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‘Bates Motel’ Review: Season 5 Does Right By Alfred Hitchcock By Ditching His Original Ending

3 hours ago

Bates Motel” could not exist without “Psycho,” but soon it could feel like the other way around. Part of the brilliance within Kerry Ehrin’s deep exploration of Alfred Hitchcock’s characters is how even in the modern day — and even while always promising an ending independent of the film’s narrative — it feels as though we’re being given crucial backstory to a character we only came to know as a pervert, murderer, and psychopath — in that order. Fifty-seven years later, “Bates Motel” is filling in the details by fleshing out Norman’s motivations, psychological state, and ultimate descent into madness.

[Editor’s Note: The below analysis contains spoilers for “Bates Motel” Season 4, but not the new season.]

The final season is steeped in more Hitchcockian lore than ever. There’s a subtle nod to the iconic shower scene in the first episode, when Norman mentions how he just finished installing new curtains. We get our first glimpse of Norma’s permanent residence, or at least »

- Ben Travers

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‘Girls’ Review: ‘Hostage Situation’ Has A Horror Movie Premise

13 hours ago

Last Week’S Review: Season 6 Premiere Finds the Light While Escaping It All

Love Her or Hate Her

Hannah is finally getting some traction in her career, and it looks good on her. Although she’s the same self-indulgent, dramatically inclined person we’ve always known, there’s a newfound calmness about her as she settles into something resembling maturity. This week it manifested in a surprising heart-to-heart between Hannah and Bff Marnie, with whom Hannah had escaped the city so that Marnie could partake in some self-indulgences herself (namely in the form of ex-husband Desi). In a poignant moment, Hannah admitted that she’s no longer judging because she’s finally realized no one has it all figured out, and we actually believe her. Even though hours earlier she was lamenting about having to keep Marnie’s tryst with Desi a secret from Ray.

One Step Forward, Two »

- Amber Dowling

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‘The Walking Dead’ Review: Rick Goes Dumpster Diving in ‘New Best Friends’

14 hours ago

Last Week’S Review: Rick Goes Recruiting in ‘Rock In The Road

Whose Episode Is It?

Two main plotlines run through “New Best Friends”: The Ricketeers meet a new group of truly odd survivors, and Daryl considers his options in the Kingdom and reunites with Carol. This gives the episode a bit of tonal whiplash, since the Rick stuff is downright goofy (yes, goofier than the Kingdom), while Daryl and Carol’s scenes are emotionally fraught. Still, both storylines are satisfying in their own way.

Yet Another Human Faction

Hoo boy, this new group introduced this week. They take Rick and the others to their lair, which is a huge garbage dump. Rick’s still grinning, because he’s happy to recruit anyone into his war, even this group of high-wattage mega-weirdos. The Dumpsters are more like a post-apocalypse faction you’d find in “Mad Max”; they speak in short, »

- Jeff Stone

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Investigating ‘Big Little Lies’: ‘Somebody’s Dead,’ But Who Died and Who Did It?

14 hours ago

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Big Little Lies” Episode 1, “Somebody’s Dead.”]

Madeline’s comin’, yo!

Ok, Ok, no one would ever say that on “Big Little Lies” (or probably even get the reference), but in a Baltimore-based version of HBO’s new mystery, can’t you imagine the other Monterrey moms warning one another every time Reese Witherspoon’s power mom came walking into school? Since the very first frames of Episode 1, Madeline dominates her world with an aura some may fear and others may covet.

But does that make her the killer or the killee? We weren’t given many hints toward the murderer or victim’s identity in the first hour of Jean-Marc Vallee’s new limited series, but that doens’t mean we’re lacking in theories. Below, we’ve taken each major character introduced in the premiere and broken down what we know about them, what we don’t, and what it might all mean toward the series’ larger mystery: Whodunnit? »

- Ben Travers

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BBC America Orders Nature Series ‘Blue Planet II,’ Exploring the World’s Oceans

17 hours ago

Hot off the premiere of “Planet Earth II,” BBC America is returning to the oceans for its next epic nature series.

The cable network announced Sunday that it will air “Blue Planet II,” which also comes from the BBC Natural History Unit. The seven-part nature series will explore the world’s oceans, and will be presented by broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough.

“I am truly thrilled to be joining this new exploration of the underwater worlds which cover most of our planet, yet are still its least known,” Attenborough said in a statement.

Read More: ‘Planet Earth II’ Review: A Revival With Greater Purpose Than Meets the Eye

Blue Planet II” will serve as a sequel to “The Blue Planet,” which was broadcast in 2001 and also featured Attenborough’s narration.

“Like ‘Planet Earth II,’ this is a remarkable and relevant sequel – this time plunging us into an awe inspiring »

- Michael Schneider

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