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RuPaul is Heading to Sundance for a ‘Drag Race’ Retrospective, Cementing Icon Status Across Industries

1 hour ago

RuPaul is heading to Park City this winter, and it’s not to shoot a special ski bunny episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” It’s an odd couple pairing for the indie film community and the person who brought drag into the mainstream more than once, proving that even the most devout cinephiles love their reality television — as long as it’s paired with a fabulous dash of biting satire. RuPaul has two Emmys for his role hosting “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which he executive produces with Sundance regulars Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of World of Wonder productions.

According to Deadline, RuPaul will host an official “Drag Race” retrospective to celebrate the show’s impact and commemorate its forthcoming tenth season. The event is being billed as, “RuPaul’s Drag Race: A Retrospective of the Cultural Phenomenon.” In addition to the panel, RuPaul will present the Next Innovator Award, »


- Jude Dry

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‘Ultimate Beastmaster’ Review: This Insane Obstacle Course Competition is Netflix’s Best Alternative to the Olympics

3 hours ago

One of the thrills of watching sports, either in person or on TV, is recognizing that everyone taking part is capable of things that you fundamentally are not. Sometimes it’s throwing a baseball at speeds that would get you booked for reckless driving. Other times, it’s running so fast that you can pose for a picture while beating all of your peers. In Season 2 of the Netflix series “Ultimate Beastmaster,” one of those feats is leaping between giant treadmills suspended ten feet in the air.In that way, “Ultimate Beastmaster” is crafted as unabashed TV comfort food. Following in the well-established vein of other televised obstacle course spectacles, it’s similar enough to “American Ninja Warrior” (even using the same director, Patrick McManus) that anyone stumbling across it on Netflix would be forgiven if they thought that this might be the same show that’s been a staple »


- Steve Greene

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‘The Crown’ Ratings: According to Nielsen, an Older, Upscale Female Audience Binged Season 2

4 hours ago

Netflix continues to refuse to share its ratings data, but Nielsen is moving forward with data of their own, reporting that the first Season 2 episode of awards contender “The Crown” averaged nearly 3 million viewers within the first three days of availability (December 8 to 10).

Taking all 10 episodes into account, within the first three days, “The Crown” averaged nearly 1.3 million viewers P2+ watching and close to 600,000 adults 18-49 viewers.

According to Nielsen’s Svod Content Ratings, “The Crown” skews older than some of Netflix’s other offerings and is also among the streamer’s most upscale shows. Per the ratings service, half of “The Crown” audience was over 50 — outside of the adults 18-49 demo that advertisers covet (something the ad-free Netflix doesn’t need to worry about). Two-thirds of the audience within the first three days were over the age of 35.

Read More:Netflix’s ‘Ozark’ Was Most Popular Streaming Show This Summer, »


- Michael Schneider

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Guillermo del Toro Originally Pitched ‘Trollhunters’ As a Live-Action Drama Like ‘Stranger Things’

4 hours ago

It may seem like Guillermo del Toro is up to a lot of different things at once. But while his current projects may seem to verge wildly at the moment, from the award-nominated fantasy film “The Shape of Water” to the Netflix/Dreamworks Animation series “Trollhunters,” there is one common element — one which unites those projects as well as much of his past work.

“I’m a guy that’s been doing fairy tales all his life,” del Toro told IndieWire. “It can be ‘Shape of Water,’ it can be ‘Pacific Rim,’ it can be [‘Trollhunters’]. It can be Pan’s Labyrinth. There is that thruline.”

While the intention might be the same, we do see variations in del Toro’s approach to making film and television. For example, the second season of “Trollhunters,” which premieres Friday on Netflix, is far less adult than some of his other work, even though »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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Lili Reinhart Defends Controversial ‘Riverdale’ Striptease: ‘It Was Supposed To Make You Uncomfortable’

7 hours ago

The CW’s “Riverdale” is one of TV’s most talked about series, but one scene in the Season 2 episode “Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil” caught most fans off guard. The Archie Comics adaptation has always pushed the envelope with the edgy reimagining of the classic comic, but a striptease scene involving 16-year-old Betty Cooper has given fans pause.

In “House of the Devil,” Betty (Lili Reinhart) helps her boyfriend Jughead (Cole Sprouse) throw a retirement party for his father, who has decided to leave behind his biker gang, The South Side Serpents. Jughead had previously joined the gang during his father’s stint in prison. Worried about her boyfriend’s safety and wanting to be a part of his world, Betty decides to join the gang herself. Her initiation? A pole dance at the gang’s bar hangout.

Read More:Dylan Sprouse on His Killer New Role, Life After Disney, »


- Jamie Righetti

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‘Gunpowder’ Review: Kit Harington Needs a Dragon’s Fire to Spark This Handsome Historical Yarn

8 hours ago

Gunpowder” invites a lot of comparisons to “Game of Thrones.” Much of the three-hour series is spent watching Kit Harington swing his sword around, sport period garb while walking through castles, deliver stirring motivational speeches, and recruit an army to defend his fellow men from persecution. Future generations can look at .gifs of a grimacing Harington and guess, “‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Gunpowder’?”

As fun as that sounds, the limited series deserves slightly more respect than such frivolity implies. It’s an earnestly made, well-told, true story about a group of 17th century Catholics who rebelled against a Protestant king that saw their faith as a threat and wanted them eliminated. Dragons do not belong here, nor should one wish for them to fly in and set the world ablaze.

But while “Gunpowder” tells its story clearly and respectably — previously unaware British viewers will see Guy Fawkes Day differently — its »


- Ben Travers

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The Best Podcasts of 2017: A Tribute

22 hours ago

It seems like we always start any podcast story with the same general idea: It’s impossible to fully keep up with the massive amount of quality podcasts that spring up on a regular basis. For every well-established favorite that’s still producing some of the best stories in the world on a regular basis, there are a handful of upstart projects worthy of time and consideration.

So, making a list of the 50 best episodes of the year is, as always, a futile task. As we’ve documented throughout the year, there are hours upon hours of innovative, entertaining programming being offered up every day. Even in monthly installments, highlighting the gems of the podcast world is tricky.

Read More:The 50 Best Podcast Episodes of 2017

Back in June, when we selected the top 50 at the halfway point of the year, that list could easily have sustained through the final six months »

- Steve Greene

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‘Black Mirror’ Is Coming True at a Chinese Company That Rates People’s ‘Social Credit’

23 hours ago

In yet another case of life imitating art, a Chinese “super app” called Alipay is now assigning users a three-digit score that works as “credit for everything in your life.” Known as Zhima Credit, it ranges between 350 and 950 and is meant to assess people’s worth on a wide-ranging scale — not unlike what we saw in “Nosedive,” the first episode of “Black Mirror” season three. Wired has a lengthy writeup on Zhima Credit, a project of the company Ant Financial meant to serve as a “credit system that covers the whole society.”

“Zhima Credit is the embodiment of personal credit,” reads the signup text. “It uses big data to conduct an objective assessment. The higher the score, the better your credit.”

Read More:‘Black Mirror’ Trailer Is Gloriously Bleak and Twisted, Finally Reveals Season 4 Premiere Date – Watch

Ant Financial CEO Lucy Peng has said that Zhima Credit “will ensure that »


- Michael Nordine

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Net Neutrality Killed, But The Fight To Save Netflix, Twitter and Facebook Isn’t Over Yet

14 December 2017 11:28 AM, PST

The FCC just voted 3-2 along party lines to dismantle the set of protections that go by the shorthand “net neutrality,” and it’s bad news for consumers, media-lovers, and small internet businesses alike.

Completely reversing all of net neutrality is a huge departure from what consumers are used to, and in the long run the consequences could be absolutely disastrous. But there’s a lot of confusion and a lack of clarity about how the demise of net neutrality will happen and hurt individuals.

Although the Commission just voted to kill the rules, the internet won’t immediately be split into tiered bundles today or even this year. If it net neutrality does end up doomed, the reality of “how” is slower, more complicated, and more insidious than that. But the good news is, it still may not be doomed at all. Here’s the reality of whether we’ll get there, »


- Kate Cox

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Disney/Fox Deal: How The Battle to Beat Netflix Starts Today, What Happens to the Fox Network, And Other Burning Questions

14 December 2017 9:59 AM, PST

Rupert Murdoch is cashing out. The idea of 21st Century Fox being consumed by Disney in a $52.4 billion all-stock deal has shocked Hollywood, where industry players never thought they’d see the powerful Fox behemoth be largely consumed, rather than do the consuming. But as one insider noted, Murdoch is looking toward his final legacy — and turning in his chips while the getting’s good.

“Rupert is 86. He’s looking toward setting up [his family],” one observer said. The industry is rapidly changing, and as the Disney deal currently values the 21st Century Fox assets at more than $66 billion, it’s probably never going to get better than that. Fox shareholders, including the Murdochs, could hold around 25 percent of a new mega-Disney, which will now be supremely positioned to face off with Netflix and other giants in the new media landscape.

The Murdochs got their start in the newspaper business, so it »


- Michael Schneider

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‘The Simpsons’ Producers on How They Predicted Disney Would Buy Fox 19 Years Ago

14 December 2017 9:04 AM, PST

The Disney-Fox merger is one of the biggest industry stories of the year, and it turns out “The Simpsons” saw it coming 19 years ago. The show has always managed to predict the future, be it Trump’s presidency or the FIFA corruption scandal, and it appears Matt Groening and company somehow knew their series would one day be owned by Disney.

Read More:Disney/Fox Deal: How The Battle to Beat Netflix Starts Today, What Happens to the Fox Network, And Other Burning Questions

In the 1998 episode “When You Dish Upon a Star,” Homer becomes the personal assistant to Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger after they leave Hollywood behind and move to Springfield. When Ron Howard comes to visit the actors, Homer pitches a time-tralveing robot movie. Later in the episode, Howard is seen pitching Homer’s script to 20th Century Fox, and the sign in front of the studio lot »


- Zack Sharf and Michael Schneider

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‘Westworld’ Season 2 and ‘Sharp Objects’ First Footage Revealed in HBO 2018 Preview — Watch

14 December 2017 7:02 AM, PST

With “Game of Thrones” likely off the air until 2019, HBO wants to make sure you’ll stick with the network next year. Fortunately, HBO’s new 2018 preview video will surely do the trick, as it teases a promising slate of returning favorites like “Westworld” and new offerings like the Gillian Flynn adaptation “Sharp Objects.”

Read More:The 20 Best HBO Series of All Time, Ranked

Sharp Objects” brings director Jean-Marc Vallée back to HBO just a year after the success of “Big Little Lies,” for which he won the Emmy for Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series, Movie, or Dramatic Special. The eight-episode limited series stars Amy Adams as a former reporter who checks out of a psychiatric hospital and returns home to try and solve the murder of two young girls.

“Westworld” is perhaps the most anticipated series returning to HBO in 2018. The first season’s cliffhanger ending has made fans »


- Zack Sharf

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The Best TV Performances of 2017

14 December 2017 6:00 AM, PST

It’s virtually impossible to limit year-end lists to 10 or 20 shows, so it’s literally impossible to include all the great performances from 2017 on one list. But IndieWire has done our best, wading through the hundreds of award-worthy turns from veteran actors and TV newbies to find the best performances this year.

These actors accomplished something special: They elevated their shows even when it seemed like the series couldn’t go any higher. They found surprising depths within the writers’ words and surprised directors with keen insights into their characters. They made us laugh, cry, jump for joy, and scream in frustration. Their precision in understanding who they played helped evoke passion in the audience watching.

We will not soon forget, and if you haven’t yet seen some of these fine thespians go to work, make sure to make the time. There may be a lot of television out there, »


- Hanh Nguyen, Liz Shannon Miller, Ben Travers and Steve Greene

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‘Fresh Off the Boat’ to ‘One Day at a Time’ Are the Family-Friendly Shows Leading the Charge for Youth Coming-Out Stories

13 December 2017 4:35 PM, PST

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Fresh Off the Boat” Season 4, Episode 10, “Do You Hear What I Hear?,” the first season of Netflix’s “One Day at a Time” and Season 2 of Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack.”]

“What up, girl. You gay?

You play any instruments?

Holla back at me.”

That eloquent haiku, scrawled on a coffee cup, is one of the first, albeit clumsy, attempts by “Fresh Off the Boat” character Nicole (Luna Blaise) to figure out what it means to live as a gay individual. Coming out has been an incremental process for her this season, and in Tuesday’s episode, she’s taking the next step. After developing a crush on a local barista at HotJava, Nicole considers communicating in poetry via paper cup to determine if the feeling is mutual.

Mainstream TV has come a long way since Ellen DeGeneres’ character came out on her self-titled sitcom 20 years ago. And these days, shows like ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” Netflix’s “One Day at a Time,” and Disney Channel’s “Andi Mack” have put youth coming-out stories at the front and center. »


- Hanh Nguyen

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‘Tavis Smiley’ Suspended by PBS Following Sexual Misconduct Investigation

13 December 2017 3:58 PM, PST

Following an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct leveled against Tavis Smiley, PBS has suspended the late-night talk show that bears his name. Smiley has been hosting the show since 2004.

Read More:Salma Hayek Says Harvey Weinstein Attempted to Assault Her: ‘I Don’t Think He Hated Anything More Than the Word No’

“Effective today, PBS has indefinitely suspended distribution of ‘Tavis Smiley,’ produced by Ts Media, an independent production company,” PBS said in a statement to Variety, which first broke the news. “PBS engaged an outside law firm to conduct an investigation immediately after learning of troubling allegations regarding Mr. Smiley. This investigation included interviews with witnesses as well as with Mr. Smiley. The inquiry uncovered multiple, credible allegations of conduct that is inconsistent with the values and standards of PBS, and the totality of this information led to today’s decision.”

Read More:Jessica Chastain on Speaking Up »


- Michael Nordine

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Doug Jones: ‘Twin Peaks’ Fans Celebrate the Democrat’s Upset Win in Alabama With Dougie Jones Gifs

13 December 2017 1:33 PM, PST

Helloooo-oooo! Doug Jones pulled off an upset win last night, becoming Alabama’s first Democratic senator in more than 20 years in the process. “Twin Peaks” fans, well aware that the newest member of Congress (almost) shares a name with one of Kyle MacLachlan’s many incarnations on “The Return,” celebrated with an appropriate smattering of gifs, memes, and other jokes.

Read More:‘Twin Peaks’: Kyle MacLachlan Thinks ‘The Return’ Is a Film, Even Though the Golden Globes Nominated Him for TV

pic.twitter.com/cMBszBHxD7

— Metrograph (@MetrographNYC) December 13, 2017

me: stop using fictional characters to explain politics! trump is not lord dumbledore!

also me: dougie jones..mr jackpots…Thank You for blessing your brother doug jones & helping him win this election

— Gabby Noone (@twelveoclocke) December 13, 2017

There can be no doubt: Dougie Jones is Mr. Jackpots. pic.twitter.com/jEUO1Z8FaW

Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) December 13, 2017

In retrospect it was »


- Michael Nordine

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‘Jean-Claude Van Johnson’ Review: An Ode to Jean-Claude Van Damme, His Movies, and Not Much Else

13 December 2017 5:45 AM, PST

In 2017, there’s a show for everyone, and typically that’s a good thing. There’s so much demand for fresh content and so many content providers looking to stand out, fresh stories from distinct voices populate an ever-diversifying television landscape. In other words, this is a world that could easily have room for a show where Jean-Claude Van Damme plays Jean-Claude Van Damme, a movie star who’s also a highly trained international spy.

But for as nutty as “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” sounds, its execution feels too familiar to earn its spot. Though the story-building in the pilot is clever enough to provide ample opportunity for good old-fashioned fun, too many easy jokes and half-baked movie homages keep the six-episode first season from fulfilling its potential as the sharp meta successor to “Episodes,” “The Comedians,” or even Van Damme’s 2008 film, “Jcvd.”

For starters, “Jean-Claude Van Johnson” has nothing to say about the industry, »


- Ben Travers

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Netflix Fires Executive Accused of Discounting Rape Accusations Against ‘The Ranch’ Star Danny Masterson

13 December 2017 5:20 AM, PST

The Netflix executive who allegedly told a sexual assault victim that the company did not believe multiple claims made against recently ousted “The Ranch” star Danny Masterson has been fired, Vulture reports. The long-simmering allegations against Masterson, which now include four different women who have accused him of rape, recently came to a head after Andy Yeatman, the now-former director of global kids content, denied an alleged victim to her face.

The story was reported by The Huffington Post earlier this month, when one of Masterson’s alleged victims approached Yeatman at a kids soccer game to ask why the streaming giant had not yet cut ties with Masterson. Yeatman then allegedly told the woman, “[W]e don’t believe them,” not realizing she was one of the alleged victims.

Read More:Danny Masterson Fired From Netflix’s ‘The Ranch’ Amid Rape and Assault Allegations

When the original story broke, Netflix »


- Kate Erbland

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‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’: The Personal Touches That Went Into Writing Rosa’s Coming-Out Story

12 December 2017 6:30 PM, PST

[Editor’s Note: Spoilers for “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” Season 5, Episode 10, “Game Night” follow.]

The Fox comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” for reasons made obvious by its title, chose to celebrate its 99th episode last week, putting the spotlight on each character during a crazy road trip from Los Angeles to New York. But it also included a big reveal that became a central part of the show’s 100th episode, “Game Night” — Rosa (Stephanie Beatriz), the show’s resident badass, coming out as bisexual.

Rosa’s coming-out, showrunner Dan Goor told IndieWire, was a story choice made in close discussion with Beatriz this season. “In a way, after Stephanie came out, and has really in so many ways become such an Lgbt advocate, we felt like it was really a meaningful opportunity for the character, and it definitely felt in-world for the character. It didn’t feel like, you know, we didn’t feel like people would be like, ‘What?!’ You know, and 100 episodes in it feels like a good, »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Ozark’: Golden Globe-Nominated Netflix Drama Will Teach You How to be a Criminal — Watch

12 December 2017 4:25 PM, PST

If you have ever wondered how Ruth Langmore (played by Julia Garner) from Netflix’s “Ozark” gets by in the Missouri criminal underworld, you can stop looking. Netflix released a new video on Tuesday afternoon with Garner in character explaining the knots and bolts on how to be a true criminal like Ruth.

Edited with infomercial-type graphics, Ruth instructs people that in order to be a successful criminal, for instance, you need to “learn some goddamn self defense.” Watch the video below to find out the other “trade secrets” that Ruth has so generously disclosed:

Related:Netflix’s ‘Ozark’ Was Most Popular Streaming Show This Summer, According to New Audience Metric

After a deal with a drug cartel goes south, “Ozark” follows financial planner Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and his family as they are forced to relocate from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Missouri Ozarks. Laura Linney stars »


- Alberto Achar

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