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Review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'The Gift': I am the Egg man

1 hour ago

A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I've dreamed I was old... "Bastards can rise high in the world." -Ramsay Before we get into "The Gift," I should note that I had the bad timing (or maybe good timing) to be on "Mad Men" duty last week when "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" generated as much controversy and pure fan anger as any episode of the series ever has. When it came to Ramsay's rape of Sansa on their wedding night, there seemed to be three objections: 1)This was a fate the books had assigned to a minor character, and it seemed cruel to instead inflict it upon Sansa; 2)This was "Game of Thrones" again wallowing in sadism, and particularly of Ramsay's one-note variety; and 3)At a certain point, the editing of the scene suggested the show was more concerned with its impact on Theon than on Sansa. »


- Alan Sepinwall

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'Wet Hot American Summer,' 'Ballers' & more: Summer TV's most intriguing new shows

1 hour ago

The broadcast network TV season officially ended on Wednesday night at 11 p.m. As always, there will be some stragglers still finishing up their seasons (the CW's "iZombie" still has three episodes to go, for instance), but we are essentially entering into the summer TV season. And that season is busier than it's ever been, as the broadcast networks keep trying to reclaim the territory they years ago ceded to cable, cable channels taking advantage of the reduced broadcast competition to unveil some of their biggest and best stuff, and Netflix continuing to release whole seasons of interesting shows every 3-5 days or so. I'm still figuring out which shows I intend to cover weekly (though "True Detective" seems an easy choice) vs. periodically (as mentioned many times, I tend to enjoy "Rectify" more when I don't write about it too frequently), how I will handle the different streaming shows »


- Alan Sepinwall

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Interview: Carolyn Rivera talks 'Survivor: Worlds Apart'

2 hours ago

Carolyn Rivera had a rough "Survivor" finale night. Not only did the Florida-based corporate executive lose the "Survivor: Worlds Apart" crown to Mike Holloway, but she received fewer votes than she anticipated, in tying with Will Sims for third with one vote apiece. And then to make things worse, Carolyn's candidacy for next season's "Survivor: Second Chances" fell short. [It's no solace, probably, but Mike thinks Carolyn got hosed in the Second Chance voting process] So you'll forgive me for treating Carolyn as the season's second place finisher, at least in terms of exit interview publication.  Carolyn earned it.  In addition to a key Individual Immunity win, a crucial play on a hidden Idol that she found sans clue and successful maintenance of majority alliance that would have won the day were it not for Mike's Immunity hot streak, Carolyn also earned her place in the Final 3 with a thrilling, tie-breaking fire build victory over Rodney. For the last few weeks of the season I »


- Daniel Fienberg

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Best and Worst of Cannes 2015: Why wasn't 'Mad Max: Fury Road' in competition?

4 hours ago

Cannes — We finally have a Palme d'Or winner (Jacques Audiard's "Dheepan"), but what are our major takeaways from the entire 2015 Cannes Film Festival? Overall, the competition slate was slightly mediocre, with festival programmers really finding only three stellar films. There were a number of major disappointments (“The Sea of Trees”) and true surprises (“Son of Saul,” “Amy”). The Un Certain Regard and Critics’ Week selections didn’t generate much buzz and we missed the textbook over-the-top publicity stunts for Hollywood releases looking to make a mark with the 4,000+ members of the global media credentialed for the festival.     The biggest buzz actually came from a Midnight screening (“Love”), a ladies' shoe controversy and attendees questioning why “Mad Max: Fury Road” or “Inside Out” weren't in competition. The question remains, however: Should either film been eligible for a jury prize? We’ll dive into that in our Best and Worst story »


- Gregory Ellwood

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