Category: Entertainment News

Good 4 Olivia Rodrigo, Who Had Her First Live Show on Saturday

But these were all performances at televised awards shows, not concerts in their own right. Olivia Rodrigo has played some of the most famous venues around: the BRIT Awards at London’s O2 Arena, the Barclays Center for the VMAs, and Saturday Night Live’s Studio 8H. Rodrigo began with the SOUR album opener “brutal” before performing “jealousy, jealousy.” “This is a really special day for me because this is sort of like my first show. pic.twitter.com/iWJG38Jieb— v (@ViralMaterial) September 19, 2021

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Lil Nas X and Olivia Rodrigo Lead 2021 MTV VMAs With Three Awards Each

Tags: On Saturday, Rodrigo finally performed her first set in front of a live audience, as part of the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. I’m just so grateful that you guys are here with me experiencing this, so thank you so much,” she told the crowd before launching into “drivers license,” “traitor,” and her closer, “good 4 u.” And to anyone who says Rodrigo isn’t really punk, just look at this fistfight that broke out in the crowd during “drivers license.” That’s hardcore.

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Drew Barrymore’s Emmy Menu Has Something Called ‘Jason SudEGGkis’

Jason SudEGGkis. Yes, Drew and her cookbook co-author Pilar Valdes did their own Barrymorian spin on punny Emmys party food names, and the puns are such a stretch you can slap prints on them and call them LulaRoe: “Kate Winslettuce cups,” “Issa Crudi-rae,” and “This Is Truffs” (not “This is HummUs”?). To mark the show’s triumphant return to daytime TV, Barrymore and crew filmed their premiere week in Los Angeles in front of a live audience. On Friday, the show held an Emmys preview ep on the Paramount lot, which means we got to see Barrymore in full red-carpet glam eating deviled eggs. Say it soft and it’s almost like praying. Say it loud and there’s music playing. The Drew Barrymore Show has returned for a second season, and we are delighted to report that it still feels like a fictional series from The Morning Show universe that escaped into our reality. The puns only get better (or worse, depending on your tolerance for genius-level anti-humor and/or egg-based comedy) when guest-host Kevin Frazier calls it an “Egg Lasso.” Welcome back, The Drew Barrymore Show, you “fun aunt” of daytime TV, you irascible son of a gun. Related

Saweetie Put Ranch on Spaghetti So Drew Barrymore Put Ranch on Spaghetti

Jason Sudeikis Still Doesn’t Know ‘Why’ Olivia Wilde Left Him

Tags: But the prize jewel of this segment, the Fabergé, if you will, is the “Jason SudEGGkis.”

Jason SudEGGkis.

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Evil Recap: Influence Me

The team has Kristen meet with Autry while the guys wait outside. Ben certainly questions whether he’s talking to Vanessa or Maggie, but he’s the skeptic here, so he’s more worried it’s some sort of psychotic break. “What do you think that means, Ben?” she asks. Anyway, Leland makes it up to her by introducing her to the most powerful person there, a man named Edward (Tim Matheson really breaking free from that Virgin River Doc Mullins life) who influences politicians and rich people, etc. She’s a little wilder, freer. Apparently, her sister, Maggie, is wreaking havoc again because Vanessa is ignoring her, and Vanessa has had enough of her Arm Ghost Sister. Once at Leland’s, Sheryl realizes she’s paralyzed and can’t get off the couch. After breaking protocol to help Kristen, she tells her, “The world’s in its last days; we have to be kind to each other.” That’s not ominous at all. Relatable! Things get weirder: He hands her a cocktail that he made up real special for her (so many red flags!!) and then informs her that they’ll be meeting up with Leland later. After another crazy spin around the bedroom, the woman Ben just had sex with answers to Maggie and insists she isn’t playing games when Ben suddenly gets a call from Vanessa … who is somewhere else entirely. I’ll give you one guess where she goes. He neglects to tell her it’s a white party, so she shows up in a red dress and is REAL angry about it until a young hot dude compliments her and decides she’ll stick it out. Little do they know Leland is currently getting into something wild. There’s some screaming before things calm down, and Vanessa seems satisfied. Whether it’s real or not, Miss Marie puts on a good show with lots of wind and the table moving and things breaking as she yells at Maggie to leave her sister alone. If you don’t remember Eric, well, you’re one of the lucky ones because that kid haunts me to this day. Not to be outdone, though, folks, we have Ben’s storyline. That’s when Edward breaks out the syringe. Autry has been paying for them. BAD. Edward doesn’t like murder, which seems like a pro in theory, except for the fact that typically one need not explain that. “What did you do with the 12th?” she asks. As soon as Kristen leaves, Autry runs out of the building, and the guys follow her to her next location. Again, I know, I know. Come on Ben, you know this means some freaky sister stuff! Autry down because she happens to be the current fertility doctor for Eric’s mom, who they just brought in to question regarding RSM. Plus, it only costs $350 dollars, which seems like a steal, right? Email

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• Influencing pops up in a more familiar way elsewhere in this episode when Kristen notices that Lexis is having some body image issues and is inhaling content from our old friend Malindaz (Evil never forgets — remember that when you’re worried threads are left hanging!). All roads lead to Leland, and we should never be surprised about this. The conversation escalates quickly, and it becomes clear that Autry knows exactly who Kristen is, is prepared to make up wild accusations to stop Kristen from suing her, and is most definitely up to no good. It doesn’t take long to track this Dr. Influencers are super shady and sinister here because Evil rules. Lexis’s hang-ups aren’t ones you might expect: She sees herself with a lizard tail when she looks in the mirror. • Kristen goes back to RSM one last time to serve them with a court order to have her 12 eggs transferred elsewhere. It’s very, very unclear what’s happening here, but we do know that when David goes to Leland’s to see if he can find Autry, he instead runs into Sheryl and Edward, who walk out of the apartment all smiles, singing a little ditty together, dressed in whites and blues — bright, light colors we’ve never once seen Sheryl in before. How bad could this get? David certainly isn’t: “Evil is organizing,” he says. They’re off to play tennis. The woman explains that it was probably paid by the other person listed on the account who is definitely not Kristen’s husband, and she isn’t allowed to disclose that information regardless of if those are Kristen’s eggs, thank you and good-bye. • Ben changed his name on Kristen’s phone to “God.” It’s never not funny. We all are. • Of course, Sheryl carries around her own clothing security-tag detacher. All of this gets Kristen thinking about the status of her own account with RSM, so she calls them and winds up talking to a real pill who informs her that her account is completely up-to-date. The next time Ben goes to see Vanessa, she seems different. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Leland has Sheryl join him at a fancy Hamptons party for influencers. David is baffled. Evil
O is for Ovaphobia

Season 2

Episode 10

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

***

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Photo: ELIZABETH FISHER/CBS

Well, the team is doing it — they’re going rogue to take on RSM Fertility and find out what’s really going on with all the tiny psychopaths coming out of that place. Thankfully, when Kristen heads over to RSM in person, she meets a receptionist who is more than happy to break protocol for her because, according to this woman, “this place is awful.” Kristen learns that her eggs were technically abandoned even though she never knew that was happening, and for the past few years a Dr. Tags: And guys, I realize that is saying something considering the last time we saw him, he was cooking his Horned Beast Therapist into a curry, but this is turning into some real freaky shit. The evening gets weird the moment Sheryl gets to the bar, and Edward explains that he was just meeting with a client who wanted to get some murdering done and had to talk him down. Although after what does go down that night, a weird sex thing might be preferable. They have some extremely satisfying sex. Dating is hard, okay! And when Mathilda’s mother (remember Mathilda the fire starter?) comes in and tells them how her daughter’s canine teeth grew in extra sharp, Kristen has yet another item to keep from the guys regarding her daughter. Don’t worry, they’re not completely nonchalant about it: When Autry doesn’t show up for work the next day because she “decided” to take an “extended vacation,” the team knows to keep their eyes on Leland. Maggie and Vanessa have a phone conversation. Don’t worry guys, Sheryl immediately makes sure it’s not for some weird sex thing. But when Vanessa starts talking about being rid of her sister and brushes her arm, Ben notices that it isn’t the same arm she told him her sister was before. Kristen won’t hear it, but it’s a necessary line of questioning, and we know that Kristen knows that something could be up with that kid. A LIZARD TAIL. It’s like the horror-show version of Sister, Sister we never knew we needed. Right, so, that comes up again. Uh, pretty bad. Wouldn’t you know, she brings Ben to Miss Marie’s store — the Miss Marie who helped Lila and her friend Alex when Alex’s dad was turning into a zombie because of his job at CongoRun — to have Miss Marie help her get rid of Maggie. The other thing Mathilda’s mother notes is that four years ago, out of the blue, she received a termination letter from RSM saying she had stopped paying for the storage of her eggs; she hadn’t realized she had stopped. Hey, remember how his sometimes girlfriend Vanessa told him about her dead sister whose ghost is grafted onto her arm and likes to fuck around with her life? • What’s up with the helpful but strange receptionist at RSM? They’ll do it, but they only have 11 eggs listed on her account. He promises her that she’ll be fine because they’re on her side. Ben thinks she should see a therapist to help her work through this, but Vanessa has her own idea. Edward and his oddly marked pupil take a liking to Sheryl, and he invites her for drinks. They are seemingly two very real people now. What indeed. Ben has told Vanessa that he ultimately believes her when she talks about her sister (he’s also told her that he thinks he’s falling in love with her which is HUGE for this guy), but he looks 100 percent skeptical as they head to the back room. Like, Dr. She wants to get rid of her. Autry is wrapped up and on some slab, unable to move in Leland’s closet while Edward and Leland hook Sheryl and Edward up to IVs connected to jars of some yet-to-be-named liquid, kind of bad. If Kristen could send a bag of frozen French fries sailing through the phone, she would. That journey awkwardly has to begin with Ben and David asking Kristen about her experience there, and it gets super uncomfortable once Ben broaches the subject of Lexis exhibiting any … uh, strange behaviors. That’s weird because Kristen hasn’t gotten a bill from them in years.

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Chris Rock Tests Positive for COVID-19

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Comedian Chris Rock has tested positive for COVID-19. “I was like, ‘Step aside, Betty White, I did Pootie Tang. During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon in May 2021, Rock joked about getting his Johnson & Johnson shot, saying “I was like Billy Zane on the Titanic” in his efforts to get the shot early. Rock was also fully vaccinated. Get vaccinated.— Chris Rock (@chrisrock) September 19, 2021

Tags: In May of 2020, he appeared on a New York State press conference to promote mask wearing. Step aside, old people.’”

Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get vaccinated.” Rock has been vocal about public-safety efforts throughout the coronavirus. Rock tweeted the news today with a pro-vaccination message, writing, “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this.

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Sex Education Recap: The Kinder Thing to Do

There’s something sadly realistic about how the two haven’t had one big knockout fight yet, just a series of disagreements resulting in increased distance. Predictably, Otis and Maeve are the students removed from their respective classes, both for trying to expose the sex-negative backwardness of the lessons. Jackson’s bitter smile at Viv as he calls her out and walks away is painful. It’s the kinder thing to do.”

It’s surprising to discover at this point that what Maeve has with Isaac might be far more meaningful than what Otis had with Ruby, but it makes sense. But Otis is steadfast in his opposition to the idea. Sex Education
Episode 4

Season 3

Episode 4

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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Photo: Sam Taylor/Netflix

Well, it’s about time Sex Education shows us an actual old-fashioned sex education class, complete with inappropriate gender segregation, heteronormative and actively homophobic educational videos, and pro-abstinence lectures from a teen mom. The difference between those two relationships isn’t far from the difference between Eric’s relationship with Rahim (nice and appropriate but ultimately passionless on Eric’s end) and his relationship with Adam (strange on the surface, but with a deeper and more mutual connection). The last one leads to one of the most intimate love scenes of the show, even if it never goes as far as traditional sex. Eric even says it’ll be good for them to have some space when he’s in Nigeria for his cousin’s wedding. Maureen and her husband had lots in common but no connection. • It’s a bummer to watch Jackson try to make up for his head-boy apathy by organizing a forum with Viv, only for her to steal the idea and get brownie points from Hope. The new syllabus that Hope has implemented for sex education discourages personal questions. I’m shocked to be enjoying the prospect of Maeve and Isaac as a couple after Isaac approached villain territory last season, but this season has turned me around on him. Besides, as Jakob wisely tells Otis while they’re working on the treehouse together, “People deserve your whole heart, Otis. But then Adam shows up at Eric’s house and throws pebbles at the window like he always has. Tags: I think it’s supposed to be hard. But all in all, it was a good story and a slight twist on the role Ola played in the love triangle last year. Ruby’s been giving Otis the cold shoulder since he didn’t say “I love you” back, and it takes a day of trying to get her alone before she agrees to talk. Is it Anna, Elsie’s foster mom who offers to help, or could it be someone else? If you can’t give them that, it’s better they know. As requested, Eric returns Rahim’s Pablo Neruda and Maya Angelou books, along with his poems about Eric. But after a near-panic attack at pregnant yoga (“I feel like I’m having a baby with a stranger”), Jean gets a healthy dose of perspective from Maureen Groff. Shirts are off, but there’s no nudity — and yet there’s a powerful sense of comfort and sexiness, with giggles and ear kisses and even just strokes of the chest. Anwar has giant hives on his face because he’s allergic to strawberry condoms, not because he might have AIDS. “I don’t want us to have space, ‘cause I love you,” Adam says. The effects, disturbingly, are immediate: Students seize upon and internalize the nightmare stories and worst-case scenarios. That final shot of them joining her by the window is gorgeous. Jackson tries to broach the subject later, but Cal would rather just get baked. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
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Terms of Service apply. Their sex-therapy clinic hasn’t been active in a while now, yet Otis and Maeve keep finding themselves guiding sex and relationships: Otis helped Jeffrey, Maeve helped Aimee, both helped Dex, and now both have come out strongly against abstinence-only education. Adam jealously steps in and makes up that Eric doesn’t like poetry, leading to a fight with no easy resolution. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Sex Education always stops paying attention to what draws two people together, what makes people compatible or incompatible. Instead of her forgiveness of Isaac feeling rushed, Maeve’s gradual softening toward him rings true, and his repeated apologies seem sincere. Jean and Jakob continue to learn how different they really are — Jakob even has a skeptical attitude toward therapy, which sounds like a potential dealbreaker for someone like Jean. He tells her that he really likes her and might love her one day, but he’s not ready to say it now. But he misunderstands her when she says, “It’s not too late to fix things, you know,” and desperately tries to win her back — only to learn upon arriving at her door that she’s seeing someone else. The inevitable result is that boundaries are excessively enforced, and very little actual learning happens. I’m curious to see where this goes. Leave your predictions! All the Good Things and the Bad Things That May Be

• I feel so much for Ruby, and the fact that she immediately texted Anwar and Olivia with her address shows how desperately she needed her friends. Ruby ends things between them, seemingly for good, which is a shame. • Michael runs into Maureen at the grocery store, and she urges him to reach out to Adam. Something to watch out for: Someone paid for Maeve in full. At the clinic, of course, they do get much more actual helpful information. Olivia and her boyfriend Malek should not rely on the pull-out method. What may matter, in the end, is the love that’s there. And unlike the last end-of-the-episode declaration of love, this is one fully reciprocated. It’s no surprise Maeve raises the idea of resurrecting the clinic — it seems more necessary than ever when the administration is botching formal sex ed so badly. There is something real here. I really did like them together. There may still be some core spiritual connection between Otis and Maeve, but things are grim between him and Ruby. This season makes me feel significantly more sympathy toward former headmaster Groff than I expected, even though the show hasn’t softened his character. It takes the quiet rebellion of Miss Sands to convince them to at least visit a sexual health clinic themselves instead of just listening to propaganda. Suddenly Ruby, Olivia, and Anwar are panicking, attributing each of their sexual issues to having sex in the first place. (Just kidding, all of the episodes are available now.)

• Miss Sands has been tutoring Adam, but he still gets a D on his test. When Eric comes to the door, Adam apologizes for his jealousy, and Eric reminds him he chose him, not Rahim. And challenging.” God, she’s the worst. • Cal storms away after they and another non-binary kid get shuffled into the girls’ group by Hope, who justifies this with the fact that “They’ll be discussing female anatomy, which I’m sure will be helpful for you.” She later adds to Viv, “I’m not sure school is supposed to be comfortable.

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Sex Education Recap: Not For Oneself, But For All

Then he walks in on his mom making out with some man, introduces Eric as his “friend,” and texts Eric a weak three-word explanation. Skinny, sickly-looking fella. When the possibility of being seen so mortifies you, and then for the first time somebody does see you and likes you for all the parts you were too scared to show anyone before, it can feel life-altering. • It turns out Otis did meet Cynthia once before and even advised on her marriage: In the season one finale, she hands some mail to Maeve and says, “A young lad dropped it off. Sex Education
Episode 3

Season 3

Episode 3

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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Photo: Sam Taylor/Netflix

It’s no surprise that when a school uniform mandate is put in place, the first real reactions of devastation we see belong to kids like Ruby, Olivia, and Anwar. Remove it.”

The move to school uniforms has already begun to exacerbate these students’ identity crises. But it’s an encouraging start, and she learns her vulva is totally normal. It’s when they leave for the night that Jeffrey opens up about his issues, and Otis suggests Cynthia’s reaction is a coping strategy. On the other hand, I’m pretty sure this episode cemented Jackson as my current favorite character (though ask me again in an hour, and it’ll probably be Eric or Aimee). It’s a successful day overall for Otis, whose double date with Ruby, Eric, and Adam turns out better than expected after some initial awkwardness. In this case, Cynthia and Jeffrey’s wild sex causes their microwave to fall and crush Jonathan, and Cynthia retreats to her most reliable defense mechanism: Sex. But the coldest line from that office scene, to me, is Hope’s response to Ola explaining the importance of her badge: “Of course it is, but I hope that your values aren’t so fragile that a little badge is all that supports them. After an anxiety attack that leaves him lightheaded, he goes hiking and smokes weed for the first time with Cal, who suggests he just be himself, Jackson Marchetti, for a while. Adam hilariously connects with Ruby over Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but more importantly, he connects with Otis by suggesting he and his new quasi-stepsister Ola help each other out since they’re both having trouble adjusting to living together under Jean’s roof. Maeve is still trying to figure out how she feels about Isaac, who paints Maeve’s mom’s portrait while she waits for Maeve to come home to get her passport, then takes a decent stab at a rom-com apology monologue, emphasizing how scared he is of losing the one person who makes him feel hopeful, who makes all his cells “fizzy and alive.” Maeve’s relationship with her mom, thankfully, is also looking up: After Maeve tells her mother that she’ll always love her despite her illness, her mom texts her, “I want you to know I will get better.” It’s a comforting note at a time when so many of the show’s central relationships could be on the verge of falling apart. Tags: • Jean and Jakob start to discover reminders that they don’t know each other that well. • Not sure what to think of Lily’s increasing obsession with alien conspiracy theories yet, so I’ll wait and see. All the Good Things and the Bad Things That May Be

• In her first session with Jean, Aimee has to stop shortly into her assault story. The stakes might be highest for Cal, for whom the idea of wearing a skirt is unthinkable in a time when they’re still regularly misgendered, even by progressive kids like Viv. Of course they’d be upset: to them, being stylish and coordinating outfits is central to their everyday lives. The episodic sex case this time around is a rare one focused on adults: Cynthia and Jeffrey, Maeve’s neighbors and landlords. The specter of Maeve still looms, it seems. But it undeniably comes from a place of deep feeling and gratitude — which makes it all the more devastating that Otis, at least for the moment, can’t say it back. Ruby is one of the countless teens in Sex Education who struggle to muster up the courage to show their true selves. Finally, when he returns home, he and Ola patch things up. • After the double date, Eric and Adam take an unfortunate turn for the worse when Adam gets jealous of Eric’s history with Rahim (who wants his books back, along with the poems he wrote Eric). • Viv has really fallen under Hope’s spell, which I hate to see. But the people who end up in Hope’s office for dress code violations in “Episode Three” aren’t the popular kids, used to getting all the attention. Ruby’s declaration may be a reaction to the novelty of that feeling and to her earlier realization that Otis wanted to be with her for more than just sex or clout. Otis meets Jeffrey when he’s delivering weed to Ruby’s father (who uses it to deal with the pain of multiple sclerosis). But in “Episode Three,” Sex Education does what it does best, using a low-key sex conflict to deepen our understanding of the minor characters. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. They argue about potential baby names, which last name to use, and voting. Had some really interesting thoughts about me and Jeffrey’s marital problems.”

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Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! It’s his finest day yet as a new brother (weird), and his finest day yet as a boyfriend — until it becomes his worst, when his girlfriend tells him she loves him, and he responds, “That’s nice. They’re Maeve (purple hair dye), Lily (hair ties, clips, and funky makeup), Ola (LGBTQIA+ badge), and Cal (loose-fitting trousers). Good night, then.”

I didn’t see this coming, but I should have. Here’s hoping she gets a wake-up call earlier than, like, the finale. It’s her futile way of coping with the grief of losing her cat, the pet that was almost like a child to her — but it’s too much for poor Jeffrey, who gravely steps outside and declares, “I can’t have sex again.”

Who else could help save Jeffrey’s marriage — and his overexerted body — but Otis? Email

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Terms of Service apply. At least Hope lets them stick with trousers, citing her apparent feminist bona fides, though the trousers can’t be baggy the way Cal wants them (and Hope’s insistence that “she gets it” seems to imply she’s still thinking of Cal as a tomboyish girl, not someone outside the binary). These different forms of self-expression vary in degree, but the embellishments have become part of who they are for all four students. She doesn’t have some fancy mansion like so many students assume — but Otis proves himself as a boyfriend when he compliments the house and helps her father get back into bed when he’s stuck. But even a character like Jackson, typically Moordale’s biggest conformist and ideal student, has no idea what he’s doing now that he’s no longer swimming or head boy. Cal also explains their discomfort changing in front of the mean girls, adding new context to their mournful look at the destroyed restroom block in the premiere. Later, Otis persuades Ruby to have him over to her house when she never lets anybody come over. The story ends in a heartbreaking but cathartic scene when Cynthia admits how painful it is to talk about their loss. Besides knowing they argue a lot, fuck a lot, and have a cat named Jonathan, we don’t know that much about them.

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Review: In Sun & Sea, Econihilism Goes to the Beach

For the five-hour production (once you enter, you can stay or go as you please), the stage has been transformed into a realistic beach with 25 tons of sand spread from wall to wall. Sometimes the language is crystal clear — a man remembers the volcano that interrupted his vacation plans, and we hear each word — other times we need to check the printed libretto to understand. Perhaps this isn’t just an opera? And the more the lyrics remind you of everything that’s wrong in the world, the more the sight of such extravagant inactivity raises your hackles. Thirteen are vocalists; the rest are supernumeraries ready to mill around and kick sand. Time has only honed that edge: The Biennale performance was nearly a year before pandemic-era beach vacations became … what? That’s one of the sharp little knives wielded by Sun & Sea, the long-duration opera at BAM’s Fishman Space this weekend. A dog is taken (dragged) for a walk. “Protection for hypersensitive skin,” she sings, reading the label, and our minds drift from melanoma screenings to Hawaii and Indonesia, places where certain types of sunscreen are killing the coral reefs. The only responsible kind of vacation? To see it, the audience must go to the balcony level of the small theater and stand high above the stage on all four sides, like visitors in an operating theater or technicians in the flies. As the sound washes over you, it’s easy to miss that the world surrounding these sun worshippers is poisoned, willful, inhospitable: “You are strongly advised to stay onshore! Maybe it’s aversion therapy for our leisure-obsessed generation? Originally, Sun & Sea was a commission for the Lithuanian pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale. The songs are usually short glimpses into a sun-drowsy person’s mind: a man thinking about how he met his lover, or a workaholic anxious about whether exhaustion is actually a real concern. As they built the production, Barzdžiukaitė and her team were clearly thinking about the way “leisure” contains and erases the evidence of the disasters happening all around us, and the intervening crises have only made their points more relevant. You enter the show to an image of enviable ease — and then you leave when you can’t bear it anymore. Irresponsible? Grainytė’s lyrics have been translated into English, but it’s still tricky understanding the voices as they follow Lina Lapelyte’s unmelodic, hopscotch compositions. The Lithuanian director and set designer Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė has packed the beach with bodies, all reading and snacking and whiling the time away, a row of deck chairs forming one corner, a beach umbrella tossed into another. And as the people laze on their pastel towels, they also sometimes sing. In Venice, a city literally swamped by cruise ships, the problem of the Vacation Industrial Complex would surely have been a sharp one. The sea is full of riptides and whirlpools — “Acidy waves, ivory foam” a woman sings, telling us about her ex-husband who drowned — and the libretto starts and finishes with a woman singing about sunscreen. Sun & Sea, at BAM. A couple discusses whether it’s time to go in the water. The cast’s behavior, naturalistic and constantly changing (even as Vaiva Grainytė’s libretto itself does repeat on an hour-long loop), operates at a slow, vacation-day pace. Certainly, your own physical discomfort becomes part of the show after about half an hour (depending on your lumbar health); your ability to extract story, drama, and intrigue from micro-events will inform how interested you are in the events below. Out of reach? “Our swimsuits are filling up with algae!” the whole room sings in chorus, complaining that the ocean is turning green, blooming with eutrophication. Photo: Richard Termine/BAM

Watching someone else’s vacation has gone, in the past two years, from difficult to excruciating. Tags: The joke of the title Sun & Sea is that we aren’t really seeing either one. We have to hang enviously over a railing to see the beach below, and there’s something about that posture — so different from the theatergoer’s usual princely seated position — that makes us seem like poor relations, wallflowers who have to eavesdrop on the pleasures of others. The music is spare, turning lush only during the collective choral moments when the whole room rings. The show is about questioning pleasure, and I think it’s intentional that it sort of ruins your night. You should not leave your children unobserved!” The music’s dazed laziness infects them and infects us, too, so we can’t always comprehend these warnings. Sun & Sea is at the BAM Fishman through September 26. Jealousy turns to revulsion: All the teeming life onstage starts to shift, under your weary eyes, into the wriggling life on a microscope slide, smashed flat by our faraway gaze. The exaggerated length of the evening is itself part of the show’s indictment — it gives us plenty of time to grow sick of humans and their litter. We see sand, we seem to sense heat, but the sun and the ocean are themselves fundamentally “offstage” — they are the temptations, pressures, and threats the people take for granted. Children chatter and play. Lapelyte’s sounds are unfailingly chimelike and calm, so it comes as a surprise that some of the thoughts are heated, even frightened.

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22 Straight-to-VOD Bruce Willis Movies, Ranked

(Insert your own joke here.) Willis gets his John Wayne on as military adviser Colonel Jack Johnson, who whips Chinese aviators into fighting shape to take on the superior Japanese forces. 3. 7. Breach (2021)

The year is 2242 and a plague has wiped out much of the planet. The novelty of Bruce playing against type as a villain has long since worn thin, but he does seem to be enjoying himself, putting his old wiseass spin on the whole affair. Trauma Center (2019)

Nicky Whelan stars as Madison, whom Bruce — you guessed it, a cop — installs in an incredibly understaffed hospital’s isolation ward after she witnesses a murder. Bruce plays the doc’s dad, a retired cop. Johnathon Schaech, as the brutal bank robber, may be best known for That Thing You Do! Ambyr Childers co-stars as a malfunctioning bot who becomes self-aware and goes off the grid, giving Jane the impetus to bring down the well-connected Bruce, much of whose screen time is spent checking out Vice’s monitors to make sure patrons aren’t being slaughtered. One of Bruce’s most oddball moments is his curious monologue focused on the spider crawling up his skyscraper window in the rain. Marauders (2016)

A needlessly complicated bank-heist thriller (suffice to say, “something is dirty”) is redeemed by a stronger-than-usual cast for these films, including a solid Christopher Meloni as an FBI agent investigating the robbery of $3 million from bank mogul Bruce, Dave Bautista as his sidekick, and Adrian Grenier as a new member of the team. But Bruce is not allowed any fly-in-the-ointment heroics. By the time you finish reading this, there may be a couple more. Survive the Night (2020)

Two brothers with a Hell or High Water dynamic take a disgraced doctor and his family hostage and force him to operate on one of the bros who’s been shot in a stickup gone wrong. High-minded ideas (“You want peace, get rid of war”) are brought to Earth with standard issue video game-like action and macho badassery. 17. At this point, these films are almost their own genre. An unblinking Bruce stares him down, leans in and whispers, “You’re not going to kill anybody else,” and walks out, but not before disposing of one of his goons. So when Jason goes looking for his missing and messed-up daughter, Bruce is determined to find her first. 5. In this kind of movie, where expectations are diminished, it plays like De Niro and Pacino’s coffee-shop scene in Heat. If you smell a rat, then little of what transpires will surprise you. & Mrs. His less than eight minutes of screen time are devoted to generic straight lines (“This is gonna be bad”) and a couple of diner-set two-handers with Megan Fox that scream, “We only have Bruce for the day.” Fox, though, carries her scenes as a rogue FBI agent whose sex-trafficking investigation dovetails with the search for a serial killer. How about that title, though? He’s in five of them. Fire With Fire (2012)

Come for Bruce, stay for Josh Duhamel as a fireman forced into witness protection when he runs afoul of white-supremacist leader Vincent D’Onofrio. This is the quintessential Bruce VOD film: His scenes mostly take place in one room, and in several, it’s just him talking into a phone. Cult character-actor aficionados may stream this solely for Brad Dourif’s cameo as an ill-fated sheriff. Acts of Violence (2018)

Sex traffickers pick the wrong woman to kidnap when her future brother-in-law (Cole Hauser), a psyche-scarred veteran, enlists his two brothers to help him track her down. Willis shows signs of his signature swagger and smirk as when he offers the new guy advice about how to handle a take-off: “Get the fuck out of my seat.” But later, in one of the film’s quieter moments, he remarks, “I’m good at failing up,” which is way too self-referential for comfort. Schaech gets his most dramatic role in these films as a compromised cop with a cancer-stricken wife. “Once upon a time you were a big bad motherfucker,” he is taunted early on, just before he bashes the guy to show he’s still got it. Bruce stars as disgraced former general James Ford (as in, “Get me James Ford”), who is recruited to wipe out a race of zombie-like aliens. This Taken ripoff would have probably been called Took. Here, Bruce really doesn’t seem to give an actual fuck. There are too-on-the-nose nods toward Bruce’s new status as the On-Demand King. But why ask why? Like Willis, appearing in these films is now that thing he does. Assassination of a High School President (2009)

“Forget it, Funke. She deftly pulls off what every B-movie villain strives for: a slo-mo explosion walk-away. 19. 21. Out of Death (2021)

No sooner does Jamie King venture into the woods to scatter her dead father’s ashes then she witnesses a crooked officer killing her partner in crime. 22. Survivors board a shuttle for New Earth. Bruce, a 35-year veteran cop, has also come to this neck of the woods following the death of his wife for a little peace and quiet. Critics might call it a thankless role, but viewers are apt to thank the movie gods for Goodman’s welcome presence, especially in comparison to a maddeningly annoying Thomas Middleditch as Bruce’s awkward and bumbling protégé. 9. And when he has an actor the caliber of Forest Whitaker to play against, he rises to the occasion. I don’t know who said that, but I’m pretty sure they never imagined a place like Pensacola”) is unforgiveable. If the device should fall into the wrong hands, yada yada yada. Extraction (2015)

This one starts off promisingly with a strong Bruce scene in which his undercover CIA agent turns the tables on his interrogators. Bruce is the titular California city’s “only licensed detective.” The film ambles amiably for 40 minutes before the story proper kicks in: A drug dealer (an on-the-cusp-of-stardom Jason Momoa) takes Bruce’s beloved dog, forcing him to jump through increasingly absurd and dangerous hoops to get him back. 18. “You used to be the big dog in town,” the more unhinged brother taunts him, in one of the film’s most memorable lines. The star has participated in a decades-long spate of mostly action and crime films that premiered on VOD. 2. Related

The King of the Geezer Teasers

Long Live Gerard Butler, and the Gerard Butler Movie

Tags: Air Strike (2018)

An alternate title for this World War II Chinese propaganda film is The Bombing. The diamonds belong to mob boss Bruce, “the most ruthless, cold motherfucker you’ll ever meet.” Bruce gets a good line or two (“Every fucking thing I say is right”), but a hit man played by Shaun Toub steals the show: “You took something from us … and I’m the guy they picked to get it back.”

10. Photo: YouTube

This article originally ran in 2020 and has been updated to include Bruce Willis’ latest straight-to-VOD titles. There are more generic and less distinguished movies on this list, but for that fact alone, it receives this low ranking on principle. 13. If you only have the time or inclination to rent one straight-to-VOD Willis title, this should be your pick. The resourceful Madison has our rooting interest, but Bruce is conveniently missing in action. The Set Up (2011)

It’s an Italian Job situation when one of three heisters (Ryan Phillippe!) decides to kill his two partners in crime and take $5 million in diamonds for himself. Another word about the Emmett/Furla Oasis Films stock company behind so many of these films: Tyler Jon Olson, the wounded brother, is in ten of these; Lydia Hull, the doc’s wife, is in six. Moonlighting fans may get a nostalgic tingle when, at one point, he refers to her as “Maddie.” Steve Guttenberg cameos as her physician, because why not? Enjoy them, if you dare. Reprisal (2018)

Frank Grillo stars as a Cincinnati banker who enlists the help of his next-door neighbor, an ex-cop (Bruce), to take down the psychopath who is robbing his bank branches. First Kill (2017)

Hayden Christensen, in a movie far, far away from the Star Wars universe, stars as a dad who takes his bullied young son back to his hometown for the boy’s first hunting trip. After you get a few of these movies under your belt, it becomes fun to spot them as though they’re beloved character actors. Jason Patric stars as a former shadowy underworld figure whose certain set of skills once included blowing up a car that contained the wife and daughter of Bruce, a local crime boss. 14. The movies are (mostly) back, but if you’re still wary about venturing into a movie theater, Bruce Willis is near-singlehandedly keeping the straight-to-streaming flowing with a steady release of generic actioners that are not doing his legacy any favors. His character is often seen from the back, or his face is obscured by foreground characters, the international signs of a stunt double. But Bruce puts asses on the couch, so he is prominently featured in the trailers and on the posters. Reportedly, Bruce’s scenes were filmed in one day. The Prince (2014)

In the golden age of direct to video, enterprising producers would take a popular theatrical film and rush a similarly titled knockoff onto VHS to fool a less than cinema-savvy public. Reviews of these films tend to be scathing, snide, and snarky (and those are just the S’s) and have been the subject of think pieces (well, not so much think pieces as WTF pieces) that ponder variations on the theme: Why does one of the once biggest action stars in the world keep turning up in this dreck? As a high-school-set noir, Brick was first and far better, but Bruce is clearly energized trying to recapture some of his Sundance indie cred as the unhinged Desert Storm vet turned principal, who at one point reprimands a tardy student: “Do I come down to the strip club where you work and knock the dick out of your mouth?”

8. This is the most well-regarded film on the list, but despite a social-media campaign, the original distributor’s bankruptcy killed any chances for a theatrical release. 11. 16. Bruce co-stars as the local police chief, a friend of his late father, who died in a tragic accident. Long frustrated in his by-the-book attempts to bring down the trafficking kingpin, he lets the brothers have their vigilante way. This is his watch. Ye shall know them by their generic titles and judicious use of Bruce, whose total screen time in each rarely surpasses 15 minutes. Since this ranking was originally published last fall, four more have come to light, the sci-fi actioners, Cosmic Sin and Breach, Murder in the Switchgrass and Out of Death. But at least you don’t have to leave home to see them. As Bruce says in Marauders — another of these movies, but better — I’d ask if I gave a fuck. You can do worse than, say, Fire With Fire. You like Bruce and you’ve got 90 minutes to kill. 20. At the 54-minute mark, Willis offers his squadron a pre-raid toast: “My father was a soldier as well. Jesse Metcalfe is top-billed as a mercenary who has a history with “the terrorist revolutionary who has been raising hell all over the globe.” Willis’s Donovan Chalmers gets one emotional scene with his daughter, who — not sure why — handed over the device to the Pardoner and has been taken prisoner along with dad. So, it’s Westworld run out of an exclusive, elite resort populated by female “artificials” who look and act like humans and are said to “have real emotions.” A grubby-looking Thomas Jane stars as a cop who thinks Vice is desensitizing patrons so they will commit crimes in the real world. Precious Cargo (2016)

This one delivers as a guilty pleasure. Higher production values and a seemingly more engaged Willis make this Alien/The Thing retread a cut above as far as Alien/The Thing retreads go. 50 Cent (!!) stars as Sonny, who survives the betrayal and is hell-bent on revenge. Mark-Paul Gosselaar has a Ryan Reynolds–ian lovable-rogue thing going for him here, and a Mr. Filmed in nine days in advance of the Covid shutdown, this rushed production finds some resourceful ways to mask Bruce’s limited availability. There is one scene that’s pure, vintage Bruce: He’s a cop confronting D’Onofrio, who previously had Bruce’s partner killed. Vice (2015)

Bruce lords over something called Vice, “a utopian paradise where you can have or do anything you want” with no laws, rules, or consequences. Whatever; something is wrong when Bruce Willis isn’t convincing as a cop. It makes for a nice break from asking, “What’s Bruce Willis doing in this?” to inquire, “What’s John Cusack doing in this?”

6. 12. Bruce is relegated to the sidelines as the standard-issue weary cop with a bottle of Jim Beam in his top desk drawer. Lydia Hull gets her showiest role yet as Bruce’s icy, Terminator-like enforcer. Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017)

Bruce Willis appears to be having a blast in his first comic-action role since Red 2 seven years ago. About an hour in, John Cusack shows up as a Jason ally. This is a fairly decent “fauxrantino,” with the requisite time jumps, hyperaware dialogue exchanges, and surf guitar on the soundtrack. 15. His line readings are unsettlingly off, and his reported one-day availability required some resourceful use of stunt doubles (shots of his character running through the woods seen only from the waist down are a dead giveaway). This is his watch.” I know; Pulp Fiction, right? 10 Minutes Gone (2019)

A meticulously planned heist goes wrong and Michael Chiklis has to figure out who killed his brother, made off with the loot, and why he can’t account for ten minutes following an ambush that left him unconscious. The MacGuffin is something called the Condor, “the ultimate hack,” which the bad guys want, or have, or something. Then he all but disappears until the end of the movie while his son (Kellan Lutz), also in the company, goes rogue when dad is kidnapped and held for ransom. The ending lets Bruce loose to administer his own brand of justice, but it’s too little, too late to redeem the movie. D’Onofrio wants Bruce to lay off and makes all kinds of threats. If Bruce Willis actually sneaked a Christopher Walken impression into a Chinese propaganda film, then he truly is, as one of the Chinese aviators anachronistically describes him, a badass. Murder in the Switchgrass (2021)

Bruce is an inessential worker here. The lone and fleeting bright spot is Welker White, a Scorsese veteran (Goodfellas, The Irishman), in a bracing bit of character work as the mother of one of the missing girls. The Pardoner has gotten ahold of the vaguely named Project 725, which was developed by Bruce’s high-tech company. While 300,000 take a cyro-nap, Willis and his custodial crew go about their chores until a parasite goes about infecting crew members leading to a zombie siege. 1. But the shameless opening crib from Blood Simple (drawling about predators and prey, the narrator says, “Humans are the only creatures on Earth given a choice. This came early in Bruce’s VOD career, and he appears fully invested in his glad-handing, pecan-loving kingpin who may or may not have set the trio up. Our ranking below determines which of these films delivers your Willis worth, and which are the most entertaining 75 minutes that Bruce isn’t onscreen. John Goodman is his sad-sack best friend, a surf-shop owner in the throes of a divorce. It’s high school.” A put-upon high-school sophomore and aspiring journalist tries to parlay a hot story about stolen SATs into Northwestern admittance. Catch .44 (2011)

Three gun-toting ladies (Malin Akerman, Nikki Reed, and Deborah Ann Woll) head for a diner on behalf of drug boss Bruce, and things go south pretty quick. Cosmic Sin (2021)

In the year 2524 (which doesn’t have the ring of the 1969 one-hit wonder), we may not be alone in the universe. Smith chemistry with Claire Forlani as a former lover who recruits him to steal a cargo of rare gems on behalf of crime boss Bruce. Hard Kill (2020)

If you’re a terrorist who insists on calling himself “the Pardoner,” but also has to explain the name to your confused adversaries, you might want to consider getting a new moniker. He said that if anything ever happened to him, he should give it to his son, and he did. While the pandemic has forced many major studios to give their big titles, from The Suicide Squad to Reminiscence, simultaneous home releases, make no mistake: A wide theatrical run was never in the cards for Hard Kill, nor Survive the Night, Trauma Center, 10 Minutes Gone, or any of the 22 (and counting) VOD-bound B-movies Willis has made in earnest since 2011. 4.

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The Worst Things That Happened at the R. Kelly Trial This Week

“Generally, in these situations, people come up missing,” Kelly allegedly remarked. Kelly allegedly threatened a colleague so she would back him during a lawsuit, warning her, “Generally, in these situations, people come up missing,” the woman testified Friday. “And in that moment, I quit.”

Earlier this week, a woman who accused R. I asked if I could grab a condom,” she testified, remarking that she was “between 14 and 15” years old at the time. Neither the press nor the public watching Kelly’s trial in a viewing room were able to see or hear any of it. They wrote that “after the government played the audio recording for Jane Doe #20 and Jane Doe #20 traveled to New York to prepare for her testimony, she started to have panic attacks and appeared to have an emotional breakdown. “He explained to me that Precious had filed a lawsuit and it was right around him going to the World Cup, [that] it was important, and told me I need to pick a team.” Kelly performed at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, which puts his interactions with Precious sometime between her initial work with him in 2009 and around 2010. Before Angela left Kelly’s apartment, he invited her and Tiffany back. Although today marks the near conclusion of the prosecution’s case, it already feels wrapped up, following a fifth week of testimony that seemed largely repetitive: Witnesses backed up what prior witnesses had to say, including previous testimony about Kelly’s mercurial and mean-spirited behavior both as a boss and, generally, as a person. Mack and Kelly started working together again in 2013. Kelly give [Precious] alcohol?”, and another was “Did I ever see them [having] sex].” Mack didn’t remember whether she circled “yes” or “no” to the questions on the affidavit, but said she did sign it. After she signed the paperwork, Arnold took her to the airport. Kelly of sexual abuse as an underage teenager claimed that she saw him performing oral sex on Aaliyah when the singer was a young teen. “Did you speak to the defendant about why Precious had left?” prosecutors asked. She told the man that her client (age not known) could sing, and the man said: “I want to introduce you to someone.”

He eventually led them to the back of the restaurant. Prosecutors asked Mack whether Precious stopped working for Kelly and whether it was an “abrupt” split. R. There was an affidavit on the table, which they asked her to sign. She did amazing.” Kelly asked the artist to sing another song, and then another. Prosecutors finished their direct questioning of Hughes; the defense will start cross-examination Monday morning. For the sake of her mental health, the government advised Jane Doe #20 that it would not call her as a witness at the trial.”

This post has been updated throughout. Kelly did not put on his headphones while these recordings were played. So Angela and the other female decided to toss some water on him. Angela, who was the tenth accuser to take the stand, said she met Kelly in 1991, when she was about 14 or 15 years old. The colleague, Cheryl Mack, said that she met Kelly in 2005. Mack’s then-boss, talent manager Devyne Stephens, wanted to “do something different.” Stephens thought they could get Kelly “off the bench,” performing more frequently than he was. Mack introduced Precious to Kelly in 2009, when she was 17 years old. Her client wound up singing with Kelly on his album, and Mack testified that she introduced more of her clients to Kelly over the years. “I just saw her move in closer.”

“That was kind of my cue to leave,” she said. They went to Kelly’s home studio at his Olympia Fields, Illinois, property. These headphones would have enabled him to hear the recordings. “He asked me to climb on top of him,” Angela stated. “It was all sudden. He gave Mack his phone number and told her “just keep trying until I answer.”

“He said she was amazing,” Mack recalled. He told me that she was trying to file a lawsuit and I needed to pick a team.”

Mack traveled to Kelly’s Olympia Fields home. At one point, Kelly purportedly touched one of the other female’s breasts, and placed his mouth on another’s, touching the third female’s genital area. She said she barely glanced at the questions, but remembered one was “Did I ever see Mr. I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation. Mack learned that the suit was “something along the lines of sexual harassment.” They ultimately moved their discussion into a room at Kelly’s home with a pool table. He told me that I need[ed] to come to Chicago,” she said. She saw Jane sidle up to Kelly, who was reclining on an ottoman. Kelly in 2019. Alex said that a then-friend, Louis, introduced him to Kelly. He started berating her for spoiling his stylist’s surprise birthday party, even pounding the table. Kelly, she said, enjoyed practical jokes. One was taking off her clothes, and another was removing her shirt. “After that, I proceeded to put the condom on the gentleman and straddled him.” Kelly penetrated Angela. The second male accuser to testify, Alex, said that he met Kelly in 2007, at age 16. The accuser said Monday she witnessed this in 1992 or 1993, when Aaliyah would’ve been only 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged sexual abuse. “For whatever reason, he just started cursing me and ultimately said I need to apologize to the guest,” Mack said, referring to Jane. Kelly Accuser Says She Witnessed Him Sexually Abuse Aaliyah at 13

R. Kelly’s Lawyer Tries to Discredit Alleged Victim With … Chinese Food

More Gross Details Come Out in Third Week of R. It appeared that he had his head in between her legs and was giving her oral sex. “It appeared that he had his head in between her legs and was giving her oral sex.” Aaliyah was sitting upright on a seat. He told me that she was trying to file a lawsuit and I needed to pick a team. Photo: r

Prosecutors in R. Kelly, she said, was on his knees. Mack met Jane — who testified that Kelly first sexually abused her at age 17 — in April 2015. A woman in one of these recordings, referred to as “Jane Doe #20” in court filings, was going to testify, but prosecutors decided against it because of her anxiety. Angela said that she and another young female were goofing around. Their last witness, psychologist Dawn Hughes, took the stand Friday afternoon to explain that victims of interpersonal violence may stay with and go back to their abusers — and that returning to one’s abuser doesn’t negate victimhood. I was a little startled.” But Angela ultimately decided to do “as he asked me to do.”

“The defendant asked me to straddle him and to ride him. Angela, who was an aspiring singer at the time, claimed that she left high school after Kelly told her that she could either attend school or perform. Kelly and several of his pals were present, as well as some other young females, and they were all joking around in the living room. At some point, Kelly went into another room. “I had a discussion with him about her talent. Mack said she coordinated Kelly’s travel and that of his entourage, including the singer’s girlfriends. The mood of the ending was more confetti cracker-pop than the proper bang one might expect from closing arguments in the near future. I was very uncomfortable, that wasn’t my business.”

The next day, Mack was at a McDonald’s with Kelly and members of his entourage. Alex said his first sexual encounter with Kelly took place when Alex was 20 years old. “I took it as a threat,” Mack testified. “Let me help you,” Kelly told them. Jane left Kelly in fall of 2019. “Yes,” Mack said. Mack said she saw Jane move her head down. “I paused for a moment. They have called 45 witnesses, 11 of whom are abuse accusers. “He told her that we were going to be her street vibe and that we were going to be there to be her friends as well.”

Angela alleged that she saw Kelly sexually abuse Aaliyah on his tour bus. “I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation,” she alleged. Kelly claimed he didn’t have a condom; Angela told him that she had one. One of Kelly’s associates paid for their trip. “That was when he introduced my artist to Mr. One of those clients was Precious, an R&B singer from Atlanta. When asked by the judge whether this was near Kelly’s lap, Mack said, “In that area.”

“That was my exit. Angela cracked open the door. In July 2015, after his concert at a Connecticut casino, Mack said that she, Kelly’s stylist Kash Howard, and Jane were in Kelly’s dressing room with him. Mack began working with Kelly through her agency, but Kelly quickly hired Mack to be his executive assistant. She claimed to have met Aaliyah in 1992, with Kelly telling her the girl was “was the next up-and-coming artist, the next hottest wave out of Detroit.” He introduced Angela to Aaliyah on the artist’s 13th birthday. She was a backup dancer on one of Kelly’s tours sometime around 1992 or 1993. “Everything happened so fast. One after one, the young ladies would eventually join Kelly. Mack called Kelly and she and her client traveled to Chicago. Kelly Trial

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Tags: “I closed the door abruptly and pushed the girl behind me away from the door.” Angela stated that she did not discuss this with Kelly. Precious ended up returning to Chicago and stayed at a hotel near Kelly’s house, Mack said. She and a client were at a restaurant when a man approached them and said, “You look pretty important.” Mack responded that she was a talent agent. Louis was the first male accuser to publicly allege that Kelly sexually abused him; he claims this abuse started at age 17. Kelly. A court filing submitted Tuesday indicated that prosecutors planned on playing recordings that “show the defendant physically and verbally abusing and threatening females.” But it’s not known with certainty what exactly jurors saw or heard, since nobody outside the courtroom could see or hear them. Kelly’s Brooklyn federal-court trial are nearly done with their racketeering and sex-crimes case against the R&B singer. Arnold drove her to the office of Kelly’s then-attorney, Ed Gensen. They went to the back of his tour bus, to the bedroom. The prosecution also presented recordings to jurors on Wednesday, but they were shown and published only to jurors and parties in the case. When Angela entered the room, there were “three other young ladies” in there. Alex said that he also had sexual encounters with Kelly. Mack, then a talent manager, was in Miami to attend events surrounding MTV’s Video Music Awards. Everything happened so fast. Aaliyah was born on January 16, 1979. He claimed that Kelly pressured him into unwanted sexual activity, such as encounters with women while the R&B singer watched. More From This Series

R. She got in but didn’t know where they were going. There were a few exceptions. Kelly,” Mack said. Angela claimed she hung out with Kelly “every day for quite a few years.” They had multiple sexual encounters when she was a minor, she alleged. ‘She [is] talented, would you be interested in meeting her?’ He agreed.” Mack, Precious, and the teen’s mom traveled from Atlanta to Chicago, as Kelly had agreed to let them use one of the studios at his Olympia Fields home. Kelly illegally wed Aaliyah when she was just 15, and he was 27, according to trial testimony. Tiffany, Angela’s then-friend, brought her to a party at Kelly’s apartment in Chicago. She claimed to have stopped working for him in the mid-1990s. “He told her that we were going to be her background [singers] as well,” Angela said. “She sang a song for Mr. After some time, Kelly’s former studio manager, Tom Arnold, directed Mack to a car.

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What Will Win and What Should Win at the 2021 Emmy Awards

Will win: Last Week Tonight With John Oliver

Should win: Conan

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

A Black Lady Sketch Show (HBO)Saturday Night Live (NBC)

It’s terrible to have two nominees. “War,” the season-four finale, is very well-done, but “Fairytale” examines the backstory behind one of the most famous royal moments ever, the wedding of Charles and Diana. With Imelda Staunton taking over the royal role in season five, this is the last chance Colman has for an Emmy for that performance. Unless there’s a major upset, this is her moment. O’Brien’s shows have Emmys to their credit in Writing and Interactive categories, but it would be nice to see him receive this level of industry recognition. Williams, Lovecraft Country 

Should win: Michael K. Will win: Billy Porter, Pose

Should win: Porter or Matthew Rhys, who was excellent in Perry Mason, even though its first season wasn’t quite as consistent. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Paul Bettany, WandaVision (Disney+)Hugh Grant, The Undoing (HBO)Ewan McGregor, Halston (Netflix)Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton (Disney+)Leslie Odom Jr., Hamilton (Disney+)

Bless Ewan McGregor, but it’s hard to imagine him winning for Halston, and I suspect Miranda and Odom may cancel each other out. (Also, technically Ethan Hawke should be winning this for The Good Lord Bird, but apparently that is also just me.)

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You (HBO)Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha (National Geographic)Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision (Disney+)Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown (HBO)

The most obvious answer here is Anya Taylor-Joy, who has already been honored for her role as a drug-addled, alcoholic chess genius by the Globes and the SAG Awards. All the Winners of the Creative Arts Emmys

When Presented With a Black Gaze, the Emmys Turned Away

It’s Time for Emmys to Expand Limited Series

Tags: (Reminder: Throughout its entire run, The Wire was nominated for only two — two! Will win: The Queen’s Gambit

Should win: I May Destroy You, but that’s even more subject to recency-effect issues, since it first aired in the summer of 2020. because I think both Nicole Byer and extremely amateur chefs who can’t distinguish between sugar and salt deserve some Emmy respect for once. I think the smart money this year is on Kenan Thompson. Just give both of them an Emmy! Outstanding Competition Program

The Amazing Race (CBS)Nailed It! Technically that shouldn’t matter, since this is about who gave the best performance, but that sort of art-imitating-life narrative might be persuasive to any conflicted voters. Admittedly, though, it would be fun if Goldstein won so the debate about whether he’s an actual person or a work of CGI could get reheated. Plus, he was the Titanic iceberg, which should at least earn him an Emmy honorable mention or something. Aren’t these predictions valuable? That said, it’s more than likely that Saturday Night Live is going to win here, since it has for the previous three years. But for which episode? (ABC)Last Week Tonight With John Oliver (HBO)The Late Show With Stephen Colbert (CBS)

Every late-night talk-show host had to make major adjustments during the pandemic last year, broadcasting from home, alternate locations, or, in John Oliver’s case, a blank white void. Well, it hasn’t. I think she might get it, although Zendaya’s win last year could just as easily be an argument that voters might choose a younger, emerging talent. Outstanding Drama Series

The Boys (Amazon)Bridgerton (Netflix)The Crown (Netflix)The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)Lovecraft Country (HBO)The Mandalorian (Disney+)Pose (FX)This Is Us (NBC)

Doesn’t it seem like The Crown has won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama already? Will win: Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Should win: Waddingham, who is finally getting wider acclaim after years of strong work in British theater and television. But there was no reason to worry because it was all totally fine and very normal. But given the history of winners in this category, it might be a little too wild for some members of the Academy. But the most likely scenario is an Emmy for The Crown, which actually has won in this category once before. Will this “king” and this queen emerge as Emmy winners? The safer bet is probably The Crown. It also features a scene in which Diana roller-skates to “Girls on Film,” and nine out of ten Emmy voters agree that contemporary television needs more roller-skating and more Duran Duran.**

*I am not board-certified in anything

**This is not a real statistic of any kind, nor was any survey on this matter ever conducted. That leaves Bettany and Grant, and I think Grant, previously nominated for his excellent work in A Very English Scandal, has the edge. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Apple TV+ and Netflix

Last year’s Emmy Awards were preceded by a great deal of uncertainty, not about who would win but about how the largely virtual COVID-era ceremony would unfurl on television. Williams sadly and unexpectedly died. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama

Uzo Aduba, In Treatment (HBO)Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)Emma Corrin, The Crown (Netflix)Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)MJ Rodriguez, Pose (FX)Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country (HBO)

The consensus opinion is that Emma Corrin will win for her sensitive portrayal of a young Princess Diana in The Crown. I, Jen Chaney, am still right about this, though. I would argue that as Vision, he has to be both a charming physical comedian and a dramatic actor who can find the humanity in outlandish scenarios, which requires greater range — but that’s just me. Okay, cool. Will win: Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Should win: Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)Daveed Diggs, Hamilton (Disney+)Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You (HBO)Jonathan Groff, Hamilton (Disney+)Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown (HBO)Anthony Ramos, Hamilton (Disney+)

Once again, I believe the Hamilton actors, great as they are, will cancel one another out here. Here’s How. Moving on, there is a very good chance the pilot for Ted Lasso wins here, but I also think Hacks could sneak in a surprise upset. Will win: Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Should win: Thompson, or Bowen Yang, who makes every sketch funnier. Will win: Ted Lasso

Should win: Probably Ted Lasso, but I would definitely squeal like a preteen girl if PEN15 somehow won. I’m inclined to say “Biscuits,” the second episode and the one that fully establishes the series’ tone, or “The Hope That Kills You,” the season-one finale that features that game with Man City and contains broader emotional scope. Sudeikis does, and I think he will win. Will win: Saturday Night Live

Should win: I say Saturday Night Live for this reason: It managed to stage near-weekly live comedy in the middle of a pandemic and a fraught election season, when people needed whatever laughs the late-night mainstay could bring. However, given the number of awards The Queen’s Gambit won at last weekend’s Creative Arts Emmys and the number of prognosticators who still think it’s going to win, I feel like the chess drama might have remained a few strategic moves ahead of its rivals. Winslet, who brought such depth to her portrait of a grieving detective with an accent fit for a Wawa, may be hard to overlook. Fagbenle, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)John Lithgow, Perry Mason (HBO)Tobias Menzies, The Crown (Netflix)Max Minghella, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)Chris Sullivan, This Is Us (NBC)Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)Michael K. His turn as a shifty murder suspect in The Undoing is more consistently dramatic than Bettany’s often (though not exclusively) comedic work in WandaVision, and Emmy deciders do love their drama. I also might be wrong. Will win: Jean Smart, Hacks

Should win: Jean Smart

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama

Sterling K. Will win: I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel

Should win: I May Destroy You, Michaela Coel

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The 2021 Emmys Will Actually Be Easy to Stream. For what it’s worth, Coel’s thoughtful work in I May Destroy You is hard to overlook too, but I suspect Emmy voters will do it anyway. In fact, I can potentially see it pulling another Schitt’s Creek and sweeping all the comedy categories, given how much it’s dominated many of them (see Supporting Actor). Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish (ABC)Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)William H. I expected him to win before he passed, and I believe that will be the case, not only because his presence is so powerful in Lovecraft Country but because it was so powerful in everything he did. Will win: RuPaul’s Drag Race

Should win: I’m going to say Nailed It! It’s rude otherwise! Will win: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Should win: Jason Sudeikis

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy

Aidy Bryant, Shrill (Hulu)Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish (ABC)Jean Smart, Hacks (HBO Max)

This is another case in which one nominee pops out from the rest, and that’s Jean Smart. Macy, Shameless (Showtime)Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)Kenan Thompson, Kenan (NBC)

Ever since Sudeikis accepted a Golden Globe in a hoodie, this Emmy has seemed like his to lose. Just kidding, it’s totally not, which is why the festivities will take place at the Event Deck at L.A. Will win: The Crown 

Should win: The Crown. My hunch is that neither will the folks who decide the Emmys. If WandaVision is overlooked in other categories, my sense is that it will at least be rewarded here. I do not expect Emmy voters to alter their habits in this category, however. Will win: Michael K. Will win: Hugh Grant, The Undoing

Should win: Paul Bettany. Earlier this year, after Golden Globe and SAG Award wins, The Queen’s Gambit seemed like a potential lock here, but then Mare of Easttown, WandaVision, and The Underground Railroad came along. Will win: Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

Should win: Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton (Disney+)Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision (Disney+)Moses Ingram, The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown (HBO)Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown (HBO)Phillipa Soo, Hamilton (Disney+)

In my eyes, this is a contest between Hahn and Nicholson, with Smart as a possibility as well. Last Week Tonight With John Oliver has won for the past five years, and I fully anticipate a sixth win — unless the voters decide to give this Emmy to Conan, which ended its run this year and with it, Conan O’Brien’s long stint as a beloved late-night talk-show host. I’m going with that. This year, it feels like we can focus a little more attention on who will walk away with an Emmy statuette in their hands. Television Academy members love him; this is his third nom in this category, and they also nominated him in the Lead Actor in a Comedy category for his sitcom this year. In an attempt to figure that out, I shall now turn to my equivalent of the Steve Kornacki election map — my brain, which is filled not with numbers but educated TV-awards guesses — and attempt to predict what will happen on Sunday. Clearly the TV Academy has a lot of love for Ted Lasso, and while the entire ensemble on that show is excellent, the series falls apart if the guy playing Ted Lasso can’t pull off Ted Lasso. He’s also about to begin his 18th season on SNL, and his longevity coupled with his comedic ability may finally sway the voters. Will win: The Crown, “War”

Should win: Lovecraft Country, “Sundown”

Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

I May Destroy You, Michaela CoelMare of Easttown, Brad IngelsbyThe Queen’s Gambit, Scott FrankWandaVision, “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!,” Chuck Hayward and Peter CameronWandaVision, “Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience,” Jac SchaefferWandaVision, “Previously On,” Laura Donney

This is the one category in which I feel confident Michaela Coel’s brave and groundbreaking series will actually win something. Williams, Lovecraft Country

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama

Gillian Anderson, The Crown (Netflix)Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country (HBO)Emerald Fennell, The Crown (Netflix)Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Can we all just agree that Gillian Anderson is going to win this so I don’t have to write a whole long paragraph? Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian (Disney+)O.T. Live, an indoor-outdoor venue that will reportedly allow for more effective social distancing. There is a possibility MJ Rodriguez, the first trans Emmy nominee in this category, could win for her fierce performance in Pose. It’s been nominated in this category for every season of its existence, but it hasn’t won top honors, nor, for that matter, has a Netflix series in this category. Will win: Hacks, “There Is No Line”

Should win: Hacks, “There Is No Line”

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

The Boys, “What I Know,” Rebecca SonnenshineThe Crown, “War,” Peter MorganThe Handmaid’s Tale, “Home,” Yahlin ChangLovecraft Country, “Sundown,” Misha GreenThe Mandalorian, “Chapter 13: The Jedi,” Dave FiloniThe Mandalorian, “Chapter 16: The Rescue,” Jon FavreauPose, “Series Finale,” Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Our Lady J, Janet Mock, and Ryan Murphy

It’s possible the Emmy could go to “Sundown,” the first episode of Lovecraft Country, which does an excellent job of establishing the half-real, half-heightened world of that series. I mean … I’m pretty sure. Williams, Lovecraft Country (HBO)

Emmy voting closed on August 30, a week before Michael K. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live, (NBC)Hannah Einbinder, Hacks (HBO Max)Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live (NBC)Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live (NBC)Juno Temple, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

There are solid arguments that could be made for every one of these nominees, but I can’t take my eyes off Hannah Waddingham and her presence on Ted Lasso. I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they did; if they didn’t, expect this to go to The Queen’s Gambit. But Hahn, who has been nominated for an Emmy once prior and has not won, created perhaps the most memorable TV character of the year. But I wonder if voters might split the Gambit-Mare difference and give the Outstanding Limited Series award to the former and Lead Actress to the latter. Based on absolutely nothing but the mood I happen to be in at the moment I am writing this, I think Hacks might prevail. Will win: Ted Lasso, “Biscuits”

Should win: Ted Lasso, “The Hope That Kills You”

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series

Bridgerton, “Diamond of the First Water,” Julie Anne RobinsonThe Crown, “Fairytale,” Benjamin CaronThe Crown, “War,” Jessica HobbsThe Handmaid’s Tale, “The Wilderness,” Liz GarbusThe Mandalorian, “Chapter 9: The Marshall,” Jon FavreauPose, “Season Finale,” Steven Canals

This is one of those times in which, as a board-certified Emmy predictor*, even I must throw up my hands and say, “I dunno.” I could see “The Wilderness,” the season finale of The Handmaid’s Tale, winning or perhaps the series finale of Pose. I also can’t count out Olivia Colman; she did not win last year for assuming the part of Queen Elizabeth post–Claire Foy because Zendaya scooped up the Emmy. Based on support for the series, she seems like a good bet to win. Voters moved by Mare of Easttown may be inclined to reward Smart, or more likely Nicholson, if they opt to give Smart an Emmy for Hacks. — Emmys, both for writing, and never won a single trophy.) This Emmy will feel like a lifetime-achievement award. Even though I still think Oliver will take this one again, I do think O’Brien has a shot. Its closest competition is Hacks, which could pull off an upset but would be a genuine surprise. Will win: The Underground Railroad, Barry Jenkins

Should win: The Underground Railroad, Barry Jenkins

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

The Flight Attendant, “In Case of Emergency,” Steve YockeyGirls5Eva, “Pilot,” Meredith ScardinoHacks, “There Is No Line,” Lucia Aniello, Paul W. While a win for him would be because of Lovecraft Country, I also feel that it would serve as a make-up Emmy for the one he did not receive for The Wire. DelaneyTed Lasso, “Make Rebecca Great Again,” Declan Lowney

It seems likely that Ted Lasso will win here. Downs, and Jen StatskyPEN15, “Play,” Maya ErskineTed Lasso, “Make Rebecca Great Again,” Joe Kelly, Brendan Hunt, and Jason SudeikisTed Lasso, “Pilot,” Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly

I don’t think it has a chance of winning, but shout-out to the pilot for Girls5Eva, a series that should have been nominated for Outstanding Comedy. As a veteran comedian with no patience for the millennial writer her agent stuck her with, Smart is wry, revelatory, and maybe the best she’s ever been, which is saying a lot since she’s consistently terrific. Will win: Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Should win: Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series

B Positive, “Pilot,” James BurrowsThe Flight Attendant, “In Case of Emergency,” Susanna FogelHacks, “There Is No Line,” Lucia AnielloMom, “Scooby-Doo Checks and Salisbury Steak,” James WiddoesTed Lasso, “Biscuits,” Zach BraffTed Lasso, “The Hope That Kills You,” M.J. Will win: The Crown, “Fairytale”

Should win: The Crown, “Fairytale”

Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Anthology, or Movie

Hamilton, Thomas KailI May Destroy You, “Ego Death,” Sam Miller and Michaela CoelI May Destroy You, “Eyes Eyes Eyes Eyes,” Sam MillerMare of Easttown, Craig ZobelThe Queen’s Gambit, Scott FrankThe Underground Railroad, Barry JenkinsWandaVision, Matt Shakman

All of these are worthy nominees, but I honestly don’t know how you can look at the sweep, care, and ambition that Barry Jenkins poured into The Underground Railroad and not give him this award. I’m not sure that is an absolute. Will win: Olivia Colman, The Crown

Should win: Colman or Elisabeth Moss, who was next-level intense in this season of The Handmaid’s Tale. One thing I can say for a fact: Jimmy Kimmel and Jennifer Aniston will not light a fire on the Emmy stage. By contrast, the 2021 Emmy Awards will be held on Sunday night at a live, in-person ceremony, to be broadcast on CBS and streamed on Paramount+, because COVID is over! Brown, This Is Us (NBC)Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country (HBO)Josh O’Connor, The Crown (Netflix)Regé-Jean Page, Bridgerton (Netflix)Billy Porter, Pose (FX)Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason (HBO)

The Emmy pundit set — yes, there is such a thing — has come to the consensus that this award comes down to two men: O’Connor, who made Prince Charles so sad and maddening in the fourth season of The Crown, and Billy Porter, who bid heartbreaking farewell to Pray Tell on the last season of Pose. That would be justified; her “My Ryan, my Ryan” speech in the season finale is unforgettable. While there are other worthy nominees, my gut tells me this fourth nom will be the charm for The Crown, which delivered the first of its two Diana seasons according to its usual high standards, but also with enough splash to compel Oprah Winfrey to ask Harry and Meghan about it in the most-watched TV interview of the year. The question is whether enough Emmy voters looked at The Underground Railroad. Outstanding Comedy Series

Black-ish (ABC)Cobra Kai (Netflix)Emily in Paris (Netflix)The Flight Attendant (HBO Max)Hacks (HBO Max)The Kominsky Method (Netflix)PEN15 (Hulu)Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

With 20 nominations, Ted Lasso is the most nominated scripted comedy this year, and it’s really hard to imagine it not winning. Outstanding Limited Series

I May Destroy You (HBO)Mare of Easttown (HBO)The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)The Underground Railroad (Amazon)WandaVision (Disney+)

This is the most competitive category of the night, and what wins is going to depend, to some degree, on the impact of the recency effect. Outstanding Variety Talk Series

Conan (TBS)The Daily Show With Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)Jimmy Kimmel Live! Will win: Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Should win: Winslet or Michaela Coel

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks (HBO)Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method (Netflix)Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live (NBC)Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live (NBC)

There is so much Ted Lasso representation in this category that I suspect voters may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of singling out just one and look elsewhere instead. Porter has won this award before, but I can see him doing it again, especially because he shared his own HIV story publicly as the season was ending. So if I put my finger up to test the wind — i.e., look at what the other experts are saying on Gold Derby — the weather suggests Evan Peters will win his first Emmy, deservedly, for Mare of Easttown. (Netflix)RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)Top Chef (Bravo)The Voice (NBC)

RuPaul’s Drag Race has won this for the past three years, and it seems poised to repeat.

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Boo! New Paranormal Activity Movie Announced on Paramount+

It has been a big year of announcements for Eubank and Landon. Photo: Paramount+/YouTube

It’s officially Halloween season, and with the treats and the spicing of pumpkins come new horror movies that will make you sleep with the lights on. You can catch the teaser for Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin below. Paramount+ announced today that the next installment of the Paranormal Activity franchise, Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin, will premiere on Friday, October 29, just in time for Halloween. In February 2021, the horror-film duo announced a reboot of the original Paranormal Activity, also produced with Paramount Players, and Landon is working on the Netflix film We Have a Ghost, starring David Harbour and Jennifer Coolidge. Paramount Players’ Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin introduces newcomers to the Paranormal Activity cinematic universe: Emily Bader, Roland Buck III, Dan Lippert, and Henry Ayers-Brown. The horror feature is directed by William Eubank (The Signal, Underwater) and written by Christopher Landon (Freaky, Happy Death Day). Related

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Chicago Party Aunt’s Chris Witaske Is Ready for Da Hometown Feedback

That’s one of my favorite lines in the whole show. Can you tell me about doing an aunt-and-specifically-gay-nephew plotline?When we were fleshing this show out, we were like, “Well, who should she hang out with?” The obvious answer was she needs a nephew, because who is she the aunt to? Together, the four Chicagoans pitched the show to Netflix and cast Ash as Diane and Broadway star Rory O’Malley as her gay nephew, Daniel. It wasn’t too much. (Good luck getting a table during the holidays!) It’s blocks away from the Second City, the improv house where Witaske got his comedy start alongside Aidy Bryant and Lauren Ash. Charles, that’s got to feel great.Oh my God, like crazy. So when it came time to cast the part, I bet we auditioned close to 100 women, trying to find the perfect tone. Now there’s an oyster bar right across the street from Wrigley Field. It was kind of our thesis statement. Show was a huge inspiration for me. But now the world is changing around her, and people are evolving. It was important that it wasn’t too cartoony, even though it’s an animated show. After climbing to the top of the city’s comedy scene, he moved to Los Angeles seven years ago, only to suffer from a bout of homesickness. So what does it feel like to bring the city you clearly love into your professional projects?I like L.A., but if the industry was in Chicago, I would have never left. My goal in life was to do Second City. Where did Diane grow up?A lot of people think that Diane should be a South Sider. To level up in comedy, you need to leave Chicago eventually. [Laughs.]

You said previously you didn’t want to do SNL’s “Da Bears” version of a Chicago accent too much.When I started this Twitter account, I did a bunch of radio and news interviews where I was doing the voice. So that’s when we found Lauren Ash, who is an old friend of mine from Second City. He is from Chicago, and he’s a fan of the account. Being a comedy kid from St. Overall, it feels like Chicago has been very supportive, but I’m sure we’re going to get shit. I’ve been in a handful of them. So now everything is just icing. Like many sad people, he turned to Twitter. I turned a corner, and all of a sudden, there it was: this huge-ass billboard. His wife is my manager, and I just got an email from Robert Smigel the other day saying, “I can’t wait for your show. Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

If it’s not clear Chris Witaske is a Chicagoan from the way he enunciates his “a” vowels, appearing on Zoom wearing a Twin Anchors T-shirt in the Chicago Bears colors of navy blue and burnt orange gives it away. Her audition, she nailed it and totally got it. I agree, but then you also see these women on the North Side. Anyway, they’re popular commercials. The account caught the eye of comedy writer Katie Rich (SNL); actor Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project); and Ike’s brother, Jon (Superstore). Is there anything in the Chicago comedy scene that you didn’t get to do?I saw my first Second City show when I was like 13 with my dad, and that night changed my life. The interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. That sketch was written by Robert Smigel, who is a very prolific SNL writer, and Bob Odenkirk. I was very inspired by that. Chicagoans love to complain about incorrect Hollywood portrayals of Chicago. “Someone said you already have your Homer Simpson, and now you just have to build a world around it,” Witaske says in an interview with Vulture, in which he discusses perfecting the Chicago accent, dining with comedy idol Bob Odenkirk, and being in those Progressive insurance commercials. There’s a sex columnist named Dan Savage, whom I’m a big fan of. It looks so funny.” He gave me his blessing, so that was a very cool moment. This thing that I started in my underwear is now gonna stream in 190 countries. Was there a reason you didn’t make her, if she’s from the South Side, a White Sox fan?I think she’s probably one of those people who just — if there’s “Chicago” in front of the name, she loves it. Then she moved to the North Side. I would say very cathartic. The old-school restaurant is a North Side institution. Yeah. Charles), attended a Big Ten college (University of Iowa), and planted himself in Chicago proper for a decade. If there’s one little thing that isn’t exactly right, I’m sure we’re gonna hear about it. I truly started this for fun — to have a place to write jokes and be creative. You could tell it was a guy. Actually, just two days ago, they put up a billboard in Los Angeles, so I drove to it. I kept it anonymous, but I was doing this very thick [accent]. He once tweeted [something like], “When I came out of the closet to my Chicago party aunt, she took me out that night and got me so drunk that I slept through the SATs the next day.” That tweet inspired the character Daniel. Funny you mentioned “Da Bears.” I also grew up watching SNL. Bob and I are like friends now. So I’m curious if you’re prepared for that.So far, Chicago seems to be pumped about it. The only shit I’m getting right now online is from these anime teenagers who don’t like the animation style of the show because it’s not, I guess, anime or something. So where we landed was she and her sister, Bonnie, grew up on the South Side, maybe like Bridgeport or Beverly. Inspired by his family back home, Witaske created a parody account as Diane, a middle-aged woman living in Chicago’s Wrigleyville party neighborhood with a penchant for two-toned spiky hair, Malört liquor, and the band Styx. Now Bob is like a mentor of mine. She’s got the whole city covered. So hopefully this show gets ten seasons, and I’ll be able to do that. Oh, you’re in that? You’ve done Second City, iO, and Annoyance Theatre. Witaske grew up in an unassuming suburb (St. Is there anything else you’d like to add or anything else you’d like to mention?I’m in these Progressive car-insurance commercials right now where I play a guy turning into my dad. It’s like, What the fuck? It used to be dive bars and auto-mechanic shops. Mr. I don’t know if you’ve been to Wrigleyville lately, but it’s so different from what it used to be. One of the lines that I really enjoyed was in the first episode. Diane’s sister says, “You’re just like Chicago: a huge mess whose best days are behind you.”I’m glad that stuck out to you. Like most Chicagoans, Witaske, who is the creator of Netflix’s new animated series Chicago Party Aunt, enjoys telling you he’s a Midwest native. Is there anything cathartic for you about this project done for your own self-preservation now fueling your career? We go out to dinner and stuff. Tags: She had the most fun in the ’80s or whatever, when she was rocking out to hair bands, wearing leather pants, and partying with all these Chicago celebrities. If Seinfeld is Jerry Seinfeld’s New York and Insecure is Issa Rae’s Los Angeles, then Chicago Party Aunt is Witaske’s Chicago … as viewed through the eyes of one of his aunts. I’ve achieved everything that I wanted to do already. We wanted it to be grounded and not so over-the-top that it’s obnoxious. Nobody realizes that I’m the guy behind Chicago Party Aunt, so I think people might get a kick out of that if they knew. Here’s this woman who is stuck in her glory days. So yeah, it’s cool. It’s my goal one day to have a place back in Chicago and split my time. Wrigleyville is the ultimate party neighborhood, and it’s close to Boystown. I had this moment where I was like, Holy shit.

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100k Fewer Followers Later, Bachelor in Paradise’s Brendan Tries to Apologize

Everyone saying I’m there for TV and all that stuff is just ironic and silly, as they’re mic’d up and in an interview with a camera in their face saying that I’m there for TV, but fully understanding that they’re speaking to a camera that’s going to air their words on TV.” Brendan concluded, as a final apology, “I just want everyone to know that I acknowledge where I went wrong and I need to continue to work on myself as a man and learn and try to be a better person.” Whatever, go buy some more turtlenecks and think of another word for “females.”

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So, Are Katie and Her Default Bachelorette Winner Still Together? Tags: Until now, Natasha and Pieper have been peppering the media with choice pull quotes, but Brendan chose to remain silent as his followers tanked. That’s just not the case. We just needed to ensure everyone knew that before launching into today’s nonsense, because the lingering drama tying Paradise denizens Brendan, Natasha, and Pieper together might not ever escape an endless loop of Instagram Story statements and shady interviews. As a brief recap, the drama began on the show’s September 6 episode when Pieper and Brendan tried, and failed, to convince their castmates that they didn’t have a romantic relationship with influencer aspirations prior to arriving at the beach. “I absolutely went to Paradise a single man,” Brendan explained. “If I wanted the max amount of followers, I would not have pursued Pieper or Natasha,” he offered. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Brendan Morais (@brendanmorais)

In response to his Paradise castmates and viewers who accused him of using his relationships to become an Instagram fame whore, Brendan insists the facts don’t add up. Brendan has also lost about 100k Instagram followers. Of course, it went horrible in every way.” He also apologized for his “very immature and rude” remarks to Natasha at the beach and insisted that he didn’t “lead her on” while waiting for Pieper. That’s amore. “I would have went after a girl with a million followers. “As far as Pieper and I having this big, elaborate plan, I’m not the smartest person in the world, for sure, but I feel like it would have gone just a little bit better than it did if we had this plan. That changed on September 16, when he released a long prerecorded video to his Instagram page, which we watched out of respect for our readers’ time. This is our simulation now! Photo: Craig Sjodin/ABC

First things first: Did you know Ann Wilson sings Bachelor in Paradise’s theme song? It’s a nice fact. Natasha, who had been exploring a genuine relationship with Brendan, was blindsided by this revelation; Brendan and Pieper have since left the beach together to avoid a mutiny, while Natasha is now a folk hero. Among the revelations, he apologized to Natasha for their lack of “romantic spark” and insisted he and Pieper weren’t exclusively dating prior to reuniting in Paradise, despite the differing accounts that were televised.

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Joyce Manor Covering ‘Helena’ at Riot Fest Is Emo Perfection

But it should’ve, because it ripped. pic.twitter.com/NMiHwtKs85— David Anthony (@DBAnthony) September 16, 2021

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Tags: Thankfully, though, another group of emo icons have brought a bit of My Chem to this year’s festival. Scrappy Southern California rockers Joyce Manor took the stage Thursday (not as in the band) to play through their genre-refining self-titled debut, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Photo: Timothy Norris/Getty Images

Riot Fest kicked off in Chicago on September 16, bringing together a slew of emo greats (among other rock acts) across four days: Taking Back Sunday, Motion City Soundtrack, Alkaline Trio, Thursday, and many more. “So it doesn’t really count,” bassist Matt Ebert added. Other bands, take note: This is how you say so long and good night. “That was the end of our set, this one’s just for fun,” singer-guitarist Barry Johnson said. Afterward, the band played some other songs, and then closed with a cover of signature My Chem song “Helena,” introduced to rapturous applause from the crowd. Notably not on that list is My Chemical Romance, who were originally set to headline in 2021, but were pushed to 2022 to give us all a reason to hold on through this year.

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Sex Education Recap: It’s Never Just a Line

But it does feel alarmingly quick, and it promises that the worst of Hope’s machinations are still to come. Adam, of course, is too self-conscious to voice his desires, so all he can sputter out is “This isn’t what I want.” This time, Otis plays listener as Adam drops by his house and explains his key, character-defining mental process: “I don’t know how to say what I’m thinking. And really, that’s how Hope reads so far: like a younger, cooler Umbridge, a secondary-school fascist who hides her insidious conservatism beneath youth, charisma, and a principled belief in academic rigor. But I also think that it’s good for you to try different types of relationships.”

Jean has been exploring a new kind of relationship herself: She and Jakob are planning to co-parent without being together romantically. The lockers are painted gray. In a way, it’s another contrived near-miss for the central will-they, won’t-they, whose drama bogged down season two a bit. People are just looking at me, waiting for me to say something, so … so I don’t say anything at all. It’s all the more deliciously ironic, of course, because Otis starts thinking about what he really wants out of his relationships only when Maeve tells him, “Casual doesn’t seem like you.” Coming to his mom, Otis asks, “Do you think I’m a casual-relationships kinda guy?” She immediately responds with the best answer a mom could give: “I think you’re the sort of person who wants meaningful connection. Early in the episode, Rahim warns his classmates, “This line is not about unity. Groff (who will be Michael from now on) initially ignores Mr. • It’s nice to see Maeve’s sister, Elsie, in good hands with her friendly new foster mom, but it’s increasingly hard to watch Maeve’s mom totally reject any peacemaking attempt. At the visit this episode, she tells Maeve nobody wants her there. It’s about control. It’s not surprising, at the end of “Episode Two,” that Hope institutes a new school-uniform policy. An endless yellow line suddenly divides every hallway and staircase into halves to encourage single-file processions and general order in the halls. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Meanwhile, Maeve has her first kiss with Isaac, followed immediately by his confession about deleting Otis’s voice-mail in the season-two finale. Sex Education
Episode 2

Season 3

Episode 2

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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When it comes to Hope Haddon’s vision for Moordale, appearance is key. It opens the door for a big inevitable Otis-Maeve romantic union, but of course, the timing still isn’t right: Otis and Ruby get official just as Maeve learns the truth. Early on, Hope asks Maeve to remove her nose ring because she wouldn’t wear it at a top law firm and school is supposed to prepare you for the real world. But Adam has always had the most difficulty in expressing himself, a trait that gets further explored here when Eric and Adam agree to have sex for the first time. His improvement in communication even extends to approaching Miss Sands the next day, facing away while he asks for her help to improve his academics. So when Adam returns to see Eric, he takes Otis’s advice and requests that they face away from each other while he speaks his truth: “I want you to put your dick in me. • Mr. Thankfully, that idea gets thrown out the window almost immediately when the two play a game of “I See You” for therapy homework and end up having sex. Tags: (And who can blame them for being unable to resist after staring each other in the eyes for ten seconds?) In bed afterward, Jakob suggests they get back together and form a real family. I just don’t know how to say the thing that I want to say. The kids of Sex Education, as mature as many of them may be sexual, are still figuring themselves out and thinking of ways they can express their feelings and wants while being comfortable and true to themselves. She goes full Professor Umbridge, in other words. That’s how I would like to do it.” It’s a huge moment of growth for Adam, somebody who would have been revolted by the idea of saying those words not long ago. But it’s satisfying to see Otis continue to stick up for himself, and the story ends with a surprising development: Otis and Ruby begin officially dating. To Hope, Moordale has an image problem, so a total redesign makes sense. How can you expect students to learn when there’s no law, no rules governing the congested halls? The issue is that both Eric and Adam imagine themselves as bottoms; Eric automatically assumes Adam would top, and it doesn’t even occur to him that he would want something different. But after overhearing Peter talk to his wife about kicking him out soon, Michael lies and says he found a flat — then shows up on Mr. We’re going to be into tiny, little boxes. Much later, she actually demands Maeve hand it over. It’s a moving conversation and one that could never have happened for either of them two seasons ago. It’s a bit of a clichéed story. Jackson reluctantly agrees to volunteer with Viv to paint over the Wall of Cock, but it starts to feel as if they’re censoring something authentic once he’s there. Hendricks’s suggestion that they hang out. The turn is foreshadowed by this episode’s focus on costume design and self-expression. • Maeve is also considering applying to an international program in the U.S. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. I also love the use of “Sound of da Police,” by KRS-One, over the credits. She wants to create a “calmer environment for learning,” she explains to Jackson, the head boy and thus her most vital tool for administrative PR. Nothing is ever just a line.” He echoes that last statement at the close of the episode, ending on a foreboding note. When Jean tells Otis she wants Jakob and Ola to move in, Otis considers for a moment and tells her he’s fine with it. Hendricks has his swing band opening their assembly rehearsal with the lyric “Suckin’ on my titties like you wanted me,” and one of the most respected pieces of art on campus is called the Wall of Cock. People think I’m scary or stupid.” He didn’t grow up in a “naked family,” he says. Fashion has been a huge part of that, and it should be fascinating to see how a uniform mandate could make self-expression even more difficult — or whether some kids will be able to assert themselves more forcefully than ever. Cal, the nonbinary student Jackson ran into in the hall and mistook for a woman, suggests he push back against Hope’s wishes, but when he tries, all she does is replace him with Viv, the fangirl who researched Hope and knows this would look great on her CV. All the words are there in my head. Ruby wants Otis to look worthy of being with her, and he obliges until he realizes the clothes aren’t him so he changes back into a classic striped orange T-shirt. I’d like to see what a real relationship between them looks like with each of them wearing the clothes that make them feel the most themselves. Ruby gives Otis a makeover so he’ll fit in during their lunches: neatly coiffed hair, some flashy shirts and sweaters courtesy of a very reluctant Rahim, and no more dirtstache. No wonder so few students take their studies seriously when Mr. The first scene of “Episode Two” features Adam trying on eye makeup and making tentative steps toward Eric’s ideal of freedom in his self-expression. Eric has often been the most honest and open character on the show when it comes to voicing his passions, and that applies to the bright, loud colors and bold designs of his clothes. Email

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• Of course, the song the swing band plays is “Fuck the Pain Away,” by Peaches. Hendricks’s doorstep, asking to stay with him. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. • Aimee still isn’t ready to be intimate with Steve, and Maeve helps her decide to get professional help from Jean. called Gifted & Talented. Signs prohibit smoking, gum chewing, running, fighting, piercings, swearing, bullying, and colorful hair dye. But this time, it doesn’t bother me much because I like Otis and Ruby together. But the more complicated fashion drama is happening within Ruby’s snobby group of friends, who have strict rules about which colors to wear on which days. That should make for some great scenes.

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A Streaming Guide to This Year’s Emmy-Nominated Shows

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On Amazon Prime Video

The BoysSure, Marvel Studios has its big-budget superhero television shows, but if violent, shit-talking, asshole superheroes are more your speed, Amazon has you covered. And if you don’t know why, then see I May Destroy You for yourself. The Flight AttendantKaley Cuoco’s big post–Big Bang Theory show was a corny, fun balm of a series when we were almost all stuck in our homes: the jet-setting, the murder-mystery premise, the coats! (One catch is that Pose’s third and final nominated season is not available on Netflix yet, but you can access it on FXNOW with a cable log-in.)

The Queen’s GambitIf you haven’t watched The Queen’s Gambit already, what were you doing in October 2020? PEN15Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle’s coming-of-age series is a treat, and Erskine and Konkle as teens look way more convincing than Ben Platt in Dear Evan Hansen. Sign up here

On Apple TV+

Ted LassoApple’s word-of-mouth hit still manages to tug on our heartstrings, even with all the [sighs] season two discourse. The UndoingOhhhh, The Undoing really had us under its spell. It also boasts a slew of its actors nominated for comedy-acting categories, including Bowen Yang, Kenan Thompson, and Aidy Bryant. Sign up here

On Netflix

Bo Burnham: InsideHonestly, if you’re like me, you probably already know most of Bo Burnham’s special from TikTok. RatchedDespite its mixed reviews, Ratched, another Ryan Murphy series, managed to nab a nomination for Sophie Okonedo’s chilling guest role as Charlotte Wells. We don’t think so! The Handmaid’s TaleWhile the series grew especially hard to watch in previous seasons, season four of The Handmaid’s Tale, as our TV critic Jen Chaney says, “gets its mojo back.”

MomCongrats to moms everywhere! Williams. HamiltonYou’ve heard of it. Don't have Disney+? Genius: ArethaGenius: Aretha may have been a rocky series, but you just know Cynthia Erivo is going to be phenomenal every time. 2020 was pure chaos magic, but at least we have some shows to forget about it with. HacksJean. Don't have Hulu? (Emily in Paris, huh? The Underground RailroadBarry Jenkins’s miniseries is a triumph, and while it landed a nomination for Outstanding Limited Series, it’s a shame that the Emmys didn’t nominate any of its acting performances. So why not revisit (or watch for the first time) the third season of The Crown, which helped kick up the Diana fever thanks to Emma Corrin’s portrayal of the people’s princess and Josh O’Connor’s turn as Prince Charles, both of which are nominated performances. Sign up here

On Showtime

ShamelessI feel like if you haven’t kept up with Shameless in the past, you won’t feel the need to watch all 11 seasons now, but you know, who am I to tell you what to do? Sorry, Ralph Bohner. HalstonRyan Murphy’s limited series on the American fashion icon didn’t make too big of a splash, but hey, there’s nothing more enticing to an entertainment awards body than a valued actor (in this case, Ewan McGregor) taking on a real-life personality. Sign up here

On Hulu

black-ishIncredibly, regular TV shows are few and far between on this list, but black-ish persevered with three nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series. It was penned by Big Little Lies scribe David E. The MandalorianPedro Pascal showed his face not once, not twice, but many a time this season just to be paid dust by the Emmy voters. Shrill may have ended too soon, but at least the Bryant-led series can end on a good note of recognition. It goes to show how weird the Emmy nominations can get, but also, we won’t complain over Don Cheadle getting an awards nom. Don't have Amazon? Billy Porter won an Emmy for his role as Pray Tell before, and this year, MJ Rodriguez finally got her first nomination. On HBO Max

A Black Lady Sketch ShowGoing head-to-head with Saturday Night Live in Outstanding Variety Sketch Series, Robin Thede’s knockout series A Black Lady Sketch Show is worth the watch. All the Winners of the Creative Arts Emmys

Ted Lasso’s Brendan Hunt Clarifies (a Little of) the Mystery That Is Coach Beard

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Tags: Photo: Marvel

If there’s anyone more invested in chaos magic than Agatha Harkness, it has to be the Television Academy. And yet Cobra Kai managed to sneak in there …) Or how can we forget the fact that Hamilton, the musical that came out six years ago, is up for even more awards … in the Limited Series category? Zoey’s Extraordinary PlaylistIf you’re looking for a wholesome show, or just Bernadette Peters singing Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girl,” then this NBC show would be right up your alley. Don't have Showtime? Don't have HBO Max? I May Destroy YouThe Emmys would be wrong to not give Michaela Coel, the writer-director-actor of I May Destroy You, any praise this year. Still baking bread? Mare of EasttownWith an accent that took the world by storm, Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown was capital-G good. Here’s How. So to help you catch up on some of the shows you may have missed, we put together a guide to all the nominees that are available on the major streaming services you’re likely already paying for. Cobra KaiThis plucky Karate Kid series has had a long journey from a little YouTube Red word-of-mouth show to being picked up by Netflix — and boom, now Emmy recognition! The Flight Attendant is controlled chaos and a perfect for a binge. BridgertonThe Emmys burned for Shonda Rhimes and company’s Netflix series, and more notably Regé-Jean Page, who earned an Outstanding Drama Actor nom. Don't have Peacock? Sign up here

On Disney+

The Falcon and the Winter SoldierCongrats to Don Cheadle for getting a nomination for a literal two-minute cameo. Saturday Night LiveSNL is once again nominated for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series (there are literally only two nominees, the other being A Black Lady Sketch Show). The CrownPrincess Diana season is upon us, people!! Plus, you’ve got Evan Peters in probably his best role yet as Colin Zabel. Emily in ParisYou’d think the Emmys would want to stay out of the Golden Globes drama Emily in Paris was semi-inadvertently a part of, but no, like Marie Kondo, the Emmys love mess, giving it a nod in the Outstanding Comedy Series category. Maybe Brett Goldstein will become the first CGI actor to win Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. Don't have Netflix? It’s too bad he won’t be coming back for season two, but at least season one is available to view as much as you want. How could it not? But if you’re looking to watch Inside in its entirety, especially after its Creative Art Emmy wins, Netflix is the place to go. ShrillAidy Bryant is actually nominated for two acting Emmys (see above). Lovecraft CountryMisha Green’s sci-fi series may not be moving forward at HBO for a second season, but it’s got swing-for-the-fences energy and excellent acting from Jonathan Majors, Jurnee Smollett, and the recently passed Michael K. Smart. This Is UsNBC’s big drama is once again up for some awards. And it seemed to tug on the Emmys’ heartstrings, too: The comedy-acting nominee slots are full of Ted Lasso players. Kelley, directed by The Night Manager’s Susanne Bier, and boasted a stellar cast with Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, and Donald Sutherland. But while Pascal has no nominations, the Emmys are still obsessed with the Star Wars series: The Mandalorian is tied with The Crown for the most awarded show of the night. There’s talk of a second season, but Mare as a limited series is really such a gem on its own. [For legal reasons, the last line is A JOKE … or is it?]

Don't have Apple TV+? The Kominsky MethodEvery year I am reminded of The Kominsky Method because of the Emmys, and every year I don’t watch it, but if you’re in the mood to, you now know where to find it. PoseExploring the ballroom culture of the ’80s and ’90s, Pose has always been as heart-wrenching as it is completely wonderful if not mostly for its cast, which made history by casting several trans actors as leads. The point is: 2020 to 2021 gave us a whole lot of television, too much for even the most committed TV viewer to get through. Sign up here

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The 2021 Emmys Will Actually Be Easy to Stream. The Outstanding Comedy Series lineup alone makes our head spin. Perry MasonDoes any other show on this list have Matthew Rhys getting humped off a bed? WandaVisionMiss WandaVision came into the competition and nabbed 23 nominations. No Mythic Quest? Just kidding, just a congrats to Emmy-nominated Allison Janney. In TreatmentGive Uzo Aduba many, many awards. Sign up here

On Peacock

KenanNot only is Kenan Thompson nominated for Saturday Night Live, he’s also nominated for his NBC show Kenan, a fictional series where Thompson plays a single dad with a popular talk show. Watch it if you like inflicting emotional damage upon yourself.

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Sex Education Season-Premiere Recap: I Wanna Change

• Hope makes her big debut by coming onstage to “Land of a Thousand Dances” by Wilson Pickett. Otis isn’t the only Milburn keeping a secret: His mother, Jean, still hasn’t told Jakob she’s pregnant with his baby. He pulls off the admirable task of making Mr. Emma Mackey’s line delivery is painful as she explains their status to Aimee: “We’re not fighting. Email

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Terms of Service apply. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about Hope as this season goes on, but for now, I’ll just say Jemima Kirke is brilliant casting. In past seasons of Sex Education, episodes have been loosely structured around sex cases. After some advice from the Sex King that does more harm than good, Dex worries the size of his penis is the problem, which is something he’ll never be able to solve. Hit me up on Twitter or dive into the comments if you have any thoughts on the show you’d like to share. • Not much Viv this episode, but her friendship with Jackson seems to be going strong, as is her long-distance relationship with a boy named Eugene with whom she’s hoping to unite at Oxford. And Otis has kept himself busy over the summer, hooking up with popular girl Ruby in secret because she’s embarrassed by him. Otis rats out the Sex King to Hope, not because of any real animosity or jealousy, but because it seems the right thing to do. It’s the first bold move from the hip new headmistress Mrs. His situation worsens when he strips to measure himself and gets his clothes taken away, leading to a humiliating naked meltdown in front of the school. The secret gets out when he tells Eric, but by the end of the episode, Ruby has come around — after all, everyone knows now anyway, so they might as well keep seeing each other out in the open. Stuck in the abandoned restroom after taking too many Viagras, he admitted how intensely anxious he was, how much pressure he felt from the scrutiny of his headmaster father and his sexually frustrated girlfriend — and thus, the sex clinic was born. But it doesn’t mean everything’s back to the way it used to be. “They still need help,” Otis insists. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! It’s also the current domain of the Sex King, a moniker adopted by Kyle so he can make money by dispensing sex advice. Tags: • Ruby: “We’re not done. Now, even with the clinic shut down, the building is still a refuge: A secret hook-up spot, a discreet place where an English teacher can smoke, and a place where a locker-room-shy student can change clothes in peace. But now that he’s out and openly dating Eric, he finds it hard not to fall back into old patterns, resorting to violence when another guy at school teases him. The other development with Jackson is that Hope seems to want him as an ally, handing him her proposed “new school values” to look over. But I wanna change.”

In the first episode of Sex Education, Adam unwittingly became Otis’s first patient. Intriguing. • Kyle: “Now everyone knows about you and Ruby; guess I can carry on being the Sex King.” Otis: “It means exactly the opposite of that, Kyle!”

• I’m super-excited to dive into this season! We’re over.” Otis: “‘Over’ and ‘done’ mean the same thing!”

• Jackson has a meet-cute with Cal, a new character played by nonbinary Sudanese-American recording artist Dua Saleh. Just because he’s willing to hold hands with Eric in public doesn’t mean he’s completely fine with all the attention or entirely at peace with himself. How will the students of Moordale cope without the safest space on campus? Adam is used to keeping secrets, too. Luckily, Otis and Maeve are around to give him clothes and the real wisdom he needs: penis size is often irrelevant, female orgasms are often unattainable from penetrative sex alone, and Dex should probably pay more attention to his girlfriend’s clitoris. • Ruby’s contact name on Otis’s phone is “X-Tina,” because the first time they hooked up last summer was at a costume party where she dressed up as early-2000s Christina Aguilera. • Aimee and Steve, who are still taking things slow physically after Aimee’s sexual assault in season two, get a pet goat as a “commitment animal” to bring them closer together. Groff the more likable guy in the room. • Our first beautiful Eric Effiong laugh of the season is when Otis tells him about Ruby and he assumes it’s a joke. The clinic is over now, and the filthy but strangely comforting restroom where it was born is flattened to the ground. It’s the one scene in the episode when Otis and Maeve are really in their element. Isaac seems like the only person who understands Maeve’s issues with her mother, who finally answers Maeve’s repeated calls only to tell her to stop calling. And to Hope, that just won’t do. But by the end of the episode, the Sex King’s reign has ended and the old restrooms are getting torn down. But it’s a relief when he does show up to the hospital for Jean’s latest scan, demonstrating his commitment to being a part of his child’s life. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. Finally spotted driving back and forth in front of his house, she reveals her pregnant belly to him, giving him the option to walk away if he wants to. After the fiascos of the last two years, maybe it’s true that students shouldn’t be the ones dispensing wisdom, especially someone with advice as unhelpful as Kyle’s. We’re just not friends anymore.”

Both of them have been preoccupied with other people, anyway. Still, after some much-needed advice from Ola, Adam tells Eric how he feels: “I don’t like it when I hurt people. All the Good Things and the Bad Things That May Be

• I should mention that the episode begins with this show’s most gloriously raunchy montage yet. But what Otis understands — and what Hope might not — is that eliminating a safe space for students doesn’t make their problems go away. I don’t know why I do it. Haddon (we can call her Hope), a 30-something Moordale alum who wants to get the school “back on track.” In the wake of season two’s “chlamydia outbreak” and racy school musical, Moordale has been branded the “Sex School” by the press. • Speaking of which, Dex using the goat to cover his dick is the most sitcommy moment of the episode, but I laughed harder at his initial anguished cry: “Look away! I just get so angry. I don’t want you to see my dick!”

• I’m curious to see what sort of role Jason Isaacs will play as ex-headmaster Mr. In the first two seasons, it was where Otis and Maeve ran their underground sex-therapy clinic, a place where students from every rung of the popularity ladder could hide out and confess their fears. That continues here: Dex, introduced as Viv’s crush last year, is deeply insecure about his inability to make his girlfriend come. Groff’s rich older brother Peter. Sex Education is one of my favorite TV shows, even when I’m frustrated by it, so it should be really fun to unpack each episode. I’ve had issues with the depiction of Eric and Adam’s relationship in the past — I still find them difficult to root for considering the abusive origin of their relationship — but I appreciate that the show is taking the time to show Adam’s ongoing struggle with his anger realistically. Neither Otis nor Maeve grasps the whole truth about their relationship: Maeve has no idea Otis left her a voicemail confessing his love during last year’s finale, and Otis assumes she heard but wants nothing to do with him. Sex Education
Episode 1

Season 3

Episode 1

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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Since the beginning of Sex Education, Moordale Secondary School’s old restroom block has been a place for secrets.

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R. Kelly Allegedly Threatened Colleague to Support Him: ‘People Come Up Missing’

“I paused for a moment. “And in that moment, I quit.”

Earlier this week, a woman who accused R. “It was all sudden. Mack, then a talent manager, was in Miami to attend events surrounding MTV’s Video Music Awards. “She sang a song for Mr. I was very uncomfortable, that wasn’t my business.”

The next day, Mack was at a McDonald’s with Kelly and members of his entourage. Kelly give [Precious] alcohol?”, and another was “Did I ever see them [having] sex].” Mack didn’t remember whether she circled “yes” or “no” to the questions on the affidavit, but said she did sign it. Mack learned that the suit was “something along the lines of sexual harassment.” They ultimately moved their discussion into a room at Kelly’s home with a pool table. “I just saw her move in closer.”

“That was kind of my cue to leave,” she said. “After that, I proceeded to put the condom on the gentleman and straddled him.” Kelly penetrated Angela. Kelly,” Mack said. They went to Kelly’s home studio at his Olympia Fields, Illinois, property. Kelly Accuser Says She Witnessed Him Sexually Abuse Aaliyah at 13

R. “I had a discussion with him about her talent. Alex said that he also had sexual encounters with Kelly. Precious ended up returning to Chicago and stayed at a hotel near Kelly’s house, Mack said. Angela, who was the tenth accuser to take the stand, said she met Kelly in 1991, when she was about 14 or 15 years old. Kelly and several of his pals were present, as well as some other young females, and they were all joking around in the living room. “For whatever reason, he just started cursing me and ultimately said I need to apologize to the guest,” Mack said, referring to Jane. Mack met Jane — who testified that Kelly first sexually abused her at age 17 — in April 2015. When asked by the judge whether this was near Kelly’s lap, Mack said, “In that area.”

“That was my exit. She and a client were at a restaurant when a man approached them and said, “You look pretty important.” Mack responded that she was a talent agent. “He asked me to climb on top of him,” Angela stated. The accuser said Monday she witnessed this in 1992 or 1993, when Aaliyah would’ve been only 13 or 14 at the time of the alleged sexual abuse. Mack’s then-boss, talent manager Devyne Stephens, wanted to “do something different.” Stephens thought they could get Kelly “off the bench,” performing more frequently than he was. At one point, Kelly purportedly touched one of the other female’s breasts, and placed his mouth on another’s, touching the third female’s genital area. After she signed the paperwork, Arnold took her to the airport. She claimed to have met Aaliyah in 1992, with Kelly telling her the girl was “was the next up-and-coming artist, the next hottest wave out of Detroit.” He introduced Angela to Aaliyah on the artist’s 13th birthday. She did amazing.” Kelly asked the artist to sing another song, and then another. The second male accuser to testify, Alex, said that he met Kelly in 2007, at age 16. Kelly, she said, was on his knees. She said she barely glanced at the questions, but remembered one was “Did I ever see Mr. In July 2015, after his concert at a Connecticut casino, Mack said that she, Kelly’s stylist Kash Howard, and Jane were in Kelly’s dressing room with him. Mack and Kelly started working together again in 2013. Kelly Trial

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Tags: Kelly allegedly threatened a colleague so she would back him during a lawsuit, warning her, “Generally, in these situations, people come up missing,” the woman testified Friday during the fifth week of his Brooklyn federal court trial on racketeering and sex-crimes charges. “I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation,” she alleged. He told me that I need[ed] to come to Chicago,” she said. I asked if I could grab a condom,” she testified, remarking that she was “between 14 and 15” years old at the time. More From This Series

R. Kelly. Kelly in 2019. Mack called Kelly and she and her client traveled to Chicago. “Generally, in these situations, people come up missing,” Kelly allegedly remarked. She got in but didn’t know where they were going. Her client wound up singing with Kelly on his album, and Mack testified that she introduced more of her clients to Kelly over the years. When Angela entered the room, there were “three other young ladies” in there. Kelly’s Lawyer Tries to Discredit Alleged Victim With … Chinese Food

More Gross Details Come Out in Third Week of R. Everything happened so fast. “He told her that we were going to be her background [singers] as well,” Angela said. One was taking off her clothes, and another was removing her shirt. He started berating her for spoiling his stylist’s surprise birthday party, even pounding the table. Angela claimed she hung out with Kelly “every day for quite a few years.” They had multiple sexual encounters when she was a minor, she alleged. There was an affidavit on the table, which they asked her to sign. “Yes,” Mack said. Mack began working with Kelly through her agency, but Kelly quickly hired Mack to be his executive assistant. Angela, who was an aspiring singer at the time, claimed that she left high school after Kelly told her that she could either attend school or perform. Angela said that she and another young female were goofing around. “I took it as a threat,” Mack testified. I was a little startled.” But Angela ultimately decided to do “as he asked me to do.”

“The defendant asked me to straddle him and to ride him. Alex said his first sexual encounter with Kelly took place when Alex was 20 years old. The colleague, Cheryl Mack, said that she met Kelly in 2005. Photo: r

R. She saw Jane sidle up to Kelly, who was reclining on an ottoman. Louis was the first male accuser to publicly allege that Kelly sexually abused him; he claims this abuse started at age 17. One after one, the young ladies would eventually join Kelly. Alex said that a then-friend, Louis, introduced him to Kelly. One of those clients was Precious, an R&B singer from Atlanta. “Did you speak to the defendant about why Precious had left?” prosecutors asked. Prosecutors asked Mack whether Precious stopped working for Kelly and whether it was an “abrupt” split. One of Kelly’s associates paid for their trip. Angela cracked open the door. “He explained to me that Precious had filed a lawsuit and it was right around him going to the World Cup, [that] it was important, and told me I need to pick a team.” Kelly performed at the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, which puts his interactions with Precious sometime between her initial work with him in 2009 and around 2010. Kelly, she said, enjoyed practical jokes. Kelly illegally wed Aaliyah when she was just 15, and he was 27, according to trial testimony. “Let me help you,” Kelly told them. It appeared that he had his head in between her legs and was giving her oral sex. ‘She [is] talented, would you be interested in meeting her?’ He agreed.” Mack, Precious, and the teen’s mom traveled from Atlanta to Chicago, as Kelly had agreed to let them use one of the studios at his Olympia Fields home. After some time, Kelly’s former studio manager, Tom Arnold, directed Mack to a car. “It appeared that he had his head in between her legs and was giving her oral sex.” Aaliyah was sitting upright on a seat. So Angela and the other female decided to toss some water on him. Tiffany, Angela’s then-friend, brought her to a party at Kelly’s apartment in Chicago. Mack introduced Precious to Kelly in 2009, when she was 17 years old. “He told her that we were going to be her street vibe and that we were going to be there to be her friends as well.”

Angela alleged that she saw Kelly sexually abuse Aaliyah on his tour bus. She told the man that her client (age not known) could sing, and the man said: “I want to introduce you to someone.”

He eventually led them to the back of the restaurant. Arnold drove her to the office of Kelly’s then-attorney, Ed Jensen. He told me that she was trying to file a lawsuit and I needed to pick a team. At some point, Kelly went into another room. “Everything happened so fast. I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation. Kelly of sexual abuse as an underage teenager claimed that she saw him performing oral sex on Aaliyah when the singer was a young teen. She was a backup dancer on one of Kelly’s tours sometime around 1992 or 1993. He claimed that Kelly pressured him into unwanted sexual activity, such as encounters with women while the R&B singer watched. Mack said she coordinated Kelly’s travel and that of his entourage, including the singer’s girlfriends. Before Angela left Kelly’s apartment, he invited her and Tiffany back. Kelly claimed he didn’t have a condom; Angela told him that she had one. This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly. They went to the back of his tour bus, to the bedroom. Aaliyah was born on January 16, 1979. “That was when he introduced my artist to Mr. Mack said she saw Jane move her head down. He told me that she was trying to file a lawsuit and I needed to pick a team.”

Mack traveled to Kelly’s Olympia Fields home. Jane left Kelly in fall of 2019. She claimed to have stopped working for him in the mid-1990s. “I closed the door abruptly and pushed the girl behind me away from the door.” Angela stated that she did not discuss this with Kelly. He gave Mack his phone number and told her “just keep trying until I answer.”

“He said she was amazing,” Mack recalled.

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Katie Kitamura, Lauren Groff on National Book Award for Fiction Longlist

The longlisted fiction authors join writers recognized on the Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature longlists. Also on the list? The finalists in all categories will be announced on October 5; below, find the full fiction longlist. Du BoisRobert Jones Jr., The ProphetsKatie Kitamura, IntimaciesElizabeth McCracken, The Souvenir Museum: StoriesJason Mott, Hell of a BookRichard Powers, Bewilderment

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The Best Books of the Year (So Far)

Matrix and 9 Other Reads I Can’t Get Out of My Head

Tags: Anthony Doerr, Cloud Cuckoo LandLauren Groff, MatrixJakob Guanzon, AbundanceLaird Hunt, ZorrieHonorée Fanonne Jeffers, The Love Songs of W.E.B. Katie Kitamura, whose novel Intimacies, following a Hague interpreter, is also one of Vulture’s favorites of the year. And three debut novels: Jakob Guanzon’s Abundance, Robert Jones Jr.’s The Prophets, and Honorée Fanonne Jeffers’s The Love Songs of W.E.B. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Publishers

The National Book Foundation has been rolling out longlists for the National Book Awards all week, culminating in today’s for fiction. So time to rearrange your to-read pile and get on those library hold lists before everyone else! This year’s list (announced by The New Yorker) features many returners: from previous winner Richard Powers for Bewilderment, the follow-up to his Pulitzer winner, The Overstory, to previous finalists Lauren Groff (for her nunnery novel, Matrix), Elizabeth McCracken (for her playful collection The Souvenir Museum), and Anthony Doerr (for his All the Light We Cannot See follow-up, Cloud Cuckoo Land). Du Bois.

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The Eyes of Tammy Faye Is All Eyelashes, No Teeth

Bakker — née LaValley, and later Messner — did cry a lot on camera, so she was adamant about wearing waterproof mascara. She was a straight, cis woman who performed femininity with an intensity more often found in drag. Instead, it treats her as a collection of elements that allow for an outsize performance — and it gets a hell of one from Jessica Chastain. (“Serving God don’t feel like it should be a money-making opportunity!”) But Tammy Faye herself simply and blithely goes along for the ride. But she somehow retained an aura of blamelessness even as everything collapsed in fraud indictments and allegations of sexual assault in 1987, as though her gaudy guilelessness shielded her from any taint of complicity. Instead, the movie tries to give Bakker a half-hearted “You’re Wrong About” treatment, as though it weren’t just reiterating what has long been her main narrative — that she was ridiculous but also sincere, unlike the cynics she was surrounded by, who used religion for personal gain or political power. Bakker rose to fame during a time that was pivotal to our current sense of Evangelical Christianity as a cultural designation as much as, if not more than, a religious one. Tammy Faye’s dour mother, played by Cherry Jones, scolds her daughter for being so oblivious to the opportunism of what she and her husband are doing. But those elements get pushed to the background in favor of Tammy Faye’s pill habit and her growing isolation from Jim, whose side she nevertheless stays by through blame, scandal, confessions of infidelity, and some suspiciously enthusiastic grappling with his assistant, Richard Fletcher (Louis Cancelmi). But while the film is aware of that, it’s not really interested in doing more than shaking its head at the hypocrisy. But she’s left relying only on these exterior-facing bits of business, because The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which was written by Abe Sylvia, is unable to decide if it wants to understand its subject or make fun of her, and ends up never really committing to either. The most intriguing moments in The Eyes of Tammy Faye are the ones that suggest its title character is far more canny than her wide-eyed act makes her appear — like when she Lady Macbeths Jim past his instinct to genuflect at the feet of Pat Robertson (Gabriel Olds) and Jerry Falwell (Vincent D’Onofrio), or when she secures their company credit from a developer with a combination of faith-based fervor and flirtation. There’s a convoluted doublethink necessary to be a woman demanding power and a degree of liberty while working on behalf of a religious framework that doesn’t support either. But the movie doesn’t know how to square the idea of Tammy Faye as savvy and self-aware with Tammy Faye as a ditzy innocent, and Chastain plays both without bringing them together into a coherent sense of character. She does a lot of singing and crying, thickens her vowels into a Minnesota accent, dresses in an increasingly outrageous array of ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s outfits, and dabbles in puppetry. She helped her first husband, the televangelist Jim Bakker, build an empire that ruthlessly melded faith with commerce. She favored big hair and heavy makeup that included the spider-leg eyelashes that were her signature, though the lingering image of mascara-blackened tears streaming down her face probably owes more to SCTV and SNL than to her own appearances. Well, most of the time. Photo: Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

Tammy Faye Bakker was a camp icon for reasons that are immediately clear when watching any footage of her at work. The Eyes of Tammy Faye certainly seems aware of that, with D’Onofrio’s glowering Falwell talking about his battles with the “liberal agenda” and the support he was able to throw behind Ronald Reagan. When she spoke, it was with a high chirrup that evoked Betty Boop, and when she sang, she gestured emphatically as if trying to transmit her song by way of her whole body instead of just her voice. Tags: The Eyes of Tammy Faye may have fake eyelashes in abundance, but it has no teeth. She also defied fundamentalist church patriarchy by embracing glamour, talking about sex, and supporting LGBT rights, famously interviewing activist and pastor Steve Pieters about his AIDS diagnosis on air. At the same time, the film skims over what Tammy Faye really thought about the prosperity gospel that Jim Bakker (a bleating Andrew Garfield) espoused from early on, about his certainty that God wanted them to have nice things and how that led to their mansion by the lake and dreams of opening a theme park. Bakker may have been what Susan Sontag called naïve camp, but The Eyes of Tammy Faye is definitely deliberate camp, which, as Sontag put it, is “usually less satisfying.” The film, which was directed by Michael Showalter and adapted from a 2000 documentary of the same name, might be more satisfying if it actually had a sense of why Tammy Faye Bakker is a good subject.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine Series-Finale Recap: The Perfect Good-bye

Couldn’t he even mention feeling defeated by the flaws of policing in the modern era? “It’s late and we have to work tomorrow.” Life will go on at the 99th precinct. Overtime Shift

• If there were to be a Frasier-esque spinoff following another character from Brooklyn Nine-Nine, who should it be? A cute scene unfolds about their growth over the years, and Jake reveals that his gift for his BFF was a magazine feature about how they’re the fanciest best friends! Even Hitchcock and Scully get an emotional hug. A necklace with a mini-binder with the names Amy, Jake, and Mac. Dan Goor, co-creator of Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The journey to find “the Grand Champion of the 9-9” unfolds with a series of double crosses and cameos from the show’s history. After Terry “Kool-Aid Mans” out of the storage unit, they return to the precinct to find Hitchcock! On FaceTime all season, it is nice to see him back, even if it means Jake had to put the heist crown on his “sweaty butthead.”

There are a few nice final beats. Gina stole diamonds from the evidence locker. Terry and Boyle will stay in the precinct and rely on each other. Email

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Terms of Service apply. And as this show has so often done, it’s bound with just enough emotion to land. Jake and Amy have long been among the best modern-sitcom couples, so it’s nice to see them end on a happy note. “The Last Day” contains so many twists and turns in its heist that it’s almost impossible to recap it adequately. Update: An earlier version of this recap switched the Raymond Holt and Terry Jeffords characters in describing two scenes. My vote goes to Rosa. It’s really about two competing agendas to craft the perfect good-bye. Amy’s gift? He wants to be there in a way that his father never was for him. The remarkable eight-season, two-network run of Brooklyn Nine-Nine came to a close last night with the hour-long “The Last Day,” an episode that genuinely gives fans what they want in a series finale. He locks them in storage and takes it back to the 9-9. Is it part of the plan? There are a series of flashbacks and betrayals related to the truck, including magnet suits and a reference to the movie Salt. Make Pimento a regular. No, the choice is portrayed as Jake’s dream job of being a father, and Andy Samberg sells it. The heist episodes are fan favorites because of their breakneck pace, and it’s impressive that the writers were able to stretch that concept for a two-parter without breaking it. He plays along with Amy for the heist but totally still wants to marry her. I’d watch. Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a show about relationships more than anything else, as Jake Peralta found a partner in Amy, a best friend in Boyle, and a father figure in Holt. And it peppers this final adventure with a ton of nods to the history of the show, some of them in the blatant form of returning guest stars and some more as Easter eggs for the hard-core fans. I’ll miss it. The janitor? It’s an episode that allows its performers to shine with clever, funny, and incredibly fast-paced performances. • With all the cameos, one has to wonder if Dean Winters (the Vulture) and Ken Marino (CJ) were just too busy to make it. He’s now calling himself Jerry, and for some reason the way Armisen chooses to pronounce Honolulu is hysterical. It returns to the most beloved structure of this sitcom: the heist! Every other scene involves a betrayal, a surprise, a flashback, etc. He has a few nice beats here with Melissa Fumero. There’s a cute moment between the two as Rosa says “I love you.” It’s nice that the writers took this friendship as seriously over the years as the one between Jake and Charles. Heist! It’s not the best use of Mantzoukas, still one of the funniest character actors around. He’s into embroidery now, but also still into eating people. Nine-nine! How very Amy. Thanks for reading this season! It’s Caleb, the cannibal that Jake befriended in the two-part season-five premiere, played by SNL vet Tim Meadows. (One has to wonder if the line about Jake reaching out to Willis’s people and getting back that he “would not engage with something like that” could be a peek behind the scenes.) The first familiar face comes as the gang follows a series of clues left by Terry, who has tried to get out of this year’s heist by interviewing for Holt’s job. The pandemic was tough on those in the nursing-home-seduction industry. • Scully not realizing his first name is Norm is a funny beat. The action here also brings in Winston Story’s Bill Hummertrout, a man who looks enough like Charles Boyle but has kind of fallen apart over the years. The final scene reveals Terry is the captain, and everyone is coming back for another round! There’s also an even deeper cut when they get back to the station to find a janitor erasing Terry’s next clue from the lineup wall. How very Boyle. He also gets the wonderfully funny line “We were both seduced by the city of Tampa.”

Speaking of funny, Fred Armisen returns for one of the episode’s best cameos as Mlepnos, who appeared in both the pilot and the episode with Jake and Amy’s wedding in which he played the violin. There’s a fun little callback here when Jake got suspects in a lineup to sing Backstreet Boys, which happened in the cold open for “DFW” from season five. After finally seeing Holt’s tramp stamp — a terrifying hybrid of Kevin’s head and Cheddar’s body — the second big cameo drops in the form of the one and only Gina Linetti. It has been corrected. • Speaking of famous Norms, I wonder if the bit at the very end, in which Jake tries to turn off the light on an active precinct, isn’t a reference to the end of Cheers, when Sam Malone turned off the lights at the famous bar. The great Chelsea Peretti returns for the final heist, grabbing the prize and jumping into her armored truck. VULTURE NEWSLETTER
Keep up with all the drama of your favorite shows! Instead of the Brooklyn Bridge, it looks like the heist will end at a storage facility. A disaster with a lot of fireworks and a scam that almost makes Jake believe he was in a coma for seven years leads to a cameo by Kyle Bornheimer’s Teddy Ramos, who has been on the show since the first season as Amy’s ex. Sadly, no Bruce Willis. Everyone knows Holt is leaving the 9-9, but Jake reveals to Amy that he’s using the heist to craft his own farewell to his best friends. The action of the heist is emotionally derailed when Charles finds Jake’s letter of resignation. The best part? It helps that they have finality to ground it. He and Rosa speed off together, but it is all part of Amy’s plan to get a dummy prize to Rosa. It’s really a very well-constructed hour of television, always moving with a momentum that a lot of this season lacked. Jake grew up throughout the series, and Andre Braugher nails the emotion of Holt telling him that he would be proud if Jake were his son. It’s a little interesting that the writers don’t allow even a hint of the show’s real-world issues this season has played with to impact Jake’s decision. Amy just wants Rosa to be happy, even if that means Rosa doesn’t want to settle down. He runs off, but Jake finds him where they first admitted they were best friends. The genuine smile between them feels like Braugher and Samberg are cherishing their impressive chemistry over the years. Tags: Jake says near the end that “good-byes are inherently sad,” but the team behind this show found a way to bring the rocky final season to a close with enough joy and humor to send it off with the proper final case. The action moves on to what has to qualify as a Wuntch cameo, as she’s dead and Holt maintains the celebratory balloon arc over her grave. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The Last Day

Season 8

Episodes 9 and 10

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

****

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Photo: John P. Bill has the medal! • The final season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine was rocky, but it was worth the show coming back to say good-bye for this episode alone, a reminder of how funny and quick this comedy was at its best. Fleenor/NBC

It’s over! The heist keeps moving to the arrival of a cameo by the incredible Jason Mantzoukas as everyone’s crazy cop, Pimento. Terms & Privacy Notice
By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice and to receive email correspondence from us. As fans have suspected, he is resigning to be a stay-at-home dad to Mac. Finally, it comes back to Holt and Jake, who get a great final scene. Call it Diaz. In fact, this wasn’t the last heist! They can’t let Hitchcock be the champion! As Holt seems to be taking the victory lap, it’s revealed that Rosa didn’t run off with Pimento after all. But it doesn’t matter!

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The Big-Screen Redemption of Tammy Faye

Because it is based on true events, there is an expectation that it will be an accurate story. Parishioners gather around where she lies on the floor, praising the Lord for her presence. I did not grow up watching the Bakkers’ The PTL Club, partly because it was before my time and because Tammy Faye was, for Christians like my parents, both an object of derision and an object lesson: The love of money corrupts absolutely and indicates deeper heresies. Because it is based on true events, there is an expectation that it will be an accurate story. But I’ve come a long way from my time on the church puppet team, and as I once reevaluated my fundamentalism, maybe I could reevaluate Tammy. The girlboss eventually lost her shine, if indeed she ever possessed it. The search for purity is another fundamentalist impulse. God can love Tammy, but can we? The Eyes of Tammy Faye begins with a story I cannot with absolute certainty say is based on fact but is definitely a version of events that real-life Tammy, born in 1942, endorsed: She is a girl, falling to the ground and speaking in tongues after defying her mother’s prohibition on attending church. Jim hid the worst of his misdeeds from her, it suggests, and Tammy didn’t ask many questions. I was raised a Christian fundamentalist with a love of straight lines and black-or-white answers. Encounters like these are lightly fictionalized, but the sentiment is true to life: Tammy was generally in the corner of outcasts, as she made clear in her books and public appearances. “I knew something was taking place, but I didn’t feel in control of the situation,” she said of the encounter in 1987. These days, audiences might be less familiar with Tammy or, if they know her at all, know only her face. Based on a 2000 documentary narrated by RuPaul, the film at times picks up on an earlier attempt to retrofit her with today’s baggage — to make her into a televangelist girlboss, maybe even a gay-friendly icon. Onscreen, the Bakkers’ newfound fame is threatened by Tammy’s naïveté. She became a national punch line for her elaborate makeup and gaudy clothes and high-pitched voice. At worst, Tammy was Jim’s equal partner in all things and actively helped him rob the very audience she craved. Evidence suggests he’s guilty of much worse, an offense the film downplays. But in the process of humanizing Tammy, the film sanctifies her. In one scene, Tammy happens upon John Wesley Fletcher, a Bakker aide, addressing an older woman who answers phones for The PTL Club. The Bakker story was headline news in the ’80s and early ’90s. But we’re here because Tammy, and her first husband, fell dramatically from grace. Photo: Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures

So far, so sympathetic. Tags: Jim, meanwhile, is back on TV, the same old snake-oil salesman. “The lies had somehow become truth in people’s minds,” she complained. Fundamentalists love to find fault, at least in other people. Heritage USA was inseparable from the Bakker ministry, the site both of their claimed good works and their hubris. Even so, the film might have concocted a more interesting and vexing Tammy had it included certain facts it omitted from the narrative. The two parted company: Tammy remarried to Roe Messner, a property developer depicted in the film; wrote books; and refashioned herself before her death in 2007. Tammy was something of both, in her way. The public’s reaction to her — the jokes about her on late-night TV, the T-shirts bearing her made-up face — feel of the moment too. It’s designed to sting two ways; Tammy should feel bad for speaking up, and Jim should feel bad for allowing her to stray. There was a real woman underneath the makeup, it reminds us, and she got a few things right. Today, we’re used to icons who fail us. Despite her devotion, Tammy and her famously made-up face preferred no such proper role. That tendency can make a person a poor critic. And perhaps the way she loved other things — beautiful things and the television cameras and, for decades, one weak-willed man who went to prison for defrauding his disciples of millions of dollars. To be a woman in public is to invite commentary, much of it harsh. When Falwell tells Jim that his wife is a firecracker, it’s not a compliment. A woman kept calling, she said. With a new platform, she is audacious and piteous at equal turns. Photo: Lou Krasky/AP/Shutterstock

Tammy Faye Messner never escaped her first husband. Yet Tammy’s infallibility is what feels most relevant of all. Related

Who Is Netflix’s Hillbilly Elegy For? Bakker says the sex was consensual, the same story that Bakker the character tells Tammy in the film. He hawks supplements and buckets of “survival food” for preppers, and in June, he and his new church had to pay $165,000 to settle a lawsuit over his claims that a product called “Silver Solution” could cure COVID. For example, the real Tammy did broadcast an interview with Steve Pieters, a man living with HIV/AIDS in the mid-’80s, a moment the film reenacts at length. Whereas I worshipped the Lord of scrubbed floorboards and modest apparel, Tammy preferred plush carpets and mink furs. Jessica Chastain plays the famously made-up televangelist in The Eyes of Tammy Faye, a movie that reconsiders what lay beneath all the sin and paint. It’s an experience Chastain’s Tammy tries to re-create over and over again as an adult. To borrow from Scripture, none is righteous; no, not one. It takes the example of another celebrity pastor, Mark Driscoll, who is prone to anonymous message-board rants about our “pussified nation” and about how “men are supposed to rule on Christ’s behalf.” There are major differences, many of them theological, between Driscoll and the Bakkers, but the environment in which the Bakkers moved prefigures more recent debates over the proper role of women in the Christian church. At best, Tammy relished her wealth without questioning its origins. In the film, and in life, Tammy is the force propelling Jim to greater and greater heights. While Tammy bought furs, her husband Jim got up to some financial high jinks — and worse. Tammy’s real willingness to buck the fanatics in her orbit makes her a timely figure. Beginning in the 1960s with puppets — and yes, I did shiver a bit here with recognition — Tammy’s creative ideas provide a spark that her husband and co-minister, Jim Bakker, played by Andrew Garfield, desperately needs. To use religious parlance, these other loves proved to be stumbling blocks — obstacles on the path to a godly life, if not to salvation itself. Before long, they graduate from the traveling-church circuit to a bona fide television show on Pat Robertson’s network, the cinematic chronology hewing closely to real life. Greed might not be Jim Bakker’s greatest sin. So I will step outside my childhood long enough to observe that the film sets out to accomplish a series of difficult things by dramatizing a work of nonfiction and telling a story narrowly through the perspective of one character. What’s good for the girlboss is rarely good for anyone else. Tammy was more than a caricature, but that doesn’t mean she was a heroine. The Federal Communications Commission found in the early 1980s that money Jim had raised to fund overseas missions had instead gone to fund construction projects at Heritage USA, the couple’s residential compound and theme park. Even in her abasement, Tammy Faye could inspire donations. A recent Christianity Today podcast, The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill, drives home the extent to which popular ministers built, and still build, empires on the backs of women. But because it is told literally through Tammy, an unreliable narrator, it’s not quite the truth either. The film wavers between the two possibilities. A film doesn’t have to be one thing or the other, truth or fiction. The PTL Club’s on-air receptionists call her “the shrieker.” In real life, the woman had a name, which the film restores to her right before the credits roll. But because it is told literally through Tammy, an unreliable narrator, it’s not quite the truth either. Andrew Garfield as Jim Bakker, and Jessica Chastain as Tammy Faye. She believed in his vision and helped him sell it to the end. After she cheats on him with a hunky born-again music producer, and is forced to apologize on TV to their club’s millions of “partners,” the phones almost immediately begin to blare. She seeks the approval of her forbidding mother, played in the film by Cherry Jones, and finds its substitute in her television audiences. When they start The PTL Club in 1974, she works alongside her husband as an equal partner in their wildly successful television ministry. She matures into a well-meaning naïf, a bubbly, burgeoning celebrity whose natural charisma draws people in and lifts up her husband’s preaching career. In 1989, Jim was convicted of 24 counts of fraud and conspiracy. She dreams up new ministries while she fears the loss of her husband’s affections. To them, Tammy is a book with blank pages to be filled, worthy of attention because she is now the subject of a major film. The film wants us to try. As the New York Times reported at the time, he “bilked followers of his PTL Ministry out of $158 million by offering promises of lifetime vacations he could not provide” and “diverted about $3.7 million to support an opulent lifestyle that ranged from oddities like an air-conditioned dog house to luxuries like a fleet of Mercedeses and Rolls-Royces.”

His imprisonment meant the end — of The PTL Club, of the big houses, and, eventually, of their marriage. The Devil can recite Scripture as well as anybody, but he’s still the Devil. Tammy, for her part, seemed to accept Bakker’s word on the alleged assault and on other matters. I did not grow up watching the Bakkers’ The PTL Club because Tammy Faye was, for Christians like me, both an object of derision and an object lesson. Perhaps my own religious background cramps my view here. By the time of her death, in 2007, she was still best known for her marriage to disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker and for her own role in the South Carolina–based ministry they built up — literally in the form of a Christian theme park spanning 2,900 acres — and then destroyed with the force of their own greed. Though Tammy grew up in a religious household, she’s a child of divorce, a great shame to her mother and to her mother’s congregation. The sexism Tammy Faye faced was real too — and endemic to the modern Christian-right milieu in which she moved. Tammy Faye’s God was not my God. In her 2003 book, I Will Survive … And You Will, Too, she refers to her ex-husband’s “one-night stand,” though Hahn’s story was by then well-known. During a party at Robertson’s mansion, she drags a chair over to the men’s table and challenges Jerry Falwell — a brimstone Baptist, in contrast to the Pentecostalism of Robertson and the Bakkers — on his homophobia. Those who remember Tammy’s public story, however, will spend much of the film waiting to find out exactly how it plans to complicate its heroine. The Justice Department declined to prosecute, but the hammer would eventually fall. Was there anything else to Tammy Faye underneath the sin and paint? They make Tammy Faye a difficult subject for a redemption narrative, which is largely what The Eyes of Tammy Faye sets out to be. But through sheer belief — in God’s love and her own salvation — she’s able to convince the hostile group that she has in fact been blessed. According to The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain, the former television star just wanted to love people the way she believed God loved her. She was Jessica Hahn, and according to her, Fletcher and Bakker sexually assaulted her, then paid her with The PTL Club’s money to keep quiet. It’s her, not Jim, the fans truly loved. A new film argues the affirmative. The construction of an on-site home for children with disabilities proved a fundraising windfall for the Bakkers; but the Los Angeles Times reported in 1987 that after its completion, the home only housed five people — and two were Bakker cousins.

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Pink Label’s Trove of Erotic Cinema Is a Vital Historical Archive

And yet, before I discovered Pink Label, erotica was an unbeknownst blind spot. As with any film genre, adult film has the propensity to tell us a lot about ourselves beyond our mere fantasies and desires. It wouldn’t have been made available otherwise.”

As with any film genre, adult film has the propensity to tell us a lot about ourselves beyond our mere fantasies and desires. The lion’s share of commercial porn, usually with bizarre story lines and stiff, wooden acting, is factory-made for the heterosexual, cis male gaze, centering those fantasies and desires. In terms of contemporary adult film, there’s a section called “Edu-porn,” with titles like Consent Sex School and Blake Mitchell: Guided Masturbation that center sexual self-exploration and encourage an open mind around sex. Some of the most important work is on the Fatale Media line, this pioneering lesbian-made lesbian porn from the mid-’80s. The general agedness — and, well, sexual nature of it all — does mean you won’t find this on Apple TV or a Fire Stick, but guess what: HDMI cords exist! And the way we think about porn critically is beginning to shift: Letterboxd, an open film-review site, has just offered a curated selection of 1,500 adult titles, from the works of queer filmmaker-activist Arthur J. to earlier X-rated entries from notorious provocateur Abel Ferrara and slasher pioneer Wes Craven. But that isn’t to say that porn should be exclusively for that audience — nor does it have to solely exist as an orgasm aid. The site’s layout evokes something between Netflix’s stacked, neatly categorized carousels and an indie porn site from the mid-aughts; it’s outdated and a little sparse, but that itself gives the portal some charm, as if you and you alone had stumbled upon a well-kept relic. Its layout is so simple you could probably traverse the site one-handed, if that’s your thing. It wouldn’t have been made available otherwise. Access, after all, is the watchword: Once upon a time (read: before the early aughts), you would have to trawl adult stores or swap noisy bootlegs to get your hands on any of this, so it’s no wonder it had been forgotten. That we tug at our collars and fan ourselves around the conversation of erotic film — porn — something with which the vast majority of us engage on a frequent basis, is a testament to our weird attachment to puritanism. Related

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Tags: (You can rent titles à la carte, too, if you just have a couple of films in mind.)

Aside from the narrative and archival content of these videos and films, our sex lives tell us as much about the human condition throughout history as any platonic drama. Be it consumed through tube sites, Twitter, paid-for studio streamers, or OnlyFans — for now, at least — the erotic moving image, for better or worse, has become central to our sexual lives and identities. “It had been available on VHS at the time and then DVD, but it wasn’t on streaming at all. Comic-book executives are left astounded by the idea that a heterosexual male superhero might consider giving head. To have all of these historical nuggets collated in one place, online, for just ten bucks a month? If you’ve already got a title in mind, there’s a search bar for quick, easy access, and you can even sort titles from A to Z, if you’ve got one on the tip of your tongue but can’t quite recall it in full. I coordinated with the filmmakers, got all their materials sent out to the UCLA Legacy Project, and brought in Shine, and Pink Label covered the costs of new digital preservation of all these tapes. The Netflix-style categorization makes Pink Label super-easy to navigate. On the surface, Pink Label presents itself as a fairly ordinary porn site: On the landing page, you’re welcomed by a big rose-pink “Enter” button dressed with the promise of independent erotica at the “touch of your fingertips” and embracing a lustful tactility. To be able to go back and honor the films that had come before us, I think that’s so paramount.”

In the current cultural moment, commercial cinema is sexless. “I’ve talked before about my frustrations when explicit sexual media is excluded from queer history. “Some of the most important work is on the Fatale Media line, this pioneering lesbian-made lesbian porn from the mid-’80s,” Olson says. Just as MUBI may spotlight offerings from Cannes or Toronto, another category curates the best titles from PornFilmFestival Berlin, including The Pizza Topping, a funny subversion of commercial porn’s pizza trope, in which a transmasculine, anthropomorphized pizza orders a horny human. “I hope that one day my films are looked back on as being, like, Wow, this is queer history. More than anything, the platform has made me rethink how films are categorized — pornographic, queer, both, neither — as is, too, the increasing school of thought on how they are canonized. Photo: Prednisone Productions

Owing to a little thing called “the internet,” porn is more accessible, and thus more ubiquitous, than ever. Of course, many of these titles are difficult to come by without more nefarious means; indeed, as much as there’s a clear argument for the likes of MUBI and the Criterion Channel to showcase adult films of historical or cultural significance, few have been platformed. Bressan Jr. These canonical titles acted as my entry point into a fascination with queer history; cinema is frequently our favorite mentor, after all. Streamliner

At your service. Another, “Eco-Sexual and Outdoor Sex in Nature,” largely offers queer narrative shorts, with compelling plotlines set in the great outdoors, on cruising sites, off highways, or — as eponymously titled — a Post Picnic Snack. Its content speaks to and reveals myriad sexual desires hitherto unexplored, for the most part, across mainstream spaces. For anyone’s money, that’s exciting. Streamers like Pink Label disrupt not only our reticence to engage with sex and, indeed, sexual media, but the dominant gaze with which we see it. Once you’re past the home page, it’s just a click and a scroll to the extensive archive of vintage (largely queer) porn: a section titled “PinkLabel.TV Classics.”

A few years ago, Houston reached out to Jenni Olson, a pioneering queer-film historian best known recently for co-launching the Bressan Project, which collects the gay erotic filmmakers’ works, to flesh out Pink Label’s selection of vintage adult films. And while we’ve not tested it, Chromecast can be a great wireless alternative for streaming straight from your browser if you’re too space-age (and, crucially, cool) for unsightly cables. It had been available on VHS at the time and then DVD, but it wasn’t on streaming at all. I think it goes back to this idea of preserving this legacy that we have,” says Lee, who has performed in films under the Pink & White label. (We’ll leave the rest to your imagination.) Maybe these are things you’ll get off to — erotica is erotic, after all, and the Horn is probably inevitable — but Pink Label, uniquely, isn’t solely for that purpose. According to Jiz Lee, Houston’s close collaborator and the marketing director at Pink & White, this was the central ethos they brought into Pink Label. Classic queer cinema has been swiftly canonized in recent decades, but preservation efforts for erotica are few and far between, which is a terrible, terrible shame: Bressan’s explicitly pornographic Passing Strangers — one of the top-three titles on Letterboxd’s Adult Film Megalist — imbued with the revolutionary spirit of the early post-Stonewall years (and actual footage of the 1974 Gay Freedom Day parade), boasts just as much historical importance as any Maurice, Cruising, or Death in Venice. — Jenni Olson

This site, Pink Label, was started in 2013 by Shine Louise Houston, an adult filmmaker who once described her work as if golden-age porn-maker Radley Metzger, American art-house legend Jim Jarmusch, and the inimitable suspense king Alfred Hitchcock had “made a porn together.” Houston had already started an adult-film production company, Pink & White Productions, in 2005, built from a desire to see more nuanced exploration of queer sexual desires in adult cinema. But what if I were to tell you there’s already a streamer that not only boasts an exhaustive collection of vintage erotica but whose deep curatorial effort beats off any of the conventional art-house streamers? “I think we push back against how porn is segregated in terms of body demographics — how it tends to skew towards the conception of white, straight men,” they say.

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We’d Buy What Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett Have in the ‘Love for Sale’ Video

Since then, they’ve developed a fruitful collaborative relationship, resulting in their 2014 album Cheek to Cheek and a second, Love for Sale, out October 1. “I’m singin’ with Tony B!” Gaga exclaims before wriggling her way through the studio performance, cut with clips of the pair laughing and hugging together. Related

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Tony Bennett Celebrates 95th Birthday by Announcing Love for Sale With Lady Gaga

Tags: The singers go toe-to-toe on the sensuous standard — which doubles as one of Bennett’s final performances, after news of the 95-year-old’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis earlier this year. And he made it count, showcasing the sort of connection with Gaga that you just can’t form over a day in the studio. Whatever they’re selling? Lady Gaga began working with Tony Bennett in 2011, when she recorded “The Lady Is a Tramp” with the legendary singer of pop standards, for his album Duets. We’ll take it. And that relationship is on prime display in their latest single, the title track from their take on the Cole Porter songbook.

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Kate Beckinsale Guilty of, Well, Wreaking Havoc in the Guilty Party Trailer

Because, well, by Vulture’s count, Kate Beckinsale’s Beth Burgess commits multiple counts of destruction of property, along with breaking and entering, and dressing “like a time traveler.” But she doesn’t seem to be the titular guilty party in this upcoming Paramount+ series — from showrunner Rebecca Addelman, of Dead to Me and New Girl — premiering on October 14. Related

Kate Beckinsale Answers Every Question We Have About Serendipity

Tags: The trailer, premiering exclusively on Vulture, finds journalist Beth latching onto the story of Toni Plimpton (newcomer Jules Latimer), who claims she was wrongfully convicted of murdering her husband in a case that earned her the nickname “the Dick Cutter.” (Plimpton’s stellar defense: “Why would I cut his dick off if I was gonna kill him? Who’s the real guilty party here in the Guilty Party trailer? The whole reason you cut a dick off is so that he has to walk around without a dick, right?”) Things only get wilder from there, when the guns, chain saws, and even foot-licking come out.

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Succession Goes Full F*cking Beast in Its Season Three Trailer

Succession’s new season debuts October 17. Related

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Tags: Please, say it with us as a sign of respect: Fuck off! Succession has released the trailer for its third season, and it’s off to the ambushed races for the extended Waystar Royco family in the aftermath of the show’s blood sacrifice: Kendall (Jeremy Strong) is hyping himself up in the mirror despite implicating his father (Brian Cox) in a series of corporate scandals, while Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) insists to Cousin Greg (tall king Nicholas Braun) that they need to take cyanide pills (though those are just mints). Shiv (sweater icon Sarah Snook) also seems stuck between divided loyalties to Logan and Kendall, while we get the briefest of glimpses of the show’s new cast members, including Alexander Skarsgård, Sanaa Lathan, Hope Davis, and Adrien Brody in a beanie.

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Penn Badgley Is the Nice, Normal Murderer Next Door in You’s Season 3 Trailer

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Penn Badgley, the Visible Man

Tags: “In my history of scared, this is the most scared I’ve ever been,” Penn Badgley’s homicidal Joe narrates in the trailer for You’s third season. “I never thought to wonder what happens after boy gets girl.” Well, in an amusing twist, it seems to be moving to a bucolic suburb with your equally murderous wife (Victoria Pedretti) and your new baby, and maybe, just maybe, killing again if a good moment strikes … as long as you’re not too tired from mowing the lawn. We have a feeling no amount of couples therapy can help them. So begins You’s new chapter, with Joe’s honeymoon period coming to a halt when his old habits return to stalk his new neighbor (Michaela McManus). The new season of You will premiere on October 15.

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Do We Even Need to Tell You How Gay Lil Nas X’s ‘That’s What I Want’ Video Is?

That pivots to a steamy Brokeback Mountain–inspired moment with said (extremely hot) love interest, before Nas X finds out he has a wife and child. Lil Nas X’s Debut, Montero, Is Here

Tags: The debut album from Lil Nas X features everyone from Elton John and Miley Cyrus to Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat. The album has already given the performer another No. 1 single and a VMA for “Video of the Year” — and the rest of us so, so much queer joy. But keep watching for the happy ending, featuring Lil Nas X in a wedding dress and a Billy Porter cameo. Montero arrived on September 17 after singles “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” “Sun Goes Down,” and “Industry Baby,” along with over-the-top promotions. The exceptionally queer rollout for Lil Nas X’s debut album, Montero, started with the star giving the devil himself a lap dance and only went up from there, with Lil Nas making out with boys and ripping his pants on stage, leading a prison-shower-dance moment for the “Industry Baby” video, and even staging his own damn pregnancy! Related

It’s an Album! Now, with Montero finally birthed into the world, it’s time for Nas X’s coup de grâce: the music video for “That’s What I Want,” which will have you screaming “Gay!” It opens with Lil Nas X suffering an injury after crash-landing at a football game, which we quickly learn was really just a ploy to get it on with another player in the locker room (and sneak in some wonderful product placement for Durex condoms).

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Dune, Reviewed By Someone Who Popped an Edible Beforehand

And then, like this blog post, the movie just … ends. Again, I suspect a more sober-minded viewer could find these moments slow, confusing, repetitive, or even all three. For instance, one thing they do not tell you about Dune beforehand is just how much of the story is devoted to sci-fi bureaucracy. I knew this because his Quebecois purr produced a deeply pleasurable ASMR tingle up and down my arm — a physical sensation the filmmaker had never given me before, even though I did like Sicario. Photo: Warner Bros. Me, watching Dune. execs.) Once the credits started to roll, I was thrust back into the Canadian night and wandered around a deserted Exhibition Place looking for the car that would take me and my colleague/unofficial babysitter back home. And then it was time for the movie! In another development my weed-addled brain found immensely entertaining, everything in this movie is either incredibly big or incredibly small. But that was okay, because I was at a TIFF screening of Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and all of those things were supposed to happen. And third, because I was joking when I pitched this story and did not expect my editor to actually say yes. I don’t know what it was, but something about the contrast between their voices — his velvety growl, her European lilt — produced an oil-and-vinegar effect that had me absent-mindedly stroking my own palm. One minor character is introduced as a member of one organizational hierarchy, but turns out to be simultaneously holding an important position in another org chart (a reveal that reminded me of certain sleazy elements of New York politics). The gummies may have kicked in during the drive to the theater, or maybe I was simply traveling down the most relaxing highway in Canada. Except with Dune, the gap will be even longer: The sequel hasn’t even been greenlit yet. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. But I was bored and lonely, and had managed to snag a ticket for an IMAX showing, so why not? Second, because since weed was legalized in 2018, roughly 87 percent of Toronto storefronts have turned into cannabis shops. According to Villeneuve, these interstitial segments had been specially filmed on IMAX cameras for the enjoyment of viewers like us. (I would’ve liked it more if they’d told us whether Ario got better.) It all got even more intense once Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Lady Jessica in the film, came out to do a charming little double-act with Villeneuve. If someone wants to lodge a complaint, which regulatory body must they contact? With my luck, I’d get super high just in time for the closing credits, and wind up giggling like an idiot over the name of prop painter Clare Baybutt. The third time I tried edibles, I saw palm groves bursting into flames, a lifeless desert becoming a maw of death, and most amazing of all, a blue-eyed Timothée Chalamet. It’s also the case with the cast: Our protagonist is Chalamet, who in an important step for representation is Hollywood’s first action hero with Avian Bone Syndrome; the baddie is Stellan Skarsgård’s Baron Harkonnen, the long-awaited answer to the question, “What if Humpty-Dumpty, but evil?”

Here’s what I knew about Dune going in: It was based on an acclaimed novel, people wear straws up their noses, and at some point, somebody says, “The spice must flow.” But this leaves a lot that I was unprepared for. Which elites have import/export rights in which provinces? There are sand worms the size of the train that was the size of the Chrysler Building, and a capital ship that resembles a gigantic floating urethra, while the most dangerous weapons are tiny floating darts that flit through the air like malevolent hummingbirds. I found this all enthralling, but that might be the gummies talking. As you may have been able to tell from my first paragraph, THC and I are not exactly close friends. Tags: It had been four hours. It’s a thrilling callback to the genre cinema of my youth, when films like Kill Bill and Matrix: Reloaded would stop in the middle of the story with no warning and you’d have to wait a year to get the resolution. Another thing reviews have neglected to mention about Dune is that every few minutes, the movie’s plot stops for a series of perfume commercials featuring Zendaya wandering around the desert. Our relationship is closer to the kind you’d have with an overbearing colleague, or a not-especially beloved uncle. The gummies had definitely worn off. I couldn’t look away — and not just because the screen was big enough that I literally couldn’t. “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe … attack ships on fire off the Arrakeen skyline.”
Photo: Warner Bros. The second time I tried edibles, I hallucinated a never-ending procession of animals emerging from a black hole. “Between love and madness lies … Arrakis.”
Photo: Chiabella James/Warner Bros. What are the specific bylaws governing a leadership transition? The first time I tried edibles, I had a vision in which a pair of harpies reminded me that one day I would die. (Villeneuve used a significant chunk of his time before the screening to pitch us on Dune: Part Two, in the hopes that the theater was secretly crawling with Warner Bros. It takes place on a planet where the rhythmic hum of machinery has become a matter of life and death, which means that, at multiple points, the movie is literally vibing — and my high ass was vibing right there with it. Why was I seeing Dune high in the fourth-largest city in North America? So, I was definitely high by this point. Once Villeneuve showed up to give a brief bonjour, things were percolating. First, because many of the Dune reviews out of Venice mentioned that its grand scale and vivid imagery made it an ideal movie to see stoned. The same holds true for the cinematography, which alternates between intense close-ups and grandiose wide shots that make all the people look like ants. I ate one about an hour before the movie started, which also happened to be 30 seconds before I read the bit on the packaging informing me that the drugs could take four hours to start working. There is a complicated space plot that I will get into later, but for the purposes of a high person, this is what Dune is about: SPACESHIP GO WHIRRRR, CANNON GO BOOOOM, ORCHESTRA GO BRRRRAAWWRRRRRR. For this reason, having ventured into a basement dispensary on King Street, I decided to go with a comically unintimidating choice: a pack of pink, fruit-flavored gummies, the type of drugs you might feel comfortable giving a child.

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Spencer Is a Portrait of a Princess Too Sane to Play the Royals’ Game

It’s a place she knows well, having been born in nearby Park House. She’s exposing the arbitrary nature of the regimented ceremonies and traditions the family depends on to set itself apart from the rest of the world. In one of the most memorable scenes in the movie, she imagines ripping the necklace she’s been gifted off her neck and swallowing the scattered pearls along with her soup. Photo: Neon

Diana is always running late in Spencer. It’s impossible not to like the movie’s version of Diana, who’s simply incapable of stiff-upper-lipping her way through her own misery, too guileless about sharing her emotions and about assuming everyone around her is being just as straightforward. In some ways, the alienating plushness of her troubles is the biggest hardship of them all for Diana. And they are fond, despite their reservations and divided loyalties. In the opening scenes of Pablo Larraín’s new movie, the Princess of Wales — played with remarkable translucence by Kristen Stewart — has gotten lost after deciding to make her own way to Sandringham, to the manor where the royal family gathers for their Christmas celebration. Stewart might not look much like the actual woman, but she’s capable of recreating a sense of her sunshine-bright charisma, the way she felt a little too much like a star for a royal set accustomed to always being gazed at while never so gauche as to do anything to merit it. More Movie Reviews

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Tags: Spencer is as precise and intricate as a luxury timepiece, each piece fitting together perfectly, no matter how small. As everyone else, including her husband, Charles (Jack Farthing), and their children, William (Jack Nielen) and Harry (Freddie Spry), arrives with the standard driver and security entourage, Diana wanders alone into a café, a hush falling as she asks the woman behind the counter, “Where am I?” It’s hard to miss, as metaphors go, though there’s more to Diana’s tardiness than a loss of a sense of self. She darts away to vomit but soon there’s someone knocking at the door, always knocking at the door, not out of concern but to say that everyone’s waiting on her. Diana, humiliated by Charles’s relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles and staggering from the ongoing media blitz, is treated as unreasonable, unruly, and on the verge of a breakdown, though it’s always clear her problem is that she’s too sane to play the game. She can’t help treating the staffers surrounding her as colleagues instead of people who are paid to inform on her, no matter how fond they might be, and Stewart plays the moments in which Diana blurts out her feelings as akin to the way the character runs to the bathroom after meals. In repeatedly arriving after the queen (Stella Gonet) to meals, to photos, and to the holidays themselves, Diana is disrupting the order of things. As Alistar Gregory, a former major and clear company man tasked with keeping the press away, Timothy Spall is all pursed-mouth menace. Spencer, which was written by Steven Knight, does the reverse, mining the implicit ridiculousness of the pretense that this group of fallible human beings somehow represents a country’s soul. Sally Hawkins only has a few scenes as Maggie, Diana’s trusted dresser and confidant, but exudes such warmth and good humor that we miss her as much as Diana does when she goes away. Diana, with her glamorous gowns and her taste for fast food, may be forever too much and not enough, but Spencer is just right. Diana’s is such a singular dilemma, that of the tormented woman trapped in line to be queen in the 1990s, that the only person able to relate within the movie itself is Anne Boleyn, who, played by Amy Manson, shows up in visions to offer her sympathy and warnings. So many of the rituals she’s expected to comply with involve turning over control of her body, from the approved array of outfits that have been scheduled for her to the “all in good fun” weigh-in everyone must comply with to prove they’ve properly indulged over the holidays by gaining three pounds — a tradition dating back to 1847, and utter hell for someone whose eating is disordered. But Jackie was a movie about the creation of American royalty, about how its protagonist carved her late husband’s presidency into national mythology through force of will and the power of image, enshrining him as a representative of a lost idyll rather than an all-too-human man. Diana’s bulimia becomes another way in which she fails to behave properly, every formal and informal meal an obstacle course to be navigated, with repeated scenes of the head chef, Darren (Sean Harris), barking out the ridiculously involved menus to his kitchen staff. She’s at war with her body throughout Spencer — to the point where the character, always jostling against the restrictions placed on her behavior, also literally jostles against the hallway walls like Isabelle Adjani in Possession with the intensity turned down. Spencer, a portrait of a tragic modern aristocrat dealing with the weight of public regard, is an obvious bookend to Larraín’s 2016 Jackie, in which Natalie Portman played, with brittle self-awareness, a just-widowed Jacqueline Kennedy in the same situation. But as a fretful adult in the world’s most scrutinized failing marriage, she finds herself unable to recognize the area in which she was once a carefree child. “You have to be able to make your body do things you hate, for the good of the country,” Charles patiently explains to her in the one scene in which they’re alone together, as though this were only reasonable. But the film is Stewart’s to carry, and she does it by going less minimalist than is her habit and by allowing an awareness of the absurdity of Diana’s situation to seep in, even as she plays the woman’s suffering entirely straight. Diana can’t make her body do things she hates.

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