Category: Entertainment News

America Ferrera Writes About Being Sexually Assaulted When She Was 9-Years-Old

He would smile at me and wave, and I would hurry past him, my blood running cold, my guts carrying the burden of what only he & I knew — that he expected me to shut my mouth and smile back.” Ferrera’s story joins those of literally thousands of other women, including fellow performers Gabrielle Union, Evan Rachel Wood, Anna Paquin, and so many others. “First time I can remember being sexually assaulted I was 9 years old. Photo: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

Sparked by the actresses coming out to share their stories of sexual-harassment and assault at the hands of producer Harvey Weinstein, women started sharing their experiences of sexual abuse and misconduct on social media with the hashtag #MeToo. I told no one and lived with the shame and guilt thinking all along that I, a 9 year old child, was somehow responsible for the actions of a grown man,” Ferrera posted to Twitter and Instagram, hours after tweeting a simple “#MeToo.”

The actress explained, “I had to see this man on a daily basis for years to come. The hashtag was suggested by Alyssa Milano to gauge the magnitude of our societal sexual-abuse problem. In a heartbreaking post, Superstore actress America Ferrera shared her story Monday night, which began when she was in elementary school. Concluded Ferrera, “Ladies, let’s break the silence so the next generation of girls won’t have to live with this bullshit.”

#metoo A post shared by America Ferrera (@americaferrera) on Oct 16, 2017 at 6:52pm PDT

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Vietnamese Actress Vu Thu Phuong Says Harvey Weinstein Suggested He Teach Her How to Perform Sex Scenes in Hotel Room

Harvey Weinstein standing before me with only a towel around his waist, smiling,” she alleges. “I can teach you, don’t worry. “It’s time that I can explain about the Shanghai failure and why I shelved my ‘American dream’ as well as the contract with Weinstein’s film company.”

In 2008, Phuong says, the now-disgraced studio head expressed interest in her for a role in 2010’s Shanghai, a historical drama starring John Cusack and Gong Li. She hopes other performers will continue to expose the entertainment industry’s sexual-harassment problem. It’s time that I liberate myself,” she wrote in a Facebook post, translated in Saigoneer. Disappointed after her role was all but excised from the final cut of the film, the actress agreed to meet with the producer about a possible opportunity in a future Weinstein Company film. Vietnamese model and former actress Vu Thu Phuong is the latest woman to open up about a distressing encounter with the producer. “I encourage other females who were abused to tell their story to caution others.”

7 High-Profile Men Accused of Sexual Harassment Over The Past Year

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Tags: My head was tensing up. “I decided that I didn’t want to sell myself to enter Hollywood,” says Vuong. “It was an extremely horrifying feeling. It felt like my nerves would snap.” Rattled and embarrassed that her big break in Shanghai had resulted in less than a cameo, Vuong went home the next day; she says the experience was part of the reason she later walked away from acting. “I believe that I can’t be silent anymore. “Everything suddenly turned dark when I saw Mr. “Weinstein should be punished for disrespecting and devaluing women,” she writes. Photo: Facebook/vuthuphuong99

Another day, another deeply perturbing story about Harvey Weinstein’s seemingly unending history of sexual misconduct. Many stars have also been through this,” Vuong recalls Weinstein telling her. He then purportedly attempted to convince Vuong to let him instruct her on how to properly perform in a sex scene, as there would be several in the film he fancied her for. “I was thinking at the moment that if he were to rape me or kill me, would anybody find out and stop him?” Phuong wrote on Facebook. Unfortunately, once Vuong arrived, Weinstein quickly tried to turn the meeting sexual. “Just treat this as necessary experiences so that you’ll have a stronger foundation in the future.”

Appalled, the actress rejected his advances.

Curb Your Enthusiasm Recap: Honk If You’re Thorny

Or at least it’s a fact. “No one’s above the beep!” Larry bellows, a foreshadowing of his grandstanding before an unsympathetic Judge Ranheim. And if Rushdie hadn’t had Larry swooning with fantasies of “fatwa sex” and the “fatwa boys” staring down danger at every opportunity and turning Greater Los Angeles on its head, he might have reconsidered wooing Elizabeth to begin with, let alone sacrificing life and limb (okay, limb) to recover Jeff’s Cubs hat from the roof. In fairness, fault for this entire sequence of events can be laid at the feet of either or both Ted Danson or Salman Rushdie. That last story thread, unlike the restaurant manager’s neatly bookended reverberations, is a bit of a loose end. He’d already been to court in protest of a minor (though costly) traffic violation, specifically honking too aggressively while waiting for Office Jenkins to move through a green light. • Fun fact: The actress playing Elizabeth’s friend at Estate is Lucy Walsh, daughter of the Eagles’ Joe Walsh. In the end, however, Larry is caught red-handed as the man responsible for vandalizing Officer Jenkins’s car, thanks to Elizabeth Banks’s less-than-Elizabethan face-plant of a performance orating their alibi, down to an unmerited closing bow. But then, Larry could have heeded the chef’s advice to mind his business and beg off ludicrous analogies likening family crises to an inexplicably prolonged lunch. That is, if Susie were less prone to overstating the talents of not only her own daughter (“You think Sammi was talented at this age?” Susie poses rhetorically. And it turns out the cagey restaurant manager (Rich Fulcher) nearly saves Larry’s hide while detaining Officer Jenkins (Damon Wayans Jr.) with his artfully evasive patter. “No, I don’t,” L-Vid counters), but also a wayward teenager they’ve taken in who has already run away. Good thing? Kind of like how Salman, as in Rushdie, might roll off some people’s tongues if it were the phonetically similar fish, while the author himself insists there’s accent is on the “a.” But since when does Larry quibble? Tags: He also should have heard the judge’s words to “take your un-sucked candy and get back to your desk” as a subtle suggestion to be a bit less brazen. It could also be Elvid, or L.Vid, à la J. It’s not as if he’s the type of guy to litigate semantics with restaurant managers, chefs, and beat cops while obscured behind a wig and mustache that make him look like an understudy in a play based on Albert Einstein’s life. This isn’t Larry’s first run-in with that particular patrolman. In what Elizabeth may have recognized as a truly Shakespearean delivery, Larry manages to malign the common jackass for its “stolid, slack-jawed gaze,” liken himself to Jackie Robinson and Rosa Parks, and finally run afoul of the judge by “yoo-hoo”-ing him to order. • At times this season, Larry has seemed more senile than self-righteous? Lo. Bad thing? “A Disturbance in the Kitchen” never does reveal what keeps Larry and Jeff waiting for their food at the trendy Estate restaurant in Santa Monica, a real location that’s now destined/doomed to a future of tourist patrons asking if there’s any unrest among those preparing their meal. And this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen or heard of Swat’s sensitivity to people talking under their breaths. Apart From All That

• Not watching Katie’s dance recital is, apparently, on a par with skipping Susie’s house tours. Katie (Eryn Pablico), Susie’s Big Brothers Big Sisters little sis, is sure to stick around and torment Larry in some fashion. Photo: HBO

Curb Your Enthusiasm

A Disturbance in the Kitchen
Season 9

Episode 3

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

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“Fuck you, L-Vid!” At least that’s one assumed spelling of Elizabeth Banks’s nickname for Larry. Ditto for Larry’s continued hectoring of Swat, who creates a mild kitchen disturbance of his own in Larry’s house and nearly flares up with rage when Larry mumbles a derisive aside to Leon. For now, with Elizabeth no longer in the picture and his buddies hiding from their fatwa’d pal, Larry is left to an increasingly familiar scene: he and Leon, sipping on Stellas, wondering when they’ll live the life of Riley. If Ted’s stupid Tesla didn’t have such a sensitive honking mechanism, Officer Jenkins might have let Larry off with a warning (though Ted gets his comeuppance later, perhaps learning that he should always lead with Sam Malone before John Becker). And when Susie comments on him being “back to normal” sans disguise, only to note, “I like the other look better,” it just as easily could be construed as a metaphor for retreating back into the timid modesty of his post-fatwa lifestyle. • “I didn’t think there was any condition that they’d be attracted to me,” Larry tells Salman bemusedly while processing “fatwa sex.”

• Turns out a fatwa is an even better social excuse than Larry’s mother dying.

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Categories: Entertainment News

Star Trek: Discovery Recap: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Captains

Sergio: But there’s no money in the Federation? The tardigrade dehydrates itself into a hibernating husk to avoid the whole situation, and Saru orders the crew to, essentially, “Just Magic Sponge him back to normal,” so they can rescue the captain already. After a brief round of perfunctory Clockwork Orange–style eyeball torture, Lorca and Tyler team up and take out their sleepwalking-on-the-job captors the next time they demand one of them “choose their pain.” They also leave Mudd behind after Lorca determines he was feeding prisoner secrets to the Klingon command, which is sort of understandable, if not exactly on Starfleet brand. After that terrifying giggle-collapse, Dr. Saru offers a conciliatory gesture of his own and gives Burnham the freedom to care for the tardigrade however she thinks best, so she releases it into space on a total hunch. I don’t mean to sound snarky; I’m trying to figure out how to relate to a Star Trek series that, thus far, seems relatively interested in being a show about Star Trek. Harry Mudd has an angry beard, this Captain blew up his last crew to spare them all from Klingon torture, and we’re swearing now. Saru’s not willing to go that far, but he does seem pretty chuffed at his excellent captaining strategy, which seems to be, essentially, “Make sure the computer gives me a periodic pep talk.” Which is not a bad strategy, as those things go! I’m not wild about it! Related
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Tags: You can either take your torture yourself, or “volunteer” one of your co-prisoners to get beaten up on your behalf. This both worked (the crew gets away!) and did not work (he collapses and starts giggling in a very upsetting way). Lorca and Lieutenant Tyler come tearing out of Klingon space under hot pursuit, get beamed aboard, and Saru orders the team to jump. This week’s episode is a bit of a mess, but I’d like to start by talking about what I loved first, and that is, hands down, temporary Acting Captain Saru’s attempt to Seven Habits of Highly Effective People his way to success using the ship’s computer. Anyway, Captain Lorca is kidnapped by the Klingons and held in an ill-lit prison cell, where the Klingons have their prisoners routinely beaten on a weird shared-pain round-robin system. The last thing we see is legitimately great, like Event Horizon–level great. It was delightful and a little embarrassing and extremely on-brand for Saru. Mudd also delivers a “maybe Starfleet is to blame for all this conflict, with their relentless expansionism; no one ever thinks about the little guys like me!” monologue. Stamets calmly walks after his husband, leaving behind his own image standing perfectly still in the mirror. (Guess which option Mudd routinely chooses. And you think, I don’t know, you think he’s going to have weird eyes, or giggle again, or do something that lets the audience know that he Came Back Wrong, and he does, but it’s not what I expected at all. (Please feel free to substitute Victor Garber’s “Very wool” and “That’s not wool” line readings from his episode of 30 Rock whenever I declare something “Starfleet” or “not Starfleet.”)

Back on the Discovery, Burnham finally finds someone willing to listen to her concerns about the toll all these jumps are taking on the tardigrade in Dr. Burnham offers him Georgiou’s telescope, which she received merely a single episode ago, because this show seems anxious to burn through as much plot and dramatic capital as quickly as possible. It works out, but it’s not even a hypothesis, she just thinks being outside will make it feel more relaxed. Culper can’t stop fussing over Lieutenant Stamets in their quarters, and you know that something Weird is going to happen once he finally heads to bed, leaving Stamets alone in front of the mirror, weirder than talking after brushing your teeth without rinsing. I’m skeptical that anything could have prepared him to deal with the genetic manipulation of living Starfleet members in order to fuel a mushroom-based warp drive, but fair enough. Meanwhile, Burnham dreams she’s electrocuting her own double in the spore-navigational chamber (if you can think of a better word for it, please God, let me know), which really sets the tone for how the rest of the episode is going to go. I’m sure Starfleet has some sort of, I don’t know, dissolving toothpaste at this point, but it was all I could think about for hours afterward. Between that, and the moment where Burnham tells Saru that “his culture” leads him to mistrust her (since he’s from a planet where everyone shares the same basic character traits due to, you know, evo-psych), it feels like the show is really heavily leaning into the whole immediately-post-9/11 discourse thing. The general consensus was that Norah is right. Lots of Trek shows start off with a rocky first season or two, and of course “being about Star Trek” is a concept with variable interpretations. The second Stamets said simply, “We’re ready,” after Saru asks if the tardigrade is fully functioning again, Norah and Sergio exchanged Significant Looks and I pretended to have guessed what they had, too — namely that Stamets had uploaded the genetic sequence into his own body, and powered the jump himself. Saru’s response is, not incorrectly, that upgrading a human’s genetic sequence in order to power a starship qualifies as eugenics, and therefore Not On. Culber, although he kind of hilariously bails on her to perform an Andorian tonsillectomy the second Lieutenant Stamets pushes back. I found this viscerally upsetting, as I kept imagining how his mouth would have filled with toothpaste as he tried to speak without rinsing. Captain Lorca gets intercepted by Klingons on his return from a profoundly unsuccessful strategy meeting with Starfleet Command, and gets thrown into a cell with a full gritty-upbraid Harry Mudd, who I am going to do my best not to refer to as Dwight Schrute for the duration. Photo: Michael Gibson/CBS

Star Trek: Discovery

Choose Your Pain
Season 1

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

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Say what you will about tonight’s outing, it was certainly an episode of television. It haunted me as I brushed my own teeth hours later. Norah: I mean, if you’re buying your girlfriend a moon, I think you’re operating outside of standard Federation parameters already. Also, they get to say the F-word twice, and they all seem very pleased with themselves. Culber are standing around brushing their teeth and catching up after the day’s events, and Lieutenant Stamets pulls his toothbrush out of his mouth mid-brush, starts talking, and fails to either spit or rinse his mouth. My greatest objection to tonight’s episode, while we’re talking about high and low points, came during the closer, when Lieutenant Stamets and his husband Dr. There’s some more Bad Discourse, Lieutenant Stamets says, “You say portobello, I say portabella,” for some reason (is that a thing?), and ultimately they decide it’s worth trying to upgrade the tardigrade’s genetic sequence into a willing, sentient host in the hopes of finding a better long-term solution to powering the spore drive. You have guessed correctly!)

There’s also an extremely unsettling dude sharing their Torture Quarantine named Ash Tyler, a broken-down lieutenant who practically begs to get beaten up and left behind to die at every opportunity. This isn’t network television! Afterward, Burnham and Saru have another rehashing of old resentments in her quarters: Saru clarifies that he isn’t afraid of her, and he’s jealous he didn’t get to experience Georgiou’s mentoring once Burnham had gotten her own command because it would have prepared him better for today’s events. He orders the computer to run a How to Be the Best Saru Possible protocol (sure), and the computer tells him about the “negative element” holding him back from achieving his full potential (your first two guesses about the identity of the negative element don’t count), and recommends he remove the element. Which, in her defense, it does! “Computer,” he says, “compile a database of the most highly decorated Starfleet captains, living and dead.” (Jonathan Archer made the list, in case you’re wondering.) Then he asks the computer to cross-reference “the qualities that made them successful,” which is such a wonderfully vague thing to ask a ship’s computer, sort of like asking Watson to analyze your Myers-Briggs type. It’s a great moment, and it freaked me the hell out. What were the ineffable personality traits that contributed to the achievement of strangers, and why aren’t I like that? Mudd’s backstory — he got into trouble borrowing money to buy his girlfriend a moon, and angry creditors handed him over to the Klingons — brought up a rousing economic debate between my friends Sergio and Norah. It’s like a game of closure hot-potato!

Vice Principals Recap: Lady Vengeance

It’s a look at Russell at his most vulnerable. Revenge may feel good, but it always comes at some personal cost. He apologizes to Robin for not sticking up for him at the party, but laughs when Abbott tells him that Brian fainted because she slipped a roofie into his drink. Abbott home. The clock starts ticking as soon as the episode opens. “You don’t care who you hurt as long as Lee Russell gets what he wants.” Then, in tears, she takes a baseball bat first to his birthday cake, and then to his car. His regret seems to be genuine — “I cleaned it, Christine,” he tells his sleeping wife — though it’s likely too little, too late. In a surprise twist, the guest list has a last-minute addition, courtesy of Christine: Kevin. It’s too true to life for that. Russell doesn’t fare much better as his party turns into a powder keg. If this is what we’re getting just halfway through the season, the payoff is guaranteed to be worth the wait. When Christine asks Russell point blank if he was responsible, he dodges the question, instead blasting Avril Lavigne on the car stereo and singing along. It wasn’t Robin — it was Christine. “Stop making up lies,” she cries. As Gamby takes Abbott home with him, Russell cleans up the party, spending the last part of his night scrubbing poop from his wedding portrait. There’s no forgiving that, and for once, Russell seems to realize it. Gamby does his best to disperse the party, offering Russell his sympathy before driving Robin and a wasted Ms. This week’s episode establishes itself as a full-on tragedy, as Christine confronts her husband in front of the entire crowd. The catalyst is Kevin Yoon (Keong Sim), Christine’s college boyfriend, who interrupts Russell and Christine as they’re out to dinner. He may be able to fool Gamby time and time again, but Christine’s not an idiot. It’s quickly cut short as Brian faints dead away, and Russell’s entreaties to ignore the incident and continue the toast are met with indifference. As Russell’s birthday party gets under way, she grows more and more suspicious (and drinks more and more wine on top of a tablet of Klonopin that Russell gives her), unable to shake the feeling that there’s something rotten in her marriage. After berating her, he enlists Nash (who notably reveals to Gamby that she’d once worked as a private investigator in Miami) to kick Kevin out, though she has as much success as she’s had in disciplining the students. So, how do you solve a problem like Lee Russell? Once again, he’s grown, but not enough. For men like Russell and Gamby, never growing up means never adjusting their horrid behavior and never facing the consequences for it. As it happens, those rumors only started when Christine told Russell that she loved Kevin. Meanwhile, Gamby has brought Robin to the party in an attempt to impress Snodgrass with his mentorship skills. However, she’s on the arm of her new beau, Brian (Fisher Stevens, giving one of the best low-key sleazy performances on TV). The last 20 years of her life are built on a lie. Photo: HBO

Vice Principals

A Compassionate Man
Season 2

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

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There’s a certain amount of romanticism in a phrase like “here’s to never growing up,” but when Lee Russell sings it, it lands less like an affirmation of life and more like a punch in the gut. The scene is one of the few times we’ve seen Russell completely alone, and it’s strange seeing him in a position where he isn’t performing for someone else. The party is a bombshell, and a particularly impressive one given the fact that it makes absolutely no headway as to what is ostensibly Vice Principals’ main plot of figuring out who shot Gamby. In some of the show’s more lighthearted moments, it’s easy to forget the impact that Gamby and Russell are having on others, but as Christine says as she dresses Russell down, he’s completely altered the course of her life. Tags: She knows what kind of man she married — or at least, she’s learned. This week’s episode sees decades-old repercussions come home to roost, but Vice Principals isn’t the kind of show to let us off so easy. His odd behavior doesn’t escape Christine’s notice, and on the car ride home, she starts to paint a damning picture. But if this show has proven good at anything, it’s setup. When Gamby approaches Brian and brings up their prior encounter, he turns Gamby’s insincere apology right back on him, saying that he pities Gamby for letting Amanda slip through his fingers. It’s a difficult scene to watch, close in impact to the sequence in the first season in which Gamby and Russell got Belinda Brown drunk. Christine and Kevin are thrilled to see each other, but Lee looks like he’s seen a ghost, going so far as to say that Christine doesn’t have Facebook when Kevin says they ought to connect. Now that she’s confronted with a specter from their past, it’s hard not to wonder how much he may have lied to her, too. Upset with how poorly the evening is going, Russell goes looking for his wife, only to find that someone has utterly trashed his bedroom and shit on his wedding portrait. Vice Principals has always walked the fine line between tragedy and comedy, and that balancing act only makes it more affecting when it stops straddling the line. With Christine gone, Russell asks Gamby to deliver his birthday toast. Kevin, now married with kids, left school and broke Christine’s heart when rumors started to circulate that he was gay. The evening sours further as Superintendent Haas (who, as always, is happier to see Gamby than he is Russell) points out the inequity between her and Russell, suggesting that Christine’s salary is paying for Russell’s new, extravagant lifestyle. Christine, now even more certain of Russell’s past deception, retreats upstairs to cry in the privacy of their bedroom. Charging back downstairs, he immediately blames Robin, but we all already know he’s got the wrong person.

Ray Donovan Recap: The Brothers Donovan

Thanks for sticking with me and let’s hope Ray Donovan closes season five out in style. In the waiting room, Daryll and Mickey have a talk about the script, which Daryll still wants to turn into Mister Lucky. I don’t think he even had any real lines. He tells the cops that Natalie was pregnant with Doug’s child, blowing up two professional relationships that likely would have paid him well in the future. Even Bridget Donovan “plays daddy” this week, doing something awfully similar to what her father did to save a loved one, allowing emotion to make her break the law. Can he really survive the season? He doesn’t bite. Particularly the Sam-Doug negotiations, in which Hollywood power players use each other to keep criminal behavior from coming out? Daryll knows it’s going to all fall apart if Mickey keeps pressuring Jay and the studio to make the movie he wrote, instead of the movie they want to make. Sam calls Ray with Doug listening in the background and tells him not to mention Landry’s relationship with Natalie. “Bob the Builder” opens in Ray Donovan’s apartment, now a crime scene after the deaths of Natalie James and her creepy ex in what looks like a clear-cut murder-suicide. I wonder if the writers of Ray Donovan will directly address Weinstein next season with a character who’s “pulled from the headlines” Law & Order style. What do you want to see happen to save this season? What makes Ray Donovan the best clean-up man in Hollywood? Meanwhile, Sam Winslow and Doug Landry are negotiating. He’s meeting with Jay White, drinking coconut water and trying to assuage Jay’s nerves, but the cops are there and the narrative is already turning. And what about Sam? • Only two episodes left! He refuses, even though Doug could screw Ray too. Might as well take advantage of it.”

As Bridget begs the doctor from Sloane-Kettering to let her boyfriend into the trial, eventually pulling a gun on her, her father and her uncles are about to have a violent day. First, the Bunchy saga: He won’t go to the cops, so Terry calls Ray, and the brothers Donovan have a little adventure. He tells his dad later that the cops wanted him to wear a wire, and Mickey doesn’t really believe him when he says he’s not. After getting patched up, Bunchy convinces his brothers to go get his money back. She doesn’t go as far as her dad, but the emotional drive is the same — that Donovan fearlessness and need to protect. He goes to urgent care with Daryll, using a copy of Four Leaf to hide his boner. A fight ensues, ending in Terry saving Ray’s life with a gunshot. It’s basically a game to these two power players: They know each other’s skeletons and are seeing what they can get from one another. Daryll Donovan was blinded by stardom and didn’t see the tables turning in a way that never would have happened to Ray. That damn script could destroy his always-tenuous relationship with his son. Because they were entranced by the bright lights of La La Land, which never did anything for Ray. He’s picturing that awful event, seeing Natalie’s eyes as the life got choked out of them. Who’s your MVP? Sam comes in to castigate him about ratting out Doug Landry — now, she wants Doug killed because he might blab to the police. Do you miss Abby yet? But Ray is not a hired killer. He mentions that his mother made him learn those silly details when she was dying, and it dawned on me for the first time that Terry was better emotionally equipped to handle Abby’s needs because he handled his mother’s while Ray fled. The episode closes with Ray on a leather couch at the boxing club, watching a home-shopping channel. It’s the best scene of the week. Although Mickey isn’t distracted enough to forget to harass the doctor who’s fixing his penis: “It’s never gonna be this big again. Why? As we see in “Bob the Builder,” that’s a special skill set. If you remember the night before, Mickey had a little fun with some hired ladies and took a few “gas station boner pills.” Now, he can’t get rid of his erection — not by masturbation, frozen veggies, or a hair dryer. There’s a great bit of character development here in that Terry knows everyone’s blood type. Is it just because of what’s morally right, or does Ray sense that Sam and Doug could target him next? And now we get to Mickey Donovan’s boner, which is actually a major plot point! As Ray later says, it won’t be enough to make up for taking Abby’s. At first, it appears empty, but the danger of the environment is well-executed in the way we see shots of awful, gruesome things, including a dead dog hanging from a pipe. He needs it not just for his family, but because of what he endured to get it. Ray finds the money in a barely buried metal box when the same growling lunatic who shot Bunchy gets the jump on him. Why? It would certainly fit this show and maybe give it some of the veracity it often lacks. Other Notes

• The episode ends with “Doing It Right” by the Yawpers. • Jake Busey, always an interesting actor, basically played a grunting lunatic who shoots one Donovan last week and gets shot by another this week. It’s not just his willingness to do virtually anything for his clients, but the fact that he can remain detached while doing so. In the end, Mickey and Daryll are suspicious of each other, Bridget is arrested for pulling a gun on a doctor, Bunchy comes home with his money, and Terry and Ray are still fighting. Jay wanted to call the cops, but it was Daryll who threatened him and insisted they get rid of the body. • Did anyone else find it interesting to watch this show in light of the Harvey Weinstein scandal? Are they framing Ray? While this long night is getting longer for Ray, Bunchy is bleeding out in Terry’s club and Bridget is tracking down the only person who might be able to save her boyfriend’s life. Mickey and Daryll Donovan’s attempt at being fixers to the stars is falling apart. They go to Ray’s favorite veterinarian, where Ray even gives blood to Bunchy for a transfusion. Photo: Paul Sarkis/Showtime

Ray Donovan

Bob the Builder
Season 5

Episode 10

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

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The subtext of this week’s Ray Donovan makes it more accomplished than most previous episodes in this disappointing season: Everyone is trying to be Ray, but they all let emotion and desire get in the way. They go to the junkyard where Bunchy’s money has been stashed. He’ll have to go downtown and answer a few questions. Daryll Donovan is about to realize how screwed he and Mickey are. Tags: We’ll know for sure in two episodes.

Poldark Recap: A Widower For One Week

But Morwenna and Jeffrey Charles DO attend, and Demelza rather hypocritically reminds Morwenna that Drake is too far below her station and she needs to get over it. (There’s also a boring storyline about Morwenna and Jeffrey Charles going to Truro for Christmas, and how Drake will miss them, etc. The thrill of the chase and all that. Demelza and Pug Lady proceed to shake down the gentry for donations. I am worried that George is going to marry her off in a fit of pique to this horrible Whitworth man who’s been a widower for one week and is already happy about a new waistcoat and a party. George offers him 2,000 guineas to take her off his hands, Whitworth wants 6,000. etc. To no one’s surprise, this was a Warleggan ship, so you can imagine George shows a lot of mercy to the surviving villagers who get dragged before him in court. Yet again, Ross has pissed George off at the cost of others: George proceeds to close Wheal Leisure just to spite him, sending 70 miners’ families into deep poverty. Does he break out “stealing from your betters”? Meanwhile, Pug Lady has reason to believe that Enys will be home by Christmas, though Ross (reasonably) looks more than a little doubtful. Pug Lady and Ross decide to go to Trenwith in person to pick up Aunt Agatha — Pug Lady being there to keep George’s men from shooting Ross on sight — and they discover her in a freezing house, underfed and fractious as ever. The discovery that Morwenna took Jeffrey Charles to the Poldark’s christening. Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s going to result in a scandalous elopement with Drake. Whitworth, invited to entrance Morwenna with his personality, really works his charm, being both boring and ugly and gross and horny. As he’s being gross, Drake and Morwenna run sexily to each other across the beach. George packs her off back to Trenwith as a punishment, one she gleefully accepts. Also annoying the shit out of George? We cut to the French prison, which looks a lot like the hospital in Gone With the Wind. Yeah, Elizabeth, you seem so happy. Collins, poor Morwenna. Elizabeth gets the fun job of breaking the news of her upcoming wedding bliss to a weeping Morwenna. She dishes out some #realtalk to the girl about how her first marriage was for love and it sucked, but her second, for convenience, has been far more successful. They even get 50 guineas out of George, guilted into it by Elizabeth, who’s mad at him for dropping 3,000 on Morwenna’s dowry. That’s why you’re hitting the laudanum so hard. (Flash to Dr. He does! Ross hires 30 of the Wheal Leisure miners to help him explore extra lodes near Wheal Grace, mostly just to pay them wages, but they’ll probably find something. Make out or don’t, kids, you’re too young for me to care about your romance.)

Ross, who has surprisingly good handwriting, pens a letter to his Aunt Agatha to invite her to the baby’s christening. Watch this space for more. Stop talking about how the Godolphins aren’t inviting you to dinner! I mean, she’s not a great governess, let’s be clear. Tags: (Please know that every few scenes, we flash to Dr. PICK UP YOUR BABY. Morwenna flees the room, which doesn’t seem to put Whitworth off one jot. This does not prevent her from frenching him in the empty church, however. Ross and George get to trade insults at each other for a while, including a “Maybe you should ask ELIZABETH” in response to a “How do you sleep at night?” which made me gasp. They go back and forth about 80 times (it’s very funny, I must admit) and eventually arrive on 3,000 guineas. She proceeds to birth her daughter solo, bathe her, wrap her up, and be sitting up in bed, looking glowy and beautiful and non-sweaty and without burst blood capillaries in her eyelids when Ross wanders in for lunch. George’s sleazy henchman observes Ross and company dispatching the corn, and George merrily prepares “to send the lot of them to Botany Bay.” Happily, the church/storehouse gambit is successful and George departs with a flea in his ear. Whitworth is like a hornier Mr. Enys eating a rat or picking bullets out of a festering wound.)

Ross comes up with a sweet but obviously ruinously expensive plan to feed most of Cornwall, which involves turning Sulky Sam’s proto-church back into a storehouse for corn. “Your hesitancy does you credit!” Bro, does it? He wants them to inspire in his bride “awe and anticipation.” UGGHHHHHHHHHH. PICK UP YOUR BABY, ELIZABETH. Enys sobbing hysterically as the French shoot the prisoner he just worked to save.)

Now I have to share with you the grossest thing Whitworth says, to his tailor as he requests tighter breeches. A now hugely-pregnant Demelza is digging potatoes in the garden when her labor starts. Speaking of babies, Elizabeth continues to be a crummy mother to hers, who unreasonably insists on crying while no one picks him up or snoogles his little head. Prudie delivers it to Trenwith with some of the best bitchface I’ve ever seen, when George’s man crumples it up as soon as she leaves. Ross begs her to come live at Nampara, but she refuses to give up her one true joy: annoying the shit out of George by refusing to die. Photo: Courtesy of Mammoth Screen for BBC and Masterpiece

Poldark

Episode 4
Season 3

Episode 4

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

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In keeping with Poldark’s favorite theme, we open on starving villagers ambushing a corn delivery to feed their children, only to be promptly gunned down by the authorities. Will their attractive, young love prevail? Because I am a genius, George instantly proposes it as a plan to Elizabeth. That’s absolutely how birth goes.

The Making of Donna’s Big, Series-Ending Speech on Halt and Catch Fire

“That’s what I’m scared most about.”

In her speech, Donna touches on the history of computer science, and how women, who once populated the field, started to get pushed out as it grew in importance. “I was like, You’re so Ann-Margret. “I’ve been begging Karyn to direct all season,” said Bernstein. “I am a woman who voted her female partner out of her own company — the company she founded,” Donna says in the speech, as Cameron listens on. The makeup played off of the same tones. Related Stories

Kerry Bishé on Donna’s Last Words in the Halt and Catch Fire Finale

Lee Pace on Joe MacMillan’s Fate in the Halt and Catch Fire Finale

The heartfelt two-page monologue about being a woman in tech was one of the hardest parts of the finale for Christopher Rogers and Christopher Cantwell, the co-creators and showrunners, to write. The production did one test run with her double doing the fall before Davis took her turn, which she nailed in one take. “I felt it was a really good fall,” Mackenzie Davis said soon after she fell into the pool in the closing moment of the scene. Donna’s speech in particular proved to be one of the biggest writing challenges. Executive producer Melissa Bernstein finally got her wish to have Karyn Kusama direct an episode for the final season. The Writing

Always backup your work! The real trouble, though, came after sunset, because it’s easier to take away light and create shadow than it is to add light to darkness. You fight hard, you make sacrifices, and it hasn’t been easy. “I imagine what the scene calls for and the best spatial relationships to set up,” said Kusama. In other words, with the backyard under shadow, they could amp up the light coming from inside the house so the entire scene would look darker on camera. All Rights Reserved. “The scene is really moving to me, because it’s about this imaginative space where women acknowledged the struggles, the hardships, the accomplishments that other women have made.”

The Lighting

Annabeth Gish (center), who plays Diane Gould, looks on during the speech. “I used to stress about the weather when I did day exteriors the night before,” said Brown, the director of photography. “We decided we were just going to use it as the location because it’s easier to have a beautiful pool than imitate something onstage.”

It was important to convey a certain status for Donna, who emerges in this final season as a rising executive at the VC firm where Diane Gould (Annabeth Gish) brings her on. All Rights Reserved. I get to talk to Mackenzie and look in her face and tell her what a great partner she’s been, and it’s all just so true. At the center of the swirl of extras, cameras, and crew stood Kerry Bishé in a light pink terrycloth bathrobe and slides, going over the speech her character, Donna Emerson (previously, Clark), was about to deliver. The dolly came into play for Davis’s coverage: The camera would sweep over the pool as she walked alongside it. “I did a million versions of the speech because one of the worst sins you can commit is to come off as preachy, and we’ve really tried to live our principles with that versus advertising them,” said Rogers. People like my last, and best, partner, Cameron Howe.” It’s around this point when the two lock eyes and a tear trickles down Cameron’s face. “Eventually, I think she just folded to wanting to be a part of bringing this series to a close. To the west side, they set up charcoal solids to block out the sunlight, making the backyard a dim cocoon. Bernstein pushed to bring Kusama on in the first season, and the Girlfight director has done one episode per season since. Maslik and set director Lance Totten built a raised wooden platform that they then would cover with sod so the lawn would be level. The knowledge of that journey and the bumps on the road afford her the ability to speak about it in a personal way.”

Much of that has to do with her relationship with Cameron. It was a replica of a mid-century modern home in a quiet neighborhood in the northeastern part of Atlanta. What follows is a behind-the-scenes look at how Donna’s big scene came together. Photo: © 2017 AMC Film Holdings LLC. “So you have three hours there that you have to make look like dusk when the sun’s out.”

How do you make it look like dusk when there’s a 94-degree sun beating down on you? “It’s the overt ‘messaging’ that we try to make subtextual in a lot of what we do,” said Rogers. It takes a village, especially on a television set. I can’t, like, orchestrate a beautiful fall, but I can trip into something,” said Davis. Bishé stood on the dais in the dark of night surrounded by equipment — two cameras, lights, and reflective solids with the grip cloud hovering overhead — while giving the speech; only this time, there weren’t scores of women surrounding her: just the cameramen, Kusama, Rogers, and the overeager homeowner looking at the monitors in the video village directly in her sight line. “We lit the shit out of it,” said Brown. It was 6:55 p.m. Grips laid down about 20 feet of track along the west side of the yard so they could do sweeping shots with a 15-foot Super Techno Crane, suspended over the pool like an arm hanging on a sofa. Photo: © 2017 AMC Film Holdings LLC. This was so meaningful earlier.”

Still, Bishé powered through, and when they got the shots they needed, Kusama exclaimed, “Kerry, you’re a fucking cyborg.”

The Reacting

One fall, one take! “And I’ll tell you, especially as you get older, I don’t want to waste my time working with assholes.”

“As I was listening to Kerry speak,” Gish continued, “I felt like everything was synonymous with that journey. It’s us. I can look at the crew that I love and say how proud I am to be on this journey with you and mean it 100 percent. It was a wretchedly hot afternoon in Atlanta; at 94 degrees Fahrenheit, it would go on record as the hottest day of the month. They liked its clean, unfussy lines, which would be able to accommodate ornamental touches to tailor it to Donna’s taste and the time period. “It is textual tonight, but I think we’ve earned it because of Donna’s journey from this housewife who put her own ambitions away in the first season to the head of this VC firm, where she ends up at the end of season four. Kerry Bishé gives Donna’s big finale speech. All Rights Reserved. The first draft the actors read is white; depending on how many drafts they write, the sequence that follows is blue, pink, and yellow. “No matter how hard you try, you’ll never make it look like the sun, but you just do the best you can, and in the final color they help you out a little bit.”

The Look

Kerry Bishé, in coral. They’ve been splintered apart, the ‘will they, won’t they’ of getting back and working together again threads through the whole season.”

The Location

Kerry Bishé and Mackenzie Davis shoot their next scene late into the night. It allowed them to place small bars behind Donna as she speaks to the group, but it also meant that all nonessential personnel needed to stay off the platform lest it break. Photo: Copyright_2017

The costume design, makeup, and hair teams worked to complement the dusky-rose color palette that Maslik had created for the production design. by the time shooting began, and only a few clouds dotted an otherwise still-bright summer sky. They lightened her hair to a “light copper” from the deeper red it had been since they moved the show to California. “Now I just don’t look anymore. Christopher Rogers and Christopher Cantwell, simply known as the Chrises on set, got into the yellow pages for the finale episode, which is fairly typical for their writing process. One feature they had to contend with was the slope at the back of the yard. “It makes textual what should be subtextual,” said Rogers. Related
Kerry Bishé on Donna’s Last Words in the Halt and Catch Fire Finale

Tags: The costume designer, Jennifer Bryan, outfitted Bishé in a chic silk-wrap dress in a deep coral color. “There are certain lines that are pretty fucking heartbreaking when you think that, even though this is all an imaginary world, it’s still 1994!” she said. The color palette was very ’90s: dusty rose and emerald green, which appears on the backsplash in the kitchen, the tablecloths outside, the blinds, furniture, and other accents. Having played the character of Donna Clark for four seasons meant she had a trove of memories to draw upon. “Then it’s just a matter of balancing the interior lighting with the higher ambient light levels from outside,” explained Brown. But I’m here. Bernstein wanted to continue the tradition for the fourth and final season, but Kusama was navigating some scheduling conflicts with her film with Nicole Kidman, Destroyer. “It’s sad thinking that this was very relevant then, relevant now, will still be relevant in ten years.”

For Gish, who plays Donna’s mentor, Diane, it was an opportunity to think about the current sea change happening in Hollywood. People like my husband and my first partner Gordon Clark. “That’s my lifestyle.”

As for the speech itself, Davis thought a lot about her own career and the fact that women have to keep having this conversation in every sphere. “There wasn’t going to have to be a whole lot of technical pretending or acting, really,” she said. “That speech was easy to do 100 times when everyone was there,” said Bishé. “It’s funny because TV demands you think pretty quickly of actual, basic spatial understanding, so even though it gets a bad rap that you have to work this quickly, for me it’s a great exercise because I have to be thinking about cinema language in the most effective, efficient way.”

In terms of what the space is supposed to convey thematically, “it’s really about the emotional piece that Cameron and Donna have arrived at,” Kusama explained. The script, though, called for dusk, which inevitably raised a production question: How do you make four hours of shooting time look like five minutes of twilight? But no one needed to explain this to the 50-odd women outfitted in brocade pantsuits and satin dresses, trying to stay cool in the backyard of a house on the set of the series finale of Halt and Catch Fire. “I’m just a very clumsy person. You know, big and sexy and powerful,” said Yarbrough. The project gets us to the people, because it’s people that got me where I am. “Being that this was a party, we pumped her up a bit more than if this was just an everyday 1994 look,” said Donna Premick, the head of makeup. “I needed a house which had minimalist architecture so we could do whatever we wanted,” said Maslik. Photo: © 2017 AMC Film Holdings LLC. Photo: AMC

Episode director Karyn Kusama, DP Evans Brown, and production designer Ola Maslik scouted the house where Donna would live. “Everything is very earthy tones, like your rust colors and burnt oranges.” Meanwhile, the hair design by Joani Yarbrough was conceptualized with Bishé. When it was time to film it, the gaffer, Rick Crank, used a 120-foot condor, a giant panel of light attached to a crane, to light the treeline behind her as a way to add light to the scene. However, they always have the option of smoothing things out in postproduction. As Donna talks about the challenges of working as a woman in a male-dominated industry, the resonance wasn’t lost on Bishé or any of the other actresses assembled that night. “I wish I’d asked them to keep some of the background around, because I was trying to look at a flowerpot here, and then there’s a grip scratching his butt over there, and I’m like, Oy. Photo: © 2017 AMC Film Holdings LLC. Kerry Bishé didn’t want to over-prepare for her speech; she let herself feel the words as she said them. “I don’t like to overtly moralize in the show, but it felt like we’d earned it.” The speech was text as meta text, too. It was a triumphant punctuation for Donna, who by all appearances began as a secondary character in the pilot of Halt and Catch Fire — a nagging foil to the troubled geniuses of the show like Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace), Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis), and her ex-husband Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy). “I think the old egomaniacal, patriarchal, power-hungry executive way doesn’t work anymore,” she said. You think about all the ‘Women in Hollywood’ dinners and cocktail parties.”

Still, reciting a two-page speech multiple times can be an exhaustive feat. It’s a very honest confession and celebration.”

That, and the fact that the words she was saying could be easily applied to her own experiences in Hollywood. “They make this emotional reconnection in the aftermath of Gordon’s death, but the professional one is scary and touches all the old wounds. All Rights Reserved. “[Donna] used to live in a house, and now she’s like, ‘Oh my god, I’m just going to buy this amazingly designed mid-century modern house and decorate it with a designer,’” said Maslik. “One of the lines in it that always gets me is when she’s like, ‘I hope that when my daughters are my age, they don’t have to have gatherings like this to remind themselves they’re actually here.’ And what’s hard about that is … that’s me,” said Bishé. People like Diane Gould. The Acting

Subtext as text as metatext. By the time Bishé began shooting her coverage, it was 9:09 p.m., the sun had set, and the cicadas were chirping in the background. For the party, they wanted to convey a serene sense of luxury, with bouquets of off-white peonies, strings of paper lanterns, and floating lights in the pool. It just felt right.”

For this scene in particular, Kusama was analyzing space and how to shoot the two central characters, Donna and Cameron. At the very least, it meant that episode director Karyn Kusama and the DP (director of photography) Evans Brown were chasing the sunset. Clustered in the shade outside, the women dabbed themselves with cocktail napkins the PAs had passed out, while others huddled around a fan inside. The key grip, Bill Merrill, set up a truss tower that allowed them to tether a giant, helium-filled mattress balloon called a grip cloud that floated over the entire backyard. Photo: Copyright_2017

Each script of Halt and Catch Fire is color-coded according to which draft it is. Since the scene took place during dusk, an overcast day would have helped; instead, it was hot and bright with barely any cloud coverage, otherwise known as “the worst nightmare.” “The scene takes about four hours to shoot, and you have an hour of dusk,” he said. There’s something to be said for enduring.”

Kerry Bishé, Mackenzie Davis, and Annabeth Gish on Gish’s last day of production. I’ve been doing this for 35 years, you know? Donna would stand near the edge of the pool, facing the group of women looking back at her house, with Cameron moving from inside the house along the edge of the pool toward Bishé. All Rights Reserved. The lighting gods will be with me or they won’t be.” That day, they weren’t. “My generation is those daughters, and we’re still having these gatherings and conversations. “The one constant is this: It’s you. “Essentially, this season is a love story between them,” Rogers said of the Cameron-Donna relationship. Photo: © 2017 AMC Film Holdings LLC. Photo: © 2017 AMC Film Holdings LLC. All Rights Reserved. And because it’s much easier to adjust colors for close-up shots than it is for wide shots in post, they held off on shooting Bishé’s close-up until the end. “There was so much about that speech that’s completely, totally truthful and honest. The Direction

Episode director Karyn Kusama discusses a scene with Kerry Bishé.

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Halt and Catch Fire Series Finale Recap: Phoenix

A box breaks, and that’s how Cameron and Donna finally come to an understanding again. Cameron looks back at her, with all the love Bos could see in her just spilling out everywhere. It doesn’t matter that much, really; it’s amazing that the show’s truest, most lasting, most meaningful relationship is a friendship and partnership between two women. Boxes and time, beginnings and ends. Joe’s time is up and he didn’t make it. I was sure Kevin and his terrific uselessness would be far and away the funniest thing about these episodes, but then Donna tried to play hacky sack in her slip-style red cocktail dress and declared that she just did not “get” it. At the end of the final episode, we return to Joe, who has given up tech and turned to a world of ideas and abstractions. And if the thing Joe has always wanted to do is open a door, it’s hard to imagine a more catastrophic ending for him than picking up a chair and hurling it through the glass of Gordon’s office, smashing his way across the boundary in order to reach Gordon’s still-beeping alarm. Comet and Rover were always going to end because this show exists in our real lived history, and there was never any way around Netscape launching with Yahoo built into its browser toolbar. I’ve so loved spending time with Donna and Cameron for the last four years. Bos, walking out of the doctor’s office to “Fanfare for the Common Man.” Bos, slow dancing with Diane. When he turns it on, music plays and he and Diane dance in his immaculate garage workshop. She’s dressed in red again for this scene, but now it’s less like a flag and more like a beacon, an image of defiance and power and unapologetic existence. Perfect. • Runner-up for funniest moment: Joe getting his fortune read by Lillian from Kimmy Schmidt (Carol Kane!), who notes that his salsa line looks pretty good. But mostly, things end, and then everyone tries to figure out how to move forward. This time, they’re both wearing red. Afterward, when she’s dry and clothed again, Cam and Donna sit and talk some more. Halt and Catch Fire

Search; Ten of Swords
Season 4

Episodes 9 and 10

Editor’s Rating

5 stars

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It was always going to end. Halt and Catch Fire tries to teach us how to say good-bye (“To stay is hard. Cameron shows up at Joe’s apartment with a box and is left holding it in the doorway, blinking in shock at the emptied space. But Halt and Catch Fire knows that this is not what tragedy looks like. It’s Donna and Cameron starting a new company and already being able to see how it will fall apart. Cam is on the verge of departure, just about to head off to somewhere she hopes will be a fresh start. Halt and Catch Fire plays with the negative vision of recursion first, exploring the idea of trying the same thing repeatedly, saying good-bye and starting over, failing and then trying it again. They were all always going to end, because everything does eventually. They’ll start again, as we knew they would. In the negative, it’s a vision of being stuck and never escaping, like Captain Kirk in a time ribbon. There are reasons for each ending, different ways of explaining what happened. So the end of Comet is also the end of them. I want to go back and hug all of those people and tell them I am so happy for all of their dreams, but they should somehow figure out how to stop 2017 from ever happening. We’re actually here, she tells the gathered women. She waves, and then she falls in the pool. Halt and Catch Fire’s vision of life is not about some false construction of an end point, though. Not just because they have to, but because these two episodes are all about ending and starting over. Now, the final shot of the two of them together is a gasp-inducing image of them once again outlined in separate spaces, walled off from each other forever. That scene where Donna and Cameron look at the empty box from the old Mutiny office and envision the whole cycle of a new company? Halt and Catch Fire was always going to end because it’s one of those shows that existed on the bubble forever, perpetually tilting on the edge of cancellation. But the vision of the two women at the end of this series, committed to each other and the desire to make something together, is the most optimistic thing I can imagine for right now. Again. It’s all hard”). They try, it ends, and they figure out how to start again. Haley comes storming into the house with her definitely real boyfriend Kevin, and yells from her room that her computer’s having a meltdown. She’s mustering the energy to say good-bye to everyone all over again, but she can’t. For this series, recursion is what a real hero’s journey looks like: It’s the process of coming to an end and then figuring out what comes next. Joanie takes off for Thailand, tearful but courageous. Comet, Rover, Joe and Cam, and Halt and Catch Fire itself. It’s probably because he just breaks my heart too badly? In the montage that follows, Donna gets out of the elevator, glances happily at the firm’s new name, Symphonic, and heads into the new space. The timer has gone off. This is what life looks like. Many things happen in these last two episodes. People are the constant, Donna tells them, looking out at the group. Joe goes to see a fortune-teller. And Joe and Cam? They look like they’re praying. Photo: Bob Mahoney/AMC Film Holdings LLC. I’ve written a lot about boxes this season, and the way Halt and Catch Fire has been nimbly juggling metaphors of boxes, encasement, doorways, and portals. • I have not spent nearly enough time on Bos. Tags: Cameron finally ditches Alexa, who was more interested in trotting around Cameron’s brilliance than she was in actually supporting any of her work. In this season’s second episode when Cam and Joe reunite, they sit in their separate boxes connecting over the phone before Joe finally crosses the threshold. What did we do to deserve him? From the start, the show has been about the computer (yet another kind of box) not as the thing, but as the way of getting to the thing. It could be them already seeing an end. But in the moment, when he’s scrambling to keep Comet in the game, when he can’t see past his own pain to focus on the person next him, he goes too far. Things change, time moves on, and no matter what you do, there’s always a better version of it around the next corner. • Yes, Donna, we think Haley’s probably gay. She does it publicly, in front of a crowd of women in the tech industry. It’s a fitting end for him: At last, he can go live in a world where connection and idealism don’t need to be interrupted by who got there first. Random-Access Memories

• What a glorious treasure of ‘90s things: Bagel Bites, Bob Ross, Natural Born Killers, Veruca Salt, hacky sack, Star Trek: Generations, and the promise of living into the 21st century. She has taken down all the walls between each person’s office. Or, as Cameron explains it to Bos, they’re stories about recursion. That scene with the Phoenix sign lighting up over their heads is one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long, long time. “I have an idea,” she tells Cameron. And Joe has never been able to put the person ahead of the idea. Earlier this season, Donna wore a red blazer to circle a conference table menacingly, and I described it as looking like a bullfighter’s flag. I get why this is the end the creators chose — it is a mirror of the first scene from Halt and Catch Fire’s pilot — but I wish the order had been swapped so we’d ended with Donna and Cam. Bos lovingly dusts off an ancient Cardiff Electric radio and Donna solders it back into working order; it’s the exact model Bos used to pack into boxes on the Cardiff factory floor, he tells her. Donna swims back and forth, back and forth inside her swimming pool, before finally getting out and going back to work. She and Donna bow their heads over a busted hard drive, considering the damage. It could be a sad scene. He wheedles Cam, he stretches her, he cannot help but pull on the strings of her talent even though she’s straining to get back to her own space. He’s tried to make something that will endure beyond him. (It’s not the thing, it’s how you get to the thing). This series was always going to end — everything does. Halt and Catch Fire has always been about nostalgia and the past, even within its own run, and it feels unfair and unnecessary to try and force it into a connection with today. This is the circumstance that leads Cameron to blurt out her desire to work with Donna again, and this is how Donna finally apologizes to Cameron. Bos, thinking back to packing radios into boxes, and how far the world has come. Toby Huss is astonishingly good, the kind of good that just socks you right in the solar plexus and prevents you from thinking straight. He’s tried to change. I will always think of them as still being out there somewhere, ending things and starting again. It’s ruining her project. As Bos tells her, Cam is just too full of love — it’s overflowing, bursting, exploding out of her. But she is still here and the constant is never the work. This is what it looks like when people love each other, and when they try to make things together. There’s a problem with a box. But in the truest Halt and Catch Fire turn, it ends with a moment of something starting again, as Donna looks around a diner and has a moment of epiphany. TV shows and tech start-ups are alike that way. Haley screws up her courage to ask out the girl from Hound Dog, and then she strikes out. It’s all over these final two episodes.

Kerry Bishé on Donna’s Final Line in the Halt and Catch Fire Finale

And part of that has been starting to do some work about unconscious bias. It really is an act of faith, but you trust that they’ll mean it, that they’ll invest in it. And it’s so hopeful, and beautiful, and forward-looking. She could envision where technology was going and be the one to get you there. They’re dumb requirements. Do you feel like your own journey as an actor in Hollywood is reflected in what Donna is saying?For a long time, I really blithely walked around in the world imagining that gender didn’t matter any more and behaving like I was on equal footing with other people. It is great that behind the scenes we got that equality eventually. It can’t be. Like, why don’t girls like math and science? Is that something you’ve advocated for yourself on this show? She’s the one with the inspiration at the end. You think about all the ‘Women in Hollywood’ dinners and cocktail parties. Not a word. And I’m worried everyone is going to hate her, you know? The metatextual thing really comes to the fore, especially in that scene. I was like, I want to be a part of this for sure. And so I’ll just do my actor job and just try and find something in it that I feel I can do honestly. Because I was like, you can’t put them back together again. Donna provides the human lens on this world. “My generation is those daughters, and we’re still having these gatherings and conversations. How did you feel about her arc of trying to be more of a shark this season?Oh, it was so heartbreaking. We don’t know what the idea is, which I love. The idea doesn’t matter. Oh, she’s the wife of the guy.” Scoot [McNairy] is never defined as, “The husband of the lady.”

What was your first reaction when you took the role in the first season to how Donna was written? In this interview, Bishé looked back at the past four-and-a-half years on the show, and the final line Donna says to Cameron. But that’s less fun for me to play, a little bit. Pay parity is increasingly an issue in Hollywood. Related Stories

The Making of Donna’s Big, Series-Ending Speech on Halt and Catch Fire

Lee Pace on Joe MacMillan’s Fate in the Halt and Catch Fire Finale

Halt and Catch Fire Was the Most Quintessentially Gen-X Show on TV

What was your reaction when you first read the final script? But what’s so great is that it’s like an infinite ending. It was nice to not have to ask. It’s cool. It’s okay if you fumble a little with the screws. You think about all the “Women in Hollywood” dinners and cocktail parties. And then the other part is what a beautiful thing to get to articulate how hard it is for working women and some of the conflicts they have. And so what’s great is she has the idea. We talked a little about all of the allegories between the content of this show and making a TV show. But it’s great, we don’t have to know what the idea is. Photo: Getty Images

In the end, it was Donna. My generation is those daughters, and we’re still having these gatherings and conversations. She has to work for a living, you know? There’s no way. Like, a TV show, it doesn’t have to be that good. So I worked with the props people, because I was like, I need to look like preternaturally good at this. And this year I was so uncomfortable. And, at a certain point, I realized there’s information I’m missing if I’m not paying attention to what my gender is doing in the world. But I was like, I’m not going to ask to change anything. That’s not how she’s a powerful person. Really? It was so hard, because I love her and I don’t want to see her make horrible mistakes and be such a bad person. I get to talk to Mackenzie and look in her face and tell her what a great partner she’s been, and it’s all just so true. It’s not one idea. Donna is really the silent weapon in the show.You know, the other characters in the show are borderline sociopaths at times. You’re so stupid. It was a really nice commitment — literally putting their money where their mouth is. They did this cool thing where they had different lenses, and Joe had this green-lens filter. We shot it a bunch of different ways. Because it could be anything. She’s not the freaky genius savant kid that all of these other characters were. I do think the principle is important, no matter the size of the numbers we’re talking about. But it matters. They’re, like, on the spectrum. I remember talking to them and having conversations, and I was like, “I’m going to have to just trust you, but it feels like what’s in here is she’s got the potential to be something other than the wife. It’s hard to separate yourself from the character after so many years, which is a unique experience for me. And then it’s like a lightning bolt. What’s the future for them?” The show is the show, and this is the end of the show. The future that we’re living and the future that we’re yet to see. The women of the BBC just had to organize to try to get equal pay. I want you to root for her as much as I root for her, and she’s just so awful. It’s 2017, you know?” And she does. Karyn [Kusama, the director of the episode] has this great idea about it. In the finale episode, Donna, played by Kerry Bishé, delivered a Joe-like speech that looked back at what she had accomplished while looking ahead. And one of my favorites is if it’s an apology. Yeah, it really helps. So you needed to have that to compare it to. Pay parity is a really hard one to talk about because truly I get paid great. That’s going to go horribly.” But what they do is they spend the whole episode talking themselves out of it, and they list all of the reasons why it’s a terrible idea. Because I can’t trust myself to be objective about it, because I don’t like any of it. It’s the moment of them coming together and Donna having the inspiration and sharing it with her, with this person. It’s so hard. What a beautiful way to end the show. Who knows, the way the industry is right now, nobody’s honoring quotes. It’s all things, and everything anyone could possibly imagine, you can imagine for them. I want to talk about the final line Donna says to Cameron: “I have an idea.” I’m so happy with that ending. And in the midst of making dinner I take apart the Speak & Spell. Amid the bombastic charisma of Joe MacMillan, the frantic genius of Cameron Howe, and the fragile ego of her ex-husband, Gordon Clark, Donna Emerson emerged as the one who could see the future. She gets to have all of the things. One of the lines in it that always gets me is when she’s like, “Hey, you know, I’ll hang out with you and eat good food whenever. The actors do these read-throughs, just on our own, which has been one of the most satisfying things about doing this job. Those are great characters, but it was so easy to relate to Donna. In the past seasons, if there were things we didn’t love about the script or the language, we would lobby to change it to varying degrees of success. It’s so deep and beautiful and about being a person, your ambition, and struggling with yourself. Without having to ask this final season or renegotiate our contracts, they paid the four of us the same, which I thought was really generous. So we get to be smart, we get to acknowledge the truth about the history of these two people and know it’s a bad idea. It’s one of the best pilot scripts I’ve read. And also, you needed her to be able to look at the other people and know that their behavior was abnormal. All of it is so tied up in my mind. I feel like it’s in the script.” And they were like, “Yes, it is.” It’s really important to us that she isn’t just the mom and the nagging wife, the wet-blanket wife at home that we’ve seen on TV before. It’s all of the ideas. It was really important to me from the get-go to make it very clear what kind of person we were dealing with. And I think, for a long time, it was easy to live in the world that way. And I feel like part of what does make her powerful is being really open and vulnerable about her feelings. And Karyn’s like, it’s everything. And usually we get the script in our email and we’ll all read it, and then we’ll find a time that we can all get together, and then we work on it — hash it out. It all feels bad. I knew where it was going, and you very quickly see the direction it was headed. And, I mean, did they ever. But the line that really got Bishé was when her character says, “I hope that when my daughters are my age, they don’t have to have gatherings like this to remind themselves they’re actually here.”

“What’s hard about that is … that’s me,” Bishé said to me on the penultimate day of shooting the series finale of Halt and Catch Fire. And she’s always been the workhorse, the old reliable, practical one. And in the moment I was reading it, it didn’t totally register. I remember I’m picking [Gordon] up at jail and I’m on him about drinking in the afternoon, and I’m doing dishes. There’s this whole system of, you have your quote, your quote is based on prior work that you’ve done. This is the moment where I need to express that this person isn’t what you think she is. Donna’s problem has been that she doesn’t feel appreciated. I know I’m not going to start appreciating this until I read other scripts, but we blow the Bechdel Test out of the water, which is the point of the Bechdel Test: It’s a stupid bare minimum. And it’s been nice the last few episodes to get back to what feels like good Donna, where she learns that lesson and she finds out what does make her powerful. And it turns out she was kind of a drunk. Donna sees the future when all of this human interaction will be technological. But I hope that when my daughters are my age, they don’t have to have gatherings like this to remind themselves they’re actually here.” And what’s hard about that is… that’s me. I understand why it’s complicated with TV. Tiny little baby steps, you know? You’re harried. And then they were like, “We gave you the Joe lens.” That’s a really subtle but powerful way to suggest something like that. And then I reread it later in my car and I wept. She becomes a mirror of Joe from the first season.Yeah. And I was shocked that they managed, in a way that I buy, to have it both ways. She’s not that way. Still on the show I’m “the wife,” when people are like, “Which of the two girls are you? I’m paying for the food in our diner, and she sees somebody reading the newspaper, and she sees the jukebox, and she’s the waitress taking an order, and she sees the cash register. To play the role of someone who’s so complicated and smart and Donna hasn’t had a love interest — it’s not about that kind of relationship. Related
Mackenzie Davis, Kerry Bishé Get Pay Equal to Male Co-stars in Final HACF Season

Tags: I can look at the crew that I love and say how proud I am to be on this journey with you and mean it 100 percent. And that’s so fucking cool. It’s okay.” And I was like, No. You can’t really argue with that. It is a step that helps truly even the playing field now. There are more men that are leads of shows so their quotes are higher faster. And the director, Juan Campanella, was like, “It’s okay if you struggle a little bit. On this show I’ve always gotten paid great and I’m doing what I love. We’re wrapping up this four-and-a-half years of my life, and there’s so much about it. If you are the lead of the show, your quote will be higher. That’s the beautiful thing. The trauma that these two people have gone through together, we’d be like, “You’re idiots. Behind the scenes, gender equality was a part of the conversation: Bishé and her female co-star Mackenzie Davis got paid equally to their male co-stars Lee Pace and Scoot McNairy for the final season. You’re like, oh, she’s just going off the deep end. It also felt a little bit like it got to this point where the only kind of person that would do that is a lunatic or a drunk. And I’m trying to, like, fix the Speak & Spell. Also, roles for women are often so relational. She’s the human heart. I remember I loved the pilot script. She’s the one who’s in the driver’s seat, making the choices. When we first read it, we all got together and read it. She’s trying to be Joe, and it doesn’t work for her. I don’t usually have that. And there was so much about that speech that’s, like, completely, totally truthful and honest. It’s a meaningful thing and also that’s my quote going forward. Truly. That’s so vanishingly rare. The system leans to favor a certain direction. It’s 2017. Do you think that they’ll work together?Yeah, totally… I’m not one of those people who are like, “What do the characters do after this? They can’t relate well with others. Is it Venmo?I made some joke like, is it the iPhone? So we decided to not read the last episode until we were all together and read it out loud together for the first time, which was really fun and weird. How do we talk to girls versus boys? I really liked, “I have an idea,” which is a really hard thing to act. Mackenzie cried, and I was like, Yeah, it’s cool. So that part’s kind of sad.

Lee Pace on Joe MacMillan’s Fate in the Halt and Catch Fire Series Finale

He takes the shape of the vessel.Yeah, exactly. The directors come and go. But I think he’s just curious about people and he likes to be very intimate with people that he believes in. But that’s that feeling of failure. Photo: Getty Images

In between takes during a scene in Halt and Catch Fire’s final season, Lee Pace comes over and shows me a chimpanzee’s penis on his phone. This is the tool that people need, and he just goes about solving the problem. Well, no, that’s not true. And there are moments in our lives where that form becomes obsolete, and you feel like, “That’s not necessarily the right fit for me in my life right now.” And I’ve felt that over the past five years. With Comet, it’s the same thing. How did I get to be a grown-up?” It gets me all the time. When we started, I wrote this email to everyone and I was like, “The writers are on the West Coast. I’m the one who created everything, I’m the one who hired everyone. So it’s surprising that it didn’t work out for him. That’s what I mean about him failing. Not everything makes sense. I don’t know if I did that to the character that was written, or if it was there and it just made its way into my own life. He’s a questioner and a disrupter. I think love and intimacy are very important to him and also very challenging for him. Like, Scoot [McNairy, who plays Gordon Clark] has become one of my best friends. He wants them to be in service to his world. Certain things that I thought were important are just a little less important now. With that another venture ends, but another begins. So we should really make a company of people here, like actors.” I come from theater, and that’s my favorite part of doing a play, just rehearsing it. Because I hold the Chrises [Cantwell and Rogers, the co-creators of Halt and Catch Fire] responsible for the fate of Joe. That’s a good way to put it. I guess that’s the way that they understand it. This show fell on a complicated few years in my own life, personally. Like, with the computer, he needs Gordon to do one thing, he needs Cameron to do one thing, and then he’s got 100 other people who are doing other components for making the computer happen, and he delegates all of the pieces to people. Like, he never expected to fail. I like the questions that are asked at the end of the story now. I’m making an anti-virus software company.” Because he understands the big picture. I definitely had that feeling when I read it, and that made me sad. You’ve said that playing Joe in the first season was personally impactful, and I was wondering why or what it was about it. I don’t understand this; it doesn’t make sense to me why this is all falling apart right now. It’s out of your hands. He believed passionately in what he was pursuing, and he had every reason to believe each time around that it was going to be the thing that hit. She always kind of had a foot out the door. Related Stories

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Halt and Catch Fire Was the Most Quintessentially Gen-X Show on TV

What did you think of the way the show rebooted itself for season two? But I think he’s got too much dignity and self respect to be someone’s doormat. Did you feel like you had to play a role as you, Lee Pace, the person?Yeah. That’s weirdly hard to play, because there’s always a moment in the season when I just don’t understand how you’re doing this to him. He changes the way he looks, and he’s one of those people that, if you see him after a couple of beers, he’ll look different. He’s a failure. If he finds someone sexy and interesting, he’s going to pursue them. But he’s not really. He is his environment and the people around him. He’s a mutable thing, and he doesn’t really have much of a persona himself. I’m actually an adult.” It sounds insane coming out of my mouth, but I tell you it happens all the time. They’re unreasonable people. He depends on being around people who are smarter than him and more capable than him. Like, there’s no reason to think that’s going to last forever, and so it falls apart in the way that it does. And so, we do a read through every Sunday. He’ll be talking about different things. It doesn’t have the obligation like if a bunch of people were watching it, so we had the opportunity to reboot it. He loves her and wants her in his life, but at a certain point, he’s just not going to beg her to stay. It just started this conversation: We’re talking about the characters and decoding them and getting to know each other in a really close way, so we’re making connections between our lives and the characters. I don’t understand the whole story, but that’s life in a way, you know? You don’t have to succumb to this pressure that you’re putting on yourself.” That all felt very relatable to me at this time in my life. I don’t think that it’s another twist, this ending. He’s a mutable person. He’s like water. It finds its way into the work in a really satisfying way that I’m really proud of. I’ll be driving and I’ll be like, “I’m an adult now. He had no doubt about it. That feels very appropriate and interesting. I think everyone does, don’t they? That’s what he does. My understanding is that you started hosting table reads at your house for the show.We all always were very close. That’s what he does, so those institutions of the heteronormative world are just not of interest to him. Were you part of that conversation?Well, every time we finished a season, I never thought we would get picked up again because not many people were watching. This time around too, he just expects the best out of it, and it fails. The chimps were in heat. If she wants to go, she can go. He’ll be fine alone, you know? I mean, the way the Chrises described it when they were adding this aspect to the character, they said he operates on all systems. So that story I find very interesting. When Joe describes his vision, there’s a very sexual energy as he’s trying to convince people. Let me take control of this, and you, for a little while.”

He’s like, “Come into my boudoir.” [Laughs.] Yeah, yeah. He’s got a magician’s alchemy: If we mix all these things, I have the feeling something good is going to come. Yeah. You’re just a human. Do you feel like the ending is a fitting one for him?I do think it’s fitting. He was just hopeful and optimistic every time around, no matter how badly it went before. He doesn’t feel like he’s taking a political role in it. His answer to that question would be, “I do everything. It makes me put my head in my hands to think that, because he’s such a sociopath in a lot of ways. What do you think Joe actually does? But that’s life in a way, isn’t it? He knew how good his ideas were. I’m that person who wears that shirt, and these are his friends, and that’s what he does all day.” I think there’s a side to that with everyone. Yeah, I don’t know. This person in his life is done when she treats him the way that she does in those last moments. With Gordon dead, he’s not going to pursue technology anymore. The fact that when he’s done, he’s done. He’s actually just unlucky. We just embraced the opportunity of getting to tell a story over a long time and getting to really know each other, as you do when you get to work together for a long time. Having to feel like fulfilling a certain role?In the first season, he felt like he had to be like Steve Jobs, for example. I really like that. He becomes what they need. The questions that we’ll ask about Joe MacMillan: who he is and what he’s about, seeing him in the role that he’s in, choosing to do this. So in that respect, it makes him sad. I’m, like, 38 years old and it catches me by surprise. His bisexuality also felt like he wanted to encompass everything — or that’s how it read to me. He then explains that he went to a chimpanzee sanctuary supported by Judy Greer’s husband, Dean Johnsen. He zooms in on the “pencil thing” thrust between the bars of a cage as the male chimp grinned widely. Did you feel that? He doesn’t feel subjected to those rules; he doesn’t feel like he owes anyone an explanation for it. I’m a grown man now. He is. He doesn’t necessarily require monogamy. You figure out a version of yourself that’s like, “That’s who I am. I think he wants people to do what he wants them to do, you know? In the second season, he felt like he had to say, “This is who I am now, and I have to play this role for a while.” And that kept him from understanding who he was, you know? Joe just is finished with her. There’s just no point. The relationship with Cameron is unreasonable. It just did. Related
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Tags: But at the same time, he’s like, “If you wanna go work with Donna, you two are well suited for each other.”

It did feel a little bit like Joe was being put out to pasture.Yeah. And that’s one of my favorite things about the show. She needed a safe place to be after her divorce, and he was happy to do whatever it took to make her stay as long as she was going to stay. And misunderstood. I’m like, “How did this happen? That feels right to me. Joe MacMillan’s career over the past four seasons of Halt and Catch Fire took on a cyclical quality of birth, destruction, and rebirth, so it’s fitting that Joe ends the series how he began it, by saying to a roomful of students, “Let me begin by asking you a question.” Only this time, he has lost his Gordon Gekko bombast, and is gentler and more generous. And that’s kind of written into what Joe is about. Yeah. That’s what sex means to him. Like, this was going to be the success. He chuckles softly and then goes back to shooting the scene — a somber one where his character Joe MacMillan has decided to end his company and is saying farewell to his employees. So I guess there is an element of seduction to that, like, “Drop the reality that you see and come into mine. He’s not really interested in what their ideas are. Well, I think Joe believes it’s all him, first of all. An intuition. If he finds their mind interesting, he’s going to want to know more about it and sleep with them and get close to them. It’s really heartbreaking for him to see people he thinks are less qualified or are grabby and ambitious get the success that he has fought so hard to get. There’s this expectation that he has to fulfill a certain role, and he rejected that. But when I think about where he ends up now — much humbler and much more gentle with himself and generous to other people — I definitely feel close to that with the character and relieved for it. And it’s all you are. After Pace wrapped that scene, we sat at his character’s old office and discussed the end of the show as the crew broke down the set outside. It seems like Joe doesn’t do anything, but he does everything, actually. It makes sense to me that he doesn’t feel limitations. When did this happen? But he wants people to come on board his thinking. It never felt permanent this season. I’m a grown-up now. That was just not something that he … I don’t know why that came up. I think it took Ryan dying for him to be like, “Oh, this is who you are. He understands all of the parts that go into making the project. The thing about Joe, too — and this has been hard to play, actually — is that he loses. He’s going to just do what he wants to do. Not that I was trying to keep the character separate from my life, but you end up using it as kind of a laboratory to think about things that are going on in your life. I’m making the web browser. And he’s right about things, but he’s not able to execute the way that it should. You don’t have to be perfect. We would get together and read the episodes that we were working on. And I think that’s what it’s about. And you think about it with the character in a way that … I don’t know. He’ll be hanging around different people. It wasn’t intentional, but I think you’re right about that.

Halt and Catch Fire Was the Most Quintessentially Gen-X Show on TV

After watching the finale, this idea of making room for the next generation emerges as central to the lasting message of the series. The benefit of 21st-century hindsight enables us to understand just how close they come to inventing technology or platforms that will eventually become part of the fabric of our daily lives: Google, eBay, Facebook, even the internet itself. “And if that person is a man, it might not even be better. “One of the many things I’ve learned is that no matter what you do, somebody is around the next corner with a better version of it,” Donna tells a group that gathers for a “women in tech” party at her house. In the first episode of season four, Gordon celebrates his 40th birthday, confirmation, in case we forgot, that he was born in the 1950s. The dialogue in the last couple of episodes also notes that Cameron is now 32, which puts her date of birth in 1961 or ‘62, the tail end of the baby boom. In the last scene, Joe once again stands in front of a classroom, as he did in the pilot, addressing students who may aspire to do what he’s done. They raced after the next big idea — whether it was a faster, more efficient PC, an online gaming and chat room experience, or a new Internet search engine — while often competing against outside forces and each other. For several reasons, Halt and Catch Fire may actually be the most Gen X show on recent television. I especially loved how mainstream ‘80s music was dropped into the final season during moments of heightened emotion or nostalgia: The extended sequence in which the group cleans out the late Gordon’s house while “So Far Away” by Dire Straits spins on the turntable is just perfect. As an Xer myself, that all sounds pretty Gen X-ish to me. Eventually in season four, Joe — the same guy who tried to engineer a supercomputer using the guts of an IBM PC in season one — starts looking to the future for inspiration. Gordon, Joe, Cameron, and Donna are intelligent, talented, and determined, and they all achieve their share of success. (Al Gore may not have invented the internet, but I am pretty convinced that Cameron, Donna, Gordon, and Joe did.) But they miss it by that much because of bad timing, rotten luck, and chips on their shoulders that hold them back. It just might get more attention. Eventually each of them would hit their respective entrepreneurial walls, shut down, and then reboot so they could bolt forward with their next idea. The difference is that back then, he was a guest speaker who arrogantly thought he knew all the answers. Related
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Tags: Which is why he recruits young Haley — who’s 15 years old in 1994, which means she was born in 1979, making her a bona fide Xer — to build the infrastructure that will become the Comet search engine. Extremely obscure bands like Crippled Pilgrims were featured, as were deep-ish cuts from Peter Gabriel and A Tribe Called Quest, and well-known classics by the Clash or The Breeders. Which, actually, makes perfect sense. “What the hell is Yahoo!?” Cameron asks as she and Joe stare at the beta version of Netscape, dumbfounded. The final season also makes a point of reminding us of the characters’ ages, which highlights the generational connections within the story it’s telling. By the early 1990s, Joe seems to realize he might have something to learn from his students’ responses. But we know what does: Yahoo!, Google, Facebook, the iPhone, and Twitter, all creations either invented or partially developed by Generation Xers. It highlighted something that, in retrospect, too few companies acknowledged in the early 1990s: You can’t move forward if the veterans don’t listen to the motivated young visionaries who could become future industry leaders. Halt and Catch Fire never specifically addresses what comes next in the story of the internet. Being completely ignored is exactly right for a TV show that, in so many unexpected ways, understood Generation X. They race, they lose control of the computer, and they have to reboot, over and over again. And sometimes that person is you, the you that’s never satisfied with what you just did because you’re obsessed with whatever is next.”

Halt and Catch Fire was always obsessed with what came next because its characters were energized by the same prospect. In classic child of the ‘70s fashion, she has zero patience with Joe basically transforming her hard work into his own creation. From a nostalgic point of view, Halt and Catch Fire aimed right for the Gen-X sweet spot, setting its action between 1983 and 1994, and fully capturing the vibe in its spot-on production design, costume design, and especially its music choices, which were often wonderfully surprising. While the show’s core quartet may be Boomers, their professional experiences — which usually involve getting very close to achieving something revolutionary, then getting beaten to the punch and/or receiving little credit for their work — are more emblematic of the stereotypical Gen X identity, one rooted in being dismissed because of the larger, louder generations that flank it. The finale also gives us a hopeful hint that the new guard may be more female, as evidenced by Donna’s and Cam’s interest in launching a venture together and inspiring younger women to do the same. Related Stories

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Lee Pace on Joe MacMillan’s Fate in the Halt and Catch Fire Finale

By the time Halt and Catch Fire reaches its conclusion, which lands near the end of 1994, Gordon (Scoot McNairy) has passed away and Joe (Lee Pace) has moved back to New York to become a professor, leaving Cameron (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna (Kerry Bishé) as the only ones still in California, chasing after the next potential gamechanger. (By the end, with the exception of Cameron, they also all live in pretty sweet, seemingly pricey homes.) But they never quite get to the next level in terms of making their marks. “Let me start by asking a question,” he says, repeating the same words he utters in the very first episode. Photo: AMC

The term that inspired the name Halt and Catch Fire is defined in the show’s very first episode as “an early computer command that sent the machine into a race condition, forcing all instructions to compete for superiority at once,” which meant that, “control of the computer could not be regained.” In other words, the computer must be shut down and rebooted in order to work again. But yet again, he realizes someone else has already gotten to the default search engine finish line. It was a thoughtfully directed, observant gem of a drama that was unjustly, completely ignored by the masses. In an understated way that matches Halt and Catch Fire’s understated sensibility, this moment and others strongly imply that the show is ultimately about a group of Baby Boomers slowly learning to pass the baton to — or at least share it with — Generation X. Joe also convinces Cameron to get her hands on the code for this new-fangled thing called Netscape and preemptively make sure Comet can work within its interface. Halt and Catch Fire doesn’t just “get” the ‘80s and ‘90s, it immerses the viewer in those time periods. (Okay, fine, Mark Zuckerberg may straddle the much-disputed line that divides Xers from millennials.) In the end, there’s a sense that the old guard is ceding territory to that unseen new one: Gordon is gone, Joe is in New York, and the now-retired Bos (bless the forever folksy Toby Huss) is out of the Silicon Valley picture. But they’re also interested in mentoring other women to rise up in the tech world, and encouraging younger people — specifically Donna and Gordon’s daughters, Joanie (Kathryn Newton) and Haley (Susanna Skaggs), who are like nieces to Cameron and Joe — to fearlessly pursue their dreams, too. That is essentially what the four principal characters did over four seasons on this glorious, dearly departed AMC drama, which ended on Saturday. “You’ve taken this thing that I made and now it’s yours and all you want is to make money off of it,” she tells him in what could very easily be a line from Reality Bites.

Harvey Weinstein Has Been Kicked Out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Sources

Variety

Tags: In a little over a week since the New York Times published a report describing his history of sexual abuse, dozens of actresses have come forward to accuse the studio head of sexual assault, coercion, and rape. Photo: YANN COATSALIOU/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier today, 54 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, reportedly including Tom Hanks, Laura Dean, Whoopi Goldberg, and Steven Spielberg, allegedly met to discuss producer Harvey Weinstein’s membership status in the wake of his ongoing sexual-abuse scandal. What’s at issue here is a deeply troubling problem that has no place in our society. We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over. According to Variety, on Saturday afternoon, the Academy’s Board of Governors decided to officially revoke Weinstein’s membership in the organization. The Board continues to work to establish ethical standards of conduct that all Academy members will be expected to exemplify. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Governors met today to discuss the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, and has voted well in excess of the required two-thirds majority to immediately expel him from the Academy. “We do so not simply to separate ourselves from someone who does not merit the respect of his colleagues but also to send a message that the era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over,” the board said in a statement, which you can read in full below.

Actress Alice Evans Wonders What Effect Rejecting Harvey Weinstein Had on Her and Her Husband’s Careers

I want to touch your tits. Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

In an essay published Saturday in the Telegraph, The Vampire Diaries actress Alice Evans ponders the professional consequences of rejecting Harvey Weinstein’s advances in 2002, on both her career and that of her husband, UnREAL actor Ioan Gruffudd. The next day, a former member of Gruffudd’s management team informed her that her refusal to let Weinstein grope her in a bathroom may have torpedoed her boyfriend’s chances at the role. Evans recounts the evening at the Cannes Film Festival when the former studio head approached her with a drink. It’s not going Ioan’s way.”

Writes the actress, “I was never again considered for a Weinstein film, and neither was Ioan. I’m right behind you. Weinstein complimented Gruffudd’s recent audition for one of his projects, then asked Evans to accompany him to the hotel bathroom. “They called this morning. “Oddly, despite having heard endless stories about massages and hand-jobs in hotel rooms, it doesn’t even cross my mind — not for a second — that he might try the same on me,” she says. “I was worried you might say that,” she remarked, when Evans said she had turned Weinstein down. When Evans begged off, Weinstein told her, “Let’s hope it all works out for your boyfriend.”

The 102 Dalmatians star immediately questioned her decision to reject the now-disgraced producer. I’ll never know if my refusal to be sexually available for Mr. “Just go. Kiss you a little,” he allegedly said. Weinstein at the moment he fancied his little fix had me blacklisted, or whether I’m inflating my own importance in a much bigger picture.” Evans goes on to praise the dozens of women who have since come forward to reveal Weinstein’s pattern of sexual harassment and assault. She writes, “I’m heartened by the many who have spoken out in recent days not just against Harvey, but a culture of sexual bullying within the industry that’s neither a ‘game’ nor part of some quaint movie tradition but unacceptable on a very basic human level.”

Sources

Telegraph

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David Letterman Dropped Off a Horse Named Dave as a Thank You Gift for Conan O’Brien

He searched all of the world for a horse named Dave,” O’Brien told Stephen Colbert last night on The Late Show. You’ll have to watch to find out. He knew exactly what he was doing.” Which Dave was he talking about? In a fun added twist, the stable where O’Brien tried to board Dave informed him, “That horse is crazy.” Fortunately, Dave the horse ended up going to massage school, so Letterman’s gift worked out for everyone, especially Dave the horse. parking lot. Tags: Concluded Conan,“Dave is a genius, but he’s an evil genius. “The horse’s real name is Dave. Instead, Letterman dropped off a horse named Dave in the Warner Bros. Conan O’Brien had already mentally picked out the leather driving gloves he’d buy for the vintage Porche he assumed David Letterman had purchased him upon the late-night veteran’s retirement.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women Is Escapist Fare of the Highest (and Sexiest) Order

And because of that, Professor Marston is escapist entertainment of the highest, most nourishing order. The barely concealed subtext of all those whips and ropes and hogtied men has become a kind of shared snicker for those approaching the subject from anything but an academic standpoint, something maybe even slightly embarrassing, as if it was a failing on the part of Marston to conceal his more niche proclivities. Like Diana herself, intelligence and empathy and the pursuit of beauty is what unites this trio; without it, the kink would be an empty signifier. The thoroughly modern Elizabeth isn’t blind to her husband’s attraction to Olive, and while she’s far from scandalized (“I’m your wife, not your jailer,” she says drily), she wastes no time bringing Olive into her office to suggest that she not fuck her husband. Hall is one of the best actresses who can play convincingly brilliant characters; in her hands Elizabeth is a genius we want to be best friends with. And all somehow without summoning a single fiery god of War. Photo: Clare Folger

Despite some effort this year by the folks at Warner Bros./DC to smooth things over, it’s barely a secret that Wonder Woman has always had more than a few kinks in her armor. But Wonder Woman herself clearly came from a place of passion, of an idealism that longed to be unencumbered. Just in case we had any doubt that Marston is under fire, we open with him watching a gleeful crowd of young puritans making a bonfire out of Diana’s racy adventures. There are several delightful contraptions of psychological eroticism planted throughout the film, from an early scene where the Marstons witness Olive in the middle of a sorority hazing ritual, to a scene where the three use the couple’s newly invented polygraph machine (they invented that, too) to determine their triangular lust for each other. The story is framed in that hoariest of biopic devices, the interview, which is the first tipoff that Robinson is going to be pretty earnest in her approach, down to the foreboding cough Marston (Luke Evans) chokes back early on. It begins properly in 1928, when Marston is a professor of psychology at Harvard, where he works alongside his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall). Heathcote, who was quite good as a covetous model in The Neon Demon, is excellent as well, never not self-possessed in her own seduction. Unlike the neat metaphors for the civil rights movement in titles like X-Men, there’s something messier, and a little more (for lack of a better word) naked about Marston’s female-liberation-via-bondage theorizing. Robinson savors this build-up as much as her characters, and the seduction is far more suggestive than explicit; the film is only barely rated R (mostly due to the line mentioned in the last paragraph, as far as I can tell). There’s an importance in making this material approachable, and in making its central trio impossible to refuse. (Maybe it’s the idealism — the very thought of a world run by powerful women — that makes us blush for Marston, even more than the sex.) And what Professor Marston and the Wonder Women does, with a wink but refreshingly few snickers, is color in the life-giving fantasy that fueled the creation of the perennially embattled American icon. Through writer-director Angela Robinson’s eyes, their relationship — and how they tried and often failed to make it work in the real world — represents nothing short of the essence of creativity. Evans is more passive, but he and Hall have fantastic chemistry; you believe they get off on each other’s brains. There’s no bawdy nudge in its telling of the polyamorous relationship between Marston, his wife, Elizabeth, and their lover Olive Byrne. Tags: Unlike other more fortunate biopic subjects, however, Marston’s last interview is not with a devoted fan or ravenous gossip hound about to get their comeuppance, but with Josette Frank (Connie Britton), director of the Child Study Association of America, who wants to get to the bottom of Marston’s insidious plan to poison America’s youth with his BDSM propaganda. It helps that Robinson has such vibrant leads to work with, particularly Hall, who is undeniable as Elizabeth. Because, as it soon becomes clear, the relationship between the titular Professor and his superpowered heroine is only a piece of this story. Robinson builds tension and romance through a keen eye of who is watching whom, and how each are reflected in each other’s eyes. (Her words, not mine.) And so begins a push and pull that eventually leads to a three-way love affair that would last decades. Some might find the Wonder Woman imagery to be laid on a bit thick, but it never comes off as silly; it’s a dream that’s all the more important for its separation from the real world. It’s also, for what it’s worth, pretty hot. Once the trio start exploring the world of burlesque costume and knot-tying, there’s an even trickier power dynamic to balance, but Robinson makes it look easy. Broad details about creator William Marston’s affinity for dominant women are only a Wikipedia search away, and at a glance they can lend Wonder Woman, even within the plenty freaky world of golden age comics, the retroactive whiff of outsider art. It’s there that he meets Olive (Bella Heathcote), a seemingly unremarkable sorority girl who has applied to be his assistant. Part of me kind of admires these staunchly traditional stylistic choices, from the treacly original score to several soundtrack choices that are not merely on-the-nose but halfway up the nostril.

The Best Tom Petty Covers Performed in the Wake of His Death

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Tags: Jason Aldean

Eschewing the standard Saturday Night Live cold open in favor of a short speech and performance, Jason Aldean addressed the nation about the traumatic Las Vegas attack and how we can begin to heal. Kesha

“I’m not trying to be a downer, but I just think this is one of the most beautiful songs ever written and I want to pay my respects,” Kesha said about halfway through her Boston performance, promptly launching into a stripped-down rendition of “Into the Great Wide Open.”

Florida football enthusiasts

RIP Tom Petty. The band had also covered “American Girl” earlier in the set. They’re all part of our family,” he said. Photo: Richard E. (Aldean was performing on stage at the Route 91 Harvest festival when the shooting occurred.) “So many people are hurting. The Killers

“It was just like somebody stabbed you in the heart when you heard that he died,” Killers front man Brandon Flowers told the crowd at the band’s Austin City Limits set, before treating the audience to their take on “The Waiting.” All Flowers needed was the strumming of one electric guitar to accompany him. pic.twitter.com/8akHgv3hKd— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) October 7, 2017

A tense college football game between the Florida Gators and LSU Tigers was temporarily put on hold when the entire stadium broke out into an impromptu sing-along of “I Won’t Back Down.” Petty, a Florida boy, would’ve appreciated the near-perfect harmonizing of 90,000 people. “So I want to say to them: We hurt for you, and we hurt with you. Wilco

Jeff Tweedy and his Wilco gang — who’ve done their fair share of Petty covers in the past — took a chunk out of their Texas concert to perform a faithful rendition of “The Waiting.” Tweedy’s vocal inflections are so on point that it sounds like Petty himself in the first few moments. You can be sure that we’re going to walk through these tough times together, every step of the way.” Following his speech, Aldean and his backing band performed “I Won’t Back Down” to the audience in Studio 8H. Here are a few of the best covers — from Jason Aldean to Kesha, to, uh, a lot of football fans — that capture the indistinguishable Petty spirit. Miley Cyrus

Capping off her residency week at The Tonight Show, Cyrus was accompanied by her father, Billy Ray Cyrus, to give “Wildflowers” a beautiful and soulful tribute — weaving in a group of fiddles to give it a slightly more country sound as well. Father John Misty

FJM avoided his usually electric performance style in order to give Petty a more subdued and simple tribute: He strummed a guitar and quietly sung “To Find a Friend” at his Phoenix concert. There are children, parents, brothers, sisters, friends. Aaron/Redferns

It’s not at all surprising that Tom Petty has received copious tributes from his peers and contemporaries over the past week.

The CW’s Dynasty Knows Exactly What It Is

Jeff Colby, played by John James in the original, is portrayed here by Sam Adegoke (Searching for Neverland); stray bits of dialogue (in particular a reference to him being a “scholarship kid” in school) hint that he’s a self-made billionaire. The original Dynasty, which aired on ABC from 1981 to 1989, was a blatant knockoff of CBS’s then-hit prime-time soap Dallas, set in a similarly glitzy world of high-rolling oil barons and their scheming kids, spouses, lovers, and employees. Victim No. Fallon expects that she’ll be named chief operating officer because, damn it, she’s earned it, but then she finds out that her main rival for that job, Carrington Atlantic executive Cristal Flores (Nathalie Kelley of The Vampire Diaries), has been sleeping with her dad for quite some time and plans to marry him. Photo: Mark Hill/The CW

The CW’s version of the 1980s touchstone Dynasty is not your mother’s or father’s soap. As a result, although the new Dallas gave juicy roles to older castmembers from the original series (including the once and future J.R. There are other major nonwhite characters who turn out to be important as well, though I’m reluctant to say how; for better or worse, this is a pilot that waits to play its best cards until the last act to compel you to DVR Dynasty and make a habit of it. Cristal is simultaneously having an affair with the company’s chief field engineer, Matthew Blaisdel (Nick Wechsler), whose wife, Claudia (Brianna Brown), is suffering from early-onset dementia. Steven suspects that dad is pimping him out, and of course he’s right, though there are more angles to the deal that he’ll discover in due time. (A nice touch: In the Blaisdel house, the kitchen cupboards are labeled to remind Claudia of what’s in each one.)

The new incarnation of Blake Carrington is less domineering than John Forsythe’s version in the original: He’s a deceptively bland old-money WASP type who has a gift for seeming as if he’s doing people favors when he’s really just tricking them into carrying out his own agenda, which is usually about filthy lucre. 1 is his son Steven (James Mackay), who doubles as Fallon’s confidant. The worst thing you can say about this show is that it knows exactly what it is; the best thing you can say about it is that it goes above and beyond that realization. Both Fallon’s fondness for Jeff and her secret affair with her African-American limo driver and private dirt-digger, Robert Christopher Riley’s Culhane, are presented partly as acts of rebellion against her upbringing. It started out trying to be more sophisticated and politically engaged than Dallas, but after sluggish first-season ratings, it was retooled as a breathlessly paced, aggressively trashy melodrama, anchored to a couple of high-powered female answers to Dallas’s charismatic antihero J.R. Although this is a very white, straight show, it’s aware of whiteness and straightness in ways that the original never was. Ewing: first Joan Collins’s Alexis Carrington, then Diahann Carroll’s Dominique Deveraux. Intriguingly, this Dynasty initially plays like a merger of the original’s Dallas-with-a-college-degree first season and its subsequent years of jet-propelled sleaze. Related
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Tags: One of the best moments in the pilot is when he learns that somebody stole a wad of $100 bills from his pants pocket. This was not just inevitable, but advisable: Multicultural, LGBTQ-friendly, and vocally uneasy about the same luxuries it serves up as eye candy, the show feels very of-the-moment; it even starts with a narrated montage about the idea of family dynasties, kicking off with news footage of the Trumps. All of Schwartz and Savage’s familiar hallmarks are present in this new show, including rapid-fire and gleefully ridiculous plotting, fast cutting, arch one-liners, and conspicuous displays of wealth: One camera move early in the pilot, gliding toward Carrington Atlantic energy company executive Fallon Carrington (Elizabeth Gillies of Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll) as she kicks back on a corporate jet while snarling exposition into a phone, is composed so that we pay equal attention to the content of her dialogue and the Christian Louboutin Ferme Rouge pumps on her feet. He nearly laughs as he admits he never noticed the theft. It has hints of wanting to build on one of TV’s biggest soapy fortunes, rather than leech off it like a trust-fund brat. I’ll be vague in describing the setup, because the most entertaining thing about this pilot is how it sets up a particular configuration of characters that you assume will carry you into the second episode, then rearranges them in the last 15 minutes. This new soap about the super-rich Carrington family of Denver, Colorado, is overseen by showrunner Sallie Patrick (Revenge) and executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, who built their own TV mini-empire with shows like Gossip Girl and The O.C., youth-oriented versions of the prime-time soaps they consumed as ’80s kids. Which isn’t to say that it shies away from wealth porn: There’s plenty of that on display, from the establishing shots of the Carrington family compound, which suggests a new-money McMansion answer to an East Coast blue blood’s estate, to the pastries, Champagne, and luxury gowns that’ll either get showcased in loving closeups or destroyed in a catfight, depending on how things go. Only a person who has never had to worry about money could be so cavalier about losing it. Besides a Latina Cristal and a proudly gay Steven (prime-time’s first gay major character in a drama on the original series, though a self-loathing one who married a woman for a while), this Dynasty gives us an African-American rival family for the Carringtons, the Colbys (who were white in the original show, and eventually the stars of their own spinoff). The best character so far is Steven, whose conflicted attitude toward his own privilege frequently shades over into self-criticism. He even sunk millions of dollars of his own money into thwarting his dad’s attempt to drill on Native American land (a nod to the Standing Rock protest, which is still ongoing). He knows all of this luxury has warped his mind, but he can’t give it up. Steven is estranged from his dad by virtue of being openly gay and a left-leaning environmental activist who opposes fracking, an increasingly important profit center for the Carrington family business. This Dynasty starts all over, giving us characters with the same names (in some cases subtly changed, to account for differences in gender or ethnicity) and diving feet-first into the whirlpool of double-crosses and grand displays of outrage, jealousy, and wounded pride. Dad lures his boy back into the fold by telling him that he wants Carrington Atlantic to transition into environmentally friendly energy sources, and then assigns him to meet with the boss of a wind power firm, an older gay man with boundary issues. The CW’s Dynasty doesn’t bother trying to continue and update the original show’s labyrinthine plotting, perhaps wisely so. The inclusion of gay and nonwhite characters ensures that, even when the show is congratulating itself for being self-aware, it’s at least putting its money where its mouth is. Ewing, Larry Hagman, who died in 2012), it also set up comparisons between the relative charisma of new and established characters that distracted from the story. The gist: Fallon, the narrator with the red-and-leopard-print Louboutins, is the head of acquisitions for Carrington Atlantic, the energy company that was founded by her grandfather and handed down to her dad, Blake Carrington (Grant Show of Melrose Place). A few years ago, TNT tried to update Dallas by appealing simultaneously to devotees of the CBS original and newcomers who never watched it and consequently didn’t care how faithful it was.

Late Night Asks Its Female Writers What They Think About Harvey Weinstein’s Apology

Unfortunately, instead of reading zippy one-liners to a wildly cackling Hillary, the women of Late Night had the much more arduous task of milking laughs from producer Harvey Weinstein’s apology statement, which he released after the New York Times revealed multiple alleged instances of sexual harassment against employees, actresses, and, according to recent accusations, women he just ran into at various restaurants and bars. An arduous task to be sure, though the women of Late Night did come up with a punchline we can all agree on: [long continuous horrified spit-take]. Much like The Tonight Show when Hillary Clinton stopped by last week, Late Night wisely let their female writers take the reigns Monday evening. Tags:

The Mindy Project Recap: Which Meryl Streep Are You?

It’s been missing since … the hug with Beverly. She repeats: “My cats, excitement for Christmas, Pier 1 … how to throw a knife?” No knives, they tell her. He also agrees a little too eagerly to go to Anna and Jeremy’s party with her. Instead, this week’s Mindy Project gives us a resolution we didn’t know we wanted (for the conversation-grenade-tossing office assistant Beverly) and the Meryl Streep costume party we didn’t know we needed. Mindy asks him out for lunch, and he accepts. She, naturally, turns him down. He’s looking admiringly at their office building. Hernandez’s clinic and starts offering free medical help to her long line of patients out of spite … but hey, he ends up feeling really good about himself afterward. Looks like another character might be getting his happily-ever-after. It’s because everyone loves Meryl Streep, of course! Presumably, we’re saving the truly earth-shattering, Mindy-related developments for the back half of this final season. Mindy arrives dressed as Julie & Julia Meryl, along with non-costumed David. They advise her about acceptable conversation topics. He tells her he noted “a couple of red flags” when his patient mentioned her. I don’t understand why it took the world so long to think of this brilliant idea. “My masseur is single,” Jeremy hints, “and he has a beautiful ponytail.”

Mindy insists she’s not ready yet … until she spots a handsome guy about three seconds later. Jeremy and Mindy watch as Beverly and David seem to have a lovely conversation in the conference room, complete with parting hug. When Jody checks the office computer to find out where her files were transferred, he discovers that this cool doctor is Dr. When Mindy and Jeremy get to their office, Jeremy freaks out when he finds that everyone on staff has RSVP’d “yes” to his and Anna’s housewarming party — the Meryl Streep one. Even Dr. Back on the dangerous Lower East Side, Jody and Morgan get the old Shulman mobile medical unit — complete with the old photos of Danny and Peter on the side — un-impounded. However, this allows Jeremy to emerge in his second Meryl costume of the night and utter a variation of one of her famous lines: “Looks like a dingo ate my party!”

At the office the next morning, as Beverly carefully picks the blueberries out of her blueberry muffin, Jeremy, Mindy, and Morgan confront her. But first, she’ll need a makeover, since she is wearing a plaid shirt and bolo tie. Mary Hernandez, whose office is on the Lower East Side. (I could totally see Beverly and PBS’s Tavis Smiley having a kid who looks like David.) Beverly and David end things on good terms, with Beverly giving his wallet back and promising to visit him on Long Island. Beverly agrees to meet David at the office that day. She replies that her practice is the highest-rated women’s health-care clinic in the city and she provides free care — even if there are outdated O.J. Jody (River Wild Meryl) is flustered by this fact, so much so that he asks her out. And he’s looking pretty starry-eyed over Dr. Beverly runs away, which naturally brings the party to something of a halt. “Your closet or mine?” Mindy asks. It’s the callback we didn’t know we needed! He introduces himself as David and says he’s an architecture buff. (Without it, he had to go to the hospital because he discovered he’s allergic to wig glue.) They explain that’s not why they are confronting her: What about her treatment of David? She left him in a basket in front of a Jazzercise studio in 1982. He heads there immediately to save his patient; after all, he says, “some of our most lecherous young actors live there.”

Downtown in the dangerously actor-studded Lower East Side, Jody, accompanied by Morgan, finds an office crammed with young women. Afterward, Beverly explains to Mindy that she just wanted a picture of David — i.e., his driver’s license. Yes, Beverly has a son! He also finds Dr. Karen is there as Devil Wears Prada–era Meryl; Anna is Out of Africa; Jeremy is Florence Foster Jenkins. It all begins with Jeremy and Mindy walking down the Mindy set’s fake New York street, past a brilliantly named secondhand store called Junk in the Trunk, discussing whether Mindy is ready to start dating again. At Mindy’s lunch with David, we learn that he is a mechanical engineer who wants to know way too much weirdly detailed information about Mindy’s job, specifically the staff there. Simpson posters on the walls. The party is as perfect as one would hope. Hernandez is there as Bridges of Madison County because it turns out she went to Harvard with Anna. Tags: Though Morgan equivocates: “I never knew my parents and I turned out fine,” he says, coughing up a Lego. Um, oh right, he also has a wife and two kids, so Mindy’s out of luck on the romantic front, obviously. Also at the office, Jody tries to talk a college student out of getting an IUD, so she stomps off, saying she’s going to the cool female doctor downtown that all of her friends have been talking about. She reluctantly returns a pile of stolen silverware and an inhaler to Jeremy. “He’s referring to your gender and your race,” Morgan explains. “She did talk about taxidermy more than I would have imagined,” David tells Mindy afterward, “but at least now I know how much stuffing it would take to fill me.” But wait, his wallet’s missing! “He looks just like his dad, Tavis,” Beverly says. And you know the costumes will be next-level. Then it’s time: “That son you abandoned is here,” Tamra announces. They choose Mindy’s (in-office) closet, from which they choose a lovely, flowery ensemble from the Patricia Heaton for Kohl’s line. Jody parks it out in front of Dr. He finds Beverly, who is also non-costumed, and reveals that, in fact, he is Beverly’s long-lost son. Hernandez — played by Ugly Betty’s Ana Ortiz — and confronts her. Hernandez as he promises to return again next week. Photo: Jordin Althaus/NBC Universal Television/Hulu

The Mindy Project

Jeremy & Anna’s Meryl Streep Costume Party
Season 6

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

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Complete Series Coverage

Well, this episode is full of pleasant surprises!

The Big Bang Theory Recap: Relax, Don’t Do It

Says Amy, in her most pop-culture literate moment ever: “They’ve already arranged to die in threes … what more do you want from them?”

• Stuart to Raj while they’re fighting about Bernie’s co-worker: “You wanna play a game of ‘who’s more desperate?’ with me?! That’s why his other foot is enclosed in his messenger bag, and why he’s about to go bathe in Purell. Bernie’s new co-worker isn’t really looking for a date, especially when she later learns the two friends are also rivals who are employing childish tactics to get time alone with her. She doesn’t want to freak him out with the suggestion of a bigger adjustment, like when Skittles updated its green candy flavor from lime to apple. THEOR-EMS

• Wedding planning also stresses Sheldon out because he can’t find the scientifically perfect date for the Shamy ceremony. Then, as he’s relating to Amy, there’s the matter of the other flip-flop, which he loses in an event that involves him stepping on something he’s choosing to believe is a melted candy bar. But in this week’s episode, we find out that the mere thought of wedding planning is turning Sheldon into such a stress monkey that he’s dreaming he’s actually a chill fella who doesn’t care if the Apple Jacks box is empty, who loves smooth jazz, and who says “whatev.”

In the light of day, “whatev” is so annoying to Sheldon that he makes Amy say “er” before he can go on with his life. When he reaches for it, he feels something furry, which he chooses to believe is a “damp toupee.” Because, you know, he’s a relaxed guy now. When Amy tells him about his sleep chatter, he takes the matter to Penny, who helps him decide this may be his brain’s way of encouraging him to relax. The flip-flops expose the tops of his feet, so he puts sunscreen on them. Tags: This he finds out when he steps into an ankle-deep puddle of what he chooses to believe is warm apple juice. Sheldon’s solution: He’ll wear flip-flops one day. The Big Bang Theory

The Relaxation Integration
Season 11

Episode 3

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

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Complete Series Coverage

This may be the best proof yet that Sheldon Cooper has become a more self-aware dude: He has decided to grant full control of the planning of his upcoming nuptials to his bride-to-be, Amy Farrah Fowler. He’s likely nervous about the changes marriage will bring, so maybe he should try something new — something small, she says, like yoga or meditation. The prospect of having everything his way may appeal to him, but the process of making that happen via the million little decisions he’ll have to make while planning a wedding may just break his brain. Sussman can take the most simple bits of dialogue and turn them into laughs. Laidback Sheldon is seeking admission to the Council, but it looks like he doesn’t get the votes. The toupee licks him, which makes him scream, and he hops away on his one remaining flip-flopped foot. Both sad sacks are left dateless once again, but the story line does point out one of the most reliably winning parts of TBBT: the performance of Kevin Sussman as Stuart. So, she knows the Sheldon who’s suddenly talking in his sleep about friending a seagull at the beach and picking up a hitchhiker for some good conversation is worried about something. Photo: Robert Voets/WARNER BROS. As long as he can wear a Star Trek uniform underneath his tux. Clearly, Sheldon recognizes he’s nervous about marriage. On the one hand, this is a major disappointment, because for me, the potential of Groomzilla Sheldon was at least half the fun of a Shamy engagement. He tells Amy he will go along with any wedding decisions she makes, including her dream of a June celebration, on a cliff, overlooking the ocean at sunset. In the romantic lives of the rest of the gang, Bernie has a new co-worker, and when Howard learns his wife is taking the newbie out for a drink after work, he tells Raj and Stuart to “coincidentally” show up at the bar for a possible love match. Sheldon’s still gotta be Sheldon. In a cast filled with sitcom millionaires, here’s hoping Sussman is getting every penny he’s worth, too. He sits on a bus bench and uses one of his shirts to fashion a cloth shoe for his naked foot, but it is not waterproof. Because you’re in the big leagues now, bucko!”

• Sheldon still isn’t totally chillaxed with the changes afoot in his life. Many of the 80 options he’s narrowed it down to are ruined by the fact that they also happen to be death anniversaries of celebrities. “Why can’t there just be one week each month for famous people to die?” he wonders. That makes his feet slippery, and one of the shoes falls off into a sewer grate. That’s why his latest dream reveals there’s a Council of Sheldons: a gathering of all the aspects of his personality, including Science Sheldon, Texas Sheldon, Fanboy Sheldon, Germophobe Sheldon, and Humorous Sheldon. He can go from a human version of Eeyore to a relatively confident would-be Romeo, ready to outmaneuver his buddy and earn the attention of an interesting woman. He’s always been “intrigued” by them, and they are the “official footwear of the laidback fellow.”

This, predictably, does not go well for the germophobe. “That is not the rainbow I grew up tasting,” he points out.

Safelite AutoGlass Understandably Not Thrilled About SNL Sketch Depicting Their Employee as a Creepy Stalker

#notcool,” the company tweeted. “We weren’t involved in creating it and we’re really disappointed in @NBCSNL for airing it.” Safelite AutoGlass: It promises its employees won’t intentionally shatter your windshield, hit on your children, or call any member of your family “basically a full woman” to your face. Although we can take a joke, this one was a step too far. The skit @NBCSNL showed was disappointing— Safelite AutoGlass® (@safelite) October 8, 2017

Sources

EW

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Tags: Our techs are our heroes. “Although we can take a joke, this one was a step too far. Our techs work hard to help our customers. They just want to do the windshield-repair thing, honest. Safelite AutoGlass took to Twitter on Sunday to issue an exasperated “come on, guys” of dismay over a sketch aired on Saturday Night Live last night. @nbcsnl thanks for the skit. #notcool— Safelite AutoGlass® (@safelite) October 8, 2017

We weren't involved in creating it and we're really disappointed in @NBCSNL for airing it.— Safelite AutoGlass® (@safelite) October 8, 2017

Thanks – we were surprised by this. Our techs are our heroes. Photo: NBC

Running a successful windshield-repair-and-replacement company is presumably difficult enough without the nation’s preeminent sketch show insinuating your technicians are gross windshield-smashing stalkers. In the sketch, which you can watch here and is, unfortunately, titled “Safelite,” Beck Bennett’s Safelite technician Ken is revealed to be repeatedly cracking windshields in order to hit on Aidy Bryant’s underage daughter, played by Melissa Villaseñor.

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Poldark Recap: Cake or Death

Pug Lady is absolutely overjoyed to hear he’s alive, though being alive and in a French prison isn’t great. (I’m sure George wishes he had married Pug Lady at this point.) He informs her that Enys’s name is not on any list of prisoners, which is a very good reason to fear the worst. They leave that very day. He fights his way out like he’s in the freaking Matrix and runs away at top speed. So I was pleased, then, to see Evangelical Brother and a growing horde of Methodists swoop in on George and Elizabeth’s church. George seizes upon Elizabeth’s current mood to suggest that the most effective way to avoid Ross would be to pack up and move to their townhouse in Truro. To no one’s surprise, he runs into Morwenna and her charge. (Tholly would have been happy to take her up on it, for the record.) We sense she knows more about their plans than she’s saying — and our suspicions appear to be justified, as shortly thereafter a group of French soldiers drag him off for questioning. Demelza is like, “Listen, buddy, when you’re not here I have to run this whole goddamn show by myself, so I don’t need your nonsense.” He’s actually convinced by her proto-feminist speech, and they proceed to have excellent sex. To become Burgess of the borough. This douchey Frenchman then has the AUDACITY to report he will need another 100 to get the names after all. A waitress who’s been staring at Ross and Tholly since they arrived asks to see Ross’s papers, implying that she would like to go to his … bedroom … in order to get a better look. Demelza and the Methodists are extremely glum to learn that George is taking back the previous generation’s gift of the Poldark chapel to the tenants. I would want my friend busted out of the slammer! The court is horrified, and Elizabeth looks sick. Meanwhile, Elizabeth declines to accompany George on his first day on the bench as magistrate. George has left orders that only two “riff-raff” are to be allowed in the house at any time, so Drake is left to wander the grounds. George quickly has reason to get even pissier: Demelza and the Methodists are fixing up the old Poldark chapel with an eye to restoring it to its previous function as a meeting house for worship. Why this should bother him, I’m honestly not clear — I mean, I think it’s just that he’s a dick — since it WOULD put an end to the hymn-singing at the Trenwith church that so annoys him. It’s pretty clearly laudanum, so I expect she’ll be pulling a Requiem for a Dream this season. His next move? But he DOES get the list, just as the French spot him. Ross, get on the damn ship. Tags: George walks into the courtroom in his fancy law wig like an MMA fighter entering the ring, slo-mo, entourage, and all. Upon hearing this, Elizabeth, apparently believing him, becomes quite irate at the idea and tells George they must under no account be given the chapel. The first, an invitation to a banquet from Lord Godolphin. Apparently, this is a bridge too far for even George’s feeble conscience. It certainly makes George turn green. As they peruse the list together, we flash to the French prison where a very Tom Hanks–in–Castaway looking Enys is hoping not to get executed. George receives a note from his newly minted constable correctly naming Drake and Sam Carne as the offending Methodists. George thinks the tenants are insufficiently respectful, and Elizabeth finds a polite way to say, “Maybe you’re a huge dick and they’re scared of you?” He’s about to up the ante: He’s been going over the rent records and many tenants are in arrears. Ross is in France, of course, where there is loads of casual violence and guillotines and manual beheadings and a shocking lack of berets and croissants. snobs vibe immensely! Morwenna and Drake have made their attraction known to each other, and the storehouse is coming along beautifully. We do not get to see his shirt come off, sadly. To my great surprise, she is all for it and they start making out with a great deal of enthusiasm! As you can imagine, Demelza is not thrilled to see Tholly return alone. I’ve been worried we’ll be spending a LOT of time on Demelza’s brother and Morwenna over the next few weeks, and I find that plotline atrociously dull. For 100 guineas I would expect more than information. In his first act as magistrate, he immediately sentences some poor poacher who shot a pheasant to 20 lashes in the town square, because, again, he’s a colossal dick. Elizabeth has promised to bend George’s ear a bit, which fails rather dismally as he has realized the Carnes are Demelza’s brothers, and sees all of this as a gambit by Ross to sneak back into their lives. Photo: Mammoth Screen for BBC and MASTERPIECE

Poldark

Episode 3
Season 3

Episode 3

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

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We open on Demelza and Jeremy staring longingly out at the sea, wondering when Ross will return. I am greatly relieved to see Ross and Tholly safely aboard the ship — relief which is PROMPTLY dashed as he leaps overboard like an IDIOT and sneaks back to French soil. (Young Jeffrey Charles is clearly trying to hook them up with each other.)

Ross is getting worked over by the French, as he sticks to his story that he’s here for trading purposes only. He is told he must leave on an English vessel that very night, or he will be executed. Back at home, Elizabeth has found herself a Doctor Feelgood, who gives her a tincture to relieve her nerves. He’s pondering his next move when he’s approached by Pug Lady, who has decided to see what influence she might be able to use to find out if Enys is alive. Way to stay out of trouble, Ross! He’s their son, he’s got sandy hair, and that’s all I can tell you about him. Like, he did some John Wick fighting! He declines. She continues to be extremely gloomy. Demelza is bitterly picking up firewood when Ross returns, and she’s so delighted to see him that all her complaints about his absence seem to be washed aside. Francis let them slide, but George has other plans. George and Elizabeth are enjoying a meal in their colossal, gorgeous townhouse when he receives two letters. I also like the idea that the gentry is horrified by people being overtly religious, instead of the traditional cake-or-death vibe of the Church of England. The French interrogator informs him that he lacks the proper papers, for which the first offense is punishable by imprisonment, and the second by death. They’re not allowed in, so they hang around outside singing their little lungs out. YOU’VE GOT SOME NERVE, ROSS POLDARK. Ross, however, gets up on his highest horse because Demelza made the Methodists a gift of it without consulting him. He appoints one of his lackeys as a constable, and tells him to bring him the names of the Methodists in question. She promptly gets a brainwave: The Methodists can worship in the Nampara storehouse, which would only require a bit of tarting up. Demelza packs them off to Trenwith to beg Elizabeth to intervene, while she stays behind to avoid ruining the whole thing by sparking conflict. The second … news that a young relative of Lord Godolphin will appear before George in court the next day, on charges of having assaulted a servant girl. That’s a LOT of money! Lord Godolphin gives him an approving nod, but George doesn’t seem to gain much satisfaction from it. Sure enough, a weathered-looking man sidles in and reports that there are survivors of the recent sea battle, and for 100 guineas in total, he and his contact in the prison will tell him if Enys is there. It didn’t help that Jeffrey Charles idly remarked that the baby doesn’t seem very like his family members. Back in France, a child slips a note to Ross revealing a meeting point, ideally with the contact that Tholly has in mind. Good move, D! I’m enjoying this slobs vs. For a MINUTE, I thought that George would do the right thing, but like the dip shit monster he is, he not only finds the man innocent, he orders the SERVANT GIRL be tried for perjury and slander! I think Jeremy has clocked a max of five minutes of screen time so far? Ross sneaks back into the tavern and spots his source, who shakes him down for still more money. I have no idea what that means, but it will give him even more power in the community, which he wants to use to improve his image. She is further un-thrilled to learn from Sam that George has ordered them off the chapel grounds permanently. There must have been 12 Frenchmen! Way to come out swinging, George! Jeffrey Charles, he says, could remain behind with Morwenna and Aunt Agatha. Ross offers to pay “a fine” of 20 guineas instead, and the Frenchman bargains him up to 50.

Ray Donovan Recap: Stalkerazzi

Mickey Donovan sees the teaser for Mister Lucky, which is what Jay White & Co. Photo: Paul Sarkis/Showtime

Ray Donovan

Mister Lucky
Season 5

Episode 9

Editor’s Rating

3 stars

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The image of Marilyn Monroe’s garbage-strewn star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame could serve as a poster for Ray Donovan, a show about the people who clean the trash off the world’s most image-conscious people. George’s Hollywood anecdotes are pretty annoying. Ray comes back to the apartment to find Natalie’s ex on the pavement. A series of minor beats follow: Bridget and her dying boyfriend, Ray looking at a Marilyn Monroe painting in his apartment, Bunchy reuniting with his prison buddy to get his money back, and Terry confronting Damon’s father. Violence marks the end of “Mister Lucky.” Bunchy finds his money, but a gun-toting lunatic (played by Jake Busey) shoots his prison buddy and wounds Bunchy, who retreats to Abby’s place. Another woman in Ray Donovan’s life has died. Most important, Ray gets to work with Natalie and she wonders if they can go public now. We see him walking up a hill as Natalie’s ex drinks and stalks outside. Let’s hope things go more smoothly next week. Daryll and the new screenwriter try to make the cranky old man go away, but nothing seems to work until his son suggests Mickey’s Kryptonite: hookers. George tells Ray that he’d make an excellent James Bond and then tells stories about Marilyn and Cary Grant. The next major event comes when Ray gets a call from Lena to turn on the TV. They really need to burn that box. In this scene and a few others, I was reminded how darkly humorous Ray Donovan used to be. You can learn more about the relationship between Orry-Kelly and Cary Grant here. Before that truly awkward moment, Mickey calls Jay and tells him he’ll make Four Leaf or else. Even a check for $100,000 won’t calm him down. Ray has a job to do. She just goes to her room, defeated, instead of screaming like most of us would. He’s not wrong. He rushes upstairs and sees the aftermath of what looks like a murder-suicide. After dropping her off, Ray sees Daryll and Mickey going into the studio. While all of that goes down, Terry appears to be heading for the hills. Natalie seems to be reaching out to Ray and he doesn’t see it. • Jay Thomas played the host of Stalkerazzi. He follows her to Marilyn Monroe’s star. It can be viciously funny at times, and I hope it gets that edge back in future episodes. Why does Mickey feel so bulletproof? He calls Frank, but of course, gets no answer. Meanwhile, Sam calls again looking for George. Bunchy and the guy who robbed him at the sub shop put on goofy masks and pull guns in their pursuit of the diaper bag filled with cash; Ray trashes a sports car that belongs to the Stalkerazzi host to figure out the source on the Natalie story. In the best scene of the episode, Terry says, “Do yourself a favor and look in the fucking mirror.” That long look will likely be the closing arc of this fifth season. • This was one of the more inconsistent episodes of the season, although it would be hard for any show to find its footing after such an emotional hour last week. He pays a male escort nearby to keep it clean, and he gets a call from Sam, who tells her that George and the box of blackmail material are missing. Their affair is out in the open, and Natalie’s ex is watching the story in a bar. After the encounter with his brother, Ray thinks he sees Abby walking down the street. Daryll and Mickey are throwing Frank overboard — well, more accurately, Daryll is throwing Frank overboard with some instruction from Mickey. Ray goes to her house and gets violent, injecting her with something painful so she’ll give up her boss: Doug Landry. Other Notes

• The credits song was a little too on-the-nose given the closing scenes — “Falling Man” by Blonde Redhead — but I do like the line “I am just a man still learning to how to fall.” Ray Donovan is certainly falling and he’s got a lot of learning to do. Tags: He leaves his dog at the bar and marches out. It’s an underground gay sex club, and Ray finds George sitting in the front row for a show (which happens to co-star the escort in front of Marilyn’s star). Ray has lost his support structure: Abby is dead, Bridget is in New York, Connor is joining the Marines, and even Avi is on another continent. He goes to Ray’s apartment, where he meets Natalie and gives her what looks like the keys to the club. • There are a lot of plot threads to tie up in the season’s last three episodes. Later in the episode, Mickey and Daryll will celebrate in the Donovan house with a dozen or so ladies of the night and a ton of cocaine … just in time for Bridget to catch grandpa playing butt bongo with a joint in his mouth and his dick in his hand. Ray pours a drink and then takes the bottle to a booth as Terry gets to his feet. He’s morning drinking and morning brooding — never a good combination. “I’m the only person on this Earth who’s got the balls to tell you the fucking truth,” he says. Mickey is supposed to be in jail. Natalie’s strangled corpse is on the bed. While Ray’s journey to the dark side of Hollywood results in the death of someone close to him in “Mister Lucky,” the entire Donovan clan is spiraling out of control. Ray still wants his father arrested, Bunch still needs his money, Mickey has his movie drama, and Terry seems lost and might still be married. (Last time, he rambled about Shelley Duvall.) He finally reveals that he gave the box of blackmail material to Vicky, the same woman who tried to steal it a few weeks ago and sold the Ray-Natalie story to Stalkerazzi. While his father is having his own sexual adventure, Ray stops by a club called the Fist, where Lena discovered George has been hiding. All of the Donovans seem unmoored, slipping into their worst habits and flirting with violence. We pick up where “Horses” ended: Terry just revealed that he helped Abby take her life and Ray knocked him to the floor. The real question: Who hired Vicky? • Okay, one of George’s anecdotes was pretty interesting. Abby was the rock of this group, and they are now adrift without her. Again, “Mister Lucky” fractures a bit along the various Donovan subplots. Given the episode’s tragic end, one wonders if she could have been saved if Ray simply paid attention. Jay does tell his attorneys what happened, and they suggest he come forward about the accident with the sword. Chronologically, the episode takes place months after the death of Abby Donovan, so it’s interesting that the structure of the season placed it right after the flashback episode in which we saw her die. Also, will Ray blame Doug Landry for Natalie’s death? have turned his script for Four Leaf into. Wouldn’t he worry that Jay would call someone like Ray Donovan to just take care of the old man? The longtime radio host and Cheers star just passed away in August, and it’s nice to see him on TV for a final time. White has an awesome fro and a pornstache, but Mickey is not happy. Ray tells Sam that her colleague is the culprit, and Sam says she’ll take care of it. A TMZ-esque show called Stalkerazzi has footage of Natalie and Ray together.

The Deuce Recap: Community Standards

Her suspicions are proven right when a john beats her up after she refuses to part with her money. Other Tricks and Pricks

• Though the episode’s story is by Richard Price, the teleplay is credited to Will Ralston and Chris Yakaitis. Not long after, she returns to Harvey Wasserman, who’s back to making porn, and takes a new job. They talk over each other while Candy raises her voice and Rodney talks quieter. Some characters, like Paul and Bobby, jump right into new frontiers, while others, like Abby and Sandra, push back against the accepted ideas within their unfamiliar environments. Candy’s decisive moment comes on the street when she converses with Rodney (Method Man), the pimp who’s still trying to bring her into his stable. Their postcoital scene in the motel captures a wide range of emotions, almost all through suggestion. Alston quickly clams up and it’s later revealed that he takes a payoff just like everyone else in his precinct, even though he’s clearly not proud of the behavior. The doctor says she’s lucky she won’t need stitches, but director Uta Briesewitz appropriately lingers on her battered face to illustrate the irony. Eastwood vs. She’s more disheartened when she sees Darlene back with Larry, but gets a reality check from Ashley, one of C.C.’s girls. As she puts on her clothes, Jack proposes that he stay over at her place next time, talking about staying in and breakfast; Candy just smiles about the impossible fantasy. “Maybe she likes her life the way it is. The Deuce tracks its subjects at different stages in their personal development, learning in fits and starts what they’re willing to endure and what will push them to take a stand. Yet, the most joy in the episode is reserved for Paul, who begins to explore the underground gay life in New York. • One kid at the college party really wants to go see a movie, but can’t decide between Play Misty for Me and Straw Dogs. He takes ecstasy, dances his heart out, and experiences the joy of being in a place that fully accepts him. You ever think of that?” she tells Abby, before telling her that pimps are upfront about their controlling nature rather than more respectable men who try to hide it. Am I right?”

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The Deuce Director on How You Can Tell When a Man Directed a Sex Scene

Tags: When he offers her cab fare, it still feels like payment. Later, Paul takes a date back to his apartment, where he, the new guy, and Paul’s straight-laced roommate smoke a joint and hook up. Abby is stuck between the safe world she knew and the new world she doesn’t fully understand, and she’s not comfortable in either. • Big Mike, previously seen finishing the crossword, bails Paul out of jail and takes the opportunity to throw some insults at the police. • Alston compares being a cop on the street beat to being like Sisyphus and the boulder, but Sandra insightfully counters that Sisyphus didn’t get paid every time he made it up the mountain. By the end of the episode, they’ve already begun construction on the parlor, and Vincent and his family are in deeper with the mob. Instead, he pushes Vincent to accept Rudy’s pitch to open a massage parlor so he can help run it. But Rodney’s conversation with Candy takes the cake: He starts out sympathetic and caring, telling her that it’s a shame about what happened to her face. When he walks away, Candy watches as the other girls awkwardly shuffle along, knowing that she’ll never be one of them even though she never wanted to be. After getting charged with a bullshit solicitation charge while leaving a queer movie, he attends a secret club with his friend. Other characters are also standing up for their beliefs this week, or at least exploring the option to do so. (Gyllenhaal’s best acting moment of the week is when her shaking and heaving slowly turns into fits of laughter.) It’s here when Rodney unleashes a string of abuse, asking what a “high-class acting, movie-looking individual” was doing on the street at all, calling her a “cream-filled, tiara-wearing, I-shit-beige bitch.” Method and Gyllenhaal are at their best when they’re at each other’s throats; it’s an uncomfortable scene, partially because both adopt the rhythms of a real verbal altercation. She brushes off an invitation to a party at Jack’s office, knowing that she might have to work and she won’t fit in at a cocktail function. Candy and Jack might be intimate, but they’re constantly having two different conversations. Soon, however, he pushes the sell, claiming that if you “go it alone, come a dark hour, you are alone” and that the two of them would be “world famous.” You can see Candy almost consider it, but then eventually laugh-cries at his pitch. brushes off concerns about Lori as she’s sobbing in front of him like it’s no big deal. Photo: HBO

The Deuce

What Kind of Bad? She attends a party with her old college friends, but can’t connect with their ironic army jackets, the drugs, and their general layabout nature typical of college students. Candy’s heartbreaking story continues in the vein of “I See Money,” in which she suffers humiliation and violence in the bedroom and on the street. As much as Alston charms Sandra, she’s not above asking him about the Knapp Commission, the five-member panel established by Mayor Lindsay to investigate police corruption, and if unethical behavior goes on where he works. Only Candy can allow Jack the opportunity to speak her language. But “What Kind of Bad?” also shows people taking advantage of new opportunities. However, she’s fed up with the controlling, abusive pimps who frequent the Hi-Hat; she gets into a dispute with Reggie Love and even bristles at Vincent’s suggestion that she has to wear a leotard like the rest of the girls. The Deuce paints a bleak portrait at times, but it also includes moments like this one that show people simply being themselves, unencumbered by life, even if it’s just for a moment. Fun fact: Ralston was a sound editor on all of Simon’s previous TV projects and has previously written one teleplay on Treme; Yakaitis was a researcher on The Wire, later a script coordinator on Treme and Show Me a Hero, and also has only one Treme teleplay to his name. C.C. The Deuce has depicted the pimp community with open eyes, showing their cruelty and charm in equal measure, and “What Kind of Bad?” paints them at their worst. Love to see Simon promote longtime collaborators. “What Kind of Bad?” explores the aftermath of people learning to manage or cope with their new surroundings. Officer Alston, who’s become closer to Sandra in the interim, shows her the lay of the land and helps introduce her to Reggie Love for an interview. Then there are people like Candy, who has seen every side of her world, and finally, finally accepts that there’s nothing left for her there. Candy’s experiences on the street also affect her new relationship with Jack, an otherwise upstanding individual who genuinely wants to get close to her. Still shaken by the mid-blow-job death of a john, she understandably becomes more detached in the bedroom. Peckinpah. “No humanity in these motherfuckers. She’s polite enough to a veteran who’s home on leave, but quickly kicks him out of the room because she has no interest in being friendlier than necessary with clients. Bobby accepts that he can’t return to the construction site, since the doctors tell him that he’ll stroke out in a year if he does. Vincent was initially hesitant because he’s no “whore master,” but eventually caves after Bobby makes an emotional appeal. Season 1

Episode 5

Editor’s Rating

4 stars

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In last week’s episode, The Deuce chronicled a moment of awareness for many of its characters, that initial realization of people and experiences beyond your own, or, simply, that there are other worlds to explore. When Jack tells her that he likes that she’s different, she pushes him to explain what he means, but quickly covers it as a joke when he becomes uncomfortable. “They love you for who you are, until you try to be someone else.”

Meanwhile, Sandra pushes further on her story about the streets, despite massive pushback from her editor who thinks it will only reinforce stereotypes. Rodney and Larry trade a new girl from the country that came with Darlene like she’s a baseball card.

The Deuce Director Explains How You Can Tell When a Man Directed a Sex Scene

Can you tell me more about the influence you and others had, for example, when it comes to the portraying of the female characters? Yes, I absolutely do. Because they are brilliant men and they are as good as it gets. Photo: Paul Schiraldi/HBO

In case you’re still wondering if David Simon’s new HBO show, The Deuce, co-created with George Pelecanos, is any good: Yes, it is. After he’s done, she turns away, dissatisfied, and starts masturbating, which leaves him confused. But I can tell you the scene that emotionally affected me the most was the party scene for “Love Saves the Day,” the David Mancuso party. Can only African-American directors tell the story of the suffering of African-Americans?David Simon is also not a black drug dealer, and he did The Wire. I think we bring that to the table, and a female voice is needed and is important to be heard. Sometimes the job as a director is just to stay out of the way. You grew up in Germany, far away from ’70s New York. He’s truly a date. But there also are a credible amount of writers and authors who imagine worlds and lives that they have not lived, and that they either researched very well or completely imagine. A lot of gay, transgender people. You should have to pay attention to spot them. I loved that party scene. That already subconsciously makes a huge difference. Does Candy anticipate that?She knows. Or play that Russian roulette? Don’t stare at her too much. There’s so much that could have gone wrong with this premise, but it’s so perfectly executed, it really has this liberating spirit to it. There was this big disappointment with Vinyl, HBO’s other period drama set in 1970s New York. If you stage a scene about a woman in a sensitive moment, a moment about female masturbation, maybe just the fact that you are discussing it with another woman makes it a little bit easier than having to discuss it with a man. Do we have a different POV or approach? Since he said that to me, I always wonder when I see sex scenes, oh, that was directed by a man! I think it was the very first scene that I shot with Maggie, the very first I shot for that show. This scene could have felt quite lonely and sad, but somehow it has a warmness to it. Don’t lurk. It’s just a necessity, and possible sexual frustration, and she is just taking care of herself. One of the show’s main topics is the complex relationship between sex workers and the pimps. He’s not a john. The episode was directed by Uta Briesewitz, who was Simon’s main director of photography on The Wire, and now directs for TV shows like Orange Is the New Black and Jessica Jones. He could just use violence to get what he wants. Behind all of that, there’s this big question: Who can tell which story? David Mancuso? She knows from the other girls. You take any kind of crazy stranger into a hotel room and you close the door behind you. I didn’t even know that they made adult jeans that size, that an adult man could fit into jeans like these. Related
This Is the Scene When The Deuce Finally Becomes Itself

Tags: Your main challenge was to find the right location for this scene?The location was given to me, but finding what I can use, little things where she can get cornered, where he can chase her, a moment where she feels pushed against the wall and she can break out of it again. In an early rehearsal, he had a little bit of a perked-up position behind her and he was watching her. This is completely raw, you are completely out there. It is such a private moment, but she is not sharing it out of a motivation for shared intimacy. There was a lot of talk about how Simon and Pelecanos made sure they had a very diverse group of people as directors, writers, actors — that it is not just a show about pornography created by two straight white men. If you have somebody as sensitive and sensible as David Simon and George Pelecanos, it does not. Of course, the pimps violate their girls — around the corner. It’s not you up there who has to do it!” And then he turned around, he said to me: “Yes, but you don’t understand, me blocking the scene reveals everything about me!” You know, when he suggests the position. It’s like playing Russian roulette. What is worse? And if you’re still not sure, Sunday’s fifth episode, “What Kind of Bad?,” may win you over. Also, I remember when we were going on a break from the “Love Saves the Day” scene, and I was walking behind this guy in tight jeans. So if anybody takes offense by just one show that decides just to hire women for once, to make a statement, or to see it as an experiment, or just to show that there are so many female directors out there and that they are great — nobody should feel threatened or offended by that. They should answer to that. There’s another scene that is so memorable and intense, with Candy and one of the pimps, played by Method Man. In general, how do you avoid all this false nostalgia about the ’70s?The things people get excited about, the cars or whatever it is, [it is important] to let that play in the background and not make it the main part of an image. Can only women tell the story of a woman’s suffering? Vulture caught up with Briesewitz to talk about this Sunday’s episode, how to film a masturbation scene, and what The Deuce owes to Vinyl. Because at some point the guy is just laying his hand on Candy’s back, in a kind of sweet, almost insecure way.I did not want them to be completely isolated at that point. I said at one point to Maggie: Maybe at this moment, you are so heated and he really comes after you, maybe you push him away? I looked at the shots that I could get in that area, that little stretch of 42nd street where Maggie would work the street. And a pimp never touches a girl. Would Simon have had the same sensitivity back when you made The Wire to include so many diverse voices? I don’t know if it was the spirit that we are in it together and we might as well party it up, but there was something magical about when we shot it. So how can it be a fault to say: Listen, this is about a female superhero, maybe just a couple of women should tell the story? I actually think they got a lot of costumes from Vinyl. Do I believe that sometimes it makes women more comfortable in front of the camera if they have a female voice behind the camera? I think at one point you also just have to look at the work itself. So they profited from that. Because very often you feel like the positions that are being chosen are positions favored by men. What was very important was how her date was responding to it. The other thing we paid attention to was to make sure that with all the people dancing, nobody would throw in a dance move that is from the ’80s or ’90s or 2000s. When do you break away, when do you chase? We specifically cast somebody who looked like David Mancuso who was the DJ. Yes, it does reveal something about you. And your story should always be with the actors and not with a specific artifact you have found from the ’70s in such great condition that you want to give it a close-up. Any of them could kill you anytime. So here comes a compliment back to Vinyl, if that’s true what I heard. And then you basically just give it over to the forces of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Method Man. The reaching out was also because he really, truly has a romantic interest in her. And they immediately went like, No, no, no! If the work is brilliant then this guy can take on whatever he wants to take on, and we should embrace it and we should applaud him and support him. This interview has been edited and condensed. ’Cause you don’t even see body types like this anymore. How did you do that?One big compliment has to go to the costume and casting department. What do you think of their decision to hire only female directors?I think it’s an interesting statement. The moment you have a car exploding or a car chase, any kind of action, the attitude would be right away: We should hire a man ’cause they do it better. Let’s start with the scene where Maggie Gyllenhaal’s Candy has sex with her date, a friendly, rather naïve man who does not know what she does for a living. What else did you learn about this world when directing for The Deuce?If you dive into a world like this, everything is new. But in this moment, on the street, both are very respectful of each other, they don’t even touch each other.I got a little bit of an education on my first day there. We had one guy who was dancing with his shirt off and he looked good, but they made sure this was the ’70s where people were slim and not bodybuilders. Do you get beaten up by your pimp once in a while? It was so muggy, and we were in this room and production tried to keep it as cold as possible, but we were all sweating like crazy. They both educated me: A girl never touches a pimp, at least not in public. David Mancuso was the DJ who did these parties by invitation only, later on they were called “The Loft,” but “Love Saves the Day” was the name of that party, specifically for people who were different in any way. Candy is the show’s only sex worker who does not work with a pimp, but this one really wants her to join the ranks of his girls.After Candy got robbed and beaten up by a john, the pimp sees an opportunity and approaches her on the street, offering his protection. L-R: Method Man and Maggie Gyllenhaal. For David, there was always a sensitivity toward that subject, to have the stories told by people who bring something to the table that allows them to have a different insight. I was looking at his legs and his hips — his body was just so slim, so slender. I want to say it doesn’t matter, because I also really don’t want it to matter. When you are working for Jessica Jones and Orange Is the New Black, there’s not only a diverse team of authors and directors — you have female showrunners as your bosses. What makes Gyllenhaal and Method Man’s scene so enigmatic is that you don’t know exactly what the power dynamic is. I can tell you a story that happened to me once as a cinematographer which I never forgot. How did you approach such an intimate scene?It was important to very sensitively look at the staging and be truthful to it.That’s the great thing with Maggie Gyllenhaal, she is just completely fearless. It’s just a couple of minutes, but it feels like a stand-alone movie, with the two characters alternately attracting and repelling each other. So they specifically were casting people that really fit that kind of body type. You are part of the all-female director team on Jessica Jones’s second season. Women have been excluded for decades from all kinds of shows. It just gave them opportunities to play with the feeling of being pushed into a corner. It has some of the first season’s most intense moments and intimate performances, particularly by Maggie Gyllenhaal as Candy, an independent streetwalker on New York’s former red-light district (nicknamed “The Deuce”). I don’t think you can think of any other situation where you are more vulnerable and more exposed than sharing with a TV audience a scene of a character masturbating. There are so many creators and filmmakers who create shows on subjects that they experienced and that is fantastic. This ’70s party atmosphere didn’t feel authentic on Vinyl, so I really felt relieved by how well it worked on The Deuce. Or is this more a sign of the progress that was made since?Well, back on The Wire, we had a couple of African-American directors, which was already more than I had seen usually on shows. How does this affect your work?Does it make a difference for me if there’s a female or male showrunner? It should not be given special attention. The director was about to direct a sex scene and he was incredibly nervous, and I just asked him: “Why are you so nervous directing a sex scene? It was one of the hottest nights that we had during the entire shoot. There was a small wall where I felt like Method Man could corner her a little bit, and she can break out of it again. And that felt too voyeuristic to me and I told him to just lean back. But I wish we would already be there and that the numbers were even so that we don’t have to discuss that.

How Outlander Seduced Us All Over Again

Caitriona Balfe as Claire. Claire has a chat about some skeletal remains. After time apart from one another that can be measured in decades, in centuries, and in five whole TV episodes, Claire finally travels back through the stone circle and reunites with Jamie. And finally, just as it seems the sequence is going to ignore every good cliffhanger opportunity handed to it on a platter, Jamie collapses and we cut to the credits. We’re learning about lives they’ve led. Roger watches Dark Shadows. Related
How to Chop Off a Hand on TV, As Explained by Outlander

Tags: Too often it feels like television can either patronize its audience or willfully repel it, putting up walls and being deliberately opaque. It’s a headlong rush into “finally the good parts again,” and the episode concludes with the kind of scene that makes you want to clasp your hands together and wriggle like a puppy. Another potential end, as she sees him for the first time, but no, we get even more, all the way up through her line, his look at her, and her apprehensive smile back at him. But with one simple, almost gleefully direct cut, it’s done. It seems like this reunion will never come. Claire’s stepping into a 1960s taxi, and next she’s stepping out of an 18th-century carriage. Another end point comes, as Claire opens the door to Jamie’s shop, and still we keep going. It’s worked. But the show’s second season struggled to balance their relationship with the dozen other stories it tried to tell. Roger, digging up ancient history. Why bounce back and forth between the two stories, weaving them together in our heads? Instead, the effectiveness of Outlander’s fifth episode allurement is the product of a thoughtful, controlled dance between moderation and excess. It’s really nice to be wooed. The best moments of the season were about the subtle builds of frustration and release between them, and those small scenes tended to get lost in the movements of armies and the byzantine court intrigue. And we are primed for their reconciliation. The episode could’ve ended with Claire’s decision to go back. I’m in love again. But, no — here we go, marching forward through the leisurely Christmas scene, then barreling forward through Claire’s montage, and then the farewells. It’s not that this has been a romance of remarriage between Jamie and Claire — that will need to come next, as they come to terms with the people they’ve become in their time apart. Roger returns, produces the crucial knowledge of Jamie’s whereabouts, and then … he and Brianna chat about history while wandering under some attractive archways. It is a narrative shape we all know by heart: the first parts feels so hesitant and measured, and then everything happens all at once, in one plunging, sprinting dash. The fifth episode is masterful at this, almost to the point of cheekiness. We’re not just running quickly through the years that separated Claire and Jamie. The episode could’ve ended here, with Claire setting off for the stone circles again. It’s taken a relationship that had already been consummated and turned it back into a seduction. It is a reunion and a re-seduction that the show earns, and hopefully it will give the series lots of material for what comes next, as Jamie and Claire’s relationship once again needs to shift from “when will they?” to “what happens now that they have?” But for now, the first part of this Outlander season has been a delightfully effective reminder of just how good this show can be, and how fun it is for a TV show to actively court our attention. We’ve been moving so slowly, making such painstaking, tentative steps through Claire’s reluctance to even tell Brianna they’ve found Jamie, through these careful scenes where mother and daughter come to an understanding. What else could this show possibly be heading toward? It’s been long in coming for Outlander’s third season, and it’s a relief to feel like the show is back in its wheelhouse once again. Photo: Aimee Spinks/Starz Entertainment, LLC

The end of this week’s episode of Outlander is delicious. Season three has had no similar issue with momentum, although it may have seemed that way at times. Jamie out in the woods, hiding from the British, and endangering his family. We’re understanding the people they’ve become and the pain they’ve experienced. They have Christmas! It’s been seducing us all again, hinting and teasing about the inevitability of Claire’s return and then making us wait. But Outlander has been holding back. Outlander has been wooing us. Claire in Boston, attending medical school. But the deeper difficulty was that it couldn’t figure out what to do with the central relationship. There is an entire montage of Claire constructing a dress, set to the Batman theme! The first one, and probably the more insurmountable issue, was that Outlander got caught in a time-travel tangle that seriously hampered everything from its internal logic to its interpersonal emotional stakes. There were highlights, but many of them were muffled by two significant flaws. (And this isn’t even getting into all the stuff with Frank.) But it’s been purposeful. Their trust of one another waxes and wanes as their personal motives diverge. Jamie fathering a child out of wedlock, becoming enmeshed with this British family. Instead, the intervening time has been a careful narrative dance, teasing and suggesting and priming the audience for the reunion that would come. But the time away from Jamie and Claire’s relationship hasn’t been wasted — far from it. Outlander (both the books and the TV series) deals with the post-union doldrums by throwing a lot of other obstacles in Jamie and Claire’s path, complications ranging from witch trials to the prevention of a cataclysmic war to a lot of sexual assault. It’s been kind of a slog, to be frank. What felt like digressions and side stories and dawdling for four and a half episodes suddenly goes charging forward, sweeping us along with it in glee and disbelief. Instead it’s been a romance of remarriage between the show and the viewer, a slow and exacting give and take of satisfaction and frustration, holding our two players at a distance for so long and then finally uniting them in one glorious, adrenaline-fueled thunderclap. Why continue to follow these two people in their two separate lives if they’re not coming together again? It’s been full of things that may have felt like unnecessary, extraneous stuff. Claire agonizes about leaving Brianna behind, receives permission and absolution from her daughter, and then still doesn’t go right away. If it were just simple withholding, though, we’d all lose our minds and give up in frustration. Romances have a problem, especially in the context of a long-running TV series: Your characters get together, and then the will-they-won’t-they tension is gone. And where the first season’s giddy seduction was between Jamie and Claire, this second seduction has been between the show and the viewer. Jamie in prison, chatting up Lord John and turning away his advances. Everything is pointed in that direction, and even if you somehow missed the promos for the season showing Claire walking down an 18th-century street, or if you haven’t read the books, the structure of this season leaves little room for doubt. The certainty of their reunion is written into the season’s central conceit. Jamie and Claire were together, and they loved one another, but Outlander had a hard time finding any kind of momentum in their shifting marital tension.

Presenting Hulu’s Castle Rock First Look Trailer, Almost Certainly Not Paid For by the Maine Tourism Bureau

Castle Rock, Maine, has a lot to offer a Stephen King fan: a masked creep, a vicious dog, a sinking car belonging to the Shawshank Department of Corrections and, best of all, an alligator out of nowhere. Castle Rock will premiere sometime in 2018. Carrie star Sissy Spacek and 2017 Pennywise himself Bill Skarsgård flesh out (or, more likely, deflesh out) the cast as Deaver’s mother Ruth and his death-row inmate client, respectively. In the first look at Hulu’s new King-centric horror drama, André Holland appears as the show’s lead, attorney Henry Deaver. Meanwhile, Melanie Lynskey reportedly plays Molly Strand, perhaps the world’s most beleaguered real-estate agent. Truly, is there anything more twisted than an alligator in Maine? Not a lot of towns can promise you that. Tags: Sure, Castle Rock isn’t for everyone, but she can get you into a water-drenched two-bedroom with a built-in piano hole and backyard cemetery by the end of the week.

What Is a ‘Super Single’? Am I One? How Do I Know?

But what Sam refers to in this episode is a person who is not in a relationship, but has figured out how to be a self-sustaining ecosystem. Sex and the City gave us “he’s just not that into you,” Grey’s Anatomy gave us our “person,” and last night’s episode of Better Things offered a new one: “super singles.”

It’s not a difficult concept to grasp, the “super single.” The phrase sounds like Marvel’s attempt at pandering to the Tinder generation (dibs on that screenplay, actually). Just so good at being alone. A person who is good at being alone. See: Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Keaton, and obviously Better Things’ Sam Fox. Better Things, thanks so much for giving voice to this very real worry, but also thank you for fucking me all the way up with two little words. Photo: FX Networks

Every now and again a TV show gives us a phrase that’s such a clarifying, accurate expression of a thing we couldn’t previously describe that it’s worth, like, three months of therapy. Super singles, unite. I would prefer not to feel so seen. The fear is that it would wreak snake-and-mongoose levels of havoc, or levels similar to … what is it that’s destroying coral reefs? Because in absence of another person, they have figured out how to be thriving, happy, unbothered, horny, fulfilled, and they don’t want that disrupted. This episode marks the first time she fully comes undone over a romantic prospect. “Oh honey,” her friend says in commiseration. Fitting. Why would anybody introduce anything foreign into an ecosystem that works so well? She has sex when she wants it, brief bouts of companionship when she wants it, but, as seen in the episode with the best bad-date rant ever, she’s able to excise dead male weight faster than you can say “fedora.” Men are not a priority; keeping her life balanced is. Humans. “I don’t know how to do this. Like maybe too good at being alone, to the point where they struggle to comprehend how another person can fit, or enhance, or do anything other than damage the life they’ve built alone. I hate the “super single” concept, but I have also never felt more seen. “This guy, is the thing,” she says to a friend, anguished and lovesick (literally). I got no place to put it, I don’t want it,” she says. “We’re super singles: We’re just too good at being alone.”

It may seem a little melodramatic — her fear and the reaction to it — but it’s definitely a conversation I’ve had with relationship-less friends who are incredibly happy having figured out how to stay home alone on a Sunday and not sink into despair, how to kill their own roaches, and how to look out over the landscape of the lives they’ve built for themselves, by themselves, with a protective appreciation. Her speech is really just a few lines, but, good god, does it cut to the bone. She only sees one way forward: to break up with the perfect guy, naturally. For the first season and the beginning of the second, her love life is something that whirs in the background, while work and daughters and self come first. Humans? Sam, for the (foolish) people who don’t watch this show, is a single mom of three daughters, and “meeting someone” always seems to be at the bottom of a long list of priorities. Tags:

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Pharrell Williams Takes a Knee at UVA’s Charlottesville Benefit Concert

Because he’s Pharrell, he capped off the gesture with a segue into his sweetest, most positive, most encouraging hit. “I’m in Virginia right now. Photo: YouTube

Much like Stevie Wonder before him, Pharrell Williams wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to take a stand (or in his case, both knees) following President Trump’s criticism of athletes who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. I’m home. That’s what that flag is for.” The crowd cheered in response. (You can watch the moment at 11:34 in the video below.) “If I wanted to get on my knees right now for the people of my city, for the people of my state. Joining the more than 100 NFL players who demonstrated during their respective games on Sunday, the “Feels” singer went to his knees during his set at University of Virginia’s A Concert for Charlottesville: An Evening of Music and Unity charity show. “When I think about the potential of this country, the potential of this state, the potential of these people, the potential of this amazing, amazing university, there’s only one word that I feel on the inside,” he concluded before launching into, of course, “Happy.”

Tags: Can’t nobody can tell me what to do if I wanted to get on my knees right now,” the Virginia Beach-born singer said as he lowered himself to the stage.