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‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 5 Review: A New Star Emerges In the Show’s Darkest Season Yet

2 hours ago

[Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for the final episodes of “Orange is the New Black” Season 4, which premiered in 2016. It does not contain spoilers for the new upcoming season.]

It’s official: “Orange is the New Black” is never allowed to call itself a comedy, ever again.

When it comes to awards consideration, the Netflix series about a women’s prison has yo-yoed between the drama and comedy categories since the beginning, and tonally the show has always existed in the realm we usually describe as “dramedy.” But while that has meant “Orange” was capable of offering up great moments of hilarity as well as tear-jerking pathos, it also means that the show’s tone has always been its biggest creative struggle, especially in later years, as it’s taken bigger and bigger swings.

Read More: ‘Orange Is the New Black’ Season 5 Trailer: Inmates Run the Prison After Rebellion at Litchfield Penitentiary

Season 4 was perhaps the most challenging in this respect, as the final two episodes pushed the show into new territory after Poussey (Samira Wiley) died at the hands of a guard. »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘The Handmaid’s Tale’: Why Episode 7 Took On a Different Point of View to Reveal ‘The Other Side’

5 hours ago

[Editor’s note: Spoilers for “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 1 Episode 7, “The Other Side,” follow.]

It’s one of the biggest unanswered questions of Margaret Atwood’s novel “The Handmaid’s Tale” — what happened to the heroine’s husband, Luke, after their failed attempt to escape the religious dystopia in which she’s now imprisoned?

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Cast Reveals What It Feels Like to Destroy America and Become Gilead’s Power Couple (Spoilers)

For over 30 years, fans of the book have learned to cope with this uncertainty, but in the current Hulu adaptation executive produced by Bruce Miller, we get an answer in Episode 7: Luke (O-t Fagbenle) lives. Not only that, “The Other Side” chronicles exactly what happened to him after he and his wife (named June in the series, played by Elisabeth Moss) were separated. It’s a brutal story of survival that does have something resembling a happy ending — at least, as far as that term can be »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Twin Peaks’: Matthew Lillard on His Breakout Role and Joining David Lynch’s Dysfunctional Family

15 hours ago

Last week’s premiere of “Twin Peaks” brought with it no shortage of surprises, but here’s probably the most unpredictable one we witnessed: a captivating performance by Matthew Lillard as William Hastings, a high school principal accused of murder, whose wife is tied up in the supernatural mystery surrounding Agent Dale Cooper’s (Kyle MacLachlan) evil doppleganger.

Read More: ‘Twin Peaks’ Guide to Returning Characters and How They’re Helping – or Hurting – Cooper: Parts 1 & 2 (An Ongoing List)

Lillard’s career began in the early ’90s with roles in “Serial Mom” and “Hackers,” and his reputation is definitely rooted in some variation of comedy, from horror comedies like “Scream” to the live-action “Scooby-Doo” films (and subsequent animated projects, for which Lillard still provides the voice of Shaggy).

Twin Peaks,” while never lacking in funny moments, marks a bit of a departure for the character actor. That might be why, at the premiere last Friday, »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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‘Silicon Valley’ Review: Everyone’s Ready for Life After Erlich, Even While He’s Still Around and Making Deals

16 hours ago

Given the amount of turnover and plot machinations that go into the average season of “Silicon Valley,” more than a few episodes feel like the show hitting the reset button.

Last week’s “The Blood Boy” played out like a midseason finale, with Gavin Belson bidding farewell to his part in the Pied Piper-ssaince. Saying adieu to his part in Richard’s new internet, Gavin the enemy-turned-ally pulled his own version of the Terminator goodbye, ascending the steps of his private plane having just turned over his patent to Richard instead of lowering himself into a vat of sacrificial molten metal.

Read More: ‘Silicon Valley’: How Post-Election-Night Improv Led to Season 4’s Greatest Moment So Far

But earlier this week, news broke that another poster-worthy cast member would be leaving as well, with reports that T.J. Miller would not be returning for “Silicon ValleySeason 5. As a result, Sunday »


- Steve Greene

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‘The Leftovers’: Justin Theroux and The Surprise Guest Stars of Episode 7 on Reuniting For the End of the World

16 hours ago

[Editor’s note: The following interview contains spoilers for the “The Leftovers” Season 3, Episode 7, “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother).” Moreover, what follows likely won’t make a lick of sense unless you’ve seen the episode, which cannot be succinctly explained.]

On Sunday night, the President, Vice President, and Secretary of Defense secretly plotted to destroy the world — and succeeded.

No, this isn’t a breaking news story — not yet, anyway — and the world eviscerated by nuclear war luckily wasn’t even real in the fictional world of “The Leftovers.” In the most recent episode, aptly titled “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother),” the American political trio destroyed the afterlife as we know it in order to save Kevin’s soul, and playing the titular roles were Justin Theroux, as President Kevin Harvey, Ann Dowd, as Secretary of Defense Patti Levin, and Liv Tyler, as VP Meg Abbott.

Read More: ‘The Leftovers’ Review: President Justin Theroux Unveils the Purpose of Season 3 in an Inspired Penultimate Episode

While the well-hidden reunion was cherished by all three actors, both Theroux and Tyler made special declarations to their co-star. »


- Ben Travers

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‘The Leftovers’ Review: President Justin Theroux Unveils the Purpose of Season 3 in an Inspired Penultimate Episode

16 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “The Leftovers” through Season 3, Episode 7, “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother).”]

Immediate Reaction

The only thing crazier than going back to the afterlife a second time is returning a third time, and “The Most Powerful Man in the World (and His Identical Twin Brother)” was plenty crazy.

But damn if it wasn’t also magnificent.

“International Assassin,” the eighth episode of Season 2, first took us to what’s been casually referred to as everything from purgatory to “the hotel”; a place not of this world but not quite of another, either. It was an ambitious, unprecedented piece of television that dared to show us a glimpse of what “The Leftovers” is all about: life, in whatever form, after death.

Mimi Leder and Damon Lindelof took us back to that place for a briefer stay in the Season 2 finale, when John Murphy shot Kevin. Again he died. Again he woke up in a bathtub. But rather than assassinate Patti by pushing her »


- Ben Travers

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‘Twin Peaks’ Episode 4 is a Gift Filled with Answers — and A Warning About Wanting More

17 hours ago

In the minds of its viewers, “Twin Peaks,” like many TV shows, is defined by its creator and its lead. There’s a magic combination of those two names when seen together: “The Sopranos” has David Chase and James Gandolfini. “Breaking Bad” has Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston. “The Leftovers” has Damon Lindelof and Carrie Coon. Ok, Ms. Coon ties with Justin Theroux, similar to how David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are co-leads (and requisite parts) in Chris Carter’s “The X-Files,” but the point remains: A creator and a lead are great signifiers for television fans, and their presence carries meaning.

[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for “Twin Peaks” Episode 4, “Part 4.”]

Turns out, it carries even more meaning when you see them together, on screen, in character, having a conversation. Thus was the case for David Lynch and Kyle MacLachlan at the end of “Twin Peaks” “Part 4,” the most recent episode of the new season. In the final scene, »


- Ben Travers

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