Author: Azlyrics

The Real Housewives of Orange County Recap: One Tequila, Two Tequila

At least she has John, a seemingly lovely man who is better than she deserves. Dealing with the utter inconvenience of living with another human without the benefit of getting laid seems absolutely ludicrous to me. She also tells him she still cares about him. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Phase 179 million? Like Paris Hilton and TikTok, we all underestimated this thing from the beginning. She says no, they are not, because she’s still married and he’s waiting for her divorce to be final to consummate the relationship. The Real Housewives of Orange County
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Elizabeth is exerting control the only way she knows how, by leaving, and it’s not getting her what she wants. And why take such a hard-line stance after initially getting a hard line in your stance, ifyouknowwhati’msayin? First in front of the women, then in front of Braunwyn’s kids, and finally in front of Braunwyn herself, when sloppy Shannon tells her that she loves her more than life itself. “Aren’t I so good that I’m not going to drink tequila in front of Braunwyn?” she essentially tells us while smothering everyone in the crowd with her Casamigos breath. We’d have a lockdown for a few months, everyone would get tested, we’d quarantine some people, and bish, bash, bosh — it would be gone like Donkey’s Schlong (as Kelly would probably say). Clearly these confessionals were filmed later than the scenes, and some of them seem like they might have even been filmed in the women’s homes, so how far into this thing did Elizabeth think it was a hoax? I never thought it was a hoax. God, I just can’t with these people — and by these people, I mean those who wear khaki-green cargo pants in public. She cares for everyone, Shannon thought. All of the women have a correct read on her, especially Gina, who tells her to walk away before this whole thing destroys her. Then we find out a little bit more about this divorce of hers she supposedly can’t talk about, which will settle in 30 days. I just loved the way he held that pink umbrella aloft for her as he walked her to her room as she was tottering on her platforms. My problem with Shannon — the Karen-in-chief who calls room service because they got her order wrong and then when they get her order right still refuses to eat it — is that she is virtue signaling. Now they’re both stretching this out as long as possible because as long as she remains married to him, he’s still in her life. At this stage of the virus, I thought the same thing. I would assume the latter. Okay, weird, but whatever. While she’s there, she gets in a fight with her daughter Sophie, who says that Braunwyn’s vow renewal was “a lot more fun” than the awful one their desperate father dragged them into five years ago. Um, doesn’t she sound just like Denise Richards’s paranoid husband, Aaron? Finally, she tells the women that Jimmy knew she was married, had sex with her when they first met, and then stopped having sex with her until she could get divorced. She says she sent him a text saying she regrets filing for divorce after he got another woman pregnant and was having the baby — after he forced her not to have children when they were together. Also, how do you think she feels about those comments now? The trouble starts when Elizabeth, in her confessional, says that “Big Pharma” wants to sell us a vaccine and cities need to get funding, so they’re blowing this out of proportion to make money. What I think — and I just put on my Psychologically Analyzing Housewives monocle — is that she’s using this divorce as a way to hold on to a man that she obviously loves. (If I didn’t love Emily Simpson before, when she said, “All I want to do tomorrow is lie by the pool and eat chicken fingers,” well, I have never identified with a sentence more.) Elizabeth says that she and her ex talk all the time, even though they’ve been separated for almost five years. What do you think Braunwyn would prefer: Shannon not drinking tequila in front of her, or Shannon not being visibly and embarrassingly drunk in front of her? Once Kelly learns it’s not a water, Kelly is over it, but Shannon needs everyone to know how good and ethical she is. “We can’t compare them,” she responds, while blinking on a folded napkin, the universal Real Housewives symbol for emotional distress. This happens when all of the women are sitting by the pool. She can get with Jimmy, she can have a kid that Jimmy doesn’t want to have, she can do all the things she ever wanted to, but she won’t have a hold on her ex-husband anymore, and that terrifies her. Braunwyn leaves the party thinking, Oh, I made up with Shannon, but she did not make up with her — she was just being a drunken sorority girl and letting the tequila bring out her emotions. Kelly got reeled back in after a separation from her first husband, so Elizabeth should listen to her as well, but she can’t. I mistakenly thought it was overblown, yes, but I always believed the news and science and, you know, all of the people dying all over the world. That’s not the worst part, though. Are they just doing this for some legal reason that has to do with the divorce? They are clearly in phase one of the pandemic, where things aren’t that serious yet. “Aren’t I so good that I am not going to start a water line like Kelly’s?” she essentially tells us. All the future therapists in the audience have dollar signs in their eyes. If they really don’t want to be sexually involved until after the divorce (which, again, fine but not for me), why not have a bit of space too? She wants to have her cake, eat it too, and have someone make it for her and deliver it because she can’t be bothered — oh, no, wait, you have to take this cake back because I clearly said I wanted rainbow sprinkles and not chocolate sprinkles. He was cheating on her, and she couldn’t control him emotionally anymore, so she filed for divorce. She was exhausted by her giving as a little hiccup escaped her mouth and took flight into dew-dappled night. That’s because Gina knew when it was time to give up, particularly after her ex hit her. She makes such a big deal about not bringing tequila into Braunwyn’s party that she locks herself in her room with her children, her boyfriend, and the bottle. All she could feel was his warmth, his warmth and his care, and she felt that’s what she delivers, too. Anyway, Shannon loves tequila so much that she lets it keep her away from the party and then shows up so drunk that she keeps making an ass out of herself. “And they didn’t go through a very public affair either. Now we have to talk about Shannon, who gets so wasted at Braunwyn’s party that she gets the nonsense subtitles under her slurred words, Dorinda Medley style. Still weird, but I’m following. Speaking of Elizabeth, she had quite the episode, didn’t she? Was she just really bad in bed but great company, so he doesn’t want to bone anymore? Email

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Terms of Service apply. This was just the night before! Basically, what she’s saying is that this is a hoax perpetrated for capitalistic gain. Tags: Why she’s freaking out now is because he’s going to be gone forever. Then she tells everyone that they had sex once, but when he found out she was married, then he didn’t want to have sex with her anymore until the divorce is finalized. Even the thought of that brings Shannon to tears. The Real Housewives of Orange County
Renewals and Regrets

Season 15

Episode 7

Editor’s Rating

2 stars

**

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Photo: Bravo

We must start this recap as we start all recaps this season: by investigating how the creeping dread of COVID-19 has seeped its way into the Housewives bubble. This week, at Braunwyn’s vow renewal–slash–superspreader event, the women are joking about people kissing them and then needing hand sanitizer and also how no one can get toilet paper at Costco (Gina’s fourth-favorite store after Walmart, Sad Depressing Home Goods, and the discount section at Sally Beauty). She just leaned into him, feeling one strong arm around her and the other protecting her from the elements. What phase are we in now? So why even bother, Shannon? Then she says that she and Jimmy are really only friends, because they’re not having sex, and then no one knows what to believe. So did he just want to try the milk before buying the cow for the promise of future milk? The worst comments this week are from Elizabeth, who says to the women around the pool that she thinks the whole thing will blow over in 60 days. Shannon wants everyone to think she’s a great person, without doing the actual work to be a great person. Do you get that, Stella?” Way to emotionally burden your young daughter with your own trauma. First, at the after-party for Braunwyn’s vow renewal, Emily bluntly asks her whether or not she and Jimmy, the boyfriend she lives with, are having sex. Okay, cue every confused-faced emoji standing over me and showering me with a bukkake of WTFs. Phase Fingers Crossed I Don’t Get It Before the Vaccine But Going to the Illegal Rave Anyway? Then, to top it all off, she tells Braunwyn to her face that she drank tequila at the party, even though she was asked not to.

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Joss Whedon Bows Out of Forthcoming HBO Series The Nevers

I am deeply proud of the work we have done; I’m grateful to all my extraordinary cast and collaborators, and to HBO for the opportunity to shape yet another strange world. The Nevers is a true labor of love, but after two plus years of labor, love is about all I have to offer. The series is set to star Outlander’s Laura Connelly, who plays Amalia True, a “menace to Victorian” society leader of the group known as the Orphans that have “unusual abilities, relentless enemies and a mission that might change the world.” Whedon was supposed to write, direct, executive produce and serve as showrunner on The Nevers, which would have marked the director’s return to television after over a decade away since creating and executive produced Fox’s Dollhouse. I am genuinely exhausted, and am stepping back to martial my energy towards my own life, which is also at the brink of exciting change. It will never fade.”

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Joss Whedon Gets New HBO Series, and Yes, It Will Have Sci-Fi Heroines

Tags: for alleged misconduct on the set of Justice League, where he replaced Zack Snyder as the director. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Whedon has left HBO’s upcoming sci-fi drama series, The Nevers. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, a rep for HBO said, “We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. Justice League actor Ray Fisher alleges Whedon engaged in “gross, abusive, unprofessional, and completely unacceptable” behavior while on set, and recently accused Whedon of digitally altering an actor’s skin color tone in post-production, which Whedon denies doing. Photo: WireImage

Film director Joss Whedon is no longer making his return to television as planned this summer. Whedon issued a statement about his departure from the series:

“This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing The Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic, is more than I can handle without the work beginning to suffer. The Nevers was picked up by HBO for a straight to series order in July 2018, beating out other outlets including Netflix. We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere in the summer of 2021.” Whedon is currently under investigation from Warner Bros.

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Mads Mikkelsen Will Replace Johnny Depp as Grindelwald in Fantastic Beasts

Photo: Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Im

It’s officially, Fantastic Beasts fans, your new Grindelwald is here and his name is Mads Mikkelsen. On Wednesday, Warner Bros. The third Fantastic Beasts film was initially supposed to come out in November of 2021, but has been pushed to July, 15 2022, so Mikkelsen has plenty of time to get into character, which given his track record of playing evil characters, shouldn’t be too hard. asked Depp to resign from the franchise after he lost a libel case against British Tabloid The Sun, which Depp unsuccessfully sued for referring to him as a “wife beater” in an April 2018 article describing his relationship with ex-wife Amber Heard. released a press release confirming that the Danish actor would step into the role in the upcoming third film in Harry Potter prequel franchise vacated by Johnny Depp. Related

Mads Mikkelsen Might Replace Johnny Depp in Fantastic Beasts

Tags: Earlier this month, Warner Bros. Mikkelsen has been circling the role for the last few weeks and was reportedly director David Yate’s first choice to replace Depp in the role of the dark wizard Gilbert Grindelwald.

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What to See, Watch, and Stream This Thanksgiving

“The Mom and Pop Store,” Seinfeld (Hulu)

If you want to reminisce on a bustling New York and a non-virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, soak up 20 minutes of camaraderie and inflatable floats. You think your family is bad? Buckle up for the wild ride that is Nicole Kidman’s most recent psychological thriller miniseries, and to see one of her best hair moments yet. For fans of The Crown, Joshua O’Connor plays the intolerable Mr. Paulson, who recently starred in Netflix’s Ratched, as the big bad nurse herself, takes on home care in Run, tending to her sickly daughter (or is she?) in this horror thriller. You’ve Got Mail (HBO Max)

“This is a credit card machine, happy Thanksgiving.” Nora Ephron was in her rom-com bag with You’ve Got Mail (1998), and way ahead on the “meeting your lover online” way of dating now. Once Mangrove is targeted by the police for its role in the community, the focus shifts to the Mangrove Nine, who fight to defend it. Xander gets cursed with syphilis, Spike is tied to a chair, Buffy says “yam sham,” all good fun. Left to Right: Mangrove, The Croods: A New Age, and The Nest
Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Amazon Prime Video, Universal Pictures and IFC

There’s never been a better year to stay home and binge-watch whatever media fills the void of missing your loved ones, or to rejoice in having an even better reason to skip on the festivities. It’s also the quintessential Seinfeld episode, with Jon Voight, Jerry’s sneaker collection, and Kramer inevitable making things worse for those around him. Full of warm fuzzy feelings, the Levy’s created something that has tangible charm and can appease the entire family. Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime)A grunge punk Riz Ahmed, playing a drummer in a metal band? Mangrove (Amazon Prime)Mangrove is the first in the Small Axe anthology series, directed by Steve McQueen, and follows a restaurant owner as he defies colonialist ideals and creates a community that organizes against racism. No matter how big or small your festivities will be, you’ve got plenty of choices for something good to watch while the pie settles in your stomach — No, Hillbilly Elegy is not on this list. Who? Carol (Netflix)

If you’re waiting for Ammonite to reach VOD next week, kick off Christmas movie season a little early with Carol, starring Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett as forbidden (of COURSE) lesbian lovers during yuletide. TV

The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)

You’ve still got time to catch up on all of the delectable bakes from this season’s The Great British Bake Off Show before the finale arrives on Netflix this Friday. It’s got Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, the city of New York in the fall, and plenty of chance encounters. She always does. Then, everything begins to fall apart. For Your Consideration (Amazon Prime)

Written by Eugene Levy and Christopher Guest, For Your Consideration follows actors who’ve caught the Oscar bug while making their film Home for Purim, which in anticipation of Oscar nominations, gets renamed Home for Thanksgiving. Run (Hulu)Sarah Paulson on any given day: “If I’m not playing someone criminally insane, I don’t want the role.” Enter horror mystery Run, what Hulu says is now their most streamed original film release. Sacha Baron Cohen returns as Borat, in the mockumentary that tackles COVID-19 and the full gamut of Trump politics in 2020. Movies (Streaming)

Happiest Season (Hulu)Hulu’s latest original starring Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis may feel familiar to some right now, as it follows a lesbian couple as they navigate the holidays with less than approving family. Anyone can cook! The ClimbThe Climb examines the tumultuous friendship between two men, Mike and Kyle, as they work through what it means to be grown men, and friends. Ratatouille (Disney Plus)

It’s a rat in France with chef aspirations, what more do you need to know. Thankfully, ways to watch new movies safely at home are just a few clicks away, but if you are set on sitting in a dark room with a bunch of strangers in the middle of a pandemic to watch a movie on the big screen, we’ve got you covered, too. Elton. From the creator of Big Sky and Big Little Lies, Kidman plays Grace Fraser, a high-profile psychologist whose life begins to unravel following a murder. And for those who’ve got the patience to wait it out for Ammonite or Freaky to hit video on demand next week, or for Mank and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom to arrive on Netflix next month, we’ve got plenty of things for you to watch until then. (HBO Max)If Queen’s Gambit got you searching for more Anya Taylor-Joy content, then look no further than Autumn de Wilde’s take on Jane Austen’s Emma. It’s a quick watch, but there’s no problem with just starting the series over if you want to spend more time in Schitt’s Creek. The Croods then find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place, and the Bettermans have definitely figured out how to make tools out of things much better than rocks. This one will have you saying, “What? With 70 percent fewer dogs, but much more stricter COVID guidelines, we’ll still be able to see who is “Best in Show.”

Gossip Girl Thanksgiving Episodes (Netflix)

Gossip Girl here. Through Small Axe, McQueen gives life to the Black British experience in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, with four more features incoming. Better-man, coming in loud and clear. Starring Taylor-Joy as the wide-eyed antiheroine, few things bring more comfort than a well done period piece. The Undoing (HBO Max)

Wig? Even you, no matter how daunting that stuffing seems. As cavepeople not particularly interested in that nomadic lifestyle, they find a sort of paradise with the folks who call themselves the Bettermans. He may not cook a turkey but the food cooking sequences in one of Pixar’s best are plenty of inspiration for your own cooking dreams. The Croods: A New Age The Crood family returns in search of a forever home. Carrie Coon and Jude Law play married couple Allison and Rory, who decide to move to their family from upstate New York to the English countryside. Director Michael Angelo Covino layers comedy and drama to explore masculinity in what reads as a male-focused Frances Ha or Walking and Talking. Much more than that though, Sound of Metal tells the story of Ruben, a metal musician who slowly begins to lose his hearing, and the fallout that happens after he’s gone completely deaf. Cue visions of patisserie, an airy tent in the England countryside and Paul Hollywood’s piercing blue eyes. For another Austen classic, watch Pride and Prejudice (2005) on Netflix and make it a marathon. Named Time’s 2019 Person of the Year, Thunberg’s environmental work has made waves and taken her all over the world to speak in front of those who can make a difference. ET. Starring Catherine O’Hara, with appearances from Jane Lynch, Sandra Oh, Frank Willard and Jennifer Coolidge, it’s a meta-film with mega star power. National Dog Show (NBC)

The show must go on! I Am Greta (Hulu)

As the title suggests, Hulu’s documentary I Am Greta, follows the work of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 17-year-old who’s now one of the biggest names in the fight against climate change. Starring Christine Baranski as the woman ringing in the bah humbug, Parton swoops in as an angel ready to save a town from its complete shutdown. Wig. are guaranteed in each of these New Girl Thanksgiving episodes. For those opting to stay home this Thanksgiving, let the Levy’s bring you into their family, centered around acceptance, love, and Moira’s wigs. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Prime)

If you want to get straight to the argument-inducing political chitchat this holiday, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is bound to start some riveting conversations. “Pangs,” Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Hulu)

Willow Rosenberg said it 20 years ago, “It’s a sham, it’s all about death.” Watch Buffy & the gang grapple with colonialism and indigenous suffering, while trying to have the perfect Thanksgiving. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix)Dolly Parton is an angel, literally, in her new Netflix film Christmas on the Square. The National Dog Show that is, following the virtual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade at 12 p.m. Cheers to the making the yuletide gay. How?”

New Girl Thanksgiving Episodes (Netflix)

Shenanigans put on by a bunch of 30-year-olds living in L.A. Absolutely. Movies (In Actual Theaters or On Demand)

The Nest (HBO Max)It’s like if Monster House was a manor in the hillside, and it took a more psychological approach. (S1E9, S2E11, S3E11, S4E10, S6E8)

Season Six of Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)

If you’ve been sleeping under a rock all of quarantine and haven’t taken the dive into Schitt’s Creek, now’s your chance. Emma. The film is a culmination of music, identity, love, and self reflection, and a definite tear-jerker. (S1E6, S2E8, S3E10, S4E9, S6E7)

Tags: With appearances by Daniel Levy, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and director Clea DuVall, a balance of familial tension and comedic relief is guaranteed. Produced by Parton, she also composed all of the songs for this musical film, her mind. Wait until you hear all about the conniving, selfish and downright bitchy things that go down at Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen’s Thanksgivings in these five episodes. Will Zoey Deschanel quirk her way out of this interpersonal problem? They must balance progress with being true to themselves, and why not see Nicholas Cage voice the caveman patriarch?

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It’s the Uncozy Parts of Happiest Season That Make It Interesting

There are expectations to be met and standard elements to include. Proving a conservative format can change is well and good, but there’s also something to be said for just leaving it behind. The Kristen Stewart-Mackenzie Davis Christmas rom-com is at its best when it acknowledges the cruelty underscoring its holiday hijinks. While Abby is shunted aside to a spot in the basement, Harper’s off smiling in photos with her campaigning father and going out for catch-up drinks with her old friends. They can get away with being wacky or preposterous, so long as they’re devoid of sharp edges and unpleasant surprises. She finds herself hovering on the outskirts of the celebration as Harper slips easily back into a past life Abby’s never been made privy to. Abby, who’s yet to meet her girlfriend’s parents, takes this step toward intimacy as a sign of seriousness. Not in the political sense, though the mayoral aspirations of presumably Republican patriarch Ted Caldwell (Victor Garber) do play a key role in the new home-for-the-holidays romantic comedy Happiest Season. Stewart excels at many things, but comedy isn’t really one of them, and Happiest Season also just doesn’t find what’s happening to Abby all that funny. It’s one thing to have to lie about who you are, and another to have the person you’re lying on behalf of then abandon you in favor of playing at being the daughter her parents want to show off. While Happiest Season doesn’t pretend that Harper would have an easy time telling her parents the truth about herself, it also doesn’t suggest that Abby has an obligation to wait until her girlfriend’s ready. It’s a farcical set-up that allows for all sorts of misunderstandings, from furtive bed-hopping in a packed house to awkward encounters with exes who also happen to be home for the holidays. She decides that she’s not just going to propose, she’s going to go full-on archaic, as she tells her skeptical friend John (Dan Levy), in asking Harper’s father for permission. The Happiest Season ultimately serves as evidence that the current Christmas movie is capable of accommodating a lesbian love story, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it could have just as easily ended with one of the characters driving off into the snowy night, middle finger extended. But for the sake of the woman she loves, who insists she’s almost ready to come out, and for the sake of Happiest Season being a rom-com, Abby plays along. That discordance is what makes Clea DuVall’s movie so interesting. Ted and Tipper (Mary Steenburgen) don’t go into the details of their politics, but they do talk, in passing, about their homophobia, shaking their heads over the “lifestyle” of Harper’s classmate, Riley (Aubrey Plaza), who unbeknownst to them was also Harper’s high school girlfriend. Photo: Hulu

There’s an inherent conservatism to the Christmas movie as it’s been defined by the Hallmark, Lifetime, and, lately, Netflix industrial complex. That said, there’s a certain relief that comes with the vagueness of its setting — Ted and Tipper may be uptight, bigoted WASPS, but if they were also Trump fans, it would really crush any chance of levity. So it’s to more than Abby’s dismay that she learns, just before they’re due to arrive on the doorstep of the Caldwell household, that Harper’s family does not actually know about her existence. There are no indications that Happiest Season takes place in the past, though it feels like it could (and probably should) be set at least a decade ago. The de rigueur happy ending may be expected, but it’s questionably satisfying, because so much of what’s come before has felt like it’s been not just about whether Abby fits into the household she’s visiting, but the very genre her story is a part of. In fact, they don’t even know that Harper’s a lesbian, and have been told that Abby’s an orphaned friend their daughter has taken pity on and allowed to bask in the glow of their festive cheer that year. More Movie Reviews

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Tags: But despite all the cozy trappings, there’s a cruelty to what’s being asked of Abby that the movie doesn’t shy away from. It’s more a matter of format — Christmas movies are intended to feel as snuggly and familiar as an old sweater. And while white heterosexuality is no longer the default setting, it’s been so central to the conception of the mini-genre that Happiest Season, which attempts the modest goal of bringing some queerness to an avowedly straight format, sometimes feels at war with itself. Happiest Season stars Kristen Stewart as Abby and Mackenzie Davis as Harper, a couple whose lives of shared domestic bliss in Pittsburgh are disrupted after Harper spontaneously invites Abby home to spend the holidays with her family. As is, DuVall’s film isn’t exactly a laugh riot anyway, and aside from a few bits of physicality involving Alison Brie as Harper’s sister-rival Sloane, it opts for a sustained sense of lightheartedness over aiming for much by way of jokes.

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Circle Jerk’s Recipe for a Viral Theater Hit

To revive the show’s hopes would mean converting it into a completely online project, part film, part production. The team toyed with using the gaming site Twitch, but they felt its ambience wasn’t right. production: $12,942 (production overhead + transportation + theater rental)Overhead/administration/marketing/taxes: $11,583

Tags: STEP THREE: Nail down your inspirations. To try to understand the evolutionary process, I talked to the makers of the online show Circle Jerk, a notable success at finding a new third way between the forms that used the mechanics of broadcast to increase (rather than diminish) theater’s stagy, greasepainty, sweaty essence. Harris), and began lining up a theater in the Village. Even with state-of-the-art cameras swiveling busily on their little bases, mistakes made sure there was a downtown, this-is-real vibe. When we spoke, the team was still shell-shocked from what they (fondly?) call “the Eventbrite fiasco of 2020,” a brush with disaster during the run when Circle Jerk’s log-in links weren’t sent out in time. He talked to his collaborators and David Bengali, their video and lighting designer, about exploring that same visual language. The actors performed a variety of roles, whipping in and out of complete costume and wig changes, racing between two sets — a blue velvet living room and an ooky basement lair. For decades, artists have been working out how computers and social-media operate onstage, but it wasn’t as if theater needed the internet for survival. Foley and Breslin started developing Circle Jerk in May 2019 through the Off–Off Broadway theater Ars Nova’s Makers Lab. We can look to people — women! “There’s a certain amount of control that you don’t have, which is maybe just the internet.” And giving up control is its own reward. Michael Urie’s early in shutdown apartment revival of Buyer & Cellar galvanized the group. The one-and-done approach was “100 percent a dramaturgical value of ours,” says Breslin. Photo: Courtesy of Fake Friends

STEP NINE: Make (and keep) mistakes. And we were just trying to be kind and friendly to each other, and be friends instead of colleagues,” says Gart. They didn’t, though, recoup their costs. During fundraising, people from both the theater and film worlds expressed doubts, but the extension brought in enough cash that the team was able to distribute some bonuses. She doesn’t usually do them live, but at least aesthetically, we felt that look is both doable and theatrical.” The Circle Jerk group, which includes dramaturg Ariel Sibert and performer Cat Rodríguez (also a dramaturg), had been thinking about “the interaction between live human corporeal performance and media technology” since forever, says Breslin (also, if you can believe it, a trained dramaturg). Grobe pointed out that awkwardness lends prerecorded material the sense of being live, and that sense of liveness, in turn, lends authenticity. STEP ONE: Start out with a long development process already behind you. How’d they do it? And you know, then we’d go to the theater, and doing the show is actually the most useful fun time.”

Audiences for the livestreams far outsold the on-demand extension. (“Like a Suzuki class!” says Foley.) Once they were performing, they knew they wouldn’t be able to deviate from the choreography, since all 13 cameras were preprogrammed. Standing in for the zing of improvisation, therefore, was precise pacing and panic. So it was a technical task that felt not very fun in some ways, but also very nerve-racking in others.”

Mapping camera movements through the set. (He’s the co-artistic director of Theater Mitu and the space’s manager.)

STEP SEVEN: Find your online venue. “Our first act feels like a farce or a Molière play, so what’s the cinema language of that online? From Circle Jerk. Theaters and producers take note: Embedding video on your own website smooths and unifies the audience experience. Last year, the group got six weeks of dedicated residency time with Ars Nova, which culminated in two public showings of what was then an in-person theater piece. That discovery “opened up the vocabulary of what the first two acts would be,” says Breslin. STEP EIGHT: Approximate the danger of liveness. “I do have to say, this process has been amazing, but the performance-week experience of it … I’ve never been filled with so much anxiety,” says Foley. STEP FIVE: Budget. The team went to Theater Mitu’s MITU580 space in Gowanus. The platform is important. Confident they had built a functioning show and intent on producing it before the election, they acquired a producer (Caroline Gart) and an angel (Jeremy O. “Performing it actually feels very, very similar to in-person performance,” says Breslin, “because it is so task-based and so task-oriented. It’s flexible; it’s been customized for remote theater (because the seats were taken out this spring); it has upgraded livestreaming capabilities. The three performers rehearsed with director Rory Pelsue (Breslin’s boyfriend and Sibert’s roommate) — they formed a pod and quarantined, so all five could be in a room together. The group talked for hours about when they would cut off ticket sales, but eventually they “had to let go of our fear of people passing the password around or people entering our show without paying,” says Gart. The gazelle of remote performance just took a little leap. And “Oh, yeah. I’m gonna die today. Remember the lovable and janky roll call of the states? Given the immense effort and the tiny return, another show under the same conditions wouldn’t be possible, but Circle Jerk’s success has meant that doors (and wallets) are open now that weren’t before. It was also a shocking success: 5,557 people bought tickets. The rough breakdown according to Gart was:Personnel: $32,000 (creative, production, hourly labor)Production costs: $30,600 (video, sound, lighting, costumes, scenic, props)Misc. My husband runs that theater,” says Gart. “We didn’t talk about Circle Jerk for a while because none of us knew what to do. STEP SIX: Select a theater. — who have done it before.”

STEP FOUR: Embrace your technology. Here’s a practical ten-step guide, complete with budgeting and blueprints. STEP TWO: Get a deadline. For a while, they just absorbed the shock. STEP TEN: Stay loose. We got to the three-camera, sitcom-y kind of thing.”

When it came to creating the aura of the Always Online, they looked to YouTube for models. Breslin brought up PTZs, pivoting cameras that can pan, tilt, and zoom (hence the acronym) and can be programmed to be remotely operated. Circle Jerk needed to show full bodies — the static Zoomography of most online theater simply wouldn’t cut it. They junked the idea of YouTube for logistical and moral reasons: “A lot of the alt-right stuff is perpetuated by YouTube’s algorithms, and we were not on Facebook for similar reasons,” says Breslin. “The big one,” says Breslin, “is ContraPoints, the YouTuber. This was not DIY — they hired two video engineers. Combining lessons from live television filming, advances in technology, and an extremely online sensibility, creators Patrick Foley and Michael Breslin made a show that could be a model for others. There were so many marks to hit, and if you were one inch off, you were out of frame. Photo: Courtesy of Fake Friends

Darwin told us that danger hastens change — gazelles get faster because the lion gets faster first. The election gave them an end date, since the piece was explicitly political — it calls out white gay men’s complicity with white supremacy — and a deadline focuses the mind. Contracts for their July 2020 run arrived in March … two days before the shutdown. I’m going to be canceled, like, my career’s never going to even take off. In June, they restarted the cold engine. Each night of the run, Gart and Sibert were hand-entering ticket requests till the last possible moment. There were several pretaped components of the otherwise live broadcast — like visits from an Internet Troll, who looked like a Cirque du Soleil clown at the end of a long weekend on angel dust — but even those were done in single takes, flubbed lines and all. That’s changed. They got a commitment from Harris for 65 percent of the budget, then raised the rest. In April, Urie and his team used multi-camera sitcom strategies, shooting on two iPhones, which allowed for close-ups, shifts of perspective, and wide shots. She does these huge, queer, baroque long-form videos. (Only at tech did the performance pod and the tech pod merge, and even then, only in a socially distanced group of around a dozen.) To learn to work with cameras that weren’t there yet, they memorized a precise set of stage movements, with stage manager Codey Leroy Butler clapping and shouting out the camera changes. So while it’s a terrifying time to love the theater, at least on the (bleak, Darwinian) side, we do get to observe the changes in live performance as it evolves. Oh, did you not do this already? Despite all their planning, some elements of October’s online ticketing wound up being worked out at the last possible moment. “Every day, waking up being like, I’m gonna die today. “Once we found those cameras and David Bengali said, ‘Yes, this can work, and I’ve worked with these before,’ that’s when we started to lay out the set and figure out how the piece could live in meatspace,” says Foley. “If it gets screwed up, that’s part of the energy.” The team discussed the work of Christopher Grobe, a performance-studies scholar, who wrote about this summer’s virtual Democratic National Convention. “It does take some sweet time and people who actually know how to do it,” says Breslin. “And then because the show is so referential [it’s full of audio and video samples]: A lot of these platforms have AI bots that stop your streaming if the audio goes over a certain length of time.” They chose Vimeo, hosted on a Squarespace web page, for its high video quality and its embeddability. Why? “These people wanted a bite of the live pie,” says Breslin. There were long conversations about what cameras they should use. The all-in cost of Circle Jerk was around $87,000. “One of the things during this whole pandemic that frustrated me was people being like, ‘How do we do this online?’ And Liz LeCompte [of the Wooster Group] and Marianne Weems [of the Builders Association] have been doing it for a really long time!

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Justin Bieber Would Like the Grammys to Recognize Him As an R&B Artist

With that being said I set out to make an R&B album. Photo: WireImage

In news that will maybe make you wince with secondhand embarrassment, Justin Bieber has taken to social media to disparage the Grammys for [checks notes] … calling him a pop-star? Bieber added in his caption, “Please don’t mistake this as me being ungrateful, these are just my thoughts take em or leave em.” Well, okay! “If he felt that was that type of a record, then, you know … I’ll just leave it at that,” Mason said. It is not being acknowledged as an R&B album which is very strange to me.”

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber)

While there were indeed plenty of unexplainable choices in this year’s crop of nominations, it’s safe to say that Bieber’s designation as a pop artist was not all that surprising. For this not to be put into that category feels weird.” He goes on to explain that the musical choices he made on Changes, and specifically the “hip hop drums” (?!), set it apart as an R&B album. Nevertheless, Bieber writes, “I grew up admiring R&B music and wished to make a project that would embody that sound. Grammys, this is the face of R&B. Update, November 25: Interim president of the Recording Academy and permanent president of slightly shady press comments, Harvey Mason Jr., responded to Bieber’s Grammys criticisms in an interview with Pitchfork. Bieber picked up four Grammy nominations this year for Best Pop Vocal Album, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop/Duo Group Performance, and Best Country Duo/Group Performance, but was not happy with the pop music classification, writing on Instagram, “I am very meticulous and intentional about my music. Changes was and is an R&B album. Related

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The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Recap: Take Me To Church

Unless either party was really stretching, absolutely not. Email

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Every First Real Housewives Episode, Ranked

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Everybody Needs a Switzerland

Season 1

Episode 3

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3 stars

***

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Note: this week’s episode, “Everybody Needs a Switzerland,” is now available to stream early on bravotv.com. Was her vagina in his face? Everyone else does a solid job pretending like this is all new information even though if Heather’s divorce were a sentient being, it would be learning to read by now. Alas, we finally get some more intel into the grandpa-husband situation when Meredith takes Mary out to dinner so they can chomp down some cod and chat about arranged marriage. Meredith and Lisa ignore the theme, Whitney gets into full character, and Jen reveals her outfit to the Shah Squad, which is seven people. There’s something to be said for the fact that production doesn’t even try to create a reason for this soiree. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! And even if this were an okay thing for a grown ass woman to be doing, grabbing a front row seat to investigate the potential cult someone is running with their grandpa-husband supersedes even the strongest of friend obligations. Done deal. Jen and friends tell Heather she’s a good person, but is this just more of the exact type of external validation that is the root of her insecurities and lacking sense of self? Speaking of husbands, both Seth and Sharrieff are nowhere to be found this episode, which is partially why Jen is at Meredith’s house eating veggie straws, planning a sleepover, and making Brooks uncomfortable with her labia-revealing couch aerobics. Before we get into it this week, I thought I’d take a second to debunk a common misconception about Mormonism. Lisa has a Lost voice and a Sad husband. It’s apparently fine that Whitney double-crossed her by checking out the church since it was under the guise of her dad, but Meredith’s attendance is A PERSONAL DIG. tells Mary that he doesn’t want to go to boarding school in LA because it isn’t necessary and he wants to stay with his girlfriend. Back at their respective ranches, Meredith and Mary use blenders as a plot device (seriously though — why are there three separate blender scenes in 44 minutes of footage? At the venue, there’s a stripper pole and also at least two dozen complete normies trying to nab happy hour deals on well drinks and potato skins. But I’m an idiot and didn’t realize that religious texts say nothing about caffeine and only reference alcohol, tobacco, and “hot drinks.” So as long as Lisa’s Big Gulps are served on the rocks, she’s still keeping it holy, at least on the beverage front. Meredith has Brooks (turn that “M” 90 degrees clockwise and it makes a “B”) and a Dick husband. Blind loyalty is the enemy of nuance (and um, critical thinking as a whole). No idea honestly, so let’s put a pin in that because…

BROOKS IS BACK to call his mom an intoxicated moron when she makes a mess of her Vida Tequila product placement. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. While Brooks and Chloe are shopping for HDMI cords and ring lights, there’s a brief interlude where the editors completely troll Lisa as she rattles off advice for her son that’s technically about driving but is more closely related to her own personal and professional dealings. Mary has since “detoxed people not beneficial to her life” and this is some scientology shit if I’ve ever heard it. Especially since Ms. In terms of not adhering to Mormon doctrine, the episode kicks off with Whitney planning a “not dry, very wet” 1920s-themed party. Quick side note — it has come to my attention that some folks don’t watch each episode three times to transcribe shit and are having trouble telling Meredith and Lisa apart (fair), so I’ll share my mnemonic device with the class. History is not kind to housewives who police their friendships. Kids these days, always getting exactly what they want! Brooks tells Meredith that she can’t go to Jen’s sleepover because she needs to stay home and help him FaceTune the ecomm images for his “clothing line” until he looks like a character from Grand Theft Auto VI. If Bravo tries to make this a bit, so help me God.) Robert Jr. Jen, don’t do this! I’m no estate lawyer, but there has to be an easier way than this incestuous grooming nonsense. Meredith apparently loves mess even more than we do and asks Mary if she can come check out the cult church for herself. I need more information here. Confusion cleared! Oh, you mean to tell us there’s a combination antique store/TGI Fridays that will let us shoot for a few hours as long as they can stay open to other patrons? Meanwhile, Heather’s double-fisting miniature Range Rover Evoques to gift to the 25 percent of her employees who are wrapping up their pregnancy pact. The more you know! After flipping through some old photos, Heather rehashes how her world fell apart when her husband left. Brooks gets the screen time he was thirsting for, with plenty of room to saunter off to Best Buy with his denim-lederhosen-donning sister. She talks about how she got married to keep up the expected performance of family and perfection, since it’s the social code against which Mormons are judged, and how she doesn’t want to put that pressure on her daughters. Whitney took Lisa’s clean slate apology to heart and invited both Lisa and Mary to her upcoming 1920s party. “A knife to the heart!” To be continued next week, where we’ll see how Jen attempts to spin a contractually obligated acquaintanceship into a personal attack. We also learn that Mary’s mom really wanted to get the bag and have a daddy-husband for herself, and that the battle for Robert Sr. This sends Jen into a hospital smell tizzy, as she completely loses her shit upon discovering that Meredith went to Mary’s church. Book it quick before the disproportionately large local baby shower community snatches it up. Shah just waltzed in and saw Meredith and Mary doing a chat. Does Jen offer benefits? She explains that the theme of the Beauty Lab baby shower is “white” and I don’t even need to make a joke here because she did it for me. Whitney calls it “love and acceptance.” I call it “further evidence that there may be something to those unsettling rumors around Mary’s church.” But hey, different strokes I guess? did a real number on the Cosby family. “Stay in your lane.” “Confident, not cocky.” “Forty-four ounce Diet Coke, easy ice with lemon.” Ultimately, it’s all overshadowed by a 15-year-old telling his mom he has “strong pull-out game.” I would like to get off this ride. Previous to embarking on this journey, I was under the ignorant impression that caffeine was a Mormon no-no. No, it’s not about plural marriage or special underwear, but caffeine—specifically, what we hear in the cold open as Lisa croaks about her Diet Coke needs. Was it still weird for her to be chanting “Grindr, Grindr, Grindr” like he’s her little pet? Jen and Heather’s friends Dre and Ange also pop on by so Heather doesn’t have to put bows on the baby cars alone. What are their job titles? Fast-forward a few days and Meredith, Whitney, and her dad Steve are bundling up to hang out with Mary and the Lord at Faith Temple Pentecostal Church. Absolutely yes. Jen thinks this is some two-party system where the only options are her or Mary, and that logic is beyond flawed. Some might say the magic is lost when half of your party is filled with confused dads in bootcut jeans and corporate fleeces, but in the words of Marianne Williamson, “we live in a world of constant juxtaposition between joy that’s possible and pain that’s all too common.” In this case, the “joy” is not the ‘wives, but the Utahns bellied up to the bar, minding their own business. It turns out Mary’s grandma made it very clear that she wanted Mary to inherit the money, houses, and church, and the only means to do this was Operation Grandpa-Husband. If you thought maybe we’d get a break from the Mary discourse at Heather’s work-sanctioned baby shower, you thought wrong, since Jen and Whitney are also in attendance. Mary puts on a helluva show, cry-breathing into a gilded microphone and speaking directly to God. Surely she only needs three of them to lace up her daily gladiator stilettos? It’s the day of the 1920s party and everyone’s getting gussied up. What a gal!

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Mary Steenburgen’s iPad Is the Real Star of Happiest Season

(Or really, the Christmas card Instagram post.) On the way to a fancy party, she gathers the family around the tree and hands the iPad to Stewart, who fails miserably at taking a decent photograph. But Mary Steenburgen spending an hour and change chasing around her adult children with an oversize Apple product is a very particular portrait of an aging parent in 2020. She’s snapping photos for her husband (Victor Garber) who is running for mayor and trying to build an Instagram brand. They are clunky and awkward to position. Photo: Hulu

There’s a lot to talk about in Happiest Season, Clea Duvall’s new LGBTQ+ Christmas rom-com for Hulu. A lot of it is good. An Investigation. Harper and Abby live together and are on the brink of getting engaged, but Harper’s lying to Abby about being out to her family? (Actually, uh, maybe she’s onto something there.)

In the end — and because this is a Christmas movie and you saw this coming a mile away — the photo gets taken Christmas morning. Was Josh Hartnett a Millennial Gay Stepping-Stone? Steenburgen — whose character I am sure had a name but really, I can only remember her as “mom” — is obsessed with getting a perfect photo for the family Christmas card. There is something so funny and so extremely 60-something about a mother using a big ol’ iPad as a camera. Related

How Does One Make the Yuletide Gay? Some of it warrants real criticism. There’s just no way. By … Dan Levy. But there’s one element of this film that is absolutely, unimpeachably perfect. Get over it, Scrooge.)

From the moment Harper (Steenburgen’s closeted daughter, played by Mackenzie Davis) walks through the from door with her “roommate” Abby (Abby is played by Kristen Stewart, which is to say she’s no roommate), Steenburgen is in their faces with her iPad. Almost all of it is gay. The credits roll, accompanied by Instagram post after Instagram post from Steenburgen, who I can only assume got a new iPhone for Christmas. As though somebody had bestowed this Instagram account — which I’m sure has like, maybe, 100 followers — to her from on high. One that feels accurate. (Though, honestly, there’s no world where this lady would let the group disband from the photo pose before checking to see if she’d gotten the shot.) She’s singularly obsessed with getting the photo, insisting if the family can’t get it together they don’t “deserve” to have the Instagram account. Have you ever tried to use a big iPad as a camera? And that … that is Mary Steenburgen’s giant iPad. Weird … since it’s the star of the movie. The real star of the film. The almighty election-decider, Instagram. I apologize if you consider this iPad reveal to be a spoiler. She’s tech-savvy enough to operate the thing, but not quite capable of realizing the window pane–size object is probably not the best tool for the job. Imagine holding up a fairly large book and then trying to keep it steady while tapping it to snap a photo. They’ll have to try to take the picture again another night, Steenburgen says, scrolling through the options and dismissing Stewart. Which, well, isn’t totally her fault. (Stewart, naturally, is in the photo after finally being welcomed into the family.) Everybody is in pajamas, and nobody looks very put together, but they all look very happy. So much in this movie is beyond the scope of reality. It could be a throwaway line, but Steenburgen’s commitment to the bit made me giggle. The giant iPad does not get billed alongside the cast. (Warning: Spoilers ahead. Oh No, There Are 82 New Christmas Movies This Year

Tags: Who has entered the chat (it’s a long story) and is fully able to operate the giant iPad.

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House of Ho Trailer: There’s Some Hos in This House

I know how to hit it.” Tune in for an extravagant twist on the dysfunctional family antics you know and love, Thursday December 10, only on HBO Max. “I hope you’re my only wife.” That’s romance in certain tax brackets. “You’re my first wife,” he tells her. Related

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So, How Do I Actually Get HBO Max? “Hit it,” Aunt Tina offers marriage advice. Tags: That is, with the help of his wife, who he openly admits he married because his mom pressured him into it. That’s where fun Aunt Tina comes in. “My brothers are named Washington and Reagan. I was a disappointment because I was a girl, so I’m named Judy.” The Hos are some of the many Vietnamese immigrants who settled in Houston, Texas, but they make it look like Calabasas. “All men like that. “More is more,” Judy sums up the Ho lifestyle. For everyone staying away from their folks for the holidays, HBO Max is filling that void with its upcoming reality show House of Ho, following the luxurious and stressful lives of a wealthy multigenerational family. “My family is Vietnamese, but loves being American,” narrates the only Ho daughter. Meanwhile, Judy is trying to live her best, divorced life without her “old school” parents breathing down her neck. Oh, thank God, family drama to meddle in and it’s not your own. The patriarch of the family deals with banking and investments, and it’s about time for the Kendall Roy of the family, Washington, to follow in his father’s footsteps.

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Lily Cole’s 10 Favorite Books

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The Gift, by Lewis Hyde

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I first discovered Hyde’s The Gift (and Marcel Mauss’s The Gift, after which it likely takes its name) in the world of academia when I was studying gift economies, but it seems to have become a cult classic, cropping up time and time again in the laps of artists I admire. Below is actress and author Lily Cole’s list. I have read this book multiple times, and intend to read it many times again. Not poetry, not prose, not fiction, not nonfiction — it defies convention to slip stream between them all. $15

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Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

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I first listened to this book on a long road trip with friends, and I felt like it carried me in a trance the whole journey. $25

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The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson

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This book blows my mind for its refusal to be contained in any one form or box. Capote offers insightful glimpses into the social reality of his life and time, with short and charming stories. It offers an accessible and compelling understanding of our place in human history: our evolution, revolutions, and ancestral shifts that brought us to this moment. $17

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A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf

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While Woolf has other books arguably more groundbreaking in terms of literary accomplishment, it is the simplicity, accessibility, poetic style, and political charge of her essay A Room of One’s Own that etched a lasting impression on my mind. Although this book is nonfiction it reads like a novel: Poetic and lyrical, it swept me away with its tides. As our economy falters, we need to look to works like The Gift more than ever for knowledge of other ways of being. Through its clever structure, Gyasi allows us to understand the connections between our time and the historical past, and to also ponder the often invisible — often unknown — impacts of ancestral heritage that we all carry in different ways. $17

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Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Kimmerer

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$18

Braiding Sweetgrass offers an Indigenous window onto our world. Elgin argues persuasively that we can each make a choice to voluntarily simplify our lives — to push against the mainstream insistence that more and busier is better — and that in doing so, we might both find not just sustainability, but also happiness — by reclaiming more of that most precious resource: time. Every chapter moves onto the descendants of the last chapter, so that by the end of the book we are navigating racial politics in contemporary America. Even recalling the novel makes me smile inside, as my imagination moves to the familiar spaces in my mind that were built by this book. $15

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Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi

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Homegoing follows the ancestral chain of two half-sisters, separated in Ghana in the 18th century. Hyde elegantly — and unusually — bridges art and anthropology: building on a transformative understanding of our human history, to shine a new light on the role and pulse of creativity today. Most groundbreaking for me was the argument that the collective fictions to which we subscribe in 2020 — our belief in the supposed reality of, say, money, corporations, contracts — are not very different to the collective fictions that enabled societies in the past to organize themselves, such as the belief in gods or an afterlife. I love his portraits of his encounters with Marilyn Monroe, and with his cleaner, written after he’d spent a day following her around New York on her jobs. $18

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Music for Chameleons, by Truman Capote

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A beautifully written collection of short stories by Capote. We are the Weather, by Jonathan Safran Foer

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Essential reading if you want to better understand our climate crisis, and what we can all do about it today. $16

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Voluntary Simplicity, by Duane Elgin

$15

$15

As 2020 calls on us all to reflect on ourselves — individually, collectively, politically — and define new normals, this simple but important book from 1981 feels like an important tool in the shed. As a scientist and a poet, Kimmerer holds our hand and gently leads us barefoot down a meandering path that inevitably questions our understanding of science, the economy, nature, and ultimately ourselves. Developed from lectures she gave at Cambridge University in 1928, Woolf makes the point that without economic freedom, women cannot have creative freedom — speculating that economic freedom is more important than the political vote (which women had just won). As in Lolita, Nabokov enchants us with a world that is morally questionable — and by enticing us into that world, perhaps provokes us to diffuse hard ideas of right and wrong. $15

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Ada or Ardor, by Vladimir Nabokov

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$18

Nabokov’s indulgent, clever use of language reaches its height in this ambitious and wild love story. How many creative geniuses might we have lost in history, simply because they were women, she wonders, musing on the fate of Shakespeare’s sister. And underneath all the rhetorical games lies a persistent and radical honesty: as Nelson reflects on sex, gender, birth, motherhood, love. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Justine Stoddart

Bookseller One Grand Books has asked celebrities to name the ten titles they’d take to a desert island, and they’ve shared the results with Vulture. There is so much we can learn from Indigenous communities, and this book offers a beautiful entry point to that journey. A compelling novel that draws you in page by page, chapter by chapter.

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The Films to Be Buried With Podcast Will Make You Think About Your Whole Life

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Terms of Service apply. And it’s a good thing, too. For a time, I was skeptical about such an idea — until the podcast Films to Be Buried With came along. Goldstein is on something of a professional tear at the moment as well. What is ostensibly a show about our love for the movies has, nested within it, a meditation on death and spirituality, which itself is concealing an exploration of our most naked fears, hopes, and desires. During this year’s quarantine, the podcast’s Wednesday releases have become the axis around which my days revolve. Both series have also received renewal orders from their respective networks, with Ted Lasso getting a third season before filming of the second has even begun. The more attention paid to a show like this can only help to increase its reach. And in perhaps the show’s most shocking moment, Miranda Cosgrove talks about how going to see Pitch Perfect 3 likely saved her from being murdered. In practice, the show acts like a pop culture matryoshka doll, each layer concealing a greater degree of intimacy. One can’t just name a film and move on without explaining the details surrounding their answer. Few shows have been able to strike a resonant chord the way Films to Be Buried does. Fear wears many different faces, and it’s not the exclusive province of horror films. Terms & Privacy Notice
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Listening notes for the top shows, from Vulture’s critic Nick Quah. “What is the first film you remember seeing?” “What film made you cry the most?” “What is the film you most relate to?” Their seeming innocuousness disarms guests — and listeners — and elicits a sort of autonomic autobiography. He is a generously comedic interlocutor, brimming with warmth and curiosity, unafraid to talk honestly and candidly about often dark topics in a charming and hilarious way. Photo: Apple+

But again, it’s Goldstein’s questions — the same dozen or so for every guest — that are the show’s X-factor. With the show framed around the conceit that each guest has died, it affords them a platform to have an entirely open, honest conversation about death, the afterlife, spirituality, and mental health. Currently acting and writing on Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, easily the most pleasant show of the year, he is also the co-showrunner on Soulmates, AMC’s new anthology series (with Will Bridges, Emmy-winning writer for Black Mirror, among other credits). Oh, you like podcasts? Goldstein’s ascendency should have the knock-on effect of netting increasingly higher profile guests for the podcast as well. The straightforward nature of the questions also gives Goldstein license to dig deeper on topics than a traditional interview show otherwise could. It also helps that he is an adherent — knowingly or otherwise — to the Starlee Kine school of interviewing, eschewing the perilous doldrums of small talk, following instead a primal desire toward delving into turbid waters to delightful results. It is the rare celebrity interview show that sidesteps the many pitfalls of an otherwise self-indulgent genre, containing some of the most hearty laughs and honest, unguarded conversations. Brett Goldstein (right) with Jason Sudeikis on Ted Lasso. Sign up for Vulture’s new recommendation newsletter 1.5x Speed here. Sharon Stone — in addition to getting struck by lightning in her own home — hysterically raves about her love for the movie XXX and how it led her to stalk and harass Vin Diesel at a party. Much like the milieu which Goldstein and co. His abiding love of films has given him an encyclopedic knowledge of the medium and an infectious enthusiasm for its power to connect. With the show, multi-hyphenate British entertainer Brett Goldstein has created something truly remarkable: a lively podcast built around a stock set of seemingly simple questions that, in application, reveal a deceptive brilliance. The show’s success is squarely down to Goldstein (whose credits include SuperBob, and most recently, Ted Lasso), a uniquely engaging presence in the host spot. The most concise logline of the show is that each week a celebrity guest is brought on, told that they have died, and then their life is explored through the films which meant the most to them. Look no further than the response to Mandy Len Catron’s 2015 New York Times’ Modern Love essay, “To Fall In Love With Anyone, Do This,” which popularized the phenomenon of the 36 questions. There have been times where the show’s revelations leave you reeling. A question like, “What is the film that scared you the most?” isn’t asking about the particular film itself, but instead interrogates the kinds of things that each respondent deeply fears. There is a universality to the kind of things Goldstein is attempting to unpack with his questions, and it makes for a very special kind of podcast, one where both concept and execution soar. Format-wise, it’s a bit of a cross between This Is Your Life and Desert Island Discs, but not nearly as musty as that might make it sound. Photo: Distraction Pieces Network

As a society, we are willing to place an enormous amount of power in questions. These days, that feels like exactly the kind of thing we all could use. Kate Berlant gushes about her arousal while imagining the ugly sex that Christopher Lloyd and Joan Cusack’s characters in Addams Family Values must have had. During an incredibly tumultuous year, a program like this that actively endeavors to foster closeness and understanding is a balm. It laid bare a collective fondness for the notion that the right list of questions might grant us unfettered access to the soul of another. inhabit on Ted Lasso, the world of Films to Be Buried With is one of radical openness, positivity, and easy humanity, but also one which doesn’t shy away from the complexity of life. Past guests have included Ricky Gervais, Sharon Stone, January Jones, Jameela Jamil, and Sarah Snook, along with a hundred-odd other luminaries from the worlds of comedy and film. For someone who counts School of Rock and Muppet Christmas Carol among his all-time favorite films, Goldstein wears their influences proudly, blending youthful rambunctiousness and genuine compassion. In an early episode, comedian Nish Kumar encapsulates this perfectly in naming Inside Llewyn Davis, as the experience of watching it made him acutely feel the hopelessness of artistic endeavor against the cudgel of capitalism.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Oh No, There Are 82 New Christmas Movies This Year

Christmas on the Range (UPtv, December 6 at 7 p.m.)Kendall (Erin Cahill) is going to spend Christmas saving the family ranch from “small-town scrooge Brick McCree,” which, what a name on that one! Ones That Are Just a Rip-Off of Nancy Meyers’s The Holiday

A Christmas Exchange (Lifetime, December 19 at 8 p.m.)American Molly swaps her quaint farmhouse for Londoner Patrick’s posh apartment, and find themselves bonding while living each other’s lives through emails and texts. Merry Liddle Christmas Wedding (Lifetime, November 28 at 8 p.m.) Kelly Rowland’s sequel to her 2019 family comedy Merry Liddle Christmas returns to the boisterous Liddle family as they put together a Christmas wedding with the help of a snooty wedding planner. Based on the trailer, he’s kind of an … action Santa? Holly & Ivy (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 1 at 10 p.m.)Broadway’s Jeremy Jordan plays a hot contractor who helps Melody (Janel Parrish) renovate her house so that she can adopt her neighbor’s (Marisol Nichols) children before she dies of an illness. Twinning. This will hopefully lead to my favorite type of Morning Show acting: sunny news anchors spitting insults at each other through their smiles. Shame that this airs AFTER HANUKKAH IS OVER. “From executive producer Blake Shelton” comes what sounds like a very festive Clue. Get it? Jessica Fletcher is rolling her eyes in her … grave? Glad to see the writers having a little fun. Their relationship will be built on a mountain of lies! On the 12th Date of Christmas (Hallmark, November 1 at 8 p.m.)“Two seemingly incompatible game designers…” Say no more. Guess they couldn’t get Drescher for the Hallmark Hanukkah movie (more on that below), but we’ll settle for her stealing scenes in the gay Lifetime movie. We’re frankly obsessed with this extremely demanding bride. When our heroine’s cousin Francesca (Nia, we presume) must cancel the Christmas Eve opening of her Italian restaurant, “Natalie learns that cooking, like Christmas, isn’t about perfection,” thanks to her bond with “the attractive but pessimistic Chef Stefano.” Scheduling your restaurant opening for one of, like, two nights of the year that people are guaranteed to be at home with their families is, well, it’s not great business. This Musician Just Doesn’t Have Their Heart in it Anymore … Until Christmas

Feliz NaviDAD is coming to @LifetimeTV on Nov. Melissa Joan Hart directs her muse — Mario Lopez, obviously — in this story of a widower and single dad who has to moonlight as a delivery driver because he’s a high-school principal in Arizona and that don’t pay the bills. The one condition of the job is she must complete it … by Christmas. Adorable! So come, sift with us, as we break down the year’s absolute deluge of holiday fare into relevant subcategories:

All the Networks Finally Agreed That Gay People Exist, Even at Christmas

The Christmas House (Hallmark, November 22 at 8 p.m.)Hallmark has traditionally been the more conservative of the two major made-for-TV Christmas flick purveyors. Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, December 6 at 10 p.m.)We love a title that’s just a full sentence! Did I screw up by not making a separate category for “visiting your family’s ranch”? Yes I realize that complaint is also alliterative. Made-for-TV Christmas is the Taco Bell of entertainment genres. Cross Country Christmas (Hallmark, December 12 at 8 p.m.)Rachael Leigh Cook and Greyston Holt (really top-notch stage name, old chap) are former classmates traveling home for the holidays, when a storm hits and really gucks up their plans. She probably just strings up some fairy lights and finds herself a boyfriend. Christmas Ever After (Lifetime, December 6 at 8 p.m.)The iconic, indelible, sensational Ali Stroker plays “popular romance novelist Izzi Simmons,” who “spends every Christmas at her favorite snowy bed & breakfast,” because I guess she has no family and terrible friends. You’ve got Melissa Joan Hart, Jason Priestley, and Ed Begley Jr. But hey, if you sift through enough lumps of coal, though, you just might find some cubic zirconia. Dashing in December (Paramount Network, December 13 at 7 p.m.)Andie MacDowell is draped in so many shawls in this cinematic event. But this year, they’ve made a less-traumatic version of The Family Stone in which parents Sharon Lawrence and Treat Williams invite their adult kids home for a Very Ensemble Christmas, and one of those adult kids is Gay Who Jonathan Bennett (Aaron Samuels from Mean Girls) and his husband, Brad Harder. But while Lucy’s staying at the B&B pretending to be an unrelated guest, she falls in love with another guest named Jake who’s probably actually the incognito critic. What is a Christmas inn? A family holiday classic on sight. Yes, I will watch two nerds fall in love while they put together a city-wide Christmas scavenger hunt. A Jewish Mrs. Did Jessica Fletcher die or is she canonically alive? “As Christina (Mia Kirshner) prepares her restaurant for its busiest time of year, she gets a DNA test back revealing that she’s Jewish.” I kind of have a problem with the “genetic essentialism” of this premise, and I think there are other Jews who would as well. A Very Country Christmas Homecoming (UPtv, November 1 at 7 p.m.)A threequel to the A Very Country Christmas series, so if the phrase “Jeanette’s former father-in-law” means nothing to you, you can pass. When her fancy-schmancy big-city son comes home to the beautiful family ranch for the holidays, he starts to fall for cowboy Heath, who is a Mark Ruffalo sound-alike. Oh, am I boring you? View this post on Instagram A post shared by Kelly Rowland (@kellyrowland)

Jingle Bell Bride (Hallmark, October 24 at 8 p.m.)A wedding planner has to travel to a small town in Alaska to find an extremely rare flower for her client. The Christmas Aunt is finally getting her life together. “Using a series of Christmas articles,” she brings the paper back to profitability, which, oh how I wish media worked that way. Based on the trailer, at one point MacDowell will give a moving Elio’s dad speech. But after a chance meeting with Hollywood actor Danny (Steve Byers) on a Christmas tree lot, together they will devise a plan to save the school. And Goldie Hawn is there too? Related

The 40 Best Christmas Movies of All Time

How Does One Make the Yuletide Gay? Or do you think they enjoy it? Cranberry Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, October 31 at 10 p.m.)Again with the alliteration! It’s that time of year and we’ve got a fun holiday film that’ll jingle your bells! Dashing Home for Christmas (UPtv, November 22 at 7 p.m.)She’s a workaholic business consultant. The subject in question? Maybe she just Cain’t Say No to a really good off-season spa package. So cold! Making her wedding planner pluck a rare flower from a glacier because it’s “her special day”? One Royal Holiday (Hallmark, October 31 at 8 p.m.)Broadway’s Laura Osnes plays Anna, a down-to-earth, small-town American gal. Chelsea Hobbs plays a workaholic reality-TV producer who profiles “Will, a wildly sexy guy who celebrates Christmas every day of the year.” But don’t let that anodyne description lull you into a false sense of trust. These questions are more interesting than the plot of Christmas She Wrote, about a romance writer who moves home after her column is canceled (ain’t that some Savage love? One might call it a Christmas miracle. She’s also falling in love with the handsome son of the paper’s former owner, so there’s that. Will she be the titular jingle bell bride? (Hallmark, December 20 at 8 p.m.)Boy is Hallmark shaking things up this year! This movie would be so much better if it was about Christoph Waltz. But this is a Dolly Parton production, a full-blown original musical with 14 original songs, music by Debbie Allien, and a lead performance from Christine Baranski. But, uh oh: Hot restaurant critic Tanner Rhodes (Clayton James) has the B&B’s restaurant in his crosshairs. JK JK. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Mary Poppins Returns comes an adorable musical Christmas spectacular about a brilliant tinkerer named Jeronicus Jangle, played by Forest Whitaker, whose grandkids help him win his whimsical inventions back from the dastardly Keegan-Michael Key. Meet Me at Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 14 at 10 p.m.)When Joan’s (Catherine Bell) son’s wedding planner quits before his Christmas Eve wedding, she teams up with the bride’s hunky unkie (Mark Deklin) to bring the wedding together. The Christmas Edition (Lifetime, November 15 at 8 p.m.)Up-and-coming journalist Jackie (Carly Hughes) moves to Alaska to run a small town paper. A Timeless Christmas (Hallmark, November 15 at 8 p.m.)Charles Whitley (Ryan Paevey) time travels from 1903 to present day where he falls in love with a modern woman named Megan (Erin Cahill) who is a historical tour guide at his manse, which is now a landmark. Like You’ve Got Mail without the conflict. She’s sad in a pretty and demure way. It’s Not Catfishing if Your Hidden Identity Is Santa

Christmas Unwrapped (Lifetime, October 24 at 8 p.m.)“From executive producer Tiffany Haddish” comes the story of ambitious go-getter reporter Charity, who falls in love with her subject, because reporters in these movies are contractually mandated to be terrible at their jobs. A Glenbrooke Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, December 12 at 10 p.m.)“Longing to be accepted for herself and not just her wealth, an heiress heads to the small town of Glenbrooke, where she discovers the joys of a simple Christmas” and hooks up with a fireman. Can I make it any more obvious? A Little Christmas Charm (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, December 5 at 10 p.m.)This one is also about an investigative reporter trying to find the story behind a mysterious piece of jewelry: It’s a charm bracelet. Or, they just used all the movies they’ve been sitting on that weren’t good enough for past years’ lineups, and now the B-team of Christmas B-roll is getting its year in the spotlight. A Very Charming Christmas Town follows Aubrey Lang (Natalie Hall) who goes to vlog the “Most Christmassy Town in the USA,” where of course she meets a hunky “community coordinator and chocolate shop owner,” which, for the record, is an excellent Hinge profile. How did the powers that be manage to pull 82 new Christmas movies (and one Hanukkah film!) out of their proverbial gingerbread asses, amid all the lockdowns and quarantines and restrictions and malaise? Meanwhile, she’ll “bring Christmas back to town” and charm the hot wine guy’s mom, Meredith Baxter. Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Netflix and Lifetime

You know that thing people say about Taco Bell? You had eight nights, HALLMARK. But she (the third Evergreen townsfolk) is questioning her relationship with some other Evergreen person. The Christmas Chronicles 2 (Netflix, November 25)I had to look up what The Christmas Chronicles 1 was because I had never heard of it, until I saw the poster and remembered that yeah, Kurt Russell definitely played Santa in something. The Angel Tree (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 21 at 10 p.m.)A writer (Jill Wagner) seeks to uncover the hidden identity of the person (Lucas Bryant) granting wishes placed upon the town’s “Angel Tree,” which is a special wish-granting tree, which surely every town has. Swept Up by Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, December 19 at 10 p.m.)An antique dealer and a cleaner clash when they work on restoring a reclusive old man’s huge estate, which is full of “treasures.” If this movie doesn’t end up featuring an ensemble of charming chimney sweeps doing “Step in Time,” I will bring a case in a court of law against Hallmark for marketing false goods. Your definitive guide to 2020’s absolute deluge of made-for-TV holiday fare, on Netflix, Hallmark, Lifetime, and more. How Hallmark Keeps Winning the War for Christmas

Tags: Holidate (Netflix, October 28)Emma Roberts plays a terrible person who lives in fake-Chicago, as do her remarkably sex-positive mother and aunt, the latter of which is played by a scene-stealing Kristin Chenoweth. Twice! Johnson) on the Christmas scavenger hunt of a lifetime. That the whole menu is just five ingredients (tortillas, cheese, meat, beans, sauce) remixed and rearranged in infinite combinations? Case in point: This one stars Nia Vardalos! Christmas in Vienna (Hallmark, November 14 at 8 p.m.)Jess, “a concert violinist whose heart just isn’t in it anymore” goes to Vienna where she meets some white guy who’s probably not even Austrian. But when a larger media company threatens takeover, can Jackie save it with the power of Christmas? Let’s just say if you’ve literally never seen a movie or read a book before, you will be in for a big surprise. Cupcake baker? Christmas Tree Lane (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, October 24 at 10 p.m.)Small-town music-store owner Meg (Alicia Witt) is trying to save the town’s historic shopping district, which is slated for demolition. At Christmas? Kate & Leopold deserves royalties. This Christmas, the B&B has a hot new owner who reminds her of one of the characters from her books, so it’ll be kind of a Romancing the Stone dynamic without Danny De Vito. A searing examination of the failures of the gig economy. It continues: “Together they rediscover what matters most in life.” Great. Unlocking Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, December 13 at 10 p.m.)… Or unlock, rather. Island of Misfit Tropes

Candy Cane Christmas (Lifetime, October 31 at 8 p.m.)Beverly Mitchell — really, the thinking man’s favorite TV Christmas movie star — owns a little flower shop and searches for a new Christmas tradition to replace her beloved Candy Cane Lane. At Christmas! This’ll be huge for fans of the last Christmas in Evergreen movie. Duh! A Ring for Christmas (UPtv, November 8 at 7 p.m.)Not to be confused with this year’s other ring-based Christmas original movie The Christmas Ring, A Ring for Christmas is about a single girl who has to find a man to marry by Christmas to unlock her trust fund. Suzi, which is the name of the architect — sorry I didn’t say that up front — wants to continue the family tradition her grandmother started: competing in the local gingerbread house competition. Let’s Meet Again on Christmas Eve (Lifetime, December 5 at 8 p.m.) Kyla Pratt and Brooks Darnell were college sweethearts who made an agreement to meet again two years after going their separate ways. Too bad, we’ve got more Christmas to cover. Eh?) but sparks fly when she’s visited by the editor who canceled her column. One of them didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. He was a hockey player. The fact that there are not one but two carousel-centric movies on this list so far, and we’re not even halfway through, really says a lot. So while she’s home during the holidays, she rekindles an old relationship with family friend Michael Rady, who you know from various stuff and things, and who will teach her to believe in her ability to play a violin in a chocolate store, or whatever, despite the accident. Christmas She Wrote (Hallmark, December 6 at 8 p.m.)Just a really A+ name, first off. You will want to watch this because Lorraine Bracco is in it. Although this year, we have to ask: How did they do it in 2020? He’s a prince and she’s just a regular-degular Christmas-loving person. Military Industrial Christmas

Operation Christmas Drop (Netflix, November 5) No, this isn’t the same thing as a “turkey drop,” when you get dumped on Thanksgiving in college, nor is it my codename for going to the bathroom after having too much lactose-rich eggnog. It’s Hallmark’s sexy Christian rebranding of the word “coincidence,” because what is a coincidence if not a wink from God? Now with 33 percent more Vanessa Hudgens. Scavenger Hunts Are Good Substitutions for Plots

A Crafty Christmas Romance (Lifetime, October 30 at 8 p.m.)Most scavenger-hunt-based made-for-TV Christmas movies only have one enchanted object: this one’s got two. The Christmas Setup (Lifetime, December 12 at 8 p.m.)Actual living goddess Fran Drescher trades leopard print for buffalo plaid in The Christmas Setup, in which she plays a meddling mother who tries to set up her workaholic big city lawyer son with his high-school crush Patrick when they’re all home in Milwaukee for the holidays. He meets a “witty musician” on his delivery route, so it’ll be a very feliz navi-dad indeed. Good Morning Christmas! Those CGI elves gotta go right to jail though. When the owner of a craft and hobby store (Nicola Posener) finds a special Christmas book with a special Christmas coin inside, she teams up with a hunky contractor (Bradford B. 21st! Christmas in Evergreen: Bells Are Ringing (Hallmark, December 5 at 8 p.m.)One of the townsfolk of Evergreen is getting married to another Evergreen townsfolk, so a third Evergreen townsfolk pitches in to help launch the Evergreen town museum. You know you’ve gone too far into the simulacrum when a rom-com rehashes a Crazy Stupid Love scene which itself was rehashing a Dirty Dancing scene. The Christmas Ring (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 7 at 10 p.m.)Yes, the other movie about a Yuletide ring. The Christmas Aunt (Lifetime, November 1 at 8 p.m.)This wins my personal “Favorite Title of 2020” award. Actually that’s a good idea please don’t steal it. This is another plot synopsis that reads as a damning condemnation of career options for educators and people in the arts. Sure! I’m in, if only to find out what job she abandons to return to her hometown and date her high-school boyfriend Noah. A Wedding? A Christmas Break (Lifetime, December 20 at 8 p.m.)Small-town teacher Addison Tate (Cindy Sampson) is DAMN PISSED that the local school is going to shut down. Five Star Christmas (Hallmark, November 27 at 8 p.m.)An incognito travel critic (Victor Webster) shows up at Lucy Ralston’s (Bethany Joy Lenz) dad’s B&B just as she’s moving back to her hometown, so she gets the whole family in on a plot to pretend to be guests, because this will trick the critic for some reason? Let’s Pretend-Date Until We for-Real-Date. Hart plays the host of a “Christmas romance podcast,” which is absolutely a thing, but she has no Christmas romance to speak of until her book tour puts her in the romantic orbit of a hunky hometown firefighter, played by Priestley. More titles should have exclamation points, like Oliver! A “well-known social media travel writer” goes to a small town in New Mexico to cover its Christmas parade, but gets a whole different type of SEO (studly eligible operator) in the form of a hunky music teacher. Christmas on the Menu (Lifetime, December 18 at 8 p.m.)Fancy-pants chef Josie Jennings (Kim Shaw) is home at the quaint, magical hometown bed and breakfast her parents run. Christmas Is the Time of Year When You Hook Up with Someone You Dated in High School

A Godwink Christmas: Second Chance, First Love (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 22 at 10 p.m.)“Godwink” isn’t the name of the small town in this three-quel. She (Abigail Klein) runs the city’s public skating rink, which the mayor wants to shut down for money reasons. Lucky for Allie, she’s assigned to a wealthy widower father and probably Von-Trapps him. Broadway’s Aaron Tviet plays James, crown prince of Galwick, who gets stranded with his mother The Queen in said small town because, uh, the snow came and there’s simply too much of it. Don’t you always feel a little sad for random D-list Lifetime actors who play famous A-list actors in this kind of thing? It’s more likely to get all reason-y for the season-y, if you know what we mean (we mean Jesus). What she doesn’t know is that they’re the same person! The amount of effort put in: Go girl, give us nothing. Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Sweater (Hallmark, November 7 at 8 p.m.)She will not follow the title’s advice. A Christmas Tree Grows in Colorado (Hallmark, November 24 at 8 p.m.)Erin is planning the town Christmas celebration and she’s going to look like a total fucking laughingstock if she can’t convince firefighter Kevin to fork over the beautiful spruce tree from his property. Lonestar Christmas (Lifetime, December 14 at 8 p.m.) A single mom visiting her father’s Texas ranch falls for local restaurateur Matteo. A Sugar & Spice Holiday (Lifetime, December 13 at 8 p.m.)A workaholic architect visits her small Maine hometown for Christmas, which will definitely be fun to watch because her Chinese-American family “runs the local lobster bar” and that just sounds like a treat. Will he and Kendall have a “Montagues and McCree-pulets” sort of thing going? (Hallmark, November 25 at 8 p.m.)Great title. Because Forever Christmas is, get this, a regift. While there, she falls in love with a handsome local. It’s Ironic That This Romance Writer Is Single

Dear Christmas (Lifetime, November 27 at 8 p.m.)This is the NBA All-Stars team of Lifetime Christmas movie casts. Anyway, Riley from Buffy and Alison Sweeney are two squabbling TV hosts sent to a festive town to cover Christmas and while pretending to be a duo for the cameras and the townsfolk, they fall in love. Yes! Harried Personal Assistants

Christmas With the Darlings (Hallmark, November 8 at 8 p.m.)An assistant played by Katrina Law quits her bad bad job right before Christmas, but picks up a gig helping the wealthy brother of her former boss look after his charming orphaned nieces and nephews. She teams up with her old high school friend Billy, a very suspicious name for a full-grown adult. Forever Christmas is in the “hidden identity” section because the hidden identity is the movie itself. Sorry. Christmas on the Vine (Lifetime, November 13 at 8 p.m.)A young marketing executive (Julianna Guill) returns to her hometown and helps a hot winery owner (Jon Cor) fight off a big conglomerate. He’s a hot, laid back guy. Feliz NaviDAD (Lifetime, November 21 at 8 p.m.)Lifetime is killing it with the puns this year. That’s kind of a funny troll. Heart of the Holidays (Hallmark, November 23 at 8 p.m.)The description on this one is generic to the point of rude. The Christmas Aunt got you tickets to the Spice World tour. Remember when all the Cheetah Girls except for Raven tied wish-ribbons on the special wishing tree in India in Cheetah Girls 3? How embarrassing would it be if they couldn’t get the rights to the Sia song for this? It’s in a class of its own. She is within her rights. Happiest Season (Hulu, November 25)The facts are these: Mackenzie Davis is not out to her progressive-enough-seeming parents, played by Mary Steenburgen and — we have to laugh — Victor Garber. Homemade Christmas (Lifetime, November 22 at 8 p.m.)An “ambitious young woman” (Michelle Argyris) is a Christmas assistant for hire, and has to choose between two men at a Christmas party. It’s about Christmastime romance at an army base in Hawaii. My running theory is this takes place in the same universe as, and simultaneously to, Jingle Bell Bride, and the wedding planner quit because the bride made her go get a rare flower in Alaska. Have You Heard of This Thing Called Blogs

The Christmas Yule Blog (Lifetime, November 6 at 8 p.m.)This is one of those Lifetime movies where you just know the title came first and they worked their way down from there. Of a Lifetime™. Dan Levy plays a best friend who is also roped into the charade, while Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza round out the extremely stacked cast. He’s probably also American. The Christmas Bow (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 8 at 10 p.m.)A promising musician gets into an accident that dashes her dreams of playing in the “Rocky Mountain Philharmonic,” no relation to the Chocolate Factory. It’s when Navy family members get to spend a week on a naval ship to see what that’s all about. They’re going to have to make it home for Christmas, together. Magic Exists (But Only at Christmas)

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (Netflix, November 13)From the aesthetic that brought you Mr. Not only is there an Aaron Samuels gay Christmas movie, they’re giving us something for the Jews, too! Or maybe the uncle sold it to the hot attorney? A Taste of Christmas (Lifetime, November 20 at 8 p.m.)All of these movies, but the ones about bustling restaurants in particular, take place in an alternate-reality 2020. Stupid question. The Opposite of Christmas Is Land Developers

Christmas on Ice (Lifetime, October 23 at 8 p.m.)She was a skater. “Career-driven Sam returns to her hometown for the holidays where she comes face-to-face with her high-school boyfriend, Noah.” What career is she driven at, Hallmark? Eh? It was originally released in 2018 under the name Mr. Between Davis, Garber, and Levy, this film has queer Canadian excellence written all over it. This one is about an antique ring and a reporter looking for the love story behind it. Boy, they’re really running out of alliterations for “Christmas.”

The Princess Switch: Switched Again (Netflix, November 19)Vanessa Hudgens and co-star Vanessa Hudgens are back with one of the less creatively named sequels we’ve seen. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square (Netflix, November 22)From a plot and premise standpoint, this Christmas movie about a woman who returns to her hometown and saves it from a big bad mall developer sounds like its Hallmark/Lifetime compatriots. Inn Love by Christmas (Lifetime, December 11 at 8 p.m.)A hotel industry workaholic wants to buy up the quaint local inn of the small hometown she escaped to add to her hotel chain’s portfolio. It will be small for the rest of us. So he (Ryan Cooper) helps her fight the injustice and also falls in love with her maybe-probably. What’s the point? The high-school Mock Hospitality club? The Christmas Aunt — Auntie Christmas if you’re on her good side — will sneak you extra cookies when your parents aren’t looking. Don’t fuck this up, Erin! It should be about Tia and Tamera. But now, they both have to bring a Christmas Eve wedding together for … well for someone, the description isn’t super clear. I watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie about this once so DM me for spoilers. Christmas Waltz (Hallmark, November 28 at 8 p.m.)Lacey Chabert’s Christmastime wedding is called off, but she keeps the preparatory ballroom lessons because she has chemistry with the dance instructor. This entry in the Christmas scavenger hunt subgenre features a mysterious key and a “holiday riddle.”

A Very Special Christmas Object (Non-Scavenger Hunt Division)

Christmas on Wheels (Lifetime, November 14 at 8 p.m.)Tiya Sircar from The Good Place returns to her small hometown to care for her uncle, but when she learns he sold her beloved Christmas convertible (sure, I’m too tired at this point to question it) she teams up with a hot attorney to get it back. Christmas Comes Twice (Hallmark, December 13 at 8 p.m.)How dare they name this movie Christmas Comes Twice and have it star only one Mowry sister (Tamera, for the record). Instead, Tamera plays an astrophysicist who rides a magical Christmas carousel that rewinds time and transports her five years into the past. She tells him “you can’t let the past control your life,” which is a very normal thing to say in a rom-com but a very funny thing to say to a time traveler. Will she save Christmas Tree Lane? Her ex-boyfriend slash ex-bandmate is staying at the same castle(???) and helps her rediscover her passion for music and maybe her passion for him as well. A Very Charming Christmas Town (Lifetime, November 8 at 8 p.m.)“City girl and travel and lifestyle blogger” may be a red-flaggy Hinge profile but it’s a very good character sheet for a Lifetime Christmas movie lead. Deliver by Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, October 25 at 10 p.m.)Bakery owner Molly is charmed by a mysterious new client while also flirting with the hunky new widower/single dad in town. Just kidding. Who Needs The Crown When You Have Fake Royals? The Christmas Aunt just sounds so much less magical than, say, The Christmas House or The Christmas Kid or something. This is basically if Ratatouille was a sexy rom-com between Remy and Anton Ego and also it was Christmas. This begins and ends with Christmas, although we have to suffer through a deeply unfortunate Cinco de Mayo in the middle (I sincerely hope that white people are not still doing the sombrero-and-mustache thing and that Holidate got it wrong, because yikety-yikes). She springs it on her when they’re pulling up to the house, telling her that she’ll have to pretend to play her straight, orphaned roommate. Who wears sunglasses and plays the sax? And dancing sooty street urchins, like Oliver! But her high-school rival has their eye on the inn as well. With Ben Savage from Boy Meets World, no less! Luckily, the Prince (Neal Bledsoe) is there to help. A Welcome Home Christmas (Lifetime, November 7 at 8 p.m.)Hunky veteran Michael (Brandon Quinn) comes home to organize the local Army toy drive with Chloe (Jana Kramer) and they probably fall in love or something. Anyway. Kidding. This leads me to question what else in my life is a lie. I feel like I’m in the last scene of Inception, only the top is a dreidel. A separated couple “feign marital bliss on national television to help their town’s Christmas festival — and their business.” Wow, I hate these people already! Claus speaks to me on deep personal levels. Project Christmas Wish (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, December 20 at 10 p.m.)“For years Lucy has played Santa to her small town’s community.” When an orphan wishes for “Christmas like it used to be,” she brings the orphan’s parents back to life. Take the same haggard tropes — the struggling inns, the small towns, the career women who must be cured of their unladylike ambitions by falling in love with boring men — and just switch the names and actors around, and it’s a tradition that works year after year. Tread carefully, Suzi. The Christmas Listing (Lifetime, November 30 at 8 p.m.)“Julia Rogers is an uptight, hardworking realty owner who has lost her Christmas spirit,” but all that will change when she spends five days at a “Christmas inn” with her hunky business rival, whose name I-shit-you-not is Chad Everest. But Mackenzie Davis does not tell her partner Kristen Stewart that they will be engaging in an ongoing piece of performance art when they go visit her fam for Christmas. It’ll never work, right? It’s like Planes, Trains and Automobiles, if Steve Martin and John Candy hooked up. Like all young millennials in cities in the year 2020 do, she likes to hang out at the mall a lot, which is where she meets her Holidate: the no-strings-attached Aussie who accompanies her to all holidays with a “plus one” component. Some third job that women are allowed to have on your channel? The Santa Squad (Lifetime, December 7 at 8 p.m.)“Allie (Rebecca Dalton), an out of work art teacher, has to accept a job with the Santa Squad,” which is kind of an app of Christmas-nannies, or something? But hey, you gotta admit naming this character — who goes on Ancestry.com and finds out she had one forced-convert great grandmother and is now gonna start appropriating Seders or whatever — Christina? His son Clint is a total hottie who’s back in town though. Because of the name? If I Only Had Christmas (Hallmark, November 29 at 8 p.m.) Candace Cameron Bure plays a publicist for a playboy heir (Warren Christie) who of course she falls for while helping his vanity-project corporate charity put on a big Christmas gala. Lacy Chabert is one of five guests “mysteriously invited to an inn to celebrate Christmas.” Either one of them is inheriting some treasure if they manage to stay the night or they’re going to all find out their biological dad was the same sperm donor. Unclear. Remember Restaurants? A lady-reporter goes on a Christmas Tiger Cruise where she meets a handsome naval officer, and together they uncover a “mystery in the ship’s archive room.” Nuclear codes, probably. USS Christmas (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 28 at 10 p.m.)Okay, so do you know what Tiger Cruises are? Meanwhile, she falls in love with a guy (Andrew Walker) who’s secretly working for the developer! And the doctor … was a woman? Mistletoe Magic (UPtv, November 15 at 7 p.m.)“When self-proclaimed ‘Christmas Grinch [as opposed to the other kind of Grinch] Harper realized that she accidentally donated her family’s beloved magic mistletoe to a charity,” she’ll have to get it back from hot thrift store owner Luke. They’ll have to convince the seller to give it over to one of them, and they do so with a Christmas decoration battle. A mysterious Christmas-loving hunk who insists all those gifts he gives out are aaaaaactually from Saaaaaanta. What were they rivals at? Sad romance writer? In this particular Godwink, Pat “ends up stuck in traffic next to his high-school sweetheart, Margie, at Christmas.” Maybe God just had something stuck in his eye with this one. A Christmas Carousel (Hallmark, December 19 at 8 p.m.)Lila (Rachel Boston) — who is a mechanic, so you just know she’s down-to-earth — is hired to repair a Very Important Carousel in the fictional nation of Ancadia, as you do. Christmas by Starlight (Hallmark, November 26 at 8 p.m.)Lady-lawyer Kimberley Sustad tries to save her beloved family restaurant The Starlight Cafe from demolition, and falls for playboy heir Paul Campbell along the way. Spotlight on Christmas (Lifetime, December 4 at 8 p.m.)A famous actress moves back to her tiny hometown right as the local drama teacher goes on maternity leave, and her ex-high-school crush supports her as she helps put on the Christmas Eve play. Or like what I hope Swept Up by Christmas to be. Of course you do. Secure the Spruce! A Nashville Christmas Carol (Hallmark, November 21 at 8 p.m.)A workaholic (Jessy Schram) organizing a country music festival is visited by the magical spirit of Wynona Judd, who takes her through the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Love, Lights, Hanukkah! 365 on romance streaming service Passionflix.com, but Lifetime doesn’t want you to know that. Anyway. Forever Christmas (Lifetime, October 25 at 8 p.m.)Firstly, that title is what this list feels like. The Christmas Doctor (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, November 15 at 10 p.m.)What if there was a Christmas doctor? Oh, no. #ChristmasTimeIsHere #Lifetime pic.twitter.com/cb8htNXhcd— Mario Lopez (@mariolopezviva) November 9, 2020

Chateau Christmas (Hallmark, October 25 at 8 p.m.)World-renowned pianist Margot goes to a castle to spend the holidays with her family. Yuh-doi. Maybe you’ll remember them from the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie Tiger Cruise, starring Hayden Panettiere. The thousand monkeys have tapped away at their thousand typewriters and we have run out of all further ideas. Because in the fantasy fairy world of Christmas She Wrote, negging works! People Presents: Once Upon a Main Street (Lifetime, November 29 at 8 p.m.)Vanessa Lachey wants to turn a small-town storefront into a year-round Christmas store, but she enters into a heated bidding war with a cutie named Vic Manning (Ryan McPartlin).

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The Crown Found Its Scoundrel in Charles

He openly laughs and smirks when she is encircled like a wounded gazelle on the savannah and humiliated as she struggles to remember whom to curtsy to. Charles doesn’t care if her delicate mental health is aggravated by a strenuous visit abroad. The Crown, which is at times overly devoted to neatly packaging up patterns, as if the Windsors had lived lives pre-written by melodramatic novelists, adds Charles’s love for an unsuitable mate as another ill-advised romp in a long line. Diana was destined to take hold of The Crown’s emotional center: No showrunner with sense would spend as much time demonizing the People’s Princess as the unlovable stiffs in residence at Buckingham Palace. There’s a bit of understated assholery at first. Sure, he’s a prick, but he’s also adaptable, willing to listen to ordinary folk, and empathetic with others who have been cast aside as he has. Unless, that is, the blood of a dynasty runs through your delicate English veins. Twenty-something Charles is moved by the plight of the long-oppressed Welsh people to acknowledge their desire for sovereignty in his speech — and by the sight of his tutor’s wife lovingly tucking their children into bed. The Crown, highly cognizant of what the people want, knows who will win our hearts and shapes itself accordingly. All unhappy families, if I may tread upon a great sentiment, torture their children in unique ways, but we expect those grown-up children to eventually develop a modicum of self-awareness. With season three’s forward time warp (and Josh O’Connor capably taking on the role, playing the prince better than the prince could play himself), Charles darts back and forth between ham-handed lovefool and eager young specimen. That he ended up rejected — sobbing, with his head on his bodyguard’s lap — came as no surprise, but it did endear him to us. Watching Charles scream at Diana that he can’t handle “this grotesque misalliance” any longer offers a little thrill. This new season abandons any pretense of Charles as a victim of extraordinary dynastic forces. Charles listens with a twisted smile on his face as his secretary, Edward Adeane, implicitly threatens Diana under the guise of protection. But it cranks up Charles’s nastiness over and over. It’s hard to garner sympathy from the masses when you grew up in a house with 78 bathrooms, but as season four has crept along and Charles’s shoulder hunch has grown more pronounced — as his hands have buried themselves deeper into his front blazer pockets — any trace of the weeping little boy dropped into the society of vicious little déclassé brutes at soggy Gordonstoun has disappeared. He’s a complete lout. What about poor Princess Margaret, the shinier star of the two Windsor sisters, always shoved into the background despite her flair for party tunes and witty repartee? But this new season abandons any pretense of Charles as a victim of extraordinary dynastic forces. We know that Diana will die tragically in a few years and that all the pity Charles ever hoped for will pile up in the form of flowers, cards, and tears for his deceased ex-wife. As far as I can tell, the central question The Crown asks is: Should we feel bad for these people? His idea of compromise is agreeing to give up his mistress behind the altar at their wedding rehearsal. He demands the pity he didn’t receive as a child. In the final episode, “War,” the Waleses are seated across a table, like two parties at a divorce proceeding, as they discuss Diana’s solo trip to New York City. King Edward VIII chose love with Wallis Simpson and had to hand off his scepter in return. “Tywysog Cymru” (for what it’s worth, one of the series’ best episodes) sees him knocked off his high horse when he is sent to Wales to learn enough of its tongue-heavy language to speak at his investiture. It’s a crucial mistake — we all know Diana will win the tabloid battles, and her struggles will only add shine to her halo — but it must feel like a victory for him. But phew, they really sent Charles straight into villainy, especially where his wife is concerned. 2 — it doesn’t anymore. And that’s really the catch here. Or Prince Philip, a man forced by rank to scrabble for any semblance of equality in his marriage? He wants her to know that her weaknesses are his weapons. If the Netflix series once wanted us to see the prince as a sensitive man dragged along by an unfeeling system, it certainly doesn’t anymore. Sure, Camilla Parker Bowles actively works to disrupt the entire English monarchy, but she’s also decidedly not Diana, Princess of Wales, and she knows it — which would be a real blow for any woman in a love triangle. Just as he was once handed off to nannies and protection officers, he deposits her at the palace and then leaves for six weeks, telling her on his way out the door that his mistress is “the best company.” Then there’s the bracelet, the cuff links, the indignity of pet names with a woman besides his wife, Diana’s lunch meeting with a crowing Camilla. Little Charles was a victim through and through, simultaneously expected to understand his role as the future king of a then-sprawling empire and to blend in among the non-princely boys. “What does it take,” he practically screams at his sister, Anne, when she reminds him that he’s acting the part of a spoiled brat, “to get a little love in this family?” On their Australian tour, when Diana points out to him that she would appreciate some praise, he indignantly tells her that he, the Prince of Wales and heir to the throne, has spent his whole life “unthanked and overlooked” and asks, “What do you want from me?”

It’s true that he was introduced as a whimpering young schoolboy in the second season, dumped off at that boarding school on the frigid shores of northern Scotland and left with instructions to turn himself into an admirable man, tout de suite. What’s strange is how The Crown doesn’t need one dominant bad guy; it has an ensemble cast and a habit of ignoring characters’ story lines for half a season at a time. For a brief moment, Charles considers upending the monarchy so he can stay with (a somewhat unwilling) Camilla, until, that is, he’s carted off overseas so his mother and godfather can arrange for her to quickly turn that triangle into a line by marrying one of its other points. Related

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Tags: He’s not smitten with her; he’s obsessed in that once-in-a-lifetime way that plays so well in multigenerational sagas like this one. (“Can’t you pull yourself together?” he mutters on the side of a desert mountain as his bulimic wife nearly faints.) Sure, for a brief moment they picnic in the sunshine, and Charles bathes in the adoration that comes with their shared moment on the dance floor. The royals are cold fish, but Charles runs hot and is entirely unable to use the only characteristic for which he has ever been adored — his future coronation as the head of a fading institution — for anything besides alienating everyone outside his little set of hangers-on. He’s a complete lout. It has found its heroine in Diana and its scoundrel in Charles, and that tantalizing dichotomy takes over where more complicated concoctions once reigned. Diana and Charles might have had the most discussed marriage on the planet. Princess Margaret stuck to her sister’s ruling and forever regretted that she had spurned Group Captain Peter Townsend. He holds all the cards, she is a victim of circumstance. If The Crown once wanted us to see Charles as a sensitive man dragged along by an unfeeling system — who is still, at 72 years old, waiting to step out of his role as the bumbling, mumbling perennial No. He’s so terrible, she’s so wounded. Photo: Alex Bailey/Netflix

We always knew that Prince Charles wouldn’t end up the pitiable superstar of The Crown, that he was destined to slide ever lower in our communal estimation as we inched into the Diana years. (Though let it be said that you are gorgeous, Emerald Fennell.) Only the Queen Mother, with her insistent, oblivious grin, expects no pity; she moved ranks from a Meghan Markle to a Kate Middleton, and she’s just happy to be along for the ride. Who can’t feel for a little boy who is implicitly told that asking for parental love is a bit much? The early years of the love triangle with Camilla Shand–turned–Parker Bowles and her husband, Andrew, are, if nothing else, a testament to the very real beating heart inside the prince. But once Diana steps into her roller-skating existence inside the palace, Charles turns vindictive and is happy to watch her sink in the waters in which he also flails. Charles schools 19-year-old Diana on Verdi’s unromantic background on their first date, telling her, “He played such a key role in the Italian unification.” He glowers when she takes down the stag at Balmoral; not only is she more willing to plow through the muck than he is, she also has his daddy’s eye. Of the whole sorry lot, Charles is the whiniest, the least self-aware, and the most openly cruel. But when Diana dances without him a year later, it’s a “grotesque, mortifying display.” To use the words of his younger brother Edward, he really is impressively cunty. And according to royal insiders (whatever that means) and biographers, the show is playing it up in ways that seriously deviate from the historical record. Thirty-two when he marries Diana, Charles has seemingly picked up very little of his father’s ability to stanch his emotions or his mother’s love of passive-aggressive virtue signaling. When she departs and he puts a hand on her shoulder — “You’ve been a great sport” — the vibe is that of condescending jerk, not besotted lover. “Terra Nullius” is just a gateway to more of Charles’s cruelty.

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SNL Taps Timothée Chalamet, Jason Bateman, and Kristen Wiig to Host

After that, SNL’s Christmas episode on December 19 will feature returning host and cast member Kristen Wiig (it will mark her fourth hosting stint) alongside Dua Lipa, who previously served as musical guest in 2018. She was also slated to perform in March alongside then-scheduled host John Krasinski, but the episode was canceled due to COVID. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Shutterstock

Saturday Night Live has lined up three more hosts and musical guests to close out the bonkers year that was 2020. ❄️ December shows ❄️ pic.twitter.com/iEVoNkJv3g— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) November 25, 2020

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Tags: Here’s hoping a similar fate doesn’t await any of next month’s hosts. Joining Bateman as musical guest is an interesting pick: Morgan Wallen, who was originally slated to appear as musical guest for Bill Burr’s episode but was dropped and replaced with Jack White after social-media posts circulated of the country singer partying without a mask. Behold the final SNL hosts of 2020. (When he apologized on October 7, Wallen noted that he spoke with Lorne Michaels about his canceled booking, adding that Michaels assured him that SNL would “find another time to make this up.” Sounds like that worked out.)

Following Bateman’s episode, The French Dispatch and Dune star Timothée Chalamet will make his SNL hosting debut on December 12, where he’ll be joined by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band making their third SNL appearance as musical guest. The NBC show, which is currently on hiatus since Dave Chappelle’s post-election hosting gig, will return on December 5, when Jason Bateman will host for the second time.

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The Bachelorette Recap: Listen to Your Heart

Literally everyone is silent in response for three full minutes. Right?” Is Tayshia from Earth? Please, Tayshia. Tags: Everyone attacks the task with an ABAB rhyme scheme and it’s just a lot to listen to. Like adults? They have to drink disgusting smoothies, get Chris Harrison to autograph their butts, and make orgasm noises into a hotel phone. I don’t know. Was she brewed in a lab fueled by Sugar Bear Hair gummies and athleisure wear? Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Choosing a partner who you relate to, who validates you, and creates a feeling of safety around you, is like the most important thing and I want that for this beautiful little influencer. The Bachelorette
Week Seven

Season 16

Episode 7

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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I could do the whole “pithy imagined opener” to my recap where, I don’t know, an ABC executive is throwing cow intestines at a PA’s head to mak her go sweep up Noah’s mustache hairs to either glue them back to his face while he’s sleeping or use them in some sort of magic ritual. You could have a good relationship with your ex but they’re still your ex. Even Chassen has turned on Noah. Riley screams at Noah “FIX IT!” He can’t fix this. The first date of the week is a songwriting contest where the winner gets one-on-one time with Tayshia. Ivan says his brother’s incarceration challenged how he viewed police brutality because of how correctional officers abuse people in prisons for no reason. Noah did not expect this. Something! She sits them all down and tells them not to question her judgement, she’s being vulnerable, and they need to shut the fuck up and catch these roses. Kenny is continuing to call Tayshia “T,” so he’s got that going for him. Bachelor Nation Newsletter
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Terms of Service apply. Or as in-depth has these two people and the show are capable of. I’m friends with literally one of my exes and he’d still be like, “She’s a bit stubborn.” And third of all, Blake’s personality and his habitual line-stepping tell me that if you got all his exes in a room, I bet they could come up with one red flag. He’s a real sweetie and he must be protected at all costs. For whatever classification of a date this is. Time for the rose ceremony! In the middle of the most average, ordinary episode of The Bachelorette, we got an in-depth conversation on police brutality, prisons, racial identity, and George Floyd. Ivan gets the rose. The whole walk over to her room is cut between Ed also walking over to Tayshia’s room only to find Chris Harrison’s suite. Just imagine I did one of those things. Because I’m putting together the context clues here and… has Tayshia ever dated a Black person before? I know Tayshia and Ivan have been quarantining for a few weeks but things were, to use a euphemism, racially awkward for a while. Nope. When Bennett said he could “rap” what he actually meant was “speak slightly quickly in what can only be legally called ‘rhythm.’” He says she doesn’t need a Harvard degree to be in Paris (pronounced: Paree) to be eating brie with he. I don’t like comparing women to creamy drinks but I’m here for a song with structure. Ben and Tayshia talk about how he waited to take her aside at the last group date and how it really shook him up. First of all, no one is good friends with all of their exes. Zac, Kenny, Demar, Bennet, Riley, and Blake get another date for… some reason. Finally in the ill-defined date section of the episode, Ben works up the courage to walk over to Tayshia’s room to talk about how he disappointed her. A group dance class? Oh boy, Noah fucks this up immediately. This really seemed like one of the first times that Tayshia was letting her guard down about being a Black woman in America and connected with someone about that reality. Okay, men’s orgasm noises aren’t that interesting, so to compensate the men all pretend to have sex with Tayshia. Demar is the only person to write a chorus where he calls Tayshia his “Mocha Latte” and he needs a caffeinated rush. There’s a reason y’all aren’t together and that’s what Tayshia wants to know. This season is really stretching my limits for how much Chris Harrison I’m willing to watch. One of those things. Rose ceremony now! No one is remotely interested in this.” When it comes to The Bachelor Cinematic Universe, the answer to the question “Has anyone involved in this program learned anything?,” is always no. The strategy of telling the Bachelorette that guys in the house are mean to you is a bad strategy, but the end of the strategy is just telling her that they’re so mean and you get sympathy. This dummy is going home next week. Bennett is the only one to break the silence and calls Noah greedy. Tayshia walks in to the Prowler music from Into the Spider-Verse and doesn’t even have a speech. And Tayshia, get a Black girlfriend or something. God damn it, Bachelorette. You didn’t even follow it up with, “but I trust you Tayshia,” making her the only one you can trust. It was one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in the Bachelor franchise in a long time, and when this show even attempts to strip away the artifice and just lets the leads be people with needs and desires and emotions, it’s a better show. Everybody got one motherfucker in their phone as “DO NOT ANSWER” and three skull emojis. Has she met other people? There is a darkness here that I must turn away from. It’s time for the performances. Zac and Tayshia make out in a hot tub and he gets the group date rose. Ivan doesn’t tell the story with any shame or pity for his brother. This is neither a group date nor a true one-on-one date. Second of all, that’s not what she was asking. She asks Blake what his exes would warn her about and he says, “Oh, I’m good friends with all of my exes.” BULL. [Law enforcement] has a job to do and they need to do it without hurting people… It changed me as a man.” Tayshia isn’t able to articulate her feelings in the same way, but both of their vulnerability and connection really surprises her. What you don’t do is insinuate that everyone is questioning her judgement. You know you fucked up when Jordan in the cute lil’ glasses who got zero screen time this episode is fucking pissed. And I guess my limit is “Chris Harrison on a romantic one-on-one date with a man with no neck.” That’s my limit. Bennett gets down on one knee and has real feelings as he’s proposing to her. This show has completely run out of date ideas and keeps falling back on its instinct is to humiliate the men. Usually a contestant would share this as some sort of failure on their part that taught them to seize every day, but Ivan doesn’t judge his brother or his family in any way. Blake puts his leg up on the podium and really puts his back into it. Okay, let’s really get to it. What is HAPPENING? Ben, Eazy, Riley, Brandon, Bennett, Blake, Demar, Spencer, and Ed all get roses. No one fucking likes this Noah dude. At the afterparty, he tells her about his previous engagement and how proposing to Tayshia showed him he had more feelings for her than he realized. Because in this case, it’s not only completely invented but you’re also shifting the emotional stakes in the house and you’re doing so in a way that’s not beneficial for everyone. Ivan and Tayshia also bond over being older siblings and Ivan talks about his younger brother’s incarceration and drug use. It ends there. SHIT. Ivan wins and gets to head to Tayshia’s suite where they play the floor is lava, have a pillow fight with open bags of feathers, and order a comically large ice cream sundae. And build a more honest foundation for their relationship? Like… girl… that shouldn’t be a surprise to you considering everything. This is dark. She seemed a little stunned that Ivan had been called the n-word walking around school. Everyone in this room. Put them all in a bus and roll them out to the desert to hunt the jackalope. You got me again. I don’t fault it for that, and in fact I respect it, but I would love for this show to even pretend that these early group dates could be romantic or interesting. Tayshia says it kind of pissed her off that he didn’t take her aside and they talk through their issues? He says, “My first question would be ‘what did you do’ but it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter what George Floyd did. The final challenge is to eat a habanero and then propose to Tayshia. But what I want to do this week is just dive in because…

THE BACHELORETTE HAD AN EXTENDED CONVERSATION ABOUT POLICE BRUTALITY THAT WASN’T INTERRUPTED BY A COUNTRY STAR NAMED CHEZ WILKS OR SOMETHING. Bennett brags that he used to impress all his friends at Harvard on retreats with his rap skills and honestly, this fucking tracks. Noah says he’s upset he’s not on the date despite getting the group date rose on a date he barged into. She says she is really enjoying meeting someone else who is biracial who is her age that she can relate to. Noah, these kinds of tactics might work in whatever Tilted Kilt you tore through when you turned 24, but this is The Bachelorette and Tayshia is not having it. I was spending most of my time doing interviews with various reporters about how racist literally every place I’ve ever worked was, and all my white friends were apologizing to me. JUSTICE FOR LIL’ JORDAN WITH THE GLASSES! Tayshia and Ivan talked about growing up biracial in mostly white towns and schools and Chris Harrison didn’t pop in to put them in a hot air balloon over the desert. In fact, he uses it to put a human face on the issue of police brutality and connects it to people in prison. She just starts throwing roses at these idiots. JUSTICE FOR JOE! So a random selection of guys who weren’t on the group date pick up instruments and head off to their corners to write a song for Tayshia, a woman they met nine days ago. The way he describes his engagement breaking up makes me need way more information than he’s revealing. I think at one point, Joe gets up to get a cup of tea and comes back and everyone is still silent. She storms into the cocktail party and the guys start to react to her beauty and she literally tells them “No No. And when I say everything I don’t just mean “the racial climate in America this summer,” I also mean “the history of America as a country up until and continuing past this moment in time.” But just think about how fucking nuts it was in America this summer. Ivan talks about being Filipino and Black and Tayshia says she hasn’t met anyone who was Filipino and Black before. He’s only going to take it up a notch. It also prompted my boyfriend to say, without looking up from his phone, “Did these dummies not learn anything from The Bachelor Presents Listen to Your Heart? Please.” She doesn’t even stop walking as the guys stumble behind her. Ivan is a fucking genius and asks Tayshia to sit next to him so they can connect. Two Black adults sat down and talked about the state of race in America during the pandemic on the same television program where men had to make orgasm noises into a hotel phone. Has she ever had these conversations with a partner of any race before? Just let the show be a better show! Meanwhile, the next date card arrives. Tayshia goes to the other dudes with a question prepared for the “Truth” part of the evening. I beg of you, follow this feeling. No time to unpack that because it’s morning already and time for the group date! Ivan is like “You’re from… California? Noah says he’s not going to change.

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The New Clifford the Big Red Dog Is Terrifying

In August, photos from the set surfaced online, showing star Darby Camp, and the soulless red contraception they forced her to befriend. Desensitize your kids with the trailer above. wish i could have been there (the set of the live-action clifford the big red dog movie) </3 pic.twitter.com/fpX2EuPyJq— Taylor (@teighlehr) November 25, 2020

Darby Camp, best known for playing Reese Witherspoon’s music-obsessed daughter on Big Little Lies, plays Emily Elizabeth in this adaptation of the beloved Scholastic book series. The new teaser for Paramount’s live-action Clifford the Big Red Dog takes the whimsical giant pet and turns him into a furry Godzilla. Clifford’s whole thing is that he’s much friendlier than he appears (you know his size, not his story), but the live-action film is already off to a horrifying start. The film was originally set for November 13, 2020, but is now trampling in November 5, 2021. Hollywood has yet to learn its lesson about CGI animals. When the small red puppy she finds has an unbelievable growth sprout, Emily Elizabeth and her Uncle Casey, played by English comedian Jack Whitehall, sprint across New York City to protect Clifford from the corporate greed of an evil genetics company. Related

Here Are All the Movies Scheduled to Hit Theaters in 2020

Darby Camp of Big Little Lies on Playing Reese Witherspoon’s Daughter

Tags: Not to judge him by the color of his fur, but the giant CGI puppy (with a mystifyingly deep adult-dog bark) does indeed look like he rolled around in the blood of his enemies. Directed by Walter Becker, the movie also stars Sienna Guillory, Rosie Perez, Kenan Thompson, and Horatio Sanz. It looks like Clifford’s corpse. That being said, #ReleasetheCorpseCut. At least he actually looks like a dog?

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Want to Try Time Crisis? Start Here.

Episode 114 began with recurring guest Winter, a man on a decades-long quest to visit every Starbucks in the world, followed by a chat with Seinfeld creator Larry David, who only appeared because he interrupted his daughter Cazzie’s interview to tell her to take out the trash. “When I see people beating up on something, I just want to be like, What’s going on here?” says Koenig. It’s a stark reminder that while art is the most personal form of self-expression, once released into the wild, it will be scrutinized by those who had no idea what was going on in the artist’s head the moment they liked the sound of two specific chords played back-to-back. Would the classic song “Thunder Road,” by Bruce Springsteen — whose pre-fame years in run-down Jersey Shore clubs were very Jamflowman — be ridiculed for its heart-on-its-sleeves lyrics about escaping small-town life if, they argue, Arcade Fire released it today? Ezra Koenig. And in episode 88, the hosts taste-tested Ariana Grande’s limited-edition Cloud Macchiato and tried to understand pop star Bebe Rexha’s partnership with Frito-Lay to create a “music-inspired chip flavor.” Whether they’re defending musical punching bags like Jim Morrison and Imagine Dragons, theorizing that Jewish rock legend Billy Joel secretly wishes he was Italian, or analyzing the Grateful Dead’s recent Nike SB x Ben & Jerry’s collaboration, the hosts shine when they analyze ostensibly easy targets with a set of principles where empathy always trumps snark. Start Here. It’s not too far off from Garcia once telling an interviewer that recording his music was a “necessary evil.” The two then continue their defense of this derided song by comparing it to other rock legends. “I want to find the positive in it.” It’s as close to a mission statement you’ll find in the 130-plus episodes of Time Crisis. Close your eyes while listening and you can envision a white man with dreadlocks slipping on empty whippet canisters like a lumberjack losing a logrolling competition. It’s an Apple Music 1 “internet radio show” available to listen via the Apple Music subscription streaming service. Let’s get one thing straight right off the top: Time Crisis With Ezra Koenig, as its passionate legion of fans will correct you, is not a podcast. And to be fair, on first listen, the song could be mistaken for a B-side by Bob Odenkirk’s Tom Goes to the Mayor character, Wizzard. See All

Tags: Start Here. Starting with Longstreth’s admission that he was simultaneously laughing at and with the song at a recent band practice, the hosts give Savoulidis the benefit of the doubt that his song was meant to be funny. Who is the Jamflowman? To understand the show’s underlying posi-vibe mantra, episode 84, “Jamflowman,” serves as the perfect jumping-off point for a new listener. “Nineteenth-century Americans needed to believe in these big men whacking around hammers and axes,” says Koenig, just like Americans suffering from the drudgery of late capitalism needed the mythological rock-star tales told in “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” or “Jamflowman” to remind themselves that the end goal in picking up an instrument shouldn’t be fame and wealth. Positing the Jamflowman as a crunchy compound between Paul Bunyan and “Johnny B. Photo: Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images

Are you new to comedy podcasts, overwhelmed by the array of options, and wondering where to begin? As the front man for Vampire Weekend, Koenig is no stranger to criticism. As Koenig explains, both the band and the song are heavily mocked in the jam-band community, with memes depicting Twiddle as impious imposters among those who worship at the altars of the almighty Grateful Dead and their only begotten son, Phish. Twenty-five years after his unfortunately predictable death, the legend of Jerry Garcia and his ever-touring band continues to grow, turning him into an almost mythic figure among younger Deadheads. And in an American era defined by hatred, snark, and everything in between, Time Crisis, as its own artistic entity with a stalwart advocacy of kind vibes, will stand the test of time in this time of crisis. To Koenig, both critically acclaimed songwriters and oft-ridiculed jam bands are operating from the same ethos. In episode 85, Twiddle’s Mihali Savoulidis blew the hosts’ minds with the revelation that “Jamflowman” was written in his childhood bedroom and that it was simply how his 15-year-old self envisioned a rock star. As often happens on Time Crisis, Koenig and Longstreth talked with the man behind “Jamflowman” just weeks later. Or is it that they can’t admit, as Koenig argues, that the Jamflowman might be Jerry Garcia himself? Then welcome to Start Here, a recurring guide to the best comedy podcasts available — and our recommendations for which episodes are the best entry points to your next auditory obsession. “To me,” Savoulidis explained, “the ultimate guitar player was this dude who could rage and party and smoke and drink and was so sick and the girls loved him and he was just crushing it.” While Savoulidis gently disabuses the hosts’ overly analytical interpretations in this follow-up episode, he appreciates their somber take on his frequently maligned creation, especially now that he’s older, less naïve, and has experienced substance abuse firsthand. After all, as Savoulidis sings, the Jamflowman started “first with blues, then with jazz,” a path that the Grateful Dead first tread with their covers of blues standards, then followed with their journey into jazz rock. Maybe that’s why the hyper-self-aware Koenig has made compassion and understanding the key tenet of Time Crisis. Those who never got a chance to see ol’ Jer Bear might even view him as a folk hero, which leads Koenig and Longstreth to the next bullet point of their on-the-fly thesis: Is the Jamflowman a modern folk hero in the great American tradition of tall tales? Then they put themselves in the shoes of the song’s haters: Is it that they hate the song’s “dorky earnestness”? While all four VW albums were released to glowing reviews, the band faced hostility in its early years for its intentionally preppy Wasp fashion style — despite Koenig being Jewish and former member and songwriting partner Rostam Batmanglij being Iranian — and received animus for its appropriation of both African music and Paul Simon’s appropriation of African music. Want to Try Couples Therapy? Starting with the song’s opening couplet of “Have you heard of the Jamflowman’s jam? Want to Try Scam Goddess? The Jamflowman is the eponymous character from a 2007 song by Twiddle, a jam band from Burlington, Vermont, the Tevas-friendly home base of Phish, Ben & Jerry’s, and Bernie Sanders. Like John Henry fighting “the Elon Musks of their days” with their mountain-moving steam-powered machines, the Jamflowman battles modern American’s need for self-adulation by never laying down his ephemeral jams in a recording studio. That also makes it technically not a comedy podcast, as its hosts, Ezra Koenig, the front man of Vampire Weekend, and Jake Longstreth, a painter and musician who heads up both the Grateful Dead cover band Richard Pictures and the excellent Eagles-inspired country rock band Mountain Brews, are not comedians. Koenig and Longstreth, like religious scholars blowing the dust off the wizened texts known as the “Jamflowman” AZLyrics page, use the bulk of the episode to dissect why so many listeners who find no problem grooving out to “Meatstick” detest this song. / Sickest and the quickest hands in the land,” Twiddle front man Mihali Savoulidis sings a seemingly frivolous tale of a spliff-smoking, heavy-drinking troubadour who travels the land and blows audiences away by playing a “fat ol’ reggae jam.” It’s easy to see why an already goofy community might prejudge this band. But like any musician worth their salt, labels haven’t stopped Koenig and Longstreth from hosting one of the funniest and wholly singular podcasts internet radio shows since its debut in 2015. Goode,” the two conjure up an image of a 21st-century Johnny Appleseed playing across America to crowds with their bellies full of acid and parking lot burritos. Wrapping up their hour-long examination of “Jamflowman,” Koenig professes that, while he gets why many people find “Jamflowman” silly, there’s an innate part of his being that wants to understand the motive behind the artist. More From This Series

Want to Try Iconography? Start Here. While there is no typical episode of Time Crisis, each episode features the duo tightrope-walking between the twin towers of ironic detachment and compassionate sincerity as they discuss the intersecting worlds of music, pop culture, fashion, politics, and corporate food history.

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Shawn Mendes Surprise-Dropped a Second Movie This Week

“Wanted to give you guys something as a thank you for all of the love on the doc,” Mendes tweeted. And not only was the show his homecoming, it was Mendes’s largest crowd yet, topping out around 55,000 according to a Billboard review at the time. Related

Justin Bieber and Shawn Mendes Drop Video for Their Sad-Boy Anthem ‘Monster’

Tags: “I know we all miss live shows so much right now so tonight we’re releasing #LiveInConcert, the full concert film from the Rogers Centre show.” The film even has a few surprises, from Mendes’s short hair (bring it back!) to an early appearance by girlfriend Camila Cabello to duet “Señorita” (but sadly not the superior “I Know What You Did Last Summer”). Also on Netflix, Shawn Mendes: Live in Concert documents 2019’s Shawn Mendes: The Tour, specifically the final stop at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. We may not get a Wonder arena tour anytime soon, but this should hold his fans over, right? Photo: Netflix

As if his album documentary In Wonder, which hit Netflix November 23, wasn’t already the most, Shawn Mendes surprised fans two days later with a second film.

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Prince Charles’s Most Punchable Moments in Season 4 of The Crown, Ranked

As they part, he suggests that she go to lunch with Camilla, and the talented Erin Corrin tries to hide how much a of slap in the face that is to Diana. Where he gets no sympathy is when he mocks it to Princess Anne, being openly disrespectful to the wife who is clearly trying so hard to make this work. (See: season three). Even Anne is like “No one wants your marriage to end,” but it’s still not enough to knock some sense into Charles. “I’m sure no one here would wish to see the Princess of Wales overstretched, certainly not at a risk to her own health,” he says, clarifying, “mental health.” Charles can’t stop … having that face. We’re merely here to marvel at the sheer punchability actor Josh O’Connor manages to convey as the fictional Prince of Wales on Peter Morgan’s work of fiction, The Crown. Having his bodyguards spy on Diana (Episode 9)

Photo: Netflix

Okay, if your mistress is taken aback by your disdain for your wife, you need to calm down. Prince Charles knows this, but he takes his insecurities out on her anyway. Children learn to smile politely and thank guests profusely when they receive a gift, no matter how much they hate it, at a very young age. “You can hardly blame the newspapers for wanting to write about something other than the wedding of a fringe member of the family who will never be king,” Prince Charles declares, reminding Anne, Andrew, and Edward that his baby has more claim to the throne than them. Yes, this is a post about the trauma he inflicted, but we can’t deny the many ways in which Prince Charles is a victim himself. Going to Australia the day after announcing their engagement and telling Diana to hang out with his mistress (Episode 3)

Photo: Netflix

Diana herself has clarified the infamous photos of her crying while saying good-bye to Charles the day after they announced their engagement is not because she was going to miss her fiancé. Punchability: 90Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -5Prince Charles Was a Grown Man Who Should’ve Known Better Bonus: +2

Total: 87

1. Okay, enough of that, because a hopeful Diana still thinks this marriage could work. Punchability Score: 10Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -9Prince Charles Was a Grown Man Who Should’ve Known Better Bonus: +2

Total: 3

9. So she walks right by Princess Margaret and Princess Anne and even the Queen herself, prompting a swift, stern lesson in the line of succession. At a meeting discussing the itinerary, Charles’s team suggests Diana’s schedule is too full for her to manage. Laughing at Diana when she forgets to curtsy (Episode 3)

Photo: Netflix

Just days after making a 19-year-old girl his fiancée, the future Queen of the United Kingdom, Prince Charles openly mocks her, hahahaha. The act itself is punchable, but the blow is best delivered after Lady Sarah tells him Diana is “obsessed with the idea of meeting him.” She’s trying to turn him off of Diana, but the idea of marrying an impressionable young girl he can easily control is too intriguing. 10. We did, however, factor in Josh O’Connor’s unavoidable attractiveness, as well as how young he looks compared to the real Prince Charles. In this scene, Prince Andrew is pissed at his mom, you know, the Queen, for “thoughtlessly” taking up headlines with apartheid negotiations, when they should be filled with items about his wedding to Sarah Ferguson. Charles sits back and allows his staff to bear the brunt of Diana’s frustration, losing points with Diana and adding to his score here. The horror of watching this season, even as it dives into the real embarrassments and cruelties Diana faced from the royal family, is knowing that not once does Charles get what he deserves: a swift knuckle to the jaw. So it’s right in this moment that I wish Diana threw love, threw respect, threw “the crown” out the window and popped Prince Charles right in the nose. “I won’t let this go. It destabilizes her, naturally. If Peter Morgan can fantasize about a friendship between Margaret Thatcher and Queen Elizabeth, we can certainly fantasize about the squabbles that should’ve been going on, future king or no. Punchability: 75Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -1Prince Charles Was a Grown Man Who Should’ve Known Better Bonus: +2

Total: 76

2. Both princes are taken aback by their “impressively cunty” older brother, who dips out like he merely rattled off a fact. Calling Diana’s mental health into question before her solo trip to New York (Episode 10)

Photo: Netflix

Knowing Diana’s excitement for her trip to New York, Charles does what any supportive husband would do and gets his private secretary to sabotage her. Punchability: 11Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -1

Total: 10

4. I can’t say that punching Prince Charles is the right solution for this interaction, one of his most verbally violent of the season, but we can all agree that it’s such an overblown reaction that it warrants a physical interruption. Photo: Netflix

I looked it up: High treason is punishable by life imprisonment in the United Kingdom. Taking Diana’s popularity out on her in Australia (Episode 6)

Photo: Netflix

It’s not Diana’s fault the public adores her. Calling his siblings “fringe” royals (Episode 8)

Photo: Netflix

Prince Charles’s contempt is not just for his wife, but for any other member of the royal family who threatens his own idea of his importance. No one in The Crown can adequately respond to the many sniveling, self-important, and often cruel remarks the future king throws around, least of all his wife, Diana, Princess of Wales. When Diana finds out, she’s irate, but they continue on the trip for another five days before she’s at her limit. Yelling at Diana after her “Uptown Girl” performance (Episode 9)

Photo: Netflix

I thought the royal family was all about manners. (Consider the infamous “Whatever love means” remark a bonus square!) There are countless times Josh O’Connor brilliantly contorts his face or lowers his voice that make for something utterly punchable. Charles thinks his anger is directed at Diana, who spoke up in their meeting and pledged her devotion to the marriage, but it’s really at himself for his own inability to stand up to his parents. There are probably moments you wanted to punch Prince Charles that are not on this list. Mocking Diana’s Phantom of the Opera performance (Episode 9)

Photo: Netflix

Prince Charles deserves very little credit for barely managing to keep a straight face while watching Diana’s performance of “All I Ask of You” from Phantom of the Opera, but I’m giving it to him anyway, because I’m the benevolent ruler of this post. Diana takes this with grace. Punchability: 9Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -2

Total: 7

6. Punchability: 9 Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: 0

Total: 9

5. Each unsure of their worth outside the monarchy (which is dwindling in worth itself), the royals tend to fixate on their tabloid coverage and take it out on each other when they can. So lest you think this is an actual threat on the real Prince Charles and, therefore, the British line of succession, note that it’s not. Telling Lady Sarah that Diana spoke to him (Episode 1)

Photo: Netflix

Immediately after meeting Diana, Prince Charles betrays her trust for the first time. Punchability: 2,000Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -10Prince Charles Was a Grown Man Who Should’ve Known Better Bonus: +2

Total: 1,092

Related

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The Crown Has Finally Gotten to the Good Stuff

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Tags: Charles laughs at her, exhibiting no trace of empathy for the young girl he’s locking into an archaic institution. Diana learns of this lack of empathy for her, especially in comparison to his feelings for Camilla, much later. A then-16-year-old Lady Diana practically begs Charles not to tell her sister, Lady Sarah, that he saw, let alone interacted with her, but it’s the first thing he does. Despite it all, she does so well on the trip Charles ends up upset anyway. “He tells everyone I’m mad, they treat me like I’m mad, and I’m starting to feel mad,” she cries later. He then ignores his wife, setting her up for failure. I’ve spoke to my protection officers. And if anything happens, if Diana puts even the slightest foot wrong, if she even thinks about straying, then they’ll let me know,” he tells Camilla in person, because hypocrisy is half the fun. “Booing the heir to the thrown, booing the crown.” He can’t accept her power, so he’ll whittle it down instead. At this point, Diana is still woefully in love with Charles and when she walks into the room, her eyes are only on him. Forcing Diana to leave Prince William on the other side of Australia (Episode 6)

Photo: Netflix

After Diana refuses to come to Australia without Prince William, Prince Charles has the baby boy left in New South Wales for the first two weeks of their journey. After Diana’s surprise performance of “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel (a real thing that really happened), Prince Charles berates her, accusing her of using her fame for her own personal gain (a likely fictional thing, though Diana’s official biography notes Charles’s dislike of the performance). Perhaps basic decorum is for plebeians? “Thanks to you, people are laughing in my face,” he storms off. Punchability: 5Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: 0

Total: 5

7. We’ve ranked Prince Charles’s most punchable moments in season four of The Crown and, yes, this emotional attachment will be discussed in therapy. As The Crown suggests, she had just found out about Prince Charles’s enduring relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. We know that after Diana’s untimely death in season five (1997), his life will continue, he’ll eventually marry Camilla Parker Bowles, and all of Diana’s revenge will have to come in the form of lawsuits by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. But we simply had to rein it in. They’ll know what she gets up to. Following the referendum on his marriage with his parents and Princess Diana, Charles declares war on his wife. The final straw isn’t the adoring crowds or even the boos, it’s when Diana’s facial expression distracts the entire room while he’s giving a speech. Punchability: 3Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: -1Prince Charles Was a Grown Man Who Should’ve Known Better Bonus: +2

Total: 4

8. Punchability: 40Josh O’Connor Cuteness Factor: 0Prince Charles Was a Grown Man Who Should’ve Known Better Bonus: +2

Total: 42

3.

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Tracey Wigfield Talks Making a New, Socially Conscious Saved by the Bell

Did that little break cause you to change anything in the last couple of episodes? When you developed this adaptation, I believe you started talking about it with Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez.I pitched the studio and the network first. In my school district, they’ve been doing a study to look at school boundaries for a bunch of different reasons, but certainly to make things more equitable. They were really game, Mario especially. I’m curious about that coronavirus joke. Saved by the Bell was almost done with production when the pandemic began. Gotcha. That existed before, certainly. In my mind, the answer was yes, maybe, but it would have to be because of privilege and wealth. The show’s not about a crazy-rich private school or anything, but it was about all-American kids who were growing up in the Palisades and they really don’t have anything high-stakes going on besides, “Who am I going to take to the harvest dance?” I was trying to imagine in 2020, could there be kids like that and could there be a place like that? None of the things the fancy parents worry about, with low test scores or attendance or anything else — none of that ever happens. I remember watching it and being like, “I love this.” And then seeing an episode of 90210 and being like, “I don’t love this.” It was really scary. Right, it’s harder to ignore now. When a less well-funded high school gets shut down and the kids get sent to a fancier high school, the kids always do great. I just didn’t know what it would look like and I was scared that we wouldn’t be able to keep our crew and cast and everyone safe. Were there any points where you wanted to do something and they said, “Gosh, you’re making fun of the show in the wrong way.”Not really. A teacher that I talked to was saying that he worked at a school where the kids weren’t doing their homework and he couldn’t figure out why. What was your relationship with the original series? But because the show ran every day on every channel, it felt like, I watched the show a ton. But her latest sitcom, the reimagined Peacock version of Saved by the Bell that she developed based on the ’80s-’90s original, may be her deepest comedic dive so far into the realm of the oblivious. Thanks to that setup, as well as the presence of original Saved by the Bell characters like Jessie (Elizabeth Berkley), who’s a Bayside counselor, and A.C. You said you all got tested every day?We were in different pods. teacher, hilarity ensues. Obviously, you don’t want to talk about coronavirus all the time, but it does feel like the kind of thing that you would at least get a story out of. It took us five weeks to shoot three episodes and some pickups of stuff we hadn’t shot yet, which is long for a half-hour show. A couple times, Elizabeth had the note of, “Can we just make sure that Jessie accomplished enough, that she’s not at the school for the same reasons Slater is?” I thought that was really a smart point because, from her point of view, a lot of girls looked up to Jessie and would tell her that through the years. Things where Slater would say, “Shut up, mama,” to Jessie all the time. It was always true but it feels more true now. In the pilot, when Daisy can’t print out pictures for her posters, the simplest thing, it doesn’t even occur to students or teachers at a fancier school that that would be hard for a kid. Oh, really?Well, it just was very adult and people were getting pregnant and getting roofied and stuff. I assume you haven’t gotten any word on whether you’re definitely going to have a second season?No, not yet. All the shows she’s written for — 30 Rock, The Mindy Project, Great News, the latter of which she created — have featured characters that fit into that category. Slater (Mario Lopez), a Bayside P.E. That’s the only way you can be a kid now who always has a safety net and who, when they get into trouble or when something goes wrong, it’s not that big of a deal, it can be fixed in 22 minutes. Little adjustments happen along the way, you add characters or slightly adjust characters. It had a fantastical Entourage-for-fifth-graders quality, where these kids are attractive and popular and nothing that bad ever happens to them. That changes when Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar), who is the governor of California in this version of reality, accidentally sucks money out of the education budget and shuts down schools like Douglas High, located in a less wealthy section of Los Angeles. Thinking of the place as the Bayside we remember, and being able to see it through the lens of somebody coming into it, felt the most fun. I think the studio really had our backs and went to great expense to make sure that everything was as safe as possible. And then, other pods, I think, got tested a number of times a week. That felt appropriate.Exactly, yes. Zack would have Screech break into the girls locker room and take pictures of them undressing without them knowing, and he was the protagonist and hero of that story. With the full first season of Saved by the Bell out on Peacock today, Wigfield spoke to Vulture about how she came up with this concept, why she thought it was important to highlight the inequities of the public school system within a half-hour comedy framework, and how the series was affected by coronavirus, especially via one joke that wound up in the finale. I was excited that he was like, “Yep, [Slater’s] a total loser, that sounds great.” I was a little nervous about whether he was going to want to play a cool guy or something, and he was really game for it and saw what was funny about it right away. Anything that took place at the gym or in the theater, or anything else in an actual school, we had to move to the lot. They were making drug ads with Brandon Tartikoff. It’s very clear that you couldn’t then, in the middle of it, change course and rewrite the last three to be: “Oh no, now everyone’s remote learning.” It was kind of nice that we knew, at least for this season, we’re just going to play it like this hasn’t happened yet. Before we started, I was very nervous about it because we were the first show to go back at Universal. As you might imagine, like the parents on your show, a lot of parents are having a fit about the notion of even having the conversation.That Nice White Parents podcast that came out a couple months ago — I listened to that. How did you first make that connection?When I was thinking about what I liked about the show, and what would be fun to poke fun at with the show, was that these kids never had any problem of any consequence. What was it that you responded to?I think some of it was definitely, I was really young. We reassembled our Zoom room for a couple weeks before we started up again. Specifically, through the lens of a person who is nothing like Zack Morris. I think we were in our last week of shooting and I was like, “Oh my God, this is exactly the kind of thing we have been talking about.” In the writers room, we listened to podcasts and read articles and talked to people while we were writing and it just seemed like a pattern that often happens. It also would feel a little bit like a missed opportunity not to at all. Also, this is true of any show you look back on, so it’s a little unfair to do this to the original writers of Saved By The Bell, but there were some things that didn’t age particularly well. If my math is right, you would have been pretty young when it first started airing.It came out in ’89, so I must have been in third grade or something. It’s slow. The thing that always happens is the parents at the fancier school find a way to force them out. Since the Douglas students need somewhere to go, they are sent to Bayside, a merger that puts a lot of regular teenagers with regular concerns, including an ambitious Latinx student named Daisy (Haskiri Velazquez), in the same space as the self-involved Bayside bunch. What was it like to go back into production under all the protocols? Then he finally realized, “Oh, they don’t have computers.” It was just a huge blind spot that he hadn’t even thought of. Other than that, we didn’t really change anything. We were tested every single day, and Franco Bario, who is our executive producer, had to write up all these protocols and come up with plans and stuff I felt very safe with him in charge of that because he really went above and beyond. I did notice there’s a coronavirus joke at the very end of the finale.We changed that, yes. Josh Siegal, one of the writers, thought of it, and I thought it was really funny, but some people thought you don’t want to make a joke about a terrible tragedy that has taken 200,000 American lives. I think no matter what, you would have to deal with it in some way. It was right around the Black Lives Matter protests and stuff, and I do feel like there were a couple lines with the teachers that we — all the kids were always saying exactly what we want them to say but it was like, let’s make sure the teachers are always on the right side of things and acknowledging how messed up it is that these kids are getting kicked out of the school. And make that clear at the end with that joke. It was on after school, and I would watch it every day. Does that joke mean that you have to deal with the virus, in some way, if there’s a season two?I mean, it’s so tricky, right? Most of it was just stuff that we had to simplify or we couldn’t shoot at the school anymore. And on Saved By The Bell, none of that was happening. That led me to think about Bayside as this bubble of privilege, with the trappings of the old show that we love. Photo: Getty Images

Tracey Wigfield admits that she finds people who are “existing on a plane that’s unrelated to regular people and their concerns” really funny. It wasn’t my joke. It is such a clear example of the thing that this show is about. I was really into the original. Tags: Certainly, that’s a reason not to say it. But the premise and Daisy being the center of it and how we meet Jessie and Slater and Zack and Kelly: That was all in my original pitch, I think. In other words, it’s a lot like the original Bayside. So we had to make some changes there. In Wigfield’s modern-day version of Bayside High, where Mac Morris (Mitchell Hoog), son of Zack Morris, and Jamie Spano (Belmonst Cameli), son of Jessie Spano, are students, the kids are privileged, mostly white, and free to get into trouble without any concerns about suffering consequences. It was the thing that I really loved when I was quite young and then continued watching and enjoying, partially — not to make fun of it, but I think much in the same way my parents enjoyed The Brady Bunch, where you’re watching it because it’s a little ridiculous. If you don’t have a computer and an internet connection and a parent who can walk you through all of your homework, you’re even farther behind and it’s more unfair. When you first pitched it, did that pitch include Douglas High School closing down and the merger with Bayside?Yeah, that was my pitch. You do go all-in on the caffeine-pill thing.Every episode. The actors, makeup, hair, director, anyone who’s onset with actors, got tested every single day. Things just always worked out for them pretty easily. Those kinds of inequities existed but I think they’re just put in such stark relief now because everything is done at home. It is a tricky thing and every contemporary show is grappling with that.We felt very lucky that, well at least we’ve shot seven of these. But it did feel like it hit the right button at the end of the season, also because the whole show is about inequities for high school students. She’s not there for the same reason Slater is, which is, he’s stuck in this job as an athletic director and hasn’t had a win in 20 years. She just wanted to make sure that, for those girls now grown up, it wasn’t this giant disappointment of, “Oh, she’s in a terrible marriage and she has this job that wasn’t the greatness she was destined for.” When we meet her, she wrote a bunch of books and she has her doctorate and she’s at the school because she wants to hang out with Jamie and help the kids. Then I had lunch with Elizabeth and Mario and pitched the updated versions of their characters to them. It’s also weird in a bunch of very specific Bayside ways where they’re always having dance contests at the Max and celebrities are showing up and stuff like that. Did you and the other writers debate whether to include it?We did, we did. But as soon as we started prepping for it, and as soon as I got on set, it felt so safe. It’s also this huge thing that is going on or starting to happen and they’re, at that moment anyway, oblivious to it. I’m wondering if you can talk me through the genesis of that because I think you really zero in on what people who look back at the show find funny, but then link that to this other real issue of inequities in the school system. We met with some teachers when we were writing this. Obviously you could not have anticipated this, but what we’ve gone through in the past year with the pandemic has really highlighted the kind of inequities that you’re talking about in this show.Totally. You’re working with multiple people who were involved in the original series. There’s something kind of sad and sweet and like the original show in that way. It’s too much.

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Every HBO Miniseries, Ranked

Dutton occasionally feeding the characters questions offscreen. Carter), a softhearted heroin addict whose personal decline mirrors the diminishment of his once-thriving neighborhood. The flattening of this complex character into a colonial symbol carries over to the rest of the series. Zorzi and directed by Paul Haggis, and adapted from a Lisa Belkin nonfiction book. I May Destroy You (2020)

Part mystery, part slice-of-life, part eye-opening psychodrama, I May Destroy You tells a story about sexual assault while considering more than just the incident itself or its immediate aftermath. The mixed-media conceit may explain why the pacing is so slack for a six-episode series. It’s also fairly excruciating to watch. (Nevertheless, a proposed second season could shift The Outsider from being a miniseries to regular series, though it would need to clean up a small mess first.)

24. The pleasures of the show are modest and ever-so-slightly imbalanced. In the middle of these acts of extreme violence, the series has a prevailing compassion for characters on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide, and emphasizes the tragic cycle of violence that subsumes even blameless young people. Paul, Minnesota, African American family over the course of a few days, as a lot of their personal dramas and conflicts come to a head. He then takes an unlikely romantic interest in a free-spirited suffragette (Adelaide Clemens). Sharp Objects (2018)

Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl), who also had a hand on a few of the scripts, this eight-episode psychological thriller turns its title into a full-on aesthetic, with a rapid deployment of flashbacks that keep stabbing away at the present. Simon and Burns’s grunt’s-eye view of the war is basically The Wire in the desert, an institutional cataclysm where poor decisions at the top of the military food chain trickle down to men on the ground. It’s HBO” slogan wouldn’t apply to The Far Pavilions, which feels like a clunky three-night network event — lavish but ill-paced and mercilessly abridged, with gobs of exposition to establish the historical context of the British Raj in the mid to late 1800s. The miniseries is artful and thoughtful, with striking sequences throughout. 16. Cain’s novel — starring Joan Crawford — condensed the material into a film noir. Their innovative hybrid of documentary and fiction established a template for everything from Christopher Guest–style mockumentaries to ripped-from-the-headlines comedies like South Park and Veep. 8. Yet even with those expectations weighing it down, this miniseries frequently soars, featuring bracing conversations about class and culture that even today are rare to hear on television. Mostly, it’s a fine vehicle for Kathryn Hahn, a middle-aged divorcée who sees her entitled, ungrateful son (Jackson White) off to college and starts to experience a sexual renaissance, fueled by a strange obsession with pornography. Tartly scripted by Nigel Williams, the series is a gloss on the political and personal upheaval that defined the consequential latter half of Elizabeth I’s reign, when she and her Protestant kingdom were beset by Catholic rivals, assassins, and other challenges to the throne. 6. But the two characters share a sense of righteous justice, along with a willingness to follow that impulse through to the bloody end. Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgård are an excellent team as an intrepid scientist and a party chairman, who throw themselves into a perilous situation in every respect; and Emily Watson does fine supporting work as a nuclear physicist who pressures them to do the right and difficult thing. John Adams (2008)

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A few years before the Broadway musical Hamilton (a show that takes more than a few potshots at America’s second president), John Adams brought the United States’ early history to life, depicting the complicated interpersonal relationships of the men and women who forged a new nation. But those darker elements — combined with the stellar performances of a top-shelf cast, led by Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston — only enhances the narrative sweep and emotional swells of a story that ranges from basic training to a climactic assault on Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest.”

10. 33. Band of Brothers (2001)

Originally released right around the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Tom Hanks/Steven Spielberg–produced World War II miniseries Band of Brothers served as a curious kind of comfort viewing back in 2001: a traditional “men on a mission” battlefield saga featuring an assortment of complicated but ultimately honorable American soldiers. The couple’s lifelong romance — enduring through brutal political campaigning and family strife — grounds this story. 21. 20. 35. In the TV Casual Vacancy, the serious topics clash with the thick-lined characters, and the low-key tone defuses any attempt to say something hard-hitting and true. After a promising start, Five Days gets hung up in a Crash-like interweaving of events that sacrifices its character-based approach for narrative syncopation. 15. Throughout, Coel documents her generation of young Brits, while describing in vivid detail how a single moment of violence can cause lingering pain. The Night Of (2016)

Reconceived from the first season of the British series Criminal Justice, Richard Price and Steven Zaillian’s twisty eight-part miniseries starts as what seems to be a “wrong man” story about a Pakistani-American college student (Riz Ahmed) from Queens who’s accused of murdering a young woman. 4. The show has the familiar look of BBC/HBO historical drama, but the story requires an escalating sense of urgency, and danger keeps it lively, especially in the dread-filled finale. Cumberbatch’s performance is like witnessing the class system succumb like the slow crack of a glacier; but Hall dominates the series by delivering the lion’s share of Stoppard’s withering one-liners and adding redemptive notes to a character who isn’t as thoughtlessly cruel as she seems. The Casual Vacancy (2015)

Before Harry Potter’s creator J.K. Mosaic (2018)

Like his previous digital projects for HBO, K Street and Unscripted, Steven Soderbergh’s murder mystery was an opportunity for the director to experiment in new technology and new modes of storytelling. A great cast is led by Morgan Spector and the magnificent Zoe Kazan, playing middle-class parents who suddenly realize that their position in their own native country — along with what they’ve built for their children — is subject to terms and conditions by the gentile majority. Mosaic existed as a mobile app first, in late 2017, allowing viewers to find their own way through the story of a famous children’s book author (Sharon Stone) who’s found murdered on New Year’s Eve, with a con man (Frederick Weller) and a boarder (Garrett Hedlund) as the chief suspects. Tsunami: The Aftermath (2006)

The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami wiped out entire coastline communities in 14 countries, with fatalities estimated at over 225,000 people. Todd Haynes’s expansive five-episode miniseries is a florid, beautifully realized melodrama in line with “women’s weepies” like Stella Dallas or Haynes’s own Douglas Sirk throwback Far From Heaven. It’s a cliché to talk about the setting as a character, but setting and character dovetail perfectly on American military base in seaside Italy, where Fraser (Jack Dylan Grazer) and Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón) try to sort out their ambiguous identities in an environment that bends toward conformity. 1. 7. The fullness of the character redeems the series. Years and Years (2019)

At times too painfully real to enjoy, this dystopian science-fiction miniseries — created by Doctor Who and Queer As Folk writer-producer Russell T. Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau and counterculture filmmaking hero Robert Altman collaborated on the miniseries, reacting to unfolding events with an eye toward both their absurdity and their humanity. (Hahn’s erotic misadventures are more compelling than her son’s humbling adjustment to young adulthood.) But Perrotta has a fine sense of proportionality and a keen eye for comic detail. Show Me a Hero (2015)

It’s hard to overstate the prescience of writer-producer David Simon’s Show Me a Hero — co-written with William F. Tsunami: The Aftermath does dig into the fecklessness and corruption of Western authority figures, but it nonetheless smacks of a tourist’s-eye view of a recent human tragedy. As usual, the hit-to-miss ratio is high: It doesn’t take more than a few bum titles to get to the good stuff here. Even some of the more lauded, award-winning benchmarks from the mid-2000s, like the star-packed Richard Russo adaptation Empire Falls or the lavishly appointed historical drama Elizabeth I, hadn’t evolved past a more traditional model. Sometimes it’s like a mosaic, considering the Apollo missions from the perspective of those hovering around the fray, like the wives or the press. Directed by Carl Franklin (between his twin masterpieces One False Move and Devil in a Blue Dress) and co-written by producer Paul Aaron and playwright Michael Henry Brown (with input from producer Charles S. Beyond the “did he or didn’t he” mystery, the series lays out the experience of a suspect in rich, comprehensive detail. There was no other place, for example, that a miniseries like Band of Brothers could exist, given how closely it resembles the sweep and ground-level explicitness of a war film like Saving Private Ryan. Generation Kill (2008)

Based on a book by Rolling Stone reporter Evan Wright — who co-created the show and is played onscreen by Lee Tergesen — Generation Kill is one of the definitive works about the Iraq War, following the Marine Corps’ 1st Reconnaissance Battalion from the Kuwait-Iraq border all the way into Baghdad. Marines: a moody war hero (Jon Seda), a shell-shocked romantic (James Badge Dale), and a sensitive youngster (Joseph Mazzello). It takes time to settle into creator Marti Noxon and director Jean-Marc Vallée’s jagged conceit, which is light on suspense and heavy on southern-gothic atmosphere and time-is-a-flat-circle chronology. The format has also been kind to the broad historical canvases of Band of Brothers, The Pacific, and John Adams; the intimate, personal storytelling of Mrs. I Know This Much Is True (2020)

Mark Ruffalo gives his all to two roles in writer-director Derek Cianfrance’s adaptation of Wally Lamb’s melancholy, literary, epic-length best-selling novel. Catherine the Great opens shortly after the Russian empress (Mirren) seized the throne from her husband, as she immediately faces challenges to her legitimacy from several traitors, including her own feckless failson. But it burrows deep into the conscience of a woman who returns to a terrible place her mind never left. The Corner (2000)

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Based on The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, their book about the poor and drug-infested hub of Fayette Street and Monroe Street in West Baltimore, David Simon and Ed Burns’s groundbreaking series is considered a rough draft for The Wire, which Simon, Burns, and several cast members would start making two years later. Though Guy Fawkes remains the most significant cultural remnant of the failed plot, Gunpowder keeps the focus on Catesby as the chief instigator and gets a particularly nuanced performance out of Peter Mullan as Henry Garnet, a Jesuit priest torn between his distaste for violent rebellion and his belief in the sanctity of the confessional. 14. Written by and starring Michaela Coel (who also co-directed several episodes with Sam Miller), the series follows a famous London-based writer, known for her libertine lifestyle and her hot takes on millennial culture. The war against Japan was very different from the war against Germany in myriad ways, and The Pacific doesn’t shy away from the complexities of a cause that was sometimes hazier and less inspiring to the men and women who fought for it; nor does it shortchange either their brutality or their humanity. 12. 9. When Angels in America’s length, scope, and subject matter made it tough to turn into a movie, HBO stepped in and gave the story the space it needed to thrive, along with a stellar cast that includes Jeffrey Wright, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson, and — as the notorious attorney Roy Cohn — an electrifying Al Pacino. Olive Kitteridge (2014)

Frances McDormand gives a complex, challenging, and Emmy-winning performance in this adaptation of an Elizabeth Strout novel, about a persnickety New England schoolteacher who can’t help but push away the people she loves. There he meets another outsider (played by Katherine Waterston), who explains the odd rituals and the unique social order of these rural Englishfolk — all while harboring some secrets of her own. Related

Every HBO Show, Ranked

The 100 Best Movies on HBO Max

Tags: in the early 1940s if the fascist-sympathizing aviation hero Charles Lindbergh beat FDR and became president. The result is an educational and exciting drama — as dogged and daring as NASA itself. 31. Parade’s End (2013)

The playwright Tom Stoppard returned to television to write all five episodes of this adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s novels, and his dry wit is evident in the tale of an aristocratic cuckold whose life is upended by events in and around World War I. That influence is easy to spot in today’s TV landscape, where the limited series has become the preferred method of storytelling for plenty of networks, streaming services, creators, and top-tier actors. 30. Laurel Avenue (1993)

It’s too bad that Laurel Avenue couldn’t be remade today, with much of the same creative team, but with a look and tone closer to modern prestige television. Elizabeth I dutifully and decorously re-creates a period where politics and religion mingled. Emma Thompson gives an alternately creepy and charismatic turn as the politician. 23. Mrs. (The inciting incident doesn’t even happen until halfway through the second episode.) But the extra time spent on characterization does pay off in sorting through the complicated motives of everyone involved. It also has a heartbreaking center in Gary McCullough (T.K. For HBO and the BBC to come swooping in two years later with Tsunami: The Aftermath was a dodgy, “too soon” proposition that the two-part miniseries itself doesn’t do enough to allay. Our Boys (2019)

In the summer of 2014, Hamas militants kidnapped and killed three Jewish teenagers. Haynes respects the emotional intensity of the genre while sumptuously re-creating the period. For the most part, HBO miniseries have changed in step with its multi-season shows. The Far Pavilions (1984)

For its first venture into the miniseries, HBO adapted M.M. They aren’t as compelling as they should be — as their plainspoken, sexually adventurous friend, Francesca Scorsese, daughter of Martin, steals a lot of scenes — but the sensual kick of the music and Guadagnino’s direction carries the series along. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and HBO

As HBO miniseries started developing in the mid-’80s and early ’90s, the “It’s Not TV. The series mixes the everyday with the inexplicable beautifully, with a standout performance by Cynthia Erivo as an eccentric private eye. Fletcher and I May Destroy You; and big statements like Watchmen and Angels in America. 28. But the “It’s not TV. The Third Day (2020)

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This deliberately paced and dreamy drama is aimed at fans of films like The Wicker Man and Midsommar… or really any horror/fantasy story in which troubled souls stumble onto eerie cults in remote locales. From the Earth to the Moon (1998)

One of HBO’s first blockbuster events, this Tom Hanks–produced miniseries breaks the history of NASA’s lunar exploration into a dozen short stories, presented in a variety of styles, with a different focus (and often a different main cast) for each episode. Fletcher is more in line with the deft observational comedy of his books The Wishbones and The Abstinence Teacher than more serious-minded efforts like The Leftovers or Little Children (though it’s not without its provocations). 3. Director Lisa Cholodenko and screenwriter Jane Anderson follow Strout’s lead and break Olive’s story into a series of short, literary vignettes, which illuminate the heroine’s relationships and her worldview — and which are each like highly entertaining short films. The somber tone and the nearly unrelenting misery makes it a challenge to stick with I Know This Much Is True for the full six-episode run … though for those who can manage it, the payoff is rewarding. But it unfolded with the confidence and vision to support its provocations. Yet there were occasional signs that HBO was ready to get some separation from other networks, both in terms of production values and complexity of storytelling. Tanner ’88 (1988)

A daring experiment in political satire — unlike anything that’s been on TV before or since — Tanner ’88 ran new episodes once a month in the spring and summer of 1988, shadowing the real-life Democratic presidential primaries. As Robert Catesby — the leader of a group of English Catholics who intended to assassinate the Protestant King James I — Kit Harington is much more resolute than as Jon Snow, his Game of Thrones hero. It’s diverting, but exactly the sort of costume piece that seemed destined to score Mirren a Golden Globe nomination and be forgotten about … which is exactly what happened. As his Mildred hustles industriously to stay afloat, she bucks up against the humbling austerity of the times. Though the case seems open-and-shut to the lead detective (Bill Camp), the show initially aligns itself closely with the alleged perpetrator and his lawyer (John Turturro), only to raise troubling questions later. Her character drives the action, but Years and Years is more about how citizens do their best to endure even as society collapses all around them. Ben Cross stars as a man of conflicted allegiances to Britain and India, tested both in his service as a British cavalry officer and his star-crossed romance with an Indian princess (er … Amy Irving) who’s arranged to marry someone else. It’s a fruitful idea for a miniseries, to consider an authoritarian as it might a gangster; and it’s a perspective on world historical events that American viewers rarely got to see. Set entirely in Thailand, the series takes the hoary form of a traditional star-packed disaster movie and centers familiar-looking Westerners, like Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sophie Okonedo as British parents searching for their missing daughter at a leveled resort, Tim Roth as a freewheeling journalist, and Toni Collette and Hugh Bonneville as a British consulate official and an Australian aid worker, respectively. 34. Sometimes From the Earth to the Moon functions like a procedural, detailing the particulars of how scientists, bureaucrats, and pilots came together to do something astonishing. This was when the war was a success: the first “shock and awe” blitz that would trigger more lasting instability and violence. Ruffalo plays both a trouble-plagued working-class New Englander and his mentally ill twin brother, in a story that sees the two men learning hard truths about each other and about their own pasts, in the wake of violent incidents in the world at large and in their own lives. 22. The Outsider (2020)

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Adapted from Stephen King’s novel by Richard Price, the brilliant novelist and TV writer on shows like The Wire and The Night Of, The Outsider initially seems like a dark police procedural, with a small-town detective (Ben Mendelsohn) investigating a boy’s murder and concluding that his Little League coach was the culprit. Over time, Olive’s cartoonish snarl gives way — movingly — to a deeper humanity, as she begins to own up to her mistakes and her regrets. Yet for such a heavy show, Watchmen doesn’t skimp on the pulpy pleasures of an adult-oriented comic, with plenty of kick-ass action sequences and a soundtrack that mixes a Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross score with choice songs from multiple eras. But then it becomes a Stephen King story, introducing a supernatural threat that forces everyone to think beyond the possible or suffer the consequences. Mirren’s performance adds some complexity; her queen is shrewd and ruthless at times, vulnerable and enigmatic at others. Fletcher (2019)

Based on Tom Perrotta’s novel — with the author himself serving as showrunner — Mrs. Translating Russo’s modest epic into a compelling miniseries was never going to be easy, even with the author himself taking a hand, but an air of complacency hangs over the series, which makes it jarring when a Columbine-like incident awkwardly shakes it from its stupor. Rowling started torpedoing fan goodwill with her public comments on gender, she’d begun making a move toward writing books for adults, starting with the small-town political dramedy The Casual Vacancy. Laurel Avenue arrived in an era when the issues brought up in the story — drugs, interracial relationships, institutional racism — were typically framed on television as “Issues” with a capital I. When she blacks out during a night of partying, she begins investigating both what actually happened to her and what it means to her self-image as a gregarious free spirit. With a notable exception of Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau’s Tanner ’88, early efforts like The Far Pavilions and All the Rivers Run — the latter unavailable for us to include — had the scope of a typical two-night network event, with little of the ambition and artistry (and premium-cable pruriency) that would come to define the network. Chernobyl (2019)

When pop-culture history is written, no one will believe that Chernobyl was aired before the coronavirus outbreak, so keenly does it speak to a tragedy metastasized by institutional arrogance, incompetence, and lies, and a failure to prioritize human health over authoritarian ego. The network also started breaking stories out of traditional boxes, so instead of the typical two-night miniseries event or a full series that might wear out its welcome, a series could simply last as long as it needed to. It’s not exactly a revolution in miniseries form, but once the pieces are in place, the mystery is deftly handled. Bush announce his intentions to invade Iraq and liberate its people, the series then flashes back to the aftermath of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and follows Saddam’s tyrannical ascent. Director Tom Hooper and screenwriter Kirk Ellis (adapting a David McCullough biography) make the Founding Fathers and Mothers seem likably human, while setting them against a past that looks alien. Kaye’s best-selling doorstop of a novel into a five-hour-plus epic in the David Lean tradition, with few expenses spared in its $12 million budget, and with supporting players like Omar Sharif, Christopher Lee, and John Gielgud to bring the necessary gravitas. 32. Empire Falls (2005)

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Richard Russo’s beautiful novel about the inhabitants of a typical New England town in decline looks, on paper, like a best-case-scenario adaptation: Four hours to cover the book’s multigenerational sprawl without losing its gentle rhythms, a screenplay by Russo himself, and a loaded cast, including Ed Harris, Paul Newman, Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Aidan Quinn. Both the novel and the three-part BBC/HBO adaptation are about how a surprise parish council election exposes community secrets ranging from infidelity to drug addiction to rape. The premise is wild: Imagine the U.S. Though the series traces her political evolution — from her modernization of Russia to her retreat on reforming serfdom — it’s mostly a decorous and lusty bodice-buster, focusing on Catherine’s May-December fling with Grigory Potemkin (Jason Clarke) and other bedroom intrigue, broken up by the occasional smiting of enemies. 19. Watchmen (2019)

There are so many ways Damon Lindelof’s audacious riff on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s graphic novel could have gone wrong that every episode of Watchmen feels like a gamble. The key to the miniseries is the chemistry between the two leads: Paul Giamatti, as a crankily traditionalist yet still idealistic Adams, and Laura Linney, as his opinionated, oft-abandoned wife, Abigail. Dutton), this two-part, nearly three-hour melodrama follows an eclectic, multigenerational St. And both versions of the story suffer from some of the same deficits. The network did the public a service, preserving a show that continues to resonate — especially in election years and plague years. We Are Who We Are (2020)

For his television debut, co-creator and director Luca Guadagnino accesses the same adolescent feelings of uncertainty and possibility that underscored his 2017 coming-of-age film Call Me By Your Name. 11. 5. The writing, performances, and direction are all outstanding, even if the tone and style are a bit too blunt. Kate Winslet is superb as an overtaxed mother during the Great Depression who tries to open a restaurant and sort through a difficult love life while sacrificing everything for a daughter (played as an adult by Evan Rachel Wood) who treats her horribly. 17. And yet even now, Tanner ’88 feels like its own thing: a funny and keenly observed portrait of America sluggishly awakening from its ’80s indulgences. 36. 2. 29. The show opens with a mother and her two young children disappearing along the highway, which leads the detectives (Hugh Bonneville and a great Janet McTeer) to suspect her volatile husband (David Oyelowo) and an engaged tabloid press corps to follow suit. Michael Murphy plays a genial but wishy-washy Michigan congressman (with future HBO star Cynthia Nixon as his idealistic daughter), in a show that had actors interacting with actual politicians, all of whom were struggling to define themselves in the media toward the end of the personality-driven Reagan era. (HBO original movies, on the other hand, are still lagging behind.) Prolific showrunners like David Simon have been able to toggle back and forth between formats, with the groundbreaking miniseries The Corner serving as a dry run for The Wire, and full stories like Show Me a Hero, The Plot Against America, and Generation Kill getting told in the space of six or seven episodes. Elizabeth I (2005)

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Taking home seemingly every award for which it was eligible, the two-part miniseries Elizabeth I was a standard-setting prestige event for the network, with Helen Mirren anchoring a cast that includes Jeremy Irons as the earl of Leicester and Hugh Dancy as the earl of Essex, with future Oscar winner Tom Hooper directing. In the future, no one will believe that a show about Black oppression past and present, populated by characters in masks, was produced before the COVID-19 outbreak and Black Lives Matters protests overwhelmed the culture. With an upper lip stiffer than a meringue peak, Benedict Cumberbatch stars as the well-heeled conservative son of a Yorkshire lord, who falls first into a quickie marriage with a promiscuous and pregnant socialite (Rebecca Hall), who has contempt for him and motherhood. It’s less a “what if” than a “how to.”

25. 26. This was yet another step toward establishing the network as the place to turn for mature, powerful popular art. But the presentation draws more from the parts of Roth’s The Plot Against America that examined how it felt to be Jewish in New Jersey while the Nazis were on the rise. Five Days (2007)

Produced in collaboration with the BBC, Five Days poses a clever approach to the standard-issue abduction narrative: Each episode covers one day in the case, but those days are not consecutive. Catherine the Great (2019)

The lily is extremely gilded in this opulent four-episode miniseries, which brings Helen Mirren in full Dame Helen Mirren mode, back together with Nigel Williams, her writer on Elizabeth I. Starting with the freeze-frame, record-scratch moment of Hussein (Igal Naor) and his family watching George W. 27. It takes tremendous sensitivity and skill to make a ten-episode series around these events — indeed, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for a boycott when it aired on Israeli television — but Our Boys takes a careful, scrupulous approach to the material, sticking closely to the Shin Bet terrorism agent investigating Mohammed’s murder and to the boy’s grief-stricken family as they search for justice. Jude Law plays a harried businessman with a complicated home life, who ends up stuck in a small island village which gets cut off from civilization whenever the tide rises. But while the shows share an aesthetic and thematic DNA, The Corner has a slice-of-life quality that’s more in line with a later Simon series, like Treme, and a documentary realism that’s entirely its own, with director Charles S. Oscar Isaac stars as real-life politician Nick Wasicsko, who in 1987 became the mayor of Yonkers at age 28, right when the New York town was hit with a court order demanding the city provide affordable housing to locals regardless of race. 13. Over five absolutely riveting episodes, the series covers the ticktock of a core explosion at the nuclear power plant in Chernobyl in April 1986 — and then follows the politically sensitive effort to contain the damage and inform the public. Gunpowder (2017)

Aired after the seventh season of Game of Thrones, this tight three-part miniseries about the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 seemed intended to slake any remaining thirst for period bloodletting and outsize acts of revenge. The Pacific (2010)

Photo: HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock

This companion piece to the acclaimed, award-winning Band of Brothers brings back a lot of the same behind-the-camera creative team to tell the story of some of the bloodiest campaigns of WWII’s “Pacific theater,” from the perspective of multiple U.S. 18. House of Saddam (2008)

A year after The Sopranos ended, this four-part miniseries gave Saddam Hussein the Tony Soprano treatment, making him the charismatic thug at the center of a political rise-and-fall that plays out like a nonfiction mafia drama. Yet Empire Falls translates into a lumpen, stodgy miniseries, despite a fine central performance from Harris as a divorced diner owner with deep roots in the town and a structure that allows the past to keep informing and enriching the present. (The five days are 1, 3, 28, 33, and 79.) The concept creates a storytelling dissonance, because viewers are invited to guess what happened in the days between and track the evolutionary leaps in both the investigation and the emotional states of the key players. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager named Mohammed Abu Khdeir was found burned to death in the woods outside Jerusalem, clearly a retaliatory act. Remnants of previous Lindelof shows like Lost and The Leftovers are present in its puzzle-box revelations and obsession with lingering societal trauma; but Watchmen has its own agenda, updating the book’s ’80s-specific interest in the Cold War and nuclear annihilation to present-day issues of racism and white supremacy. Davies — begins with the present-day election of a populist demagogue and then moves ahead to the near future to show how one ordinary British family is torn apart by a rapidly changing nation. Amy Adams is superb as a Kansas City crime reporter who’s asked to return to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, to investigate the murder of two young girls — an assignment that forces her to confront her own traumatic past in Wind Gap as well as her broken relationship with her socialite mother (Patricia Clarkson). The Plot Against America (2020)

The third straight David Simon miniseries on this list is an unusual project for him: an adaptation of Philip Roth’s alternate-history novel that downplays the fantastical “what if”s of the book and instead aims to be more of a muted, nuanced piece of American anthropology, akin to The Deuce and Treme. But it loses some of its grip in the final episodes, which suffer from King’s typical third-act chaos. Mildred Pierce (2011)

Photo: HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock

The 1945 movie adaptation of James M. The series didn’t ignore the effects of nonstop combat on the hearts, minds, and bodies of these men, some of whom had to deal with PTSD, substance abuse, and a creeping cynicism. The Night Of uses the pulpy procedural format to explore the grim realities of the justice system, the class and racial fault lines that divide New York City, and the way such incidents can play out in the press and in the court of public opinion. It’s HBO” tagline would not have applied. This miniseries is uncommonly wise about the frustrating tentativeness of our leaders and the fearful bigotry of our neighbors; but it’s also about how change comes regardless of the stubbornness of the resistance. The Third Day often favors spooky ambiguity over strong emotional engagement; but the acting and atmosphere are outstanding, and like the movies it’s aping, it has an enjoyably twisty plot, which takes some jarring turns. But as a historical soap opera, House of Saddam isn’t quite as arresting as it needs to be, even as it documents the gruesome consequences of one man’s paranoia, megalomania, and self-destructive hubris. Angels in America (2003)

Photo: Stephen Goldblatt/HBO/Kobal/Shutterstock

Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play — which looks at politics, sexuality, class, gender, and race in America through the lens of the AIDS epidemic — had defied previous attempts at a screen adaptation, before Mike Nichols directed this beautifully rendered six-hour miniseries. But The Wire’s David Simon and Ed Burns carefully plant signs of the failures to come.

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Penguin Random House Buys Simon & Schuster for Over $2 Billion

Jonathan Karp, president and CEO, as well as Dennis Eulau, COO and CFO, will both remain in their positions. ViacomCBS CEO Bob Bakish. With Simon & Schuster’s 30,000 titles, best-selling authors like Dan Brown, Stephen King, John Grisham, and the Obamas will be under the same corporate umbrella. Simon & Schuster will continue to act independently. Including Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House’s German parent company, Bertelsmann, will account for around 30 percent of all books sold in the United States, creating a “megapublisher.” The deal is likely to be scrutinized by antitrust regulators. In July, Simon & Schuster named its first-ever Black vice-president and publisher, journalist Dana Canedy. The transaction is set to close next year. CEO Bob Bakish revealed plans to sell the 96-year-old publishing company in March of this year. “Penguin, Random House, Simon & Schuster” is gonna take some editing before it doesn’t sound like an unreliable law firm. In 2013, Penguin and Random House merged into Penguin Random House. Sources

new york times

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Dana Canedy to Be First Black Publisher of Simon & Schuster

Tags: The company did the same to CNET in September, selling it for $500 million. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

ViacomCBS announced today that it is selling publishing company Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House in a deal worth $2.175 billion, the New York Times reports. “We’ve made the determination that Simon & Schuster is not a core asset of the company,” he said at the time, per The Hollywood Reporter. ViacomCBS is in the process of cutting nonessential assets from the company. “It is not video-based; it doesn’t have significant connectivity to our broader business. At the same time, there’s no question it’s a marquee asset that’s highly valuable.” Proceeds from the sale will go toward ViacomCBS’s streaming ventures, fund its dividend, and pay down debt.

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Why The Queen’s Gambit Looks So Damn Good

You see a yearning to get closer. With any angle, it’s something captivating she [conveys] without saying anything.”

Embrace happy accidents.When something doesn’t work out exactly as planned, there might be a silver lining. But its cinematography was no less instrumental in fashioning the sophisticated feel of the show, which navigates the 1950s and ’60s as the story’s fictional heroine Elizabeth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) — a brilliant yet self-destructive chess prodigy raised in an orphanage — rises to international fame. The inspiration for it came from an unusual place: Full Metal Jacket’s “These Boots Were Made for Walking” scene. I knew there was a chance. Photo: Netflix

Make chess look dynamic and interesting.In a conversation with Vulture, chess author and coach Bruce Pandolfini and The Queen’s Gambit editor Michelle Tesoro already shared valuable insights into how the series made chess look believable and exciting. The handheld elevated [her] connection with the camera.”

A long-take walk in Moscow, this time with a handheld camera. Still, that doesn’t always happen. “I was in the front seat operating the camera. That task was also shouldered by an initially intimidated Meizler. “Anya is into dance, so she brought a rhythm along,” Meizler says, discussing a glorious one-take sequence in episode three, “Doubled Pawns,” when Beth enters the Vegas hotel she’ll play chess at. So they decided to emphasize deliberation, triumph, and defeat via the characters’ faces. Turns out, that spiritually loaded image was a happy accident. “It’s more about leaning in and accepting them. Oddly enough, that particular location had a tilt to it, so the whole apartment was on an incline. “The story lent itself to this [visual quality] since this character is on the outside. Netflix. The crew used Red Ranger cameras and Zeiss Supreme lenses for nearly everything apart from a 16-mm segment — a reel on the fictional Russian grandmaster Borgov, Beth’s eventual chess opponent. “She has a very intense stare, it’s kind of daunting. Operating the A Camera himself (“operating it calms me down,” he says), Meizler took great care in preserving the show’s elegant cinematic identity throughout, allowing the characters to evolve organically within the frame. We [often] see what she sees, then come back to her close-up,” Meizler explains. It is just a bit different because she’s a bit off.”

Benny’s apartment, in full tilt. “I was doing complicated shots and it was very hard to keep all the dolly tracks straight. Everyone was on the same page about the general lack of color in episode one (with the exception of Beth’s distinct red hair) as well as the vivid, Douglas Sirk-ian interiors of the Wheatley home later on, with eye-popping, heavily patterned furniture and wallpaper. “The one ray of light going a different way is the actual sun. Illuminating grand halls with high ceilings and large windows presented an especially complicated challenge. Consequently, the play between radiance and darkness is distinctly noticeable throughout the series: starting from Beth’s orphanage ward (built in a high-school auditorium) and the yellow-tinted basement where she learns chess from the school janitor Mr. Photo: Netflix

Another fortuitous choice resulted in one of Meizler’s favorite shots in the entire series. “It was all one shot: bringing her in, panning to the bar, the singer, the waiter … A quiet shot of such emotional resonance, [followed by] a great cut to her smashing through the door drunk, [realizing] the destruction she will go through.”

Actually, she’ll have a gibson. Everything in The Queen’s Gambit honors the point of view of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). “That specific light is so different on how it reacts on a male versus a female face. While the tale spans the globe, most of The Queen’s Gambit was shot in Berlin, with the exception of some suburban exteriors that were filmed in Toronto and Cambridge. Netflix. “I’m always looking for the best place to put the camera to tell the story. “They each have something between them. We mimicked that a bit.”

Beth’s long-take arrival in Vegas in “Doubled Pawns.”
Photo: Netflix

In episode four, “Middle Game,” Meizler similarly chose to film Beth’s entrance into the Mexico City hotel in an unbroken take. That’s the exciting part of it.”

He recalls a moment in episode one, “Openings,” when young Beth longingly looks into the pharmacy cabinet of tranquilizers she’s become addicted to, with a cross appearing over her face. There’s not a straight angle in that film, which is a fascinating [parallel].”

Tags: Our production designer Uli Hanisch built a mini three-dimensional set and I tried to get [that shot] with my iPhone,” Meizler recalls. Then when you get to the set, you can open yourself up to these accidents and say, ‘This is going to be the shot.’ You have to do that on the go. Beth’s perspective on Alma in “Exchanges.”
Photo: Netflix

An expressive instance of Beth’s perspective is seen in episode two, “Exchanges,” as she sits on the staircase of her adoptive home and converses with her mom, Alma Wheatley (Marielle Heller), who plays the piano in the distance. “We wanted that specific angle of [Beth] looking at the piano, which is Alma’s [emotional] wall. And luckily they let me have smoke in there.”

That bright Cincinnati “sunlight.”
Photo: Netflix

When the time came for Beth’s closing Moscow-based matches in “End Game,” Meizler and his team decided to simplify their moves, making a conscious choice not to bring in additional lights to the set, relying on the overheads above the chess tables instead. And Meizler simply lives for those serendipitous surprises. They’re both in a prison of stubbornness.”

Beth and Benny, in their respective prisons of stubbornness. The graceful way she [embraces it] is a testament to Anya.”

No sunlight in Moscow, only overhead lighting. “That [symmetry] was intentional. Here are the moves he used to pull it off. Indeed, Birth’s austere, smooth, otherworldly textures, lensed by the late DP Harris Savides, were highly influential on their work. “It’s an empty frame of Vietnam, a woman walks into it, we follow her. Let Beth’s perspective and headspace inform compositions.Everything in The Queen’s Gambit honors Beth’s point of view. In the last scene of “Doubled Pawns,” we follow Beth and Alma on the backseat of a car where Beth reaches for her mom’s hand in an abruptly rousing manner. And so was the tense way that film telegraphed the strangeness of Nicole Kidman’s character, a quality they tried to emulate. Photo: Netflix

Beth concludes her triumphant journey on a mature note in “End Game,” as she exits the car and walks toward a public park of chess players in Moscow. “So it [was] interesting to get a German perspective of America; a parallel that really worked for me — [not exactly] a reality, [but the way] Beth sees things in her mind. But the visual language we set up was [all about] getting into [Beth’s] head, especially against all these men she’s beating. Photo: Netflix

Much praise has been lavished upon the swoon-worthy mod-style costumes and graceful production design of the Netflix miniseries The Queen’s Gambit. Above all, Meizler credits Taylor-Joy’s thrilling performance and deeply expressive face as vessels of Beth’s POV. Photo: Netflix

Be unified with all other visual crafts.Frank was all about cohesiveness across the departments. It tilted down to their hands and [we had] that flare at the end. “That was tricky technically because we used a 50-foot Technocrane. But winter in Berlin didn’t provide ample opportunities to capture natural light, something Meizler aimed for when possible. Demonstrate Beth’s progression through immersive long takes.Instead of interrupting the action with frequent cuts, The Queen’s Gambit favors thoughtful long takes, particularly when Beth makes a poised entrance or exit. Deliberation, triumph, and defeat. The bucket of the crane was just inches away from hitting, but it seems like an effortless shot.”

Another long-take arrival, in Mexico City, in “Middle Game.”
Photo: Netflix

Another noteworthy long take was a relatively pensive one in episode six, “Adjournment,” following Beth as she enters a hotel bar and orders a Gibson. That in itself was interesting.”

Deliberation, triumph, and defeat. Netflix. Netflix. Netflix. It’s a nice reflection of her journey.”

How it started, how it’s going. But I have to admit, that also lent itself to something which goes back to German Expressionism and The Cabinet of Dr. “After a [successful] match, [Beth] looks at the chess board and we pull back on the camera, [revealing] a chandelier at the top of the frame. “It became such a grounded walk. I got emotional seeing it happen. Photo: Netflix

Mirror German Expressionism through light and shadow contrasts.“Something magical, but still rooted in reality,” Meizler describes the way The Queen’s Gambit echoes the early 20th-century movement, one of the first things he and Frank discussed as a visual palette. It’s nice to know what’s going on in the chess and to get the camera on a level with the pieces with interesting angles. “It’s really hard to find 1950s and ’60s American props in Germany,” Meizler says. I knew where the sun was going to be. Then [the camera] pans around and does a time lapse to her playing,” Meizler notes about the shot that captures multiple sunbeams in the hall, obliquely resembling Hal Morey’s Grand Central Station photograph. Beth and Benny, in their respective prisons of stubbornness. Edward Zwick’s Bobby Fischer biopic Pawn Sacrifice was eye-opening for the duo — they realized one doesn’t have to see the chess board constantly. How it started, how it’s going. But Meizler and his gaffer Sascha Wolfram overcame this by setting up multiple 18K lights on Condors outside, like they did in “Doubled Pawns” for the Cincinnati chess scenes. In any project, you want to go in prepared. Photo: Netflix

Among the most notable interplays of cinematography and production design unexpectedly happened in Benny’s New York apartment, which Hanisch built in the same high-school auditorium as the ward. “That’s where you can really create tension. But it magically did.”

A perfect flare. It’s similar to the shot where she first walks into the high school in episode two, and we dolly back the same way through all the chess boards, [revealing] banners at the top. Reuniting with director Scott Frank after Netflix’s Godless, cinematographer Steven Meizler says his visual sensibilities align with Frank’s in any project they embark on together. For the wildly popular miniseries adapted from Walter Tevis’s 1983 novel, the duo were artistically in sync from the start, agreeing on Jonathan Glazer’s Birth as a visual road map of sorts. Netflix. Scott and I spent a good part of the prep trying to figure out [how] to approach each tournament with a [unique] personality,” he remembers. And that was the right place.”

The orphanage’s medicine cabinet contained a happy accident in the form of a cross overlaying Beth’s face. To help set the tone of the series, Hanisch prepared a color book for the team early on, which Meizler and costume designer Gabriele Binder worked off. As recurring patterns of perspective go, Meizler is particularly fond of one in “Adjournment,” the series’ sixth episode. “Or the Grand Central scene in The Fisher King,” he adds. “It was the most difficult challenge heading in, the one I was most afraid of. “We push inside to her profile. Shaibel (Bill Camp), all the way to the nighttime scenes in Moscow. Meizler went with a handheld camera there to emphasize Beth’s newfound sense of self, with the final scene of Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida (featuring a similar walk) top of mind as a guide. Caligari. We had to break it apart to bring it into the bottom floor. And the staircase [is Beth’s].” In episode seven, “End Game,” the staircase motif returns while Beth sits behind the same railing and has a phone argument with her chess opponent turned ally Benny (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), with the young man positioned behind a chess board.

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Taylor Swift Confirms Joe Alwyn Did Write Songs for folklore in New Documentary

Taylor Swift and Bon Iver Find Perfect Harmony on ‘exile’

The Story Behind Every Song on Taylor Swift’s folklore

Tags: (Alwyn’s great-grandfather was the composer William Alwyn, and one of Swift and Alwyn’s first public spottings was at the Bowery Hotel.) “He’s a singer-songwriter,” Dessner told Vulture at the time. “I just heard Joe singing the entire, fully formed chorus of ‘betty’ from another room. “Joe plays piano beautifully, and he’s always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things,” she explained of her boyfriend’s involvement in the project — which Dessner and fellow producer Jack Antonoff in fact did know about, too. In her new Disney+ documentary folklore: the long pond studio sessions, Swift revealed that the fans were right on this one, and Bowery was a pseudonym for Alwyn. Swift continued, “I was entranced, and I asked if we could keep writing that one.”

Swift also said their collaboration came, in part, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Not only that, she explained, but “Joe had written that entire piano part.” William Bowery album when? “He was singing the chorus of it and I thought it sounded really good from a man’s voice, from a masculine perspective,” she added. I Don’t Make the Rules. “And I really liked that it seemed to be an apology.” The Swift-Alwyn house must just be full of singing, because when it came to “exile,” Swift said her boyfriend was again “just singing” Bon Iver’s part of the duet. (If you subscribe to a service through our links, Vulture may earn an affiliate commission.)

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Taylor Swift’s ‘betty’ Is Queer Canon. You can sign up here. Don’t have Disney+ yet? The couple worked on “betty” first. William Bowery — er, Joe Alwyn — and Taylor Swift. And I just was like, ‘Hello,’” Swift said, adding that Alwyn also inspired the song’s viewpoint (and not latent queerness, sorry). Photo: Getty Images

There were some surprises on the short credits list when Taylor Swift’s July album folklore came out, from her working with the National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver to the identity of William Bowery, a mysterious songwriter with no online profile who’s credited on “exile” and “betty.” Swift’s fans quickly began to speculate about Bowery’s identity, as they do with these things, with many guessing he was Swift’s boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. “It was a step that we would never have taken because why would we have ever written a song together?” she said. “This was the first time we had a conversation where I came in and I was like, ‘Hey, this could be really weird and we could hate this, so could we just, because we’re in quarantine and there’s nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it’s like if we write this song together?’” We’re sure it’s only a matter of time before Alwyn begins racking up his own Grammy nominations.

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Netflix Removes Chappelle’s Show Because Chappelle Asked It To

“When I left that show, I never got paid. “People think I made a lot of money from Chappelle’s Show,” Chappelle says in the video, which appears to have been shot during a performance in a theater within the past few weeks. But is that right?”

In an unprecedented move, Chappelle revealed that he had gotten Netflix to agree to remove Chappelle’s Show from the streaming platform because that’s what he wanted. “But they didn’t say either of those things. And I do. “I’m begging you: If you ever liked me, if you ever think there was anything worthwhile about me, I’m begging you, please don’t watch that show. I’m not asking you to boycott any network — boycott me. “Did you know before Chappelle’s Show was at Comedy Central, I pitched that show to HBO? You should know what’s in the hot dogs you eat.”

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Dave Chappelle (@davechappelle)

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Dave Chappelle’s SNL Monologue Was an Illuminating Mess

Dave Chappelle’s 8:46 Is Powerful But Not Quite Perfect

Dave Chappelle Pitches the ‘Kindness Conspiracy’ in SNL Monologue

Tags: “They did something just because they thought that I might think that they were wrong. Now, these are executives; all they had to do was say, ‘Yeah, we’ll take it,’ or ‘No thank you, we won’t,’” Chappelle said. Dave Chappelle. Perfectly legal ’cause I signed the contract. I think that if you are fucking streaming that show, you’re fencing stolen goods.” But he didn’t stop there — Chappelle called out the business practices of the entertainment industry as a whole. So if you’re a shareholder in that company, tell them it’s wrong. But they hate the monster for how it fucks, and I hate that monster for how it eats. They didn’t have to pay me, because I signed the contract. Photo: Dave Chappelle/Instagram

If you’re looking to stream Chappelle’s Show on Netflix today, not only are you out of luck but you’re making Dave Chappelle very unhappy. “I’m not up here trying to tell you guys that I believe that Comedy Central gave me a raw deal just because I’m Black,” he said. Do not watch it unless they pay me.” He then addressed the shareholders of Viacom directly: “All that shit that they do to us, well, they do everything for their shareholders. But my God, man, it’s the same monster.”

He also went after HBO Max for streaming the show after having passed on it originally. They said, literally, ‘What do we need you for?’ That’s what they told me as they kicked me out of the office: ‘What do we need you for?’ And here we are, all these years later, and they’re streaming the very show that I was pitching to them. That’s what they told me. The comedian posted a video to Instagram this morning laying out his issues with Viacom and Comedy Central continuing to license a show that they apparently no longer pay him for thanks to the terms of his original contract. I told them what I wanted to do. And if you don’t believe that it’s wrong, then fuck you, too. So I’m asking them: What do you need me for?”

Chappelle went on to ask his fans to no longer stream Chappelle’s Show. I found out that these people were streaming my work, and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. They went too far. But is that right? It’s the same monster that these Me Too bitches was trying to tell you about. “I believe that they gave me a raw deal because this fucking industry is a monster. Boycott Chappelle’s Show.

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Here Comes Wonder Woman 1984 to Save the Day

Tolly Wright: 32 points (6 movies); Alison Willmore: 32 points (8 movies)7. So I think WW84 is a solid bet to hit this mark, too.)

If all that happens, we’ll see a tie for the top spot, which would mean the league would then hinge on two events: whether Wonder Woman 1984 is able to go even further and hit $500 million worldwide, which no movie released in 2020 has yet achieved, and who has more films that make the American Film Institute and National Board of Review top-ten lists. In a year full of uncertainty, this is the good kind of uncertainty, what we used to call … suspense! Enter and you can look forward to an exciting autumn of endlessly refreshing Box Office Mojo and Rotten Tomatoes and quibbling over the precise definition of “wide release.”

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Tags: Chris Murphy: 27 points (8 movies)9. Finally, some excitement around here! While WW84 will open in theaters both domestically and worldwide, it will also be headed straight to HBO Max the same day, a bid to strengthen the flagging streaming service’s subscriber numbers. My condolences to the sole Vulture staffer who drafted it, Amy Adams superfan Chris Murphy, whose faith in Elegy’s ability to lead him to victory was apparently as misplaced as Adams’s own. Three people drafted Wonder Woman 1984: TV critic Jen Chaney, blogger Justin Curto, and editorial director Neil Janowitz. It was honestly getting a little boring! Justin Curto: 25 points (6 movies)10: Jackson McHenry: 20 points (6 movies)

Staff fantasy-league teams are listed in full here. Here’s what the news means for the staff league. In Vulture’s Fall Movies Fantasy League, contestants stake their pride, and the respect of their peers, on their ability to predict the tumultuous next few months of cinematic releases. (Possible; the original scored 93.)

• AND it earns more than $100 million worldwide. Tenet made it to $350 million, but it was also released at what turned out to be a relative lull in the pandemic. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Warner Bros. (Likely.)

• It opens at No. It’s going to come down to the wire, and I, for one, am loving it. Jen Chaney: 30 points (7 movies)8. Its whopping one-point total makes it the lowest-scoring film in FMFL history (yes, even lower than Antebellum). Neil Janowitz: 43 points (7 movies)4. Coincidentally, WW84 can score exactly 16 points if all of these things happen:

• It opens on more than 600 screens in the U.S. (Likely.)

• It scores higher than 80 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. Rachel Handler: 58 points (8 movies)3. But, luckily, here comes Wonder Woman 1984 to save the day: Last week, Warner Bros. Vulture’s Fall Movies Fantasy League is open to all readers. Justin and Jen are too far behind to make up the lost ground, but Neil is only 16 points behind the leader, movies editor Katy Brooks. 1 on the domestic box office. Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman 1984. Here, the update for the staff league:

Week 12 Results

Chris MurphyHillbilly Elegy: November streaming release (3) + RT score below 30 (-2) = 1 pointComing 2 America: Pushed to 2021 = 0 points

Total: 1 point

Jen ChaneyComing 2 America: Pushed to 2021 = 0 points

Total: 0 points

Current Standings

1. announced that the superhero sequel would be sticking to its Christmas Day release, but with a twist. Still, grosses in China, Japan, and South Korea — where the first Wonder Woman grossed over $117 million — are approaching pre-pandemic levels. (This is the big one. It’s a bold experiment, but I don’t think anyone knows for sure exactly how it will play out for the movie, the service, or the future of the theatrical window (though it’s not looking great for the latter). Katy Brooks: 59 points (8 movies)2. In other news, Hillbilly Elegy hit Netflix this week, and everyone hated it. With nearly every other would-be tentpole getting pushed to 2021, the Fall Movies Fantasy League was split between the haves and the have-nots: those who shelled out for Tenet and those who didn’t. Hunter Harris: 37 points (7 movies)t-5.

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The Snubs and Surprises of the 2021 Grammy Nominations

John Prine, the legendary songwriter who died due to COVID-19 earlier this year (and wasn’t honored at the recent CMA Awards), received nominations in American Roots Performance and Song for his final release, the stirring “I Remember Everything.” Then, over in Best Metal Performance, Power Trip got a big surprise of a nomination for their righteous live cut of “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe),” after singer Riley Gale died earlier this year at just 34. She’s anchored in the rock categories with nominations for “Stay High” in Rock Performance and Song, along with Jaime in Alternative Album, but separate songs also showed up in R&B Performance (“Goat Head”) and American Roots Performance (“Short and Sweet”). The comedy nominees at the Grammys tend to just feel phoned in — they’re generally limited to the super famous, and women rarely take home the award — but Burr, along with Tiffany Haddish, earned first-time noms this year, joining return noms Patton Oswalt, Jim Gaffigan, and Jerry Seinfeld. Instead, he’s walking away with zero nominations, not even in the pop categories. That said, it’s still surprising to see misses for big debuts like Pop Smoke (one of the only musicians to chart a posthumous No. One near-constant guarantee of the Grammys: The Recording Academy will make a fool of itself by nominating artists for Best New Artist entirely too late. —Devon Ivie

Surprise: Harry Styles becomes the first One Direction member to be nominated for a Grammy, and it feels great for 13-year-old me. —Justin Curto

Surprise: How many genres is Brittany Howard in?Brittany Howard’s debut solo album Jaime drew from everything from classic rock to R&B, and her nominations reflected that. —Justin Curto

Surprise: Beyoncé?!?Even as pop stars like Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa cleaned up in their categories, the year’s top nominee is Beyoncé, who didn’t even release a proper album this cycle. —Justin Curto

Snub: Pop Smoke (and Juice WRLD, and Mac Miller)Three of the year’s biggest albums have been posthumous rap releases by Pop Smoke, Juice WRLD, and Mac Miller, all slated to make at least a few appearances in these nominations. And even if Apple and Bridgers didn’t break into the general categories, we’ll get behind a Haim AOTY nomination any day. That’s still better than Juice WRLD, who could’ve become a first-time nominee today off Legends Never Die, or Mac Miller, who earned his first nomination after his death two years ago. This makes RM, J-Hope, Jin, Jimin, V, Jungkook, and Suga the first South Korean act in history to be nominated for a Grammy. You wouldn’t know Abel Tesfaye had made such a splash on the year in music from these Grammy nominations, though. —Justin Curto

Surprise: Phoebe Bridgers and Kaytranada are new to whom, exactly? She caught surprising key nominations in Record and Song of the Year for her Black Is King cut “Black Parade,” which also showed up in the R&B categories. (And some truly special ones, too: Mickey Guyton breaks through as a solo Black woman in Country Solo Performance, while supergroup the Highwomen catches a Country Song nomination.) Not to mention, a woman is guaranteed to walk away with Best Country Album, with nominations going to four solo women along with Little Big Town, half of whose members are women. We’ve just been loving them for years. We break down those surprises and more below. —Justin Curto

Surprise: Rock’s women really stepped up, huh?Possibly the single best development of this year’s nominations is the long-overdue recognition that women are leading the pack in rock music. Eliot–inspired new song “Beautiful Ghosts” from the CGI mass sociological study that was Cats managed to earn a Grammy nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media, even after being left off the Oscar nomination list this year. Styles’s sophomore album, Fine Line, is up for Best Pop Vocal Album, “Watermelon Sugar” is up for Best Pop Solo Performance, and “Adore You,” his ode to a fish, is up for Best Music Video. The Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill, which released its album last fall and is a favorite for the Tonys whenever they happen, is the biggest new musical to make an appearance, while the rest of the category goes off in different directions. (Black Pumas also got a Record of the Year nomination, and the academy also eked in another shock nomination for JP Saxe and Julia Michaels in Song of the Year; just as shockingly, AOTY is Coldplay’s only nomination.) Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and Post Malone made their expected appearances, but past that, this weird slate shut musicians like Lady Gaga out of the top honor — and others like the Weeknd and the Chicks out of the show entirely. Photo-Illustration: Vulture, Getty Images and Universal Pictures

Has anyone checked in on the Weeknd? Still, as Variety also noted, that doesn’t explain the lack of nominees in the generals.) The Grammys didn’t even do Taylor this bad during reputation. They were right about the Iraq War and they were right on the money with Gaslighter. (One theory, from Variety’s Jem Aswad: The Weeknd’s album marked his biggest jump yet from R&B to pop, and each genre may have been counting on the other to nominate him. 1, scored them their first Grammy nomination for Best Pop Duo/Group performance. Snub: The Weeknd, in generalThis week, the Weeknd’s hit single “Blinding Lights” became the longest-running song in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 ever. The rest of the category includes Frozen 2’s “Into the Unknown” and Harriet’s “Stand Up,” both Oscar nominees; Onward’s “Carried You With Me”; and Billie Eilish’s Bond song “No Time to Die,” written for a movie that, due to COVID-19, hasn’t yet come out. Don’t get us wrong — we welcome them, especially with their great down-ballot nominations in the rock and dance categories, respectively. —Justin Curto

Surprise: What the hell is happening in Album of the Year?Sure, yeah, 2020 has been weird, but this weird? —Jackson McHenry

(Not that much of a) surprise: The musical-theater category is light on BroadwayConsidering that most of the theater world shut down in early March, and that most Broadway shows release their cast recordings around Tonys season in May and June, the Grammys musical-theater category is predictably wonky this year. After scoring just one nomination off reputation (in Pop Vocal Album), she made a softer return than some expected last year, with a Song of the Year nomination for “Lover,” but no Album of the Year nomination for the corresponding album. They share the category with legends like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, Taylor Swift, and Justin Bieber, and you better believe they hold their own. (Notably, Haddish is the first Black woman to earn a nomination in this category since The Queens of Comedy in 2002.) Some notable releases since last September were snubbed (Leslie Jones’s Time Machine, Gary Gulman’s Great Depresh, Hannah Gadsby’s Douglas), but none feels like a bigger omission than Marc Maron’s End Times Fun, which straddled the very uncertain line between Normal Times and COVID Times in a prophetic and hilarious way when it was released back in early March. The Recording Academy announced the 2021 Grammy nominations today, and if you thought this year had run out of curveballs to throw, just wait till you see this list. After dazzling the rest of the world, BTS released their first-ever English-language single, “Dynamite,” this year, determined to uplift their fans with music. Bush back in 2003. Let’s hope country radio is taking some notes. Sure, Rock Album still looks a little weird (congrats to the Strokes, though), but also take this as a sign that Alternative Album is where the big developments are happening — that’s where you’ll find Apple, Bridgers, and Howard. That said, we can’t complain about surprise nominees in their place, like Chika and Noah Cyrus — even if we are wondering whether some Grammy voters confused D Smoke for Pop Smoke. To be fair, there wasn’t a lot of visual media released for it to compete against this year. Their ever-supportive ARMY may want to see them in more general categories, but after their successful year and the release of their album BE, nothing’s gonna stop BTS from raking in the awards.  —Zoe Haylock

Snub: Justice for the Chicks. The academy nominated the first-ever all-women slate in Best Rock Performance, including much-deserved first-time nods for Phoebe Bridgers and Haim, along with returns to the rock category for Fiona Apple, Big Thief, Brittany Howard, and Grace Potter. Taylor Swift and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s T.S. Women also dominated the country categories this year, netting a majority of Country Solo Performance and Country Song nominations. —Justin Curto

Surprise: Welcome back, Taylor SwiftWith the Weeknd out of contention, Taylor Swift almost certainly becomes the favorite in Album of the Year, a position she hasn’t occupied since five years ago, when 1989 won her second trophy in the category. She also nabs a Song of the Year nomination for “cardigan” this year, and rules the pop category, too, with nominations for folklore in Pop Vocal Album, “cardigan” in Pop Solo Performance, and “exile” for Pop Duo/Group Performance (and while we’re here, congrats to Bon Iver for the pop nomination!). Back with their first album in 14 years, the Chicks didn’t receive so much as a single nod for Gaslighter. If she wins Album of the Year in January, she’ll join a select group of three-time musician winners that also includes Frank Sinatra, Paul Simon, and Stevie Wonder. The academy really just had a free-for-all in Album of the Year, with nominations for a finely reviewed Jhené Aiko album, surprise Grammy darlings Black Pumas, a wonderfully unexpected Haim album, an album by musical boy wonder Jacob Collier, and a Coldplay album in the year of our Lord 2020. This is not to say that returning after a lengthy hiatus should be enough to warrant nominations, but the Chicks returned in triumph with a thoughtful album of some really excellent, new music. Do you even remember 2019?). “I want to win this for Alex,” Jennings wrote on Twitter, “but taking down Meryl Streep is gonna be sweet.” We have to agree. —Megh Wright

Surprise: Ken Jennings, Vulture’s heir to the Jeopardy! A title that feels a little too on the nose today. —Madison Malone Kircher 

(Kind of) surprises: Tiffany Haddish and Bill Burr get their first noms, but Marc Maron deserves justiceConsidering how COVID dramatically changed the world of live stand-up in 2020, looking at this year’s Best Comedy Album nominees is like a glimpse back at the distant past when large indoor crowds were still legal (Bill Burr’s special was released in September 2019! —Justin Curto

Surprise: Posthumous nods for John Prine and Power TripEven if the academy fell short on posthumous rap nominations, the other categories did come through. A delicious blend of pop and country — the group collabed with Jack Antonoff and it shows — full of scorching lyrics. (Tough competition: Styles is up against ex Taylor Swift in the former two categories and Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” in the latter.) Fine Line was recorded under the influence of the Malibu sun (and, uh, other things), making its December 19 release a little jarring, but looking back, how could we have gotten through the darkest days of quarantine without Styles’s yearning pop-rock, fruit-based innuendos, and a reminder to “Treat People With Kindness?” —Zoe Haylock

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Beyoncé Leads the 2021 Grammy Nominations

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Tags: fortune, has yet again proved his GOAT status by securing a nomination in the Best Spoken Word category for a very poignant project: He narrated Alex Trebek’s memoir, The Answer Is … Reflections on My Life, which was released just months prior to his death. —Justin Curto

Surprise: The Grammys remind us that Cats happened The Grammys were willing to take chonces, when no one (or at least the Oscars) took chonces on Cats. Instead, Pop Smoke walks away with just one, in Best Rap Performance for “Dior,” after he could’ve been the first posthumously nominated performer in Best New Artist. —Jackson McHenry

Surprise: BTS lands their first-ever Grammy nominationWinning a Grammy has always been part of BTS’s American takeover. —Justin Curto

Snub: Lots of potential Best New Artists missed the cutBest New Artist felt like a bit of a shot in the dark this year, with just so much new talent on the scene. Now, a curveball isn’t always a bad thing — just check out the rock categories for proof, but it definitely can be, especially when the odds-on favorite in the biggest categories gets completely shut out. Ahead of today’s nominations, the R&B singer-songwriter was the likely winner in Record, Song, and Album of the Year, for both “Blinding Lights” and his album After Hours. Jennings will be competing against Flea, Meryl Streep, Rachel Maddow, and Ronan Farrow’s anime voices. 1 album, never mind keep it in the top ten for so long), Summer Walker (her album Over It set a streaming record for solo women in R&B), and Rina Sawayama (her Sawayama was a rare crossover that satisfied the pop and indie crowds), along with endlessly toasted country newcomers like Morgan Wallen (New Artist of the Year at the CMAs) and Gabby Barrett (setting records with the rise of her single “I Hope”). This year, that applies to both indie giant Phoebe Bridgers, nominated for her second album Punisher (her fourth project overall, counting the boygenius EP and Better Oblivion Community Center album), and festival headliner Kaytranada, nominated for his second album Bubba (also after many EPs and mixtapes). There’s David Byrne’s album from American Utopia (great music and theater, though not typical musical theater); two Off Broadway shows, the Jonathan Groff–led Little Shop of Horrors and the new David Henry Hwang–Jeanine Tesori musical Soft Power; and two cast recordings from the West End, the film-to-sage Prince of Egypt, and the London cast version of Amélie, which had a brief run on Broadway (without any Grammy or Tony attention) three years ago. “Dynamite,” the band’s first-ever Billboard No. —Justin Curto

Surprise: And country’s, too!But wait, there’s more! Lest you’ve forgotten, the group, formerly known as the Dixie Chicks, stopped making music after they gave the world the absolute gift that is “Not Ready to Make Nice.” A song inspired by the hate they received — literal death threats — after being unceremoniously dumped by the country community for speaking their minds about George W. Music Video and Film nominations came as expected for “Brown Skin Girl” and Black Is King, but what put her over the top was her feature on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” remix, which snuck her into the rap categories and got her a rare second Record of the Year nomination.

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Was Josh Hartnett a Millennial Gay Stepping-Stone? An Investigation.

He’s very pretty and would obviously be a gentle lover.”

Which, of course, brings us back to the stolen magazine shot in Happiest Season. For many years, I followed his career through its especially sharp twists and turns: the Trip Fontaine “Magic Man” years; the dog-tag Pearl Harbor era; that time he fought over Leelee Sobieski with Chris Klein and somebody died of cancer (?); his sexy Chicago romantic thriller; the time he made Shannyn Sossamon come using a flower; and even a few of the movies he made when he decided he didn’t want to be famous, then decided he did want to be famous but then it was too late, and now that he’s not really famous anymore, every time people interview him they’re like, “Wait, why aren’t you famous anymore?”

But back to the gay part. “I do think there’s something sort of girlie about him,” said Marian. No matter how you slice it, I realized, Josh Hartnett was the perfect gay gateway drug. “Squints make you gay,” she said. “My personal opinion would be no, though he does have the Leo squint, and maybe it’s all in the squint,” said my friend Hallie, referring to the ne plus ultra bisexual root, young Leonardo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet. Which is why I was equal parts terrified and thrilled when I heard about Clea DuVall’s Happiest Season, an attempt to elevate the genre by doing what everyone should have been doing all along: making it gay and centering it on a bleached-blonde Kristen Stewart desperate to propose to her tall girlfriend, Mackenzie Davis. Everyone is gay, Rachel. Most expressed ambivalence or light appreciation. One of my favorite youthful activities was to pore through magazines cutting out photos of Hartnett’s sturdy face and then gluing them onto poster boards, which I then placed in prominent spaces around my bedroom. Most of Happiest Season is high-key gay in that it centers on two lesbians making out in a basement in secret. I confirmed that squinting was gay canon. Is it hot in here, or is it just him?”

The scene is meant to indicate just how deep in the closet Harper is and has always been, even going so far as to painstakingly decorate her own literal closet with photos of oiled-up men. My only real quibble with the film is its central plot point: Davis’s Harper is too scared to tell her conservative family that she’s gay and dating Stewart’s Abby. Probably most telling is Elijah Wood.” Madison said she was too young to have appreciated Hartnett in his prime, and Clio, who doesn’t watch movies, said, “Who is Josh Hartnett again?”

To balance out my very scientific, unimpeachable study, I reached out to my only 100 percent straight female friend, Hazel, and asked if she had ever been into Hartnett. That stupid flower scene was the only PG-13 lesbian sex scene of the early 2000s.” She added that he “also has a very soft butch look in that movie.” Our conversation quickly turned into a discussion of Sossamon’s superior hotness. Everyone’s preferences are different. In the process, she nearly alienates Stewart. I remember being on set, it was very difficult not to laugh. “I was not,” she said. “If you squint hard enough, everyone is gay.” My Australian friend Estelle took issue with Hartnett’s irreducible Americana energy. Photo-Illustration: Vulture and Getty Images

The Christmas rom-com is a delicate genre. It certainly helped, too, that Hartnett’s movies were shot through with queer subtext: Both Here on Earth and Pearl Harbor are about two men who cannot be together, so they fight over Kate Beckinsale and Leelee Sobieski; he’s also in a movie about a British hairdressing competition. “Okay, I am weird (not into Brad Pitt), so take this with the tiniest grain of salt imaginable: never into him,” said Dan. I began to wonder if, by including this poster in Harper’s closet, DuVall was nodding to the fact that, for a certain subset of millennial women, Josh Hartnett was a quiet stepping-stone on the way to true queerness, i.e., lusting after Clea DuVall. Even he would be like, “… okay, NICE.”

But I digress. To test this theory, I reached out to every queer woman I have ever met and asked them, “Did you, at one point on your gay journey, have an obsession with Josh Hartnett?” “I didn’t know this was the question I had been waiting for all my life, but here we are,” said Jessica. Haley said she “think[s] all the time about that scene in 40 Days and 40 Nights when he makes Shannyn Sossamon come from a feather [Ed. “I was nervous because I was like, How exactly are we going to do this?” she said, laughing. None of the men are remotely recognizable, save for one large central photo of 1998’s hottest bachelor, Joshua D. When I asked who had been her Josh Hartnett, she replied, “Unintimidating guys like JTT and Jonathan Brandis (RIP). “Looks, talent, brains, Hartnett’s got it all!” reads the poster, which has seemingly been ripped from a Teen Beat. “He came across as too wholesome America for me,” she said. He’s in the Heath Ledger–Keanu Reeves–Tom Hardy school of men that women who are into women find hot.”

Nearly all my friends’ replies confirmed in one way or another that 40 Days and 40 Nights is a key component in Hartnett’s queer appeal — that the movie is canonically gay in a way that also turned all my friends gay, in the same way that all video games make people murderers. Again, in large part, due to the fact that he looked a lot like DuVall — who, thanks to But I’m a Cheerleader, was a burgeoning queer icon herself at that point despite still being in the closet (see what I mean about the layers??). note: It’s a flower, but a feather is equally gay]. The tour concludes in Harper’s old bedroom, where her kooky sister, Jane (Mary Holland), wrenches open Harper’s closet door to reveal a series of pasted-up photos of various nondescript hunks. I then texted a bunch of my gay male friends and asked the same question. And viewed from space, Hartnett’s career arc is itself something of a queer narrative: He burned so brightly and then disappeared into exile in Europe, much like Oscar Wilde. Its innumerable entries fail far more often than they succeed, usually in attempts to re-create the rare triumph of a predecessor. Everything about that was gay, thanks!” At first, Teo seemed loath to admit her lust for Hartnett: “Okay … honestly? Although the internet existed at this point in time, it was hardly the Josh Hartnett SEO machine that it is today, so I got my Hartnett news via mail from my mom’s friend DeDe, who lived in Minneapolis — Hartnett’s hometown, which, at one point, considered his every move to be worthy of newsprint. “I was absolutely into him. You can quote me on that,” followed by a flamingo emoji. It’s possible that the poster is just a poster and that the film is meant to be read purely on a surface level, ignoring all subtextual implications about how Tiger Beat was secretly pushing the gay agenda to its legions of horny tween fans. “In my real life, I can’t imagine in a million years [orgasming via flower]. I don’t want to minimize anyone’s struggle, but I have to believe there is no family on earth that would be upset to learn one of its constituents is dating Kristen Stewart. His partner, Chanan, agreed. My friend Claire, who “loved him in The Virgin Suicides and other things when he was younger,” said, “I vaguely remember being annoyed by that movie, like he was betraying me by doing that character.” When I asked why, she said, “I think I liked the denial aspect of it (longing/celibacy — VERY queer), but he was kind of a frat bro in a way that I didn’t like, even though he finds his sensitive side.” She added that, while she “preferred the longing Josh Hartnett, who doesn’t get laid or sully himself,” he “does feel like a queer root” and that his “Penny Dreadful character hooking up with Dorian Gray was the hottest thing ever.” (See below.)

Without prompting, several friends brought up the fact that Hartnett andDuVall are twins. As a queer Jewish woman obsessed with both Christmas and Kristen Stewart, this movie felt tailored to me specifically; its failure would, not to be gay, ruin my life. Abby, trying not to laugh, breathes, “Wow.” Jane presses her face against Josh’s singed brow. As a young, burgeoning bisexual who thought her feelings toward Topanga on Boy Meets World were pure hair envy, my feelings about Hartnett were, to put it gently, rabid. Early on, Harper’s uptight mom (Mary Steenburgen) is showing Abby (whom she believes to be Harper’s “orphan roommate”) around their home, the sort of stately redbrick manse that is a requirement for all Christmas-movie families. “That was only my second movie, but Josh is very charming. But there’s one (arguably, but not actually … you’ll see) low-key gay moment that struck me as particularly inspired on DuVall’s part. I believe she was doing whatever the progressive version of dog whistling is at all of us young, queer millennial girls, letting us know she knew that when we were all papering our rooms with photos of Josh, we secretly wanted to be papering our rooms with photos of her. Tags: But I believe gay Christmas intellectual Clea DuVall wouldn’t place Josh Hartnett’s SpongeBob-shaped visage in her movie without first considering the profound implications of doing so. Hartnett’s appeal was obvious to anyone growing up in the ’90s with any sort of libido: the squinting eyes, the quiet brooding, the swoopy hair, the unibrow that indicated he did not care that he had a unibrow. I don’t care if your dad is a megachurch pastor. It would be difficult for anyone, even megachurch pastors, to avoid feeling an attraction to Joshua Hartnett at his peak. “That girl looks like a girl who should be dating a lesbian, and Josh Hartnett looks like a lesbian,” concluded Teo. I totally get it,” she said, expertly dodging the question. Hartnett. Days later, I had the opportunity to speak to Sossamon herself for a different story and decided to spring the same question on her: Did she know that she and Hartnett, together, represented a bisexual awakening for millions* (*unsubstantiated) of women around the world? (To be clear, I do not think Hartnett himself is gay, though I don’t think he’s not not gay. Josh, call me. I was like, ‘Who would do this?’ And then the director kept saying, ‘You know, some people might, some people might.’ And I was like, ‘All right.’”

There were, however, some people I polled who took specific issue with 40 Days and 40 Nights, suggesting that Hartnett’s queer appeal lay elsewhere. More important, they look very similar. I kind of forgot about him until just now, though.” (I take issue with the description of Hartnett as “scraggly”; he is more square.) The one outlier here was my friend David Michael, who said, “This brings me back to stealing my sister’s magazines with shots from Pearl Harbor. Not as intensely as Orlando Bloom, but it existed for me.” But she had a lot to say about 40 Days’ lesbian resonance: “Honestly, I think what was going on there is that he was in that movie about the man who tries not to come for 40 days and 40 nights, and even though, from what I remember of that movie, it is explicitly misogynist, it’s still a very lesbian way of thinking about sex. (He did not elaborate.) My friends Ryan and Ryan, who contractually must always be quoted as one person, said they “probably did a little” because Hartnett “kind of had Ethan Hawke vibes: tall and scraggly, kind of dirty looking but not filthy. Which is why I was relieved when Happiest Season turned out not only to be cute and heartwarming but also to feature Kristen Stewart in a low-cut tuxedo and an undone tie and let her walk around drunk for a while. “I haven’t talked to him in a long time, but I remember he’s incredibly charming and warm.” Sensing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, I asked what she recalled about filming the orgasm-with-a-flower scene. But the working theory I developed upon watching Happiest Season is that he was particularly attractive to young, confused gay women growing up in the ’90s. I’m here to talk about something else. “He looks like the dyke from But I’m a Cheerleader a little bit.” My friend Jamie did not want to get into it any further, except to say, “Ya, he’s gay. “No strong feelings but only because he reminds me of Ashton Kutcher,” he said. After all, the two once co-starred in The Faculty, a movie about the importance of questioning the motives, and alleged species, of heteronormative authority figures. But as I watched the moment unfold, it dawned on me that perhaps there’s another layer beneath that surface reading. Yes, I was into him. I just rewatched The Virgin Suicides for the first time in 15 years and remembered how insanely into him I was when the movie came out. Queerness is so often about subtext; I have to believe that writer-director DuVall, a queer woman whose second middle name is D’Etienne, would not place a photo of Josh Hartnett in a movie without imbuing it with multiple meanings. “I know, right? For every The Holiday, there is a Holidate; for every The Family Stone, there is a Love the Coopers; and so on forever. Just to tell me if you’re gay.)

There were a few outliers on the Josh Hartnett Queer Root front.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Beyoncé Leads the 2021 Grammy Nominations

Lil Durk“Lockdown,” Anderson .Paak“The Box,” Roddy Ricch“HIGHEST IN THE ROOM,” Travis Scott

Best Rap AlbumBlack Habits, D SmokeAlfredo, Freddie Gibbs & The AlchemistA Written Testimony, Jay ElectronicaKing’s Disease, NasThe Allegory, Royce Da 5’9”

Best Rap Song“The Bigger Picture,” Dominique Jones, Noah Pettigrew & Rai’shaun Williams (Lil Baby)“The Box,” Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore (Roddy Ricch)“Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Durk Banks, Rogét Chahayed, Aubrey Graham, Daveon Jackson, Ron LaTour & Ryan Martinez (Drake feat. Album of the YearChilombo, Jhene AikoBlack Pumas (Deluxe), Black PumasEveryday Life, ColdplayDjesse Vol. III, HaimFuture Nostalgia, Dua LipaHollywood’s Bleeding, Post MaloneFolklore, Taylor Swift

Record of the Year“Black Parade,” Beyoncé“Colors,” Black Pumas“Rockstar,” DaBaby and Roddy Ricch“Say So,” Doja Cat“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish“Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa“Circles,” Post Malone“Savage,” Megan Thee Stallion feat. Roddy Ricch“Laugh Now, Cry Later,” Drake feat. A stacked cast including musicians Dua Lipa, Mickey Guyton, Imogen Heap, Lauren Daigle, Pepe Aguilar, Yemi Alade, and Nicola Benedetti, along with TV hosts Gayle King and Sharon Osborne, joined the Recording Academy’s interim president and CEO, Harvey Mason Jr., to reveal the nominations on a livestream on November 24. Roddy Ricch)“Savage,” Beyoncé, Shawn Carter, Brittany Hazzard, Derrick Milano, Terius Nash, Megan Pete, Bobby Session Jr., Jordan Kyle Lanier Thorpe & Anthony White (Megan Thee Stallion feat. The Recording Academy announced its nominations for the 2021 Grammy Awards this morning, on schedule as ever even during a global pandemic. Danilo PérezModern Ancestors, Carmen LundyHoly Room: Live at Alte Oper, Somi With Frankfurt Radio Big BandWhat’s The Hurry, Kenny Wahsington

Best Jazz Instrumental Albumon the tender spot of every calloused moment, Ambrose AkinmusireWaiting Game, Terri Lyne Carrington And Social ScienceHappening: Live at the Village Vanguard, Gerald ClaytonTrilogy 2, Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian BladeRoundagain, Redman Mehldau McBride Blade

Best Large Jazz Ensemble AlbumDialogues on Race, Gregg AugustMONK’estra Plays John Beasley, John BeasleyThe Intangible Between, Orrin Evans And The Captain Black Big BandSongs You Like A Lot, John Hollenbeck With Theo Bleckmann, Kate McGarry, Gary Versace And The Frankfurt Radio Big BandData Lords, Maria Schneider Orchestra

Best Latin Jazz AlbumTradiciones, Afro-Peruvian Jazz OrchestraFour Questions, Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz OrchestraCity of Dreams, Chico PinheiroViento y Tiempo: Live at Blue Note Tokyo, Gonzalo Rubalcaba & Aymée NuviolaTrane’s Delight, Poncho Sanchez

Best Gospel Performance/Song“Wonderful Is Your Name,” Melvin Crispell III“Release (Live),” David Frazier (Ricky Dillard Featuring Tiff Joy)“Come Together,” Rodney “Darkchild” Lashawn Daniels, Rodney Jerkins, Lecrae Moore & Jazz Nixon (Jerkins Presents: The Good News)“Won’t Let Go,” Travis Greene“Movin’ On,” Darryl L. Howell, Jonathan Caleb McReynolds, Kortney Jamaal Pollard & Terrell Demetrius Wilson (Jonathan McReynolds & Mali Music)“Holy Water,” Andrew Bergthold, Ed Cash, Franni Cash, Martin Cash & Scott Cash (We The Kingdom)“Famous For (I Believe),” Chuck Butler, Krissy Nordhoff, Jordan Sapp, Alexis Slifer & Tauren Wells (Tauren Wells Featuring Jenn Johnson)“There Was Jesus,” Casey Beathard, Jonathan Smith & Zach Williams (Zach Williams & Dolly Parton)

Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song“The Blessing (Live),” Chris Brown, Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe Carnes & Steven Furtick (Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship)“Sunday Morning,” Denisia Andrews, Jones Terrence Antonio, Saint Bodhi, Brittany Coney, Kirk Franklin, Lasanna Harris, Shama Joseph, Stuart Lowery, Lecrae Moore & Nathanael Saint-Fleur (Lecrae Featuring Kirk Franklin)

Best Gospel Album2econd Wind: Ready, Anthony Brown & group therAPyMy Tribute, Myron ButlerChoirmaster, Ricky DillardGospel According To PJ, PJ MortonKierra, Kierra Sheard

Best Contemporary Christian Music AlbumRun To The Water, Cody CarnesAll Of My Best Friends, Hillsong Young & FreeHoly Water, We The KingdomCitizen Of Heaven, Tauren WellsJesus Is King, Kanye West

Best Roots Gospel AlbumBeautiful Day, Mark Bishop20/20, The Crabb FamilyWhat Christmas Really Means, The ErwinsCelebrating Fisk! 3, Jacob CollierWomen in Music Pt. Lil Durk)“Rockstar,” Jonathan Lyndale Kirk, Ross Joseph Portaro IV & Rodrick Moore (DaBaby feat. & Tiara Thomas (H.E.R.)“If the World Was Ending,” Julia Michaels & JP Saxe (JP Saxe & Julia Michaels)

Best New ArtistIngrid AndressPhoebe BridgersChikaNoah CyrusD SmokeDoja CatKaytranadaMegan Thee Stallion

Best R&B Performance“Lightning and Thunder,” Jhené Aiko Featuring John Legend“Black Parade,” Beyoncé“All I Need,” Jacob Collier Feat. (Louie Vega)“Roses (Imanbek Remix),” Saint JHN (Imanbek Zeikenov)“Young & Alive (Bazzi vs. Photo: Kurt Kriege/Corbis via Getty Images

If you’ve struggled to keep up with the whirlwind of music awards from the past few weeks — the CMAs, the Latin Grammys, and the AMAs, to name a few — just know it’s not letting up anytime soon. Haywire Remix),” Bazzi (Haywyre)

Best Engineered Album, Non-ClassicalBlack Hole Rainbow (Devon Gilfillian)Expectations (Katie Pruitt)Hyperspace (Beck)Jaime (Brittany Howard)25 Trips (Sierra Hull)

Best Engineered Album, ClassicalDanielpour: The Passion of YeshuaGershwin: Porgy and BessHynes: FieldsIves: Complete SymphoniesShostakovich: Symphony No. Mahalia & Ty Dolla $ign“Goat Head,” Brittany Howard“See Me,” Emily King

Best Traditional R&B Performance“Sit On Down,” The Baylor Project Featuring Jean Baylor & Marcus Baylor“Wonder What She Thinks of Me,” Chloe X Halle“Let Me Go,” Mykal Kilgore“Anything For You,” Ledisi“Distance,” Yebba

Best R&B Song“Better Than I Imagine,” Robert Glasper, Meshell Ndegeocello & Gabriella Wilson (Robert Glasper Feat. 13, ‘Babi Yar’

Producer of the Year, Non-ClassicalJack AntonoffDan AuerbachDave CobbFlying LotusAndrew Watt

Producer of the Year, ClassicalBlanton AlspaughDavid FrostJesse LewisDmitriy LipayElaine Martone

Best Music FilmBeastie Boys Story, Beastie Boys, Spike JonzeBlack Is King, BeyoncéWe Are Freestyle Love Supreme, Freestyle Love SupremeLinda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, Linda RonstadtThat Lil Ol’ Band From Texas, ZZ Top

Best Improvised Jazz Solo“Guinevere,” Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah, track from: Axiom“Pachamama,” Regina Carter, track from: Ona (Thana Alexa)“Celia,” Gerald Clayton“All Blues” Chick Corea, track from: Trilogy 2 (Chick Corea, Christian McBride & Brian Blade)“Moe Honk,” Joshua Redman, track from: RoundAgain (Redman Mehldau McBride Blade)

Best Jazz Vocal AlbumOna, Thana AlexaSecrets Are The Best Stories, Kurt Elling Feat. (The 150th Anniversary Album), Fisk Jubilee SingersSomething Beautiful, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound

Best Latin Pop or Urban AlbumYHLQMDLG, Bad BunnyPor Primera Vez, CamiloMesa Para Dos, Kany GarcíaPausa, Ricky Martin3:33, Debi Nova

Best Latin Rock or Alternative AlbumAura, BajofondoMonstruo, CamiSobrevolando, Cultura ProféticaLa Conquista Del Espacio, Fito PaezMiss Colombia, Lido Pimienta

Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)Hecho En México, Alejandro FernándezLa Serenata, Lupita InfanteUn Canto Por Mexico, Vol.1, Natalia LafourcadeBailando Sones y Huapangos Con el Mariachi Sol de Mexica de Jose Hernandez, Mariachi Sol De Mexico De Jose HernandezAYAYAY!, Christian Nodal

Best Tropical Latin AlbumMi Tumbao, José Alberto “El Ruiseñor”Infinito, Edwin BonillaSigo Cantando Al Amor (Deluxe), Jorge Celedon & Sergio Luis40, Grupo NicheMemorias de Navidad, Víctor Manuelle

Best American Roots Performance“Colors,” Black Pumas“Deep In Love,” Bonny Light Horseman“Short and Sweet,” Brittany Howard“I’ll Be Gone,” Norah Jones & Mavis Staples“I Remember Everything,” John Prine

Best American Roots Song“Cabin,” Laura Rogers & Lydia Rogers (The Secret Sisters)“Ceiling To The Floor,” Sierra Hull & Kai Welch (Sierra Hull)“Hometown,” Sarah Jarosz“I Remember Everything,” Pat McLaughlin & John Prine (John Prine)“Man Without a Soul,” Tom Overby & Lucinda Williams (Lucinda Williams)

Best Americana AlbumOld Flowers, Courtney Marie AndrewsTerms Of Surrender, Hiss Golden MessengerWorld On The Ground, Sarah JaroszEl Dorado, Marcus KingGood Souls Better Angels, Lucinda Williams

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Best Music Video“Brown Skin Girl,” Beyoncé“Life Is Good,” Future Feat. Kali Uchis

Best Dance/Electronic AlbumKick I, ArcaPlanet’s Mad, BaauerEnergy, DisclosureBubba, KaytranadaGood Faith, Madeon

Best Country Solo Performance“Stick That In Your Country Song,” Eric Church“Who You Thought I Was,” Brandy Clark“When My Amy Prays,” Vince Gill“Black Like Me,” Mickey Guyton“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert

Best Country Duo/Group Performance“All Night,” Brothers Osbourne“10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay & Justin Bieber“Ocean,” Lady A“Sugar Coat,” Little Big Town“Some People Do,” Old Dominion

Best Country Song“Bluebird,” Luke Dick, Natalie Hemby & Miranda Lambert (Miranda Lambert)“The Bones,” Maren Morris, Jimmy Robbins & Laura Veltz (Maren Morris)“Crowded Table,” Brandi Carlile, Natalie Hemby & Lori McKenna (The Highwomen)“More Hearts Than Mine,” Ingrid Andress, Sam Ellis & Derrick Southerland (Ingrid Andress)“Some People Do,” Jesse Frasure, Shane McAnally, Matthew Ramsey & Thomas Rhett, songwriters (Old Dominion)

Best Country AlbumLady Like, Ingrid AndressYour Life is a Record, Brandy ClarkWildcard, Miranda LambertNightfall, Little Big TownNever Will, Ashley McBryde

Best New Age AlbumSongs from the Bardo, Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal & Jesse Paris SmithPeriphery, Priya DarshiniFORM//LESS, SuperpositionMore Guitar Stories, Jim “Kimo” WestMeditations, Cory Wong & Jon Batiste

Best Contemporary Instrumental AlbumAxiom, Christian Scott Atunde AdjuahChronology Of A Dream: Live at Village Vanguard, Jon BaptisteTake The Stars, Black ViolinAmericana, Grégoire Maret, Romain Collin & Bill FrisellLive At The Royal Albert Hall, Snarky Puppy

Best Remixed Recording“Do You Ever (RAC Mix),” RAC (Phil Good)“Imaginary Friends (Morgan Page Remix),” Deadmau5 (Morgan Page)“Praying for You (Louie Vega Main Remix),” Jasper Street Co. Toro y Moi“Both Of Us,” Jayda D“10%,” Kaytranada feat. Beyoncé

Song of the Year“Black Parade,” Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk & Rickie “Caso” Tice (Beyoncé)“The Box,” Samuel Gloade & Rodrick Moore (Roddy Ricch)“Cardigan,” Aaron Dessner & Taylor Swift (Taylor Swift)“Circles,” Louis Bell, Adam Feeney, Kaan Gunesberk, Austin Post & Billy Walsh (Post Malone)“Don’t Start Now,” Caroline Ailin, Ian Kirkpatrick, Dua Lipa & Emily Warren (Dua Lipa)“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish O’Connell & Finneas O’Connell (Billie Eilish)“I Can’t Breathe,” Dernst Emile II, H.E.R. Aminé & Slowthai“The Difference,” Flume feat. Balvin, Dua Lipa, Bad Bunny, Tainy“Intentions,” Justin Bieber and Quavo“Dynamite,” BTS“Rain on me,” Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande“Exile,” Taylor Swift and Bon Iver

Best Pop Vocal AlbumChanges, Justin BieberChromatica, Lady GagaFuture Nostalgia, Dua LipaFine Line, Harry StylesFolklore, Taylor Swift

Best Traditional Pop Vocal AlbumBlue Umbrella, Burt Bacharach and Daniel TashainTrue Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter, Harry Connick Jr.American Standard, James TaylorUnfollow the Rules, Rufus WainwrightJudy, Renee Zellweger

Best Rock Performance“Shameika,” Fiona Apple“Not,” Big Thief“Kyoto,” Phoebe Bridgers“The Steps,” Haim“Stay High,” Brittany Howard“Daylight,” Grace Potter

Best Metal Performance“Bum-Rush,” Body Count“Underneath,” Code Orange“The In-Between,” In This Moment“Bloodmoney,” Poppy“Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Axe) — Live,” Power Trip

Best Rock Song“Kyoto,” Phoebe Bridgers, Morgan Nagler, and Mashall Vore (Phoebe Bridgers)“Lost In Yesterday,” Kevin Parker (Tame Impala)“Not,” Adrianne Lenker (Big Thief)“Shameika,” Fiona Apple (Fiona Apple)“Stay High, Brittany Howard (Brittany Howard)

Best Rock AlbumA Hero’s Death, Fontaines D.C.Kiwanuka, Michael KiwanukaDaylight, Grace PotterSound & Fury, Sturgill SimpsonThe New Abnormal, The Strokes

Best Alternative AlbumHyperspace, BeckFetch the Bolt Cutters, Fiona ApplePunisher, Phoebe BridgersJaime, Brittany HowardThe Slow Rush, Tame Impala

Best Dance Recording“On My Mind,” Diplo & Sidepiece“My High,” Disclosure Feat. Drake“Lockdown,” Anderson .Paak“Adore You,” Harry Styles“Goliath,” Woodkid

Best Pop Solo Performance“Yummy,” Justin Bieber“Say So,” Doja Cat“Everything I Wanted,” Billie Eilish“Don’t Start Now,” Dua Lipa“Watermelon Sugar,” Harry Styles“Cardigan,” Taylor Swift

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance“Un Día (One Day),” J. Beyoncé“Dior,” Pop Smoke

Best Melodic Rap Performance“Rockstar,” DaBaby feat. H.E.R and Meshell Ndegeocello)“Black Parade,” Denisia Andrews, Beyoncé, Stephen Bray, Shawn Carter, Brittany Coney, Derek James Dixie, Akil King, Kim “Kaydence” Krysiuk & Rickie “Caso” Tice (Beyoncé)“Collide,” Sam Barsh, Stacey Barthe, Sonyae Elise, Olu Fann, Akil King, Josh Lopez, Kaveh Rastegar & Benedetto Rotondi (Tiana & EARTHGANG)“Do It,” Chloe Bailey, Halle Bailey, Anton Kuhl, Victoria Monét, Scott Storch & Vincent Van Den Ende (Chloe X Halle)“Slow Down,” Nasri Atweh, Badriia Bourelly, Skip Marley, Ryan Williamson & Gabriella Wilson (Skip Marley & H.E.R.)

Best Progressive R&B AlbumChilombo, Jhene AikoUngodly Hour, Chloe X HalleFree Nationals, Free NationalsF*** Yo Feelings, Robert GlasperIt Is What It Is, Thundercat

Best R&B AlbumHappy 2 Be Here, Any ClemonsTake Time, GiveonTo Feel Loved, Luke JamesBigger Love, John LegendAll Rise, Gregory Porter

Best Rap Performance“Deep Reverence,” Big Sean feat.

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