Posts

Grace And Frankie: 10 Things We Want To Happen In Season 6

For the past five seasons in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, we’ve seen Sol and Robert find love, Grace and Frankie become best friends, Brianna taking over Say Grace, Mallory becoming a single mother, Bud becoming a father (and getting married), and Coyote meeting his birth mother. It’s been a wild ride over there in California but we can’t get enough.

In the last episode of season five, we see what life would have been like if Grace and Frankie never became the besties that they’ve become. Grace was insanely vapid, Frankie was closer to Grace’s kids than she was, and there was still a lot of anger directed towards Sol and Robert. Luckily, it was all a daydream and Grace and Frankie realized how lucky they were to have one another.

However, as great as season five was, it ended with a ton of questions. Here are 10 things we hope to find out come season six.

10 For Coyote To Reunite With His ‘Other’ Family

For the time being, Coyote has met his birth mother after he decided he wanted to look for her. And while his birth mother did take a trip out to the West Coast to meet her son, that’s all she wanted from the relationship. After realizing he couldn’t have a full relationship with his mom, that was where the series left it. That is until last season in an episode called “The Pharmacy.”

RELATED: 10 Things We Didn’t Know About Grace And Frankie

In the episode, Coyote is attacked by a 17-year-old boy who thinks he’s having an affair with his mom. In reality though, they’re step-brothers, sharing the same mom. Fans of the show would love to see if anything more comes from this connection.

9 An Appearance From Dolly Parton

Grace and Frankie has a full cast of amazing stars, however, there are rumors that Dolly Parton may be popping up in season six! Appearing on the 1980s TV show together, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, and Lily Tomlin have known each other for decades. They loved working together then so why wouldn’t they love working together now?

8  For Mallory To Keep Dating Around

Many Grace and Frankie fans saw Mallory struggle with her relationship with her children’s father. And over time, their connection kept dwindling. Now a single mother of four, we see Mallory try to find herself again. She starts working (for free, mind you) with her sister at Say Grace and she begins to juggle life as a single mother. Eventually, she Brianna does force her to date again but she ultimately found a connection with her kids’ principal, Nick.

RELATED: Grace And Frankie: 5 Times Frankie Was A Good Friend (& 5 She Wasn’t)

Fans are happy Mallory feels comfortable with Nick (especially since she brought him to Bud’s wedding), but most think she needs more time to date around instead of settling down so quickly.

7 What’s Going On With Barry And His Potential Child?

There’s something so rare and sweet about the relationship between Brianna and Barry. They’re both so scared of their relationship and yet are so committed to one another. Interestingly enough, Barry was given the chance to have a child with a pair of women who can’t have children themselves. While they both thought the concept was a little weird, they eventually went along with it since Brianna isn’t a “kid” kind of person. In season six, we’re hoping to find out more about Barry’s child and how they’re navigating this new addition (if successful).

6 Grace Can’t Live Without Frankie, Can She?

Now that Grace is legally married to Nick (per the last episode in season five), where does that leave Grace and Frankie? Will Grace move out of their La Jolla home and into Nick’s place, or perhaps Nick moves into their beach house with Frankie?

RELATED: Grace & Frankie: 6 Times Grace Was A Good Friend (& 4 She Wasn’t)

With the separation of Grace and Frankie, is there even a show? Fans need to know how these two can function without one another after becoming so dependent on each other.

5 And What Does This Mean For Nick And Grace?

Now that Grace and Nick are legally married, Frankie was taken back by this revelation. The women realized they simply cannot live without each other and yet Nick is kind of in the middle of their relationship. In season six, it’s going to be interesting to see the relationship between Grace, Nick, and Frankie evolve. Nick is a busy businessman, and Grace is an independent woman, maybe she can spend a few nights with Frankie and a few nights at Nick’s? Time will tell.

4 For Brianna To Keep Say Grace Thriving Without Grace

It’s been empowering watching Brianna take Say Grace from the bottom and bring it to the top. However, somewhere down the line, Say Grace took a hit and Brianna needed help to bring it back to life. The only woman made for the job was Say Grace creator (and Brianna’s mom), Grace.

RELATED: Grace And Frankie Characters Sorted Into Their Hogwarts Houses

The problem with this is that Grace loves to work, so she took the reigns and kind of threw her daughters under the bus. Now that Brianna seems to have a handle on the business model, it would be amazing to see her take full control and keep climbing to the top — without the help of her mother. It would also be great to see her pay Mallory for all her hard work…

3 Sol And Robert Need A Reset Button

Most fans didn’t know how to feel about the relationship between Sol and Robert in the beginning, but over time, we all knew it was love. We saw them fight for their rights, fight for their love, and fight for their health, but in season five? They kind of fell off track. The pair dealt with downsizing, fighting families, a third partner in the bedroom, Robert’s failing health… Did these two lose their way? There seems to be more arguments and drama between the two than loving hugs like the first season. It would be great for fans to see these two to fall in love again.

2 For Vybrant To Continue Serving The Older Community

After Frankie promised free vibrators and donuts online to their visitors, Frankie needed to clean up her own mess. Grace, of course, wanted to do a PR video to clean up the spilled milk but Frankie wasn’t a fan of her idea. After a few days of brainstorming, Frankie makes an entire graph directed towards fixing her issue. Focusing on the older generations, they wanted to give their free vibrators to the older community first and then the younger community when they’re “old enough.”

RELATED: Grace And Frankie: The New Golden Girls

Knowing that Vybrant’s main focus is still the older community is a main centerpiece of the show, and to see that continue would be huge in season six.

1 Will Vybrant Start Bedazzling Canes?

We see Frankie and Grace get closer and closer to their friend (and assistant) Joan Margaret throughout season five. By the time Bud’s wedding came around we see Joan selling her cane for $50 — which she bedazzled for fun.

NEXT: 10 Underrated Sitcoms To Stream On Netflix

Frankie and Joan seem to love the idea of adding a sassy cane line to their Vybrant brand, but we need to wait and see if Grace is on board in season six!


2019-07-17 03:07:04

Layne Gibbons

Walking Dead Season 10: Michonne Battles Zombies In Fiery First Image

The first The Walking Dead season 10 image features Danai Gurira’s Michonne in a fiery battle with zombies. After years of declining ratings and increasing fan discontent, The Walking Dead season 9 delivered what many critics agreed was the show’s best storytelling in a long time. If one development helped The Walking Dead overcome its recent slump, it was the season 9 arrival of the villainous Whisperers and their terrifying leader Alpha (superbly played by Samantha Morton).

Of course, season 9 was dominated not by new arrivals but devastating departures. No exit was more earth-shattering for the show than that of Andrew Lincoln, who departed as Rick Grimes after heading up the cast since the very beginning. Maggie actress Lauren Cohan also exited the show in the front half of the season, but it’s been reported that the series is trying hard to get Cohan back. Late in the season, a whole group of characters was killed off by the Whisperers, including long time regulars Tara (Alanna Masterson), Enid (Katelyn Nacon) and Henry (Matt Lintz).

Related: The Walking Dead TV Show Beat The Comics To Its Ending

As The Walking Dead heads into season 10, another important long time cast member, Gurira, is also reportedly headed for the exit. As Michonne’s storyline prepares to wrap up, EW has released a first look Walking Dead season 10 image that features Gurira’s katana wielding character in a ferocious battle with zombies while surrounded by fire. See the image in the space below:

Speaking to EW, Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang offered some insight into the significance of fire in season 10:

“One of the things that we have going on this season is, we’re continuing some explorations of natural elements and how they play into our world. And fire is one of those elements that comes into play in a few key ways that twist the story in a way that will be pretty exciting.”

Indeed, bringing the elements more into play actually began with season 9, when a snowstorm descended and made things very difficult for the characters after the already devastating losses they suffered at the hands of The Whisperers. Going by Kang’s comments, it seems fans can look forward to more instances of bad weather or perhaps a forest fire complicating things in season 10 (as if the world being overrun by zombies wasn’t already complicated enough). Kang naturally isn’t giving much away about what specifically is going on with Michonne in the above image, but it appears the character is in a lot of trouble. Michonne of course is very good at getting out of trouble using her trusty katana. Somewhere along the line though, something must happen to Michonne that leads to her departure from the show.

Of course, just because Michonne is leaving The Walking Dead, that doesn’t mean fans need to necessarily say goodbye to the character. Rick Grimes departed the series without dying, and is expected to return in a series of Walking Dead movies being developed by AMC. Cohan too appears on her way back to the franchise. It would not be a shock if Michonne also left the show without being killed off, leaving the door open for the character to be reunited with Rick in one of the movies. As for season 10 of The Walking Dead, very little is known about what is expected to go down, but no doubt The Whisperers will be in the thick of things again, and no doubt the show will introduce a bunch more new characters (to replace all the ones that died at the end of season 9, if nothing else).

More: The Walking Dead TV Show Can’t Have The Same Ending As The Comics

Source: EW


2019-07-16 01:07:17

Dan Zinski

RuPaul’s Drag Race Readying for Season 12 in 2020 | ScreenRant

RuPaul’s Drag Race, the iconic drag queen competition show, will return for Season 12 in 2020, featuring a new cast of queens from all over the country. While VH1 has yet to release much new information on the upcoming season, fans know they can expect the show to return next winter.

Since 2009, the Emmy-winning show has won over America, teaching viewers about the world of drag, while also breaking barriers for the acceptance of the LGBTQ community. On RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag queens compete in a series of different challenges based off of performance, makeup, and style. The winner takes home $100,000, a one-year supply of Anastasia Beverly Hills cosmetics, and the endless love and approval of RuPaul herself. During Season 11, Yvie Oddly took home the crown. She won out against some incredible queens, like fan favorites Brooke Lynn Hytes and Nina West. Now that Season 11 is over, however, super fans are experiencing withdrawal and have already begun to piece together what they can expect from next season.

Related: RuPaul’s Drag Race: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Alaska 

Fans definitely know the next season is happening because there’s already been a casting call. According to the call, put out by RuPaul’s Drag Race’s production company, World of Wonder, Ru is looking for a “showgirl,” “drag queen,” or “girl with a cha-cha heel and a pussycat wig” to appear on Season 12 of the show. Unfortunately, if you’re a drag queen looking to compete, casting is already closed, which is a good sign for fans as it means the network must be close to narrowing down who the next cast of queens will be. While VH1 hasn’t officially announced the next season or its air date, viewers are pretty confident it’s happening, especially based on the success of this last season.

Generally, RuPaul’s Drag Race airs early on in the year, usually by January or February, which means fans will have to possibly wait half a year for their drag race fix. The usual judges will likely return, including Ru, Michelle Visage, Ross Matthews, and Carson Kressley. None of the upcoming celebrity judges have been announced yet, but based on this past season, they most likely won’t disappoint. On Season 11, fans saw guest judges like Lena Waithe, Miley Cyrus, and Adam Rippon.

The good news is that fans may not have to wait until the next season of RuPaul’s Drag Race to see their favorite queens. There’s a strong possibility Season 5 of All Stars, a spinoff of RuPaul’s Drag Race featuring iconic cast members from former seasons, will air a month or two before Season 12 premieres. In the meantime, viewers can stream the previous seasons of both shows on VH1 online and start getting their heels and wigs ready for 2020.

Next: Ranked: The Most Epic Lip Sync Battles On Ru Paul’s Drag Race 

 Source: World of Wonder


2019-07-15 01:07:38

Sarah Beauchamp

How Stranger Things Books Made Season 3 Way Better | ScreenRant

Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things season 3.

The finale of Stranger Things season 3 was already emotional, but if one went into the latest batch of episodes having read all of the tie-in books, it’s made all the sadder – and more satisfactory.

The so-called Stranger Things Expanded Universe – which includes comic books and video games as well as the novels – has been quickly growing and includes a lot of background material on characters like Police Chief Jim Hopper and plot elements like Project MKUltra, the initiative that ultimately produced the superpowered Eleven. While some of these stories may seem like nothing more than filler on first blush, the Netflix show’s third installment really pays off on their developments in some perhaps-surprising ways, making them must-reads.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 3’s Ending Irreversibly Changes The Show

There are two ways in particular this dramatic heightening occurs, and they both revolve around figures who perish by the season’s end (or, at least, who appear to be killed off): Billy Hargrove and Hopper. The most recent of the Stranger Things releases, Runaway Max, retells the events of season 2 from the perspective of Max Mayfield, dropping in a slew of flashbacks to how she first met her step-dad and -brother – providing a better understanding of how the deranged Billy came to be so psychologically damaged. Along the way, audiences learn about Billy’s special relationship with his car – the only one he truly cares about – and realize that he may very well physically brutalize Lucas Sinclair, Max’s newfound Midwest love interest, since the last time one of his step-sister’s friends defied him, he ended up breaking the adolescent’s arm.

The revelation at the end of season 3 that Billy was a good-hearted boy with a loving mom who was chased away by a sadistic dad doesn’t come as a shocker in the slightest. What does prove to be shocking, however, is the way in which the teenager both verbally and physically accosts his car, easily his most valuable possession and the thing that might best be described as his closest companion – meaning that the beginning of his character arc this season is weighted with a lot more emotion, thereby helping it better parallel his heartbreaking climax. (Speaking of which, readers might be forgiven for weeping alongside Max once he is slaughtered by the Mind Flayer.)

RELATED: Stranger Things Learned The Wrong Lessons From Season 2’s Backlash

Then there is Darkness on the Edge of Town, a novel that ostensibly is about Jim Hopper tracking down a (slightly-telepathic) serial killer in New York City six years before Stranger Things begins but which is really a meditation on his recovery from the Vietnam War and his relationship with his family, both in the past (with Sara, his late daughter, and his ex-wife) and the present (his newly-adopted daughter of Eleven). The book opens on Christmas 1984, just a few weeks after season 2 has ended, with the police chief actually enjoying his formerly-favorite holiday for the first time since his first little girl died, and it closes with Christmas 1977, the last one he would ever spend with Sara – a beautiful and yet haunting bookend that perfectly manages to get into the psyche of, arguably, the TV show’s main lead.

It’s easy to see how this makes Hopper’s apparent sacrifice in the third season finale all the more tragic, and how it would render it all the more devastating still for book readers. The scant pages both Jim and Eleven manage to share together in their little cabin, in the midst of a snowstorm with nothing else to do but keep each other company, suddenly becomes, in retrospect, one of the highlights of Stranger Things’ entire run to date.

It’s harder to think of a better compliment – or a better way to appreciate season 3.

NEXT: Predicting How Stranger Things Season 4 Can End the Show


2019-07-14 05:07:31

Marc N. Kleinhenz

How Stranger Things Books Made Season 3 Way Better | ScreenRant

Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things season 3.

The finale of Stranger Things season 3 was already emotional, but if one went into the latest batch of episodes having read all of the tie-in books, it’s made all the sadder – and more satisfactory.

The so-called Stranger Things Expanded Universe – which includes comic books and video games as well as the novels – has been quickly growing and includes a lot of background material on characters like Police Chief Jim Hopper and plot elements like Project MKUltra, the initiative that ultimately produced the superpowered Eleven. While some of these stories may seem like nothing more than filler on first blush, the Netflix show’s third installment really pays off on their developments in some perhaps-surprising ways, making them must-reads.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 3’s Ending Irreversibly Changes The Show

There are two ways in particular this dramatic heightening occurs, and they both revolve around figures who perish by the season’s end (or, at least, who appear to be killed off): Billy Hargrove and Hopper. The most recent of the Stranger Things releases, Runaway Max, retells the events of season 2 from the perspective of Max Mayfield, dropping in a slew of flashbacks to how she first met her step-dad and -brother – providing a better understanding of how the deranged Billy came to be so psychologically damaged. Along the way, audiences learn about Billy’s special relationship with his car – the only one he truly cares about – and realize that he may very well physically brutalize Lucas Sinclair, Max’s newfound Midwest love interest, since the last time one of his step-sister’s friends defied him, he ended up breaking the adolescent’s arm.

The revelation at the end of season 3 that Billy was a good-hearted boy with a loving mom who was chased away by a sadistic dad doesn’t come as a shocker in the slightest. What does prove to be shocking, however, is the way in which the teenager both verbally and physically accosts his car, easily his most valuable possession and the thing that might best be described as his closest companion – meaning that the beginning of his character arc this season is weighted with a lot more emotion, thereby helping it better parallel his heartbreaking climax. (Speaking of which, readers might be forgiven for weeping alongside Max once he is slaughtered by the Mind Flayer.)

RELATED: Stranger Things Learned The Wrong Lessons From Season 2’s Backlash

Then there is Darkness on the Edge of Town, a novel that ostensibly is about Jim Hopper tracking down a (slightly-telepathic) serial killer in New York City six years before Stranger Things begins but which is really a meditation on his recovery from the Vietnam War and his relationship with his family, both in the past (with Sara, his late daughter, and his ex-wife) and the present (his newly-adopted daughter of Eleven). The book opens on Christmas 1984, just a few weeks after season 2 has ended, with the police chief actually enjoying his formerly-favorite holiday for the first time since his first little girl died, and it closes with Christmas 1977, the last one he would ever spend with Sara – a beautiful and yet haunting bookend that perfectly manages to get into the psyche of, arguably, the TV show’s main lead.

It’s easy to see how this makes Hopper’s apparent sacrifice in the third season finale all the more tragic, and how it would render it all the more devastating still for book readers. The scant pages both Jim and Eleven manage to share together in their little cabin, in the midst of a snowstorm with nothing else to do but keep each other company, suddenly becomes, in retrospect, one of the highlights of Stranger Things’ entire run to date.

It’s harder to think of a better compliment – or a better way to appreciate season 3.

NEXT: Predicting How Stranger Things Season 4 Can End the Show


2019-07-14 05:07:31

Marc N. Kleinhenz

Mindhunter Season 2: Release Date & Story Details | ScreenRant

Netflix’s serial killer drama series Mindhunter season 2 releases this summer, and here’s everything we know. Written by Joe Penhall (The Road) and Jennifer Haley (Hemlock Grove), and directed by David Fincher (Zodiac), Mindhunter stars Jonathan Groff as Holden Ford, an ambitious young FBI agent with a hunger to get to the heart of what makes serial killers tick.

In season 1, Holden gave his colleagues in the Behavioral Science Unit, Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) increasing cause for concern as he went to great lengths to put serial killers at ease in order to earn their trust. Mindhunter is based on a book of the same name by former FBI agent John Douglas, who interviewed some of America’s most notorious serial killers, including Edmund Kemper, John Wayne Gacy, and Ted Bundy.

Related: Mindhunter: How Much of the Series Is Real?

Mindhunter season 1 dug into the chilling psychology of some of these killers, and it was popular enough with audiences and critics alike to garner a second season. While Netflix confirmed Mindhunter season 2 way back in November 2017 – with Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Robert Ford by the Coward Jesse James) and Carl Franklin (House of Cards) joining Fincher in directing – getting it in front of audiences has been quite the journey. So what should fans expect from Mindhunter season 2?

Last updated: July 14, 2019

Filming for Mindhunter season 2 began in summer 2018 and wrapped in early December. Even though production wrapped late last year, Netflix has been waiting for the opportune moment to release the new season. After producer Charlize Theron let it slip that Mindhunter season 2 would release sometime in August, Fincher later confirmed August 16 as the official release date.

David Fincher has confirmed that Mindhunter season 2 will look at the Atlanta child murders, a series of killings between 1979 and 1981, in which 28 African-American children, teens, and young adults were murdered. Chillingly, while Wayne Williams was convicted for two of the murders, John Douglas believes that there were other offenders and Williams himself maintains his innocence to this day.

As in season 1, Mindhunter season 2 will deal with multiple different serial killers – including Charles Manson, who will be played by Damon Herriman. Herriman is also playing Manson in Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. According to casting breakdowns, the second season of the show will also feature David Berkowitz a.k.a. The Son of Sam, Tex Watson, Elmer Wayne Hanley, William Pierce Jr., William Henry Henry, and Paul Bateson.

Mindhunter season 2 will also continue the series’ over-arching storyline related to Dennis Rader a.k.a. the BTK Killer (Sonny Valicenti). The goal of the Behavioral Science Unit’s work is to figure out how captured serial killers’ minds work in order to more efficiently track down at-large serial killers and put a stop to their murder sprees. However, since Rader wasn’t apprehended until 2005, viewers probably shouldn’t expect that particular storyline to be resolved in season 2.

Next: 10 Best Horror TV Shows Available On Netflix


2019-07-14 05:07:12

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Top Gear Season 27 Premiere Review | ScreenRant

Since the departures of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, Top Gear has been in a state of flux, as the BBC and the show’s producers have brought in various hosts in an attempt to reproduce the unique onscreen alchemy of the opinionated, sometimes controversial, and typically very funny gearheads, who’ve since found a new home at Amazon with The Grand Tour. Needless to say, it’s been something of a bumpy road for the series, as the past few years have seen Chris Evans (not “America’s ass” Chris Evans, but rather the British TV presenter and DJ), Eddie Jordan, Rory Reid, Sabine Schmidt, and perhaps most famously, former Friends star Matt LeBlanc step up to fill the shoes of the show’s departed frontmen. 

At the start season 27, Top Gear once again has new hosts to introduce, in the form of comedian and TV host Paddy McGuinness and former cricket star and TV presenter Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, who have joined returning co-host and motoring journalist Chris Harris for the show’s latest new look. To the series’ credit, as well as the new hosts’, Top Gear addresses the change outright, having Flintoff compare the revolving door of presenters to Doctor Who’s frequent casting changes via the character’s regeneration. But while the show itself, as well as McGuinness and Flintoff, are quick to acknowledge the way in which their newness will take some getting used to, the season premiere makes the wise decision to settle into a comfortable Top Gear-like routine, as a way of assuaging viewers’ concerns. 

More: Stranger Things 3 Review: A Wildly Fun Season Delivers On Its ‘80s Blockbuster Ambitions

More than that, however, the season 27 premiere ingratiates the new hosts to the show’s sizable (and presumably still devoted) audience by adhering to the comedy-meets-earnest-admiration-for-foreign-locales format popularized by the guys whose names are still synonymous with Top Gear.

It works, for the most part. Season 27 is deliberate in its efforts to get the hosts out into the world where their team spirit can perhaps flower into the kind of bromance that will sustain the series for another few years. It’s a smart move, as Flintoff in particular appears more at ease when he’s actively engaged in driving around, waxing nostalgic about a Porsche Boxster, or competing in one of the episode-specific challenges meant to determine which host chose the best car (or rather, which host’s personal history dictated the best car) for the trek through Ethiopia and into the Danakil Depression. 

The premise of the trip is simple, and it affords the trio a chance to engage in a seemingly organic “getting to know you” exercise, in which each presenter must purchase the type of car that was the first car they ever owned. This leads to some interesting driving situations, with Harris tooling around in a Mini Cooper, while McGuinness is behind the wheel of a Ford Escort, and Flintoff — being a professional cricket player at a very young age — drives the aforementioned Boxster. It all makes for a necessary surface-level introduction for audiences who might not be familiar with McGuinness’s past work and especially those in the States whose exposure to the sport of cricket is likely extremely limited, to say the least. But as the journey through Ethiopia is more about finding out how the personalities of these three men will result in some entertaining (and limitedly informational) situations, it turns out to be exactly what the show needs. 

There’s a performative aspect to Top Gear (and The Grand Tour), wherein the audience is asked to suspend disbelief and allow that many of the situations and competitions are the result of spontaneity and the hosts being “on the road,” and the season 27 premiere certainly takes advantage of that. This results in a collection of challenges that are entertaining enough (particularly one where Paddy, Freddie, and Chris must drive on an airstrip blindfolded and try to get as close as possible to a stationary target), but as is sometimes the case with Top Gear, (and, again, The Grand Tour) they have little to do with the episode’s chosen locale. While the hosts do get out of their cars long enough to play some foosball with a few locals, the episode itself spends too little time with people from the region, much less making exploring what life is like there outside of commenting on its stunning scenery. 

It’s easy enough to say that Top Gear isn’t really a travel show and therefore isn’t beholden to the kinds of cultural explorations one might expect from similar series, but the arm’s length at which the show often holds its chosen setting does feel especially glaring when a second segment compares two supercars (a McLaren 600LT and a Ferrari 488 Pista) with price tags equivalent to a modest single family home. Nevertheless, given the changes the show has undergone in recent years, it’s easy to see why producers would be eager to keep its content as familiar to the audience as possible, maximizing the car-centric shenanigans and focusing on the burgeoning and believable camaraderie of its new hosts. 

That “steady as it goes” approach proves useful in the series premiere and many of the new season’s episodes that follow, as McGuinness, Flintoff, and Harris’s various personalities and areas of expertise begin to gel, and their interactions feel more natural and consistent. For now, it’s the beginning of a new era of Top Gear, one that will hopefully last long enough for the series to feel as distinct and entertaining as it has in the past. 

Next: Apollo: Missions To The Moon Review: Captivating Space Doc Retells The Race To The Moon

Top Gear continues next Sunday @8pm on BBC America.


2019-07-14 02:07:31

Kevin Yeoman

American Horror Story Season 9 Full Cast & Premiere Date Revealed

The full cast of American Horror Story: 1984 has finally been revealed by Ryan Murphy, teasing the usual blend of new and familiar faces. Created by Murphy and Brad Fulchuk, American Horror Story is an anthology series where each season featuring a new – though sometimes overlapping – story and collection of characters. Across the already-aired eight seasons, the show has tackled such settings as an asylum, a freak show, and most recently, an apocalypse. Garnering a number of awards for its varied cast members – including a Golden Globe for Lady Gaga – American Horror Story have already been renewed through season 10.

Though the overall plot tends to be a closely-guarded secret in the run-up to the premiere, it was previously announced that American Horror Story season 9 would be officially subtitled ‘1984’ and have a slasher theme. Since then, details regarding the ever-shifting cast has emerged. AHS stalwart Emma Roberts was the first to be confirmed as returning. The actress made her AHS debut in American Horror Story: Coven, before returning for Freak Show, Cult, and last season’s Apocalypse. It was also revealed, for the first time in the show’s history, that Evan Peters would not be starring.  Equally, Sarah Paulson will not return. Instead, it was announced that Angelica Ross had been cast. Ross is currently the star of another Murphy production: FX’s Pose.

Related: American Horror Story: 1984 Needs A Slasher Scream Queen – Who Could It Be?

Posting on his personal Instagram, Murphy opted to celebrate the first day of filming with an official cast announcement. He then proceeded to post a series of videos that, in true American Horror Story fashion, eschewed the usual tradition of such announcements. Instead, each snippet was done as though part of a camera test, blending the equal parts ominous and campy tones with which the show has become synonymous. Alongside Roberts, the returning cast also includes Billie Lourd, Leslie Grossman, and Cody Fern. John Carroll Lynch, who played Twisty the Clown in American Horror Story season 4, also makes a return. Check out the videos – in all their hilariously 80’s glory – below:

The new faces joining the cast (and donning their short shorts) include DeRon Horton, Zach Villa, and Glee’s Matthew Morrison. This isn’t the only project Murphy has in the works. The super-producer recently signed a deal with Netflix. As part of that deal, he is producing a film adaptation of The Prom, starring Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep. He will also re-team with Paulson on a One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest prequel series, Ratched.

In terms of American Horror Story: 1984, the video doesn’t reveal the characters’ names. It does, however, convey each of their defining characteristics – right down to a recurring penis gag for one. Ross’ character, meanwhile, can be seen with a stethoscope, clearly setting her up as the camp’s resident medic. Equally, Lynch’s character looks every bit as intense and creepy as Twisty himself was. It also has a very Friday the 13th vibe, living up to its retro-slasher film intentions. And potentially having even more 80s homages than Stranger Things.

For each detail revealed by the videos, however, they pose an equal amount of questions that are sure to fuel much speculation from fans. Most notably, is the style of the videos. Could it be that what audiences will see later this year will actually be a film within a series, with the confirmed actors themselves playing actors on the set of a horror production?  It would be certainly in keeping with such previously meta seasons as American Horror Story: Roanoke. Whatever the case, fans will find out for sure when the series finally airs.

More: What to Expect from American Horror Story Season 9

American Horror Story: 1984 premieres Sept. 18 on FX.

Source: Ryan Murphy/Instagram



2019-07-13 09:07:11

John Atkinson

Handmaid’s Tale Season 3 Has the Opposite Problem to Game of Thrones

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and HBO’s Game of Thrones are two shows that have something in common: they both overtook the source material and set out bravely on their own. The end of Game of Thrones season 5 marked the point at which showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had reached the end of the books that George R.R. Martin had written so far, and The Handmaid’s Tale reached the conclusion of Margaret Atwood’s book (minus the 200 years later epilogue) at the end of season 1. But while Game of Thrones has been criticized for spending the last few seasons rushing through plot points to get to the finish line, The Handmaid’s Tale has the opposite problem; without a roadmap from Atwood, and with an inherent need to maintain the status quo, the show is treading water.

The season 2 finale, in which June decided to stay behind in Gilead and let Emily leave with baby Holly/Nichole, was controversial but promising. June had recently been reunited with her first daughter, Hannah, who was now several years older and not initially overjoyed to see her mother. During their brief time together, Hannah asked June why she hadn’t tried harder to find her. In light of that exchange, it made sense that June would refuse to let Hannah down a second time by leaving her alone in Gilead.

Related: The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2 Finale Explained

However, while this finale set up a third season where June would be desperately trying to get Hannah back, much of season 3 has been preoccupied with a rather tedious custody battle as the Waterfords pressure the Canadian government to return baby Nichole. Hannah, meanwhile, has barely been seen, and has now been taken out of reach once again after June’s ill-thought-out attempt to visit her at school. A subplot about June helping to organize the resistance within Gilead – arguably the most interesting new element introduced this season – has also been neglected. It’s little wonder than viewers are feeling frustrated.

The general fan consensus is that Game of Thrones began to decline in quality once it left the books behind. Martin gave Benioff and Weiss key plot beats so that they would know how to end the series, but there wasn’t the same wealth of source material to draw on. Easily the most maligned season of the show was the eighth and final season, which was just six episodes long and wrapped up not only the story of the encroaching army of the dead, but also the Game of Thrones itself – with Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow heading south to fight one last battle against reigning Queen Cersei Lannister.

Speaking to Variety last year, Martin was asked why the show was ending with season 8, and replied that “we could have gone to 11, 12, 13 seasons, but I guess [the showrunners] wanted a life.” The author elaborated, “[Benioff and Weiss] have been saying for like five years that seven seasons was all they would go, and we got them to go to eight, but not any more than that.” Not only did the showrunners insist on wrapping things up within eight seasons, the final two seasons were also shorter, with season 7 having just seven episodes and season 8 a mere six.

This meant that the conflict between the living and the dead (which had been building since the very first scene of the very first episode) was wrapped up in a single episode, the conflict with Cersei Lannister was wrapped up in two episodes, and everything else – from Daenerys Targaryen’s madness to the question of who would sit on the Iron Throne – was dealt with in the season finale. While there was certainly foreshadowing in the series for Daenerys’ eventual fall, many felt that the execution was extremely rushed, with Daenerys going from putting her entire army on the line to protect the people of Westeros to slaughtering women and children en masse in the space of a couple of episodes. The showrunners had a clear map of how the show would end, but effectively took a shortcut to get there.

Related: Game Of Thrones Season 8’s Real Problem Is Everything That Came Before

In the epilogue of Margaret Atwood’s book it’s revealed that Gilead does eventually fall, though June’s fate is left unknown. As mentioned above, everything before the epilogue was covered in season of The Handmaid’s Tale, and showrunner Bruce Miller has said that he’s roughly sketched out ten seasons of the show – a prospect that may be daunting for fans who are already feeling fatigued by the plot. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Miller said that he might consider portraying the fall of Gilead and its version of the Nuremberg Trials in the final seasons, but anything like that is still a long way off:

“My arc is still very much the arc of the novel, which is the arc of this one woman’s experience in Gilead at this time, and her recollections that paint this picture of what it was like and what the experience of this world was like, which really is still the book. People talk about how we’re beyond the book, but we’re not really. The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what’s happened in those intervening 200 years. It’s maybe handled in an outline, but it’s still there in Margaret’s novel. We’re not going beyond the novel; we’re just covering territory she covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

On the one hand, The Handmaid’s Tale‘s portrayal of oppression by a cruel and totalitarian government is fairly realistic; June suffering in impotence under threat of death, torture, or being sent to the colonies is easier to believe than her single-handedly leading an army of revolutionaries to topple Gilead. On the other hand, a character suffering under a relentless, inescapable status quo doesn’t necessarily make for good television. The idea of June still being a handmaid beholden to a commander, still separated from her family and still limited to whispered conversations in grocery stores as her main act of rebellion five or six seasons in the future is exhausting to think about. Serial drama tends to rely upon moving the story forward, but already The Handmaid’s Tale is going in circles.

Related: The Handmaid’s Tale: Why June Made the Right Choice

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Serena Waterford’s characterization. A complex and fascinating character in the first couple of seasons, Serena managed to both inspire fierce hate and reluctant sympathy, as audiences came to realize that she was a victim of the world that she had helped create. At the end of the season 2, Serena made the momentous decision to let baby Nichole escape so that she wouldn’t have to grow up in Gilead. However, in season 3 Serena has backtracked after being allowed to visit Nichole, and is now once again Fred’s accomplice as the Waterfords work to undo season 2’s climactic and defining moment.

The Handmaid’s Tale season 3 hasn’t been completely without merit. There has certainly been some powerful imagery, such as the Washington Monument’s conversion into a cross, the destroyed Lincoln memorial, and the horrifying site of handmaids who have been silenced by having rings put through their mouths. But whereas Game of Thrones season 8 rushed from one earth-shattering change to the next, The Handmaid’s Tale is stuck in the mud.

More: The 25 Best Movies on Hulu Right Now


2019-07-13 06:07:39

Hannah Shaw-Williams

Stranger Things Season 3: Biggest Unanswered Questions

Stranger Things season 3 left some major unanswered questions following the evil Mind Flayer’s latest attack on the town of Hawkins, Indiana. Once more, the young heroes, including Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink), and Will (Noah Schnapp), took on the beast from the Upside Down but the conclusion of Stranger Things season 3 upended the status quo as Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) and Sheriff Jim Hopper (David Harbour) both apparently died.

Set in early July 1985, Stranger Things season 3 revolved around the Mind Flayer taking over several of Hawkins’ townspeople, starting with Billy, in order to kill Eleven. Concurrently, the new Starcourt Mall became the focal point of the town until Dustin (Galen Matarazzo), Steve (Joe Keery), Robin (Maya Hawke), and Erica (Priah Ferguson) discovered the mall was actually a front for a secret underground Russian base where the Soviet Union was trying to breach the Upside Down using their own Key. By the final episodes, all of the storylines converged so that Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), Hopper, Murray (Brett Gelman), and Joyce (Winona Ryder) all joined forces in the Stranger Things season 3 finale, “The Battle of Starcourt.”

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 3’s Ending Irreversibly Changes The Show

Generally praised as an improvement over Stranger Things season 2 and a return to form for the series, Stranger Things season 3 has set Netflix streaming records, introduced a new fan-favorite character in Robin, expanded the scope of its universe, and set the stage for the story to continue in Stranger Things season 4. However, the series also doubled down on product-placement and nostalgia for 1980s music and movies, recycled many of its tropes and, once again, the villains’ motivations were sketchy and unclear major plot threads were left unresolved. All in all, here are our biggest questions about Stranger Things season 3.

12. Is Hopper Really Dead?

Whether Jim Hopper really did die when the Russian Key to the Upside Down exploded is the biggest question coming out of Stranger Things season 3. The poor sheriff never got his date with Joyce Byers and his sacrifice left Eleven without the man she’s come to regard as her father. Even before he died in the Russian base, Hopper suffered through a difficult season where he fought a Terminator-like Russian assassin and suffered serious beatings, not to mention his shack in the woods was destroyed by the Mind Flayer.

Since Hopper’s body wasn’t found (even though it was specified the Key would vaporize him), the possibility exists the scruffy lawman did survive and could reappear in Stranger Things season 4 – which is strongly teased if fans call the phone number of Murray Bauman and hear his voice message suggesting Hopper could still be alive. (David Harbour’s contract also includes an option to return for Stranger Things season 4.)

11. Who Is The American Imprisoned By The Russians?

Stranger Things season 3’s climactic moments take place at a Soviet prison facility in Kamchatka, USSR. A doomed Russian prisoner is dragged into a face-to-face confrontation with a Demogorgon but the truly compelling part is right before when an unknown American prisoner is spared that fate. Who could “the American” be? The most obvious possibility would be Jim Hopper, who the Red Army would have captured as they evacuated their Starcourt Mall base before the U.S. Military arrived.

Related: Stranger Things: Is Sheriff Hopper Really Dead? Here’s How He Could Have Survived

10. Where Is Dr. Martin Brenner?

Another possibility for the prisoner in Kamchatka could be Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine). Brenner, the scientist who “created” Eleven, was presumably killed by the Demogorgon in Stranger Things season 1. However, his fate was never confirmed and Brenner could still return in Stranger Things season 4. It’s not clear how the Russians could have captured and imprisoned Brenner halfway around the world but they have a motive: In Stranger Things season 1, episode 5 “The Flea and the Acrobat”, a flashback showed Brenner making Eleven use her powers to spy on the Soviet Union. This moment was the first tease of the Russians’ future involvement in Stranger Things season 3; it’s possible the USSR realized what Brenner was up to and capturing the white-haired scientist led to the Soviet Union’s own interest in breaching the Upside Down.

9. How Did The Russians Capture a Demogorgon?

Stranger Things season 3 makes the Russians a real threat. The season began with the Soviet Union failing to open a gate to the Upside Down, which led to the construction of the Key beneath the Starcourt Mall one year later. But apparently, the Russians did have success reaching the Upside Down during that year because they captured a Demogorgon. The fact the USSR has one of the deadly creatures makes them more successful than the Americans, who have apparently not managed to snag one of their own (although the Soviet Union has no Eleven of their own to kill the monsters). But the hows and whys of the Russians possessing a Demogorgon remain a mystery that will hopefully be answered in Stranger Things season 4.

8. Do The Russians Have Any Other Monsters From The Upside Down?

The return of the Stranger Things season 1 Demogorgon begs the question of whether the Russians have encountered other creatures from the Upside Down, perhaps even new monsters the residents of Hawkins, Indiana haven’t faced yet. At the very least, do the Soviets only have one Demogorgon or do they have more – and how did they manage to capture it? What’s more, have any Russians encountered the Mind Flayer and does the ruler of the Upside Down have any agents under its thrall in the USSR?

7. How Did The Russians Build A Secret Base Beneath Starcourt Mall?

The U.S. Military was a non-factor until the very end of Stranger Things season 3 and they completely missed the massive national security threat in Hawkins, Indiana, i.e. the Soviet Union was able to construct a massive underground base on U.S. soil and build Starcourt Mall above it. But even with Mayor Kline (Cary Elwes) looking the other way and taking kickbacks to the detriment of Hawkins’ downtown businesses, how did the Russians build that entire base in one year and staff it with Red Army soldiers all completely under the nose of the United States? And are there any other secret Soviet installations beneath malls elsewhere in the U.S.?

RELATED: Stranger Things Complete Timeline Explained

6. How Did Eleven Lose Her Powers And Can She Get Them Back?

Eleven’s leg was infected by a piece of the Mind Flayer’s Meat Monster at Hopper’s cabin but after a grotesque and painful surgical attempt by Jonathan, El used her telekinesis to tear the creature from her body. However, Eleven lost her powers afterwards. It’s unclear whether the sheer strain of removing the monster from her leg short-circuited El’s psychic abilities or whether it’s a side effect of the Mind Flayer infecting her body, but her powers still hadn’t returned at the end of Stranger Things season 3. While this could be a welcome break for Eleven and a chance to feel normal, it’s not clear if her telekinesis will manifest again or how it can happen in Stranger Things season 4.

5. Will Eleven’s “Sister” Return In Stranger Things Season 4?

One way Eleven could get her powers back is by encountering her older “sister” Kali Prasad aka Eight (Linnea Berthelsen). El, whose real name is Jane Ives, met Kali in the infamous Stranger Things season 2 episode “The Lost Sister”. While Eleven was tempted to remain with Kali, she rejected the vengeful life on the run Kali and her friends lived and chose to save her friends in Hawkins. However, Eleven moving away from the Indiana town with the Byers family opens up the chance of bringing back Kali. Eight’s psychic powers differ from El’s; Kali can project incredibly realistic illusions – could another meetup with her lost sister be the key to Eleven regaining her abilities?

4. Why Didn’t The Mind Flayer Kill Eleven When It had Many Chances To?

The Mind Flayer’s whole goal in Stranger Things season 3 was to kill Eleven; it called the many people in Hawkins in its thrall to it and melted them to create a giant monster before attacking Eleven and the rest of the kids. However, Eleven hurt the Mind Flayer when she telekinetically exploded its head, allowing the young heroes to escape. But at “The Battle of Starcourt”, the Mind Flayer still couldn’t kill El despite her losing her abilities and the fact that it already wounded and infected her leg. Considering the Mind Flayer’s actions in Stranger Things season 3 were so it could become powerful enough to kill Eleven, the fact that it failed so spectacularly really undercut a lot of its menace.

3. Why Did Everyone At The End Act Like The Mind Flayer Is Defeated?

For the third time, the heroic citizens of Hawkins sealed the Gate to the Upside Down and saved their town – temporarily. But by now, they should all know the Mind Flayer will return. In fact, earlier in Stranger Things season 3, they did know this because of the kids having the important discussion acknowledging it’s not enough to seal the Gate, they have to eliminate the Mind Flayer from Earth entirely. Instead, Stranger Things season 3 ends with the Gate being sealed but the Mind Flayer still an enemy that will surely return in the future. However, after the emotional traumas of Billy and Hopper’s death and the calamity at Starcourt Mall, plus the Byers and Eleven moving away, everyone seemed content they won – even though they all must know it isn’t really over.

RELATED: How Old Are The Kids In Stranger Things 3?

2. Where Are The Byers And Eleven Moving To?

The Byers adopting Eleven and moving away from Hawkins is a smart move. Joyce’s store in downtown Hawkins went out of business thanks to Starcourt Mall, Jonathan lost his job at the newspaper, and with Hopper dead, Eleven needed a fresh start away from Mike and the monsters in Hawkins. Even before they parted ways, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Max, and Nancy made their plans to see the Byers and Eleven over the holidays but Joyce and her family never said where they were moving to. But maybe the Byers purposely didn’t reveal their destination; if so, this would be a smart move. Getting as far away from Hawkins as they can but also not revealing where they’re going would be an ideal way for the Byers to get a fresh start and keep Eleven safe.

1. Will Stranger Things Be Different In Season 4?

Stranger Things season 3 has been warmly received by critics and fans, with some calling it the best season so far. However, it’s also clear Stranger Things needs to change and could benefit from a shakeup of its worn-out formula of monsters breaching from another dimension, terrorizing Hawkins, and a handful of children fighting back. Meanwhile, the villains remain one-dimensional, with unclear motivations, and the resolutions to the problem of the Mind Slayer come off as stopgap solutions.

Stranger Things season 3 broadening the scope to include the Soviet Union’s efforts to reach the Upside Down is intriguing and nicely ties into the waning days of the Cold War in the mid-1980s, but the series has also gone overboard with 1980’s nostalgia and incessant product placement. While the kids, the town of Hawkins, and the period setting are the hallmarks of the show and the key reasons for its success, fans still hope Stranger Things season 4 can find a way to freshen up the series and not just repeat a variation of what they’ve done to death.

NEXT: What To Expect From Stranger Things Season 4

Stranger Things is available to stream exclusively on Netflix.


2019-07-13 05:07:39

John Orquiola