. Thank you Mr. A devastating loss.— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) November 26, 2021

Goodbye dear sir. RIP x pic.twitter.com/Cqd2FpUgtw— edgarwright (@edgarwright) November 26, 2021

thank you so muchfor something betweenridiculous and sublime#StephenSondheim— Darren Criss (@DarrenCriss) November 26, 2021

I am at a loss. ❤️— Uzo Aduba (@UzoAduba) November 26, 2021

I was just talking to someone a few nights ago about how much fun (and fucking difficult) it is to sing Stephen Sondheim. THANK YOU. The scope of Sondheim’s vast influence was evident as friends, fans, and famous collaborators alike took to social media to react to the news of his passing. I love you. We love you. His writing is the singular reason I wanted to be a musical theater actor. pic.twitter.com/vX2fXCJlti— Benjamin Scheuer (@BenjaminScheuer) November 26, 2021

Remembering when Stephen Sondheim came to see our Deaf West show, “Spring Awakening” but sat in the back of the theater and just took it all in. His sudden death reportedly came a day after he celebrated Thanksgiving with friends in Roxbury, Connecticut. As millions mourn his passing I also want to express my gratitude for all he has given to me and so many more. I was lucky enough to have performed in two of his shows @FolliesBroadway & Sweeney Todd, & also have a song co-written by him for my 50th Anniversary. Future historians: Stephen Sondheim was real. Rest well, sir.  May he Rest In Peace🥲🎵 🎶🎵 pic.twitter.com/vshNSdkvpQ— Barbra Streisand (@BarbraStreisand) November 26, 2021

I am so so sad to lose my friend Steve Sondheim He gave me so much to sing about ♥️♥️I loved him dearly and will miss him so much Thank you for all the gifts you gave the world Steve♥️— Bernadette Peters (@OfficialBPeters) November 26, 2021

Rest In Peace, Stephen Sondheim, and thank you for your vast contributions to musical theater. You changed the game. Yes, he wrote Tony & Maria AND Sweeney Todd AND Bobby AND George & Dot AND Fosca AND countless more. Stephen Sondheim. RIP #stephensondheim pic.twitter.com/z74FBlaTEs— Marlee Matlin (@MarleeMatlin) November 27, 2021

There will never be another like Stephen Sondheim. I don’t know when we will ever have another of his caliber, of his breadth and scope. Some may theorize Shakespeare's works were by committee but Steve was real & he was here & he laughed SO loud at shows & we loved him— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 27, 2021

& last week, when I wrote him to say his ears must be burning from the countless Sondheim kindnesses being shared from the generations of writers he mentored, he wrote this in reply. Read their tributes below. Here's to you, Stephen. I was so lucky. Feels like the end of an era. Sending my love to his nearest and dearest. He bestrode songwriting like a Colossus.— Tim Rice (@SirTimRice) November 26, 2021

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The Measureless Influence of Stephen Sondheim

Stephen Sondheim, Legendary Composer and Lyricist, Dead at 91

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Selling Sunset Recap: DM Dilemma

Wario.” And Amanza says, “I feel sorry for all of those other girls.” Christine says, “Yeah, me too.” Does that mean she’s getting fired? and thinks it’s okay to literally carry a woman away from having fun with her friends so that he can flirt with her. Instead, I’m left to wonder about braids mostly. Tags: Though late in the season, this seems more like a bridge to the later part of whatever will happen than advancing the story itself. She and Jason come up with the solution of having a two-foot balloon on a 28-foot rope to place on the lot below his. The episode starts at Chrishell’s new house, and its finest feature is that she has hot movers bringing in her bland, plastic-wrapped furniture. Oh, we hear about a lot of things that happen off-camera that sound interesting, but we won’t know because we didn’t see them. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Oh, but we do hear more things. All of the ladies are up in arms, but he tells them if she is back up to her old tricks, she’ll be gone. You can’t take Christine. Jason then humiliates himself that he can’t throw the balloon over the hedge, and anything that humiliates that chihuahua on steroids is a win in my book. What do you call a group of white women who all have one giant braid each? It’s a me. They’re all convinced it is Christine because Mary witnessed her doing something similar while living together and something that Chrishell dealt with in the past. Why are these women always arriving at each other’s houses carrying baskets of goods that look like they just looted them from the set of the Home Shopping Network? Just keep showing up with cute glasses and I will give you a pass for the rest of the season.)

Heather has a yacht party so that Tarek can continue to be mad at HGTV and so that Chrishell can meet Tarek’s friend Robert, a former Marine-looking loser who would rather party in Huntington Beach than go to L.A. I’m sorry. Emma shows up carrying a basket full of artfully stacked products that is three times the thickness of her torso. This time we hear that Emma’s friends are getting DMs from fake accounts, saying that the account holder knows something about Emma. Jason opens up his phone and starts texting old lovers immediately. Lady has a lot going on. A Groupon, obviously. I have a body to get back and a reality show to film.” Now, I will not tell any mother what to do or how to eat her cheeseburger without the bun with a knife and fork, but there is something rather conspicuous about the way Christine is handling motherhood. Where would all the filler go? Did they get the same artist who did all of Khaleesi’s on Game of Thrones? Why do all of the women have them, and why are they always asymmetrical? Meanwhile, Amanza and Christine are getting pedicures at Christine’s house, and she’s like, “Hahaha. Email

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Terms of Service apply. Someone give me an EGOT for screenwriting. Amanza shows up and tells Chrishell that someone called Child Protective Services on her with an “anonymous tip,” and she got an inspection visit and had to take a drug test to prove that she is being nice to her kids. What would we do without her! Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. They can legally only build 30 feet in the air, so if he can see the balloon, he might see the house. Back at the office, Heather closes on this house, and Mary Frenches her Montana, which isn’t nearly as sexual as it sounds. Who has the worst braid, and why is it Davina? What else happens during this boring episode? (Also, I should apologize to Amanza for continuing to joke about how she does nothing around the office. And by doctor, I mean awful person. Jason meets with Christine to talk about how she needs to come back to work about four weeks after having a baby, and if this is not a lobbying attempt for the Family Leave Act that President Biden seems to have abandoned, then I don’t know what is. It’s like Christine was basically like, “Here, take this baby. I would subscribe to Robert’s Only Fans, but I certainly don’t ever want to see him again. Jason tells all of the girls on the yacht (and Romaine, who is not even man enough to wear just his swimsuit on a boat) that Christine is coming back to the office, and she gets her old desk back. Awful and dramatic, but also, where are those cameras. This is yet another thing that makes me think Christine is not playing a doctor on TV, but she is one in real life. This was pretty fake but also a clever idea and pretty darn cute. Nothing happens at this party; I just needed to mention the hot movers and also the baskets. Over on Doheny, Heather has the Pistachio King over to the same house for a third time because he’s worried that the house built on the property below his will block the view. Oh god, I hope Christine gets fired. Who has the best braid, and why is it no one? Selling Sunset
Back on the Market

Season 4

Episode 7

Editor’s Rating

2 stars

**

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Photo: Netflix

We’re used to seeing a whole lot of filler on Selling Sunset, but it’s usually in the faces, not in the episode itself. Oh no, wait. How much does this show spend on braids? That didn’t really happen, but I just basically wrote a pilot for a new FX show. The episode ends with both a bang and a whimper. As if to spoil their fun, Vanessa then tells us that the ghost of her dead realtor sister is haunting her because a house fell out of escrow and she needs to sacrifice three of Jason’s ex-girlfriends and rub their blood all over her body if she wants to erase the curse. I shouldn’t be too mean. Just braids, braids, braids.

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The Challenge: Spies, Lies & Allies Recap: Money, Money, Money

I find the ice water element a little stupid because no one will quit an elimination over a brief swim through freezing water. So we head to the Lair, where things play out exactly the way we could’ve predicted right after deliberation. It’s also nice to get a different side of Tori’s personality aside from that Jennifer Lawrence on a red carpet impression she constantly does. Like Jen Shah has shown us on Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, simply being a hothead without any other notable qualities (or federal charges) is extremely boring to watch! There are a lot of produced conversations lacking real emotion, like, again, when Big T tells Logan that she has to really try now after receiving a second chance during the last elimination. I think I mostly wanted her and Logan’s relationship to work out so I could hear her talk about something other than sucking. To start, the women have to swim one lap through a pool filled with ice and work on a 3-D puzzle until TJ blows a horn and they have to swim through the freezing water again. Or when TJ throws them a yacht party that I guess they’re having fun at, but no more fun than a typical night out at the quarantine club. The Emerald Cell chickens out and makes Big T the house vote. I feel like this isn’t that crucial of a mistake in the scheme of things. Big T calls down Emy, which, as we will see, is a mistake. Or when Tori is demanding an apology from her “friend” Devin, I’m not even sure she genuinely cares to receive. If she were on Real Housewives, she would either be forced to find a new storyline or get kicked off the show. Big T goes home for the 100th time, and the other players pretend to care. Email

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Terms of Service apply. Do they actually hang out or talk outside of just saying that they’re each other’s best friends in their confessionals? However, I am giddy at the possibility of Tori being on the chopping block after she pissed off Devin. Anyway, for “Million Dollar Dash,” all the teams have to do is transfer their fake million dollars from their respective safes using duffle bags and stuff them into an SUV that looks like it’s about a half-mile away. I feel the same way about Nelson watching him argue with Devin during this episode. It reminds me of last season’s final when the players had to dunk their heads in freezing water before going to sleep as if anyone would’ve said no to that after a hellish day of running through freezing, wet temperatures. But even that is just some fancifully edited footage of people wearing plaid and standing around. Tags: And Emy, of course, heads back to Sapphire with her Uncle CT. If there is a moment where I snap out of my sleepy, unamused trance, it is during this week’s straightforward but ultimately compelling challenge featuring a million dollars of fake cash that TJ keeps trying to convince us is real. The Challenge
Riverdance

Season 37

Episode 16

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

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Photo: MTV

This week’s mostly boring, occasionally exciting episode demonstrates the limits of casting this particular group of veterans over and over again. The thing about keeping Big T around is that she makes girls elimination days so fucking boring. But I feel bad for Big T, who, despite not being great, certainly put in the effort and inevitably gets shit on by her teammates no matter what she does. Unfortunately, our suspense doesn’t last that long. Or when Devin is fake-mourning the loss of Josh. See ya next week! I enjoy watching Tori sweat as someone who’s been put in this weird, untouchable position that I feel she hasn’t earned. Likewise, Emy gets mad at Emmanuel for not thinking about what voting for Big T would mean for her. After God knows how many seasons of this show boasting its “million-dollar” prize, I’ve lost all excitement about the money: (1) because the first place winner gets a “share” of a million dollars, not the full amount, and, (2) I think the prize should’ve gone up after MTV got bought by CBS. We find out that Kyle is Scottish and only 29, when he’s thrown a Scottish-themed birthday party. On paper, this sounds kind of tedious, considering there’s hardly any strategy to it besides knowing how to properly fill a bag. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! What do they have in common besides being Romanian?? Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. I also don’t feel like we’ve really seen Emy and Emmanuel’s friendship displayed on the show and not just mentioned as an aside. This also means that Emy is automatically going to the Lair, too, as Big T would never pick Tori, although she claims she could beat her in a puzzle. The Emerald Cell beats Ruby, who would’ve only had to make one last trip to the safe, which I think is embarrassing. CT, the puzzle king and Emy’s number one ally (for now), is screaming at her from the sidelines, which seems like it’s tripping her up. There’s a moment where Big T, assigned with making room for the cash in the car, jumps in the wrong SUV, and everyone freaks out. However, this is probably the area that the Emerald Cell struggle in (despite having the self-proclaimed cerebral player on their team), considering how close Ruby and Sapphire come to beating them with fewer players. When the competitors arrive at their location, TJ opens a giant safe containing piles and piles of cash, representing their prize money, to get them all excited for the soon-approaching final. She takes the puzzle apart a good ten times before she puts it together correctly, so I don’t think any credit can be given to CT for her victory. This is only Big T’s fourth time competing on the show, but I can’t go another season hearing her give the same spiel in her confessionals about being underrated and needing to prove herself for the 500th time. In general, this episode suffers from a lack of things going on. I don’t think she’s really upset because she’s not screaming and crying like she typically does.

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