Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Dancing With the Stars S29E06: Top 11

DWTS marks the midway point of the season with a mediocre episode
by Kim Krober

Dancing with the Stars needs to get its act together. This week's episode felt like another ho-hum filler sandwich in between '80s Night' and 'Halloween Villains Night' without an obvious theme.

The most exciting thing was a special performance by judge Derek Hough with his girlfriend Hayley Erbert, who used to be a member of the show's dance troupe. The couple danced a mesmerizing Paso Doble to "Uccen" by Taalbi Brothers. I've missed Derek's amazing choreography and unique flair. The competition has felt seriously lacking without him or Mark Ballas competing in recent years.

We've reached the midway mark of the season, and it's getting harder to say goodbye to the couples. Who goes next is really anyone's guess, and this is both exhilarating and frightening with so many of my favorites remaining on the ballroom floor. Let's take a look at how your favorites did on this sixth week of competition:

Johnny Weir & Britt Stewart, Samba


Coming off the heady aroma of a couple of 10s from last week, Johnny and Britt attacked their Samba set to "On the Floor" by Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull. Derek noted a few misses, but said it was a great way to start the show. Bruno loved the costumes but thought it lacked some of the hip action and styling of the Samba. Carrie Ann didn't think it was his best dance, but she enjoyed watching it. I would probably agree with the judges. It lacked a little sizzle.

Score: 22

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Nev Schulman & Jenna Johnson, Jazz


Nev and Jenna got to Jazz it up this week with a fun, spirited routine to Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch's "Good Vibrations." Bruno told them they were deliciously bonkers with the feeling of a rave, but it worked. Carrie Ann thought it was amazing with every Jazz step thrown in, while Derek noted it was clean and in sync. Funky good!

Score: 26

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Monica Aldama & Val Chmerkovskiy, Rumba


I'm always fascinated by love stories in which people break up and then get back together because they realize they miss their soul mate. Monica and Val's Rumba to "Have I Told You Lately" by Rod Stewart was dedicated to Monica's husband Chris, whom she divorced and remarried. Carrie Ann was wowed by watching her come into her own with refined, sensual, and radiant movements. Derek complimented her softness and impressive balance, saying he loved the story of her Rumba. Bruno called it a classic Rumba with inspired lines and shapes.

Score: 27

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Skai Jackson & Alan Bersten, Cha-Cha


Skai and Alan danced a Cha-Cha to "Say So" by Dojo Cat and Nicki Minaj. I'd never heard this song, but I enjoyed their hypnotic rhythm and costumes. Derek commended her for carrying on despite some mistakes, saying she had some great Cha-Cha moments. Bruno loved the K-Pop look and praised her for handling challenging choreography the best she could. Carrie Ann said she came back stronger than ever and would give her a 10 for her recoveries.

Score: 18

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Vernon Davis & Peta Murgatroyd, Cha-Cha


I knew Peta looked like she was in pain last week - I read she pulled her neck and had to have therapy. However, you couldn't tell during the couple's Cha-Cha set to Kool & The Gang's "Celebration" this week. Bruno loved the colorfulness and groove, but said Vernon needs to learn to use the balls of his feet. Carrie Ann enjoys watching him because he's so comfortable and at ease on the dance floor. Derek said he would give him a 10 for joy, but from a technical and timing standpoint, he's still having issues. I thought Vernon looked a lot less stiff and more in his element, but was it too little too late? I'd hate to see him go out on such a high note.

Score: 21

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Nelly & Daniella Karagach, Viennese Waltz


Nelly brought out his softer (and country!) side for a gorgeous Viennese Waltz set to Tim McGraw's "Humble and Kind." Carrie Ann was at a loss for words, finally saying she loved seeing his many layers and beautiful storytelling. Derek loved the masculine softness but cautioned him about watching his frame. Bruno called him charming and endearing, saying he was turning into a swan before his very eyes. It made me love watching Nelly even more!

Score: 24

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Jeannie Mai & Brandon Armstrong, Rumba


Jeannie and Brandon's Rumba to Des'ree's "You Gotta Be" was dizzying and surprising. Derek admired its sensuality, complimenting her legwork. Bruno said it was right up his alley with a smoldering passion. Carrie Ann called her stunning and sexy, praising her for dancing at her powerful edge, which she noted is difficult for a woman.

Score: 25

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AJ McLean & Cheryl Burke, Samba


AJ and Cheryl looked muy caliente during their Samba set to "Mi Gente" by J Balvin and Willy William. Bruno told him to just do it and not be sorry for dominating Cheryl, saying he always delivers with a strong performance. Carrie Ann called it a breakthrough. Derek said, "when in doubt, shake it out," telling AJ it was really fun and easy to watch.

Score: 27

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Chrishell Stause & Gleb Savchenko, Contemporary


It was a good week for a Contemporary for Chrishell and Gleb, as this type of dance usually elevates scores. Set to "Stars" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, it was a moving tribute to her parents who both passed away in the past year. Carrie Ann could tell she poured her heart and soul into the dance, but she told her to be careful about pointing her toes. Derek commended her for bringing joy and light to the dance floor every week despite her challenging year. Bruno called it emotionally engaging and irresistible because of its rawness. She earned her highest score from the judges (a trio of 8's) and made me change my number of votes I was casting for her. Powerful peak at the right time.

Score: 24

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Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem Chigvintsev, Samba


Kaitlyn and Artem's Samba to "Sorry" by Justin Bieber was probably one of her strongest performances to date, but I'm sorry to say it lacked sizzle. Derek thought it was fantastic with proper Samba hip action but told her to work on her attack. Bruno believes in her, calling it a first-class Samba. Carrie Ann felt it was well-executed in its precision and technicality, but it failed to impress her. She deserved the high judges' scores, but it was kinda boring to watch.

Score: 27

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Justina Machado & Sasha Farber, Viennese Waltz


"She's Always a Woman to Me" by Billy Joel is one of my favorites. They saved the best for last with an ethereal Viennese Waltz from Justina and Sasha. Bruno thought it was a fantastic show, complimenting Justina for being light as a feather and filling the floor with joy. Carrie Ann called her elegant and refined, saying she's a beautiful dancer. Derek told her she's a very consistent performer, admiring the way she floats across the floor week after week.

Score: 27

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Johnny & Brit and Vernon & Peta were revealed to be in jeopardy at this critical point in the competition. Derek voted to save Johnny & Brit. Carrie Ann voted to save Vernon & Peta based on this week's performance alone. Bruno cast the tie-breaking vote, choosing to save Johnny & Brit. Vernon may have had a good week, but I 100% think the judges made the right decision. How did your favorites fare this week?

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8:00 PM on ABC.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Trailer Roundup: Barbarians, Dream Corp LLC, Industry, Fireball, Big Sky, For Life, No Man's Land, The Real Right Stuff, Pennyworth, Soul, American Gods

October 20

 


This innovative, two-hour film—part horror movie, part documentary and part reality competition—marks the first spin-off of the groundbreaking The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula series and the first time that competitors from all three seasons of the show will return to compete against one another. The winner will be “resurrected” and return to compete on the upcoming Boulet Brothers’ Dragula Season 4 as a main competitor, and will also walk away with a twenty thousand dollar cash prize. Premieres Oct. 20, only on Shudder.
 

October 23

 


Rival Germanic tribes must unite to drive the imperial Roman Army from their homeland. An alliance that would forever forge their history. Barbarians only on Netflix October 23.
 

October 25

 


Dive deep into your subconscious as Dream Corp LLC returns for season three premiering Sunday, October 25 at 12:30 a.m. ET/PT on Adult Swim.
 

October 30

 


In this final chapter, the fight to conquer Rome becomes more open and ruthless than ever. A big business that will tempt many is coming: the Jubilee, a promise of new illegal traffics, money and power.
 

November 9

 


The series follows a group of young graduates competing for a limited number of permanent positions at a leading international bank in London.
 

November 13

 


From Directors Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds explores how meteorites have impacted our planet’s landscapes and cultures. Watch the premiere November 13 on Apple TV+.
 

November 17

 


The most beautiful places hide the darkest secrets. From David E. Kelley, Big Sky premieres TUESDAY NOV 17 10|9c on ABC.
 

November 18

 


Aaron Wallace’s fight continues in season two of For Life, as the wrongfully convicted prisoner-turned-litigator and social crusader embarks on a more personal journey. Aaron is motivated by the hope of being reunited with his family and reclaiming a life of freedom to take up the mantle against systemic injustice from outside the prison walls. With continued help from the people who supported him—his family, a wily one-time public defender, Henry Roswell, and his former prison warden, Safiya Masry—Aaron continues his battle against the very political machine that once put him away, undeservedly. Inspired by the life of Isaac Wright Jr., For Life continues to shine an unrelenting light upon the institutional wrongs of our penal and legal systems.
 

The series dives into the depths of the Syrian civil war through the eyes of Antoine, a young French man, in search of his estranged, presumed to be dead sister. All episodes of No Man's Land are available to stream November 18th, only on Hulu.
 

November 20

 


Get a first look at the documentary special The Real Right Stuff, from National Geographic, premiering on Disney+ Friday, Nov. 20.
 

November 25

 


In 1973, teenaged Beth Bledsoe (Sophia Lillis) leaves her rural Southern hometown to study at New York University where her beloved Uncle Frank (Paul Bettany) is a revered literature professor. She soon discovers that Frank is gay, and living with his longtime partner Walid "Wally" Nadeem (Peter Macdissi) -- an arrangement that he has kept secret for years. After the sudden death of Frank's father -- Beth's grandfather -- Frank is forced to reluctantly return home for the funeral with Beth in tow, and to finally face a long-buried trauma that he has spent his entire adult life running away from.
 

December 13

 


Pennyworth Season 2 Coming December 2020 only on EPIX.
 

December 25

 


In SYLVIE'S LOVE, the jazz is smooth and the air sultry in the hot New York summer of 1957. Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a saxophonist, spends late nights playing behind a less-talented but well-known bandleader, as member of a jazz quartet. Sylvie (Tessa Thompson), who dreams of a career in television, spends her summer days helping around her father’s record store, as she waits for her fiancé to return from war. When Robert takes a part-time job at the record store, the two begin a friendship that sparks a deep passion in each of them unlike anything they have felt before. As the summer winds down, life takes them in different directions, bringing their relationship to an end. Years pass, Sylvie’s career as a TV producer blossoms, while Robert has to come to terms with what the age of Motown is doing to the popularity of Jazz. In a chance meeting, Sylvie and Robert cross paths again, only to find that while their lives have changed, their feelings for each other remain the same. Writer/director Eugene Ashe combines romance and music into a sweeping story that brings together changing times, a changing culture, and the true price of love.
 

Life is full of possibilities, you just have to know where to look. Watch the new trailer for Disney and Pixar’s Soul, streaming this Christmas only on Disney+.
 

Coming Soon

 


They say you can’t outrun your destiny, but Shadow's sure as hell gonna try. American Gods returns to STARZ in early 2021.
 

Tully and Kate meet as young girls on Firefly Lane and become inseparable best friends through 30 years of ups and downs. Starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke and based on the bestselling novel by Kristin Hannah, Firefly Lane is coming soon to Netflix.
 

30 Coins takes viewers into a world where nothing is as it seems, and nobody can be trusted. The eight-episode drama series follows Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández), an exorcist, boxer, and ex-convict who is exiled by the church as the priest of a remote town in Spain. As his past and old enemies come back to haunt him, strange things begin to happen. An unlikely task force forms as Mayor Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and local vet Elena (Megan Montaner) seek the truth, while reality is distorted by a cursed coin which is at the heart of a global conspiracy.
 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

CBS announces premiere dates for 10 scripted series


CBS has announced the November primetime premiere dates for 10 scripted series. The five dramas and five comedies span time periods on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights. Additional premiere dates for November will be announced shortly.

The new comedy joining the CBS schedule on Thursday, Nov. 5 is B POSITIVE, from award-winning executive producer Chuck Lorre and creator Marco Pennette, starring Emmy Award-nominee Thomas Middleditch and Tony Award-winner Annaleigh Ashford. The series is inspired by Pennette's personal experience as a transplant recipient.

The returning shows include #1 series NCIS on Tuesday, Nov. 17; #1 comedy YOUNG SHELDON and #2 comedy MOM on Thursday, Nov. 5; Monday's popular one-hour comedy block of THE NEIGHBORHOOD and #1 new comedy BOB ♥ ABISHOLA, followed by the hit drama ALL RISE on Monday, Nov. 16; Sunday's two most-watched entertainment programs NCIS: LOS ANGELES and NCIS: NEW ORLEANS on Sunday, Nov. 8; and the two-hour premiere of S.W.A.T. on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

Also, classic NCIS launches Sunday, Nov. 8, featuring fan-favorite episodes from the drama's previous 17 seasons, creating a three-hour block of NCIS following 60 MINUTES on Sunday nights.

These programs join the previously announced season premieres of 60 MINUTES and 48 HOURS, which have already debuted, and THE AMAZING RACE, on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

CBS' 2020-2021 PRIMETIME PREMIERE DATES FOR 10 SERIES

Thursday, November 5

  • 8:00 PM - YOUNG SHELDON (4th Season Premiere)
  • 8:30 PM - B POSITIVE (Series Premiere)
  • 9:00 PM - MOM (8th Season Premiere)


Sunday, Nov. 8 (Football Doubleheader)

  • 7:30 PM, ET/ 7:00 PM, PT - 60 MINUTES
  • 8:30 PM, ET/ 8:00 PM, PT - NCIS: LOS ANGELES (12th Season Premiere)
  • 9:30 PM, ET/ 9:00 PM, PT - NCIS: NEW ORLEANS (7th Season Premiere)
  • 10:30 PM, ET/ 10:00 PM, PT - NCIS (Fan-favorite episodes from the previous 17 seasons)


Wednesday, Nov. 11

  • 8:00 PM - THE AMAZING RACE
  • 9:00 PM - S.W.A.T. (2-Hour 4th Season Premiere)


Monday, Nov. 16

  • 8:00 PM - THE NEIGHBORHOOD (3rd Season Premiere)
  • 8:30 PM - BOB ♥ ABISHOLA (2nd Season Premiere)
  • 9:00 PM - ALL RISE (2nd Season Premiere)


Tuesday, Nov. 17

  • 8:00 PM - NCIS (18th Season Premiere)

Date and times are subject to change.


Dancing With the Stars S29E05: 80s Night

DWTS' 80s Night was the cheerful competition boost we all needed
by Kim Krober

It was 80s Night on Dancing with the Stars, and I couldn't have been more stoked. I was ready for them to bring on the spandex, leg warmers, bright colors, scrunchies, high hair with Aqua Net, and glorious synthesized pop. I was hoping for homages to some of my favorite '80s movies as well, and the performances did not disappoint on that front. Neither did the judges. Bruno and Derek looked like they were channeling Miami Vice while Carrie Ann looked gorgeous with huge, crimped hair. The only one who failed to impress was once again Tyra. I honestly have no idea who picks out her outfits week after week, but they don't do her many favors. I did like her third green outfit a little.

Let's take a look at how your favorites did on this totally tubetacular fifth week of competition:

Justina Machado & Sasha Farber, Jazz


Justina and Sasha got jazzy with the memorable "Maniac" from the Flashdance soundtrack, and it was a fun opening for 80s Night! Justina was a teenager in the 80s, so she was totally in her comfort zone and it showed. I applaud them for even reenacting the silhouette scene in which water came pouring down on Justina. Derek called it a perfect opening, saying she's always so much fun to watch. Bruno complimented Sasha's neckline (saying it gave him vertigo) and called it a deliciously 80s dance that made him cry in a good way. Carrie Ann said they nailed it with the side-by-side dancing required in a Jazz routine.

Score: 24

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Jesse Metcalfe & Sharna Burgess, Tango


How adorable were the childhood photos of Jesse from the 80s? Equally adorable were their costumes and the Patrick Nagel-inspired images of Jesse and Sharna that appeared in the backdrop! This duo danced a fun Tango to Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." Bruno admired Jesse's intent and performance, but he noted that he lost his steps and timing somewhere along the way. Carrie Ann agreed, but could tell he was feeling the music and complimented him for showing his confidence. Derek wants him to succeed and have breakthroughs, but he wanted to be honest about the framing being a disappointment. I don't understand why the judges never seem to like Jesse's routines. They seemed extremely harsh this week.

Score: 19

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Chrishell Stause & Gleb Savchenko, Cha-Cha


Chrishell and Gleb danced a Cha-Cha to New Kids on the Block's "(You Got It) The Right Stuff." Gleb, please don't ever grow a mullet for real. I don't know about the Cha-Cha, but they nailed the memorable NKOTB dance moves from the video. Carrie Ann didn't feel it had enough Cha-Cha content, while Bruno called it naughty. Derek enjoyed the side-by-side steps but warned her about her arm extensions and footwork. Who cares about 6's from the judges when you receive personal messages from the New Kids telling you that you have the right stuff!?

Score: 19

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Jeannie Mai & Brandon Armstrong, Jazz


The photos of Jeannie and her mom performing at weddings in the 80s were priceless. Jeannie and Brandon danced a sudsy Jazz routine to Madonna's "Like a Virgin" that would make the Material Girl herself blush. Derek thought they looked adorable, complimenting her confidence, commitment, and ease. Bruno called it immaculate and a squeaky clean, PG version of Madonna. Carrie Ann thought it was incredible, telling her she's the most exciting performer to watch this season. I wouldn't necessarily say that, but I do root for her every week.

Score: 24

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Monica Aldama & Val Chmerkovskiy, Tango


Monica and Val reminisced about the faux pas last week when they discovered they were in the bottom two despite being told earlier they were safe. The result was they came out stronger than ever with a determined Tango to Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." Bruno said she focused like a laser-guided missile with fantastic shapes. Carrie Ann called it an incredible performance with all the dynamics and big guns brought out this week. Derek admired her drive and legs, commending them for having a Tango that moved across the floor. Two 9's from the judges = total redemption.

Score: 26

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AJ McLean & Cheryl Burke, Waltz


AJ and Cheryl danced a dreamy Waltz to the Journey power ballad "Open Arms." It was great to see a slow dance in a week full of Tangos and Jazz routines. It stood out in a special way. Carrie Ann and Derek complimented his smooth ballroom style. Bruno called them the King and Queen of the 80s Prom with great, sweeping motion.

Score: 24

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Skai Jackson & Alan Bersten, Jazz


Skai and Alan danced a Jazz routine to Huey Lewis & The News' "The Power of Love" from the Back to the Future soundtrack, earning my votes once again in the process. (I had a Back to the Future-themed wedding a couple years ago complete with a DeLorean, so you might say I'm a super fan.) Derek felt it was fun, noting how much she lights up and her incredible energy. Bruno said she has the moves and lifts, but she needs to continue to work on the dismounts. Carrie Ann told her she needs to expand her movements because she's so petite. This was my favorite performance of the night so far!

Score: 24

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Vernon Davis & Peta Murgatroyd, Tango


I enjoyed seeing Vernon in a Bon Jovi-esque wig for his Tango with Peta set to "Livin' on a Prayer." Bruno said the groupies will be lining up for Vernon later, but he needs to work on sustaining the steps throughout the entire routine. Carrie Ann likes the quality of movement she's seeing from him, but he needs to work on transitional moves with Peta. Derek gave a shout-out to the hair and makeup crews but said he wants a little more attack from Vernon. Was it just me or did it look like Peta was in pain, rubbing her neck after they received the judges' scores?

Score: 21

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Kaitlyn Bristowe & Artem Chigvintsev, Tango


Kaitlyn and Artem channeled their inner nerds with a Tango set to "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tiffany. Carrie Ann commended them for keeping in frame (throwing a little bit of shade at the night's other three Tangos). Derek called it a beautiful Tango with sharp, precise movements. Bruno said it was an action-packed 80s blockbuster of a Tango and thanked them for their commitment. She earned three 9's from the judges, which was her highest score to date.

Score: 27

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Nelly & Daniella Karagach, Samba


Nelly and Daniella danced a spirited Samba to DeBarge's "Rhythm of the Night." Derek said it was his best dance ever with an enjoyable freedom to behold. Bruno noted how much lighter and carefree he was on his feet and praised them for doing a proper Samba. Carrie Ann said the dance made her so happy, calling it yummy overall.

Score: 24

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Johnny Weir & Britt Stewart, Contemporary


When I found out Johnny and Britt were dancing a Contemporary to Bonnie Taylor's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," I was excited to see how much expression he would be able to convey with the ultimate power ballad. Bruno said it's the sign of an artist when you can fill the space with movement and emotion. Carrie Ann told him to turn around and take a bow, praising Britt's choreography. Derek said he was watching for mistakes, but it was perfect and beautiful. It was almost the first perfect score of the season, except Bruno had to rain on the parade with a 9.

Score: 29

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Nev Schulman & Jenna Johnson, Quickstep


Nev opened up about being diagnosed with ADHD as a kid and how an after-school dance class changed his life for the better. I thoroughly enjoyed his and Jenna's Quickstep to "Take on Me" by a-ha. From the outfits to the fake flashbulbs to the high-octane energy, this was one of the best performances of the night. Carrie Ann thought his movements were a little smaller than normal. However, Derek absolutely loved it and could relate to Nev's story about focusing his energy on dancing. Bruno thought it was the most exuberant Quickstep ever with very detailed footwork. The only disappointing thing about it were his less-than-perfect judges' scores.

Score: 26

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Peta & Vernon and Jesse & Sharna were revealed to be the bottom two. Bruno and Carrie Ann both voted to save Vernon & Peta (and I think Derek would have made the decision unanimous). I was majorly bummed to see Jesse go home this early in the competition. No offense to Vernon, but I don't think the judges made the right decision. How did your favorites fare this week?

Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8:00 PM on ABC.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The Boys S02E08: What I Know

© Amazon

‘The Boys’ finishes its second season with some surprises and some of the same-old same-old.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The season finale of The Boys is called “What I Know”, which is of course, a pointless reference to the graphic novel titles as I’ve said ad infinitum by now. What will they do when they run out of titles that bear no real relevance to the episode at hand? I suppose they’ll have to come up with their own, which I think I would prefer.

The second season of The Boys was a bit all over the place, with some pretty decent social commentary and satire, along with some storylines that weren’t as interesting and some characters underwritten. Speaking of that part, as of the finale MM still never gets anything truly interesting to do or say -- real misstep on the show’s part. Now, the storyline in the graphic novel is quite problematic, offensive, and bizarre even for this show so I don’t think they should have simply used that. But giving MM essentially no memorable backstory isn’t a great tactic either.

Frenchie (or Serge as was said a few times) had just a little more, with the only really successful moments his up and down relationship with Kimiko, leading to a fairly nice ending with the two of them using sign language against Stormfront and going off dancing. Kimiko was always compelling, with Karen Fukuhara capable of really giving pretty crazy range without saying anything. If you’ve seen her on her YouTube channel or interviews, her actual personality is so different from Kimiko making it pretty stark and impressive.

I actually started the episode with a touch of apprehension and uncertainty, a good sign in general because I had no idea what was going to happen. Ultimately, the twists and turns and deaths felt a bit normal. Becca dies at the hands of Stormfront, who is killed by Ryan in a callback to “hating” someone in the same episode -- that’s not much of a callback, it was pretty easy to predict.

 Aya Cash was obviously great the entire season, but I’ve been a “stan” of hers since You’re the Worst so nothing new from me there. The actual downfall though was so insanely fast, especially compared to the inconsistent pacing of the rest of the season, I’m not sure how well it worked. The finale was super fast paced, but sometimes the rest of the season suffered from not being paced that well.

I think I would’ve felt it worse if she managed to survive somehow into the next season the way they had set up the Nazi revelations -- and without her, the worst person is back to being Homelander, who did seem to be valuing Ryan over Stormfront throughout the episode, so the way it ended felt pretty reasonable. We’ve seen for a while that Homelander is obsessed with being loved and appreciated, so that was the only way for Maeve to get him to back off -- even if in his final speech we see the emptiness behind his eyes (Anthony Starr as always pulling off the sociopathic turn).

The entire Scientology storyline was, I suppose, merely a way to do two things: Reveal the new supe in disguise to us and return other things to the status quo. So A-Train’s back to the Seven because he happened to be listening in on Edgar and Alastair talking about him and Stormfront, which directly led to the Nazi leak and Stormfront getting beaten up by the lady supes in an explicitly called out reference to the “girls get it down” from earlier in the season. It would've been more satisfying to me if they had shown Stormfront with visible damage, otherwise I couldn’t tell if she was really getting hurt.

Now as for our new supe, Victoria Neuman (Claudia Doumit) who has been coded to seem like AOC or similar young progressive politicians, turning out to be a Vought plant the whole time? As Fry from Futurama said: "I’m shocked! Well, not that shocked." “Vic” Neuman was a character in the comics, a very stupid, clearly developmentally challenged man that becomes the vice president and is Vought’s puppet.

© Amazon

So when I realized that Victoria Neuman was a gender swapped person, I wondered why she was on the side against Vought. So it’s a good twist, because it makes sense, and actually uses the ignored storylines of the comics to help you figure it out if you read them. I appreciated that, and I feel that it’s a good setup for future seasons -- a smart puppet of Vought is more interesting than the GWB parody they had in the comics (which was really more the comics creators getting out their anger at GWB in the first place).

The final moments between Starlight and Hughie are fine enough, but their romance is a bit wonky too -- I didn’t mind it, but I never felt it was that interesting this season. And as for Billy, now that Becca is gone and Ryan is off under CIA protection, what’s his next move? Hard to say, but it seems like it must be something to do with Homelander and Ryan.

So overall, decent season, very watchable and with some real high points. A lot better than that Preacher adaptation, so as long as they can improve over time here, I think The Boys has a real shot at being lasting satire.

The Boys S02E07: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker

© Amazon

'The Boys’ blows it all up in the penultimate episode of the season.
by Jeremy Fogelman

The latest episode of The Boys is called “Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker”, once again more from a graphic novel title that barely connects to the radically different story of the adapted work. Here we see mainly four through lines interconnected, one the Scientology parody barely connected to the rest, one with Queen Maeve slightly more connected, and the two main ones, setting up the big hearings and rescuing Starlight.

As per usual, the Scientology satire with The Deep and A-Train feels more of the same, now referencing toxic people and cutting people out of their lives, which is called in the real world a “suppressive person”. It feels like the most unsubtle part of this extremely unsubtle show, and it’s hard to really care about either A-Train or The Deep due to their unsavory pasts. And the comedy doesn’t really work either this episode with them, so it felt like “okay I get it, can we move on now?”

On the Maeve front, her storyline has been rushed all season, and so we get a lightning quick breakup, a breakdown where she hooks up with two dudes, and comes back at the end of the episode to save Starlight from Black Noir (and maybe kills him? It’s unclear). But she doesn’t go with the other supe, because she can’t, for reasons not fully explained, even if much can be inferred. I feel like Maeve is a character with a lot of potential, but not the potential we’ve seen enough of.

It sort of depends on the finale, but for now these two storylines have left me a bit disappointed. On the better side, I did like Hughie’s adventure to save Starlight, even though it was pretty straightforward, and I also did not really care about Lamplighter immolating himself. We barely got anything from him, good or bad, just a mild amount of grey, so it’s hard to care that he’s dead, any more than Hughie or Butcher seemed to.

© Amazon

Butcher though has far more of an interesting episode, confronting his terminally ill father (a perfectly cast bastard of John Noble) and we get more insight into his troubled past. That’s the sort of context I like to see, and that connects easily into Billy threatening Dr. Vogelbaum’s family in a way that we believe him completely.

That storyline is connected back through the radicalization done by Stormfront, who is now leading Homelander down the same path. The opening montage, of a man driven by fear to kill an innocent immigrant, feels quite relevant, as does the dog whistling and pretense of caring about innocent victims by Stormfront and Homelander.

Where it gets truly terrifying is the way they manage to subvert his son, by revealing the safe lie by his mother -- another parenting mishap. Homelander even reveals what feels like truth to Becca, that when he found the real world, it was overwhelming and panic inducing. We get even more terror from Vogelbaum himself (classic character actor John Doman) who reveals to Billy that he 100% mistreated and alienated Homelander as a child.

But that doesn’t mean it’s satisfying to see him die in the final moments of chaos of the episode, where we seem to be just as confused as everyone else. Was it Stormfront? The exploding head lady from the Vought secret asylum? If it is her, why did she do it? And was Billy involved? These are the sorts of questions that are good to set up the finale, which I certainly feel invested in -- honestly I expected things to go wrong at the hearing, I just wasn’t sure how.

The Boys really tries to shock and surprise, and although as someone who read the pretty exploitative source material I’m kinda desensitized to it, I do appreciate when the show delves into real world issues when they get it right. And of course Aya Cash deserves accolades for this, as she did for You’re the Worst, so get on it next year’s Emmys!


Box Office Report :: October 9•11

© 101 Studios

Well, after six weeks we finally have a new Number 1 film, the family-friendly The War With Grandpa, which had been stuck in distribution purgatory for two years after the fall of The Weinstein Company. Former TWC exec David Glasser formed 101 Studios and rescued the film, though releasing it in the middle of a global pandemic might not have been the best idea even if it did top the charts (less so with critics who have given it an average score of 28% on Rotten Tomatoes). But the film did debut with $3.62 million on 2,250 screens, which works out to an average of $1,609 per screen, one of only two films on the charts this weekend to crack the $1,000 average. The film also banked a few bucks from international markets, earning $1.83 million, giving it a cumulative global tally of $5.45 million. Unfortunately, the film cost $24 million to make so it has a long way to go to make back its money.

The War With Grandpa pushed Tenet down into the Number 2 spot with an estimated $2.1 million, down 22% from the previous week, bringing its domestic total to an estimated $48.3 million. The film's international total has now hit $275.2 million, for a global total of $323.5 million. Shedding 457 screens, the Hocus Pocus re-release moved down to Number 3 with an estimated $1.16 million, a decline of 40%, bringing its two week domestic total to $3.08 million. Another Disney release, Coco reentered the chart this week at Number 6 with $210,000. The film has been in release for 151 weeks and now has a domestic total of $209.93 million.

The New Mutants and Unhinged also got pushed down one spot each because of The War With Grandpa. The New Mutants moved down to Number 4 with $705,822, a decline of 32%, bringing its domestic total to just over $22 million. Internationally the film is at $21 million with a worldwide total of just over $43 million. Unhinged moved down to Number 5 with $682,819, a 19% decline from the previous week, taking its domestic total to $19.37 million. With its foreign total of $18 million, the film's worldwide gross stands at $37.37 million.

One new film cracked the Top Ten this week, Yellow Rose which made its debut at Number 8 on 900 screens, earning $150,330. The Wolf of Snow Hollow just missed the Top Ten, opening at Number 11 with $91,943 from 112 screens. Neither of those films cracked the $1,000 per screen average mark but I Am Lisa at Number 29 did. With an opening weekend of $6,986 from three screens, the film's average total was $2,328 per screen.

The weekend of October 16 will see two wide releases and we're willing to bet the new Liam Neeson action thriller Honest Thief easily claims the top spot. The only other wide release is the romantic drama 2 Hearts, but judging from the performance of The Broken Hearts Gallery, that one is going to struggle. Other limited releases next weekend include The Shade Shepherd, She Is the Ocean, Escape from Extinction, The Bra, The Devil Has a Name, Harry Chapin: When In Doubt, The Kid Detective and Shithouse. As things stand now with Disney finally giving in on Pixar's Soul, moving it to Disney+ on Christmas Day, and Greenland now headed straight for PVOD in the States, the only two notable releases still sticking to their December dates are Death on the Nile and Wonder Woman 1984. It will be a Christmas miracle if either of them stay put at this point.

Below are the Top Ten grosses for the weekend of October 9-11.

  1. [N] The War with Grandpa - $3,620,990 [NEW]
  2. [1] Tenet - $2,100,000 [$48,300,000]
  3. [2] Hocus Pocus - $1,161,000 [$3,086,000]
  4. [3] The New Mutants - $705,822 [$22,011,883]
  5. [4] Unhinged - $682,819 [$19,376,204]
  6. [-] Coco - $210,000 [$209,936,015]
  7. [5] Infidel - $205,602 [$3,819,991]
  8. [N] Yellow Rose - $150,330 [$170,168]
  9. [6] Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back - $145,000 [$2,403,000]
  10. [8] Possessor Uncut - $143,752 [$510,107]

Source: Box Office Mojo


Get Duked! is a genre mashing delight

© Amazon Studios

The comedy aspect of the film outshines the horror elements of the movie.
by Justin Moore

Amazon Studio’s latest film, Get Duked!, is a genre mash-up of two of my favorite type of movies: comedy and horror. Many films have been successful at blending both genres like Shaun of the Dead and Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil.

Get Duked! features four teens who trek through the Scottish Highlands as part of the Duke of Edinburgh. An award is given to teenagers who can hike through the highlands. One of the teenagers is eager to participate in the event but the other three are forced to join. Let’s say it’s a punishment. As the four teenagers are making their way through the Scottish Highlands, they encounter a couple who wants to hunt the teens for game. A modern Most Dangerous Game if you will.

Get Duked! is funnier than it is scary. The comedy aspect of the film outshines the horror elements of the movie. The film had plenty of intense moments sprinkled throughout the film as the four teens were trying their hardest to come up with creative ways to survive. The Duke (Eddie Izzard) and the Duchess (Georgie Glen) are the hunters, who are mistaken for the Duke of Edinburgh by the teens as they ask him for assistance when they encounter him. Instead they get shot at. The pair hunts them throughout the movie, which makes the film entertaining because the four teens severely lack any survival skills. The movie doesn’t get overly violent but instead maintains the intensity throughout.

The four teens add up for a lot of humor in the film. One character that stands out was inspiring rapper DJ Beatroot, who will try anything to get famous, which includes making random rap videos in the fields or performing a concert to people on drugs. The whole cast works together well with a lot of great performances from the teens. Eddie Izzard gives a terrifying performance as the Duke who seems oddly calm at the idea of hunting teens in an open field. There are a lot of running jokes that carry throughout the film all the way to the crazy finale.

Get Duked! had a style that could easily be compared to films by Edgar Wright. It had a quick pace with a lot of quick cuts and overly stylized moments. Towards the end of the film, a teen takes hallucinogens and the film provides a lot of colorful graphics on screen which continues to add the already outrageous satire. Get Duked! was highly satisfying with a great mashup of two fun genres. Director Ninian Doff, who is a first-time director, has a lot of potential in film if he can continue to create unique genre bending movies.

Ted Lasso was a wonderful surprise: the best and most radical show of the year

© Apple TV+
 

'Ted Lasso’ is a must see, one of the best first seasons of a comedy in a while.
by Jeremy Fogelman
 

I’ve seen an absurd number of television shows this year. They range from the great (Devs) to the good (Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist) to the decent (High Fidelity) to the mixed (Avenue 5) to the meh to the downright poor. There were some legitimately very good and sometimes deep shows this year, but as it sometimes happens, we got the best in August with Ted Lasso.

The character of Ted Lasso was originally from a 2013 short that was a promo for coverage of the Premier League (the UK top level soccer/football league). There Ted was simply a college football coach who had been hired by a soccer team who simply did not know the rules. The show takes that much further, combining with a concept reminiscent of Major League except instead of being dated and kinda racist, it’s heartwarming, funny, inclusive, and revelatory.

Ted (Jason Sudeikis in a career best role) is hired by Rebecca Welton (Hannah Waddingham) to take over as new head coach for AFC Richmond, which of course is a fictional team. The backstory is deceptively clever: Rebecca is suffering after a very nasty divorce to super rich Rupert (Anthony Head at his most mustache twirling) where she became the new owner. As Rubert loves the club more than anything (including and especially his ex-wife), Rebecca, embittered and angry, wants to ruin it.

Thus enters Ted, a genial mustached gent with a Southern accent and an overwhelmingly positive attitude. This is the sort of the thing that could get annoying fast, but shockingly, it never does -- instead over the course of the season, even as Ted goes through difficult emotional times himself, we begin to appreciate his mindset and philosophy. From the start he’s all about positive thinking and belief, and even winning the day against Rupert in a darts throwing competition with dropping an epic Walt Whitman quote about being curious, not judgmental.

© Apple TV+

By the end he’s still dropping wisdom, offering the truly genuine take that kindness begets more kindness. He puts out this positive energy, and he knows people often don’t get it. Because Ted is no fool, he is not naïve, nor anything so cliché -- he is making a choice to be positive and to be kind. Ted represents the best sort of real life American hero we’d want, someone who represents the underlying values without holding onto bigotry or fear. It’s kind of unreasonable how great it feels to watch all these people change for the better over the course of the season.

I’ve said before that any show or movie that can make me laugh and cry is automatically a favorite, and Ted Lasso is no exception. There are funny lines in every episode with characters that never get too broad, and depth that gets revealed over time. It’s a great cast of characters besides the titular character. Ted’s assistant, Coach Beard (Brendan Hunt), always has a great low key energy, and someone who learns about the new world they’re in faster than his boss.

Kit man Nate (Nick Mohammed, somehow brilliant in this but the opposite in Intelligence) getting an arc of self-confidence and self-reliance, Rebecca’s assistant Higgins (Jeremy Swift) getting the same, and various and sundry footballers. Pretty-boy phenom Jamie Tartt (Phil Dunster) is shown to be trying to work past his own damage and poor male role models, even if he’s not quite there.

© Apple TV+

The great relationship that develops between dynamic effervescent Keeley (Juno Temple, who should now be in everything) and gruff, secretly kindhearted Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein, who is pretty phenomenal considering he’s primarily been a writer before this) is so good it is only overshadowed by the wonderful friendship that grows between Rebecca and Keeley. Considering that those are the main female characters in the show, they get a lot to do on their own and with each other.

Trying to convince someone that Apple TV+ is a worthwhile subscription is a hard sell -- I wasn’t sure myself at first, and I’m still not a fan of their UI, which is often quite difficult to use, and I don’t care for the end of episode autoplay that seems to happen inconsistently and cannot be controlled. There are some pretty decent shows on there (The Morning Show and Dickinson for example), but after watching those first episode drops of Ted Lasso, I knew I had found a new favorite. It is worth the monthly free trial for sure to watch this show, which I thought might be good -- created by Bill Lawrence and starring Jason Sudeikis were positive signs -- but I didn’t guess how good.

There are some reviews out there that don’t quite get why the show is as good as it is -- they see these story beats and think of it as the same old same old. But you only have to consider the show’s unsubtle refutation of toxic masculinity and universally well written cast of characters to appreciate that this show is far from ordinary. We’re in October still, but for me, Ted Lasso is the best new show of 2020 and a must see.

Watch on Apple TV

Friday, October 9, 2020

Trailer Roundup: The West Wing, Borat, The Craft: Legacy, The Pack, Saved By the Bell, Selena, Wolfwalkers, The Stand, Dickinson, Snowpiercer

October 13

 


The Octonauts must find a way to hold back hungry swarms of coral-eating starfish to save a new friend’s fragile home on the world’s biggest reef. Coming to Netflix on October 13th.
 

October 15

 


This isn't just a staged reading: it's a call to action. The West Wing Special comes to HBO Max on October 15, in partnership with @WhenWeAllVote.
 

October 16

 


Shea and Syd McGee of Studio McGee help dreams come true for real families looking to update their home tailored to their own unique style.
 

In conservative 1950s Spain, the alleged relationship between a young man and a Mexican ballerino creates an uproar of harrowing consequences.
 

Five students. Five stories. One fight for their future. Grand Army premieres October 16 on Netflix.
 

October 19

 


The most chilling mysteries are still unsolved. Six new mysteries are launching globally on Netflix October 19.
 

October 20

 


Lightning splits the Magic School Bus into three pieces, scattering the class across the globe with different versions of Ms. Frizzle aboard each bus! The Magic School Bus Rides Again: The Frizz Connection arrives on Netflix October 20.
 

October 21

 


My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman is back for season three with more in-depth conversations with extraordinary people! For the four-episode third season of the Netflix series David Letterman will welcome Kim Kardashian West, Robert Downey Jr., Dave Chappelle and Lizzo for in-depth conversations, combining humor and curiosity. All four episodes of the Netflix talk show series will be streaming on Netflix beginning October 21, 2020.
 

October 22

 


These past six months have been hard, and Chelsea’s processing it the best way she knows how… in a filmed comedy special. Stream Chelsea Handler: Evolution October 22 on HBO Max.
 

October 23

 


To be more specific, this is the Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Chenqui! Coming to Prime Video October 23rd.
 

Looks can kill. Stream Bad Hair on October 23 only on Hulu!
 

Even if you think you’ve got it all figured out, there’s a million ways to get it wrong. How To with John Wilson, a new docu-comedy series from Executive Producer Nathan Fielder, premieres Oct 23 at 11PM on HBO Max.
 

October 28

 


This Halloween, let the ritual begin. Watch the trailer for Blumhouse's The Craft: Legacy, on demand in the US and Canada at the Witching Hour on October 28.
 

October 30

 


After making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young refugee couple struggle to adjust to their new life in a small English town that has an unspeakable evil lurking beneath the surface.
 

Travel vicariously from San Francisco to Singapore with mood-boosting Phil Rosenthal as he eats good food and makes new friends in the new season of Somebody Feed Phil. Season 4 premieres globally on Oct. 30.
 

November 5

 


Catch the new season premiere of Braxton Family Values on Thursday, November 5 at 9/8c!
 

In the dramatic continuation of season one, SAVE ME TOO heads deeper into a dark, hidden world. Nelly Rowe's life was turned upside down when he was accused of abducting the daughter he barely knew. Now, 17 months later, his daughter Jody is still missing but Nelly's quest to find her lives on as he put his relationships, and his life, on the line. New potential suspects are revealed, and long buried secrets unearthed as Nelly is torn between protecting Grace, the young woman he found in a caravan park, and continuing his mission to find Jody. SAVE ME TOO premieres on Peacock on Thursday, November 5. 
 

November 7

 


This time, it's not about tennis. Gemusetto: Death Beat(s) premieres on November 7 at 1am ET/PT during Toonami on Adult Swim.
 

November 10

 


This holiday, true love is only a dare away. Based on the New York Times bestseller Dash & Lily's Book of Dares comes a new holiday romance. Only on Netflix November 10.
 

November 12

 


The Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy crossover premiere event airs Thursday, Nov. 12 on ABC. Station 19 Season 4 premiere at 8/7c. Grey's Anatomy two-hour Season 17 premiere at 9/8c.
 

November 13

 


The countdown has begun! 5 kids accidentally get rocketed into space. How will their journey end? Find out when The Astronauts launches November 13th on Nickelodeon.
 

November 15

 


Murder On Middle Beach, a four-part HBO Original docuseries following a young man’s complicated journey to solve an unspeakable crime, is streaming November 15 on HBOMax.
 

November 19

 


A lyrical and spiritual cinematic essay on The Exorcist, Leap of Faith explores the uncharted depths of William Friedkin’s mind’s eye, the nuances of his filmmaking process, and the mysteries of faith and fate that have shaped his life and filmography. Starring William Freidkin.
 

November 20

 


In this global adventure, 12 teams of dogs and their human companions compete in fun and exciting challenges celebrating their incredible bond. At stake is a life-changing $750,000 for the winning duo and their charity, $500,000 to the winners plus an additional $250,000 prize amount for the animal charity of their choice. The Pack is hosted by Gold Medalist skier Lindsey Vonn and her dog Lucy.
 

November 22

 


A feature documentary from award-winning filmmaker R.J. Cutler about the too-short life of John Belushi, the once-in-a-generation talent who captured the hearts and funny-bones of audiences worldwide. Watch the premiere on Sunday, November 22 at 9/8c on SHOWTIME.
 

November 25

 


The highly anticipated reimagining of SAVED BY THE BELL will premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 25 on Peacock. In the new series, when California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many underfunded high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the most well-funded schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the privileged Bayside kids (who never have a problem that can't be solved in twenty-two minutes) a much-needed dose of reality. Elizabeth Berkley Lauren and Mario Lopez star in the new SAVED BY THE BELL series.
 

December 4

 


Taking it back to where it all started. December 4th. Only on Netflix.
 

1930s Hollywood is reevaluated through the eyes of scathing social critic and alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he races to finish the screenplay of Citizen Kane. In Select Theaters November and on Netflix on December 4.
 

December 10

 


Kento Yamazaki and Tao Tsuchiya star in this new series directed by Shinsuke Sato. Suddenly thrown into a mysterious world, they must take on games in order to survive. Netflix Original Series Alice in Borderland premieres December 10, only on Netflix.
 

December 11

 


Are you ready for your next wild adventure? Discover the lost Irish legend of Wolfwalkers, coming soon to theaters and Apple TV+ December 11.
 

December 16

 


The future of The Belt has begun as Marco Inaros wages Armageddon against the Inners for a lifetime of oppression and injustice.
 

December 17

 


Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen King, CBS All Access's The Stand stars Whoopi Goldberg, Alexander Skarsgård, James Marsden, Odessa Young, Jovan Adepo, and many more. The limited event series will also feature an all-new coda written by Stephen King. Don't miss the premiere of The Stand on Thursday, Dec. 17, streaming exclusively on CBS All Access.
 

January 8

 


Emily’s quest for fame has only just begun. A new season of Dickinson premieres January 8 on the Apple TV app.
 

January 25

 


First there was order. Then there was revolution. Now there is Mr. Wilford. Snowpiercer Season 2 stars Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, Tony Award winner Daveed Diggs, and Emmy Award winner Sean Bean.
 

February 5

 


The world’s most extraordinary beagle is back! Celebrating 70 years of Peanuts — The Snoopy Show is coming to Apple TV+ this February.
 

Coming Soon

 


Based on the Capcom video game franchise, Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness is a horror series with a sci-fi twist. Coming 2021 only on Netflix.
 

With the Allspark gone, Megatron is forced to confront the harsh reality that his Decepticons are trapped on a dying Cybertron. Meanwhile, lost in the darkest reaches of space, Optimus Prime and his team embark on a desperate mission, unexpectedly running into ... the spacefaring Mercenaries. Coming soon only on Netflix.
 

INVINCIBLE is an adult animated superhero series that revolves around 17-year-old Mark Grayson (Steven Yeun), who’s just like every other guy his age — except his father is the most powerful superhero on the planet, Omni-Man (J.K. Simmons). But as Mark develops powers of his own, he discovers his father’s legacy may not be as heroic as it seems. From Robert Kirkman, the creator of The Walking Dead. Coming to Prime Video in 2021.