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Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse Review

There are some pop culture phenomena where intense popularity is an inscrutable mystery, but Spider-Man is not one of those cases. It’s not only the fact that the web-slinger was introduced as a teenage protagonist (much closer to the age of young readers than most superheroes initially were), but because of the ideal his character represents. Life is unkind to Peter Parker — his parents are dead, he’s a bullied nerd, and he has perpetual bad luck — but when burdened with the epic responsibility of actually being able to help people he doesn’t hesitate to bear every ounce of it. Life threatens with intense danger, extreme cynicism, and seething hate, and he is the hero who is never kept down and always fighting back.

All of this has been at the core of the character for over 50 years, but in that time he has also been a morphing subject based on the approach and creativity of the creators. Without losing sight of the most important elements, writers and artists have told thousands of Spider-Man stories not only on pulp and glossy pages, but in all mediums, and not always about Peter Parker. There have been multiple television series, a Broadway show, and even in the last 16 years alone we’ve seen three different live-action interpretations of the wall-crawler on the big screen, with Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland all bringing distinct and unique energies to the role.

Spider-Man’s legacy is long and fluid, seemingly impossible to fully depict in a single film. But not all filmmakers are Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and as a result we now have Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. There are many ways in which it is different than every Spidey movie we’ve seen — it’s animated, it doesn’t center on Peter Parker, and it features a depiction of the multiverse — and each of those elements plays a major factor in making it a unique and special event. However, what stands above all else is the way in which it cuts to the core of what makes Spider-Man not only an entertaining icon, but an important one, and in doing so coalesces as both a phenomenal and breathtaking experience that is one of the best superhero features ever made.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is as meta as any previous Lord and Miller project, opening with a voice over acknowledgement that the tale of the friendly neighborhood hero is one that you already know and have heard countless times. But that’s the story of Peter Parker, and alluded to, that’s not the origin that this movie is here to tell. This is the story of Miles Morales (Shameik Moore).

In many ways, Miles couldn’t be more different than Peter. He lives with his two loving parents — his police officer father, Jefferson (Brian Tyree Henry), and nurse mother, Rio (Luna Lauren Velez) — and while he’s intellectually gifted he’s also immensely charismatic and popular. Hell, he’s even lucky enough to win a lottery that gets him into a prestigious prep school (though it’s a change he actually hates).

Miles is a kid that has everything going for him, but it all flips upside-down when a scientifically-engineered spider sinks its fangs into his hand and permanently alters his DNA. It’s a familiar part of the origin story, including powers like sticking to surfaces, spider-sense, hyper agility, and super strength, but what makes Miles a bit different is that shortly after acquiring his new abilities he witnesses first-hand the death of Peter Parker. Kingpin (Liev Schreiber) has plans to use a super collider to open the universe, and the red-and-blue-suited Spider-Man dies shutting it down.

As Miles continues to question what it means that he has Spider-Man’s powers and everything that goes along with it, the world reacts to the devastating news. And that’s when things get weird. A trip to Peter Parker’s grave leads the young reluctant hero to meet Peter B. Parker (Jake Johnson), an alternate universe version of Spider-Man who needs Miles’ help getting back home.

While Miles works alongside this 40-something, divorced, out-of-shape skyscraper-swinger, he discovers that he isn’t the only Spider-Man who has found himself dimensionally astray as a result of Kingpin’s machine. Instead, there is a full group of them, including the rocker Gwen Stacy a.k.a. Spider-Woman (Hailee Steinfeld); the cartoonish Peter Porker a.k.a. Spider-Ham (John Mulaney); the anime-inspired Peni Parker (Kimiko Glenn) and her psychically-linked robot SP//dr; and the black-and-white Nazi-fighter Spider-Man Noir (Nicolas Cage). Miles not only finds himself with the responsibility of helping these Spider-People get back where they belong, but grappling with whether or not he has what it takes to join their ranks.

The question of what it takes to be Spider-Man drives Into The Spider-Verse, and honestly elevates it to become something tremendously powerful — particularly for those of us who spent childhoods imagining ourselves on the same journey. Miles’ couldn’t be more different than Peter’s, his choices and sacrifices with different contexts and consequences, but it’s emotional and impactful to see him grapple with it. After all, it’s meant as a metaphor for the intense, frustrating, terrifying and universal struggle to understand one’s place in existence.

This so far may paint Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse primarily as an existential drama, and that’s certainly a crucial, special aspect of the film, but it’s also just one color on this vibrant and brilliant canvas. One can’t understate just how fun the movie is, both in its thrilling action sequences, and its amazing character repartee. On the first front, it’s always a delight watching the web-head bounce around a scene causing enemies endless grief, and that’s true for all the Spider-People here (plus we get to see an assortment of creative takes on classic baddies never seen before). That leads into the second front as well, as the heroes are all blessed with the same snarky gift of gab that equally drives the baddies batty, and lends to uproarious laughter from an audience.

Adding to that, while there is never any question who the lead of this film is, there is a scene-stealing competition that plays out all the way to the end of the post-credits sequence. Jake Johnson’s Peter Parker is definitely the movie’s second most significant character, operating with his own perfect mentor/personal redemption arc, but he also delivers some of the best material the script has to offer with his proven excellent comedic timing.

As for the rest of the team from around the Spider-Verse, while they don’t have quite the same level of narrative devotion, each of them does have qualities that make them exceptional and standout. Cage delivers some wonderful pulp fiction-esque monologues in between bouts of clear fascination with a Rubik’s Cube; Peni and SP//dr’s bond is straight out of a Miyazaki film, and Spider-Ham’s cartoon nature allows for some fantastic and weird gags. And while less overtly funny than some of her mates, Spider-Woman (or Spider-Gwen as she is known among comic fans) is the queen of cool and is going to become an instant favorite for the uninitiated.

More than just dynamic personalities, the various Spider heroes also bring their own specific animation styles into the world of Miles Morales, which is a perfect segue to discuss how outrageously incredible Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse actually looks. Directors Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman, along with the filmmakers at Sony Pictures Animation, have developed a film that looks truly unlike anything audiences have ever seen before, and it’s nothing short of revolutionary. The style is created with the blending of both 2D and 3D animation, the result having a rotoscope-esque look, and it’s a stunning comic book brought to life — both literally and figuratively (to again highlight writer/producer Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s meta sensibilities).

The aforementioned action sequences are as stunning and crisp as they are exciting, but even more impressive is just the absolute sheer beauty that is captured with characters swinging around the generated New York City. Without going too far into it, nothing will prepare you for the hair-raising cinematic experience that is what will surely hence forth be known as the Leap Of Faith sequence.

It’s been a busy year for Spider-Man and Spider-Man-related characters in Hollywood, with audiences having already seen the deeply juxtaposed highs and lows of Avengers: Infinity War and Venom grace the big screen in 2018. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is the last among them to arrive in theaters, however, it is also the best among them. What has been made here is a tremendous achievement built on the genius vision and foundation created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in 1962, and is a stunning tribute to everything the character represents. It’s a phenomenal piece of art that you just want to live in, and the follow-up teased in the final moments can get here soon enough.

Rating:
movie reviewed rating
5.0/5

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First Avengers 4 Trailer Finally Has A Release Date, After Second Captain Marvel Trailer

Is it finally happening? After an incredibly long wait, and an even more incredible amount of speculation, we now have a date for the first Avengers 4 trailer:

This Wednesday morning, December 5.

That does put a smile on my face. To be clear, Marvel has yet to officially announce that trailer day/time, but it has been confirmed by multiple sources — including /FILM, SuperBroMovies, and MCU Cosmic.

It sounds like the trailer should drop on Good Morning America on ABC, which is part of the Disney/Marvel family. That’s unconfirmed. But get your butt up early.

Marvel did confirm that the second Captain Marvel trailer will be coming Monday (tomorrow) night. They also shared a new poster:

And don’t forget that Avengers 4 directors Joe and Anthony Russo will be at the Game Awards this Thursday, Dec. 6, when fans should learn more about the Avengers game.

So it’s possible Jeremy Renner was indeed teasing the upcoming Avengers 4 trailer with his recent social media post. Maybe fans will get more than just the trailer, we may get some kind of special promo. Also, don’t forget, the trailer should finally reveal the official title — another source of rampant speculation from the fandom.

Fans have been waiting for this trailer with bated breath, many expecting it to drop last week at the same time the Avengers: Infinity War trailer had dropped. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige had said we’d get the trailer toward the end of this year, after the first promotion for Captain Marvel. If this plays out as currently advertised, the Avengers 4 trailer will follow just two days after more Captain Marvel promotion.

Marvel fans had been getting a wee bit impatient because Disney recently shared first teasers for a few films coming out after Avengers 4 — like The Lion King and Aladdin. All of that will be forgiven and forgotten if the Avengers 4 trailer does arrive this Wednesday morning. Expect to see any and all footage dissected to within an inch of its life.

Captain Marvel is scheduled for release in theaters on March 8, 2019. Avengers 4 is currently scheduled to open in the U.S. on May 3, 2019. Since they are coming out less than two months apart, it’s fitting that they are being promoted together. It’s like they’re fraternal twins. We know Carol Danvers’ story will have a huge impact on Avengers 4, and we can’t wait till it all gets started. Excelsior!

Is Doctor Who Bringing A Familiar Villain Back For The Season Finale?

Doctor Who is gearing up for its Season 11 finale, and for the first time in what feels like a long time, fans may have reason to suspect something established and familiar is on the horizon. Speculation currently abounds after the penultimate episode’s “Next Time” teaser featured a voiceover that sounded a lot like a villain viewers have heard from before. So, is the Stenza warrior T’zim-Sha heading back to Doctor Who for the season finale?

Alien T’zim-Sha (or Tim Shaw) seems to be the most likely candidate at the moment, as a guttural voice is heard in the teaser saying “You gave me my destiny” before things move on. While the jury’s still out on the Doctor granting him a “destiny,” she did give the Stenza assassin a chance to escape a gruesome death in the Doctor Who Season 11 opener.

We haven’t seen him since then, though the warrior race did get a mention in a previous episode, causing many to theorize that the Setnza would become more important in Season 11 and beyond. So perhaps T’zim-Sha’s spared life resulted in a noteworthy journey that led him back to Eleven?

There are other candidates as to who this mystery person may be, as Doctor Who has villains like Dalek creator Davros whose voice hits around that vocal register. That said, bringing back a deep-lore villain would go against this season’s theme of introducing new Doctor Who elements,. Of course, so would the return of one of Season 11’s new villains. Still, it seems more probable that Chibnall would pull a villain from his own run rather than one from prior seasons.

As previously mentioned, Tzim-Sha’s Stenza race is one of the only species that has been mentioned more than once within the season. That next mention came in “The Ghost Monument” when it was revealed the Stenza were behind the “cleansing” of a character’s planet which resulted in a mass execution. Tzim-Sha’s re-emergence in the finale would tie together a season that’s felt largely episodic and disconnected so far, helpings things come full circle in as only Who can.

Tzim-Sha may not be the only character coming back for Doctor Who‘s Season 11 finale, however. The episode’s full promo teased another voice that that was familiar to the Doctor, if not everyone. The voice, which sounded female, can be heard screaming in a way one could usually interpret as a cry for help.

That certainly doesn’t seem like the sort of scream a Stenza warrior would make, so it would appear two familiar faces could be surfacing before Season 11 bows out. Obviously, there’s a long list of characters who the Doctor could be referring to, so it’s almost impossible to rule anyone out for a return. Especially given how sneaky Doctor Who can be with surprise cameos, fans may be getting the appearance of a character that no one may expect.

Mysteries will be revealed when Doctor Who airs its Season 11 finale on BBC America Sunday, December, 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET. After that, fans will still have the holiday special to look forward to on New Year’s day, as well as some other programming that can be found on our fall and midseason premiere guides.

Fashion Industry Gossip Was Once Whispered. Now It’s On Instagram.

Shortly after designer Olivier Rousteing showed his fashion collection for Balmain in Paris last September, French designer Thierry Mugler posted on Instagram.

Mr. Mugler, famous in the 1980s and early ’90s for power suits and the George Michael “Too Funky” video, posted a series of side-by-side images comparing his past ensembles to Mr. Rousteing’s new looks. Next to a Balmain black, one-shouldered jacket-dress with white lapels, Mr. Mugler posted his own similar design from 1998 with the comment: “Really?”

Outlander Finally Delivered A Reunion We’ve Been Waiting For

Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 5 of Outlander Season 4, called “Savages.”

Outlander has seen plenty of tragedy over its four seasons on the air, and one of the most tragic game-changers of the series was the Battle of Culloden that saw the end of Highlander way of life. Culloden led to the deaths and/or departures of a number of key characters from the early seasons. Now, five episodes into Season 4, we finally got the return of a long-absent character, and it provided a reunion plenty of us have been waiting for. Murtagh is back, and he reunited with Jamie!

Yes, Murtagh Fraser made his first Outlander appearance since way back in the third episode of Season 3, when he was one of the Arsmuir prisoners sent off to the American colonies as an indentured servant. Murtagh was already in rough shape, not the youngest man in the world, and facing a dangerous journey and a difficult life if he survived the passage. There was no guarantee we (or his beloved godson) would ever see him again, and book readers especially had reason to doubt.

Fans of Diana Gabaldon’s novels know that Murtagh’s fate after Culloden in the books was very different than it was portrayed on the show, and I for one was relieved to learn that Murtagh at least survived the bloody battlefields to spend some more time with Jamie.

Admittedly, time in the hellhole that was Ardsmuir prison whenever Lord John Grey couldn’t lend a hand wasn’t what I had in mind for Jamie and Murtagh bonding, but I appreciated his survival. If the show is going to change the books, changes that involve Murtagh not being dead are fine by me! Jamie reunited with his godfather by pure happenstance, and it’s only thanks to Young Ian being a terrible negotiator that Murtagh and Jamie even wound up in the same room.

Jamie and Young Ian had left Fraser’s Ridge for a few days to go to town and try and recruit local Scots to settle on the land Jamie had been given by Governor Tryon. None of the Scots — even the farmers — would agree on account of the Brits’ history of overtaxing tenants beyond what they should have owed. Frustrated, Jamie and Young Ian prepared to return to Fraser’s Ridge, only for their horse’s bit to break just as they were on the verge of departing.

Jamie sent his nephew to find a blacksmith and get the bit repaired, telling him not to take no for an answer. Ian did find a blacksmith, and it was none other than everybody’s favorite curmudgeonly Scot working at the forge. Murtagh was just finishing for the day and not inclined to help Young Ian.

Given that Young Ian was born after Murtagh had been sent to the colonies, the two had no reason to recognize each other, and Murtagh wasted no time in driving up the price of his labor to fix the bit. Young Ian ultimately handed over 21 shillings, which even modern viewers not exactly fluent in 18th century currency could guess was way too much. In fact, it was 15 shillings more than Jamie was looking to spend, and 21 shillings was all he hand.

Well, it’s a good thing Murtagh did managed to fleece Ian out of 21 shillings for a simple bit fix, because it motivated Jamie to storm into the forge and demand the blacksmith tell what he meant by charging such a huge price. Murtagh turned around, thrilled to see his godson, and Jamie was no less overjoyed when he processed that Murtagh was alive, well, and standing in front of him. Fraser family reunion!

Murtagh wound up returning the money to Young Ian when he and Jamie caught up in the local tavern. Jamie sent Ian away for a bit so that he could confess to Murtagh that Claire had returned, and Murtagh was thrilled at that news as well, which was especially fun to see after his sour reaction to the idea of Jamie having remarried. Who’s going to be the one to tell him about Laoghaire?

Naturally, Jamie asked Murtagh to return to Fraser’s Ridge with him, both because he didn’t want to let go of his godfather and because the prospect of a blacksmith in the area could be useful and enticing to potential tenants. Murtagh, who learned the craft due to his indentured servitude before eventually being freed, first tried to say that he had to stay in town because of his forge, but he eventually came clean that he had important business in town.

He took Jamie and Young Ian to a meeting of angry Scotsman who had lost their properties and belongings due to the unjust taxes by Governor Tryon and his tax collectors, and Murtagh roused them to a state of fury that makes it all too easy to believe a Culloden 2.0 is in the works against the Brits. Oh, Murtagh.

Murtagh admitted that he’s not opposed to the unrest leading to violence if necessary, and he was clear that the Scots would be happy to pay no more or less than fair taxes. Jamie couldn’t agree to sign on with the cause, but he did promise Murtagh that he wouldn’t try to stop them. When they left town, Murtagh stayed behind, and that seemed to be it for good old Murtagh for the time being. But would Murtagh let us down in his first episode back?

No, Murtagh made a surprise appearance at the end of the hour when he tromped up to Fraser’s Ridge while Claire was outdoors and in desperate need of a good hug. She was thrilled to see Murtagh since Jamie said that he wasn’t coming, and the gruff Murtagh all but melted at seeing her again. Can we please keep him?

He would certainly come in handy if the settlers and Native Americans continue to clash. The whole reason why Claire needed all the hugs she could get by the end of the episode was that a local German settler had gone and murdered Adawehi, a Native American healer Claire had befriended. He did so after a clash with some of the Native Americans when they tried to use a stream on his claimed property to feed their horses, and he stormed out with his son to threaten them with rifles.

Claire, who was there to deliver a baby, managed to stop anybody from killing each other, and the Native Americans left after learning that Claire and Adawehi were friends. They didn’t depart before one of them sprinkled a substance in the water as a blessing, but the German settler was outraged and believed it was a curse. Why? Well, Claire later learned that the household had been struck by measles, killing the son, the daughter, and her newborn son.

The German settler visited Claire and handed over a parcel that turned out to contain Adawehi’s scalp, which obviously horrified and disgusted Claire. Back at his own home, a group of Native Americans arrived and fired flaming arrow after flaming arrow, setting the house and his wife ablaze. He returned in time to see his wife’s burning body, then was struck and killed by an arrow himself. The whole arc came to such a heartbreaking end for all parties that I needed a huge from Murtagh by the time the credits rolled!

The episode also saw Brianna finally make her journey to the past, so we can presumably count on the show exploring her (and the horrible thing that will happen) in the 18th century sooner rather than later. Tune in to new episodes of Outlander on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Starz.

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Syfy’s Nightflyers Reviews Are In, Here’s What Critics Say About The George R.R. Martin Adaptation

Even in the middle of its massive two-year gap between seasons, HBO’s Game of Thrones is still one of the most talked-about TV shows out there. Perhaps hoping in part to capitalize on the author’s fame, Syfy adapted Martin’s sci-fi horror novella Nightflyers into a TV show that will air its ten episodes in doubled-up chunks across a five-day span. The programming move may have some thinking Nightflyers isn’t worth viewers’ binge-ready troubles, and most critics seem to support that.

Nightflyers is Syfy’s latest space-faring series, coming after vocally opposed cancellations for The Expanse and Dark Matter. The story involves a scientist team’s attempt to contact alien beings interrupted by a violent incident that dissolves everyone’s trust and sanity. Critics haven’t been very kind, either, with Nightflyers hitting 36% on Rotten Tomatoes. As well, it currently has zero positive reviews noted on Metacritic, where it has a 48% score.

According to THR, the show has one decent draw going for it, though it’s partly overwhelmed by more negative elements.

Some interesting biotechnological paranoia keeps Syfy’s George R.R. Martin adaptation from feeling like just another ‘haunted house in space’ take on the genre, but only barely. . . . Nightflyers layers in the creepiness, without rising above ‘unsettling’ into ‘scary.’ Even if attempted jump-cut scares never sink in, Nightflyers, sometimes replaces frights with low-level gross-out moments.

Successful “haunted house in space” projects are usually limited to feature films, as opposed to episodic TV, with Event Horizon, Sunshine and the seminal classic Alien standing out above most others. Horror and sci-fi fans would almost definitely love for Nightflyers to match those movies’ genre efforts, but things aren’t looking very optimistic on that front.

According to Vulture, some of Nightflyers‘ troubles lie in the writing, which is deemed to be seemingly crafted to match up with familiar TV structures, as opposed to making good storytelling the central goal.

The script is a repetitive collection of jump scares and gross-outs that arrive at roughly seven-minute intervals, timed to the rhythm of ad breaks. . . . Like too many recent TV series and miniseries, Nightflyers feels as if it’s running out the clock, padding action to fill predetermined time slots rather than because the story actually needs it.

Granted, a horror-tinged series set in space in 2093 will obviously aim for moments that set viewers on the edges of their seats, However, it’s always more satisfying when a show earns those kinds of moments, and doesn’t just shoehorn them in to fulfill an unofficial quota. Surely not everyone will consider all those moments to be trite, but the sentiment was shared by several different critics.

CNET, which flat-out stated that Nightflyers “is no Game of Thrones,” placed part of the blame on the characters themselves. While people will probably never stop praising the majority of the character ensemble introduced in Game of Thrones, it doesn’t look like Nightflyers will inspire the same level of widespread admiration.

There’s no one on board the ship who doesn’t have some kind of bloody backstory. And with the performances covering the full spectrum from sinister frowny-whispering to sinister angry-whispering, it adds up to a pretty one-note experience.

Unfortunately for genre fans, horror and sci-fi projects tend to be the most guilty of delivering thinly designed characters, who are often seen as secondary in importance behind big sequences and overall plot mechanics. It is worth noting that many reviews, even the negative ones, call out the performances as the show’s most successful element, saying stars like Gretchen Mol, Eoin Macken, David Ajala and Brian F. O’Byrne (among others) did the best they could with the material.

As far as Game of Thrones comparisons go, CNN had a sharply drawn one in its own mostly negative take on Nightflyers.

The desire to catch lightning in a bottle in the way that Thrones did is certainly understandable — one half expects to see “George R.R. Martin’s High School Yearbook” — but Nightflyers merely reinforces that such alchemy is exceedingly rare. And while the two might share literary lineage, the new series is at best a pallid pretender.

Considering how vastly different the two projects are, and that George R.R. Martin published the expanded take on Nightflyers in 1981, years ahead of his mega-popularity in 1981, it’s weird for the two to get mentioned in the same breath. But it does serve as largely indisputable proof that not all adaptations are created equal, no matter where they came from.

Though many of the opinions about Nightflyers fall on the negative side of the spectrum, there were obviously some positive takes on the new series, though even most of those called the series out for several aforementioned shortcomings. In some cases, it’s a matter of one’s threshold for familiar storytelling and genre-specific tropes.

Fewer gratuitous boob shots would have been ideal for Den of Geek, but Nightflyers inspired kind words in its review by excelling at instilling its horror vibe with a stellar opening sequence. As well, the show’s ability to inspire viewer curiosity gained it higher marks.

Despite the overt sexualization of the leading female characters, there is a lot of compelling subtext. What is perception? What is truth? How objective are our memories and how much do they define us as people and as a species?

Perhaps the most positive Nightflyers review came from Vice, where the lone complaint was that “nobody on board thinks anything through.” Here are some more positive words.

The effects are solid enough, keep the creepy vibe real, and the scares are genuinely chilling, rarely relying solely on a startling jump cut. Like Westeros, the Earth of Nightflyers feels deep and reflects Martin’s dark view of human behavior, increasingly reaffirmed by the news cycle.

Viewers will know for themselves soon enough, with Nightflyers premiering on Syfy on Sunday, December 2, at 10:00 p.m. ET, with the second episode airing immediately after. To see what kind of TV might be a little more exciting for fans in the coming months, head to our fall TV premiere schedule and our midseason TV rundown.

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Michelle Obama Says She’s Done With the ‘Lean In’ Philosophy

Michelle Obama‘s memoir, Becoming, debuted just two weeks ago—and on Friday, Penguin Random House announced that it had already surpassed other titles to break a record: It’s the best-selling book to be released so far in the U.S., with more than 2 million copies sold in the U.S. and Canada. Safe to say, it’s a smash hit, and she’s currently on a speaking tour to promote the book. During her stop in Brooklyn last night, the busy former First Lady spoke out about how she manages it all—and she didn’t give the advice you might think.

Obama spoke frankly about the aspirational—and, to be honest, exhausting—expectation that it’s possible to “have it all.” And while she might not have been able to offer solid advice about how to achieve that bliss, she had some far more useful wisdom to dish out instead.

“Marriage still ain’t equal, y’all. It ain’t equal. I tell women that whole ‘you can have it all’—mmm, nope, not at the same time, that’s a lie,” she said. “It’s not always enough to lean in because that shit doesn’t work.”

The “lean in” phrase refers to a philosophy set forth by Sheryl Sandberg in 2013 that uses the metaphor to argue that women should assert themselves more in the workplace. Back then, it drew controversy for implying that women were holding themselves back from their careers; more recently, it’s drawn backlash for not being as effective as Sandberg originally hoped. In 2017, she spoke frankly about how women weren’t necessarily much better off for it.

Back to Obama, though. In a wonderfully genuine moment, apparently the crowd of New Yorkers went wild at the light cursing utilized by Obama, before she apologized to the kids in the audience: “I thought we were at home, y’all,” she said. “I was getting real comfortable up in here. All right, I’m back now. Sometimes that stuff doesn’t work.”

She also talked about the section in the book that addresses how she and Obama went to marriage counseling.

“People are like, ‘Oh, why’d she talk about marriage counseling?'” she said. “I’m like, ‘Duh.’ Marriage is hard, you know. It is hard . . . I love my husband, and we have a great marriage, and we’ve had a great marriage, but marriage is hard work.”

Obama also cautioned against rushing into marriage: “Marriage is a lot of work, and it should be. It’s too independent individuals who are trying to come together to build a life forever.”

We’ll always love it when Obama keeps it real with us, swears included. Unfortunately, two stops on her tour have been postponed: She announced on Sunday that she’d be pushing back her Paris and Berlin stops to fly to the U.S. and attend former President George H. W. Bush’s funeral.

RELATED: With Becoming, Michelle Obama Proves She’s Just Like You, Me, and Everyone We Know

NBC’s Chicago Dramas Just Got Great News After Big Ratings Wins

The Chicago franchise is doing well in the Wednesday night ratings as of late, and NBC has decided to reward each of the Dick Wolf dramas. Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD were all granted additional episodes, in what will elevate each series to an episode count comparable to past seasons. Each Chicago series was gifted two additional episodes, which means each drama will at least have a full 22-episode season for fans to invest in.

The upped episode count will continue Chicago Fire‘s trend of delivering at least 22 episodes a season. Chicago PD has done the same outside of Season 1, which only featured 15 episodes. This will be the first time Chicago Med has gone above 20 episodes since Season 2.

Deadline reports the additional episodes come after NBC’s #OneChicago movement ushered in all the shows airing back-to-back on Wednesday nights for the first time. It was seemingly an effort to encourage viewers to tune in all on the same night, and the people have spoken.

The strategy appears to be an effective one, as NBC has seen measured success in its ratings and viewership totals since the Chicago-centric lineup debuted the most recent seasons. This includes the three-hour crossover event that aired on Wednesday, October 5, which resulted in Chicago Med bringing in around 1.7 million viewers more than its season premiere the week prior. The mega-crossover propelled Chicago Med to become the most-watched program of the evening, and has resulted in a higher viewership turnout when compared to this timeframe last season.

The joint episode increase makes it appear as though NBC intends to keep the #OneChicago train rolling, and will possibly keep the same number of episodes for each successive season. This has not always been the case in past years, but it appears each show could be united on the Wednesday night front, barring future changes. Keeping the Chicago series’ episode counts even ensures viewers are glued to their televisions accordingly, making them less likely to flip channels if one show is airing reruns.

This is certainly welcome news ahead of each Chicago show’s midseason finale, which will all precede the winter break until they all return in 2019. NBC has yet to release its 2019 midseason schedule, so it’s unclear if all three will be returning on the same night. If not, it will be interesting to see how each performs for their respective returns, where carryover viewership from the prior show may not be as likely.

It’s a question for 2019 to answer as there is still one more new week of #OneChicago to enjoy in 2018. It all kicks off on NBC with Chicago Med beginning Wednesday, December 6 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Those curious as to what other shows are airing in the near future need only reference our fall and midseason premiere guides for a look at what else is happening on television.

Fallout 76 Refund Policy May Lead To Class Action Lawsuit

Bethesda just can’t seem to catch a break with Fallout 76, the new online multiplayer action-RPG for home consoles and PC. Shortly after the game launched, some gamers tried getting refunds for their purchases but ran into problems when Bethesda denied them refunds. Well, now a law firm is investigating the possibility of a class action lawsuit due to potential false advertising and denial of refunds.

Business Insider is reporting that the bug-ridden launch of Fallout 76 didn’t do the game any favors, as those who purchased the digital version of the game were displeased with the outcome. Some of them decided it was nigh time to get a refund for the purchase, but found that Bethesda has been denying refunds due to the terms of service for the Bethesda Launcher that houses digital purchases of Fallout 76. According to the company, if you make a digital purchase you cannot get a refund for it. This also applies to opened packages for game discs or cases.

The issue comes in with the fact that Bethesda had originally responded to some of the refund requests by acknowledging and admitting to granting the refunds shortly before sending out a second e-mail claiming that refunds would be denied.

This sort of inconsistency did not go down well on social media, resulting in gamers spreading the word even more about the issue.

Those who purchased the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition also found that the canvas bag that was advertised and promised on Bethesda’s Gear Store page — as well as on the pages of retailers such as Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Best Buy — was not included in the $200 package. After confronting Bethesda about the issue, gamers were told that the material was too expensive and so a nylon bag replaced the advertised canvas bag. After some miscommunication with its own support staff, Bethesda later stated that the issue wasn’t expense but the unavailability of the canvas material.

However, some gamers began spreading images across social media where it was revealed that Bethesda did give out free canvas bags at a press event in September, as reported by Game Rant. This led some gamers to question why those bags (or the material) weren’t used in the $200 version of the Fallout 76: Power Armor Edition.

Bethesda, however, responded to the canvas bag incident by apologizing and offering 500 Atoms worth of in-game currency as recompense for replacing the canvas bag with a nylon bag. Not every gamer is taking that kind of compensation lightly and this has escalated things to the next level.

All of these occurrences and denial of refunds have led the law firm Migliaccio and Rathod LLP, based out of Washington D.C., to pick up on the news and begin investigating the case for a potential class action lawsuit. The suit would be on the grounds of a bait-and-switch, alleging false advertising for the canvas bag, and the denial of refunds for consumers who purchased the digital version of the game.

So not only is Bethesda being investigated for the lack of refunds, but also for the discrepancy involving the canvas bag. Bethesda did attempt to open up communication with the gaming audience by stating that there would be two major updates inbound to address some of the in-game glitches and bugs.