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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    Lee Sizemore and Maeve Westworld season two episode one HBO John P. Johnson

    Emmy nominations were announced Thursday morning and highlight some of the best shows on TV.

    From HBO hits like "Game of Thrones,""Barry," and "Westworld" to FX's "Atlanta" to Netflix's "Glow," a wide range of shows garnered nominations this year. 

    The 2018 Emmy Awards will air Monday, September 17 on NBC at 8 p.m. ET from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. "Saturday Night Live's""Weekend Update" stars Michael Che and Colin Jost will host.

    Here are the 2018 Emmy-nominated shows:

    "The Alienist" (TNT)

    Outstanding limited series



    "The Amazing Race" (CBS)

    Outstanding reality-competition 



    "The Americans" (FX)

    Outstanding drama series



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    stranger things 2 `

    We've been living in the age of Peak TV for years and there's more to watch than ever before.

    The Emmy Awards are supposed to represent the best that television has to offer, but that's not always the case. With more than 9100 submissions across 102 categories, Emmy voters had a lot to consider in 2018 and they definitely didn't get to watch it all.

    On Thursday, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced the 2018 nominees, and while they mostly got it right recognizing "The Americans,""Game of Thrones,""This Is Us," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," and "Atlanta," there are a few nominations that are throwing us for a loop.

    Here are the shows and stars that really haven't earned their place in the this year's Emmys race.

    "Stranger Things 2" (Netflix)

    The second season of the 80s-set Netflix series was fun to watch, but "Stranger Things 2" had a lot of problems, including annoying new characters and a bloated episode count that dragged the story on for far too long.

     



    "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO)

    HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" returned for its ninth season in 2017 and felt like a relic from another era after what amounted to a long six-year hiatus. Critics largely agreed that the show felt out of touch, tired, and dated in today's TV landscape. But Emmy voters seem to think otherwise having nominated the show and its creator, Larry David, for awards once again.

     



    "Westworld" (HBO)

    The first season of "Westworld" was fantastic and deserved to be celebrated as such, but season two was a downright mess. The HBO show became too complicated for its own good and viewers lost interest along the way. While many of the show's cast members picked up nominations that are deserved, the series' second season as a whole really shouldn't be lauded as good television.

     



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

    streaming4x3

    The Insider Pick:

    • A media streaming device can transform your so-called dumb TV into a smart one that plays shows and movies from Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, Prime Video, and other streaming services.

    • The best of the bunch is the Roku Ultra with its easy-to-use interface, 4K video streaming, voice control, and simple remote.

    • Amazon Prime Day 2018 will begin at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, July 16 and will run through Tuesday, July 17. Many of our picks may be on sale. Sign up for a 30-day free trial of Prime here to access the deals.

    The world is changing. Gone are the days when a cable subscription was necessary to watch all the latest and greatest TV shows. These days, the best TV shows are coming out on streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video. Of course, the best way to take advantage of services like Netflix is by streaming shows straight to your TV.

    There are plenty of streaming devices out there to help you connect the latest and greatest video streaming services to your TV, and they’re not all created equal. Before buying, you’ll want to consider a few different things.

    For starters, you’ll want to think about whether you want a fully-fledged streaming box, which comes complete with its own operating system and allows you to download and install apps. The alternative is a device like the Google Chromecast, which basically streams content from your phone or computer. With a streaming stick, instead of installing Netflix on your TV-connected device, you’ll install it on your phone or computer and then stream from your phone to the streaming stick, which is plugged into your TV's HDMI port.

    Next up you’ll want to keep in mind the specs of your TV. Not all streaming sticks and boxes are able to handle 4K content, so if you have a 4K TV, you’ll want to get one that can stream 4K videos. Last but not least, it might be worth considering the ecosystem you’re most plugged into. For example, Android users might be able to get more use from an Android TV device, while those using an iPhone and Mac might prefer the Apple TV.

    We've done the research to find the best streaming sticks and boxes to turn your dumb TV into a smart one that can access videos from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and more. 

    Here are our top picks for the best streaming sticks:

    Updated on 07/13/2018 by Malarie Gokey: Added notes on Amazon's other Fire TV options as well as Roku's lineup. Updated prices and formatting.

    Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

    SEE ALSO: The best HDTV indoor antennas you can buy

    The best streaming box overall

    Why you'll love it: The Roku Ultra streams in 4K and HDR, has voice search, comes with a remote control, and costs just $70.

    Roku's Ultra is more streaming box than most people need. It supports 4K video at 60 frames per second and HDR content for just $99. If you have a 4K TV, this is the streaming device you want. We tested it and were deeply impressed by the quality.

    Roku may not necessarily be linked to your Google or Apple account, but it can still connect to all the streaming services you enjoy. You’ll be able to install Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO Now, and more using Roku's operating system. Just connect the box to your TV via the HDMI port, and connect all your favorite streaming services to get started.

    As mentioned, the device also supports HDR, which basically means that it’ll show richer colors and better contrast, which is always a good thing for TV lovers. The device even supports 4K video at 60 frames per second, which is something most media streaming devices don’t currently support.

    Of course, to take advantage of that 4K content, you’ll need a decent connection. Thankfully the device can connect to your internet through Ethernet or over Wi-Fi.

    The Ultra also comes with a remote control so you can adjust the volume, turn on your TV, and search for content with your voice. 

    The Roku Ultra is perfect for most people with a 4K TV. And for $70, it's a steal. Expert reviewers give the Ultra high marks.

    Pros: 4K and HDR streaming, affordable, good remote, lots of apps, improved Wi-Fi connection, Ethernet, microSD port

    Cons: Pricey

    Buy the Roku Ultra on Amazon for $89



    The best Chromecast

    Why you'll love it: The Google Chromecast Ultra is quick to set up, easy-to-use and works great, but best of all, it costs just $50.

    The Google Chromecast is arguably the original streaming stick, and it’s loved around the world for its simplicity and excellent price. The Chromecast Ultra is different than many of the other devices on this list, largely because it’s built solely to stream content from your phone or computer to your TV. That means there’s no user interface, no apps to install — nothing. Just find the content on your phone and hit the “Cast” button.

    Chromecast was first introduced a few years back, and it has gone through a couple of updates since then. Now, the flagship Chromecast is the Chromecast Ultra, which sets itself apart from other Chromecasts with its ability to handle 4K streaming, which is a pretty big deal. You’ll need a good internet connection, though.

    One of the great things about the Chromecast Ultra is that it interacts with your other Google devices. For example, you can tell a Google Home speaker to search videos on YouTube or play music on your TV through the Chromecast.

    Then there’s the affordable price. The Chromecast Ultra costs just $50 (originally $70) — a price many reviewers, including us, love. TechRadar gave the Chromecast Ultra 4/5, while Pocket-Lint went a step further with a 4.5/5 star review.

    Pros: Inexpensive,easy-to-use, works with smart speakers

    Cons: No interface might frustrate some

    Buy the Google Chromecast Ultra at Walmart for $49 (originally $69.00)



    The best Amazon Fire TV

    Why you'll love it: The new Amazon Fire TV streams video in 4K straight to your TV for $70.

    Amazon recently launched a brand-new Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD and HDR support. This slim dongle plugs into the HDMI port in the back of your TV and comes with a remote control for easy access to play, pause, stop, volume up/down, and more.

    Fire TV works with Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Hulu, HBO, and many other video streaming apps. You can download all your favorite apps on it to play shows on SlingTV, PBS, and more. Since it's part of Amazon's ecosystem, Fire TV works with Alexa voice controls. You can tell your TV to play "Game of Thrones" without lifting a finger.

    The streaming stick has a faster processor and 802.11ac Wi-Fi to ensure smooth streaming on your TV without any annoying glitches. So long as your Wi-Fi is good, you shouldn't have a problem.

    If you're a Prime subscriber and an Echo fan who needs a streaming stick, it's a great buy.  Expert reviewers from The Verge, CNET, TechRadar, and Engadget gave it high marks as an affordable, 4K streaming option.

    All of the reviewers more or less agreed that Alexa voice search works well and it's very affordable for a 4K streaming stick. The only downside is the current lack of 4K content, but if that's what you're really looking for, you'll have to pay more and grab an Apple TV.

    The Fire TV Stick is a good option that costs even less at $40, but it doesn't support 4K or HDR 10. Amazon's new Fire TV Cube is the most expensive of the bunch, coming in at $119.99. It uses voice control, has more storage onboard, and includes a small speaker.

    Pros: 4K streaming, Alexa voice control, affordable, easy to use

    Cons: Pricier than budget sticks

    Buy the Amazon Fire TV on Amazon for $69.99



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    benedict melrose as patrick melrose

    The Emmys are a celebration of the best that television has to offer. And these days, there simply are too many shows and not enough hours in a day to watch them all.

    Emmy voters have a tendency to nominate familiar, flashy shows that attract a lot of attention ("Game of Thrones,"  "This Is Us"), but they occasionally take a chance something new and exciting.

    Winners won't be announced until September 17, which gives you plenty of time to check out these Emmy-worthy shows you might have missed.

    "Barry" (HBO)

    This dark comedy stars Bill Hader as a hitman who tries to put his murderous past behind him after he discovers his love for acting.

    Nominations: 13 nominations including best comedy series and best lead actor in a comedy series (Bill Hader).

    Where to stream:HBO

    Where to rent/buy:YouTube, Google Play



    "Patrick Melrose" (Showtime)

    If you haven't heard of Showtime’s "Patrick Melrose," you're not alone. The five-episode miniseries didn't attract huge ratings when it premiered in May, but critics loved Benedict Cumberbatch's performance as a drug-addicted aristocrat living in New York in the 1980s.

    Nominations: Five nominations including best miniseries and best actor in a limited series or TV movie (Benedict Cumberbatch).

    Where to stream: Showtime

    Where to rent/buy: N/A

     



    "Ozark" (Netflix)

    Jason Bateman stars as an accountant who suddenly relocates his family to Missouri when a money laundering scheme goes awry and finds himself in debt with a drug cartel. The show is bleak and depressing as hell, but well made.

    Nominations: Five nominations including best lead actor in a drama series (Jason Bateman).

    Where to stream:Netflix

    Where to rent/buy: N/A



    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    22 margaery

    • Natalie Dormer has defended the sex scenes on "Game of Thrones." 
    • Dormer played Margaery Tyrell on the show for five seasons.
    • She doesn't find it "gratuitous," as some critics have argued.


    Natalie Dormer stands behind the sex scenes on "Game of Thrones." 

    "Sex and romance is a huge part of human motivation," the 36-year-old actress told The Sun. "So long as it's informing the story then I don't see the problem. But I think 'Thrones' is quite good in that way. The violence is quite naturalistic."

    Dormer, who played Margaery Tyrell on the hit HBO show for five seasons, defends the show from criticisms that the nudity, sex, and violence is "gratuitous."

    "It's not hyper-stylized," she said. "It's not glamorized. And the sex is quite real and dirty as well. It's about those raw, visceral qualities of human life." 

    Dormer is not the only cast member to defend the scenes. In the past, Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen, has also defended the show

    In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Clarke said she was "starting to get really annoyed" with people's obsession over the nudity on "Game of Thrones." 

    "There are so many shows centered around this very true fact that people reproduce," she said. "People f--- for pleasure — it's part of life."

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    NOW WATCH: Learning to celebrate failure at a young age led to this billionaire's success


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    sense8

    Not too long ago, Netflix famously never canceled shows.

    But over the past year and a half, Netflix has been on a canceling streak, cutting shows like "The Get Down,""Girlboss," and "Gypsy."

    After a few years of being lenient on letting shows survive more than one season, this came as a surprise, especially considering some of these shows shouldn't have been canceled in the first place — in our opinion.

    Shows like "Everything Sucks!" which was canceled in less than two months and "Sense8," which has a lot more story to tell, deserved more seasons.

    Here, we picked 6 shows Netflix never should have canceled, along with their Rotten Tomatoes critic and audience scores, and what made them special:

    SEE ALSO: Critics love 'Mission: Impossible – Fallout' as much as Tom Cruise loves outrageous stunts

    "Everything Sucks!": Canceled after one season

    Netflix description: "It's 1996 in a town called Boring, where high school misfits in the AV and drama clubs brave the ups and downs of teenage life in the VHS era."

    Critic score: 71%

    Audience score: 91%

    Date released: February 2018

    Date canceled: April 2018

    Critics enjoyed this short and sweet show, which tells the story of a lesbian high-school sophomore in the 90s. At first, it seemed like a slew of 90s references set to a soundtrack filled with Oasis, but by the end of its first episode, it proved it was much deeper than that. A group of very passionate audience members has continued a relentless campaign to get Netflix to continue the show despite its quick cancellation in early April.



    "Sense8": Canceled after two seasons

    Netflix description: "From the creators of 'The Matrix' and 'Babylon 5' comes this tense series in which eight people can telepathically experience each other's lives."

    Critic score: 84%

    Audience score: 92%

    Date released: June 2015

    Date canceled: June 2017 (a two-hour series finale came out June 2018)

    Wacky but stunning, "Sense8" applied issues going on in today's culture to its incredible sci-fi world. Its finale wrapped things up, but its premise and its characters had so much more to do and say. Like "Everything Sucks!" fans, "Sense8" obsessives still want Netflix to bring the show back, and haven't gotten quiet on social media. 



    "Lady Dynamite": Canceled after two seasons

    Netflix description: "Comedian Maria Bamford navigates awkward dates, bizarre gigs and the fallout from a major breakdown in a funny and poignant series based on her life."

    Critic score: 97%

    Audience score: 79%

    Date released: May 2016

    Date canceled: January 2018

    Maria Bamford, the star of "Lady Dynamite," is one of the most unique comedians today (or ever). She applied her strange but sweet spirit into this deeply personal but also incredibly funny comedy that showed what it's like inside the mind of a troubled person. 



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    Trent Lott Sacha Baron Cohen

    • Several Republican lawmakers express support for arming schoolchildren with guns in a new video clip.
    • The video comes from "Who Is America?", Sacha Baron Cohen's new show that premieres on Showtime Sunday night.
    • The executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America confused musical artists Blink-182 and Cardi B with science terms in the video.
    • The clip from Cohen's show also features former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher expressing support for the program.

    Sacha Baron Cohen is back to duping unsuspecting public figures for a new Showtime program, "Who Is America?" which premieres on Sunday night.

    One video clip from the show that's floating around the internet shows several former and current Republican lawmakers endorsing the idea of arming school children as young as four with guns.

    The clip opens with Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida saying that "typically members of Congress don't just hear a story about a program and then indicate whether they support it or not."

    Immediately after Gaetz's remark, the clip cuts to former Sen. Trent Lott saying "I support the kinder-guardian program." Lott, who served as senator for Mississippi from 1989 to 2007, was the Senate Majority Leader from 1996 to 2001. Before joining the Senate, Lott served 16 years in the US House of Representatives.

    Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of California said training school children how to shoot "might actually make us safer."

    Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina also chimed in, saying "A three-year-old cannot defend itself from an assault rifle by throwing a Hello Kitty pencil case at it," and adding that "our founding fathers do not put an age limit on the second amendment."

    Former Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois, who is now a conservative radio host, said the "kinder-guardian" program "introduces specially selected children, from 12 to four years old, to pistols, rifles, semi-automatics, and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars."

    "In less than a month, a first grader can become a first grenadier," he said.

    Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America said "toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by fake news or homosexuality. They don't care if it's politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman. They'll just do it."

    Pratt, who served in the Virginia House of Delegates in the early 1980s, said that "the science behind this program is proven." While reading his endorsement into the camera, he adds that children can process images quicker than adults, "meaning that, essentially like owls, they can see in slow motion."

    "Children under five also have elevated levels of the pheromone Blink-182, produced by the part of the liver known as the Rita Ora," Pratt adds. "This allows nerve reflexes to travel along the Cardi B neural pathway to the Wiz Khalifa 40% faster."

    Blink-182 is a rock band, Rita Ora is a pop singer, and Cardi B and Wiz Khalifa are both rappers.

    The clip ends with an alteration of the expression that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. "The way to stop a bad guy with a gun...," Pratt said, before the scene cuts to Lott, who continues "... is a good kid with a gun."

    Pratt and Walsh echo Lott's refrain, and the video closes with Walsh saying "happy shooting, kids."

    The new series is already making waves

    trump sacha baron cohenBaron Cohen, who became famous for pranking politicians and celebrities on HBO's "Da Ali G Show," first previewed "Who Is America?" last week with a cryptic Twitter video that featured President Donald Trump mocking Cohen.

    The star of films such as "Borat" and "Bruno" interviewed many political figures while in disguise for his new show. The former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin wrote a Facebook post on Tuesday confirming that she and her daughter had been "duped" into an interview for Cohen's series.

    "I join a long list of American public personalities who have fallen victim to the evil, exploitive, sick 'humor' of the British 'comedian' Sacha Baron Cohen, enabled and sponsored by CBS/Showtime," Palin wrote.

    Cohen released a teaser clip showing former vice president Dick Cheney, signing a "waterboard kit," which Cheney does with a smile and says, "that's the first time I ever signed a waterboard."

    Aside from Palin and Cheney, Bernie Sanders, Roy Moore, Ted Koppel, David Petraeus, and Howard Dean are all rumored or confirmed to appear in "Who Is America?"

    Watch the trailer for the show below:

    SEE ALSO: 'Borat' comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's explosive new TV series has 'duped' the likes of Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney

    DON'T MISS: 'Borat' comedian Sacha Baron Cohen seems to be taking aim at Trump with a new project

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Sacha Baron Cohen recounts his 2003 Trump interview: 'I was the first person actually to realize that he’s a d---'


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    The Mountain Cersei Game of Thrones Season 5

    • "Game of Thrones" actor Hapthór Björnsson (The Mountain) has fans hyped.
    • In an Instagram Q&A, Björnsson said his favorite scene is happening on season eight.
    • For many hoping the fan theory "Cleganebowl" comes true, this could be a good sign. 
    • Cleganebowl posits that the Clegane brothers — The Hound and The Mountain — will fight to the death.

    "Game of Thrones" fans are well-aware the series only has six episodes left, which means there are only six episodes to show everything fans have wanted for so long that hasn't been shown yet. Near the top of this list is Cleganebowl, aka the big battle between Sandor "The Hound," Clegane and his brother Gregor "The Mountain," Clegane. So, will the two forces collide in Season 8?

    The latest news certainly has us wondering, as actor Hafthór Björnsson may have revealed a bit too much when asked about his favorite "Game of Thrones" scene during an Instagram Q&A: "It happens in season 8 ... so I can't speak about it."

    The Mountain Gregor Clegane Game of Thrones

    Hafthór Björnsson didn't give much away, although by revealing his character has a significant Season 8 scene in "Game of Thrones" he may have said all fans needed to hear. Gregor and Sandor met briefly in Season 7, and though the two brothers had gone through a lot in between the last times they saw each other, their hatred for one another ran as deep as ever.

    With Cersei set to double cross Jon and Daenerys when the White Walkers attack, the stage is certainly set for Sandor and Gregor to do battle, and if that does happen, the scene would be Björnsson's favorite scene he's shot thus far.

    So, if the two brothers do battle in season eight of "Game of Thrones," who wins? Hafthór Björnsson can't talk about it, of course, although his Instagram photo he posted recently showcased a photo of "The Mountain," looking just a slight bit worse for wear than he did even after Qyburn worked his magic:

    Caption this! - @thorspowergym use code summer20 for 20% off of everything at hafthorbjornsson.com

    A post shared by Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (@thorbjornsson) on Jul 7, 2018 at 8:18am PDT on

    Either Hafthór Björnsson blew out an eye and just about every vein in his face prepping for a strongman competition, or The Mountain is getting quite the beatdown in "Game of Thrones" season eight. The Mountain is looking a bit redder than his usual blue tinge in this photo, so perhaps Sandor managed to get a receipt on his brother for scalding and disfiguring his face when they were children.

    That said, The Mountain is missing his vacant blue eyes in this picture, so this may just be Björnsson posing for a photo midway through makeup, and not really relevant to the duo's potential throwdown. There's also the chance that Björnsson favorite season eight moment has nothing to do with "The Hound," and he just got a whole bunch of fans' hopes up and now can't say anything to calm them down.

    "Game of Thrones'" secrets are on lockdown, and it's looking like fans won't receive any answers to their questions until season eight airs on HBO in 2019. Feel free to check out our summer premiere guide in the meantime to see what's headed to television until then, or read up on the latest news about the "Game of Thrones" prequel and how it may be happening sooner than some folks may think.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Why Rolex watches are so expensive


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    joe walsh sacha baron cohen

    • The former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh appeared on CNN on Saturday to discuss Sacha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series, "Who Is America?" He said Cohen "duped" him into supporting arming toddlers with guns in a segment on the show.
    • Walsh appears in a bit in which Cohen, disguised as an Israeli "anti-terror expert" named Col. Erran Morad, induces Republican politicians and gun lobbyists to support a program that would arm children as young as 3 years old.

    The former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh appeared on CNN on Saturday to discuss Sacha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series, "Who Is America?" in which he said Cohen tricked him into supporting arming toddlers with guns.

    On Cohen's show, which premiered Sunday night, Walsh appears in a bit in which Republican politicians and gun lobbyists endorse arming children to stop school shootings.

    The segment is led by one of Cohen's new characters for the series, a fake Israeli "anti-terror expert" named Col. Erran Morad, who introduces a fake program, "Kinderguardians," which would arm children as young as 3 years old.

    Walsh, now a conservative radio host, was among several current and former politicians who appeared in the segment.

    "The intensive three-week Kinderguardian course introduces specially selected children from 12 to 4 years old to pistols, rifles, semiautomatics, and a rudimentary knowledge of mortars," Walsh says in the clip. "In less than a month — less than a month — a first-grader can become a first-grenade-er. Happy shooting, kids."

    In his appearance on CNN, Walsh elaborated on a series of tweets he wrote last week, saying Cohen "duped" him into appearing on the show by offering him "an award from some Israeli TV station because I'm a great supporter of Israel."

    “After they conducted an interview, they had me read off of a teleprompter talking about some of the innovative products that Israel invented," Walsh said on CNN. "Then they had me read about this 4-year-old child in Israel who, when a terrorist entered his classroom, somehow he grabbed the terrorist's gun and held the terrorist at bay. And that was an example of how Israel trains and arms preschool kids on how to use firearms, and boy shouldn't we do that in America?"

    Walsh said that he thought, as he was reading it, "Well, this is kind of crazy, but it is Israel and Israel is strong on defense," and that he only later "found out this whole thing was made up."

    Walsh added in a tweet on Sunday, "No, I don't believe we should train & arm kindergarteners."

    Watch the interview below and catch Cohen's show on Showtime On-Demand.

    SEE ALSO: In video from Sacha Baron Cohen's new show, GOP members of congress support arming preschoolers with guns

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Roku speakers

    • Roku announced a new set of speakers on Monday that are designed to enhance the sound of what you're watching on a Roku Smart TV. From the time we spent listening to them, Roku seems to have delivered on that promise.
    • The speakers give Roku the opportunity to own Roku users' full TV-watching experience. 
    • The bundle — which includes two new RF remotes, a mobile and a stationary one — won't be available until October, but it can be pre-ordered for $150 for a limited time over on Roku's website.
    • Roku says it doesn't plan to sell the speakers in retail locations.

    Roku announced on Monday that it's making its debut into the audio market with a set of speakers.

    Like its competitors, Roku's Smart TVs, which are owned by one in four smart TV owners in the US, according to the company, will sound better if you hook up dedicated speakers instead of just going with the built-in speakers. That usually means investing in a soundbar or standalone speakers from a third-party manufacturer like Sonos. But Roku's latest announcement symbolizes an expanding product line that will allow Roku to potentially own the entire TV-watching experience, from streaming hardware to smart TV to speaker setup.

    The new 'wireless' speakers require a single cord for power, and connect to Roku Smart TVs (and only to Roku Smart TVs) via WiFi, meaning they can be plugged in across the room from one another for a stereo sound experience. And for ease-of-use, the entire setup process is done via the TV itself. Roku said users will also be able to use the speakers to listen to music from iTunes or Spotify, with the idea being that Roku wants you to be able to replace your entire audio setup.

    Roku TV Wireless SpeakersBecause the speakers won't be available until October and are still very much in beta, I didn't have the opportunity to experience the setup process or see the sound controls, but I did get to hear them — and they sound pretty impressive.

    Watching a "Transformers" action scene on a TV with the Roku speakers and a TV without them, you could clearly hear the difference in audio, much like you would with a Sonos soundbar. 

    The volume adjusts seamlessly between dialogue and effects so you're not reaching for the remote every time the commercials come on. And the different layers — a helicopter's blades, the sound of metal on metal, an explosion — were distinguishable from one another, as opposed to the cocktail of sounds you usually get from the special effects of today's action scenes. 

    The speakers are bundled with a new remote and the new Roku Touch — a tabletop controller that relies on RF transmission, meaning it doesn't need to have a line of sight to communicate with the speakers. Instead, you can control the volume, launch a playlist, or play/pause/skip what you're watching from anywhere in the room using the buttons on the surface. The mobile remote also comes with RF technology and voice capability. 

    As for existing remote controls, the ones with mics will upgrade to accommodate the new voice control capabilities, but won't have the RF technology that the speakers are built to respond to. 

    Roku TV owners can buy the bundle for $150 on Roku's website starting today, but the price will increase to $180 on July 24 and then up again on October 15. Roku says it won't be available in retail stores like previous products have been in order to avoid any confusion about the products and services the speakers work with.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These 13 medical technologies are changing lives


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    godless

    Need a new show to binge-watch while you enjoy your air conditioning? 

    We know what it's like to spend more time figuring out what to watch than actually watching something, so we decided to make things easier. Every week, we gather a list of three great shows you should binge on Netflix. 

    Here, you'll find shows you can finish quickly, and some you can just get started on. This week, we selected three Netflix originals that were nominated for Emmys last week. 

    From British royal drama "The Crown" to the western miniseries "Godless," here are some great TV shows you can binge on Netflix this week.

    SEE ALSO: Netflix released the first image of the new Queen Elizabeth II on 'The Crown'

    "The Crown"— nominated for 13 Emmys

    Seasons: 2

    Episodes: 20

    Notable Emmy nominations: Outstanding lead actress in a drama (Claire Foy), outstanding supporting actor in a drama (Matt Smith), outstanding supporting actress in a drama (Vanessa Kirby), and outstanding drama series.

    "The Crown" is such an easy binge-watch because it's both predictable and addictive at the same time. Conflict is resolved rather cordially, but watching all these British actors talk to each other angrily but politely is amazing. Season one focuses on the Queen's first years of rule, and how she got on the throne. But the excellent season two goes deeper into the lives of its secondary characters, which is just as exciting. 



    "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"— nominated for two Emmys

    Seasons: 4

    Episodes: 45

    Notable Emmy nominations: Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy (Titus Burgess) and outstanding comedy series.

    While there's a lot of seasons now, the episodes of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" are only a half hour long so you'll burn through it pretty quickly. This show will leave you screaming multiple times per episode, and if you're rewatching you'll see jokes you might have missed the first time around. In addition to wonderful guest stars including Amy Sedaris and Jon Hamm, this comedy takes trauma seriously and isn't afraid to get deep while still being very, very funny. 



    "Godless"— nominated for six Emmys

    Seasons: 1 (mini-series)

    Episodes: 7

    Notable Emmy nominations: Outstanding lead actress in a limited series or movie (Michelle Dockery), outstanding supporting actor in a limited series or movie (Jeff Daniels), outstanding supporting actress in a limited series or movie (Merritt Weaver), and outstanding limited series or movie.

    In this Western from executive producer Steven Soderbergh, a man in hiding from an outlaw in the 1880s American West ends up in a mysterious New Mexico town of only women. It's a gritty, exciting, and well-acted Western with memorable performances from Emmy nominees Michelle Dockery and Jeff Daniels. "Godless" was made to binge, and embraces every Western cliche in a good way.



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    sacha baron cohen who is america bernie sanders billy wayne ruddick jr

    • For his Showtime show "Who is America?," Sacha Baron Cohen adopts the disguise of Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr.
    • He's a character who runs the conspiracy theory website Truthbrary.org.
    • The site was registered way back in October and seems to have been up and running for months, indicating how deeply the production team went into building the character.

     

    For Sacha Baron Cohen's new show, "Who is America?," the comedian adopted several personalities to gain access to prominent political figures — including senator Bernie Sanders, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former senate majority leader Trent Lott, and numerous other current and former members of Congress.

    One of Cohen's personalities is Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr., PhD. He's a conspiracy theorist who runs an Infowars-like website called  Truthbrary.org. Ruddick's character is a former postal service worker who stays in a scooter to conserve his "body's finite energy." It's the disguise he used to hawk about the evils of socialized medicine to Bernie Sanders in the show's premiere, as well as the one he apparently uses in a later episode to talk to Sarah Palin.

    It turns out the show has been maintaining Truthbrary.org for months as a real-life conspiracy theory website. According to the site's metadata, it was registered on October 13, 2017, which indicates how much Showtime, which produces the show, invested into making the character. Showtime declined to INSIDER's request for comment on the site's development.

    True to form, Truthbrary.org has a rickety design that almost looks like it was made in 1997 and hasn't been updated since, with bold underlined text in random places and low-resolution GIFs. The editorial content warns against military mind control, fluoride in the water, and Satanism in Hollywood. There are three different posts about 9/11 conspiracy theories, allegations that former president Barack Obama was born in Kenya, and theories about aliens living in pyramids. Ruddick is a supporter of President Donald Trump as well.

    Since the wider world caught wind of Ruddick's character, Showtime has turned his Twitter feed and website into a sort of guerrilla marketing tactic for "Who is America?" It features a viral clip of prominent Republicans endorsing a program that would arm four-year-olds and warns against the evils of Showtime. It will probably only make people want to watch it more.

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    SEE ALSO: In video from Sacha Baron Cohen's new show, GOP members of congress support arming preschoolers with guns

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    bernie sanders sacha baron cohen

    Sacha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series, "Who Is America?" caused a stir before its premiere on Sunday, as several Republican politicians felt the need to get ahead of the show last week in explaining how Cohen "duped" them to appear on it.

    The former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, the former congressman Joe Walsh, and the former US Senate candidate Roy Moore were among those who preceded the show's premiere with statements explaining their appearances on the series and criticizing Cohen.

    For the show's first episode, Cohen, disguised as an Israeli "anti-terror expert," roped several Republican congressmen and former elected officials into voicing their support for a program that would arm toddlers with guns to prevent school shootings. He also interviewed Sen. Bernie Sanders as a different character.

    Last week, Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report tweeted a list of political and media figures he said Cohen had "finked" for the series, including Palin, Dick Cheney, Ted Koppel, and Howard Dean — all of whom we can expect to see in the show's subsequent six episodes.

    Here are the notable people and politicians who have appeared on "Who Is America?" so far.

    SEE ALSO: Former congressman Joe Walsh says Sacha Baron Cohen 'duped' him into supporting arming toddlers with guns

    Sen. Bernie Sanders

    The show's first episode began with Cohen interviewing Sanders, the Vermont senator who was a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, as a right-wing conspiracy theorist character named Billy Wayne Ruddick Jr.

    Sanders, with a perplexed expression, politely dodged and shut down various absurd questions on income inequality and other topics from Cohen's Ruddick.



    Larry Pratt, executive director emeritus of Gun Owners of America

    In the strongest segment on Sunday's episode, Cohen's Israeli "anti-terror expert" character, Col. Erran Morad, introduced Pratt and several other conservative political figures to a fake program called "Kinderguardians" that would arm children as young as 3.

    Pratt endorsed the program and, reading off a teleprompter, said: "Toddlers are pure, uncorrupted by fake news or homosexuality. They don't care if it's politically correct to shoot a mentally deranged gunman. They'll just do it."



    Florida congressman Matt Gaetz

    Cohen's Morad character interviewed Gaetz for the segment on arming toddlers, but Gaetz wisely sidestepped the topic, saying, "Typically members of Congress don't just hear a story about a program and then indicate whether they support it or not."



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    Steve Harrington Netflix Stranger Things season 3

    Warning: Spoilers ahead for "Stranger Things," including speculation of events on the third season.

    Netflix is getting fans ready for the return of "Stranger Things" with a new fake mall commercial set in the iconic '80s town of Hawkins, Indiana. Though the third season likely won't air until 2019, the teaser is already dropping some hints about what's in store for Eleven and the team.

    During a plug for Waldenbooks, the teaser showed a window display for Tom Clancy's 1984 novel "The Hunt for Red October." This Cold War spy novel is a likely indication that "Stranger Things" season three will expand on its Russian government subplot.

    Stranger Things season 3 Hunt for Red October teaser

    "The Hunt for Red October" tells the story of a Russian commander who defects from the Soviet Navy and winds up involving the American CIA operatives as he attempts to sneak away undetected in a new stealth submarine. Red October, the name of the submarine in question, has new technology that makes it nearly impossible to trace or detect in water. 

    Back on the first season of "Stranger Things," we saw that Eleven's powers were being used by Dr. Brenner to spy on Soviets. 

    Eleven Russian Spy Stranger Things season one E5

    Given the presence of "The Hunt for Red October" in the newest Netflix teaser, we're now expecting to see this Russian spy subplot become relevant on the coming season. With the revelation last season that Brenner is still alive, it's possible he'll be the link between Eleven, Hawkins, and the lingering Cold War. 

    For more on what to expect from the third season of "Stranger Things,"read INSIDER's report on everything we know here.

    Watch the full mall teaser for below:

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    shadowhunters the mortal instruments 1563 s2e20 beside still water

    • Fans of Freeform's canceled series, "Shadowhunters," have created a huge campaign to bring the show back, including two billboards in Times Square.
    • A producer on the show says that the fans efforts haven't gone unnoticed, and that he's having discussions about how to move forward with the show.
    • Freeform canceled the show in June, but it will return with two final episodes in 2019. 

    "Shadowhunters," a supernatural teen drama inspired by Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" book series, has thousands of fans begging for its return.

    Freeform announced the show's cancellation in June. It said that after two final episodes to end season three air in early 2019, the series will come to a close. The series premiered in 2016, and was one of the network's biggest shows. Unfortunately, ratings continued to drop. 

    But fans of "Shadowhunters" aren't satisfied with the show ending so soon. They demand a fourth season, and have sought attention from streaming services including Amazon and Netflix in order to get it. 

    Since June, fans of the show started relentlessly tweeting with the hashtag #SaveShadowhunters. Since June, the hashtag has been used in over 10 million tweets, and the high rate hasn't slowed down. The fans had a plane with #SaveShadowhunters banner circle Netflix’s LA headquarters and rented out two billboards in Times Square. Fans also made a Change.org petition to save the show that has over 143,000 signatures. 

    #SaveShadowhunters billboards in New York City's Times Square:

     

    Apparently, these efforts are quite effective. "Shadowhunters" producer Martin Moszkowicz told Deadline that he's had discussions about “how we can continue to bring Cassandra Clare’s vision to television.” Moszkowicz also told Deadline that Constantin Film, which produces "Shadowhunters," had noticed the campaign. "We are in ongoing discussions with the network and Netflix to how we can continue to bring Cassandra Clare’s vision to television," Moszkowicz said. 

    A spokesperson from Netflix told Deadline that it did not have any negotiations in place to pick up the series for a fourth season. 

    SEE ALSO: 6 shows Netflix should never have canceled, from 'Gypsy' to 'Sense8'

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    christy sacha baron cohen who is america

    • Sacha Baron Cohen pretended to be an ex-convict who painted with his own feces in "Who is America?"
    • He talked to art expert Christy Cones while in his disguise.
    • Cones said she wasn't bothered by the whole thing and is still interested in the artwork, as well as Cohen's work as a performance artist.
    • She also doesn't seem to regret giving away her pubic hair.

     

    While filming Showtime's "Who is America?," Sacha Baron Cohen interviewed and duped prominent politicians, like former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and former vice president Dick Cheney. 

    But in one segment for the first episode, he talked to a Laguna Beach-based art expert, Christy Cones. For the interview, he disguised himself as Rick Sherman, an artist who discovered the joys of painting own feces while he was incarcerated for 21 years. Cohen was apparently intent on proving that the art world was full of s---.

    The segment quickly turned bizarre, with Cones receptive about Sherman's paintings made from various bodily secretions and game to take them seriously. When Sherman said he had a paintbrush made from the pubic hair of famous artists, Cones even volunteered her own.

    Months later, now realizing that Sherman was Sacha Baron Cohen all along, Cones told the Washington Post that she was amused by the whole thing.

    "He duped me? He made me the fool? Am I supposed to be upset? That’s okay. I don’t care," she said. "Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t impress me. I’ve been with billionaires, and I’ve been with bag ladies. No one is better than the other. It will come around and get him. These things always come around."

    christy art who is america sacha baron cohen

    Cones said she agreed to do the TV segment in the first place because she's "a bit of a risk-taker and love the camera." When they first sat down, she was careful.

    "I thought he was a psychological time bomb," Cones said. "I was like, this guy could blow up, so I should just be as respectful as I can."

    She also said she was still fascinated with the feces art Cohen handed her, and thought they didn't lose their power even if they were fake. She wants to have another conversation with Cohen to talk about his performance art, she said.

    Cones also said it was a welcome "comic relief" to contribute her pubic hair to Cohen's project.

    "I think I surprised him," she said. "He didn’t expect to be as amenable as I was. We used to make home movies in my family when I was a kid. I don’t fold up in front of the camera."

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    Cardi B

    MTV announced the nominees for the 2018 Video Music Awards Monday. 

    Cardi B received the most nominations with 10 and was followed by Jay Z and Beyoncé's collaboration The Carters with eight. The categories this year are all gender-neutral.

    Fans can watch the "VMAs" live on Monday, August 20 at 9 p.m. ET. They can vote for their favorite videos at vma.mtv.com until Friday, August 10

    Here are all of the nominees. 

    Video of the year

    Ariana Grande — "No Tears Left to Cry"

    Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B — "Finesse (Remix)"

    Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug — "Havana"

    The Carters — "APES--T"

    Childish Gambino — "This Is America"

    Drake — "God's Plan"



    Artist of the year

    Ariana Grande

    Bruno Mars

    Camila Cabello

    Cardi B

    Drake

    Post Malone



    Song of the year

    Bruno Mars ft. Cardi B — "Finesse (Remix)"

    Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug — "Havana"

    Drake —"God's Plan"

    Dua Lipa — "New Rules"

    Ed Sheeran — "Perfect"

    Post Malone ft. 21 Savage — "rockstar"



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    13 ned stark

    In this time of peak TV, it shows how attached we get to the characters of our favorite programs when unexpected deaths occur. Some fans get angry, others get weepy, and everyone talks about it at the water cooler the next day. Whether you like it or not, such deaths are major plot devices and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

    Here, we take a look back at 14 of the most shocking TV deaths of all time. Warning: Major spoilers ahead.

    Nick Brody from "Homeland" had a horrible death.

    War vet and former prisoner of war Nick Brody survived a lot of dire circumstances throughout the first three seasons of "Homeland." Because of that, viewers could hardly believe their eyes when he was hanged by the Iranian military.



    When Derek Shepherd in "Grey’s Anatomy" died, viewers were heartbroken.

    Derek Shepherd, aka Dr. McDreamy, disappeared for two weeks on "Grey’s Anatomy." Finally, we learned that he got into a car accident and eventually became brain dead at another hospital due to incompetent care. Meredith pulled the plug and our hearts broke. 

     



    Dr. Lucy Knight in "ER" couldn't survive a surprise knife attack.

    In one of the most haunting scenes in "ER" history, Dr. Lucy Knight was unexpectedly stabbed by a schizophrenic patient. She later died from an embolism and other complications and viewers were crushed. 



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    prince harry meghan markle kiss royal wedding

    Kissing is a big part of life — everyone wants to know if they're good at it, bad at ittips on how to do it better, etc.

    It is no wonder, then, that kissing is also a big part of pop culture.

    From Britney Spears and Madonna's infamous lip lock at the 2003 VMAs, to the moment Harry and Sally finally get together in "When Harry Met Sally...," some kisses stay with us forever.

    We've rounded up the 50 most iconic kisses in history. Keep scrolling to see if your favorite smooch made the cut.

    The kiss between a soldier and a nurse celebrating the end of World War II.

    Greta Zimmer and George Mendonsa had never met before their famous kiss, and had no idea that they had been photographed until years later. But their kiss made the cover of Life to celebrate the end of World War II, has inspired countless copycats that visit Times Square, and has even been recreated as a giant statue in both Sarasota, Florida and San Diego, California, called "Unconditional Surrender."

    That said, the picture isn't without its controversies. Some believe the kiss depicts sexual assault, as the two were perfect strangers. Further, the man was drunk and the woman allegedly had no idea he was there until he had his arms around her and began kissing her.

    "I felt that he was very strong. He was just holding me tight. I'm not sure about the kiss," the woman in the picture said during her interview with the Veterans History Project. "It was just somebody celebrating. It wasn't a romantic event."



    The famous rain kiss between Noah and Allie in "The Notebook."

    There are many things to love about 2004's "The Notebook," but the most enduring moment of the film is when ex-lovers Noah and Allie reunite amid a thunderstorm after years of being apart due to class differences and World War I. The whole movie up to that point had been building up to their reunion, so obviously it had to be epic — and it was.



    The recreation of the famous rain kiss in "The Notebook" by stars Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling at the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.

    One of the reasons that "The Notebook" became so beloved was possibly due to the real-life love story of its stars Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling. The chemistry between the two of them was palpable.

    When the two won the 2005 MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss they decided to recreate said kiss... and it was amazing.

    The audience's reactions, plus everyone's obsession with the real-life romance, makes this the most widely-remembered MTV Movie Awards moment ever.



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    armie hammer on late show with stephen colbert

    • Armie Hammer appeared on CBS' "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" on Monday.
    • The actor talked about fan encounters outside the Broadway show he's starring in, called "Straight White Men."
    • Hammer said that the people who wait to meet him at the play hand him "at least a peach or two after" almost every performance, as a reference to his role in "Call Me by Your Name."

     

    Armie Hammer gained attention in early 2018 for his role as Oliver in "Call Me by Your Name," and the actor says that nowadays, fans regularly give him peaches in real life. 

    Hammer appeared on CBS' "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" on Monday and discussed the Broadway show that he's currently starring in, titled "Straight White Men." When asked if "CMBYN" viewers have attended the play, the 31-year-old said yes — and revealed how he can identify such attendees. 

    'The people who come, you can usually spot them right away," Hammer said. "And the biggest, dead giveaway is they will normally hand me a peach. I get handed at least a peach or two almost every stage door."

    Those who saw the Oscar-winning film know that the fruit is part of an intimate scene that involves Oliver and Elio (played by Timothée Chalamet)

    Hammer went on to say that although it has become normal for fans to give him peaches outside the Helen Hayes Theater, he was puzzled the first time someone approached him with one. 

    The "Sorry to Bother You" star explained that he initially thought the fan was giving him a peach to keep. But instead, they wanted him to sign it.

    Hammer said that he was confused because "they're going to put that peach on a shelf because it has my signature and in 10 days, it's going to putrefy and their entire place is going to be full of fruit flies." 

    Previously, Hammer's co-star, Chalamet, appeared on ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and joked about his fear that peaches will haunt him in his old age.  

    "I'm worried that 50 years from now, I'll be singing peaches behind a desk," he said. 

    Watch the video o Hammer on "Colbert" below (he talks about his fans at 3:47).

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