In which I begin the new year by yelling at Peter Dinklage.

Happy New Year, friends!

I am back after a much-needed vacation with my family. After Christmas, we went to Los Angeles to hang out in the famous California sunshine for a few days. Except! Haha! It was 40s and raining almost the entire time.

Despite the rain, we did get some sightseeing in, including a visit to Vanderpump Pets, which I still insist should have been called “Vanderpets,” a New Year’s Eve dinner at Pump itself; a tour at Warner Brothers studios, where I got to see sets for You, Friends, Ellen and Gilmore Girls, among many many others (and the very spot where the cover of Purple Rain was shot which, honestly, was the biggest deal of all for me); and friends … my dear readers … I went to the Petersen Automotive Museum.

It’s not what is inside the museum that is relevant to you (although in the vault, we did see a number of cars with amazing Hollywood history, including the Back to the Future DeLorean; multiple Batmobiles; and Greased Lightnin’). But rather, it’s the exterior of the museum which y’all might find pretty funny:

Recognize it?

Wait, let me drop it into the year 10,000 BC.

That’s right, folks, even on vacation, I couldn’t escape my hate blog. I’m not sure if it was the worst way to end 2021, or the best possible way, but regardless, it happened.

I hope you all had a healthy, safe holiday, and are ready to get back to all … this.

All Other TV News

Peter Dinklage, who I like and admire as an actor, is a God-damned idiot when it comes to Game of Thrones. He had some thoughts about why people were disappointed in the finale, and those thoughts were very wrong. Let’s examine:

George R.R. Martin wanted “Game of Thrones” to go on for two more seasons. Do you think it should have, or was that the right time to end?

It was the right time. No less, no more. You don’t want to wear out your welcome, although I’m not sure that show could have. But I think the reason there was some backlash about the ending is because they were angry at us for breaking up with them. We were going off the air and they didn’t know what to do with their Sunday nights anymore. They wanted more, so they backlashed about that.

Counterpoint: Nope. That’s not it at all. There have been plenty of excellent shows that have ended without the sort of anger and backlash that Game of Thrones‘ finale elicited. Mad Men didn’t piss people off; Breaking Bad didn’t piss people off; Six Feet Under didn’t piss people off; The Sopranos DID piss people off but that’s because people don’t understand subtlety. But the point is, overall, those shows didn’t make people angry because they didn’t rush the ending — they told the story they needed to tell in the time they needed to tell it, unlike Game of Thrones.

Speaking of which …

We had to end when we did, because what the show was really good at was breaking preconceived notions: Villains became heroes, and heroes became villains. If you know your history, when you track the progress of tyrants, they don’t start off as tyrants. I’m talking about, spoiler alert, what happened at the end of “Game of Thrones” with that character change. It’s gradual, and I loved how power corrupted these people. What happens to your moral compass when you get a taste of power? Human beings are complicated characters, you know?

Yes! I do know! And this is exactly the problem that most people had with the finale: it’s not that people didn’t want Daenerys to become a tyrant — she was destined to be a tyrant, it fits with who she is as a character. That said, her transformation WAS NOT GRADUAL AT ALL. Up to the final season and through the first several episodes, she was still a heroic protagonist, but then they kill her best friend, and ~snaps fingers~ suddenly she’s a tyrant. Her transformation is a story that should have been explored for at least an entire 10-episode season, if not longer, but instead was shoved into two episodes.

I think some people really did want a happily-ever-after ending, even though “Game of Thrones” told us it was not that show from the very beginning.

Literally, no one thought it was going to be — or wanted it to be — a happily-ever-after ending. No one. Not a single person.

They wanted the pretty white people to ride off into the sunset together. By the way, it’s fiction. There’s dragons in it. Move on. [Laughs]

OH MY GOD, NO ONE WANTED THE PRETTY WHITE PEOPLE TO RIDE OFF INTO THE SUNSET TOGETHER. One of the most important myths in the Game of Thrones universe is the Prince Who Was Promised, who had to kill his one true love to save humanity. And after 8 seasons of Red Weddings and Purple Weddings and the Great Sept of Baelor incident and beheadings of main characters, we all knew there was not going to be a happy romantic ending. It was never going to end pretty.

No, but the show subverts what you think, and that’s what I love about it.  Yeah, it was called “Game of Thrones,” but at the end, the whole dialogue when people would approach me on the street was, “Who’s going to be on the throne?” I don’t know why that was their takeaway because the show really was more than that.

One of my favorite moments was when the dragon burned the throne because it sort of just killed that whole conversation, which is really irreverent and kind of brilliant on behalf of the show’s creators: “Shut up, it’s not about that.” They constantly did that, where you thought one thing and they delivered another. Everybody had their own stories going on while watching that show, but nobody’s was as good as what the show delivered, I think.

OH MY GOD. It IS called Game of Thrones, so God forbid people care about who ends up on the throne — which, by the way, still exists despite Drogon destroying it. Had the creators done away with the idea of the royalty altogether, that would have both 1. actually subverted expectations and 2. been an interesting ending, and one that would make sense of why we watched 10 years worth of stories: that this was the violent tale of how the kingdom of Westeros came to an end. But that’s not what happened! They put Bran on the throne for no good Goddamned reason other than that they didn’t know who else to put on there! That or Martin told them it was going to be Bran, but they weren’t willing to do the work to make him a character worthy of being King because, going back to my first point, they rushed the ending.

AND WHAT, EXACTLY, IS SO SUBVERSIVE ABOUT THAT ENDING? The white highborn son of the hero of the first season becomes king despite not having earned it, the white highborn daughter of that same hero becomes queen of another kingdom, and the secret prince who never wanted to rule in the first place gets to go hang out with his buddies in the North. In plenty of ways, the “pretty white people” did ride off into the sunset. Maybe not together, but they did get happy endings of a sort.

I know Dinklage isn’t a writer, and I’m sure after 10 years, he was as done with making Game of Thrones as Benioff and Weiss were. But blaming the anger towards the ending on the fans being silly shippers who don’t understand storytelling instead of a pair of writers who were bored with writing the show and unwilling to actually do the work to earn the ending is genuinely insulting. I am insulted.

In honor (?) of The Bachelor returning tonight — box wine preserve mehere’s former Bachelor Nick Viall getting into a pissy little catfight with the guy everyone expected to be the Bachelor instead of Viall, Luke Pell. Back in 2016, Pell was literally scheduled to fly out to Los Angeles to begin shooting when he heard from the producers that they were going in a different direction.

Viall claims the reason ABC cast him instead was because 1. Pell asked for too much money for the role and tried to nickel and dime ABC, whereas Viall was willing to do it “for free,” (but not really) and 2. the producers didn’t actually like Pell.

Pell’s response: “I can’t speak to where Nick gets info related to Bachelor casting contracts from network attorneys, but I will say that was very gracious of Nick to say that he would have done it for free. In light of that comment by Nick I know a few veteran’s charities and children’s charities that would greatly appreciate the support of him donating his Bachelor talent fee proceeds back. During these tough economic times many non-profits are now seeing the impact of less funding coming in during this holiday season.”

You know what? Props to Miley for handling it with an appropriate sense of humor:

Jonathan Groff is ready to do season three of Mindhunter. SOMEONE KIDNAP DAVID FINCHER AND MAKE HIM MAKE IT.

Wheel of Fortune screwed over this contestant on a technicality — and an ironic one at that, considering the answer — and she lost an Audi Q3 as a result.

But! Twitter came to the rescue and Audi gave Charlene the car:

Nielsen is now admitting it didn’t really do a great job of counting — literally their one job — thanks to COVID-19.

Yellowstone is the most popular show on cable TV — doing Walking Dead and Game of Thrones numbers — and a solid little drama. So why aren’t we talking about it? It’s a mystery! (TV critics are snobs.)

There was a time when AMC was one of the biggest prestige drama networks in the game … until it wasn’t. What happened? This (nearly 20 minute-long) video explores the question. TL;DW: The Walking Dead.

2021 was … something.

Bye, Bob.

In Development

Casting News

  • Michael Keaton is joining the cast of the HBO Max Batgirl movie, possibly as Batman.
  • Anna Dreznen has left her role as a head writer on Saturday Night Live to focus on her upcoming animated series Praise Petey on Freeform.
  • Joe Gatto has left Impractical Jokers on truTV.
  • Nia Long will narrate Let the World See on ABC.
  • Kapil Talwakar is joining the cast of Charmed on The CW.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Atlanta returns on FX on March 24.
  • Bridgerton returns on Netflix on March 25.
  • Super Pumped will debut on Showtime on February 27.
  • Outlander returns on Starz on March 6.
  • JANET will debut on Lifetime on January 28.

  • The Kings of Napa premieres on OWN on January 11.
  • Antiques Roadshow returns on PBS tonight.
  • All of Us Are Dead will premiere on Netflix on January 28.
  • Hype House premieres on Netflix on January 7.
  • Heavenly Bites will debut on Netflix on January 19.
  • Someone They Knew… With Tamron Hall will premiere on Court TV on March 6.
  • The Orbital Children will premiere on Netflix on January 28.
  • Tiger & Bunny 2 premieres on Netflix on April 8.
  • Single Drunk Female premieres on Freeform on January 20.


Betty White, TV and comedy legend. One of a kind and a national treasure. These are just a few tributes to her genius: more here.

(Watch Betty’s SNL 2010 appearance here. It was fantastic and earned her an Emmy.)

Bishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prize-winning anti-apartheid  leader

Joan Didion, Legendary author and National Book Award-winner

Robert Bruce, Cast member of Comic Book Men

Stephen J. Lawrence, Composer for Sesame Street among others

Richard Leakey, Conservationist featured in countless documentaries

Janice Long, Host of Top of the Pops and the first woman to have her own show on BBC’s Radio 1

Wanda Young, An original member of The Marvelettes

J.D. Crowe, Grammy-winning banjo player


The Bachelor: Clayton Echard is a big toothy golden retriever just trying to find love. Season premiere. 7 p.m., ABC

The Cleaning Lady: After witnessing a murder, a doctor has to take on a second life as a cleaning lady for a crime syndicate in this new drama. Series premiere. 8 p.m., Fox

That’s My Jam: Jimmy Fallon’s celebrity game show is back. 8 p.m., NBC

9-1-1: Lone Star: Austin is hit by an ice storm and the state government is completely incompetent, leading to the shut-down of the entire electric grid, and the unnecessary deaths of hundreds of its residents OH WAIT, THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED AND IS NOT THE PRODUCT OF RYAN MURPHY’S LURID IMAGINATION. WHOOPS. Season premiere. 7 p.m., Fox

Late Night:

  • Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: Anthony Anderson, Adam Devine, Carly Pearce
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers: Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, David Byrne, Gustavo Di Dalva
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Utkarsh Ambudkar
  • The Late Late Show with James Corden: Sophia Bush, Aaron Sorkin, Japanese Breakfast
  • Watch What Happens Live: Rayna Lindsey, Michelle Collins

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Bachelor
Abbott Elementary
CBS The Neighborhood
Bob ♥ Abishola
NCIS: Hawai’i
CW All American
The 4400
FOX 9-1-1: Lone Star
The Cleaning Lady
NBC Kenan
That’s My Jam
Ordinary Joe

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