HBO

‘Girls’ Season 3 Finale Recap: “Two Plane Rides”

Acceptance letters’ great virtue is making life seem uncomplicated. Just for a second, getting into one’s top choice college or law school or, in Hannah’s case, MFA program feels like the solution to all of one’s problems. The piece of paper Hannah delicately tapes together is her own personal Golden Ticket, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop is her chocolate factory. “I got in” is a rare rush of pure validation, a reassurance that all of Hannah’s temper tantrums in the name of creative freedom were worth it and that her dreams of being a capital-W Writer aren’t all hot air. It’s no wonder that our final glimpse of Hannah for the next year or so is her clutching that letter for dear life. The rest of her life is far less reassuring and far more messy. … Read More

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‘Game of Thrones’ Characters and Their Muppet Counterparts

Muppets Most Wanted hit theaters over the weekend, taking audiences on a world tour while the Muppets become embroiled in another crazy caper — this time involving a European jewel heist. The dastardly goings-on in the new movie have us jonesing for the backstabbing, betrayal, and bloody battles within the Seven Kingdoms of HBO’s Game of Thrones. With the premiere of Season 4 right around the corner, we couldn’t resist a little comparison between the Muppets family and the houses of… Read More

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A ‘Game of Thrones’ Newbie Braves the Show’s Barclays Center “Epic Fan Experience”

Here is what I know about Game of Thrones: Peter Dinklage is in it, there is some incest (a lot of incest?), and there is a throne. At first I thought this was a metaphorical throne, but a Parks and Recreation episode taught me that it’s an actual, tangible throne that you can conveniently buy online. I have never seen an episode of the show, though it’s possible the number of GIFs I’ve seen on Tumblr add up to a full hour of the program, but I still went to HBO’s Game of Thrones “Epic Fan Experience” at the Barclays Center last night because, why not? I love watching television with other people, and I love watching new shows. I’m not sure the event would qualify as “epic” despite how many posters reiterated this description but it was something of an experience. … Read More

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We Need Lisa Kudrow’s ‘The Comeback’ Now More Than Ever

Lisa Kudrow’s 2005 series, The Comeback, was the story of Valerie Cherish, a washed-up sitcom star (from the hilariously terrible I’m It!), coming back onto screens and the hearts of millions (so she thought) in a sexy-young-folks-hanging-out comedy called Room and Board. Unbeknownst to Valerie — who’s still big, of course, it’s the pictures that got small — her role is not sexy (that quotient is filled with actors like Trophy Wife‘s Malin Ackerman and Twilight‘s Kellan Lutz); she is, er, the “board,” as the walk-on wacky landlord with a catchphrase: “I don’t want to see that!” … Read More

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Will HBO’s Quiet Gem ‘Doll & Em’ Find the Audience It Deserves?

It’s a common dream to work with your best friend. If you have plenty of fun hanging out together, why not hang out more? Work can be rough, and having your best friend next to you to joke around can make the day go faster. It’s a fun dream, but it’s not always a fun reality. The reality is that too much of one person can become incredibly irritating. You are too close to each other too often and you can’t catch a break. Sometimes you become competitive or resentful. That’s the surface gist of Doll & Em, a quiet and quick, but generally pleasant show. … Read More

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What the ‘Veronica Mars’ Flixster Fail Tells Us About Big Media and the Web

Happy Monday, Marshmallows — did you enjoy the Veronica Mars movie that you paid for? Were you thrilled to see Ms. Veronica back in action? Were your expectations met w/r/t the Logan vs. Piz conundrum? Were you delighted by its “everybody’s back, plus James Franco!” casting? Most importantly, were you, y’know, able to watch the movie? As we noted Friday, Warner Brothers made the dubious decision to make the digital reward promised to Kickstarter backers available only via their Flixster app and Ultraviolet service, an interface that is, to put it mildly, problematic. (To put it less mildly: it blows.) And your film editor wasn’t the only one kicking and screaming over the endless logins and failed downloads; by 11:30 Friday night, director/creator Rob Thomas was emailing us with fixes and apologies. But was it too little, too late? … Read More

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‘Girls’ Season 3 Episode 11 Recap: “I Saw You”

Demanding what one needs in a relationship is a tricky business. Is Adam allowed to ask for space, if that’s what he needs? Sure. But is Hannah obligated to suppress how upset that request makes her, or the anxieties it provokes for her about the state of Hannah-and-Adam? Is Adam allowed to say that he needs Hannah not just to let him move out—he needs her to embrace it? Make no mistake: Hannah pulls some grade-A shenanigans this episode that are 100% her fault. The source of that desire to act out, though, is her boyfriend, who’s snapped out of the knight-in-shining-armor phase he entered during last season’s finale and reverted back to the not-so-lovable asshole we knew back in Girls‘s early days. … Read More

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Gloria Steinem on HBO’s ‘Paycheck to Paycheck’: “We Should Be Mad As Hell”

If there’s anything to be taken away from the HBO documentary Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert, it’s that as a country, America — the ideals and opportunity that our very constitution is based on — has failed. Our failure is detailed in Paycheck to Paycheck, directed by Shari Cookson and Nick Doob and produced through Maria Shriver’s new project The Shriver Report, which portrays the life of a 30 year-old woman and member of the working poor, Katrina Gilbert. From March 17-24, Paycheck to Paycheck will be available for free viewing on HBO.com, ShriverReport.org, and YouTube. … Read More

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‘True Detective’ Was a Case Study in the Drawbacks of TV Recap Culture

Now that 48 hours have passed and HBO Go is fully recovered, it’s safe to assume that most of the millions of people attempting to watch the True Detective finale have done so by now. After weeks of anticipation, crazy co-star Oscar speeches, and increasingly elaborate theories from the Internet hive mind, the general consensus (although much of the Flavorwire staff dissents) is that the final hour of HBO’s latest powerhouse was, well… not what fans hoped it would be. And inevitably, disappointment with True Detective‘s final hour translates into disappointment with True Detective as a whole. Nic Pizzolatto’s brainchild is still a wonderful way to spend eight hours, of course, but it’s also a cautionary tale in making any definitive judgements about a show — especially a show like this one — before it’s over. … Read More

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