In which I assign you homework.

It’s hot out there; stay hydrated!


HI HI HI. So, we are still a ways away from my annual Hate Blog competition — I was planning on opening up the polls in early September. But then I started receiving some interesting comments  — some from people asking that I continue recapping La Brea, and another from frequent commenter Stan, suggesting that I recap The Sopranos or Deadwood, two shows that have been off the air for some time. And these requests, they got me thinking that maybe I should give the Hate Blog, and how y’all choose it, a little shakeup.

So here’s what I’m thinking: we’re going to make a tournament out of this — we’re going to March Madness what you want me to recap next. I’ve come up with three categories of 12 TV shows each which I will share with you a little bit later down the road. What I need from y’all is I want you to start thinking about what TV show you would want me to recap, if you could have me recap any show. Any show at all. I’m going to make my fourth category 12 shows that you guys have chosen which are not represented in the other three categories.

Some things to consider:

1. It has to be a show that is available on a streaming service. Don’t worry about me: I have access to all of the services. But if your show is an old series that is not available anywhere because of some weird licensing issue, I’m not going to be able to recap it. When you suggest a show, I will of course do my own research to make sure it is available somewhere, but you might want to do your own research before suggesting something, just to avoid disappointment.

2. You might want to keep in mind how I write about television. I tend to write in one of two voices: super snarky or super analytical. So for a blog that will be fun to read, I would lean towards a show that is either mockable or one that I can really dig into and create something informative out of it. What I’m saying is that a procedural doesn’t really work great here … but there are always exceptions (see Fringe, for instance). And comedies are tough to recap, because making something that’s already funny somehow funnier is not an easy task. These are just suggestions, of course, you can pick whatever you want, and we’ll let the crowd choose.

I’m going to make an official call for shows again later this month, but if you have a show that you’re just dying to suggest right now, feel free to do so in the comments. How I’m going to pick which 12 shows to include in the readers’ choice category, I’m not sure — I guess it depends on how many suggestions I receive that aren’t already in one of the other three categories. If I only receive a few, I guess I’ll take the first 12. If I get a bunch, I’ll pick the 12 shows that I think I can work with best. Or, if I don’t receive any suggestions, I’ve already come up with my own fourth category which I will use instead.

Alright, I’ll update with more information later, I just wanted to plant that seed and commit to this plan publicly. Start thinking!

All Other TV News

George R.R. Martin took to his blog again, this time to give a lengthy report on his progress on The Winds of Winter, his unfinished sixth novel that has taken him well over a decade to write. According to this most recent post, events in the books will diverge from the show in significant ways:

What I have noticed more and more of late, however, is my gardening is taking me further and further away from the television series.   Yes, some of the things you saw on HBO in GAME OF THRONES you will also see in THE WINDS OF WINTER (though maybe not in quite the same ways)… but much of the rest will be quite different.

And really, when you think about it, this was inevitable.   The novels are much bigger and much much more complex than the series.   Certain things that happened on HBO will not happen in the books.   And vice versa.   I have viewpoint characters in the books never seen on the show: Victarion Greyjoy, Arianne Martell, Areo Hotah, Jon Connington, Aeron Damphair   They will all have chapters, and the things they do and say will impact the story and the major characters who were on the show.   I have legions of secondary characters, not POVs but nonetheless important to the plot, who also figure in the story: Lady Stoneheart, Young Griff,  the Tattered Prince, Penny, Brown Ben Plumm, the Shavepate, Marwyn the Mage, Darkstar, Jeyne Westerling.  Some characters you saw in the show are quite different than the versions in the novels.   Yarra Greyjoy is not Asha Greyjoy, and HBO’s Euron Greyjoy is way, way, way, way different from mine.   Quaithe still has a part to play.  So does Rickon Stark.   And poor Jeyne Poole.   And… well, the list is long.    (And all this is part of why WINDS is taking so long.   This is hard, guys).

He then drops this bomb:

One thing I can say, in general enough terms that I will not be spoiling anything: not all of the characters who survived until the end of GAME OF THRONES will survive until the end of A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, and not all of the characters who died on GAME OF THRONES will die in A SONG OF ICE & FIRE. (Some will, sure. Of course. Maybe most. But definitely not all) ((Of course, I could change my mind again next week, with the next chapter I write. That’s gardening)).

And the ending? You will need to wait until I get there. Some things will be the same. A lot will not.

I came away from this update with a couple of thoughts:

1. I am very very excited to see what he does with the story, and whether he does a better job of sticking the landing. I’ve always said that aside from the choice of who ends up on the Iron Throne, I am not angry about the events of the finale — I just disliked how rushed the writers were to get there. And lord knows George is in no kind of hurry.

2. I think this post gives a lot of insight into why it’s taken George so long to finish this novel, and it has everything to do with needing distance between the books and the series. Now that the show has been off the air for four years now, I think he finally feels like he has some breathing room to tell his own version of the story. It must have been annoying to try to write your version of the story as it was unfolding in this other medium, and I imagine the amount of noise the show created in his creative process was deafening. Now that it’s been off the air for a while, I think he’s fans want to hear his story, and has given himself permission to tell it. If that makes any sense.

All that said, he’s made it clear that he’s still writing, so don’t get too excited — it’s not coming out anytime soon. Raise your own dragon while you wait.

No, Jon Stewart does not want to be President.

Evil made a cute Ted Lasso reference in an episode recently.

You’ll be able to stream Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! 24 hours a day on Pluto TV soon enough.

Jameela Jamil gets it, y’all.

Yeah, Elon Musk was never going to buy Twitter, thank God.

All that said, I have a few more odds and ends about Stranger Things season four:

Metallica has received the Kate Bush bump: “Master of Puppets” streams have gone up 650% since the finale debuted. 80s bands everywhere are contacting Netflix, begging to be included in season five.

“Tentacles squelching wetly” became a trending topic on Twitter thanks to the very visceral captions. The subtitle authors gave an interview to Vulture where they illuminated their work and process and admitted to a bit of trolling with some of their word choices.

The whole interview is fascinating: they spend a lot of time talking about trying to both make the viewing experience the best possible one for the deaf audience, while also respecting genre conventions. Also, I learned that the captions are their own area and process — they don’t just transcribe the script and the Duffer Brothers do not give approval, though Netflix does have final say.

Finally — AND I’M TRYING NOT TO BE SPOILERY HERE, BUT IT’S REALLY HARD — the one character who arguably had the worst time of it this season was originally supposed to die. As for their fate, there’s a reason for it, and it connects to whatever is going to happen in season five.

Some news from the world of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City:

Take care of yourself, Shawn Mendes.



  • Chad has been canceled at TBS, just as it was set to premiere its second season. TBS is actively looking for a new network or streamer to take the series.

In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • Lord of the Rings: The Ring of Power will debut on Prime Video September 2 and the full trailer will premiere on July 14.

  • Day Shift will premiere on Netflix on August 12.
  • Virgin River returns on Netflix on July 20.
  • DC’s Stargirl returns on The CW on August 31.
  • Bill Burr: Live at Red Rocks debuts on Netflix on July 12.
  • Amber Brown premieres on Apple TV+ on July 29.
  • Marvel Studios’ Assembled: The Making of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is streaming on Disney+ right now.


Tony Sirico, Paulie Walnuts from The Sopranos

Michael Imperioli released a statement: “It pains me to say that my dear friend, colleague and partner in crime, the great Tony Sirico has passed away today,” Imperioli said. “Tony was like no one else: he was as tough, as loyal and as big hearted as anyone I’ve ever known. I was at his side through so much: through good times and bad. But mostly good. And we had a lot of laughs. We found a groove as Christopher and Paulie and I am proud to say I did a lot of my best and most fun work with my dear pal Tony. I will miss him forever. He is truly irreplaceable. I send love to his family, friends and his many many fans. He was beloved and will never be forgotten. Heartbroken today.”

David Chase: “The way Buddhists refer to a jewel – supernatural and a master.  But certainly not a Zen master.  He was so uproarious, so funny, so talented.  I’m very happy for him that in his mid-fifties and sixties he finally learned how talented and loved he was. I was just thinking about him yesterday, strangely enough, and was reminded that he was a main reason for the success of The Sopranos. I will miss him greatly, Gennaro. As will the world.”

Vernon Winfrey, Oprah’s father

L.Q. Jones, Character actor who appeared in several movies and Gunsmoke, The Virginian, and Bonanza

Vieri Razzini, Italian critic, producer and writer


The Bachelorette: For the first time ever, two Bachelorettes date 30+ men together. It’s going to be a mess. Season premiere. 7 p.m., ABC

Better Call Saul: The final episodes begin. 8 p.m., AMC

Claim to Fame: In this new reality competition, a bunch of people related to someone famous live together and try to keep their celebrity relation secret to win a $100,000 prize. Series premiere. 9 p.m., ABC

Days of Our Lives: Beyond Salem: Season two premiere. Peacock

Late Night:

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Elizabeth Banks, Gabby Windey, Rachel Recchia, CAAMP, guest host Anthony Anderson
  • Watch What Happens Live: Aesha Scott, Capt. Sandy Yawn

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC The Bachelorette
Claim to Fame
CBS The Neighborhood
Bob ♥ Abishola
NCIS: Hawai’i
CW Roswell, New Mexico
In the Dark
FOX Don’t Forget the Lyrics!
Beat Shazam
NBC American Ninja Warrior
Weakest Link

6 thoughts on “In which I assign you homework.

  1. Meant to respond to this sooner, my apologies for being tardy. I would love to see you do a complete recap of The Leftovers. It was one of my favorites, and I’ve been thinking about rewatching it, since I initially did so over a long period of time. Lots of material for you to dig into if you want to, it was a thrill to watch, and they totally stuck the landing. What do you think?

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