HBO promoted Game of Thrones' sixth season in a macabre way, placing the visages of several key characters in the Hall of Faces, including Ned and Catelyn Stark, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, and Cersei Lannister. Those promos, so eerie and foreboding, suggested that each character would play a significant role in the story ahead — and that the specter of death would cast a heavy shadow over the upcoming 10 episodes.
Veep showrunner David Mandel said that this show works best when people don't get what they want, but I didn't expect such an extreme level of not-getting-what-they-want. "Inauguration" is a totally brutal finale, even if you don't think Selina Meyer deserves to be president (does anyone, except for Gary?) and if you don't think Tom James deserves to be president (can't say I have strong feelings one way or the other, but he does seem like the kind of guy you regret having sex with the minute it's over) and if you think it's cool that this alternate America is rallying behind a(nother) female president, especially one who throws some Spanish into her inaugural address.
Prince Tribute at the BET Awards: Jennifer Hudson, Stevie Wonder, Janelle Monáe, The Roots and Others PerformBy Tolly Wright
There was no way the BET 2016 Awards weren't going to do a Prince tribute, and boy did they deliver. Stevie Wonder and Tori Kelly teamed up for "Take Me With U," which was very sweet, but Jennifer Hudson brought the house down when she belted "Purple Rain." J Hud even wore a white hooded mini dress identical to the white blazer Prince donned at the 2005 People's Choice Awards as she hit all the notes and basically made the entire audience cry before they joined her in a chorus of "oohs."
The tributes didn't stop there. Janelle Monáe tore through a high-energy medley of several of the legend's best singles: “Delirious,” “Kiss,” “Pop Life” and “I Would Die for You.” While performed “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” and “The Beautiful Ones.”
It takes a while to figure out why the new Showtime series Roadies feels different from every other prestige cable drama. Look closely, though, at an early scene in the premiere: The Staton-House Band's road crew gathers in a circle to prepare for a day of plugging in amplifiers and taping down cables. What's that on their faces? It's something so rare on TV these days that it's almost hard to recognize. They're smiling.
And they don't just have smiles. They have Cameron Crowe smiles — as beatific and quietly satisfied as William Miller's in Almost Famous or Jerry Maguire's … well, you know. The Roadies creator wrote and directed this pilot episode, "Life is a Carnival," and anyone familiar with films like Say Anything… and Singles (or even the much-criticized Elizabethtown and Aloha) will see his personality all over this show. Crowe's characters don't just have jobs; they have callings. They know they're not exactly in the place where they've always wanted to be. And that's when the trouble starts.
This post was originally published in May. We have updated it to reflect the events of Sunday night's finale.
On Sunday night's season-six finale of Game of Thrones, viewers who had read George R.R. Martin's novels finally got confirmation for the show's longest-running fan theory, when Bran Stark used his his greenseeing powers to see the exciting conclusion to Ned Stark's visit to the Tower of Joy. What did he see? His father taking a little-bitty baby away from his dying sister, and deciding to raise it on his own. Yes, finally, it appears that R plus L really does equal J — or, since there's no need for secrecy anymore, Rhaegar Targaryen plus Lyanna Stark equals Jon Snow.
"How the fuck does something like this happen?" Gavin bellows in the first line of "The Uptick," the third-season finale of Silicon Valley. "He was old and depressed," says Patrice, Gavin's animal dealer, of the now-dead elephant he "considered" in his last board meeting. "He had just been rescued from the circus, but as it turns out, he loved performing." Gavin doesn't care about poor dead Dumbo, though. His bigger concern is how to dispose of the carcass without arousing suspicion.
While we wait for Vulture's official Game of Thrones recap to go up, here's another place for us all to discuss the events of Sunday night's finale, "The Winds of Winter." Did Cersei finally go too far to earn her crown, blowing up the Sept of Baelor: Margaery, the High Sparrow, and everyone else with it? Did you expect Tommen to go that way? How do you think Sansa really feels about Jon being King of the North? Does R+L=J already?? Discuss!
Where does evil come from? Preacher hasn't gone all the way back to the Garden of Eden — at least not yet — but it does trace Annville's godless to the horrifying violence of its past. "South Will Rise Again" begins in Ratwater circa 1881, at the dusty settlement we first glimpsed in "See," where a gruff, mysterious cowboy rode off to purchase medicine for a young girl who desperately needed it.
What will become of Ray Donovan in this fourth season? It's certainly possible the show will regain some thematic focus after last year's relatively haphazard narrative, which bounced all over the Los Angeles map and somehow wasted both Ian McShane and Grace Zabriskie. It's always been a show with incredible potential — largely due to its ridiculously talented cast — but without the writing to realize that potential. Maybe that will change in season four. "Girl With Guitar" offers hope that it will.
As further proof that every major television event needs a Beyoncé performance, Bey slayed the 2016 BET Awards by opening the awardshow with "Freedom." The surprise performance began with dancers walking through the audience backed by a recorded Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech, before they joined the diva on stage for the show-stopping, water-stomping choreography used on the Lemonade tour. As if the whole country wasn’t already losing their minds, Kendrick Lamar also appeared unexpectedly to rap his verse live. The song ended with both high kicking the water as flames flashed behind them.
Salutations and Greetings to Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Who Are Going to Star in Oh, Hello on BroadwayBy Devon Ivie
Please give a rousing hello to Oh, Hello. Comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney will be bringing their schmuck alter egos Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland to Broadway this fall with their part-scripted, part-spontaneous comedy production. Portraying "two old jerks from the Upper West Side" in what's defined as a “memoir for the stage," the duo had a brief off-Broadway run at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York last winter before embarking on a short U.S. tour, where they would memorably hold an eclectic press conference at the end of each performance in complete character. (Seriously, these guys really don't break character.)
Anna Kendrick kept a journal once. She stuck with it for two years, between the ages of 17 and 19, and by her hyperproductive standards it contains a pitiful number of entries. Still, it’s a record of her early days in Los Angeles — after her Tony nomination at age 12 for High Society but before Twilight — when, in the wake of a pilot that never got off the ground, she was auditioning for seemingly every network-television procedural on the air.
Friends, we've finally come to the end of Game of Thrones season six. It's been a crazy ten weeks, hasn't it? We saw a hint of the Tower of Joy, we found out why Hodor says "Hodor," and, last week, we got the battle to end all battles. (We also had to sit through roughly 73 scenes of Arya learning how to be No One.) What better way to celebrate how far we've come, than with a liveblog? Come Sunday, Vulture's Tara Abell, Nate Jones, Jen Chaney, and Gazelle Emami will be with you through all 69 minutes of this super-stuffed finale. It starts Sunday at 9 p.m. EST, at this post, right here.
Rihanna to the rescue, here to make your chronic case of Sunday afternoon ennui a little easier to bear. As RiRi teased earlier today on Instagram, tomorrow she'll drop her new single "Sledgehammer," which will appear on the Star Trek Beyond soundtrack. Fair warning, the Insta is about as teaser-y as teasers get. A handful of musical notes, some Star Trek clips, cover art ... and boom, we're out.
Everything continues to be awesome (hehe) in the Lego cinematic universe. Three films are currently in various stages of development, with The Lego Batman Movie, The Lego Ninjago Movie, and The Lego Movie 2 slated for respective releases in February 2017, September 2017, and February 2019. Now, in a move perhaps as smooth as Will Arnett's Lego Batman voice, the cast of Ninjago has been announced ... and it's bound to bring on the kid-friendly giggles. Jackie Chan will be voicing leader Master Wu, with Dave Franco, Michael Peña, Abbi Jacobson, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods, and Fred Armisen also signing on as the six core team members. The film will follow "six young ninjas tasked with defending their island home" of Ninjago. By night, "they’re gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters," but by day, they’re "ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school." Hey, they'll have a great topic to write about for that required Common App essay.
At the 2:32 mark of the X-Men: Apocalypse Japanese trailer (a.k.a. when the actual trailer is over) Marvel's "newest addition to the super-dysfunctional X-Men family" pops into frame to hold a postmortem on the preview. "Oh hi, Japan! Deadpool here. Surprised?" says Ryan Reynolds in character. "I know what you're thinking, an after-credits scene for a trailer? I thought they only did that for movies? Well, not everyone makes it to the end of Fox movies, so now we're doing it after trailers." Zing.
A hawk-eyed Imgur user pointed out that in last week's episode of Game of Thrones, "Battle of the Bastards," Jon Snow's sword, Longclaw, isn't made out of the Valyrian steel as we had been led to believe, but rather "Valyrian rubber." Fortunately, no one on the battlefield noticed. Scratch that — the bald, bearded dude to the right definitely clocks that wobble. And he didn't even have the Internet to help him out, so, well-played.
Things are only just heating up for everyone involved in Prince's estate case. Following the news in April that the Purple One did not have a will — which was outlined in legal documents filed by his sister, Tyka Nelson, and later verified by a judge — a second hearing has been scheduled in suburban Minnesota on Monday to further pursue the case. The courtroom hearing will not try to immediately determine the legal heir or heirs, but rather it'll focus on "the procedures for determining who stands to inherit part of Prince's estate."
Bill Cunningham was a fashion photographer, a street style tastemaker, an anthropologist, and a diarist. More importantly, he was a sort of modern bodhisattva, able to usher us into magic, compassion, and sweet surrender with the click of his camera. In all, he was the quintessential American photographer of modern life, and New York and the world are a lesser place without him.
50 Cent Arrested for Using Profanity in the Caribbean; His Fine Will Be Significantly Greater Than 50 CentsBy Devon Ivie
Is "P.I.M.P." putting a curse on 50 Cent? Someone give him a blinged-out amulet as soon as possible: A week after a producer sued Dr. Dre and 50 Cent over intentionally using the beat of his song "BAMBA" for the Get Rich Or Die Trying smash hit, the rapper was arrested following a concert on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts for repeatedly saying the word "motherfucking" while performing "P.I.M.P." Local police arrested and escorted him to the police station promptly at the concert's end, and he will be required to pay a fine and appear in court on Monday. (Profanity is reportedly classified as a misdemeanor in St. Kitts.) Back in 2003, DMX was also arrested in St. Kitts for a profanity-laden concert. Maybe hit up St. Johns next time, 50.
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