随着五名新英雄的上线，手游的S1赛季也于1月8日正式到来，为了给新玩家深入了解游戏，设计者专门加入了地图说明，每位玩家可以浏览野怪、植物、地形等多个峡谷内的信息。 You’ve spoken about your family’s military background. Over the years, you’ve played characters who’ve served. You also have a knack of situating yourself in wars from different time periods and still add a contemporary element to it. What’s the process of getting into the military mindset for wars of different periods?Jonathan: That s a great question. And thanks for watching all my s . There is a difference, and that difference primarily is what those characters see, that the opposition is different.For [Corporal Henry Woodson in 2017’s Hostiles], his opposition looked very much like him; the people were in bondage like his people had been in bondage. That war is different. The conqueri
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Will IT: Chapter Two Find the Same Success as Chapter One?IT Movie: Chapter 2 currently has a lower Tomatometer score than the first. Here s why the film is getting a mixed reaction:Posted by The Rotten Tomatoes Channel on Tuesday, September 3, 2019Horror sequels are often disappointing, but It: Chapter Two is a bit of an easy win. It isn’t a cash grab (at least, not in the most cynical sense); the writer and the director are the same, and it’s a continued Stephen King adaptation that follows up one of the most successful horror movies of all time — financially and critically. Still, that means this sequel, set 27 years after the original’s events, has a lot to live up to. But overall, the second installment is recommended in more early reviews than not. Thanks to great casting, a lot of heart, and more big scares, the movie floats above most other horror sequels.Here’s what critics are saying about It: Chapter Two:Does it live up to expectations?There’s enough here that works for horror fans to make it an entertaining and worthwhile sequel experience as we get some big scares and laughs in an even bigger studio horror film. Rob Hunter, Film School RejectsIf you’re a fan of the first movie, you’ll love this sequel. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorI left the theater feeling happy that the film served as a proper conclusion to its highly successful previous installment. Sarah Musnicky, Nightmarish ConjuringsIt seems as if none of the filmmakers… knew that the razzle-dazzle of the first installment was in the story and performances and not the spectacle and effects. Clayton Davis, AwardsCircuit.comHow does it compare to the first chapter?The film is much darker… kind of shocking, compared to the first film. (It’s so different I had to double-check after that the same team made this film.) Mike Ryan, UproxxIt Chapter Two has a more fragmented structure and jerkier rhythm than the preceding film. Jim Vejvoda, IGN MoviesIn retrospect, it’s easy to see that the 2017 film was just a glorified trailer for this movie. Peter Debruge, Variety(Photo by Brooke Palmer/© 2019 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.)What about the cast?Kudos to casting director Rich Delia; this ensemble is the real star of the film. Kate Erbland, IndieWireCasting director Rich Delia deserves a standing ovation. Matt Donato, We Got This CoveredThe casting of the adult Losers had to be absolutely on point in order to sell the audience on the believability of the characters. Needless to say, they absolutely nailed it. Sarah Musnicky, Nightmarish ConjuringsTheir chemistry is electric, their humor is pitch-perfect, and their ensemble scenes are far and away the strongest part of the movie. It s hard not to love the Losers Club, even all these years later. Meg Downey, GameSpotThe cast worked so well with one another, you’d think they were actually childhood friends growing up. Dorian Parks, Geeks of ColorWhile the adult Losers are all effective in their own ways, they never quite resonate like their teen counterparts. Jim Vejvoda, IGN MoviesWe hear Bill Hader runs away with the movie Hader is the heart and soul of the horror epic. Clayton Davis, AwardsCircuit.comFew actors are so skilled at melding a comedian’s pain with their bluster, but Hader makes it look easy…Hader shines brightest in an ensemble without a weak link. Kate Erbland, IndieWireHader’s exceptionally comedic, layered, and nuanced performance will move you to tears with laughter and heartbreak. Griffin Schiller, The PlaylistHow does it handle the flashbacks?The picture’s pacing loses some steam whenever the filmmakers flash back to the Losers’ childhood memories. Courtney Howard, Fresh FictionThe flashbacks themselves too often re-tread what we already know from the first film and pull the sense of action out of the present. Haleigh Foutch, ColliderNewly filmed (and de-aged) scenes with the young actors take up much more time than they should. They act as a shorthand for character development I wish the adult actors got to play. Kyle Anderson, NerdistThese flashbacks just serve to remind us of the delightful chemistry those relative newcomers shared, something that doesn t really happen for the older bunch. John DeFore, Hollywood ReporterDoes it retain the heart of the first chapter?Much of [its] strength is focused on the heart… when things do connect, all the right heartstrings are tugged. Michael Roffman, Consequence of SoundBeneath all the big special effects and geysers of blood of It Chapter Two exists people who build their houses in your heart. We live and die with these characters. Chris Evangelista, SlashfilmThe heart of the first film is still there in It Chapter Two it’s just buried under a layer of self-indulgent bloat. Jim Vejvoda, IGN MoviesAnd the humor?The film’s character-driven humor works far better than the jarring, Evil Dead-style gags used during what are supposed to be scary moments. Jim Vejvoda, IGN MoviesThe humor feels too present at times, the film’s tone wobbles and suffers as a result. Rob Hunter, Film School RejectsIt s so intent on being funny that it undercuts its ability to be scary. Scott Mendelson, Forbes(Photo by Brooke Palmer/© 2019 WARNER BROS. ENTERTAINMENT INC.)Is it scary?The film is never quite as scary as it should be, but it’s often disturbing and upsetting to the point where you’re guaranteed to feel uncomfortable – and that’s exciting. Chris Evangelista, SlashfilmThe one that opens the film… is the film’s horrifying high point and an intensely terrifying sequence that dwarfs the less human monsters that follow. Rob Hunter, Film School RejectsNearly all the scares that follow are hallucinatory in nature, most of them sight gags made possible by CGI. Peter Debruge, VarietyThe film relies far more on CGI and jump scares than even its predecessor did. And some of these CG monsters aren’t particularly well done. Jim Vejvoda, IGN MoviesIt seems a weird thing to say in a horror movie, but too many extended spookhouse sequences lessen the impact of each one. Kyle Anderson, NerdistWhat it’s not is very scary… you get Stranger Things-style spooks here, and that’s just fine. Johnny Oleksinski, New York PostBut Skarsgård’s Pennywise is still nightmare fuel?Skarsgård remains a firestorm in the villainous role… hilarious and horrifying in a way distinctly all his own. Haleigh Foutch, ColliderSkarsgård is incredibly terrifying… [he] has made Pennywise his own and quite literally knocks it out of the park. Sarah Musnicky, Nightmarish ConjuringsHe’s legit terrifying in the first film, but he’s somewhat short-changed here outside of a haunting sequence in his human form. Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects(Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)Will fans of the book be happy?I think fans of Stephen King are going to really enjoy IT Chapter Two. Kyle Anderson, NerdistMuschietti delivered on his promise of indulging in the spiritual side of King’s 1986 novel. Michael Roffman, Consequence of SoundIt Chapter Two may never quite live up to its built-in hype, but it delivers on King’s message – and how can you beat that? Chris Evangelista, SlashfilmI believe most audiences will like the changes made to the Ritual, but die-hard book fans may not like it depending on how much they enjoy change. Sarah Musnicky, Nightmarish ConjuringsOnce you realize how faithful to the novel the movie’s trying to be, you get the sense that It Chapter Two is meant to read strangely… intentionally off, childlike, and the sort of thing one could imagine King having a soft chuckle at. Charles Pulliam-Moore, io9And what about that epic runtime?It: Chapter Two is much longer than it needs to be, but it builds to something significant. Peter Debruge, VarietyThis 2-hour-49-minute movie drags more than it jumps, wearing out its premise and possibly also your patience as it lumbers toward the final showdown. A.O. Scott, New York TimesSome spectacle [is] hard to stay too invested in or get scared by when you might find yourself checking your watch. Brandon Davis, ComicBook.comIt Chapter Two is a long film that thankfully never feels its length. Rob Hunter, Film School RejectsIt: Chapter Two opens everywhere on September 6.
(Photo by © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)When Ben Affleck first burst onto most moviegoers’ radars alongside childhood best friend Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting – and collected a screenplay Oscar for his efforts – he seemed destined for a venerable acting career. Damon may have been the hit movie s lead, but Affleck pulled focus in fascinating ways. Next to Robin Williams’ conversation by the pond, and the famous “it’s not your fault scene,” Affleck delivered one of the film’s most affecting moments when his character – a construction worker – rebuked Will for not maximizing his potential as a mathematician. The then 25-year-old s ability to move people, and his offbeat and mysterious charisma, had many critics predicting a bright future in prestige projects with a regular awards-season presence. He was going to be more DiCaprio than Stallone. And then something happened.From 1998 to 2006, studios attempted to fashion Ben Affleck into a prototypical leading man and his career went a decidedly different way than many had foreseen. First, he went the American hero route in Michael Bay’s jingoistic disaster movie Armageddon, and was largely accused of overacting as Liv Tyler’s love interest. Then came Force of Nature opposite Sandra Bullock, Reindeer Games with Charlize Theron, the lover’s triangle of Pearl Harbor, and a failed first run at superhero glory in Daredevil. There were bright spots – among them Shakespeare in Love and Changing Lanes – but they were the exceptions. In 2003, his turn in one of the worst films ever made, Gigli, and the next year’s sentimental Jersey Girl, had many forgetting what they originally saw in the promising young actor. (Photo by © Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection)Though Affleck is now lauded as an award-winning filmmaker, his stretch of questionable heartthrob and action-hero film roles during the early aughts instilled the widely held perception that he was a terrible actor. Forbes declared him Hollywood s biggest disappointment; others said he should stay behind the camera for good. But lately, with acclaimed turns in films like The Way Back, Affleck is reminding critics and audiences of the promise he showed early in his career, and his singular ability to portray forlorn and damaged characters seeking redemption. For those who ve watched his career closely, though, there has always been great work. It s about time we reconsider Affleck’s acting ability and recognize him as one of his generation’s great performers. Following Daredevil and other public failures, it was another superhero role of sorts that showed us again what Affleck was capable of. In 2006, the actor sharply shifted gears when he played former Superman George Reeves in Allen Coulter’s tragic biopic Hollywoodland. Here, Affleck played an actor trapped by the limited perceptions of his talent – a subject which presumably felt near to Affleck at the time. Reeves comes to hate the fame Superman brought to him, and turns to wrestling in the vain hope of revitalizing his career. The movie closes with a visceral sequence in which Reeves commits suicide with a Luger pistol. We watch as Affleck despondently stares into the distance as a tear grips his cheek; upon a close-up, he slightly turns his head, and the anger and hollowness of the man play vividly in his eyes. Few actors evoke the catastrophe of the soul as well as Affleck does here.(Photo by ©Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection)After the triumph of Gone Baby Gone, his first film as director, Affleck leaned into portraying miserably flawed men. In the taut political thriller State of Play, he’s a Congressman implicated in the death of his lover; in the exhilarating crime caper, The Town, which he also directed, his character severs himself from the love of his life after a botched robbery; in The Company Men, he explores corporate America’s apathy toward the middle-class worker. And though he plays the hero in the Oscar-winning Argo – a CIA specialist extracting American citizens from Iran during the hostage crisis – his character’s family life is fractured. Affleck s Tony Mendez loves his son, but so often misses the most important events in his life; when he tells Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) he has a child, his voice cracks with regret. In these roles, Affleck rarely gets the girl, but he always claims the heartache. Affleck s most fantastically flawed and fascinating creation came in David Fincher’s unnerving thriller Gone Girl. An anti-romantic lead performance, Nick Dunne is neither suave nor appealing. Instead, the role turned the tables on everything studios wanted the actor to be during the late 1990s and early 2000s – America s heartthrob – by transforming him into the disturbing and philandering husband accused of murdering his wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike). (Photo by Merrick Morton/TM and ©Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection)While Pike rightfully earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her turn as the psychotic Amy, and the film was lauded for its skillful direction and shock twists, Gone Girl’s most memorable scene – and its iconic image – centers on a subtle acting moment from Affleck: The actor simply standing, feigning a smile while posing with the missing person’s poster of his wife. Dressed in a rumpled shirt and clearly exhausted, his half-hearted grin intimates both guilt and foolishness at once, a feeling that carries through his whole performance. When Nick goes on a talk show to apologize to Amy, hoping to coax her out of hiding through contrition, Affleck plays his remorse as perfectly canned, and when the blood-stained Amy returns home, his look of awestruck misery zings. And then, of course, came Batfleck. With Robert Pattinson now cast as Batman, there’s a keenness from some to forget Affleck’s caped crusader. Many fans are hoping Pattinson, following his psychologically violent roles in indie flicks like Good Time and The Lighthouse, will deliver some damaged goods and help them erase the memories of Affleck s Dark Knight and the movies in which he featured. But many fail to remember the promise the actor showed when first cast by Zack Snyder – and why he was, in many ways, so perfectly cast. (Photo by © Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection)The Batman in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, a haunted loner born from the tragic milieu of Gotham, encompassed many of what audiences had seen in Affleck’s prior career highlights. Hollywood’s onetime golden boy, driven by failure toward darker material, fit perfectly into the older and more jaded mold Snyder crafted. Moreover, Affleck’s past as a romantic leading man, though spotty in quality, informed the belief he could adeptly capture the billionaire playboy persona of Bruce Wayne. And he largely succeeded in the role, ultimately, bringing the hardened edges grief provides, though his performance languished under a flawed script. This year, Affleck channeled a career’s worth of demons and struggles into Jack Cunningham, the basketball coach at the center of Gavin O Connor’s Certified Fresh dark sports drama, The Way Back. Though Jack’s an alcoholic father, still reeling from the collapse of his marriage and the death of his adolescent son from cancer, he’s recruited by his former Catholic high school to coach a now-crestfallen team. The onetime basketball star, now a construction worker, reluctantly grapples with his addictions for a chance at redemption. (Photo by © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection)The role resonated with much of what we know about Affleck’s personal life, and it gave him great freedom, too. In Dawn of Justice, when he leaned into Wayne’s tragic past and infamously screamed “Martha,” he was lampooned; as Coach Cunningham, Affleck had the independence to sketch those shades of grief and regret differently. Whether attending a triggering birthday party for his son’s best friend, or later during his drunken spell through a quiet neighborhood, he heartbreakingly portrays the destructive depths of grief and addiction. Critics and audiences took notice: Slashfilm s Hoai-Tran Bui described Affleck’s performance as “tremendous” and “raw,” while Christy Lemire described his portrayal as “the best work” he had done. The Way Back has even garnered the actor some quiet Oscar buzz. The film s success is fitting considering Cunningham, a construction worker, is a mirror of what Affleck’s character in Good Will Hunting might have become after Will left: a working stiff punching the time clock of life without the steady guidance of his friend. By looking toward the past, in concert with his past triumphs, Affleck proves both then and now his generationally great talent. The Way Back is available to rent or buy on FandangoNOW, Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.
After saving the City from the reign of The Terror last season, Tick (Peter Serafinowicz) and Arthur (Griffin Newman) are now free to kick some new villain butt. That tail, in this case, belongs to a dastardly crustacean named Lobstercules. The do-gooding duo encounter the crusty fiend during a bank deposit gone very, very wrong in season 2 of The Tick.About the new season:Tick and Arthur must now defend the City from new villains and old enemies —that is, if they can convince AEGIS, the government agency in charge of superhero regulation, that they deserve the job. But now that the City is safe enough to protect, Tick and Arthur begin to see they’ve got competition.Meanwhile, vigilante Overkill (Scott Speiser) is struggling to adjust to the “no killing” policy Tick ordered, and Arthur’s sister Dot (Valorie Curry) begins to embrace the realities of the world around her. Ms. Lint (Yara Martinez) returns with an eye on creating a new image for herself, and Superian (Brendan Hines) learns what happens when a superhero is not always perfect. And, through it all, Dangerboat (voiced by Alan Tudyk) tries to keep the team safe — while continuing to harbor strong feelings for someone special.The Tick season 2 premieres Friday, April 5 on Amazon Prime Video
网通传奇合击 While network superheroes may be on hiatus for another week, the world of comic book television never really stops. Thanks to cable channels and streaming services, shows outside of The CW paradigm debut and return regularly throughout the year.In 2019, superhero TV will offer tantalizing new concepts and great returning shows. With that in mind, here are 16 comic book–inspired shows we cannot wait to see.Marvel's The Punisher: Season 2 (2019) 61% | NetflixWhy We Can’t Wait: In season 2, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) becomes embroiled in the attempted murder of a young girl (Giorgia Whigham). As the mystery surrounding her near-death unfolds, Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) returns to settle the score leftover from the duo s last encounter. While the first season may have had pacing issues (it felt just a little too long), Bernthal’s take on Frank Castle is outstanding and seeing him in action is always worth the investment of time. Also, we can’t wait to see Castle vs. Russo Part 2 now that Billy has embraced the spooky Jigsaw persona. And, as seen in the just-released trailer, his mask may hide scars less severe than his comic book counterpart s, but it also reveals the person hiding behind Billy’s formerly flawless physiognomy.Returning: Friday, Jan. 18Deadly Class: Season 1 (2019) 64% | SyfyWhy We Can’t Wait: Based on the comic book by Rick Remender and Wes Craig, Deadly Class is set at an assassin academy filled with the children of mobsters and murderers. Marcus Lopez (Benjamin Wadsworth), a kid from the streets with a lot of issues to address, finds himself accepted to the school and faces all the trials of adolescence and ninja school at the same time. Socially awkward but morally centered, Marcus must maintain his moral code while surviving a ruthless curriculum, vicious social cliques, and his own adolescent uncertainties. Set in the 1980s, the series also features some of that decade s reckless abandon and plenty of its post-punk soundtrack. If the first episode Syfy put on YouTube last month is any indication, this will be a show to keep an eye on.Debuts: Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 10 p.m.The Umbrella Academy: Season 1 (2019) 76% | NetflixWhy We Can’t Wait: Ellen Page headlines the Netflix adaptation of Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba’s comic series as Vanya Hargreeves, the one member of her family without superpowers. Black Sails’ Tom Hopper and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ Robert Sheehan also star as members of the Hargreeves family — one with the body of a Martian Gorilla and one with the ability to speak to the dead, respectively. The Hargreeves reunite after the death of their adoptive father, uncovering a mystery and coping with the abuse they suffered at his hands while he tried to make them a superteam. The show has the potential to be very different from other superhero programs with the comic’s cool aesthetic and use of superpowers as a mechanism to cope with trauma.Debuts: Friday, Feb. 15Doom Patrol: Season 1 (2019) 96% | DC UniverseWhy We Can’t Wait: One of the very best episodes of Titans premiere season introduced the live-action TV versions of DC Universe’s weirdest heroes. The Doom Patrol lives somewhere between teenagers, Frankenstein s monster, and the X-Men — though the Doom Patrol debuted a few months before Marvel s Merry Mutants — and the members of the group attempt to manage their unusual forms while saving the world. If the bizarro premise wasn’t enough, the cast is amazing with Timothy Dalton, Brendon Fraser, and Matt Bomer lending themselves to characters like the morally dubious Dr. Niles Calder, the beloved Robotman, and bandaged Negative Man. Rounding out the ensemble is April Bowlby as the stretchy Rita Farr, Diane Guerrero as Crazy Jane, and Jovian Wade as Cyborg, a character usually associated with the Titans. They will face off against Mr. Nobody (Alan Tudyk) a one-off Silver Age villain given an extensive and memorable re-imagining from Happy! co-creator Grant Morrison.Debuts: Friday, Feb. 15Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Part 2 (2019) 82% | NetflixWhy We Can’t Wait: Part 1 of Netflix s Riverdale pseudo–spin-off proved to be an interesting show at odds with itself. Part Netflix supernatural series and part CW teen drama, the series anchored itself with star Kiernan Shipka walking the border between both realities and, ultimately, using the character’s confidence in navigating them as her part of her undoing. Part 2 will see Sabrina embracing her witchy nature while still defying the social norms within the Church of Night. Meanwhile, status quos will change and one character will learn a new, important truth.Returning: Friday, April 5Happy!: Season 2 (2019) 88% | SyfyWhy We Can’t Wait: Few shows are as relentless, mean, and as paradoxically full of joy as Happy! Christopher Meloni proved he is one of our greatest living actors by diving headfirst into a character as despicable as Nick Sax. But the most exciting aspect of the second season will be its new story. The original comic book, written by executive producer Grant Morrison, was a four-issue miniseries, meaning Nick and Happy (Patton Oswalt) are headed to uncharted lands as the series shifts from the winter holidays to an Easter focus. Does that mean Nick will end up punching an Easter Bunny in Times Square and relieving himself upon his defeated foe? We wouldn’t put it past the series, which already made rubber raves and child-snatching Santas a part of Christmas cheer.Returning: Spring 2019Cloak and Dagger 87%: Season 2 (2019) | Freeform(Photo by Freeform/Alfonso Bresciani)Why We Can’t Wait: Stars Olivia Holt and Aubrey Joseph proved to be able leads as they navigated a new world of superpowers and corporate conspiracies in Freeform s teen-focused Marvel series. The first season wisely switched the comic book dynamic with Tandy (Holt) coming from a broken home and Tyrone (Joseph) enjoying a privileged private school education. It allowed the show to make interesting socioeconomic points while still delivering a kick-ass superhero experience. The second season will once again flip the characters’ situations as Tyrone learns how to cope with his sudden homelessness. Presumably, the pair will also grow closer even as ally Brigid O Reilly (Emma Lahana) offers them a new form of mayhem.Returning: Summer 2019Swamp Thing: Season 1 (2019) 92% | DC Universe(Photo by DC Universe)Why We Can’t Wait: Based on Alan Moore’s seminal run on the 1980s Swamp Thing comic book series, the latest attempt to bring the character to television stars Gotham’s Crystal Reed as Abby Arcane, a CDC researcher who returns to her hometown to investigate a swamp-born virus. She eventually encounters the Swamp Thing (Derek Mears), who may or may not be a reborn Alec Holland (Andy Bean). Then again, it may just be a plant who thinks he’s Alec Holland. Considering Will Patton is playing Avery Sunderland and Kevin Durand is playing Jason Woodrue, the latter seems likely, as both characters appeared in the Moore-written issue in which Swamp Thing learned the shocking truth about itself. If that is the case, then the series will be leaning heavily into its horror and gothic-romance roots, which is a nice change of pace from the two feature films and the inconsistent USA series from the 1990s. Also, Ian Ziering has been cast as the fairly obscure DC Comics character Blue Devil, which is just too weird and awesome to ignore.Debuts: Summer 2019Marvel's Jessica Jones: Season 3 (2019) 72% | Netflix(Photo by David Giesbrecht/Netflix)Why We Can’t Wait: With showrunner Melissa Rosenberg leaving the program after the third season debuts and the current cancellation epidemic befalling the Marvel shows on Netflix, it is entirely possible the third season of Jessica Jones will attempt to pull off something few superhero shows have done before: a definitive ending. Where the superhero model inherited from comics is a literally never-ending, exhausting battle, Jessica Jones may be in a position to confront that idea head-on. Granted, Jessica (Krysten Ritter) has never been a traditional superhero and the show already revolves around emotional trauma, but that also makes it uniquely suited to address a character’s end-state. And that could mean Jessica will finally get to heal. Meanwhile, Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) will continue her slide into the superpowers-as-drugs metaphor, but perhaps there is also an opportunity to see both her and Jessica find a way through their issues to something more stable. If the show was expected to continue, that would be less likely. But here, it is possible and that makes the upcoming season a little more thrilling.Returning: 2019Wynonna Earp 92%: Season 4 | Syfy(Photo by Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Season 2, Inc./Syfy)Why We Can’t Wait: After spending season 3 splitting up the characters and establishing a deeper mythology, Wynonna Earp’s fourth season needs to do one thing first: get Waverly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) and Doc (Tim Rozon) out of the Garden of Eden. Also, it has to resolve that cliffhanger in an appropriately unique fashion. At the same time, with the program’s original curse undone, Wynonna (Melanie Scrofano) will have to find a new way of life now that her raison d’être literally turned to ash. Maybe the creature being contained in the Garden will offer some sort of career opportunity, and Wynonna can
In all the best teen TV series, the love triangle is a staple. Brenda/Dylan/Kelly and Brandon/Kelly/Dylan. Joey/Dawson/Jen and Dawson/Joey/Pacey. Archie/Betty/Jughead, Dean/Rory/Jess, Spike/Buffy/Angel and Willow/Oz/Tara … so many messy triangles.Never Have I Ever introduced us to another one during its debut season last year, so it’s not spoiling anything to tell you that the Paxton/Devi/Ben trio opens the Netflix dramedy’s second season, which has just launched on Netflix.But it would be a spilling a major spot of scoop to tell you just how out of control the love triangle action spirals in just the first two episodes, the many twists the teen romances take, and where all the players stand at the end of the season. What we will say: Devi is most definitely, officially with one of her equally delicious (hey, that’s what makes it so fun to watch!) love interests by the time the credits roll on the season 2 finale. But …(Photo by Isabella B. Vosmikova/Netflix)“The love triangle is yet to be sealed,” Paxton portrayer Darren Barnet (which is in no way a hint as to who Devi chooses, or who chooses her, at season’s end) told Rotten Tomatoes. “As much as (everything) in season 2 is answering it, you don’t know what is going to happen. This is high school, folks. People change their minds and get crazy every single day, so we’ve gotta wait and see.”OK, so you might have guessed that would be the case. And though the series has not yet been renewed for a third season, its massive success with season 1 during the pandemic (40 million households, internationally, watched the season) and the anticipation for its sophomore season return would make a lack of renewal shocking. Almost as shocking as what Devi (star Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) does when she becomes jealous of the new girl and …(Photo by Netflix)Nope, not spoiling it. Suffice it to say that season 2 is such a winner because the writers, including series creator Mindy Kaling, introduced us to all these endearing characters in season 1, and they continue to allow their talented cast to flesh them out in ways both big and subtle, and in ways that allow them to grow, and remain endearing, in the new episodes.“Who is this guy? Is he someone who really genuinely does care, or is he someone who just has these little moments, but most of the time he’s a name-dropper, a bit overconfident, and rich and all that kind of stuff?” Ben portrayer Jaren Lewison said he wondered about his character. “I think season 2 does a really great job of showing that he does really genuine care, but he still is that person … he still is Ben Gross, he still likes to talk a lot about what his father does and his clients and some of his money. Sometimes you just shake your head and wanna say, ‘Ben why would you say that right now?’ But I think that’s part of what’s endearing about him … he’s a goofball who really cares, and sometimes he just says the wrong stuff.”(Photo by Netflix)Devi, and again, not a spoiler, undergoes the most growth, as the center of the love triangle and the entire series, but not without a lot of drama throughout the season. There’s tension with Aneesa (Megan Suri), the new girl at Sherman Oaks, Mrs. Vishwakumar’s (Poorna Jagannathan) plan to move Devi to India, and a falling out with her friend Eleanor (Ramona Young). And as therapist Dr. Ryan (Niecy Nash) points out to her, Devi is still mourning the death of her father, which is manifesting itself in ways that continue to unmoor her.“In the words of (Devi’s friend) Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez), Devi’s sort of always fighting with someone,” Ramakrishnan said. “I will say, it is very fun to play a hot mess, but it requires a lot of figuring out why she s being a hot mess. Like, even though Devi is doing some crazy lashing out, she s doing that because there s something else going on. Not to excuse her crap, but (it’s about), ‘Why do you think this is reasonable?’ And then understanding that why, because I have to make it convincing for the audience.”All of Devi’s pals are also going through teen trials, from Eleanor’s own love triangle to Fab feeling pressure to change to fit in with her girlfriend Eve and Eve’s friends. And Aneesa, well, that’s a spoiler, but there is a reason she left her private school to transfer to Sherman Oaks.(Photo by Netflix)Inside Casa Vishwakumar, Devi’s cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani) is working with a shady colleague who won’t give her respect or credit for an important medical discovery she makes, while Devi’s mom, Nalini, butts heads with a very handsome fellow doctor, played by Common, and sparks fly. But Nalini, too, is still dealing with the loss of her husband, Mohan (Sendhil Ramamurthy).“Season 2 is such a huge lesson about grief, and that moving forward is just not the same thing as moving on,” Jagannathan said.The bottom line on season 2 is that there is plenty of drama and comedy to send you breezing through 10 episodes (including one, episode three, devoted to Paxton and his backstory). And it’s going to have you hankering for another dose of Devi and the gang ASAP. It wasn’t Jemaine Clement or Taika Waititi’s idea to turn their cult-favorite comedy What We Do in the Shadows into a TV show — you have producer Scott Rudin to thank for that — but once you watch the premiere of the new FX series, you have to wonder if it was fated to become a TV series all along.The Certified Fresh WWDITS show follows a similar framework as the film: It’s a mockumentary about vampire roommates (Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Mark Proksch) and a devoted familiar (Harvey Guillén), but the action moves from New Zealand to New York City. These aren’t big city vamps, though — they live on Staten Island, a place with the same low-key underdog quality that New Zealand has.(Photo by FX)Like the film, the series focuses on the more mundane aspects of vampire life, which means there’s a lot more interpersonal spats than epic vampire battles.“When we were making the film we had joked about making, like, a ‘Housewives of’ series [where] you could go to different places and do different groups of vampires,” Clement told Rotten Tomatoes and a small group of reporters one December afternoon on the series’ Toronto set. “So as soon as I was on the phone and someone was saying, ‘What if we made a TV series of this?’ that immediately came into my head, and I knew it would be different characters in a different place.”Aside from the Real Housewives reality series, read on to find out what else inspired the vampires’ transition from film to television, including what other pop culture inspired WWDITS (two very non-vampire-related documentaries might surprise you), what vampire rules the characters live by, the difficulties of night shoots, and more.Vampire Influences(Photo by Byron Cohen/FX)The first step in creating a vampire universe is to figure out the rules of this vampire world. Executive producer Paul Simms and co-EP Stefani Robinson said they’d consult the original film frequently, and they also drew from seminal vampire movies like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, and even the Twilight saga for inspiration.“[Interview] is always in conversation in some way,” Robinson said. Plus, “I was sort of the target demographic for Twilight when that came out — I was in high school when that came out — so I have pretty extensive Twilight knowledge, I would say. It’s been fun re-watching all these movies.”Clement and Waititi’s favorite vampire films include Scars of Dracula, Fright Night, Salem’s Lot, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and Let the Right One In. The rules of the WWDITS world come from plenty of years of vampire movie-watching, and Clement and Waititi know them front and back.“Taika and I are both fans of vampire movies, and when we d get people to improvise in the film, we were more surprised that people don t know the vampire rules like we do,” Clement said. “We thought everyone was a vampire nerd.”On the non-vampire side of things, they looked at the Metallica documentary Some Kind of Monster and the classic Grey Gardens to tackle roommate dysfunction and life in a dilapidated mansion.Vampire LawThese vampires have powers we didn’t see in the movie, but they’re pretty standard — they can’t go into private property without being invited, they can’t see their reflections in mirrors, stuff like that.“We go basic ’70s-’80s vampire movie roles with a bit of ’30s,” Clement said. “They can turn into bats. They can t go in the sun. They don t sparkle in the sun; they die.”Some of the rules are less obvious, like Waititi’s favorite bit of vampire law he found while researching: “One way to get rid of a vampire if he s in your village is to steal his socks, fill them with garlic, tie them up, and throw them in the river. He’ll be forced to chase his socks, to go get his socks back. Then, he ll get the socks and obviously they ll be full of garlic. He s going, ‘Ahh,’ stuck there on the banks of the river.”A new technological twist is that vampires’ fingerprints don’t register on digital devices, so they can’t open iPhones or digitally sign for a very important delivery (like a package they’ll receive in the first episode). While the rules are pretty clear-cut, the more obscure ones complicate matters when the actors improvise something that won’t work.“Often on set we’re like, ‘that s right, they can t do that.’ And I think most people probably wouldn t care if you ever made a character go for a swim in the ocean, but they officially aren t allowed to according to vampire law. They re not allowed to go in salt or sea water,” Waititi said.(Photo by John P Johnson/FX)If Clement’s around, he’ll correct the mistake.“When we have the actors improvising stuff, if I’m listening I ll go, ‘They can t swim’ if they improvise it,” he said. “‘Couldn t do that.’”Said Simms, “Jemaine is very particular about the rules. If they eat human food they get sick, but leeches they can chew on or suck on to get the blood out but the actual leech meat they can’t [eat]. … The one that has affected the show in the most frustrating way is the idea that vampires need to be invited in somewhere. Because we’re always writing scenes where we’re like, ‘OK, they go into the house,’ and Jemaine’s like, ‘hold it, they need to be invited into the house.’”Ultimately, the rules are helpful in making the story as interesting as possible.“It s good to have limitations. It makes it harder for them,” Clement said. “Because vampires have so many powers, they also have to have weaknesses.”While Berry’ Laszlo, Novak’s Nandor, and Demetriou’s Nadja all have traditional vampire backgrounds, Clement created a new piece of vampire lore in “energy vampire” Colin Robinson (Proksch), a day-walker who doesn’t feed on blood, but rather sucks the life out of people. Think the most boring person in your office who you’d never want to be caught next to at the water cooler, then multiply that boredom by at least 10.In researching whether vampires existed, Clement came across people who would talk about an energy vampire in a psychological context.“But I just thought, what if it was supernatural as well? Yeah, that s been really fun to do,” he said.Transferring to TV(Photo by John P Johnson/FX)Adapting a film into a television series isn’t as easy as it sounds, despite the fact that there’s already a creative framework to go with.“People think of it as TV as being smaller-scale, but it s actually larger because you have to have so many different stories,” Clement said. “That part of it is hard, but it s also the fun part [because] next week we re doing a different story. I love that.”And while certain story lines will have full-season arcs, the 10 episodes are mainly standalone half-hours that establish the new characters and the new world in which they’re living.“Remember how TV used to be where you could turn on an episode of Bob Newhart and watch, and you didn’t need to know what happened before or after? There are still elements in the first season that are season-long arcs, but we’re thinking about it in terms of 10 episodes,” Simms said.“I hate it when TV people go, ‘It’s like we’re making a 10-episode movie.’ No you’re not. TV is better than movies anyway,” he joked, “so why would you want to make that comparison?”Moving to Staten IslandWhile the pilot was filmed in Los Angeles and the series was filmed in Toronto, the What We Do In the Shadows show takes place on Staten Island (a place where no one on the cast or crew is from, and most of them have never been). Clement visited while writing the pilot, but the writers’ room had a built-in expert.“One of the writers, Tom Scharpling, his wife is from Staten Island and anything we have to ask [about being] authentic, we have to ask Tom,” Clement said. “They get really stupid like, ‘Would you see a cow like this in Staten Island?’”Why Staten Island, though? The vampires made it to America, but didn’t get very far in to the country.“You could almost say Staten Island is the New Zealand of New York. It’s kind of the forgotten borough that not many people live in,” Simms joked. “No, but [it’s] quainter and not as glitzy and glamorous [as Manhattan].”Nocturnal Schedule(Photo by Matthias Clamer/FX)One downside to a show about vampires: all of the action takes place at night, which means anything that’s not filmed on the show’s Toronto soundstages must be shot at night.“We ll often go from 5 p.m. to 6 a.m., depending on when the sun rises. So that s the bit that makes you want to cry,” Clement said.Clement directed a few episodes of the season, as did Waititi (who was directing the episode Rotten Tomatoes was present for filming), original film star Jackie van Beek, and Jason Woliner.Finding the Cast(Photo by John P Johnson/FX)While most of the WWDITS film was improvised, the show is fully scripted — but with plenty of room for the comedian cast members to play around.“They re all good at improvising, these guys, and that was a big part of the audition. …A lot of people are good and funny,” Clement said.But “you don’t want people who are acting” or who prepare, Waititi added.Said Clement, “it feels more real if people [can wing it]. And also you just get things that you wouldn t think of planning out. Going on a big tangent and talking about some detail, you often don t do that because in a script, you re trying to be very efficient and just tell what s absolutely necessary. But it s more fun and more real when they go off onto something that you wouldn t put in a script normally.”The scene Rotten Tomatoes observed the cast filming took place in a local Toronto mansion called Casa Loma that is frequently used for film and television shoots — from Fox’s recent Rocky Horror Picture Show remake to 2000’s X-Men and many more. It would be a spoiler to reveal who the main cast was interacting with and why, but, suffice it to say, it was a good thing filming took place far away from the viewing room, because the members of the press in attendance were laughing so hard.The surprise of who the special guest stars for the late-season episode are is so worth the wait, however, and rest assured, early-season episodes feature some comedy bona fides too. In the meantime, check out a featurette from the set below to see exactly how funny Novak, Berry, Demetriou, Proksch, and Guillén are.What We Do in the Shadows premieres Wednesday, March 27 at 10 p.m. on FX.Like this? 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