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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Finale Recap: “Mother’s Mercy”

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What a happy, uplifting episode! Arya gets her sweet revenge, Jaime and Myrcella have a bonding moment, and everyone’s OTP is finally reunited. (Varion 4eva!!!!) I feel totally satisfied by “Mother’s Mercy” and fully prepared to go ten months without any follow-up to that final shot. Just kidding! Nothing matters and everyone we love will die and/or have a stranger’s penis waved at them as part of a public shaming ritual one …Read More

Let’s Overanalyze These ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Finale Photos!

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Starting Sunday at 10 PM Eastern, HBO will cruelly deprive us of fresh #content to anticipate, criticize, and logic into elaborate metaphors for climate change for ten whole months. The gap between Game of Thrones seasons is long and full of terrors, so before Sunday’s finale, we’re taking every chance to comb through every maddening frame of this series while we still can. Luckily, HBO just released pictures of this week’s finale that hint at the fallout from Episode 9’s stadium-burner. Here’s what we got out of these eight stills.
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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Episode 9 Recap: ‘The Dance of Dragons’

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Game of Thrones is an ambitious show, in controversy as much as anything else. Why settle for setting the blogosphere ablaze like Drogon in a fighting pit when you can…well, set the blogosphere ablaze like this episode’s less triumphant, more stomach-churning use of fire? Fans have approached the show’s depiction of sexual violence with scrutiny—some justified, some excessive—for years. “The Dance of Dragons” suggests, sometimes explicitly, that we broaden our focus to all forms of violence in this grim, gory universe. Whether this is a trollish jab at the online hornets’ nest or an earnest attempt to make watching as difficult as it should be will depend on how much goodwill each viewer has left.
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HBO’s ‘VICE’ Takes on Campus Rape: Will Public Shaming Force Schools to Take the Epidemic Seriously?

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Campus rape is shaping up to be the one of the biggest culture war flash points of 2015. A varied group of young activists, politicians, and a performance artist are advocating on the side of survivors — while a group of naysayers ranging from media skeptics to misogynist trolls on claim the “epidemic” of campus rape is widely overblown.

Enter HBO’s VICE and correspondent, Gianna Toboni, who decided to find out “why so many students feel that they’re not being kept safe” on American campuses, in a segment which airs tomorrow night. The series, which is typically either praised for the boldness or ridiculed for the foolishness of its forays into international danger zones, isn’t typically associated with American campuses. But, as Toboni told me on the phone, “at the start of every season, we look at what the biggest issues in the world are. And for us, safety on American campuses was on the top of the list.”
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How I Got Addicted to ‘Entourage,’ a Voyeuristic Show About Entitled Assholes

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In anticipation of the June release of its unnecessary big-screen adaptation, I binge-watched the entire Entourage television series. I feel horrible about watching eight seasons — 96 episodes — of HBO’s Ed-Hardy T-shirt of a television show, but I feel even worse about what I discovered toward the end: There was actually something strangely comforting about the entire process.
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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 5 Episode 8 Recap: “Hardhome”

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As we count down the seconds until episode director Miguel Sapochnik’s attachment to some incredibly lucrative action franchise is announced, let us wonder: where the hell has this show been? Remember when Theon inspired even a sliver of emotional investment, or when Tyrion got to actually use his brain, or when a giant action sequence turned out to be worth the budget and screen time? Well, we sure do now! “Hardhome” exhibits all of this show’s best qualities, reminding exasperated viewers like me why we’ve kept the faith through missteps and midseason slumps. Not only did Game of Thrones give us a surprise sequel to “Blackwater” and “The Watchers on the Wall”; it also got back into its old-school groove with some character work, both before and during the final battle. 
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