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Younger’s Final Season Does Everything Right That Emily in Paris Did So, So Wrong

By | April 17, 2021

The final season of Younger has arrived on Paramount+, and it’s hard not to draw comparisons with creator Darren Star’s other current show, Emily in Paris. On the surface, both seem similar: glossy, stylish, escapist comedies about professional women in gorgeous, glamorous cities. In reality, though, they’re very different shows, and, in fact, Younger is very much the show that Emily in Paris tried (and failed) to be.

The fundamental difference between Younger and Emily in Paris is its heart, plain and simple. Even in the early seasons, where Liza was deep in her escalating web of lies, there was, paradoxically, an emotional honesty to it all. Even though Liza lied to everyone, the show took pains to make it clear why she did it and to build sympathy for her situation. Her love for her friends and her love interests was real; the only thing about it that wasn’t real was her lie about her age. The show’s heart always has come before its humor (although there’s plenty of both); Emily in Paris often seems too afraid to be really vulnerable, and the result is a show that feels emotionally shallow, even – or especially – when it’s trying to be emotionally deep.

The other big difference? Younger seems to care, first and foremost, about its characters, whereas it’s hard not to feel like Emily in Paris is about the aesthetic more than anything. Younger, like Star’s Sex and the City before it, is a love letter to the glamour of New York City and women who live there. There’s no shortage of beautiful, Instagram-perfect locations as the impeccably dressed characters stroll through the city, but it never overshadows the characters and their journeys. Emily in Paris always feels like it’s more interested in exploring the “Paris” part than the “Emily” part, which leaves us with characters who are difficult to like when their bad decisions take over the plot.

Younger, on the other hand, has managed to craft a set of characters whose flaws aren’t annoying, but deeply human. The final season explores these in more depth, with the “issues” and themes being addressed closely tied into the characters’ journeys, rather than just being plopped in there for relevance or edginess. When two characters come to an impasse over the very concept of marriage, it’s understandable where both of them are coming from, and heartbreaking that they can’t see eye-to-eye. The flaws in all these characters – Charles’s stubbornness, Kelsey’s trust of the wrong people, Maggie’s carelessness – all come home to roost, but it never makes them unlikeable. Why? Because the show takes care to make them three-dimensional characters and to really struggle. They don’t giggle and brush off criticism with a self-deprecating quip, as the heroine of Emily in Paris tends to do. Instead, they mess up and lash out and get called out and figure their stuff out, all with the help of the people who love them. That’s why it’s so satisfying when, as the season draws to a close, these characters are able to move towards the happier futures we’ve been rooting for all along.

That genuine sense of love is, perhaps, what makes Younger‘s brand of escapism so special. Younger is a show about love: love for one’s true self, love for friends, and, yes, romance too. It’s the real love between characters that makes the show’s betrayals really hurt instead of just feel like twists the writers thought would make for good “OMG!” moments. We’re shown that they love each other, rather than just being told. More than ever, that’s what the final season is about, as friends support each other through personal and professional trials without a second thought. Gone are the days of secret-keeping and lingering hurts; this is a group of people who genuinely love each other.

The show’s gal-pal-comedy-meets-rom-com vibe provides some of the final season’s best moments – it’s tropey, but in a playful, heartfelt way, rather than trying too hard to check off “relevant” topics (and, condescendingly, failing to accurately depict any of them – see Emily’s “surprise influencer” storyline in Emily in Paris). That’s what great escapism is: comfort food, something fun and warmhearted and stylish, but something that also depicts the kind of life you can fantasize about. Sure, I’d love to live in Emily’s Paris, but I’d much rather live in the world of Younger‘s characters and have a loyal, loving support system like they do.

Let’s be fair, too: Younger does have some of the same cracks in its escapist gloss as Emily in Paris. There’s definitely something to be addressed here about how this particular brand of glamorous, glossy escapist fare is more often than not focused on nearly all-white casts, and that’s something that can and should change. But when it comes down to it, escapism shouldn’t just be about the aesthetic – it should be about the warmth and joy of the characters and the stories, and that’s where Younger shines and other would-be escapist shows should take note.

Things Heard & Seen: Netflix’s Twisty New Thriller Is Based on a Book - Read the Spoilers

By | April 16, 2021

As a bookworm, I take pride in the fact that I can usually say “Eh, the book was better.” However, after viewing the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming thriller, I’m not so sure that will be the case with Things Heard & Seen. The movie already looks like it’ll be more fast-paced than the book it’s inspired by, All Things Cease To Appear by Elizabeth Brundage. While the trailer amps up the suspense and mystery right away, the book takes a more lackadaisical approach in weaving the eerie tale. If you’re curious about Things Heard & Seen, coming to Netflix on April 29, here’s what to know about the book version.

The Clare Family

All Things Cease to Appear centers around an old farmhouse in Upstate New York with a gruesome past. George Clare claims his wife has been murdered and that he needs someone to call for help. Catherine Clare is discovered with an axe in her head in her bedroom; she had been home alone with her 3-year-old daughter, Franny, all day. Who murdered Catherine? Well, the book won’t tell you because it frustratingly bounces between several timelines. George is questioned by the police, before skipping town with Franny the next morning.

The Hale Family

The book jumps to when Cal and Ella Hale are living on their old family dairy farm. They have three sons: Eddy, Wade, and Cole. Life isn’t great, but they’re making the best of it. Like other farms in the area, they’ve fallen upon hard times. Cal takes out his frustrations on his family and turns to drinking and abusive behavior to cope. Ella knows her husband isn’t faithful, and frankly, she doesn’t seem to care much. She knows she is a good mom, and that her sons will grow up to be good men.

When life becomes too much, Cal dies by suicide and kills his wife by leaking gas into their bedroom. When the bodies are discovered, the brothers are swept away to live with their uncle in the nearby town. The boys can’t seem to give up on the house they love. They come by the house and offer to do chores around the farm. Catherine (yes, the one who is later murdered) finds it incredibly helpful, and the boys find comfort being back on the family farm. Cole becomes their babysitter, entertaining Franny while the older two boys do the harder physical labor. They spend a lot of time with Catherine and they make her feel useful and wanted.

Getting to Know Catherine

The story jumps once again to Catherine’s perspective. As a city girl, she finds it incredibly hard to settle on the 200 acres of farmland they purchased. She feels uneasy in the house but can’t figure out why. Eerie instances abound; chills go down her spine when she walks through certain areas, she finds someone else’s (Ella Hale’s) rings near the sink while doing dishes, and she sees another woman’s reflection in the window. The reader learns that George knows of the house’s tragic past, but Catherine does not.

Getting to Know George

George appears to be a pitiful, helpless widow, but through a series of flashbacks, you discover that isn’t quite the case. He gaslights Catherine at every turn. In fact, George and Catherine had actually broken up when she found out she was pregnant but they get married to “do the right thing.” He forges a letter and his qualifications in order to get his job at the college. He becomes involved with Willis, a 19-year-old from California. He sexually and verbally abuses Willis, at one point cutting all of her hair off, just to establish control over her. He is and unfaithful, manipulative sociopath.

The Chilling Conclusion

It’s a snowy day when Catherine works up the courage to leave George. She packs some suitcases and Franny in the car, then is unable to pull out of the driveway. Catherine goes back inside dejected and quickly loses steam with her entire plan. She admits to George that she was planning on leaving when he questions her about the suitcases. From there, we’re led to assume that George murders Catherine, drugs Franny with sleeping medicine, and goes to work the next day.

The story concludes with an epilogue years in the future. Franny is in med school as a surgical apprentice, hating life. She is sleeping with a married man, renting a small, sterile apartment, and doesn’t have much zest for life. She receives a call that her father’s real estate agent has sold the old farmhouse and needs Franny to come clear out their personal belongings. George is an old man at this point, going blind from diabetes and unable to help at all. When Franny steps back in the house she feels a chill and a sense of calm all at once; she feels like she’s home. She makes her rounds around the town and the book awkwardly ends with Cole and Franny making out.

Overall All Things Cease to Appear is slow burn. It’s got some great bones, just as George says in the trailer for Things Heard & Seen, but the story might actually make for a better film.

Can’t Wait For Bridgerton Season 3? Here’s What Happens in Benedict’s Book

By | April 15, 2021

With Bridgerton‘s renewal for seasons three and four, it’s official that we’ll be getting a season based on An Offer from a Gentleman, the third book in Julia Quinn’s series of novels and the story of Benedict, the second brother, finding his true love. Of course, it’s very likely that the TV version of the season will be a little different from the books, with more subplots for supporting characters and more depth to Benedict, since the show doesn’t focus quite as exclusively on two characters at a time. Still, if you’re curious to find out what to expect in season three, read on for some major spoilers from An Offer from a Gentleman!

Meet Sophie Beckett, The Ton’s Cinderella

The heroine of this book is another new character, Sophie Beckett, who is the illegitimate daughter of the Earl of Penwood. She’s fully aware of her parentage, and the Earl takes her in as his “ward.” Unfortunately for Sophie, the Earl marries Araminta, a “wicked stepmother” if ever there was one, who has two awful daughters too. When the Earl dies, his will includes a loophole: Araminta will receive a much larger allowance if she allows Sophie to stay until she turns 20.

We all know how this story goes. Sophie gets to stay, but as a full-fledged Cinderella, forced to become a servant to her stepmother and stepsisters. One night, though, she manages to sneak into Lady Bridgerton’s famous masquerade ball. There, with her identity hidden, she meets Benedict Bridgerton, and they’re instantly smitten with each other. Of course, things aren’t as simple as that.

Two Years Later

It’s been two years since the ball, and Benedict has sworn he will only marry when he finds his mystery woman from the ball again. Meanwhile, Sophie has been kicked out by her stepmother, who figured out that she attended the ball and gained a Bridgerton’s attention. Sophie is forced to work as a maid, and she meets Benedict again when he rescues her from the unwanted advances of her employer’s son. He helps get her a different job – working for his mother – and feels a connection with her instantly, but he doesn’t realize that she’s the woman from the ball.

As the story progresses, Benedict and Sophie find themselves drawn together more and more, as the rest of the Bridgertons grow very fond of Sophie as well. Benedict is absolutely attracted to her, but he can’t let go of his vow to only marry the masked woman from the ball. Between wanting to keep that vow and the fact that she’s a servant at the time (and thus not a suitable match), Benedict decides to ask Sophie to be his mistress instead. It goes about as well as you’d expect. Being illegitimate herself, Sophie absolutely has no interest in having children who will bear the same stigma, even though her feelings for Benedict are growing even stronger.

How Does An Offer from a Gentleman End?

Disinterested in any of the “suitable” women suggested to him as a bride, Benedict finally admits to himself that, if he could, he’d probably marry Sophie. When he hints at his dilemma to his mother (without directly mentioning Sophie), Violet promises him that she would never be angry at him if he chose to marry someone of a different social class. Still thinking about this conversation, he runs into the rest of his family playing a hide-and-seek game with Sophie. When he sees her blindfolded, he finally realizes that she’s the masked woman from the ball, and she confesses her identity and her backstory.

Benedict is angry and Sophie decides to resign and leave the household. As she leaves, though, Sophie’s stepmother accosts her, accuses her of being a thief, and has her hauled off to jail. When the Bridgertons find out via a report by Lady Whistledown, they head off to rescue her from jail, where Araminta is there taunting her. Between the Bridgertons’ arrival and a surprising moment of support from one of her stepsisters, Posy, Sophie is proven innocent – and Posy even reveals that the earl had left a dowry for Sophie that Araminta has kept for herself instead.

Violet calmly threatens Araminta with ruination unless she agrees not to stand in the way of Sophie and Benedict. She also invites Posy to stay with them as long as she’d like, in order to keep her from Araminta’s wrath. Sophie returns home with Benedict, where he has a bath drawn for her and they get a head start on their upcoming wedding night. They get married, and, in the epilogue seven years later, we learn that Sophie is pregnant with their fourth child. And, in the very last moments, Lady Whistledown – still unidentified – thinks to herself that she’s tired of being Whistledown and vows to be herself from then on.

Can’t Keep Up With Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s Divorce? Here Are All the Details

By | April 13, 2021

Keeping up with the Kardashians’ antics is tough, but keeping up with Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s divorce timeline may be even more difficult. On Feb. 19, multiple sources confirmed the couple’s divorce following months of breakup rumors, and no, we’re not over it. After four kids, seven years of marriage, and nearly two decades of friendship, it seemed like Kim and Kanye were in it for the long haul . . . that is, until the latter half of 2020, when rumors of marital troubles started swirling. There’s a good chance the divorce will be featured on the final season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but if you can’t wait until then, here’s everything that has gone down so far.

  1. Divorce rumors start circulating. On Jan. 5, multiple sources for Page Six reportedly claimed “divorce is imminent” for Kim and Kanye. “Kim got Kanye to go up there [Wyoming] so they could live separate lives and quietly get things sorted out to separate and divorce. She’s done,” one insider said. That same day, Kim posted a picture without her wedding ring on Instagram, but she ended up deleting the post three days later.
  2. More details emerge about the rumored split. Soon after news of the impending divorce broke, Us Weekly shared the reported reason for Kim and Kanye’s split. “They had a big fight in early December,” a source claimed. “Kanye blew up at Kim and she was really upset. Things between them don’t seem to have healed since that.” Another source for Us Weekly claimed the two weren’t on the same page about the future. As the insider explained, “Kanye is jealous of the amount of time Kim has dedicated to prison reform and the kids. Kanye wanted the family to move to Wyoming full-time. It’s where he sees this direction of his life going. Kim just doesn’t see their lives full-time in Wyoming.”
  3. Sources claim the divorce will be amicable. On Jan. 14, E! News reported that there’s “no bad blood” between Kim and Kanye and that their relationship is “cordial.” An insider reportedly added, “Kim wants to feel at peace going into this new chapter of her life and is focused on herself and her children.”
  4. Sources claim Kim and Kanye quit marriage counseling. Though the couple were reportedly seeking help from a marriage counselor, a source for People claimed Kim and Kanye decided to quit marriage counseling on Jan. 18. “He is talking to divorce lawyers this week,” the insider claimed in reference to Kanye.
  5. Kanye is spotted for the first time in months. On Jan. 24, Kanye was seen deboarding a plane in LA with his entourage, which was the first time he’d been spotted in public since November 2020.
  6. Financial details emerge. According to a source for Us Weekly, Kim had reportedly begun “talks” with her divorce lawyer back in July 2020 to determine an “exit strategy” from her marriage. “Kim has had all of her and Kanye’s financials and properties ready to be split, [and] it’s a very fair deal for everyone,” the source claimed on Jan. 27. “Kim has all of her assets and financials ready for when she decides to file officially.”
  7. Kim goes on a girls’ trip to Turks and Caicos. On Jan. 30, Kim was spotted on a girls’ trip in Turks and Caicos, which included Kim’s daughters, North and Chicago, as well as her sisters Kourtney, Khloé, and Kylie.
  8. Kim wears Yeezys in an Instagram post. While on vacation, Kim seemingly showed support for Kanye when she posted an Instagram on Jan. 31, which showed her posing in a bikini and a pair of Yeezy Foam Runners.
  9. Kim seemingly takes over Kanye’s closet. Kim showed off her new Skims showroom on her Instagram Stories on Feb. 2, and fans couldn’t help but notice that the room looked a lot like Kanye’s former Yeezy showroom, which was previously featured on David Letterman‘s Netflix series.
  10. Kanye reportedly moves out. On Feb. 3, sources for Page Six reportedly claimed that Kanye had moved 500 pairs of shoes (among other belongings) out of the Calabasas mansion he shared with Kim.
  11. Kim and Kanye reportedly spend Valentine’s Day apart. Unsurprisingly, People reported that Kim and Kanye wouldn’t be celebrating Feb. 14 together. “She has a Valentine’s Day celebration planned with her kids and family,” an insider claimed. “She likes to make it special for the kids. She doesn’t have any contact with Kanye. It’s obvious that she is just focused on the future.”
  12. Kanye is seen wearing his wedding ring. While out and about in LA on Feb. 17, Kanye was photographed wearing a wedding band, though Kim had previously been spotted on multiple occasions without her own ring. That same day, a source for People claimed Kanye isn’t coping well with the split. “Kanye is not doing well,” the insider claimed. “He is anxious and very sad. He knows that the marriage is over, and there’s nothing that can be done right now. He also knows what he is losing in Kim.”
  13. Kim files for divorce from Kanye. After much speculation, Kim finally filed for divorce from Kanye on Feb. 19, according to court documents obtained by TMZ. Page Six also confirmed the split, reporting that Kim’s divorce lawyer, Laura Wasser, filed the papers the same day the news broke. According to sources, Kim requested joint legal and physical custody of their four children. That same day, a source for Entertainment Tonight claimed the divorce had been a long time coming. As the insider explained, “Kim filing for divorce from Kanye is just a formal part of the process. The couple has been done for a while and have been amicable for a while. At the end of the day, Kanye and Kim love each other immensely, but knew it was time to call it quits. Their children are their number one priority and no matter what will maintain a positive relationship for them.”
  14. Kim maybe sends a message through her Instagram Stories. On Feb. 22, Kim posted an IG Story featuring the song “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo, and fans thought she might be sending a message about how she’s coping through the breakup ballad.
  15. Kim is spotted out with friends. According to photos obtained by Us Weekly, Kim stepped out with friends on Feb. 23 for a night on the town.
  16. Sources claim Kim is concerned for Kanye. A source for Entertainment Tonight reportedly claimed on March 2 that Kim is concerned for her ex’s well-being amid the divorce. “The divorce has been difficult for him, but knowing that he has access to his little ones and has split custody is making the transition easier,” the source said. The insider also noted that the whole thing was a relief for Kim, adding, “She is happy to see that chapter close. She knows that it is what is healthiest for her and her family and she is ready to put this hardship behind her both publicly and personally.”
  17. Sources claim Kim is keeping the house. According to a source for Us Weekly, Kim will get her and Kanye’s Calabasas mansion in the divorce. “She has made her life there and it’s her kids’ main home,” the source claimed on March 3. “There was never a question – Kim was going to keep the home.”
  18. Like Kim, Kanye requests joint custody of their kids. According to court documents obtained by E! News in April, Kanye also agrees with Kim that neither party should pay spousal support.

The Shameless Cast Say Goodbye to the Gallaghers After 10 Years in Series Finale Posts

By | April 12, 2021

It’s the end of an era. On April 11, Showtime’s Shameless concludes after 11 seasons and plenty of drama within the Gallagher family. The cast practically grew up together over the past 10 years, and their goodbye messages show just how much the series meant to them. Actors Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Steve Howey, William H. Macy, and more honored all the work that went into their show on Instagram with behind-the-scenes photos and wrap-party pictures.

Monaghan summed it up best when he wrote, “It’s closing time. You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. Thanks for being along for the ride.” Get a look at the cast’s sentimental notes ahead. We’re already counting down the days before we can binge the full series on Netflix again.