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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    jughead toni topaz riverdale

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for season two, episode 10 of "Riverdale," titled "The Blackboard Jungle."

    "Riverdale" finally returned after its winter hiatus with some more drama and threats in tow. 

    During Wednesday's episode of The CW drama, Southside High shuttered and merged with Riverdale High. This mixing of students wasn't easily accepted by everybody involved. Fans also finally got to meet Betty's long-lost brother, Chic.

    Throughout all of the drama, the show managed to squeeze in some fun comic and pop culture references. 

    INSIDER worked with Archie Comics to reveal six references you might have missed.

    Kevin is spotted reading a Clive Barker novel in the student lounge.

    Barker is a well-known horror writer. Some of his works have been adapted into horror films, including the "Hellraiser" and "Candyman" series.

    Other notable literary references on the episode include Cheryl saying "Dickensian" in reference to author Charles Dickens and Toni Topaz calling Jughead's writing "Lovecraftian" in reference to horror writer H.P. Lovecraft.



    Polly revealed the birth of her two twins and their unique names, one of which is a classic comic character.

    When Betty finds Polly packing up a box of things, she realizes Polly is no longer pregnant and has been keeping the twins' birth a secret. Betty asks if she can at least know the names. Polly says she named them Dagwood and Juniper.

    Whether this was on purpose or not, Dagwood is the name of a character from the "Blondie" comics. The strip has no relation to the Archie Comics, though. 

    As for Juniper, that's the name of a coniferous plant.



    Cheryl calls Veronica Eva Perón, a reference to the Argentine political leader.

    Perón was married to Argentine President Juan Perón and served as the Argentine First Lady until her death. She was also the subject of the musical "Evita."



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    tony goldwyn jimmy kimmel live

    • While appearing on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live," Tony Goldwyn, who plays Fitzgerald Grant on "Scandal," revealed that actors find out about their character getting killed off in a meeting with show creator Shonda Rhimes. 
    • When asked about the show's shocking moments, Goldwyn explained that the cast usually doesn't find out any information until they read the scripts together.
    • "'Scandal' table reads are famous, because it's like a huge party and we're all surprised just like the audience," he said.
    • However, in the case of a character death, the actor is warned prior to the table read.
    • "Shonda's a great boss, so if you're going to die, you have a private meeting with Shonda before," Goldwyn said.
    • Watch the video below.

     

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    SEE ALSO: The 29 most rewatchable movies ever made

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    NOW WATCH: Here's how the map of the United States has changed in 200 years


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    blindspot

    For some television shows, the time is running out (or already ran out).

    Cancellations aren't always simple. With today's shrinking live viewership, more than just TV ratings factor into whether a show survives to see another season.

    Networks are now looking at online, On Demand, and streaming viewership, awards appeal, social-media popularity, and even how the show performs with audiences, among many other things.

    Taking all of that into account, here are our predictions for the shows most in danger of being canceled.

    "Once Upon a Time" (ABC)

    It could have been a happy ending for "Once Upon a Time" had it quit while it was ahead. Instead, ABC decided to continue on after most of the fairy tale drama's stars left the show last season. Well, now "OUAT" is the lowest-rated show on the network. It's probably time to close the book on it.



    "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" (ABC)

    Each year, "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" survives poor ratings, lack of buzz, and overall story problems. But there's a stronger force that seems to keep it alive. Marvel and ABC are sister companies under Disney. That affords "SHIELD" a certain amount of protection.

    Its viewership has been low for years. But can ABC ignore that the superhero drama is the least-viewed returning show on the network this season? It's time to cut family ties.



    "Marvel's Inhumans"

    There were so many red flags here. First, ABC has an awful record with Marvel shows. And second, "Inhumans" was first envisioned as a movie but was then scrapped and turned into a TV series.

    The series about mutants trying to escape their dangerous planet was lambasted by critics for its soapy melodrama and poor quality characters, writing, and design. ABC hasn't officially canceled it, but things don't look good for "Inhumans." 



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Big Little Lies

    HBO has given us the gift of some of the greatest TV shows of all time — like "Curb Your Enthusiasm,""The Wire," and "Game of Thrones"— throughout its history of original programming.

    But HBO has also released a lot of prestige shows that critics love, but normal people don't. And the other way around.

    When audiences and critics agree, however, you know the show is definitely worth your time. This is especially relevant now that old shows are available to binge-watch on HBO Now or HBO Go.

    So which shows do both groups agree on? There's "Game of Thrones," of course, but there are also 28 more that make the cut.

    We ranked these universally beloved HBO shows according to their scores on Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates critic reviews and audience scores and assigns each show a score. We chose shows with a combined score average of over 80 percent, then ranked them by those averages (with audience score breaking any ties). 

    Here are all the HBO shows that critics and audiences agree on, according to their scores on Rotten Tomatoes:

    (Note: We left off animated, children's, documentary/reality, and foreign programming, as well as miniseries, with a few notable exceptions.)

    SEE ALSO: Amazon just canceled 3 shows at once: 'Jean-Claude Van Johnson,' 'One Mississippi,' and 'I Love Dick' — here are the others it has dropped

    29. "Big Love" (2006-11), five seasons

    Critic score: 85%

    Audience score: 77%

    Average: 81%

    "A very original, extremely well-acted and complexly written drama."— SFGate



    28. "The Young Pope" (2017), one-season miniseries

    Critic score: 78%

    Audience score: 85%

    Average: 81.5%

    "'The Young Pope' is TV's equivalent of a dorm-room poster of Bob Marley blowing smoke or the Lenny Bruce mugshot: a depleted symbol of a radical reaction to society that finally most clearly represents the status quo."— Collider



    27. "Vice Principals" (2016-2017), two seasons

    Critic score: 82%

    Audience score: 85%

    Average: 83.5%

    "The two leads remain horribly entertaining as small men with huge chips on their shoulders."— Entertainment Weekly



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    shannen doherty heathers reboot

    • Paramount Network released the red band trailer for the upcoming "Heathers" TV show reboot.
    • The show is based on the 1988 film, which starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.
    • The reboot includes Melanie Field, Brendan Scannell, and Jasmine Mathews as the Heathers. 
    • Shannen Doherty, who played Heather Duke in the cult classic film, makes an appearance in the trailer. 
    • "Heathers" premieres on Wednesday, March 7 at 10 p.m.
    • Watch the trailer below.

     

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    NOW WATCH: Here's how easy it is for the US president to launch a nuclear weapon


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    stranger things millie bobby brown

    • Millie Bobby Brown is one of the breakout stars of Netflix hit "Stranger Things."
    • Fans of the actress noticed that the star bears a resemblance to another big Hollywood actress.
    • People started posting side by sides of Brown alongside a young Natalie Portman.
    • Fans were taken aback by how much the two look alike.


    Just about everyone is likely to have a doppelgänger in the world, including celebrities. It's no secret that stars like Zooey Deschanel and Katy Perry or Isla Fisher and Amy Adams get mistaken for one another.

    Well, add another pair to the list. 

    Fans noticed that "Stranger Things" star Millie Bobby Brown looks an awful lot like a famous Oscar winner when she was just starting her acting career.

    Can you guess who?

    Millie Bobby Brown

    How about Natalie Portman?

    @FreddyAmazin put together several stills of the two actresses side by side and the resemblance is uncanny.

    Here are a few side-by-sides to see the two together in case you're not convinced.

    millie bobby brown natalie portman 2millie bobby brown natalie portman look alike

    Millie Bobby Brown loves her tiny glasses on the red carpet and they perfectly channel Portman's "Léon: the Professional" character from the 1994 movie.

    millie bobby brown natalie portman

    The discovery has brought fans to a standstill.

    Others thought they noticed a resemblance between the two.

    Some pointed out similarities between Brown's character in "Stranger Things" with Portman's character in "Léon: The Professional."

    Does this mean the "Stranger Things" star is destined to be the next Portman?

    One thing's clear. Fans want answers.

    Hey, Hollywood, can we get a movie with these two stat?

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist explains what everyone gets wrong about stretching


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    Tyrion Lannister Game of Thrones season 7 finale dragonpit

    • The final season of "Game of Thrones"will air in 2019.
    • Actor Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) says it's the perfect time for the series to end.
    • "Sometimes shows stay on a little too long, the jumping-the-shark thing," he told Variety.
    • The final season will only be six episodes long, though they could be feature-length.
    • Dinklage says they're about halfway through filming. 
    • "It's the final season, and it's a long one so we're taking our time," he said.

     

    "Game of Thrones" fans may be lamenting the coming series finale of HBO's hit show, but actor Peter Dinklage (who plays Tyrion Lannister), thinks the timing couldn't be better.

    "It's time," Dinklage said during a new interview with Variety. "Story-wise, not just for all our lives. It's the perfect time to end it. Sometimes shows stay on a little too long, the jumping-the-shark thing."

    The coming eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones" is scheduled to air sometime in 2019. Though the season will be the shortest yet (with only six episodes), each of the final episodes is reported to be longer than usual.

    Game of Thrones season seven Tyrion Daenerys Macall B. Polay   HBO (Photo 1) (1)

    According to Dinklage, filming for this final season — which began in October 2017 — is about halfway done. 

    "It's the final season, and it's a long one so we're taking our time," he told Variety.

    The extended production time combined with longer episodes is one major reason why fans have to wait so long for the coming season. For a full breakdown of why "Game of Thrones" is taking at least a year and half off between seasons, read our explainer here.

    While we start the long wait for season eight, read our list of 21 key predictions we have for the final episodes of "Game of Thrones" in the meantime.

    Watch Dinklage's interview with Variety below:

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    NOW WATCH: I tried the 7-minute workout for a month — here's what happened


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    jane fonda megyn kelly

    • Megyn Kelly responded Monday to Jane Fonda's continued criticism of Kelly over a question the host asked Fonda about her plastic surgery in September. 
    • In a monologue at the end of her "Today" show, Kelly used Fonda's controversial Vietnam War protest to argue that the actress "has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive."

     

    Megyn Kelly responded Monday to continued jabs from actress Jane Fonda over an interview Fonda gave on "Megyn Kelly Today" in September. 

    Kelly's interview with Fonda, 80, went viral after the actress responded negatively to Kelly's question about her plastic surgery. Fonda has repeatedly criticized Kelly for the interview since, and on Saturday told Variety that she would appear on "Megyn Kelly" again when Kelly "comes around and learns her stuff."

    "Now, a word on Jane Fonda, who appears to be fixated on an exchange I had with her months ago on this show," Kelly started a monologue at the end of her show on Monday morning. "When she first complained, I chose to say nothing. It's time to address the 'poor me' routine."

    Kelly justified her question by saying that Fonda was promoting a "film about aging," and that the actress had previously discussed her plastic surgery in TV appearances, which Kelly supported with several clips of Fonda's interviews. 

    Kelly then laid into Fonda over the actress' controversial Vietnam War protests, which, Kelly argued, negated Fonda's "moral indignation" over the plastic surgery question: 

    "This is a woman whose name is synonymous with outrage. Look at her treatment of military during the Vietnam War. Many of our veterans still call her 'Hanoi Jane,' thanks to her radio broadcast which attempted to shame American troops. She posed on an anti-aircraft gun used to shoot down our American pilots. She called our P.O.W.s hypocrites and liars and referred to their torture as 'understandable.' Even she had to apologize years later for that gun picture. But not for the rest of it. By the way she says she is not proud of America. So, the moral indignation is a little much. She put her plastic surgery out there. Honestly, she has no business lecturing anyone on what qualifies as offensive."

    Watch the segment below:

    SEE ALSO: Megyn Kelly asked Jane Fonda about her plastic surgery — and the actress wasn’t having it

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's how the map of the United States has changed in 200 years


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    Takeshi Kovacs Altered Carbon Netflix

    Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for Netflix's "Altered Carbon."

    Netflix has seemingly put a lot of effort into its new cyberpunk action series "Altered Carbon"— but the resulting show falls a bit flat. 

    Set in Bay City (aka San Francisco) in the year 2384, "Altered Carbon" imagines a future in which immortality can be achieved. Physical bodies, also called sleeves, are disposable. People's consciousness is stored in a device called a stack. But only the super-wealthy, called Meths, can afford true immortality. 

    An ex-soldier named Takeshi Kovacs — played primarily by Joel Kinnaman — has been put into a new sleeve after "sleeping" for 250 years. A Meth named Laurens Bancroft purchased his consciousness and revived Kovacs in order to solve Bancroft's own attempted-murder case. But of course, nothing is as simple as it appears.

    Why You Should Care

    "Altered Carbon" is based on the 2002 award-winning novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan. The TV adaptation was created by Laeta Kalogridis, a seasoned writer who helped craft James Cameron's record-breaking movie "Avatar."

    Kalogridis first optioned the rights to "Altered Carbon" 15 years ago, which means the show is a passion project with a long history. 

    Takeshi Kovacs Bay City Altered Carbon Netflix

    The first episode of "Altered Carbon" was directed by Miguel Sapochnik, whose name is familiar to any "Game of Thrones" superfan. Sapochnik directed three of the most critically-acclaimed episodes of "Game of Thrones," including season five's "Hardhome" and season six's "Battle of the Bastards" and "The Winds of Winter." He'll also be directing two of the coming final episodes.

    Though Netflix hasn't confirmed the reported extravagant production cost behind "Altered Carbon," the first 10 episodes are said to make up one of the most expensive premiere seasons in television history.

    altered carbon

    What's Hot

    If you're looking for intense, bloody action sequences with solid fight choreography, "Altered Carbon" delivers. The world building is intriguing, with clear nods to recognizable landmarks (like San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge — only it's been transformed into a slum while cars fly overhead). 

    The exploration of technology is compelling, too, including the horrifying prospect of virtual reality used for torture. "Altered Carbon" also confronts the way religion would clash with growing digital capabilities and "immortality" by having Neo-Cs (neo-Catholics) opposed to transferring their consciousness into a new body. 

    Poe Ravenwood hotel Altered Carbon Netflix

    The show also features the novel concept of an artificial intelligence (AI) hotel called Ravenwood. The hotel and it's digitized host Poe, is one of the stand-out side characters. Poe provides comic relief and another interesting tangential exploration of how an AI program would adapt to the world once it becomes self-aware.

    People will recognize the lead actor, Joel Kinnaman, from another Netflix series — "House of Cards." As he did in his role as the young Republican opponent to Frank Underwood, Kinnaman excels at being a tense, angry, about-to-explode man. 

    What's Not

    The show kicks off with a nudity filled pilot and only gets more sexy from there. There's a hollowness and complete lack of subtlety in the portrayal of sex and technological advances in porn and prostitution.

    The instances of violence against women or the trope of a rich man's lusty, adulterous wife falls flat at a time in our culture when women are demanding better from Hollywood.

    Bancroft's wife Altered Carbon Netflix

    Though "Altered Carbon" gives full-frontal nudity scenes to both women and men, the treatment of sex feels ham-fisted and shallow — especially when it comes to women. 

    The pace picks up by episode four, when "Altered Carbon” stops trying to impress with nudity and the self-flagellating hero and instead begins providing more backstory for Kovacs.

    The expository noir-style narration by Kovacs gets a bit tired and never hits the emotional depths it wants you to.
    You'll pick up on the invented bureaucratic lingo eventually, though watching with captions is probably best if you haven't read the book.

    Takeshi Kovacs flashback Altered Carbon Netflix

    The Bottom Line

    If you're into cyberpunk or dystopian movies like "Blade Runner" and "The Matrix," then "Altered Carbon" is worth a shot. But if you're not sold within the first four episodes, it's probably time to bail. 

    Like showrunner Kalogridis' co-written script of "Avatar,""Altered Carbon" is an unsubtle and trope-filled examination of what could happen when humanity takes technological advances too far. But also like "Avatar," the visuals and cast make the medicine go down easier. 

    Grade: B-

    Watch the official trailer for "Altered Carbon" below:

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    NOW WATCH: Here's how the map of the United States has changed in 200 years


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    weediquette viceland

    • Rogers Communications ended a $100 million joint venture with Vice Media for its cable channel, Viceland Canada, on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 
    • Viceland Canada reportedly had substantial revenue loss and low ratings.

     

    Canadian media giant Rogers Communications is set to pull Vice Media's Canadian cable channel, Viceland Canada, off the air.

    On Monday, Rogers terminated the $100 million joint venture it signed with the Montreal-founded media company (now based in New York) in 2014. The problem: low ratings and substantial revenue loss, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    According to THR, Viceland Canada suffered a $2.49 million pre-tax loss in 2016, the last fiscal year measured. The channel's overall revenue fell 14.1 percent from the $6.36 million it posted in 2015. 

    Viceland Canada will go off the air with Rogers on March 31. A Vice spokesman told Business Insider that the company's Toronto production studio will remain open moving forward, and that the company is in talks to keep Viceland Canada on air after March 31 (though he didn't specify a particular partner to take the place of Rogers).

    "In this crowded content universe and as audience habits change, we continue to evolve our strategy to deliver unique content to Canadians," Rogers Communications said in a statement to THR on Monday. Rogers signed its $100 million pact with Viceland Canada in 2014 as a three-year deal for production and distribution.

    Moving forward, Viceland's content — including programs like the talk show "Desus & Mero" and the marijuana docu-series "Weediquette"— will reportedly be available to Canadians on Vice.com. 

    Vice Canada president Ryan Archibald said in a statement on Monday that the company will keep "continue to grow in Canada in 2018" despite the end of its deal with Rogers:

    "We have a lot of opportunity ahead of us and will be announcing some new exciting partnerships soon. As we build VICE into the preeminent home for today's most impactful storytellers and bring those stories to viewers across the world though digital, mobile, and our award-winning studio, keeping VICELAND alive as a showcase of the content and people that shape our culture is a priority for us. Rogers Media's initial investment helped to establish our studio as a leading producer of some of the most engaging Canadian content out there and we thank them for their partnership." 

    Viceland has also suffered low ratings in the US — considerably lower than H2, the History channel branch Viceland replaced in 2015.

    The cancellation of Viceland Canada comes in the wake of a New York Times report last month that reported a history of allegations of and settlements over sexual misconduct in the company.

    Vice Media suspended its president, Andrew Creighton, and chief digital officer, Mike Germano, after the report. On Monday, Vice announced that it was investigating new claims of sexual misconduct made by a former Vice  reporter, Billie JD Porter. 

    In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Vice Media was expected to miss its 2017 revenue target of $800 million. The company was last valued at $5.7 billion after the private-equity firm TPG invested $450 million in Vice in June.

    Vice Media has received big investments from Disney, Hearst, and A+E Networks.

    Correction: A previous version of this story said that Viceland Canada's Toronto studio would reportedly be closing as a result of the termination of its deal with Rogers. The studio is staying open, according to a Vice spokesman. 

    SEE ALSO: 19 Netflix original shows that both critics and audiences agree are amazing

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    NOW WATCH: Here's what losing weight does to your body and brain


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    roseanne conner

    If a bunch of the new shows coming to TV this year sound familiar, there’s probably a reason why. You’ve seen them before in some way, shape, or form.

    Television reboots and revivals didn't stop with "Will & Grace,""Prison Break," and "24." We're just getting started. From beloved family comedies to spin-offs of popular movies, there are more than a dozen shows getting new life on cable networks and streaming services this year, with even more in development.

    So kick it back to the '90s and early aughts. Keep reading to see all of the reboots, revivals, and spin-offs you can expect to see throughout the year. 

    1. "Grown-ish"

    Premiere date: January 3, 2018

    Spin-off of: ABC's "Black-ish"

    What it's about: The show follows the Johnson's oldest daughter, Zoey (Yara Shahidi) as she goes off to college. The series has been renewed for a 20-episode second season.



    2. "Black Lightning"

    Premiere date: January 16, 2018 at 9 p.m. on The CW.

    Spin-off of: "Black Lightning" is an expansion of The CW's Arrowverse superhero franchise which started with 2012's "Arrow."

    What it's about: Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) comes out of retirement to become the masked vigilante Black Lightning who is able to control electricity. 



    3. "Strike Back"

    Premiere date: February 2, 2018 on Cinemax.

    Revival of: "Strike Back."After ending its fifth season in 2015, Cinemax and Sky1 revived the series for a sixth season. It debuted in the UK October 2017.

    What it's about: The 10-part series focuses on a group tracking down a terrorist after a prison break.

    You can watch the trailer here.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams Game of Thrones season seven premiere


     

    "Game of Thrones" star Sophie Turner is engaged to pop singer Joe Jonas, and while details of their pending nuptials are scarce, we at least know one member of the bridal party. Turner's co-star and BFF Maisie Williams will be a bridesmaid in the coming wedding.

    As first spotted by BuzzFeed, Williams said she's already been asked by Turner to be a part of her bridal party.

    "I've already got it. Oh yeah," Williams said when Radio Times asked if she was bidding for a role as bridesmaid. "It's very very exciting. It's kind of bizarre though."

    Watch Williams' interview with Radio Times below:

    Radio Times asked Williams if they were in "planning stage" yet for the wedding.

    "We're waiting until this season is done until we get into any of that," Williams said. "But I think she's already letting her little heart wander and imagine."

    Williams and Turner are currently about halfway through filming for the eighth and final season of "Game of Thrones."

    The pair have been close friends ever since they were young girls on the set of HBO's hit series. Best known for playing the sisters Sansa and Arya Stark, Turner and Williams have since branched out to new franchises — including the "X-Men" movie series.

    Turner now plays Jean Grey in the franchise, while Williams will appear in the upcoming horror movie "The New Mutants."

    jean grey cyclops

    When INSIDER spoke with Turner ahead of the "Game of Thrones" season seven premiere, she called Williams her "soul mate."

    "She's my best friend," Turner said. "She's my soul mate. I love that girl to pieces."

    Now in addition to seeing the BFFs on screen for "Game of Thrones" season eight, fans can look forward to some epic wedding photos in 2019 or later. The #Mophie friendship is truly the best. 

    there were never such devoted sisters

    A post shared by Maisie Williams (@maisie_williams) on Jan 8, 2017 at 8:01am PST on

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    NOW WATCH: An exercise scientist reveals the exercise regime that will burn the most fat


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    Jimmy Kimmel Oscars

    • The 2018 Oscar nominations will be announced Tuesday, January 23, at 8:22 a.m. EST.
    • "Girls Trip" actress Tiffany Haddish and "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" star Andy Serkis will be hosting the nomination announcement.
    • Priyanka Chopra, Rosario Dawson, Gal Gadot, Salma Hayek, Michelle Rodriguez, Zoe Saldana, Molly Shannon, Rebel Wilson, and Michelle Yeoh will also appear.
    • Oscar-watchers, expect the front-runners for this year's awards are "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,""The Shape of Water,""Get Out," and "Lady Bird."
    • The winners will be announced throughout the 90th Academy Awards ceremony. It'll be held at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, on ABC and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
    • Watch the nomination live stream below.

     

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    friends nbc

    • I cannot stand the TV show "Friends." 
    • I don't understand why it's so beloved. 
    • It had problematic storylines and featured LGBT people as punchlines.
    • There are tons of nostalgic shows more worth your time. 


    As soon as I see that awful, '90s-style leather couch and the fountain, I know the torture has officially begun.

    I attempt to block the beginnings of the guitar licks from entering my ears, but politeness takes hold. Indeed, no one told me life was gonna be this way.

    "Come on, I think you'll really like it!" my well-meaning friends said once again. "It's a classic. I'm really hoping they do a reboot!"

    As much as I like having friends, I absolutely hate watching the TV show "Friends."

    Yes, I know that it spawned the most infamous haircut of the late 20th century. And yeah, I'm aware that "Friends" catapulted Jennifer Aniston to fame. And of course, you believe "Friends" is an American classic.

    Newsflash: just because something is iconic or legendary enough to be considered a classic doesn't mean that it's actually good. And it certainly doesn't mean that it needs to be revived from the dead. In fact, it might actually simply mean that we've so romanticized something that's otherwise mediocre that we've given it even more life and credit than it truly deserves. Matthew Perry agrees.

    First and foremost, here's my number one issue with "Friends."

    Friends thanksgiving

    It should just be called "White Friends."

    The six people we're supposed to be rooting for at the center of this nightmare are Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Joey, and Phoebe. For the record, you could tell me that any of those men are named any of those names and I'd believe you; they are even more interchangeable and nondescript than Hollywood's 900 white "hunks" named Chris.

    To quote the theme song, will they really be there for you? I refuse to trust them.

    "Friends" is so white that there's an amazing (albeit very short) YouTube rap video dedicated to discussing the few black actors with speaking roles in the series. Keep in mind that this YouTube video is under four minutes long, but "Friends" aired for over a decade.

    During those 10 years of my personal hell, few storylines revolved around non-white people. Those that did were often purposeful, including Aisha Tyler's oft-forgotten guest role on the series under the directorship of Sheldon Epps, a black man. According to the Washington Post, this was a part of a conscious effort.

    Gabrielle Union took on a guest role in the episode "The One With The Cheap Wedding Dress" which she later described in her memoir, "We're Going to Need More Wine."

    Union said she had positive experiences with the cast, but dealing with the director of the episode was much less pleasant.

    "The director was a regular, he did a lot of episodes," Union wrote. "He went over the scene with David Schwimmer, Matt Perry, and the extras. Then he turned to me and his tone completely changed."

    friends carry through threshold

    Union went on to describe the director talking to her in a "condescending" tone, one that she said was "telling." Though Union said she didn't bother calling out the director of the episode, who IMDb lists as Kevin Bright but Union chose not to name in her book, she did write, "I thought, No wonder you don't have black talent on this show."

    When the people behind the scenes aren't able to direct, collaborate, or create in a way that values diversity, it shows through.

    This is also the case when it comes to the writers' room.

    "Living Single" fans noticed more than a few unsettling coincidences in the storylines and subjects of the two shows, to the point that accusations of possible copying have become commonplace.

    Bossip reported on Queen Latifah's own confession about how "Friends" unsettlingly white-washed and appropriated the storyline of "Living Single."

    living single

    "When 'Living Single' came out, shortly thereafter Warren Littlefield, who was then the president of NBC, they asked him if he could have any show on television, any of the new shows, which one would it be," Latifah said. "And he said 'Living Single' and it was in the newspaper. Next thing you know, here comes 'Friends,' which was an amazing show."

    Jay-Z later expressed a similar sentiment with the help of his music video for the song  "Moonlight." He used an all-black cast, including breakout star Tiffany Haddish, to make a strong statement about Hollywood's systematic white-washing of urban spaces, including New York City, and to recreate "Friends" in a much more diverse way.

    If there is one way that "Friends" tried to dip its toe into the water of diversity, it's in regards to LGBT issues.

    Unfortunately, the toe-dipping didn't evolve into a whole fountain dancing sequence, but instead, became a puddle of muddled, uncomfortable storylines and misfires masquerading as jokes. Cue the laugh track.

    Chandler's father's role on the show is particularly troubling. As Cosmopolitan pointed out, his father is called a drag queen and gay but was later said to be transgender. At one point, Chandler's mother, who is divorced from his father, suggestively jokes about whether or not her ex-husband is able to fit into a dress due to his genitals, which are also the source of speculation throughout the show.

    friends nbc

    Chandler himself is the subject of gay jokes at many points in the series. "Homophobic Friends," a YouTube documentary project, pointed out each of the instances of microaggressive or overtly homophobic jokes used with the help of a laugh track.

    GLAAD later bestowed awards and accolades onto the show for its depictions of LGBTQ people, including Ross' ex-wife and her partner, whose wedding was considered controversial at the time.

    Since then, we've learned and grown. These things are no longer funny, so why should we laugh at them as though we don't know better now? We also shouldn't be forced to say "oh, it was the '90s!" as some sort of  excuse for problematic behavior.

    In the end, the show is about six white, straight people. And to top it all off, to make it even less relatable, they're six straight, white, rich people.

    The building from the show is the site of a ton of tourist attention and any New Yorker will know just by looking at it that rent in the area could not have come cheap. It's a show that masquerades as relatable, aspirational even, all while these people live in apartments that they could either not afford in real life or that they could afford only if they were making some serious cash.

    All in all, "Friends" represents the uninformed privilege of the '90s and therefore that is the era in which it should stay, its mark on history being that it was a fantastically mediocre show that inspired a wave of undue popularity and major paydays.

    If you're feeling nostalgic and hoping to catch up on something with those same vibes, there are a myriad of options from the aforementioned era, all of which can be easily viewed online and will not feel as yikes in present times.

    Here's what you should watch instead. 

    The previously discussed "Living Single," for example, is available for purchase on Amazon Video or iTunes and is a very similar concept to "Friends" but exponentially better, including being more diverse and realistic.

    "My So-Called Life" is a heavily-lauded cult classic from that same era. It follows a teenage Angela Chase as she takes on high school and the heavy issues that come with it, including drugs, sex, homophobia, censorship, and infidelity. Despite its heaviness, the show also manages to be hopeful, humorous, and heartwarming. "My So-Called Life" is available on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Video, Vudu, YouTube, and Google Play.

    my so called life abc

    A classic, "The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" is a hilarious story about a sort of rags-to-riches come up for one young man born and raised in West Philadelphia. Yes, you can finish that whole sentence by just singing the theme song. "Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air" isn't available on the usual streaming services, but it's on YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Video, and Vudu.

    Looks like you've got some binge-watching to do. Invite some friends over and hopefully, they'll be hooked. No leather couches or fountains required.

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    Watching TV

    • Netflix posted earnings that blew past Wall Street expectations, sending its stock skyrocketing.
    • The company is continuing to invest heavily in new content, which in turn helps to keep driving subscriptions.


    Netflix once again blew past Wall Street’s expectations on Monday, posting subscriber growth that trumped analysts' expectations.

    The streaming giant added a total of 8.34 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2017 — 2 million more than Wall Street was expecting, including a surprise increase in domestic consumers 34% higher than predicted.

    “It was five years ago when we said we thought the market in the U.S. would be somewhere between 60 million and 90 million,” CEO Reed Hastings said on the company’s earnings call Monday. "We're still only at 55 million."

    Morgan Stanley analyst Ben Swinburne estimated this month that Netflix's current subscriber base is roughly equal to half of all US homes — a proportion that will only continue to grow

    Hastings attributes the enduring subscriber growth to word-of-mouth sharing as more customers rave about Netflix’s blockbuster originals. Of course, a marketing budget akin to that of a major Hollywood movie studio probably doesn’t hurt either.

    “'Grace and Frankie' launched its new season this week, which clearly reaches an older demographic, but it keeps getting broader and bigger every year, meaning that it's even though it was intended for a specific older demographic, young people love it as well,” he said on the call. “They're discovering it through word-of-mouth from a lot of new sources. So, I think back when we talked about that market size back then, that's a very fluid market in terms of what demographics of people are watching content on the Internet.”

    Netflix is sticking to its planned $8 billion investment in original content, coupled with a high-profile price hike, both of which are being praised by Wall Street.

    “The Netflix 'flywheel' is working brilliantly,” Bernstein analyst Todd Juenger said in a note to clients Tuesday after the earnings report. “Having the most subs means you can invest the most in content, which (if done well) gets more subs, which funds more content, leading to a company that will be massively bigger (especially internationally) and more profitable in the future than what the market is pricing in today.”

    Juenger has raised his price target for Netflix to $302 — 22% above the record high $248 where shares opened Tuesday. Wall Street’s average target is $257, according to Bloomberg.

    “Q4 proved (at least to us, and seemingly to Netflix management  as well), that Netflix can successfully take that formula and kick it up a notch,“ Juenger said.

    Netflix stock price earnings

    SEE ALSO: Netflix set to open at record high after earnings beat

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    everything sucks

    • Netflix's content boss, Ted Sarandos, singled out "Everything Sucks!" as a Netflix original series that "people should keep an eye" in an earnings call Monday.
    • The 90s-set, coming-of-age comedy series premieres February 16 on Netflix.
    • Watch the first trailer for the series below.

     

    In an earnings call Monday, Netflix's head of content Ted Sarandos listed a few upcoming Netflix originals that audiences should look forward to, including the big-budget, sci-fi series "Altered Carbon," and the comedy series "Everything Sucks!"

    Sarandos singled out "Everything Sucks!" as a "sleeper hit that people should keep an eye on."

    everything sucks"Everything Sucks!" is a coming-of-age comedy series that "follows two groups of high school misfits," an A/V club and a drama club, "who collide in 1996 Oregon," according to Netflix's description of the show. 

    Variety says the show's plot centers on two friends who "join forces to make a movie."

    "Everything Sucks!" premieres February 16 on Netflix. 

    Netflix released the first trailer for the series last week (which you can find below), and it features a "Pop-Up Video"-themed view of a classroom, filled with 90s-related nostalgia and humor.

    The series is led by the up-and-coming teen actors Peyton Kennedy and Jahi Winston. 

    SEE ALSO: Critics are in love with a new Netflix show that its CEO calls the 'most engaging addictive original' in a long time

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    undeserved oscar noms

    Oscars are supposed to reward quality. But the Academy of Arts and Sciences — which gives out the awards — gets it wrong all the time.

    Remember when "Crash" won best picture in 2005? Or when "Suicide Squad" won an Oscar (for best makeup and hairstyling) just last year? Oscar history is filled with poor choices and outrageous omissions.

    This year is no different, with a handful of baffling nominations. You can root against them at this year's Oscar ceremony, at 6:30 p.m. EST on March 4 on ABC.

    Here are 13 Oscar nominations that should have never happened.

    SEE ALSO: Here's the complete list of the 2018 Oscar nominations

    We should calm down about Christopher Plummer.

    It's astonishing that he replaced Kevin Spacey in "All the Money in the World" in just 10 days, and director Ridley Scott still delivered a finished film by its release date. But the Golden Globe and Oscar nominations are pretty silly. I love Plummer, but Michael Stuhlbarg or Armie Hammer in "Call Me By Your Name" both delivered beautiful work and could have been recognized here.



    "Beauty and the Beast" had the most production design, but not the best.

    Disney's live-action "Beauty and the Beast" adaptation starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens sure looked expensive. The designers for the movie were mostly interested in making the set from the animated movie look as ultra-realist as possible. The result was maximalist and lush, but not very original.

    A better choice might have been "The Florida Project." The movie was made on a microscopic budget and set at a run-down motel outside of Disney World. It's an essential part of the movie's character.



    Margot Robbie's nomination for "I, Tonya" was unnecessary.

    Robbie gave a solid performance as Tonya Harding. But as the movie careens towards its tragic end, it pulls away from her and doesn't give her character any kind of satisfying emotional closure.

    And though Jennifer Lawrence has arguably been over-rewarded by the Academy already with mid-tier work like "Joy,"her acting in "mother!" anchored an outlandish, out-of-control movie. She should be recognized for it.



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    mudbound

    • Netflix netted eight Oscar nominations on Monday, surpassing its total haul from all previous years. 
    • RBC analyst Mark Mahaney spoke to Business Insider about how Oscar hauls will help Netflix, but "may not be critical" for its success moving forward. 

     

    Netflix grabbed a record eight Oscar nominations on Monday, signaling that the streaming service's film business has started to overcome what some critics have called an "anti-Netflix bias" in Hollywood and among Oscar voters. 

    Netflix's critically acclaimed original drama "Mudbound" earned four nominations for the company, including nods for best supporting actress (Mary J. Blige) and best adapted screenplay (writer-director Dee Rees). The streaming service also earned three nominations for its documentaries "Icarus,""Strong Island," and "Heroin(e)," and one nod for the foreign language film "On Body and Soul."

    In previous years, Netflix earned a total of seven Oscar nominations, dating back to its first nod for the 2014 documentary "The Square." Last year, Netflix grabbed three nominations for documentaries and won its first-ever Oscar for the documentary short "The White Helmets."

    Netflix makes a big push into film

    But the Academy has taken a while to warm up to the streaming service.

    In 2016, critics cited the Oscars' snub of Netflix's critically acclaimed drama "Beasts of No Nation" as evidence that the industry was "turned off" by Netflix's business model, which debuts films on the streaming service simultaneously with theatrical releases.

    "Dunkirk" director Christopher Nolan, for instance, called Netflix's film strategy "mindless" last year, while praising Amazon Studios for instituting a 90-day theatrical release window for films that it will later stream. 

    Netflix's notable success with "Mudbound," however — its first non-documentary feature to earn an Oscar nod — comes amid a huge push for the company into the realm of original film. The streaming service has said it plans to release more than 80 original movies over the course of 2018.

    But what do critical acclaim and awards season recognition really mean for the success of Netflix's original content moving forward?

    RBC analyst Mark Mahaney spoke to Business Insider about how the streaming service will likely continue to prioritize audience numbers over critical acclaim as its barometer of success. 

    bright

    Critical success "may not be critical" 

    Mahaney pointed to the commercial success of Netflix's critically panned, Will Smith-led original movie "Bright" as an example of how critical reception may not mean too much to Netflix. 

    "Positive critical reviews and things like Oscar hauls I think are very helpful for the company," Mahaney said. "But I'm just struck by the fact that critical reviews may not be as critical as the market, and the evidence of that is the commercial success of 'Bright,' at least according to the company, versus the fact that it got relatively low ratings from the critics."

    "Bright," a buddy-cop fantasy film, received a 26% "Rotten" rating from critics on the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes after its December 22 premiere. By contrast, the film's audience score on the site sits at an impressive 86% —  a figure that Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently cited to suggest that critics of "Bright" were "pretty disconnected from the mass appeal."

    Mahaney went on to predict that, despite Netflix's increased output of original films and the relative commercial success of "Bright," the streaming service will tend to prioritize original TV content over original movies.

    "My guess is that they still spend more money on TV series versus film, because I think streaming lends itself so well to TV series," Mahaney said. "With TV series, it involves continuous watching, but over a period of time, and you can binge or not. But with film, there's just a two-hour installment, and that's it for a year or two. So it doesn't lend itself to some of the ease of use of streaming."

    SEE ALSO: BARCLAYS: Google search data has a 'very high correlation' with Netflix's US subscriber growth

    SEE ALSO: 19 Netflix original shows that both critics and audiences agree are amazing

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    Joel Taylor Storm Chasers Discovery Channel

    • Thirty-eight-year-old Joel Taylor, star of Discovery's "Storm Chasers" documentary, has died.
    • The cause of death is unknown.
    • Reports say "it is not expected that his tragic passing was related to storm chasing."
    • His friends and "Storm Chaser" stars took to Twitter to share photos and condolences.

     

    Rest in peace, Joel Taylor. Friends confirmed via social media on January 23 that the former Discovery Channel documentary star is dead. There is little known about his cause of death, but he was just 38 years old.

    It is not expected that his tragic passing was related to storm chasing, according to People. Joel's former co-star, Reed Timmer, took to Twitter to share photos of himself and Joel, with a touching message.

    "RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor," he wrote. "I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I'll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend."

    Reed and Joel attended the University of Oklahoma together.

    Joel joined "Storm Chasers" in its seconds season in 2008, and was part of the show until its last season in 2011. He wrote his most recent Facebook post on January 15, gushing about his first niece being born, and showing no signs of anything being wrong with his health.

    Tributes began pouring in in the comments section of his posts, with fans expressing shock and sadness over the the unexpected death. Fellow storm chaser, Mike Olbinski, also took to Twitter with a sweet tribute, giving a more in-depth look at the type of person Joel is.

    "I was lucky enough to meet Joel a few years ago at Reed's wedding," Mike wrote. "He was so kind to me and we got to hang out for a bit during those few days. I snapped this photo of him and that just seemed like who he was. A huge smile. RIP Joel Taylor … you will be so missed."

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    wells adams sarah hyland

    • "Modern Family" star Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams, a rejected "Bachelorette" contestant and "Bachelor in Paradise" bartender, have been dating since 2017
    • The 27-year-old actress went on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and explained how the internet led to her dating the 33-year-old radio DJ.
    • "Have you seen those memes of, like, 'slide into the DMs?'" she asked host Jimmy Kimmel. "He slid into my DMs."
    • The two had tweeted at each other before, since she was a fan of the "Bachelor" franchise. 
    • She said his messages were "forward... and not aggressive, but fairly confident and sexy," so she liked it. 
    • The two bonded over drinks and tacos, and the rest is history. 
    • Watch the video below.

    Join the conversation about this story »

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