A Black Lady Sketch Show Is a Much-Needed Jolt to TV Comedy

The exact particulars of the apocalypse are unclear—what caused the disaster; what precise form, or forms, the fury took—and all that we, the viewers, know of what happened is that it’s referred to as The Event and that Earth’s remaining survivors are four black women. Fortunately, post-Armageddon life comes with delightful upsides."We don't have any mediocre white men getting promoted over us," one points out. "We don't have Sally Mae calling us all the time like I'm fucking her man," adds another. The scene, which jolts and spellbinds with the affecting draw of a Last Poets cipher, is just one of several fluorescent currents from HBO’s dynamic and dynamite six-episode series A Black Lady Sketch Show, which debuts tonight on …

Jennifer Lawrence to Play Real-Life Mobster

Good day! Welcome to a new edition of The Monitor, WIRED's pop-culture news roundup. We're still in a bit of a post-Comic-Con slump, but that doesn't mean no stories are breaking in the world of entertainment. Like, for example, Los Espookys is coming back, and Jennifer Lawrence might be joining a mob (movie). Here we go! Los Espookys to Get Paid to Haunt HBO for Second Season Today in Good News For People Who Like Scary News, HBO announced this week that it's renewing Los Espookys for a second season. No word yet on when the oddball comedy, led by Portlandia's Fred Armisen, will return, but it will no doubt be full of strange delights. Jennifer Lawrence to Play a …

Streep, Clooney … Cruise? Why no one is ‘too big for TV’ any more

Hollywood stars used to turn their noses up at television, but now Meryl Streep and George Clooney are stealing the show in your living room. Who might join them next? There have been plenty of surprises concerning Meryl Streep joining Big Little Lies. First, there was the Streep Scream, an earth-shattering howl that launched 1,000 memes. Second, there has been her performance as a whole: sometimes Deirdre Barlow channelling Willy Wonka; sometimes a less considered Mrs Doubtfire. Yet for many watchers, the main surprise remains that were seeing Streep on TV at all. With her three Oscars, Streep is the queen of Hollywoods old guard, the kind of film icon who at one time would never have done telly. She …

War at home: how Big Little Lies deftly dissects domestic violence

In the second season of the HBO drama, a nuanced depiction of surviving a violent marriage artfully evokes a form of PTSD Big Little Lies is a beautiful show about ugly secrets. Based on the novel by Liane Moriarty, the show centers around the lives of five very different women in Monterey, California, who are connected through a murder. Since its first season, the show has been celebrated for its gorgeous cinematography, deft storytelling and excellent acting. Though the show explores many forms of deception, from white lies to infidelity, its nuanced look at the ways that domestic violence can remain hidden from public view is one of the series most important additions to the cultural conversation. On the surface …

12 Pics Of Chernobyl Cast Compared To Old Photos Of Their Real-Life Counterparts

A huge radioactive cloud was released into the atmosphere and blew across north and western Europe, even reaching as far as the United States. The accident remains the world’s worst ever nuclear disaster, and unlike the earthquake-induced meltdown at Fukushima in Japan, Chernobyl was caused by human error. The event is firmly back in public consciousness with the release of HBO’s critically acclaimed mini-series Chernobyl, which gives a dramatized but fairly accurate interpretation of the explosion and its aftermath. In this list, we compare the cast of the show with their real-life counterparts, and as you can see, they really did a great job! Scroll down to check it out for yourself, and let us know what you think in …

‘There are so many biases’: inside the American foster care system

A new documentary on the largest child protection agency in the US tells the stories of those who are often unheard Sixteen-year-old Dasani sits in a room, his hands lightly twisting his hair. Breathing labored, he recounts the memories of the streets of Chicago to his lawyer, Patricia Soung, and case worker, Lammy. While he doesnt say what he is seeing, it is later revealed he witnessed the murder of his mother as a five- or six-year-old. Hands picking at his hair, it is evident the teen is still deeply affected by it, sweat beading on his forehead. Can we stop please? he finally asks. His lawyer and case worker are there to assess whether or not he might need …

At the Heart of Gold: how ‘predatory’ institutions protected Larry Nassar

In a shocking new documentary, film-maker Erin Lee Carr cracks open the network that allowed an Olympic coach to molest at least 250 women and girls For more than two decades, Larry Nassar used his position as an osteopathic physician at Michigan State University and longtime doctor for the United States womens gymnastics team to molest at least 250 women and girls under the guise of medical treatment. The manipulation ran so deep that his victims for years believed there was nothing to report. In many of the cases the abuse happened while a parent was in the room, a tragic detail that offers an alarming metaphor of how blind we can be. It was literally happening in front of …

Jared Harris: My wife can’t believe how I keep getting bumped off!

From Mad Men to The Crown, the actor is used to big exits. As new disaster drama Chernobyl launches, he talks about cover-ups, climate change shame and his hellraising dad Richard Jared Harris says that if only he had played Lane Pryce as he was meant to, he would have probably lasted the duration of The Crown was inevitably done for by a coronary thrombosis. In his latest TV drama, The Terror, about the Royal Navys treacherous 19th-century trip into the unknown, are three of the great contemporary TV dramas. And Chernobyl looks like its going to be another. A tense, beautifully written five-parter about Greta Thunberg has addressed EU politicians in Brussels. Its awful that its being left to …

The Inventor, Theranos, and Multiplatform Schadenfreude

Over the course of 119 minutes in The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley, Alex Gibney's new documentary about Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos, very little is made of Holmes' speaking voice. Very little needs to be; she's on camera for much of the movie, her presence stitched together from news clips, conference appearances, and a surprising wealth of leaked internal footage. Yet the absence is curious. Her cake-in-the-throat alto, which many allege is an affectation, has emerged over the past few years as one of people's favorite characters in the duplicitous saga of Theranos. The Inventor lets it stand on its own. That may be because Gibney sets out to tell a different story—but it's more likely that he …