LaVar Ball Guarantees the Lakers Will Make the Playoffs Next Season

How did LaVar Ball react to the Lakers picking his son Lonzo with the second overall pick? Obviously he gave his boy some love before going into total BBB hypeman mode and stating that Lonzo would lead the Lakers to the playoffs next season:

Bonus LaVar: Apparently he’s been talking about this moment for 19-20 years!


Sports Gossip, Sexy WAGs, NFL and Hot Cheerleaders: BustedCoverage

After Allegations of Misconduct, What on Earth Will This Season of Bachelor in Paradise Look Like?

For the first time ever, ABC’s Bachelor spinoff Bachelor in Paradise is getting people to take it seriously. To the show’s discredit, this was accomplished through dark and unethical circumstances when two contestants’ alcohol-infused sexual encounter (not a first for BiP) lead to an internal investigation and bigger…

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Jezebel

Open Post: Hosted By The Cast Of “American Crime Story’s” Versace Season 

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If you’ve been following the making of Ryan Murphy’s latest bewigged dramatic extravaganza, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, then you’ve probably already seen Darren Criss (Andrew Cunan), Edgar Ramirez (Gianni Versace), Penelope Cruz (Donatella Versace) and Ricky Martin (Gianni’s partner Antonio D’Amico) in character. But Entertainment Weekly got the first official picture of all of them together. That cover is a tacky, opulent 90s fever dream of Day-Glo messiness, and yes I’m going to force my family to recreate it for our 2017 Christmas card, and we don’t even do family Christmas cards! And yes, hair will be pulled and faces will be scratched as we fight over who gets to be the “Donatella.”

ACS’ Versace season, which doesn’t start airing on FX until early next year, is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth. I read Vulgar Favors and Maureen barely writes about Donatella, so I’m not totally sure why she’s a huge character in ACS, but I’m not going to complain. I really want to start off 2018 but taking in the sight and sounds of Penelope Cruz throwing a glass of champagne at a minion while cursing at them in Italian with a Spanish accent. I still don’t even care that the popped pimple on my right nip looks more like Donatella than Penelope does. She looks more like a pissed off and miniaturized Holly Madison.

And well, even if the second season of ACS turns out to be a mess, at least there will be a scene where a Versayce speedo-wearing Ricky Martin rubs his nipples all over Edgar Ramirez. I hope there is. Ryan Murphy, don’t let me (or my loins) down!

Pics: Alexei Hay/Entertainment Weekly

Dlisted

A New ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7 Trailer Has Arrived, and There Are No Words

I’m sorry, but does that sound like hyperbole? By suggesting that there are no words to describe this trailer, am I overselling it? Have I created unmanageable expectations that no mere fantasy drama can live up to? Am I now guilty of over-hyping a two-minute trailer?

Judge for yourself, folks. I think you’ll find that words won’t quite do it justice.

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«It IS RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!» On The Niceness of Season 9 of Drag Race

We are reaching the end of the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, and much has changed since the early days of zero budget, questionable music choices and Vaseline on the camera lens. Now, the reality TV series to find America’s Next Drag Superstar is an Emmy winner, with the most recent season changing broadcasters, moving from the LGBTQ cable network Logo to the more mainstream VH1. Ratings are at an all-time high and the show has never been more visible in the wider (straighter) public consciousness: RuPaul just made the cover of Entertainment Weekly and was part of the Hollywood Reporter‘s reality TV Emmys round-table, alongside Leah Remini and Kris Jenner, not to forget the guest judge appearance in the season’s premiere of a certain Lady Gaga.

The season finale will, for the first time, decide between four queens instead of three, as RuPaul could not bring himself to eliminate anyone in the penultimate episode. This moment of generosity felt organic — this year’s top four are uniformly strong and cover a fascinating range in the drag world — but also highlighted a problem many dedicated fans had with this season: For some, season 9 was just too damn nice. Everyone apologized for shade gone wrong, tight friendships were formed and never challenged, and even the reads felt softened. As one queen joked during one of the season’s many emotional moments, «It is RuPaul’s Best Friend Race!» Many fans felt this betrayed the appeal of the show, where shade is thrown left and right and the competitive wit forms a backbone of drag’s style, as featured in Paris is Burning.

The best of Drag Race can be found in its full-throated embrace of theatricality. You can’t make a show about drag with Kardashian challenges and constant references to yanking your dick backwards with duct-tape and not be wholly aware of that. One thing that the show does better than anything else in the reality genre right now is use its own artifice to further its aims. This is a reality TV show that never forgets it’s a reality TV show. The behind the scenes crew are referenced frequently, and in one episode included in a main challenge; RuPaul’s constant name dropping of sponsored content, episode hashtags and his own music (now available on iTunes) offer one of the more daring drinking games in contemporary pop culture; and the interludes to Untucked, the aftershow that shows the behind the scenes gossip between the queens during the main challenges, show the cameras moving and crew prepping for filming. It’s easy to spot the strings pulling the narratives in place, and audiences embrace the facade, because that’s what drag is, as well as reality TV. Susan Sontag’s pioneering essay on the aesthetics of camp noted how it was a way of consuming pop culture «in quotation marks». Here, Drag Race is pop culture in a hashtag.

All of that can create thrilling TV — like the glorious read of Serena Cha Cha in season 5’s Untucked or Alaska’s meltdown in All-Stars season 2. But now, we’re 9 seasons in, and every queen on that show has seen those episodes. They know how the game works and are less willing to let the veil slip. With the inherent performativity of drag in the context of this show comes the weight of expectation. Much of this season has focused on issues affecting the LGBTQ world — Charlie Hides breaking down in tears recounting the loss of a number of friends during the AIDS crisis, Sasha Velour talking about eating disorders, Peppermint’s difficulties while travelling to Russia as a trans woman — and emphasised the show’s standing as a pillar of the community. Alongside that is the show’s awareness of how it can and must appeal to younger viewers as a potential lifeline. The importance of this cannot be downplayed. Representation matters, now more than ever in an America living under the rule of insidious homophobia and transphobia, and that’s a reality that weighs heavily on the bejewelled wig of every queen this season. The necessity to harbour a safe and open discourse has come before some catty jokes.

Reality infringes on the filming of the show in several ways (the queens are mostly cut off from the world during production), but when the material comes to air, there’s a whole new level of the messiness of the real world to deal with. Social media plays a major part in the show, which leverages that online buzz to great effect and brings a potent brand of youthful enthusiasm to the table. Like any fandom, there are good things and bad, but there’s always been something sad about a show that preaches acceptance and community having a fanbase so toxic. Many queens have talked about receiving harassment and death threats from over-zealous fans because of a perceived slight or incident on the show that put them in a bad light. The artifice of the show is evident but the goings-on are still real enough for some to take it very personally. Any queen with the villain narrative, however weak — Phi Phi O’Hara, Darienne Lake, Roxxxy Andrews — has admitted to receiving countless death threats, particularly if they are seen as slighting a fan favourite. This season, both Alexis Michelle and Nina Bonina Brown received such a barrage of abuse that they were forced to briefly lock down their social media accounts. Their crime: Lasting longer on the show than season stand-out Valentina. This is an issue that came up in the season reunion, with both Alexis and Shea Coulee calling Valentina out for her seeming refusal to call her fans off, and it’s a bigger issue the show has tried to deal with. That’s easier said than done, and hardly helped when the site in question is more concerned with the shape of a user’s profile pic than whether or not it contains Nazi material. All a queen can do is play the positive game and hope they don’t cross the one contestant elevated to deity by the fans.

There have been moments that echoed back to the shade of episodes past. Both Alexis Michelle and Eureka had the burgeoning of villain narratives, but Eureka’s was hampered by an early exit, pre-empted by apologies to her fellow queens, while Alexis was too painfully self-aware of her own insecurities to come across as a fun antagonist. Both she and Nina Bonina Brown had evident issues with self-esteem and anxieties, with the latter open in interviews about her struggle with depression. The show, as empathetic and carefully controlled as it is, still stumbled in depicting Nina’s issues in a manner that fully conveyed their seriousness and didn’t just paint her as a Debbie Downer. The other queens tried to tread carefully, but as humans are prone to doing, sometimes patience wears thin, and so the feud story is formed. The natural inclination of the reality TV mould is to push such elements into an easily categorised narrative: Alexis the «bitch», Eureka the Hater, Nina the misery guts. Combine that difficulty with a group of queens who can’t drop the knowledge that they’re being filmed for a million viewers and the tone feels very different from seasons past.

Perhaps that’s why this has felt so calm and friendly and more muted compared to the show in its prime. That’s not to say it’s been a bad season: The queens have been strong, the challenges fun, some of the lip-syncs legendary, and the emotions very real. Any of the four queens in the final would make a worthy winner of the crown (although my money is on Sasha). During the reunion, the tension amongst certain queens was palpable, and it was hard to deny the effect severe public scrutiny and unreachable expectations had on them. For 40 minutes, the veil dropped. There’s no misery or shame in RuPaul’s Drag Race embracing such a practiced form of niceness, but one can’t help but feel that it didn’t have much of a choice either.

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‘Bill Nye Saves The World’ Gets A Second Season Thanks To The Haters

Science guy, Bill Nye has become an unexpected center to a political firestorm ever since he dared to proclaim global warming is a thing. Naturally, he addressed the issue on the first season of his Netflix series Bill Nye Saves The World, much to the chagrin of science-deniers and conservative blowhards. But the kid show star turned advocate wasn’t through yet. He supported LGBTQA+ rights with an episode about sex, sexual orientation, and gender. And right-wing Twitter was more fired up than a tiki torch at a Richard Spencer rally. But if these bigots and trolls thought bitching in tweets would stop Nye or scare Netflix away from giving him a second season, well, they proved even dumber than they seemed.

Not only has Netflix announced a second season of Bill Nye Saves The World, but they’re crediting these haters for it!

«If Twitter is any indication, the world still needs saving,» the ad teases. And our childhood hero is ready to be our champion once more.

Let’s do this.

Kristy Puchko met Bill Nye, and it was rad.

Pajiba

What Is The Greatest SEASON Of Television Drama Ever?

I’ve been planning on doing this post for a while, and had parked the title in The Overlords vault as a placeholder, and when I popped in today to actually write it, these raggamuffins had already rogue’d in to make a case:

[Ed.’s note: *Courtney scurries in, whispers «Damages Season 1» into the wind, scurries out*]

[Ed.’s note: Seth has finished this entry for you.]

The Wire, Season 4. There is nothing else. GTFO and go the fuck home.

[Ed.’s note: Dustin has amended Seth’s note]

Six Feet Under, Season 1: Jesus Christ, what’s wrong with you people? It’s OBVIOUS.

*******

My first reaction, besides charmed laughter is how much we miss Courtney. Where are you? Come hoooooome!

That said, this is obviously a very untidy premise. So so so many good shows, especially in our lifetime. How can you pick just one show? It’s impossible. And now, more than that, you have to choose one season?

Well the good news is that the criteria gets to be decided by you. The only hard rule is: dramas, not comedies (we’ll do that later).

Without further ado, the nominees:

The Sopranos — Season 6

Or is it season one? How important was Junior or Ma Soprano?

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Firefly — Season 1

It’s not a drama! Tell that to Inara as she watched Mal with Nandi. This show fucking holds up. Probably the worst cancellation in entertainment history.

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Deadwood — Season 2

I mean, tough to go wrong with any season.

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The West Wing — Season 2

A tour de force of political television. Did you love the Sam Seaborn years or were you a fan of the later stuff?

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The Wire — Season 4

As a Stringer Bell guy, I’d lean toward earlier seasons, but Seth will dock my paycheck if I pick a different one. I get why people liked season 4 but I couldn’t get into it. Bite me, Seth.

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Damages — Season 1

Haven’t seen it. People love it.

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Friday Night Lights — Season 1

Maybe the best overall show in TV history. How do you pick a favorite season? #TexasForever

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Generation Kill — Season 1

Haven’t seen it. People love it.

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The Shield — Season 5

An under-appreciated show that changed so much about what we watch on television. Several amazing seasons.

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NYPD Blue — Season 3

A powerful season on an iconic show, but did it get better or worse as time went on?

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Rome — Season 2

Or was it season 1? How many shows can say every season was phenomenal?

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Dexter — Season 4

Aaaand after that it completely shit the bed.

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Shameless — Season 2

Another one with multiple amazing options.

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The Leftovers — Season 3

Gets a tiny bump over Season 2, but it’s close…

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Lost — Season 1

Or was it season 2? Or season 4?

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Six Feet Under — Season 1

Tough to pick from so many astounding seasons.

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Mad Men — Season 4

Or the final season?

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Game of Thrones — Season 6

Or was it Season 1? Or season 2? Or season 3?

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Homeland — Season 1

Or was it season 2? How much Dana Brody can you take?

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E.R. — Season 1

Or was it season 4?

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Boomtown — Season 1

Like Firefly, a single season. Cancelled too quickly. One of the greatest title sequences.

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Justified — Season 2

Or is it season 6?

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Breaking Bad — Season 5

Every season is powerful. Which Walter White do you prefer? Pre-Heisenberg or post-Heisenberg?

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What show did we miss? M*A*S*H? Rectify? House of Cards? Miami Vice? Mr. Robot? UnReal (season 1 obvs)? Early The Good Wife? Felicity? Babylon 5? Is there a best season of Dr. Who? Or Sons of Anarchy? Or Boardwalk Empire? Or Oz? Or The X-Files? Or Twin Peaks? Or St. Elsewhere? Or Dynasty?

What show did we get right, but with the wrong season?

Jump into the comments to let us know!

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‘House of Cards’ Season 5 Is a Bloody, Addictive Mess

One of myriad problems raised by the Trump Presidency (a low priority problem, to be sure) is that so much of what happened leading up to and following the election has been — in a sense — normalized. I have lived through quite a few Presidential campaigns in my life, and while the promise of drama almost always exists, it usually fizzles out on election day, that 2000 election notwithstanding (I will note, however, that America was strangely serene during those days between the election and when the Supreme Court gave the Presidency to George W. Bush, no doubt because neither of the candidates in the 2000 election inspired much passion on either side of the aisle). But the 2016 election lived up to and exceeded anyone’s wildest expectations for drama, and in the Trump era, it’s now expected as a normal course of business.

For political dramas, the end result is that storylines have to be pushed beyond their breaking point to sustain as much drama as real-world politics. The West Wing would no longer work in this political climate, which is why we have Designated Survivor, which is The West Wing set against the backdrop of a terrorist attack that killed nearly every member of all three branches of government.

Likewise, it’s not enough for the fifth season of House of Cards to present a close Presidential race that isn’t decided until days after the election, as in the 2000 election. In House of Cards, President Underwood — faced with certain electoral defeat — manufactures a constitutional crisis that drags on for months. Terrorist attacks are staged, more or less. Polling stations are closed down. The election is thrown to the House of Representatives, and even after that, a re-vote is required to settle the matter. In the meantime, the country is run by the Vice President, who happens to be Underwood’s wife, who only gained the position by virtue of what can only be described as a political caper. And that’s just the first few episodes of this season of House of Cards before Underwood retakes his Presidency, which is immediately thrown back into chaos. Oh, fuck it: House of Cards kills off some more characters, too, because the popularity of Game of Thrones requires it.

It’s an exhausting season of television to watch, all the moreso because House of Cards rarely provides big, satisfying moments. The series often builds storylines toward big dramatic confrontations, which are then glossed over in a time-jump or dealt with in a backroom deal or election that takes place offscreen. The problem is particularly egregious this season, after the writers put themselves into a corner with an impeachment hearing and then seemingly invented a twist that would explain away the many, many inconsistencies and narrative black holes the show took us through this year. Indeed, even when there are victories, there are no celebrations in House of Cards, in part, because there are no characters for whom we can root. They’re all awful. Every goddamn last one of them.

The storylines, however, seem almost beside the point in House of Cards. This show is almost entirely a showcase for Kevin Spacey to deliver folksy colloquialisms, rage at Cabinet members and Congresspeople, and pontificate to the camera. Meanwhile Robin Wright delivers her lines with a cold, clipped efficiency designed to ensure that no one will ever feel anything for her beyond an appreciation for her ability to shut down an argument with a few well chosen words or an icy stare that could wilt the sun.

Yet, as messy and nonsensical as the plotlines have become, and as predictable as the actions of the characters are, House of Cards remains inexplicably as addictive as ever. It’s a series that always holds the carrot stick tantalizingly within reach, but never lets the viewers take a bite. The pursuit, however, is where the fun lies in Cards. We spend 13 conflicted hours each year, hoping that the Underwoods will finally get their comeuppance, while secretly praying that they will continue to escape it. They’re a fun couple to hate, so much so that a show of humility or an ounce of passion might constitute a character assassination. The moment we feel anything beyond a loathing respect for the Underwoods is the moment House of Cards stops being fun.

The way the writers continue to pin themselves into corners suggests that that moment may arrive sooner rather than later. Indeed, after this year’s season finale, there’s not much room left in which to maneuver.

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