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Good News, Now Confirmed: Jennifer Coolidge Will Lead ‘The White Lotus’ In Season 2

Last fall, HBO was quick to greenlight a second season of The White Lotus, its hit dramedy about a gorgeous Hawaiian resort and its equally messy staff and clientele. They were also quick to reveal they wanted to bring back the most popular member of its ensemble: Jennifer Coolidge, who gave a career best turn as grieving Tayna McQuoid — a role she nearly never played. Now, several months later, the actress’ return is officially official.

As per Variety, Coolidge will indeed be back for more oft-disastrous shenanigans. She’ll be the only season one performer to head back for more. The White Lotus wasn’t an easy one to renew. The guests all flew home in the final episode, surely never to return. So they worked out a compromise: Season 2 would be at a different resort in the fictitious White Lotus chain, with a new cast of travelers and employees.

That cast, by the way, is a murderer’s row of talent. So far it includes [deep breath] Oscar-winner F. Murray Abraham, Emmy winner Michael Imperioli, Aubrey Plaza, Adam DiMarco, Meghann Fahy, Tom Hollander, Theo James, Haley Lu Richardson, Will Sharpe, and Leo Woodall. It’s not yet clear who will be playing vacationers and who will be playing the workers trying (and sometimes failing) to tend to their every privileged need. But perhaps this time Coolidge’s Tanya won’t wind up blithely screwing over one of its staffers. Or maybe she will. It’ll probably be entertaining either way.

(Via Variety)

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Kyle Chandler On The Americana Of ‘Super Pumped’ And Its Story Of Money And Innovation

When Kyle Chandler found out he was going to play investment guru Bill Gurley opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s take on former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in Showtime’s Super Pumped (which airs Sundays), his immediate impulse was to call the man up and pick his brain about his life and experiences funding the rideshare behemoth’s rise. But then he thought better. As Chandler confirmed when we spoke ahead of yesterday’s series premiere, he feels a great sense of responsibility when playing a real person and leans on his research and the source material (Mike Isaac’s book of the same name, which he raves about) to find the character, but over-prepping might create something more like an impression and less like a performance. And in this case, there was room for interpretation in how Gurley moved in the lion cage, chair in hand.

“When it goes to the truth of the events that are happening and everything, more than anything I think that falls on the writers in the case of Travis, because Bill’s job is a little bit different. You’re not really focusing on very particular things that Bill did. I look at Bill as he’s got the reins in hand and he’s trying to figure out when to give rein for Travis and when to pull on rein, how to hold him in between the sun and the ocean without his feathers coming off and him crashing.”

It’s a fascinating back and forth, doubtlessly influenced by real events and the men at the center of this story, but the cat and mouse game here doesn’t pop without Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Kyle Chandler and moments behind the scenes where the two would stare each other down before filming to find the intensity between their two characters.

“When I would sit across from Joe, it always started from a place of ‘what are your motivations, sir?’ Without even speaking before the scenes, we’re looking into each other’s eyes,” said Chandler. “He’s trying to hide stuff, I’m trying to dig it out, I know there’s something there. I see smoke, I know fire, but how do you get there? And if you see a little fire or if you see too much smoke, when do you turn a blind eye to it? And so those themes are all little mental mini-series unto themselves.”

We spoke with Chandler about the above, what made this story of tech Gods resonate for him, why he’s hesitant to define this as a kind of father and son story, loving the occasional hypocrisy of his character, and whether he’d ever want to play the bad guy in this kind of story. Plus a quick take on the freshly announced Early Edition remake.

Everything I’ve read about you; living on a farm in Austin, big property, not a social media guy… I’m generalizing, but I imagine the world of VC and tech isn’t necessarily something that’s an interest of yours. Did you have to find a way to make this resonate for you?

Kyle Chandler: No, it’s not that it’s not an interest to me. This part of that world was just purely unknown to me, though. Like most everyone, you’re always curious to know about, you know, there’s rockets flying around, electric cars zipping here and there, buttons on your phone and food gets delivered to your house. All that’s fascinating. It makes the imagination spark, but I don’t think I ever questioned what was behind all that and I certainly didn’t know the stories of these characters. You can imagine. I’m not so well versed in the tech world that I know the players. Put it that way. I know their products. And this story, when I read it, I was flabbergasted. It’s such an interesting book. And thank heavens that a guy like Mike Isaac has this kind of journalistic nose for this story. When I read the book, I was considerate of the fact that I didn’t know any of this. And then I was questioning how can this not be known? How can this be sitting behind the curtains and no one took a look at it for so long? Because it’s just an incredibly wild story.

I was thinking about words that I would use during these interviews today. You know, I get all nervous about doing this stuff because I don’t know what I’m going to say really, but it’s… I think it’s a cautionary tale as well. For everyone, especially the public in general, it’s important to see how these things are taking place and what’s really going on. It seems like it’s a lot of genies that can be let out of the bottle. There’s so much good that comes out of all of these things, but then there are other things that we’re being made aware of on a monthly basis that are not good. And so this whole story of Travis Kalanick and Bill Gurley and what Uber is and where it started and then the process and where it went, and some of the things that were going on within the company that no one was knowing about are startling. I find it startling. When I read the book and I put it down and walked away for a while, in my mind it was, and I’ve been saying this in these interviews, it’s a great American story! It’s pure Americana. And I’m so glad that the book came out because there are so many different sides to this thing that are so entertaining, important, wonderful.


Frightening… It’s just great storytelling. I was excited after I read the book to be part of it. I wanted to be part of this story in any capacity. But as it is, I play the role of Bill Gurley, which I liked that role too once I studied a little bit who Bill Gurley was and asked questions and watched him speak and read some of the things that he says. I didn’t need to know too much because I know the role that he played with Travis. And that role is… [laughs] it was a lot of work, I can only imagine. How great to be a fly on a wall, listening to Bill Gurley try to explain to people what he’s dealing with when all this was going on. But it was an enjoyable character to play. I tried to get as much complexity out of it as I could. There was a moral dilemma he had to deal with, there were goals that he wanted, he had to give a little, to take a little.

JGL And Chandler

Do you approach this in any way like it’s a story of a father and a son?

I don’t like thinking about it like that because… I don’t know why I don’t like thinking about it like that, but it’s kind of hard to get away from. There’s no doubt that I consider myself a mentor to this guy and I think Bill even says it in the script. It’s written where the thing is you get hold of these young people and they’ve got these ideas and they want to change the world. And there’s a part early in this where you hear Travis says some of the things that he wants to do with Uber and why it’s important to him, and regardless of the veracity of what he’s saying, these things are true that they… He’s helping society. He’s doing things that are good and he’s got ideas that can do great things for people. And there’s no doubt that it happens. And in this particular story, I think there is a love for this young man and his ideas and his dreams, and I would like to be able to facilitate the opportunity for these dreams to come alive while at the same time making a buck also.

Or two.

Yeah, there’s all that going on too, which just enriches the scenes when you’re working on them because you can’t help but… I like in the scenes also feeling the hypocrite as well because we’re all hypocrites in one way or the other.

I love the scene with Bill’s wife in the kitchen, with Jessica Hecht. Tremendous actress. Just her talking about the hypocrisy and her calling him on that a little bit there. That’s a great scene.

Yeah, and I like those scenes with us. They remind me… we had to sort of reset Bill’s moral compass a little bit. And at the end of all those scenes, I always wanted to say something to her, but it usually ended up… In my mind it was like, just [like] in my real life, it’s like, God damn it you’re right again. [Laughs]

Yeah, I know that experience. I’m familiar with that.

Yeah, just when you think you’re real smart…

Yeah. With this character and with Wolf of Wall Street, comparatively to the other characters, you’re playing the morally upright contrast there a little. Is there an interest in you to play one of these kinds of greedy bastards that just break all the rules?

In general, I don’t want to play a bad guy, but you wait for the role to come along and then you see what it is and it goes from there. But yeah, I’d like to, there are all kinds of… I’d like to play every character that you can possibly play. It’s just a matter of when those things come to you. I’m always looking for material and I could just… I’m always looking, my wife’s always looking, my people are always looking. You just hope for those pieces of material to come along. But for right now, this is what happened.

I asked Joe this. There’s a line in the show where you mentioned David Koresh [Waco cult leader], obviously the Waco cult leader. Do you look at these types of characters like Travis, in your own opinion, as sort of cult leaders?

No, I wouldn’t particularly put him in the word of cult. It [tech] is a world that I’m unfamiliar with… how it works or the many different worlds that make up tech. I don’t know how they work, but I do know it’s incredible amounts of money. It’s incredible amounts of freedom that people have to follow ideas. And it’s incredibly powerful effects that, I don’t know how many companies you can add into this, but the effects that reflect on society, that run our lives in so many different ways whether it be a help, emotional, spiritual, political, mental, philosophical, what have you. It’s so complicated. It’s pretty amazing, but they have tremendous amounts of power.

Yeah. The draw is the thing that concerns me with this stuff. And that’s why I mentioned the cult thing because the magnetic personality and the ways that they get people to set aside their moral compass sometimes, it seems, is the thing that worries me most about it.

I see money behind a lot of the… When you’re talking about the character of Travis Kalanick in our show, I see people who are following him not because of what he does and because of who he is, but because what he can do for them, money-wise, power-wise, and I consider cults something a little bit different where you’ve gotten into people’s psyche and personality and they cannot turn away because they’re locked into their minds.

That’s a good line of distinction. Lastly, I saw the news break that they’re bringing back Early Edition. Any thoughts about that?

I just started laughing. [Laughs] I was wondering, does anyone read a paper in Chicago anymore?

I thought that as well.

They’re going to get tomorrow’s blog today?

[Laughs] Yeah, exactly.

Yeah, my wife and I had a good chuckle over that and a discussion. “Okay, how are they going to update it?” I hope it turns out great.

‘Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber’ airs Sundays on Showtime at 10PM ET

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It’s getting harder to deny the damage that social media is doing to teenage girls

Warning: The following story contains themes of suicide.

It’s been 15 years since the iPhone was released, and in that time we have seen a proliferation of social media apps that have fundamentally changed how people interact.

Massive societal changes have happened as a result, with little thought given to how they could change us as a species. But now, an emerging trend reveals the technological revolution hasn’t been benign. Studies show that overexposure to social media can have a negative effect on the mental health of teen girls.

Studies demonstrate that since 2012, as exposure to social media has increased, the life satisfaction and mental health of teen girls have decreased.

A study from BYU that tracked teens’ social media use from 2009 to 2019 found that while social media had little effect on boys’ suicidality risk, for girls there was a tipping point. Girls who used social media for at least two to three hours a day starting at around 13 and greatly increased their use over time were at “a higher clinical risk for suicide as emerging adults.”

“Something about that specific social media use pattern is particularly harmful for young girls,” said BYU professor Sarah Coyne, the lead author of the study.

The CDC reports that the suicide rate for adolescent girls has doubled since 2007, and in 2015, three times as many 10- to 14-year-old girls were admitted to the emergency room after deliberately harming themselves than in 2010.

There is clearly a mental health crisis happening in teen girls that has grown alongside the use of social media apps, but can we make the leap from mere correlation to causation?

One study found that when young women were randomly assigned to play a video game, look at Facebook or scroll through Instagram for seven minutes, “those who used Instagram, but not Facebook, showed decreased body satisfaction, decreased positive affect, and increased negative affect.”

There’s also evidence that the more time that young girls spend on social media, the less happy they become. The same has been found for boys but the difference was less pronounced.

In 2017, British teens were asked to rank social media sites based on certain well-being measures, including body image and anxiety, and they found Instagram to be the most harmful.

Facebook’s researchers found the same thing in a leaked report.

“Teens blame Instagram for increases in the rate of anxiety and depression … This reaction was unprompted and consistent across all groups,” leaked internal documents from Facebook revealed.

Jonathan Haidt, co-author of “The Coddling of the American Mind,” puts the blame squarely at the feet of Instagram. “Instagram, which displaces other forms of interaction among teens, puts the size of their friend group on public display, and subjects their physical appearance to the hard metrics of likes and comment counts—takes the worst parts of middle school and glossy women’s magazines and intensifies them,” Haidt wrote in The Atlantic.

Haidt’s research partner, Dr. Jean Twenge, author of “iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy—and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood,” agrees.

“Teens who use social media, especially girls, can experience body image issues as they compare themselves to influencers on social media. Facebook’s own research found this was a much bigger issue for girls and young women than for boys and young men,” Dr. Twenge told Upworthy. “Teen girls and young women are at an age when body image is central to identity due to (as evolutionary psychologists put it) competition for mates. That occurs for boys and men as well but is not as acute.”

Social media preys on girls where they are most vulnerable and it also exposes them to bullying and negativity. Further, it takes up precious hours in the day when they could be enjoying more fulfilling, positive activities.

“Teens who spend an excessive amount of time on social media (4+ hours) have less time for more beneficial activities,” Dr. Twenge told Upworthy. ”Social media may interfere with sleep, either from teens looking at it late at night or in the middle of the night when they should be sleeping and/or from looking at it before bed and then ruminating about it when they are trying to fall asleep.”

Dr. Twenge told The New York Times that these days, some young girls will opt out of face-to-face social activities in favor of sitting at home, staring at their phones. “It’s now the norm to sit home Saturday night on Instagram. Who’s popular and who’s not is now quantifiable by how many people are following you,” she said.

Social media is a double-edged sword because teens who decide to avoid the apps face social ostracization.

“As one college freshman told me, ‘You feel left out if you use social media, and left out if you don’t. You can’t win,’” Dr. Twenge told Upworthy.

If social media is dangerous for teens but being out of the social loop causes problems as well, what are parents to do? Dr. Twenge says we have to “use it more mindfully.”

Parents should set limits about the amount of time their kids spend on technology and to use control features that allow them to lock their kids’ phones at specific times during the day.

She adds that screen time should end at least an hour before bedtime to avoid disturbing their sleep.

Evidence shows that there is real reason to be concerned about the effect that social media has on young girls. Over the past few decades, there has been a concerted effort to point out the damage that unrealistic body images in advertising and in magazines have had on the psyches of young women, but little acknowledgment of the same kind of negativity on social media.

Let’s hope that the research done by psychologists such as Dr. Twenge inspires a shift in consciousness so that we begin to look at social media with the same scrutiny as traditional media.

If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (273-8255) or text “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line: 741741.

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Young woman surprised grandma for her birthday by dressing up like her and recreating her old photos

It was Grandma’s 71st birthday, and granddaughter Lakyn Bowman came up with the cutest, cleverest and most thoughtful way to honor the occasion.

Bowman (@lakynbowman) shared in a TikTok video that after going through old photos, she realized just how much they both looked alike. And so, to thank grandma for passing down the good genes, she decided to recreate each signature look. After a few rounds with curling iron, some pale blue eyeshadow and throwing on some charming floral prints (plus some filter wizardry to give the pics that retro look) the resemblance is just uncanny.

People were delighted to see such a loving tribute. The video quickly racked up over 8 million views, with more than a few comments talking about how emotional the tribute made them. Can’t say I blame ’em.

But how did grandma feel about it? Well, in a follow-up video, we see a genuine ear-to-ear smile. Suffice it to say, the idea was a hit.

As one person wrote to Bowman, “you’ll never be able to top this gift.”

It certainly helps that Bowman is vintage savvy. She even helps others find amazing secondhand items through her company Lakyn Thrifts. So getting the clothes and accessories was a piece of old-fashioned pineapple upside-down cake. And the results were just as sweet. Take a look below:

@lakynbowman Happy birthday, Grandma! Thanks for the good genes. 💕 #recreate #photoshoot #birthdayphotoshoot #vintage #grandma ♬ What Once Was – Her’s

This video is not only an instant dash of joy, it’s also a heartwarming reminder that our elders provide the prologue to our life stories. Honoring them can be as simple or creative as we want them to be. But include them. As we can see with this grandma-granddaughter duo, it’ll mean the world to them.

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Ukrainian soccer player brought to tears by powerful show of support from Lisbon crowd

As the Ukrainian people do their best to repel the Russian invasion of their country, the free world has rallied around them with unprecedented support. By now we all recognize the blue and yellow striped Ukrainian flag, representing the blue sky and the golden wheat fields that fill the Ukrainian countryside. We’ve heard the cry “Glory to Ukraine” over and over, from the mouth of President Zelenskyy in his personal videos to the people protesting the war around the world.

The determination, defiance, resolve and courage of the Ukrainian people in the face of Putin’s aggression has galvanized defenders of freedom and democracy everywhere, prompting expressions of solidarity around the world.

One touching example comes from Portugal. During a soccer match on Sunday, 26-year-old Ukrainian soccer player Roman Yaremchuk, who plays for Lisbon’s Benfica team, was brought into the game as a substitute and given the captain’s armband.

Yaremchuk puts on the armband, then runs out onto the pitch. As he’s running, the sound of the crowd grows louder and louder, as people give him—and his country—a standing ovation. Ukrainian flags and signs of support are shown throughout the crowd, and Yaremchuk is visibly moved by the reception.


The lip quiver as he clearly tries to keep it together says it all. Imagine being thousands of miles away from your homeland, knowing your loved ones are having to hide, flee or fight in a war that just arrived on their doorstep. Imagine hearing thousands of people voicing their support for you and your homeland and what that would mean to you.

Hopefully, the world’s outcry for peace and security in Ukraine and the overwhelming condemnation of Russia’s warmaking will make an impact, not only on the spirits of the Ukrainian people but on the people who have the power to put an end to this war.

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How one female copywriter convinced the world that diamonds meant everlasting love

We’ve all heard the phrase, “a diamond is forever.” But as history shows us, that isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, having a diamond in a wedding ring is a fairly new concept, and it’s a brilliant lesson in the power of emotional marketing.

According to Weird History, proposing with a wedding ring dates back to the Roman Empire. Though, probably to no one’s surprise, the reasons for doing so were … less than romantic. Rather, simple bands were a symbol of a legal contract. On an even more unsentimental note, only women would wear rings, symbolizing a passing of ownership from father to future husband, thus marking this person as off the market, literally. How sweet.

ancient wedding traditions

Ring? Or collar? Who’s to say…

Roman women often received two wedding rings: one made of iron, and one gold. The iron ring, a symbol of strength, would be worn at home. The gold would flaunt affluence to the outside world. And just like today, the ring was worn on the fourth finger, because ancient Romans believed a vein ran from the finger to the heart. Weird History marked this as scientifically inaccurate, but there is a bit of nuance to be explored here. Traditional Eastern healing modalities (think acupuncture and reflexology), work with the concept of meridians, thought to be energetic channels through which life energy flows. The San Jiao meridian, also known as the “Triple Burner” or “Triple Energizer,” begins in the ring finger and passes through the chest to connect with the pericardium, the protective sac surrounding the heart.

So maybe—like many ancient civilizations—the Romans were aware of something we have since forgotten.

Once Rome fell, Europe continued the tradition of betrothal rings, but with a slightly more sentimental twist. Now wedding rings signified the promise of engagement. More like a pledge, less like a property statement. And the Roman Catholic Church first started to imbue the sense of faith, matrimony and divine union through the use of rings. Our modern-day sense of a ring symbolizing marriage vows began in this era.

Okay, but, like … where’s the diamond?

Fast forward to 1477, during the engagement between Maximilian I, Archduke of Austria, and Mary of Burgundy. It was a marriage meant to bring peace and expand the Holy Roman Empire. Talk about a power couple. Mary of Burgundy was the first ever to receive a diamond in a wedding ring, starting a new trend throughout Europe. Ring makers everywhere brainstormed new and more impressive ways of cutting and setting the stones. You could say that Mary of Burgundy was a jeweler influencer, before it was cool.

Diamonds at this time were incredibly rare, and therefore incredibly expensive. Not until diamonds were discovered in Brazil during the early 1700s would prices finally drop. And once South African diamonds were found plentiful in the mid 1800s, the shiny stone began flooding jewelry stores everywhere, and for the first time, diamond wedding rings were made affordable to the middle class.

That is, until the Great Depression.

de beers

Financial devastation caused a crash in diamond ring sales. De Beers, the world’s largest diamond conglomerate, somehow couldn’t convince couples that spending what little money they had on an inanimate object to prove wedded bliss was a good idea. That is, until they began to capitalize on the idea of romance.

Using the power of glamor, De Beers bombarded the public with advertisements marketing diamonds as an investment in love, even having actresses pose in pictures to sell the idea (some things never change). Diamond sales skyrocketed 55%. So yeah, it worked.

From there, De Beers continued to entice potential buyers with the idea of bigger, better (read: more expensive) stones with even more ad campaigns. If diamond rings could somehow be synonymous with marriage, then diamond rings would become a necessity for holy matrimony. But how?

The answer is: with words.

This is where copywriter Mary Frances Gerety came into the picture. In 1948, Gerety was assigned to create a slogan that encapsulated the security and eternal romance guaranteed by owning a diamond. According to The New York Times, Gerety scribbled some words onto a piece of paper one night, and the next day presented it to De Beers. The paper read:

“A Diamond Is Forever.”

Gerety cast her spell, and it sold more than a million rings. By the 1960s, 80% of women in the U.S. owned a diamond ring. And it’s still an incantation De Beers uses today.

If there was ever any doubt on just how powerful words can be, let this story be an example.

The slogan might finally be losing its luster, as more and more couples are opting to use different stones, both for ethical reasons and to use different symbolism. For example, some might opt for a sapphire (signifying loyalty), while others might choose a ruby (for love and passion). Others still might do away with rings entirely. Two of my friends have tattoos on each of their ring fingers—the woman has a sun (her husband), and the guy has a moon (his wife). We live in a time where self-expression is making a renaissance, and it’s beautiful to witness. Tradition has its place, but, like with diamond rings, it’s important to know where those traditions are sourced from, in order to make empowering decisions.

For even more wedding ring knowledge, including the story behind Queen Victoria’s infamous golden serpent ring with emerald eyes, watch the full video below.

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The Trailer For HBO’s ‘The Baby’ Features A Baby Who Literally Kills People

In the age of horror remakes, it’s hard to find an actually scary antagonist. Yeah, we’ve seen Leatherface and Ghostface and even the weird face from Malignant. But we haven’t seen something that’s actually terrifying: an infant. Well, HBO has finally made it happen!

The Baby is an eight-part series that will focus on Natasha, played by Michelle De Swarte, as she unexpectedly has to take care of a baby on her own. While that’s already a terrifying feat, it turns out that the baby is actually maybe a murderer, and she needs to get rid of it. Yeah! The baby! Listen, kids are scary. According to HBO:

Michelle De Swarte stars as 38-year-old Natasha, who is furious that her closest friends are all having babies. But when she is unexpectedly landed with a baby of her own, her life dramatically implodes. Controlling, manipulative, but incredibly cute, the baby twists Natasha’s life into a surreal horror show. As she discovers the true extent of the baby’s deadly nature, Natasha makes increasingly desperate attempts to get rid of it. She doesn’t want a baby. But the baby definitely want her.

The show looks to be a mix of dark humor and some actual weird cult business as Natasha learns the baby has its own agenda, which may include murdering her. The cast also includes Amira Ghazalla, Amber Grappy, Patrice Naiambana, and Sinead Cusack. The Baby premieres April 24th on HBO. Check out the trailer above.

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The ‘South Park’ Gang Is Warding Off Nuclear Attack In A Promo That Goes ‘Back To The Cold War’

The South Park dudes (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) sure do stay timely with a quick (less than a week) turnaround between start and finish on episodes. As such, they are apparently taking on the subject on almost everyone’s mind — the Russian invasion of Ukraine — and (possibly) putting their animated feet down upon (in John Oliver’s words) that “huge bitch,” Russian President Vladimir Putin. As such, Mackey’s all up in the nuclear-war prep and, naturally, he’s getting a bit carried away. Who said a little bit of excess ever hurt anyone?

This episode will be called “Back To The Cold War,” and it’s a real throwback, alright, even though South Park didn’t exist back in those days (the show began in 1997 and shows no sign of slowing down in its 25th season). And the show currently has loads of movies in the works, so why not tackle some low-hanging current-event fruit? The sword of satire is surely sharpened for this one, after recent episodes have tackled Covid before teasing something as seemingly uneventful as pajamas.

As far as this episode’s stories-within-stories go, we’re not hearing too much so far. As Comedy Central revealed in a press release, “A lot is riding on Butter’s ability to crush the competition in the all-important dressage championship.” In other words, you gotta tune in to see where this mayhem goes. Hopefully, the South Park residents are doing a whole lot better than Ukrainians are these days.

South Park does nuke prep on March 2nd on Comedy Central.

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Someone Put A Fake Version Of Kanye West’s ‘Donda 2’ On iTunes, Fooling Enough People To Chart

Whether you think Kanye West’s decision to make access to his new album Donda 2 exclusive to his stem player is a genius idea or a massive grift, it looks like someone out there has found a way to (temporarily) capitalize on it with a scam of their own. A fake version of Donda 2 is reportedly charting on iTunes after being uploaded under the misleading — but not that misleading — name “Wanye Kest,” according to Complex.

The facts that the name is obviously wrong, the tracklist is too short, and that Kanye vowed not to release his album to DSPs haven’t deterred fans from streaming the fake album; according to Complex, Donda 2 by Wanye Kest has reached No. 40 on the Top Hip-Hop Albums chart.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time someone uploaded a fake album purported to be a highly anticipated one from a big-name superstar to Apple Music. In 2018, fake albums made up of leaked material supposedly from Beyonce and SZA popped up, while in 2019, even Rihanna had to react after an “unofficial” version of her ninth album found its way online. Meanwhile, in 2020, Mario Judah used the hype around Playboi Carti’s forthcoming album Whole Lotta Red to release his own version and hijack some of its buzz — at least until Carti actually dropped his album.

All those fake albums — save for Mario Judah’s, because it actually had his name on it — were eventually taken down, so unfortunately for Wanye Kest, their ill-gotten gains likely won’t last. For now, the only way to get Donda 2 for real remains shelling out $200 for a stem player — or using the slightly shadier method some of his fans cooked up to avoid such a fee.

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What’s Popular On Streaming Right Now

Multiple times per week, our TV and film experts will list the most important ten streaming selections for you to pop into your queues. We’re not strictly operating upon reviews or accrued streaming clicks (although yes, we’ve scoured the streaming site charts and ratings) but, instead, upon those selections that are really worth noticing amid the churning sea of content. There’s a lot out there, after all, and your time is valuable.

10: (TIE) Vikings: Valhalla (Netflix series)

After six seasons of hair-filled action, this spinoff series to the O.G. conflict-packed History Channel hit streaming queues everywhere. This show’s set 100 years ahead of the original story with a new generation of destiny-seizing heroes. The show does follow some new history-famous Vikings, and those would include Leif Eriksson (Sam Corlett), Freydis Eriksdotter (Frida Gustavsson), and Nordic prince Harald Sigurdsson (Leo Suter). Expect all of the violence and bloodiness that fans of the original came to enjoy, all while the fight between principal characters and the English royals will get ugly, as will the battle between Christian and pagan beliefs in super harsh times for all.

10: (TIE) Pam & Tommy (Hulu series)

A solid Third Eye Blind dig and an Emmy-worthy deposition episode from Lily James continue to score raves from viewers who were alrady digging this irresistibly trashy show. You gotta wonder whether the Emmys will roll in here, especially for James but also if they create a special category for “voicing an animatronic penis,” which would obviously go to Jason Mantzoukas. And those mullets (on Seth Rogen and Nick Offerman) score even more points for the hair and makeup team.

9. Peacemaker (HBO Max series)

Peacemaker’s already danced off into the sunset, but do yourself a favor and — even if you aren’t a comic-book fan — go at least enjoy the opening scene and some of the humor. And if you missed this one even as a fellow nerd, you’ll wanna catch on the show’s connections to the DCEU at large, even if they’re arguably (with those Aquaman jokes) problematic. Can Eagly fix everything? Sure, if only for the moment.

8. The Power of the Dog (Netflix film)

This movie will figure in prominently at the Oscars, and it’s surprisingly breezily streamable, considering that some of the subject matter is very dark. Hell, it’s just fun to watch Benedict Cumberbatch put on sinister airs, given that we’ll soon end up seeing him in hero-ish move again in Doctor Strange And The Multiverse Of Madness. He’s a strong contender for acting awards all around, as are Jesse Plemons and Kristen Dunst and director Jane Campion, along with the rest of her crew.

7. Law & Order: Season 21 (NBC series)

You can probably thank (or blame) the layered (and shaded) return of Elliot Stabler to the Law & Order universe for the return of this Dick Wolf flagship series. There’s no Chris Noth to be found here, but you will see Sam Waterston and Anthony Anderson. In addition, Hugh Dancy is on board while SVU and Organized Crime are still going strong. NBC is pretty much blocking out a whole night for this trio, so crime-TV junkies must be in Thursday night paradise, while you can stream ’em on Peacock, Hulu, and elsewhere.

6. From (Epix series)

This selection’s not even trying to hide the deliciously heavy Lost influence, and that’s not a bad thing at all. The story follows a normal-seeming town, from which no one can escape, and there’s a sh*t ton of monsters afoot. This one’s a slow burn, so hang on while secrets and puzzles start to unfold, and yeah, sci-fi fans shouldn’t mind having this show tide them over until Netflix brings a final season for Manifest fans to gobble up with wild abandon.

5. Inventing Anna (Netflix limited series)

Ozark might very well be Ruth Langmore’s world, but the streaming realm similarly belongs to Julia Garner. The limited series feels like it’s an episode or so too long, but still, the overall project is worth a binge. Also, it’s all inspired (with a hefty dose of embellishment for additional characters, other than Garner’s Anna Delvey) Jessica Pressler’s New York Magazine article, in case you wanna do some background reading before you start the binge.

4. Euphoria (HBO series on HBO Max)

The season finale was rather devastating on several levels, and my god, high school should not be this traumatic or stressful for anyone. Thankfully, there’s still the music to keep everyone afloat, and now comes the countdown to Season 3. The show can be triggering to watch, but the sophomore season did eclipse what came before, so at least consider finding out what all the fuss (and Fez) is about.

3. Snowfall: Season 5 (FX series)

John Singleton’s brainchild continues, and let the power games and big-crime clashes rise up again. This season pops in with Franklin’s family in a ridiculously rich state and about to achieve all of their dreams. Yet the cocaine-associated death of basketball star Len Bias naturally puts a damper on the good times, especially when the heat (from politicians, law enforcement, and the essentially militarize LAPD) turns up on these characters. As a result, the surroundings of South Central LA grow ever-more dangerous while the walls continue to close in around the family, which only increases the pressure cooker situation brewing in 1980s LA.

2. Severance (Apple TV+ series)

Do you have a healthy work-life balance? Perhaps not, but no matter where you sit on that continuum, you’ll enjoy this show from the mind of Ben Stiller, who takes a real swing on this common struggle. Adam Scott is the perfect leading man for this story, and Patricia Arquette is always great, but we’re also getting bonus Christopher Walken here, and be sure to do your best Blue Steel at least once while basking in this Stiller affair.

1. The Righteous Gemstones (HBO series on HBO Max)

Hallelujah, he is risen. And by that, we’re talking about Walton Goggins acting his tush off as Baby Billy. The second season finale was chock full of wildness from Judy and the boys, all while the mystery of the cycle ninjas finally received some answers. Fans dug this finale even more than the Euphoria counterpart so don’t even try to resist the evangelical cry for you to check this out if you haven’t already. Don’t be “Misbehavin’”!