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‘The Exorcist’ is rewriting all the rules of horror, and that’s why we love it

Charmaine Blake

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Image: fox

We hold these horror truths to be self-evident: Unless you’re the “final girl” at the end of the slasher flick, women and people of color are usually the victims in scary movies and TV shows, not the heroes. (Just ask Michael Che, who made a too-real quip about it on this week’s Saturday Night Live.)

The Exorcist — Fox’s small-screen follow-up to the iconic William Peter Blatty novel and 1973 film adaptation of the same name — bucked that trend right out of the gate, choosing to center its story around two priests, one of whom is Latino (Alfonso Herrera’s Father Tomas Ortega) and one of whom is gay (Ben Daniels’ excommunicated Father Marcus Keane) — two perspectives that aren’t often serviced in mainstream horror projects.

The show isn’t about race or orientation, so these character traits are just that — one small facet of our heroes’ complex personalities; informing their identities without standing in for them. (Aren’t you looking forward to the day when that kind of realism is so unremarkable that we don’t have to remark on it anymore?)

“To be part of a show that doesn’t portray Latinos as a stereotype is something that I really celebrate,” Herrera told us during a recent press conference for the show. “I thank [executive producers Jeremy Slater and Sean Crouch] to allow me as an actor and allow me as a Latino to give something more real and grounded about my culture, about who I am as a Mexican, and Tomas [is] as a Mexican.”

Season 1 of the show featured (no spoilers) a demonic possession that plagued the WASPy Rance family, but the narrative was still decidedly female-driven, giving meaty roles to Geena Davis, Hannah Kasulka and Brianne Howey. Season 2, on the other hand, features a foster family with a group of kids from different backgrounds, enabling the show to add a variety of life experiences and baggage to the mix, lending the horror series an authenticity even when it’s dealing with the supernatural.

Before the first season premiered, Davis — who founded the eponymous Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to push for equality and tackle stereotypes surrounding women in entertainment — noted that the executive producers were determined to craft an inclusive narrative, which encouraged her to sign on for her first series regular TV role in a decade.

Image: Fox

“When I was first approached, they were very earnest about letting me know, ‘We know what you do. We want you to be proud of this show. We want you to not have any problems with how we are doing everything,'” she told reporters last year. “So there’s a lot of great things happening with us. Half of our writers’ room is women, which is very exciting and unfortunately unusual, and there are more female important characters than male in the story also.”

Season 2 has doubled down on that mission statement, meaning that Ben Daniels is the only white male series regular, starring alongside Hererra, Kurt Egyiawan, Li Jun Li, Brianna Hildebrand and John Cho. That’s still pretty unprecedented, even in today’s eclectic TV landscape.

Season 1 had two female directors in its 10-episode season, while Season 2 has tapped three female helmers across its eight episodes.

“We were hoping for fifty percent everywhere,” admitted showrunner Sean Crouch. “We got four female writers and five male writers [in Season 2] so we came close, and we got every major religion in there; for a religious show we wanted to make sure that we got every voice that we could get… It was part of what we wanted to do to make sure that we aren’t handicapping ourselves, to make sure that we have enough voices everywhere, in front of the camera and behind the camera, so we get every possible story.”

L-R: John Cho, guest star Alex Barima, guest star Hunter Dillon, Brianna Hildebrand and guest star Cyrus Arnold.

Image: fox

“I think it’s one of the strengths of television over film, honestly, as someone who comes from the film side of things and had 10 years of experience. It’s really, really hard to get diversity into films because everyone is afraid – they’re gambling 100 million dollars on something, and it just becomes like, ‘how do we make this lead role for Channing Tatum and no one else?'” said series creator Jeremy Slater.

“That was one of the most gratifying and liberating things about coming to TV, it’s kind of the exact opposite where, especially here at Fox, there is a mandate to ‘let’s get different voices in front of and behind the camera, let’s tell different stories about different people.’ It’s part of the reason I think TV is experiencing a golden age right now, where the film industry is not. It really is a testament to Fox of how much they were supportive of that vision from the very beginning.”

The show’s inclusivity (and willingness to upend horror conventions) was apparently also part of the appeal for Cho, who previously had a recurring role on Fox’s Sleepy Hollow, albeit with a villainous — and far less developed — character.

“That was one of the reasons I was compelled to join – I just couldn’t think of an Asian face in American horror, and I thought it was just interesting to do that,” he admitted. “I thought it seemed fresh, and the show was already diverse. When you have a diverse world on camera, my personal reaction is that it feels more real, and therefore I’m more inclined to care about that world and the characters in it a little more, because it feels like the world I walk around in. So I’m into it.”

And while one show can’t make up for the lack of diversity across an entire industry, The Exorcist‘s commitment to presenting the world as it really is (give or take a few demons) represents a welcome change for a genre that’s been slow to evolve.

As the old saying goes, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” and much like its holy heroes, it seems like the cast and creative team behind The Exorcist want to be part of the solution, not the problem.

The Exorcist airs Fridays at 9 p.m. on Fox.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/03/the-exorcist-season-2-john-cho-alfonso-herrera-diversity-marcus/

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Kit Harington was ‘shocked’ by ‘Game of Thrones’ ending

Charmaine Blake

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Image: macall b. polay/hbo

“HBO has confirmed Game of Thrones‘ final supersized episodes, including three that hit the 80-minute mark. While the first two episodes will be around the average Game of Thrones hour, the series’ final four episodes will be – as promised – roughly the same runtime as a short feature film.

The first two episode run times were already confirmed, but HBO released all six on Friday.

Episode 1: 54 minutes
Episode 2: 58 minutes
Episode 3: 1 hours, 22 minutes
Episode 4: 1 hour, 18 minutes
Episode 5: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Episode 6: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Resourceful fans have been sussing out the official episode lengths for months now. Winter is Coming approximated all of them as early as January, thanks to some French press for the show.

On Monday, an online commenter figured out that tinkering with some HBO URLs revealed the exact run times of all six episodes, which are almost exactly as HBO went on to confirm.

Game of Thrones returns April 14.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/game-of-thrones-s8-episode-run-time/

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Late Night – Official Trailer Amazon Studios

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Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson) is a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talk-show circuit. When she’s accused of being a “woman who hates women,” she puts affirmative action on the to-do list, and—presto!—Molly (Mindy Kaling) is hired as the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room. But Molly might be too little too late, as the formidable Katherine also faces the reality of low ratings and a network that wants to replace her. Molly, wanting to prove she’s not simply a diversity hire who’s disrupting the comfort of the brotherhood, is determined to help Katherine by revitalizing her show and career—and possibly effect even bigger change at the same time. LATE NIGHT is in theaters June 7th.

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5 Amazon Prime Original series you need to binge in March

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“Amazon Prime Video is making great strides to increase its library of original programming, with roughly half-a-dozen original series hitting the platform every month. March brings a wide variety of new Amazon Prime TV shows, from debuting survival thrillersThe WidowandHannato the final season of dysfunctional British sitcomCatastrophe. With new series rolling out nearly every Friday in March, you’ll never be at a loss for new Amazon Prime TV shows to start binging. If that’s not enough, you can check out our comprehensive guide to in March.

For now, though, here are five Amazon Prime TV shows you need to watch in March 2019.

Amazon Prime TV shows: 5 new series to watch in March 2019

1) The Widow season 1 (March 1)

<img ” src=”//www.dailydot.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/amazon_prime_tv_shows_the_widow.png” alt=”” style=”display:none”/> Amazon Prime Video/YouTube

Georgia Wells cant get over the plane crash that killed her husband, Will. Maybe thats because nobody ever found his body. Now, large cash withdrawals are being made in Georgias name, and strange footage leads her to believe her intuition was rightmaybe Wills not dead. Armed with this new information, Georgia embarks on a mission across the Congo, dodging corrupt government and deadly mercenaries to find the truth about her long-lost husband.

2)Tin Starseason 2(March 8)

Amazon Prime Video/YouTube

Season 2 of thisBritish-Canadian drama with Christina Hendricks (Mad Men)picks up right where season 1 left off: with Sheriff Jim Worth (Tim Roth) bleeding out in the snowy mountainside, having just been shot by his own daughter. Will there be a reckoning or a reconciliation? Both? This underrated series is worth catching up with……………………………………………………”

See the rest of the list by clicking here: https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/new-amazon-prime-tv-shows-march-2019/

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