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      • Loki's bisexual revelation is a big step for Marvel, but it feels odd as a superhero show milestone
        Source: Variety

        "Seeing as it comes during Pride Month — and on a planet bathed in the pink, purple, and deep blue color scheme of the bisexual flag — it certainly seems like Marvel Studios recognizes that Loki’s casual revelation of his sexuality would carry significant meaning for many LGBTQIA+ fans," says Adam B. Vary of the Loki Episode 3 revelation. "And yet, in 2021, it feels a bit odd to be celebrating this fleeting acknowledgment as a milestone in queer representation when there are so many other examples of superhero TV shows embracing it. The CW’s Batwoman centers on two lesbian superheroes — Kate Kane (played by Ruby Rose in Season 1, and Wallis Day in Season 2) and Ryan Wilder (Javicia Leslie). Similarly, on the CW’s Supergirl, the titular hero’s sister Alex (Chyler Leigh) is gay and has had multiple girlfriends; on Season 4, the show debuted TV’s first trans superhero, Dreamer (played by trans actor Nicole Maines). Matt Bomer plays gay superhero Larry Trainor on HBO Max’s Doom Patrol. Jefferson Pierce’s daughter Anissa (Nafessa Williams) on Black Lighting is a lesbian; Oliver Queen’s son William (Ben Lewis) on Arrow is gay. Amazon’s The Boys explores how Queen Maeve (Dominique McElligott) had to end her relationship with her girlfriend for fear of being outed; on Invincible, by contrast, the titular hero’s gay best friend William (Andrew Rannells) is very much out and proud. Queer representation isn’t limited to TV heroes, either: On Fox’s Gotham, the Penguin (Robin Lord Taylor) was in love with the Riddler (Cory Michael Smith), and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Fish Mooney was sexually fluid. And on Netflix’s Jessica Jones — technically a Marvel TV series, though not one produced by Marvel Studios — the morally flexible lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie-Anne Moss) had several girlfriends. In the final season of the show, Jessica (Krysten Ritter) also had a trans assistant, Gillian (played by trans actor Aneesh Sheth). That’s far from a comprehensive accounting of openly LGBTQIA characters in superhero storytelling, but when we turn the lens to Marvel Studios, the picture gets profoundly smaller. There’s the grieving gay man in Avengers: Endgame played by director Joe Russo. Tessa Thompson has said that her Thor: Ragnarok character was bisexual, but any mention of it was cut from the film. And that’s pretty much it. So making Loki — one of the most popular characters ever to grace the MCU — explicitly bisexual does mark a significant step forward for LGBTQIA representation…for the MCU."


        • Loki director Kate Herron says her "heart is so full" after bisexuality revelation: "From the moment I joined @LokiOfficial it was very important to me, and my goal, to acknowledge Loki was bisexual," she tweeted. "It is a part of who he is and who I am too. I know this is a small step but I’m happy, and heart is so full, to say that this is now Canon in #mcu."
        • Loki's bisexuality confirmation is a watershed moment for Marvel: "When I tell you I kicked my feet into the air with delight and gasped out loud during episode 3 of Loki, that’s not hyperbole," says Kaila Hale-Stern. "'Lamentis' is a gorgeous episode for many reasons—the script, acting, character growth, action, direction, and cinematography are all on point. What’s currently setting the Internet on fire, however, is a scene that confirms Loki’s queerness in the MCU. This is a watershed moment for Marvel Studios, and it’s something Marvel and Loki fans have long hoped for. That it’s done beautifully and acted exquisitely by Tom Hiddleston and Sophia Di Martino made the confirmation even more poignant."
        • Read Loki fan reactions to bisexuality revelation

        # TOPICS: Loki, Disney+, Tom Hiddleston, LGBTQ, Marvel

      • Britney Spears says "I just want my life back" as she tells the court her 13-year conservatorship is comparable to sex trafficking
        Source: Variety

        Four months after the Framing Britney Spears documentary shined a spotlight on Spears' 13-year conservatorship under her estranged father Jamie Spears, the pop music icon spoke out candidly in a virtual court appearance on Wednesday -- revealing, shockingly, that she's been forced to have an IUD to prevent her from having more babies. “I’ve been in shock. I am traumatized,” she said in calling for an end to the conservatorship. “I just want my life back.” Spears described the control her father Jamie Spears had over her. "I worked seven days a week, no days off, which in California, the only similar thing to this is called sex trafficking," she said. "Making anyone work against their will, taking all their possessions away — credit card, cash, phone passport — and placing them in a home where they work with the people who live with them. They all lived in the house with me, the nurses, the 24-7 security. There was one chef that came there and cooked for me daily during the weekdays. They watched me change every day — morning, noon and night. I had no privacy, I get eight gallons of blood a week. If I didn’t do any of my meetings and work from eight to six at night, which is 10 hours a day, seven days a week, no days off, I wouldn’t be able to see my kids or my boyfriend. I never had a say in my schedule. They always told me I had to do this. And Ma’am, I will tell you, sitting in a chair 10 hours a day, seven days a week, in a fog… and especially when you can’t walk out the front door." Spears added: "I was told right now in the conservatorship, I’m not able to get married or have a baby, I have a IUD inside of myself right now so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the IUD out so I could start trying to have another baby. But this so called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out because they don’t want me to have any more children. So basically, this conservatorship is doing me way more harm than good."

        # TOPICS: Britney Spears, Framing Britney Spears

      • Conan O'Brien talks Hacks' accuracy, the long wait for his HBO Max show, and how his podcast, Conan Without Borders and the pandemic led him to quit late-night
        Source: Vulture

        In a wide-ranging interview with Vulture's Josef Adalian -- who first interviewed Conan in 1994, six months after his Late Night launch -- the Conan host says the ability do different things outside of the late-night grind prompted him to decide to leave late-night after 28 years. "What happens is, over time as you get older, you start craving different experiences. Those travel shows made me feel like, This is fantastic," says Conan. "I’m physically traveling around the world, meeting incredible people, making comedy that we’d show to live audiences, and they would really laugh hard. And it felt like we were able to craft them a little more and really work on them and think about them. I became, in a weird way, almost like when I was working on The Simpsons and we would really craft an episode and think about it. With the travel shows, even though we only shoot them over a period of a couple of days, we were able to do a lot of research beforehand and put a lot of thought into it, and I felt like I was 30 years old again, having a new experience. The other thing was the podcast. I’m having interviews with all these fantastic people, and the conversations can go on for an hour, sometimes longer. We can take really strange flights of fancy, and we can really take turns that I didn’t expect before the podcast started. I started to realize, Wow, there’s all these different ways to make stuff now that are using muscles I haven’t really been able to use. Because for 28 years in late night, you talk to someone, you do six minutes, you break, music, then you come back, you do another seven or eight minutes, you’re looking for the funny line to get out. I’ve loved it, but I really do want to make sure that, whatever time I have left in my life to make comedy, I’m changing it up and challenging myself as much as possible. So this just felt like the right time. I don’t think I’m going to wake up the next day and think, Sh*t, I wish I could do another week. It feels like it’s time to move on to the next phase, whatever that is. Conan says the 2019 move to a half-hour format was an attempt to revitalize his show, but the pandemic a year later changed everything. "When you’ve been riding for miles and miles and you just keep looking at the lines on the highway, you can go into a trance and not even be aware that you’re driving 65 miles per hour," he says. "I’m just trying to get the word out that if you see me on the highway, get out of the way. I’m probably unaware that I’m driving. [Laughs.] But for me, even if I’m not youthful anymore, my comedy is youthful. I’ve always had a very silly, energetic approach to comedy, and so I can’t fake that. So we were definitely making a lot of changes to try and keep myself completely engaged and giddy and excited, and it worked for a while, but then the pandemic certainly doesn’t help. While I don’t think it changed the timetable much, it’s possible that it accelerated things to a degree and made this final date pushed up a little bit." Conan also said he isn't interested in putting full episodes of his old shows online, even though we're able to watch old episodes of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show on outlets on Antenna TV. Conan also says he's been really interested lately in HBO Max's Hacks, saying the writing on the show is "superb. I mean, the cast, the performances are fantastic. I’m blown away by Jean Smart and Hannah Einbinder. So many people try to depict what it’s like to make comedy, and comedians always love to watch those shows because they hilariously get it wrong. Hacks feels like the closest thing to what it’s like for people who are struggling to think of comedy, what the process is like and working out comedy with someone else. I’ve been really blown away by that show." As for his HBO Max show, Conan says: "it will definitely be into 2022 before people see anything. I don’t want it to be too long, but I want people to be shocked at how I’ve aged when I show up for the new thing. I can do that pretty quickly, but you’ve got to give me at least six months. But I want it to be upsetting to people what I look like when I reemerge. And I’m going to act like I always have. I’ll act very youthful and impish and foolish, like I’m a 30-year-old who just got his late-night show. But I want my physical appearance to be nothing less than horrifying."


        # TOPICS: Conan O'Brien, TBS, Conan, Conan O'Brien Needs a Friend, Conan Without Borders, Hacks, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Untitled Conan O'Brien HBO Max Variety Show, Coronavirus, Late Night

      • Andy Richter on whether he'll be part of Conan O'Brien's HBO Max show: "I don't know"
        Source: The New York Times

        Richter discussed his 19 years as Conan's sidekick -- 7 years on Late Night and 12 years on The Tonight Show and Conan -- in an interview with The New York Times. In addition to discussing his role, Richter was also asked about whether he'll join Conan on his future HBO Max endeavor. "I don’t know," says Richter. "It’s very much up in the air and I don’t know how much I can say about that. But I can say there’s been a difference of opinion about what the next thing will be. Just as a kindness, Conan has said to people, I don’t know. He’s not making promises he can’t keep. I’m auditioning and it’s freeing up my schedule. So it’ll give me more opportunity to do some stuff. I mean, if there’s still an Andy Richter market out there. For the most part, I am calm about it. Because I have enough people that tell me I’ll be fine and I choose to believe them. Definitely, there’s part of me that’s like, oh no, what if on tomorrow’s showbiz menu there’s an Andy Richter and everyone goes, ehhh, I’ll have the fish?" Richter will still be connected to Conan O'Brien via the Team Coco-produced podcast The Three Questions with Andy Richter, which he began hosting two years ago. Richter was also asked if being a late-night sidekick was the perfect role for him. "It all makes sense when you look back at it," says Richter. "I was the morale keeper, the kid in the family that made sure everybody was OK and kept the mood light when things were tough. Then I got into improv where it’s not about you — you share the experience and everybody pitches in and no one’s more important than anyone else. Then I got on this show where I was surrendering myself to the situation. And being there if needed. It suits me in many ways. I’ve lived a reactive life. But that’s not the way to make things happen. I’m now at a point where I’m like, maybe that’s just who I am. My ambition will be looking for situations in which to do my part. Not necessarily to grab the world by the throat and scream my name into its face. But that being said, I’m older, I’m calmer. If I were to move off-camera and just start telling stories and making TV shows, I think I’d be OK with that. I wouldn’t have to worry about how I look. I wouldn’t have to worry about getting old. I wouldn’t have to worry about this double chin. That’s an ongoing process, my tortured relationship with the notion of my own authorship. Me as an auteur is something that I’ve always thought, I should do that. It’s like the elliptical gathering dust out in my garage. Yeah, I should do that."

        # TOPICS: Andy Richter, TBS, Conan, Untitled Conan O'Brien HBO Max Variety Show, Conan O'Brien, Late Night

      • Courteney Cox admits it "hurt" that she was the only Friends star not to earn an Emmy nomination
        Source: Entertainment Weekly

        Howard Stern "went there" with Cox during a joint interview this morning with her former co-stars Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston. Asked if her lack of Emmy nominations stuck in her "craw," Cox responded: "Sure. Yeah, it always hurt my feelings. When every single cast member was nominated but me, it definitely hurt my feelings. I was happy for everybody, and then when it was finally like, 'Oh, I'm the only one?' It hurt." Cox, though, was relieved to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Cougar Town. Of the five Friends to earn Emmy nominations for the show, Aniston won one Emmy in five nominations, Kudrow won one Emmy in six nominations, Matt LeBlanc was nominated three times with zero wins, and Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer each earned one nomination without a win.


        • Jennifer Aniston recalled an unnamed Friends actor who apologized years after having an "attitude" on the set: "It was as if they were just too 'above' this, to be on a sitcom," Aniston told Howard Stern. "And I remember when we were doing a network run-through, the network and the producers would just laugh. And this person would be like, 'Listen to them, just laughing at their own jokes. So stupid, not even funny,'" Aniston recalled. "It was just like, 'What are you doing here? Your attitude, this is not what we're all about. This is a wonderful, warm place to be, and you're coming into our home and just s------- on it.'"
        • Lisa Kudrow recalled how "fittings" weren't fun on Friends: "It's not that I felt horrible around them," Kudrow told Stern. "Fittings were not fun, that's for sure. "Yeah, I have a different body type. I'm just bigger and sometimes the clothes, when I'd see the show, were so sort of full of volume … it was only this one moment where I hugged both of them but there was no sleeve. It was just like, I enveloped them. I felt like this mountainous thing that swallowed them alive."

        # TOPICS: Courteney Cox, Friends, Howard Stern, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, The Howard Stern Show

      • The problem with Bo Burnham's Inside is that too many people actually believed he was suffering in a confining room
        Source: Slate

        "Burnham’s special deserves much of the praise it’s gotten," says Lili Loofbourow. "Inside is a major technical achievement, and it took immense talent in a dozen different fields to put it together." But as Loofbourow says she learned surfing various internet forums, many, many people expressed deep concern for Burnham and had to be reassured that "this was not Burnham’s actual life. He’s a wealthy celebrity! He lives in a nice house with his partner, who’s a successful director, and two dogs! This room isn’t where he lives." Loofbourow adds: "Given the confused concern so many fans expressed, the artifice—specifically, the mismatch between Burnham’s circumstances and his protagonist’s—isn’t obvious. And it does take away from it. Confessional meta-comedy of this type, being relatively new, hasn’t yet developed rules about the obligation to truth. Burnham’s special thrives in that ambiguity. Framed by a claustrophobically dominant metaphor, Inside is about feeling as if you were trapped 'inside,' where 'inside' means existence on and with the faux-connectivity of the internet and the hell of your own brain and the confining square footage of a plain studio apartment during the pandemic.  take no issue with the first two; it’s the last bit that rankles. Opinions will differ on this: Does it matter that Burnham was not actually trapped in cramped, depressing, uncomfortable spaces that a lot of people actually and nonmetaphorically occupied? Or that he’s conflating immensely interesting artistic and existential questions with mundane but urgent material ones? I realize this sounds like a 'privilege' argument and in a certain sense it is: I do question the choice to situate the story of your misery (and I believe Burnham’s pain to be extremely real!) in squalid conditions not your own to make your suffering seem greater. I’ll go further: As a piece of social commentary, I find the framing device clunky. Say, to take only a slightly more extreme case, that you see the modern condition as one of detachment, rootlessness, and precarity. Should you, a wealthy but tortured creator, channel this into art by presenting yourself as literally homeless and then encourage confusion between the character you’re playing and yourself?"

        # TOPICS: Bo Burnham, Netflix, Bo Burnham: Inside, Coronavirus, Standup Comedy

      • Former Bachelor Pad contestant recalls a "traumatic" and "abusive" bikini game with eggs
        Source: Page Six

        Erica Rose, a 2011 contestant on the canceled Bachelor franchise spinoff, recalled a challenge where men tossed paint-filled eggs at the women they found least attractive while they were blindfolded and wearing bikinis. “It really hurt, so that’s when I was like, ‘Ow, I don’t want to do this anymore,'” Rose recently told host Jacques Peterson on his Unpopular podcast. “Emotionally it was traumatic. Physically, that f*cking hurt.” She also claimed that host Chris Harrison told her she had no option but to participate in the degrading charade or she would face elimination.

        # TOPICS: Bachelor Pad, ABC, Chris Harrison, Reality TV, Retro TV

      • Netflix's Sexy Beasts trailer isn't that weird
        Source: Mic

        "Two undebatable facts in this f*ckery of life are that people will always be horny, and people will always love reality shows," says Chloe Stillwell. "So leave it to Netflix to continually marry the two and cause absolute mayhem on the internet today by releasing the trailer for their new show Sexy Beasts." Stillwell adds: "In a way, shows like Sexy Beasts and Love Is Blind are rebuttals to hookup culture. They show that people really do want to find love, and they want to do it without having the superficial at the forefront — and people want to watch them do it. Whether they’re watching because they’re a romantic who wants to see people fall in love based on personality alone, or if they just merely enjoy the chaos of it all, is hard to measure. But the excitement for another Netflix reality firestorm is undeniable, and we will all be in it together."


        # TOPICS: Sexy Beasts, Netflix, Reality TV

      • Mischa Barton hopes to make a Framing Britney-style docuseries about her life, recalls The Hills: New Beginnings producers calling her "Marissa Cooper"
        Source: The Guardian

        The O.C. alum tells The Guardian that she is in a "transitional period" and thinking of doing a documentary series "from my perspective." “I think a lot of people deserve apologies for the things that were done to them at that time,” she says. “The Britney doc really got to me. Watching that was very strange because I was in all the same places.” Barton points out the experiences of being followed by the paparazzi were similar. “Certainly, you couldn’t get away with it today to the same extent, not the same kind of danger,” she says. Barton also wants to escape from her The O.C. persona. “It is the constant mistake,” she says wryly of her experience on The Hills: New Beginning, which she refers to as a "sh*tshow." “They were even calling me by my character name. Seriously? Like, this far down the line they can’t get my name right?” Barton says she was still a virgin and felt “like a fraud” for playing Marissa Cooper in this sexy teen show where she was pursued by older men. Barton says she felt she had to get her first experience of sex “out of the way."

        # TOPICS: Mischa Barton, The Hills: New Beginnings, The O.C.

      • Peacock will finally be available on Amazon's Fire TV
        Source: TheWrap

        Fire TV uses will be able to use the Peacock app starting Thursday, nearly a year after Peacock's launch.

        # TOPICS: Peacock, Amazon Fire TV

      • Too Hot to handle still amounts to horrible TV as it returns for Season 2
        Source: Pajiba

        "Remember when Netflix used to curate its content to appeal to a certain demographic with an IQ above 90? Too Hot to Handle is the streamer’s way of saying, “F**k that," says Dustin Rowles. "We have conceded brand purity to HBO Max and Apple TV+. Here are some painfully aroused twenty-something shirtless men and bikini-clad women. Watch them try not to bang. The idea behind the series, at least, is that by banning the ten contestants from having sex, they will form stronger emotional bonds. The reality, however, is that the contestants are basically left to mentally assess how much money they are willing to sacrifice to rid themselves of a case of blue balls. It is horrible television. I don’t mean because it’s cheap and morally bankrupt (although, that too). I mean: It’s tedious and boring and the contestants are insipid, empty-headed dimwits who are about as deep as a rain puddle during a three-week drought. Good god, they are awful human beings, and listening to them talk is like being the one guy at a party who chooses not to get high. I watched two excruciating episodes and not one person spoke a single worthwhile word. The entire show consists of 10 people licking their lips and breathlessly talking about which one of the other contestants they want to f**k. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. Even as a competition series, it’s beyond lousy.  The 10 contestants are told that they are being invited onto a particular type of series that apparently allows them to spend a month engaging in a group orgy only to be told that sex is verboten. It’s clear by how familiar they immediately all are with the rules that they have at least all seen the first season of the series, which essentially nullifies the ruse. They know exactly what’s going on, and they’re not there to win. They’re there to play to the cameras and generate some cheap, fleeting fame."


        • Too Hot to Handle is TV's most confounding show: "What I find most confusing of all is: the anguish," says Claire McNair. "The screams, the yells, the abject horror when, most of the way through the second season’s premiere, the fresh batch of 10 very slightly clothed strangers learn that they have been summoned to a sumptuous Turks and Caicos estate not to participate in the made-up reality show Parties in Paradise, but in this one, the no-sex one. There will be no parties in paradise at all! Even their smiley Parties in Paradise host, 'Jeff,' is a fake! They have been summoned into a horror movie premise: a secluded mansion, a lie forged by mysterious powers with their own ends in mind (binge-watching). But instead of an ax murderer, what awaits them is, in the parlance of the show, no 'rumpy pumpy.' And yet: The contestants gasp and moan and beat their chests as if the vorpal blade itself has appeared, instead of the bizarro chastity-enforcing AI speaker technology named Lana (hm) that the show has stand in for a human host. (Sorry, Jeff!)"
        • Too Hot to Handle is still hilarious in Season 2: "In season one, the contestants eventually split $75,000," says Lucy Mangan. "By the end of the current crop’s first night the prize fund has already dropped to $79,000 and it is quite possible that by the time they reach the finale, they will be required to pay the makers. Obviously – obviously – it is terrible. But, as ever, it’s brilliant to watch. Money and sex working in diametric opposition creates a unique layer of horror that no other reality show can provide, atop the jealousy, treachery, stupidity and heartbreak that customarily abounds. You would need a heart of stone not to laugh."
        • Meet the Season 2 Too Hot to Handle contestants

        # TOPICS: Too Hot to Handle, Netflix, Reality TV

      • Milwaukee Bucks sends a letter to ESPN's First Take after "terrible cities" comment
        Source: The Big Lead

        The NBA team defended the city of Milwaukee after the ESPN morning show's Molly Querim Rose said the final four NBA times are all from "terrible cities."

        # TOPICS: First Take, ESPN, NBA

      • Cassandra Peterson credits the late Pee-wee’s Playhouse star John Paragon with helping with her Elvira, Mistress of the Dark character
        Source: Los Angeles Times

        Peterson wanted to be known that Paragon, who died in April but whose death was revealed last week, was more than the wide-eyed, teal-faced Jambi the Genie. "Without John, I could tell you Elvira would never be the character that she came to be," says Peterson of her cult horror favorite character. Pee-wee's Playhouse star Paul Reubens also wanted it be known how helpful Paragon was off-screen. “He was very charismatic, and his performing was very electrifying. He was hard not to notice," says Reubens, adding: "He made you want to work with him."

        # TOPICS: John Paragon, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Cassandra Peterson, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Paul Reubens, Retro TV

      • Ted Lasso introduces the U.S. Women's Soccer National Team Olympic roster
        Source: YouTube

        Watch Jason Sudeikis reprise his Apple TV+ character to announce this year's Summer Olympics roster with Brendan Hunt's Coach Beard.

        # TOPICS: Ted Lasso, Brendan Hunt, Jason Sudeikis, Summer Olympics, U.S. Women's National Team

      • Behind the Music's Paramount+ revival releases its trailer
        Source: YouTube

        The Emmy-nominated docuseries returns on July 29.

        # TOPICS: Behind the Music , Paramount+, Documentaries, Trailers & Teasers

      • Watch Lily James in Amazon's The Pursuit of Love trailer
        Source: YouTube

        The BBC/Amazon series written and directed by Emily Mortimer, based on the celebrated novel by Nancy Mitford, premieres on July 30.

        # TOPICS: The Pursuit of Love, Amazon, Trailers & Teasers

    • Earlier news - posted about 21 hours ago
    • Earlier news - posted 1 day ago
      • The universal TV hit appears to be dead in the streaming era
        Source: The Washington Post

        "On one level, Mare of Easttown was a smashing success," says The Washington Post's Steven Zeitchik. "The Pennsylvania-set crime series starring Kate Winslet inspired numerous memes, truckloads of media coverage and even a Saturday Night Live parody after it debuted on HBO in April. More importantly, thanks to its head-fake mysteries and town with more secrets than beer bottles, the show quadrupled its audience between its premiere and its finale. That’s the good news. The bad news is that its audience began modestly enough that even with all that growth, the finale was watched by only 4 million people over Memorial Day weekend. For all its buzzy enthusiasm and hardcore fan interest, the Mare finale was not seen that weekend by nearly 99 percent of Americans. The television hit — the most abiding of entertainment traditions — appears to be dying. That isn’t to say shows don’t have fans; they do, and some of them are more passionate than ever. But according to its long-standing definition — a universally recognized show that gathers a large, verifiable audience and becomes unavoidable in all the places people talk about television and endures well beyond its run — the TV hit is vanishing. That is true not just, as is commonly lamented, on broadcast, but also according to the lower standards of subscription television. Just two years ago, HBO’s Game of Thrones gathered 20 million viewers to watch its finale. Nothing on the current pay-TV landscape would stand a chance of coming close." Even streaming shows with a lot of buzz like Ted Lasso, WandaVision and Hacks aren't considered universal hits, even though they've all "gained cultural mind-share." "If you watch these shows, it could seem like people are talking about them everywhere you go," says Zeitchik. "But 'seem like' and 'actually' are not the same. Viewership numbers for many of these series are fundamentally unknown. The fact that people are talking about them everywhere we go may say less about the shows than how, in this age of echo-chamber social media, most of us, figuratively speaking, aren’t going very far." Casey Bloys, content chief for both HBO and HBO Max, says he believes the demise of the broad TV hit is a legitimate phenomenon. “Viewers have a lot more choice, and that’s going to have an effect on the attention any one show commands,” he says. But Bloys doesn’t think this necessarily means catering to narrower bases. “When you’re developing, you never think ‘it’s just going to be a single, so I’ll stop there,'” he says.

        # TOPICS: Mare of Easttown, HBO, HBO Max, Game of Thrones, Casey Bloys, Peak TV, Prestige TV

      • Jimmy Kimmel responds to report "President Snowflake" Trump wanted the federal government to investigate him
        Source: YouTube

        A Daily Beast report Tuesday alleged that in 2019, the former president wanted to explore what the federal government, including the Department of Justice and FCC, could do about SNL, Jimmy Kimmel and other late-night critics. In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Trump called the report "Fake News." "So, The Daily Beast reports that, in 2019, Donald Trump wanted the government to investigate—guess who, Guillermo?—me!” Kimmel said at the top of his monologue before quoting at length from the story. Kimmel added: “I don’t want him probing me. Can you imagine that? President Snowflake asked to send the authorities in to stop us from making fun of him. “Little did I know, I’m up here goofing on him, he’s asking the Feds to do who the hell knows what? And when he was told there was no legal case to be made—that you can’t stop comedians from making fun of you when you’re president—Trump asked, ‘Can something else be done about it?’”

        # TOPICS: Jimmy Kimmel, ABC, Donald Trump, Department of Justice, FCC, Late Night, Trump Presidency

      • The Bachelorette did Katie Thurston a disservice with a "sanitized" discussion on sexual assault
        Source: Jezebel

        "While it was very clear what Katie was talking about, the language she chose to use was cautious," Shannon Melero says of Thurston's revelation on Monday's episode that she had been sexually assaulted 10 years ago. "Her admission of what had been done to her started off with a line she’s been pushing all season: 'As you all know I am very sex-positive,' she said, before explaining that her outlook on sex was the direct result of a negative experience. 'For a long time I didn’t want to have sex and I was in such denial about what this person had done, I tried to be in a relationship with them. I felt responsible for being too drunk but it wasn’t my fault... Consent is important and I did not give it that night.' Like most emotional revelations on this franchise, the moment felt staged despite Katie’s bravery for sharing something so intimate on national television. The setup and the language had the distinct thumbprint of producers who get their checks signed by a network owned by Disney. Katie shared this huge revelation and instead of talking more about how she felt about it or even gauging the men’s reaction to something like this, the segment was quickly closed down, with Nick Viall thanking the men and Katie for their honesty. This admission, and Katie’s feelings, were left dangling in the air, unaddressed. The whole exchange was as sanitized as a discussion of sexual assault can possibly be." Melero pointed out that in the group date, none of the men shared anything of note. "Yet at the end of it, it was Katie who was baring her soul in front of a group of men who had no other reaction than shaking their heads and thanking her for sharing, as if all she had done was split the last slice of pizza," says Melero. "The moment also betrays the very notion of consent itself that Katie was trying to put forward. How exactly did the producers gain her consent to have this extremely personal story aired out on national television as little more than an Episode 2 plot point that played second fiddle to an argument between Thomas and all the men in the house? If the entire marketing behind Katie’s season is that it’s a brand new girl power season with a sex-positive cool girl and her two new lady pals running the entire show, then where exactly on the feminist spectrum does a semi-scripted admission of sexual assault fall?"


        • Katie Thurston stressed the importance of opening up about her experience publicly: "I think it's just hard for people to start the conversation, and I think that's what being vulnerable does," she told Mike Johnson and Bryan Abasolo on their Talking It Out podcast. "You know, that's kind of what that circle did (on the group date) - one person started to open up and then the other person's like, 'Well, they're going to share, I'm going to share,' and (it was) just kind of this domino effect."
        • Rachel Lindsay exposing The Bachelor franchise could lead to meaningful change: "It’s true: Lindsay didn’t blow anything up," says Emily Yahr. "But her story could lead to meaningful change. Lindsay shedding light on what else really happens on the show could affect viewers’ perspective on the series. Not to mention that of the actual contestants involved. The Bachelor franchise has always been resistant to change, but if Lindsay’s revelations lead to more stars of the show feeling bold enough to share all, it could be a domino effect that’s hard to stop."
        • Who could replace Chris Harrison?: Variety reports the choices for new Bachelor franchise host ranges from Rachel Lindsay to David Spade to Billy Eichner and Jimmy Kimmel.


        # TOPICS: Katie Thurston, ABC, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, Rachel Lindsay, Reality TV

      • Erika Girardi's “my whole life is smoke and mirrors" comment can be said of many Real Housewives stars
        Source: Los Angeles Times

        The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and her estranged husband Tom Girardi are currently embroiled in an embezzling investigation that has exposed that her extravagant lifestyle was indeed "smoke and mirrors." As the Los Angeles Times' Meredith Blake points out, spending too much money is a common problem for Real Housewives stars, many of whom are engaged in a "glam arts race." "The saga, the heavily hyped focal point of the current season of Beverly Hills, makes Girardi the latest Real Housewife to contend with legal and financial difficulties connected to the fabulous persona they convey on TV," says Blake. "In March, Salt Lake City housewife Jen Shah was arrested on suspicion of running a vast telemarketing scheme targeting the elderly. New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice spent nearly a year in prison on multiple fraud charges. And while only a few Housewives have been implicated in such brazen white-collar crimes, the list of bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens and lawsuits involving cast members runs longer than Girardi’s hair extensions. Since the inception of Real Housewives, the sort of 'smoke and mirrors' Girardi described have been central to the show — and, arguably, one of the keys to its success."

        # TOPICS: Erika Girardi, Bravo, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Jen Shah, Teresa Giudice, The Real Housewives Franchise, Reality TV

      • Sarah Paulson hated her experience on American Horror Story: Roanoke: "I just don't care about this season at all"
        Source: Entertainment Weekly

        "I was so underwhelmed by the whole experience," she said on The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast, "because I felt like I had entered into a new place inside of myself in terms of what I thought possible, in terms of what I might be willing to see if I can do. I felt really kind of trapped by my responsibility and my contractual obligation to do American Horror Story. As much as it's my home, and I've loved it always, it was the first time I felt like I wish I could have gone to Ryan (Murphy) and said, 'Please let me sit this one out.'" 

        # TOPICS: Sarah Paulson, FX, American Horror Story: Roanoke, Ryan Murphy

      • Mare of Easttown creator says a second season won't happen unless "we can crack a story" that is as great as Season 1
        Source: TVLine

        “If we can crack a story that is as great (as Season 1) and that would do justice to the characters and carry on the story in a way that was organic and yet surprising, I would love to do it,” Brad Ingelsby tells TVLine. “I just don’t know what the story is. That’s the issue right now.”

        # TOPICS: Mare of Easttown, HBO, Brad Ingelsby

      • The Simpsons could run "forever," says a veteran producer
        Source: Metro

        "It’s sort of built like the kind of show that runs forever," says longtime Simpsons producer Mike Reiss. "The Simpsons, is just about the world, about humanity and what’s going on in the world and what we do as humans, and for us to give up on the show is to say we’ve explored everything human beings can do and anything that can ever happen in the world." ALSO: Yeardley Smith looks back at her favorite Simpsons musical numbers.

        # TOPICS: The Simpsons, FOX, Mike Reiss

      • Emilia Clarke would like to see her Solo: A Star Wars Story character Qi’ra resolve her "unfinished business" on Disney+
        Source: Gizmodo

        “She’s the one that has the most unfinished business,” Clarke, who's starring on Disney's Secret Invasiontells The Hollywood Reporter. “I really had pages about what her life was and what it would be afterwards. But I’m afraid I’ve heard nothing of (Disney+) being the case, so maybe I’ll just write it and send it to them. I’ll be like, ‘Hey guys, I’ve got a few ideas.'”

        # TOPICS: Emilia Clarke, Disney+, Star Wars

      • Pluto TV is the best streaming service you're not using
        Source: Vulture

        The ViacomCBS-owned free streaming service mimics the experience of channel surfing. "The first thing you’ll notice upon downloading it to your smart TV or opening it in your browser is its single best feature: It doesn’t require you to make an account," says Rebecca Alter. "No log-ins, no password sharing, no newsletters spamming your inbox making recommendations you didn’t ask for. It’s, quite simply, the most frictionless experience in streaming today — a no-commitment affair. Considering how many barriers are set up for online experiences these days, to access streaming video content without a log-in feels like a FastPass. To turn it on and be immediately greeted with some sort of content in progress — maybe it’s Pawn Stars, maybe it’s Urban Legends 2 — really feels like cable. It’s also free. That’s the part that feels like it comes with a catch. It’s ad-supported, but commercials only add to the verisimilitude of the cable-adjacent experience."

        # TOPICS: Pluto TV

      • Dave Season 2 has the most unsettling scene of 2021
        Source: Pajiba

        The second episode of Season 2 of the FXX comedy includes a "horrifying" ants scene.

        # TOPICS: Dave, FXX

      • Conan O'Brien smokes a joint with the help of Seth Rogen
        Source: YouTube

        “This is the kind of thing you do when you know it’s over for you,” joked Conan as he winds down his TBS late-night show. “I really don’t know what the f*ck I’m doing." 

        # TOPICS: Conan O'Brien, TBS, Conan, Seth Rogen, Late Night