Articles on this Page
- 09/21/17--14:57: _'You're the Worst' ...
- 09/22/17--06:42: _Lady Gaga gets real...
- 09/22/17--07:26: _'Star Trek: Discove...
- 09/22/17--09:48: _The woman who pulle...
- 09/22/17--11:58: _Here's what the cas...
- 09/22/17--13:19: _The 100 best things...
- 09/23/17--06:35: _This is one of the ...
- 09/23/17--09:15: _Oprah reveals the o...
- 09/23/17--11:16: _Oprah says every gu...
- 09/24/17--11:06: _Elisabeth Moss hid ...
- 09/25/17--06:43: _John Oliver mocked ...
- 09/25/17--07:54: _'Sunday Night Footb...
- 09/25/17--09:38: _Neil deGrasse Tyson...
- 09/25/17--09:46: _REVIEW: There's one...
- 09/25/17--11:19: _ESPN's 'Monday Nigh...
- 09/25/17--20:48: _'Dancing With the S...
- 09/26/17--05:19: _After months of wai...
- 09/26/17--07:08: _‘Kevin Can Wait’ ki...
- 09/26/17--07:08: _Chance the Rapper d...
- 09/26/17--07:13: _'The Big Bang Theor...
- Lady Gaga's new documentary "Gaga: Five Foot Two" is now available on Netflix.
- The singer briefly discusses her feud with Madonna.
- Over the years, Gaga has been accused of borrowing and ripping off some of the pop icon's songs. Even Madonna herself has called Gaga's music "reductive."
- Gaga said she wants nothing more than for Madonna to push her up against a wall, kiss her, and "tell me I'm a piece of sh--."
- Though she doesn't mention Madonna by name, Gaga said if she ever references or nods to anyone in music, it's meant to be as an honor.
- Maria Medrano allegedly entered a Kardashian-owned DASH store in Los Angeles and pointed a gun at the employees on Thursday.
- She allegedly knocked items off a counter and yelled, "Stay out of Cuba!"
- Madrano also returned later that day brandishing a machete, which was captured on video by news crews.
- Police arrested the woman using surveillance video to track her and charged her with assault and criminal threats.
- Medrano may have been angered by the Kardashian sisters' trip to Cuba, which was criticized for being vapid and insensitive, and aired on E!'s "Keeping Up With the Kardashians."
- 09/22/17--13:19: The 100 best things to watch on Netflix right now
- Since 1989, Oprah Winfrey says she has interviewed more than 37,000 people.
- INSIDER attended a panel for OWN's upcoming reality series, "Released," at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City, where Winfrey said there's one question she has asked every guest she has interviewed.
- The question is: What is your intention?
- The billionaire media mogul said she asks herself that question all the time and credits it with being one of the reasons for her success.
- Winfrey explained why knowing your intention is important and can help others with finding their own success and motivations for doing something.
- Since 1989, Oprah Winfrey says she has interviewed more than 37,000 people.
- INSIDER attended a panel for OWN's upcoming reality series, "Released," at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City, where Winfrey said there's one question every person asks after an interview.
- That question is: How did I do?
- Even though Winfrey described that need for validation as the "common denominator" between all the people she has interviewed, she had a funny response when Beyoncé asked it.
- Elisabeth Moss wore shoes that likely read "Offred" on their soles for her Emmys outfit.
- It's a reference to the name of her character in "The Handmaid's Tale," which refers to her subservient status to men.
- By having that on her shoes, it symbolized her stepping all over the patriarchy.
- CBS sitcom "Kevin Can Wait" has a new female lead for the second season, Leah Remini.
- They killed off the wife from the first season, played by Erinn Hayes, and addressed her death in a time jump during the second season premiere.
- But fans did not like how quickly the show glossed over death.
Stephen Falk had just moved across the country to produce a network tv show. This was his dream. Then he got a call.
"It doesn't happen, shows don't get their plugs pulled before they air, which, driving 2,000 miles at that point, I was stewing about," Falk said. "Like, this probably doesn't look good for me, I may never work again. So I thought, 'Well, maybe I should just talk about it, both for therapy and for career management.'"
He wrote about the experience in a Tumblr post that went viral. And despite his fears, he did work again. After a stint writing on Netflix's "Orange Is the New Black," he created "You're The Worst" for the FX network. It's a romantic comedy of sorts, starring two very flawed people who hook up and inevitably fall in love.
A showrunner does a lot of things: from directing to writing to making sure there's food on set. The showrunner ultimately controls every facet of a TV show, which is why we created "Showrunners," the podcast that talks to the people making the shows we love.
On this episode of "Showrunners," INSIDER's Editor-in-Chief Nicholas Carlson speaks with Falk about how he rebounded from having his show canceled and how he handles sex, mental health, morality, and more on "You're the Worst."
You can listen to the whole episode here:
Here's the full transcript of the interview:
Nicholas Carlson: Alright well thanks for joining us on Showrunners. Very nice to have you Stephen Falk.
Stephen Falk: Thank you nice to be here in my own office.
Carlson: Tell us the story through season three and go.
Falk: "You're the Worst" is a story of two sort of narcissistic, slightly alcoholic, self-involved, self-destructive people who meet. Neither of them believe in love and yet they fall for each other and because they are so well matched and don't judge bad behavior in each other because they put it all out on the table beforehand, they try to make a go of it and they resist old fashioned mushy love and they're successful, moderately, but not for long.
So the show really follows them, it's really just a good old fashioned rom-com but sort of told through the lens of someone who watched a lot of cable shows and a lot of British sitcoms where bad behavior is not something that has to then come with moralizing or a lesson and I was always jealous of that, doing TV in America where a likability factor was always important.
The infamous Tumblr post
Carlson: Let's talk about you. I want to know about your career, but I kind of want to like start with this one moment where you put a blog post on Tumblr that lots of people read about a show that got canceled and just tell us like about that blog post.
Falk: I had been writing movies that never got made and selling television pilots that never got made for a long time and I had a nice, completely anonymous, unsuccessful, successful career and I worked on Weeds for four years after that because I thought I should have some practical experience and by the end of my tenure on Weeds, I sold a show to NBC, we shot the pilot while I was still writing on Weeds, it got picked up to series with giant quotes around it. The most minimal commitment a network can make, which is a mid-season six episodes, but it's something. It's like the ugliest boy in school inviting you to prom, like you're still going to prom.
Carlson: So a network put your show on the air.
Falk: But the catch was we had to move to New York to do it because of tax credits so we moved to New York and the actors moved to New York and I hired a writing staff and we shot four episodes and I got a call one Friday night while I was in the middle of editing and LA said, “yeah we're pulling the plug on your show. We're just never going to put it on the air, we're never going to make this.” Still don't know why, I have theories. I'm the first to admit maybe they were just getting footage and just thought it sucked, absolutely possible. I think there are probably other things that went into it and it didn't actually suck so I don't know but anyway.
And yeah I just called the cast and crew and said, “the show's over, sorry Jeffrey Tambor, sorry you moved out to New York, you can go back to Palisades.” I rented a truck, drove out with the dog and somewhere around Arizona, this is driving from New York to LA, I decided I should probably – I had just been sort of silent on social media about the whole thing but it was on the front page of Hollywood Reporter. It doesn't happen, shows don't get their plugs pulled before they air, which, driving 2,000 miles at that point, I was stewing about. Like, this probably doesn't look good for me, I may never work again.
So I thought, “well, maybe I should just talk about it, both for therapy and for career management,” and so I just wrote a Tumblr post about it in a really shitty motel in Arizona somewhere. I think I had Taco Bell and a bottle of whiskey, and I posted it and immediately pulled it. I had been writing on the Internet long enough to know that things that you write at two in the morning when you're drunk, you may want to like look at them with fresh eyes in the morning. So that's what I did.
A couple people saw it and emailed me immediately and then I was in a Starbucks parking lot editing it with the dog and all my bags and then I uploaded it from their WiFi and then drove to LA. Anyway, fast forward to four days later, I was in LA when I started getting like Google alerts for my name from first just the trade papers like Hollywood Reporter and Variety but then HuffPo and Slate and it was spreading. I was very measured, I wasn't blaming anyone, I just said here's what happens when you work this hard on something and it literally goes away in one phone call.
Carlson: And you framed it as advice to a young writer.
Falk: Advice to a young writer, yeah, that was my clever way of couching a too much information post in some format that didn't seem quite as thirsty.
Carlson: So what happened from there? You know, people who saw that may wonder.
Falk: What was instructive about that was I realized, and I think NBC certainly realized – or I was one more piece of evidence that made them realize – that they don't own the PR mechanism anymore. I was able to have equal voice and if not more, for zero dollars. I think Tumblr is free, right? And so I thought that was incredibly instructive and there was a Hollywood Reporter article then called, “When Showrunners Attack,” and it was about me, Dan Harmon and I think Ryan Murphy. Like, how do you deal with these unhinged showrunners who can just spout off on twitter and get in fights or tell the truth, as I did, which was my big sin.
But from there, I did nothing, made furniture at my house and tried to write a screenplay that never went anywhere, and then my old boss, Jenji Kohan, she said, “I just sold a women in prison show to Netflix would you want to come work on it?” I was like, “that sounds dumb but ok.” And then as I was starting to write the second season with her and her team, the first season aired and it was wildly, wildly successful and so I did that and then in the middle of that, sold this pilot to FX and had to once again leave her, so I think she'll never hire me again.
Making "You're the Worst"
Carlson: So how did your show happen? So you write a Tumblr post somewhere in Arizona and then what's the story from there?
Falk: Yeah so I was on "Orange is the New Black" and I had gone from being a showrunner and literally I fell asleep on my feet once in the writers room on the New York show, it was that overwhelming a job, to where I was just on staff for a showrunner who liked to come in at 10 and leave at 3. If you can get over the ego part of it, the sheer relief of just being a cog after being the boss is heroine-esque. It is amazing.
So I was doing that and I started a writers group in my house once a week because I missed running a writers room, so I wanted to have the experience but with wine, and so I had like ten writers that were all working, that all had careers in the industry, and we would get together every week at my house, and so coming down the pike was this FX pitch that I foolishly set because I wasn't creative at the time and I wasn't pitching anything.
Usually when you come up with a pitch, you tell your agent, you go over it with them, they're like, “ok cool,” and they set up meetings at the networks and Amazon and Netflix and Hulu and you make the rounds and see if anyone's interested. I wasn't doing that, I had no interest in doing that, I was just still licking my wounds and being a cog and running this writer's group. And so in the writer’s group, I said, “oh, I've got to do this pitch,” and I kind of came up with this idea very spur of the moment, it was on my list of ideas but just as, “do a boozy, British-y, cable-y version of Mad About You.” And I pitched it out and they bought it as I was driving home, which is not quite selling it in the room, but it was like 20 minutes later.
So it's close and the idea really in my mind, or at least my mindset at the time, which was instructive, is that I didn't give a shit if they bought it. I didn't give a shit if they made it. I didn't give a shit if it got on the air. I just wanted to not repeat the experience of bending over, perfuming myself, making myself as presentable – I'm not going to continue with the metaphor, but contorting myself artistically to try to please a network that ultimately didn't know what they wanted so they were unplease-able, you know? And in doing so, contorting your creation beyond recognizability.
I'd made this show that I really liked and it ended up being this thing that I didn't recognize anymore and didn't like and wasn't pleasing anyone and certainly wasn't pleasing myself, so I just said, “well ok, if I just pleased myself, then I won't go through any of that.” The danger there is you may not be pleasing anyone. You may not be invited to the prom, but at least you won't, you know, be there with someone you're embarrassed of, wearing a dress that you don't want to be seen in. And the lesson there being, obviously, that sometimes if you just please yourself and you have honed a strong artistic voice, other people might like it.
Finding inspiration in the writer's room
Carlson: I noticed in this last season, there's a scene Killian says to Jimmy, “you never say thank you” and Jimmy turns around and for me, it's a famous line from –
Falk: Mad Men.
Carlson:“That's what the money's for.”
Falk: "That's what the money's for."
Carlson: I love that line.
Falk: Well I didn't write it, Matt Weiner wrote it, or one of his writers wrote it. That line is sort of meta within meta because, you know, it's an apocryphal story perhaps but the notion out there in the ether, and I hope Matt doesn't get mad for me saying this, but that episode was kind of like Don Draper telling her, “I can't be coddling you all the time, I can't be praising all your work,” was kind of Matt telling his writing staff. I don't know if that's true or not, so --
Carlson: That's great, I didn't even know that.
Falk: Then it's us taking that and I don't disagree.
Carlson: It's a YouTube clip that has been shared around my office, as well. Just because, you know, it's just such a good line. Anyways, do you see Mad Men and think, like, “just a great show,” like all of us thought? Or do you feel like there's anything that came out of seeing that that is has informed your career?
Falk: Oh god, I mean shows like Breaking Bad, as we mentioned before, probably influenced my show more than most comedies or than a lot of comedies, in that there's something about the over arching novelistic storytelling in those shows that became a goal for me and my writing staff. When we write the show, and it's just a dumb little basic cable, 13 episode show, but we do spend a lot of time writing. We spend about six months just writing, which is long for a show. Generally, after 14 weeks or something, production will start and you'll be sort of overlapping.
We do all the writing first and then we do pre-production and then we shoot and then I edit. I'm there for all of it. It makes for a really long year for me, but for me, it's the only way I know how to do it. But we spend a lot of time on the writing process really looking at the whole season as a holistic piece: what is the first act of the season, what is the second act, what is the third act, what is the theme of this season, what are the character arcs of this season? We look at it in this sort of big macro way and then we start sort of filling in the gaps.
I'm always saying, “well, what's the story?” Like, we can't just introduce something and not have it play out. We try to make everything, even props sometimes, have a beginning, middle, and the end. When you start to watch a show like that, you begin to feel that you're in good hands. You begin to relax and you begin to trust then that the narrators of the show, the storytellers, know where they're going.
Carlson: Tell me what the showrunner blues are.
Falk: Showrunner blues are the parts of the job or the time in the job where the different facets which could all be full time jobs and probably should be – writing, being on set, editing, in my case directing, and then just general producorial stuff – all these full time jobs are all requiring your time and all have strict deadlines and clocks ticking louder and louder at the same time.
Carlson: This is the result of, partly, you know, there's not three networks anymore and so if you get a show, you get all of the huge staff but now there's all these networks and probably budgets are lower, opportunities –
Falk: Yeah and it's all compounded by my failings as a showrunner to delegate properly, but I'm getting better, I promise.
Writing morally ambiguous characters
Carlson: Let's talk about the show. You know, there's a scene in the most recent season where Jimmy's got some box, he brings it in from outside, it turns out to be his father's ashes, but you don't know that from this scene.
Falk: Sounds like a hilarious show.
Carlson: People keep bringing the box in and he keeps throwing it out, Gretchen sees him throw the box out the front door and she's like, “oh we can litter now?” And she just chucks the garbage out the front door and then later in the episode, a nice callback, there's more stuff out there and so, littering is terrible, right? Where is the line in ethics and morals for the characters? Because they're still likable at the end, but what is their compass? What are the rules for you guys when you're writing it and when you think about what bad things do they do, what don't they do? Or maybe I'm thinking about it too simplistic.
Falk: I think our rules, or our compass is guided by what is believable human behavior for the characters we've created, which are a bit extreme, within the world we've created, which is a bit extreme. So in other words, is this something this character might do? Might this character litter? Sure. Might this character drive drunk? Yeah, that character might drive drunk. Might that character cuckold her husband?
Yeah, if she heard that cuckolding was a thing and could convince him to let her screw other dudes while he watched and was desperate enough to keep the marriage that he would go along with it. I remember getting in a fight way long ago in my career with a girlfriend way long ago in my romantic career who read something I had written, I think it was a script, and the character drove drunk and she was outraged, “you can't advocate driving drunk,” and I literally didn't understand her point. This character would do that, so they're doing it. If I was Shakespeare, and they all stab Julius Caesar, I'm not advocating stabbing.
Carlson: Yeah you're not Iago or whatever.
Falk: I mean, we have an alt-right character this season.
Carlson: Oh boy.
Falk: Yeah, timely, but we started this back in January. Are we saying alt-right is something that should be looked favorably upon? No. Are we condemning it or purely making fun of this character? Probably, but more importantly, is it believable that this character would be taken up by quote-unquote men’s rights activists, which are next door to alt-right, given his circumstances and given the world of the show? Yes.
Carlson: A lot of the characters in this show are kind of a little bit on the edge of terrible.
Falk: Yeah, like drinking white wine when you're pregnant.
Carlson: I mean, they're the worst, right? Drinking white wine, every time I see that I'm like, “what are you doing?”
Falk: Yes, and you should. There should be a certain amount of outrage but you know, this sort of Billy Joel axiom, “I'd rather laugh with the sinner than die with the saints,” I mean, the sinners have much more fun. The villains are the ones you want to watch and I don't think of our characters as villain-esque –
Carlson: From Shakespeare to Billy Joel.
Falk:– at all but yeah, do you want to watch Tony Soprano or Al Swearengen? Rather, do you want to watch Michael Landon in Highway to Heaven? I don't know.
Carlson: We had Alec Berg on last season of this podcast and he talked about one of the big things that he learned from Larry David is like no hugging, no morals, and he kind of was excited about the innovation beyond the morality play that stories had been.
Falk: Yeah and at the same time, I don't view our show like that. There's a lot of hugging and there are a lot of lessons and episodes come to a neat end. The difference, I think, is we tend to then keep filming. So in other words, The Graduate ending sort of is a touchstone for us, like that movie should have ended when they run out of the church and get on a bus, but instead they keep rolling and it may be apocryphal that that was just the actors not knowing what to do after the take ended, but they kept rolling.
They get on the bus and they're relieved and she ran out on what was going to be a horrible marriage and he got the girl and they're on the bus and they're excited and they look at each other and they smile and then they slowly look away and their smiles die because smiles do because smiles are hard to maintain. And then the long “what if” after this, or what happens next? And what are the boring meals that we have that we don't have anything to say to each other anymore? That's all there in like 20 seconds of footage and that's what our show likes to explore beyond the tidy endings that we do have. We do have the hugs.
Carlson: Another theme of this show, which is, I guess one phrase you could use is sex positive. I mean, these characters like to have sex, they're not very shy about it. They're giving hand jobs in the back seat of the car while a friend drives, I should say.
Falk: You know, I'm from Berkeley, there's a little lefty moralizing and a little social justice warriorism in everything I do, I think. Part of that, I mean like, I'm raising a daughter. I don't want my daughter to ever watch this show but I want to be not part of the solution but at least not part of the problem in that my female characters have appetites and they eat and they drink and they are not subservient to men and they pass the Bechdel test and they have storylines and they are equal because I think women are frankly slightly more interesting than men.
Carlson: How much in your experience in your career do people think about that kind of stuff? I mean, the Bechdel is something that comes up on this show a lot. Sometimes I give a showrunner a hard time if it hasn't happened. Do people think about those kinds of things or do they kind of laugh at it or they just hope they pass it?
Falk: I think people do. I think those things matter. FX, for example – not to be a homer, but I do love my network – there was a report card a couple years ago about minority and female director representation and they released scorecards by network and FX did not do so well. That was very troubling to the people at the top and so, to their credit, I think not in a PR way necessarily, although, you know, they're business people, but out of a true desire to help what was then shown to them as a problem, they made it a goal to have 50 percent minority and female directors the next season and they did.
Scripting mental health
Carlson: So there's a lot of mental illness in this show.
Falk: You mean in the writing room or –
Carlson: You tell me. Gretchen is this interesting – let's talk about her reaction to therapy. She just hates her therapist and then stalks her therapist.
Falk: Yeah, well I think hate is a strong word. In the writers room you think, “ok, Gretchen is going to be in therapy. What is the best version of that? What might her attitude be?” We talk about that and she may be defensive and combative. What's the best version of being defensive and combative? Well not literally fighting, that would not be believable that she would be retained as a client, but ok, well she can, instead of sitting in the chair, she could sit in the corner and eat pistachios and play on her phone, rather than doing it and also then bring Jimmy in because she knows he'll talk the whole time and she won't have to and then she can say she did it.
That, obviously, then doesn't last and then she immediately overcompensates and completely develops this mom replacement relationship where she even asks, can I call you mom? And she stalks her and confronts her and butts into her life and tells her that her boyfriend sucks and just wants this woman's approval then. We just tried to write what would be a believable storyline for someone who doesn't want to be in therapy but also she starts to, in the most rudimentary way, put together the bare bones of human psychology. Like she literally with wide eyed wonder says, “wait, you mean things that happened to me as a child affects how I behave now?”
She never put that together and the whole reason she's doing this is for her relationship and for her boyfriend and so that's not a great way to go into therapy. Agreeing to be medicated is probably good for her in a vacuum, but it’s our way of showing begrudging character growth, like she's actually making a sacrifice for a relationship and, for someone like Gretchen, that's a giant step.
Re-imagining romantic comedies
Carlson: Romantic comedies, I think I saw a story, I can't even remember where now but the film industry has stopped making them and this is a rom-com, I mean what do you just think about the future of rom-coms?
Falk: You know, one can be tempted to say everything's cyclical, romantic comedy is just going through a down period from you know, “Annie Hall” through “When Harry Met Sally” and the Hugh Grant-y, Louis Armstrong scored rom-coms through the sort of –
Carlson: To the derivatives.
Falk:– kind of pale imitations with Reese Witherspoon and Katherine Heigl and then it died and that was the death knell, or at least that's the 30 year cycle. Have rom-coms come and gone? Well, I think musicals and westerns are a tiny bit narrower in terms of their relationship to the human experience and romance, the quest for love, the game of it, that probably is a little closer to human experience and probably a little more evergreen.
Carlson: It's a good character desire.
Falk: It is. And it's not going to go away, I think they just need to be reinvented, and so while this was just a show on my list and something I wanted to do as a tonic for my past experience, coming out of being a big fan of rom-coms, watching that 30 year cycle, and wondering what's next for them and thinking that I could do it better and do something new with it at least. We didn't usher in this great golden age, but certainly, I'm very realistic about the modesty of our influence and reach, but I do think that by pure timing or actual influence or both, there has been a slight, small little resurgence of rom-coms that try to treat young romance in a slightly more believable way and I think that's a good thing.
Carlson: Well listen, this has been great. I'm really glad you made some time to have this conversation, thank you.
Falk: Thank you so much, Nich.
The INSIDER Summary:
"So the thing with like me and Madonna, for example, is that I admired her always, and I still admire her no matter what she might think of me," Gaga is seen telling studio musician Nick Movshon a little over eight minutes into the documentary.
Movshon gives a look of disbelief at that statement and while laughing incredulously says, "OK."
"No, I do," Gaga responds.
The scene is briefly edited and jumps ahead a little further in her conversation making the viewer wonder exactly what was cut, but Gaga goes on to explain the one piece of beef she has with the Material Girl.
"The only thing that really bothers me about her is that I'm Italian and from New York, you know. So, like, if I've got a problem with somebody I'm gonna f---ing tell you to your face," says Gaga. "But, no matter how much respect I have for her as a performer, I could never wrap my head around the fact that she wouldn't look me in the eye and tell me that I was reductive or whatever."
Five years ago, Madonna told ABC she thought Gaga's music was just that.
"It feels reductive,"Madonna told ABC News' Cynthia McFadden in 2012 of the similarities in some of Gaga's music to the pop icon's.
It's tough to ignore the similarities between songs like Gaga's "Born This Way" and Madonna's "Express Yourself" or "Alejandro" and "La Isla Bonita," especially when Gaga has spoken about Madonna's influence on her "Born This Way" album.
While Gaga claimed she had a blessing from Madonna for "Born This Way," it sure didn't seem that way. In 2012, Madonna performed a mashup of "Born This Way" and "Express Yourself" during a tour in which she also sang the words, "She's not me."
Gaga said Madonna has never given her a call to discuss any negative feelings on her music.
"I saw it on f---ing TV," said Gaga in the documentary. "Telling me that you think I'm a piece of sh-- through the media is like, it's like a guy passing me a note through his friend. My buddy thinks your hot. Here's his like ... f--- you. Where's your buddy f---ing throwing me up against the wall and kissing me? I just want Madonna to f---ing push me up against a wall and kiss me and tell me I'm a piece of sh--."
Though Gaga didn't explicitly admit to borrowing or referencing any of Madonna's famous works in her songs in the documentary, during the same conversation she's seen saying in carefully edited clips that she has experienced people feeling like she has taken from them. But Gaga said if anything she was simply honoring others.
Later in the documentary, you can see the singer briefly joke about her feud with Madonna again while visiting her grandma.
A younger photo of Lady Gaga is shown from high school when she was known as Stefani Germanotta before she had braces and a visible gap is seen in the singer's front two teeth.
"Hey, if I had kept that gap then I would have had even more problems with Madonna," says Gaga.
Madonna, of course, famously has a gap between her two front teeth.
"Five Foot Two" is now available to stream on Netflix.
As "Star Trek: Discovery" awaits the sci-fi franchise's first TV premiere in over a decade, the show's cast and crew discussed the politically inspired elements behind the show's creation in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
Aaron Haberts, a co-executive producer on the show, told the outlet that Donald Trump's candidacy was "front and center in our minds" when they started putting the series together in 2015.
Haberts said one of the antagonist groups on "Star Trek: Discovery" is an extremist Klingon sect, whose rallying cry, "Remain Klingon," the show made intentionally similar to Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan.
"It's a call to isolationism," Haberts said of the slogan. "It's about racial purity, and it's about wanting to take care of yourself. And if anybody is reaching a hand out to help you, it's about smacking it away.
"That was pretty provocative for us," he continued. "And it wasn't necessarily something that we wanted to completely lean into. But it was happening. We were hearing the stories."
The show began production in 2015 and faced delays after an initial January 2016 premiere date was pushed back.
"Star Trek: Discovery" premieres on CBS on September 24. Subsequent episodes of the show will air on the network's streaming app, CBS All Access.
Watch the trailer for the new season below:
The INSIDER Summary:
The woman who allegedly pointed a gun at an employee and brandished a machete at a Kardashian-owned DASH store in Los Angeles on Thursday has been arrested.
According to TMZ, police were able to track down Maria Medrano, 35, on Thursday evening by using footage from surveillance videos. The LAPD also executed a search warrant and found two airsoft guns that were similar to ones she used during the incident.
She has been charged with assault and criminal threats, and she's being held on $50,000 bail.
Police told reporters that Medrano entered the DASH store on Thursday, pointed a gun at a cashier, and then a second employee behind the counter, knocked items off the counter, and then yelled, "Stay away from Cuba!"
She returned to the store later that day with a machete and was captured by news crews on video:
According a Fox News reporter, Medrano continued to ramble about Cuba before leaving the machete at the door of the store.
Regarding Medrano's warning that the Kardashians stay out of Cuba, the reporter concluded, "Why she said that is totally unknown."
That may not be 100% correct. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" fans would know that the E! reality show aired a couple episodes of sisters Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian and their families' vacation in Cuba, which was formerly restricted for American travelers, in 2016.
Perhaps, Medrano wasn't amused by the episodes? She wouldn't be alone. The sisters were criticized by many for the highly-socialed trip for being vapid and disrespectful to those who suffered under Cuba's Fidel Castro regime.
He's also had a lot of people killed and is a massive human rights violator but hey, viva! @khloekardashian— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) May 5, 2016
There's a new crew in the "Star Trek" universe.
"Star Trek Discovery" hits CBS All Access, the network's online streaming service, Sunday, and the new show takes place 10 years before Captain Kirk (William Shatner) led his team into the final frontier.
The cast includes Michelle Yeoh as Captain Philippa Georgiou, Sonequa Martin-Green as first officer Michael Burnham, Anthony Rapp as science officer Paul Stamets, and James Frain as Vulcan ambassador Sarek, Spock's (Leonard Nimoy) father.
See what the cast looks like in real life below:
Michelle Yeoh captains the USS Shenzhou as Philippa Georgiou.
Yeoh is best known for her roles in "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and its sequel, as well as "Memoirs of a Geisha." She had a cameo in "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" and will next appear in "Crazy Rich Asians."
Sonequa Martin-Green plays first officer Michael Burnham. She is second-in-command of the USS Shenzhou, serving under Captain Georgiou, and was raised by Vulcan ambassador Sarek after Klingons killed her parents.
Before heading to "Star Trek," Martin-Green was on "The Walking Dead" and "Once Upon a Time."
James Frain plays Spock's father, Ambassador Sarek. It's a younger version of the role originated by Mark Lenard. Sarek won't be on the ship; he will instead communicate through holograms.
Frain was most recently on "Orphan Black" and played Azrael on "Gotham." He's also known for his roles on "The Tudors" and "True Blood."
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
With all of the new original movies and TV shows coming to Netflix each month, it can become a bit overwhelming finding the perfect thing to watch.
We're here to help.
INSIDER rounded up a mix of current and classic TV shows and Oscar-winning and feel-good movies that should feed the need for whatever sort of mood you're in. Bookmark this page for the next time you're looking for something to watch.
Note: Netflix titles change up every month and vary by region so title availability could change.
1. "Captain America: Civil War" (2016)
There are were so many superheroes packed into the third "Captain America" movie that this may as well have been the third "Avengers" movie. The heroes were forced to choose sides as Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) went head to head over a government-issued superhero registration act that would force them to reveal their identities to the world.
Spider-Man's addition to the Marvel universe is one of the big standouts of the superhero-filled sequel.
You can read our review of the movie here.
2. "Mean Girls" (2004)
You may not have realized it, but Rachel McAdams was Regina George in the film.
You can read more about the movie here.
3. "Breaking Bad" (2008-2013)
If you haven't watched AMC's hit show about chemistry teacher Walter White becoming a drug dealer after he's given several months to live, you're missing out. Watch it for Bryan Cranston's performance alone, which won the actor four outstanding lead actor in a drama series Emmys.
You can read more about the show here.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
There's a lot of TV. This fall, however, there hasn't been a lot of good TV so far. In fact, it's one of the worst seasons for new shows in years.
But that doesn't mean there's nothing to watch.
There are a few entertaining freshman shows like ABC's "The Mayor" and Netflix's "American Vandal," but a lot more returning shows are must-see TV, like NBC's "The Good Place" and HBO's "Vice Principals."
We put together a list of the new and returning TV shows that you should be wasting your precious free time on, from new shows to returning ones. We also included where to watch them.
Here's what you should be watching on TV this fall:
"The Deuce"— new
"The Wire" creator David Simon looks back to 1970s New York and the early days of the porn industry. James Franco plays twins! The all-star cast also includes Maggie Gyllenhaal and Zoe Kazan. It was already renewed for season two, so it's worth your time since now we know the story will continue.
Where to watch: Sunday nights on HBO, HBONow, HBOGo.
"You're the Worst"— returning
This sometimes-a-dramedy is in its fourth season. The show, about quirky and very flawed thirty-somethings in LA, covers issues including PTSD and depression, and is the most inventive, thoughtfully written show on TV right now. It's also very funny. Check out our interview with the creator and showrunner Stephen Falk.
Where to watch: Wednesday nights on FXX, and new episodes available the next day on the FX app. Seasons one, two, and three are available on Hulu.
"Better Things"— returning
Season two of the Emmy-nominated series continues Sam's (Pamela Adlon) life as an actress and single mother of three daughters in LA. Adlon co-created the series with Louis C.K., and it shows: the subject matter and spirit is very similar to "Louie."
Where to watch: Wednesday nights on FX, and new episodes available the next day on the FX app.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
The INSIDER Summary:
Oprah Winfrey said there's one question she asks all her guests before an interview and explained how it has helped create her success and can do the same for everybody else.
INSIDER attended a panel for OWN's new reality series, "Released," Friday at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City, where Winfrey said, "Before every interview since 1989, I would ask the person I was interviewing, 'Please tell me what your intention is.'"
That's incredible that she's asked that question of every interviewee on her talk shows for, as Winfrey put it, "4,589 shows and over 37,000 people [she interviewed] one-on-one in person."
The billionaire media mogul explained that she believes doing so has been one of the secrets to her own success and can do the same for anyone who asks themselves the same question for whatever they're doing in life.
"Years ago, I learned that your intention determines the outcome of everything you do," Winfrey said. "So one of the reasons why the ‘Oprah Show’ was No. 1 all those years was that we had an intention to be so. And before every single show from 1989 to the very last two shows, I would meet the producers beforehand and ask them, ‘Don’t just give me a show idea. Have an intention behind the show.’ And then I have to then find my intention within the show, at least some stream of truth so that I won’t be sitting there being a phony."
She mentioned this secret to her success while speaking to Shaka Senghor – the consulting producer for "Released," which documents the lives of former inmates during the critical first few months after being released from prison. Senghor wrote a New York Times bestseller about his own experiences after being released after serving 19 years in prison.
Before interviewing Senghor for OWN's "Super Soul Sunday," Winfrey asked him what his intention was for making his story public. His answer?
"He wanted people to know that he wasn’t his biggest mistake and that you’re worthy of second chances," recalled Winfrey.
"Released" premieres Saturday, September 30 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.
Watch the full Tribeca TV panel for "Released" below:
The INSIDER Summary:
"Everybody that I ever interviewed after every interview at some point somebody would say, ‘How was that? Was that OK? How’d I do?’ And that is whether it was Barack Obama or Beyonce or the guy who murdered his kids or the guy who molested kids or somebody who had gone on and lost their family," Winfrey said during a panel for OWN's new reality series, "Released," Friday at the Tribeca TV Festival in New York City.
It's incredible that every interviewee – over "4,589 shows and over 37,000 people [who I interviewed] one-on-one in person," as Winfrey put it – have asked her if they did OK. Winfrey said that this question is the "common denominator" for all her guests no matter who they are.
Given that fact, Winfrey has had time to think about why all her guests seek approval for their performance during the interview and explained what she came up with.
"Everybody just wants to know that you heard me, you saw me, and that what I said mattered," Winfrey said.
Yet no matter how many times she heard the question and from all the notable people who asked it, Winfrey was still surprised when chart-topping, internet-breaking Beyoncé sought the same validation from Winfrey after an interview.
"When I got to Beyoncé, I said, 'Girrrrrrl, you're Beyoncé," Winfrey joked.
She told the story during the panel for "Released," which documents the lives of former inmates during the critical first few months after being released from prison, because she feels that like her interview guests these former inmates want their stories to be heard.
"Released" premieres Saturday, September 30 at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.
Watch the full Tribeca TV panel for "Released" below:
The INSIDER Summary:
At the Emmys earlier this month, Elisabeth Moss hid a secret message in her outfit that a lot of people missed.
That's because it was at the bottom of her shoe.
Her right shoe had the word "off" scrawled on the bottom. Moss's stylist, Karla Welch, shared a picture of it on Instagram.
The other shoe likely said "red." Together, they read "Offred," a reference to Moss's character's name in "The Handmaid's Tale."
In the show — which won the Emmy for best drama, as well as best actress for Moss — Moss plays a "handmaid" in a patriarchal totalitarian society. Handmaidens are named after the men they're subservient to. So "Offred" means "Of Fred," the man in charge of her.
By putting that name on the bottom of her shoe, she's literally stepping on the patriarchy.
Since Friday, President Trump has made a series of controversial comments regarding the NFL players who have knelt during the national anthem before games.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b---- off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired!'" Trump said at an Alabama rally on Friday, referencing the kneeling movement that former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick started as a protest of police brutality and injustice against African Americans.
Following a chorus of NFL owners, athletes, and celebrities condemning Trump's comments over the weekend, "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver made Trump's NFL clash a main focus of his show on Sunday.
"The President of the United States took time out — while, it is worth noting, over three million American citizens in Puerto Rico are without power — to call Colin Kaepernick a son of a b----," Oliver said.
Trump has continued his attacks on the NFL players into Monday morning, after more than 200 players kneeled in games on Sunday. Numerous other players locked arms in solidarity against Trump, though Trump claimed in a tweet that the arm locking was done in "great solidarity for our National Anthem and for our Country"
"Even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denounced the president's comments,” Oliver said on his show. "And when you have lost the moral f---ing high ground to Roger Goodell, something is horribly wrong."
Watch the episode on HBO Go.
As President Trump made a series of controversial comments against the hundreds of NFL players who knelt during the national anthem in games over the weekend, NBC's broadcast of "Sunday Night Football" saw a significant drop in ratings compared to its week three game in 2016.
The "Sunday Night Football" match-up between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins was down around 12.9% compared to last year's game in the same week, according to Reuters.
For contrast, CBS' Sunday games, as a whole, saw a slight uptick in viewership compared to last year, while Fox's afternoon game was down 16%.
The "Sunday Night Football" ratings drop comes in the wake of Trump's comments, starting at an Alabama rally on Friday, where he sparked controversy by saying that players who knelt in protest of the national anthem should be "fired."
Numerous NFL team owners spoke out against Trump's comments over the weekend. Meanwhile, more than 200 players knelt in protest during week three games, following in the path of a movement started by the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who protested police brutality and racial injustice against African Americans.
In turn, Trump tweeted about the NFL's ratings woes amid his clash with the league, writing, "Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!"
The NFL has been suffering from repeated year-over-year declines in TV ratings. In the first week of this season, the league saw a 12% drop in ratings, which was followed by a 15% one in week two, according to Nielsen.
NFL ratings were down an average of 8% over the course of last season.
Last season, the most prominent explanation the league gave for the drop was "unprecedented interest in the presidential election." While ratings did improve slightly after the election, this explanation is only one in a series of excuses that experts have given for the league's bad ratings, which have continued since.
If us plebeians don’t always get the time to stay abreast of the latest TV, how do you think Neil deGrasse Tyson does it?
The astrophysicist finally caught up with “Game of Thrones” over the weekend (or he was waiting for everyone else to do it), and the Lord of Light has blessed us with some fascinating observations about the show’s scientific accuracy.
Tyson unleashed a string of tweets elucidating the show’s realism, including an assessment of dragon wingspans, the temperature of their fiery breath, and the best way to pull a zombie dragon out of a freezing lake.
“Everybody all caught up on ‘Game Of Thrones’? I have a comment or two, if anybody is interested,” Tyson began. One thing the show definitely gets right, which Tyson dubbed “good biology,” is the dragons’ wingspan: “The dragon wingspans are sensibly large, as their body weight would require for flight,” he wrote. Tyson also approves of the fact that they don’t have arms, as other fantasy dragons have int he past (he also approves of “Lord of the Rings” in this respect). “Dragons forfeited their forelimbs to make wings, like birds & bats.”
He took issue with the way the White Walkers pulled Viserion out of the water after he had been turned into a zombie. “Pulling a dragon out of a lake? Chains need to be straight, and not curve over hill and dale,” he wrote.
Maybe he’s gunning for a scientific consultant gig for season 8.
Read the tweets below:
A few hours later, Tyson found a profound parallel between “Game of Thrones” and the NFL players kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick and Black Lives Matter:
In the #GameOfThrones Universe, to "bend the knee" represents the very highest form of respect and loyalty.— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) September 25, 2017
Warning: Spoilers ahead if you didn't watch the two-episode premiere of "Star Trek: Discovery."
"Star Trek: Discovery" premiered Sunday on both CBS and its streaming service, CBS All Access — which will be the headquarters for the new chapter of the legendary space franchise going forward.
"Discovery" takes place in the decade before the original '60s "Star Trek" series. The premiere episode begins with the crew of the USS Shenzhou, a starship captained by "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" star Michelle Yeoh's Philippa Georgiou and whose second-in-command is "Walking Dead" actress Sonequa Martin-Green's Michael Burnham.
While on a mission to repair a communications satellite, they have a rare face-off with Klingons. The battle that ensues over the first two episodes sets up the first Klingon-United Federation of Planets war in 100 years of living peaceably with the battle-prone aliens.
In the heat of battle, Michael believes she's saving the crew and her captain by acting on her knowledge of Klingon battle culture and attempting to fire first on the alien ship. In the end, the ship is destroyed, both sides have taken on thousands of casualties, the war is on, and Michael is sentenced to life imprisonment for mutiny.
Why should you care: Duh, it's "Star Trek" and you're paying extra money for it.
The movies are great and all, but those of us OG "Star Trek" fans have been thirsty for a new show for more than a decade. That alone is good enough reason to care. For those of you who are too young to know the space soapy amazingness of "Star Trek," then let these 13 episodes be your way in and then go back and watch the other offerings.
CBS decided to use the show as a way to lure people into their CBS All Access streaming membership — a plan that apparently worked, according to its press release.
What's hot: While we know so little about "Discovery," at least Sonequa Martin-Green is sticking around.
There are a lot of unknowns surrounding "Star Trek: Discovery." The first two episodes were part of the Bryan Fuller portion of the show's early life. For creative reasons, the man behind "Hannibal,""American Gods," and "Heroes" bailed. So we're totally in the dark as to what the show will be like with its third episode and on.
Thankfully, we do know Martin-Green is the show's star. She'll continue on to the new USS Discovery. Martin-Green was intense and interesting during the first two episodes. Her character was adopted by the Vulcan ambassador Sarek, who is also the biological father of Starfleet officer Spock. By the way, he's played by "True Blood" actor James Frain and he's perfect in the role. But with all that we don't know, we're excited to see that Martin-Green will be back.
What's not: See above about how much we don't know about the show still.
And did we mention that we have still not seen the USS Discovery or its captain, who's being played by "Harry Potter" actor Jason Isaacs? You know, he's the guy who played Lucious Malfoy!
"Star Trek" fans are willing to follow the shows into the dark unknown, like me and I'm already a CBS All Access subscriber. For those of you just getting into the franchise or dropping an extra $6 to $9 a month to watch the show on CBS All Access, you may want to wait for the reviews of next Sunday's third episode before deciding.
C ("B-" for the two-hour premiere, with points taken off for not introducing the USS Discovery yet)
ESPN's presentation of "Monday Night Football" will break with tradition and televise the national anthem tonight, ESPN confirmed to Business Insider.
The network's airing of the national anthem before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals comes amid a prominent protest movement of kneeling during the anthem, which saw more than 200 players participate on Sunday.
ESPN will also re-air the NFL's unity-promoting ad "Inside These Lines," which first aired during Super Bowl LI.
While The Wrap speculates that televising the anthem could capitalize on ratings intrigue in the wake of a national news story, "Monday Night Football" and NFL broadcasts at large have seen a big decline in ratings.
In week two, "Monday Night Football" ratings dropped 14%in live and same-day average viewers compared to the same week in 2016, according to UBS. Overall, the league saw a 12% drop in ratings in week one and a 15% drop in week two, according to Nielsen.
And the protest controversy sparked by Trump this weekend hasn't exactly been a ratings boon for all NFL games.
The "Sunday Night Football" match-up between the Oakland Raiders and Washington Redskins was down around 12.9% compared to last year's game in the same week, according to Reuters.
Warning: There are spoilers ahead for "Dancing With the Stars."
"Dancing With the Stars" sent home its first dancing couple of the season and some fans aren't happy.
"Shark Tank" star and real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran and dancer Keo Motsepe were the first to leave the competition show Monday night. It's a no-brainer the show sent home the right couple. Corcoran received the lowest score of the night premiere week wit a 14/30.
Though she improved week two (with a 17/30), it wasn't enough to keep the duo around when combined with votes.
While no one may be argue Corcoran leaving, fans were quick to call out "DWTS" for Motsepe's elimination. This is the fifth time since the South African dancer joined the show that he has been voted off the the first or second week of the competition. Motsepe has danced on the show six times since joining in season 19.
Many fans believe that's because of the dancing partners he has been given. Viewers were vocal on Twitter about Motsepe more or less getting the short straw each season when it came to dance partners and they're tired of it.
THIS. I love Val and Maks but they, along with Derek and Mark, always get the best ones. And Sasha, Keo, and Artem always get the old people— stella #TeamPaul (@stellavsss) September 26, 2017
Take a look at Motsepe's partners over the years and how quickly he has been eliminated each season of the "DWTS":
|Season||Dancing Partner||Week Eliminated||Partner's Age during competition|
n/a; Motsepe didn't compete. He was a backup dancer.
When you look at the 24 previous seasons, certain dancers regularly make it quite far. Cheryl Burke and Val Chmerkovskiy have each made it into the top three seven times. Derek Hough has made it nine times to the top spots. Yes, a lot of that is because they're talented dancers, but it also helps when they get some great partners.
Hopefully, Motsepe will be back next season and we'll get to see him on the dance floor longer.
"Dancing With the Stars" will be back on ABC Tuesday, September 26 at 8 p.m. where the remaining contestants will take on Latin Night.
Warning: There are spoilers ahead for the 11th season premiere of "The Big Bang Theory."
After months of waiting, "The Big Bang Theory" premiered on a new night with the answer to the question that's been on every fan's mind since the season 10 finale: Does Amy Farrah Fowler accept Sheldon's wedding proposal?
Viewers didn't have to wait long to find out if Shamy would take their relationship to the next level. Instead of stretching the answer over the course of an episode, Amy quickly responded yes off screen after Sheldon received an ill-timed phone call from Leonard and Penny which was shown in teasers for the new season.
Despite the somewhat clunky manner in which Amy said yes, fans were thrilled.
Hold the phone Amy just said Yes to Sheldon!!! I love #TheBigBangTheory been a fan since the beginning.. So silly..Characters so Rich— Linda Mannes Wildes (@LindaWildes) September 26, 2017
It only took like 10 years... Finally Sheldon and Amy are engaged #TheBigBangTheory— Eric Skinner (@ericollie_) September 26, 2017
Sheldon was inspired to propose to Amy after another woman, Dr. Ramona Nowitzki, resurfaced from years earlier and kissed Sheldon.
If fans were wondering whether or not Amy would learn about Nowitzki's attempt to sabotage Shamy's relationship, Sheldon broke the news in the midst of his proposal in the most oblivious Sheldon Cooper way possible.
After popping the question, Cooper received a call from Leonard and Penny asking where he wandered off to in a hurry. As Cooper explained his emergency trip to Princeton University to visit his girlfriend, he nonchalantly mentions that Dr. Nowitzki laid one on him.
"I came to Princeton to see Amy," Cooper tells Leonard and Penny over the phone as Amy looks on in the season premiere. "It's a funny story, actually. I was having lunch with Dr. Nowitzki and she kissed me."
While everyone's jaw drops, Cooper continues his story.
"In that moment, I realized that Amy was the only woman I ever wanted to kiss for the rest of my life so I came to New Jersey to ask her to marry me," says Cooper.
Instead of having a giant discussion about the real motive behind his proposal, everyone brushes it off, including Fowler, who's too swept up in the moment and ecstatic at the thought of becoming Mrs. Cooper.
But instead of celebrating an engagement that's been in the works for several seasons, the episode quickly pivoted to an even bigger surprise about Bernadette and Howard expecting a second child. The surprise announcement pretty much overshadowed what could have been an episode centered around the newly engaged couple.
Even more shocking was that Fowler was okay with Nowitzki kissing her boyfriend. When Fowler has the opportunity to confront Nowitzki at the end of the season premiere she simply hugs and thanks the shocked doctor instead of giving her a stern talking to for making moves on her boyfriend. Even Nowitzki appeared shocked.
While we're happy that Shamy is heading for the aisle, the premiere could have spent a bit more time exploring the couple's engagement, which has been a long time coming, and the events which led up to it.
The INSIDER Summary:
"Kevin Can Wait" returned for its second season with one very big change — a new female lead.
In June, Erinn Hayes, the actress who played the wife of Kevin James' character on the CBS sitcom, announced that she wouldn't be returning to the show. In August, CBS confirmed that her character would be killed off before the new season and would be handled after a time jump. Leah Remini, James' former "King of Queens" costar and guest on the first season of "Kevin Can Wait," would take her spot as a series regular.
So it was no surprise to fans when Hayes didn't appear during Monday's premiere, but fans were disappointed with how her character's death was handled.
@KevinCanWaitCBS very disappointed with the way they handled the transition of Donna Gable. Terrible and lazy writing.— Seth Duffey (@sethigmo) September 26, 2017
Horrible start to the season. @KevinCanWaitCBS BOOOOOOO. You just lost a fan.— SusieQ (@SusanDraffen) September 26, 2017
#KevinCanWait very disappointed they got rid of Donna... I thought that she made the show. Not watching the show anymore..— Becky Engle (@beckykeener47) September 26, 2017
The show spent very little time on the wife's death and didn't even feature an explanation.
The opening of the show featured Kevin getting his kids ready for school when he opens a postcard addressed to his dead wife.
"It’s from your mom’s gym," he says before reading the postcard aloud.
It reads: "Haven’t seen you. We miss you."
His response? "You know what? So do I."
Then his older daughter, played by Taylor Spreitler, says, "Okay, you know what? Give me that. I will call them right now. It's been over a year since she died. They shouldn’t still be sending this."
Kevin appreciates the thought but then tells her to keep it for a coupon.
The only other mention for Hayes' character comes at the end of the episode when the oldest daughter quickly gets married after trying to secure a green card for her British boyfriend.
"We’re just missing one thing," Kevin says during a speech.
"I know," his daughter responds. "I wish Mom was here, too."
And that's her goodbye. No questions were answered about what happened except for the brief acknowledgment that she had been dead for over a year.
The show could explain more as the season continues, but for now, it wasn't enough for many fans.
"Kevin Can Wait" airs on CBS on Mondays.
Chance the Rapper debuted a moving and intricate new song about, among other topics, fatherhood, the Flint water crisis, and "the American Dream" on Monday night's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert."
Backed by electric guitar playing from Daniel Caesar and a chorus of singers, Chance's untitled song began with a meditation on his two-year-old daughter and the price of fame, before moving on to a more weighty topic: systemic injustice.
"Y'all just keep clapping like Flint got clean water, and y'all don't got teen daughters and black friends and gay cousins," Chance rapped. "Y'all just don't say nothin' know that the day's comin'… Keep on tellin' us we makin' it up / The American Dream, may you never wake up."
In an eight-minute interview with Colbert after the performance, Chance discussed raising $2.2 million for the Chicago Public School system. He also noted his distaste for politics when Colbert pointed out the online petition, chano4mayor.com, that is encouraging Chance to run for mayor of Chicago.
"Politics doesn't make the same change that legislation makes," Chance said. "I try to keep my eyes focused on the things that affect us systemically, which is where the law is."
Watch the performance and interview below:
Warning: There are spoilers ahead for the season 11 premiere of "The Big Bang Theory."
"The Big Bang Theory" kicked off its 11th season with two big surprises. Not only did we find out whether or not Amy accepted Sheldon's wedding proposal (she said yes!), but we also learned that Bernadette and Howard are expecting their second child.
As Sheldon and Amy start breaking the good news to everyone, Bernadette learns early in the episode that she's pregnant with her second child.
Fans were caught off guard by the bombshell.
Omg I knew it!!! They are writing in her pregnancy in the show!!! #TheBigBangTheory— Elizabeth (@Lizzi3_Styles) September 26, 2017
The news was unexpected given that Bernadette recently gave birth to her first child on the hit CBS comedy. The baby surprise pretty much overshadowed the celebratory news of Amy and Sheldon's engagement.
If you're wondering why the writers added in another pregnancy for Melissa Rauch's character so quickly, it's because of the actress' real-life pregnancy. Rauch announced in July she'll be expecting her first child with husband and screenwriter Winston Beigel.
Rauch made the announcement on Glamour.com while reflecting on a previous miscarriage and her road to motherhood. The 37-year-old actress is due this fall.
New showrunner Steve Holland confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that producers decided to write Rauch's pregnancy into the show.
"It was like their pregnancy, it was never the plan. But when Melissa told us that she and her husband were expecting, we started talking about what we wanted to do in the show,"said Holland. "Our first thought was that Howard and Bernadette just had a baby and we can do the regular sitcom thing of having her sitting down a lot and putting things in her lap to hide her belly. Then we started talking about it and realized that it's really interesting that they wouldn't be expecting to get pregnant again so quickly and nobody in the audience would be expecting them to do so, either. It seemed like a really interesting story to tell."
It's not the first time an actress' pregnancy has appeared on a show. Jenna Fischer's pregnancy conveniently played out on "The Office."
Season 11 of "The Big Bang Theory" will air Mondays on CBS at 8 p.m. until November 2 before returning to its Thursday night time slot.