SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE Recap: Season 14’s Top 10 Revealed

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The latest episode of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE was a double feature of sorts. Not only did the series reveal the all-stars’ top 10 picks, but viewers were also treated to SYTYCD season 14’s first live performances. With a brand new stage, works from some favorite choreographers, and the return of the judges’ panel, the August 7 showing might just be the place where SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s 2017 truly began.

You know the drill, dance lovers: Big announcement from Cat Deeley, opening group dance, a little bit of chatter, and then it’s down to the business of finding this year’s hot tamales.

Before revealing season 14’s top 10, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE opened with a group number that featured this season’s all-stars and no one else. We’ll allow it as a way to keep the contestants’ identities secret until the last possible moment; but here’s hoping an all-stars-only piece doesn’t become the norm like it did during the kids’ season. It’s just not necessary, and the competition should be about watching the first-time contestants’ journeys, not reliving past successes.

With that being said, Mandy Moore’s contemporary choreography was as beautiful as ever. And her piece, set to Raign’s rendition of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” managed to work well on all the all-stars. Even Comfort Fedoke and Jenna Johnson, who were never exactly known for being contemporary whizzes, stood out in a positive way. That’s the mark of both brilliant creative work from Moore and dedication from both dancers.

Tonight’s introduction wasn’t all about triumph and talent, though. Unfortunately, Cat Deeley was force to be the bearer of bad news: Allison Holker was unable to join her fellow all-stars in Mandy Moore’s piece due to an injury. On the plus side, she sat this one out instead of doing something potentially controversial.

Bad news out of the way, Cat moved on to welcoming the “jedges,” specifically Mary Murphy — “she’s back home, where she belongs” — to the first live taping of SYTYCD season 14. That warm welcome for Mary even included teasing Nigel Lythgoe: “And with Mary back, he’s got a new pacemaker!”

So, everything was back to that trademark level of hilarious, yet somewhat awkward. Let’s get to talking about some dancers then.

The first big reveal came courtesy of Team Fik-Shun.

When we last saw Fik-Shun, he had a tough choice to make: Kyle Bennett, Jr. or Inyoung “Dassy” Lee? Ultimately, Fik-Shun chose Dassy as his contribution to SYTYCD season 14’s top 10. So, I guess his weird comment about how her movement could be “a little soft sometimes,” which was a “drawback,” meant nothing.

As it should have.

Dassy debuted on the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE live stage with her all-star partner, dancing to a fun piece choreographed by the one and only Popin Pete. If Fik-Shun is known for his personality (he is), then this duet with Dassy lived up to that reputation — and then some.

The only complaint, besides the fact that the number didn’t last longer? I spent a weird couple of minutes wondering whether or not this pair had missed the memo that they were performing on SYTYCD, not trying to do some sort of weird Carmen San Diego cosplay.

Judges’ comments: Mary Murphy, in her first chance to “jedge” official contestants in years, “loooved it!!!” And the praise didn’t stop there. More from Mary because, honestly, this is quality content right here:

  • “I’m so excited to be back, and I’m so excited for this partnership.”
  • “Fik-shun, you have finally found your match.”
  • “Dassy, you are a hard-hitting ‘it’ girl.”
  • “You are my poppin’ favorite, and you’re poppin’ into my heart.”

Iconic.

Up next, Nigel Lythgoe told Fik-Shun and Dassy that they moved more body parts than he knew existed, and Dassy made SYTYCD stronger by coming from Seoul and putting her soul into it. (Get it?)

Lastly, Vanessa Hudgens chimed in with her own praise: “You just shine up there, and I’m so excited to see you do more. You shine, girl.”

Before her injury kept her from actually dancing with him, Allison Holker had her own top 10 selection to make. 

By the end of Academy Week, Allison’s final two dancers were Zachary Downer and Logan Hernandez, “who is a crazy interesting mover. But at the same time, he’s only eighteen.”

Logan earned that coveted spot of Allison’s partner, but don’t worry about Zachary Downer: He took over for Ricky Ubeda in CATS.

Yes that Ricky Ubeda.

Let’s break it down here, actually, because Allison’s decision came down to a strange set of coincidences. Ricky was America’s favorite/best/most versatile/whatever-they-were-calling-it-at-the-time dancer in season 11. Although not his first post-SYTYCD role, his post-win credits include a turn as Mister Mistoffelees in the CATS revival. His replacement, as announced in July (and again by Nigel tonight), is Downer.

…but that’s not what makes Allison’s dilemma interesting. The real kicker here is that the SYTYCD all-star had a choice between two different men with connections to Ubeda. Logan Hernandez’s link? He received his training from the same place that Ricky did: STARS in Miami. (This is also where Diana Pombo of WORLD OF DANCE fame learned how to be fabulous.)

Just a little dance world tangent for you there, folks. Now, where were we? Right. Live performance night.

Because of Allison’s injury, Logan wasn’t able to show off Tyce Diorio’s choreography to Leon Else’s “Protocol” with the all-star who’d selected him for this season’s top 10. Instead, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE veteran Audrey Case, from season 9, joined Logan in the contemporary number.

(If someone can hit me up in the comments with a way to close the Ricky Ubeda loop here, my inner dance nerd will do 32 fouettes.)

Put two beautiful contemporary dancers together, especially when one has the technique pedigree that Logan does, and you have an immediate success. The chemistry wasn’t quite as strong as I might have liked, but given that Audrey was a last-minute replacement, the progress the duo made was admirable.

Judges’ comments: Nigel thanked Tyce for the routine, as well as for giving Audrey a crash course in his choreography on the day of the performance. He was both grateful to, and impressed by, Audrey because of her hard work in learning the piece so quickly.

But we’re here for the new contestants. For SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE season 14’s Logan, Nigel had this to say: “You are a stunning dancer, young man. Good luck.” He also encouraged the young contestant to show both personality and technical proficiency in the competition.

Vanessa followed up Nigel’s comments by gushing over Logan’s age. He’s “only eighteen,” after all. (Meanwhile, the top junior dancers in the world are chugging tea because the “only eighteen” thing is just none of their business.)

Finally, Mary Murphy told Audrey it was “a blessing to see [her] back on the show,” and I lost track of everything that followed because I was thinking how much I’d like to throw that comment right back at Mary herself.

Jenna Johnson totally picked Konkrete, the dancer she went to great lengths to save, right? Umm…nope.

As you’ll recall, Jenna cut two dancers at The Academy so she could snatch up Konkrete after another all-star had let him go. Jenna kept him in mind as a potential contestant right until the bitter end; but Kiki, a fellow ballroom dancer, was Jenna’s top 10 choice.

Jenna and Kiki’s partnership debuted to a piece choreographed by SYTCYD alum Dmitry Chaplin. While they were an entertaining couple to watch, something was just slightly off: It was difficult to focus on Kiki with Jenna as his partner. Will that spell disaster for Kiki? Only time will tell. Depending on how the format changes from here, we already know Team Jenna had better hope not to get assigned anything remotely resembling hip hop.

Judges’ comments: Mary Murphy fanned herself after the performance, so all is well in the dance world. And then Cat Deeley, not Nigel Lythgoe, teased Mary, imitating her infamous “I’d like to dance the paso doble with him, I tell you” line from auditions. With that, Mary turned at least six shades of hot tamale red.

Once Mary recovered from Cat’s teasing, it was time to actually critique Kiki’s first work as a top 10 dancer. Mary said he blew her away, adding, “I loved watching you dance! We’ve been waiting for a Kiki on our show! I’m glad you’re here! Wooo-hooo!!!!!”

(I’m glad you’re here, Mary.)

Nigel Lythgoe complimented Jenna for choreographing two routines for the final rounds at The Academy, but he admitted to having trouble taking his eyes off of her on tonight’s SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE live taping. Nigel directed his biggest concern to Kiki, though: “I just worry that the audience is not going to see a lot of your incredible, world-class style.”

Vanessa Hudgens, on the other hand, wasn’t particularly concerned. “You have a certain vibrancy on the stage that really shines,” she told Kiki, prompting yours truly to wonder whether taking a drink every time Vanessa mentioned anything related to shining might be a terribly dangerous endeavor — especially if it involved moonshine.

So far, the SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE all-stars had all picked contestants that matched their personal strengths. But Cyrus Spencer has never been one to follow the crowd.

Cyrus’ last two dancers standing were Havoc and Kaylee. Havoc was a street dancer, who would have complimented Cyrus well. And Kaylee Mills? You might remember her by a different name: “Impavido.” Or maybe you just recognize her as the contemporary dancer with the blue hair that we met in the New York auditions. Either way, she was Cyrus’ choice to “be rocking with [him] on the show,” which meant Havoc was sent home.

Kaylee and Cyrus executed a Tassandra Chavez contemporary duet with a few hiccups. The style was obviously not Cyrus’ strongest, but he held his own as a partner. Kaylee, whose technique initially seemed up to par, had some missteps here. For one thing, I would love to have seen some better articulation through her feet, especially when Chavez had her doing so much alternating between flexing and pointing them.

And yet, perhaps it’s because of the merging of styles — or maybe it’s just that both dancers are so unique, even within their own specialities — but there’s something really intriguing about Kaylee and Cyrus. So, let’s hope they stick around for a few weeks — especially if it means more compelling choreography like what Tassandra Chavez gave them here.

Paging Sonya Tayeh: I need you to do something weird with this duo. Please and thank you.

Judges’ comments: Mary thought that Cyrus did a “noble job,” but she had hoped that he’d be even stronger. For Kaylee, she had a much more positive message: “There’s something so real, and honest, and authentic when you dance. You’re a very fascinating person, and I can’t wait to see more.”

Nigel wished Cyrus luck before delivering a warning to Kaylee: “I think you need to raise your game a little bit.” After taking a sidebar to talk about throwing shoes at people — just like in the piece! — Vanessa provided some helpful critique. She advised Kaylee to exhibit more weightlessness and breath in her movement.

Gaby Diaz represented Nigel Lythgoe’s only chance to be Tap Fanboy Lythgoe in SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE season 14.

She…didn’t quite deliver on that opportunity, but she didn’t exactly delete tapping from this season all together, either.

By the time the hot tamale train got ready to leave The Academy and conduct its way to the live shows, Team Gaby consisted of Lex Ishimoto and Evan DeBenedetto. Despite concerns about Lex’s lack of personality, Gaby chose the contemporary dancer over tap specialist Evan.

Luckily for Tap Lovin’ Lythgoe, Lex is still capable of tapping, something that SYTYCD’s narrative wants everyone to think is a big surprise — even though quite a lot of dancers study tap as part of their early training.

Team Gaby’s first duet of season 14 was choreographed by Anthony Morigerato and was just the type of clean, classic Hollywood-style tapping fans can watch to soothe what ails them. As Cat Deeley aptly put it, the piece was very “Fred and Ginger meets James Brown.”

(Let’s just forget the weirdly awful splits that got thrown in toward the middle or so there.)

Judges’ comments: Obviously, Nigel’s thoughts came first here. Before warning Lex to work on his personality and his performance quality “just as much as [his] steps,” Nigel took a moment to, well, fanboy: “Anthony Morigerato’s choreography always reminds me why I love show business.”

Somewhere in all of this, Nigel also reminded the audience of Lex’s work in Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound…making this dance lover wonder how fair it’s going to be to have Travis choreograph for Lex at some point in the season, already being way better acquainted with his own guy than with any other contestant.

Hm.

Following Nigel’s criticism, Vanessa Hudgens defended Lex’s personality: “There was, like, a really sweet, fashionable, charming thing about you!” I’d tend to agree. Regardless of any previous concerns, Morigerato’s piece brought something out in Lex. Now, he just has to keep that up.

Mary Murphy reminded SYTYCD viewers that the judges had gotten the whole personality game wrong in the past anyway: Remember that time when Chehon won, despite having the judges warn him to come out of his shell more for most of the series’ ninth season? But Mary wasn’t done yet. After some not-so-subtle prompting from Cat Deeley, Mary put “Mr. Talented,” as she called Lex Ishimoto, on the hot tamale train.

AND IT’S BACK. Woo-wooooo!

Still with us? Click through to the second page to see who the remaining five dancers in SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE’s top 10 are.

Showtime Announces Premiere Dates for SHAMELESS, SMILF and WHITE FAMOUS

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Showtime has unveiled its fall comedy slate, which includes the return of SHAMELESS and the premieres of WHITE FAMOUS and SMILF.

WHITE FAMOUS will premiere on Sunday, October 15 at 10:00 p.m. “Jay Pharoah plays talented young comedian Floyd Mooney, whose star is rising, forcing him to navigate the treacherous waters of maintaining his credibility as he begins to cross over into the world of becoming ‘white famous’.” The series is based on the personal experiences of Jamie Foxx.

SHAMELESS will return for its eighth season on Sunday, November 5 at 9:00 p.m.

Finally, SMILF will premiere on Sunday, November 5 at 10:00 p.m. “SMILF will take a raw and honest comedic look at a single, 20-something from Southie, Bridgette (Frankie Shaw), whose desires for relationships, sex, and a career collide with the realities of young, single motherhood.” Once SMILF premieres WHITE FAMOUS will move to 10:30 p.m. on Sundays.

SUITS Recap: Putting The P Back In PSL

Suits - Season 7

After a rocky start to its seventh season, SUITS returned to its working formula in “Divide and Conquer.” When a rival firm threatened Pearson Specter Litt, everyone put aside their differences and worked together to pull off the win. Harvey Specter was finally recognizable as his usual, cocky-yet-lovable self; and Gina Torres’ Jessica Pearson made her second appearance this season, complete with Jessica’s usual command of all things. Even with some missteps along the way — nothing is ever perfect after all — the latest episode of SUITS was proof that sometimes, just sticking with the heart and soul of a series, rather than trying to shake things up with too many changes at once, is the best way to guarantee a win.

Or, in simpler terms: If it ain’t broke? Don’t fix it.

Putting the P back in PSL.

Harvey Specter has had a terrible time as managing partner, and it’s all his fault. In his latest argument with Donna, he managed to pat himself on the back for easing tensions with Mike, all while cockily ignoring Donna’s very real concerns for the rest of the garbage fire at the firm. Evidently, his decision to force Alex Williams’ partnership through, then go back on his pro bono agreement with Mike in order to keep one of Alex’s clients, was easily fixed with a gift. And anything else that might have gone wrong was just Donna “undermining” him in a meeting with Louis.

Donna, about as sick of Harvey’s attitude as some SUITS viewers, told him that maybe if he dropped the arrogance, he might be able to find a way to make everyone happy. When Harvey still didn’t listen — because why would he listen to the woman who had virtually never steered him wrong — Donna became even more direct: “If making me COO wasn’t just some bullshit move to make me feel good, then get your head out of your ass, listen to what I’m telling you, and realize you’ve got a problem.”

And then the heavens opened up, miracles reigned down upon the people of the world, and all was well in the…Ok, I’m lying here, but give me this moment of glory.

The next time we saw Harvey, it was a pleasant surprise to find that he had taken Donna’s advice. For the second time in the first four episodes of SUITS season 7, the new managing partner of the firm still bearing Jessica Pearson’s name flew to Chicago to see the Pearson Specter Litt matriarch. This time, rather than trying to force a (bad) decision through by demanding she cosign, he actually went to ask for help.

(Maybe I wasn’t lying about all of those miracles before after all.)

Jessica’s first piece of advice was, essentially, the same as Donna’s: “The first thing you do when you’re in trouble is admit to yourself what you did to get yourself there.” As in, Harvey was really lacking in the self-reflection department and couldn’t have a prayer of getting things back on track at the firm without examining, then changing, his behavior. Jessica’s next suggestion was for Harvey to “find” (invent) a piece of new business to give to Louis.

Proving the real Harvey Specter hadn’t left SUITS completely, he listened to Jessica’s advice. Inventing something for Louis to do required asking Robert Zane for help, as Jessica had once done. At least, that’s what Harvey thought.

Zane was fresh out of business to throw away this time around, though, so he gave Harvey a heads-up instead: “Instead of asking me for a handout, you should watch your backside.” Bratton Gould, the firm from which Harvey had poached Alex Williams — not to mention several of his valuable clients — was planning an attack on Pearson Specter Litt.

And the the entire firm pulled together to save themselves, just like old times. There was even some sort of shady deal that went down in the process. The only difference between “Divide and Conquer” and past SUITS episodes was that Alex, not an original member of the PSL family, saved the day.

Well. At least Team SUITS wanted viewers to think, however temporarily, that Alex saved the day. In reality? Jessica Pearson was the puppet master all along.

While Bratton Gould was always going to attack Pearson Specter Litt, Jessica gave the rival firm the exact information they needed to make it easy; and she did it all because she wanted to force the kids back home to work together. No, really. Can you imagine being Jessica Pearson, going to Chicago to live your own life, and then getting sucked back in because your surrogate children just couldn’t survive without you? What an icon.

If there was ever any doubt that Gina Torres was an integral part of SUITS’ success, doubt no more. In the sense of the series’ fictional firm? Never, ever doubt that Jessica Pearson was the best of the best.

Mama Jessica saved her wayward son (yet again) by making him learn the hard way (yet again), but what about the rest of the Pearson Specter Litt family? Let’s start with Harvey‘s wayward son.

Did anyone think that Mike Ross was actually going to stay out of that pro bono case, especially when it reminded him of just how close he came to being killed during his five minutes in prison? If your answer was yes, you probably aren’t a regular SUITS viewer.

When he convinced Mr. Reyes to turn down a settlement that would have made life much easier for the living members of the Reyes family, Mike was as emotionally manipulative as ever. Somehow, though, he was also at his absolute best. When Mike Ross gives you that puppy dog look and talks about making sure that there are no future victims, it’s difficult to turn him down. And when he adds a dash of his personal tragedy to the mix, it’s impossible not to root for him. No matter what, this kid’s heart is in the right place. In the world of SUITS, that’s no small feat.

Forget about the fact that Mike signed legal documents to say that he’d stay out of the case. That probably won’t come back to bite him at all. Nothing to see here (except for “clandestine” meetings).

While Mike was busy not-at-all discussing the Reyes case with Oliver out in the open, his fiancée was trying to make concrete plans for their wedding in some sort of misplaced attempt to prove to her father that she could focus on a marriage. But Rachel wound up arriving late to wedding planning meeting because she was busy with her career. Somehow, the SUITS narrative here was that whole, outdated, “oh, no! How ever will a woman have it all” dilemma.

If “Divide and Conquer” had a truly low point, the choice to go this route was definitely it.

Luckily, though, not all of Rachel’s story was marred by that sort of sourness. The opening scenes with Rachel and her father, while they were the impetus for the weird work-relationship dilemma angle, were filled with adorable moments of a daughter being not-so-secretly amused by her father’s childish antics. Toward the end of the episode, when Robert Zane told his daughter that he was proud of her, it was a moment of shining proof that SUITS can still deliver the emotional family moments.

Those relationships have always been what this story was about anyway. Ignore the courtroom drama. The Harvey-Mike bromance, the surrogate mothering and/or simply the mentoring from Jessica, the potential for a slow burn romance, and even the sibling-like rivalry between Harvey and Louis? These are all SUITS in a nutshell.

Wherever this series has been for the past three weeks, it’s finally returned. Let’s hope it keeps airing on schedule from here on out.

Final thoughts on SUITS 7×04 (insert Jerry Springer reference here):

  • Look: If Harvey Specter has to continue being this weird, incapable version of himself to guarantee more appearances by Gina Torres? SUITS, I’m here for this. Make him do something stupid every week.
  • Jessica’s faith in Harvey never wavered. I guess you have to be one of The Powers That Be to have that level of belief in someone. (ANGEL reference, for those of you youths too young to remember Torres’ days as Jasmine.)
  • Aside from utterly filleting Harvey, Donna spent much “Divide and Conquer” worrying that her decision to fire Stephanie Patel had caused the firm’s latest problems. Luckily, Stephanie was slightly less petty than she was ethical; and she wasn’t the one leaking valuable information to Bratton Gould, after all. (Mama Jessica was.) Because Donna failed to find the leak, she was more unsure of herself than ever. It was nice to hear Harvey tell Donna that she had never let him down in twelve years (ok, but you’ve let her down, Harvey), but the jury’s still out on whether that moment delivered a bit of a mixed message.
  • “…a big pile of People Hate Harvey.” Title of Chapter 20 of my memoir, thanks to his behavior in the first three episodes of SUITS season 7.
  • Louis had a massive meltdown at the end of SUITS 7×03, so that totally means he should be back to “normal” now. His sudden acceptance of Alex Williams doesn’t make sense in the grand scheme of things, and neither does seeing such a huge moment abruptly dropped between episodes. Given that Alex admitted he never would’ve made name partner at Bratton Gould, and he now knows that Louis once looked into leaving PSL…I don’t know. SUITS has taught me not to trust people who want to get ahead, so this is worrisome at best.
  • “It doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel unappreciated and overlooked.” I think “it me” is what the youths are saying these days, right?
  • “You lived a lie for years! You’re telling me you can’t keep a secret about working one goddamn case?” Someone please ask Oliver to start marketing his personal blend of tea.
  • “What are you, Caesar now? This isn’t the Roman Empire.” Louis also has the good tea, when he’s not being characterized in a wildly inconsistent way.
  • “Tell the mighty Harvey Specter I took his toilet bowl for a test drive.” Amazing. Let’s close this one off right here.

Will Mike and Rachel ever “make time for more important things” (gag me)? Is Harvey back on track? And will Donna ever realize she’s good enough?

Make sure to tune in to the next all-new episode of SUITS on Wednesday, August 9 at 9/8c on USA to find out.

 

WORLD OF DANCE Recap: A Disappointing Message At Divisional Finals

World of Dance - Season 1

WORLD OF DANCE’s Divisional Finals crowned the champions in each of the competition’s three Divisions. These six performances and their resulting winners should have been reason to celebrate. Unfortunately, with some severely over-produced numbers that probably made Derek Hough feel like he was back on his previous reality competition home of DANCING WITH THE STARS, the Divisional Finals made for a slightly disappointing showing. And Les Twins’ win in the Upper Division might have been remarkable for some viewers. But for anyone who’s either danced with an injury or found a space for themselves in the sport despite an actual disability, the message was far too problematic and distracted from the twins’ otherwise enjoyable performance.

The winners.

The first Divisional title awarded on WORLD OF DANCE came in the Team Division. Kinjaz delivered yet another precise, fluid number; but something about their performance felt cold. That left the door wide open for Swing Latino to take the Team title, which the group did with their characteristically flashy style.

In the Upper Division, Les Twins defeated Keone and Mari. More on that later.

That left the Junior Division competition between Diana Pombo and Eva Igo to close out the WORLD OF DANCE Divisional Finals. After an entire introductory piece about Diana proving that she could have fun like any other eleven-year-old girl while dancing instead of always being so serious, it was unclear whether pointing out Diana’s youth would mean she’d pull off an upset or suffer a loss. In the end, Eva Igo, three years Diana’s senior, simply out-danced her…but not by as much as one might expect after all of that build-up. While young, both of these ladies are no stranger to competitions, after all.

If there was a difficult choice to be made in these WORLD OF DANCE Divisional Finals, the Junior Division title was probably it. Take away the excess amount of staging and production, and you’d still find yourself with two incredible solos. (Side note: I’m not sure about this “a bit more dancing” comment from Ne-Yo. If it wasn’t dancing, what was Diana doing all along? Right. Dancing.)

If anything, Diana’s decision to do something a little bit different might have hurt her chances; but not being able to quickly apply the technical note given by Misty Copeland — to use her feet better — in the previous round of the competition probably didn’t help either. Of course, there’s always the fact that Eva Igo was nearly unbeatable from day one, in both technique and performance quality — regardless of what Jennifer Lopez may suddenly have to say about “something missing” in that first audition.

The disappointment: “But now, with three legs, it’s going to be just harder.”

Keone and Mari, like basically every other group of dancers (or soloist) in Divisional Finals, performed very well; but their piece could have stood to have been more about the dancing and less about…everything else. It’s not like they’ve ever needed flashy makeup or lighting to tell an entertaining story with their movement before, after all. Regardless, they earned a seemingly massive 95-point score when they competed for that Upper Division title, which made the odds anything but in Les Twins’ favor — especially since Laurent injured himself just days before the finals.

Cue melodramatic pause.

It was as if an ankle injury was the end of the world. At one point, Laurent even said, “the competition is dead. I cannot do anything anymore,” which had yours truly rolling her eyes so hard they almost fell out of her head. Dancers at home: Raise your hands if you’ve twisted, rolled, or otherwise banged up an ankle and still managed to finish a jumping combination in ballet class. Or maybe your knee’s in so much pain you’ve given up on feeling anything else but — yet you’re still out there on stage, performing all day at a national competition.

Insert any other number of “injured, yet still pushing through” stories here.

With Laurent’s misstep (or miss-twist, as the recap indicated), the WORLD OF DANCE narrative became even worse than your typical reality series’ “oh no, an injury! End of the world!” type of story. Laurent was on crutches two days before Les Twins were set to dance in the Divisional Finals. Honestly, if the next scene had been of the twins doing their own hip hop version of SAVED BY THE BELL’s “The Sprain,” we might have been able to call this whole thing a win. That is not, however, what the choreographic choice turned out to be.

Ne-Yo warned that, in order to win, Les Twins would have to really focus on their emotional connection —  as if that’s something that hasn’t always helped make them special — and then it was time to see how Laurent and Larry were going to overcome this (not remotely career-ending) injury. Their answer to dancing with (not-at-all) only three legs? Laurent performed in a wheelchair, while Larry executed much more in the duo’s traditional style.

Was the dancing great? Absolutely. Was milking the injury and then turning it into some sort of miracle moment remotely appropriate? Nope. WORLD OF DANCE, thy disease is ableism.

The judges’ panel, supposedly full of dance experts, was all about praising Les Twins for taking “something that was a negative and [turning] it into a positive,” as J-Lo put it. Ne-Yo took the tone deaf message one step further: “You are just as dynamic with one foot missing…The chair, in my opinion, took nothing away from you because once you started moving — once the beat kicked in — you might as well have been standing up. It was that dynamic.”

It was if nobody had ever heard of dancing without the use of both legs before — as if the very thought was the biggest shock in dance history.

Laurent didn’t even belong in a wheelchair. He and Larry were not actually dancing “with three legs.” But the brothers were treated as if they were the biggest heroes of all time, simply because Laurent used his already known talent for dancing through his entire being when he happened to be seated.

Forget about the fact that even DANCING WITH THE STARS has proven that “missing” limbs don’t have to take away from individuals’ dancing abilities. Both Noah Galloway and Amy Purdy did extremely well on that particular series. As a reminder, Galloway lost both his left arm and left leg during his second tour of duty in Iraq; and Purdy is “missing” both of her legs, thanks to a bout with bacterial meningitis. Both mastered a variety of dance styles as amateurs, with partners they’d only known for a relatively short while, and without sitting down to do it.

But Laurent, who is already convinced his leg “is going to come back” for the WORLD OF DANCE World Finals, is the true hero for sitting in a wheelchair after a common injury — the pain of which many other dancers would have danced through anyway when the stakes were so high — and competing in his usual style of dance, with the twin brother he’s known his whole life.

Les Twins’ performance was excellent, as is expected of them at this point. However, everything surrounding its presentation to the WORLD OF DANCE audience was a misstep and a missed opportunity. Rather than letting the audience know about how tough dancing is — how many people push their bodies beyond sprains and strains, soft tissue tears and even more serious injuries on a daily basis — or maybe even point them toward companies that have been proving that dancing is beautiful from all body types all along, WORLD OF DANCE simply upheld certain ableist attitudes that we should be past by now.

It’s a shame that the series, which initially presented itself as a dance lover’s competition, is suddenly mucking up the point so badly — especially in light of recent stories regarding edited judges’ comments. So much for reality.

Of course, WORLD OF DANCE has never been about judges or narratives — not for most viewers, at least. So, we’ll support the dancers by watching the WORLD OF DANCE World Final next Tuesday, August 8, at 10/9c on NBC.

 

What’s Coming to Netflix in August 2017?

wet hot

The next installment of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER is coming to Netflix in September, as is Marvel’s THE DEFENDERS. THE MATRIX films will also be making their way to the streaming service.

Check out the full list below of what’s coming to (and leaving) Netflix in August 2017.

Related: What’s coming to Netflix Canada in August 2017?

August 1
A Cinderella Story
Bad Santa
Cloud Atlas
Crematorium: Season 1
Everyone’s Hero
Funny Games (US)
Innerspace
Jackie Brown
Lord Of War
Maz Jobrani: Immigrant (Netflix original)
Nola Circus
Opening Night
Practical Magic
Sleepy Hollow
Small Soldiers
Surviving Escobar – Alias JJ: Season 1 (Netflix original)
The Addams Family
The Astronaut’s Wife
The Bomb
The Hollywood Masters: Season 1
The Last Mimzy
The Matrix
The Matrix Reloaded
The Matrix Revolutions
The Number 23
The Royal House of Windsor: Season 1
The Truth About Alcohol
The Wedding Party
Tie The Knot
Who Gets the Dog?
Wild Wild West

August 2
Jab We Met
The Founder

August 3
Sing
The Invisible Guardian

August 4
Icarus (Netflix original)
Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 3 (Netflix original)
Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later: Season 1 (Netflix original)

August 5
Holes

August 8
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Season 7 Episodes 1-13

August 9
Black Site Delta

August 10
Diary of an Exorcist – Zero

August 11
Atypical: Season 1 (Netflix original)
Home: Adventures With Tip & Oh: Season 3 (Netflix original)
Naked (Netflix original)
True And The Rainbow Kingdom: Season 1 (Netflix original)
White Gold (Netflix original)

August 13
Arthur And The Invisibles
Hot Property
Mission Control: The Unsung Heroes Of Apollo

August 14
The Outcasts
Urban Hymn

August 15
Barbeque
Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo (Netflix original)
21
A New Economy
All These Sleepless Nights
Donald Cried
Murderous Affair: Season 1
My Ex-Ex
The Sweet Life

August 16
Gold

August 18
Dinotrux: Season 5 (Netflix original)
Glitter Force Doki Doki: Season 1 (Netflix original)
I Am Sam
Marvel’s The Defenders: Season 1 (Netflix original)
What Happened To Monday (Netflix original)

August 19
Hide And Seek

August 20
Camera Store

August 21
AWOL
Bad Rap
Beautiful Creatures
Gomorrah: Season 2
Unacknowledged

August 22
Lynne Koplitz: Hormonal Beast (Netflix original)
Sadie’s Last Days On Earth

August 23
Feel Rich

August 25
Disjointed: Part 1 (Netflix original)
Death Note (Netflix original)
DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge: Season 5 (Netflix original)
Once Upon A Time: Season 6

August 29
Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack
Ryan Hamilton: Happy Face (Netflix original)
The Good Place: Season 1

August 31
Be Afraid

Last Call – Titles that Will be Rotating Off the Service in August 2017

August 1
10 Things I Hate About You
Justice League Unlimited: Seasons 1 – 2
Justice League: Seasons 1 – 2
Babe
Babe Winkelman’s Outdoor Secrets: 2014: Quarter 4
Babe: Pig in The City
Beneath The Helmet
Black Widow
Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry
Electric Slide
Elizabethtown
From The Terrace
From Time To Time
Goodbye World
Horsemen
Hunter X Hunter: Seasons 1 – 5
Josef Fritzl: Story Of A Monster
Malibu’s Most Wanted
Prefontaine
Russell Brand: End the Drugs War
Russell Brand: From Addiction to Recovery
Teacher’s Pet
The Delivery Man: Season 1
The Diabolical
The Heavy Water War: Season 1
The Hunt: Season 1
The Little Engine That Could
The Lizzie McGuire Movie
The Verdict
Young Justice: Seasons 1 – 2
Young@Heart
Zack And Miri Make A Porno

August 4
Superbad

August 5
Pelican Dreams
Personal Gold: An Underdog Story

August 6
Human Capital
The Spoils Of Babylon: Season 1

August 9
The Five Venoms

August 10
Dope

August 11
Four Blood Moons
Jesus People: The Movie
Patch Town
Two Days, One Night

August 14
Drones
Food Matters

August 15
American Dad!: Seasons 1 – 4
To Kill a Mockingbird
Changing Seas: Seasons 3 – 6
Close Quarter Battle: Season 1
The New Frontier: Season 1
Top 10 Secrets And Mysteries: Season 1

August 23
The Summer Of Sangaile

August 24
Gun Woman

August 25
October Gale
Paratodos
The Kidnapping Of Michel Houellebecq

August 28
Revenge: Seasons 1 – 4

August 30
The League: Seasons 1 – 7

August 31
Space Warriors

WYNONNA EARP Teasers: The Earp Family, From WayHaught To The Next Generation

The stars of SYFY series WYNONNA EARP met with reporters this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. Cast members Melanie Scrofano, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley, Shamier Anderson, Katherine Barrell, Tamara Duarte, and Varun Saranga joined showrunner Emily Andras and comic book creator Beau Smith to discuss the series’ family dynamic, Wyonna’s pregnancy, popular relationships like Wayhaught and Wyndolls, and more.

The Earp sisters.

Wynonna Earp - Season 2

One of WYNONNA EARP’s many draws is the sibling dynamic between Wynonna and Waverly Earp. At Comic-Con, Emily Andras said that when she first saw the WYNONNA EARP comic book, the Earp sisterhood really stood out to her: “I was quite intrigued by the idea of sisters in the comic book…What I liked the best was the idea that Waverly really wants to be the chosen one, and Wynonna wants to be Waverly and be liked by everybody — and would rather die than be the chosen one. So, I think it’s interesting that they love each other; but they also have what the other wants, so to speak.”

As far as Andras is concerned, there’s also no limit to the rich storytelling available with this particular aspect of the source material. “It’s just so rich, right? I could tell that story for twenty years. I think sister stories don’t get enough play.”

Thank the television gods for Andras’ belief that sisterhood is just as important as any other relationship. It’s almost as if women are interesting characters, just like their male counterparts. Imagine.

The extended Earp family.

It’s worth noting that the series’ somewhat unlikely collection of characters forms its own family. “Genre is the home of building your own family. I think we’ve seen that time and time again, from BUFFY to BATTLESTAR: the idea that you can’t choose your family, but you can build a family of your own. And we certainly strive to do that on the show,” said Andras.

Whether this is the case for other genre shows or not, WYNONNA EARP’s familial bonds go beyond what’s on the screen.

Take, for example, the cast and crew’s reactions to star Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy, which was written into the series’ second season. In many occupations, women run the risk of being met with negative backlash if they become pregnant at a time that might be inconvenient for others. But from the EARP family, Scrofano was met with plenty of support, showing just how close the team really is.

“When the family heard that, they were like a real family,” said Beau Smith, creator of the original WYNONNA EARP comics. Everyone pulled together and recognized Melanie’s news as what it was: a good thing, not something to stand in their way. As Scrofano herself discussed some of the ways her pregnancy affected those on set, she became visibly emotional. She described the experience as “incredible to see the way my life affects everybody on our cast — and the crew even…It just grounded this season in such a beautiful, emotional place for everyone.”

The warmth extended beyond the reactions to Melanie Scrofano’s pregnancy, too. When asked how it felt to join WYNONNA EARP in its second season, newcomer Varun Saranga said, “everyone was so kind to me, and loving, and generous.” The same could be said of Saranga’s character. “I think he enjoys being part of the family….He really cares about these people because they care about him. And that’s his motivation to stay.”

Oh, and don’t forget one of the most vital parts of the WYNONNA EARP family: The Earpers.

“We’re here because of that fandom,” said Tim Rozon, who plays Doc Holliday, “The fandom is the biggest part of our success…So, for me, I’m in debt to all Earpers, ever — forever.”

The praise for the fans didn’t end there. Dominique Provost-Chalkley was a bit nervous to play some of Waverly’s scenes in season two, but some of that pressure was eased by knowing she’d have the fandom rooting for her. “I knew that Earpers are so supportive in everything we do, and we really couldn’t have a more positive and loving fanbase. So, it was kind of the perfect platform to do [them].”

Showrunner Emily Andras informed reporters that the WYNONNA EARP team even surprised some fans at Comic-Con by crashing their viewing party and live tweeting the series’ latest episode with them.

When will your faves ever is, I believe, the proper response to that.

It may be a plot on a sci-fi series, but Wynonna Earp’s pregnancy will be more realistic than you think.

According to star Melanie Scrofano, Emily Andras’ first reaction to Scrofano’s news was, “you have hilarious timing.” After that, Andras got down to the business of turning something that most showrunners would consider a major inconvenience into an opportunity for even better storytelling. Quite a few series, in just about every genre, have had a major problem with finding a way to show what an expecting mother might experience; but Scrofano assured the press at Comic-Con that this would not be the case on WYNONNA EARP.

“Basically, every moment of what I was going through as Melanie, good and bad, [Andras said],  ‘just put it into the character.’ I think it’s really…I think it’s really honest, and you know what? Some people might look at it and be like, ‘I don’t think she would be able to do all that.’ And I say, ‘bullshit.’ Because I, Melanie, was working eighteen hour days. I’d get up. I’d learn my lines. I’d go to work. I’d cry, have a meltdown I’d yell at someone. I’d go apologize, and then I’d keep going. And Wynonna does the same thing. So, I think it really shows pregnancy in an honest light for what it was. For me. It’s not the same for everyone.”

The actress went on to describe instances where her back would hurt — a common problem for pregnant women — and her reaction, holding her back, while not written into the scenes, was kept in the final product because it was so natural. “It’s just those little moments that Wynonna would probably go through, too, and it was really fun to put those in.”

If it sounds like Melanie Scrofano, not Wynonna Earp, is the true superhero here, that’s probably about accurate.

That’s not to say that Wynonna won’t continue to be the hero of her own story, though. And now that she has someone new to protect, expect her to be more fierce.

In yet another dose of reality infused into this oftentimes impossible to describe Syfy channel gem, Wynonna will want to protect her child in that special way mothers do. “She’s had to protect people before — for sure,” teased Scrofano, “but once you become a mother, “you have this protective instinct that kicks in. And so, it just — she just — becomes stronger, in a way.”

Beware things that go bump in the night: If you thought Wynonna Earp was scary before, wait until she becomes a demon-hunting mama bear.

Emily Andras’ bravery in going forward with a pregnancy storyline, rather than covering up Scrofano’s real-life pregnancy, is very important, according to Beau Smith.

“I’ll be honest with you. Right now, there’s someone that’s fifteen to twenty years old that watches WYNONNA EARP, and they’re seeing this. In ten, fifteen, twenty years, they’re going to be a producer — or a writer — and someone at a [Comic-Con roundtable interview] like this is going to ask them, ‘well, what inspired you — what made you do something that’s so creative?’ At that point, they’re going to go, ‘well, there was this show called WYNONNA EARP. And in the second season, they made the lead…She was pregnant, and she did this.’ And that’s what’s going to happen.”

Representation matters.

Even with all of the realistic drama, Earpers can still look forward to plenty of the series’ supernatural storytelling.

As of this season’s seventh episode, there’s already the possibility that the father of Wynonna’s baby is a revenant. What would that even mean for the baby? The demon-Earp hybrid possibilities are endless.

And there’s always plenty of evil for the series’ lead to dispose of. It’s not like Purgatory is going to shut down for maternal leave, after all.

ratsmoothieSo, if you’re not here for a “real” story and want to be swept up in the sci-fi of it all, there’s nothingto fear (except maybe goo possession, revenants, and who knows what else). Let’s just hope there isn’t another rat smoothie. I don’t care how delighted Melanie Scrofano was to describe the film magic behind that. I still don’t think I’ll ever be able to look at a blender the same way again after that scene.

Up next: WayHaught, bromance, Wyndolls, and more.

SUITS Recap: The Rocky Path of Leadership

mudmare

The latest episode of SUITS featured a number of conflicts, all of which stemmed from the main characters’ lack of preparedness for their new leadership roles. While characters like Donna Paulsen and Rachel Zane seemed to at least recognize their failures by the end of “Mudmare,” Harvey Specter continued to digress. And Louis Litt’s reaction to the way his “best friend” treated him was the most unhinged it’s ever been, setting up at least the possibility that SUITS season 7 could be Louis’ darkest yet.

Donna Paulsen and Rachel Zane: The only two mature, self-aware characters.

In the world of SUITS, Donna and Rachel have been tossed into the background far too many times to count. Donna was just the secretary and Harvey Specter’s potential love interest (a mistaken identity, apparently), so she spent much of SUITS’ sixth season with no story at all. Forget about the fact that she happened to clean up everybody else’s messes and was basically Pearson Specter Litt’s resident Wonder Woman: She was a “supporting” character.

Rachel, for her part, was the world’s most capable paralegal, a strong, independent woman who refused to take the easy way out and work for Daddy’s firm…But sometimes, her story seemed to be more about incessant whining and/or being Mike Ross’ “supportive girlfriend” than the Supergirl of sorts that was embodied in her original, then occasional, characterization.

It comes as no surprise, then, that both women would find themselves struggling in their new roles. Donna lost her senior partnership after five minutes because being a partner at Pearson Hardman, Pearson Darby, Pearson Darby Specter, Pearson Specter, Pearson Specter Litt (and probably Specter Ross, one day) was supposed to “mean something,” after all. And Rachel did only gain control of the associates because of Louis Litt’s insane behavior — even for him — after having just recently passed the bar.

That Rachel went to Donna for help in “Mudmare” when Stephanie, the nightmare associate, failed to respect her was also expected. But the pleasant twist in this episode of SUITS was just how complex and satisfying of a conflict the associate issue ultimately created, even if it meant the second week in a row where Donna’s new position(s) of authority <s>was</s> were questioned by other women in some sort of backstabby-feeling trope.

Can’t women just support women? Then again, had some male associate been as disrespectful to Rachel as Stephanie was, that probably would have been even worse. The sad thing is that both situations are painfully realistic. When Donna said Louis would never have been treated that way, she was correct on two levels: Not only had Rachel failed to assert authority in the same way that Louis would have; but Louis, regardless of whatever immature barbs Alex and Harvey may throw at him, is a man. That’s an instant sign of authority, whether it’s been earned or not.

Also: Louis is low key in the middle of a psychotic break, which is terrifying. We’ll get to that later, though.

Donna’s solution to the Stephanie problem was to show up, destroy her, and and remind her who’s senior partner COO, whether she likes it or not. And she was about 50% right, 50% dead wrong to do it. As Rachel’s closest friend/older sister in the Pearson Specter Litt family, Donna probably felt the instant instinct to be supportive and step in when she saw someone she cared about being bullied. And Stephanie, having pawned her work off on Jason and used some technicality to pass the next assignment off to someone else after giving her word she wouldn’t — all because she felt the assignment was “beneath” her — definitely needed to be put in her place.

However, as COO, Donna is now Rachel’s boss, too. And as Rachel pointed out in their intense ladies’ room showdown, the moment Donna inserted herself into Rachel’s conflict with Stephanie, she undermined her friend’s authority. Whether she intended to or not, Donna sent the clear message to the associates that she, not Rachel, was in charge — meaning terrible employees like Stephanie could do whatever they wanted to Rachel as long as Donna wasn’t around. “And you just belittled me and embarrassed me in front of all of them. And that’s nothing that I thought my friend would do to me.”

The latest SUITS bathroom drama became so heightened that Rachel and Donna lashed out at one another with insults about each other’s lack of ability to do their new jobs. Painful as it may have been to hear, both women were right. But that’s ok. It’s a starting point, a place for potential growth.

Unlike a Harvey Specter or a Mike Ross — and definitely unlike a Louis Litt — SUITS’ leading ladies realized their own failings in the situation without having someone else (normally Donna…but who is Donna’s Donna?) point those out to them. By the end of “Mudmare,” the longtime friends and colleagues apologized to one another and admitted their own feelings of being out of their depth.

“I’m not completely ready for this. And I’m not always going to get things right. And I got them really wrong today.” The apologies were heartfelt and vulnerable, honest and completely devoid of any agendas. Regardless of anything else, the women of Pearson Specter Litt continue to prove that they’re capable of learning and growing, even when they have their own flaws. And the best part is that they know when they’re flawed but just keep fighting to do better.

They’re even keeping the SUITS family dynamic alive, while certain other elements of the series’ writing is obscuring it in the worst ways.

Earth to Harvey: You’re woefully unprepared. The sooner you admit it and listen to those around you, the sooner we can all get back to caring about important things like seeing you go mudding.

Harvey Specter has some huge shoes to fill when it comes to running the firm, and as SUITS has shown time and again, even Jessica Pearson herself wasn’t always perfect. The problem in the current season’s arc for Harvey (thus far) isn’t that he’s making bad decisions as managing partner; it’s that he’s learning absolutely nothing from those bad decisions. And he refuses to listen when his supposed partners try to help.

Despite having been mentored by a great leader, he’s just throwing his weight around. It’s like Harvey is living in his own delusional world in which he can do no wrong.

(It’s almost as if the man should go see a therapi-…wait.)

The biggest case of this is Harvey’s weird tendency to “bulldoze” (Mike Ross’ words) others in favor of pleasing Alex Williams. After having to go all the way to Chicago to learn that he couldn’t just hand name partner to his new-old buddy, then conflating that issue with the issue of Donna’s promotion, Harvey was back at the baseless favoritism in “Mudmare.” This time, instead of demoting Donna and giving her senior partnership to Alex in an attempt to prove something, it was selling Mike’s pro bono cause down the river for Alex.

Is the bromance as dead and replaced as that other relationship?

Only time will tell, but one friendship is certainly suffering thanks to Harvey’s closeness to Alex: Whatever it was that we’re calling Louis and Harvey. Larvey? That sounds like larvae…but Houis isn’t any better. Either way.

Knowing how sensitive Louis is and how often he’s been bullied, Harvey chose throw feelings that he’d shared in confidence back in his face when the name partners argued in “Mudmare.” What exactly Louis’ insecurities had to do with whether or not to keep Mike Ross’ client, no mature person will ever know. New client versus an actual contractual line about a junior partner’s workload, especially after that junior partner checked for clients ahead of time? Seems pretty clear cut.

Coming from a managing partner ending a disagreement over which case to keep, “your new honeysuckle friend canceled lunch on you for me” is just awesome.

Worse yet, Harvey spent much of SUITS 7×03 proving Louis’ worst nightmare to be more prophetic than paranoia. Harvey did, in fact, put Alex before Louis; and Harvey even joined his buddy in making fun of Louis during a celebratory bar outing. SUITS has always made it very clear that Harvey Specter had a lot of growing to do, which was always one of the most exciting things to watch for this character, thanks to the seemingly endless opportunities for growth. But behavior like this just makes all of Harvey’s beautiful development seem null and void.

And no, this wasn’t remotely ok on any level whatsoever: “What the hell is wrong with this guy? does he have a crush on you?” God forbid a lonely guy, who’s always been picked on, treasure his friendships. Must be a crush. And even if it werea crush, it would need to be the butt of a joke because…?

Spoiler alert: It wouldn’t.

And I guess no discussion of SUITS season 7 would be complete without mentioning the continuing wrongness of Harvey’s relationship with his former therapist.

hagard

A recap: Harvey made two “romantic” gestures in the premiere. It ended with him and Paula in bed. The new couple had dinner plans; but Paula had to cancel for work reasons, which was super convenient since Harvey was off in Chicago, trying to tear down that statute of Jessica Pearson. That brings us to “Mudmare,” where the rescheduled dinner was set for Harvey’s place: “You want to have dinner at your place because it’s the closest restaurant in the city to your bedroom.”

How very romantic this all is. Totally “not a small thing.” Much love. Fabulous development.

Harvey and Paula finally had that rescheduled dinner, and Harvey did a lot of talking about himself. Remember when Mr. Specter said he couldn’t wait to learn more about his new girlfriend, the one he has all the many feelings for? Well, Harvey doesn’t either. And when Paula, a therapist, shared her very real concerns about the relationship, Harvey called those feelings crazy.

The whole “what do you say we both be scared together” had the potential to be sweet, but (broken record here) without earning that “us against the world” feeling, it just falls flat.

Between what Louis went through by the end of the episode and whatever is going on here, it seems like SUITS is trying to set up some kind of mental health thing. The problem is, when it turns out that a supposedly detached professional turned out to harbor secret feelings for her patient all along, how does the other side (Louis’ treatment) get any respect or credibility at all?

Louis Litt loses it.

Oh, Louis.

For as frustrating as this lawyer’s yo-yo of a characterization can be, he was nothing if not sympathetic in “Mudmare.” He was terrified of losing his friend to someone else, and he knew it. (It’s not like Louis’ mudding dream was that difficult to interpret.) So, he sought professional assistance. Back to Dr. Lipschitz’s office he went.

Louis even took his therapist’s advice by trying to make a new friend in Alex, and he really thought he’d succeeded. The lawyers bonded over some sort of strategy and, more importantly for Louis, cats. Louis has been so starved for attention that he even dubbed Alex “you bff, you” by the end of their brief encounter.

As any loyal SUITS viewer would expect by now, every attempt at being nice just blew up in Louis’ face. Alex Williams canceled lunch to go work with Harvey, something that Louis saw as the realization of his nightmare. But he pressed on. He called his therapist again and sought more help.

But then the fight in Harvey’s office happened. And it was too much.

After years of being Harvey’s friend when it was convenient and his punching bag when it was either useful or just entertaining, Louis snapped. In one of his strongest performances since Louis was fired in SUITS’ fourth season, Rick Hoffman portrayed what looks to be the beginning of some sort of breakdown for the character. All of that pain and anger battled for dominance, creating a scene that, like Donna and Rachel’s argument and its resolution, restored that character-based strength for which SUITS has been known.

Not that I necessarily see SUITS going there, but with the way things have crumbled down around Louis Litt yet again, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of realism if he were to do something very drastic and very violent — either to himself or others. That could spell disaster for Harvey, whose name slipped out when Louis took his pain and anger out on Dr. Lipschitz via phone.

There is a chance for a very good story here. It’s just a shame that that story has to exist at the same time as Harvey’s (apparent) reversion back to whatever he was in SUITS’ first season.

Additional thoughts on SUITS 7×03:

  • Alternate headline for the section on Donna and Rachel: Sarah Rafferty and Meghan Markle, SUITS’ true stars. Wow.
  • On a similar note, petition to reset SUITS as a female-led drama that focuses on the adventures of Donna and Rachel, with occasional appearances by all of the series’ badass ladies (so, every woman except those with unhealthy, fairytale delusions about relationships).
  • So, to be clear: Paula Agard knows what she’s doing with Harvey is wrong. She is so ashamed, in fact, that she doesn’t even want to share with her mentor. But he’s hot and kissed her after spilling platitudes, so… 
  • Yours is helping big corporations screw over the little guy.” Breaking: Oliver pours tea all over Mike’s hobbies, talks about his own love for comic books. If only this had aired last week when we were busy at SDCC.
  • More beautiful Oliver moments: “If it means so much to you, why don’t you do it yourself?” I love this guy. And a personal favorite, “Because there’s something in it for you. Like always.”
  • “Business trumps lunch. Louis will understand.” Has Harvey Specter met Louis Litt??
  • Remember that time Donna Paulsen told Harvey Specter to stop speaking for her? Iconic. Maybe Louis should do the same.
  • My notes actually have “Mike goes to prison” in them. Too bad that trip wasn’t to, you know, suffer the consequences of his actions. With that slight bit of shade out of the way, I’ll say this much: Nobody gets to pick on our Mikey but us. “If this kid doesn’t get that, then what the hell is he doing here?” Take several seats, Alex. You have haven’t earned the right to treat Mike like that. Not to mention, Mike has at least proven that he’s very good at winning cases, regardless of his years of fraud, so that’s what he’s doing here.
  • Do all therapists on SUITS harbor secret fantasies for their patients, or is it just the young, pretty ones? Asking for a friend.
  • Somewhere buried in Mike’s pro bono case was a subtle message on just how godawful for-profit prisons are, as well as a warning about making punishments too harsh for people’s supposed crimes. An ounce of pot equaled incarceration, which caused Chris’ death. Add in the fact that the inmate’s last name was Reyes, and you’d have to be either blind or willfully ignorant not to get what was going on here. SUITS has always been clever about sneaking some issues with corporate America into storylines. It’s so strange seeing such serious business tackled so well when others are either mocked or simply unapologetically ignored.
  • “LAWYER GETS COCKY, GIVES INTERVIEW,” “FAKE LAWYER BECOMES REAL DICKHEAD,” “BIG BOY PANTS: THE MIKE ROSS STORY.” These are totally things that newly-crowned managing partners looking to prove themselves spend time on.
  • “Don’t be hostile. Don’t be hostile.” It’s like someone at SUITS spied on my inner monologue when dealing with just about everyone, ever.
  • “The 7 Stages of Louis: panic, sorrow, self-loathing, hatred, justification, self-loathing again, and rage.” Tag yourself. I’m all of the above.
  • “Because this is where we met, but this isn’t where I need to be anymore.” Sure. Fine. Whatever.
  • You’re never there for me. You’re always against me!” No, really, SUITS. Stay out of my head.
  • “And I don’t give a shit what you think: I’m not the horrible person you always say I am.” It hurts.

Can Louis’ therapist talk him down off the ledge? Will Harvey ever listen to Donna again? And will Mike actually stay out of that Reyes case? Make sure to watch the next all-new episode of SUITS on Wednesday, August 2 at 9/8c on USA to find out.

 

What’s Coming to Netflix Canada in August 2017?

defenders

Marvel’s THE DEFENDERS is coming to Netflix Canada in August 27 as the streaming service’s four heroes team up to save New York City. Several other Netflix originals are also coming, including ATYPICAL and a new installment of WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER.

Check out the full list below of what’s coming to (and leaving) Netflix Canada in August 2017.

August 1
Awake: A Dream from Standing Rock
Capturing global attention, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe leads a peaceful protest against an oil pipeline threatening the drinking water of millions.

Boychoir
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates, Eddie Izzard
A angel-voiced boy in agony faces a new kind of challenge. Opportunity is fleeting, and talent is just the beginning.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Cast: Gary Oldman, Keri Russell, Andy Serkis
A decade after their escape, Caesar and his fellow super-intelligent apes strike a tenuous peace with human survivors of the simian virus.

Ex Machina
Cast: Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac
A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking humanoid A.I.

It Follows
Cast: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi
A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after a sexual encounter.

Jackie
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig
Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.

Land Girls – Series 1 – 3
Cast: Becky Gemmell, Susan Cookson, Mark Benton, Mykola Allen, Sophie Ward
Follow the lives, loves, highs and lows of four members of the Women’s Land Army who are working at the Hoxley Estate during WWII.

Maz Jobrani: Immigrant – Netflix Original
Iranian American comic Maz Jobrani takes the stage in Washington, D.C. to discuss immigration, protests, political donations, the Olympics and more.

Opening Night
Cast: Lauren Lapkus, Lesli Margherita, Topher Grace, Anne Heche
Once a rising star on Broadway, Nick is now the perennially pestered production manager for a new musical dedicated to rock music’s one-hit wonders.

Planet of the Apes
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth
An Air Force astronaut crash lands on a mysterious planet where evolved, talking apes dominate a race of primitive humans.

Ripper Street – Season 5
Cast: Matthew Macfadyen, Jerome Flynn, Adam Rothenberg
It’s been six months since the last Jack the Ripper killing, and East London is hopeful that his reign of terror might have run its course.

Rules Don’t Apply
Cast: Lily Collins, Alden Ehrenreich, Warren Beatty, Matthew Broderick, Martin Sheen
The unconventional love story of an aspiring actress, her determined driver, and their boss, eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes.

Shadowhunters: The Mortal Instruments – Season 2 Part B – Netflix Original – New Episodes Weekly
Cast: Matthew Daddario, Katherine McNamara, Alberto Rosende
Despite a stunning betrayal, Clary and the Shadowhunters go to war against Valentine’s new army to determine the ultimate fate of the Shadow World.

Still Alice
Cast: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart
A linguistics professor and her family find their bonds tested when she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Surviving Escobar: Alias JJ – Season 1 – Netflix Original
After the death of Pablo Escobar, a former Medellin Cartel leader who willingly turned himself in fights his way to the top of the prison underworld.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Cast: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander
In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

The Royal House of Windsor – Season 1
Drawing on newly available info, this show traces how the British royal family has survived the last 100 years of power struggles, politics and more.

Walking with the Enemy
Cast: Jonas Armstrong, Ben Kingsley, Hannah Tointon
A young man, separated from his family in WWII, disguises himself as a Nazi SS Officer and uncovers more than just his family whereabouts.

Woman in Gold
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bru?hl
Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

Words and Pictures
Cast: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Bruce Davison
A picture is worth a thousand words — or is it? That’s the question prep school students must answer as their art and English teachers egg them on.

August 2
Hook
Cast: Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts
When Captain Hook kidnaps his children, an adult Peter Pan must return to Neverland and reclaim his youthful spirit in order to challenge his old enemy.

The Founder
Cast: Michael Keaton, Nick Offerman, John Carroll Lynch
After a fateful encounter with the McDonald brothers, struggling salesman Ray Kroc becomes driven to change the way hamburgers are made and sold.

August 3
The Truman Show
Cast: Jim Carrey, Ed Harris, Laura Linney
Truman Burbank is the star of “The Truman Show,” a 24-hour-a-day TV phenomenon that broadcasts every aspect of his life without his knowledge.

August 4
Alan Saldaña: Mi vida de pobre – Netflix Original
Mexican comedian Alan Saldaña finds humour in his struggles to achieve financial success in this original stand-up comedy special.

Chelsea – Season 2 – Netflix Original – New Episodes Weekly
Exciting guests, timely topics, global destinations. Chelsea returns with a fresh new format, bringing her bold perspective to a changed world.

Icarus – Netflix Original
Cast: Bryan Fogel, Grigory Rodchenkov
An American filmmaker and cyclist unwittingly wades into a global scandal when a Russian scientist leaks shocking details of a vast doping conspiracy.

Insidious: Chapter 3
Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Angus Sampson
A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family, reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Voltron: Legendary Defender – Season 3 – Netflix Original
Cast: Jeremy Shada, Tyler Labine, Bex Taylor-Klaus
In an all-new series, five unlikely heroes and their flying robot lions unite to form the megapowerful Voltron and defend the universe from evil.

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later – Season 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, Amy Poehler, Chris Pine
Ten years after the original film, fans can finally find out what happened to their favorite campers and counselors in this eight-episode series.

August 8
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Season 7
Cast: Ashleigh Ball, Tabitha St. Germain, Tara Strong
Journey to the enchanted land of Equestria, where unicorn Twilight Sparkle and her pals have adventures and learn valuable lessons about friendship.

August 10
Psycho
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Anne Heche, Julianne Moore
In this remake of the 1960s classic, Marion Crane stops at the Bates Motel, only to encounter Norman Bates, a man with a lot of secrets to hide.

Ricki and the Flash
Cast: Meryl Streep, Sebastien Stan, Mamie Gummer
When her daughter’s marriage unravels, errant Rocker Ricki wants to help. But her estranged kids might not welcome her back.

August 11
Allied
Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris
In 1942, a Canadian intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.

Atypical – Season 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Michael Rapaport
Sam, an 18-year old on the autism spectrum, takes a funny, yet painful journey of self-discovery for love and independence.

Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh – Season 3 – Netflix Original
Cast: Rachel Crow, Mark Whitten
A misfit alien named Oh moves in with Tip and her family, in a series that picks up the dynamic duo’s adventures where the hit film left off.

Naked – Netflix Original Film
Cast: Marlon Wayans, Regina Hall
Rob’s madly in love and about to be married. Unfortunately, he’s also naked, stuck in an elevator and caught in a time loop.

White Gold – Season 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Ed Westwick, Linzey Cocker, James Buckley
In 1980s Essex, cocky salesman Vincent Swan and his unscrupulous team will do anything to get the sale — including throwing honesty out the window.

August 14
Pan
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, Rooney Mara
As a kind of prequel to the Peter Pan story, this fantasy relates how Peter first met and initially befriended Captain Hook and fought alongside him.

August 15
All These Sleepless Nights
Cast: Krzysztof Baginski, Michal Huszcza, Eva Lebuef
A new era is coming, and Warsaw stands uncomfortably at its edge. Art school classmates Christopher and Michal, on the precipice of their own coming of age, restlessly roam their city’s streets in search of living forever inside the beautiful moment.

Barbecue
A blend of cultural nuance and mesmerizing techniques adds flavor to this globe-hopping celebration of cooking, tradition and community.

Brad Paisley’s Comedy Rodeo – Netflix Original
Country music star Brad Paisley hosts a night of music and laughs with comics Nate Bargatze, John Heffron, Sarah Tiana, Mike E. Winfield and Jon Reep.

The Sweet Life
Cast: Chris Messina, Abigail Spencer, Brian Shortall
The Sweet Life, an edgy and unconventional dramedy, is the love story of Kenny Parker and Lolita Nowicki, each struggling with their own brand of demons, who first meet by chance in Chicago and form a pact to travel across country to the Golden Gate Bridge to commit suicide… together.

August 16
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, John Cusack
The life of a White House butler who served under eight presidents unfolds against a backdrop of unparalleled change in American history.

RV
Cast: Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Kristin Chenoweth
Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.

August 17
Minority Report
Cast: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
In the late 21st century, when technology can predict crimes before they’re committed, a top “Precrime” cop is targeted for a murder charge.

August 18
Dinotrux – Season 5 – Netflix Original
Cast: Andrew Francis, Richard Ian Cox, Ashleigh Bell
Half dinosaur, half construction truck, full-on fun! Wtach giant Ty Rux, his little buddy Revvit and the crew come fact-to-face with evil D-Structs.

Glitter Force Doki Doki – Season 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Stephanie Sheh, Melissa Fahn, Debi Derryberry
A new squad of Glitter Force warriors unite to defend Earth and the magical kingdom of Splendorious from the evil King Mercenare and his minions.

Marvel’s The Defenders – Season 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Charlie Cox, Mike Colter, Finn Jones
It will take an epic team of heroes to save New York City. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage come together in The Defenders.

The Bye Bye Man
Cast: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas
Three friends stumble upon the horrific origins of a mysterious figure they discover is the root cause of the evil behind unspeakable acts.

August 21
Unacknowledged
“Unacknowledged” focuses on the historic files of the Disclosure Project and how UFO secrecy has been ruthlessly enforced-and why. The best evidence for extraterrestrial contact, dating back decades, is presented with direct top-secret witness testimony, documents and UFO footage, 80% of which has never been revealed anywhere else. The behind-the-scenes research and high-level meetings convened by Dr. Steven Greer will expose the degree of illegal, covert operations at the core of UFO secrecy.

August 22
How to Get Away with Murder – Season 3
Cast: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch
A tough criminal law professor challenges her students to solve thorny cases, but five scholars soon learn the high-price of impressing her.

Lynne Koplitz: Hormonal Beast – Netflix Original
Unbashed New Yorker Lynne Koplitz offers a woman’s take on being crazy, the benefits of childlessness and the three things all men really want.

The Blacklist – Season 4
Cast: James Spader, Megan Boone, Diego Klattenhoff
After turning himself in, a brilliant fugitive offers to help the FBI bag other criminals, but only if rookie profiler Elizabeth Keen is his partner.

The Intern
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo
70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

August 23
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Cast: Jim Carrey, Courteney Cox, Sean Young
Barely competent pet private eye Ace Ventura is put on the case when kidnappers with an ax to grind abduct Snowflake, the Miami Dolphins’ mascot.

August 24
Fences
Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson
A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.

School of Rock
Cast: Jack Black, Joan Cusack, Mike White
Musician Dewey Finn gets a job as a fourth-grade substitute teacher, where he secretly begins teaching his students the finer points of rock ‘n’ roll.

Sixteen Candles
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling, Anthony Michael Hall
Samantha’s family has forgotten her sixteenth birthday, a day that could be perfect if only Jake Ryan would look her way.

August 25
Death Note – Netflix Original Film
Cast: Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, Lakeith Stanfield
Intoxicated by the power of a supernatural notebook, a young man begins killing those he deems unworthy of life. Based on the famous Japanese manga.

Disjointed – Part 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Kathy Bates
She’s living her dream as the owner of a cannabis dispensary. She and the budtenders — her son and a guard — are pretty much constantly high.

DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge – Season 5 – Netflix Original
From the creator of “How to Train Your Dragon” comes an all-new Netflix original series that takes Hiccup and Toothless to the edge of adventure!

Love & Mercy
Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks
In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.

The Mist – Season 1 – Netflix Original
Cast: Morgan Spector, Frances Conroy, Alyssa Sutherland
A town is engulfed by a mysterious fog that conceals terrifying visions and deadly creatures in this new horror series based on Stephen King’s story.

August 26
Personal Shopper
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Sigrid Bouaziz, Lars Eidinger
A personal shopper in Paris refuses to leave the city until she makes contact with her twin brother who previously died there. Her life becomes more complicated when a mysterious person contacts her via text message.

August 29
Bring It On: Worldwide #Cheersmack
Cast: Vivica A. Fox, Cristine Prosperi, Jordan Rodrigues
When Destiny (Prosperi), captain of three-time national champions “The Rebels,” is challenged to a global cheer showdown by an edgy new team called “The Truth,” the Cheer Goddess organizes a virtual battle for squads from all around the world.

Ryan Hamilton: Happy Face – Netflix Original
Small-town native Ryan Hamilton talks about adjusting to life as a clean-living comedian in New York City in this new stand-up special.

August 30
The Perfect Guy
Cast: Sanaa Lathan, Michael Ealy, Morris Chestnut
After lobbyist Leah ends her longtime romance with marriage-phobic Dave, she falls for Carter, a charming security expert with a hidden, dark agenda.

War Room
Cast: Karen Abercrombie, Priscilla C. Shirer, T.C. Stallings
Fed up with her marriage to a selfish workaholic, Realtor Elizabeth seeks guidance from an older woman, who counsels her in the power of prayer.

Last Call – Titles that Will be Rotating Off the Service in August 2017

August 1
Fantastic Four

August 2
Run All Night

August 4
Ultimate Spider-Man – Season 1

August 10
American Pie Presents: Band Camp
Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo
Notting Hill

August 11
Sleeping Beauty

August 28
Goodbye to All That

August 31
The Hotwives of Orlando

SUPERNATURAL Comic-Con Press Room: The Cast and Producers Tease the Devil’s Son, Alternate Realities and More

supernatural

After a SUPERNATURAL panel that included a live performance by Kansas, actors Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki and Misha Collins joined producers Robert Singer and Andrew Dabb for the show’s press room, which gave us an opportunity to learn more about Lucifer’s son, how Mary will survive in the alternate world, the upcoming SUPERNATURAL spin-off and what’s to come for Sam and Dean Winchester in season 13.

Jack and the Winchesters. How will the brothers deal with their new Hell-spawn ward? “No big deal,” Jensen Ackles joked. “[It will be like] Two Men and a Baby. We pick up right where we left off and essentially Dean’s lost everybody aside from his brother. He doesn’t really know how to respond to that or emotionally process what just happened. But what he can do is go shoot someone in the face. So that’s what he tries to go do. It doesn’t happen. Sam stops him and tries to talk some sense [into him]. But that’s the mission that happens in kind of the first episode. Because that’s what he knows he can do and that’s something he can do right there. Dealing with what just happened, he’ll deal with that once they neutralize the threat. But of course the kid gets away and now it’s a bit of a manhunt.” Ackles also said that the alternate universe is “one thing that keeps Dean from just opening fire [against Jack. He opened the other world so] if he did it once, what’s to say he can’t do it again. Maybe he can do it again and maybe he can try to get Mom back. There’s possibilities, but Dean is going to treat it like ‘keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer’ type of thing.”

Meanwhile, when asked whether Jack is really their foe or if the brothers just don’t understand his intentions, Jared said it’s “a little bit of both. So Dean, I think, sees Jack as a foe. Jack is like same song, different verse [in terms of bad guys]. We’ve seen this before where we think this is going to be fine. There was the demon Ruby and there was this and that. But it always comes back to bite us. So I think Dean as we might have guessed is like ‘let’s shoot first and figure out later’. Whereas Sam, I think for a lot of reasons — one being trying to figure out what happened to Mary — wants to try and nurture [Jack]. I think Sam sees a lot of himself in Jack. Sam was supposed to be evil. Sam had demon blood [in him] before he was one year old. And I think he’s trying to convince himself that nurture is more powerful than nature. Sam is human, but I guess you could also argue he’s part demon [but] he’s kept it at bay for a while. I think he’s getting getting flustered at Dean without really saying ‘hey man, you want to kill me too?'”

Winchester Conflict. There will be some disagreement between the brothers this season, although it won’t necessarily be as bad as what we’ve seen in the past. Ackles said. “it’s not so much the brothers are head-to-head like it’s been in the past seasons. It’s more of [a situation where] Dean wants to go this route, Sam wants to go this route, but they will both eventually end up in the same place. Dean will acquiesce to Sam and be like ‘we’ll try it your way, but if anything happens we do things my way’. So it’s more like that.”

Sam as a Leader. We really saw Sam step up and take the lead in the fight about the British Men of Letters at the end of last season and Jared explained that he thinks “Sam has always been kind of ultimately powerful. He’s been Lucifer. He’s been so full of demon blood that he started the apocalypse. So Sam is a thinker and he knows that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely….[This leadership role for him is going to] continue as much as it can and it needs to. Obviously the British Men of Letters problem [is gone but] there’s another task at hand. And he certainly has taken the lead and he has taken the lead with Jack. So maybe that was awakened in him at the end of season 12.”

The Search for Mary and Her Life in the Alternate Reality. When asked how the brothers will try to retrieve their mother Jared said “I think Sam is going to be doing the only thing that he logically can do, which is try to figure out how the universe opened up in the first place — which I think we know it rhymes with ‘Jack’ — and seeing if he can help guide Jack to a place where he could do it again. Even though Jack didn’t do it consciously; he didn’t knowingly open up a rift to another universe, it just happened when he was born. But I think Sam is really going to be trying to figure out how to nurture Jack into a place where he can tell us where Mom is.”

Singer also explained that Mary “does try to run away from [Lucifer] first thing [in the alternate reality], but it doesn’t turn out as well as she might hope. We visit there, but we don’t live in that universe for a whole long time. It’s always there in episodes but the majority of the time is spent in this world. Whenever we do visit there and we meet some characters there — some that we know and new ones — it’s just really not a pleasant place. I think a little bit of that is going to go a long way. A lot of the emotional stuff about what the season [is about] is that Dean is convinced that once Mom went through that rift with Lucifer [it] was curtains for her. Sam is of the opinion that [they have] this kid and he opened the rift once, let’s go see for ourselves. If she’s alive, let’s try to save her. That causes a certain bit of head-butting among the two guys. And that’s part of this idea of the family being torn apart, that they have sort of different takes about this. Dean gets a little dark about that.”

Jack as a Hunter. Will Jack be riding around and accompanying Sam and Dean on cases? “In the beginning, without getting too specific, he doesn’t have much control over his powers,” Singer explained about Jack. “I guess he’s a little bit like the Hulk in that regard, in that he can do things but he does them involuntarily. Part of him, because he’s half-human, doesn’t want to hurt people. He knows he has this thumb drive that his mother left him talking about [the fact that] he can be what he wants to be. And he has this angel looking over him. So he’s aware of all this. But he can’t control himself. So it’s really about how do you get that balance? He’s interested in the hunter world but he has a couple of mis-steps early on and, again, what Dean feels about him in the beginning of the year as opposed to what Sam wants to do with him, they’re really worlds apart. So there’s a lot of conflict between the guys there and this kid is kind of caught in the middle. But good drama is conflict so that’s what we try to do every year.”

Season 13’s Bid Bad. Don’t think of Jack as the biggest threat in season 13, according to Dabb. “Jack is not the biggest threat they are dealing with. The biggest threat they’re dealing with — I will not tell you who it is [but] but I will say it’s an old — let’s call him friend — who we have not seem for many years and who will create many, many problems for our guys. And he probably is not currently in our world. He was from the alternate world.” When asked whether the big bad might be Michael Dabb replied “I’ll plead the fifth on that one.”

Familiar Faces Will Return. “I think that’s the great thing about SUPERNATURAL is we have supporting characters that we think are so strong we want to give them their own TV show,” Dabb said. “We have other people out there that are coming back for us. And I think in the alternate reality — look, we don’t want to play the game where it’s like every week and here’s alternative version of character X from season 3. We don’t want to play that game. I think that game gets boring very quickly. But we have some characters who are very sorely missed on our show coming back in interesting ways. And in ways that you do not necessarily expect. Certainly [they won’t always be] the character we knew, but it’s still the character we know who’s been through a lot of horrible, horrible things.”

Going Through Loss. “[The brothers losing their family recently] is really kind of a devastating blow,” Singer said. “How one reacts to that is what makes people different. I think you’ve seen where a family member will die and some people will show their emotion, or they’re trying to get their stuff out, [while others] become withdrawn and don’t deal with it. They don’t deal with their own emotions. I think that latter one is a little more where Dean is at. He kind of gets darker as the first few episodes go on. He begins to [question] ‘what is this all about and what am I doing?'” How will the brothers react to losing Cas? That will be part of this feeling of loss “Even to a certain extent Crowley is gone. He was a frenemy but he basically gave himself up for them. It’s pretty devastating. It leaves them in a really strange place and if they just had to deal with it alone, so be it, but now they’ve got this kid, this man-child that they have to deal with. It’s a lot of complication. We did that intentionally, but it’s a season based on emotion, not on big stuff…..Last year was very big with the British Men of Letters and the whole organizational thing and all that. This year we made a conscious effort that we want to go a little smaller and more personal. So with Mom and apocalypse world, with Lucifer and the boys have to deal with Satan’s son, there’s a lot of emotional possibilities and that’s kind of what we wanted to play with this year. Last year was about bringing family back together, this is what do you do when your family gets blown apart.”

Cas’s Self-Doubt. “I think that Cas goes through varying [and] different stages — varying and different degrees of self-loathing over time,” Misha said. “So a lot of his actions end up being motivated by him trying to sort of pay penance for past failures that he perceives himself having made. He carries baggage with him. Like when he screws something up he just doesn’t let it go. So that has been a big motivating factor for him for a long time — trying to do the right thing because he feels like he has failed in the past. And I think we saw that at the end of season 12 — he can’t forgive himself. I think he gets a little bit of a reset at the beginning of season 13, by which I mean he’s dead. But he gets a little bit of a reset because I think the circumstances as they unfolded at the end of [season 12] felt like they weren’t really anybody’s fault. Although I suppose Castiel could find a way to blame himself in some way. But so far in what I’ve seen he isn’t blaming himself too much. And I think that now we’re also sort of uniting around a common purpose ultimately.”

Which Cas Will Return? Misha was a bit vague when asked whether the version of Cas we know would return, so it’s a bit up in the air right now: “Well, we’re going to see different iterations of….well, yeah. The Cas that comes back is not like a totally different Cas.”

Cas and Jack. “It takes along time for them to actually come together in the show,” Misha explained of Jack and Castiel’s first meeting. “I don’t think we have scenes together until episode 6. But, in a way, I think Jack sort of thinks of him as a surrogate father or something like that. There’s some sort of strange imprinting that may have happened even though Cas was dead.” Is Jack on their side though? “I think that’s a big question for everybody.”

The Spin-Off. With the news that Donna, Alex and Claire would join Jody in the SUPERNATURAL spin-off WAYWARD SISTERS today, Dabb explained that we’re going to see the official backdoor pilot in “episode 10, so it’ll be our first episode back from our midseason break. And I will not give away plot secrets, but I will say it’s about putting together this team of really, really excellent characters — four that we know and two that we will meet this season, the first in episode 3 and the next in episode 9 — and allowing them to kind of kick some ass. And tell a story that I think [feels like it’s] in the SUPERNATURAL universe, in the SUPERNATURAL sphere, but will feel and play [a bit different from] SUPERNATURAL.”

The spin-off is “something that we have been talking about internally really since we re-introduced Claire Novak to the show, which I believe was season 9,” Dabb said. “And the idea that Jody had already taken in Alex Jones [we thought] oh, this might be an opportunity to make this happen. It’s something that simmered for us and fans really latched on it in a way we never could have expected and in a really awesome way. And then for us it was like last season because of the British Men of Letters and because of [Mary], it didn’t feel right [to introduce it]. This season it feels right. And the way it’s going, as you’ll see as you watch the show in the first half of [season 13], it evolves I think very organically out of the first half of the season in a way that we were able to do because we had such a high amount of lead time. It feels, unlike the first spin-off we did — which was, by design, meant to not feel like SUPERNATURAL — this is meant to feel like SUPERNATURAL but a different set of stories in that world, but very much the same sensibilities, the same driving forces and the same core themes, which [is] family.”

Missouri Moseley, who has not been seen since season 1 of the show, will be returning and she’ll be connected to the spin-off. Singer said that “she is the grandmother of Patience, who will be the third [young] girl in [the spin-off]. [Missouri] reluctantly has actually passed down through generations her psychic skills. [Patience’s] father wants her to deny those and not give in to this world. Circumstances dictate that she has to and that’s how she ends up at Jody’s.” We’ll see Missouri in episode 3.

SUPERNATURAL returns for an all new season on October 12 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.

THE GIFTED Comic-Con Press Room: Mutants With A Very Human Message

gifted

The stars of FOX’s upcoming Marvel series THE GIFTED spoke with reporters at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. While filming is still in its early stages, series stars Amy Acker, Stephen Moyer, Jamie Chung, Emma Dumont, Natalie Alyn Lind, and Percy Hynes White were still able to tease a little bit about the series’ family dynamic, social commentary, and — of course — mutants.

Meet the new mutants. No, they’re not THE X-MEN — and there’s a reason for that…but you’ll have to watch THE GIFTED to find out what that reason is.

Percy Hynes White said of his character, Andy Strucker, “he’s a lot like me. Except he’s kind of more shy, and he gets bullied, and he has superpowers.” Judging by Percy’s engaging, outgoing demeanor during THE GIFTED’s Comic-Con press room, that probably means Andy and Percy have similar interests — but very different personalities.

And what are Andy Strucker’s superpowers? “He doesn’t know, but he finds out. And it’s crazy.” In one particularly exciting scene (shown as part of the highlight reel in the series’ SDCC panel) from THE GIFTED’s pilot, Andy and several hundred people find out about his powers all at the same time.

While the exact nature of Andy’s powers wasn’t revealed in the press room, we can assure you of this much: They’re “so powerful…that he, at any moment, could take over the world.”

Unlike her brother, Lauren Strucker (Natalie Alyn Lind) learns about her powers at a younger age. Also unlike Andy, Lauren is able to hide those powers from her family and friends, rather than making a big (if accidental) display of them.

Some familiar faces from comics, television, and film.

The Strucker children aren’t the only mutants on THE GIFTED. Not by a long shot.

The series boasts appearances by Eclipse, Thunderbird, Blink, and Polaris. At Comic-Con, we had the chance to speak with Jamie Chung and Emma Dumont about their characters, Blink and Polaris. Both mutants have appeared in THE X-MEN comics and animated series. Additionally, Blink is probably most recognizable as one of the characters in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST.

On THE GIFTED, Blink’s “real” name is Clarice Phong, but she uses Clarice Ferguson as an alias. Jamie Chung described Blink’s abilities as follows: “My power is I can bend space in order to open portals. So, you can travel through portals. Hopefully, you’ll be able to send different objects through portals. You can use that energy to throw things through portals.”

THE GIFTED’s version of Blink “has a lot of attitude,” according to Chung. “She has the markings of a mutant. She was never able to hide that she was a mutant…And, so, she has kind of, like, this stand-off attitude. And she’s been quite independent and different.”

Emma Dumont plays Lorna Dane, also known as Polaris. “She controls magnets, magnetism…any metal. She can stop bullets. She can crash cars. She can do all this stuff. She kind of has anger issues, so some of those things happen.” If those abilities sound at all familiar, it’s because Polaris is Magneto’s daughter.

Dumont’s character is somewhat unique in the universe created on THE GIFTED. “When she discovered her powers, she wasn’t ashamed at all. But shame is a big part of what [other] mutants go through because, again, they’re persecuted because of these things they were born with. But she was loud and proud since she was a kid. So, I think that’s why she’s stronger and more confident in her powers.”

Despite Polaris’ lack of shame, she and Blink are on the run as the series begins. So, unlike, the Strucker family, we won’t exactly get to see them living normal lives before getting involved in the story’s main action. As serious all of this may sound, there will still be opportunities for some humor. According to Dumont, “Matt Nix, our showrunner, really knows how to put the dark humor in this serious situation.”

More mutants may show up at a later time: “We’re going to have a lot of really cool mutants come into the show…There are so many X-MEN characters from the comic books, so there’s endless possibilities.”

Awesome? Awesome.

X-MEN or not, Marvel’s mutants are in good hands with the cast of THE GIFTED.

Both Percy Hynes White and Natalie Alyn Lind are huge fans of THE X-MEN. White’s favorite mutant is Nightcrawler, while Lind’s is Storm. They’ve seen the films; and despite being too young to have grown up watching it, both actors have seen FOX’s Saturday morning X-MEN cartoon.

The teens aren’t the only actors who know what they’ve gotten themselves into, either.

Stephen Moyer has a personal connection to THE X-MEN universe. His wife, Anna Paquin, played Rogue in several films in the franchise; and some Comic-Con reporters wanted to know whether he’d asked her for any advice on how to navigate Marvel’s world. Moyer answered in the affirmative. “She’s a big believer in doing a bunch of research, so she showed me a few places that she had got information from. Not just comics….The internet, as an actor, is an amazing resource.”

Marvel Unlimited was also a great help in gaining background information.

With actors who know both the mythology and its impact on fans, THE GIFTED has great potential to be a well-told mutant story.

THE GIFTED will also have a very human element, though. And two actors known for portraying superhuman characters will not have powers here — at least not as far as anyone knows as of now.

Amy Acker plays THE GIFTED’s Kate Strucker, mother of Andy and Lauren. Acker has a history of playing complicated characters, so one question that came up in the Comic-Con press room was whether or not there might be some “other layers” to Kate.

Acker teased “a big transformation because she is coming into something that she didn’t expect at all.” As a comparison, she mentioned her ANGEL character, Fred Burkle. “She was a normal person put in extraordinary circumstances, and I think that brings out kind of a power and a complexity in the roles that I’m sure that Matt [Nix] is going to make challenging and exciting for all of us.” Whether or not that “transformation” will be anything like what ultimately happened to Fred, though, viewers will have to wait and see.

For Stephen Moyer, who plays Reed Strucker, portraying one of the few characters without powers is “a real welcome change.” Well-known for his turn as Bill on TRUE BLOOD, Moyer jokingly mimed some of the strange things he’d have to do when filming the vampiric aspects of his character and quipped, “we can just watch everybody else suffer with that” on THE GIFTED.

In fact, one of the things that brought Moyer to THE GIFTED was the element of “ordinary in extraordinary” that Acker had mentioned. “Drama is about what happens when something difficult happens to ordinary people.”

Coby Bell plays Jace Turner, who might be considered one of the “bad guys” in this situation. His job involves capturing and punishing mutants. Will Jace struggle with this at all? “I think so. It’s not just black and white — ‘I hate mutants, and I’m taking them down.’ He was a cop. His daughter was killed in a mutant-related incident. So, he joined the Sentinel Services sort of vowing to not let that happen to any other family.”

“Family comes first, and I think that that’s the biggest message in our show, which is extremely important.”

One of the interesting aspects of THE GIFTED (aside from the superpowers, of course) is that, despite having two mutant childrenReed Strucker is actually in charge of prosecuting mutants. It’s part of what makes Lauren feel the need to hide her powers for so long.

How does this affect the children’s relationship with their father? Andy and Lauren will have different viewpoints. Andy will spend a lot of time seeking his father’s forgiveness, and he’s going to try his best to keep his relationship with Reed unchanged. “I think I still trust him, and I’m still looking for my parents’ support.”

“She doesn’t want her father to think of her as a threat or think of her as this weird girl,” Lind said of Lauren. There’s even a memorable line from the series that points to Lauren’s wariness: “Dad puts people like us in jail.”

Regardless of Reed’s job, though, the Strucker family is going to have to stick together — especially the children. Natalie Alyn Lind considered this dynamic a vital part of THE GIFTED. “I think that’s definitely where the heart comes in. Because our characters…I think my character is alone for so long, so when she finds out that her brother is a mutant, she — all of a sudden — has a new look on things. And she finds somebody, especially somebody she’s as close with, that can relate to her and kind of be there for each other.”

So, is Reed Strucker one of the villains? Definitely not, no matter what his occupation is.

At some point, Andy and Lauren will become far more important to their father than some job. “Immediately when it becomes about his own kids, and one of them does something quite destructive, he knows what’s going to happen to that boy. He knows what’s going to happen; and suddenly, it’s almost like his fatherhood gene kicks in. Because he has to do something about it. And it means taking the kids out — and his family out — of the happy, protected bubble of their world and going subterranean.”

Related: Watch an extended preview of THE GIFTED from Comic-Con

There’s more than one kind of family.

Because of the dangerous climate for mutants, there’s an “underground society,” based off of the Underground Railroad, that works to keep them safe. Although this group wasn’t formed based on blood ties, it becomes a form of found family.

Lauren and Andy Strucker will rely on this new family to help them learn about their abilities. “We’re mutants, and we don’t really know how to use our powers. And that’s something our parents will never be able to help us with.”

Will this lead to one of THE GIFTED’s characters taking on a Charles Xavier-like role? “We can’t say that” said Lind. So, maybe…maybe not.

The anti-mutant laws.

When it comes to THE GIFTED, Stephen Moyer explained a little bit more about what exactly mutants are being persecuted for. Unlike anti-mutant legislation in some of the other X-MEN stories, it’s not necessarily being a mutant that gets you in trouble; it’s doing anything at all about it. If we’re relating things back to the social commentary aspect of the series, it sounds an awful lot like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or laws against certain religiously-affiliated attire…just with much harsher consequences.

“Mutants and humans can live together — that’s absolutely fine — but mutants aren’t allowed to use their powers in public for detrimental means.” But, of course, “detrimental means” is loosely interpreted. As an example, Moyer talked about, well…Dinner. “You can cut your vegetables with your laser eyes in private, but you’re not allowed todo that outside.”

Reed Strucker thinks he’s doing the right thing and protecting his children by taking those mutants who can’t control their powers out of the picture, but what exactly does it mean to be unable to control  so-called “dangerous” powers? We’ll find out.

THE GIFTED has a message for viewers.

As has been an underlying theme in several of the stories from the X-MEN universe, “being a mutant isn’t socially acceptable. People think of them as freaks and these weird people you kind of want to stay away from,” said Natalie Alyn Lind. Percy Hynes White backed her up, adding, “they think of them as a threat. So, they’re kind of…trying to detain them.”

It’s a classic case of the fear of the “other” that has created plenty of sociopolitical drama in the real world; and the cast promised that this is a theme that will be visited often on the show.

“I’m just going to say straight up, you guys: Our show is about bigotry. We see Blink, in the first scene, running for her life. A cop could easily kill her dead with zero consequences. Because of prejudice. Because of prejudgement for something people aren’t comfortable with — that they don’t understand —because people are born with this thing. And that is literally where we live. And it is heartbreaking, but I hope this show throws up a mirror on society because it is ridiculous.”

The situation is harder on the women than the men, so there’s maybe even an element of sexism to discuss. The boys are able to hide that they’re mutants much more easily, while the girls “have things physically on us that we can’t hide,” said Dumont.

“Knowing that THE X-MEN is this allegory for human rights,” Amy Acker did a lot of research into what it’s like for people who have been in a real-world situation that mirrors what the Strucker family experiences on THE GIFTED: the coming out experience for the LGBT+ community, from both the children’s and parents’ perspectives. “There’s all of these websites about advice for when you’re coming out to your parents or what parents…how they should respond.”

Coby Bell had the final word on the series’ underlying themes: “It’s a great way to tackle issues that are happening in our real world — but without being preachy about it.”

Make sure to watch THE GIFTED on FOX, premiering October 2.