Oh, we’re gonna talk politics, but first we have some important ‘Game of Thrones’ business to get to

There has been a bunch of Game of Thrones and Game of Thrones prequel news this week, let’s see if we can get our hands around all of it:

Entertainment Weekly‘s cover features the first official photo from the final season, showcasing Daenerys and Jon Snow embracing in the snow. And though I would never personally wear fur, Dany’s coat is GOR-GE-OUS. WANT.

From the article:

“It’s about all of these disparate characters coming together to face a common enemy, dealing with their own past, and defining the person they want to be in the face of certain death,” co-executive producer Bryan Cogman says. “It’s an incredibly emotional haunting bittersweet final season and I think it honors very much what [author George R.R. Martin] set out to do — which is flipping this kind of story on its head.”

By the way, I keep seeing stories claiming in the headline that Cogman said the final season will “flip the story on its head,” but you’re looking at the quote right now — that’s not what he said. His point — I think — is that Martin flipped the typical fantasy narrative on its head. But I could be wrong! Maybe he meant that Martin intended the conclusion to flip the entire previous story of A Song of Ice and Fire on its head, but I don’t think so? Anyway.

The cast also talks briefly about how the filming of the final season was grueling as the creators wanted to get every detail right, the scenes that would have previously been a one-day shoot took five days. And we learn SORTA SPOILER! that the season begins in Winterfell, with Jon Snow welcoming Daenerys’ processing — kinda like Ned welcomed Robert’s in the first. I can’t wait.

Meanwhile, over on the prequel, someone named Josh Whitehouse has been cast in a lead role opposite Naomi Watts (!!!!!). His most significant role seems to have been Hugh Armitage in Poldark, a show I did not watch, but apparently he is very pretty.

Also, George R.R. Martin revealed on Not a Blog that the title of the series is, in fact, The Long Night, as we had suspected. He also wrote that there are still a couple of prequels “in active development.” I mention this mostly because some had assumed that because The Long Night had been greenlit to pilot that the other projects were not moving forward. It’s positive news for this particular Game of Thrones nerd that this is not in the case.

In other fantasy series news, Netflix released the first look at Henry Cavill as Geralt in The Witcher, and he is giving us some Legolas realness:

Twitter is ALL OVER IT.

This is Us paid tribute to Pittsburgh, the city it is partially set in, after Tuesday night’s episode with a title card that read: “Our hearts are broken. We stand with our television hometown of Pittsburgh. To learn more about ending gun violence, visit everytown.org.”

For the first time ever, HBO has gone dark in a distribution dispute. Dish Network, upset over the AT&T/Time Warner merger, blamed the premium network, saying they made “untenable demands designed specifically to harm customers, particularly those in rural areas, as well as damage competing pay-TV providers.” AT&T owns DIRECTV, by the way.

By the way, the average cable bill is up 50% since 2010. Maybe it’s time to cut the cord? (Except I’m not convinced that would be any cheaper for me.)

If you were holding your breath waiting for Julia Roberts to appear on American Horror Story for some reason, you might want to go ahead and exhale now because it’s never going to happen.

If you’re more of a visual learner, first of all, what are you doing on this wordy ass blog? But second of all, here is a video detailing all of the ghosts in The Haunting of Hill House.

Y’all like some Cobra Kai.

A hotel in Lancaster, Pennsylvania will be inspired by Adventure Time, Powerpuff Girls and Steven Universe. Why Lancaster, Pennsylvania? Beats me, man.

TV Insider very sweetly asks where American Vandal will end up now that it has been canceled at Netflix. Oh baby, there’s never going to be a season three of American Vandal.

Y’all need to leave Shannon Purser alone. You guys get that these people are ACTORS who are ACTING things that were WRITTEN by WRITERS, right??

The Megyn Kelly/NBC fight is getting ugly. Someone leaked that Kelly was asking for an additional $10 million to keep quiet about things she might have on NBC and she is all “DID NOT.”  ~continues eating popcorn~

Dr. Craig from St. Elsewhere, also known as the voice of K.I.T.T., also known as Mr. Feeny on Boy Meets World, scared a burglar/is still alive.

Lethal Weapon, what a year, amirite?

Suzanne Somers says that ABC “lost big” when they fired Roseanne. 1. No. 2. Why did anyone ask Suzanne Somers about this or anything else?

Gangster Whitey Bulger was murdered in prison the other day. Did you know he was part of the inspiration for Red on The Blacklist? Because I did not know that, but it makes sense now that I think about it.

All hail John Waters, Baltimore’s greatest cultural export. Yes, even greater than The Wire, don’t @ me.

OK, Some Politics Because We Have To

As we’ve been nearing the midterm election — literally the most important election in my lifetime — I’ve been struggling with some issues. Namely, whether or not to talk politics in these “Watch This” posts which are ostensibly about television and whether I should put them in a different dedicated post. But I started this as a TV blog and if I start doing dedicated political posts, does that change the entire site? And maybe I should leave those political comments in these “Watch This” posts because TV and politics are inseparable? Just the same way that these questions of sexual misconduct and harassment are inseparable from the conversation about the entertainment business as a whole? But then you suddenly end up dedicating an entire section of your daily posts to sex monsters and you really didn’t get into this to talk about Harvey Weinstein masturbating into potted plants or Donald Trump scaremongering your grandma about displaced Hondurans and paying off porn stars and then suddenly what is this blog anyway?

And aside from all of those editorial questions that I am rolling around with, is this bigger question of whether by focusing on Trump’s daily attacks on the media, if I’m playing into his teeny tiny tangerine hands? Am I just giving him what he wants?

In the same interview where he revealed his intention to revoke the 14th amendment through an executive order, Trump explained why he “has” to attack the media as the “enemy of the people”:

The journalist here gives Trump every opening to say that he denounces any violence that might be perpetrated against journalists — and he refuses. He can only see himself as the victim of the mean bullying media, never mind the fact that CNN literally received actual bombs from one of his biggest supporters JUST LAST WEEK.

His position, of course, is that he is only talking about “Fake News,” i.e. news that tells some ugly truth about him, his policies, his administration. Here’s Ainsley Earhardt just this morning on Fox & Friends defending Trump calling the press the “enemy of the people” because they won’t report stories the way he wants them to:

OF COURSE THE MEDIA’S JOB IS NOT TO REPORT THE NEWS THE “WAY [THE PRESIDENT] WANTS IT.” THE MEDIA’S JOB IS TO REPORT THE STORY ACCURATELY, TRUTHFULLY, AND TO HOLD POWERFUL PEOPLE ACCOUNTABLE BECAUSE WE DO NOT LIVE UNDER A GOD DAMNED DICTATORSHIP. I FEEL LIKE I AM LOSING MY MOTHERFUCKING MIND OVER HERE.

~cleansing breath~

OK, so here’s the thing, Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle gave an interview to Christiane Amanpour recently where Stewart took the media to task for their outrage over being called “the enemy of the people”:

I think that journalists have taken it personally. They are personally wounded and offended by this man. He baits them, and they dive in. And what he’s done well, I thought, is appeal to their own narcissism, to their own ego … Because the journalists stand up and say, “We are noble! How dare you sir!” And they take it personally, and now, he’s changed the conversation to not that his policies are silly or not working or any of those other things — it’s all about the fight. He’s able to tune out everything else and get people just focused on the fight. He’s gonna win that fight.

And he’s not wrong! Which brings me back to where I started this rabbit hole we have found ourselves at the bottom of.

On the one hand, Donald Trump is skilled in controlling the narrative and forcing us to talk about nonsense, whether it is football players peacefully protesting injustice or a migrant caravan that is weeks away from our border and poses no actual threat to our country in the least or the notion that a free press is anything but a bulwark for democracy. When I or anyone else uses a media platform to scream about the danger of the President of the United States calling the press the enemy of the people, am I just doing what Trump wants me to do? Am I just carrying the water of a fight that we shouldn’t even be having in the first place?

On the other hand, the man is the President of the United States. The words that come out of his mouth and his twitter feed, they fucking matter. They have the power to erode our institutions, they have the power to change what this country looks like. And so to ignore the most powerful man on earth repeatedly taking a jackhammer to the only organizations that can serve as a check to his power — BECAUSE GOD KNOWS CONGRESS IN ITS CURRENT STATE IS NOT GOING TO — seems naive, irresponsible and dangerous.

I genuinely do not know what the answer is except to plead with each and every one of you reading this to be sure to vote. Tomorrow is the last day of early voting here in Texas — check your state to find out when early voting ends where you live. And next Tuesday, November 6th is Election Day. It’s your last chance to change any of this. Make it count.

In the meantime, a quick poll:

#MeToo

Another woman has stepped forward alleging Harvey Weinstein sexually assaulted her when she was 16.

Andrew Creighton, the president of Vice, has resigned after accusations of sexual harassment.

Gayle King needs to stop. Like, immediately.

As mentioned earlier, Jon Stewart and Dave Chappelle gave an interview to Christiane Amanpour on a variety of topics, and Stewart had this to say about sexism in comedy:

“It started out as a male-dominated field. It’s not a particularly welcoming field — you sort of have to come out there and cut your teeth on it. I’ll tell you a story: So we had, on The Daily Show, there was an article about us [that] said it was a sexist environment, we didn’t have women writers. And I got very offended by that. I was very mad. I was like, “Are you saying I’m not a feminist?” I was raised by a single mother. She wore a T-shirt that said, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” And me and my brother were like, “I think we might be men?” So I was mad — how can they say such a thing? And I went back to the writers room, and I was like, “You believe this, Steve? What do you think, Greg? Dave? Tom? Mike?” And then I was like, Oooohhh. And it was right.

But the reason it was right was not necessarily one that we had seen before. We had put in a system of getting writers where there were no names on it. We thought that’s color-blind, gender-blind, et cetera. But what you don’t realize is the system itself — the tributaries that feed us those submissions — is polluted itself, so all we’re getting are white males who’ve been to Ivy League colleges and wrote for the Lampoon or funny Jewish guys from Brown. So what you had to say, then, is “Send me not that. Send me your women, send me people of color.” And then we’d get the submissions and go “I can’t believe how funny women have gotten just recently.” [Laughs.] But do you see what I mean? It’s a systemic issue, and I think what can mostly help change is when you open up new tributaries to bring in talent, and then they grow, and then they help grow their communities and tell their stories.”

Which yes! YES TO ALL OF THIS. The idea of blind submissions is a great meritocratic idea, but Stewart does a great job of explaining why it doesn’t necessarily work. He also said some words about Louis C.K. but it was the equivalent of a big shrug and a “whaddya gonna do?”

Louis C.K. was always going to be welcomed back to the comedy fold. The real question is whether or not the rest of showbusiness will.

Renewals

  • Castlevania has been renewed for a third season at Netflix.
  • The Ranch has, officially, been renewed for a fourth season at Netflix.

Cancellations

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendars

  • Brainchild will begin streaming on Netflix on November 2.
  • Our Cartoon President: Election Special 2018 will air on Showtime on November 4.

R.I.P.

Beth McClellan, Former contestant on The Voice.

Willie McCovey, Baseball Hall of Famer.

WATCH THIS

StartUp: The entire third season. Sony Crackle

How to Get Away with Murder: The mothers are in town to help Connor and Oliver with their wedding plans, because that always helps. 9 p.m., ABC

People Magazine: Sexiest Chef Alive: OK, but what’s next? Sexiest real estate agent? Sexiest lawyer? Sexiest accountant? 7 p.m., Food Network

Late Night: Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Pistol Annies Late Night with Seth Meyers: Michael Moore, Paul Dano, Jon Theodore The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Chris Wallace, Cole Sprouse, Tony Bennett The Late Late Show with James Corden: Rami Malek, Joel Edgerton, Mike Shinoda Jimmy Kimmel Live: John Stamos, Emily Ratajkowski, Trippie Redd The Daily Show: Dwyane Wade Watch What Happens Live: Tyler Perry, Whoopi Goldberg

 

THURS 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
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Mom
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S.W.A.T.
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FOX Thursday Night Football: Raiders at 49ers
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The Good Place
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Will & Grace
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I Feel Bad
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Law & Order: SVU
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