Why You Should Watch Hulu’s “Harlots”


Hulu has really stepped up its game recently with its new Hulu Original shows. The latest Hulu Original to debut to critical acclaim was “Harlots,” an 8-episode British period drama TV series that premiered on Hulu at the end of March 2017. The show has been described as “Downton Abbey meets Game of Thrones,” so you can immediately get a sense of why viewers have been so enthusiastic about the show. Here are all the reasons why you should watch Hulu’s “Harlots.”

#1: “Harlots” delivers powerful female performances with a uniquely female point of view

One reason why this Hulu show has gathered so much acclaim is because it’s a show written by women, with female performers in the starring role. Unlike other shows, which might have used scenes of lust and sexual desire to drive forward a very male-influenced narrative, “Harlots” is very much a character-driven show with a very steady narrative plotline that’s informed by a female perspective on London’s famous 18th century courtesans.

The role that everyone is talking about belongs to Samantha Morton, who plays brothel madam Margaret Wells in late 18th century London. It’s a little more complicated than just that, however, since Margaret Wells is also the mother of two young girls, Charlotte Wells (played by Jessica Brown Findlay) and Lucy Wells (played by Eloise Smyth), who themselves are being forced into a life of prostitution.

Layered on top of that, we find out very early on in “Harlots” that Margaret Wells herself was thrust into a life of prostitution at a very young age by her alcoholic mother, who essentially sold her for a pair of new shoes. She’s now struggling to meet ends meet, and one of the early episodes of the show ends with her grappling with the decision of how to auction off her youngest daughter’s virginity to the highest bidder.

Things are not going to be easy, and that’s why it’s so important that we get a female, rather than male, perspective on these matters. What “Harlots” has in its favor is the “female gaze” (rather than the oft-described “male gaze”) – the show has female creators (Alison Newman and Moira Buffini), female directors, and female producers. The show itself was inspired by another female, Hallie Rubenhold, who created “The Covent Garden Ladies.”

#2: “Harlots” offers plenty of intrigue, plotting and ruthlessness

The dramatic tension at the heart of “Harlots” concerns the struggle of Margaret Wells to carve out a better life for her daughters. Part of that involves a move across town to a more upscale London neighborhood, where her clients can become notable members of the British upper class. That move, however, immediately pits her against her former boss, the madam Lydia Quigley (played by Leslie Manville).

That’s not going to be easy, though, since nobody enjoys having new competitors encroach on their turf, least of all when it concerns the ability to make a considerable amount of money from prostitution. That struggle between the two madams – Margaret Wells and Lydia Quigley – constitutes another strong narrative plotline. And the dynamic performances from both of them are quite outstanding.

In many ways, the battle between the two rival brothels is as ruthless as a battle between two rival mafia clans. The tactics may be different, but the effect is the same. In one episode, there’s an attempt to use religious reformers as a way to shut down the upstart brothel and keep it from branching out into a more profitable neighborhood.


#3: “Harlots” is not your standard 18th century period drama

If you were expected a slightly more lurid version of Jane Austen with “Harlots,” think again. Whereas many of Jane Austen’s works deal with the polite society of British lords and the unique dilemmas facing the members of the landed gentry, “Harlots” is firmly rooted in the gritty reality of a very debauched London.

As many viewers have pointed out, this realism is really what makes the show stand out. Yes, there is much of the stuffy decorum that we associate with that period, but we also get a glimpse of the poorest layers of society and the desperate measures they must take simply to stay alive. Being forced to sell your youngest daughter into prostitution is not exactly something that you’d encounter with Jane Austen, let alone Charles Dickens. (And, speaking of Dickens, one of the English estates used to film “Harlots” was also used to film BBC’s production of Dickens’ “Great Expectations”)

Thus, if you were expecting plenty of salacious bedroom scenes – or at least, the kinds of nudity we’ve come to expect from “Game of Thrones” – you might need to temper your expectations a bit. You’re just as likely to see depraved scenes of sex in a London alleyway as you are highly edited scenes of courtesans romping around in a stately English manor.

#4: “Harlots” offers insights into socio-economic problems still with us today

As “Harlots” makes clear from the outset, 18th century London was a place where as many as one-fifth of all women made a living by selling sex. There were only two real paths of economic opportunity – become a courtesan or marry well. One of the most popular reads of the era was called Harris’s List of Covent Garden Ladies, which was essentially a ratings guide of the city’s best courtesans and how to find them. So you can get a sense of the debauchery of the era.

But how far off are those socio-economic troubles from those we see in Western society today? Go to any large metropolitan area in the United States, and we see the same stark division of society into the “haves” and the “have nots.” For some ethnic and racial groups, there is also a very limited number of paths to economic opportunity, such as playing sports or selling drugs. Any other path is really a dead-end.

As we see in “Harlots,” prostitution is not glamorous, and the sex is not “sexy.” 18th century London was a nasty, brutish place, and so you can almost excuse the machinations and intrigue of the two brothel madams at the heart of the story. This is a powerful TV show, and one that has earned all of its critical acclaim. You really should be watching Hulu’s “Harlots.”


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Jodie Whittaker is the New Doctor Who!

In mid-July, the BBC announced the identity of the new Dr. Who, driving fans wild with anticipation about what’s going to happen with the beloved British science fiction series in 2018. That’s because, for the first time in the more than 50-year history of the show, the BBC selected a woman (Jodie Whittaker) to play the role of Dr. Who. Here’s a list of what else to expect next season from “Doctor Who”…

Jodie Whittaker will help to reinvent “Doctor Who” as the first-ever female Time Lord

It’s now official: Peter Capaldi will leave his role as Dr. Who at the end of the year. According to tradition, the last show of the year is always on Christmas, so on December 25, “Doctor Who” will officially transition over to a new era. According to what we know so far, that episode will feature a regeneration scene, in which Peter Capaldi will disappear from the show and be replaced by the actress Jodie Whittaker.

As you might imagine, the selection of a female lead to play the new Dr. Who has resulted in a tsunami of fan opinion online. Most of the critical reception has been positive. However, some fans of the long-time series are at least apprehensive about what it means to have a female Time Lord at the helm.

The good news is that Jodie Whittaker (best known for her roles in “Broadchurch” and “Black Mirror”) is well aware of what fans are thinking and saying online, and she’s doing her best to calm any fears. In a public statement, Jodie noted, “Fans have been through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.” In other words, if you’ve been a long-time fan of this beloved British sci-fi series, there’s no need to worry.

And, certainly, amongst directors and TV talent, there’s been an outpouring of support for Jodie Whittaker. Charlie Brooker, creator of the hugely popular “Black Mirror” series, simply tweeted out, “Great choice.” And fans have been sharing their opinions online using new hashtags like #Doctor13 making it very easy to see what everyone’s saying. (This will be the 13th Dr. Who, hence the #Doctor13 hashtag)

The nearly 50-year-old show will become bolder than ever before

The selection of Jodie Whittaker as the new Dr. Who is not the only major change coming to the show in 2018. There’s also going to be a new lead executive producer, Chris Chibnall, who will take over for Steven Moffat as the showrunner next year. In an interview, Moffat has voiced his full support for Chibnall and his evolving vision for the show, so anticipation is building.

Moffat says to expect “beautiful dialogue” and an “amazing” show that takes “Doctor Who” in a new direction. Within the BBC, there has been concern that the show was starting to lose its freshness and inventiveness. Top BBC executives have pointed to falling merchandising revenue and the need to inject a new jolt of enthusiasm into this show. Some have described the need for a “total refresh” heading into 2018.

So, from what we can glean from newspaper reports, the BBC is looking for “risk and boldness” next year. They aren’t afraid about bringing in a new executive producer and letting him determine the new look of the show. The choice of Whittaker could just be the beginning of the changes coming. According to rumors, Chibnall has been given a five-year contract to develop the show in a new direction. Chibnall himself is a huge “Doctor Who” fan, so it’s almost a certainty that he will preserve all the best features of the show, while introducing new, fresh perspectives based on his earlier work with the sci-fi series “Torchwood.”

“Doctor Who” is going to reflect the broader change in the cultural zeitgeist

Right now, it’s clear that shows are being developed, created and re-imagined with women in mind. The spectacular summer success of “Wonder Woman,” the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman (Patty Jenkins), has set into motion a number of new initiatives. At one time, the idea of a female-led project or a project starring a female hero meant that it wasn’t possible to get as big an audience as possible. That myth has now been debunked.

And it’s not just “Wonder Woman.” Some “Doctor Who” fans have pointed to the success of “The Hunger Games,” starring Jennifer Lawrence, as further proof that sci-fi films featuring strong female leads can be hugely popular.

The real question, then, is what a new female lead will mean for the plot direction of the show in 2018. Once Peter Capaldi regenerates into Jodie Whittaker, what can we expect to happen? The same battle of good vs. evil may not change, but the tools and approaches might.

The next season of “Doctor Who” is going to appeal to a younger audience

Right now, we don’t have any advance trailers for the new season. No scenes have yet been released because shooting has not yet started. From what we know now, filming on the series will only begin in January 2018, with the new series debuting in autumn 2018. Right now, the next season is expected to be 12 episodes, plus the traditional Christmas special, for a total of 13 episodes.

That means we have more than a year for the “Doctor Who” rumor mill to start. We’ll get a big clue in the Christmas 2017 special, when Jodie Whittaker will get her big debut. Unless you’re a fan of “Broadchurch,” you might not know much about her. She’s a 34-year-old actress from Yorkshire who’s starred in a detective serial. Clearly, the choice of such a young actress is part of a broader strategy to bring in a more youthful audience.

According to BBC, that’s all part of a bold new plan to boost the popularity of the show amongst young kids. That might mean more plot lines that involve topics that are front and center with kids today. Just as time travel fascinated audiences from 40 and 50 years ago, today’s youth are fascinated by topics like artificial intelligence and robots. So what might that mean for the TARDIS?

There are a lot of science fiction programming options out there, and certainly far more than existed more than 50 years ago, when “Doctor Who” first became a sensation. What’s really interesting to note that Charlie Brooker of “Black Mirror” is really supportive of the new show, and he’s generally considered one of the most original and creative thinkers out there.

Other women may play a big role in next season’s “Doctor Who”

If you assume that the new “Doctor Who” will have more of a female point of view and perspective, then it’s only natural to take a closer look at the evolving role of Michelle Gomez. She was one of the first major “Doctor Who” characters to be reinvented as a female character. It was already proven in previous seasons that Time Lords could regenerate as different races and genders. And that’s what made it possible for Michelle Gomez to take on the role of “The Master,” a villain played traditionally by a man.

To reflect the new role of Gomez, the current version of “Doctor Who” recharacterized the villain as “The Mistress.” That move was pulled off without any complications, so maybe fans are just thinking too much about Jodie Whittaker as the new Dr. Who. It will be new to have a female Time Lord, yes, but it’s been very seamless so far to transition some traditionally male roles into female roles.

Chris Chibnall is going to bring a new artistic vision to “Doctor Who”

Chris Chibnall is hardly a newbie to the world of “Doctor Who.” Even though he’s coming over from “Broadchurch,” he has described himself as a lifelong “Doctor Who” fan. So perhaps it’s worth looking over his recent work for clues on how he will produce the next iteration of “Doctor Who.” His work with the sci-fi series “Torchwood” is especially relevant.

Judging from fan reaction online, there’s been a lot of love for Chibnall. Even diehard fans of “Doctor Who” realize that the show was in need of a refresh. Any show – even a classic – can always be improved with some fresh thinking. And Chibnall has shown everyone that he’s really a first-rate showrunner. As Moffat himself has pointed out, Chibnall is coming in a very real advantage because he already has a background as an executive director, so he won’t have to figure things out on the fly. He’s been given a clean slate to deliver a wonderful new “Doctor Who,” and it looks like he’s fully up to the task.

It’s clear that the BBC had so many different directions it could go with the next season of “Doctor Who.” Just check out all the bold-faced names who had been considered for the role of the 13th Doctor: Tilda Swinton, Kris Marshall, Phoebe Waller-Bridge (from the BBC comedy “Fleabag”), and Michaela Coel (from the drama “Chewing Gum’).

Perhaps the best advice about what to expect next season comes from Jodie Whittaker herself, who has commented on her commitment to making this the best “Doctor Who” yet. It looks like she is very focused on building strong fan rapport. She’s been reunited with Chris Chibnall (both from “Broadchurch”), so it’s clear that the two have very good chemistry together. If you’re a “Doctor Who” fan, it’s time to get very excited about what to expect in 2018. This could be the best season yet.

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What to Expect From This Season of “Big Brother”


If it’s summertime, it must be time for another season of “Big Brother!” And this 19th season of “Big Brother” on CBS is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ones yet. Here’s what to expect from this season of “Big Brother.”

Surprise guests

First of, we had the totally unexpected return of Season 18’s runner-up, Paul Abrahamian. We thought that we were going to start the season with 16 players in the BB house, but we got 17! Abrahamian is not only a veteran of all the “Big Brother” alliances and in-fighting of the previous season, he’s also one of the most talked about characters, capable of swinging alliances and really stirring up the pot. Bringing him back was epic.

Surprising eliminations on “Big Brother”

On the opening night premiere of this season’s “Big Brother” we learned that one of the houseguests was going to be evicted less than 24 hours after arriving in the BB house. Like, thanks for playing. And the Night 1 exit turned out be Cameron Heard, the cute young microbiologist who totally couldn’t believe that he was leaving before he’d even had a chance to establish himself in the house.

The ebb and flow of rival alliances on “Big Brother”

Right now, the house is split into two groups of people – the insiders and the outsiders. The person who seems to have the most power right now is Cody Nickson, who was named Head of Household, and had the early power to break any ties in votes for eviction.

And here’s the thing… the first eviction is coming up on July 6 and it’s likely going to require Cody voting to break the tie. From what we know, it looks like the vote is either going to go down 7-5 to evict Jillian Parker (the blonde timeshare sales rep). But not everybody seems willing to vote for who they said they are going to vote for, and that means the final tally could be 6-6. If that happens, then Cody would almost certainly decide to evict Christmas Abbott, who is such a threat to everyone in the BB house.

What makes this event so dramatic are two big reasons. The first reason is that it will be a LIVE eviction ceremony presided over by show host Julie Chen. There have already been all kinds of blog stories written about this, predicting some really amazing outcomes. And the second reason is that it will test “the alliance” to see how strong it really is. It’s almost a certainty that, if Christmas is not voted out of the house, that the first alliance is going to be in a lot of trouble.

Who can you really trust on “Big Brother”?

It looks like Paul Abrahamian is going to play a huge role here. In the first week of the show, he has been working behind the scenes to turn people against Cody and Jessica. If the alliance seems to be fraying at the edges as a result of the first live eviction ceremony, then it could result in a massive change of circumstances for Cody – the person who seemed to be running things with the potential for picking off people at will could find himself getting evicted if he’s not careful! Paul is now safe for 3 weeks, and has totally turned the tables on Cody.

Totally unexplainable events

Put enough strangers into a small enough house, and strange things are going to happen. For example, one strange event that happened within the first two weeks was the surprise exit of Megan Lowder due to an “urgent personal matter.” There have been a number of different reasons offered online about what really happened, but the best explanation offered so far is that Megan had some kind of PTSD-triggered emotional breakdown.

On her bio page, Megan describes herself as a 28-year-old dog walker. But she apparently also worked as some kind of guard in Middle East prisons, so she’s probably seen a lot. You would too, if you worked in Iraq, right? So the buzz among “Big Brother” fans is that Megan “self-evicted” – she couldn’t take the fact that people seemed to be colluding against her, and that triggered some kind of PTSD-based event.

Romances on “Big Brother”

The 19th season is not even two weeks old, and we’re already starting to see the rise of “showmances” – or the short-term relationship between a hot girl and a hot guy as a way of protecting each other. (And it doesn’t hurt things, either, that “temptations” are a big part of this season!)

The first big “showmance,” of course, involves Cody Nickson and Jessica Graf. Cody walks around way too often with his shirt off, and Jessica is a real hot cutie herself, so maybe they really do have feelings for each other. But it’s far more likely that they are only using each other to advance far enough in the show so that they can win.

We’ve already seen why that might be a dangerous idea. Cody Nickson was one of the people pushing the idea for a grand alliance to take down all the “outsiders,” But within two weeks, he was already scheming to play a dirty trick on the alliance and take out some of his strongest rivals. First, he picked Paul for eviction, and then he picked Christmas. So if you were Jessica, would you really trust Cody?

Epic challenges

And, of course, no season of “Big Brother” would be complete without a set of epic challenges. In the premiere episode of the season, this challenge involved a really hardcore fitness challenge, as well as temptations from “snakes” with “poisonous apples” in some kind of demented Garden of Even.

Most of the houseguests seems to be in great physical shape, so it’s likely that future challenges will require more than just being a fitness superstar (Hahaha — just ask Christmas, who calls herself a “fitness badass”). It will take someone who’s smart, clever and able to wrap people around his or her finger.

And it’s likely that people who seem to be doing the best early in the “Big Brother” series are going to find the tables turned on them. After all, if you appear too strong, you’re likely to be targeted by the others. And don’t forget for a minute that Paul Abrahamian is now back in the house. His presence alone almost guarantees that Season 19 is going to be a thrill-a-minute epic fun ride to see who can be the last guy or girl left standing!


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The Latest Improvements From DIRECTV Now


When AT&T launched DIRECTV Now back in November 2016, it had absolutely no idea of how popular the service was going to be. Within the first month, nearly 200,000 subscribers signed up for the service, thanks in part to some exceptionally strong promotional pricing for the service (just $35 per month). But was this a case of expanding too fast, too soon?

As you might imagine, nearly 200,000 brand new subscribers signing up at once put a lot of strain on the service – and that led to a much-publicized outcry about “freezing” and “buffering” problems with the streaming TV service. In layman’s terms, DIRECTV didn’t work as advertised, and it was actually kind of frustrating for users. Since the content was being streamed over the Internet, it meant that the service was bound to be a little bit buggy if there were bandwidth issues. But in the six months since launch, DIRECTV has made a number of notable improvements.

#1: Fixing all the freezing and buffering issues

OK, first things first. AT&T became very concerned about the public outcry over poor or spotty service and decided to do something about it. It’s bad enough when a service doesn’t work as planned – but it’s made doubly worse when that bad service literally becomes a topic of national debate. In some cases, customers were taking their issues to media outlets, or threatening all kinds of actions when AT&T had trouble with refunds.

So AT&T began to phase out all of its promotions and advertising until it had a handle on all the issues. That’s why you’ve probably seen the Bloomberg stories about “flat growth” at DIRECTV Now since March 2017 – well, it was really a case of AT&T not wanting to put even more strain on the system until it had all the technical issues ironed out. And AT&T was very direct about all this, with its executives saying that you wouldn’t be seeing a rollout of a national advertising campaign until all the problems had been fixed.

And guess what happened in June 2017? That’s right, the first-ever DIRECTV Now ad campaign featuring Mark Wahlberg went live. If you haven’t seen the ad on TV by now, you can watch the “All Our Rooms” ad with Mark Wahlberg on YouTube. So you can take the appearance of this new ad in June as a positive sign – it means that AT&T has fixed all the technical issues with DIRECTV Now and is ready to move on.

#2: Coming up with an unbelievable $10 per month pricing offer

Running a national advertising campaign is one way to convince people to sign up for your service. But do you know what’s even more effective? Yes, that’s right, a completely amazing pricing offer! On June 2, AT&T made DIRECTV Now a $10 add-on to the $60 Unlimited Choice plan for wireless. In other words, if you were paying $60 a month for wireless, you could get 60 channels from the DIRECTV Now “Live a Little” service for just $10 more.

At those prices, who wouldn’t want to sign up for DIRECTV Now? One major tech blog said that AT&T was “basically giving away” TV programming to its wireless customers. And the “Live a Little” bundle is actually pretty extensive, covering 60 channels in all. And those channels include the major networks (ABC, NBC, Fox) in addition to some of the very best TV networks, like CNN and CNBC. In other words, this is not a classic “skinny bundle” that the other live streaming TV competitors try to get away with – it’s actually very robust and includes all the very best TV networks.

What’s clever about the $10 pricing is that AT&T is actually still charging customers $35 a month for the service, but then is adding in a $25 “video credit.” So, $35 – $25 = $10. This is because the $10 is just promotional pricing – it’s not going to be the permanent price of the live, streaming service.

#3: Adding in support for Roku

DIRECTV Now is like all the other live streaming TV services in that you need some kind of set-top box to get content for your TV. Not a traditional cable TV box, of course, but a set-top box or similar device from the likes of Amazon (Amazon Fire TV), Google (Chromecast) or Apple (Apple TV). The one service that wasn’t included at launch was Roku.

You can see how that was a major oversight, given the popularity of Roku with so many cord-cutters. So, on May 30, AT&T made DIRECTV available for Roku users. Moreover, it came with a 1-month free trial on Roku. That gave Roku users a very strong incentive to try out the new and improved DIRECTV Now service.
Thus, prior to May 30, a Roku user would have seen icons for the likes of Netflix and Hulu on their screen – but none for DIRECTV Now. That has all changed now – you’ll now see the familiar DIRECTV Now logo anytime you use your Roku device.


#4: Finalizing plans for a cloud DVR

Every live streaming TV service seems to have a No. 1 “most requested item” on the wish list of customers. (In the case of Sling TV, it was a grid format TV guide to see what’s on at any time). Well, in the case of DIRECTV Now, that No. 1 “most requested item” was a cloud DVR.

Think about it – if you are a traditional cable or satellite TV customer, you probably have a box-like DVR next to your TV that’s capable of recording and playing back digital content. Well, there’s no set-top box for live, streaming TV. And you don’t get a DVR with your Apple TV! So that meant fans and customers who signed up for DIRECTV Now were facing a major issue: How do I record digital content without a physical DVR?

The answer to that question, of course, is a cloud DVR. When you use Hulu Live or Playstation Vue, for example, you get a cloud DVR. So, just to keep up with other live streaming TV rivals, DIRECTV Now had to come up with a cloud DVR. It just makes sense, right? So be on the lookout for a DIRECTV Now cloud DVR soon.

#5: Coming up with new subscription plans for customers

When DIRECTV Now launched to so much fanfare back in November 2016, one of the key selling points was the ability to get 100 channels for just $35 per month. If you compared that to what competitors like Sling TV and Playstation Vue were offering, it just blew away anyone else. Really, 100 channels for just $35?

So it was almost inevitable that DIRECTV Now started to come up with new subscription plans for customers. The idea is to provide a lot of value, but not at a price that’s just plain ridiculous. So DIRECTV Now executives had a choice – either jack up the price of the basic package (a decision that was almost certain to cause another outcry from critics), or reduce the number of channels available in the basic package.

DIRECTV Now made the right choice. You now get 60 channels for $35 a month as part of the basic “Live a Little” package. And, to keep getting 100 channels, you now need to pay $60 a month. Both prices are extremely fair, and emblematic of how AT&T is really trying to come up with innovative types of subscription plans for customers.

What’s next for DIRECTV Now?

So, let’s recap all the latest improvements from DIRECTV Now. First and foremost, DIRECTV Now has largely addressed all the freezing and buffering issues that plagued the service when it was first offered. Secondly, DIRECTV Now came up with an unbelievable pricing promotion – just $10 a month! – for customers who sign up for AT&T wireless service.

Thirdly, DIRECTV Now expanded its platform support to include Roku, one of the very most important platforms for cord-cutters. Fourthly, the company came up with a plan to offer cloud DVR service. And, fifthly, the company continues to develop new plans and bundles to appeal to customers.

Based on all that, it’s quite possible that DIRECTV Now is going to start seeing some robust growth in its subscribers. According to the latest data from Bloomberg, DIRECTV Now peaked at 328,000 subscribers in January 2017. It then lost 3,000 subscribers in February. And, in March, subscriber growth was flat. That made sense, of course – March was the last month that AT&T was aggressively offering promotions (like a free Apple TV with a subscription).

So we’re about to see what’s going to happen when all of these latest improvements really start to kick in. It’s quite likely that, based on the acclaim for the new ads starting to run on TV, we’re going to see growth picking up in June and continuing throughout the summer. Based on that, it’s possible to say that AT&T learned its lesson and is now on a really exciting trajectory for future growth with its DIRECTV Now service.


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Meet Brad Pitt – American Movie Celebrity

Without any doubt, Brad Pitt is one of the most famous movie celebrities in the world. For 25 years, he has been acting in some of the popular films ever produced by Hollywood. And, on top of that, his celebrity romances with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie have kept him on the pages of celebrity tabloids on a non-stop basis for nearly two decades.

But life did not start out with Hollywood glamour. Pitt was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Missouri, where he attended high school. He later enrolled at the University of Missouri, where he made up his mind to get involved with the world of film in the mid-1980s. Just two weeks before graduation in 1986, he moved to Los Angeles, determined to get involved in TV and movies.

Early work as a Hollywood actor

From 1987 to 1992, Brad Pitt’s career began to take shape. His first-ever roles in films (“No Way Out, No Man’s Land” and “Less Than Zero”) were actually uncredited. He made guest appearances on TV sitcoms and soap operas, but nothing really hinted at the fame and fortune ahead of him. Perhaps Pitt’s most critically acclaimed performance during that time was his role in the 1990 NBC made-for-TV movie, “Too Young To Die?”, in which he played alongside Juliette Lewis.

Pitt’s breakout performance came in the 1991 cult film “Thelma & Louise.” In this film by Ridley Scott, Pitt played a small-time criminal who had a much talked about love scene with Thelma (played by Geena Davis). Many reviewers now credit that performance with people talking widely about Pitt as a sex symbol.

Then, in 1992, Pitt worked with Robert Redford on “A River Runs Through It,” and received almost universal acclaim for his performance. Many now began to see Pitt as an actor capable of a much larger range of roles. For that, Pitt has always given credit to Robert Redford.

Emergence as a true Hollywood star

In 1994, Pitt had another breakout, career-defining performance. He starred as the vampire Louis de Pointe du Lac in the cult horror film “Interview with the Vampire.” The movie, based on the bestselling book by Anne Rice, featured an ensemble cast of some of the biggest Hollywood names – including Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas. For his part in the movie, Pitt picked up two MTV Movie Awards in 1995.

The following year, Pitt picked up new roles that would begin to define him as one of the most important emerging Hollywood superstars. He had an important performance in the movie “Seven,” playing a detective on the search of a serial killer. That movie also featured Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow, with whom he would later become romantically involved.

But it was his performance in the science fiction movie “12 Monkeys” that really made him into a superstar. He won a Golden Globe award and also picked up his first-ever Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other Oscar-worthy roles soon followed, such as a leading role in the fantasy romance movie “Meet Joe Black.”

Solidifying his role as an iconic actor

The period from 1999-2003 helped to solidify Brad Pitt as one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood. The role that made him into a real star was his portrayal of the anarchist Tyler Durden in “Fight Club” (1999). From there, he began to star side-by-side with some of the biggest names in Hollywood. For example, in 2001, Pitt played alongside Julia Roberts in “The Mexican.” He also co-starred with Robert Redford in “Spy Game.”

Then came “Ocean’s Eleven,” a blockbuster crime heist movie starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia and Julia Roberts. Few could doubt that Pitt was now part of the Hollywood elite. After that, he had a cameo role in George Clooney’s first-ever movie, “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” and became a fixture in the celebrity tabloids.

Superstar A-lister

From 2004 on, Pitt enjoyed a golden age of blockbuster Hollywood film roles. It was no longer the case that he was playing a supporting role or appearing as part of a larger ensemble cast. It was now the case that he could command top billing as a real A-list actor. For example, he appeared as Achilles in the blockbuster film “Troy” in 2004.

In 2005, Pitt made a movie that came to define the way the celebrity tabloids talked about him and his personal life. That movie, of course, was “Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” in which Pitt co-starred with Angelina Jolie. At the time, Pitt was undergoing a divorce with Jennifer Aniston, and rumors persisted that Pitt’s on-stage romance with Angelina Jolie was at least part of the reason.

From 2005 to 2010 came a string of critically-acclaimed and well-received movies, including “Babel” (2006), for which Pitt picked up a Golden Globe Best Supporting Actor nomination. Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, also produced its first film, “The Departed” in 2006. It was clear now that Brad Pitt’s role in Hollywood had significantly expanded to include not just actor but also producer.

During that time period, Pitt also starred in a number of big-name movies every year. In 2007, it was “The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford.” In 2008, it was “Burn After Reading.” In 2009, it was “Inglorious Basterds.” Then came even more movies and even more awards, including a star turn in both “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Moneyball.”

After 2010, Pitt starred in the kinds of blockbuster movies that pulled in some truly staggering box office numbers. These included “World War Z” and “12 Years a Slave” in 2013 and “Fury” in 2014 and then “The Big Short” (2015) and “Allied” (2016). In 2017, Brad Pitt starred in “War Machine,” a Netflix original movie.

Future stardom ahead

The next big movie to feature Brad Pitt could be a sequel to “World War Z” – the movie had been tentatively planned to have a smash debut in summer 2017, but now it looks like plans have been pushed back to late 2017 or early 2018. Meanwhile, his production company Plan B Entertainment continues to work on new TV and film projects.

And don’t forget that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still very much the epitome of the superstar Hollywood couple. Although the two officially divorced at the end of 2016, their names continue to appear on the front pages of newspapers and tabloid everywhere.

Looking back on Pitt’s work on the big screen, it’s almost hard to believe that it has been more than 25 years since his first breakout role in “Thelma & Louise.” Since that time, Pitt has worked with some of the leading names in Hollywood, and has been romantically linked with several of the most beautiful women ever to appear in TV or film. He truly is a one-of-a-kind Hollywood A-list original.

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How DIRECTV Still Thrives in the Streaming Era


This may be the golden era for streaming content. Just think of all the great companies that now stream endless movies and shows to millions of customers. Netflix, Amazon and Hulu are top of mind, of course, but there are also all the live TV streaming players as well, such as Sling TV. So how is it possible that DIRECTV, a satellite TV provider, has managed to thrive in the streaming era?

#1: Satellite customers are different

According to the most recent estimates, DIRECTV had 21 million subscribers as of Q1 2017. At a time when the mainstream media is filled with stories about “cord-cutters,” that number seems remarkable. From the tone and tenor of the media stories, you would have thought that DIRECTV was down to a few thousand subscribers in a few scattered geographic locations!

But the reason DIRECTV continues to thrive is because there’s a very big difference between cable customers and satellite customers. The reality is that the entire country is not served by cable, and in some geographic regions, the only choice is satellite. If you live in a mountainous region, or if you live in a very isolated rural region, your only real choice may be satellite. And that’s why DIRECTV has spent so much time and effort making sure that it satellite coverage is simply unbeatable. It means delivering a very clear, very crisp image no matter where you are located in the United States.

Moreover, most people think of satellite TV as a consumer product. It is, of course. But there is also a very important “DIRECTV for business” component of the business. Think about bars, restaurants, hotels, dormitories or hospitals – they also get TV service. And for many of them, DIRECTV is the provider of choice. Part of that has to do with the choice of content. Think about hanging out at a sports bar – there are games on from every part of the country, and the only way you’re going to get that kind of coverage is via satellite. Hotels, too, need to cater to visitors coming from all over the country.

#2: Top-rated customer service

There are a lot of jokes about “the cable guy,” but do you ever hear jokes about “the satellite guy”? No, not at all, and that’s because satellite TV providers like DIRECTV are laser-focused on providing the best possible customer service. Check out the home page of DIRECTV – it’s filled with “#1 in customer service” awards.

And that makes sense, right? DIRECTV knows that you’ve got to install a satellite dish to get reception, and they also know that satellite coverage may not always be as reliable as cable coverage (especially in densely populated urban areas), so they really have to be very focused on customer service. So, many people love DIRECTV for its great customer service – they can’t imagine switching to someone else.

#3: Exclusive programming content

In the media and the entertainment world, there is nothing more important than “the exclusive.” It’s the reason why some pop culture magazines are willing to pay millions of dollars to get “exclusive photos” of a celebrity. It’s the reason why TV news programs tout “exclusive interviews.” It’s the reason why music services tout that some albums are “available exclusively” on their service.

And guess what? DIRECTV also has plenty of “exclusives” that makes it such a favorite with customers. One of those exclusives is NFL Sunday Ticket. If you’re a serious NFL football fan, you might sign up for DIRECTV solely to get access to NFL Sunday Ticket. That’s because DIRECTV has exclusive rights to NFL Sunday Ticket. If you don’t get DIRECTV, you don’t get NFL Sunday Ticket. So the more exclusives that DIRECTV is able to offer, the stronger its value proposition becomes.

#4: Synergistic mergers

One of the biggest buzzwords in the world of Wall Street investment banking is “synergies.” Bankers will convince two companies to merge, promising all kinds of synergies that will result from the deal. The company will get leaner and meaner, and will realize all kinds of cost efficiencies. In most cases, those “synergies” are just a buzzword. But in the case of DIRECTV, recent mergers really have led to a number of important synergies.

The first example is the July 2015 merger & acquisition deal, in which AT&T paid $48.5 billion for DIRECTV. This was a huge deal for so many reasons. First and foremost, it gave DIRECTV access to some very deep pockets. It meant that AT&T could promote DIRECTV any time it was promoting its other services. And it could give customers very strong incentives to sign up for DIRECTV.

The second example is the pending AT&T–Time Warner deal, in which AT&T will acquire Time Warner for $80 billion. At first glance, this wouldn’t seem to affect DIRECTV, right? Well, think of all the content at Time Warner. Well, that’s a lot of content that is now going to be made available to DIRECTV in some form. And remember what we said about “exclusives”? One of the most important Time Warner properties is HBO, and the ability to make exclusive offers based around HBO could become very powerful indeed for DIRECTV.


#5: New innovations like 4K

In November 2014, DIRECTV became the first-ever company to offer 4K ultra-high definition content. That’s a great example of how DIRECTV has really stayed out in front when it comes to innovation. Delivering a remarkable 4K picture is something that it is going to become increasingly important as TV viewers embrace 4K TVs. Of course, right now, the average 4K TV is still wildly too expensive. Thus, there hasn’t been a lot of demand for 4K programming. But that day is coming soon, and DIRECTV is ready to become a leader when it does.

Also, here’s another example of great innovation from DIRECTV: the company partnered with Boeing and its Connexion service to offer in-flight TV and Internet for air travelers. This is because DIRECTV has all those satellites in geosynchronous orbit around the Earth – that makes it much easier to deliver a strong signal to airplanes that are flying 30,000 feet above the Earth’s surface!

#6: Creation of a new streaming competitor

Perhaps the best reason why DIRECTV continues to thrive in the streaming era is because it has been working on a streaming competitor of its own, known as DIRECTV Now.

For AT&T, the decision to release DIRECTV Now in November 2016 was a difficult one. First of all, there was the risk that DIRECTV Now would “cannibalize” DIRECTV. In other words, there might be a flood of new customers who embrace DIRECTV Now, but all of them would be coming from DIRECTV! And, even worse, the customers for DIRECTV Now would be paying less than the customers for DIRECTV. So AT&T had to take very careful steps not to cannibalize its existing service.

But now it looks like DIRECTV Now and DIRECTV are going to peacefully co-exist. One key, says AT&T, is that DIRECTV Now is going to be positioned differently than DIRECTV. According to executives, DIRECTV Now is going to poach customers away from the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime Now, not from DIRECTV.

#7: Inertia

Finally, it’s important to mention one of the most important forces at work in the world of business, and that’s inertia. In short, unless there is a very compelling reason to switch, most customers won’t. Even if they don’t use a product, or are tired of using a product, they won’t switch. That’s why so many companies try to convince you to sign up for auto-pay paperless monthly billing. They may talk about saving the environment by getting rid of paper, but that’s just a smoke screen. The real reason is because it is much more likely that you will quit if you’re getting an annoying bill in the mail. It’s just human psychology. But if you are being billed online, and the funds are automatically being deducted from your bank account, it’s almost impossible to quit. You may even forget you’re being billed.

So, when the first streaming competitors arrived, there was a very real risk that they were new and interesting enough that customers might overcome their inertia and switch. But now guess what? The gap is narrowing between streaming and satellite. In many cases, the services are starting to look completely identical. Some customers are starting to regret the loss of so many TV stations, and are putting an end to all that “cord-cutting” nonsense.


Ultimately, DIRECTV is still thriving in the streaming era because it offers a best-in-class product at a reasonable price to very loyal customers. And it continues to innovate with new service offerings  – such as an amazing new Genie HD DVR system – that are clearly better than anything else in the marketplace.

At the end of the day, TV viewers like the ability to watch hundreds of “live” stations. They are tired of making sense of confusing “skinny bundles.” They are tired of trying to figure out the difference between “Orange” and “Blue.” They are tired of signing up for multiple services (Netflix + Hulu + Sling TV) just to recreate what they already had with satellite TV. They are tired of reading all the fine print of what networks are available in which region. What they want is what DIRECTV offers – a comprehensive selection of live TV programming, combined with great on-demand offerings, all at a reasonable price.


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What You Need to Know About the Hulu Live Streaming Service


The anticipation continues to build for the new Hulu Live Streaming Service, which is still expected to launch in early 2017. Ever since November, Hulu has been releasing more and more details of the service, so that it’s possible to put together a rough outline of what the service will include, as well as how much it might cost.

What streaming content will Hulu Live include?

As it stands now, Hulu Live has inked deals with four major content partners: Time Warner, Fox, Disney and CBS. In addition, Hulu executives have hinted that a deal with NBC Universal might be coming soon. As of now, viewers will get 35-40 different cable networks, all of them available as live streams, much as you’d get with traditional cable TV.

There’s a lot of great content here, primarily in three major areas: sports, entertainment and news. These are, essentially, the three reasons why you need a live streaming service and it looks like Hulu Live is trying to cover as many bases as possible here by partnering with the biggest and best content providers.

For sports content, Hulu Live viewers will get the following TV networks:

  • Fox Sports
  • All the ESPN networks (including ESPN1, ESPN2 and ESPN3)
  • All of Fox’s regional sports programming
  • CBS Sports

For entertainment content, Hulu Live viewers will get the following TV networks:

  • CBS
  • TNT
  • TBS
  • Cartoon Network
  • Turner Classic Movies
  • Adult Swim
  • Freeform
  • National Geographic
  • NatGEO Wild
  • Disney
  • Disney Junior

And for news content, Hulu Live viewers will receive the following TV networks:

  • CNN
  • FOX News
  • FOX Business

Moreover, it looks like Hulu Live is trying to expand the partnership with CBS to include the CW Network and Showtime. As of now, Hulu Live won’t get the full current season of every series like “NCIS,” which is basically a way for CBS to carve out some exclusive content that it can include as part of its own streaming options. So there should probably be an asterisk next to “CBS” – Hulu Live viewers will get almost all of the current CBS content, but not all of it.

How much will it cost?

There are so many streaming services out there right now that cost is a very important consideration. For that reason, Hulu executives have been careful about tossing an exact dollar figure our there. Right now, the consensus appears to be that Hulu Live will cost about $40 per month.

For that price, you would get access to Hulu’s video on demand library, which current Hulu subscribers pay either $7.99 or $11.99 per month (depending on whether or not they get commercials with the content). It’s not clear yet whether that $40 price will include the ad-free content, or whether there might be a price bump to get rid of all the commercials. So a little basic math tells you that you’re essentially paying $10 for archived content and another $30 for streaming content.


Which streaming service is most similar to Hulu Live?

In many ways, then, Hulu Live looks like it will a prized option for cable cord-cutters. You’re essentially getting all the best live streaming channels that you’d get on cable, for a lower price. Moreover, you’re also getting access to all of Hulu’s movies and TV shows, which was always the major allure of getting Hulu.

Thus, the streaming service that is most similar to Hulu Live is Sling TV, which for awhile was the only live streaming service with top cable networks like ESPN. The big question will be about price. Right now, Hulu Live is expected to be priced at $40 per month, but the current cost of Sling TV is just $20 per month. So that’s nearly double the price.

Who should get Hulu Live?

The core audience for Hulu Live will be people who enjoy watching the current seasons of hit TV shows, but who also want to watch the shows on their own schedule without having to tune in to the programming schedules of the major TV networks.

And that has always been one of the major selling points of Hulu – getting access to all the hit TV show episodes almost as soon as they air on the networks. Unlike Netflix, which has a very long wait before shows appear in its archive, Hulu was always about delivering episodes within a day of them airing on networks. So, if you missed your favorite TV show on a Tuesday night, you’d still be able to watch it later in the week.

How will Hulu Live differentiate itself from the competition?

Right now, Hulu executives are banking on the fact that its new streaming service can carve out a niche in the competitive streaming market. Unlike Netflix, it will have live streaming content and a huge library of TV shows. Unlike Sling TV, it will have a growing library of original content series, including “Casual” (nominated for a Golden Globe), “The Mindy Project” and “11.22.63.” And unlike any of the competing cable or satellite providers, which are starting to roll out their own streaming services, Hulu Live will be cheaper.

And the competitive differentiation goes beyond just content and price. One advantage that Hulu has been talking up is “The New Hulu Experience,” a new user interface for finding content more easily. This new interface will be easier to navigate and use, and possibly be as good as the Netflix user interface.

Moreover, there’s also the question of how many concurrent streams the new service will allow, as well as how many different platforms the service will support. These are all important questions, especially as more people than ever before consume streaming content on multiple devices. Will it be possible, then, for kids to watch Hulu TV in the living room while parents watch their shows in the bedroom?

The one big advantage that Hulu Live has over the competition is the built-in user base for Hulu, which is estimated to have 12 million subscribers. Presumably, Hulu will attempt to up-sell some of the people paying $11.99 per month to now pay $40 a month for the full streaming experience in addition to the rich archive of TV shows.

The good news for TV fans is that all this competition in the streaming space has opened up a number of great opportunities. Hulu Live, in many ways, is what cable TV should look like, but doesn’t: great live content, a great archive of current TV shows for viewing on demand, and just enough extras – like original programming – to keep things interesting.

By partnering with CBS, Time Warner, Fox and Disney, Hulu Live has just about completed that goal. If a few more partnerships – such as the rumored one with NBC Universal – fall into place, Hulu Live could emerge as the dominant live streaming service with tens of millions of subscribers. It’s easy to see why the big cable companies must be concerned.


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What Fans Thought of the “Stranger Things” Teaser Trailer


The first Netflix teaser trailer that came out for Season 2 of “Stranger Things” in August 2016 immediately had fans scrambling to make sense of what might happen over the next 10 episodes in 2017. The teaser just listed the names of the episodes, announced that Season 2 would take place in 1984 and played more of that synth theme music from the show that we’ve all learned to love.

But when you combine those tantalizing clues with recent announcements, it’s possible to create some truly epic fan theories. The Duffer Brothers have already hinted that Season 2 would be “bigger, badder and darker” than Season 1, and that’s led to even more speculation. And then fans really started to put together some theories after the “Stranger Things” Super Bowl commercial in February. So here’s what fans are thinking right now.

#1: They continue to create theories about Will’s time in the Upside Down

Not surprisingly, fans looked carefully for any clues as to what will happen to Will in Season 2. In the Season 1 finale, he vomited up a slug, and that had people suspecting that the monster in the Upside Down may have been trying to use him as part of a new plot to breed new monsters. At the very end of Season 1, we see the world around him briefly transformed into the Upside Down world, so we know that he’s somehow created new doorways into that alternate dimension.

There are different episodes announced in the teaser trailer, and there are two big clues hidden there about Will. One is the name of Episode 2 (“The Boy Who Came Back to Life”), which is the exact title of a newspaper clipping we saw at the end of Season 1. It’s a reference to the disappearance of Will and how the townspeople in Hawkins, Indiana are starting to piece together all the strange supernatural and paranormal occurrences. What actually happened, and what are the implications?

Fans also spent a lot of time theorizing about the meaning of the title of Episode 6 (“The Polly Wog”). That name happens to be a name of a special kind of tadpole, and that would seem to hint at a bigger explanation of what the slug means. It’s obvious now what Will’s time in the Upside Down has left him with PTSD-like symptoms, and some have even speculated that he might be becoming some kind of monster himself.

#2: “The Gang” is back together

All of the clips from the Netflix Super Bowl commercial seem to hint that the whole gang – Eleven, Mike, Will, Lucas, Dustin, Nancy, Steve and Jonathan – will be back in Season 2. We’re shown images of the kids wearing Ghostbusters suits, which makes perfect sense since the initial teaser trailer said that Season 2 would be based in 1984. And the Ghostbusters suits have another, more metaphorical meaning as well — the kids are going to try to get to the bottom of the “ghosts” that inhabit the Upside Down world.


#3: The Newcomers

The teaser trailer didn’t show any of the faces of the new cast members, but since the trailer was released in August 2016, we’ve had a lot more hints about what’s going to be new in 2017. First of all, there are the two new children characters – Billy and Max. The common consensus among fans is that Billy is going to be some kind of destabilizing influence on the group of friends while Max is going to fit right in and become friends.

There are also going to be two important adult newcomers – 80s star Sean Astin (“The Goonies”), who is going to play Bob Newby, a “kind-hearted former nerd” who went to high school with Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper, and Paul Reiser (“Aliens”), who is going to play some kind of evil scientist (Dr. Owens) at the Department of Energy. The consensus among fans is that the Dr. Owens character will be involved in some kind of cover-up of the all supernatural and paranormal events happening in the town.

#4: Eleven’s Back Story

One of the most important characters of Season 1 was Eleven, the young girl who is the subject of all kinds of tests and experiments by Dr. Brenner and the team at the Hawkins National Laboratory. What’s not so certain, though, is her full back story. We only see a close-up of her face in the Netflix Super Bowl ad, but there is one clue embedded in the teaser trailer. That’s the title of Episode 7 – “The Secret Cabin.” According to fan theories, this “secret cabin” is actually a reference to Eleven and the place where she is hiding out after her fight with the demogorgon.

There’s one other question on everybody’s minds: What exactly, is her connection with Sheriff Jim Hopper? In the season finale of Season 1, we see Sheriff Hopper leaving Eggos and food in a box for her in the woods. And in the still photos that Netflix has released for Season 2, we see Sheriff Hopper (if ever so briefly) reacting to an explosion and also doing some digging with a big shovel while carrying a flashlight. What exactly is he trying to find?

#5: More 1980s pop culture references

Part of what made Season 1 so engaging for fans were all the hidden references and “Easter eggs” related to 1980s pop culture. Everywhere, it seemed, there were references to films by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Stephen King, Wes Craven and John Carpenter. Since know that the action picks up in 1984 (and not at some later date in the future), it’s a guarantee that we’ll see even more of these 1980s references to films like “Aliens.” Moreover, the Duff Brothers have hinted that the outfits and haircuts (mullets and perms!) will be true 1980s vintage, so that’s going to be exciting. And Kellogg’s has gotten in on the game, offering Netflix access to its vintage 1980s Eggo commercials for that Super Bowl ad.

#6: Speculation about the monsters and horrors from the Upside Down

Nobody quite knows what to make of the monsters from the Upside Down. The current theory among fans is that the demogorgon has been breeding and using humans as part of this strategy. We’ve seen hatched eggs in the Upside Down and we’ve also seen the giant slug-like creature attached to Will’s face, which might be the reason why we vomited up that slug in Season 1.

But it looks like there’s going to be more than just that one monster. There are going to be multiple “tulip heads.” And, based on that epic Netflix Super Bowl commercial, it looks like there’s going to be gigantic spiders as well. We see a spider twice in that commercial. The really scary spider appears when there’s a flash of lightning and we see what appears to be a giant arachnid straddling the town of Hawkins.


The clues in the initial teaser trailer were limited at best – a listing of the episodes of Season 2, a note that the action would pick up during Halloween 1984 and more of that cool (but creepy) synth theme music from Season 1. But with everything we know from Season 1, the new Netflix Super Bowl ad, and interviews and stories that have appeared in the media, there’s a lot to work with now in trying to guess what’s going to happen in 2017. One thing is certain, though – Season 2 of “Stranger Things” just looks awesome!


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How “New Girl” Keeps Its Charm After 6 Seasons


New Girl is an American television series which premiered on Fox on September 20, 2011. New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel, is one of most popular shows on television today; it combines drama and comedy all in one.

Everyone is wondering how New Girl has maintained its charm even after six seasons. Most TV series lose their charm in the third season or so, but viewers are still watching New Girl even after 6 seasons! The show is aimed at a general comedy audience, and it is about an offbeat teacher (Jess) who moves to LA and into a loft with three men: Nick, Schmidt, and Winston. All these characters are in their early thirties, and they are struggling to deal with mature relationships and their career choices.

New Girl first got really interesting once Jess and Nick just decided to be in a relationship. Remember: the show was built around the four characters that were brought together by fate, but the connection between Nick and Jess quickly became so real for anyone to ignore. This was so captivating to the viewers because it was like a parody. The show had come from being a regular comedy to incorporating relationships, comedy, and drama all in one. By Jess and Nick getting in a relationship, the show changed its direction and made the relationship the key concept of the show. Nick and Jess are two likable, favorable characters, but the relationship gets even more interesting when conflict arises. The kind of conflict created by the comedy is so fascinating because it did not make either of the two parties look like a villain.

Because of Nick and Jess’ relationship and their conflict, it led to Schmidt moving out of the group’s loft and into a polarizing storyline that led to him dating two women, Cece and Elizabeth, at the same time. It was funny to see one guy legitimately in love with two women at the same time. It was not portrayed as cheating, but it clearly was.


New Girl’s storyline is a bit complicated, and it has developed over the years according to the feedback of the audience. It started off as a comedy-drama of three guys moving into a loft together with one woman, which led to one of the guys falling in love with the woman. This was interesting enough because their chemistry was too much for anyone to ignore. The show was bound to be successful due to its nature of production and inclusion of the famous Zooey Deschanel. According to its producers, New Girl made some time creating some logistical developments when it tapped Prince to guest star in the comedy. This kind of development is a huge one, and it didn’t make things any easier for the producers. It took three months to complete that episode, and it was so tiring. It was like trying to put an entire show within another show, and it took a lot of energy to put together.

To make things more interesting, the show featured the return of Damon Wayans. He played the coach in the show’s pilot episode, but he was unable to continue on the show once “Happy Endings” was renewed by ABC. Wayans was brought back to New Girl for a one episode guest spot in season three, and eventually became a full time cast member shortly afterward. Nobody anticipated his return, which created excitement for viewers. However, it was challenging for the producers to come up with a good storyline to keep the audience captivated; they had to incorporate a new member back into the loft and come up with a good catch up storyline.

New Girl has received its share of criticism and praise, but all in all, the comedy was named one of the best new comedies of 2011 fall season. The comedy had the highest rated fall debut for a Fox scripted show since 2001. The pilot episode drew approximately 10.28 million viewers in the US, and it received a 4.8 rating from adults 18-49. The show has managed to keep its charm, and it is still interesting even now in season six. Most people thought it was losing its charm in season three where the stories became a bit complicated, and the Nick-Jess relationship became a fallout. However, this changed with the return of Wayans and when they bring the fun back.

This show has been nominated for several awards including five Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards. The comedy still maintains its humor in addition to the drama. New Girl is a show that will keep its audience captivated until the very end!


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