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- 04/16/17--09:55: _Every Doctor Who, r...
- 04/17/17--06:27: _6 details you might...
- 04/17/17--06:46: _'The Leftovers' dir...
- 04/17/17--07:20: _John Oliver has a h...
- 04/17/17--07:46: _A potential fight i...
- 04/17/17--09:47: _Damon Lindelof reve...
- 04/17/17--13:51: _'Girls' showrunner ...
- 04/18/17--08:42: _Stephen Colbert rip...
- 04/18/17--09:45: _Here's what the 'Ga...
- 04/18/17--11:25: _Why the 'Girls' fin...
- 04/19/17--03:27: _'13 Reasons Why' ha...
- 04/19/17--07:15: _Matt Damon gets kic...
- 04/19/17--07:29: _Alec Baldwin reveal...
- 04/19/17--11:37: _How Bill O'Reilly b...
- 04/19/17--12:01: _The trailer for 'Un...
- 04/19/17--13:01: _Netflix's new true-...
- 04/20/17--07:06: _Jimmy Kimmel finds ...
- 04/20/17--07:25: _Stephen Colbert tor...
- 04/20/17--08:04: _Fired Bill O'Reilly...
- 04/20/17--11:03: _This secret Netflix...
- 04/16/17--09:55: Every Doctor Who, ranked from worst to best
- 04/17/17--06:27: 6 details you might have missed in 'The Leftovers' season 3 premiere
- 04/17/17--07:20: John Oliver has a harsh warning for France: 'Don't f--- up, too'
- 04/18/17--08:42: Stephen Colbert rips apart Trump over his embarrassing Syria blunder
- 04/18/17--09:45: Here's what the 'Game of Thrones' stars look like in real life
- 04/19/17--03:27: '13 Reasons Why' has sparked a rise in mental health helpline calls
- 13 Reasons Why has broken a major Netflix record
- 13 Reasons Why: Hannah's graphic suicide explained
- 13 most shocking TV character deaths ever
- Stranger Things' Will meets Panic! at the Disco
- Piers Morgan slams "sexualisation" of Taylor Swift kid
- 04/19/17--07:29: Alec Baldwin reveals the secret to his beloved Trump impression
- 04/20/17--07:06: Jimmy Kimmel finds a replacement for Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show
- 04/20/17--11:03: This secret Netflix hack will change the way you watch TV
- Netflix doesn't always play the highest quality video possible.
- Hitting Control+Alt+Shift+S allows you to bring up a menu that can override the quality settings.
- Netflix has a few other hidden menu settings available for power users.
April 15 marks the beginning of the end for Peter Capaldi on BBC America's "Doctor Who."
At the end of the upcoming 10th season, Capaldi will wrap up his three-season run as the time-traveling, human-loving protector of the universe, the 12th official regeneration of the Doctor.
Capaldi's still-unnamed replacement will take on a tradition that dates back to 1963 and includes 14 men who have played the role over nearly five decades.
But as the search is on for Capaldi's successor, it's a great time to remind ourselves of the Doctors who won our appreciation and those who didn't.
Here is every Doctor Who ranked from the worst to the best:
14. Peter Cushing (1965-1966)
As a rule, we can't let someone who didn't play the Doctor for an actual TV season outrank those who did. That's the case for Peter Cushing, who played the doctor in two movies during the show's William Hartnell years: 1965's "Dr. Who and the Daleks" and 1966's "Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D." He had the misfortune of playing the doctor during the early years, which pulled heavily from the mad-scientist stock character and hadn't quite revealed his warmer side.
13. Paul McGann (The Eighth Doctor, 1996)
Paul McGann was considered highly unremarkable in the 1996 TV movie "Doctor Who." That may explain why it took another nine years before BBC brought back the series. He was given a chance to prove himself in the role again in a 2013 mini-episode in which his decision to fight in the Time War gave us John Hurt's the War Doctor. For that, we owe him our thanks.
12. John Hurt (The War Doctor, 2013)
Yes, it's kind of confusing where the late John Hurt's incarnation of the doctor, the War Doctor, fits into the picture. Though he appears for the first time during 2013's 50th-anniversary special alongside Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor, the War Doctor actually lands after Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor.
Hurt won over fans with his portrayal of the doctor who chose to fight in the show's epic Time War.
Fun fact: At 74, Hurt was the oldest person to play the Doctor and appeared alongside Smith, who at 26 when signing on, was the youngest person to play the role.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Warning: Spoilers ahead for "The Leftovers" season three premiere.
The third and final season of "The Leftovers" kicked off on April 16 with a cold open, showing a mysterious cult of people (who were based on a real religious sect called Millerism). From there, the show killed off two of its main characters within minutes and jumped forward in time three years.
As we learned more about how Kevin Garvey and the rest of Jarden's residents are doing, you might have missed some of the smaller moments that relate back to past plots and future themes.
Keep reading for a look at the six most important details you might have missed.
The woman we followed in the cold open was meant to represent a real religious sect called Millerites.
INSIDER spoke with executive producer and the director for this episode, Mimi Leder, who revealed that the family we saw in the cold open were meant to be Millerites.
Millerism is a religious sect that began in the 1840s in New York. A farmer named William Miller came up with a new way to interpret the Book of Revelation, and did mathematical calculations to determine when the Second Coming of Christ would occur and worthy believers would be carried into heaven.
There were a couple context clues that hinted at the people being Millerites. One was the series of dates shown on the chalkboard.
Miller's equations led to several predicted dates for the Second Coming of Christ. His first were deemed wrong because he had miscounted years, but when the final predicted date (October 22, 1844) did not end with believers being taken to heaven, the Millerites called it the Great Disappointment.
In the show, we see three dates: January 21, April 16, and August 7, 1844. The second date, April 16, was likely a nod to the premiere date of the episode.
The Great Disappointment was actually written on a chalkboard in "The Leftovers" scene.
When the woman returned to the church after her third night of waiting, there was a chalkboard in the background that had "great disappointment" and "ballocks" and "fool" written on it.
For more on Millerism and how it relates to "The Leftovers," read our full interview with Mimi Leder and Damon Lindelof.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Warning: Spoilers ahead for "The Leftovers" season three premiere.
The auspicious season three premiere of "The Leftovers" aired on Easter Sunday — and once again, the season began with a cold open.
Though there were hints throughout the opening sequence that pointed towards the significance of the people featured, INSIDER spoke with the episode's director Mimi Leder and the co-creator of the series, Damon Lindelof, to better understand the meaning behind the powerful scene.
The episode began by showing a family preparing for an event akin to the Rapture. There is no dialogue throughout, but instead a Christian rock song titled "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" plays over the scenes.
We see the family give away their belongings, dress in white robes, and climb up to their roof to wait.
Then the family goes to a church, where their religious leader circles a new date on a chalkboard — January 21, 1844. The husband, wife, and son all smile, and repeat the process of preparing and going to the roof.
When the religious leader gives yet another date, the husband in the family loses faith but the wife's belief remains. He takes their son, leaving his wife to perform the ritual by herself again.
Clearly distraught and confused, we see the woman walk back through her village and into the church again. She lays down next to another person, and the camera pans over their white-robed bodies until suddenly we are seeing modern day members of the Guilty Remnant (GR) sleeping, all dressed in white.
"The Leftovers" executive producer Mimi Leder was also the director for this episode, and INSIDER spoke with her to learn more about that opening sequence.
The scene is based on a religious sect called Millerism
"It was really fun shooting the Millerite sequence," Leder said. "Just shooting a scene wordless and trying to tell the story of a similar cult to the GR — a cult that wanted to be Raptured and join the others — it was challenging."
Leder called the people shown in the opening sequence "Millerites"— which are the followers of a real religious sect founded in New York in the 1800s called Millerism. A farmer named William Miller came up with a new way to interpret the Book of Revelation, and did mathematical calculations to determine when the Second Coming of Christ would occur and worthy believers would be carried into heaven.
But Leder said that the people shown in "The Leftovers" were meant to represent a group of Millerites who didn't live in New York, but instead in Australia. Millerism spread around the globe thanks to Miller's inventive use of the printing press and other technologies available at the time. In "The Leftovers," we see the Millerites using messenger birds.
"They called their time 'The Great Disappointment,'" Leder Said. "They were a national movement from 1840 onward, and they actually were [started] in New York, but our group was in Adelaide."
The Great Disappointment was actually written on a chalkboard in "The Leftovers" scene. This is what the Millerites called this period of time when they realized Miller had been wrong.
We know that Kevin Garvey Sr. has been in Australia since the end of season one, so perhaps the choice to depict a group of Millerites in Adelaide will be significant later down the road in season three. For now, Millerism serves as a poignant parallel for the GR.
"They stood on roofs and gave away their belongings and waited for the Rapture that didn't come," Leder said. "The woman and the family were giving up their belongings, all their stuff was in a little baby crib (which could have been a crib of a child they lost). We were trying to draw parallels to the GR, who also wore white and were left behind, were the leftovers."
We asked Leder if she thought this meant the GR have an underlying belief that another Sudden Departure will happen, and that they want to be Departed, too.
"I don't think our GR feels that," Leder said. "Our GR feels that there is no family. I don't think our GR is waiting to be Departed. I think they do want to die, you know? I think they want to end their lives. That's what I think."
Some of the GR have that wish granted. The Millerite sequence moves into a scene in Jarden where Evie and Meg were waiting inside the welcome center with their other GR members. Evie hears a disturbance and goes outside only to see an airplane drop a bomb on the center, killing Evie and every other GR member in the building.
How the opening connects to season three's theme
INSIDER also spoke with Damon Lindelof, co-creator and showrunner of "The Leftovers," about the opening scene and how it relates to the overall theme for season three.
"We're not being ambiguous for ambiguity's sake," Lindelof said. "We have a very specific intention. I do think that by the end of the first episode of the show, it's no secret that we told you a story about a group of people who clearly thought that the world was going to end on a specific date and then it didn't, and what the consequences are of that belief system failing them."
Season three jumped forward in time by three years, making it just weeks away from the seventh anniversary of the Sudden Departure. Clearly tensions are rising, and religious believers think that the seven-year marker has larger connotations due to the frequent appearance of the number seven in the Bible.
"By episode's end, you understand that a good portion of the world is anticipating what is going to happen on the seven-year anniversary of the Sudden Departure," Lindelof said. "It's hard not to think about that circled date on that chalkboard in connecting those dots."
Why Leder and Lindelof have faith in their audience
"The Leftovers" also did a cold open for season two, which showed a cave woman who undergoes her own set of traumas that had parallels to the Sudden Departure. By the episode's end, the audience realized that the place where that cave woman lived was Jarden, Texas — now known as Miracle because it was the only place in the world where no one Departed. The opening sequence set the tone for the whole season, showing that geographical locations can be considered special and draw religious devotion.
"The inspiration for both the way that we open season two and season three was the way that the Coen brothers opened 'A Serious Man,'" Lindelof said. "They have this crazy prologue about a dibbuk that's taking place some place in eastern Europe in an undefined period of time, the early 20th century perhaps. Then there's no explanation as to why they did that. There's a thematic explanation if you want to have conversations with your buddies about why you think they did it, but the Coen brothers have never given an interview where they're like, 'This is why we did it.'"
"I want to have faith in the storytelling and not completely and totally demystify the more 'fanciful departures' from traditional storytelling that we engage in and say, 'In case you didn't get it, here's what we want you to get now,'" Lindelof said.
Mimi Leder, though she did reveal the Millerite backstory to INSIDER, also mentioned why the opening withheld a specific identification of Millerism from the viewers at home.
"I think you don't want to tell an audience everything — you want them to feel it," Leder said.
The second episode of "The Leftovers" final season premieres Sunday, April 23.
On Sunday’s episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver broke down the upcoming French presidential election, and ended the segment with a powerful message for the people of France.
Oliver spent some time on his HBO show covering candidate Marine Le Pen, who is the president of the far-right National Front. Le Pen is anti-immigrant, and wishes to ban the wearing of hijabs, turbans, and yarmulkes in public.
Oliver played a clip from an interview with Le Pen from 2012 in which she said, “Would you accept 12 illegal immigrants moving into your flat? You wouldn’t. On top of that, they start to remove the wallpaper! Some of them would steal your wallet and brutalize your wife.”
“Hold on: brutalizing your wife and stealing your wallet, again, that’s just boilerplate racism. But ‘people are coming to take my wallpaper’ is something a crazy person says," Oliver said. “No one wants your wallpaper, you catastrophically weird person!”
Oliver also made an appeal to French people's sense of superiority.
“You in France love nothing more than acting like you are better than America. Well, now is your chance to prove that. Because we made populist, nativist choices with Brexit and Trump. And to be honest, it’s not working out so great for us so far,” Oliver said. “Just imagine how superior you can feel if you don’t make the same mistake that we did.”
Oliver then tried to convince France to listen to him in the “restrained manner” that the French supposedly prefer. The color changed into black and white, and Oliver’s desk was transformed into a French bistro with a man playing the accordion.
“Don’t f--- up, too,” Oliver said in French while smoking a cigarette.
Watch the whole John Oliver segment below:
Last week, news broke that several cable networks were trying to put together a sports-free online TV package for less than $20 a month.
The thinking goes like this: Sports rights are incredibly expensive, and tons of people are paying for sports they don’t watch in their cable bundle. In 2016, ESPN alone cost $6.10 in carriage fees per subscriber.
So why not have an option where you can chop off sports and pay a cheap rate for a good entertainment-only bundle. Makes sense, right?
The main problem is that the parent companies of the major broadcast networks — NBC, ABC, CBS, and Fox — have paid a lot for sports rights, so they want no part of a bundle that makes sports seem less vital. The cable networks they own are also out. Bye-bye FX.
Who is left in this bundle then? Bloomberg reported that Viacom, Discovery, and AMC are looking to make a deal with distributors. Rich Greenfield, a BTIG analyst and noted ESPN skeptic, told Business Insider he also thinks that Turner, which owns CNN, TBS, and TNT, would be “very interested” — even though Turner owns a fair amount of sports. Throw Scripps in there too. (Greenfield also said A&E, which is jointly owned by Hearst and Disney-ABC, could be a possibility.)
Those five (or six) put together could make a pretty compelling cheap bundle. You’d get a spread of programming from CNN’s news, to AMC’s quality dramas, to Comedy Central or the Food Network. There would be some non-sports holes from cable networks owned by the broadcasters, like Fox News or USA. But you wouldn’t have to miss the marquee broadcast networks themselves, since all you need is a $25 digital antenna to tune in. They are free, after all.
“All [the broadcasters] want to make people forget that antennas exist,” Greenfield said.
If you could keep that bundle priced at $15-$20, paired with a slick interface and on-demand options, Greenfield thinks 5-10 million homes could be interested. By cutting out the broadcasters, you would also avoid the complicated regional rights issues that have caused geographic headaches for services like DirecTV Now and YouTube TV.
But why are these cable networks trying to put together a sports-free package now?
Mostly it’s because they are feeling squeezed by getting left off some of the new online bundles coming out. The idea of many of these new services is to offer a lower-cost cable alternative, but that means something has to give in terms of programming. Take YouTube TV, for example, which costs $35 a month. AMC recently got into the bundle, but all the other cable networks that aren’t tied to a broadcaster have been cut out, including Turner. And they are angry. Some of those cable-only companies will get chopped off Hulu’s upcoming service as well.
“Our conversations with investors certainly indicated a ‘have’ and ‘have not’ view of media stocks domestically, with [bigger companies] (the Haves) able to leverage their large breadth of content into something near full carriage on emerging distribution packages like YouTube TV, perhaps at the expense of the Have Not [small to medium companies],” RBC analyst Steven Cahall wrote in a note to clients Monday.
“Broadcasters try to make everyone else feel like losers,” Greenfield said. “Those losers are going to turn around and try to be winners.”
The wrath of the broadcasters could, however, spell problems for distributors that might want to sell a no-sports bundle. Some of the contracts cable and satellite providers have signed with heavyweights like Disney and Fox are loaded with fine print designed to stop new bundles like this. In 2015, Disney-owned ESPN sued Verizon over a sports-free bundle.
But if those issues can be worked out, the “loser bundle” could be a winning proposition, at least for some young people who aren’t into sports or paying $100 a month for cable. Paying $20 or less, they'll also have a bit of room to add Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, or HBO Now to the mix depending on your preference.
The big question will be how easy it will be to integrate this bundle in with your digital antenna. In some ways, the broadcasters are right: Losing NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox would be too much for many people. But Roku TVs already put the broadcast channels in the same interface as apps like Netflix and Hulu, and there are even ways to get a DVR without cable, though it comes with an added cost.
Still, if those hardware and software elements continue to improve, the “loser bundle” plus broadcast channels could become a viable option for people that just aren't that into sports. But chances are it won't happen without a fight.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for "The Leftovers" season three premiere.
"Showrunners" is a new podcast from INSIDER — a series where we interview the people responsible for bringing TV shows to life. The following is a transcript from our interview with Damon Lindelof, the cocreator and showrunner of ABC's "Lost," and now the showrunner of HBO's "The Leftovers."
Listen to the episode to hear the highlights from our interview, and keep reading below for the full conversation.
Subscribe to "Showrunners" on iTunes here so you can hear new episodes (featuring the showrunners from "Silicon Valley,""The Handmaid's Tale," and more) first.
How other shows inform his approach to mystery
INSIDER: How did you first get into the world of television and movies?
Lindelof: I was a huge cinephile from a very early age. My dad was a big movie guy. He brought me to see "Star Wars" in 1977 when I was four years old. That was a transformative event. Obviously many, many people of our generation had a similar awakening upon seeing "Star Wars," but for me that was kind of the moment where I was like, "Any way I can be doing anything remotely resembling that, I will be a happy person."
INSIDER: What TV shows are you most obsessed with now?
Lindelof: Oh, man. There's so much out there. There's a lot of television out there that I missed, so I'll work for 10 months out of the year and then I'll spend the other two months basically catching up on all the stuff that I heard was great. There is appointment television that I'll watch on a weekly basis. I'm watching "The Americans," I don't miss that the night that it's on. I'm watching "Legion," Noah Hawley's new show, and looking forward to "Fargo" starting up imminently again. [I] love "Mr. Robot,""Halt and Catch Fire,""Game of Thrones," of course. I love "The Young Pope,""Stranger Things,""Master of None,""The Good Place." I watch a lot of television. I don't sleep a lot.
INSIDER: I was going to say, I don't know how you've kept up with all of those when I feel like I can barely do so.
Lindelof: Yeah, it's my job to. Well, not really, but I do think that I do need to be aware of what other things are happening in the medium, because they do demonstrate some grounds for inspiration. I think that the idea of ... If you look at the Beach Boys and the Beatles, for example, when "Pet Sounds" and "Sergeant Pepper" were happening they were listening to each other's music and this idea of, "Oh, you can do that? You can do that, too?"
In addition to just really enjoying watching other people's television shows, I do think that I learn from it. Whether it's good or it's bad, I do think that the experience of I do this for a living and I should still be learning constantly. The minute that I feel like I've got it figured out or I know what I'm doing, (a) it becomes a lot less exciting, and (b) that's hubris; it's just not true.
INSIDER: What is something you feel like you've learned from another series recently?
Lindelof: In [...] both the first season of "Westworld" and the second season of "Mr. Robot," something happened in the writing of the television show and the episodes themselves, but then the discourse with the fan base and the audience and the internet at large in terms of the audience is now so sophisticated that it only takes one person to catch one small hint of something and then they post that on Reddit and then the next thing you know the mainstream media is basically picking it up and it's everywhere.
Then that may be something that the storytellers don't want to reveal until five or six episodes down the line, and so this idea of ... I think in the case of both those shows, in fact, it turned out that the twist was something that they kind of wanted us to guess, but the fact that we were so focused on the twist actually obfuscated some other things that they wanted to keep hidden.
I sort of learned that I need to be constantly thinking about the one person on Reddit who is going to basically crack it, so you can't really tell stories that way that have twists anymore in the conventional thinking. I do think this idea of evolution and sort of being one step ahead of the audience is something that was very necessary for me to learn, but now that I feel like I've learned it, the audience has once again surpassed me. It may be relatively useless, but still fun.
INSIDER: That's particularly fascinating when it comes to "The Leftovers," because the whole show is framed around the idea that you aren't going to have an answer to the biggest mystery of all — what really happened during the Sudden Departure, and why?
Lindelof: Obviously [I] spent six years of my life on "Lost," and that show invited and in fact insisted upon that level of engagement, with the promise that every single mystery introduced on the show would eventually be answered. I know that there are people out there who would disagree with the idea that we did answer every mystery, but I really feel we did. You might not like the answers that we gave, but they were answers.
When I read Tom Perrotta's book upon which the series "The Leftovers" is based, he was very explicit in his novel that the most compelling mystery of the show — which is where did these 140 million people disappear to and why them and what's the purpose of it — is never going to be answered. I just found that incredibly brave. I was like, "You can do that? Isn't that just a huge F-you to the audience to kind of come right out of the gate?" I became so involved in his book and it became very clear that the story that he was telling was about living in a world that didn't have resolution.
The fact of the matter is that frustration and dissatisfaction is part and parcel to any mystery road that we go down. That said, some of the things that I have grown most attached to, like say "Making A Murderer" or "Serial"—which are not fictional pieces of work but nonfiction — what's so compelling about them is I will never know. I just won't ever know if Steven Avery did it. I won't ever know if Adnan did it. We can theorize and show photographs to one another and make all these arguments, but the fundamental idea of not knowing is just so interesting to me. I'm okay with it. It doesn't frustrate me. I think it's pretty cool.
More importantly, that's the world that I live in. I don't know what happens when you die. I'm okay with that. I know there are a lot of people who feel like they do know what happens when you die, and they live their lives accordingly. I wouldn't begrudge them that confidence, but I'm just fine not knowing.
On being a showrunner and writing for "The Leftovers"
INSIDER: How would you write your own job description for someone who has never heard of a showrunner or knows what you do? I know it changes from show to show, but I want to know about your job for "The Leftovers" in particular.
Lindelof: I think that my job, more than anything else, is to kind of be "the buck stops here" clearinghouse for most of the creative decisions on the show — even when that decision is, "I trust you, do whatever you want, figure it out," but I get to delegate the individuals that I'm saying it to. In the case of "The Leftovers," we have an incredibly empowered writers' room that functions more like a jury than it does a benevolent dictatorship, which is the way that other writers' rooms kind of run.
I will pitch in the writers' room, and the writers will tell me I'm an idiot. The ideas that we get excited about are ones we reach full consensus on. At any given time any one person in the room can completely and totally filibuster and hang us up, and that's the person that we have to convince that the idea is good. It's not hierarchical really.
That said, I have to be the person in the writers' room who eventually says, "Okay, it's time to stop this now. It's time to go down this other course." I am leading the group down the rapids, because if it was pure group think we'd never get anywhere.
Quite honestly, I love the idea of putting a tremendous amount of time and energy into the writing of the script. There needs to be a consistency of voice, so that when you watch a television show it's like, "Oh, that feels like an episode of 'The Americans.'" It may not have been written by the showrunners, but the showrunners are basically in charge of saying, "this idea feels like it's inside the bandwidth of this show, and this character's voice," literally the dialogue they're writing, "that sounds like something that they would say." The showrunner is kind of quality control when it comes to that determination.
That said, I think the more active creative voices on "The Leftovers," the better. There are some characters I understand very well, and others less so. I rely upon others, including the actors, to tell me when their spidey-sense is tingling as well.
INSIDER: What are some of the characters that you feel you understand the best?
Lindelof: I feel like I understand Kevin really well. I think that he's roughly the same age that I am, maybe a year or two younger than I was when I started writing the show, and I think that although I look nothing like Justin Theroux, no matter how many sit-ups I do, I just [...] really empathize with him because I think he's trying so hard, but at the same time there's just sort of an existential kind of vacuum in him and he doesn't quite know how to fill it.
I've definitely felt that way at times in my life, particularly when I first achieved some level of success, and when "Lost" happened it so far beyond surpassed any dream or ambition or goal that I had that there was a huge, "Now what?" Like I'm supposed to feel great about this and all I feel is sort of terror. I've never given birth, but it felt like some kind of massive psychological emotional postpartum, and I was 30 years old. I think this, "What am I supposed to do with my life?"
[Kevin is] a character who behaves with a tremendous amount of confidence in his external life, but in his internal life seems to be riddled with doubt about himself and the others around him. It's also challenging for him to form relationships, even with the people that he loves. I think that's not unique to me, but it's something that I completely and totally understand. I'm happily married. I have a great 10-year-old son, but very often I just feel like, "What am I doing?" You know? Like, "Am I screwing this up? Do I really know these people? I feel so close to these people and yet I don't know them at all. I'm terrified about them leaving me." All these sort of internal anxieties that, again, I don't think are unique to me nor Kevin Garvey, but it is kind of what I relate to in him.
Then Matt Jamison is probably the other character that I feel really connected to because he has every reason to abandon his faith, but he keeps doubling down. I just feel like, "Oh, I just made a big mystery show that many felt ended unsatisfyingly. You know what I'm going to do next? A mystery show." I do feel like, at least I'm ascribing this to Matt Jamison, there's a certain admirable quality in someone who continues to do something that they know is going to create a tremendous amount of unpleasant feels focused at them and they do it anyway, because that's just what they believe. He just breaks my heart. A lot of it, it's impossible to separate the character from the performance, but Christopher Eccleston is just out of this world, as are all the actors on the show, but I love Reverend Matt.
INSIDER: Can you tell us the secret to Justin Theroux's ability to cry so well on camera?
Lindelof: What I can tell you is he's not a method actor, so he'll do those amazing scenes, and then he'll come over to video village where the monitors are and just kind of sit next to you and be like, "Hey, can I have one of those carrot sticks?" You're just like, "What?" He's able to turn it on and off. It doesn't mean that it's easy for him or there isn't a tremendous amount of craft to it, but he does really process the material with an almost academic scholarly approach. I've seen his scripts, and they're totally marked up. He's always super prepared. He has a strong sense of what he wants to do. He's also really collaborative, so what the other actors are doing, he's a really good listener, as are all the actors on the show. They're just incredibly great with one another.
Then we just have great directors who trust the actors, but are also willing to shake things up and put them in uncomfortable situations. Justin has been very game to do all the crazy stuff that we've asked him to do. The only time that he's ever blinked is, I emailed him and said, "Hey, can you sing?" Then he emailed me back just one word. It just said, "Why?" I was like, "Oh, this will be great. This is something that he doesn't want to do," which is great because the character doesn't want to do it when he's forced to sing. If Justin was basically like, "Can I sing? Oh my God, I'm amazing," then I think we probably would not have ended up doing what we did.
INSIDER: That was such an unexpected and powerful moment. Can you tell me about that moment in the writers' room, because I'm sure that was something that sounded crazy and yet it worked so well.
Lindelof: Unlike many things in the writers' room, I remember that one very specifically. We had done an episode called "International Assassin" in which the character of Kevin spends the entire episode in this ... I'm not going to call it a dream realm or an afterlife. You decide what you want to call it, but it's not our world. The rules of the world are that he is an assassin who is supposed to kill this senator who is running for president who is also the same character who's been haunting him. The way that he ends up getting out of this world and returning back to the world of the living is that he has to push this little girl into a well, supposedly to her death. Then she doesn't die when she lands in there. She basically becomes her adult self, and then he has to jump down into the well and drown her. That's hard.
We had this idea that in the finale Kevin would die again, because no one would be expecting us to do it again so soon after bringing him back to life. Also, we loved the idea that he would be very frustrated by having to go back to the beginning of this particular video game, like, "Oh my God. I'm starting over?" But it wasn't going to be an entire episode. Now it was going to be about a five minute long sequence because there were so many other things we needed to do in the finale. The challenge in the writers' room was, wow, he ran this entire gauntlet. He had to push a little girl into a well in order to get out. How's he going to come back to life this time? How's he going to get out? It's got to be even harder than murdering a little girl.
Perrotta just says, without any thought, "He has to sing karaoke." Everybody just burst into laughter, because we kind of thought he was kidding, but he was dead serious. He was like, "For Kevin Garvey, having to sing karaoke is just as hard as pushing a little girl into a well." It was just like, of course he's right. This idea is just so out there and so perfect. We kind of embraced the idea almost immediately. Then there was just a lot of conversation as to what song he should sing. Yeah, that's how that went down.
How Lindelof approaches creating a diverse writing team
INSIDER: Working a little bit backwards to the writing room and something that you said that struck me was that some of the writers have said that your ideas were idiotic?
Lindelof: Oh, for sure.
INSIDER: First, I'm curious as to what you look for when you're hiring writers that are confident enough to say that to you, but I'm also curious if you can remember an idea that you had that was vetoed by the rest of the writing team.
Lindelof: There have been so many ideas that I've had that have been vetoed by the rest of the writing team [...] it just happens 50 times a day.
Lindelof: Oh yeah, absolutely. I'll just be two sentences into a pitch and they'll visibly start shaking their heads or snorting. We're all very comfortable with one another. It's just like a conversation that you're having with your friends, I think.
As for what I look [for] I'm really interested in where people came from. How is your life story different than mine? Because although I'd be much more comfortable sitting with seven other white Jews from New Jersey who love "Star Wars," we're all looking at life through the same basic lens. The first thing that I tend to ask people when I'm interviewing them is, "Tell me your story," or "What's your story?" The way that people answer that question is very interesting. Some people start with, "I was born in Kentucky," and some people start with, "This morning I was in a car accident."
More importantly, I just want a very diverse array of experience and the way that people see the world. I also like what their influences are. I'm like, "What are you reading right now?" I want somebody to mention a book that I've probably never heard of or haven't read. I like to get a range of different ages in the writers' room. I think our youngest writer was 25 and our oldest writer was late 50s. Obviously we had a really good gender balance all three seasons on the show. I'm proud to say it was 50/50 in addition to our directors as well. That was really important. Getting some cultural diversity, whether people of color, other than just white folks. I don't think anybody was born and raised in LA. Everybody was from different places in the country. That's kind of job one, just to kind of shake it up and have different opinions.
Then I want someone who has a really specific voice and an attitude and a fundamental confidence where they're not afraid to speak their mind. I think when I was interviewing people if someone came in and said like, "Oh my God, I loved 'Lost' so much. I love your writing. I'm such a big fan," I kind of almost automatically disqualified them because I wanted to be surrounded by people who see me the way that I see myself, which is incredibly fallible and not above being second-guessed. That would be really challenging for me if I was a huge fan of someone to ever basically say, "I don't like your idea."
To go back to the jury metaphor, which I think is probably the most apt here, it's all voir dire for me and I'm trying to build a jury that's going to arrive at the verdict that is the best possible show imaginable.
The difference between showrunning "Lost" and "The Leftovers"
INSIDER: What are the differences between producing a show for a network like ABC versus HBO?
Lindelof: There's a huge difference just culturally between broadcast and cable. There's just the business side of it — particularly for HBO or Showtime or even Netflix, which is streaming but it's subscriber based — they're looking for an entirely different product than the networks are. If you can't get people to watch the show it can't possibly sustain itself, according to their business model. Of course, rating matters, but more importantly the intended audience of the show matters. Writing a show like "The Leftovers," which I would argue never really had broad appeal in terms of comparing it to something like "Game of Thrones," and HBO that wasn't a concern for them. They just wanted the show because they thought it was good and they thought that it would complement the other shows that they have on their air. Whereas I think a show like ABC would never have been able to do a second season of "The Leftovers" just because there weren't enough people watching it.
Then the pace at which you need to generate the episodes, there's just a significant difference [between] when you are doing 10 episodes a year than when you're doing 24 episodes a year, which is what we did for the first three years of "Lost." The conveyor belt is just moving so fast. There's really no time to think about anything. There's not a lot of time to preplan. You have all of those things inside the cable window.
I do think there's a misperception that at HBO or Netflix, premium cable show runners can do whatever they want and in broadcast, they're micromanaged. That is not the experience that I have had and, in fact, not the experience that many of my peers have. I think that good studio executives give good notes, and there are great studio executives in broadcast and great studio executives in pay cable. In fact, because you're moving so much faster in broadcast, there's not a lot of time to sit back and contemplate whether or not you're making a huge mistake, and there is more time in pay cable. Now it's like, "Now we're having a meeting about it?" There's actually more time to second guess yourself. At the end of the day, I've had the benefit of working with incredibly smart people on both sides of the camera, and I don't feel like, "Oh my God, pay cable is just so much better than broadcast." I think that they both have their advantages, and it really just depends on what kind of a story you're telling.
INSIDER: Were you thinking about that idea of universal appeal when you were thinking of the concept of "Lost"?
Lindelof: Lloyd Braun was the president of ABC at the time and "Lost" was really his idea. He had an idea at a company retreat that "Survivor" was a huge hit at the time, and this was in the age of the reality boom, and his idea was like, "We should do 'Survivor' as a drama series. It would be an incredible pilot for a television show to basically have a plane crash on an island, and then the show would just be about the survivors surviving." That idea was generated by the president of a network, and he saw the possibility, how that show could be marketed, etc., etc.
They developed a version of that show with Aaron Spelling, and they didn't like the direction it was heading and they brought J.J. Abrams on. J.J. was busy running Alias and writing another pilot called "The Catch." He was like, "I'll supervise someone, but I don't have time to basically do this myself." That basically set up the circumstances under which I was introduced to J.J. A week later, after that initial meeting, I had quit my day job, this other show that I was working on, and we were writing partners and co-showrunning this insane pilot for which there was really only an outline.
I didn't really think about whether or not a lot of people were going to watch it or how broad-based the idea was. There was a tremendous amount of confidence, again by Lloyd, that people would watch this thing. I wanted it to be successful, of course, but all the ideas J.J. and I were getting excited about — that it would be incredibly ensemblized, that we'd have 16 series regulars, that the show would be heavily serialized (which at the time was kind of a dirty word in network TV). It was the age of the procedural, and DVR was a thing, but the thinking was that for a serialized television show, if you missed an episode then you would basically fall off the bandwagon and you wouldn't watch it anymore.
Thing number three was the show was weird. It was supernatural. With the exception of the "X-Files," really there weren't a lot of television shows on broadcast that played with and flirted with the supernatural to the degree that we did. Those were all reasons not to think that people were going to watch the show. The day before it aired, it aired on a Wednesday night, ABC presented us with their research polling for how they thought that the show was going to do, and they predicted, I think, that eight million people were going to watch the show. They were like, "That's okay. There's room to grow. It's not a disaster by any stretch of the imagination. We're not worried."
Then 20 million people watched the show that night. I don't think anybody knew that it was going to be a commercial success until it was.
Lindelof's relationship with fans and critics
INSIDER: I think that the fans are so passionate about "The Leftovers" in a way that "Lost" fans were, too. I'm wondering how your relationship with your fandom is different with "The Leftovers" compared to "Lost," because I know you're not on Twitter anymore, but you're on Instagram.
Lindelof: There's a big difference between Twitter and Instagram I think culturally. I'm much more comfortable with Instagram. Twitter just wasn't for me ultimately, and that's nothing against Twitter. I think Twitter is amazing for a lot of different reasons. Probably not foreign policy, but I guess that's the world that we're living in now. It is a dangerous medium and it brought out the worst in me. It made me feel mostly defensive and mean a lot of the time. That's not Twitter's fault. It's just sort of like when you can curate criticism about yourself by just checking what people are saying about you, that's not a healthy diet, as they say.
In terms of "The Leftovers" fandom, I want to make myself as accessible and available to them as possible, but also I think "Lost" required a certain level of direct engagement because it was a mystery show and the audience needed to know that we were willing to stand out there on the podium and get screamed and yelled at. That was part of the job because of the inherent frustrations built into the franchise of the show, not to mention that I was raised in a culture.
I was going to Comic Con before I was participating in Comic Con as a panelist on my own show, and I just feel like there's no greater honor than sitting up there and having a conversation with the people who are taking the time to watch what you're writing and answer their questions and sign their stuff and get into interesting conversations with them, etc. That was just my favorite part of the job, and it still remains that way.
I also feel like "The Leftovers" is a different thing. It attracts a more introspective, thought-provoking conversation, and it just doesn't have all the bells and whistles of dragons and White Walkers and intimate knowledge of Westeros in terms of the world building. It spins on a slightly more intimate axis.
By the end of the entire run of "The Leftovers," we'll have made 28 episodes of "The Leftovers." That's just three more hours than season one of "Lost." There's just not as much of it to talk about. I think it's just scaled differently.
INSIDER: Do you ever check in on "The Leftovers" subreddit or any other fan forums to see what conversations people are having?
Lindelof: You know what? I haven't gone on Reddit, but several of the writers of "The Leftovers" do, and they will share like the "best of" Reddit with me. But the fact of the matter is we basically generated this third season of the show, and the second season ended in December of last year. We started writing in January, but the bulk of our work was done between March and August, and because "The Leftovers" wasn't on, people aren't really talking about it that much. When "Lost" was on, there just wasn't that much else on TV-wise, so it really dominated the conversation.
Even a show like "Stranger Things," which by all metrics is just (a) a fantastic show, but (b) a breakout hit, and (c) permeated the zeitgeist profoundly, there's just two or three weeks where everybody's talking about "Stranger Things" and then you're done. You're moving on to the next thing. It will be very hard for me to resist going on to subreddits once season three starts airing. I certainly have a healthy diet of bookmarks on my web browser for all the places and critics and bloggers that I read and respect, some of whom don't like the show at all, but still watch it, because I'm curious about what they have to say.
After six seasons, HBO's series about Hannah (Lena Dunham) and her friends, "Girls," came to an end on Sunday.
Though the show decided to say goodbye to most of the characters by its penultimate episode, the finale found that Hannah still had some battles involving her one remaining friend, Marnie (Allison Williams); her mother, Loreen (Becky Ann Baker); and her new baby, Grover.
The decision to use motherhood as the catalyst for Hannah's break from her selfish ways and into adulthood wasn't free from criticism. But the show is pretty used to that, and many credit the creators for not letting the public uproar affect their vision.
"We never did that on purpose," Jenni Konner, one of the showrunners and writers behind "Girls," told Business Insider over the phone on Monday. "We just kept making the show we wanted to make. [Executive producer Judd Apatow] is very, very good at helping to shut things out. So we just tried to not let that affect us and the stuff we did. We just tried to move in a more positive direction."
Jenni Konner, who also directed the finale, talked to Business Insider about the controversy over the episode, some of the criticism thrown at "Girls" during its run, and whether there's potential for a spin-off or movie.
Jethro Nededog: What’s your response to those who believe the motherhood storyline was too traditional a route for the show?
Jenni Konner: I don’t have any response. Again, I’m just so happy that people are still talking about us. I love the debate. I’ll miss it so much.
Nededog: What were the considerations in casting the baby?
Konner: It’s two babies, it’s twins. They’re our Olsen twins. They are the cutest babies ever. The mother was lovely. I didn’t know this when we wrote it, but the amount of time you have with infants when you’re shooting them is something like 20 minutes a day. And let me tell you, these two were not professional. They would cry all through the shoot. They would want to eat while we were shooting. So what are you going to do? They were so adorable and the look in their eyes. The idea that Hannah could look at them and think, ‘That baby hates me,’ was so funny to us and sad. That baby doesn’t hate anybody, you know?
Nededog: Was there some negotiation around breastfeeding them on-camera?
Konner: Babies don’t have any interest in nursing off prosthetic nipples, so that was never a problem, getting the baby to reject Hannah. And the mom seemed fine with it. She was standing two feet away the entire time. And they were very sweet babies. I held them a ton, too, because I hadn’t had babies for a while.
Nededog: There’s a series of men trying to help Hannah in the finale and she writes them off. But that last policeman wouldn’t take no for an answer. Is that a "Girls" statement on men?
Konner: I think that it helped the character to feel more alienated. You know, her normal doctor was a woman and she was on vacation. And the cop was a man. I think it made her feel even more removed from her own sensibilities when those are the people talking at her. It puts her in a more lonely place.
Nededog: Were other endings considered? And If so, why did this one win out?
Konner: I don’t think we ever had any other actual concrete ideas. We threw around ideas, but I can’t even remember them. This is the one Lena wanted to do from the beginning. So she just fought her heart out and we did it.
Nededog: What was the most challenging scene you directed in the finale?
Konner: The scenes with the babies were pretty challenging. I loved shooting the fight between Becky Ann Baker and Lena. I set up four cameras and just ran it through like it was a play four, five times. And to make sure we had momentum, we rehearsed it a lot. I’m really proud of that scene, because I think it feels incredibly real and heated in a way we couldn’t have gotten if we chopped it up.
Nededog: The show ends with a pretty bleak take on friendships.
Konner: You may call it bleak, I call it truthful.
Nededog: Do you believe the finale may have balanced out that last episode when it came to the last word on friendships?
Konner: Absolutely. I think the two core people, Marnie and her mother, will remain in her life in some form.
Nededog: Looking back on the season, is there anything you would’ve done differently?
Konner: There’s nothing more I would’ve done. I think we did the final season exactly the way we wanted to do it. I feel so fortunate that people seem to be really responding to it positively in a way that’s moderately new for us. We started thinking about it in season four. When we decided we were going to end with season six, with the help of [former HBO programming president] Mike Lombardi and [HBO Chairman and CEO] Richard Plepler being so generous with us and letting us finish it when we wanted to finish it. Judd was like, "Okay, now we pick our end," and we went straight there. I think that’s also why last season was pretty well-received. We had a straight arrow, this direction we were going in. And it helps with storytelling to know the end.
Nededog: Was there a character or actor who was the hardest to say, that’s a wrap?
Konner: The last day with the girls was very, very heartbreaking obviously. But every time someone left, it was very heartbreaking — when Gaby Hoffman left, when Jon Glaser left. These are all people we spent six years with. And we’re a really sensitive, close family, so it was hard on the crew, hard on everybody. But we all knew it was coming.
Nededog: There was some discussion online of how improbable it was that Hannah would get that college teaching job upstate. How do you feel about the fact-checking of "Girls"?
Konner: I don’t know what to say about that. We’re a television show. If you don’t believe it, then buy it as Hannah’s happy ending. I’ve seen weirder things happen at colleges and weirder people get jobs. I have to tell you at this point to have them still caring, I feel really, really lucky.
Nededog: Lena has said that she based a lot of Hannah on herself. At what point did Hannah split from being Lena?
Konner: It’s always going to be personal stories to Lena, to all in the writers’ room. But certainly when Lena became famous and got into a serious relationship with [musician Jack Antonoff], there were less stories from her life. She didn’t have anymore date stories. She didn’t have anymore terrible sex stories. We had to get them from other places. But she always put a personal spin on it.
Nededog: Since the beginning of "Girls," you've been called the millennial "Sex and the City." Had that always been in the back of your mind and informing your choices for the show?
Konner: What I always said when people make those comparisons is that the women in “Sex and the City,” they met each other as adults. They didn’t just randomly get assigned someone’s dorm. They met each other as adults with careers and lives behind them. And they chose their chip in a way that our characters didn’t. It’s much more random the way that our characters became friends. It was at such a different time in their lives that their ending made perfect sense for them and our ending makes a lot of sense for us. It’s a very different type of show.
Nededog: There's certainly some potential for a "Girls" spin-off or movie. Where do you land on that possibility?
Konner: I know! I would do any of them. The thing is I don’t think spin-offs are in HBO’s DNA, really. I mean they haven’t really done it before. I’m down for it. I’m into a movie, too, but no one’s asked. We’re down for it all.
This interview was edited for length and clarity.
"The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" had been on hiatus for the last 10 days, so there was a lot to catch up on when the host returned in full force on Monday night.
He tackled not only the festivities at the White House Easter Egg Roll that happened earlier that day, including the First Lady Melania Trump nudging her husband so he would put his hand over his heart during the playing of the National Anthem, and the official White House Snapchat account misspelling "education" in a post showing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos reading to children. He also gave time to Trump's interview last week with Fox Business, in which he talked about what he was doing when he gave the order to bomb Syria, and made an embarrassing and awkward mistake.
"Obviously, when you are bombing another country, that is a decision you take very seriously, so he did it in the Situation Room with all available intel — just kidding," Colbert said.
He then explained that Trump was eating dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump's Florida resort Mar-o-Largo. Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo asked Trump when he told Jinping about the bombing — before dessert?
"When did you bomb those people, before dessert?" Colbert said. "What's the proper wine pairing with a cruise missile? Is it a Merlot?"
In fact, Trump said, he and Jinping were eating "the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you've ever seen" when Trump informed the Chinese leader that "we just launched 59 missles heading to Iraq."
At that point, Bartiromo corrected the president, telling him that the missiles were launched at Syria.
"Whoopsie, I got the wrong country!" Colbert said, mocking Trump. "It's adorable."
Watch Colbert look back at the White House Easter Egg Roll and Trump's blunder about Syria below:
The "Game of Thrones" stars can look very different when they're not in their elaborate costumes, makeup, and hair for HBO's hit fantasy drama.
The show's cast has been seen hitting the red carpet dressed to the nines for the HBO show's various season premieres, including the season-six event last year in Los Angeles.
Fans got a chance to see Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sophie Turner, and Maisie Williams hitting the town rather than plotting to get power in Westeros.
While sadly we have to wait a little longer for season seven of "Game of Thrones" (it will premiere in July, rather than April), it's always a good time to check in on the talented actors who power its drama.
Here's the "Game of Thrones" cast as they appear in real life:
John Bradley-West plays Samwell Tarly on "Game of Thrones."
And he can get all cleaned up, as he did at the season-six premiere.
Hannah Murray plays Samwell's life partner, Gilly.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
How do you end a show with zero likable characters? Well, that is, except for Elijah, Ray, or Loreen, who are probably the only people ever on HBO's "Girls" to root for. It’s hard to end a show when there isn’t a main character you really, really wanted to find happiness or come up with an iconic Coca-Cola commercial. Hannah’s accomplishments (a Modern Love article, teaching "internet" at an obscure university, and pretty much every other job she ever got) were as frustrating as they were unrealistic, because she always got her way and did whatever she wanted without thinking about how she affected other people, but she all along she did expect others to think about how they affect her.
Ending the series with a success for Hannah (and with breastfeeding) felt right, but it didn’t feel earned, especially considering Hannah was at her most insufferable in this episode — particularly in that big fight with her mom. Hannah's frustrations with Marnie’s help provided a perfect example of her spoiled, unappreciative nature, along with her theory that her own child hates her guts. But she got over it all too quickly, and that makes the rest of the series suffer because Hannah could have reached her epiphany sooner in the timeline of the show, and given space to other characters.
Not every series finale has to tell us everything. Not everything needs to be wrapped up in a traditional way, or even shown to us at all. Some of the best series finales don’t wrap up storylines or unanswered questions — think “Mad Men“ or “The Sopranos” — because that’s life. But some great series finales do tell us everything (or close enough to it), like “Six Feet Under” or “Breaking Bad.”
"Latching" gave us a little bit of both, but not enough of either. It was unconventional, but not for “Girls.” It showed us that Hannah is mature now. And that Marnie will be mature one day, too, eventually. Maybe. Probably not. And that was a little too much wrapping up. For a show that was about terrible people struggling to grow up, shouldn't it have ended with less of a bow for its main character, who struggled the most with maturity?
Some of the best and most memorable episodes of “Girls” have been character-centric bottle episodes, just like “Latching.” Season five’s “Panic in Central Park” (the one where Marnie reunites with Charlie who has become a heroin addict) is one of the most beautifully written episodes of television. And season two’s “One Man’s Trash” (the one where Hannah plays half-naked ping pong with Patrick Wilson) was defining for the series, and launched a thousand think pieces and misogynist conspiracy theories explaining why someone as good-looking as Patrick Wilson (an actual Hollywood actor!) would ever sleep with someone who looks like Lena Dunham.
And “Latching” wasn’t a bad episode. It was actually a good episode. It just wasn’t in the right place. The time jump to get Grover born by the finale felt rushed, and the season probably would have been more successful if this had been done earlier on in the season — and if this episode weren't the last. Its distance from the rest of the series — and the rest of the season — made it feel tacked on. That may be the point, but save for Hannah’s pregnancy, it rendered the majority of season six relatively pointless.
We didn’t need to see Jessa or Shoshana or Elijah back in New York City, or even Ray, but it would’ve been more fitting to get a little more screen time from them — even if it were brief, vague, and made us ask more questions than before. Without Elijah in the series finale, his high-profile role in season six felt like a waste of time. Of course the point was that not all friends stick around as promised (except for Marnie, who is everywhere, always!), but we lost time we could've spent with Shosh, Jessa, and Ray because of it.
The worst thing a series finale can do is a montage showing exactly what happened to every single character for the rest of their lives. Except for “Six Feet Under,” which used that cliche to emphasize what the show was always about: life and death. From the start, “Girls” was about Hannah’s journey, but it wasn’t just her journey. What about Shoshana’s journey that we didn’t even get to see? Why did we have to watch Jessa and Adam make a movie together? Does Ray ever leave the coffee shop? None of these plotlines need answers, but with a finale so far away from the season and the series, you can’t help but wonder.
Loose ends are fine — and fitting for a show about young people. And fitting for a show like “Girls,” which has never wanted to handhold the audience. We don’t need to see a happy (or sad) ending for everyone, but ending the series with a bottle episode doesn’t feel right. Yes, this was Hannah’s story all along, but the show is called “Girls.” And for a show that started off so real to its target demographic, it didn’t end that way.
Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, which depicts the suicide of a teenage girl, has sparked a huge rise in mental health helpline calls.
Headspace's national manager for school support Kirsten Douglas said: "People have said the show has triggered their own vulnerabilities and made them consider whether suicide is a possible option for them.
"We are so concerned about that and we see spikes in suicide when there is unsafe portrayals," she added.
Douglas, who also said teenagers are vulnerable to contagion, stated: "That's a huge driving factor around contagion… people may look at that the method as a real option.
"If you have seen it, it seems more attainable. When you watch harmful suicide footage it can lead to further death."
Based on the 2007 novel by Jay Asher, 13 Reasons Why deals with difficult themes and topics, including sexual assault and teen suicide.
The show's producers recently defended their decision to include Hannah's suicide scene in such graphic detail.
"We worked very hard not to be gratuitous," creator Brian Yorkey said, "but we did want it to be painful to watch, because we wanted it to be very clear that there is nothing, in any way, worthwhile about suicide."
Asher also spoke about the idea of a second season for the show, even though there was no sequel to the book.
13 Reasons Why is available on Netflix now.
Suicide is preventable. Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact Samaritans on 116 123 (www.samaritans.org), or Mind on 0300 123 3393 (www.mind.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the National Suicide Prevention Line on 1-800-273-8255.
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Jimmy Kimmel found a way to kill two birds with one stone on Tuesday's episode of his ABC late-night show. In one sketch, he spoofed United Airlines and continued his ongoing fake feud with actor Matt Damon.
"United has been trying to stay out of the spotlight this week, but they started running a new commercial today," the host said. "I think they may have to get rid of their celebrity spokesman."
We then hear Damon's voice over video of pleasant scenes on a United flight, a stark contrast from the controversial video taken of a passenger getting injured while being forcibly removed from his United flight seat by authorities.
"We’re United Airlines. We work hard to get you safely to your destination and that’s why we," Damon said before pausing and changing his tone.
"You know what?" Damon continued. "No, no, I can’t do this anymore, because I know what it’s like to get bumped. Trust me, I’ve been getting bumped from Jimmy’s show for the past eight years and it takes a toll. We’re people, damnit, and we deserve to be treated with dignity, not told night after night, 'Oh, there’s somebody more important so take a hike.' No, it's time to stand up."
That's when we hear him begin to argue with somebody about being removed from his seat, complete with sounds of a scuffle. We then hear Kimmel's voice say United Airlines' tagline, "Fly the friendly skies," amid Damon's shouts.
Watch the United Airlines spoof below:
Few political impressions have made an impact the way Alec Baldwin's version of President Donald Trump on "Saturday Night Live" has, even if Baldwin isn't actually a regular cast member on the show.
Baldwin appeared on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" Tuesday night, and he talked about how he gets into character as Trump, a role that has earned him a lot of love and plenty of hate, including from Trump himself, who has called"SNL" a "totally one-sided, biased show" since Baldwin started regularly doing his Trump on it.
"When I saw your Donald Trump, I think like a lot of people, I went, 'Oh, thank God. Someone has cracked that nut,'" Colbert told Baldwin.
After saying that he does get a lot of "thank yous" on the streets of New York City for the role, Baldwin got into what makes his Trump impression tick. It turns out, he's not going for accuracy.
"It's totally a caricature. You just pick a few things," he said of watching Trump's mannerisms to nail the impression. "I'm sitting in the room, I'm going, 'Left eyebrow up, right eyebrow down. Shove your face like you're trying to suck the chrome off the fender of a car.'"
Then he immediately went into his Trump face.
Watch Alec Baldwin talk about his Trump impression below:
A sexual-harassment scandal has ended Bill O'Reilly's tenure at Fox News Channel, where he has been the host of its highest-rated show, "The O'Reilly Factor," for decades.
Earlier in April, an explosive New York Times investigation found that the host and Fox News had paid out $13 million to five women who had accused O'Reilly of unwanted sexual advances. Another Fox News contributor, Wendy Walsh, and now a clerical worker have also made allegations of sexual harassment against O'Reilly.
In the wake of the accusations and an exodus of more than 20 advertisers from O'Reilly's show, he stopped hosting the show. His official reason was a planned vacation, but reports said that he would not be returning.
On Wednesday, Fox issued a statement confirming that O'Reilly "will not be returning to the Fox News Channel."
How did O'Reilly rise to such prominence and influence? Here's a look at the conservative host and commentator's career — and what killed his show:
The counterculture of the 1960s sparked Bill O'Reilly's journalism career.
Bill O'Reilly was born in New York City and raised in Long Island. He spent his early education in Catholic schools and attended Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. In his junior year, he studied abroad in London. O'Reilly said that when he returned from Europe, the '60s counterculture movement had become very popular in the US. And although he says he didn't participate, his observations of the times sparked his desire to become a journalist.
O'Reilly paid his dues before anchoring his own news program in 1980.
After graduating from Boston University with a master's degree in broadcast journalism, O'Reilly reported for local news stations in Dallas, Denver, Portland, and Boston. He then got his first big anchoring job at CBS's local New York affiliate in 1980. Two years later, he was promoted to the network news team as a correspondent. He was then poached by ABC News in 1986.
O'Reilly cemented his audience appeal as the host of "Inside Edition" in the early '90s.
In 1989, he left ABC News to become the host of the syndicated news entertainment show "Inside Edition." During five of his six years as its host, it was the highest-watched infotainment show on TV. After leaving the show in 1995, O'Reilly enrolled at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government for his second master's degree, this one in public administration.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Tina Fey’s Netflix original series "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" comes back for season three in May, and it looks awesome based on the trailer that just dropped.
Kimmy is going to college! But it looks like season three will stay true to the show's roots and be as weird as ever: Titus is still broke (he is literally coloring money with crayons), and Lillian still has that creepy fling with Robert Durst.
Some of the show’s greatest guest stars are back including Fred Armisen as Robert Durst, Jon Hamm as Richard Wayne Gary Wayne, and Josh Charles.
The full-length trailer also gives us a longer sneak peek at Titus’s “Lemonading,” which is when you dress up like Beyoncé and smash things with a baseball bat when you think your partner is cheating on you.
Season three of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” makes its debut on Netflix May 19. Watch the trailer below.
Who killed Sister Cathy? That's the question Netflix's new true-crime TV series, "The Keepers," will strive to answer.
Netflix released the first trailer for the seven-part series on Wednesday, and already people are comparing it to the streaming company's runaway hit docuseries, "Making a Murderer."
In "The Keepers," which will be available May 19, director Ryan White ("The Case Against 8") tries to find the answer to one of Baltimore's most memorable unsolved mysteries.
Sister Cathy Cesnik, a 26-year-old nun and a beloved Baltimore Catholic schoolteacher, suddenly disappeared in 1969. Her murder case is still unsolved.
Speaking with friends, relatives, journalists, government officials, and Baltimore citizens, White peels back the layers of the mystery to reveal a potential clergy abuse cover-up by the Catholic Church, the police, and the government.
Watch the trailer below:
Like many of the late-night hosts on Wednesday, Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t resist poking fun at the big news that Bill O’Reilly has been dropped by Fox News.
The cable news network cut ties with O’Reilly following a barrage of sexual-harassment allegations. The successful political commentator heard the news while on vacation.
“Fox News decided to extend Bill’s vacation to forever,” Kimmel said on his show.
Kimmel also gave an exclusive look at O’Reilly’s "replacement," which was in fact a bit with Kimmel’s security-guard sidekick, Guillermo Rodriguez, as the host of a parody Fox News show called "The Guillerm O'Factor."
Guillermo, with the tagline "The No La Vuelta Zone," spouts off in an aggressive O'Reilly-type manner about President Donald Trump needing to play a lot of golf because "he's fat." He also claims that the reason Tom Brady didn't attend the New England Patriots' visit to the White House is that he's gay.
Guillermo then teased a "sexy girls with no pants" segment.
Needless to say, this won't be hitting the airwaves of Fox News.
Watch the entire bit here:
Having satirized the conservative point of view for years on the "Colbert Report," Stephen Colbert could both celebrate and mourn the firing of Bill O'Reilly by Fox News.
"He's been a guest on this show, and I take no pleasure in his downfall. I'm not going to sit here and publicly gloat," Colbert said on Wednesday's "Late Show" before instructing the crew to take the camera off him so he could privately gloat.
O'Reilly's exit comes after an explosive report by The New York Times found that Fox and O'Reilly had paid $13 million in settlements to women who had accused the host of making unwanted sexual advances, as well as new accusations of sexual harassment and an exodus of more than 20 advertisers from the time slot of "The O'Reilly Factor."
O'Reilly said last week he was taking a previously planned vacation. But on Wednesday, Fox issued a statement confirming that he would "not be returning to the Fox News Channel."
"It's not that big of a surprise," Colbert said. "We all saw this coming at us like an old man cornering an intern in the break room."
"The O'Reilly Factor" was the top-rated program across all the cable news networks for more than a decade. Colbert gave credit to O'Reilly's popularity when the audience booed the part of Fox's statement calling O'Reilly "one of the most accomplished TV personalities in the history of cable news."
"By ratings standards, he is," Colbert said. "By moral standards, he was a self-righteous landfill of angry garbage."
But Colbert had to pay some homage to O'Reilly, saying he had based part of his "Colbert Report" character on the conservative newsman. To present another point of view, he brought back the "Report" character to bid farewell to his icon.
"Shame on you. You failed him. You failed Bill O'Reilly," he said to America. "You didn't deserve this great man. All he ever did was have your back — and if you're a woman, you know, have a go at the front, too."
Coming out of the taped sketch, Colbert offered O'Reilly devotees some consolation.
"In case you're a fan of sexual harassers who are on TV all the time, we still have Donald Trump," he said.
Watch the video:
Bill O'Reilly stands to receive as much as $25 million in a payout from Fox News after being fired by the network amid mounting sexual-harassment allegations.
A person with knowledge of the matter told Business Insider on Thursday that O'Reilly's amended contract provides that he receive a maximum of one year's salary. The amount the parties settle on could be lower than that, though.
According to a CNN report earlier Thursday citing two sources, the payout is the result of O'Reilly's contract with Fox News' parent company, 21st Century Fox, that was signed in late March.
The sources told CNN that O'Reilly was to be paid about $25 million a year under the contract, which covered him through 2020 0r 2021, which would include the next presidential election. Previous reports said his salary was between $18 million and $20 million.
In creating O'Reilly's contract, the company may have used what it learned from its ousting in July of Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. Ailes was paid the remainder of his contract, a sum reportedly more than $40 million.
According to CNN's sources, Fox placed some exit clauses in O'Reilly's contract in case his employment ended before it expired.
CNN reports that both O'Reilly and 21st Century Fox are barred by confidentiality agreements from speaking about the payout. Business Insider has contacted Fox News and 21st Century Fox for comment.
O'Reilly's exit comes after an explosive report by The New York Times found that Fox and O'Reilly had paid $13 million in settlements to women who had accused the host of making unwanted sexual advances, as well as new accusations of sexual harassment and an exodus of more than 20 advertisers from the time slot of "The O'Reilly Factor," the top-rated show on cable news.
The host said last week he was taking a previously planned vacation. But on Wednesday, Fox issued a statement confirming he would "not be returning to the Fox News Channel."
The INSIDER Summary:
Video streaming has been around roughly since the start of the internet, but it rarely goes well. The experience of watching videos on YouTube and elsewhere on the web is a grab bag of incompatible plugins, weird cropping, and choppy consistency.
One of the great technological innovations of Netflix is just how smooth its video streaming technology is. Video files are huge and internet speeds never seem to be fast enough, so it's astonishing how Netflix offers such a stable platform for streaming video in so many different places, from smartphones to smart TVs.
One way Netflix ensures smooth streaming is by toggling its video quality based on how much bandwidth your internet connection has. If you have a fast internet connection with a lot of bandwidth, Netflix will serve you sterling HD video. If your connection isn't as strong, it'll downgrade the resolution of the video.
This can be frustrating. Filmmakers and producers put in countless hours into their work, and that work deserves to be seen at the highest quality possible. In many cases, even with a slow connection, it makes sense to wait for a high quality video to load rather than play it immediately in low quality. You can direct Netflix to play videos in higher quality in the Account Settings, but it still won't always serve you the best possible video.
Luckily, there's a secret menu on Netflix, as noted by a Redditor, that will let you change the video streaming quality. Since discovering it, it's changed the way I watch stuff on Netflix. I always opt for the better experience of higher quality streaming.
If you're on a computer, hit Control+Alt+Shift+S to bring up the menu. Some users have also reported it working with a keyboard-connected gaming console or smart TV, but your mileage may vary.
It'll be superimposed on top of the video, like this:
From here, you can select the audio and video bitrates, then hit "Override." Higher bitrates are higher quality. Selecting multiple bitrates allows Netflix to choose from those specific different options depending on your internet speed. (The "CDN" part of the menu refers to how your computer is connecting to Netflix's servers. You can just ignore it.)
It makes a huge difference. As an example, I took a shot from "Twin Peaks" streamed with a 180 bitrate and compared it to the same moment with a bitrate of 2260.
Here's the 180 bitrate shot. Both character's facial features are ill-defined, and the image looks fuzzy.
Now here's the 2260 bitrate version. Take a close look. The colors are less muddled, it's easier to see how Cooper's brow is furrowed, and Sheriff Truman's hair is better defined.
If you don't think they look very different, think about looking at those images for hours and hours, which is how you actually watch Netflix. It makes a difference.
When you log out of Netflix, watch a different video, or refresh the page, the settings will reset, so you'll have to set them again.
High quality streaming, of course, uses up more data, so while using this hack, keep in mind whatever data caps your internet service provider may have.
Netflix has a few other secret menu shortcuts. Control+Alt+Shift+D brings up detailed video and audio information about your stream, and Control+Alt+Shift+L brings up a log of technical Netflix activity during your streaming session.
Alt+Shift+Left Click also brings up some more granular data about your Netflix stream, as well as some useful options like changing the timing between the video and audio streams and even uploading your own subtitles, but it doesn't work on Mac computers.