La Cardi B Raps in Spanish on Anitta’s New Single ‘Me Gusta’

Gobble up the new track from Anitta’s forthcoming album now. Anyone who can look that good with that much weight teetering on their head and bottom half deserves to talk all the smack they want in whatever language they want. The new video is just more proof that Cardi doesn’t need to cook, doesn’t need to clean, and definitely doesn’t need a ring. “He like to eat the cake like it’s my B-day / To’ lo día’ es mi cumpleaño’,” she raps. Anitta rocks pretty much every color in the rainbow and, at one point, an actual rainbow. Word to the City Girls, Cardi B said this pussy talk English and Spanish in her new collab with Anitta. Not to mention, she’s looking like dessert with big hair, a lavender corset, and a massive rose-covered skirt. Cardi reps for Afro-Latinas everywhere, switching languages like lanes. Both in incredible colorful looks, they turn a beautiful plaza in Salvador, Brazil, into a catwalk, surrounded by fabulously dressed extras. Related

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Tags: The Brazilian beauty’s new single and music video, “Me Gusta,” features La Cardi and Puerto Rican rapper Myke Towers.

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Tekashi 6ix9ine Is an Unworthy New York Rap Villain

It works for the president, who is nourished by the cheap thrill of annoying his detractors and the sympathy he gets for acting aggrieved in public. The 2016 election tore a hole in reality; Teflon Don showed us there’s no bad press you can’t escape by working a victim angle and changing the subject a day later. Without the shroud of authenticity offered by his gang affiliations, without any noteworthy beef, his bark lacks bite. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Steve Ferdman/Shutterstock

Tekashi 6ix9ine has nothing to say. 6ix9ine excels only at one craft — making people angry— and intends to ride it out as long as there’s a willing audience. The thing about shock, though, is that, as with drugs or alcohol, after a while, people develop a tolerance. Where It Started At: The NY Rap Story

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6ix9ine is the dead-eyed, self-promotional insouciance of this period made flesh. Prior to the trial, Hernandez admitted to committing domestic violence for the better part of the past decade. It works for stand-up comics who feed off outrage. 6ix9ine’s entire bit is to offend and then laugh when it ruffles feathers. The new music isn’t sticking because 6ix9ine was never a good writer, and without the shroud of authenticity offered by his gang affiliations, without any noteworthy beef, despite what Chicago’s Lil Durk and Bronx newcomer Lil Tjay have alleged are desperate attempts to drum up a high-profile feud, his bark lacks bite. 6ix9ine took root because he’s naturally quick-witted and funny, and he wanted to show fans that some of rap’s gangster façade is posturing by picking fights with artists like Chief Keef to gain a measure of respect, as one might challenge the schoolyard alpha to keep the betas in check. Well, tread through TattleTales, 6ix9ine’s recently released post-jail opus, and you’ll hear a different kind of biting. 1, but it made history in its second week of sales when it plummeted to No. This placement was the subject of great controversy, as 6ix9ine accused Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber of manipulating streams to push their duet, “Stuck With You,” to No. His theory panned out but not in the way he expected; during last year’s scandalous racketeering trial, his lawyer insisted Tekashi was just a character, that 22-year-old Daniel Hernandez from Bushwick was a caring philanthropist playing a hardened criminal for the cameras. He thinks his audience craves party rap over emotional candor, and maybe he’s right. This has been 6ix9ine’s go-to line through his being barred from performing at Hot 97’s Summer Jam in 2018 to his complaints of unfair treatment in the music industry despite the early success of his comeback singles. No other era would stomach him. He never has, from the days when his shtick was transgressive street style to his unlikely tenure as a gang-affiliated chart sensation to his unprecedented attempt to bounce back from testifying against the crew he had sought out for protection when he got wind of a plot to take him out of the picture. The internet is populated by a certain kind of bro who sticks his head in the sand when he hears damaging information about people he takes up for and who would rather muddy the waters with whataboutism and conjecture than face the possibility that he might be vouching for a piece of shit, because it reflects poorly on his judgment to admit he might have made a mistake. Related

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Tags: Realistically, there’s no topping that. But those songs didn’t brick after a few weeks because 6ix9ine thinks he’s above a traditional rollout — and he’s not, as was proved in audio released by Gillie Da King, the rapper and host of the Barstool Sports podcast Million Dollaz Worth of Game, which catches 6ix9ine pitching him profusely for a no-holds-barred interview that was rejected. He can shock us all again selling something of substance, or he can keep pushing the same buttons and praying someone cares. It works for shameless political pundits who pretend to treasure free speech but vouch only for speech they agree with. The portrayal didn’t line up with the reality. This contradicts 6ix9ine’s claims that he doesn’t need to participate in industry politics to stay relevant, that radio needs him more than he needs it. People take you at your word if they like you enough, and dirtbags high and low have adopted the playbook. TattleTales opens with “Locked Up 2,” a remake of Akon’s 2004 breakout hit, where 6ix9ine tries to explain himself but implodes in the second verse on repetitive, uninspired lines: “Little baby boy, please don’t die no / And I might no no no no no.” “Hearing voices in my head saying, ‘Fuck these n- – – – -’ / My n- – – – -, my n- – – – -, these ain’t my n- – – – -.” TattleTales sees a rapper who never could finish a project without repeating himself flame out completely. The year before, he’d received four years’ probation for an incident in which he filmed a young girl engaging in sexual acts and posted it on Facebook; he maintained he didn’t know she was a minor. 1 that week, a charge that Billboard and both singers have denied. “Yaya” is a meat-and-potatoes urbano track that references the reggaeton classics “Frikitona” and “Rakata,” Shakira’s World Cup anthem “Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),” and dembow chants, but it serves none of the cheerful nostalgia Bad Bunny brought to the throwback megamix “Safaera.” “Leah” has Akon interpolate Bryan Adams’s cloying ballad “Heaven” as 6ix9ine dryly pesters a strip-club employee during her shift: “What I’m saying, bitch: My money is right / I can treat you right, I can change your life.” (This isn’t the dustiest pickup line; on “Charlie,” he offers to “make that pussy pop like it’s a shove-it.”) “GTL” repeats the shaky verse from “Locked Up 2” through what sounds like a jail phone, inviting the question of why we need to hear the same lyrics twice on a half-hour-long album where the main artist is averaging only one verse per song and getting steamrolled by every guest rapper or singer, known or unknown. His flows on “Trollz” mimic Future’s “Magic” and Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up,” while “Tutu” cannibalizes “Trollz.” “Punani” gives an EDM sheen to a knockoff crunk beat as 6ix9ine flakes on the horned-up theme halfway in and starts barking out threats. People pawning off legitimate criticism as baseless hate are the circulatory system powering this peculiar moment in American history. It’s a game of diminishing returns. His latest singles, “Gooba” and “Trollz,” both reveal the ways mainstream music can be a finicky attention economy. Snitching hurt 6ix9ine’s reputation more than this dalliance with a 13-year-old because a lot of people simply didn’t care. It’s a serviceable bit but a very old one. A more likely story is that 6ix9ine excels only at one craft — making people angry— and intends to ride it out as long as there’s a willing audience. But it’s rote binary thinking to suggest you can’t do both in an era when Future, Gunna, Lil Baby, and Young Thug run the charts with music conversant in the sound of the strip club and the struggle outside. 34, the biggest fall for a chart-topper in Hot 100 history. Tekashi 6ix9ine played a gangster so long that the public never got to know who Danny is, and now he feels like he has to keep serving the same product — as he said in a recent New York Times interview, “You don’t go to McDonald’s and get filet mignon” — when what everyone really wants to know is how and why he faked his bona fides and what it felt like to learn that people he saw as friends were not his friends, and to worry about dying in the street or in a prison cell. “Gooba” debuted high on the Billboard Hot 100 and roped in almost 40 million Youtube views in its first 24 hours, but the song slipped out of the Top 40 over the next four weeks. It works for media shock jocks. This person is especially susceptible to the suggestion that the reason his fave is embattled is jealousy or personal vendettas, not some easily avoidable, self-inflicted public-relations nightmare. The single maintained this pace; a month after launch, it was gone from the running. (Recently asked if he ever tries to inflate his own streams, 6ix9ine replied, “Who doesn’t?”) “Trollz” debuted atop the Hot 100, giving guest Nicki Minaj her long-overdue first No. 6ix9ine is the dead-eyed, self-promotional insouciance of this period made flesh. No other era could produce this character. 6ix9ine surprised the world by avoiding death and prison and then daring to return to rap as a known snitch making jokes about the fact that he told.

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Almost the Real Miracle: Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, Streaming From the Old Vic

It’s an elegant trick, since the misrememberings and lies and inconsistencies actually increase our willingness to believe. Photo: Old Vic

The “Old Vic: In Camera” season’s third turn is Faith Healer, Brian Friel’s slippery, multi-perspective play about a man frightened by his own mystery. Teddy weeps; he calmly discusses a horror from the past; he mists up over the old poster for the Fantastic Frank Hardy (one of the props onstage); he glugs his beer. As she talks, we realize much of what Hardy has told us was untrue — he’s mentioned a little vacation by the sea, where, in fact, Grace suffered through a violent and lonely stillbirth. But could one of the “In Camera” “scratch” productions create any sense of interplay with a socially distant process? He wonders if his effects would have even been possible “away from the shabbiness” and that he can’t be sure that the “despair isn’t its own kind of healing.” The camera is very close to Sheen here, and his eyes are pleading. Faith healing may be Hardy’s destiny (same initials, F.H., he points out), but it’s not the kind of career that leads to healthy work-life balance. Friel’s writing, which can turn into showboating, takes its most exaggerated turns with Teddy, deliberately letting the show’s sentiment accumulate in him in vast pools. (Sheen’s hair situation has reached Walt Whitman proportions — he’s about two more weeks of beard from going full Karl Marx.) He tells us a detailed and rueful accounting of his life on the road with his manager, Teddy, and his mistress, Grace. We remember swimming or driving, and time goes gelid, while the thoughts inside the characters — tortured by guilt — spin and spin and spin. At one late point, Hardy wonders if the desolation of those venues operated as a kind of paradoxical cure. Friel indulges himself with Teddy’s character, so Threlfall does too. The play itself is a grand argument for the magic of repeated performances: What’s magical one night may fade the next. Is the performance working? Some of her story is, in turn, cast into doubt by Teddy. How would they rehearse? Tags: It asks us to listen as though there is a truth to ferret out, if only we could cross-compare the monologues correctly. Friel seems to be writing his own Books of the Apostles, telling and retelling events with slight differences, agreeing only on the presence of the central Miracle. Friel’s scripts are crammed with words, yet they all communicate a sense of peace and suspension and quiet. Even after the season’s earlier artistic successes with Lungs and Three Kings, there was no guarantee that the magic would work again. We later learn that Grace is actually his wife, calling attention to one of the many purposeless lies Hardy tells. There were some marks of haste (I saw the first public broadcast), including some hair-and-wig infelicities and awkward camerawork. (Only if sorrow can be cured by hair of the dog.)

Indira Varma plays Grace, Hardy’s shellshocked wife, who can’t understand why she stays with him. But generally speaking, here was Friel’s gorgeous play, both competently staged and beautifully spoken. The only thing that all three characters agree on is what route they took into Ireland and that Hardy did indeed effect cures; everything else is either abraded by memory or Hardy’s pathology around the truth. As the rest of “In Camera” has been, the performances are livestreamed from the otherwise empty theater in London. For one thing, it’s a new production, whereas Lungs was a return engagement; for another, it relies on the chemistry of a multi-character work, where Three Kings was written for just Andrew Scott. There’s something so intoxicating about the classic Friel feeling — the way sensations of physical languor, portrayed or simply described, are set against breathless mental activity. At first I saw that disconnect as evidence of the odd way the show must have come about. And I think an audience more than four times the Old Vic’s capacity would want to see it. But over the play’s two and a quarter hours, I came to savor, then marvel at, that difference. On bad nights, he’s a fraud. By the end of Teddy’s monologue, the two men, playwright and actor, seem to be propping each other up — old friends making themselves cry at the end of the bar. If he seems more affected on camera than Sheen, it’s because his character has been colored in with the old greasepaint. In his other great serial monologue play, Molly Sweeney, Friel uses Molly’s descriptions of swimming as the image of active surrender; in Faith Healer, the refrains are about traveling by van, which offer the listener that familiar dazed sense of being a passenger as a car goes up and down hills. Perhaps the director, Matthew Warchus, hadn’t gotten everyone on the same stylistic page? As a theatrical attempt, Faith Healer is ambitious and a little scary. The digital audience is capped at the seating capacity of the space, and no recording will remain online. The Old Vic plans to stream this production for only four performances, and if they make any changes, the length of the run is the big one I’m hoping for. Is he right about the power of an empty room? Would it be a whole, or just parts? There is a little slippage between the close-up cinematic way Sheen plays Frank Hardy and the stagier effects with which David Threlfall plays Teddy, the manager of their rabble-scrabble act. His ability to cure only occasionally outshines all the dull failures on the road, traveling among tiny Welsh towns, where, he says, the village halls testify to their own obsolescence. Clearly the theater chose Friel’s 1979 play for its structure: Built from four monologues, the three actors never have to appear onstage together — until they bow to piped-in applause. It begins with Michael Sheen as the faith healer himself, Francis Hardy. Michael Sheen in Faith Healer. On good nights, he is a savior. Hardy’s descriptions of dusty, echoing churches and gathering places where no one gathers anymore are often painful, particularly with the empty Old Vic auditorium lurking over his shoulder. Teddy’s a man from another age, always referring to “Sir Laurence” and fondly remembering his other great vaudeville client, a dog that played the bagpipes. Even he isn’t sure which is true, particularly now that the drinking has gotten so bad.

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It’ll Take Us the Rest of 2020 to Decipher These ‘911’ Video GIFs

It’s Chromatica’s return to the desert after Gaga’s soaking wet “Rain on Me” video, with an instantly iconic cast of characters and a twist that demands hours of rewatching and theorizing. This is how we’re dancing when we return to the clubs. We may not understand the video, but we do know a moment when we see it. Giving the Upside Down new meaning. The category is “May Queen eleganza”! What happened last night? They don’t call her a tricon for nothing. The only way to pull up. Let’s pore over some of the best from the “911” video. I welcome any leads on where I can buy this look. No, sorry, this is the GIF of me waking up. The way this video revived me. Tip me over and pour me out. Live shot of me trying to understand this video. It also demands dozens and dozens of GIFs, with each moment being as wonderful and confusing as the next. Photo: YouTube

Lady Gaga is back to being her fully indecipherable self in her new music video for “911,” the third single off her new album Chromatica, out September 18. Related

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New Hero Alert: The Crying Judge on The Great Pottery Throw Down

There’s quite often times when I’ve looked at a certain shape, and it will move me to tears.” It is wonderful and hilarious. I know ….crying again. It debuted on BBC back in 2015, so American viewers are late to the game, but thankfully all three seasons of the series debuted on HBO Max on September 17. From the very first episode, The Great Pottery Throw Down makes it clear that pottery — which sometimes requires potters to essentially give a hand job to a glob of clay — is a sensual and emotional art. You might even shed a tear yourself. No, he cries when he’s simply overwhelmed by the beauty of one of the contestants’ creations — or as he explains during the season-one premiere, “I find the simpler the design, the more impact it has. The show is perfectly soothing and serviceable — NPR calls it “great isolation TV,” and that’s true — but while watching it, I kept pressing play on the next episode for a different reason: There’s a judge, Keith Brymer Jones, who cries a lot. It represents the polar opposite of the Paul Hollywood Handshake, a gruff and annoying gesture of toxic masculinity that, over time, has actually brought some of the GBBO contestants who receive it to tears. The potters that is !— Keith Brymer Jones (@KBJWhitstable) November 17, 2015

There I go …..crying again !!! Titled The Great Pottery Throw Down, the show is pretty much exactly like GBBO, only instead of cakes and bread, contestants are tasked with creating things like bowls, chandeliers, and garden sculptures. And he doesn’t cry a lot because he’s stressed or upset or something. Unlike Hollywood’s role on GBBO as a distant, stone-faced father all the contestants are scrambling to get approval from, Brymer Jones is so intimately invested in not just the results of the contestants’ work but the perseverance he knows it took them to get there. Related

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Tags: There are headlines about Great Pottery Throw Down’s resident crier like “The Great Pottery Throw Down Judge Keith Brymer Jones Warms Viewers’ Hearts by Crying Over a TOAST RACK” and “Who Is Keith Brymer Jones? 😊— Keith Brymer Jones (@KBJWhitstable) November 24, 2015

I'm even bloody crying watching the repeat …….🙂 #more4 #thegreatpotterythrowdown— Keith Brymer Jones (@KBJWhitstable) April 20, 2020

Someone even made a compilation of Brymer Jones crying, which is perfect:

Because The Great Pottery Throw Down is so closely tied to GBBO in structure, it’s hard not to view the Keith Brymer Jones Cry as the show’s version of the Paul Hollywood Handshake, which is bad and comes from a judge Brian Moylan perfectly described as “the beautiful, blue-eyed physical embodiment of manspreading.” But the Keith Brymer Jones Cry is good. So it seems fitting that Brymer Jones isn’t afraid to cry in front of his children, and it’s just a beautiful, and very entertaining, thing to watch. The Great Pottery Throw Down Judge and Ceramic Artist Who Cries On Camera,” and Brymer Jones himself has been open on Twitter about his emotional reactions on the show:

Yes yes yes! It’s like the Paul Hollywood Handshake but actually good. Since The Great Pottery Throw Down has been airing on the BBC since 2015, many people have already fallen in love with Brymer Jones for his sensitivity toward beautifully crafted objects. They're just all so wonderful! Photo: BBC

If you’ve already binge-watched every episode of The Great British Bake Off and are okay with the idea of watching the exact same show except instead of food it’s pottery, then HBO Max dropped a new series this week that might interest you.

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Drew Barrymore’s Cursed Flower Feeds Off the Human Voice

It’s a Little Shop of What the Hell Is Happening over at the Drew Barrymore Show today, where our gal Drew has taken a break from reporting hard-hitting Drew’s News to introduce a new “signature segment” of the show, called “Sing to a Flower.” They’re really just throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks over there, and letting singers come on to just sing would be too normie for Drew. “Performing his beautifully unique version of ‘Edelweiss’ to help our flower grow,” Billy Porter inaugurates the segment, singing a thematically appropriate Broadway standard against a starry backdrop, while a big, stagy rose snakes its way to the heavens, blooming with the power of song. “This idea is gifted to us by none other than Jimmy Fallon,” Drew explains. And it was all Jimmy Fallon’s idea. It is the spiritual opposite of when Ellen scares people on purpose. Related

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Tags: It’s the sort of story-time activity that I imagine goes down at highly progressive and expensive preschools. That’s not how she rolls. “He said, ‘I have to gift you guys this idea, because it turns out that if you sing to a flower, there is scientific evidence that it helps it grow.’ And it was only a seed of an idea, pun intended, but here we are, with Billy Porter, about to sing a song.” Kellyoke could never.

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God, Brad Pitt Is So Good at This

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Mr. But the tricksy, mercurial alchemy that goes into becoming and remaining a star endured. No one has proved more adept at playing this game lately than Brad Pitt. What better way to shore up goodwill than painting yourself as the breezy, charming man who easily spends time with an ex-wife — with whom people are still obsessively hold out hope you’ll reunite? Pitt’s unique skill comes in how effortless he makes everything look, which takes his star image away from feeling studied and makes it seem natural. Throughout the history of Hollywood, there have been figures who buckled against the weight of the personas they walked behind, like Errol Flynn and Lana Turner during the height of the studio system. Photo: CORE/YouTUbe

To succeed at celebrity is to master the art of image construction and management. It’s a way of being he’s mastered, that helps him to create indelible moments in celebrity history, like his suburban-themed photo shoot of curdled domestic bliss with Jolie in the pages of a 2005 issue of W magazine and now this video alongside Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman. “Hi, Pitt” she replies before calling him “honey.” I could practically feel the heat index increase on Twitter in that moment. But the ones who make it seem like they aren’t performing, and instead are speaking directly to us with some conspiratorial intimacy, are able to carve the kind of immortality actors dream of. Smith, when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, causing a tabloid obsession that continues to this day 15 years later — Pitt has played the celebrity game with slippery splendor. The step and repeat on the red carpet. And Pitt isn’t just good at it, he ranks as one of the best, a talent fully on display during this table read. The interviews. Chiefly, stars were free agents unwed to a single studio. While Jolie has kept relatively quiet, Pitt has been more forward-facing. Every celebrity is playing the same game. And one of the most cunning turns in Pitt’s recent approach to his own image is to once again position himself in solidarity with his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston, an alliance that bloomed during the 2019–2020 awards season, perhaps helping him nab an Academy Award for his supporting performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Smith Is a Straight Shot of Movie Star Charisma

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Seriously, Why Is Vin Diesel a Star? He’s more than willing to be silly and carefree, listening with full-bodied attention. The reaction to a seemingly impromptu paparazzi swarm. The charity events. He’s a master class in how to play the game as a celebrity. He’s more than merely charming, he’s a supernova of lightning-bright presence. (If anything, Hollywood at large comes across as a more knotted version of petty high-school politics anyway.) Pitt hasn’t played the game perfectly so much as invisibly — his relationship with his new 27-year old girlfriend, whom he took to the chateau he shared with Jolie, might read like a rote, midlife-crisis sort of scenario. There have been others whose image-making was so refined as to make it hard to tell where the real person began and the star ended, à la Archibald Leach, better known as the debonair Cary Grant. “Hi, Aniston,” he croons. In the wake of his contentious, ongoing divorce from Angelina Jolie — on the heels of their grand, volcanic romance that bloomed on the set of Mr. and Mrs. It is to turn yourself into a brand in which performance is the method and the point. Case in point: his Fast Times at Ridgemont High table-read performance. His star persona is that of the high-school quarterback: charismatic and beloved. and Mrs. It’s all in service of an image created, not born. The magazine covers. Personally, I have never been invested in the Pitt and Aniston relationship; I was far more intrigued by the sexual heat and emotional complexity between Pitt and Jolie. Tags: After the fall of the classic studio system in the 1960s, much changed in the imagination of what Hollywood could be. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, he’s sidling up to Aniston once more, for a recent Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read. But the dynamic between Pitt and Aniston demonstrates the ways in which the personal can be leveraged for the professional for celebrities.

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The ‘Milly Rock’ Remains New York Rap Dance Royalty

In many ways, the dance is much bigger than the song, but either way, it lives on for a long, long time. — Peter Rosenberg

By the time Peter Rosenberg, a radio personality for Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning, found “Milly Rock,” it’d already been buzzing online. The hat never comes back down to Earth. He was bringing a raw energy that had been lacking in New York hip-hop at the time. But under the Supreme Court’s ruling, 2 Milly had to copyright the dance and have it approved by the U.S. When short videos of these dances reach social media, they take on lives of their own, amplified and interpreted by each influencer, choreographer, or blogger who decides to share them with their followers. There used to be 60 people standing around just recording. “Black creatives created and popularized these dances but never monetized them. “I would make a bunch of songs but never think about radio spins. The moves were so versatile that people mashed it up to everything from classic R&B like SWV and Total to boy bands like the Backstreet Boys. His lyrics were true to his daily life, written about wearing Polo tees and Polo socks, Milly Rocking for four days with his face hot from sweltering New York summers, and posting his videos on Instagram to make the “Explore” page. There’s no predicting exactly when a hashtag like #MillyRock will start to heat up with new posts, motivating thousands upon thousands to use the tag to caption their dance videos. Of note, internet sensation Roy Purdy parodied the “Magnolia” video, showing Purdy with a goofy smirk doing the dance in Times Square and Union Square while pulling off skateboard tricks. You famous!’ Everybody throwing you up. 2 Milly criticized Epic Games for not asking his permission or providing him any compensation; he later filed a lawsuit against them for copyright infringement. As the number of parody videos increased on YouTube and Vine, so did Shmurda’s popularity. 50 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in February 2016. When you’ve got Ayesha Curry Milly Rocking (though, admittedly, it’s not the … sturdiest example), the reach is inarguable. In 2018, Fortnite created a dance “emote” for purchase called the “Swipe It” whose moves were unmistakably similar the Milly Rock. When the Atlanta rapper released his breakthrough single, “Magnolia,” his opening lyrics declared, “In New York I Milly Rock,” once again boosting 2 Milly’s hometown status when its video showed people hitting the Milly Rock around the city. “Milly Rock is around forever,” Rosenberg says. “Backpack Kid,” adding to the obscenity; Purdy ends the clip by skating away with a fidget spinner.) To date, the Milly Rock is no longer centralized to Bed-Stuy; it is part of pop culture and the hip-hop dance lexicon. Brooklyn was due. Thanks to a well-clipped Vine, six seconds of the Shmoney Dance became music’s next viral dance craze, the first since Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” took off as a meme the year before. It all began, technically, more than two minutes into the song’s video — specifically, at the 2:17–2:22 mark — when he tosses his grey fitted New York Knicks hat in the air, turns his back to the camera, and, surrounded by a crowd of his GS9 crew, begins twisting his back and arms with an effortless swagger. A year after the video originally debuted, the song felt like it was becoming bigger than 2 Milly — and a difficult act to follow. With a little liquid courage (Bombay and orange juice, he says), he stands on top of the car and hits the Milly Rock to Stackpaper Records artist Halfabilli’s “Trouble.” “Everybody is standing there, recording,” he told XXL. The creation of “Milly Rock,” stemmed from that appearance, properly giving their dance a name to further establish Stackpaper’s momentum. It was the same year that other artists started cropping up with dance movements of their own across the country, with the Whip / Nae Nae, the Dab, and Hit the Quan. Copyright Office allows people to register choreography, which they categorize as the composition and arrangement of a series of movements, but not of a specific dance move) and was denied both times. With respect to Atlanta, Chicago, and the Bay Area as other important hubs of dance innovation, New York brings a creative energy unlike any other city — and each of the boroughs has a unique style. 2 Milly attempted to register Milly Rock twice (the U.S. So I’m like, ‘If these people just wanna do that, imagine what these 70,000 people in the crowds want to do?’” 2 Milly recalled doing the dance during Spike Lee’s June 2014 block party celebrating the 25th anniversary of Do the Right Thing; he’d grown up around Stuyvesant Avenue and Quincy Street, where the movie was filmed. These days, TikTok dance challenges are a standard way of spreading a new single across multiple platforms — and are often utilized to increase streams. “The next day they’re like, ‘Yo, you’re famous on Facebook.’ I’m like, ‘Huh?’ They started sending me the vids in my DMs on Instagram. “We used to go to Coney Island every Sunday like five, six deep,” he told XXL in 2016. Harlem gave us the Harlem Shake (long before Baauer), the Chicken Noodle Soup, and the Aunt Jackie. 2 Milly’s hit song was officially released in August 2015, via Toronto subsidiary eOne, and peaked at No. “It was already becoming a thing. “I did not hear it early,” Rosenberg says, noting that he liked what he heard on the first listen. But that’s exactly what happened to 2 Milly. From 2015 on, celebrities and sports figures got their Milly Rocks off for touchdown celebrations and turning up; 2 Milly praised everyone “getting sturdy,” meaning they’d perfected his moves. In “Trouble,” you can see 2 Milly with his friends doing the Milly Rock in the background. So I’m like, ‘Word? Shmurda’s momentum, however, was cut short after a highly publicized arrest at midtown Manhattan’s Quad Studios at the end of 2014, just days before he made his national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Off a hunch, 2 Milly searched YouTube for instrumentals and found one by JudoBeatz — a beat tailored to the streets, with its piano-driven production and thumping bass — that could be heard bumping from any car stereo. It got the remix treatment, as notable names like Fabolous, Maino, Fat Trel, Rick Ross, A$AP Ferg, and Lil Wayne each did their own takes. Then, New York City kids take over a dance — and take it back: If you lived here, you’ve likely seen someone hit the Milly Rock on the train during your commute, whether or not you recognized it. Chance the Rapper pointed out the unfairness: “Fortnite should put the actual rap songs behind the dances that make so much money as Emotes,” he tweeted. Lil Mama paid homage to the dance in her “Sausage” video. In the Bronx, breaking was the dominant style before the evolutions of the modern era, when the Terror Squad told us it was cool to “Lean Back.” Queens gave us the gift that is the Yayo Dance. This might be global right here.’”

These are dances that make up the fabric of New York hip-hop. Brooklyn was due. Copyright Office before he could file. But one of the interesting things about that record is that it’s a dance song disguised as a hardcore hip-hop record.” Parental advisories didn’t matter at this point. By then, another local rapper — this one from Bed-Stuy — already had a hit and viral dance waiting in the wings to continue what “Hot Nigga” started: 2 Milly and his Stack Paper crew’s “Milly Rock.” Over the span of two summers, two rappers from Brooklyn were responsible for dances that were created in their neighborhoods, elevated by their charisma, and which caught on well outside the borough. He became a slow-burning sensation and people really started to pay attention in 2015. “Hot Nigga,” a defining song of the 2010s, turned the East Flatbush, Brooklyn, rapper into a global star. “Milly Rock” showed early signs it could become a worthy successor to “Hot Nigga.” In the video for the song, which has over 20 million views, 2 Milly (short for Too Militant), then 27, describes how to “Milly Rock on every block,” breaking down the moves lyric by lyric: “First arms up, then left and right / That MJ get out my sight.” He has Milly Rocked on the Gates block (Gates and Stuyvesant, to be specific), he raps, and Patchen Avenue, too. Strategic or not, the videos for Halfabilli’s “Trouble” and 2 Milly’s “Milly Rock” were released just weeks apart, on August 18 and on August 31, in 2014. Travis Scott introduced 2 Milly and his crew as the “realest motherf—s from New York City,” stating he was a fan and wanted to bring them out at Summer Jam 2015. There’s no exact science to getting a dance to spread quickly. So I sat back like, ‘The dance is going to hold the motherf—n’ song down,’” he told Vice in 2015. 2 Milly was taking off. He started to give nicknames to famous people who successfully did the Milly Rock — Rihanna was one of the earliest adopters, with her “RiRi Rock,” when one of her friends captured a video of her doing it by the pool. “In many ways, the dance is much bigger than the song, but either way, it lives on for a long, long time.”

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Fortnite Publisher Trying to Get 2 Milly’s Lawsuit Over Dance Moves Thrown Out

Tags: The Milly Rock was popularized among friends before word of mouth pushed it further. He wanted to create a song for radio, using less curse words and more repetitive phrases — “I Milly Rock on any block” is the signature line. The Milly Rock was the dance craze everyone wanted to do. By 2017, Playboi Carti came along and turned 2 Milly into a household name. “You know, they play that silly rock music and I used to do [the dance]. He was eventually forced to drop the lawsuit. Imagine the money people are spending on these Emotes being shared with the artists that made them.”

Years later, even if a monetary win wasn’t in his favor, 2 Milly’s success in taking his dance to the mainstream remains impressive. And, as it typically goes when things that started in one specific culture are uprooted from it and spread around the world, 2 Milly’s has been battling to regain credit for its creation. 2 Milly got hot independently before Shiggy’s #InMyFeelingsChallenge, before Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” dance, before the Renegade dance, and long before Drake’s “Toosie Slide” existed. According to 2 Milly, he’d been doing the dance — a variation of a regular two-step — before it even had a name. Still, he owned his creativity and expanded to different sounds, making tracks outside the realm of “Milly Rock” (see: “Sleepin” with PnB Rock, and “Life of a Hustler”). (There’s even a cameo by Russell Horning, a.k.a. Like, ‘Look, look, look! Where It Started At: The NY Rap Story

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New York changed during the summer of 2014, when the budding career of an animated, magnetic 20-year-old by the name of Bobby Shmurda took flight. These are dances that make up the fabric of New York hip-hop.

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PEN15 Recap: Monday Night Raw

(Jonah Beres is terrific in this role, perfectly capturing the above-it-all yet slightly predatory vibes of a slimy popular kid.) Thankfully, Anna gets in the way — first by walking in on that encounter, then by standing between Maya and her goal of wrestling Brandt — but a furious Maya responds both times by completely Hulking out, to a degree that’s a little scary. But compared to the first season, these first two episodes have featured some of the show’s bleakest moments yet. After they insert her into a fight over an unwanted reading pillow, Anna copes by repeatedly leg-dropping it, imagining herself as a fishnet-clad Trish Stratus dazzling the admiring Alex. When Maya finally gets Brandt alone in the weight room, she offers to make up for the whole three-way gossip issue any way she can. Like Anna’s wrestling fantasies, it’s initially played for absurdist comedy: A funny, well-edited opening sequence has Maya tailing Brandt around school like she’s in a spy thriller. You can instantly see in Brandt’s eyes that he has something outside the typical bounds of seventh-grade sexuality in mind. In its total liberation from shame, Maya’s goofy, stop-at-nothing enthusiasm is almost admirable. PEN15
Wrestle

Season 2

Episode 2

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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PEN15 has never shied away from the dark side of adolescence. As Maya puts it, they’re animals. “You’re doing it for me, but you’re doing it for yourself too!,” Maya exhorts Anna as the pair incompetently hip-thrust each other’s weight and pump tiny barbells. Throw in the ongoing fallout from Anna’s parents’ divorce and “Wrestle” makes for some pretty painful viewing. Email

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Terms of Service apply. Afterward, they strut down the school halls imagining themselves ’roided out (despite each only wearing half of a muscle suit). Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle may have 15 years on these child actors, but as they’re given more to do this year, they’re showing they can hang. Both actresses continue to be game for just about anything, and a sequence in which they go full tilt in the weight room is classic PEN15 silliness. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! They just feel bad: classed by the girls as too horny to be “good” and by the boys as too gross to be desirable. Despite his long friendship with the girls, he’s willing to earn his locker-room stripes by insulting their “big, smelly bushes” and to beat Maya in a wrestling match by announcing her pussy smells like fish, to her shock and horror. When Maya first shadows the boys at wrestling, Coach Brown’s exhortations quickly evolve from the standard “Focus!” to “Grab all the rage inside and let it out … Handle it like a man. Like last season’s masturbation episode, it’s relatable in the worst possible way. Sam is increasingly getting more athletic and popular than his buds Gabe and Jafeer and feeling the pull of proving himself cooler than monster trucks and Weasels magazine. The episode isn’t all doom and gloom. He’s better than ever here, as is Dylan Gage as the nerdy, heartbroken Gabe. As the girls get in touch with their anger, the world of the boys — which has gotten a lot more play this year — is rendered with a Freaks and Geeks–esque sensitivity. Still reeling from the previous episode’s slut-shaming by their female classmates, Maya and Anna find an equally inhospitable (and eventually outright misogynistic) audience among the boys. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Before long, she’s gone full meathead, pumping iron and bragging about her peanut-butter-and-egg method for bulking. Destroy something privately or, better yet, on a team.”

That open outlet for rage is instantly appealing to Anna, who remains a silent pawn in the battle between her separated but co-habitating parents. Tags: But the potential for a darker turn is there. The girls will get over this incident eventually, but they’ll never get over patriarchy in general. (“It tastes like Reese’s Pieces!”)

Meanwhile, Maya is funneling her frustration into Brandt’s lack of acknowledgment of what even she admits — with zero self-awareness — is stalking. Taj Cross, who’s essentially the show’s third lead, has been doing sensitive, nuanced work from the jump. And it’s not afraid to make that subtext text. This episode revolves around anger and what, if anything, girls are allowed to do with theirs. Like most girls of that era, they have zero context for healthy body image or sexuality, or for where the tropes of misogyny end and their own bodies begin. (Unfortunately, Jafeer, like all of the show’s Black characters, is something of an afterthought.)

The episode ends with Maya and Anna examining their respective vulvas — a scene that’s too upsetting to be entirely funny, even with delightful comic touches like Maya spritzing her junk with Bath & Body Works spray and Anna splaying out over the mirror in her Caboodle. And even with their Claymation vaginas providing a bit of absurdist humor to round out the credits, it’s a moment when the show really sits with misogyny, in the same way that it did with racism in season one.

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The U.S. Is Banning TikTok Downloads This Sunday

This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law.— Vanessa Pappas (@v_ness) September 18, 2020

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Oracle to Partner With TikTok in the U.S. The Department adds that it will be illegal for internet-service providers to enable “the functioning or optimization” of WeChat as of Sunday and TikTok as of November 12. The United States Commerce Department has announced plans to ban TikTok this Sunday, September 20, putting into motion the Trump administration’s August executive order. “The president has provided until November 12 for the national security concerns posed by TikTok to be resolved,” the press release reads. The company responded with a lawsuit stating the order “has the potential to strip the rights of that community without any evidence to justify such an extreme action, and without any due process.” They have since partnered with California-based tech company Oracle, the founder of which has fundraised for Trump in the past. We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation. “We agree that this type of ban would be bad for the industry,” she wrote. Let’s be honest, that’s where all the good dances were coming from, anyway. “We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the US from November 12,” a TikTok spokesperson said. Update, 12:35 p.m.: TikTok stuck up for its creators in a statement responding to the Trump administration’s new deadlines. The administration suggested that the app is giving information to the Chinese government, claiming the ban is to protect us from “China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data.” TikTok denies these allegations. Tags: Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP via Getty Images

TikTok, TikTok, time is up. According to a press release, the Commerce Department will prohibit any attempt to download or update TikTok through an app store as of Sunday. The same goes for the app WeChat, which Trump launched a similar executive order against. Further restrictions, such as banning workaround apps, could be announced later. “We invite Facebook and Instagram to publicly join our challenge and support our litigation. With things looking bleak for TikTok, Charli D’Amelio, Josh Richards, and other popular creators have already gotten comfortable on competing app Triller. “If they are, the prohibitions in this order may be lifted.” There’s still a chance! company from Chinese owners ByteDance or risk being banned. This is a moment to put aside our competition and focus on core principles like freedom of expression and due process of law.”

We agree that this type of ban would be bad for the industry. After Microsoft Deal Is Rejected

Trump Will Be Hearing From TikTok’s Attorneys

TikTok Has 45 Days Until … What, Exactly? “Our community of 100 million US users love TikTok because it’s a home for entertainment, self-expression, and connection, and we’re committed to protecting their privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.” The company says it has committed to “unprecedented levels of additional transparency and accountability” in a proposal to the United States government, “including third-party audits, verification of code security, and US government oversight of US data security.”

“Further, an American technology provider would be responsible for maintaining and operating the TikTok network in the US, which would include all services and data serving US consumers,” the statement concludes. Trump initially gave TikTok 45 days from August 6 to be sold to a U.S. So, the apps will just stop working. “We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order, which was enacted without due process and threatens to deprive the American people and small businesses across the US of a significant platform for both a voice and livelihoods.”

In a tweet Friday morning, TikTok’s interim chief, Vanessa Pappas, expressed concern for the precedent that banning an app would set.

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Ratched Is the Worst Thing That Could Have Happened to Nurse Ratched

Not the consistent insistence on shoving various shades of green into every frame. In Ratched, her character is a rogue force who doesn’t just ignore going by the book — she sets the book on fire for her own ends. Tags: Amanda Plummer as Louise, the owner of the motel Ratched is occupying, feels like a disparate bag of ideas rather than a whole character. That they are unique. Her character isn’t a simple villain but a rich, dynamic figure that calls into question the ways a person can become part of obliterating systems that forcefully shape and even end the lives of others. Please, do not let idle curiosity trick you into delving into this wretched enterprise. But this history is treated as a disjointed backdrop for Ratched’s machinations and her own struggle with her sexual identity. There is neither tension nor suspense. Ratched loves to layer on thick a tragic backstory, in the process obscuring who these characters really are, either because they are wholly one-dimensional or so archly constructed they are rendered inhuman. Inspired, supposedly, by the character of the same name in Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel and Milos Forman’s 1975 film — which earned Louise Fletcher an Academy Award for the role — the Mildred depicted in Ratched is recognizable in name alone, a World War II nurse who forces her way into working at the salubrious-looking Lucia State Mental Hospital, run by Dr. Why waste it on a show that demonstrates such little interest in the interiority of its characters that you feel insulted on the actors’ behalf? Not the approach to post–World War II American life. There’s something galling about taking the very real and very harrowing history of mental hospitals in America and whittling it down to a story about the one-dimensional trauma of serial killers and confidence artists. Ratched presents a hardened vision of people powered solely by their traumas, its title character chief among them. The most glaring issue is the most essential: Nurse Ratched herself, an exceedingly confused character who becomes whatever a scene needs her to be with little internal logic to be found. She’s a cog that keeps the machine working, exacting and by the book. On a deeper story level, the show reveals itself to be keenly aware of the horrifying history of how queer men and women were treated in hospitals and psychiatry, a field which pathologized our desires, and yet incapable of creating a coherent thought about that history. Nothing! Haven’t we learned over the last six months how precious life is? Ratched is bursting at the seams with baffling decisions that reflect not only a blatant misunderstanding of the character and the world she inhabits but a profound mistrust in the audience. Judy Davis as Ratched’s rival, Nurse Betsy Bucket, confuses flailing her arms and exasperated sighs with meaningful acting. There is no guiding theme rendering anything with import. Finn Wittrock as Edmund Tolleson aims for menacing and conflicted but comes off as an empty-headed brute. It’s a rich history worthy of study and empathy. But this scene’s problem is larger than mere repetition. The nature of origin stories is to argue that there is something meaningful about its central character. Yet the most instructive scene in terms of the tangle of issues plaguing this misguided series comes later. (Race is more confusingly drawn, with scant, unsatisfactory mentions or examples of racism in its race-blind world-building, as if the characters are largely unencumbered by its dynamics.) The history of lesbians moving through the mental-health field during a time when they’d suffer profoundly for seeking help for something natural and unfortunately heavily pathologized could have been an intriguing study. Hanover (Jon Jon Briones) and housing Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock), a famed serial killer with a deep connection to Mildred. It underscores the central issue poisoning the entire series: an adherence to creating a gritty, traumatic backstory that flattens a character who didn’t need one. It’s this connection that powers her wildly inconsistent decisions, sending us on a journey that balloons from a simple origin story to a wan, useless game between increasingly grotesque players. Not the rudderless scripts. Paulson is ultimately unable to create an emotional through line for the character. Whom Ratched helps and whom she hurts don’t always track. Ratched presents 1947 America as a hardened vision of people powered only by their traumas. Visually, the series, whose first episode is directed by Murphy, is obsessed with lacquered, even calcified imagery that never communicates information effectively — the show is particularly fond of inconsequential split screens — and whose only interest is in calling attention to its own hardened, impenetrable looks. In the first episode, she leads one patient to suicide and gives another the wrong medication in order to swoop in with a heroic act to make herself look good. A tour through sexual violence, abuse, and the horrors that can occur in the foster-care system, delivered by Paulson direct to camera, this ploy for audience sympathy via Mildred’s trauma-laden backstory may have met its aims if it didn’t follow on the heels of a marionette show that has already told the exact same story in the exact same rhythm to the exact same effect. There is no cunning or intelligent design. But that isn’t all that surprising since Ratched has nothing novel to say about any of the ideas it picks up and marvels at before throwing them out the window and turning its attention back to more visually rote, narratively hollow sex and violence. Partway through episode six, Sarah Paulson’s Nurse Mildred Ratched shares her harrowing backstory with the woman she is seemingly falling in love with and can lie to no longer. Not the overbearing score desperately trying to replicate the splendor of Bernard Herrmann’s work with Alfred Hitchcock. In the hands of Forman and Fletcher, Nurse Ratched was a forceful emblem of the intertwined systems of mental hospitals and nursing. Fletcher gives a tremendous performance that’s placid, even icy, on the surface and barbed underneath. In the hands of Murphy and his collaborators, though, she becomes a banal villain whose traumatic backstory is a cravenly wielded tool rather than a venue for genuine exploration of the horrors she endured. Not one actor is doing memorable or engaging work. But Nurse Mildred Ratched was an intriguing force in the 1975 film for the exact opposite reason: She illuminated the might of systemic forces. Before even finishing its fledgling pilot episode, the new Netflix series — conceived by Evan Romansky and shepherded into existence by Ryan Murphy — loudly and brashly proclaims itself a mess of the highest order. That their life reveals something worthy of study. There are no moments of honesty in Ratched. It’s deeply uncomfortable to watch such a caricature of a mentally ill woman, especially one who becomes violent in ways that mischaracterizes these very real experiences. There is nothing redeemable to be found within the folds of these eight hours of television. A few episodes later, when she helps two lesbians escape the clutches of the hospital’s hydrotherapy treatment, I was left confused — if she finds such therapy barbaric and has genuine goodwill toward patients, why would she be comfortable leading a man to suicide? Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

Nothing in Ratched works. It draws a harsh line between trauma endured in childhood and trauma inflicted as an adult, an insulting premise that deadens the experience of trauma rather than giving audiences a view into how the pains of our past shape our present. What should engender sympathy is stripped of meaning by the writing, which makes a joke out of melodrama. Not the acting, even when executed by performers who have been dynamic elsewhere. The longer you make the slog through its endless-feeling eight episodes the more it becomes apparent what a profound waste of time this exercise is. Sophie Okonedo as Charlotte Wells, a woman beset by the most insulting rendition of multiple personality disorder (now referred to as dissociative identity disorder) I have seen in a very long time, gives a sloppy, loud performance that harshly underlines the failures of the writing: the insistence on shifting characters dramatically to fit the plot comes to a head with her character.

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Lady Gaga Drops ‘911’ Music Video With a Shocking Twist

But this isn’t the extraterrestrial “Stupid Love” desert — as those sweet, sweet “Chromatica II” strings play, Gaga wakes up to white sands as far as the eye can see. The video was directed by Tarsem Singh Dhandwar, a video of the year winner at the MTV Video Music Awards for R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” It comes after Gaga’s own showstopping Chromatica medley at the VMAs, which opened with the live debut of “911.” Gaga ended the night with the most awards at four, including the inaugural Tricon Award. And what a way to wake up. Related

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Tags: Our journey into Chromatica returns to the desert in Lady Gaga’s new music video for “911,” the third official single off her latest album Chromatica. The video finds her taken to an adobe house in the desert, where she meets a cast of immaculately clad characters who lip-sync, fly like balloons, and bang their heads against pillows (just like me as I try to interpret this Gaga video). The story takes a turn when Gaga is dropped from her balloon flight, then strapped to a board and taken inside to be murdered — and as she’s stabbed, she wakes up at the scene of a car crash in a whiplash-inducing twist that’ll have you calling 911. Leave it to a Tricon to pull off a twist like that. As Gaga is shocked back to life and hyperventilates, we see the clues all around and have a moment of Dorothy-waking-up realization: the people around, the New Mexico poster, that wall painting of a car crash, even that bracelet/tourniquet around Gaga’s leg. Her mind. It’s a lushly detailed setup for the song, complete with the costume changes and slow-mo voguing you’d expect from Gaga.

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Ratched Recap: In a Lonely Place

The color usage on this show is one of its most interesting technical elements. Getting drunk with Amanda Plummer? As great as both actresses are here, it’s hard to see exactly what Briggs would see in Ratched, other than maybe her extreme confidence. She goes to meet with the only survivor of the attack of the Clergy Killer, a young priest named Father Andrews (Hunter Parrish). The first episode didn’t have one, but all Murphy shows have ambitious title sequences, and so it’s nice to see that return with the images of a woman pulling a red string through a series of horror imagery — the manipulative nurse navigating a world of violence. With that in mind, the best scenes in “Ice Pick” are actually the ones that drift from the obvious plot, particularly the ones between Cynthia Nixon and Sarah Paulson that form the center of the episode. As Bucket pukes at the sight of an ice pick going into the eye socket of a cadaver, Ratched realizes she doesn’t need Hanover to take care of Andrews. It does not go well. Email

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By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Or is he drawing a connection to another project about a sociopath? Does anyone know why she would? At first, it feels like inconsistent writing until it’s clear that Edmund is playing up his mental illness to convince Hanover that he shouldn’t be subjected to the death penalty. Andrews doesn’t realize that Ratched is drugging his tea. Maybe with a peach or the felt-tip pen that Bucket claims she should have used to put her name on it? Back at Lucia, Hanover wants to talk to Edmund, who rambles on and on about the antennas in his head and other things designed to convince the good doctor that his most famous patient is schizophrenic. Everyone knows where this is going. Is Ratched the light? Does Briggs sense that Ratched is closeted? • Aw yeah, a title sequence! Hanover sees through it but admits he doesn’t believe in capital punishment. Why? • I have to admit to intense jealousy during the trip to Monterey, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Finally, Nurse Ratched gets to Father Andrews, convincing him to tell his story. But he wasn’t born a monster; someone turned him into one. He doesn’t want to kill Edmund; he wants to save him. Probably brutally. Just hanging out at the motel looking cool? Four patients come to Lucia to undergo the procedure for four different reasons, and Hanover is confident enough in the technique that he invites Briggs and the press to witness the lobotomies. While these scenes are great, they almost feel like they come from another show altogether, one about a lifelong politician finding love with an icy nurse who can’t even admit her sexuality to herself. Ratched likes this idea even more than the first. Hanover’s breakthrough treatment is actually a very old one, the frontal lobotomy. Before that happens, “Ice Pick” takes an interlude for Briggs and Ratched to drive down the coast to Monterey and for the nurse to try oysters for the first time. Back at Lucia, Ratched has a fight with Nurse Bucket over a stolen peach. Since the first lobotomy procedure didn’t go so well, Hanover has a new idea: the transorbital lobotomy. Tags: Ratched tries to convince him she’s on his side, that she wants to cleanse the world of evil like Edmund Tolleson and she’ll need to hear Father Andrews’s story to make that happen. Or maybe she’s the dark? Well, it’s called “Max,” after the film’s monstrous Max Cady. It means light. • Last episode, Murphy would wash the screen green when Ratched was stressed, and he uses a similar technique here with Hanover getting high in the opening scene, but washes red instead. He passes out, waking up strapped to the bed. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! What’s frustrating about the second episode of Ratched is how much it takes its time getting there. Did Murphy just think it was cool? At first, I thought it was Vertigo, but it’s actually Elmer Bernstein’s score for Cape Fear. Higher Dosage

• Did the score during the Andrews murder sound familiar? Ratched
Ice Pick

Season 1

Episode 2

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

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Call it Murphy’s Ice Pick. The good nurse drives an ice pick into the eye of Father Andrews, leaving him a drooling shell. Well, not all of them. Whatever she sees, Ratched rebuffs Briggs’s flirtation after the politician takes the nurse to a hidden “women’s club” and Ratched finally realizes one of them considers this a date. The first patient struggles as Hanover drills into his brain, and the audience in the medical theater is generally disgusted. “Ice Pick” starts by revealing that Dr. They go to a hotel room, and he sits with a rosary in front of a recorder to tell the story of what happened that night, not offering much new in the way of detail beyond that Edmund saw him as he fled the scene. The track? So, as fun as they are to watch, they add to the sense that this episode isn’t quite as accomplished as the premiere. The young man who hid under the bed during the attack is in seclusion in a wheelchair, wearing sunglasses. Check it out if you ever get the chance to leave the house again. The episode introduces the concept of the lobotomy via ice pick and brings back the only survivor of the Clergy Killer Massacre, someone who could get Edmund Tolleson in trouble. Again, these are great emotional beats for Paulson and Nixon to play, but they almost feel like part of another show. Ratched admits what we guessed at the end of the last episode — the Clergy Killer is her brother. Good luck with that. Much like Chekhov and his gun, if you see an ice pick early in an episode from the creator of American Horror Story, it will probably be driven into somebody’s eye by the end of it. She just needs an ice pick. • Any theories on why the piece is set in the real California oceanside community of Lucia? Mildred Ratched is fascinated.

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In The Devil All the Time, Jason Clarke Finally Embraces the Cuck

Tom Holland, our friendly, fresh-faced Spider-Man, kills four people. But that’s not quite how it goes. If Charles Dance shows up in a movie, you know he’ll be a stern, steely eyed patrician. (Their story line also features the film’s solitary joke, when Clarke tries to get Keough to sing along to “Wings of a Dove” by Ferlin Husky, an old pal of the actress’s grandpa.) Clarke often gives a measure of sympathy to his terrible husbands — we pity them more than we fear them — but here he’s free to go to the most loathsome extremes. This is not a subject that Clarke relishes talking about. If it’s Margo Martindale, we can expect her to serve up warm, homey scenery-chewing. Tags: There was All I See Is You, where Blake Lively plays a blind woman who regains her sight, realizes that Clarke is a terrible husband, and hooks up with their well-endowed neighbor. Clarke gets a different opportunity. Robert Pattinson plays a preacher who talks in a high-pitched squeal the actor apparently refused to reveal before shooting began. Photo: Netflix/YouTube

Part of the reason we love character actors is the way they act as narrative shorthand. Now, for his sake, can somebody please cast him in a romantic comedy? She’s a little less into the whole murdering thing than he is, and he’s persnickety about it, as if she’s suggested they go somewhere other than Ruby Tuesdays tonight even though that’s where they always go. Here, he’s totally in control, and all the more frightening because of it. We covered this topic in detail last year, but to recap: Ever since he played George Wilson in the 2013 Great Gatsby, Clarke has become Hollywood’s go-to cuckold. “I’ve never really been interested in just playing your old-school straight-up dude,” Clarke said in that GQ interview. (They even have a creepy serial-killer lingo: Keough is “the bait,” Clarke is “the shooter,” the victims are “models.”) Clarke often plays men struggling with their own powerlessness. At the same time, thanks to his track record, there’s a disarming note to lines like, “You’re gonna fuck my wife, and I’m gonna take some pictures.” You can understand why the victims don’t quite comprehend how much danger they’re in. Oh, and Clarke takes photographs of both the sex and the murders, which he keeps as souvenirs. Rather than revamp his image, the film allows him to embody the ur-Jason Clarke role, one where the darkness that underlays his long line of cuckolds finally comes to the fore. Jason Clarke doing what he does best in The Devil All the Time — watching his onscreen wife have sex with another man. And if Australian actor Jason Clarke appears as the onscreen husband to a pretty young actress, you can be damn sure she’ll be sleeping with another man before the lights go up. Then there was Mudbound, where Carey Mulligan moves with Clarke to a ramshackle farm in Mississippi, realizes he’s a terrible husband, and has an affair with his brother, Garrett Hedlund. The Devil All the Time, an ultra-violent slice of Appalachian Gothic about intergenerational trauma, gives its cast a lot of room to stretch against type, including but not limited to their attempts at West Virginia accents. Sebastian Stan plays a corrupt cop who sports a Haldemanian flattop and gets illicit late-night hand jobs. He’s first seen in a small-town diner, charming a waitress (Riley Keough) with his new camera. Maybe he just didn’t want to spoil anything? And thank God for that. (A cuckold is someone whose wife merely cheats on him, a cuck is a guy for whom being cheated on is a sexual fetish.) To take the thing you’ve long been typecast for, spin it around, and weaponize it: What freedom that must be for an actor! But this week I learned of another potential reason for his reticence. It’s the grimmest story line in a film packed to the rafters with grimness, but Clarke and Keough bring a lightness to the material that keeps it from sinking into the mire. At the time of the interview, Clarke was shooting Antonio Campos’s The Devil All the Time, now streaming on Netflix, in which he plays a guy who gets off on forcing young men to have sex with his wife. They’re hanging out with Jason Clarke, of course sex with his wife is on the menu. Finally, 2019 brought the one-two punch of Serenity, where Anne Hathaway knows from the beginning that Clarke’s a terrible husband, and seduces Matthew McConaughey so that McConaughey will kill him; and The Aftermath, where Kiera Knightley cheats on Clarke with Alexander Skarsgård, then realizes he’s not a terrible husband — a surprising twist for anyone who’s ever seen a Jason Clarke movie. At the end of the scene, the film’s narrator informs us that Clarke and Keough will become serial killers, with a unique pattern: They pick up young male hitchhikers, goad them into having sex with Keough while Clarke watches, then murder them. But we should also thank The Devil All the Time, for taking this phase of Jason Clarke’s career to its natural conclusion. When GQ queried the actor about our earlier post, his response was a Paltrow-esque, “What is Vulture?” It’s possible he was peeved at the suggestion that playing romantic failures is all he does, which is not the case: Clarke has gone un-cuckolded in Chappaquiddick, Zero Dark Thirty, and Terminator Genisys, among others. There’s a comforting familiarity to their interplay: You figure it’s only a matter of time before they get married, and then Keough’s wandering eye will turn toward one of the many A-List hunks in the ensemble. And if you detect a little glimmer in his eyes, consider this: While Clarke has frequently played a cuckold onscreen, this is a landmark role for him — his first time playing an actual cuck.

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Actually, the Cultiest Part of The Vow Is the Night Volleyball

They scribble on it with big markers. It’s in an ordinary gym with bad fluorescent lighting. After all, once everyone has acclimated to a hierarchy based on colored silk sashes (sashes that have to be regularly ironed, by the way), a groupwide volleyball hobby doesn’t seem that odd. In one moment from episode four, the actress Alison Mack meets Raniere for the first time at a volleyball night, and she goes from a calm and happy greeting to her eyes filling with tears as Raniere tells her that art is actually nothing and that she is responsible for all her unhappiness. But with even a touch more context for what’s happening, the volleyball situation goes from benign to overwhelmingly cultlike. You can see it in everyone’s faces as they traipse around this beautiful property. The Vow spends a lot of energy explaining just how much of NXIVM was a cult of personality with Raniere at the center, but it’s never clearer than in those volleyball scenes. At heart, they are all camp kids who want to sit around a fire and talk about the meaning of friendship. It’s a sport you’ve heard of, you know roughly what it’s about and someone likely forced you to learn it in school. Photo: HBO

There were so many explicitly cult-y things going on in the NXIVM cult, especially as described by the captivating HBO docuseries The Vow. Women were encouraged to starve themselves for the sake of personal growth. It’s volleyball. His long hair is tied in a ponytail, there’s a hideous terry-cloth sweatband around his forehead, and he has a look that says, “It’s so great that I’ve convinced all these idiots to listen to my nonsense in between 3 a.m. It is, if we’re honest with ourselves, the Albany of sports. Much of The Vow is about trying to break down that sense of mystery, to get inside and explain that NXIVM had massive appeal, that Raniere really was this powerful, magnetic presence. Just regular volleyball! Even at the entry levels, stuff at NXIVM was bizarre — the colored sashes, the stripe path, the insistence that the true intellectual hub of the world is Albany. It extends the summer-camp-like mood of some of NXIVM’s programming, that feeling where everyone spends tons of time together, all experiencing stuff that will never make sense to an outsider who wasn’t there in that moment. A select group of women were literally branded with the leader’s initials, which is horrifying and violent and one element of why the founders should go to jail for a long time. I don’t feel that appeal myself when I watch the volleyball scenes, but more than anywhere else in The Vow, that’s where his appeal is reflected in the faces of the NXIVM members. It’s definitely a cult, but it’s also indistinguishable from a regional insurance brokers’ conference. Volleyball only happens in the dead of night. But it’s also distinctly second-tier in the pantheon of American sports. She looks at him with awe, a stunned expression on her face. So, yeah, it feels obvious that they’d also be really into their regular volleyball meet-ups. Those workshops, though, are designed to seem as anodyne and unthreatening as possible. As former NXIVM member Mark Vicente explains, Raniere never showed up at the gym before 10:30 or 11 at night, and volleyball would continue until possibly 7 a.m. At the upper levels, members of NXIVM were participating in master-slave relationships with their mentors. Many scenes in the docuseries were shot at a YMCA summer camp, in fact, where NXIVM would hold its annual weeklong retreat. There’s a scene where a man (NXIVM founder Keith Raniere) shows a woman (Sarah Edmundson, one of the docuseries’s main subjects) how to serve correctly. On paper, it seems sort of fun. The Albany thing could be something to do with real-estate prices? The footage we see is usually of a few people standing in front of a presentation-size pad of white paper. volleyball matches.”

Together these scenes comprise The Vow’s most unexpected and indelible motif, rendered even more so by the knowledge that it’s volleyball — volleyball, for Pete’s sake! While there’s plenty of recorded material about the most disturbing things that happened inside NXIVM — the brandings, the intense calorie counting, the mental intimidation — most of it does not appear as filmed footage in The Vow. When you see it, though, the volleyball is something else entirely. There’s mountains of footage of other stuff, especially from all the NXIVM/ESP workshops led by Raniere, Vicente, and others. Meanwhile, Raniere sits on the bleachers looking like a minor character in a Danny McBride show. The starvation is horrific. Not even beach volleyball! It shows up first in The Vow’s second episode, and it’s presented as just another unusual thing about the organization. As I see it, though, and as depicted in The Vow, a different aspect of NXIVM should’ve been the red line, the “this is obviously a cult” warning for its participants. Because long before anyone got to the point of branding, there was volleyball. “I didn’t understand volleyball at first,” Vicente says in episode two, “but it became a big social event.” Vicente describes the scene: Keith and his crew show up at this gym late at night, and between volleyball games they’d sit around on the bleachers while NXIVM adherents gathered around to ask questions. They’re standing in rooms that look like badly lit, budget hotel meeting rooms. The sashes are weird. No question, the branding is horrific. It was, if you will excuse the pun, a place where Raniere could hold court. It’s volleyball! And even if volleyball weren’t strictly mandatory for NXIVM members, it was highly encouraged for anyone who wanted to rise in the NXIVM rankings. Tags: They hold enormous cups of takeout coffee while they talk about being your best self. The essence of a cult is that the participants believe, even as people outside the cult cannot fathom how anyone could ever get swept up in something like that. That’s the point, of course. Later, as Vicente describes his frustration that Raniere was withholding his one-on-one attention, he explains that Raniere would occasionally ignore Vicente’s requests and deflect. That disconcerting combination is what makes the volleyball scenes the most unnervingly cult-ish material in the series. With even a touch more context for what’s happening, the NXIVM volleyball situation goes from benign to overwhelmingly cultlike. Okay, not entirely. The volleyball, though — the images of these gathered people, huddled adoringly around Raniere in the middle of the night, squeezing together on bleachers so they can be close to him. The workshops are modeled after the look and feel of middle-manager corporate America, and not even big, scary corporations that probably have a lot of money. There are nets, shorts, and sweat bands. “‘Come to volleyball, come to volleyball,’” Vicente remembers Raniere telling him.

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New York Rap Never ‘Fell Off’ — It Was Snuffed Out

In 2016, lower-Manhattan venue Webster Hall canceled a show by Atlanta rapper 21 Savage and caught flak for a dress code barring hats, hoodies, and baggy jeans, mirroring the language historically employed when an establishment wants to subtly discourage large Black crowds. (TMZ says that a gang threat was his primary concern but also noted that staying away from gang members was a condition of his release on bail after a Rolls-Royce he used in a video shoot was reported as stolen by the owner in January.)

This history is no close-kept secret. The commercial prospects of New York rap dimmed at the end of the 2000s thanks in part to a decade and a half of concerted government action. Before they found themselves on opposing sides of the 2020 election, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg were mayors of New York City who ran the five boroughs with an iron fist, cutting into crime using racialized overpolicing and regulation of noise and nightlife that patrons and owners would sometimes describe as targeting. The Brooklyn scene cooled as high-rises sprung up on the waterfront, displacing DIY venues and running up rent. If the mayor or a fussy community board raised an eyebrow, you could expect a visit from the NYPD. It’s impossible to tell the story of developments in culture without detailing the undergirding infrastructural elements that inspired them. The birth of hip-hop is forever tethered to the fiscal crisis and gang wars of the ’70s — when parties provided both entertainment for locals who couldn’t afford the threads to get accepted into choosy disco venues and valuable peacemaking avenues for gang members warring over territory — and to the studio equipment boosted during the 1977 blackout. It also actively pursued already famous rappers with a diligence that persists to this day. That reality flies in the face of popular hip-hop-head logic, which suggests that New York City “fell off” as comeuppance for years of downplaying southern rap and only returned to glory as artists here embraced sounds from further down shore, and while it’s not an entirely untrue correlation, the truer story is that 20 years of pressure from two Republican mayors with lofty dreams of stamping out crime, coupled with uneven policies that hit communities of color hard throughout the ’90s and 2000s, had a demonstrable financial effect on the culture. After Lil’ Kim went to jail for refusing to cooperate with police investigating a 2004 shooting outside Hot 97, surveillance of the station’s lower-Manhattan office began. It would’ve been the latter’s biggest hometown event; he was later murdered in February 2020 on the opposite coast. It was protest music, artists outlining systemic harassment and oppression and identifying the villains in the story of New York hip-hop. It’s all in the music. “Hip-Hop Cop” Derrick Parker tracked rappers in a subset of Giuliani-era NYPD chief Louis Anemone’s Gang Intelligence Unit tasked with monitoring crime related to rappers. If the growth of culture is closely tied to a city’s well-being and the cost of living, so is shrink. He rode the wave into politics and ran for mayor in 1989 but lost narrowly to Manhattan borough president David Dinkins, the city’s first Black mayor. Twenty years of pressure from two Republican mayors with lofty dreams of stamping out crime had a demonstrable effect on the culture. Lil Wayne did time on Rikers Island after his tour bus, parked outside Manhattan’s Beacon Theatre on a summer night in 2007, was searched by police claiming to have smelled marijuana outside, and a loaded .40-caliber handgun was recovered. The trouble never ended; like the wellspring of talent pouring out of the city over the past three years, it only got harder to sweep under a rug. “Unfortunately, NYPD wouldn’t let me perform,” he said on Instagram. Bloomberg would only change course on stop and frisk and minimum wage during his short-lived, ill-fated tenure in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries. The city didn’t fall; it was pushed. His quality-of-life campaign and broken-windows policies produced results at the cost of too many arrests and too much regulation. Related

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Is Bobby Shmurda a Gangster or Simply ‘Guilty for Where I Live’? Dinkins took office as racism divided a constituency reeling from high-profile cases like the murder of Black teen Yusuf Hawkins by a mob of white men in Bensonhurst and the arrest of the Central Park Five for crimes they didn’t commit. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Mario Suriani/AP/Shutterstock

“We’re seeing body after body, and our Mayor Giuliani ain’t trying to see a Black man turn to John Gotti.” —Biggie, “Everyday Struggle”

The history of New York nightlife — and, by extension, New York music — is a game of cat and mouse, of the ingenuity of smart young partyers and business owners in the face of a ceaseless wave of police and government enforcement. Local leadership didn’t just stifle outlets where New York rappers might have gotten a leg up and make life harder in general for people of color, the pool from which most rappers here are born. Local leadership didn’t just stifle outlets where New York rappers might have gotten a leg up and make life harder in general for people of color, the pool from which most rappers here are born. Years later, we’d learn that the FBI trailed the Wu-Tang Clan from 1999 to 2004. In the ’80s, as U.S. He ramped up stop and frisk amid complaints of racial profiling, and while he promised to build affordable housing and delivered some, his courtship of big businesses ran up property values. He toyed with repealing the cabaret law for years, but it stayed on the books until 2017. He entered the 2001 NYC mayoral race as a billionaire with the endorsement of Giuliani, who pivoted from public disgrace as his 2000 Senate campaign suffered under scandals — including an affair with nurse and medical exec, Judith Nathan, and his demonization of Patrick Dorismond, a Black man shot to death by an undercover officer asking him for drugs he didn’t sell (and whose lightweight juvenile criminal record was unsealed by Rudy to try and drum up favor for the shooter, who was never indicted) — to “America’s Mayor” in the wake of 9/11. A mid-February hometown show at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre, that would’ve been Pop’s last in the city, was canceled just days in advance. Rage too hard and it sparks noise complaints or violent incidents that beget harsh crackdowns. His crackdowns on indoor smoking and outdoor noise spelled trouble for watering holes now generating more sound outside from cigarette breaks. The city didn’t fall; it was pushed. The reverberations of these initiatives can still be felt in the city makeup today in (now dormant) luxury skyscraper apartments and in complaints from affluent transplants that the city they once knew and loved is presently dead or dying. Bloomberg edged out a victory and quickly set about expanding on the policies of his predecessor. Attempts to balance the needs of communities in pain with rising crime rates led to harsh criticisms Giuliani would pounce on and win with when he ran again in 1993 on promises to clean up the city. Tags: Press the venues too hard and crowds slip into DIY venues and secret after-hours spots you have to ferret out in order to regulate. He used zoning laws to squeeze strip clubs and adult-video stores out of residential areas, employed a draconian Prohibition-era cabaret ordinance banning dancing in clubs (a ploy to curb drinking in the ’20s) to make it harder to get and keep liquor licenses, and relied on nebulous public-nuisance laws to create trouble for noisy establishments. No drugs ever surfaced; Shmurda is wrapping up a seven-year term on gun and conspiracy charges. The same is true of the Brooklyn indie-rock explosion of the aughts, a by-product of the migration in the early years of the new millennium from lower Manhattan into (then) more affordable housing in Williamsburg and Bushwick that seemed to dovetail with the job loss and economic stagnation the city suffered post-9/11. Brooklyn rapper Bobby Shmurda went to jail after long-term surveillance of his GS9 crew and close reading of the lyrics to his 2014 hit “Hot Nigga” led to an indictment naming him as ringleader of a criminal organization responsible for shootings, murders, and gun and drug trafficking. By June, Live Nation pulled the plug on concerts by YG, Mac Miller, Joey Bada$$, and Vince Staples, this in a month during which former NYPD commissioner William Bratton called rappers “thugs that are basically celebrating the violence that they’ve lived all their lives.” Last fall, the New York edition of the roving hip-hop festival Rolling Loud hit a snag when the NYPD pressed to have local stars like Sheff G and Pop Smoke removed from the bill, and promoters caved. (Webster Hall has since loosened up on the dress code.) Then, critically, after a May 2016 incident at Irving Plaza, where Brooklyn rapper Troy Ave was both shot and fired a gun at a T.I. This city never seems to know how to apply the right amount of pressure: from the Prohibition era, when a government ban on selling alcohol drove nightlife patrons to clandestine speakeasies and doctors were legally allowed to prescribe whiskey to patients, to the last three months of the current pandemic, when Governor Cuomo made public examples of establishments that flout his very specific guidelines for reopening, where having your liquor license suspended is as easy as neglecting to sell a sandwich alongside a beer. His opposition to raising the minimum wage kept the poor in their place as the city got ritzier. It’s a problem we’re still dealing with. In time, famed New York venues like Tunnel, whose Sunday nights were the stuff of hip-hop legend throughout the ’90s, closed their doors for good. concert, it got significantly harder to book rap shows in the city. Boston native Bloomberg toiled toward a master’s in business administration in the ’60s, excelled in the ’70s at the Wall Street investment bank Salomon Brothers, and shifted into a career in data and media in the ’80s and ’90s. In 2005, the NYPD’s hip-hop dossier leaked, listing mug shots, favored haunts, and associates of artists like Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, and Flavor Flav. These incidents didn’t die with the 2000s. Attorney, Giuliani shot to fame after indicting the bosses of New York’s five organized crime families and jailing three for life. It’s a problem we’re still dealing with. Where It Started At: The NY Rap Story

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If the growth of culture is closely tied to a city’s well-being and the cost of living, so is shrink. One party slips and the other one pounces. “We’re seeing body after body, and our Mayor Giuliani ain’t trying to see a Black man turn to John Gotti,” Biggie rapped on Ready to Die’s “Everyday Struggle.” “Giuliani might as well be murking n – – – – -,” Jadakiss said on the LOX’s “Blood Pressure,” “’cause the time that he giving out is hurting n – – – – -.” Smif-N-Wessun went into detail on “Bucktown USA”: “First offenders are getting hit like predicates / Going through the system just for standing on the strip.” “Bloomberg banned cigarettes,” Saigon says in “Preacher.” “Why he ain’t ban letting police man beat on n – – – – – yet?” Ja Rule predicted devastation on “Believe”: “Even with the Knicks looking to make the playoffs / Spike is back on the court, and Jeter’s still with the Bronx / Bloomberg got the city ready for a séance / Go get your Ouija boards out, n – – – – -, and pray on.” Pharoahe Monch invited listeners to “flip Bloomberg the bird” on “Assassins.”

This wasn’t posturing or simple iconoclasm.

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Cheer’s Jerry Harris Arrested on Child Pornography Charge

Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

Cheer’s Jerry Harris was arrested Thursday morning on a child pornography charge, officials said; the arrest comes several days after two twin boys publicly accused him of sexual misconduct. After allegations of misconduct surfaced earlier this week, a spokesperson commented: “We categorically dispute the claims made against Jerry Harris, which are alleged to have occurred when he was a teenager. “Harris admitted to soliciting and receiving child pornography on Snapchat from at least between 10 to 15 other individuals he knew were minors,” the complaint alleged. We are confident that when the investigation is completed the true facts will be revealed.”

Morgan Stewart and Sarah Klein, who represent Charlie and Sam, praised Harris’ arrest. The now-fallen Netflix star also “admitted to attempting to entice Minor 1 to perform oral sex on Harris in a bathroom at a Texas cheerleading event.”

Authorities also alleged that Harris made two more shocking disclosures. The boys are now 14 years old, officials said. Attorney and the FBI have taken swift action to protect children by investigating, arresting and charging Jerry Harris,” they said. “Harris admitted to engaging in anal and oral sex with a 15 year old minor (Minor 3) at a cheer event in 2019.”

Reps for Harris did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his arrest. The criminal complaint refers to this boy as “Minor 1.”

The boy told Harris that he was 13 years old. “Harris stated he received images and/or videos from Minor 1 in response to his requests at least approximately once a month throughout the duration of their Snapchat discussion.”

Harris “admitted to sending Minor 1 photographs of HARRIS’ penis over the Snapchat application,” the feds further alleged. “We are grateful that the U.S. “This was made possible because our clients’ mother had the courage to report Harris to the FBI as well as the Fort Worth Police Department and provided evidentiary proof of the manipulation, sexual harassment, abuse, and exploitation that her sons had suffered.”

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Cheer’s Jerry Harris Accused of Sexual Misconduct With Two Minors

Tags: The criminal complaint largely echoes the boys’ allegations earlier this week, which were also detailed in a Tarrant County, Texas, civil lawsuit. During the interview with law-enforcement agents, Harris admitted to asking him to send photos of his “booty,” which allegedly took place in a 2018 Instagram exchange. Lawyers for the two brothers, identified by USA Today as Charlie and Sam on Monday, confirmed to Vulture that Harris’s arrest relates to their clients’ allegations. According to a criminal complaint filed in Chicago federal court, Harris “admitted” to instances of alleged misconduct from December 2018 to spring 2020, during a September 14 interview with law-enforcement agents — including allegedly admitting to sex with another minor, who was 15. Harris, now 21, contacted one of these two boys through social media and “repeatedly enticed him to produce sexually explicit videos and photographs of himself and send them” to him, Chicago federal prosecutors alleged in a statement; officials said this contact took place from December 2018 to March 2020. Harris who is charged with one count of producing child pornography, would have been from 19 to about 20 years old during the alleged misconduct. Harris has previously denied allegations of sexual misconduct. “Harris admitted to engaging in continuous Snapchat conversations with Minor 1 between December 2018 and March 2020 in which HARRIS repeatedly asked Minor 1 to send Harris naked photographs of Minor 1, including photographs of Minor 1’s penis and buttocks, which Minor 1 sent to HARRIS over the Snapchat application,” the criminal complaint alleged. He faces from 15 to 30 years in federal lockup if convicted.

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Who Needs Virtual NYFW? Rihanna’s Bringing Another Savage X Fenty Show to Amazon

This year’s Savage X Fenty show will feature performances from Travis Scott, Rosalía, Bad Bunny, Ella Mai, Miguel, Mustard, and Roddy Ricch. Thank you, creative director and fashion luminary Rihanna, for your vision. Today, Rihanna announced in a statement that the Savage X Fenty Show Vol. Not that virtual fashion shows have to be a bad thing: Case in point, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty show on Amazon Prime Video changed the game last year, and she’s about to do it again. Does this mean Bradley Cooper will be watching, with his hands balled up into little fists? She invented fashion shows. It will also feature special appearances from Lizzo, Bella Hadid, Big Sean, Cara Delevingne, Christian Combs, Demi Moore, Willow Smith, Laura Harrier, Normani, Paloma Elsesser, Paris Hilton, Rico Nasty, and Irina Shayk. 2 will stream on Amazon Prime Video on October 2, and the lineup is even more stacked than last year’s. Related

Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande Join Petition Calling for NY Police Reform

Tags: Possibly. Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Bergdorf Goodma

This year’s fall New York Fashion Week just finished yesterday, although you’d be forgiven for not even knowing it was happening in the first place, because it was largely socially distanced and virtual.

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What the Constitution Means to Me Film Coming to Amazon in October

Marielle Heller, director of Can You Ever Forgive Me? Oliver Butler directed the stage production. In addition to Schreck, the production’s cast includes Mike Iveson, Rosdely Ciprian, and Thursday Williams. The production announced today that a taped version of Schreck’s performance will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on October 16. Heidi Schreck in performance. Related

Tony Kushner and Heidi Schreck Talk About What the Constitution Means to Me

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Tags: In What the Constitution Means to Me, Schreck recreates the speeches and debates about the Constitution she performed at American Legion halls as a teenager in order to raise money for college, while commenting on her experience from her current perspective, and weaving in the ways the document affected her family history. “In light of the moment we are living through, I am donating part of my proceeds from this film to the Broadway Cares COVID Relief Fund and to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Voting Rights 2020 initiative.”

The news that What the Constitution Means to Me is coming to Amazon continues the trend of streaming services becoming a second home for theatrical productions, even while theater itself is shuttered due to COVID. The play won acclaim on and off Broadway, earning Best Play and Best Actress Tony nominations, becoming a Pulitzer finalist, and most importantly, getting a lot of enthusiastic coverage from us at this publication. and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, filmed the show in its last week on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theater in 2019. “I’m delighted with how beautifully Mari Heller has translated Constitution to the screen and I’m thankful to Big Beach and Amazon Studios for making it possible to share the show with more people — especially right now when we can’t gather together in theaters,” Schreck said in a statement. Amazon also announced that it has signed a new overall deal with Schreck to create content exclusively for the platform. American Utopia is going to HBO. Netflix has adapted The Boys in the Band and The Prom into feature films, while it also plans to film the musical Diana before audiences return to Broadway. Photo: Joan Marcus

Heidi Schreck’s play What the Constitution Means to Me has a knack for always seeming of the moment, so of course it’s coming from Broadway to streaming in the October before a general election. Hamilton recently premiered on Disney+.

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5 Questions for TV’s Weirdest Fall Season Ever

It’s been nearly four months since Max launched and over two months since Peacock rolled out nationally — and yet as of this writing, both platforms can’t be easily accessed by the tens of millions of U.S. Individual shows took a hit, but TV largely survived. In addition to the October 30 return of Mandalorian, the streamer will roll out National Geographic’s adaptation of the space drama The Right Stuff starting October 9. The Time Capsule: The Mary Tyler Moore Show Turns 50

If you follow me on Twitter, you may know that for the past year or so, I’ve made it a habit for most of 2020 to watch one episode of both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Bob Newhart Show every Saturday night. Netflix’s platform already gives it a leg up in the battle to connect films with an audience, and less competition from others in the marketplace surely won’t hurt Netflix’s efforts to draw attention to them. And while no specific date has been announced, the streamer this week said another Marvel show, WandaVision, will debut before 2020 ends (assuming, of course, 2020 actually ever ends). To be sure, Roku and Amazon have taken a hit here, too. (If you subscribe to a service through our links, Vulture may earn an affiliate commission.)

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Netflix Just Disrupted Itself. And strategizing hasn’t gone away at all: It’s just now different at most platforms as programmers are less concerned about hits and misses — and more worried about figuring out how to survive these topsy-turvy times. What’s more, even in the unlikely event Bridgerton doesn’t connect with audiences, Netflix will still have many, many creative at-bats from Rhimes in the next year or two. homes which use Roku or Amazon Fire devices to get their streaming services. There was the teen-focused Diary of a Future President in January, the kid-focused Muppets Now in July, and … well, that’s about it. That said, even though it seems quite likely American audiences won’t be lining up to see movies this fall, people will still want to see big, expensive movies — and culture writers and critics will not suddenly lose interest in reporting on and analyzing such films. Here’s the good news for broadcast TV: As much as the pandemic has upended the normal order of things this fall, it could have been a whole lot worse. I would argue, though, that to some degree, the streamer recouped its investment in her and her Shondaland shingle years ago: By taking a leap from the very safe and profitable world of network television three long years ago, Rhimes sent a signal to other showrunners that the age of linear-TV dominance was over and that Netflix was a safe space to set up shop. Beyond production challenges, there will be preemptions for Election Night coverage and holiday programming that will limit how many new episodes can be squeezed in by the time networks go into full rerun mode in mid-December. To a degree, it really doesn’t matter whether season two of the Disney streamer’s signature series is good or bad: People are going to want to watch it — and talk about it — whatever its ultimate quality. The show will drive new signups and convince more than a few folks with annual subscriptions due for renewal in November to stick around a bit longer. Netflix, which has been hammering home the point that audiences don’t care where a movie first screens, couldn’t have scripted a better scenario for ushering in the era of direct-to-consumer movies. Would I like it to be faster? Barris and Murphy have already premiered shows on Netflix, but Rhimes has yet to make her debut on the streamer. I have zero idea how talks are progressing, but it wouldn’t shock me to (finally) see some movement on this front soon. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, Ron Howard’s adaptation of Hillbilly Elegy, and David Fincher’s Mank. Assuming the show is reasonably good — and I’m betting it will be, given the auspices, two-year gestation period, and Netflix’s resources — I think it could end up being one of the biggest TV events of the fall. One very hopeful sign for the network-TV ecosystem came this week, when ABC’s Dancing With the Stars returned to the same overall audience it had for its 2019 premiere and notably better demographic ratings. Head to vulture.com/buffering and subscribe today! Even before the pandemic completely messed up the release of feature films, Netflix had already substantially disrupted the movie business on multiple levels, including awards season. Her arrival at Netflix, like that of Murphy and Barris, also acted as a talent magnet, bringing over dozens of writers and actors who want to work with them. It’s not a history of the show, per se (for that, buy this), but rather a fun, breezy (and trivia-filled) distillation of the show’s many wisdoms. Terms & Privacy Notice
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Sign up for Vulture’s insider newsletter on the streaming industry from editor Joe Adalian. But the streamer’s original scripted-series pantry has been pretty empty during the nine months since Mandalorian ended its first season. A Closer Look at the HBO Max-acre

CBS All Access Has a Fancy New Name

Tags: Yes, Disney+ has done an amazing job maintaining momentum during the pandemic with stunts such as Hamilton, the early release of Frozen 2, and this month’s early access to Mulan (though the latter is more an effort by Disney’s film division to avoid financial disaster on a major investment). Having a pop-culture phenom is great, but having one that is also good helps Disney+ be seen as more than just a place folks turn to as a babysitter or hit up when they need to relive their Disney-branded childhood memories. But those positives aside, it won’t feel like fall TV when the season officially kicks off next week. But while there will surely be long-term implications for the film business, I’m particularly curious to see how this all plays out for Netflix’s fall 2020 film slate. This story first ran in Buffering, Vulture’s newsletter about the streaming industry. Huge blockbusters such as Mulan are now being released on TV, and a slew of smaller movies will likely skip theaters completely over the next year as the never-ending pandemic makes moviegoing in public risky. Next month marks the end of that drought. Will HBO Max and Peacock settle their disputes with Roku and Amazon? Ahead of next week’s Nielsen-sanctioned start of the new season, here are five questions worth pondering about how this very weird fall TV cycle will play out. COVID-19 cases in California were out of control, and there was a sense networks were deluding themselves by thinking production could (safely) resume anytime soon on most U.S. That has no doubt prompted many of the older viewers who still regularly watch linear TV to sample more streaming platforms and programs. Will Netflix’s original movies get a lift from the lack of theatrical competition? Parting Shot

“Would I like it to be more? Sure. Things are much different now: Network TV, while still managing to hang on, is being challenged as never before by the rise of streaming. There will be new episodes of familiar favorites this fall. Several primetime series, including ABC’s The Conners and The Good Doctor and CBS’s S.W.A.T., have already started filming; others are slowly coming on line. That mission will be just a little bit easier if Mandalorian remains must-stream TV during its second season. But CBS’s Big Brother has been doing decent, if somewhat diminished, Nielsen numbers since it returned in August. I’ve previously written about why this is the case, but no matter which side one thinks is most in the right here, I am stunned this standoff has gone on for so long. Photo-Illustration: Vulture, ABC, Disney+, NBC and Getty Images

Fall TV previews traditionally focus on what new shows are expected to break out or how various networks are shaking up their schedules in order to get a strategic advantage. shows. Six months later, it struck a similarly rich pact with Ryan Murphy; six month after that, in August 2018, it signed Kenya Barris. [But] we’re not doing this for a year. That should change soon: While there’s been no premiere-date announcement, industry insiders expect the Rhimes-produced Bridgerton (written by Shondaland vet Chris Van Dusen) will debut on the service before the end of the year, ending our long national nightmare of a world without new creative output from one of this century’s creative titans. Fact is, there’s not been a ton of that on Disney+ during its first year. Among the expected highlights (not all have confirmed release dates): Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7, Ryan Murphy’s The Prom, George C. Not all of them will return to their pre-pandemic habits. Especially these days, I highly recommend this comfort-food comedy combination — both shows are on Hulu — and there’s no time like this Saturday to start: It just happens to be the 50th anniversary of Mary Tyler Moore’s September 19, 1970 premiere on CBS. But while traditional studios change their plans weekly, Netflix is already set to go with a fourth quarter slate of Quality Films. But Roku and Amazon Fire are well-established by now and have probably been able to weather this turbulence, at least so far. Why? One show does not a creator make, nor will the success (or failure) of Bridgerton determine whether or not Netflix’s bet on Rhimes has paid off. And while the NFL’s early primetime ratings are down a bit versus last year, football is still drawing a huge audience to linear TV. So in a sense, the fact that Disney+ was lucky enough to have Mandalorian ready to go on schedule this fall despite the pandemic already represents a big win. At least in theory, those movies could benefit from a dramatically less cluttered fourth-quarter movie calendar. I don’t pretend to know anything about the politics of Oscar (always read my Vulture colleague Nate Jones for that), so I don’t know if this will make any difference at all in what gets nominated next year, let alone what wins. Email

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Terms of Service apply. Will network viewership collapse as the pandemic blows up the traditional fall TV season? Google, which does have deals for Max and Peacock, is about to launch what is expected to be a radical reimagining of its Chromecast TV product, one that could in theory make it more of a threat to Roku (which will also announce new products by month’s end). Pandemic delays blew up the streamer’s plan to unleash its first Marvel-branded scripted series over the summer (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier), while the buzzy Love, Simon series adaptation green-lit by Disney+, Love, Victor, was moved to Hulu because of content concerns. Summer Nielsen numbers have been dreadfully low as networks, deprived of several unscripted shows, aired mostly reruns. That doesn’t mean network TV is going to collapse this fall, or that nobody will show up when Grey’s Anatomy and This Is Us begin their delayed seasons. For the video portion of this week’s Time Capsule, I found a three-minute promotional clip CBS used to sell the show during its annual primetime fall-preview special. The legendary sitcoms shared the 9 p.m. Can The Mandalorian avoid a sophomore slump (and help Disney+ usher in some new hits)? There is still tremendous uncertainty surrounding how shows get made now, but network TV is starting to figure it out. A 1988 strike by the Writers Guild of America delayed that year’s fall launch until November, while the 2007-2008 season was thrown into disarray when the WGA walked out in November 2007. Disney+ clearly wants to make sure audiences returning for Mandalorian have other new shows to check out while they’re on the platform. We’re doing this to build a platform that can sustain for the next decade.”

—AT&T CEO John Stankey explaining why he “couldn’t be more pleased” about how the launch of HBO Max has gone. What happens when Shonda Rhimes (finally) returns? September and most of October will still consist mostly of unscripted reality fare, game shows, and assorted other stunts and specials as networks try to build up a big enough inventory of filmed episodes before premiering a show. The big mystery, of course, is how audiences will respond to this strangest of fall launches. We don’t know yet exactly which (if any) Oscar-y movies will end up getting released before the end of 2020; it’s been a constantly moving target. hour on CBS’s equally legendary 1973-74 Saturday night lineup, and since I was just a bit too young to watch them when they first aired, I decided it might be fun to slow-binge them the way God and Fred Silverman intended. As recently as two months ago, some TV-industry insiders I speak to regularly weren’t certain there would be any big live-action scripted shows debuting this year (not counting productions wrapped pre-pandemic, of course). People who bought either device on the promise that they’d be able to stream all those services they keep hearing about may be wondering why friends with Apple TV or Chromecast are able to watch Friends on HBO Max or relive old episodes of Columbo on Peacock. The pandemic hasn’t completely changed all that, but it has added endless new challenges for the folks who run things in TV land. All of this points to the likelihood that viewers are still interested in watching traditional TV, even if the craziness of our current world means continued ratings erosion. Still, it wouldn’t hurt if Mandalorian were also able to maintain the mix of heart, humor, and action that also made it a critical sensation last fall (and an Emmy nominee for Best Drama at this Sunday’s kudos). I am curious, however, if the two companies (especially Roku, where streaming TV is the whole enchilada) really want to go into the holiday shopping season without being able to offer consumers access to two big services? There will still be new shows (especially on streaming platforms), but they won’t all be rolling out in exactly the same manner as usual or in the same environment. Instead of associating HBO Max and Peacock with specific shows, many people now think of them as Those Things I Can’t Get. There could also be unplanned delays if an outbreak of COVID on a set shuts down a production. And if you need some companion reading, I also recommend Love Is All Around: And Other Lessons We’ve Learned From The Mary Tyler Moore Show, by my friend and former Variety colleague Paula Bernstein. (And while they don’t have nearly as robust slates, you can argue Amazon and Apple could benefit from not having to worry about going up against big feature films; both platforms have big, potentially Oscar-friendly releases scheduled for the fall, too.)

That said, all this really is just a theory: William Goldman’s famous line about Hollywood — “Nobody knows anything” — holds doubly true in a global pandemic. The one thing streaming industry execs tell me consistently is that while great libraries help keep current customers satisfied, the best way to get new signups is through buzzy, first-rate original programming. Broadcast ratings will also be challenged through November as an increasingly nasty presidential campaign drives up viewership for the cable-news channels. Perhaps Murphy and Barris would have jumped anyway, but the Rhimes deal helped a lot of superstar showrunners feel more comfortable leaving the network TV cocoon. This isn’t the first time circumstances have conspired to blow up the start of a new season. But the last few months have seemingly blasted away whatever walls still existed between traditional theatrical releases and films made for streaming platforms. Some of its gains can probably be chalked up to audiences wanting to check out the show’s socially distanced pandemic format and new host Tyra Banks. Even if you’ve seen every episode, it’s worth checking out because it features a rough version of a key scene from the show’s pilot — one that’s very different from what actually aired a half-century ago. WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal spent millions to hype their respective services, and so much of that marketing was wasted selling products wide swaths of consumers basically couldn’t get. As one of my editors noted when I mentioned this topic, people feel an obsessive need to see anything Star Wars–related, even if it’s ultimately deemed garbage. All the way back in 2017, Netflix shocked the TV industry by announcing it had signed the Grey’s Anatomy creator to a big bucks, multiyear overall deal. Clockwise from top left: Leslie Jones; The Mandalorian; Shonda Rhimes; and Friends. (See: ABC’s revived Supermarket Sweep, hosted by Leslie Jones.) And even those series that manage to make it back this fall won’t air a long stretch of episodes: Insiders say to expect at most five or six installments before the end of year, and in some cases, as few as two or three new episodes.

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PEN15 Goes Deeper in Season 2

Over the course of season two’s first half — the latter half will arrive next year — Anna and Maya navigate unrequited crushes, slut-shaming, a brief phase in which they practice witchcraft, parental discord, and a foray into the world of middle-school theater. PEN15 makes that feeling visceral in constant awkward glances and the stunned expressions of girls being told they are ugly. Sometimes we forget, but PEN15 is here to remind us of every glorious, agonizing, infuriating, beautiful moment. We know how it felt. When Maya emerges from a duffel bag to announce her arrival at a sleepover, she announces that she’s paying homage to “Ace Ventura coming out of the rhino’s butt” in Ace Ventura: Nature Calls. Both Maya and Anna have unusual family situations. In case this review suggests that PEN15 has become more My So-Called Life than comedy, rest assured there are some very funny moments. In a lot of shows, Gabe would come to terms with being gay in an episode or two, but PEN15 lets him sit with his feelings and not fully figure out what they mean or how to process them. During a shopping trip, Maya and Anna each call their moms horrible names. Konkle, the dry-comedy side of the duo, milks some very funny moments out of Anna’s power trip as stage manager of the middle-school play. Erskine and Konkle deliver performances that are so naturally believable that it’s easy to forget how astonishing it is that they are naturally believable. Anyone who came of age back then will feel transported right back to that moment in time because of the attention to detail in the references, costumes, and production design. Though it’s never spoken, it’s obvious in the way that they carry themselves that any optimism about seventh grade is slowly starting to leak out of their bodies. The beauty of PEN15 is that it’s recognizable to everyone because we’ve all been through adolescence. When you’re 12 or 13, every cell in your body screams out for validation almost every second of every day. Maya says she can’t even hear it, because she’s watching the show, and the way Erskine plays the moment, that reaction is obviously an act of generosity and love on Maya’s part. They also become tight with a new, seemingly cool girl named Maura (Ashlee Grubbs), who immediately changes Maya’s and Anna’s lexicon — they start using the word “fool” a lot — and the dynamic between them. Never once, in any episode, is the viewer even temporarily reminded that they are adults. This especially won’t be lost on anyone who happens to be the parents of a preteen or teenager. But even if you’re too old or too young to have gone through puberty in the late 1990s/early 2000s, the show remains relatable. Tags: Both of them were great in season one, but in this season they have seeped even more deeply into these characters. “It’s a lighting thing,” she says self-righteously at one point. As a traveling musician, Maya’s dad is often away from home, but Anna definitely has it harder. Erskine’s expressions and sometimes over-the-top bids for attention, whether she’s directly paying tribute to Ace Ventura or not, have a genuinely go-for-broke, Jim Carrey quality. Anna and Maya drool over an oversize Tommy Hilfiger shirt and chug Surge soda when things get wild at that sleepover. While Maya and Anna remain the focus of PEN15, the series broadens its focus a bit more to spend time with the boys, especially Gabe (Dylan Gage), who is struggling with his sexuality and his feelings about his best friend Sam (Taj Cross), who is spending more time with his friends from the wrestling team. But in the initial seven episodes of season two, dropping on Friday, September 18, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, the creators of this off-kilter yet completely accessible Hulu series in which they star as their adolescent alter egos, commit even more fully to uncovering the fragility in every interaction between kids whose hormones have staged a coup on their hearts and minds. Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine, totally chill about middle school in PEN15. PEN15 is so astute in its observations of young female behavior that it instinctively understands how much even the smallest show of affection is magnified through young teen binoculars. It’s not lost on the viewer that the sting their mothers feel is not so different from the sting the girls feel when they’re rejected by other girls, boys, or even each other. “You wouldn’t understand.”

As it did in its first season, PEN15 does a superb job of evoking turn-of-the-millennium culture. Their mothers are much more invested in the girls’ upbringing and, consequently, are resented. It’s also going to do all the things that the first season of PEN15 did: make you laugh, cringe, and occasionally avert your eyes to avoid bearing witness to middle-school humiliations that may trigger seventh-grade PTSD. These are women in their early 30s, playing middle schoolers opposite other middle-school-age kids and actually pulling that off. Looking embarrassed, Anna admits that they argue a lot. Photo: Lara Solanki/Hulu

The second season of PEN15 is going to break your heart. Viewers may empathetically twitch every time Maura links arms with or hugs one of the girls and leaves out the other. In one scene, as Maya and Anna attempt to watch Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a shouting match between Anna’s parents can be heard. Her parents are separated and trying to live in different halves of the same house.

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This Week in Comedy Podcasts: Our Josh Is an Awesome Josh

They chat mostly about Schaefer’s new book, Grand (which, in addition to this podcast, I also recommend!), as well as the damage social media is doing and the pressures that come with comparing yourself to other people. Many may be familiar with this contemporary worship song from 1988, which rose to the No. (“I think people would pay to see Don Jr. locked in an enclosure with a bear,” suggests Heather.) It’s good, short fun with 20-minute episodes, but you better hurry: Frank says there are only 11 more shows to go before they hit 50 and get out of the closet. Once queued up, the humorous commentary begins. The show is a great source of comfort for anyone who’s not having the best time right now, which I’m going to go out on a limb and say is a lot of people. More From This Series

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Tags: Good Christian Fun — “Awesome God,” by Rich Mullins (With Josh Gondelman)

Good Christian Fun takes listeners into “the strange upside-down world of Christian pop culture.” Hosted by Kevin T. There’s no usual “watch the movie before listening to the podcast” with this episode; Braylock actually suggests that listeners wait until December, when Disney releases it for free, and Yau’s most positive feedback is, “I’m just happy that Forever Dog is giving me $30 to watch it.” While they do recognize the movie’s pros, its cons require much more airtime. And in this case, the desperate measures include actor Frank Whaley (Pulp Fiction, Field of Dreams) and his wife, author Heather Waley (Eat Your Feelings: Recipes for Self-Loathing), swaddling themselves in blankets in a closet of their house. This week, Heather tries to convince her man to sacrifice one of his testicles as a lure to get President Trump voted out of office. (With Rian Johnson & Karina Longworth)Listen: Spotify | Apple | Website

The Jock Doc Podcast — Sarcoidosis/Dr. —Becca James

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Black Men Can’t Jump [In Hollywood] — Mulan, ft. Porter (Gilmore Guys) and Caroline Ely, it’s “a show for skeptics and believers alike” but skews toward the former, or at least toward former Christians to the listeners’ benefit. “[The song] sounds like it’s from a movie where God comes into town to kick some ass,” says Gondelman, later elaborating, “It sounds like Christian Road House … if Patrick Swayze’s character from Road House also read the Bible to the other characters at the bar.” In addition to riffing on the song, they consider its legacy, which includes Mullins saying, “It’s one of the worst-written songs that I ever wrote; it’s just poorly crafted.” Then they rate it, offering a well-rounded take on the “weird and hilarious world of faith-based entertainment” that’s sure to crack listeners up. —Anna Marr

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You Up With Nikki Glaser — Trevor w/ Sara Schaefer

Back in one of the earlier phases of “everyone has a podcast,” Sara Schaefer and Nikki Glaser hosted the podcast You Had to Be There. Drop us a line at comedypodcasts@vulture.com. And he almost goes for it, especially when the idea of it being a big money-making streaming special starts to percolate. —Marc Hershon

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Other Podcasts We’re Listening To:

Double Threat — Now My Wife Kicks! Josh Gondelman, that is. Each week, our crack team of podcast enthusiasts and specialists and especially enthusiastic people will pick their favorites. Photo: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

The comedy-podcast universe is ever expanding, not unlike the universe universe. Mark BudroListen: Spotify | Apple | Website

Got a comedy podcast recommendation? This week, Josh Gondelman drops in to discuss “Awesome God,” by Rich Mullins. Glaser has been putting out daily episodes of You Up throughout the pandemic, chronicling her life living back home with her parents. Lerner, Yau, Chang, and Braylock have varying levels of disappointment with the retelling as a whole, which makes their conversation helpful for anyone who has seen the film and needs to process what they just spent $30 to see (and/or to get pumped up to rewatch the original). After the four sift through the tornado of politics surrounding the remake’s writing, production, and release, their critiques of the film itself mostly lie in questioning all of the confusing things Disney added, from Chi to that one weird Me Too moment to Mulan’s distractingly far-more-interesting sister. But alas, Frank gets cold feet (in spite of the blankets), and the couple gets down to the business of raking the current administration, their policies, and their kids over the coals. Ever since being locked down in March, the Whaleys have taken to the closet every week to get their thoughts and feelings out in podcast form. —Leigh Cesiro 

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The Whaley Family Hour — One Ball One Strike

Desperate times calls for … well, you know. We’re here to make it a bit smaller, a bit more manageable. We hope to have your ears permanently plugged with the best in aural comedy. Good One
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f you like comedy and you like podcasts, we recommend you subscribe to Vulture’s own Good One podcast, which releases new episodes every Tuesday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Overcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. 1 spot on Christian radio before landing on late-night infomercials for Christian compilation CDs. The joy of the show came from their incredible chemistry, which eventually led to two seasons of Nikki & Sara Live on MTV. There is one thing these four can definitely agree on, though: They miss Mushu. The podcast ended in 2014, and there has been no other reunion I have anticipated more than these two recording something together again — and I know there has got to be other hobots and brobots (deep cut) out there hoping for the same thing. Why? Kat Lerner, Angel Yau, and Donald Chang

For the latest episode of Black Men Can’t Jump [in Hollywood], Jonathan Braylock slides over to the guest seat to welcome comedians Kat Lerner, Angel Yau, and Donald Chang to get to the bottom of the new live-action Mulan. After years of patiently waiting, that reunion podcast was finally recorded. There are a lot of great shows, and each one has a lot of great episodes, so we want to highlight the exceptional, the noteworthy. In her stream-of-conscious recordings, she’s open about what she’s going through, how she’s feeling, and how she’s getting through it all. Because Heather learned how to produce a podcast from YouTube.

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Dave Chappelle on Prince’s Legacy: ‘He Literally Was a Sign of the Times’

Do you remember where you were when you first heard Sign o’ the Times?It was a spring day in 1987. And he [Murphy] don’t! Photo: Mathieu Bitton

If any year were fitting to reissue Prince’s pivotal record Sign o’ the Times, it’d be 2020, a year marked by a pandemic, protests for racial justice, the rapidly developing climate crisis, and a consequential election in the U.S. Or, as he would say, “U gotta B free.”

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Tags: The words were profound. There’s a thing I say that “the last sane man on earth is going to think he’s crazy.” He was the only one I knew who had already done it. In the loneliest corners of that experience, there was always a sign, like “Brooks was here,” that he had been there and lived to tell about it. Our story was being told in hip-hop, but as a genre, it was still in its infancy. “And the other thing I hope is that people see how wildly creative the guy was and how he was able to do pretty much anything he wanted to.”

The superdeluxe edition also includes a book with a stacked cast of liner notes, including Dave Chappelle, Lenny Kravitz, Prince’s engineer Susan Rogers, Prince | Official Podcast host Andrea Swensson, and author Duane Tudahl. That really impressed me. “The serendipitous element of it is that we’re living in such a volatile time at the moment, such an unpredictable time, that the issues Prince was exploring on the album seem to be just as relevant today.”

It’s a fitting testament to Prince’s continued relevance as a musician over four years after his death. The superdeluxe edition includes 45 never-released tracks, along with two full live performances (from Utrecht, Netherlands, and Paisley Park, the latter including a guest appearance by trumpeter Miles Davis). “Sign o’ the Times was the one that organically raised its hand because of the sheer amount of love that it has, first of all, and second of all, the volume of ancillary material that we thought would be able to support it in a meaningful way,” says Michael Howe, Prince’s archivist who worked on assembling the reissue. He was the first person I knew who didn’t question my choices. So is the fact that the reissue of Sign o’ the Times, out September 25, features a bounty of new material, the most for a Prince reissue yet. He just told me, “Whatever it is, you’re right.”

He helped me understand that it might not be over and that there might be another side to it … and whether or not there is or isn’t, at least you’re free. “I hope it brings people joy and that it has the same kind of emotional resonance that I think Prince viewed as most important in his art,” he says. In fact, he didn’t even ask me about them. When would you ever hear a DJ read lyrics on a Top 40 countdown? I found a radio interview recording on YouTube where Prince was asked about your skit, and this is what he said: “I loved it, loved it! It’s only two-thirds of the material they considered, says Howe, adding that he still makes weekly discoveries in Prince’s mythical vault. One of his favorite songs on the reissue is a 1979 cut of “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man.” “Nobody knew it existed,” he says. The mere sight of Prince reminded me that I’m not the last sane man on earth, and I’m not crazy. He literally was a sign of the times. Read an exclusive excerpt from Chappelle’s liner notes below, in conversation with photographer Mathieu Bitton. For Chappelle’s contribution, the comedian reflects on his friendship with Prince along with the social relevance of Sign o’ the Times. That’s a true story, by the way,” to which the DJ asked, “So you got game?” He responded, “Oh definitely! Prince was the first mainstream artist to wax poetic and tell our community’s story, establishing himself as one of the preeminent lyricists for my generation. I remember being struck by the way Kasem introduced the song. “It’s kind of astonishing to think that he had that song in his pocket the entire time and decided to wait and reimagine it for inclusion on Sign o’ the Times.” As for the release as a whole, Howe only wants it to strengthen the intentions that were already in Prince’s music. I was listening to Casey Kasem on a local Dayton, Ohio, radio station. He actually read the lyrics before he played the record. But the Prince Estate didn’t plan any of this, of course. In France, a skinny man died of a big disease with a little nameBy chance his girlfriend came across a needle and soon she did the same At home there are 17-year-old boys and their idea of funIs being in a gang called the DisciplesHigh on crack and totin’ a machine gun

I didn’t realize it at the time, but in hindsight, he was singing about what would be the two definitive crises of my generation: crack and AIDS. And 2 be honest, it ain’t that I’m that great, he’s just so bad.” He continued: “U know what was cool 2 was Dave came to one of my shows after, and he’s going, ‘Hey, did you see the skit?’ and I say, ‘Yeah, yeah, come over and sit down.’ And we’re just sitting, chillin’, we’ve been there for like 2-3 hours or whatever, and then out of nowhere I said, ‘Dave, want some pancakes?’”

[Laughter]

When I left Chappelle’s Show, not only was Prince the only person I could relate to, he was one of the few people who truly cared about what was happening in my life.

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Robert Pattinson Hid His Devil All the Time Accent Until Cameras Rolled

He was just adamant about figuring it out on his own.” In fact, Campos had no idea what Pattinson’s accent would sound like. Sources

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Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson Get All Grimy in the Devil All the Time Trailer

Tags: The director of the film, which is out now on Netflix, told Insider that Pattinson had refused to work with a dialect coach as his co-stars did. “He just didn’t want to do it. “I might not have dug it, but it wasn’t going to be bad. Photo: Glen Wilson/Netflix

Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc accent has some company: Robert Pattinson has added to the tradition of British actors doing interesting takes on American southern accents in Antonio Campos’s new movie, The Devil All the Time. When asked, Pattinson “would be like, ‘I’m going to do this thing and that thing, with a little bit of this,’” talking in circles. It’s surprising he didn’t go for a bold-faced lie, as when he told the Today show he had witnessed a clown’s death at the circus as a child. Pattinson in The Devil All the Time. I’d rather have someone come with something weird that’s a choice than something that isn’t thought out. “It’s coming back to haunt me.”) Finally, on the first day of shooting, he revealed the high-pitched but soft voice, completely distinct from the Pattinson of Tenet and the soon-to-be Pattinson of The Batman. “There was no way in my mind that he wasn’t going to come on set with something bad,” he said. Obviously, Pattinson had to put his own maniacal spin on it. (“I actually made the whole thing up,” he later said. But Campos kept the faith. We get it; isolation sucks. So I knew he would come with something interesting.”

For Batman, his “something interesting” is coronavirus antibodies. “Rob was impossible to get dialect coaching,” Campos said. The actor was reportedly sent home from production earlier this month after testing positive for COVID-19. Don’t worry — both the movie and Pattinson are back in action, with THR reporting that production has resumed and paparazzi snapping the actor’s PDA with girlfriend Suki Waterhouse.

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Here’s the Writing Staff of The Amber Ruffin Show

Most recently, Dewayne is a co-producer on NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as well as a consulting producer on the upcoming new Peacock version of Saved by the Bell, and writer on The Amber Ruffin Show for Peacock. He is co-writing the feature film The Blackening with Tracy Oliver (Girls Trip), based on the Comedy Central viral short of the same name written by Dewayne. Also, they’re all younger and cooler than me, so they make me feel younger and cooler by association,” Hagel told Vulture on the news. I feel really lucky to be working with them. They just so happen to be Black, but they are the best comedy writers that I know. Once, a couple years ago, I realized everyone I knew who was on my list had been hired. “I keep a deep roster because people ask me all the time if I know any Black comedy writers. series Busy Tonight, the Comedy Central pilot The Reductress Hour, the BET sketch show 50 Central and a consulting producer on the CNN series, She the People. I’m so crazy lucky that we got our first choices! Variety named Dewayne one of the “10 Comedians to Watch in 2020” and additionally, he has garnered recognition by publications such as Vulture, The New Yorker, NPR, Comedy Central, NBC, and TimeOut, having performed as both a solo stand-up comedian and a member of the critically-acclaimed improv group 3Peat and The Second City Touring Company. And since we started the room, we’ve received confirmation that they are, in fact, the fucking shit.”

Here’s more info on each writer from Peacock:

Demi Adejuyigbe is a writer and comedian based in Los Angeles. So I started to go see comedy shows and stuff, just so I could have a bench of people,” Ruffin explained in her interview with Vulture. Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Kim Newmoney, Timothy M. “Shantira, Demi, and Dewayne are so incredibly smart and funny. They give me a ton of jokes, and they have these great ideas that are fun and weird and obey the genre of late night real hard or subvert it completely. It’s a laugh riot!” The show has a lot of great people involved behind the scenes: Ruffin will be joined by her frequent Late Night collaborator and “Jokes Seth Can’t Tell” co-star Jenny Hagel as executive producer and head writer, and Late Night’s Seth Meyers and Mike Shoemaker are also executive producing. They really have a crazy range, and they’re younger than me, so that is a plus.”

Check out the trailer for Ruffin’s new show below:

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Tags: Dewayne Perkins, Shantira Jackson, and Demi Adejuyigbe. Shantira Jackson was most recently a consulting producer and writer on the reimagined version of Saved by the Bell for Peacock. “But I chose the people I chose because they are the best. She is a member of the critically acclaimed improv group 3Peat and you can catch her weekly featured on the Cloud10 podcast Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best! at Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles. Dewayne Perkins is a writer, comedian, and actor from Chicago, currently residing in Los Angeles. Schmidt and Madeleine Holden and

A little over a week from now, we’re about to get a whole lot more of Late Night With Seth Meyers writer Amber Ruffin. Her new Peacock late-night series, The Amber Ruffin Show, debuts on Friday, September 25 and will feature, as Ruffin put it, “jokes, sketches, and, of course, thoughtful monologues on how to defeat systemic racism. He’s written for The New Yorker, Guardian, Pitchfork, Marvel, Cartoon Network, and MTV, though he’s best known as a writer on The Good Place & The Late Late Show With James Corden, and for hosting the podcasts Gilmore Guys and Punch Up the Jam. I was like, Oh my God, I better get out there. She has also written for The WGA Awards, The Webby’s and The ESPYS. He also co-hosts the monthly comedy show Everything’s Great! Additionally, Ruffin has lined up a small but impressive writing staff for the Peacock series, which she hinted to Vulture in our interview with her on September 4. Under Hagel as head writer, the staff includes Demi Adejuyigbe, Shantira Jackson, and Dewayne Perkins, all accomplished comedians and writers with numerous credits like The Good Place, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and Busy Tonight. Added Ruffin: “I hired my three favorite writers. Previously she was a staff writer on the E!

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All 11 Christopher Nolan Movies, Ranked

The Dark Knight

If nothing else, this is one of the most influential movies of our time — the entire DC Universe of superhero tentpoles has basically been built around its success. As dueling magicians in turn of the century London, Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale are both charming and sinister in their obsessions with one another. For anyone who’s been following Bruce Wayne’s efforts to try and make Gotham a better place, this is all quite heartbreaking to watch. Insomnia

This adaptation of the 1997 Norwegian crime thriller — about a troubled cop with a past who, while investigating a murder in small-town Alaska, accidentally kills his partner and then tries to cover up his crime — showed that the director could go from making low-budget indies to successful studio projects. Plus, there’s loads of atmosphere. And how wonderful it is to see a filmmaker tackle a big modern genre movie in such challenging fashion — and on such a massive scale. Memento

An absolutely ingenious thriller: The story, told in reverse, of a man who’s been trying to avenge his wife’s death; but his mind can’t form memories, and he forgets who, where, and what he is within minutes, so he has to tattoo his clues on his body in order not to forget them. (Also, the lead thief’s name is Cobb, the same as the head thief in Inception). Before you go any further, know this: Christopher Nolan is an exceptional filmmaker who has made many great movies, despite the fact that he only has 11 features to his name. That said, this one doesn’t get enough credit for how effectively it captures the hero’s feeling of helplessness — as the city’s bridges and buildings are leveled, its people pitted against one another, the very fabric of society ripped asunder. And the irony at the movie’s center — about a man who robs people to make them better appreciate their lives — is pure Nolan. Maybe that’s why, unlike so many other films that rely on “puzzle”-like structures and big twists, The Prestige continues to work so well on repeat viewings; if anything, it improves and gains depth the more you watch it. Inception

Consider this for a second: Nolan made a movie about high-tech thieves who break into people’s dreams and steal hidden ideas from them, but this time they are asked to secretly plant an idea in a person’s head, so they go into that person’s dream, but in order to hide their actions they have to go several dreams down, so they have to create a dream inside the guy’s dream so they can go into the next dream, then do it again, but they can’t go too far down the dream levels because if they do they’ll be stuck in a dream forever and their brains will melt, and also each level of a dream happens at a different speed, so that five minutes in the real world is an hour in dream time, and things slow down even further the deeper you go within the dreams, but anything that happens in one dream can affect the dream in the next level. But the movie is also, at times, dreadfully dull. It might be the most epic of Nolan’s three Batman entries. Now consider this: Inception was beloved by millions and made $825 million worldwide. The Prestige

Nolan’s sole literary adaptation — based on Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel — also features his most subtle, complex characters. Related

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Tags: Oh, and Katie Holmes seems strangely miscast as Bruce Wayne’s love interest/moral North Star. You can almost hear Nolan yelling, “Okay, wise guy, how do you like it when I don’t explain things?” Nolan’s most oblique film to date — a sprawling, ornate action thriller in which the heroes can invert their passage through time so that they experience car chases and fights and all sorts of other things in reverse — is also one of his most ambitious, and, weirdly, one of his lightest. Still, you can see the talent, and there are lots of fascinating elements here that would reemerge later: a nonlinear narrative, manipulative characters, a twist ending, the human psyche represented in material form. This put Nolan on the map with its release in 2000, and is still considered his masterpiece by many fans. The Dark Knight Rises

Nolan followed up the runaway worldwide success of The Dark Knight with a look at Batman brought low, his back broken by Bane (Tom Hardy) and thrown in a pit-prison where he’s forced to watch Gotham destroyed from afar. The film only really falters in its last act, with a somewhat underwhelming final action set piece. Plus, in order to truly show the breakdown of society, and the existential threat this represents, Nolan needs to condemn the people of Gotham a bit … but he pulls back, settling instead on vagaries. Tenet

There are parts of Tenet that feel like they were crafted as a direct response to those who criticized Inception for being too exposition-heavy. Heath Ledger as the Joker in The Dark Knight. The way Nolan ties these concepts together in a narrative that mixes heavy-duty scientific theories with nutty sci-fi invention can be jarring. Or is he simply debasing himself and betraying his own ideals — essentially falling into the Joker’s trap? Nolan understands something about his audience: He lays out everything we need to figure out what’s happening, but it’s all just a bit too macabre for us to put two and two together. And yes, it was a huge hit, but how could it have been anything other than a disappointment after something like The Dark Knight? Ugh.) That’s not to suggest, however, that the film is frivolous or meaningless. If so, what do we make of the fact that he succeeds? 10. Not quite, though nothing can match that electrifying first viewing. Fact: Christopher Nolan knows how to tell a goddamn story. Dunkirk

An astonishing war movie, and perhaps the culmination of Nolan’s various experiments in editing and structure. At the same time, it’s a movie about survival — how planetary survival and species survival and individual survival often conflict with one another. For what it’s worth — and somewhat ironically — it might also be the most hopeful picture Nolan has ever made. So let’s take a look back over his career and figure out which of the director’s films were the masterpieces, and which ones were merely near-masterpieces. It’s an ideal marriage of structure and subject matter, as the nature of the storytelling ensures that we in the audience never really know what has happened before any given scene, which mimics the protagonist’s existential haze. Bruce Wayne’s transformation into the Dark Knight is presented with uncommon psychological realism, set in motion by a somewhat-plausible series of events that explain how he became such a determined, effective fighter. The somnambulant mood may be partly intentional, but it’s also wearying. But wait, does he even succeed, or is it the people of Gotham who redeem him by refusing to blow each other up? So we wait … until that incredibly disturbing, final image. Not unlike The Big Sleep, or The Parallax View, Tenet is a movie built out of brilliant, often beautiful setpieces whose overall placement in the broader puzzle is not always clear. We’re told early on in the film that we shouldn’t try to understand it, but that we should feel it; that’s pretty solid advice. Nearly a decade after its release, you can still go down any number of rabbit holes thinking about The Dark Knight. There are very few movies — in any genre — about which you can say that. 9. Until Dunkirk, it was his one film that could be called a war movie. And at the center of it all is one of the great performances of the decade, with the late Heath Ledger’s wild, disturbing, charismatic turn as the Joker making a perfect foil for Christian Bale’s stolid, wounded, tormented Batman. As a result, any ranking of his films is bound to wind up with at least a couple of amazing titles near the bottom; that’s the kind of problem most directors wish they could have. (It would have been so much fun to go back to the theater over and over again in non-pandemic times to experience it again and to pick apart the timeline and the story — because you just know Nolan’s got some big chart somewhere that explains it all. But his take on Batman (immeasurably aided by Christian Bale, still the most talented actor ever to play the Caped Crusader) was both brilliant and deceptively simple: Batman had always been the “relatable” superhero — the one who didn’t have magic powers, just money, vengeance, and will — so why not give us a Batman grounded in something resembling reality? But open yourself up to it, and Interstellar becomes one of the most emotionally overwhelming things you’ll ever see. 4. As in so many Nolan pictures, the movie’s structure and its effect on the viewer echo the characters’ own psychological journeys. Does it lose some luster once you’ve figured it out? It does feel very much like a student effort: ambitious, awkward, bursting with ideas but often downright amateurish. Yes, this is something of a dangerous endeavor, given the fervency with which Nolan’s work is debated — by both his obsessive fans and his quite vocal detractors. 11. Entertainment

We are republishing this ranking now that the writer has (safely) seen Tenet in a private theater in New Jersey. In the process, it does away with many of the clichés of the war genre: no strategy meetings, no scenes of people explaining what we’re fighting for, etc. 3. Maybe some will call it a flop, but if it is, it’s the kind of flop that only Christopher Nolan could have made. 7. But at times it seems as if the director has bitten off more than he can chew, as he wrestles with effectively trying to convey the villains’ evil plan. 8. With a story that could easily have made for three separate movies (and maybe should have) and each insane set piece topped by the next one, this is the rare comic-book film that earns the obsessive quality of its fandom. But none of its imitators have come close to matching the sweep and power of Nolan’s second Batman entry, which is really a gangster epic masquerading as a superhero flick. It’s certainly his most earnest movie, and maybe the mixture of eye-popping special effects, gee-whiz scientific phenomena, environmental dystopia, and unabashed sentiment was too much for some to take, as if 2001: A Space Odyssey had been hijacked by someone’s therapy session. Photo: Warner Bros. Batman Begins

It didn’t seem at all likely that Christopher Nolan would be the one to reinvent the modern superhero movie; his forte seemed to be mind-fuck thrillers, not action spectacles, and this was before young, newish directors were regularly handed billion-dollar franchises. That’s also because Nolan doesn’t shy away from tackling philosophical, moral, and political issues: When Batman turns all of Gotham’s cell phones into a citywide sonar system, is he essentially confirming Bush-era surveillance tactics? At heart, this is a story about parents and children, about the fear of letting go, about the need to reconcile your dreams with the needs of your loved ones. Interstellar

One of the saddest, loneliest space epics ever made, Nolan’s expansive sci-fi film — about Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway traveling through a wormhole to another part of the universe in an effort to find a new home for humanity — was divisive when it came out, but it’s slowly being acknowledged as one of his best works. Anybody interested in the director’s films should check this one out. The idea that our future selves can hold sway over our present-day selves is an adorably Nolan-esque notion that plays out across pictures like Memento, Interstellar, and Inception. 6. But its technical limitations, combined with Nolan’s own inexperience, make it one of his weaker works. (Aaand then a ridiculous Thom Yorke song plays over the end credits, but the less said about that, the better.)

2. (He has said that in many ways this was the most important stepping-stone in his career, because it allowed him to ease into big-budget filmmaking.) Insomnia is impressive in many regards: Al Pacino is effectively haunted as the lead, and Robin Williams, at the time eagerly trying to shed his image as a cloying funnyman, is appropriately creepy and pathetic as the suspected murderer. Hold up! In retelling the British evacuation of France in 1940 — the result of an early, disastrous defeat against the Nazis — the director intercuts three narrative timelines of differing lengths, which leads to some surprising twists and turns in the story. 5. Anyway, here they are. There’s plenty of great stuff here, from Anne Hathaway’s jaded, sassy Catwoman to some eye-popping action sequences. Following

Nolan’s ultra-low-budget 1998 directorial debut was cobbled together while he was working full-time, using available light and cheap film stock. 1. But perhaps more importantly, it’s a film that shows Nolan willing to let go a little bit — to trust his audience to get what he’s doing without his having to resort to lots of exposition and dialogue. Some will point to this movie as the beginning of turning everything into a “dark, gritty reboot,” but Nolan’s model borrowed the DNA of Richard Donner’s original Superman, with its matter-of-fact, ground-level approach to capes-and-tights derring-do. It’s also a dazzling magic trick in its own right, with an intricate plot that keeps doubling back on itself and throwing red herrings at us. Instead, it’s tight, terse, and tense from its opening frame to its last.

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Like You, Lady Gaga Is a Fetch the Bolt Cutters Fan: ‘That’s Culture’

“I can’t tell you what a comfort Fiona Apple has been during this time,” she told the magazine for a cover story. Gaga’s final review of Fetch the Bolt Cutters? Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Getty Images

And that’s not gossip. Anybody that’s going to tell me somebody is more relevant than Fiona Apple right now because they’ve got more followers on Instagram — I don’t have their number.” And neither do we. “I just reveled in the way that girl is so herself. “Fiona Apple is totally off the net these days, but I read her what you said,” she tweeted at Gaga and Billboard. Update, 11:50 a.m.: According to Apple’s friend, roommate, and Twitter liaison Zelda Hallman, the singer-songwriter is honored by Gaga’s praise. Thank you for the kind words.— Zelda Hallman (@zeldahallman) September 17, 2020

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Tags: She literally grasped her heart, teared up, and softly said; “Lady. “She literally grasped her heart, teared up, and softly said; ‘Lady. Thank you for the kind words.” In case you hadn’t already melted from reading Gaga’s praise alone. You stood up for me.” It was really sweet. Lady Gaga, who gave the girls and gays one quarantine soundtrack with Chromatica in May, told Billboard that Fiona Apple’s own quarantine album, Fetch the Bolt Cutters, has been getting her through isolation. Fiona Apple is totally off the net these days but I read her what you said. “That right there? That’s culture.” We’ll be patiently awaiting the collab. You stood up for me.’ It was really sweet.

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The Timeless Honesty of Wild Style, the First Hip-Hop Movie

But it is this very aesthetic approach that makes the film so compelling and unique. But that would be, perhaps, to undersell what makes it so special. (Years later, when the cast and crew reunited for a tour of Germany, they proudly pointed out that sections of the Wall had been artfully enhanced with Wild Style graffiti.) Something similar happened in the United Kingdom and across Scandinavia. After a restoration and re-release in 2007, the film would become better known and more widely available. MTV Raps), and they started to dream up 1982’s Wild Style, a love song to the city’s graffiti artists and one of the earliest, most momentous portraits of hip-hop culture committed to film. None of these various subplots results in any escalating drama: Ray and Rose get back together pretty quickly, and the Union is never heard from again; Ray’s sojourn into the cocktail party world winds up with his host (art collector Niva Kislac, basically playing herself) seducing him, and not much more; the rap convention goes off pretty much without a hitch; Phade seems at times like an oily opportunist, but he ultimately does right by everybody. If the scene were more polished, it would look ridiculous — like a tacky attempt to update West Side Story. There had already been major gallery shows featuring graffiti artists by 1981, and by the time Wild Style was released in late 1983, bigger productions capitalizing on rap and the break-dancing craze were already underway. The world drifts along as in a Zen dream. And so, Wild Style drifts from a rap-battle-cum-pickup-basketball-game to an impromptu performance by the legendary dancers of the Rock Steady Crew to a performance by old school rap legend Busy Bee to a record-scratching clinic by Grandmaster Flash, often with the slenderest of narrative motivations. Yes, Ray is unique, and yes, he’s a bit of a loner, but he’s not looking for a ticket out; he’s looking to express himself. It would have been easy — and probably far more commercial — for Ahearn and Brathwaite to turn this into one of those beaten-down-protagonist-makes-good pictures and show Ray rising above his milieu, using his talents to leave this urban hellscape behind. Brathwaite (who helped conceive the story, co-produced, co-starred, and oversaw the music) saw hip-hop as belonging alongside those other 1970s New York subcultures, punk and new wave, which represented a lot more than music and seemed to have emerged from the very geography of the city. It arguably had a greater impact abroad: The film actually premiered in Japan before it opened in New York, and the cast and crew were treated like rock stars on a tour of the country. Wild Style is credited as the first hip-hop movie, but it didn’t introduce rap or hip-hop culture or even the notion that graffiti could be art. ET. One savvy Caribbean entrepreneur reportedly bought a 35mm print of the film and traveled around the islands by boat, screening it to adoring crowds. The guys with the mics rhyme not from a proscenium, but amidst the crowd. Head to Vulture’s Twitter to catch his live commentary, and look ahead at next week’s movie here. Fab 5 Freddy (later to become the first host of Yo! It’s just as fresh today. But Ahearn’s rough-edged, handheld, off-the-cuff style sells us the paradox: The beef is simultaneously huge and no big deal, an impromptu ritual. An informal, grassroots exhibit bringing together more than 100 artists — some of whom, like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring, would go on to become major cultural figures — it was a raucous, inclusive affair, featuring everything from painting to video art to fashion to music to performance, much of it created by relative unknowns. The young No Wave filmmaker Charlie Ahearn was there, too, screening his homemade super-8mm kung-fu feature The Deadly Art of Survival, which he had made with a group of young Black and Puerto Rican martial artists on the Lower East Side. And it continued to be a kind of cult movie for decades, its legacy kept alive through references and samples by the likes of Nas, the Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, and others. Taking Phade and Ray to an upscale Upper East Side cocktail party, she introduces them to some snooty art-world types in the film’s sole detour into social satire. In one of Wild Style’s most remarkable scenes, the Cold Crush Brothers and the Fantastic Freaks, two rival crews, engage in a rap battle, which then extends to a pickup basketball game, with members confronting each other with rhymes while dribbling, shooting, passing. Plus, Ahearn was smart enough to use guerilla tactics to promote his feature, paying high school kids to distribute flyers at their schools. Held in an abandoned massage parlor on 41st Street, the Times Square Show of 1980 represented a pivotal moment in the rise of several New York subcultures. (Though the film’s climactic performance, happening as it does on a massive stage, strikes a poetic and prophetic note about the fact that all these art forms are about to explode.) This is a world where anything seems possible, which seems quite bracing given the way that the inner city, particularly in New York, was depicted in the early 1980s. But no such thing happens in Wild Style. When Astor’s journalist, arriving in the neighborhood for the first time, tells a large group of curious kids that have gathered around her that she’s looking for a graffiti artist, they respond, cheerfully, “We’re all graffiti artists!” The rapping, the dancing, the writing, the scratching — it all seems to exist in an egalitarian continuum. Whether broadcast or bootlegged, Wild Style served as an introduction for kids around the world to a thriving, dynamic newfound American counterculture. Ordinary people carry on and live their lives, and do their best to make their spaces beautiful with art, music, movement. After German TV broadcast it in the 1980s, Wild Style became a phenomenon among German youth on both sides of the Berlin Wall, in particular the children of Turkish immigrants. Where It Started At: The NY Rap Story

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Charlie Ahearn and Fab 5 Freddy’s documentary-like film became an international cult favorite in the early 1980s. But their communitarian ethos flies against that idea. Meanwhile, Phade hires Ray to do a big mural for a rap convention he’s organizing in an abandoned Lower East Side amphitheater. And that’s where the film’s own artistry lies. Made for very little money, it embodies the DIY aesthetic of its milieu, an anything-goes world where vibrant murals coexist with seemingly bombed out buildings. Dreams would be dashed, plans would be thwarted, friendships would be betrayed, romances shattered. Ahearn is not the kind of polished, film-savvy director who does camera tricks or tries to make a $5 budget look like a $5 million one. “I wanted to show that for a culture to be complete, it should combine music, dance, and a visual art,” he said in Complex’s 2013 oral history of the film. Ahearn and Brathwaite’s decision to downplay the drama and to focus on an honest, ground-level portrait of this world and how it saw itself means that Wild Style hasn’t really dated. Today, of course, it can be enjoyed partly as a nostalgia trip, a time capsule of a pivotal period in New York and hip-hop history, right before everything went stratospheric. Wild Style is available to watch for free on Tubi or Crackle, or with a subscription to Kanopy, and is available to rent on Prime Video, iTunes and Google Play. More From This Series

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Tags: (Beat Street and Breakin’ came out in 1984.) Wild Style arrived early, but it wasn’t so much ahead of the curve as simply well-placed to ride it. Any other movie would stretch these various subplots out, mining them for narrative tension and moral messaging. Ray’s brother, briefly back home from the army, criticizes his fondness for graffiti, but there’s precious little mention of the city’s ongoing war against subway writers; that this is a valid art form is mostly accepted as fact by the film. Someone would get arrested, or killed, or at least shot. Wild Style was shot on location in and around the Bronx, starring real-life graffiti writers, breakdancers, and rappers, many of them playing either variations of themselves or, simply, themselves. Our protagonist Ray (played by Lee Quiñones, himself one of the city’s most legendary subway artists and, along with Ahearn and Brathwaite, one of the key conspirators behind conceptualizing the film), a talented graffiti writer who covers entire train cars under the mysterious name of “Zoro,” pines for his ex-girlfriend Rose (Sandra “Lady Pink” Fabara), a beautiful fellow artist who has started working with a slightly more legit group calling themselves the Union. When it opened on 47th street — just steps away from the grindhouses that showed the Bruce Lee flicks Ahearn loved so much — Wild Style was, for a while, the second highest grossing release in New York City, behind Terms of Endearment. His close-ups are a little too close, and his screen direction is sometimes a mess, but that also lends the picture an irresistible immediacy and authenticity; it feels like something that has emerged from this world, shot on the fly and full of stolen moments. (As many have noted, you could cut about 15 or 20 minutes out of it and you’d be left with a literal documentary.) The story feels at times like a series of familiar setups without much follow-through. There’s a warmth and inclusiveness to Wild Style that makes you want to step into this universe. This week’s selection comes from film critic Bilge Ebiri, who will begin his screening of Wild Style on September 18 at 7 p.m. And of course, the blasted, decaying backdrop of the Bronx would somehow scuttle everyone’s dreams and desires. It feels just as fresh today as it did back then, a vital look at what spurs us to create and to dream. All that is probably why Wild Style often feels more like a documentary than a fictional drama. With the encouragement of local impresario Phade (played with buckets of charm by Brathwaite himself), Ray is approached by a journalist for the Village Voice (actress and gallerist Patti Astor, looking like a dead ringer for Debbie Harry, whom the filmmakers originally tried to cast) working on a big feature about graffiti. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Submarine Entertainment

Every week for the foreseeable future, Vulture will be selecting one film to watch as part of our Friday Night Movie Club. And so, too, is everyone else. It was at the Times Square Show that Ahearn met budding artist Fred Brathwaite, a.k.a.

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Martha Stewart: Republicans Buy Housewares Too

(“I pop 20 of them and just feel OK, but some of my friends do two and feel high, I don’t know why.”) She has a Tesla. She updates her blog, she invented a drink called the Martha-rita, and she wakes up at 4 a.m. (“I’m an early adopter of a lot of things. That’s my answer to that.” Oh, Martha. (“’My skin looks really good.”) We don’t know what’s in those CBD gummies she’s peddling, but we’ll take 20 because they’re clearly working for her. “Whoever 2020.”
Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

You didn’t need the New York Times to tell you Martha Stewart has been having a fabulous time in isolation; everything you picture her doing, she does. It’s difficult. And of course, her skin looks really good. In this hermetic bubble of domestic bliss, bringing up real-world topics like politics and democracy is rawther untoward. We also took the liberty of tallying up every humblebrag Martha makes over the course of the interview: She says she has a higher CBD tolerance than her weak-ass friends. She says, “My personal conundrum is, my friends know who I am and what I stand for, but in terms of being the owner of the magazine” — as well as a number of consumer brands and media franchises — “how do you take sides when 50 percent of your readers might be on one side, and 50 percent on the other? Putting magazine sales in the Hobby Lobby checkout line before ethics. to talk to her farm animals and play YouTube singing tutorials for her canaries. That keeps you very on your toes, it keeps you extremely avant-garde.”) She’s not bothered at all by quarantine. But it should come as no surprise that when the Times asked her about “whether she planned to publicly support a candidate in the 2020 presidential election,” Stewart said she is not publicly endorsing anyone, because it would be bad for business. Sources

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The New York Philharmonic Wants You to Take a Walk in the Park

The Philharmonic’s potential audience. Instead, it’s a work that’s found its ideal form. Anxious thoughts and shards of preposterous news ping my pre-coffee consciousness. The park itself is like that, always the same and ever changing, a setting for whatever dramas or comedies we choose to play out in its embrace. Countless composers have conjured places in notes, directing the imagination to the top of a mountain range, the bottom of the Rhine, or Central Park in the Dark. She grants us an illusion we all need right now: that we have the power to change the plot merely by walking in a different direction. A few joggers in surgical masks and Day-Glo sneakers lumber by. It might be an ordinary day, but the soundtrack intimates that it’s full of promise. These are tough times for symphony orchestras, which belong in the forbidden indoors. A harp trembles or a solo cello unfurls a noble tune, and a mere walk in the park turns into a journey, a philosopher’s amble, a romantic jaunt. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

EXT. Orchestral music rises like mist off the grass: quivering strings, a wistful clarinet, a tintinnabulation of crotales. She is a talented composer with a feel for the subtle relationship between physical and musical landscapes. Reid creates a rich, grandly orchestral sound world of intimate nuzzlings and wraparound vistas, but she also uses GPS as a structural tool, shuffling sections like cues in a movie soundtrack and letting the listener’s trajectory shape the score rather than the other way around. And it commissioned and recorded Reid’s portable ode to Central Park, playable on an app that knows where you are and tailors the experience to your route on the fly. But the response is smooth and slow, not instantaneous, so that you’re only gradually aware of the shifts, and the experience never fragments into nonsense. CENTRAL PARK — EARLY MORNING

The park glistens in the gold September light. John Luther Adams blends the sounds musicians produce with those that the world is bound to contribute in an outdoor performance. — before they and their audiences can return to their natural habitat, and over the summer, even the Philharmonic’s annual excursion out of doors were scrapped: no blankets, no picnics, no tinny Tchaikovsky floating off over the ball fields. I pull off my headphones, and the scene reverts to the dull haze we’ve become accustomed to. I overhear scraps of conversation and wish I hadn’t:

“… swabbing down groceries might be a bit much, but …”

“… now he’s got Barr going after …”

“… so she had to move back in with her parents …”

I put the headphones back on, and the world is gilded by music, which responds to my movements. I emerge into a clearing and find a solo flute waiting there, merging with the choir of birds that breaks into the soundtrack from the real world. But Soundwalk is at once open-ended and rigorous, glossy and improvisational. So the orchestra is doing what it can, dispatching small commando units of musicians around the city on a pickup truck to perform impromptu concerts for audiences of not-too-many-and-not-too-close-together-please. Dogs chase across the freshly mowed grass. Though you hear one music if you enter the park at Columbus Circle and another if you start at Harlem Meer, those differences are subsumed into a cogent whole, unified by a slow, ambling pulse and short motifs woven into sections that can segue or repeat without tearing the texture of the whole. Borrowing from the theatricality of Olmsted’s design, with its shaded culverts and broad meadows, Reid ennobles the humdrum and the happenstance. The richness of their timbre depends on walls to ricochet off, and old wooden instruments creak when the air is too moist for too long. It might have been a gimmick, nothing more than a silly update to the personalized playlist. I turn down a twisting track through woods, and a lush jazz ensemble accompanies me, quickening my step. It will be months — three, eight, 24? Tags: Ellen Reid’s Soundwalk, composed for and performed by the New York Philharmonic, is an interactive glamorizing machine. The result emulates an immersive VR session: When you turn, so does the music. While most of the classical-music audience makes do with livestreamed concerts or old recordings, Reid has written a piece that can only be heard in private and in motion, with an obliging orchestra tracking the listener’s steps. Wait, this isn’t a movie — it only feels like one.

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