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This X-Men News Has Us Ready For The MCU To Work Its Magic

This year has been an interesting one for Fox’s X-Men films. Deadpool 2, The New Mutants and Dark Phoenix were all set to release this year before things happened and now only the Merc with a Mouth will show up in 2018 (twice actually). The Disney-Fox deal has loomed large and there have been a lot of questions about the future of our favorite mutants. This past week, we finally got some clues about what that future might look like, at least as far as Fox sees things absent a finalized Disney deal. We learned more about Dark Phoenix and got the first poster and trailer for the film and we also got some insight about the long in-development Gambit movie. Yet, rather than renewing our enthusiasm about Fox’s X-Men films, this latest news just makes me more ready than ever for the MCU to work its magic with the mutants.

Despite some truly great superhero movies, including X2, X-Men: First Class and Logan, 20th Century Fox’s X-Men movies haven’t all been successes, and fans have been particularly harsh towards a few of them. Perhaps the one that receives the most flack, and arguably the worst offender as far as the disparity between hopes and reality, is 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand. That film dropped the ball in its adaptation of the Dark Phoenix Saga, which is not only one of the most iconic X-Men arcs, but one of the most iconic stories in all of comics full-stop.

Which brings us to Dark Phoenix. Thanks to the timeline shenanigans of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the upcoming film represents a mulligan, a rare opportunity at a do-over to get things right and do the story justice. Which is what makes the Dark Phoenix trailer all the more heartbreaking. The Dark Phoenix trailer certainly teased an emotionally intense film, but you know what it didn’t do? It didn’t show us that this would be the Dark Phoenix Saga movie we’ve been waiting for, and worse yet, it looked far too familiar to X-Men: The Last Stand.

CinemaBlend’s own Matt Wood made a list of the 6 things we wanted to see in the first trailer for Dark Phoenix, and let’s just say that the trailer didn’t get a passing grade by that metric. This is just the first trailer, but there was barely any space stuff and no Shi’ar. Even if Jessica Chastain’s character is an amalgamation of Lilandra and another character, it just seems unlikely at this point that the integral cosmic elements of the classic story will be in this movie, at least not in the way X-Men fans want them to be. Dark Phoenix just looks like another instance of Jean Grey having a repressed (or alien) personality inside of her that Xavier does questionable things to contain.

Right now this movie just feels small. That could be merely the marketing and maybe this movie will be truly cosmic like the comics, but that’s not what it’s being sold as to audiences. Well, not yet anyway, and that’s a problem. This is all before we even get into the fact that we were just introduced to this new Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse. This film is putting Sophie Turner’s Jean Grey at the center of the story and asking the audience to invest in her when we just met her. That’s why the Dark Phoenix Saga is something that you build to over time, so that Jean is a tenured and beloved member of the team before the tragic arc.

The Dark Phoenix Saga could have been a massive two-film event on the scale of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers 4, split between Phoenix and Dark Phoenix, and I have to think if the MCU had the X-Men, it would be. Instead, it looks like we are getting another watered-down, pale imitation of that iconic tale that looks to be doing the same thing as X-Men: The Last Stand did and failed at. Maybe the film getting delayed again will change what it is and my opinion of it, but this many delays and what I’ve seen so far do not inspire confidence.

If that all wasn’t disappointing enough, there’s Gambit. This movie may never see the light of day considering that the Disney-Fox deal should go through sometime next year, but just to remind us why it shouldn’t, Simon Kinberg updated the fans about this perpetually delayed project. Talking about the film, the Dark Phoenix director said that Gambit being a hustler and womanizer lends itself to the film having a romantic/sex comedy vibe. Now, there is nothing wrong with romantic comedies, and Gambit’s flirtation with the ladies is definitely a hallmark of the character. Also, it’s not like I think they want to make How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It’s just that while Gambit should be a ladies man and a lothario in the movie, it should not have the tone of a romantic comedy. I think that puts too much weight on that one aspect of the character’s personality and reeks of trying to make Gambit just like the first Deadpool.

Now to be fair, there is no guarantee that any of the problems I have with the direction of Fox’s X-Verse will be fixed under the Marvel Studios banner. The Marvel Cinematic Universe films don’t do panel for panel adaptations, so even an MCU Phoenix Saga wouldn’t be exact. What the MCU does do, though, is maintain the spirit of a storyline and the characters. You didn’t hear a lot of complaints that Captain America: Civil War wasn’t the same Civil War as in the comics. We may not have gotten a pure Planet Hulk movie, but did we see Hulk throw down in a gladiator ring? You’re damn right we did. I’m also pretty confident that Marvel would have made Apocalypse look like Apocalypse and not Ivan Ooze. Marvel simply gets these characters and what makes people love them, and isn’t afraid to trust the audience.

I could be wrong. Dark Phoenix could live up to the source material and be an epic that ranks among the best superhero movies ever. The X-Men in the MCU could be a total bust. But there’s a reason that comic book movie fans are so excited about the Disney-Fox deal, and it’s not just about seeing Wolverine in the Avengers. It’s about seeing the X-Men and their stories done right. Fans wouldn’t feel that way unless they felt that wasn’t the case presently. Marvel has earned the audience’s trust so completely that it’s not even a question of whether the MCU could deliver on the X-Men.

We’ve already seen what magic Kevin Feige and Marvel Studios can do with Spider-Man and how easily they fixed what another studio was screwing up. This latest X-Men news is just further reason to be excited for them to do the same with the X-Men. 20th Century Fox ushered in the superhero movie age with 2000’s X-Men, gave us the big screen Wolverine for all time and proved the box office potential of an R-rated superhero. That can never be erased, but it is clear now that it is time for the X-Men to come home and the MCU to work its magic.

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Get Ready For Taylor Swift’s First Awards Show Performance Of The Reputation Era

Later this week, Taylor Swift will pack up her flame launchers and giant inflatable snakes as she wraps up the North American leg of her massive Reputation tour. But before jetting off to Australia for the next installment, she’ll make a pit stop at the American Music Awards on October 9 to do something very, very bad.

The pop star announced Tuesday morning (October 2) that she’s opening the AMAs next week with a performance of the Reputation banger “I Did Something Bad.” She and her kitty/bestie Meredith broke the news in a cute video, with Swift quipping, “Don’t be too excited about it, my god,” as Meredith slunk away mid-announcement (Mer wanted “Getaway Car” as the next single, I guess).

Though “I Did Something Bad” was never a single, it’s an easy fan-favorite thanks to its warped vocals and venomous lyrics like, “If a man talks shit them I owe him nothing / I don’t regret it one bit ’cause he had it coming” and “They’re burning all the witches even if you aren’t one / So light me up.”

Even more exciting, this is Swift’s first awards show performance in almost three years, and her first of the infamously media-shy Reputation era. The last time she graced an awards show stage, believe it or not, was back in February 2016, when she opened the Grammys with “Out of the Woods.”

Besides performing at the AMAs, Swift is nominated in four categories, including Artist of the Year, alongside Ed Sheeran, Drake, Imagine Dragons, and Post Malone. The show airs on Tuesday, October 9 on ABC.

On Weight, Fertility, and What This Is Us Got Right…and Wrong

When Kate Pearson found out she was pregnant last season on This Is Us, fans rejoiced. But then she miscarried, and the loss felt personal—even to actress Chrissy Metz. “I would literally go home and not want to talk to anybody,” she told Glamour about filming the storyline. “It was difficult because you’re crying and all these emotions are right there all the time.”

Her journey didn’t end there, though. This season’s premiere showed Kate and her husband, Toby, visiting a fertility specialist to discuss their options. But when the doctor delivers her assessment to the couple, she says this: “At your weight, the chances for a successful pregnancy are very slim—even with IVF.”

The doctor frames the prognosis around Kate’s weight, even though she also knows Kate has PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and is 38, which is medically considered “advanced maternal age.” (This category actually applies to all pregnancies in women over 35 — just another example of the BS women face at the doctor’s office.) Both of these factors complicate one’s ability to get pregnant, but her doctor chose to focus on one thing: the number on the scale.

It’s a gutting moment for Kate, who has been reduced to her weight many times on the show. And after the episode aired, many women took to social media to voice their opinion on the storyline:

But for others, it hit home. Sarah Meres, 30, told Glamour her story of trying to get pregnant is eerily similar to Kate’s in many ways, including having PCOS and a husband with a low sperm count. (The doctor tells Toby his sperm count is low because he’s on antidepressants.)

“I saw one gynecologist who told me I need to lose another 40 pounds because my weight, along with having PCOS, was causing me to continue to be infertile,” Mares says. “He told me that my weight [plays] a major role in my PCOS, and the faster I lose [it] the better. What he doesn’t understand is how hard it is to lose weight with PCOS.” Mares says she’s lost 75 pounds so far, but still hasn’t been able to conceive.

Another fan of the show, Ivanka Sanchez, 36, who also has PCOS, agrees. “It was relatable, though maybe not realistic,” she says. “I lost a massive amount of weight in 2016 when I got pregnant for the first time. When I asked how it was possible, the doctor’s answer was the weight loss. But I’ve had struggles with infertility for 16 years, at every weight.”

While simply saying “lose weight and you’ll get pregnant” definitely sounds out-of-touch, there is a reason why a doctor might bring it up: It’s one of the only factors a woman has immediate control over when it comes to fertility. (There’s currently no cure for PCOS.) “We want to look at where can we make an intervention, and weight loss is a place where we can achieve a real increase in chances of a successful pregnancy,” says Nathaniel DeNicola, M.D., an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at George Washington University and the environmental health expert for the American Council of Gynecology. “Even losing five percent of body weight helps.”

This is Us - Season 3


But why? As Dr. DeNicola explains, obesity leads to excess estrogen in the body, which can mess with ovulation. “It’s sort of the same mechanism as a birth control pill,” he explains. “If you produce more estrogen, that creates feedback that you don’t need to ovulate.” If you reduce fat tissue, you lessen the effect.

Still, Dr. DeNicola says there’s actually no definitive answer to whether or not body weight is a factor with IVF. “There’s no question obesity decreases the chance of getting pregnant, but for IVF, body weight as a factor is unclear,” he says, adding that, in his opinion, it was also not entirely realistic to have a doctor say she won’t be able to take Kate on as a patient because of how her BMI might affect the outcome. (The doctor later changes her mind.) “The standard is informed consent,” he explains. “The patient should have the autonomy to make a choice whether they want to continue treatment.” In other words, a doctor should lay everything out for the patient and let her decide.

Co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker told Glamour in a previous interview that the show did consult doctors on Kate’s storyline. “Once we started to hear that [PCOS] is common, then we brought in doctors and said, ‘What does the reality of this look like? And how do we get it right?'” he said. “We showed this episode to a fertility doctor, and he was like, ‘Thank you. Nobody is doing this, and it’s so common. I see it every day.'”

Ultimately, Kate does decide to move forward with IVF. Whether or not she’s able to conceive, the storyline will hopefully continue to help women who’ve dealt with similar struggles feel seen.

“I felt all the emotions Kate did when they suggested adoption or fostering,” Mares says. “There was a sting, because you want a baby and you are two people so in love who deserve children and it just isn’t happening. And being overweight or obese just makes dealing with fertility even more difficult. I felt her pain.”

Related: Everything We Know About This Is Us Season 3

The Mule

Good day, avengers of all things closet-bound and feared. Hollywood kicked off the Halloween season with the Conjuring prequel Annabelle and audiences were ready to watch it. The supernatural thriller brought in an estimated $37.2 million over the weekend, taking second place to David Fincher’s mystery thriller Gone Girl. How about we get a mash-up between the two where a doll gets possessed by the spirit of Ben Affleck and turns a young innocent family into Oscar winners?

Bad Times At The El Royale Reviews Are In, Here’s What The Critics Think

Amidst the comic book movies, fantasy blockbusters and awards contenders releasing this fall is a star-studded film that looks weirder and more intriguing than many of them. Bad Times at the El Royale is the second feature film helmed by writer-director Drew Goddard, who made his directorial debut with 2012’s The Cabin in the Woods. The trailers for the film have been a strange brew of a mysterious plot, colorful characters and fun dialogue. The initial reviews for the film are in, so does it live up to its cast and trailers? It seems that for the most part, it does.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell caught Bad Times at the El Royale early like many critics. You can read his initial thoughts in his tweet reaction, but overall, he seemed to still really enjoy the movie and feel that it is definitely worth your time, despite having some issues with the ending. As for full reviews, Collider‘s Haleigh Foutch really seemed to love the film, giving it an A- in her review, where she highlighted Bad Times at the El Royale‘s sumptuous visuals and perhaps something you wouldn’t expect, its heart.

In her alliterative take, Haleigh characterized Drew Goddard‘s film as both visually stunning and propulsive. It’s that latter point that seems to be one of the points of contention about the film. Some reviews didn’t find the film propulsive enough, calling it overly long or a slog. Despite that potential pacing problem, ScreenRant‘s Molly Freeman still found the juice to be worth the squeeze thanks to how entertaining the film and its stellar cast are, saying:

The large cast full of talented, big name actors spouting fun dialogue is one of the most compelling things about Bad Times at the El Royale, and based on many of the reviews like this one for the film, that cast did not go to waste. However, there were some dissenting opinions. For The Hollywood Reporter‘s Sheri Linden, the film seemed to be all style and no substance, with the length once again being an issue.

Overall, the prevailing theme that I see is that Bad Times at the El Royale is not a perfect movie, but it does have a lot to like. There are very few people that seem to loathe it with many appreciating it despite its flaws. Jim Vejvoda at IGN seems to sum this up in his review.

Right now Bad Times at the El Royale is sitting at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, but plenty more reviews will come in once the film opens on October 12. Check out our release schedule to see all the biggest movies still to come in 2018.

Apparently Lady Gaga’s Fans Are Telling People Not To See Venom In Theaters

Since Sony’s announcement of a solo movie for Venom without Spider-man was made, fans have been eager to see just how the offbeat release would play out. Last night, Venom had its world premiere and some early reviewers took to Twitter to offer some first impressions. The reactions revealed the film to be disappointing to many, while others found it oddly entertaining and fun. At the same time an outpour of Twitter users also started badmouthing Venom just because … well they like Lady Gaga more. Plus, her leading lady debut A Star is Born will be released on the same day.

Lady Gaga fans, also known as The Little Monsters, look to have no problem taking on the alien symbiote, according to a Buzzfeed News report. It started when a few Twitter users noticed a string of tweets from multiple users commenting the same exact disappointing comment about Venom, word for word. Other similar tweets directly referenced their decision to see A Star is Born next after bashing Venom as well. Users who noticed this sudden trend attributed it to bots attacking the movie, while others pointed to Lady Gaga fans fabricating negative reviews for Venom in order to turn the conversation back to A Star is Born.

Some of the “Twitter trolls” were contacted in the report, showing the trend wasn’t just a bot problem. One user who had the same tweet with multiple other users explained he was just bored, and it was a joke between him and a few of his mutuals to steal each other’s tweets. Another user explained that she collaborated with other fans to create fake IDs on Twitter to trash the Venom premiere. In the past, Lady Gaga has reached out to her fans on Twitter before, to ask them to stop trolling the internet on her behalf so this anti-Venom trend isn’t completely surprising. The pop star has a colossal fan following and seeing her succeed this weekend at the box office might be the intention behind some of these widespread tweets criticizing Venom.

Since A Star is Born was first screened about a month ago, it electrified audiences, bringing in an overwhelming amount of rave reviews its way. This supposed wrath from The Little Monsters may not be necessary, as Lady Gaga fans and excited cinephiles head to the theaters this weekend. Venom certainly will have the curiosity of comic book fans on their side, but as more reputable critics express their distaste for the movie, it could be looking at a bomb. Following the Venom trolls, fans have been lightly firing back, with some expressing their desire to see it despite the reviews while others used the language of the trolls to flip it in favor of Venom.

The two upcoming releases are polar-opposites, making for an exciting box office brawl this weekend when Venom and A Star is Born come to theaters on October 5.

Gold Highlighter Looks Amazing on Literally Everyone

Highlighter has lived a life. What came into this world as a subtle way to draw attention to your cheekbones has gone through countless different incarnations. Colors, textures, finishes—any variable that beauty brands could switch up, over the past few years, they most certainly have.

So when gold shades started being featured more prominently alongside a wave of gemstone-colored highlighters, at first they seemed like a flash in the pan. Give or take a few months, and golden shades are everywhere. Fenty, naturally, paved the way with its gilded shade Trophy Wife, a yellow-gold made to suit every skin tone. NYX’s Born to Glow imparts a gorgeous, super-intense shimmer. Even brands that excel at shimmery champagnes and peaches, like Becca—who, alongside Anastasia Beverly Hills, has cornered the market on all things glow—are welcoming the color to the stable.

Dip a finger into one, and you get it. The color sparkles on medium and dark skin tones, and warms up paler ones like golden hour light, despite looking intimidatingly extra in the pan.

To prove just how wearable the shade really is, we had five Glamour staffers—with varying degrees of highlighter prowess—detail their thoughts on wearing the Midas of highlighters: Becca’s new Gold Lava shade. Read on for their honest thoughts.

“For every day, I usually prefer a natural highlight that’s more lit-from-within than sparkly. But if I’m going out or taking pictures, I love something shimmery. This looked like a little much for me everyday, but it’s super pretty. I didn’t love the gold right when I applied it, but by end of day, it settled down into a really pretty soft glow. It’s fun. I’d definitely wear it for a night out.” —Bella Cacciatore, beauty assistant

“I like this because it looks champagne-y, and not just gold—and it fits my neutral, olive skin really well. It glides smoothly on, without any flaking or fall-out, and it stays on well—I usually have to use a cream and a powder. This is so vibrant, it’s good on its own.” —Azadeh Valanejad, video producer

“I’m surprised by how much I like this. It looks like a little shimmer on, and it goes well with my bronzer, which is key to sustaining my summer glow for the colder months. I originally thought the gold color would be too much and I’d only be able to wear it if I were going out, but I’d definitely wear it everyday. It’s a lot more subtle than I imagined.” —Tara Gonzalez, commerce editor

“As someone with a medium to dark skin tone, this highlighter is one of my go-to shades. A little definitely goes a long way, but it layers nicely. I have other highlighters in a similar color, and the more pigment you add, the more texture it usually adds to your skin. This didn’t do that.” —Khaliha Hawkins, digital administrative assistant

“This surprised me. I love the wide world of highlight colors, but usually reach for the cool, pearly tones that play up my skin (when you’re my level of pale, anything darker than champagne reads very apparent). This gold is everything, though. Instead of reading metallic, Becca’s highlight masters figured out how to reach this sunny, shimmery tone—it’s like if highlighter and bronzer had a baby. It’s the product equivalent of Gisele.” —Rachel Nussbaum, beauty writer

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Gold Lava, $38,

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How The Sisters Brothers Convinces You To Sympathize With Murderers, According To John C. Reilly

Westerns come in all shapes and sizes. But traditionally, the heroes of that particular genre ride into town wearing white, while they stave off a threat that’s dressed head to toe in black. Over the years, the conventions of the Western genre have been twisted and tweaked by talented filmmakers, but few have been manipulated quite the same way that Jacques Audiard does for The Sisters Brothers. Take, for example, the siblings of the title. They are hired killers, men trained to hunt down prey for their despicable boss, The Commodore (Rutger Hauer). And yet, Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix) are borderline likable, and you even end up rooting for them as the movie jogs along. We asked John C. Reilly about that, and he opened up by saying:

In The Sisters Brothers, which is preparing to open in more theaters after a limited release in select markets, John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix play squabbling siblings who work together as a murderous team, even though Phoenix’s character likes their jobs as bounty hunters way more than Reilly’s character does. Their latest assignment is to hunt a man (played by Riz Ahmed) who has invented an unusual chemical substance that can aid in the gold-mining expeditions of the Old West. Only, travel in that day is slow, and the Sisters brothers run into conflict every stop of the way. Plus, Ahmed has met with Jake Gyllenhaal, and they have plans of their own.

Here’s John C. Reilly, talking about the reputation of the siblings in The Sisters Brothers, and why he finds them sympathetic:

The Sisters Brothers is an unexpected journey through some soulful storytelling, digging far below the surface of four interesting men who come across as out of touch with their own time. Photographed beautifully by cinematographer Benoit Debie (Enter the Void), it’s both an homage to classic Westerns, and a reinvention of this type of storytelling.

The Sisters Brothers should be playing in a theater near you as we speak.

Dark Phoenix Director Simon Kinberg Explains Why The X-Men Film Was Delayed

The X-Men movies started back in 2000, and has withstood the test of time as cinematic universes and comic book movies have become commonplace. But the iconic franchise is now in a state of flux, as a few movies’ release dates were recently adjusted. Additionally, the impending merger between Disney and Fox makes the future of the X-Men unclear. These unknowns were highlighted when the release date for Dark Phoenix was delayed a series of months, just one day after the film’s first trailer finally arrived. Producer Simon Kinberg is attached to direct, and recently explained why Dark Phoenix‘s release date was delayed, saying:

It looks like there are some big picture reasons for the Dark Phoenix‘s delay, as well as some logistical issues, like having the time to render all of the CGI needed for the project. So while fans may have some trepidation, Simon Kinberg and the folks at 20th Century Fox seem to be in control of the situation. Or at the very least, the narrative of the schedule change.

Simon Kinberg’s comments to Collider make a ton of great points, which help to illuminate the process of filmmaking and marketing. Fans have been eager for footage of Dark Phoenix, which the studio eventually delivered last week. But information has been limited for a reason, including when it comes to a release date. And since Gambit hasn’t even begun filming, 20th Century Fox had a slot to put Dark Phoenix that allowed for work to be completed on Simon Kinberg’s upcoming directorial debut. Plus, the delay will allow a concentrated release in both domestic and international markets.

That being said, the reshoots are going to inspire some dread by comic book fans, who aren’t sure if Dark Phoenix will be up to snuff. X-Men: Apocalypse ended up being a disappointment, so the pressure is on to for the franchise to deliver a win. It’s unclear if Marvel will keep the same cast when it eventually gains access to the X-Men characters, so there’s a lot to figure out.

Dark Phoenix will arrive in theaters on June 7th 2019. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Of Course Jersey Shore’s Vinny And Pauly Know Each Other’s Weirdest Sex Location

Vinny Guadagnino and Pauly D’s bromance could be clever editing by the Jersey Shore Family Vacation crew, although, if so, everyone is pretty committed to pretending it’s a genuine friendship between two reality show pals. The two actually put their relationship to the test recently via a “Bromittment Game,” for MTV, and it turns out they know a lot of crazy stuff about each other. This included birthday dates, biggest pet peeves they have about each other, and of course, the weirdest location they’ve ever had sex.

First up to guess was Vinny, who, without hesitation, guessed Pauly D’s weirdest hookup location was inside of an airplane. The Jersey Shore Family Vacation member looked surprised when he was right, and later admitted it was a guess that he “pulled out of his ass.” That almost makes it more impressive, considering Vinny was just going off his instincts and what he knows about his friend to get the correct answer. Or, maybe he just figured Pauly spends so much time on tour he’s had to join the mile-high club at least once over the years.

Pauly D was up next, and while his initial guess of an elevator was wrong, he managed to correctly determine Vinny’s spot was a club bathroom on his second try. It wasn’t quite as impressive as Vinny’s hail mary guess, although Pauly D does get a pass, considering he was able to answer more correct questions about Vinny than vice versa. The two also tackled questions that involved knowing each others birthdays, middle names, and their biggest pet peeves:

Some of those answers were a little obvious, as many in the Jersey Shore Family Vacation cast take issue with Vinny’s Keto diet. Pauly was particularly weirded out by his pal’s new lifestyle change in Season 1 of the revival, as he watched a drunken Vinny pull the cheese and meat from a pizza and leave the crust behind. On the flip side, everyone is definitely annoyed by Pauly’s hyperactivity, which he often displays in the morning when he wakes up his friends by screaming.

MTV’s video offers some pretty compelling evidence Vinny and Pauly are just as tight as the Jersey Shore franchise has led audiences to believe, but is it just another piece of propaganda to convince viewers the two are closer than they actually are? Even if it were, it’s hard to believe the duo aren’t that close after serving as each other’s wingmen since the original show first aired back in 2009. Whatever the true nature of their friendship is, we doubt we’re going to see these two best buds splitting up anytime in the show’s near future, because viewers love their bromance.