Time to Make Room for ‘The Walking Dead’ Show Everyone Actually Wants to Watch

Bob’s Burgers on Fox at 7:30pm ET.

Psycho In-Law on Lifetime at 8:00pm ET. Original telefilm.

Sunday Night Football on NBC at 8:20pm ET.

Fear the Walking Dead on AMC at 9:00pm ET. Two-hour third season finale. Seeing a lot of speculation about which character from The Walking Dead will show up in this show to tie the two together before the next season of The Walking Dead premieres. You can check out Dustin’s prediction here but feel free to toss out your own guesses below.

Good Behavior on TNT at 10:00pm ET. Second season premiere. I watched a couple episodes of this and kinda liked the vibe but the handling of the golf course murder rubbed me the wrong way a bit. Seemed like they had the character react in a frantic way to up the tension instead of adapting to the new circumstances the way I felt like he would and I stopped watching after that. Maybe it got better, though.

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‘Star Trek: Discovery’ Is Actually Getting Worse

The following contains basically continuous spoilers for the first four episodes of Star Trek: Discovery.

I really wanted to like Star Trek: Discovery, even after the pilot two-parter left me really flat with the bad writing. So I thought, well, as many venerable commenters have pointed out, these shows take time to find their footing. Star Trek pilots tend to be weak compared to the shows that they grow into. Hell, this franchise is legendary for almost unwatchable first seasons.

Remember how bad Star Trek: The Next Generation was before Riker grew a beard?

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Remember how bad Deep Space Nine was before Sisko grew a beard?

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Remember how bad Voyager was before it was cancelled?

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I won’t bother asking if anyone remembers Enterprise, I choose to believe it was just a bad acid trip at the end of Quantum Leap.

So maybe Discovery just needs time to grow into itself. But episodes three and four, that «aired» on CBS’ All Access (now with almost as many NCIS episodes as Netflix!) made it feel like that wait could be quite, um, the wait. Sloppy writing and plot holes in a pilot are one thing, but the next two episodes are case studies in plot being driven by caricatures acting like idiots.

The Klingons are simply not working. They’ve got these actors with faces so plastered with prosthetics that it is physically impossible for them to actually act. Every scene drags the entire episode to a halt so that we can listen to interminable monosyllabic grunts that do not have any bearing on any of the plot of the episode. I kind of get that they’re trying to show that the Klingons are a rich and interesting people also, and not just one-dimensional bad guys. But it’s just not working at all because there is a complete and utter disconnect between the Klingon Game of Thrones show going down inside the Battlestar Federation premise.

Jason Isaacs’ Captain Lorca should be a huge asset for the show. And he is trying really hard to channel Olmos’ Adama and be gruff and hard because goddamnit there’s a war on. Instead he’s just coming across as a low rent Ahab who terrifies his entire crew. He practically yells «you might not like my methods, but goddamnit I get results» in every scene, after which his crew gets partial results despite him rather than because of him.

And that’s before getting into the baffling sorts of idiocy that seems commonplace throughout the ensemble cast. The peak of which is of course Rekha Sharma’s Commander Landry (aka the Cylon who no one cared about) who manages to commit suicide by idiocy faster than you could yell «Leeeeeeeeeeeroy»!

Thought process:

Burnham: «This alien beast monster is immune to phasers, can rip through starship hulls, and just killed an entire squad of Klingons. My utterly not based on any empirical evidence but totes scientific conclusion is that it is a harmless herbivore.»

Commander Deady: «OMFG you’ve been studying it for 10 whole minutes I am so bored. Computer drop the shields so I can shoot this fucker.»

And that’s how she died.

Say what you want about Kirk’s tendency to irrationally jump in head first, he would have made sweet love to that Tardigrade and learned the secrets of its shroom based interstellar teleportation and still had time to make fun of McCoy before murdering the entire Klingon navy.

For those of you not watching at home, and just bathing here in the spoilers, you might have noticed that I said «shroom based interstellar teleportation.»

Sweet baby Bajor, did I ever.

So the Discovery is a science ship working on super secret war winning technology that’s been co-opted into military research because of the big war with the Klingons. Makes sense. Until you get the dramatic reveal of what that secret technology is that they’re working on. Instead of warp, i.e. flying from one point in space to another*, they’re working on just jumping instantly from one point to another. To use the sci-fi terms that they don’t want to use even as they eye-rollingly drop Elon Musk’s name into the list of pioneers, it’s a space fold drive (or a wrinkle in time, to use L’Engle’s more poetic terminology). On the one hand, this is problematic because Discovery takes place before the original series, and so we know for a fact that this technology doesn’t pan out since none of the subsequent Enterprises don’t use warp drives. But on the other hand, that’s the least of the problems.

See, the way it works is by intergalactic mushrooms. Yes, there are clouds of mushroom spores that have spread through the entire universe and they’re all like interconnected man, and this gentle giant of an alien can like transport the entire starship anywhere there’s shrooms, man. But this makes him cry, so it’s really harshing Burnham’s vibe. And I cannot fucking believe that I am describing the critical plot point of a Star Trek series and not a joke from Austin Powers 4: Groovy Space Cowboy.

All that said, I’m all in if Burnham pulls a Sisko/Riker and becomes a badass by growing a beard.

* Yes, I know that warp drives work by creating a bubble of subspace around the vessel in question, allowing it to travel faster than light because it has dropped temporarily into a dimension where the speed of light is different. I studied the Star Trek Technical Manual for hours as a kid, too.

Dr. Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here.

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This Riverdale Killer Theory Is Kind of a Joke, but It Actually Makes Sense

Image Source: Everett Collection

Before I really unpack this whole Riverdale theory, allow me to assure you that I know it’s a reach. With the show’s explosive season two premiere we watch as Mr. Andrews fights for his life and Archie just fights to not completely unravel. By the end of the episode, Miss Grundy is dead and it seems we may have a serial killer on the loose. Now, we’re spinning with theories about the person behind the mask. Most people think the shooter in question looks a lot like Betty’s dad. But I think the killer could be someone else entirely. I think the killer could be based on Marvel’s The Punisher.

«What?» You might say. Or, more abrasively, «Oh, f*ck off.» But here’s the thing. The Punisher actually does appear in an issue of the Archie Comics. It was a total one-off issue, a partnership between Marvel and the Archie Comics. In the issue, The Punisher chases a drug dealer named «Red» all the way to Riverdale. The thing is, «Red» looks a lot like Archie, which leads to a whole lot of danger and confusion that eventually ends in a happy ever after. Now, I’m not insinuating this is a crossover between Netflix’s new series, The Punisher, and that the man behind the mask is Jon Bernthal. I’m saying the fact that an antihero like the Punisher appears in the Archie Comics universe could have been a jumping off point for the season.

Image Source: Archie Comics

Think about it. The Punisher is an antihero and vigilante who has launched his own war on crime. He resorts to extreme and not-quite-legal measures when taking on his victims. He’ll kidnap bad guys, he’s extort them or torture them, and yes, he’ll even murder them. It’s clear the Punisher is trying to right some of the world’s wrongs . . . except maybe he doesn’t have the best way of doing it.

So far on Riverdale, the masked killer has attacked two people. He shoots Fred Andrews, a man who committed adultery against his wife. Then, he murders Miss Grundy, a woman who preys on underage high school students and engages in illegal and lewd sexual acts with them. The killer might not be right for attacking this people, but you could argue that he’s «punishing» them for the sins they’ve committed.

So, here’s a thought: maybe this man is Riverdale‘s sick, twisted take on the antihero known as the Punisher. Maybe in this specific Archie universe, the Punisher is a f*cked up criminal who mercilessly murders people. And not just mob bosses and drug lords and robbers and thieves. This version of the Punisher targets common adulterers, pedophiles, hyper-sexual teenagers, kid drug dealers, and more. So, maybe we’ve never met the man behind the mask. Maybe he’s an entirely new character that’s about the blow the town of Riverdale wide open.

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Reddit Asks The Question: ‘What’s The Dumbest Solution To A Problem That Actually Worked?’

The funny thing about ‘dumb’ solutions is that sometimes they are actually really smart, as we find out when Reddit asks the question: ‘What’s The Dumbest Solution To A Problem That Actually Worked?’

You can check out the full thread here, but below are some highlights:

mylesfrost335

My stepdad was taking a sat nav back to the shop as it was acting strange but the bloke serving him refused to take it as the warranty only covers physical damage (not accidental damage) So he just drop kicked it lightly and the bloke just casually said «that’ll do sir» and went out back to get a replacement. Wasn’t to sure what to think about that

moak0

A tick crawled into the headphone jack of my phone.
The next two searches on my phone were:
What eats ticks?
Guinea hen mating noises
After about fifteen seconds of female guinea hen sounds, the tick crawled out of my phone.

2ezyo

Napoleon’s army gaining control of an area by pretending that the war was over.
*Edit — For those that are interested:
Apparently Napoleon’s army was having great difficulty conquering the Austrians who had a strong defensive position along the Danube. The only access to the area was over the Tabor bridge that the Austrians had wired with explosives.
Two of Napoleon’s marshals, with a few grenadiers, decided to walk towards the bridge bearing white flags and laughing.
As they neared the bridge, and while obviously acquiring the attention of the Austrians, they yelled out that there had been a signed armistice (truce).
The marshals were so convincing that the Austrians literally threw all the explosives into the water. The Austrian commander hearing news of this «armistice», decided to head to the bridge. After witnessing both the French and the Austrian armies standing together, he had no choice but the believe that the war was indeed over. As a result, he handed the bridge and the area over to the French.
Moments later, the Austrian commander and his army were astounded to find themselves prisoners to the French.

SmokeyMcDabs

I called about a pothole at the entrance of my store. They said since it was in my entrance, I’d have to pay for it.
I called back as a concerned citizen and it’ll be fixed in 72 hrs.

PaintsWithSmegma

I was working as a paramedic at a music festival when we got called to a kid tripping​ on acid. The guy had climbed to the top of a portable generator stadium light. So he’s 20 feet in the air, on a light pole staring into this blazing midnight sun screaming ,»I’m a moth go into the flame». We had several cops, firefighters and myself standing at the base for 30 minutes discussing how to get him down without killing him or us. The entire time a crowd of people on drugs is surrounding us to see how it all plays out. Do we get a ladder truck and try to coax him down? What if he won’t go. Do we spay mace up there? What if he falls? All of a sudden this greasy looking janitor walks up, turns off power to the generator, turns on his flashlight​ and aims it at the mothman. Dude looks at the flashlight on the ground, scambles down and follows it to the medical rent like a puppy about to get a snack. I’m embarrassed embarrassed that none of us thought about that.

WagnersWorkshop

One of my friends is a teacher and he was finding it hard to deal with his kids dabbing in class. So he started doing it.
In a super «white dude awkwardly trying to fit in with no rhythm» way.
The kids stopped.

bovovo

It’s not dumb now, but back in the 1850’s when John Snow went around telling everybody that the London Cholera outbreak was being caused by a water pump it was seen as pretty ridiculous.
Back then the leading theory on the cause of disease was that diseases were caused by miasmas or «bad air.» John Snow realized everybody that was getting Cholera was also visiting this one water pump, so he got the city to replace it. Lo and behold, the Cholera outbreak stopped.
Nowadays doing this would probably be on par with suggesting you could stop alzheimer’s by sleeping without a pillow or something

Stellapotamus

I went to cancel a doctor’s appointment and they said it was a $ 200 charge without a week’s notice. I asked how much it was to reschedule, they said it was free.
«Okay, so I need to reschedule for two weeks out.»
«Is three weeks okay?»
«Yep.»
«Alright, you’re all set for three weeks from now. Anything else I can do for you?»
«Yes, I need to cancel my appointment.»
«We need a week’s notice.»
«My appointment is three weeks away.»
«Oh. Okay. Sure.»
«Thank you.»
Couldn’t believe it worked.
Edit: Well, crap, my most upvoted comment is a story about me conning some poor receptionist. I’m a schmuck.

Scrappy_Larue

My car got pummeled in a terrible hail storm. Little dents over every surface of the car. My insurance would only write it off as a total loss, and I didn’t want to give the car up. A friend pointed out that since I live in the desert, the heat will likely fix a lot of those dents over time. That’s exactly what happened. A year later, you had to look carefully to find dents where there used to be a hundred of them. Ignoring the problem fixed it.

Atsur

My folks were in town, and my wife and I wanted to take them to dinner.
We head to a nearby mediocre steakhouse at the request of my parents, and it’s around 6:00pm.
The hostesses tell us there’s a minimum 45 minute wait. I get suspicious, as their parking lot had barely any cars, so I peek around into their dining area. There are several open tables that would fit a party of 4. Mildly annoyed, I ask the hostesses why we can’t be seated at any of these tables. They reply that they’re being held for future reservations.
I get on my smartphone, open the OpenTable app, make a reservation for 6:15pm for a party of 4, and we’re seated immediately.

Everyone_is_taken

This was before high speed internet. We had to transfer a database between two cities 500Km appart and we had only one night to do it. People started searching how to compress the files and rent several expensive digital lines (I think ISDN) to spread the copy.
Then someone said «why don’t we remove the hard drive out of the server and move it there by car?» So I drove 500Km during the night to deliver the disk and mount the new database.

Kasper-X-Hauser

There was a nuresing home in Germany and the patients with dementia kept wandering off.
They installed a fake bus stop in front of the nursing home so when dementaion patients got out of the building, they would go sit at the fake bus stop and wait for the (non-existent) bus. The bus stop was clearly visible from the main offices, so whenever staff saw someone out there, they would just go and retrieve them.
Solved the problem completely.

irwinlegends

I bought a set of couches from Art Van Furniture this summer, complete with 24-hour warranty and replacement service. Once delivered, I discovered that one of the legs arrived cracked. I spent some time on the phone with their customer service hotline, only to get 15 minutes worth of run-around. I decided to go back to the store, with the broken leg in hand, and just get a replacement.
The customer service desk told me there was no way I could «just get an extra leg» from the store; I would need to file a claim over the phone, have my invoice number, etc etc. I realized that I was dressed about the same as the delivery guys, so I walked into the loading bay and told the first guy I saw that «I need another leg to match this one.» He didn’t ask any questions, just took one off of another matching couch and handed it to me.
add-on edit: I was wearing the same thing that I wear every day; grey levis, grey work shirt. The couches are nice for the price and while my experience was a bummer, they make good sturdy stuff. I’ll tolerate some customer service dummys for the sake of supporting local jobs any day.

Banned-in-Boston

When Buzz Aldrin reentered the LEM he turned and his backpack broke off the switch needed to light the ascent engine. Houston studied the problem and told them to stick a metal pen tip into the hole where the body of the switch was. When the launch time came up, they used a pen to make the circuit and launch off the Moon.

ajnixonm

Back when I was in 6th form at school, we had new sofas in the common room (a room where our year could hang out and relax/work/listen to music on our time off). They had been there only a couple of days before one of the legs snapped off one of the sofas.
Now we could have attempted to fix it, or just left it missing a leg but there were often checks and cleaners moving furniture would have noticed it was broken and we would have got in trouble for «not respecting school property».
So we did the only sensible thing, which was break all the legs off the sofa, and then all the sofas in the room so they were all at the same height. We stashed the legs in the ceiling, and nobody knew a thing.

Digitalqueef

Had to send in a letter once, the envelopes had no sticky adhesive and couldn’t find the tape at home. My dad who’s pretty much as old as Confucius just grabs a grain of rice out of my bowl and used it as the adhesive. It worked so well.
Edit: since people keep asking, it was just cooked white rice I was eating for dinner,.

RogerThatKid

I once owned a subaru and drove a half hour away to a friend’s house. On the way home, the brakes lost all their fluid. When I stepped on the Brake pedal, the car just coasted.
This was in the middle of a blizzard. Nobody else was on the road… so in my head, it made the most logical sense to drive it home right then and there, rather than wait for a tow truck during a blizzard. I took back roads and stayed in 1st or 2nd gear, 20 mph at most, and braked to a stop with the emergency brake. It was really easy in retrospect. Dumb, but easy.

assistant_Batman

TL;DR- 3, then 4 marines kick expensive plane to fix it.
So this isn’t quite my story but a friends instead. My buddy was is in the Air Force and was in Fuels at a Joint Base. He happened to be working with a group of marines trying to refuel/working on an aircraft when the something on the plane just stopped working. He goes to call over for someone when 3 marines just start kicking it starting slowly and then more and more as if it owed these marines money. After a few minutes of these kicking a multi-million dollar aircraft, one of the marines calls up to his superior and relays that the plane’s not working. The first thing the supervisor says «did you try kicking it?» After confirming that these Jarheads did kick the multimillion dollar aircraft, the super visor was not pleased and came down to take look himself. The supervisor takes one look and just starts kicking the shit out of the plane as if it didn’t pay the first 3 marines enough money. The other marines then start kicking it with the supervisor. Just when my buddy thought maybe I should call my supervisor, all 4 marines simultaneously land a kick at the same time and the plane roars back to life. The supervisor then gives a lesson in kicking and returns to his office.

weeniskisses

Nurses here will recognize this one. Once I was dealing with an extremely agitated and fearful Alzheimer’s patient who had been «sundowning» since 3pm (sundowning is an occurrence in some Alzheimer’s patients where their mental function gets worse and worse as the day goes on/once it starts to get dark). Anywho, this sweet old lady was having an absolute fit. All through my shift (night shift yay) I was running in and out of her room. The bed alarm kept going off, she was so confused, afraid… I desperately wanted her to go to sleep. Mind you I had 7 other patients! I finally walk her out to the nurses station and plop her down in a seat next to me while I do my charting. She is yelling at me and throwing things. I’ve had it at this point and I’m running out of ideas. I finally look at her and say, «how will I ever finish with the wash? My husband will be so mad when he gets home! Would you help me finish??»… she looks me right in the eye, clear as day, and says «dammit sister don’t you ever learn? Give me that laundry!»… haha so I grab a stack of folded towels and mess them up real quick and plop them in front of her. She folded all of them. I would say oh look at that! She turned around and I would mess the towels up again. This went on a few times until this sweet lady just passed out, exhausted from being so worked up earlier (and maybe from all the towel folding). I slowly push her in the desk chair down the hall and gently get her back into bed. She started to wake up and I leaned down and whispered, «all the wash is done. You have nothing else to worry about!» She slept throughout the night. We were both happy. I am the grandma whisperer.

YoBuckStopsHere

Tapping on the guidance computer during the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

Sir-Matilda

During WW2, a bomber made of wood, designed to outrun enemy fighters. Despite struggling to convince the British Air Ministry of the potential for such a design, eventually the project got off the ground and created the de Havilland Mosquito, which was used as a bomber, fighter, night-fighter, and a variety of other roles.

I’ll let Herman Göring do the talking:
‘In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy. The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again. What do you make of that? There is nothing the British do not have. They have the geniuses and we have the nincompoops. After the war is over I’m going to buy a British radio set — then at least I’ll own something that has always worked.’

themaddhatt

I’m really late to this, but, in my ecology class we learned about how there’s a snake problem in Guam. Particularly, brown tree snakes.
The solution? Dropping dead mice laced with Tylenol attached to tiny streamer cardboard parachutes. Tylenol is poisonous to the snakes and the streamers attract their attention.
It worked. The snakes ate the mice and it mitigated the snake problem that was affecting the native bird species.
I was tested on this in my final exam.

Dr_Doorknob

I couldn’t connect to the Wi-Fi. My Wi-Fi adapter wasn’t working right and wouldn’t connect to anything. So I right clicked on the adapter in the control panel, clicked diagnose and Windows fixed it automatically. Only time I have seen it work.

——

Petr Knava lives in London and plays music

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Guess What? ‘The Orville’ Is Actually Getting ‘Star Trek’ Right

Look, this is hard for me. I wasn’t even going to watch Seth MacFarlane’s latest live-action effort, The Orville, because I didn’t want my shiny happy future sci-fi tainted with boner jokes or weird cutaway tangents or whatever. But then I watched Star Trek: Discovery, and struggled to wrap my head around how it would really fit into the larger Star Trek universe. It’s too early to tell how the series will balance the science and exploration the brand is known for with the military conflicts already established, but it’s also stuck behind a paywall and killed off Michelle Yeoh in the first two hours so there’s some shit it’s gotta overcome.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m cautiously optimistic about Discovery. There are some interesting ideas at play that could make it a solid entry to the canon (and there are a lot of risks it’s taking that might not pan out). But watching the pilot also made me reflect on what I love about Star Trek: the diverse crew from different worlds, the cultures learning from and about each other, the episodic storytelling that challenges their understanding of morality and sometimes doesn’t wrap up neatly at hour’s end. And yeah, fuck it, sometimes it’s just nice to see a future where you can ask for anything your heart desires and the ship will make it materialize for you. Even a pot brownie.

And that shit? That’s what The Orville gets just right. In any other year, perhaps the series would land on the air and be just a simple, forgettable Star Trek parody, but seeing it after Discovery felt like coming home in a way I wasn’t anticipating. I caught up on the first 4 episodes in the past week — the first, because I was in the mood for more Trek and wasn’t gonna sign up for CBS All Access, so I figured «What the hell?» And then I watched the other three episodes because… I cared about the crew and wanted to see where they’d go next.

My husband liked it more than Discovery, a perspective he made abundantly and incessantly clear throughout our viewing. But the real test of my sanity came when I texted my own resident Trekkie friend, a dude who owns a Starfleet uniform and has dressed up as Data several times in the past. I told him I was digging the show, so he turned around and watched it… and even HE loved it.

This show is a parody, wrapped in a love letter to Gene Roddenberry, wrapped in, yeah, a few boner jokes. But it’s that love of Star Trek that comes through the loudest, right down to the pitch-perfect outro music at each commercial break. The series follows Planetary Union officer Ed Mercer (MacFarlane, natch), who catches his wife cheating on him with a blue splurty alien and ends up divorcing her. If you’re not a fan of MacFarlane’s particular brand of whiny man-baby then this might be a sticking point for you, but bear with me. After a year or so of spiraling out of control, Mercer is finally given a ship to captain: the titular Orville. It’s not the biggest, fastest ship in the fleet, but it’s his last chance to prove himself and he’ll fucking take it, thank you very much. Too bad his now ex-wife, Commander Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki, the once and future Mockingbird), is the only First Officer available to join him on the crew. What ensues is a lot of sniping… for the pilot. Thankfully the pair very quickly start figuring out how to work together as mature adults. It’s, frankly, refreshing. And they have great chemistry! Oddly enough, the very Star Trek-iness of the premise seems to rein in some of MacFarlane’s more juvenile impulses, while his quirky humor manages to gently poke at some of the funnier opportunities inherent in Trek‘s vision of a utopian future.

But it’s the rest of the crew that really makes The Orville soar. The helmsman and the navigator are two peas in a pod — they’re very funny assholes, who luckily are good at their jobs, because they’re not good at much else. There’s the super-strong Lt. Alara Kitan, the Chief of Security, who hails from a planet with very high gravity and thus can kick ALL the spacebutts. She may be young, but Mercer clearly takes great pleasure in having a female badass bruiser at his side. Isaac, the Science and Engineering Officer, comes from a non-biological race of beings. Dr. Claire Finn, the Chief Medical Officer, seems to be a general expert in literally every field from surgery to psychiatry. And Lt. Bortus, the second officer on the Orville, comes from an all-male race of weapons manufacturers.

And it’s Bortus’ storyline in the third episode that shows just how deftly The Orville can tackle more difficult social commentary. Bortus is in a committed relationship with his partner, Klyden. And no, the stable gay relationship isn’t a big deal on the show — being a single-gender race, all the relationships are homosexual. But then they have a child… and it’s a girl. And what unfolds is an examination of gender identity, including gender reassignment surgery, imposed cultural norms, and the revelation that Bortus’ race isn’t as single-gendered as they like to believe. Klyden, it turns out, was also born a girl, and had his gender reassigned at birth. Bortus has his views on the subject changed through his interaction with the crew, and doesn’t want to make that decision for his child, despite the fact that it will make her an outcast amongst her own people. Even Mercer, who refuses to command Dr. Finn to perform the surgery, takes the time to examine his own human bias. There aren’t a lot of jokes, and things likely don’t end the way you’d want. But the episode stands as a great example of the way sci-fi can explore modern issues from different perspectives and challenge our own biases. It’s not a perfect episode, and it won’t make everyone happy, but the sheer fact that a nuanced examination of gender identity is even attempted on the third episode of a Seth MacFarlane show says something about the times we’re living in.

But don’t worry — not everything is so serious. MacFarlane calls in plenty of favors from his high-profile friends. Liam Neeson pops up for a bit part in the fourth episode, and it looks like Charlize Theron will be a major part of this week’s fifth episode:

How long before we see Patrick Stewart himself in this sector of space? Only time will tell. But from the holodeck hijinx to the materialized pot brownies to that pervy spaceblob voiced by Norm MacDonald, there are plenty of lighthearted jokes to appease the serious MacFarlane fans. For the rest of us, we get the optimistic, lower-budget space drama that Discovery will likely never be.

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Unlike the Show, the Insecure Cast Are All Actually Friends in Real Life

The cast of Insecure may not all be friends on the show, but off screen, they’re one big, happy family. The hit comedy’s stars, including Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Jay Ellis, Amanda Seales, and Sarunas J. Jackson, frequently hang out on set and at award shows, and when they’re not together, they’re giving each other sweet birthday shout-outs on Instagram and congratulating each other on their achievements. As we patiently wait for season three to premiere in 2018, take a look at some of the cast’s cutest offscreen moments.

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20 Pictures That Prove Prince Harry Could Actually Be a Dog Whisperer

We all know that Prince Harry is great with kids, but have you ever seen him with a cute puppy? Sure, children bring out his fun-uncle side, but in my honest opinion, nothing is cuter than an attractive man with a dog. Over the years, the famous royal has shared some over-the-top adorable moments with everything from pet puppies to sweet service dogs. Whether he’s petting them on the head or giving them a sweet kiss, we definitely get weak in the knees anytime he shows off his puppy love.

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18 People Who Are Pretty Sure Kylie Jenner Is Actually Kim Kardashian’s Surrogate

Kylie Jenner is pregnant with her first child, and understandably, people have a lot of feelings about the news — including speculation that the 20-year-old might actually be carrying a child for her older sister Kim Kardashian and husband Kanye West.

While Kim and Kanye haven’t officially commented on the fact that their third child will be arriving by surrogate, it has been reported that they are expecting a daughter — and a source close to Kylie and Travis told TMZ that «Travis has told friends they’re having a girl.» Naturally, a handful of sleuths on social media are convinced that the surrogate is actually Kylie — but the fact that a woman has to have previously given birth to qualify as a surrogate pretty easily counts Kylie out. Here are the best tweets on the matter.

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Big Baller Brand Redesigned the ZO2 Primes and They’re Actually Not Terrible

When Big Baller Brand unveiled Lonzo Ball’s “ZO2 Prime” sneaker back in May the first thought that popped into everyone’s minds was, “Those look like something restaurant workers would wear.” Factor in the $ 495 price tag on them and you had everyone losing their damn minds over sneakers they were never going to purchase in the first place.

But it looks like LaVar, Lonzo, and the BBB team have been hard at work over the past few months as they dropped a redesign of the ZO2s that should get the Big Ballers out there super excited. Seriously, look at the pics — they’re no longer some weird mix of knockoff Kobe’s and restaurant shoes.

Details from SLAMonline:

Those who already pre-ordered the original ZO2 Primes can expect this “remix” version to still arrive by the original November shipping date. The Showtime edition and the “Independence Day” colorways will also be converted into this new silhouette and shipping dates for pre-orders of those will also remain the same. There is a refund option for those who pre-ordered the original ZO2 shoe and would rather not receive the newer version.

The shoe itself features a carbon fiber heel cap, while the upper has a three-texture combination— haptic 3D printing in the high abrasion areas, monofilament rip-stop mesh that originate from the “America’s Cup” racing yachts, and a semi-sock construction fabric that leads in to the tongue to provide support and a snug fit.

Some good things from BBB here. The shoe looks better and those special souls who dropped $ 495 on the crappy looking initial version are getting these upgraded ones instead.

Lonzo selling Lakers fans on the “lightest basketball shoes ever made”:


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Whatever, Emmys: ‘Supernatural’ Is Actually The Best Show On TV

You’re welcome for that header image, btw

So, the Primetime Emmy Awards were last night. People won! Stuff happened! But in case you missed it and are frantically searching the internet this morning, let me put your mind at ease: No, Supernatural didn’t take home a statue.

The absurdly long-running CW show is no stranger to awards. It’s picked up People’s Choice Awards for favorite sci-fi/fantasy show and even favorite bromance (duh, that’s basically a tailor-made category for this show). It’s a hit at the Teen Choice Awards too, which I’ve never paid attention to, but assume they must be largely underwritten by the CW anyway. But as far as the Emmys are concerned, Supernatural has only ever been nominated for sound editing and musical score, during the first few seasons. And it didn’t even bring those home.

After 13 seasons — THIRTEEN! — it’s unlikely that the Television Academy will ever recognize the episodic world-saving adventures of the Winchester brothers. But that doesn’t mean that Supernatural isn’t worthy of recognition by People, Teens, and more. In fact, I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say, without a drop of hyperbole, that it’s the best fucking show on TV. COME AT ME, THE HANDMAID’S TALE!

But before I dig into that mic drop, let me appease my bosses by pegging this whole tangent to something vaguely timely. Oh look! The CW released a trailer for season 13, which premieres on Thursday, October 12! Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Wow, shit looks cray! Dean’s praying to God (or Chuck or whatever)? Lucifer’s kid being all blasty? A new white-suited sheriff in town, and by town I presume they mean Hell? FUCKING CURLY FRIES?

BE STILL MY GODDAMN HEART!

Seriously though, is there any show that needs promotion less than Supernatural? Fans know exactly what they are going to get in any given season. At least one brother will sacrifice himself/die/end up in an other plane of existence, or get possessed by an angel/demon or something. There will be a lot of heartfelt discussions in Baby, their black Impala. And yet, one or both of the brothers will still pointlessly keep secrets, ostensibly to protect the other one, even though that has NEVER worked out well for anybody. There will be pie, and quips. And Kansas’s 1976 song «Carry On Wayward Son» will play during the intro of the season finale, just like it has for the previous 12 season finales.

It took a few seasons for Supernatural to perfect its formula — and sure, some seasons are more successful than others (let’s not talk about that whole Leviathan arc), but the formulaic nature of the story is one of the series’ greatest strengths. What began as an all-male urban legend riff seemingly put on air to plug the hole left by the end of Buffy The Vampire Slayer has developed into a comforting institution in its own right. Ok, maybe I’m extrapolating too much. Buffy ended in 2003 and Supernatural didn’t premiere until 2005. But when I sit back and imagine the development meetings that led to the Greatest Greenlight Decision in the History of Television (yeah, ok, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolic), I like to imagine a WB studio exec very seriously telling a roomful of people that what they really need is a show to capitalize on all those young Buffy viewers, to keep them tuned in. And what do teenage girls love more than strong female role models? HOT GUYS. REALLY HOT GUYS WHO NEVER HAVE GIRLFRIENDS BECAUSE THEY ARE TOO BUSY HUNTING AND BRO-ING OUT TOGETHER.

That imaginary studio exec got a big raise by season 4, and now he’s retired and living on a yacht full of blow. I know, because I spend a lot of time imagining the behind-the-scenes fake history of Supernatural. It’s my kind of fan-fiction. But if you want a more accurate run-down of how the show came to be, Variety put together a pretty epic oral history for the series’ 200th episode back in 2014 (read it here).

It may seem counterintuitive to claim that a formulaic monster-of-the-week show is the best on television, especially in this so-called Golden Age of Television full of mold-breaking, auteur-driven «prestige» programming. But while movie stars and directors are crossing over to the small screen and everyone argues about whether TV is replacing Movies in the entertainment landscape, Supernatural has quietly been succeeding, an almost quaint throwback to the kind of standard, under-appreciated network fare that used to be the bread and butter of our national viewing habits. «Formulaic» isn’t a naughty word. And when I say it’s the best show on TV, maybe I just mean it’s the most TV show on TV. It is an institution built on the chemistry of the core cast and a genuine appreciation of the fans who have kept the show afloat. And it is smart enough to know how to play to its strengths every step of the way.

There would be no Supernatural without Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki. The central Winchester siblings, Dean and Sam (SAMMY!) are everything. Come angels, demons, wendigos, ghosts or shapeshifters, the Winchester boys will stand in their way. It’s conceivable that there is another reality where different actors were cast in those roles, and that might have worked for the first few seasons. But the fact is that the show wouldn’t be on the air today if it weren’t for the chemistry between Ackles and Padalecki — a chemistry that seems to be genuine, even off the screen. Creator Eric Kripke had a central plot in mind, pitting the brothers against each other with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. And its resolution could have been the end of the show. But it turns out that all the monsters and mythology weren’t the real secret to the show’s success. The brothers, and those actors, were. The hunting and the danger was all just a window into the relationship between these two men. And with a reasonable enough contrivance to keep Sam and Dean Winchester together on screen, that was enough to justify the show’s continued existence. Hence all the sacrifices, deaths and resurrections. And somewhere along the way, the show went from being on the bubble to being untouchable, ratings-wise.

In fact, part of the formula that defines Supernatural is the way it will bend its plot into knots in order to capitalize on cast chemistry. Misha Collins and Mark Sheppard, who played the angel Castiel and the demon Crowley, both joined the show a few years into the run. What started as guest performances soon became integral to the fabric of the show, because both characters also had amazing chemistry with the rest of the cast and because they represented something new, storywise: that angels aren’t always angelically good and that demons don’t have to be pure unrelenting evil. It all lasted seemingly until the end of last season, when Lucifer seemed to kill Castiel and Crowley sacrificed himself to trap the archangel in another dimension. It’s been revealed that somehow Castiel will appear again in season 13 (he’s even on the poster!), though it seems that Crowley’s exit may actually stick this time around. But even saying that comes with a big ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ because death doesn’t really mean much on this show. Hell, Castiel killed a fucking Reaper last season. Even if a character does die, they can come back as a ghost! Or a memory! Or in an alternate reality! Or even as a gift from powers that be (looking at you, Mary Winchester).

Ok, to be fair Supernatural isn’t always as concerned with bringing the ladies back into the fold in the same way that it holds on to its many bromances. Mary’s return came out of left field, considering her character was already dead when the show launched. Mommy issues aside, there has been plenty of criticism about the series’ treatment of its female characters — namely all the fridging. It’s something that came to a head a couple of seasons ago with the death of Charlie, played by Felicia Day — a character that hit the holy trifecta of being a hacker, a woman, and an LGBTQ character all in one. And it’s something that the show seems to be trying to atone for in some way, notably by NOT killing off the wonderful Sheriff Jody Mills (and even planning a spin-off for her). I too wish that the show had treated many of its female characters better, and let them ride off into the sunset or fade into obscurity instead of insisting on killing them off to motivate the guys (or contriving a way to bring them back the same way it does with some of the guys, because EQUALITY).

But I will give Supernatural credit for staying true to its DNA, and at heart it’s a show about the bond between these two brothers and the insane, illogical lengths they’ll go to for one another. This isn’t a show about romance or even the families we make for ourselves, it’s a show about the bonds of blood — and no one, not even surrogate daddy Bobby, is above being sacrificed in order to propel the Winchesters to their destiny. Representation matters, and the show is no beacon of diversity (gender or otherwise). That’s just the honest truth. And yet, rarely has any program, let alone a fucking horror/fantasy series on the CW, captured the love between two people the way Supernatural has. No, it isn’t sexual or romantic. But it is Love with a capital L. It’s the kind of emotion that makes you, well, sacrifice yourself, or make deals with demons, or risk the world to save just one person. And then continue to do that for 12 seasons. It’s easy to define the core relationship by falling back on the tired «bromance» trope, but Supernatural has explored and iterated on that concept in surprising ways — not just between Sam and Dean but with Bobby, and Cas, and Crowley, and even deep cuts like Garth and, yes, Charlie.

Someday maybe we’ll have a show that presents that kind of bond between two women, or between people of any gender identity. We can hope.

And in the meantime, fans can indulge in their own fantasies and tease out all manner of sexual subtexts from Supernatural, from incest to whatever it is you call it when a dude and an angel totally want to bang («Destiel» to shippers everywhere). If cast chemistry is one part of Supernatural‘s secret formula, then the other part is the way the creators respect and encourage the show’s fandom. Sure, there have been the famous «meta» episodes, like the one where Sam and Dean get trapped in other sorts of TV shows (like a CSI: Miami rip-off):

via GIPHY

Or the one where they wind up in an alternate reality where they are actors named Jared and Jensen on the set of a show called Supernatural (Dean is dismayed to discovery he used to be a soap opera actor, while Sam discovers he’s married to the woman who played the demon Ruby — all of which is totally real):

via GIPHY

Or the time Jared Padalecki was in a horror movie with Paris Hilton, so they brought her on as a quest star and then killed her («I’ve never even seen House of Wax» = CLASSIC DEAN BURN):

Supernatural has progressed from acknowledging the fourth wall to demolishing it. And while winking at the audience is usually a sign that a show has outlasted its own creativity, Supernatural has turned it into a strength. Every season fans wait to see which episode will be the «meta» one (in season 13, supposedly the bros will get animated Scooby Doo style). The show even turned its own 200th episode into a love letter to their fans — titled «Fan Fiction» no less — which featured a Supernatural-themed high school musical staged entirely by teenage girls (who are attacked by a monster and the real Winchesters have to save the day, natch). It was a beautiful and surprisingly nuanced look at the life something takes on in the mind of a viewer, and an acknowledgement that a show like Supernatural is nothing without a passionate fan base — even if those fans sometimes think they could do a better job telling the story than the writers can. It acknowledged the lack of women by recasting every character with one. It acknowledged all the «boy melodrama» (called «B.M. scenes»). It even acknowledged the dangling plot thread of the third Winchester brother, WhatsHisName (the show may be about brotherly love, but not all brothers are created equally). Also, this happens:

And it isn’t just on screen that Supernatural embraces its own fandom. From elaborate convention appearances to bizarre social media accounts like the Supernatural Tape Ball instagram (literally just a growing ball of multicolored gaffers tape from the set of the show, started last season), the series quietly finds new ways to engage viewers and invite them into the fold. And why not? Everyone’s careers are made at this point. This shit is in syndication, and there is no sign of cancellation just yet. The cast and crew seem to be having a blast after all these years, and no amount of changing showrunners or never-ending cycles of apocalyptic showdowns will change that.

One day, will the Winchester boys be old and grey and still driving across America, finding new inexplicable monsters to fight in Baby? It could happen. And maybe that’s why I think it’s the best show on TV: Because there is no stopping it. And even better, there is no such thing as going too far. It makes jumping the shark look good. It knows how to seize something that’s working and run with it. It even knows how to film an entire episode from the point of view of a fucking car and have it be the best episode of the season. It won’t run out of plot (if that were possible, it would have happened years ago), and it doesn’t seem like the actors will quit. Anthologies and limited series, streaming and bingeing and «Lynchian» programming may be all the rage, but there is something comforting about a show that can still surprise and move us without ever changing at all, even after all these years. They don’t make TV like this anymore. And we may never see its kind again. So it’s a good thing Supernatural isn’t going anywhere for awhile.

ETA: Writing this whole ode to the Winchester boys, in the back of my mind I was all like «Tori, don’t forget to add that Hillywood parody video with most of the cast dancing around and making fools of themselves because they are fun and totally down for anything» and then I submitted the article without it. So here it is, in all its glory. I would have included it somewhere in the fandom discussion, for what it’s worth. I’ve seen a lot of parodies from The Hillywood Show and as clever as they are, you don’t see this level of actual cast involvement in them.

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