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Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween Review – A Pretty Slappy Sequel

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Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

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R.L. Stine’s beloved 1990s children’s horror book series makes its way back to the big screen in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween, a sequel to the live-action film adaptation of Stine’s novels that came out in 2015. While Jack Black starred as a fictional version of Stine in that movie, Sony didn’t even confirm the actor’s return for the followup until a few weeks before its release. Similarly, neither the director, writer, nor supporting cast of the (generally well-received) first Goosebumps film worked on the second installment. While Haunted Halloween certainly suffers for it, the sequel isn’t an entirely hollow continuation of the franchise either. Goosebumps 2 lacks the charm and inventiveness of its predecessor, but still has a reasonable amount of spoopy entertainment value to offer.

Goosebumps 2 picks up in the small town of Wardenclyffe, New York, as its residents prepare for the fast-approaching Halloween Night festivities. Meanwhile, in the Quinn household, high school senior Sarah (Madison Iseman) is trying to finish her college application and her younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) is struggling with his science class project – a miniature replica of an experimental wireless transmission station in Wardenclyffe that was built and designed by Nikola Tesla, but never finished (aka. the Tesla Tower). The Quinns are joined by Sonny’s best friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris), who is staying over at their house while his parents are away for the Halloween holiday.

After some prodding from Sam, Sonny agrees to take a break from his project and clear out an abandoned local house, as part of the duo’s ongoing efforts to launch a (successful) junk cleanup business. While there, however, the pair stumble upon an incomplete manuscript for a Goosebumps novel, unaware that the building was once owned by R.L. Stine himself. Not knowing any better, Sam and Sonny unlock the book and inadvertently unleash the Goosebumps villain Slappy the Dummy back into the real world. While the living ventriloquist dummy seems (sorta) friendly at first, it’s not long before he reveals his true evil plan, with only Sam, Sonny and Sarah to stand in his way.

If the original Goosebumps movie was a throwback to the popular family-friendly spooky adventures of the 1990s (think Hocus Pocus), then Haunted Halloween is closer to being the 2018 equivalent of a direct-to cable scary movie for kids from the ’90s – that is, noticeably cheaper and more generic, yet otherwise harmless and playful in its own right. The Goosebumps 2 script by Rob Lieber (Peter Rabbit) likewise carries over the first movie’s imaginative premise and conceit (e.g. Stine’s Goosebumps novel manuscripts are really enchanted objects which contain and prevent his “demons” from entering the real world) and includes references to its story, yet never really tries to build on its concepts, much less its themes and lore. Instead, Haunted Halloween offers helpful, if unchallenging, life lessons for kids and a serviceable narrative that doesn’t exactly push the envelope for the larger Goosebumps brand.

At the same time, Goosebumps 2 is perhaps more successful than its predecessor when it comes to being genuinely menacing and scary for the juice box crowd, yet still light-hearted enough to avoid traumatizing them (hence, “spoopy”). Much of the credit for that goes to director Ari Sandel (The DUFF), who does a commendable job of combining suspenseful and creepy storytelling with comedic moments here, much like Stine did so well in his original Goosebumps novels. Haunted Halloween, as indicated earlier, feels like a lower-budgeted affair than the first Goosebumps, yet Sandel and his creative team – including, DP Barry Peterson (Game Night) and production designer Rusty Smith (Get Out) – still manage to deliver a movie that’s a proper cut above a comparable TV film, in terms of overall craftsmanship. That also goes for the CGI and creature effects in the sequel’s first half (more on the second half later).

The actual setting of Haunted Halloween is mostly populated by stock types, be they the film’s young heroes or the local bullies that Sonny and Sam have to deal with (not to mention, Sarah’s dishonest would-be boyfriend). While their characters are fairly two-dimensional in the Goosebumps sequel, Harris, Iseman and Ray nevertheless have the same affable screen presence that’s allowed them to stand out in films and TV shows past and, thus, make their protagonists all the easier to root for. That also goes for the adult supporting players here, as Wendi McLendon-Covey (The Goldbergs) and Ken Jeong (Community) mostly channel their famous small screen personas as Sarah and Sonny’s adorkable mother Kathy and their eccentric neighbor Mr. Chu, respectively. As for Black as R.L. Stine: his own role in Goosebumps 2 is pretty superfluous, which is disappointing considering the energy that he brought to the proceedings as the first Goosebumps‘ co-protagonist (not to mention, his vocal performance as Slappy, which Black didn’t reprise in the sequel).

All in all, Haunted Halloween is a passable if derivative sequel – but not because the Goosebumps books themselves are incapable of sustaining multiple films. Rather, the problem is that the sequel recycles too much from the first movie and struggles to make creative use of the fresh elements (like the real-world Tesla Tower) that it brings into the mix here. It’s too bad, seeing as Goosebumps 2 had a wealth of different monsters and horror genres in Stine’s source novels to draw from, yet elected to continue simplifying the author’s mythology by making Slappy the big bad (again) and skimping on giving the other creatures much in the way of personality. As a result, the second half of the movie plays out as a watered down version of what happened in the original Goosebumps, albeit with lower production values and emotional impact.

Still, Goosebumps 2 should go over best with its young target demographic and provide them with enough silly scares and fun adventure to keep them engaged for its brisk runtime. Moreover, much like your average comic book movie these days, Haunted Halloween delivers its fair share of Goosebumps easter eggs and nods to the real Stine’s source material (right down to a Stan Lee-esque cameo from Stine himself), to further serve the property’s youngest fans. As for those who prefer their family-friendly fantasies with Jack Black starring front and center – The House with a Clock in Its Walls is still playing in theaters and ought to fulfill your own needs for some spoopy entertainment this Halloween season.

TRAILER

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween begins playing in U.S. theaters on Thursday evening, October 11. It is 90 minutes long and is rated PG for scary creature action and images, some thematic elements, rude humor and language.

Let us know what you thought of the film in the comments section!



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2018-10-10 01:10:58 – Sandy Schaefer

Assassin’s Creed: 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Odyssey

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – the latest installment in Ubisoft’s wildly popular video game franchise – has finally landed on shelves. Set in Ancient Greece, Odyssey gives players the opportunity to assume the role of a mercenary from either Athens or Sparta, and to take part in a mythology-infused recreation of the Peloponnesian War.

The game features an even greater emphasis on the RPG elements first introduced in its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and boasts multiple endings that are triggered by the player’s actions. Odyssey also sees the return of the controversial Hitbox combat engine which debuted in Origins – albeit in a significantly enhanced form. Thanks to these and other challenging core mechanics – not to mention the daunting size of the game’s virtual environment – Odyssey should prove suitably tough for more casual gamers. But for seasoned veterans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise? Not so much.

Indeed, gamers who have followed the series since the very first entry way back in 2007 aren’t likely to struggle. On the contrary, we expect them to flourish, putting to good use the skills and knowledge they’ve gleaned from the past 11 games in the series – not to mention the six spin-off entries – to finish the main quest in record time.  This will leave them free to start focusing on tracking down Odyssey’s hidden Easter eggs, secret areas, and other bonus content clueless rookies don’t have a chance of tracking down unaided.

Here’s a list of 20 Things Only Experts Know How To Do In Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.

20 Find The Legend Of Zelda Easter Egg

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Of all the many classic video game franchises, few are as unanimously beloved by both gamers and developers alike as The Legend of Zelda series. The team at Ubisoft clearly rank amongst this iconic Nintendo series’ admirers – as the easter egg they tucked away in Odyssey proves.

In a tip of the hat to the most recent Zelda instalment, Breath of the Wild, a Korok – a small humanoid figure made out of clay, flower petals and twigs – can be found on the Pandora’s Cove coastline. Although this hidden tribute is now the most well-known Easter egg in the game, experts had no trouble tracking it down on their own within mere days of Odyssey’s release!

19 Achieve The Secret Ending

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey marks a dramatic change in direction for the franchise – from purely action/adventure outings to something closer to an action/RPG hybrid. This is reflected in how important the player’s actions are to the game’s overall narrative, and in particular, how that narrative reaches its climax.

Indeed, what the player decides to do – or just as importantly, say – will determine how events unfold next, and ultimately determine which of the game’s multiple endings they achieve.

Most players should be able to reach at least one ending.

If you complete every side quest and make all of the right decisions to unlock the secret, ultra ending, ensuring the best possible finale for your mercenary.

18 Visit Atlantis

As soon as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting was announced, fans immediately began speculating over whether the fabled lost city of Atlantis would be part of its virtual environment. The good news is that Ubisoft hasn’t missed a trick, and Atlantis does indeed count among the many sunken locations scattered across the game’s humongous map. The bad news? It’s highly likely that only experts will be capable of uncovering the most eagerly anticipated (not to mention coolest) secret area in Odyssey.

The steps involved are extremely taxing, requiring players to traverse treacherous terrain, solve fiendish riddles posed by the Sphinx and dispatch a bevy of mythological horrors like Medusa, the Cyclops and the Minotaur!

17 Recruit Legendary NPCs Early

Over the course of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, players can enlist NPCs to serve as crew members aboard their ship, the Adrestia. Recruiting a high calibre crew is a great way to upgrade the Adrestia – so the trick is to bring legendary NPCs into the fold. Casual gamers will wait until they unlock these characters by completing quests, however experts are aware of a hidden mechanic that speeds up the whole process.

There’s a less publicized gameplay mechanic which enables you to recruit legendary NPCs by defeating them in combat using non-lethal takedowns.

Better yet, once your ship’s roster is made up entirely of legendary NPCs, you unlock the “Argonauts” trophy, too!

16 Regain The Cyclops Eye

One of the most frustrating moments in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey arrives early on, when you’re forced to give up the Cyclops’ Eye during Sequence 1. It’s not exactly the most classy of disposals, either: to put it bluntly, you squeeze it up the rear end of a poor, unsuspecting goat. If you’re scratching your head over this last revelation, then just trust us: it makes sense at the time!

Rookies will write off the Eye as a lost cause, but experts up to speed on the game’s secrets won’t give up so quickly. By engaging in an exhaustive goat-hunting expedition in Kephallonia, they’ll recover this valuable artifact, earning the dubious “Stink Eye” achievement, as well.

15 Change Their Ship’s Figurehead

Long-time fans of the series will recall that in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you could easily customize your ship’s decorative figurehead as part of the normal upgrade process. Unfortunately, this isn’t something that carries over to Odyssey – and only expert players are likely to work out the secret method of doing this.

For starters, you need to defeat a boss – not exactly a walk in the park itself, by the way – and then behead them.

Once this has been take care of, if you scroll through the inventory of ship upgrade options, you’ll see your new souvenir listed. Select it, and voila! The Adrestia will have itself a brand new (and rather creepy) figurehead!

14 Track Down All Of The Cultist Clues

The underlying mythology of the Assassin’s Creed franchise incorporates several shadowy organisations – and Odyssey is no exception. The latest entry in the series introduces the nefarious Cult of Kosmos, and players aiming to get the most out of game’s story need to track down and eliminate key members of the group. In order to do so, they’ll have to swap their mercenary’s helmet for their detective’s cap, as the cultists’ whereabouts are only revealed by clues sprinkled through Odyssey’s sprawling Ancient Greece setting.

Some of these hints can be uncovered with little effort, whereas others will prove elusive to all but the most seasoned of gamers!

On the plus side, all of this running around pays off, as only players who chase down every single cultist will get to experience the game’s whole story.

13 Unlock Evie Frye

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate – the ninth video game in the main series – is headlined by twins Jacob and Evie Frye. Of the two siblings, Evie is arguably the more memorable – which is probably why she’s an unlockable character in Odyssey. Now, before you get too excited, bear in mind that Evie is a legendary NPC, so you won’t get to play as her directly.

Still, it’s incredibly cool to recruit her as a crew member on your ship, provided you’re an Ubisoft Club member with enough XP to afford her. See, unlocking Evie requires players to part with 7,500 XP in exchange for the “Master Assassin” badge, which only long-time fans of the franchise will have amassed!

12 Access Battle Royale Mode

Battle royale games like Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds are currently the hottest thing on the block. Making the most of modern online multiplayer capabilities, games in this genre pit a pack of players against each other in thrilling, last-man-standing contests.

Obviously, this stands in stark contrast to the single-player, open world experience offered by Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – until experts stumble across the “Call to Arms” sidequest. Found by scouring the island of Melos, this mission – which requires skilled players to wipe out 99 consecutive enemies – represents a thinly-veiled attempt by Ubisoft to acknowledge (or should that be “cash in on”?) the popularity of the battle royale genre!

11 Find The Black Panther Easter Egg

Black Panther is currently the second highest grossing film of 2018, and with that success comes a considerable fanbase, too. At least some of the developers at Ubisoft fall within that category, if the Black Panther Easter egg included in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is anything to go by. As experts will have no doubt already discovered, the game contains a fairly faithful recreation of Black Panther’s two most notable scenes: the duels that occur at the base of a waterfall.

This is staged at the Gortyn Waterfall, where players can first spectate on the melee using Eagle Vision.

That’s not all, though: it’s also possible to clamber up the cliff where the fight is going down, and actually confront the pair of brawlers yourself!

10 Discover Sam Fisher’s Goggles

So far we’ve focused solely on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s Ancient Greece setting – which disregards the fact that certain sections of the game are set in a present day safe house. Anyone unfamiliar with the franchise’s convoluted (some would say downright insane) science fiction elements, just trust us when we say that this does make sense.

Regardless of whether or not you buy into this more far-fetched aspect of the Assassin’s Creed mythology, there are multiple Easter eggs to dig up during these segments. Not all of these relate to the franchise either – just ask the experts who’ve unearthed the iconic, three-lensed night vision goggles worn by Sam Fisher, the protagonist of Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell games!

9 Stumble Across The Sword In The Stone

The team at Ubisoft has done a remarkable job of recreating an utterly convincing (albeit wildly fantastical) rendition of Ancient Greece in Odyssey. This awesome attention to detail is reflected in almost every aspect of the virtual environment, particularly the character and weapon design. We say “almost”, because at least one item experts will undoubtedly come across whilst roaming the game map definitely does not fit the time period depicted: the Sword in the Stone from Arthurian legend. Fortunately, this gag is an intentional mistake on the developer’s part.

Unfortunately, you can’t remove this legendary blade from its Lakonia resting place.

That’s a real shame: historical accuracy be damned – there’s always a place for Excalibur in our armory!

8 Locate The Rabbid Figure

Another easter egg squirrelled away in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s modern era safe house setting, the Rabbid figure is hard to spot if players blitz through these sequences. However, experts tend to favor a more methodical approach – even when confronted by the franchise’s moments of less than engaging gameplay.

These long-time campaigners will cast their eyes over every inch of the safe house, which means snooping around each room, no matter how empty it appears to be. This will eventually lead them to the shelves of a particularly untidy room. Here, they’ll spy the Rabbid toy – a cute shout-out to Ubisoft’s all-ages Rayman franchise, accompanied by a line of dialogue (“Bwaah?”) associated with these bunny-like characters.

7 Acquire The Epic Unicorn Skin

It doesn’t matter what mythology we’re talking about: unicorns are invariably treated as an incredibly rare species. Certainly, this carries over to the world of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, where players can indeed transform their horse into one of these awe-inspiring creatures – provided they can get their hands on a unicorn pelt.

They sport an eye-watering 6,400 Drachmae price tag!

Rookies who are feeling flush will plump for either the Black Unicorn or undeniably amazing (though sadly, non-flying) Pegasus skins, purchased with real-world cash from the Ubisoft Store. On the other hand, genuine experts prefer to earn their keep, and will trawl merchant stalls for the appropriately named, randomly-spawing Epic Unicorn skin, which leaves rainbow hoof prints.

6 Home Town Pride

The developers of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hail from Ubisoft’s Montreal headquarters, based in Quebec. Like the citizens of any city or town, these guys and gals are proud of the place they call home – so much so that they managed to sneak a Quebec-related easter egg into the game!

It’s something that will almost certainly go unnoticed by less observant gamers, but experienced players – the type of people who scan the entire game environment for secret material – will discover a travel magazine whilst rifling through the safe house. The destination this mag is promoting? Why, Quebec, of course! True, it’s not exactly the most exciting bonus content in Odyssey, but it’s a nice touch all the same.

5 Put The Arena Spikes To Good Use

A key trait which separates veteran Assassin’s Creed players from newcomers is the willingness of the former to experiment with their surroundings. Take the spikes that dotted around the Arena in Odyssey.

Rookies will probably dismiss these as mere set dressing and completely ignore them once the fighting breaks out.

Don’t expect experts to make the same mistake, though. Already clued up on just how interactive the game worlds in the franchise can be, these gamers will immediately identify the potential for the spikes to deal damage to their opponents. The next thing you know, the edges of the Arena will begin to resemble a shish kebab vendor who trades in skewered would-be gladiatorial champions!

4 Reminisce About The Frye Twins

It turns out Assassin’s Creed Syndicate isn’t the only instalment in the franchise to take place in London – Odyssey does, too. True, the vast majority of the game is set in Ancient Greece, but its modern era sections unfold in London, something that won’t come as a shock to more attentive players.

After all, just by gazing out of the safe house windows, you can take in a decent view of London’s famous skyline, with what tourists would recognize as Big Beg especially prominent. What’s more, if you allow yourself a moment to properly contemplate the sight before your eyes, you’ll even trigger a line of dialogue that references Jacob and Evie Frye, the lead characters in Syndicate!

3 Discover All Of The Underwater Locations

As you might expect from a virtual environment that recreates the entire Aegean Sea, Atlantis isn’t the only submerged area on the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey map.

The ocean floor of Ubisoft’s vision of Ancient Greece is littered with dozens of hidden locations brimming with valuable treasure.

Anyone prepared to embrace their inner Jacques Cousteau will be in for a real treat. That said, given the sheer amount of exploration required to pinpoint all of these sunken locations – fun fact: at 130km², Odyssey’s map is 62% bigger than the already massive world of Origins – we’d wager only experts will visit all of them.

2 Get All Of The Other Endings As Well

Sure, everybody wants to get the best possible Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ending – you know: the super secret, totally awesome one we mentioned earlier. Even so, part of being an expert is also having a completist streak, which is why we think they’ll figure out how to achieve Odyssey’s eight other possible endings, as well.

This might not sound like much, but it’s actually quite a feat, for two main reasons. First of all, this game is absurdly long – the main quest alone clocks in at 40 hours of gameplay – so repeating it again and again is no picnic. Secondly, they’ll need to ensure they get every single word and deed right, in order to arrive at their desired conclusion!

1 Climb Up The Naked Statue

Full disclosure: this entry is unashamedly juvenile in nature, given it revolves around players scaling up a male statue and dangling from part of its anatomy (three guesses which part). Regardless, we’re positive that even the most mature expert will decide to do just that, when they pass by this landmark early on in Odyssey – honestly, it’s just too hard to resist.

You’ll be rewarded for your childish antics if you do.

Performing this act initiates a wry line of dialogue from the player’s mercenary, which just goes to show that Ubisoft definitely predicted this becoming a thing. Although to be honest, they hardly needed the talents of one of Ancient Greece’s oracles to foresee it!

Did we miss out any other things that only experts know how to do in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 06:10:21 – Leon Miller

Charlie Cox Thinks The Defenders Was Too Slow, Still Wants Season 2

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Marvel’s The Defenders miniseries had its issues, but Charlie Cox thinks there’s potential for a second season. The Daredevil star, who’s currently doing promotion for the third season of the Netflix Marvel universe’s flagship show, discussed the possibility of bringing all the New York heroes back together, and what needs to be different this time around to ensure it doesn’t continue to be the least-viewed Marvel series on the streaming service.

Cox isn’t the first actor to speak out about season 2. In March, prior to the release of Jessica Jones season 2, Krysten Ritter shared that if the opportunity came about, she would do another season, but that she didn’t think there were any plans to go down that path. However, more recently, at Baltimore Comic-Con, Mike Colter (who stars in Luke Cage) joked that the crowd didn’t cheer enough in response to a mention of The Defenders season 2, but then replied to the increased applause, “Alright, alright, maybe we can do something.”

Related: The Defenders Season 2 Probably Isn’t Happening

Now, Cox is adding his two cents, and he’s even more positive. Speaking with Metro, Cox revealed how much he enjoyed working on The Defenders. He said he got “a little kick out of” seeing how the four unique heroes came together, and worked side-by-side. The issue, Cox believes, was the format, agreeing with many fans that the season “felt too slow,” but that he thinks this is because there was an emphasis on setting things up naturally, and then they ran out of time to put a focus on the actual team-up.

Cox went on to praise showrunner Marco Ramirez for his ability to meld the very different heroes into one show, calling it a “mammoth undertaking” that “he did fantastically.” But moving forward, he sees the benefit in keeping things on a smaller scale. “I would like to see a story that is more in keeping with the show’s that we make, which is a little bit more grounded, a little more boots on the ground. I don’t want to see us try and compete with the Avengers in terms of the scope.” However, though he clearly has hopes for a season 2, Cox isn’t aware of any progress made toward making more of The Defenders.

Frankly, despite how cool it is to see worlds merge and superheroes team up, it’s hard to see the benefit of another season. The various loose ends from the final episode will (hopefully) be all tied up by Daredevil season 3, and it’s undeniable that the show was fraught with mistakes and plot holes. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen in some capacity. Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV, made some intriguing comments last month, hinting that perhaps another season could involve a different group of heroes as the Defenders. Considering the wealth of captivating supporting characters the connected series have offered, this could be an idea worth exploring for Netflix.

More: The Defenders Season 2 Probably Isn’t Happening

Source: Metro



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2018-10-09 05:10:32 – Becca Bleznak

20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone To Forget

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With the announcement that Emmy Rossum and Cameron Monaghan will leave the series following the ninth season of Shameless, the Gallagher household is prepping for a major shake-up on the casting front. The creator of the Showtime series John Wells has remained open about a future Fiona return, though he has also stated that there are many more dysfunctional tales left to be told for the Gallagher clan.

For eight seasons, Shameless has remained consistent in the deplorable decision-making skills of its characters, though the series’ depiction of a low-income family living below the poverty line has always been at the forefront. As the strong matriarch who single-handedly raised her siblings while her father wasn’t around, Fiona’s absence is sure to shift more focus towards the show’s younger stars as writers hope fans will soon forget her. Ian’s storyline in season 9 drove much of the action, so Monaghan’s exit will surely leave a whole as well.

Whether they’re dealing with the changing gentrification of their community or watching as another beloved character takes their leave, the Gallaghers have proven time and again that they can adapt better than anyone. From the show’s debut back in 2011 until now, the stars of the series have been forced to mature, sometimes faster than they wanted to. Along the way, there have been many entertaining or even head-scratching subplots which have since been left behind. Although the changes are nothing new to the Gallaghers, they have left many questions up in the air for fans.

Join us as we take a look back at 20 Storylines Shameless Wants Everyone to Forget.

20 Frank and Bianca

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After Sammi shoots Frank in the arm to teach him a valuable lesson about courtesy, she forces him to visit the hospital to have his wound checked. During his stay, he begins bonding with his distraught doctor Bianca, whose diagnosis of stage three pancreatic cancer has left her with a new lease on life. Attempting to persuade her to live life to the fullest, Frank offers to teach her how to live carelessly, which includes a copious amount of substance abuse.

Although Frank’s time with Bianca was intended as a heart-wrenching moment which left him reeling the following season, it was never clear why the successful, young doctor would choose to spend her remaining days with him. With her money, she could seemingly spend her days anywhere. There’s little reason to believe Frank would appear as an enticing option.

19 Lip’s Sports Gambling Internship

With an exceptionally high IQ, Lip isn’t the standard member of the Gallagher household, though his self-sabotaging personality has prevented him from achieving a legitimate career. Accepted into the University of Chicago, he threw away his future after an assault on a campus guard led to his expulsion. Following a stint in rehab, Lip secured an internship with a tech start-up, thanks to his friend, Professor Youens.  Soon, however, he discovered the truth behind the company. His co-workers were using proxy servers to hide illegal sports gambling activities.

Although the crooked start-up appeared as a perfect match, nothing would come of it.

He temporarily used a wire fraud scheme to steal cash from the company, but in due time, the start-up went under and Lip was left without a career goal once again.

18 Kevin Discovers His Kentucky Heritage

Season eight concluded with a strange hodgepodge of storylines for Kevin, which included a search for self-identity as he tracked down his biological parents and found himself in Kentucky. Once he arrived, he was introduced to Aunt Ronnie and the rest of the family, immediately settling in and recalling his past as Little Barty. Unfortunately, V immediately sensed something wrong about the group, apart from their offhanded racist remarks.

As a small child, the low-income family struggled to properly raise Kev, resorting to abandoning him at a roadside gas station. He eventually learned to accept his heritage, although he seemed to quickly forget all about it soon after. Kev would have other moments of a self-identity crisis in season eight, including exploring his possible attraction to men, but his Kentucky lineage would ultimately become an afterthought.

17 Fiona Marries Gus, Then Immediately Cheats on Him

Speaking of his character on Shameless, star Steve Kazee said Fiona’s former husband Gus Pfender “got a really raw deal” over the way his storyline ended. After meeting the eldest Gallagher sibling, the two went from strangers to married seemingly overnight.

When Jimmy’s return visit catches Fiona off guard, she’s faced with an ultimatum.

Either run away with Jimmy or stay with Gus, whom she’s known for a few days. Her reaction is to throw away her newfound relationship for the temptation of her ex-boyfriend. She cheats on Gus then immediately regrets it, but by then it’s too late. Her marriage to Gus is over and any remnants of it are completely forgotten by the writing staff.

16 Debbie Steals a Baby

Before Debbie was doing crazy things like stealing expensive baby strollers to support Frances or having Liam amputate her toes to avoid undergoing a pricey surgery on her crushed foot, she was just a lonely girl looking for a playmate.

In the episode “Casey Casden”, Debbie grows tired of playing with a sack of potatoes decorated to look like a baby.

Rather than asking for a new doll, she takes matters into her own hands when she lures a three year old boy back to the Gallagher residence. The Gallaghers then spend the episode concocting a plan to call in false sightings of the child with the cops finally finding him with Debbie, who acts like she found him wandering around Chicago. Needless to say, it was a crazy storyline that the show’s producers haven’t attempted since.

15 Anything Involving Sammi or Chuckie

Frank’s estranged daughter Sammi is first introduced in season four after Frank discovers his liver in failing. Posing as a Good Samaritan, he begins dating her to grow closer before dropping the devastating bombshell. Oddly enough, however, she’s not disgusted at all by the news and even embraces her new father figure, despite his countless shortcomings.

By season five, Sammi has acquainted herself enough with the Gallaghers to move into the household, though she was never invited. When her son Chuckie is later arrested and sent to juvenile detention for possession, she blames Carl, later ratting him out to the authorities. As a result, a dispute breaks out which ends with Mickey locking her inside a shipping container and Sammi later shooting at him, presumably leading to her arrest and the end of her story.

14 Fiona Cheats on Mike with His Brother

With her recent investments in Patsy’s Pies as well as a laundromat and an apartment complex, Fiona’s newfound entrepreneurial spirit has only recent become a central part of her storyline. Prior to becoming a property owner, she was a down on her luck South Side girl who constantly found herself in failing relationships.

In season four, Fiona’s downward spiral of relationships hit another low.

She was in desperate need of a rebound following Jimmy’s disappearance. After securing a job at Worldwide Cup, she began having a fling with her boss Mike. When Mike’s brother Robbie comes into the picture after his release from rehab, Fiona’s attraction to danger takes ahold. Putting her career in jeopardy, she has an unwise affair which culminates in her arrest at the end of the season.

13 Frank Uses Liam as Collateral

Scouring Chicago for enough money to support his many dirty habits, Frank has attracted the attentions of enough bad guys that it’s a miracle that he’s manage to run around carelessly for so long. In the season two premiere, he again backed himself into a corner when he drunkenly bet a bar patron at the Alibi Room that he couldn’t remain conscious after two taser blasts. After the customer manages to remain on two feet, Frank’s $10,000 gamble comes at the expense of the Gallagher household.

Unable to come up with the dough, the patron threatens Frank with a blowtorch, to which he responds by offering up Liam as collateral. Luckily, the Gallagher clan rallies together to get him back. Frank would later develop a bonding relationship with his youngest son, completely erasing all memory of the incident.

12 Kevin and Veronica’s Foster Child

With twins Amy and Jemma, Kevin and Veronica finally settled down to have children of their own after V became pregnant in season four. Prior to having their own kids, the couple were experimenting with parenthood in the form of a money scheme which saw them taking in a foster child in order to collect money from the government.

In season one, Kev and V welcome Ethel, a teen saved from a polygamist colony where she was married to an elderly man named Clyde.

They also took in Ethel’s son Jonah, who was born as a result of the marriage. Over the course of her stay, she struggles to grow accustomed to the modern world, but eventually settles in, until she runs away with her boyfriend Malik in season two, disappearing forever.

11 Anything Involving Sheila

Remember Sheila? The agoraphobic housewife with a proclivity for cooking was a former love interest of Frank’s, who welcomed him into her home to take advantage of her disability checks. For five seasons, she played the picture-perfect example of a housewife, though her repressed emotions would occasionally rear their ugly head.

Throughout the series, Joan Cusack would receive considerable acclaim for her turn as the wacky, subservient Sheila, earning an Emmy nomination for each season she appeared in. Although she would never receive more than a guest credit, her most memorable storylines would include dealing with her troubled daughter Karen, having an affair with Karen’s boyfriend Jody, and marrying Frank. Her storyline came to a rather abrupt end after her house exploded in season five, resulting in her driving off in an RV, never to be seen again.

10 Frank Hires a Hitman

Always the deadbeat father, Frank experienced a slight morality check when he wasn’t invited toFiona’s wedding to Sean in season six. As a way to make up for all his shortcomings, he offered to pay for all of Fiona’s wedding expenses. Everything came to a head, however, when Sean began sleeping over at the Gallagher residence, resulting in a brutal confrontation between Fiona’s fiance and the lousy patriarch of the household. After days of Frank wearing Sean’s underwear and drinking his milk, Sean’s frustration boiled over, resulting in a fight between the two.

Frank is seen on a train attempting to pay a random guy to dispose of Sean permanently.

Although nothing would come of the exchange, the attempted assassination was out of the ordinary, even for the lowly Frank.

9 Debbie Purposely Gets Pregnant

The third youngest Gallagher, Debbie began the series as the well-intention, younger sister who still held high hopes for Frank and cared for her family, though she often found it difficult to socialize in school. In due time, she transformed from the innocent girl wise beyond her years to one of the most troublesome characters on the show, using her hardened attitude to deceive her way to whatever she desired.

In season five, Debbie’s manipulative personality crossed a line when she became enamored with Derek, a boy who taught her how to box. Wanting a perfect life with her newfound boyfriend, she purposely lies to him about being on birth control in order to become pregnant and force him into a marriage. Unfortunately, her plans fall through when Derek leaves to live with his grandmother, leaving Debs a single mother.

8 Frank Tells Carl He Has Cancer

As the delinquent troublemaker whose interests include weapons, explosives, and various money-making schemes, Carl has proven to be the most like his dear deadbeat father Frank. As a faithful member of the Gallagher family, he’s the unfortunate product of a dysfunctional upbringing, but none of his regrettable actions were deserving of the scare Frank gave him in season five.

After seeing a cancer patient receive an autographed Bulls basketball on television, Frank decides to extort the Make-A-Wish Foundation by giving them a sob story.

Shaving Carl’s head, he convinces him that he has cancer and tries to get him an autographed basketball of his own, that he can later sell for a profit. Instead, Carl is offered a free summer away at a camp for cancer patients, ruining Frank’s plans and giving Carl his own mini vacation.

7 Carl Marries Kassidi

As a way of coming up with enough cash for military school in season eight, Carl sets up his own rehabilitation center in the basement of the Gallagher home, hosting neighborhood addicts for days of withdrawal. It’s here where he first encounters Kassidi, a seemingly sociopathic teen who concocts a plan to extort money from her rich father to pay Carl’s expenses.

Soon after sparking a relationship, Kassidi’s wildly chaotic personality begins threatening Carl’s career goals. As she wanders about Chicago’s South Side doing things like Snapchatting drive-by shooting victims, Carl becomes more wary of her actions, which makes it all the more confusing that he marries her at the end of the season. The season nine premiere seems to have ended her story, however, as the character’s recent disappearance suggests that she may now be deceased.

6 Mandy Hurts Karen

As the manipulative former girlfriend of Lip, Karen was the incessantly rude daughter of the agoraphobic Sheila, who would go to extreme lengths to get her way. After she stops seeing Lip due to her marriage to Jody as well as the birth of her down syndrome son Hymie, Karen decides to start things back up with her former lover, only for Lip rejects her for Mandy.

After brazenly attempting to meddle with Lip and Mandy’s relationship, Karen receives a rude awakening when she receives a text from Lip, which is later revealed to be Mandy using Lip’s phone. Showing up to a park to meet, Karen is struck by an SUV driven by Mandy, leaving her permanently brain damaged, effectively ending her story on the series.

5 Frank Has a Twin Brother

With so many siblings running around and Frank constantly inviting himself in with his various trouble-making shenanigans, it’s impossible for the Gallaghers to keep track of everyone’s comings and goings. That’s why the existence of more Gallaghers seems completely absurd, but as the early seasons have shown, there are more family members out there.

Of all the odd Gallagher members forgotten from the early seasons, none were crazier than Jerry, Frank’s twin brother.

Ian and Lip visit Jery after their grandmother Peggy claims he owes the family $5,000. Looking just like Frank, he threatens to shoot his nephews shortly after realizing they’re after money. Since his appearance, little mention has been made of Frank’s twin or of Frank’s other siblings Clayton and Wyatt.

4 Jimmy’s Return

First appearing as Fiona’s love interest in season one, Jimmy introduced himself to the Gallagher household as Steve, a hotshot businessman who comes from money. Soon afterward, his real personality begins to shine through as Fiona discovers that he makes his money through various illegal activities. In due time, he gets engaged to the daughter of a crime lord, which leads to his supposed demise in the season three finale.

Jimmy returns at the end of season four, becoming a recurring cast member for a brief time.

In an attempt to flatter Fiona, he tries to persuade her to leave her husband Gus for him. Although his return answered questions about his fate, it still left his future up in the air, leaving many to believe his story should have ended with the season three cliffhanger.

3 Frank Lies to Butterface About Her Heart Transplant

Of all the lowdown plans Frank has concocted, perhaps nothing is more despicable than the time he began hanging out with Dottie, a former good-time girl with a heart condition. Nicknamed Butterface for her less than stellar looks, Frank discovers that Dottie is in serious need of a heart transplant, rewarding him the opportunity to weasel his way into her good graces and work his way into her will before she passes away.

Although Frank’s decision proves to be flawed, he fully commits to the scheme. While Dottie is in the shower, she gets a phone call telling her a new heart has arrived which could save her life, only Frank decides to tell the hospital that Dottie has already passed away. Later, Dottie loses her life during an intimate moment with Frank, making his actions even more awful.

2 Kev has a Baby with Veronica’s Mother

As the Gallaghers’ longtime friends, Kevin and Veronica are often the supporting comic relief of the series, though they have also proven to be the strongest lasting couple. In season three, after repeatedly failing to have a baby, V enlists her bubbly mother Carol to act as a surrogate. When Carol also fails to become pregnant, Veronica to suggests her mom and Kevin actually get intimate with each other to possibly improve their results.

In due time, Carol warms up to the idea, becoming pregnant with Kevin’s child. By happenstance, Veronica soon discovers that she too is pregnant, with twins. Nine months later, the couple are the proud parents to three newborns, only Carol decides to single-handedly raise her child on her own. After a few brief appearances, Kevin and Carol’s child is forgotten and never shown again.

1 Everything Positive About Ian and Mickey’s Relationship

As a violent street thug, Mickey Milkovich is the antithesis of the gay stereotype. Ian, whose storied history with Mickey makes up a large portion of his story in the early seasons, is the more sensitive of the couple, but his rebellious nature and struggles with bipolar disorder make him an equally multi-dimensional character.

As one of the best-written gay relationships on television in recent memory, Ian and Mickey’s story was at times chaotic. 

After his imprisonment at the end of season five, Mikey escaped from prison and fled to Mexico, tearfully leaving Ian behind. Since then, the positives of their relationship have been largely dismissed and Mickey’s absence has left a void on the show which has yet to be filled.

What other storylines does Shameless want to bury? Let us know in the comments!



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2018-10-09 03:10:17 – Turner Minton

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Beginners Gameplay Tips

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is here, and it offers up something of a different experience from the previous games in the series. Rather than the stealth-based gameplay of old, Odyssey doubles down on the RPG mechanics, becoming a huge, deep open world game for players to enjoy. In essence, it takes what worked from Assassin’s Creed Origins and makes it even better.

The end result is a fantastic take on the Greek myth, albeit one that sometimes struggles a little to bridge the gap between open world RPG and its roots in the larger Assassin’s Creed universe. Nonetheless, those changes could leave some players a bit confused as to where to start, and after working through the opening island of Kephallonia things could become a little bit daunting.

Related: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey – How To Get The Best Ending

That said, there are some ways to make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey from the get go. After all, there’s lot to get to grips with before taking on Medusa or hunting after all those legendary armor sets. Instead, here are some tips for how to take up what Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has to offer fast.

Choose Exploration Mode

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The most important first choice to make comes before the player even starts the game. When given the option, it’s highly recommended to choose Exploration Mode as the method of play. This is the way that Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was designed to be played, and for good reason; the additional level of emphasis on discovery is a delight to play, and much more fun than simply following map markers to reach objectives.

Effectively, Exploration Mode works by making the player find their own way through quests. NPCs will give hints towards locations to be discovered when talking about the mission in question, forcing players to use a little of their own intuition. This mode also makes map exploration much more fun, with the player finding random locations as they work their way around the regions hunting down quests.

Exploration Mode also means players will make the most out of eagle companion Ikaros. The eagle is not only able to scout out discovered locations, but also target enemies and notable items within specific locations, such as chests or hostages to release. Finally, remember to seek out Synchronization points to boost the power of Ikaros overall.

Think About Crafting Over Cash

Whether armor or weapons, it’s easy to find loot in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. As such, when players notice they have plenty of unused items sitting around in their inventory, it’s extremely tempting to drop them all off at a nearby blacksmith and make a bit of drachmae.

That said, it’s probably best to hold fire of cashing in. That’s because drachmae are not in short supply in the game, and can be picked up from completing quests, in explored locations, or from dead enemies. Instead, consider breaking down weaker weapons and armor into leather, wood, and metal, as these can be useful as crafting for upgrades to the player’s ship or even to beef up items at a blacksmith.

It’s worth bearing in mind that drachmae are needed in a couple of places in the game, and it’s always worth keeping some around in case of having to pay off a bounty to keep mercenaries off the player’s trail when it’s better to lay low. Nonetheless, put money on the back burner, and instead think about how best to boost the overall power of the misthios.

Choose Your Abilities Wisely

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey has a fairly comprehensive skill tree, but there are some abilities that are better to unlock than others. As explained in our guide to the best abilities to unlock first, There are a few essential abilities, with the Sparta Kick being useful from a warrior perspective alongside beef ups to the assassin skill tree such as Shadow Assassin.

Overall, though, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey gives players the greatest level of flexibility in how they choose to play that the series has seen so far. It’s perhaps best to pick and choose skills based on what works for the player in question, providing they keep enough core skills in each area to make sure they can get out of trouble whatever the situation.

Remember you can always change your choices as well, albeit at a cost. A few drachmae allows the player to reset all of their abilities, so if some skills are found to be less useful than others, it’s easy to drop them and rebuild the character from scratch.

Take To The Waters With Style

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey takes the series back to the high seas, and it’s something that is long overdue. With gameplay reminiscent of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the core way to travel between the different islands is to take to the Adrestia and hop from island to island seeking adventure.

Even though a lot of the gameplay takes place on land, it’s truly beneficial to upgrade the ship regularly. This could mean recruiting new lieutenants, which helps both with buffs to the ship’s power and when boarding enemy vessels, or improving things like rowing power or damage caused by ranged attacks. It comes at a cost in terms of drachmae and consumables, but it’s worth it in the long run.

This is because it’s all too easy to get into scraps with pirates, Spartan or Athenian vessels when out at sea. Naval combat is extremely good fun, but when outnumbered it’s much better to have more firepower onside, and it’s always satisfying to take out those Cult of Kosmos members who happen to captain a ship of their own.

Revel In The Game World

It may feel like an obvious rule to follow, but Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is much more fun if taken at the player’s own pace. The title’s story is a compelling, personal adventure that (generally) ties well into the larger plot of Assassin’s Creed, but the game perhaps works best with the player following their own path and doing what’s most fun to them.

As such, it’s important to stretch your legs in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. Between the Conquest Battles, side quests and other additional smaller elements of the game at large, there’s no reason to purely stick to the main quest. This is something the game expects, too – there’s no real reason to grind in the game, providing players make good use of the enthralling, extra content available to them.

Perhaps the best examples of this are the game’s mercenary system, which leads to some excellent one-on-one fights with fearsome combatants, and hunting down the Cult of Kosmos. Although the cult ties into the larger plot as a whole, hunting down smaller members is a fantastic element of the game, and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Those are just a few tips to help players make the most of Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, with a game as expansive as this, players are best suited to decide how best they want to play the game. Regardless of how they choose to enjoy the title, there are bound to be some surprises along the way.

More: Every Assassin’s Creed Game Ranked



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2018-10-09 03:10:13 – Rob Gordon

Grey’s Anatomy: 20 Things That Make No Sense About Meredith

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Grey’s Anatomy is the longest running scripted primetime ABC television show of all time. Ellen Pompeo is the highest-paid actress on television, banking twenty million dollars each season. Grey’s is poised to surpass ER as the longest primetime medical drama, as it waits for its sixteenth season renewal, and it has received thirty-eight Emmy Award nominations during the nearly two decades it has been on the air.

Meredith Grey has gone from a damaged intern having an affair with a resident and caring for her ailing mother to a widow with three children who runs the general surgery department at Seattle Grace. More characters have passed away on Grey’s Anatomy than most shows introduced during their entire runs, and the show is nearly unrecognizable now when compared to its first season because of its revolving cast of characters.

With twenty-nine principal cast members during its fifteen seasons, the writers of Grey’s Anatomy have so much history to contend with that maintaining continuity is an uphill battle that they often lose. As such, there are some details about our favorite dark and twisty surgeon at Seattle Grace that don’t make much sense at all. The confusion goes deeper than the debate on her hair color or who the next romantic lead of the show will be. Everything from her age to her internal motivations have been altered, forgotten and recreated during the show’s epically long run, and viewers are struggling to keep up.

Here are the 20 Things That Make No Sense About Meredith In Grey’s Anatomy.

20 Her Half-Sisters

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When a show has been on the air for nearly two decades, it’s understandable that a few plotlines may get recycled. After all, who’s really going to notice if four of the show’s leads are revealed to have massive tumors in a principal cast of over twenty-five characters?

However, it’s hard to believe that Meredith Grey would have two half-sisters who she knew nothing about and that both of those women would come work as surgeons at her specific hospital in Seattle.

This is not even mentioning Lexie Grey’s questionable medical timeline – she started her medical internship program when most students are finishing their undergraduate studies – or Meredith conveniently forgetting her mother’s pregnancy before Maggie Pierce was born in the ’80s.

19 She Doesn’t Contact Derek’s Sisters When He’s About To Pass

Derek Shepard’s sisters were extremely important to him – so much so, that during the second episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Shepard explicitly states that if he were ever to be in a coma, he’d want all four of his sisters with him.

Meredith forgets this not-so-tiny detail when actually faced with a comatose Derek Shepard and takes him off of life support without giving his sisters a chance to say goodbye, including Amelia Shepard, who is her coworker and is easily reachable by phone. Meredith ignoring a key aspect of her husband’s personality, his love for his sisters, is more than an example of Meredith’s selfishness. It’s a lack of continuity and a disappointing, out of character oversight.

18 Getting Together With George

George O’Malley’s unrequited love for Meredith was well-chronicled during the show’s first season, enforcing the characters’ friendship, as O’Malley’s feelings for Meredith led him to provide emotional support when Derek Shepard chose to stay with his wife. Meredith never saw O’Malley as anything more than a friend, even after her break-up with Shepard.

Meredith getting together with O’Malley came from a desire to be wanted and treated well after Shepard had broken her trust, and O’Malley was clearly in denial about Meredith’s lack of interest. Still, it’s hard to believe that O’Malley would take advantage of Meredith in her vulnerable state or that Meredith would choose O’Malley as a physical rebound rather than an emotional one.

17 She Failed Her Intern Exam… And Still Became A Resident

The year 2007 was a rough one for Meredith Grey. Her stepmother passed away from a case of the hiccups, her father blamed her for the loss of his wife, her mom passed away, and she literally passed, and understandably, she cracked under pressure. Meredith didn’t answer a single question on her intern exam.

The logical next step here would have been to see Meredith repeat her intern year like George O’Malley does after failing that same exam.

Meredith would have been able to explore new dynamics with her peers while sorting through her many issues, and the show wouldn’t have to suffer through too drastic of a change. Instead, through some nepotism and a large suspension of disbelief, Meredith is allowed a do-over and breezes through to her residency, while poor O’Malley is given the short end of the stick yet again.

16 Her Inconsistent Pregnancies

After miscarrying her first child due to apparent stress from the Seattle Grace active shooter situation in season six, Meredith is told that the real reason for the loss of her child was actually a “hostile uterus.” Medically, in the real world, this means that it is difficult for a woman to become pregnant due to a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances. It is treatable through synthetic estrogen or certain bypass techniques and does not necessarily cause miscarriages.

Meredith is able to conceive multiple times during the show, and she even manages to have a fairly normal pregnancy and gives birth to a healthy baby girl. A medical drama probably could have come up with a more realistic plotline for Meredith after writers’ decided that they wanted to complicate her family planning.

15 She Modeled Her Life After Ellis

After hating her mother, Ellis Grey, for most of her life, Meredith follows in her footsteps, as she becomes a mother while still chasing her medical aspirations. Meredith places the blame for her issues on her mother’s workaholic tendencies while raising her daughter, then still chooses to start her family just as her medical career is gaining momentum.

She falls in love with a married man, has his children, raises them alone, and wins a Harper Avery Award, just like her mother. Her professional life causes a rift in her relationship, like Ellis’ Harper Avery nomination leading to the termination of her relationship with Richard Weber. Instead of learning from her mother’s mistakes, Meredith has done something that she swore she’d never do: she has become Ellis.

14 Her First Marriage Wasn’t Legal

In a touching display of friendship, Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey gave their perfect wedding to their dear friends Alex Karev and Izzie Stevens so that the couple could be married before Stevens possibly succumbed to her advanced brain cancer.

Shepherd and Meredith then have their own, private marriage ceremony in the comfort of their own home, where they write their vows on Post-It notes and promise their lives to each other.

This was all romantic and dramatic, but why on Earth would they not bother going down to City Hall and legalizing the marriage at any point before they tried to adopt their daughter? They most likely already had a marriage license, and the tax benefits alone would have been incentive enough to go through with the final step of their marriage – actually getting married.

13 She Tried To Hold Derek Back

It isn’t easy having a family with two working parents. Nannies help, and Seattle Grace has shown its daycare center on Grey’s multiple times, but Meredith’s frustration with being a mother first and a surgeon second rang true as it was depicted onscreen. Asking Derek Shepherd to take a year off from his practice to give Meredith the opportunity to work was brave and fair, considering the time that she had taken off up until that point.

However, expecting Shepherd to turn down the opportunity of a lifetime at the White House was out of character and unreasonable. Shepherd staying at Seattle Grace meant accepting a demotion, while Meredith could have kept her seniority in DC. Staying behind without Shepherd ran contrary to Meredith’s character development, especially since she expected Shepherd to make himself smaller rather than thriving with him.

12 She Ran Away To San Diego

A large factor in Meredith’s reluctance to move to Washington D.C. came from a fear of airplanes that developed after the plane crash that ended the lives of multiple doctors at the end of season eight. This makes sense, considering the circumstances. What doesn’t make sense, however, is how Meredith fled from Seattle to San Diego following her husband’s loss, telling no one of her location or her miracle pregnancy.

Her decision to choose Seattle over her husband indirectly lead to his passing, but once he’s gone, she immediately leaves. Her love for him wasn’t enough to keep her with him, but his loss was enough for her to ignore all of the reasons she had fought to stay. It’s confusing, upsetting, and utterly heartbreaking.

11 She Stayed At Seattle Grace

During season eight’s plane crash, Cristina Yang keeps asking why all of the doctors at Seattle Grace lose their lives. It was a tongue-in-cheek joke anticipating a question that all Grey’s viewers have at least once during the series. There are shootings, bombs, car crashes, drownings, a flood, a power outage, a bus explosion, and an earthquake during the twenty years that Meredith has worked at Seattle Grace.

At least fourteen doctors and family members have passed away under unusual circumstances at the hospital, filling it with horrible, PTSD-inducing memories.

Somehow, Meredith still works there. After losing parents, a sibling, a husband, best friends, and coworkers, she never thought to just go across town to the other, better-ranked hospital and leave a hospital that is so unlucky it might be on top of the Hellmouth.

10 She Still Has Her Medical License

In order to help Richard Webber’s wife Adele, Meredith enrolls her into her clinical trial for patients experiencing rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s. She tampers with the trial to give Adele the experimental drug rather than the placebo, even after Derek Shepherd’s warnings that doing so would ruin both of their careers.

Of course, because this is Meredith Grey, once her wrongdoing was exposed, no one suffered any long-term consequences. Richard takes the fall for Meredith to protect her job, but neither one loses their medical license. Richard eventually becomes the head of the residency program, while Meredith is the head of general surgery. Shepard had no real backlash for being involved. Everyone was just fine and still eligible to perform surgeries in a respected hospital, somehow.

9 She Considered Herself The Other Woman

After learning that Derek Shepherd was a married man, Meredith halted her physical relationship with him, only being intimate with him one time after learning of his marital status. She legitimately felt guilt for unknowingly dating someone’s husband and didn’t actively try to home-wreck Addison Montgomery’s marriage.

Despite the fact that many of her actions during this complicated time were respectful of Montgomery and her marriage, she still bonded with Mark Sloan when they realized that they both considered themselves homewreckers. Meredith’s characterization centers around her “dark and twisty” tendencies, so her pessimistic framing of the situation would make sense in her own mind, but there’s logically little to support her enduring belief that her relationship with Shepard began with any wrongdoing on her part.

8 She Is Still Alive

Meredith’s self-destructive and occasionally life-threatening tendencies put her in many dangerous situations. She has nearly escaped passing away so many times that its statistically improbable that she would still be alive. Setting aside the fact that she briefly drowned while helping at a ferry boat crash site, Meredith’s life makes no sense because anyone else who’d had this many close calls would not longer be with us.

Meredith held a bomb inside of a patient’s body and barely handed it off before it exploded in the hands of the bomb technician.

She also had prolonged exposure to toxic blood, she drowned for a long time, she asked an active gunman to shoot her, and her plane crashed. Yet here she is, waiting for the next ridiculous trauma that life throws at her.

7 She Barely Talks To Cristina

Cristina Yang was Meredith’s person. More than a best friend, a husband, or a family member, Yang was the one person who Meredith always relied on and trusted. Since Yang left Seattle Grace for Switzerland, all we’ve really heard from her was that Meredith didn’t tell her where she had run away to after Derek Shepherd’s car crash.

There was no confirmation that Yang came to Shepherd’s funeral, as she didn’t stay with Meredith after his passing or visit her newborn child and nary a text has been sent between the two onscreen. Long-distance friendships are hard, but with modern technology like Skype, FaceTime and texting, completely dropping off of the face of the Earth is a cause for confusion.

6 She Gives Thatcher Part Of Her Liver

The last viewers had seen of Thatcher Grey, he had drunkenly, publicly blamed Meredith for his wife’s passing and uninvited her from the funeral. This comes after he abandoned her and started a shiny new family that allowed him to forget about the daughter he left behind.

Even if Thatcher treating Meredith horribly wasn’t enough to dissuade her from saving his life, a complicated position to navigate, Thatcher had multiple daughters and presumably many other family members. Even if Lexie and her sister weren’t matches, how was there no other family member able to donate their liver other than his estranged daughter? There’s no reason it should have been Meredith except as an opportunity to inflict more unnecessary pain on our protagonist.

5 She Had A Busy Two Years

Everything that happened over the first five seasons of Grey’s Anatomy occurred during a two year period. Because the intern year occurs during seasons one through three and Meredith’s first year of residency is seasons four and five, there are many plotlines that happen in a short timeframe.

Plotlines such as George’s marriage and divorce with Callie, Denny Duquette’s storyline with Izzie Stevens, and Christina’s doomed engagement to Preston Burke all happen over the course of less than twelve months.

Meredith and her friends have known each other for only two years by season six, and so much crazy drama has occur in the midst of eighty hour work weeks and eight hour surgeries that it’s almost like they could fill half a decade’s worth of life experience.

4 She’s Always Drinking

Meredith drinks a lot of tequila for a doctor. While she’s shown abstaining from drinking while on-call, Meredith spends most of her down time getting drunk at Joe’s Bar or at home, and even had to be hooked up to an IV during a massive accident to sober herself up for work.

The state of near-constant hangover that she must be functioning in would make her workdays impossible, and the likelihood that she’s be called in during her downtime to work during a disaster situation at Seattle Grace, the grand mecca of disaster, is fairly high in the world of Grey’s Anatomy. How she manages to drink so often without a sponsorship from Pedialyte or AA is a mystery to us all.

3 Her Age

In the script for Grey’s pilot, Meredith is supposed to be thirty-two years old. After taking time off to travel through Europe with Sadie and to care for her ailing mother, it’s understandable that Meredith would be older than the average medical intern. It’s clear that the Grey’s writing team put some thought into Meredith’s backstory in the early years of the show and realized that between taking the MCAT and helping Ellis, there’s no way that Meredith could have started her internship at the median age of twenty-seven.

Meredith’s birth year is confirmed as 1978 multiple times during the course of season eleven, retconning her initial age to be twenty-eight. The writers probably weren’t too concerned about continuity ten years after the fact, but Meredith’s original age made much more sense than her current one.

2 Her Disappearing Children

After a hullaballoo regarding who should watch the children and how to be an active parent and a surgeon, Meredith’s children have completely disappeared from the show after Derek Shepherd’s passing. The children are occasionally referenced, but haven’t been shown in the hospital daycare, her home, or her carpool.

Her children have become an afterthought, despite the fact that they were the main source of conflict between Shepard and herself before he passed away.

Some of these children should be starting school, while others are still in infancy, but having Meredith completely forget that she chose to give birth and adopt multiple children erases multiple seasons of character development geared towards family and motherhood.

1 She Has Gone Through An Improbable Amount Of Trauma

As mentioned multiple times, nothing seems to go right for long in the life of Meredith Grey. Meredith’s mother passes away while Meredith was unconscious, she lost her husband, her boyfriend had a wife, she nearly passed away multiple times, she couldn’t have children, and everyone she knows left or passed away.

Every aspect of her life, from family to spouses to friends, ends with a major trauma and loss. She’s still continuing on with her life and career, while most people would be deep in therapy and rarely leaving their homes if faced with the same amount of sorrow. Meredith is a strong woman, but what she has been through could drive even the most optimistic individual to depression.

Are there any other aspects of Meredith’s character that make no sense in Grey’s Anatomy? Sound off in the comments!



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2018-10-09 01:10:23 – Kristy Pirone

Dwayne Johnson & Netflix Team Up For John Henry Movie

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Dwayne Johnson and Netflix are teaming up on a folklore-inspired film titled John Henry and the Statesmen. This will mark the first collaboration between The Rock and the streaming giant, as well as the third project overall for Johnson and director Jake Kasdan. The latter duo previously joined creative forces on 2017’s smash box office hit Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and will reunite to begin shooting Jumanji 3 near the end of this year.

In addition to joining lucrative properties like Jumanji and Fast & Furious, Johnson has spent the last ten years expanding his “brand” to encompass everything from movie adaptations based on a variety of IPs (ex. video games, popular toylines) to original ventures (like this summer’s Skyscraper) and even his own HBO TV series in the form of Ballers. Interestingly enough though, The Rock really stepped up his franchise-building efforts a few years ago, around the same time that Netflix started to ramp up its own original movie and TV show content production. As such, it was probably inevitable that the pair would eventually find a project that they could develop together.

Related: First Look at The Rock’s Fast & Furious Spinoff Hobbs and Shaw

Per Netflix’s press release, Johnson will star in John Henry and the Statesman as the eponymous steel-driver and lead “an ensemble cast of the most popular figures from folklore and legend from all around the world” in the film. You can check out the teaser for the movie below, along with The Rock’s comments on what the John Henry folk story means to him, personally.

John Henry is based on a pitch that Johnson and his Seven Bucks Production team developed with screenwriter Tom Wheeler, who will (naturally) further write the movie’s script. Wheeler is already in the Netflix business, as it were, and is serving as the showrunner for the company’s upcoming Frank Miller-backed TV series Cursed (an origin story for the Lady of the Lake, essentially). The writer is also far from a stranger to fairy tales and legends, having previously written the Shrek spinoff Puss in Boots – among other films with broad, crowd-pleasing appeal.

Indeed, “crowd-pleasing” is the name of the game for Johnson and there’s fair reason to believe that he will deliver the goods again with John Henry, especially if the results of his efforts on Jumanji with Kasdan are any indicator. Moreover, John Henry is another movie that (like his upcoming Kamehameha biopic The King) is something of a passion project that holds a personal meaning to Johnson, by the sound of it. Good things tend to happen when The Rock really pours his heart and soul into his productions, so that certainly bodes well for his very first Netflix movie.

And, of course, if the film is a success, then don’t be surprised if Johnson and Netflix try to turn this one into a full-blown superhero-style franchise revolving around popular folklore figures from around the world.

MORE: Dwayne Johnson Wraps Filming on Jungle Cruise

We will bring you more details on John Henry and the Statesmen as they become available.

Source: Dwayne Johnson





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2018-10-09 01:10:07 – Sandy Schaefer

Eddie Brock’s Notebook Reveals Carnage Backstory for Venom 2

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Cletus Kasady’s backstory for Venom 2 is revealed thanks to Eddie Brock’s notebook from Venom. Sony’s decision to try and launch a cinematic universe of their own appears to have paid off. The Tom Hardy-led Venom just set the October opening weekend record, making a sequel almost inevitable. Through the use of its post-credits scene, Venom already established seeds for the sequel to grow as Woody Harrelson made a cameo as Cletus Kasaday, the psychotic killer who becomes Carnage in the comics.

It was originally just before production began on Venom that reports surfaced that Carnage would make an appearance. It was later reported that Harrelson had joined the film with speculation pointing to this being his true role. This began to see some fans expect to see Carnage fully realized at some point in the movie, despite him having no presence in the marketing. That is because director Ruben Fleischer is saving Carnage for the sequel.

Related: All the Spider-Villain Movies Coming After Venom

The post-credits scene for Venom only teased Kasady’s eventual escape from prison and his transformation into Carnage. As it turns out, Eddie’s interview with Cletus lasted far beyond what audiences saw. ComicBook shared an image of Eddie’s notebook that was on display at New York Comic Con, which details Kasady’s backstory that will be used for Venom 2. Between a massacre in New York and killing his grandmother, the Disciplinarian Administrator at St. Estes Home for Boys, and a random girl who wouldn’t go on a date with him, the notebook clearly establishes Kasady’s bloodlust.

Click Here To See The Notebook Photo

These details are instantly terrifying for fans and just goes to show how insane Kasady is, even before he becomes bonded with the Carnage symbiote. These multiple murders are villainous enough, but his twisted psyche is further highlighted by additional details. Eddie believes he has Oedipus Complex (the feeling of desire for the parent of the opposite sex) and is possibly the reason why he dug up his mother’s grave. Before that, Cletus tortured and killed his mother’s dog with a drill.

Kasady is a worthy villain for Venom and Eddie to hunt down based on his prior record and what he would surely do upon being freed. But, it would be the pairing of Kasady’s personality and the power of Carnage that makes him a supervillain-level threat. Since this notebook page and these details aren’t explicitly states in Venom, a sequel will likely retell parts of this backstory and maybe even show it through flashbacks. It could be difficult to do just that with a PG-13 rating, but Venom 2 isn’t expected to be R-rated either. However it happens, Carnage will be the villain of Venom 2 and at least we now know some of his backstory that Fleischer and company worked out for him.

More: Every Update You Need to Know For Venom 2

Source: ComicBook



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2018-10-08 09:10:59 – Cooper Hood

World War Z Sequel Begins Production in June, Confirms Producer

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It seems World War Z 2 will finally begin production next June, according to one of the movie’s producers. Getting the first movie – which was directed by Marc Forster and based on a script by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof – onto the big screen was a long and arduous journey. While it wasn’t a direct adaptation of Max Brooks’ acclaimed novel of the same name, it was still a different take on the zombie subgenre.

However, that doesn’t mean it revolutionized the horror genre. World War Z received generally positive reviews from critics and earned a whopping $540 million at the worldwide box office against an estimated production budget of $190 million, which was more than enough for Paramount Pictures to commission a sequel. But development on the follow-up installment lagged for years until the studio’s new chief came on board in 2017 and started to push it forward. Now, it’s slated to start filming next summer.

Related: Why Jurassic World 2’s J.A. Bayona Dropped Out Of Directing World War Z 2

In an interview with Variety on the red carpet for Beautiful Boy, producer Dede Gardner confirmed that World War Z 2 will begin production in June 2019. She also reaffirmed that Brad Pitt would be reprising his role from the first movie as Gerry Lane, with David Fincher on board to direct. Furthermore, producer Jeremy Kleiner provides an update on the script, saying that screenwriter Dennis Kelly is still working on it, but they’re quite happy with what they have so far.

It’s interesting that Paramount Pictures, especially under new leadership, still sees potential in this story despite it being more than five years since the first movie released. Sure, it performed well at the box office, but the zombie genre is even more crowded now than it was then. After all, Paramount recently and briefly started to develop a reputation for offloading properties they thought wouldn’t perform well in theaters, primarily to streaming giant Netflix. That’s why movies like Annihilation and The Cloverfield Paradox suddenly found themselves streaming online. But in the midst of all the apparent turmoil was World War Z 2, which kept on trudging forward.

Fincher started filming the second season of Netflix’s Mindhunter this past summer, so, given how adamant Gardner is about the June production start time frame, it seems the filmmaker has set aside time next summer to get the ball rolling on the long-awaited World War Z sequel. Whether they actually make that production start date remains to be seen, but at least fans can rest assured knowing the studio hasn’t forgotten about the movie.

Next: World War Z Horde Gameplay Trailer Recreates Movie’s Zombie Tsunami

Source: Variety





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2018-10-08 08:10:30 – Mansoor Mithaiwala

Super Mario Party Review: The Best Mario Party in Years

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Super Mario Party isn’t just a return to the classic gameplay, bringing back the board game format and forgoing the controversial car. It’s the best entry in the Mario Party franchise in years though admittedly, Nintendo hasn’t set the bar very high. The last time there was a halfway decent Mario Party was back in 2007 with Mario Party 8 and to find a truly great addition you need to go even further back in time. Super Mario Party makes up for some of that, finally.

The newest first party title for Nintendo Switch isn’t without flaws. In their effort to bring back Mario Party to relevance Nintendo went overboard. Super Mario Party spreads itself very thin, adding too many extraneous modes. And sadly, Nintendo also hasn’t managed to capitalize on the obvious when it comes to online multiplayer and Mario Party. Overall though Super Mario Party is a celebration worth throwing especially with three friends along for the (now metaphorical) ride.

Related: Best Multiplayer Games To Play At A Party

Super Mario Party should be viewed as an apology for the absolute rubbish that was Mario Party 9 and 10. The failed experiment that was all four Mario Party players being stuffed into the same car with no autonomy is over. The classic Mario Party mode has the four partiers move about a colorful board game map, snagging stars and playing mini games at the end of each turn. It’s glorious. The board game’s return and the pleasing ways it can be used to screw over opponents with random chance would be enough of a victory. Super Mario Party goes further with the board game mechanic and adds exciting new layers of strategy.

There are several little changes to board game play. Stars cost just 10 coins now, not the customary 20. Bowser and other villains are now playable characters and maps are much smaller than before. The biggest change concerns dice rolls. They’re still completely random but Super Mario Party has added some dice rolls by giving every playable character their own dice block. The choice of playable character now means more than simple Mario franchise favoritism. There is a regular dice block and going along with the smaller maps it only has 6 sides as opposed to the previous 10 but with the character dice blocks, this mechanic can get wacky and interesting.

For example, Shy Guy’s die has 5 sides of 4 and 1 side of 0. This means that if a player wants to move just 4 spaces on the board to get to a star or avoid a trap, they’re best off using Shy Guy’s dice but there is a chance that they might not move at all. Similarly, Bowser has a 10 on his dice but also two sides where he can lose coins if he’s unlucky enough to hit them. These new special dice might sound strange but in practice they add in a surprising amount of depth.

The special dice don’t just end at the playable characters either. In a holdover from Mario Party: Star Rush for the 3DS it’s now possible to recruit allies. These allies will loan out their special dice and in certain mini games even help out as a part of a team. Allies are always computer controlled but they can turn a player’s game around. Allies seem like they could over-complicate play but they add just enough to the game without becoming too distracting or that big of an advantage. Even though ridiculous RNG is part of the charm of Mario Party it does sting when a computer ally wins a tense minigame but that’s a relatively minor quibble. Nintendo has nailed the board game dynamic with their first Mario Party on the Switch even though it’s disappointing that there’s only four boards at launch with no more coming (as of right now).

Minigames are another area where Super Mario Party succeeds … for the most part anyway. There are 80 minigames in all and they switch between standard and motion controls. It’s impossible though to play Super Mario Party with anything but a single joy-con which prevents prevents Super Mario Party from being played in the Switch’s handheld mode. Some of Super Mario Party‘s best games use the joy-con’s stellar motion control and HD rumble features so it becomes an understandable sacrifice, and of course, tabletop mode is still available. There are still a couple of stinkers in the minigame department but Super Mario Party might just have the most consistent overall collection of the series.

Everything else in Super Mario Party is a a mixed bag. In an effort to live up to the Super part of the title, Nintendo has added a bunch of new modes to the game and would have been better off leaving them alone. They aren’t all terrible though. For instance, ‘River Survival’ has four players working together to paddle down a raft on mountain rapids and playing in cooperative minigames is pretty interesting. So is Partner Party which is the standard Mario Party mode but in teams of two. The other modes are lot less successful.

The worst of the bunch is ‘Sound Stage.’ This is a collection of rhythm-based motion control minigames where the player who triumphs at the most minigames wins. The minigames themselves are surprisingly solid with a good mix of rhythm and motion, but there’s no reason for them to exist in their own separate section. It’s a waste of space.

Sound Stage isn’t the only time that Super Mario Party allows you to just play minigames either. There’s also Minigame Mode which is a hit or miss. The one and only highlight of Minigame Mode is Square Off. Here, laying minigames is still the main focus but the real winner is chosen by how much territory a player steals on a square board (one minigame usually equates to one territory). Everything else in Minigame Mode takes out all the strategy of Mario Party for just boring minigame brawls. This is particularly true in Mariothon where whoever wins the most of a collection of five minigames is crowned the champion.

Mariothon being a bust stings because this is the one and only mode Super Mario Party has chosen to make available for online multiplayer. Super Mario Party is the first Mario Party to include online play but there’s no way of playing a board game in the mode. One could argue the commitment (a 10 turn board game can take up to an hour) would be a problem in online matchmaking, but there being no option is disappointing, especially the only available mode is Mariothon where the Minigames have little stakes. Online play even shrinks down the available games in Mariothon to just 10 random ones not the full 80. It’s terrible.

There are other features in Super Mario Party like a lackluster single player campaign called Challenge Road, but playing the standard board game mode with computer opponents is a much more satisfying single player experience. There’s also Toad’s Rec Room which can use two switches to play special minigames. It’s an interesting tech demo but not much more than that. The bulk of Super Mario Party‘s successes and failures can be found in the other modes. Overall, those positives do outweigh the negatives.

Super Mario Party isn’t perfect. It doesn’t even supplant Mario Party 2 or Mario Party 4 as the best Mario Party game ever. It does, however, get very close. Super Mario Party would’ve been stronger if it did away with some of the extra game modes and focused on quality more than quantity. Toad’s Rec Room or Sound Stage could’ve easily been swapped out for three to four new board game maps. As it stands, Super Mario Party is a solid rebirth for what has become the redheaded stepchild of Nintendo franchises. Hopefully there will be many more and impressive sequels to come building off what it does right and ignoring what it does wrong.

More: Nintendo Switch 2 is Already Going to Release in 2019

Super Mario Party is available now for $59.99 on Nintendo Switch.



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2018-10-08 05:10:06 – Derek Stauffer