It’s the Movie Hit of the Summer: Why ‘The Kissing Booth’ Clicked

The Netflix movie is based on a book by a real teenager, adapted by a fan of ’80s teen rom-coms and features stars who actually became a couple.
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Chrissy Teigen Laughs while Watching John Legend Pull Double Daddy Duty: ‘The Eyes Say Help’

John Legend certainly has his hands full taking care of his two children!

In a hilarious video shared by the 39-year-old singer’s wife Chrissy Teigen on Friday, Legend patiently tries to burp the couple’s 6-week-old son Miles Theodore as their daughter Luna Simone, 2, loses her balance while sitting on her father’s shoulders — and grabs onto his face so she doesn’t slip any further.

“Ahh, good burp, good burp,” Legend says while all of this action is taking place around him, as Teigen can be heard laughing in the background.

“Bahahahahaha,” she captioned the sweet video.

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RELATED: Nap Time! Chrissy Teigen Shares Precious Video of Newborn Son Miles Sleeping in Her Arms

The mother of two went on to share an image from Legend’s double daddy duty experience on her Instagram Story, captioning it: “The eyes say ‘help.’ “

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Risks the Wrath of Mommy Shamers as She Tries to Achieve the Perfect Family Photo

Teigen also poked fun at herself while documenting another parenting moment this week.

Alongside a photo of herself holding her two children, the 32-year-old cookbook author joked about the struggle that comes with having two children under the age of three and trying to get the perfect family Instagram photograph.

“Should I post the one where his head looks unsupported but my face looks good and Luna is over it, the one where his head is supported but my face is just okay and Luna is over it, or him crying and my face looks okay and luna is over it?” she wrote in the caption.

RELATED: Chrissy Teigen Shares the Sweet Photo of Son Miles — and Tells Fans ‘I’m All for Talking About IVF’

Since welcoming the couple’s second child in May, both Legend and his wife have been taking some time off from work in order to spend more time with their family.

“There’s a lot of family days,” Legend told PEOPLE last month. “We’ve been home a lot. We haven’t been working much at all. I’ve barely been working and Chrissy hasn’t really been working at all, and so we spend a lot of time at home. We just enjoy each other’s company.”

“A lot of it’s just the nuts and bolts of making sure Miles is fed. Making sure he sleeps well. Making sure we burp him. Making sure we change his diaper. It’s just the practical everyday things of being a parent, and so we’re immersed in that time in his life right now,” he added.

RELATED VIDEO: John Legend Leaves BBMAs Early & Assures Chrissy Teigen He’ll Be Home for Dinner After She Hilariously Roasts Him on Twitter

Legend also added that Luna is really taking to her role as a big sister.

“She tries to play with him. She takes care of him too. She’ll feed him. She’ll pat his little head. She’s very loving with him,” he remarked.


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Critic’s Notebook: How to Save ‘The Conners’ From Roseanne

Maybe the troubled “Roseanne” revival should have just ended. But if it won’t, here are some ways it could get better.
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Review: ‘The Last Defense’ Aims to Open Once-Shut Cases

This ABC docu-series, with Viola Davis as an executive producer, applies the true-crime formula to appeal the convictions of two death-row prisoners.
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Tonys Briefing: Tony Awards 2018: ‘The Band’s Visit’ and ‘Harry Potter’ Prevail

“The Band’s Visit” won 10 awards, including best musical, and “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” won best play. Students from Parkland, Fla., gave a surprise performance.
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David Harbour: Season 1 of ‘Stranger Things’ Was ‘The Most Miserable Time in My Life’

David Harbour may portray the emotionally hardened and nigh-invulnerable Sheriff Hopper on “Stranger Things,” but in a recent segment on Variety’s “Actors on Actors,” presented by Shutterstock, Harbour opened up about the pain he went through during shooting with “Twin Peaks” star Kyle MacLachlan. “The first season was the most miserable time in my life,” Harbour said. […]

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Critic’s Notebook: ‘The Americans’ Finale: The Deepest Cuts Don’t Leave a Mark

The finale, like the series, raised questions of who deserved sympathy and why. As always, the answer was complicated.
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‘The Rain’ Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix

Netflix has renewed “The Rain” for a second season, the streaming giant announced Wednesday. The series is Netflix’s first Danish original series.  The series will go back into production later this year, with the second season slated to launch in 2019. The series was created by Jannik Tai Mosholt, Esben Toft Jacobsen, and Christian Potalivo. […]

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‘The Expanse’ Moves to Amazon for Season 4

“The Expanse” has officially been picked up at Amazon for a fourth season. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made the announcement at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference in Los Angeles Friday night. “The Expanse” is currently airing its third season on Syfy, with the cable networking having cancelled the series earlier this month. Shortly […]

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Books of The Times: In ‘The Mirage Factory,’ a Thriving Los Angeles Born From Humble Beginnings

Gary Krist tells the story of the city through the lives of three people whose restlessness and ambition transformed it in the early decades of the 20th century.
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Books of The Times: In ‘The Restless Wave,’ John McCain Says America Is Still Exceptional

In his latest and likely last book, McCain expresses concern about the state of the union, but generally stops short of calling out President Trump.
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Tom Wolfe, Author of ‘The Right Stuff’ and ‘Bonfire of the Vanities,’ Dies

He wrote “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test,” “Bonfire of the Vanities” and “The Right Stuff,” and pioneered a novelistic form of journalism in the 1960s and ’70s.
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Fiction: Rachel Kushner’s ‘The Mars Room’ Offers a Blackly Comic Take on Prison Life

The author’s much-anticipated new novel, a page turner set in a women’s correctional facility, reveals an imagination Dickensian in its amplitude — and in its reformist zeal.
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This Guy’s Problem With ‘The Last Jedi’ Is 40 Years In The Making

Ernie Fosselius, the creator of the 1978 short film “Hardware Wars,” has been holding onto a grudge for decades. He finally wants to iron some things out.
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‘The Late Show’ Shoots Facebook’s Upcoming Dating Service Down In Flames

Ouch.
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Colbert Mocks Trump For Doing Exactly What ‘The Crooked Clintons’ Did

“Late Show” host tears into Trump over latest White House hire.
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‘The Shape Of Water’ Ends Sci-Fi’s Losing Streak At The Oscars

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Books of The Times: In ‘The Moralist,’ Woodrow Wilson and the Hazards of Idealism

Patricia O’Toole’s book about the 28th president examines his long-lasting effect on American foreign policy and his complicated relationship with racial politics.
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Film Review: ‘The Desert Bride’

It’s a wonderful thing to be proven wrong after declaring a little-known character actor to have had a once-in-a-career moment — when that unforeseen breakthrough merely paves the way for an unexpectedly fruitful career. So it is with Chile’s Paulina Garcia, whose vibrant late-career performance in 2013’s “Gloria” turned out to be a fixed bolt […]

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Trevor Noah ‘Fires’ Michelle Wolf From ‘The Daily Show’

“Michelle should have had the decency not to comment on women’s appearances in any way, shape or form.”
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‘The NHS treatment that caused my cancer’

Thousands want answers after being infected with hepatitis C and HIV from contaminated blood products.
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Profile: In ‘The Pisces,’ a Woman and a Merman Fall in Love. Aquatic Erotica Ensues.

In her new book, Melissa Broder manages to knead together the genres of magical realism — a merman presumed to be real — and erotic literature.
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is A Horror Movie Women Can’t Stop Watching

Let’s break down the show’s eerie parallels to our current news cycle. And attempt to avoid having a panic attack.
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Showrunner Wishes The Show Was Irrelevant

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Hank Azaria Is Happy To ‘Step Aside’ From Voicing Apu On ‘The Simpsons’

“The idea that anyone young or old, past or present, being bullied based on Apu really makes me sad.”
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‘The Rock’ shares first photo with new daughter

The birth of one baby has dominated headlines – but another famous family has also welcomed their third child.
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Books of The Times: Rachel Kushner’s ‘The Mars Room’ Offers Big Ideas in Close Quarters

Kushner’s gritty and persuasive book about a woman sentenced to life in prison recalls works by Mary Gaitskill, Denis Johnson and Charles Bukowski.
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‘The Exorcist’ Director Films ‘Terrifying’ Real-Life Exorcism For His Newest Movie

“I was scared, seriously scared,” says filmmaker William Friedkin.
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Tribeca Film Review: ‘The Night Eats the World’

Based on Pit Agarmen’s novel (a form in which this story doubtlessly worked better), Dominique Rocher’s feature debut “The Night Eats the World” focuses on an isolated guy’s boredom and loneliness after an outbreak of the flesh-eating undead leaves him trapped in a Parisian apartment building. The very definition of a well-made movie that nonetheless […]

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Books of The Times: After Disaster, Japan Seals Itself Off From the World in ‘The Emissary’

Yoko Tawada’s new novel imagines a time in which language starts to vanish and the elderly care for weakened children.
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‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Team Talks Bringing a Modern Sensibility to a Period Comedy

The trickiest thing about making “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was not writing stand-up sets for characters like the titular Miriam “Midge” Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan), her estranged husband Joel (Michael Zegen) or guest stars like Luke Kirby as the famed Lenny Bruce — nor was it casting those parts. Instead, the biggest challenge might just have […]

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‘The Female Persuasion’ Is Another Mirror For Privileged White Women Like Me

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4 Instagrammers Show Us How Many Photos They Took Before Nailing ’The Shot

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How Meg Wolitzer Built The Parallel America Of ‘The Female Persuasion’

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Molly Ringwald Unloads On ‘The Breakfast Club’ In The #MeToo Era

She’s appalled now by the sexism, racism and homophobia in John Hughes’ films, but those “outsider” teen struggles still touched many.
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JAY-Z Reveals ‘the Most Beautiful Thing’ Daughter Blue Ivy Has Ever Told Him

JAY-Z is opening up about his close relationship with his daughter Blue Ivy.

The 48-year-old rapper will appear on David Letterman‘s new Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, on Friday. In a sneak peek of the episode, which Today premiered on Wednesday, the father of three recounted one of his favorite moments he’s shared with his eldest child.

“I told her to get in the car the other day because she was asking a thousand questions and we had to leave for school,” he told the talk show host. “So we’re driving, and I hear a little voice. ‘Dad?’ I turn around and she said, ‘I didn’t like when you told me to get in the car the way you told me. It hurt my feelings.’ ”

Though she’s only 6, JAY-Z was proud of his little girl for speaking her mind and standing up for herself. “That’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever said to me,” he said.

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JAY-Z’s chat with Letterman is filled with candid confessions.

In a clip released Monday, the Roc Nation founder opened up about the time his mother Gloria Carter came out to him — a conversation that he said left him weeping tears of joy.

“Imagine having to live your life as someone else and you think you’re protecting your kids. And for my mother to have to live as someone that she wasn’t and hide and protect her kids … didn’t want to embarrass her kids for all this time. And for her to sit in front of me and say, ‘I think I love someone…’ I mean, I really cried. That’s a real story,” JAY-Z said.

“I cried because I was so happy for her that she was free,” he continued, explaining that he later celebrated her sexuality in a duet titled “Smile,” from his June album, 4:44. “This happened eight months ago when the album was being made. She told me. I made the song the next day.”

He also described the distinct qualities individual rappers bring to the table, proving his point with impressions of Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

“You can have a great voice, and you can just almost say anything,” JAY-Z said. “I think Snoop Dogg has a great voice — he can say ‘One-two-three and to the four.’ I was like ‘Oh my God.’ It just sounds good, right?”

“Or you can be someone like Eminem and just have amazing cadence and syncopation,” he said, imitating the rapper’s style. “There’s percussion inside the music, so there’s multiple ways to be really good. Some people just have it all.”

RELATED VIDEO: George Clooney Tells David Letterman About His Deep Love For Wife Amal

JAY is the latest star to sit down with the former late-night host on his new program. Letterman’s guest roster for the series includes such names as George ClooneyMalala YousafzaiTina FeyHoward Stern and President Barack Obama.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman: JAY-Z premieres Friday on Netflix.


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Mike ”The Situation” Sorrentino Plans to Set a ”Good Example” for Sober Living on Jersey Shore

Mike SorrentinoExpect to meet a completely different Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino when Jersey Shore Family Vacation premieres.
Almost a decade has passed since the MTV reality series first…

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PopPolitics: Armando Iannucci on Why ‘The Death of Stalin’ Got Banned in Russia (Listen)

WASHINGTON — Armando Iannucci, the creator of “Veep,” said he is a bit perplexed that his new film, “The Death of Stalin,” was suddenly banned in Russia after initially getting a license. He holds out one possibility. “There is an election obviously happening,” he tells Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM. Then, in a tone of sarcasm, […]

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Books of The Times: In ‘The People vs. Democracy,’ Trump Is Just One Populist Among Many

Yascha Mounk’s new book shows how populist insurgencies can undermine democracy in the long run.
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‘The moment I gave Reese Witherspoon my Legally Blonde dissertation’

Meet the reporter who gave the actress “a 15,000 word love letter” to Legally Blonde.
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SXSW Film Review: ‘The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter’

Although “The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter” comes to us from director Jody Hill and actor/co-writer Danny McBride, the masterminds behind the exuberantly surly HBO sitcoms “Eastbound and Down” and “Vice Principals,” far too much of this wildly uneven Netflix-bound comedy (scheduled to launch July 6) plays less like a transgressive farce than an […]

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Nonfiction: In His New Collection, ‘The Rub of Time,’ Martin Amis Takes On Everyone From Travolta to Trump

“But the deep subject of this book, what holds its disparate bits together, is not celebrity. It’s professionalism,” A.O. Scott writes.
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Oscars 2018 Briefing: ‘The Shape of Water’ Wins Best Picture as Oscars Project Diversity

Guillermo del Toro won best director, Frances McDormand won best actress and Gary Oldman won best actor for “Darkest Hour.”
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Books of The Times: A Monster in the Mold of Hannibal Lecter Haunts ‘The Sandman’

In this thriller by Lars Kepler, the pen name of a husband-and-wife team, a man returns home after 13 years missing and offers clues to a serial killer’s crimes.
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‘The moment I told my son his mum had died’

Sky Sports presenter Simon Thomas recalls the “horrendous” grief following the sudden death of his wife.
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NHS pressure: Hospital corridors ‘the new emergency wards’

Warning comes as figures show January was one of the worst months on record for A&Es in England.
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Live Briefing: 2018 Oscar Nominations: ‘The Shape of Water’ Leads the Race

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy led the nominations, including one for best picture. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “Dunkirk” also emerged as strong contenders.
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How an Artist Learned About Freedom From ‘The Negro Motorist Green Book’

For 30 years, black travelers navigating the swamp of Jim Crow laws relied on guides to find safe places. Derrick Adams conjures their experiences in art.
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Books of The Times: ‘The Woman in the Window’ Nods to Classics Old and New, From Hitchcock to ‘The Girl on the Train’

A. J. Finn’s psychological thriller is about a woman who believes she’s witnessed a crime in a neighboring building.
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Who’s Who in ‘The Post’: A Guide to the Players in a Pivotal Era

The newspaper drama revolves around the Pentagon Papers and other real-life events. But how much is real? We sort fact from fiction.
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Connect3 Productions, Boutique Filmes Link for Nazi Hunters Scripted Series ‘The Chase’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Montreal-based Connect3 Productions and Sao Paulo’s Boutique Filmes, producer of hit Netflix Brazilian original series “3%,” have forged a co-production partnership to develop and produce “The Chase,” a high-end scripted series about Nazi hunters. Inspired by true events, the English-language series turns on the extraordinary covert operations carried out by a small group of Israel’s […]

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‘SNL’: Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump Declares ‘The War on Christmas Is Over’ (Watch)

Alec Baldwin made yet another appearance as Donald Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” in the cold open which featured Trump decorating the White House for Christmas. With Cecily Strong’s Melania by his side, Baldwin-as-Trump welcomed staff and family to the Oval Office to hang ornaments on the tree. “The war on Christmas is over,” said […]

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‘The Shape of Water’ Leads Golden Globes

Many establishment names received nods while some critically lauded newcomers went empty-handed as Monday’s Golden Globe nominations kicked off the awards season.
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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Jokes He’s ‘Surrounded by Only Women’ After Announcing Baby Girl News

It’s raining girls for Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Shortly after the actor announced that he and girlfriend Lauren Hashian are expecting their second child togeether – another little girl! – he stopped by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where the host congratulated him on the new addition to the family.

“Lauren and I are so happy,” the 45-year-old star said, before pointing out that it’s normal for him to be the only guy in a family of women. (The baby girl will be Johnson’s third daughter. He and Hashian share Jasmine Lia, who turns 2 on Dec. 16, and he’s also father to 16-year-old Simone Garcia Johnson.)

“The crazy thing is, I was raised by women, and still to this day, I’m totally and completely, 100 percent surrounded by only women!” Johnson said. “And I love it.”

DeGeneres replied, “That’s actually a good thing.”

“It’s a wonderful thing,” he agreed.

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Johnson also welcomed a surprise guest during the Ellen appearance: his Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle costar Kevin Hart, who just welcomed a new baby himself.

DeGeneres said Hart was supposed to appear on her show a few weeks ago, but he missed it for a pretty good reason: his wife, model Eniko Parrish, went into labor with son Kenzo Kash, born Nov. 21.

“It was tough. I had to choose,” the 38-year-old comedian joked. “She was like four centimeters dilated, and I was like, ‘It’s the baby or Ellen.’ It was a conversation.”

RELATED VIDEO: Baby Girl on the Way for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Girlfriend Lauren Hashian

Hart also congratulated his pal for his new addition, but not without making a jab.

“He can’t make boys!” Hart quipped.

But Johnson quickly shot back, “Well, once Kevin finds out who the dad is for his boy, it’s going to be beautiful,” causing Hart to crack up.

On Monday, Johnson and Hashian stepped out for the Los Angeles premiere of his upcoming film Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle at the TCL Chinese Theatre where the actor lovingly put his hand around his partner of a decade while the singer/songwriter cradled her baby bump.

Johnson announced the baby news on Monday with a little help from the pair’s daughter Jasmine.

“Our Jasmine Lia would like to make a big announcement – IT’S A GIRL,” the former WWE star captioned a photo of his toddler posing in front of the family Christmas tree with a sign that read, “It’s a Girl! Can’t wait to be a big sister! And finally be the boss!”

He concluded the caption, writing, “@laurenhashianofficial and I are boundlessly grateful for this blessing as this spring we’ll welcome our second baby. Plus, Jazzy is excited to boss around and protect her lil’ sis. And once again, big daddy is completely surrounded by beautiful estrogen and loving, powerful female mana. All girls. One dude. And a boy dog. I wouldn’t have it any other way. #ItsAGirl #GratefulMan #TequilaTime.”


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‘The seizures have got more frequent and more violent’

Services to diagnose, treat and provide on-going care are failing patients across the spectrum of neurological disorders, according to a latest report
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‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ Review: Not So Kosher

Amy Sherman-Palladino’s latest show features great one-liners, endearing performances and a visually opulent representation of New York in the nascent “Mad Men” era—but its Jewish milieu make no sense.
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Roland Emmerich’s Centropolis, Flimmer Team Up on Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Roland Emmerich’s Centropolis Entertainment is teaming up with Berlin-based Flimmer to co-produce a modern-day screen adaptation of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “The Magic Flute.” The film follows 15-year-old Tim Walker, who is sent from London to the Austrian Alps to attend the renowned Mozart boarding school, where he discovers a centuries-old forgotten passageway into the fantastic […]

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The special connection between Isaiah Thomas and ‘the bravest boy in the world’

At the Cavs’ annual “Big Shots and Little Stars” fundraiser, the shortest player in the NBA found inspiration in 5-year-old Gavin Heileman, who has been fighting cancer for two years and takes pride in being the shortest person in his class.
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Books of The Times: Marguerite Duras’s ‘The Lover,’ and Notebooks That Enrich It

Duras’s best-known novel has been reissued in an Everyman’s Library edition, alongside her “Wartime Notebooks” and “Practicalities,” a collection of essays.
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How ‘The Good Doctor’ Redefines the TV Hero

The recipe for the surprise ABC hit about a doctor with autism that has outperformed ‘This Is Us’ and ‘NCIS.’
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In ‘Raising Trump’ and ‘The Kardashians,’ Two Portraits of Modern American Matriarchy

James Wolcott on two books about the larger-than-life dynasties shaping our cultural and political lives.
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Review: If You See One Opera This Year, Make It ‘The Exterminating Angel’

The composer Thomas Adès’s audacious new opera based on Luis Buñuel’s surreal 1962 film “The Exterminating Angel” triumphed at the Metropolitan Opera.
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Books of The Times: John Grisham Prosecutes For-Profit Law Schools in ‘The Rooster Bar’

Grisham’s new novel translates the ethical and economic issues raised by student-entrapping practices into the high drama of a swift legal thriller.
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Books of The Times: ‘The State of Affairs’ Examines Our Cheating Hearts

The sex and relationship guru Esther Perel’s new book is about the variety of reasons that people stray, and about the paradox of reconciling the erotic and the domestic.
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‘The Walking Dead’: A Viewers Guide for Non-Viewers

Ahead of ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 premiere on Sunday, here’s why the zombie saga is TV’s hottest show.
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‘The Walking Dead’ at 100: Still a Hit, but for How Much Longer?

As the zombie apocalypse drama returns for Season 8, the AMC series is looking to rebound from a stretch of storytelling shenanigans that alienated viewers.
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Books of The Times: ‘The Collected Essays of Elizabeth Hardwick’ Gives Off a Bright Light

Hardwick scrutinized the work of American writers ranging from Melville and Wharton to Capote and Didion, as well as topics like the civil rights movement and feminism.
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San Sebastián: Glenn Close Discusses ‘The Wife,’ Finding Inspiration, How to Celebrate Award Wins

SAN SEBASTIAN — There are few careers that boast the diversity and longevity of that of Glenn Close. There is neither medium nor genre that the actress has not worked in on some level. Typically recognized for her dramatic roles, think “Fatal Attraction,” Close has appeared in comedies: “The Stepford Wives,” “Louie,” animation: “Family Guy,” […]

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Natascha McElhone to Exit ‘Designated Survivor,’ Joins Hulu Mars Series ‘The First’

“Designated Survivor” star Natascha McElhone will depart the ABC drama after its second season to join the upcoming Hulu series “The First,” Variety has confirmed. McElhone will star opposite Sean Penn in “The First.” More to come…

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Books of The Times: ‘The Far Away Brothers’ Breathes Vivid Life Into Immigration Issues

Lauren Markham’s impeccably timed and intimately reported book follows twin teenage brothers on their journey from El Salvador to California.
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Books News: Looking for Buddhist Wisdom in ‘The Princess Bride’

In a new book, Ethan Nichtern divines lessons about love, family and Buddhism from the cult classic. Just don’t expect Inigo Montoya to find enlightenment.
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Through Veterans’ Stories, Ken Burns Explores ‘The Vietnam War’

In 18-hour PBS series ‘The Vietnam War,’ Ken Burns and Lynn Novick ask American and Vietnamese vets to share their experiences
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Review: HBO’s ‘The Deuce’ Works a Vibrant Hustle in the Naked City

You may be thinking of David Simon’s new series as That Porn Show, but it’s all about character and capitalism.
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Books of The Times: Salman Rushdie’s Prose Joins the Circus in ‘The Golden House’

Rushdie’s 13th novel is exhausting, but it’s a treat when focused on a villain who resembles Donald Trump.
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Venice Film Review: ‘The Private Life of a Modern Woman’

It’s a moment we’ve witnessed in the movies a thousand times. Two people are fighting, one of them holding a gun, and when the other one tries to wrest it from him, they tussle a bit and the gun just…goes off. Boom! Like that. It’s an “accident” that has the cosmic convenience of killing somebody who… Read more »

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‘The President Show’ Takes Donald Trump To A Charm School For Manners

No school can hold this man.
Comedy
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‘The Deuce’ Recalls Sex and Sleaze in 1970s Times Square

The new HBO series aims to explore the repercussions of a business dependent upon the sale of the flesh without slipping into preachy puritanism or flat-out pornography.
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Books of The Times: ‘The Bettencourt Affair,’ a Buffet for Scandal Aficionados

Tom Sancton’s book recounts the implications and intrigue that surrounded the L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt’s relationship with a younger man.
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Books of The Times: ‘The Burning Girl,’ About Intense Pre-Teenage Friendship, Never Catches Fire

In her new novel, Claire Messud writes about “secret sisters,” “umbilically linked and inseparable,” and about how their bond dissolves.
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SANFIC: Andrés Lubert Gets Personal about his Chilean Dictatorship-Era Doc, ‘The Color of the Chameleon’

SANTIAGO DE CHILE –Today Jorge Lubert is a camera-man and journalist who has been to some of the most dangerous places in the world to cover human rights issues. It’s not the career path that Pinochet’s fascist regime had in mind when they kidnapped, tortured, and brainwashed him when he was only 21 years old…. Read more »

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Art Review: Editta Sherman’s Long Reign as ‘The Duchess of Carnegie Hall’

Royalty photographs royalty in an exhibition of portraits by Ms. Sherman at the New-York Historical Society.
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Bang Your Head To This Heavy Metal Cover Of ‘The Simpsons’ Theme

Ay, caramba!
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Books of The Times: Review: ‘The Dark Dark,’ Beguiling Tales of Women in Metamorphosis

In this short-story collection by Samantha Hunt, dreamlike images operate in service to feminist themes and earthbound ideas.
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Books of The Times: Boom, Bust and a Berkshires Interloper in ‘The Locals’

Jonathan Dee’s novel follows a family from post-9/11 Manhattan to small-town Massachusetts. Class antagonism follows.
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‘The Emoji Movie’ Has A 0 Percent Rating On Rotten Tomatoes So Far

And somehow, even that doesn’t adequately summarize how bad the reviews are.
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‘The President Show’ Brings Mario Cantone’s Scaramucci Into The Family

This is our new reality.
Comedy
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‘The Daily Show’ Turned Anthony Scaramucci’s New Yorker Quotes Into Motivational Posters

Nothing is more inspiring than the image of Steve Bannon doing what Scaramucci isn’t doing.
Comedy
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‘The Big Sick,’ South Asian Identity and Me

The hit movie reflects the world that one New York Times writer grew up in. But does it do so at the expense of South Asian women?
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Has Apparently Turned Elisabeth Moss Into An Activist

The book and show made her wonder, “What happens if I don’t speak up?”
Arts
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‘The Simpsons’ Predicted A Female Doctor Who And Knew Some Fans Would Freak

Previously, the show predicted Donald Trump’s presidency and Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl performance.
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It Seems ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 8 Trailer Just Trolled Everyone

Is “The Walking Dead” all a dream?
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Donald Jr. Joins ‘The President Show,’ But He Cannot Be Contained

Containment is an issue for this administration. The disease? Proof.
Comedy
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Karlovy Vary Film Review: ‘The Nothing Factory’

In times of crisis, suggests a character in “The Nothing Factory,” there are various possible responses: You can shoot a gun or form a community garden. Or in Portuguese documentary director Pedro Pinho’s case, you can make your narrative debut, an occasionally inspired, but often trying three-hour-long, genre-hopping patchwork of social-realist cinema. While such a… Read more »

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‘The Walking Dead’ Stuntman, John Bernecker, Dead After Tragic On-Set Accident

He was hospitalized earlier this week following a nasty fall.
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Watch ‘American Idol’ Alum Haley Reinhart Cover ’60s Classic ‘The Letter’ (EXCLUSIVE)

The Box Tops’ 1967 classic is re-imagined.

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Trump Didn’t Even Decide Who Got Fired On ‘The Apprentice,’ Clay Aiken Says

“NBC made those decisions,” the former contestant said.
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‘The Cradle Will Rock’ Returns With Its Brazen Politics Intact

Opera Saratoga is staging Marc Blitzstein’s opera on its 80th anniversary, in a year when political messages onstage are under acute scrutiny.
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Of Course Tequila Is Part Of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Skincare Routine

Can you smell what The Rock is slathering on?
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Books of The Times: In ‘The Sisters Chase,’ They’re Starting Over After Mom Dies

In Sarah Healy’s cunning thriller, a charming, deceitful 18-year-old woman takes her 4-year-old sister under her wing after the death of their mother.
NYT > Books

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Drake is no longer ‘the king of streaming’

Drake has been overthrown as the UK’s king of streaming, with his 2016 hit One Dance being topped by none other than…
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Film Republic Picks Up Karlovy Vary Competition Title ‘The Line’ (EXCLUSIVE)

London-based sales agency Film Republic has picked up the international rights, excluding Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine, to the Slovak-Ukrainian coproduction “The Line,” which has its world premiere in the competition selection at the Karlovy Vary Intl. Film Festival. The first official co-production between Slovakia and Ukraine, “The Line” tells the story of a… Read more »

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Books of The Times: Keeping Up With New Delhi’s 1 Percent in ‘The Windfall’

In Diksha Basu’s debut novel, set in a wealthy enclave of New Delhi, characters with old and new money feel status anxiety.
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Elvis Presley Manager Biopic ‘The Colonel’ in Development (EXCLUSIVE)

Spencer Proffer, Steve Binder, and Joe Berlinger are developing a feature film about Elvis Presley’s manger Colonel Tom Parker. Production is slated for early 2018. Parker, who died in 1997 at age 87, arrived in America as a 20-year old undocumented Dutch immigrant, and took great pains to hide his past. Before leaving Holland, he… Read more »

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Q. & A.: Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘The Mind of God’

The neurologist Jay Lombard discusses the brain and its connection to what he describes as our deeper, spiritual underpinnings.
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Review: ‘The Beguiled,’ Sofia Coppola’s Civil War Cocoon

Ms. Coppola won best director at the Cannes Film Festival for her film starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, an update on the 1971 movie with Clint Eastwood.
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Books of The Times: In ‘The Changeling,’ the Dark Fears of Parents, Memorably Etched

Victor LaValle’s latest hybrid of the supernatural and the literary is rooted in the anxiety families feel over the safety of their children.
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Books of The Times: In ‘The Retreat of Western Liberalism,’ How Democracy Is Defeating Itself

The Financial Times columnist Edward Luce finds that Trumpism and other nationalist movements are symptoms, not causes, of larger trends threatening democratic collapse.
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Q. and A.: Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: ‘The End of Advertising’

Andrew Essex discusses his new book about the fate of traditional advertising and what might replace it.
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Critic’s Notebook: How to Think About Bill Cosby and ‘The Cosby Show’

What to do with our fondness for the show is profoundly difficult — especially for African-Americans. Mr. Cosby knows what his work means, and he used it during the trial.
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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Star Elisabeth Moss Talks Season 1’s Momentous Finale

SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not watched “Night,” the June 14 episode of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The last shot of Season 1 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” is June, now called Offred, sitting in the darkness inside a black van with a peculiar serenity on her face. The finale’s last scene is identical… Read more »

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Books of The Times: Review: A Corrupt Cop Is Up Against the Wall in Don Winslow’s ‘The Force’

A police task force leader and his crew aren’t much better than the criminals they pursue in this gritty thriller, set in New York.
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FX Launches Covert Emmy Promotional Campaign for ‘The Americans’

FX has launched an appropriately covert campaign to push “The Americans” for Emmy Awards consideration. “The Americans” revolves around a married couple in Washington, D.C. who are long-embedded spies for their native Soviet Union. FX has taken digital and print ads in the Sunday editions of the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles… Read more »

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Books of The Times: ‘The Long Haul’ Is a Trucker’s Slangy Tour of the Road

Finn Murphy opines about the transcendent pointlessness of material possessions, among other topics, in this memoir.
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Books of The Times: ‘The Answers’ Runs Down the Rabbit Hole of Love

Catherine Lacey’s second novel is a meditation on fame and art as well as affection.
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‘The Simpsons’ Trolls Donald Trump With A Visit From Richard Nixon’s Ghost

“The Simpsons” has marked President Donald Trump’s first 125 days in office in comic style.

In a new short posted online Friday, the cartoon version of Trump attempts to patch things up with fired former FBI Director James Comey, who’d been leading an investigation into possible ties between Trump officials and Russia.

But their White House bedroom rendezvous is interrupted by a visit from former President Richard Nixon’s ghost, who thanks Trump for bumping him up in the “best president” stakes before offering him some sage advice.

Check it out in the segment above.

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British Designers Turn Out for Launch of ‘The World of Anna Sui’ Exhibition

SPOTLIGHT ON SUI: Designer love was flowing on Thursday night at the opening party for Anna Sui’s retrospective at London’s Fashion and Textile Museum on Thursday night. Among the guests were Sui’s creative peers, including Stephen Jones, John Rocha, Pam Hogg, Twiggy and Rifat Özbek.
“She’s been collecting my clothes for years. Then I gradually got to know her — which has been wonderful,” said Zandra Rhodes, who founded the museum in 2003. Rhodes, who first met Sui 15 years ago, said her favorite bits of the show were the prints she did for Sui “when she did her Tahiti collection.”
Rhodes has recently been working on prints for Valentino’s men’s wear and resort collections.
Jones said he met Sui in 1982 through Marc Jacobs and the jeweler Karen Erickson. He said his favorite Sui moment was the designer’s spring 1994 show at New York Fashion Week. “Linda [Evangelista], Naomi [Campbell] and Christy [Turlington], coming down the runway in little baby-doll dresses — genius,” Jones said.
Known for her exuberant looks made from rich fabrics, prints and colors, and for tapping into subcultures, “The World of Anna Sui” features 125 ensembles complete with accessories, shoes and hats and highlights the designer’s collaborations, collections, interior work

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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Is Having Trouble Accepting That ‘Baywatch’ Is A Bad Movie

When one of the biggest laughs in your movie revolves around the supposed hilarity of Zac Efron fondling a dead man’s scrotum, it’s probably a good move to check your outrage over its critical reception.

If you’ve somehow been able to remain ignorant to its relentless marketing campaign (seriously, how?), “Baywatch” hits theaters Friday and critics are already savaging the movie with a 19 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. Some have compared watching the reboot to sitting in a wet bathing suit for a prolonged period, while others have conceded it’s stupidly entertaining at best.

The movie’s star, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, however, is on a one man social media mission to convince the world that “Baywatch” isn’t as bad as everyone’s saying it is. Cue the actor launching into an almost Trumpian tweetstorm on Thursday about how out of touch the media is with what the the public wants. 

He kicked it off by reminding us all of the “extremely high scores” from fans. 

Then he posted a story about the critics score on Rotten Tomatoes rising from its 13 percent to a slightly less embarrassing 18 percent. 

“Yay positive upticks,” he tweeted. “Fans LOVE the movie. Critics HATE it. What a glaring disconnect. People just want to laugh & have fun.”

Next he spent time praising some fans and critics who actually liked the movie with some choice retweets and knocks at those who laughed in the theater, but trash the film publicly. 

And to finish off, Johnson took one more jab at the “Baywatch” naysayers, reminding everyone once again of just how differently the fans and the media feel about the movie. 

“Oh boy, critics had their venom & knives ready,” he wrote. “Fans LOVE the movie. Huge positive scores. Big disconnect w/ critics & people.”

Considering the way things are headed, “Baywatch” will likely get a sequel and Johnson will make the White House home within the decade, so maybe we should submit and take a bite of what The Rock is cooking.

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Game Of Thrones: ‘The Great War is here!’

A new Game Of Thrones trailer gives fans a glimpse of the most significant event in the history of the seven kingdoms.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Books of The Times: Grayson Perry’s ‘The Descent of Man’: Deconstructing the Masculine Mystique

Perry’s book has its own failure built into it. The men who need it most are unlikely to take advice from him.
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In ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Good’ Men Are Not The Heroes

Warning: Some spoilers ahead.

There are three leading men at helm of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” a show that centers more frequently on the horrific experiences women endure in a theocratic dictatorship known as Gilead.

Each male character probably consider himself a “good” man: The commander (Joseph Fiennes) would argue that any his so-called faults ― and there are many ― pale in comparison to his devotion to a greater future, which he is engineering for all of humanity. Nick (Max Minghella) would claim powerlessness, for he is, after all, just a driver, incapable of truly saving the woman he’s falling in love with. He might be a spy for the men who’ve made this hellish existence reality, but he chooses not to inform on Offred (Elisabeth Moss), or June as she was once known.

And then there’s Luke.

Luke, played by British actor O.T. Fagbenle, has escaped the dystopia that’s ensnared his wife June and turned her into a sexual slave for fearful misogynists. He reluctantly crossed the U.S. border into Canada, nearly dying in the process, eventually finding his way to a settlement known as Little America. By Episode 7 of the series, he’s lost his partner, his daughter, and ― unable to be the savior he’d probably imagined he could be; escape was his only means of reuniting with his family ― he’s stuck in limbo. In Canada, he’s begging officials to update him on the status of June, to help him locate her and their daughter, rescue them, bring them to safety. 

In Margaret Atwood’s book, the source material for Hulu’s series, Luke is but a figment of Offred’s memories. The Luke of the TV adaptation, however, has been given a heftier storyline, a little bit more agency in this stomach-churning universe that’s made life an existential nightmare for nearly everyone involved. Still, showrunner Bruce Miller and the series’ writers held back ― they didn’t turn Luke into a hero. In fact, even in Offred’s memories, he’s the imperfect feminist ally. He, like so many others, turned a blind eye to the creeping acts of sexism and violence around them. He wasn’t painted as a key member of the resistance; instead, when the world was falling apart, he attempted to quell June’s fears with the standard motto of masculinity: “I’ll take care of you.” These murmurs of imperfection are hardly indictments. “Good” men can be patronizing, the series makes clear. “Good” men can be fail to be heroes. 

Ahead of Episode 7, which was released on Wednesday, HuffPost spoke to Fagbenle about his character’s evolution. Check out our conversation about male feminists, Little America and populism below.

What was it about the character of Luke that drew you to the show?

To be honest, my first draw to it was the source material and the script that’s so profound, so important, so beautiful. And then to work with Elisabeth Moss, Bruce Miller, Reed Morano. I was like, I’m a fool not to be a part of this journey. But Luke is the one guy you meet outside of Gilead, and represents the counterbalance to the men who’ve bought into that system. I was really intrigued by that.

We experience Luke in two ways throughout the series ― first, through Offred’s memories, which seem dream-ified, maybe a little bit idealized; second, through the scenes that show Luke’s perspective on what happened during and after he and June are separated. As an actor, did you approach these scenes differently?

I think I had to approach each moment as if I was there and responding to everything, because there’s no real way of me playing someone else’s dreams, that you don’t know about. I just have to play my truth in that moment and hope that reads. For me it was more of a continuum.

Having read Margaret Atwood’s book, were you happy about the ways Bruce Miller adapted Luke’s character for the show? Were you excited about anything in particular?

You know, I’m an actual fan of the book. I can’t recommend enough to your readers to actually go and read the book. Don’t worry about spoilers, just go and read the book, because it’s amazing. It’s nourishment for the soul. So as a fan of the book, I’m very protective of it as well. What’s amazing about what Bruce and his extraordinary imagination has done is it’s taken the book and I think in ways fulfilled it visually. In terms of Luke, he’s taken scant lines, little whispers of Luke from the book, and helped create something ― along with Lynn [Renee Maxcy, who wrote Episode 7] ― and expand on Luke and the world in such a satisfying way. That’s one of the things I enjoyed so much about reading the script, because I have so many questions about this world and I’m so excited about this world. I’ve still got more questions I want answered and luckily we live in an age where there is a medium that can help fulfill my infatuation with the novel.

Episode 7 is such an intense episode for your character. How did you conceive of the emotions Luke’s going through at the time of his and June’s separation, when he’s forced to cross the border into safety himself, leaving his family behind?

I think the two main tools actors have are the imagination of what other people have gone through, to connect with and through research, and there’s one’s own experience. I think what was challenging about Episode 7 was trying to draw on everything I could to try and navigate my way through each scene. Fundamentally, that’s when you’ve got a great script and a great director and a great crew and actors opposite you.

Did Bruce Miller or any of the directors/producers prep you and the rest of the Episode 7 cast on what this “Little America” represented to the story? In terms of what morale would be like there, what quality of life looked like, what the goal of the establishment was?

There were discussions about that. Luckily, Floria [Sigismondi], our wonderful visionary director, her and I would sit in this cute vegan diner in Toronto and hash over our ideas about what Little America was and how long Luke had been there and what he’d been doing ― why he was there ― and kind of emotionally fulfilling what that place is. Ultimately, I think for Luke and others like him, it turns out to be a very well-funded and resourceful place for refugees. And unfortunately, a lot of the refugees in our world don’t get such a haven.

A lot of Americans today are drawing pretty frightening parallels between the show and what’s happening in politics today ― as a Brit, do you see parallels between the show and real life beyond America?

There are so many things to take from the show. I think there’s questions of populism and charismatic leaders, and what happens when we abandon logic and empiricism about fundamental principles about creating a society, and instead, attach ourselves to fear and xenophobia and non-rational principles. And we can see consequences of that in lots of societies around the world. We can see the consequences of that inside families. I think there’s lots to be see in terms of the dynamics between the powerful and the powerless ― how structures can maintain those and normalize those, to the extent that we actually think those imbalances and inequalities in our society are inherent in them, when actually they’re not. They’re created by powerful people to maintain their power. It’s important for all of us to recognize and fight against those forces.

Another one of the interesting aspects of “The Handmaid’s Tale” show I wanted to talk to you about is how the show is able to explore this idea of “good” men as “bad” feminists. There are a few scenes that stick in my mind: For example, when June and her college friend Moira are panicking after they’ve been fired from their jobs and lost access to their bank accounts, Luke says to June, something along the lines of “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.” He doesn’t mean in it a malicious way at all, but it is, in a way that Moira points out, dismissive of what’s really happening. Later on, when Luke asks June if she and Moira ever fooled around in college, it’s posed as an innocent question, but certainly a problematic one ― and you can tell that’s the case by June’s incredulous and amused response. Ultimately, the show allows Luke to be this imperfect character. So I’m wondering, when you were preparing for the role, was this something you thought about? About how a lot of “good” men would potentially fail to become heroes when a regime like Gilead first took control?

Right. We all fail and we all have weaknesses. I think that’s what helps us relate to characters we see on TV or read in books, is that we recognize our frailties within them and maybe don’t feel so alone. We get learn from their mistakes. Talking about that scene, when he says “Don’t worry, I’ll look after you,” I really love that scene as well, because it’s tough sometimes for men to know how to talk about feminism. It’s also sometimes hard for people to talk about the prejudices against minorities ― any number of things that you’re not necessarily experiencing yourself. But that doesn’t mean the conversation can’t take place. I find that very interesting, because we see how difficult it is [in the show] and also how incumbent it is on men ― and all of us, really ― to become more aware of the historical and present social context of what you say. The context of Luke saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you,” is insensitive and betrays a lack of understanding about what real women around him are going through. It’s so exciting to be able to explore those things and share them with people who I’m sure can relate.

Hulu has renewed “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a second season. What are you most eager to see as the series moves beyond Atwood’s book?

There are so many questions raised in the book. I want to know ― and this is personally, I don’t know if this will be in the second series ― I want to know about the colonies. I want to know more about the outside world. I want to know more about Canada and the world outside of Gilead. And, of course, just give me more Elisabeth Moss, please. Because I could watch her for weeks, months.

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Books of The Times: ‘The End of Eddy’ Captures a Savage Childhood and a Global Movement

Édouard Louis’s deeply autobiographical novel recounts growing up gay among the white underclass in rural France.
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Netflix’s New True Crime Series ‘The Keepers’ Searches For Answers In 47-Year-Old Cold Case

There were a lot of things for true crime junkies to get excited about when Netflix released the teaser for its new series “The Keepers”: an unsolved murder, a missing nun, corruption, a possible Catholic school cover-up.

For all its promises, the series — from documentary veteran Ryan White, who also directed “The Case Against 8” and “Good Ol’ Freda” — delivers. The seven episodes center around the 1969 disappearance and death of Sister Cathy Cesnik, a young nun who taught English at a Baltimore-area Catholic high school and was beloved by students. Two months after Cesnik failed to return home from a routine shopping trip, her body was found by hunters in a remote wooded area five miles from her apartment. Investigations revealed she had suffered a mortal wound to her head. Her killer was never found.

“The Keepers” is as addictive and compelling as “Making a Murderer,” the documentary series that ran on the streaming network in late 2015, spurring theories, sprawling message board discussions and an acute hunger for more true crime stories. (The docuseries are entirely different, of course, but comparisons will be inevitable.)

Any good documentary needs narration, especially for one as layered, and with as many individuals involved, as this. While some of the key players in the story that unfolds surrounding Cesnik’s death have also since died, many are still around to keep the story alive — namely, a group of students at Archbishop Keough High School where the nun taught. It’s been more than 40 years, but the women are able to recount their memories of their former teacher as though they had just graduated.

Perhaps their sharpness is a result of running through those formative years over and over in their heads, trying to search their memories for anything that could explain Cesnik’s abrupt disappearance. Years after graduating, her former students have created a circle of amateur detectives, knocking on doors, looking up records and sharing information. They want to find out something, anything, about who killed their teacher.

Leading the crew are Gemma Hoskins and Abbie Schaub, a retired teacher and nurse, respectively. In the series, we meet Hoskins sitting down at a restaurant and inquiring about their chardonnay. When she discovers that they serve Yellow Tail, she answers with a laugh, “Oh, that’s fine, that’s what I drink at home. Only.”

Meanwhile, we are introduced to Schaub as she waits in line at a local library, stack of papers in hand. “We’ve been using your excellent services for about two years,” she tells the librarian in a high, warm voice when it’s her turn. “We’ve been looking into an unsolved murder case.”

It’s not the kind of thing you’d immediately expect to hear from Schaub, who comes off as a studious, cheerful grandmotherly type. She and Hoskins make an unlikely team, but one that easily becomes central to the series. In the first episode, Hoskins recalls her excitement upon walking into Cesnik’s class at 13 to learn they’d be reading The Scarlet Letter, describing her wonder that “a cool nun” would be teaching the somewhat scandalous classic. Cesnik, we learn, was supportive and eager to listen to her students, a rare source of comfort in a strict religious and academic environment.

“Gemma’s been the Nancy Drew, I think,” Schaub tells the camera while she and Hoskins are sitting side-by-side at a kitchen table, discussing their efforts to find more information about those fateful months in 1969. “She’s good at getting people to talk to her.”

“Abby does amazing research, like no one I’ve ever met,” Hoskins adds. Hoskins likes to pick up the phone and talk to people, which Schaub says is perfect — she does not. It’s hard not to fall in love with the idea of two old high school acquaintances teaming up to solve a long-cold case, proving that the yearning to solve a grisly crime is not confined to whatever notions of detectives we typically see on screen. Other former classmates, journalists and retired law enforcement join the two women in their search for answers.

Hoskins and Schaub’s passion for justice is inspiring, a torch through the darkness that will emerge most pointedly in the series’ second episode. It’d be inaccurate to paint the series solely as a thrilling caper — real traumas occurred within the halls of Archbishop Keough, the effects of which carry through to the present day. The pair of women leading the amateur search for answers provides a framework for the rest of the shocking narrative to reveal itself, a positive and endearing aspect of a tale with much abuse of power and darkness, where the possibility for true justice feels as long buried as its subject.

“The Keepers” begins streaming on Netflix Friday, May 19.

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Stephen Colbert Explains Why Trump’s Firing Of Comey Isn’t Really Like ‘The Godfather’

President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey has been likened to a classic scene from “The Godfather.”

Following Comey’s dismissal on Tuesday, one senior intelligence official told NBC News that the “thuggish” and “humiliating” way in which his termination was carried out was like a “horse head in the bed.”

It was “designed to send a message,” the official added.

But on Friday’s “Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert explained why the comparison wasn’t actually that accurate ― and it’s all to do with one of Godfather Don Corleone’s favorite personality traits: respect.

Find out the reason in the clip above.

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Mayim Bialik Warns Fans To ‘Grab A Tissue’ For ‘The Big Bang Theory’ Season 10 Finale

Last week’s penultimate Season 10 episode of “The Big Bang Theory” may have left viewers with a few lingering questions. Mainly, what will become of Amy and Sheldon’s relationship? In a big plot twist, Mayim Bialik’s character, Amy, decides to accept a research fellowship at Princeton University, far away from the West Coast, where she and her beau, Sheldon (Jim Parsons), reside.

So, now what? 

Consider yourself warned: The show’s season finale, slated to air Thursday, might leave you feeling a little sentimental.

“The season finale is very final. Our writers took a very big risk that honestly I was even surprised that they took,” Bialik told HuffPost at Build Series, adding, “It’s emotional. Grab a tissue.”

But there’s good news for fans of the CBS series, which is consistently one of the most popular comedies on television. It just got renewed for two additional seasons. 

“For us, this is job security … There’s also this sense like, ‘Wow, this is what I’ll be doing for the next two years of my life.’ Actors play different parts all the time and so this feels like a very long-running play … This is the longest I’ve played dress-up as one person,” the former “Blossom” star said.

“The Big Bang Theory” is among primetime TV’s highest-rated shows and also ranks high in syndication for Warner Bros. A spinoff show, dubbed “Young Sheldon,” is also in the works.

“We’re not curing cancer, but we are providing entertainment for people in a way that millions of people seem to like. And there’s always those haters,” Bialik said. “I don’t know why ‘The Big Bang Theory’ haters always comment on things and I always read it. Like, ‘This writing is horrible! I hate this show!’ It hurts me deeply. And there’s enough people who like it. I just get to go in and do my job, and haters can hate.”

As for future seasons of “The Big Bang Theory”? 

“I don’t know what’s going to happen next year, and that’s the truth. I won’t know until literally the night before we start rehearsing the first episode of Season 11,” she said. 

“The Big Bang Theory” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.

Bialik released a new book this week called Girling Up: How to Be Strong, Smart and Spectacular. Find out more about the book in the Build interview below. 

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Of Course There’s a Script for ‘The Fyre Festival Movie’ Starring Leonardo DiCaprio

Another item to add to the growing Fyre Festival debacle.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Finally, The Trailer For ‘The Dark Tower’ Is Here

After 10 years of development, “The Dark Tower” is at least headed to the big screen. The first trailer previews a stormy adaptation of Stephen King’s series about an 11-year-old adventurer (Tom Taylor) whisked to another dimension, where he becomes involves in a plot to save the world. Idris Elba plays the Gunslinger, who is on a quest to stop the Man in Black (Matthew McConaughey) from destroying the titular tower. 

J.J. Abrams was attached to direct when the movie was first announced in 2007, then Ron Howard took over, and now Danish filmmaker Nikolaj Arcel (”A Royal Affair”) is steering the ship. “The Dark Tower” opens Aug. 4.

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Q. & A.: Tell Us 5 Things About Your Book: Kate Moore’s ‘The Radium Girls’

The stories of a group of company workers whose exposure to a seemingly magical luminescent paint became deadly.
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‘The Last Ship’ Halts Production Amid Eric Dane’s Battle With Depression

“The Last Ship” has halted production so lead actor Eric Dane can treat his depression, People reports.

“Eric asked for a break to deal with personal issues,” Dane’s rep said in a statement to outlets. “He suffers from depression and has asked for a few weeks of downtime and the producers kindly granted that request.”

Variety, citing an “insider,” noted that shooting for this summer’s fourth season has already wrapped ― but the hiatus is delaying production of the fifth season. The two seasons were being filmed back-to-back.

“He looks forward to returning,” the rep added, per Variety.

In the popular TNT series, Dane stars as the captain of a naval destroyer on a mission to save the world after a a global pandemic.

The 44-year-old actor, who previously starred on “Grey’s Anatomy,” has publicly dealt with personal issues before. He entered rehab for a painkiller addiction in 2011. Earlier, he weathered a scandal over a nude tape, in which he and wife Rebecca Gayheart appeared with another woman.

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How Hulu and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Revived 2 Careers

Daniel Wilson and Fran Sears hadn’t worked together in years. But they still owned partial rights to a certain 1990 movie based on Margaret Atwood‘s book.
NYT > Arts

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‘The Detour’ Renewed for Season 3 at TBS

TBS has renewed the Jason Jones-led comedy series “The Detour” for Season 3, the network announced Tuesday. Created, written and executive-produced by Jones and Samantha Bee, the series also stars Natalie Zea, Ashley Gerasimovich, Liam Carroll and Daniella Pineda. Season 2 will end tonight with two back-to-back episodes. “I hear from so many people who love… Read more »

Variety

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Giorgio Armani Designs Costumes for ‘The Dinner’

Giorgio Armani has designed the costumes for the Richard Gere’s character interpreted in Oren Moverman‘s new movie, “The Dinner,” hitting theaters on May 5.
Armani teamed with the film’s costume designer Catherine George to create a full wardrobe, including a range of casual outfits, along with a navy suit, a cashmere turtleneck sweater, a coat and several shirts and ties. In the thriller, Gere plays an American politician who tries to be elected governor. Laura Linney, Steve Coogan, Rebecca Hall and Chloe Sevigny are also part of the cast.

A scene from “The Dinner” with Richard Gere and Rebecca Hall. 
Courtesy Photo

“It was a  pleasure to collaborate with Oren Moverman and Catherine George. Catherine totally  understands the philosophy behind my aesthetic, which is perfect for Richard Gere, a longtime friend of mine,” Armani said. “Being passionate about the movie industry, it’s an honor for me to contribute to the making of a film.”
“During the fittings in front of the camera we immediately saw that attitude and self consciousness that Richard showed wearing the coat over the suit and walking in front of the director,” George said. “The cashmere coat looks as luxurious as its results when you touch it. It’s totally clear why the actor and the

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Off Broadway Review: Annie Baker’s ‘The Antipodes’

When good playwrights are unable to write, they sometimes write bad plays about being unable to write.  Annie Baker, who is normally a very good writer (of plays including Pulitzer Prize for Drama winner “The Flick”), has written such a play in “The Antipodes.” A team of brainstorming screenwriters — played by a cast that includes Josh… Read more »

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Review: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Creates a Chilling Man’s World

This new Hulu show is based on the 1985 Margaret Atwood novel.
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Tribeca Film Review: ‘The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson’

Deriving additional emotional power from its formal beauty, it should be one of the signature breakouts from this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Variety

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Is Unequivocally A Story By, For And About Women

With the much-awaited release of Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” only four days away, much has been said in the past 24 hours about who the story, in both its book and TV show form, is for.

In Saturday’s New York Times review, executive producer Bruce Miller discusses spearheading the show as a man when its creators initially wanted a woman to do so: 

“Offred spoke to me,” Mr. Miller said. “She’s in this nightmarish situation but she keeps her funny cynicism and sarcasm. She finds really interesting ways to pull levers of power and express herself.”

But Mr. Miller wasn’t a shoo-in for showrunner because producers were looking for a woman, he recalled. “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been a seminal right-of-passage novel for many young women for over three decades; a feminist sacred text.

“It’s sacred to me, too,” Mr. Miller said. “But I don’t feel like it’s a male or female story; it’s a survival story.”

At the show’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on Friday, the starring actors placed a heavy emphasis on the show being a “human” story and not a “feminist” one

“I think that any story, if it is a story being told by a strong, powerful woman… any story that’s just a powerful woman owning herself in any way is automatically deemed ‘feminist,’” said Madeline Brewer, who plays handmaid Jane. “But it’s just a story about a woman. I don’t think that this is any sort of feminist propaganda.”

Elisabeth Moss, who plays the show’s main character Offred, echoed Brewer’s comments

“It’s not a feminist story, it’s a human story, because women’s rights are human rights,” Moss said. I never intended to play Peggy [from ‘Mad Men’] as a feminist and I never expected to play Offred as a feminist … I approach it from a very human place, I hope.”

Atwood has since responded by neither agreeing nor disagreeing with the cast. 

“It’s not only a feminist story,” she said. “It’s also a human story.”

While the show doesn’t need to be labeled as “feminist,” and while it’s fine that a man who loves the story spearheaded its televised iteration, a story that a woman wrote about the forced subservience of women and their subsequent survival deserves to be owned by women. We get to claim it. 

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian fiction, sure, but it’s one that has women storming to their local libraries to grab a copies of the book. Last month, women dressed up as handmaids and protested anti-abortion legislation in the Texas Senate gallery. And, at this year’s SXSW festival, women wore handmaids costumes and roamed the streets of Austin, Texas, as performance art. Even though the book was written more than 30 years ago, it is resonating with women all over again.

Rebecca Traister wrote about reading the book in the era of President Donald Trump for New York Magazine in Februrary. “[T]here’s no question that reading about Atwood’s imagined dystopia is far scarier today than it was, I suspect, for adults living in 1985,” she wrote.

For anyone who has read the book, there shouldn’t be much surprise as to why women feel so connected to it in this current political and social moment. After all, it feels closer to reality than the show’s creators wanted.

Moss, who also serves as a producer, acknowledged the eerie and terrifying parallels between Offred’s nightmarish journey and Trump’s America.

“We never wanted the show to be this relevant,” she told Entertainment Weekly in December.

The relevance of story is easy to spot.

In the dystopian theocracy of Gilead, where “The Handmaid’s Tale” is set, women’s bodies are policed and controlled by the male-run state. Handmaids’ only purpose is to bear children ― they have no rights, no freedom, no lives. Women are not trusted with their own bodies. 

America now has a president who brags about grabbing women “by the pussy.” This week, a lawyer in Tennessee said that women are “especially good at lying … because they’re the weaker sex.” A Missouri congressman said last year that becoming pregnant after a rape is a blessing from God. Rooms full of men make legislative decisions about women’s bodies. A panel of men in Maryland decided that rapists can continue to have parental rights over the children who were conceived by rape. And abortion access is under threat across the U.S. 

But the beauty of “The Handmaid’s Tale” ― something that Miller misses and perhaps what women connect to most deeply ― is that it is inarguably, explicitly, a story of women’s survival and audacity. 

The first time I read the novel, in the fall of 2015, I cried. Not because its content was so traumatizing. (It was.) And not because it felt so eerily similar to what was happening in our political landscape. (It did.)

I cried for lines like this:

 “We learned to whisper almost without sound. In the semidarkness we would stretch out our arms, when the Aunts weren’t looking, and touch each other’s hands across space. We learned to lip-read, our heads flat on the beds, turned sideways, watching each other’s mouths.”

And lines like this:

“I keep on going with this sad and hungry and sordid, this limping and mutilated story, because after all I want you to hear it … By telling you anything at all I’m at least believing in you … Because I’m telling you this story I will your existence. I tell, therefore you are.”

Atwood’s beautifully constructed prose is at its finest when she is portraying the sheer resilience of my fellow women.

In the wake of the presidential election, the resilience of women is what has kept me going. Women are resisting, calling, volunteering, donating… and living.

And like the fictional Offred ― whether Moss thinks she’s “feminist” or not ― we intend to survive.

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: A Newly Resonant Dystopia Comes to TV

The Hulu series, which stars Elisabeth Moss and is based on Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, arrives with an unexpected resonance in Trump’s America.
NYT > Arts

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Books of The Times: ‘The New Book of Snobs’ Updates the Shifting Science of Social Cues

D.J. Taylor’s clever and timely work contends that the world would be a poorer place without a bit of insolence and ostentation.
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Lady Gaga’s New Single Is ‘The Cure’ We Didn’t Know We Needed

Lady Gaga performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Saturday night and treated the crowd to a brand-new single.

The song, called, “The Cure,” is an upbeat dance-pop number, more in line with her earlier sound ― like 2008’s “Eh, Eh” ― than her latest country-influenced album, “Joanne.” It’s also got some of the tropical house vibes that made songs like Jack U and Justin Bieber’s “Where Are You Now” so catchy. 

(Check out the song, which is available on Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal, below.)

Gaga headlined the California music festival this weekend after a pregnant (with twins) Beyoncé was advised by her doctor to pull out of the performance. Judging by some reactions on Twitter, it doesn’t seem like people were too disappointed, though. Plus, it appears Gaga’s performance also involved fireworks.

Gaga will be back to perform at the festival next weekend ― and by then, we’re sure everyone will be able to sing along.

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‘The Good Fight’ Finale: Robert & Michelle King Talk Law, Disorder and Plans for Season 2 (SPOILERS)

“There’s a whole lot of people who want to see this country fail, Diane,” Adrian Boseman tells Diane Lockhart in the season finale of “The Good Fight.” Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watch the season finale of “The Good Fight,” titled “Chaos.” The spinoff of “The Good Wife” concludes its first season with… Read more »

Variety

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Restored War Documentary ‘The Memory Of Justice’ Is Timelier Than Ever

The 1976 documentary “The Memory of Justice” might as well have been made yesterday. Newly restored and premiering on HBO this month, Marcel Ophüls’ nearly five-hour film uses the Holocaust, Vietnam and other human tragedies to explore the notion of collective versus individual responsibility. The thesis: Any group in power is capable of war atrocities. 

The Huffington Post is exclusively premiering the trailer ahead of the movie’s April 24 debut. Inspired by Nuremberg prosecutor Telford Taylor’s book Nuremberg and Vietnam: An American Tragedy, “The Memory of Justice” premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and earned a glowing New York Times review. “’The Memory of Justice’ is long but it rivets the mind and the emotions so consistently that I can think of a dozen ninety-minute movies far more difficult to endure,” critic Vincent Canby wrote.

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What Critics Said About ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Back In The 1980s

In 2017, Margaret Atwood is ascendant. The New Yorker has dubbed her the “Prophet of Dystopia.” The upcoming Hulu adaptation of her most well-known book, the feminist speculative novel The Handmaid’s Tale, long in the works, has turned out to be almost ludicrously well-timed to the political moment. Atwood, who has also written chilling speculative fiction about other timely issues (such as climate change), seems prescient to rattled liberals in a post-Trump election world. Everyone wants her thoughts on what’s happening and what’s to come.

The media can be fickle, however. The Handmaid’s Tale has become an oft-studied and -cited modern classic, but its initial reception didn’t necessarily foretell its induction into the canon. The New Yorker, per a perusal of its archives from the time, didn’t review it at all; The New York Times published a sniffy takedown by Mary McCarthy. At the time, the Christian Science Monitor described the book as mostly well-received by critics; meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle suggested that reviews had been poor enough as to make Atwood “defensive” during an interview with the publication.

We dug through the archives to remember what critics were saying about The Handmaid’s Tale back in 1986, when it was published in the U.S., and we found everything from tepid reactions to outright pans to glowing odes. The concept of a dystopia premised on the theocratic oppression of women, perhaps unsurprisingly, has always been polarizing.

Below, check out a selection of the original reviews of The Handmaid’s Tale:

The Ecstatic:

“Just as the world of Orwell’s 1984 gripped our imaginations, so will the world of Atwood’s handmaid. She has succeeded in finding a voice for her heroine that is direct, artless, utterly convincing. It is the voice of a woman we might know, of someone very close to us. In fact, it is Offred’s poignant sense of time that gives this novel its peculiar power. The immense changes in her life have come so fast that she is still in a state of shock and disbelief as she relates to us what she sees around her.” 

-Joyce Johnson, The Washington Post

“[A]mong other things, it is a political tract deploring nuclear energy, environmental waste, and antifeminist attitudes.

“But it so much more than that ― a taut thriller, a psychological study, a play on words. It has a sense of humor about itself, as well as an ambivalence toward even its worst villains, who aren’t revealed as such until the very end. Best of all, it holds out the possibility of redemption. After all, the Handmaid is also a writer. She has written this book. She may have survived.”

-Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times

“Margaret Atwood’s cautionary tale of postfeminist future shock pictures a nation formed by a backlash against feminism, but also by nuclear accidents, chemical pollution, radiation poisoning, a host of our present problems run amok. Ms. Atwood draws as well on New England Puritan history for her repressive 22[n]d-century society. Her deft sardonic humor makes much of the action and dialogue in the novel funny and ominous at the same time.”

NYT Editor’s Choice pick, 1986 

The Ehhhh:

“Atwood, to her credit, creates a chillingly specific, imaginable night-mare. The book is short on characterization ― this is Atwood, never a warm writer, at her steeliest ― and long on cynicism ― it’s got none of the human credibility of a work such as Walker Percy’s Love In The Ruins. But the scariness is visceral, a world that’s like a dangerous and even fatal grid, an electrified fence. Tinny perhaps, but still a minutely rendered and impressively steady feminist vision of apocalypse.”

Kirkus

“Some details of Atwood’s bizarre anti-Utopia are at least as repellent as those in such forerunners as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World in 1932 and George Orwell’s 1984 16 years later. Those two novels have come to be seen as fiercely moral tracts that jarred their readers to awaken them. Will Atwood, as different from Huxley and Orwell as they were from each other, join them in the accepted ranks of those disguised idealists who image the future as a nightmare in order that it may remain just that ― a fantasy? Certainly the early reviews of her book have been mainly positive.”

-Marilyn Gardner, The Christian Science Monitor

“Margaret Atwood’s new novel is being greeted as the long-awaited feminist dystopia and I am afraid that for some time it will be viewed as a test of the imaginative power of feminist paranoia […] As a dystopia, this is a thinly textured one. […] But if Offred is a sappy stand-in for Winston Smith, and Gilead seems at times to be only a coloring book version of Oceania, it may be because Atwood means to do more than scare us about the obvious consequences of a Falwellian coup d’état.”

-Barbara Ehrenreich, The New Republic 

“[Atwood’s] regime is a hodgepodge: a theocracy that’s not recognizably Christian, that most Christians don’t accept; a repressive measure borrowed from South Africa; an atrocity adopted by the Romanians. With no unifying vision, the center doesn’t hold.”

-Alix Madrigal, The San Francisco Chronicle

“As a cautionary tale, Atwood’s novel lacks the direct, chilling plausibility of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World. It warns against too much: heedless sex, excessive morality, chemical and nuclear pollution. All of these may be worthwhile targets, but such a future seems more complicated than dramatic. But Offred’s narrative is fascinating in a way that transcends tense and time: the record of an observant soul struggling against a harsh, mysterious world.”

-Paul Gray, TIME

The Harsh:

The Handmaid’s Tale is watchable, but it’s also paranoid poppycock — just like the book. The actors are imprisoned in Atwood’s grimly inhuman design. […]

“What finally takes the cake for absurdity is a subplot featuring Aidan Quinn as Richardson’s handsome savior. It’s as if Atwood, after all that didactic scrubbing, couldn’t quite wash the princess fantasy out of her story. The Handmaid’s Tale is a tract that strives for sensitivity ― it lacks even the courage of its own misanthropy.”

-Owen Gleiberman, EW (on the 1990 film adaptation)

“The writing of The Handmaid’s Tale is undistinguished in a double sense, ordinary if not glaringly so, but also indistinguishable from what one supposes would be Margaret Atwood’s normal way of expressing herself in the circumstances. This is a serious defect, unpardonable maybe for the genre: a future that has no language invented for it lacks a personality. That must be why, collectively, it is powerless to scare.” 

-Mary McCarthy, The New York Times

“This cri de coeur is certainly impassioned, and Atwood’s adept style renders the grim atmosphere of the future quite palpably. But the didacticism of the novel wears thin; the book is simply too obvious to support its fictional context. Still, Atwood is quite an esteemed fiction writer, the author of such well-received novels as Surfacing (1973) and Life before Man (1980). Demand for her latest effort, therefore, is bound to be high; unfortunately, the number of disappointed readers may be equally high.”

-Brad Hooper, Booklist

“Offred’s monotonous manner of expression just drones and drones.”

-Robert Linkous, San Francisco Review of Books  

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‘The Daily Show’s’ Hasan Minhaj To Headline White House Correspondents Dinner

Comedian and “Daily Show” senior correspondent Hasan Minhaj will headline the 2017 White House Correspondents Association dinner, an annual Washington gala being held this year amid President Donald Trump’s persistent attacks on the press.

Trump has said he will not attend the April 29 event, which would make him the first sitting president in over three decades to skip the dinner. No members of Trump’s White House staff are expected to attend either, the first time that’s occurred since the annual dinner began nearly a century ago. 

Still, the show must go on. Speaking Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” WHCA president Jeff Mason announced Minhaj as the headliner, saying that he “brings comedy chops, but he also brings heart ― and I think that we’re going to see that at this dinner.”

“He’s going to make some jokes, no doubt, about the press and probably about the president,” said Mason, who is also a Reuters correspondent. “But he’s also going to bring the message that we hope to get across that night. And that is: The First Amendment is critical and the work of the press corps and the journalists around the world is very important.”

Mason has stressed that this year’s dinner will focus especially on the journalists who cover the White House each day, some of whom might not have gotten into previous star-studded dinners where news organizations stacked tables with celebrities

This year’s dinner is striking a more earnest tone, which reflects the renewed sense of mission among journalists in the Trump era. CNN, for example, is inviting journalism students rather than Hollywood stars, and some of the weekend’s traditional glitzy parties, thrown by the likes of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, have been canceled. Legendary Watergate reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein will take the stage to hand out journalism awards. 

Though Mason said Minhaj’s role will not be to “roast the president in absentia,” the so-called “Muslim correspondent” has not been shy about taking on Trump, especially when it comes to his anti-Muslim rhetoric. 

Following Trump’s victory in November, Minhaj said he’d viewed the candidate’s December 2015 call to temporarily block Muslims from entering the United States as “instantly disqualifying,” and argued that “open racism should just be a deal-breaker.”

In January, Minhaj ripped Trump’s travel ban on seven majority-Muslim countries, along with the Republicans and commentators who said during the campaign that a ban on Muslims wouldn’t actually happen if Trump were elected. 

“What the fuck?” he said. “So we ARE getting banned?”

In a statement Tuesday, Minhaj said “it is a tremendous honor to be a part of such a historic event even though the president has chosen not to attend this year. SAD!”

“Now more than ever,” he continued, “it is vital that we honor the First Amendment and the freedom of the press.”

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Will Smith Starring In ‘The Matrix’ Will Totally Melt Your Mind

Will Smith famously turned down the lead role in “The Matrix.”

But how would the mind-melting 1999 sci-fi movie have turned out if the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” actor had actually starred as Neo, in place of Keanu Reeves?

Luckily, YouTube channel The Unusual Suspect is on hand to give a glimpse as to what the film may have looked like.

It posted a recut trailer of the movie online Thursday, which has since garnered more than 700,000 views. Via Reddit, the channel has also revealed just how it created the spoof clip:

type=type=RelatedArticlesblockTitle=Related Coverage + articlesList=58c3c674e4b0ed71826cf7a6,58c8d075e4b01c029d775edc,56df7585e4b0860f99d717d3,58c1c332e4b070e55af9ece0

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Anya Taylor-Joy, Romola Garai to Star in ‘The Miniaturist’ for BBC

Anya Taylor-Joy, Romola Garai and Alex Hassell will star in period thriller “The Miniaturist” for BBC One, the broadcaster announced Friday. The adaptation of the novel by Jessie Burton is produced by The Forge for the BBC and co-produced with PBS’ Masterpiece. Now filming, “The Miniaturist” is set in 1686 and stars Taylor-Joy, the break-out… Read more »

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How WWE’s Natalya Preps for Wrestlemania, ‘The Grandest Stage of Them All’

WWE wrestlers travel the globe year-round for bouts, but none are as big as Wrestlemania, what fighter Natalya “Nattie” Neidhart calls, “the grandest stage of them all.”

To prep for the sport’s biggest day of the year, Neidhart, 34, focuses on cutting down her diet and kicking up her workouts in the days right before she hits the ring.

“The days leading up to Wrestlemania we really watch what we eat, and I hit the gym no matter what,” she tells PEOPLE. “When you’re walking out in front of 70,000 people you want to look your absolute best, because it’s not just those people that are watching you live, it’s 170-plus countries around the globe that are tuning in.”

But her diet — what Neidhart says is the key to staying in tip-top shape — doesn’t change too much.

“The thing about WWE is we’re on year-round, there’s no off-season. So bodybuilders can diet down for a show, and then eat normally, but we have to maintain our physiques 365 days a year,” she says. “And 90 percent of the struggle is in the diet. I love to exercise, but you can’t out work a bad diet. If you’re not eating properly, than you’re definitely not going to look your best.”

The constant traveling for WWE can make it tough to stick to a diet and get to a gym, but Neidhart and her fellow wrestlers have it figured out.

“Thank goodness we have Yelp and we have Google to find these places,” she says. “The second that we land, the first thing I do is find food, and a gym. Our bodies are part of our job, so we have to look good and we have to maintain.”

From Coinage: 4 Ways to Work Out Without Killing Your Wallet

 

At the gym, she focuses on Olympic lifting, and says her favorite move is the clean and jerk.

“You’re lifting weight off the ground and you’re throwing it up, so you’re giving your body a whole-body workout,” Neidhart says. “And it definitely imitates us throwing people down in the ring!”

And though she’s slamming the other WWE Divas to the ground on stage, the truth is they’re all good friends.

“While we’re in the ring we’re all fierce competitors, everyone wants to win, but behind the curtain we’re all friends,” Neidhart says. “There’s a little dance that we do — myself, Alexia Bliss, and Carmela — any time that Nikki James’ music comes on, and it really gets us going before the match. I call us the Three Disgruntled Blondes. It just loosens you up and makes you laugh.”

WrestleMania airs live on Sunday, April 2 at 7 p.m. ET on WWE Network. Fans can also see Nattie compete every Tuesday night on SmackDown Live on USA Network at 8 p.m. ET.


PEOPLE.com

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Seth Meyers Claims Donald Trump Is ‘The Dude’ From ‘Big Lebowski’

This aggression will not stand, man.

During his “Closer Look” segment on Tuesday night, Seth Meyers recapped the topsy-turvy, ridiculous circumstances surrounding Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes and the investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged Russian ties. 

Nunes was a one-man show last week, holding a press conference to claim that there was evidence that Trump officials were surveilled by the government. He even took the information to the president before going to his own committee.

Meyers said Trump took Nunes’ information as proof that the Obama administration had wiretapped him, despite those reports being shut down.

Among other things, Trump told Time, “A lot of information has just been learned, and a lot of information may be learned over the next coming period of time,” and, “Well, he just got this information. This was new information. That was just got,” which led Meyers to make a shocking discovery …

Donald Trump is The Dude from “The Big Lebowski.” 

Meyers explained, “The Dude and Trump have a lot in common. They both have bathrobes, both obsessed with their rugs, and they both love White Russians.”

Also, don’t forget they both have a Steve Buscemi connection. Buscemi, of course, played Donny in “The Big Lebowski,” and while attending a Women’s March earlier this year, he posed alongside a “Lebowski”-inspired message to Trump.

There you have it, dudes.

So should we start calling President Trump The Dude now? You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing?

”Late Night with Seth Meyers” airs weeknights at 12:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tom Hanks, Tracy Morgan, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Moore, Padma Lakshmi and a whole host of other stars are teaming up for Stand for Rights: A Benefit for the ACLU. Donate now and join us at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, March 31, on Facebook Live. #standforrights2017 

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In ‘The Play That Goes Wrong,’ It’s Murder, Strictly for Laughs

The three British actors behind this farcical mystery discuss the comedy and the thrill of possible injury in a performance.
NYT > Arts

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Paulina Garcia’s ‘The Desert Bride’ Tops Toulouse’s Films in Progress

“The Desert Bride,” an Argentine second-chance drama from first-time helmers starring Berlinale Best Actress winner Paulina Garcia (“Gloria”), took both big prizes at the 31st Films in Progress which wrapped at France’s Toulouse Cinelatino Fest on Friday. A gateway to big fest selection, so major arthouse or crossover sales agent pick-ups, Films in Progress also… Read more »

Variety

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Books of The Times: ‘The Death of Expertise’ Explores How Ignorance Became a Virtue

Tom Nichols examines how the information age has helped fuel a resistance to authoritative knowledge and a disdain for experts.
NYT > Books

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Books of The Times: ‘The Stranger in the Woods’ for 27 Years: Maine’s ‘North Pond Hermit’

Michael Finkel’s new book investigates the account of a man who says he escaped civilization. How did he do it? And why would he want to?
NYT > Books

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Why ‘The Outsiders’ Lives On: A Teenage Novel Turns 50

S.E. Hinton’s classic endures as teenagers continue to relate to its rebellious characters.
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Essay: Margaret Atwood on What ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Means in the Age of Trump

Atwood on whether her dystopian classic is meant as a “feminist” novel, as antireligion or as a prediction.
NYT > Books

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Bridges revives ‘The Dude’ at Goodman ceremony

The Big Lebowski actor Jeff Bridges revived his character ‘The Dude’ as he praised John Goodman, his co-star in the film, at an LA ceremony.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Heartbreaking Death Rocks ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Series Finale

Warning: Spoilers ahead for “The Vampire Diaries” series finale, “I Was Feeling Epic.”

The Vampire Diaries” showrunner Julie Plec told The Huffington Post that she and co-creator Kevin Williamson wanted the series finale to be both open-ended and set in stone, and after watching the episode unfurl, they accomplished just that. 

The finale, titled “I Was Feeling Epic,” was a heartbreaker, as former characters came back to say their final farewells, including Elena (Nina Dobrev), who was finally able to reunite with her one true love, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), after Bonnie figured out how to reverse the curse linking her life to Elena’s.

But the biggest, most devastating blow came when it was revealed that Stefan (Paul Wesley) made the ultimate sacrifice in order for his brother to have that epic reunion with Elena. He gave up a life with his new wife Caroline (Candice King) to give Damon, Elena, and his loved ones happiness. 

“We’ve had people die and come back to life, but there’s no coming back [now],” Wesley told HuffPost ahead of the finale. “This is the final episode, so whoever dies here is dead. I think that’s the difference.” 

The finale wrapped up many storylines, including the fate of all the couples. Although Bonnie and Enzo (Michael Malarkey), as well as Caroline and Stefan, don’t end up together, it’s known that, one day, they’ll be reunited again. Damon and Elena, however, tie the knot and live happily ever after, as humans ― eventually reuniting with their families. Bonnie travels; Matt stays in Mystic Falls; Alaric (Matthew Davis) and Caroline raise their girls; all is well. 

As for whether or not a spinoff or revival could be a possibility, Plec won’t rule it out. The show alluded to the idea that Caroline and Klaus (Joseph Morgan) could reunite, as he donated millions to the newly opened Salvatore boarding school. 

“I can’t make any promises for many reasons: One, because we don’t have a fifth season of ‘The Originals.’ Two, because while I love the world of the boarding school and all that it represents, that would be an entirely new show that I haven’t even begun to think about, but the doors were not left open unintentionally,” Plec told Entertainment Weekly

“I don’t have that plan right now,” she told HuffPost of a future “TVD” installment, “it’s just something that’s always living in the back of my brain as a future opportunity.” 

For now, we say so long, Mystic Falls. But, perhaps, we’ll see you again soon. 

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Review: ‘The Americans’ History Suddenly Feels Less Retro

In light of today’s headlines, this Cold War drama on FX feels newly relevant — but also almost comfortingly small-scale.
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President Trump Slams Arnold Schwarzenegger for Exiting ‘The Apprentice’: ‘He Was Fired’

President Donald Trump isn’t letting Arnold Schwarzenegger have the last word. After the “New Celebrity Apprentice” host said in an interview published Friday that he would “decline” to do the show again if asked, and blamed Trump for the show’s poor ratings, the president retaliated Saturday morning by saying Schwarzenegger “was fired.” “Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t voluntarily… Read more »

Variety

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Why Kristina From ‘The Bachelor’ Still Thinks Nick Didn’t Give Her A Fair Shot

One of the most universally beloved contestants on Nick Viall’s season of “The Bachelor” was undoubtedly Kristina Schulman. The 24-year-old Kentucky dental hygienist won over Bachelor Nation when she spoke movingly about her childhood in Russia and her eventual adoption and emigration to the United States. 

HuffPost’s Here To Make Friends podcast got a chance to speak with Kristina about how she ended up on the show, her take on all the Corinne-Taylor drama, what it was like to have her immigration story air during such a politically-charged moment, what it was like to be on a news blackout during election season, and why she might be taking a permanent break from margaritas.

She also explained that she still believes that Nick didn’t give her a fair chance. “Our time came so late,” she said. “And I’m the type of person to try it all before I really call it quits. And to this day I feel like I’m left with, ‘what if?,’ but I’ve come to terms with it.”

Take a listen below:

Do people love “The Bachelor,” “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in Paradise,” or do they love to hate these shows? It’s unclear. But here at “Here to Make Friends,” we both love and love to hate them — and we love to snarkily dissect each episode in vivid detail. Podcast edited by Nick Offenberg.

Want more “Bachelor” stories in your life? Sign up for HuffPost’s Entertainment email for extra hot goss about The Bachelor, his 30 bachelorettes, and the most dramatic rose ceremonies ever. The newsletter will also serve you up some juicy celeb news, hilarious late-night bits, awards coverage and more. Sign up for the newsletter here.

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‘The Arrangement’ Will Satisfy All Your Curiosities About Fake Celebrity Relationships

The first thing you need to know about “The Arrangement” ― E!’s new Hollywood-centric drama about a television actress who signs a contract to marry a movie star ― is that it’s definitely not, in no wayinspired by Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Scientology. At least that’s what the show’s cast and creators claim.

We’ve all heard the rumors that the Church of Scientology allegedly auditioned actresses to become Cruise’s girlfriend before Holmes snagged the “role” and married him. That’s why comparisons between the show’s Kyle West (Josh Henderson) and Megan Morrison (Christine Evangelista) — the aforementioned movie star who belongs to a suspicious organization called The Institute of the Higher Mind and the struggling actress who is contracted to play his girlfriend — and their suspected real-life counterparts are so hard to resist.

“The Arrangement” may seem very much inspired by Cruise and Holmes’ relationship on the surface, but the show is more about the machinations of the Hollywood PR machine and every over-the-top relationship rumor tabloid addicts read over the years.

The concept of the Hollywood contract relationship, otherwise known as a “fauxmance” or “promance,” dates back to the studio system of the early 20th century. Actor Rock Hudson’s 1955 marriage to secretary Phyllis Gates was famously arranged by the actor’s agent, Henry Wilson, in an effort to hide Hudson’s sexual orientation from the public. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn had audiences convinced of their love both on- and off-screen, but a 2012 memoir by Hollywood fixer Scotty Bowers claims their 26-year relationship was a decoy to distract from the same-sex relationships they both reportedly enjoyed.

Today, while Hollywood has become a friendlier place to openly queer actors, it’s possible there are relationships that are arranged to conceal a star’s true sexual orientation; however, it’s far more plausible that a fauxmance might be concocted to promote a shared project or raise a couple’s collective profile.

Take Kaley Cuoco and Henry Cavill’s fleeting 12-day fling back in the summer of 2013, which was widely believed to be a fauxmance ― not that anyone could officially prove it, of course. There just seemed to be something curious about the fact that the two started dating right around the time Cavill was promoting “Man of Steel,” and that somehow the paparazzi seemed on-hand to document every single one of their dates. The fact that their “relationship” ended just as quickly as it started, combined with a suspiciously short timeline between Cuoco and Cavill’s breakup and her new romance with soon-to-be fiancé Ryan Sweeting, added to suspicions their romance was less than authentic. Their coupling reeked of a PR-set up. Cuoco even admitted to Cosmopolitan that it brought her more attention than she ever received before.

“I had no one following me until I met Superman. I’ve been in this business for 20 years, and my whole life, I could go anywhere, do anything. There had not been one paparazzi photo of me until like seven months ago. The recognition has been crazy,” she told the magazine in a 2014 cover story.  

The problem with Cuoco’s statement is that while it used to be commonplace for the paparazzi to be out in full force following celebrities around town, hunting for that perfect picture, that happens far less often today unless you occupy the A-list.

Thanks to the tabloid boom in the early 2000s, being a paparazzo was a lucrative job. There seemed to be a heightened interest in seeing celebs doing mundane things, sparked in part by Us Weekly’s “Stars — They’re Just Like Us!” feature. In the mid-2000s, the right photo could fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that kind of payout has dried up since the introduction of social media, allowing celebrities more control over their own image.

And for someone like Cuoco, who was able to keep her relationship with her “Big Bang Theory” co-star Johnny Galecki secret for two years without anyone finding out, it’s difficult to believe the paparazzi were suddenly able to capture intimate moments of her 12-day romance with Cavill ― unless, of course, they were specifically tipped off.

For all we know, Cuoco and Cavill’s brief dalliance with one another could have been real, but it’s hard to deny the overwhelming professional benefits they both enjoyed from the blink-and-you-missed-it affair. Such is the case with what is probably the most-discussed alleged fauxmance in recent history ― Hiddleswift.

From their humble beginnings born out of totally not staged photos on the rocky shores of Rhode Island, Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston’s extremely camera-ready relationship simply did not ring true for many fans. Hiddleston has gone on record claiming that “of course [the relationship] was real,” but believing that means ignoring aspects of their relationship that feel orchestrated.  

The Hiddleswift relationship materialized seemingly out of nowhere, becoming public knowledge a mere day before Kim Kardashian accused Swift of lying about having approved lyrics to Kanye West’s song “Famous.” From a PR perspective, a new, showy relationship not only distracted from the allegations, but also drew focus from Swift’s recent breakup with Calvin Harris.

If Swift benefited by trying to distract from negative attention, then Hiddleston, who was then known as a respected British actor, soaked up more attention ― both good and bad ― than he’d ever experienced up to that point.

Though he took some flak for some of the more attention-grabbing moments of the relationship, like wearing an “I ♥ T.S.” tank top at the beach, becoming fodder for tabloid gossip seems to have proven beneficial for his career. During the time Hiddleston and Swift dated, the actor capitalized on his newly raised profile by growing his Twitter following from 2.8 million to 3.8 million, and he took the opportunity to join Instagram, where he amassed 1.1 million followers in a matter of weeks, according to Refinery 29.

Hiddleston wasn’t an unknown before he dated Swift. In fact, he has two blockbuster movies ― “Kong: Skull Island” and “Thor: Ragnarok” ― due out this year. But every little bit of recognition helps when it comes to promotion and landing that next coveted role.

Observers of celebrity culture can only speculate over the authenticity of relationships like Hiddleswift and others that set off our collective bullshit detectors. That’s why gossip addicts will relish “The Arrangement” for painting Hollywood the way we assume it really is ― calculating and manipulative. From the specifics laid out in Kyle and Megan’s relationship contract, to staged interactions with celebrity exes, and the overreaching publicists and managers who pull all the strings, “The Arrangement” is rich in detail and probably more reflective of Hollywood than it would like to admit. 

“The Arrangement” premieres Sunday, March 5, at 10 p.m. ET.

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Books of The Times: Review: Elif Batuman’s ‘The Idiot’ Sets a Romantic Crush on Simmer

In this first novel, set in 1995, Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, falls for an older student from Hungary during her freshman year at Harvard.
NYT > Books

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