Oscar History

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Are you watching "Mindhunter"? (Episodes 1-3)

by Nathaniel R

an FBI hostage negotiation class in "Mindhunter"'s first episode

One of the underdiscussed perks of this era of way too much to watch with thousands of cable channels, dozens of streaming services bankrolling their own content, and hundreds of movies a year is that it's easy to forget what your favorite directors are working on! Gone are the days, essentially, when you had to pine away waiting for so-and-so to return. Take the case of David Fincher. I've literally been a fan since he won "Best Direction" at the MTV Video Music Awards for Madonna's "Express Yourself" and I went to Alien³ on opening weekend so I was there at ground zero. Despite my love of all most things Fincher, it was easy to forget that he'd vanished since his excellent intensely rewatchable Gone Girl (2014) which we really should have had on our top ten list that year -- oops.

The director is back trying his hand at streaming series direction with the new serial killer drama "Mindhunter." At first I groaned when I heard the news because Fincher has made more than his share of serial killer dramas. But then I heard dreamy Jonathan Gr♥︎ff and Fincher-regular Holt McCallany were the leads and remembered that Fincher does serial killer dramas better than anyone (see Se7en and Zodiac) and I succumbed...

So let's talk about the first three episodes.

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The Return (and Allure) of Riverdale 

by Spencer Coile

Hello, fellow TV watchers. Dripping in nostalgia, season two of Riverdale returns to the CW this week (the first episode aired last night). And who says that pulp television is dead? There is no better way to celebrate the series' return than to dive into what makes Riverdale so appealing to viewers -- teens and adults alike. 

Without spoiling much, as I am sure there are plenty of people still trying to catch up on season one (available on Netflix), this season of the CW's latest foray into teen drama picks up immediately where we left off. Our teenage heroes and heorines are left scrambling to pick up the pieces of a local shooting, a deadly fire, and lots and lots of (almost) hooking up. 

This all sounds so dramatic, which it is. And that is precisely why the show works...

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PSA: Kim Cattrall was famous before "Sex and the City," okay?

by Nathaniel R

Just when you think the world can't get any more sexist, there's always a reminder that it can. One such reminder is the famed existence of Sex and the City, a target in perpetuity. It often brings out the very worst in journalists, critics, famous people, and the public alike (both male and female in all four cases) as people fall over themselves with new ways to hate on, be offended by, or attempt to take down that particularly glitzy femme pleasure.

The brand has beenquiet for some time now until the Daily Mail posted a gross story about Kim Cattrall supposedly stopping production of Sex and the City 3 in its tracks with "outrageous demands". I didn't personally believe this was true, even before the stars started giving quote about it. The more quotes there are the more it's clear that everyone will have a different perception of what happened and that's fine. What was shocking was not the misleading story (my best guess is that the truth is somewhere inbetween all the quotes from the cast and executives because many many people with big egos and lots of millions are involved) but how unbelievably petty and sexist the "sources" were in their quotes about Cattrall...

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Will & Grace: Fresh or Flimsy?

By Spencer Coile 

I remember being 14 years-old, sobbing in front of the television as Will & Grace ended its eight year run. I had grown up with the show, learned a lot about myself through watching the show. It was truly the end of an era. Of course, in 2017, with people's desire for nostalgia running rampant -- it was only a matter of time before this groundbreaking NBC sitcom would return for its second wind. In very much the same was as Gilmore Girls, Full House, and One Day at a Time, our pals, Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen are back to remind audiences what was so rewarding about their shows in the first place. 

But considering we live in an altogether different social and political climate, one drastically different than in 1998 when the series first aired, is there space for Will & Grace? 

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The Power of Pamela on "Better Things"  

By Spencer Coile 

With the abundance of film festivals and the impending Oscar season, television may be sitting on the back burner for many. But with the Emmys coming and going (spectacularly, I might add), many favorite shows are on the way back.

One show has come back for its second season, stronger than ever. Created by Pamela Adlon and Louis C.K., Better Things is a semi-autobiograpical story of Adlon's career as working actress and single mother of three.

Sound like a well tread path? Fear not, because Adlon spices in very real, very intimate, very comical moments that help jettison Better Things into something incredibly complicated, but equally rewarding... 

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Emmy Night: Winners List, Haphazard Notes, Political Jabs

By Nathaniel R

The BIG LITTLE LIES cast were first presenters setting the tone for a night devoted to them essentially

8:00 Stephen Colbert managed to work lots of political commentary and Trump jabs into his opening song which hits peak jab with the "even treason's better on TV" lyric with the stars of The Americans giving brief cameo. The also Trump centric post-song monologue is good and the stars are eating it up. 

8:16 Colbert actually saves the best joke for last with a surprise cameo by Sean Spicer (yes, actually Sean Spicer with his stand) who he introduces as Melissa McCarthy. Even McCarthy is shook. 

8:18 Nice touch to have an ensemble as joyfully in synch as Big Little Lies do a supporting category. Lithgow wins for playing Churchill. That also worked for Albert Finney 15 years ago. Oldman is also going to win the Oscar playing Churchill later this year. It's one of those roles... like Effie White or Mama Rose. And, well, Winston Churchill...

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Difficult People S3 E5-6: Golden Toilets, Jane Krakowski, and Gay Get Out

Chris and Spencer are back for more Difficult People! In "Cindarestylox," Marilyn asks Julie to freeze her eggs, Julie indulges in some Botox (to fit on a golden toilet seat, naturally), and Billy teaches an acting class for adolescents. 

CHRIS: The Ramble has been transformed into an outdoor yoga studio?! Is nothing sacred anymore!

SPENCER: And yet that Leather Queen who climbs out of the tree still wages the war against the women! Love that whole bit where people are telling our pal Julie to smile. Now that is real. 

C: So Billy starts teaching acting classes to help pay for his Madonna standup tickets. Strangely, Madonna as a standup comic was a joke that didn't work for me - watch any interview with her and she's an excellent shadestress! She'd make a decent insult comic.

S: Do you remember that one short clip where a fan brought her flowers and she mocked him for it? I mean… the shade is insurmountable, but it is equally hilarious... 

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How Necessary is "American Horror Story: Cult"?

By Spencer Coile 

A Ryan Murphy production is anything but subtle. They rely on over-the-top scares, extravagant set pieces, and his usual band of actors (notably Sarah Paulson). American Horror Story: Cult is no exception. It begins with the bleakest opening imaginable, a night that will live in infamy: 2016 election night. As characters rejoice, cry, vent their frustrations, it felt as though Murphy was attempting to hone in on the social panic that swept the country in the wake of the election results. It was a bold opening, one that hit close to home. 

And then the rest of the episode happened.

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