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‘The Walking Dead’ Review: Negan Finally Explains Himself In ‘The Big Scary U’

8 hours ago

Whose Episode Is It?

It’s a Negan episode. Wait, don’t go! It’s actually much better than it sounds! In fact, “The Big Scary U” is not only the best episode of Season 8, it might be better than any episode from Season 7. And it manages this feat by simply giving Negan some depth and motivation, an actual character for us to consider, instead of a one-note psychopath. It also gives poor Jeffrey Dean Morgan something to do other than bluster, and he admirably rises to the occasion.

“The Big Scary U” also goes a long way in confirming that this season will finally seriously address the moral costs of living in the zombie apocalypse, as it both establishes Negan’s philosophy and questions Rick’s methodology. It even manages to address this in different storylines involving multiple characters, which is a rarity for the standard recent “Walking Dead »

- Jeff Stone

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‘The Problem with Apu’: Hari Kondabolu Doesn’t Want to Punish ‘The Simpsons,’ but He’s Looking for a Shift in the System

8 hours ago

For a movie meant to start conversations, “The Problem with Apu” follows its own advice and includes plenty of its own. In his search for answers about the origins, impact, and continued inclusion of “The Simpsons” character Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Hari Kondabolu gives over much of the runtime of his new truTV documentary to his talks with South Asian performers and professionals about how Apu has affected not just their careers, but their lives.

Kondabolu’s film argues that as a character, Apu isn’t just a vehicle for promoting misguided and harmful stereotypes about South Asian people. For him, it’s a symptom of a system that never had anyone at the table to explain why the Kwik-e-Mart owner might be a caricature that would fundamentally shape understanding of the South Asian-American experience for everyone from playground bullies to well-intentioned businessmen.

This need for an honest evaluation of what Apu might represent, »

- Steve Greene

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‘Outlander’ Review: Tumultuous Waters Rip Claire and Jamie Apart

9 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for “Outlander” Season 3 Episode 10, “Heaven & Earth.”]

Unrequited, Requited Love

Following last week’s cliffhanger, Claire and Jamie spent the entirety of “Heaven & Earth” separated as Claire battled the typhoid outbreak on the British ship that kidnapped her and Jamie was locked up below on the Artemis for trying to go after his wife. Given how little there was for Jamie to do under those circumstances (other than to brood over his loss), we were forced to navigate the duo’s relationship through monologues and voice-overs. Or, in the case of Claire, the love part of this love story survived through sheer speculation about what might happen to Jamie once all parties reach Jamaica.

Obviously, trouble follows this couple no matter what country (or open body of water) they find themselves in, but it was nice to take a break from that story in order to let each character breathe a little and come into their own. »

- Amber Dowling

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