Kenan is finally prepared to seize his destiny as network TV's next beloved, befuddled sitcom dad

Having spent the vast majority of the last 25 years—give or take a year or two in between the end of All That and the start of his record-setting tenure on Saturday Night Live—on TV, Kenan Thompson is finally prepared to evolve, Pokémon-style, into his final televisual form: The hallowed role of put-upon sitcom dad. …

A frustrating Punisher indicates this season might’ve put its focus in the wrong place

C+

I kind of hit a wall with this episode of The Punisher, which could be a result of some binge-review exhaustion, but I think is more so a result of this season’s frustrating structural choices. As many of these Marvel Netflix shows have done in the past, this season of The Punisher weaves in two…

Jon Bernthal says he's "at peace" with the idea of The Punisher potentially getting the axe

Netflix dropped a new season of The Punisher onto its servers this weekend, reintroducing streaming fans to the world of uber-violent veteran vigilante Frank Castle. If recent history is any indication, that suggests the service is already hard at work cooking up an exciting follow-up project for the show’s second…

The Punisher gets unapologetically operatic as a brotherly betrayal takes center stage

B+

“My Brother’s Keeper” operates in a slightly different mode than any of The Punisher’s previous episodes, either this season or last. It’s operatic in tone—shamelessly melodramatic and extremely heightened. I could imagine that over-the-top quality being divisive, but it really worked for me. I’ve …

An exhilarating Punisher asks: How do you solve a problem like Billy Russo?

B+

The previous episode of The Punisher ended with a statement of purpose for Frank that doubled as a statement of purpose for the show: Take care of Billy Russo first and then tackle the rest of the season’s dangling threads, most notably John Pilgrim. So “One Bad Day” is an episode all about what to…

The Punisher finds a new spark by exploring Frank Castle as a dad

B

We’re a little less than halfway through The Punisher’s second season and “Nakazat” (the Russian word for “punish”) is the episode where things finally feel like they get going. Better late than never I suppose? Most importantly, this is an episode that puts Frank front and center. I’m on record as…

Toy Story 3 and Coco director Lee Unkrich departs Pixar

In a story that refreshingly lets us deploy the phrase “is departing his role at Pixar” without forcing us to then tack on the spirit-crushing follow-up “amid a cloud of very depressing sexual harassment allegations,” THR is reporting that Coco and Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich is leaving the Disney-owned studio.…

The Punisher heads to the gym with bloody results

B-

It would be a stretch to call Frank Castle a mentally healthy character, but I’m fascinated by the way this season is built around Frank as its relatively well-adjusted center. There are no more endless flashbacks to Frank’s personality-free dead wife. He really has moved on, even as everyone around him is left…

The World's Greatest Board Game Weighs 20 Pounds, and Is Back On Sale 

I realize that you’re not used to paying $115 for a board game, but you should make an exception for Gloomhaven. It’s Board Game Geek’s #1 board game ever, and is “astoundingly good” according to Ars Technica. Hell, it weighs 20 pounds! It was also a finalist in our recent board game Co-Op on The Inventory. If you…

Good And Mad author Rebecca Traister teaches Stephen Colbert about history's overlooked angry women

Testing Late Show host Stephen Colbert on his American history on Friday’s show, best-selling author and pundit Rebecca Traister was impressed by Colbert’s grasp of Abigail Adams—at least as far as it went. Paraphrasing the “the one woman that we always hear about” (according to Traister) when it comes to the…

Dolly Parton and Keanu Reeves are pretty dang cute together

Although they occupy very different realms of the pop culture landscape—one more obviously murder-y than the other, although we’ll leave you to decide which is which—Dolly Parton and Keanu Reeves both land pretty firmly in the “beloved” section of the internet’s Celebrity Categorization Index. (Dolly more than Keanu,…

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend goes quietly, daffily, beautifully back to basics

A-

Behold, a new entrant in the canon of the great monologues delivered to babies in hushed tones, which are really about the inner emotional state of the speaker and have not much to do with the baby, but could never exist without the baby. It’s a surprisingly rich category, given how bad the tropes in which it traffics…

RuPaul's Drag Race's much-hyped "LaLaPaRUza" is more filler than fabulous

B-

After weeks of build-up and fan speculation, the eliminated queens are back on All Stars 4, and it’s—well, it’s fine. “LaLaPaRUza” is a victim of overhype, with promos playing up Ru’s dramatic revocation of All Stars rules two episodes ago, after “Jersey Justice.” When this twist didn’t materialize until the final…

Sean Penn no longer gets to be a sad astronaut for Hulu

Bad news for everyone who got a real kick out of watching Sean Penn act so goddamn sad about having to go to stupid, majestic Mars: Hulu has canceled Penn’s TV series The First, possibly because they, like the rest of us, kind of, sort of, forgot that it exists. (A non-trivial portion of us may or may not have gotten…

Dario Argento says the Suspiria remake has "no music," which is a weirdly specific dig on poor Thom Yorke

It took a minute, but director Dario Argento has finally weighed in on Luca Guadagnino’s moody, beautiful remake of his horror masterpiece Suspiria. Don’t tell any immortal, unknowable, extremely lethal ancient witches, though, but the notices weren’t especially good.

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