'Westworld' Season 2: The Women Are Running the Show

Westworld season 2

How ‘Westworld’ season 2 turned female robots with zero agency into powerful and painfully human characters. When the first season of Westworld debuted, the show was rife with casual violence and sexual assault perpetrated against female characters. The fact that these characters were AI didn’t help very much when it came to watching them suffer on-screen. Perhaps worst of all, although there were a few strong female characters in the form of humans, such as Elsie and Therese, the robot women were completely without any real agency or self-awareness in the beginning of this show. Their code was written to force them to act a certain way, say certain lines and live a certain life — and they blindly followed the script, unaware that the choices they made and the things that happened to them were completely out of their control. So it’s understandable that many feminist viewers may have        …read more

Inside Olan Rogers’ Journey from YouTube to ‘Final Space’

Final Space cartoon

Olan Rogers on his career milestones from BalloonShop to his own YouTube channel to ‘Final Space’ and beyond. Before 2018, odds were if you knew the name Olan Rogers, you knew it from any of the multimillion-hit YouTube videos featured on his namesake channel. “Ghost in the Stalls / STORY” — arguably the most widely known of Rogers’ many anecdotes, about a misadventure in the bathroom of a Target — is a common go-to in referencing his work, made all the more famous by GIFs featuring Rogers crouched over his own knees, whispering, “It’s a Monday.” Whether you’re uninitiated to the Tennessee-born YouTuber or you’re among his many die-hard fans since his earliest work with his first YouTube channel, BalloonShop, you may be familiar with the animated series Final Space, which Rogers created and stars in. The show premiered on TBS in February and aired its season finale on April 30.        …read more

HBO’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Reignites Bradbury’s Dystopian Nightmare

Fahrenheit 451

On May 19, HBO will release the Michael B. Jordan–starring movie that reimagines Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ In these uncertain times, people are turning to fiction that challenges them rather than pure escapism. Last year George Orwell’s 1984 rose to the top of the Amazon best seller list, prompting a new printing of tens of thousands of copies. At the same time, TV shows like The Man in the High Castle and The Handmaid’s Tale, both based on dystopian novels, gained popularity. Enter Ray Bradbury’s 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451. Set in an unspecified time in the future, Fahrenheit 451 tells the story of Guy Montag, a fireman who doesn’t put out fires — he sets them. All firemen do. They burn books, which ignite at 451 degrees Fahrenheit. In Bradbury’s future, books are outlawed. People stare at flat-screen TVs or listen to earbuds all day. They turn in their neighbors        …read more

How 6 Top Futuristic Movies, Shows & Novels Imagine Our Interplanetary Life

futuristic movies

We’re fast approaching the final frontier. These futuristic movies, TV shows and books envisioned what it might be like when we get there. Imagining interplanetary life is a hot topic, and rightfully so. At some point in the not-too-distant future we’ll no doubt be left with little choice but to up sticks and leave ol’ Mother Earth to her own devices. Either that or face certain destruction at the hands of an Amazon delivery drone revolution. Personally I’m quite attached to my two-day shipping, so colonizing a bunch of aliens is an ethical fence I’m willing to hop over if push comes to shove. And perhaps it won’t be so hostile? Who knows — maybe one day humans, Martians and the android birds and bees will shack up together in some 22nd-century robot-hippie lovefest, introducing a trans-species of flesh-droid Klingon into the next millennium. A (posthu)man can dream… …of electric        …read more

10 Moments That Made Us Love Jerry Seinfeld Even More

Jerry Seinfeld, best Seinfeld episodes

To celebrate Jerry Seinfeld’s birthday April 29, revisit the funniest and most memorable moments of his career. Almost 30 years have passed since the first episode of Seinfeld graced our televisions and forever changed scripted comedy shows. The Emmy Award–winning “show about nothing” skyrocketed Brooklyn comedian Jerry Seinfeld to global fame, giving him more opportunities than he could’ve ever imagined. The standup specialist hasn’t been lax in his post-Seinfeld life, either. He performed gigs across the world, launched his own series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and told his coming-of-age story in the Netflix documentary Jerry Before Seinfeld. The tireless actor and comedian is turning 64 on April 29, but don’t expect him to retire anytime soon. His second wind could be just as fun to watch as his first foray into entertainment. To get a sense of what makes Seinfeld so sharp, let’s revisit those iconic moments where he        …read more

From 'Atypical' to 'The Good Doctor': A Look at Autism On-Screen

Atypical

With shows like ‘The A Word,’ ‘The Good Doctor’ and ‘Atypical,’ how do people with autism and their families feel about media representations of their lives? Carlos Lopez remembers how it felt to watch his son, Sammy, stand on the sidelines at a birthday party, terrified to move even an inch, for fear one of the many colorful, floating balloons might make a loud pop. Lopez has learned to problem-solve on the spot, stuffing tissue paper in Sammy’s ears as an added sound barrier beneath the headphones Sammy always wears to block out the excruciating noise of the world. Lopez also knows well, from the early days before he understood autism, the helpless feeling of being unable to calm his young son during a meltdown. Sammy, who has autism, is now thriving at age 14, a high honors student and a talented visual artist with a group of good friends.        …read more

What We Know ahead of 'The Handmaid's Tale' Season 2

Handmaid’s Tale season 2

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ season 2 will debut on April 25 on Hulu. The Emmy Award–winning show perfectly touches on so many issues, from patriarchy to totalitarianism to policing language. What’s in store for June and her band of not-so-merry women in The Handmaid’s Tale season 2? You’ve heard the cliché of “must-watch TV,” but I’m not spreading marketing hype when I stress how crucial it is to absorb the dystopic world that is The Handmaid’s Tale, which debuted last year on Hulu. The 10-episode series, adapted from Margaret Atwood’s book published in 1985, reminds us how easily we can slip into neutering our human rights at the hands of righteously misguided powerful men and women. For those new to this TV phenomenon, The Handmaid’s Tale introduces us to a next-era United States known as the Republic of Gilead, run by a totalitarian government aiming to enslave certain women as sexual        …read more

The Best Thing Steven Soderbergh Ever Did Was Retire (Because He Didn't)

Soderbergh

Soderbergh, who shot ‘Unsane’ entirely on the iPhone, predicts the future of filmmaking. Since Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989), director Steven Soderbergh’s career has been anything but predictable. He’s traversed the independent film scene while also helming big-budget pictures. And with both, he delivers the unexpected, which is part of the draw for his work. The biggest shock he’s ever given: announcing in 2013 his retirement from directing feature films because he disliked the state of moviemaking. It was an excellent decision because his second life behind the camera is generating exciting, industry-changing projects. Steven Soderbergh’s Retirement Retirement was over before it even began for Soderbergh. When the script for The Knick came across his desk, he couldn’t resist putting his mark on the story of a cocaine-fueled doctor in early-1900s New York. It was anything but what you’d expect from a medical drama, with its electronic score, stomach-turning gore        …read more

11 Times Spock Taught Us to Be Better Humans

Spock Leonard Nimoy

He may value logic over feelings, but when Spock speaks, we feel it in our hearts. There’s no denying the lasting legacy of Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015). Though Spock’s farewell words are his most iconic, Nimoy offered the world far more than a neat hand gesture over the years he portrayed the beloved Star Trek character. So in honor of Nimoy’s birthday on March 26, here are some of the best lessons from Spock we can all use to live long and — well, you know. 1. When he’s the picture of graceful defeat but also manages to get in this sick burn. Episode: “Amok Time” When the woman he’s betrothed to resists the union, Spock relinquishes his right to marry her, allowing her to be with the man she truly wants. Before he leaves, he cautions her would-be partner, Stonn, “After a time, you may find that having is not        …read more

Beyond Its Cringe Comedy, 'Nathan for You' Has Real Heart

Nathan for You

The hilarious pathos of ‘Nathan for You.’ Comedy Central’s business-reality show Nathan for You is unlike anything else on television because its host, Canadian comedian and writer Nathan Fielder, is unlike anyone else on television. A master of awkwardness and cringe comedy, Fielder is capable of making everyone in his presence feel uncomfortable in a way that extends to the viewers, who are left squirming in their seats as they wait for someone to break the silence. But look beyond his bizarre conversations and surreal “solutions” to the marketing problems of small businesses, and you’ll find Nathan for You to not only be the funniest show on television but the one with the most heart as well. SPOILERS AHEAD! The majority of episodes in Nathan for You, which recently wrapped its fourth season on Comedy Central, follow the same basic structure: Fielder approaches a business struggling to attract customers and        …read more