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Thursday, April 2, 2020

I Applied to Be Cast on The Circle - Here's Everything You Need to Know


Netflix has officially renewed The Circle for two more seasons, and the countdown is on. If you haven't binged the reality competition show yet, here's a quick synopsis. Hosted by Michelle Buteau, contestants live in different apartments within the same complex. The only way for participants to communicate is through a social media app called The Circle. Although they aren't able to see each other face to face, players must rank who they think is most likable or popular based on their online interactions. The winner wins a whopping cash price of $100,000. Do you think you have what it takes to win The Circle?

The casting process is currently underway, with season two expected to be released in 2021. With little casting information out there, I took it upon myself to find out just what exactly it entails. As it turns out, I didn't get very far with my application. The official casting website only allows applicants to "register their interest" for their country of residence.

Unlike other reality TV show applications, this process took me all of about two minutes to complete. After choosing the US as my country of residence, I had to read and accept the eligibility requirements. Here they are: you must be 18 years or older; you must have a valid passport and be able to travel to the UK; and you currently aren't or never have been previously employed or engaged to anyone at Netflix, All 3 Media Group, or Motion Content. It was as easy as it sounds.

From there, I received an email that my registration was received and would be contacted at a later date. The email also noted that due to the large volume of interest, there's a chance I would not hear back. Essentially, getting an audition boiled down to luck.

In an interview, the cast from season one shared their advice for the auditioning process. Antonio DePína said, "I say when you go on your audition, make sure you have a strategy already made up and down pat! And just be yourself times 10,000. Be super extra so they can get your personality!" Alex Lake even hinted at a questionnaire and video package. "My advice would be to make a really good intro video and work on the short, open-ended questions. They're looking for people who can talk through their process and be super articulate about it," he said.

So, there you have it. The application process is somewhat of a mystery, but until further instructions, there's not much you can do except leave it up to chance. To hold you over, binge one of these dramatic TV shows that'll remind you why you originally became obsessed with The Circle.

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Because We Know You're Wondering: Here's Who Plays Jamie on Little Fires Everywhere


Hulu's Little Fires Everywhere is bringing some much-needed eye candy to our television screens. Not only were we graced with the presence of Joshua Jackson in tighty-whitey underwear in the first episode, but during the fifth episode, "Duo," viewers meet a man from Elena Richardson's past who is exceptionally easy on the eyes. Meet Jamie Caplan, the gorgeous ex played by Australian actor Luke Bracey. And for a fun fact: Celeste Ng, the author of the captivating novel of which the miniseries is based on, shared on Twitter that Bracey played Jamie in both the past and present-day scenes.

Viewers immediately bowed down to Jamie for his scathing clapbacks at Elena and his zero-f*cks attitude when putting his personal goals over her picturesque life plan . . . even with that messy hairdo from the late '70s. It didn't take long after the fifth episode aired for fans on Twitter to swoon over Jamie and his journalistic ways, but Bracey has actually been blessing our screens for the last few years.

In 2011, Bracey starred in Monte Carlo alongside Selena Gomez and Leighton Meester. He was also in the Nicholas Sparks film The Best of Me. In 2013, Bracey played a commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation with The Rock and Channing Tatum. Ahead, see photos of Bracey as Elena's ex Jamie, then check out these 10 shows if you can't get enough of Little Fires Everywhere.

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All the Times Leighton Meester and Adam Brody Gave Us a Glimpse of Their Sweet Romance


Leighton Meester and Adam Brody make such a sweet pair. The couple, who met on the set of their movie The Oranges in 2010, first made their love public in February 2013 and eventually confirmed their engagement that November. Since tying the knot in February 2014, the former TV stars have also become parents, welcoming their daughter, Arlo Day, back in August 2015. In April 2020, news broke that they are expecting their second child, though the couple have yet to officially confirm anything. Even though they're notoriously private about their relationship, they have been known to give us tiny glimpses of their romance from time to time. See some of their cutest moments ahead.

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The Dancing in Justin Bieber's "That's What Love Is" Video Put Me in a Trance


We hope your dancing shoes are nearby, because you'll need them after watching Justin Bieber's music video for "That's What Love Is." On April 1, Bieber released the video as part of his visual album, Changes: The Movement, which features a series of well-choreographed shots that bring songs from his latest LP, Changes, to life.

The two-minute video for "That's What Love Is" shows a handful of dancing pairs - including Kaycee Rice and Sean Lew, as well as Charlize Glass and Josh Beauchamp - capering around the house, looking lively and starry-eyed. With swift movements and mesmerizing sequences, each scene tells a different story with a common theme: love, of course! Above, watch the heartwarming routines, then listen to all of the Changes tracks for a romantic jam session.

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Drew Barrymore Failing the Staircase Challenge Is the Laugh You Didn't Know You Needed


Drew Barrymore answered Stella McCartney's #StellaStaircase challenge, because after all, who hasn't been so bored that they decided sliding down a staircase sounded like fun? Although Stella made sure to post "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!", this week Drew tried (and "failed") to complete it successfully. Following Stella's cues, Drew made herself into a blanket burrito (although she substituted a fluffy rug for a blanket as an extra safety precaution) as she readied herself to go down the stairs.

After letting everyone know that Stella was "the only person on the planet [she would] hurl herself down the stairs for," Drew began a slow slide. Each and every step was met with commentary that everyone has found themselves thinking, like, "I don't think this is the way it's supposed to look." Even her resigned grunts and groans were relatable, proving that sliding down the stairs is no joke. Luckily Drew nominated Jimmy Fallon to try the challenge for himself, which means that a Jimmy slide could be happening any day now!

Check out the clip below if you're wondering how the Stella slide, as Drew would say, was "supposed to be done." If you're in need of a laugh or two, check out the clip above for the Drew version.

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Exclusive: This Descendants and Zombies Mashup Is the Disney Channel Crossover of Our Dreams


Ever wonder what a Descendants 3 and Zombies 2 crossover would look like? Well, Disney Channel is giving us a sneak peek with their new mashup video. In this exclusive clip, the popular Disney Channel franchises join together as "We Own the Night" from Zombies 2 and "Night Falls" from Descendants 3 are interwoven to create a brand-new song. Let's just say, it sounds wickedly good. Who knew the VKs and werewolves could make such great music together? Watch the fun mashup video above, before the full video drops on Disney Music VEVO on Friday, April 3 at 12 a.m. ET.

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Watch 'Trolls World Tour' Exclusive Clip: Dance-off


Watch 'Trolls World Tour' Exclusive Clip: Dance-off

Trolls: World Tour is available for pre-order right now at FandangoNOW. When you pre-order the film (available to watch at home on April 10) through FandangoNOW, you immediately unlock the ability to watch the first Trolls film -- as well as other DreamWorks Animation films -- for 50% off. Check out a brand new exclusive clip from the film below. The cheerful Poppy (Anna Kendrick) and the grumpy Branch (Justin Timberlake) teamed up to save their friends in the light-hearted musical adventure...

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Today We're Grateful For Marcus Mumford's Cover of "You'll Never Walk Alone"


Marcus Mumford just released a cover of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone" with a home video (recorded by his wife, Carey Mulligan) of the song, and it's beautiful.

The Mumford and Sons singer recorded the cover back in January with Jason Sudeikis for the actor's upcoming TV show. But after talking, the two decided that there was no better time than now to release the song. They've released the cover early with all proceeds going to War Child UK and The Grenfell Foundation. Two charities that are "really close to my heart," said Mumford. And what better way to release the new single than on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: At Home Edition?

Of course, people in the comments couldn't help make reference to Liverpool FC, since the song is the club's anthem. But mostly, people were commenting on how much they "adore" Mumford's rendition of the song.

So, stop what you're doing and take two minutes 50 seconds from your day to listen to Mumford's beautiful cover.

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Justin Bieber and Tom Holland Fan-Boying Over One Another on Instagram Live Is a True Gift


Justin Bieber and Tom Holland became instant friends last night, while Justin hosted an Instagram live with the Spider-Man actor - and fans are still buzzing.

The Changes singer started his Instagram live extravaganza by randomly inviting fans to chat. A few lucky girls got to have a one-on-one chat with Justin Bieber, where he checked up on how they were coping in isolation. After he made sure his fans were well, Justin gave Tom Holland a call, and they mutually admitted that they are huge fans of each other. Over 130 million users tuned in to watch the chat, where we learned about Tom's current binge-watch - a survival reality series titled Alone - and the new film he's working on, Enchanted.

Check out the video above for their full chat - you'd be surprised that it's the very first time Tom Holland and Justin Bieber are meeting.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

"Billie Eilish IS the real deal!": Justin Timberlake & Anna Kendrick Unp...



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The Magicians Comes to a Close in Action-Packed Finale: Here's Where Everyone Ends Up


The Magicians has officially come to an end. On Wednesday night, the series wrapped up its fifth and final season in an action-packed finale. With Fillory collapsing in on itself, the group uses a magical seed to create a new world for everyone to be transported to. It mostly goes off without a hitch, but there are a few complications along the way. Julia's water breaks and she goes into labor, the Beast comes back from the dead to wreak havoc, and Margo sacrifices herself to turn back the clock in Fillory.

While some of our favorite characters got happy endings, other characters' fates were left up in the air. Which makes sense, since the writers were unsure of whether they would be coming back for another season when they filmed the episode. Keep reading to see where your favorite characters ended up ahead.

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Tom Holland Doing a Shirtless Handstand Is Proof He's Spider-Man in the Gym Too


If Steve Rogers has America's ass, then I'd like to make a strong argument for Tom Holland, aka Spider-Man, having America's abs because he is hiding some serious gym progress under that spidey suit. In a series of videos shared to his Instagram Stories on Wednesday, Tom made an attempt at the "Handstand Challenge," in which he tries to put on a shirt (sigh) while doing a handstand without falling over. I may not have any superpowers myself, but after watching his story for the tenth time today (strictly for informative purposes), I have pretty much every second memorized, and I'd say that's pretty extraordinary.

After holding himself up against a wall for balance, Tom reaches for a jersey he has laying on the ground nearby and does his best to get the shirt over his arms and head. While this challenge looks like it takes some serious upper body strength (and patience) to complete, Tom clearly has plenty of both to go around. At the end of the final video, Tom tags Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and his friend Harrison Osterfield to try the challenge for themselves, and you can bet that I'll be refreshing my feed until they respond. Keep scrolling to see Tom's journey as he tries to get the shirt over his head without falling over.

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Netflix Has Season 13 of The Bachelor, and You Need to Watch Just For the Outfits Alone


It's no secret that The Bachelor has a devoted following, and while filming for most of its shows has been postponed or canceled due to COVID-19, Netflix has a season in its back pocket worth watching. Jason Mesnick's famously controversial season from 2009 is streaming on the platform, and yes, you need to turn it on right now. It has all the drama we know and love, with a surprise ending that, in the words of Chris Harrison, makes it the most dramatic season yet.

We're hoping The Bachelor is testing the waters to air more episodes on the streaming platform, but TBH, we just don't know. ABC does currently have an active deal with Netflix to stream its scripted hits like Grey's Anatomy, so perhaps they're considering adding some reality programming to the deal, too - especially as a portion of ABC's scripted shows leave the platform to join Disney+. In any case, the old season has fans buzzing - keep reading for some of the best reactions from Twitter, and watch season 13 of The Bachelor on Netflix here!

- Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes

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26 Great High School Shows to Watch on Netflix


No, you do not have to be in high school to love watching TV shows (or movies) about high schools. Years after getting my diploma, teen dramas and comedies are still one of my favorite TV genres. Lucky for me, they're all over Netflix. Whether you're looking for a boost of nostalgia (like Gilmore Girls) or you're hoping to catch up on a show that's still on, there are tons of great high-school-centric series that you can watch right now. Take a look to get our recommendations and swoon over the guys you would have loved to go to high school with!

- Additional reporting by Haley Lyndes and Amanda Prahl

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John Finlay Has a Whole New Life After the Events of Netflix's Tiger King


Tiger King's John Finlay has already become a meme for his bizarre appearance during the documentary, but if you're wondering where Finlay is now, you might be surprised! The tattoo-laden "younger man" who worked for and married Joe Exotic actually seems to have moved along with his life and is living far from his tangled-up past.

How Did John Finlay Meet Joe Exotic?

First, let's go through a quick recap of what went down in the show and how Finlay's story unfolded there. Tiger King shows how Finlay first crossed paths with Joe Exotic when he was hired to work at the G.W. Exotic Animal Park soon after graduating high school. Although Finlay apparently doesn't identify as gay - and continues a relationship with a woman - he wound up dating his boss (whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage). Maldonado-Passage even dedicated one of his infamous songs and music videos, "My First Love," to Finlay.

What Was John Finlay's Relationship with Joe Exotic Like?

In 2014, Maldonado-Passage "married" Finlay in a three-way marriage that also included Travis Maldonado; the marriage was not actually a legal marriage. The wedding was seen in archival footage and photos on screen, including a bizarre shot of all three men wearing matching hot pink shirts. Like Finlay, Travis Maldonado was a young zoo employee who first met Maldonado-Passage when he came to work for him when he was barely out of his teens.

Eventually, Finlay got out of the relationship and restarted his life. He ended up leaving Maldonado-Passage for a woman and leaving the zoo altogether - though not before a parking lot fistfight that ended with him getting charged with assault. Sadly, his fellow "husband" wasn't so lucky. Travis Maldonado spiraled deeper into addiction and eventually died from an accidental suicide in 2017 at the age of 2013.

Where Is John Finlay Now?

According to TMZ, Finlay is currently working as a welder in Oklahoma, where he lives with his wife, Stormey Sanders, and he hasn't done meth in six years. He also has made some physical changes since he and Maldonado-Passage split up. As shown in the docuseries, he's been getting rid of that infamous "Property of Joe Exotic" tattoo by having it reworked. Plus, in July 2019, he had his teeth fixed. Instead of the big gap-toothed grin he has on the show, he has a new set of dentures - and, he told TMZ, the documentary filmmakers actually have footage of him getting his teeth fixed, but for whatever reason chose not to show it on screen. From the sound of things, Finlay has largely gotten his life together, and it's good to see that at least someone made it out of that very messy world somewhat unscathed.

Check out Finlay's recent interview with comedian David Spade to see how he's looking now:

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29 Sexy Movies Available to Stream on Netflix For Date Night This April


The weather is finally heating up, and so is Netflix's movie selection. It may not be shorts weather just yet, but Winter is finally over and it's time to start shedding those layers. Whether your thing is fun and flirty rom-coms or erotic thrillers, Netflix has a sexy movie for everyone, and there's no better way to escape April showers than with a hot and heavy flick. Planning a date night? Looking to have a steamy night for one with a big glass of wine? Then read on to find all the sexy, sultry movies that are available to stream on Netflix this April.

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Christopher Meloni Is Back in the Law & Order Family - Here's Why He Left Years Ago


In somewhat surprising but welcome news, Christopher Meloni is bringing Detective Elliot Stabler back to TV! But why did Meloni leave Law & Order: SVU in the first place? As speculation ramps up about the newly-announced SVU spin-off that's set to star Meloni, we're revisiting why he left the flagship show all those years ago. Det. Stabler was one of the central characters, but as it turned out, this was most likely a case of when creativity and money clashed.

Although it was never officially confirmed, the widely-accepted reason for Meloni's departure in the first place was a salary dispute. His contract, along with that of co-star Mariska Hargitay, expired in 2011, after season twelve, meaning that he and NBC had to re-negotiate and come to new terms for him to continue on with the show. As recently as 2010, TV Guide reported that both actors were among the highest-paid on TV, with salaries of approximately $395,000 per episode. During negotiations, however, The Hollywood Reporter suggested (as reported by Today) that Meloni had been offered a new contract of $8 million per year. Although that sounds like (and is) a huge salary, doing the per-episode math over a 26-episode season meant that he would be taking a pay cut to around $300,000 per episode - nearly 25 percent less than he'd been making before! With the two sides unable to come to a final agreement, Meloni instead left the show.

With little room to maneuver, the writers made an unexpected choice when writing off Det. Stabler that nonetheless meant the actor could, theoretically, return at any time. Instead of killing him off or otherwise removing him permanently, Stabler's final storyline instead ended with him making a shocking, split-second decision. In the season twelve finale - his last episode - a gunfight erupts when a woman opens fire on criminals locked in a cell. When she aims at the detectives, Stabler shoots her to stop her, resulting in her death. When the show returned for season thirteen, it's revealed that Stabler was first placed on administrative leave following the shooting, and instead of trying to return to work, he decides to retire off-screen.

According to initial reports from Deadline, the spin-off "revolves around the NYPD organized crime unit led by Stabler." NBC has reportedly already given the show a 13-episode order. The show will still be set in New York and in the existing SVU world, meaning that there's a possibility for Stabler to cross over to the original SVU or for other characters to cross over to the new show. It's a reunion a decade in the making, and we can't wait!

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The Punk'd Revival Trailer Is Here, and Looks Like Ashton Taught Chance the Rapper Well


Chance the Rapper has signed on to host a reboot of MTV's Punk'd, so keep your eye out for any hidden cameras that might be lurking nearby - we have a feeling things are about to get wild. A revival of the 2003 MTV prank show originally hosted by Ashton Kutcher, the Punk'd reboot will be premiering on Quibi, a platform for short-form content expected to launch on April 6. The new show has been signed for 20 episodes, each under 10 minutes long, and will be executive produced by Jason Goldberg.

Fans of the original show will remember how hilarious it was to see Kutcher prank celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Drake, Beyoncé, and more. So who are Chance's targets? Lil Nas X, Adam Devine, Scott Disick, Megan Thee Stallion, Sabrina Carpenter, Marsai Martin, and Liza Koshy are just a few of the celebrities expected to appear on the show's first season, and they clearly had no idea what was in store for them.

"Punk'd is one of MTV's most iconic franchises," Chance the Rapper told Variety. "I grew up watching this show and it's surreal to be in the driver's seat this time around on Quibi." Anyone who signs up for the streaming platform before April 6 will also have access to three bonus episodes of the show. Watch the trailer here to get a feel for the upcoming show and to see Liza Koshy and Adam Devine get pranked. (Be warned: that gorilla costume is very realistic.)

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Horror Movies on Netflix in April That Will Scare the Bejesus Out of You


The vicious news cycle can be scary, so if you need an even scarier distraction, there's no better place to find it than in Netflix's horror selection. The streaming service's bone-chilling collection has everything from timeless classics to brand-new originals. Whether you're looking for zombies, monsters, or ghosts, you'll find your pick of the macabre on Netflix, no summoning circle required. From Child's Play to Gerald's Game, here are the best horror movies that you can stream on Netflix in April - they're pretty spooky, so you might just want to keep the lamp on or watch them in broad daylight.

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Throw It Back With the Best Early 2000s Movies on Netflix - Watch Them Tonight!


We know it's 2020, but these early 2000s movies on Netflix are some of the best flicks you can stream right now. Bring on the nostalgia when you watch these high school comedies, action movies, family-friendly movies, and even sexy romances that will take you back to the days of TRL and flip phones. These films from the aughts (aka the first decade of the 2000s) are all gems in one way or another - either they were critical successes, cult movies that have turned into classics, or moves so bad they're actually good. Whatever the case, we can assure you that you'll definitely want to revisit your favorites. And if you haven't seen some of the hits on this list, what are you possibly waiting for?

Grab the popcorn and get ready for a wild night in, because these early 2000s Netflix movies are about to take you for a ride back in time.

- With Haley Lyndes, Shannon Vestal Robson, Corinne Sullivan

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The True Story Behind Apple TV+'s Home Before Dark Already Captured National Headlines


Extra extra! Home Before Dark, the latest project on Apple TV+, dramatizes the true story of Hilde Kate Lysiak, an American journalist who, at age nine, began covering the crime beat in the borough of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. Yes, you read that right - the crime beat. In the series, she'll be portrayed by The Florida Project's Brooklynn Prince, with Jim Sturgess and Abby Miller playing her parents. Others attached to Home Before Dark include Ben and Kate writer Dana Fox and Daredevil writer Dara Resnik, who are cocreators, and Crazy Rich Asians' Jon M. Chu, who is an executive producer. As her life hits the small screen, Lysiak has continued her news endeavors and become one of the most recognizable names in journalism. Here's a primer on her story, as well as what she's up to now.

How Lysiak Started Making Headlines

Before looking at her current involvements, let's delve into Lysiak's history. At an early age, she visited the newsroom with her father Matthew Lysiak, a former reporter for the NY Daily News. In 2014, Lysiak self-started the newspaper Orange Street News, which has a website, Facebook, YouTube, and print subscription. About two years later, she became the first person to cover a violent homicide case in her town. While she broke the news on her DIY site before her local press, her reporting garnered negative comments, as members of her community did not believe that nine-year-olds should be covering a murder.

In response, Lysiak posted a video (below), which captured national and international attention. Lysiak directly responded to her critics by saying, "If you want me to stop covering news, then you get off your computers and do something about the news. There, is that cute enough for you?"

What Lysiak Is Covering Today

Lysiak remains committed to reporting on Orange Street News, following stories not only regionally where she lives, but also nationally with coverage on topics such as the coronavirus and presidential election. In 2019, she moved to Patagonia, Arizona with her family. She's made waves as a kid reporter in Patagonia as well. While Lysiak pursued a story about the Border Patrol in 2019, a police officer named Marshal Joseph Patterson said that he didn't want to hear "any of that freedom of the press stuff" and threatened to have her thrown in juvenile hall. She filmed him, which he said was illegal to post. It wasn't. According to the town, the matter had been carefully reviewed and appropriate action has taken place.

What Lysiak Is Doing Outside of Journalism

Lysiak does many things outside of her journalistic pursuits. She also writes books, for example. Her wide recognition led to a book deal with Scholastic - she's been writing a mystery series called Hilde Cracks the Case with her father Matthew. There have been six books published between 2017 and 2019, the stories based on real reported pieces. In May 2019, Lysiak also gave a graduation commencement speech at West Virginia University, becoming the youngest person ever to do so. She spoke, of course, about the future of journalism.

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11 Fascinating Facts We Learned About Schitt's Creek, Straight From the Cast Themselves


Schitt's Creek is officially ending after six glorious seasons on April 7, but before we say goodbye, the cast are spilling some fun facts about the show. Catherine O'Hara, Annie Murphy, and Dan and Eugene Levy are all featured in Variety's latest issue, and in the accompanying interview, they talked about everything from who Moira Rose is partly inspired by to whether creators Dan and Eugene have any plans to return to Schitt's Creek in the future. Spoiler: they're not totally ruling out the possibility! Ahead of the show's finale and documentary special, keep reading to see everything the cast revealed about the series.

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Cuddle Up With the 25 Best New Books Coming Out in April 2020


Now more than ever, books are a source of comfort, escape, and mental stimulation. And while lots of things are changing in the world right now, one thing remains the same: there are a bevy of new releases coming your way this month. In fact, the best books coming out in April are the perfect mix of comforting and challenging reads. Whether you've been seeking solace in romances or looking for literary fiction designed to take you on an emotional roller-coaster ride, this month has all of that and so much more. Go ahead and stake out your favorite spot on the couch, because these April must reads are so good, they're going to make staying inside a breeze.

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Wow, Dove Cameron and Thomas Doherty Totally Nailed This Kardashian-Inspired TikTok


Dove Cameron is officially on TikTok, and we're already obsessed with her videos. The 24-year-old singer has taken to the platform to promote some of her songs, share how she's handling self-isolation, and act a little silly. So far, her comedic clips have involved re-creating iconic scenes from Keeping Up With the Kardashians (a popular choice for famous TikTok users). On March 31, a few days after she impersonated Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner, Dove and boyfriend Thomas Doherty reenacted the hilarious "ABCDEFG" bit between Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick. And we have to admit, they nailed it. Between Dove's Kourtney-esque attitude and Thomas's laid-back Scott impression, it looks just like the real deal. Keep scrolling to watch Dove's hilarious TikToks!

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The Twilight Twitter Account Is Re-Creating Scenes With Memoji (Yes, Edward Is Still a Babe)


When it first entered our lives a decade ago, the Twilight saga offered timeless quotes like, "You better hold on tight, spider monkey" and "You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?!" Though there clearly aren't any additional movies on the horizon, the franchise's official Twitter account is breathing new life into iconic scenes with the help of Apple's Memoji.

In what will likely be an ongoing project, the account has thus far re-created Bella and Edward's pivotal confrontation in the first film, as well as the moment Jacob reveals he imprinted on Renesmee in Breaking Dawn: Part 2. What's funny is, though wildly entertaining, these Memoji reenactments are still about as absurd as the original scenes themselves. Please enjoy them ahead.

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Netflix's Feel Good Is the First Show That Has Made Me Feel Really, Truly Seen


One positive aspect of living through social isolation is that I'm able to discover new shows as they happen. A few days ago, I was scrolling through my Netflix queue and happened upon Feel Good, a semiautobiographical series created by and starring comedian Mae Martin.

All I could think was, "Oh my god, somebody gets it. Somebody sees me."

I had heard nothing of the show and had never seen Martin's comedy before, but I thought, "Hey, I'll give it a shot. Who knows?" and settled in with no real expectations. Two-and-a-half hours later - the first season is six episodes, approximately 25 minutes each - I sat there stunned. I felt something like a resonance through the whole of my body. All I could think was, "Oh my god, somebody gets it. Somebody sees me."

Of course, there are plenty of differences between Martin - a successful comedian from Canada - and me - the equivalent of a piece of lint from Indiana. Much of the show deals with Martin's history with addiction, a struggle for which I have great sympathy but have had no personal experience. Not to mention, Martin uses she/her pronouns throughout the show. (In real life, Martin uses both she and they pronouns.)

Indeed, it isn't even until episode five that Martin comes out regarding gender. "I think I'm transgender, or like nonbinary, or whatever the terms are these days," she says. "But whatever, because I've always felt this way."

But from the moment Martin steps on the stage in episode one, I knew this was someone who understood, someone who got it. This sense of being seen and being represented as a nonbinary, femme-leaning queer person was one of the most refreshing entertainment experiences I've had in recent memory.

I hope it's obvious by now that representation matters, that having a broader range of stories and characters can only lead us closer to embracing the full range of humanity. Throughout the show's course, I watched Martin's character make mistakes, succeed, question, and grow in a human and believable way. This wasn't a nonbinary person as either victim or hero, and it certainly didn't portray gender as a static and singular experience.

I heard Martin say what I've been yelling at nearly everyone I meet: "I live by a theory that everyone's innately bisexual to some degree, and that sexuality's like a fluid, dynamic thing that can change throughout your life." I saw Martin simultaneously questioning whether she was "male" enough for her "straight" girlfriend and how to date men again given her gender expression. These are questions I've asked myself again and again, then berated myself for in case they made me a "bad queer person."

It was amazing to see my fears and insecurities brought to light, to hope that a larger audience will now be asking those same questions. It made me feel seen, a part of a larger world.

I am always on the lookout for nonbinary representation - especially femme-leaning - and Feel Good is one of the best examples I've found to date. I am hopeful it will open the door for even more shows and movies not only featuring a nonbinary person but focused on them. We are not just token diversity additions; we are, as Feel Good demonstrates, fully developed people with insecurities and doubts and bad habits and addictions and desires and potential.

Not every nonbinary person watching the show will feel the way I do, I'm sure, because being nonbinary is the antithesis of "one size fits all," but I believe Feel Good demonstrates convincingly that people are in a constant state of change - not only in their sexuality but also in their ability to grow. To paraphrase Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, "To man it is given to be whatever he chooses to be."

And how much more true for nonbinary people.

https://ift.tt/2R3Ztyl

Fandango