Get Over It…Jon Snow IS Dead

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GOTSorry, “Game of Thrones” fans: Jon Snow is not just dead, he’s really dead.

At least, that’s according to HBO executive Michael Lombardino, who asserted this week that the “GoT” protagonist is — yes, that’s right — 100 percent not alive.

Dead is dead is dead. He be dead. Yes. Everything I’ve seen, heard and read, he is dead,” Lombardino said on Thursday during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, per The Wrap.

Lombardino’s words echo those of the show’s producers who said that when it comes to Snow, dead is indeed dead.

“We would hope that after seeing the scene and the way it’s shot that the answer to that will be unambiguous in the minds of the people watching it,” showrunner Dan Weiss told Entertainment Weekly, referring to season five’s final bloody scene. “It should be pretty clear what happens in by the time you’re done seeing that scene. It’s not an, ‘Oh what just happened scene?’”

Despite these crystal clear pronouncements of Snow’s indubitable demise, fans haven’t been able to stop themselves from speculating about how the character might still make a comeback.

“There are some who won’t believe, because maybe Jon Snow could come back as, I dunno, a White Walker, or an abominable snowman or a cloud shaped like a rabbit. A dead person could — in a land of black magic and dragons — be resurrected,” Katie Hasty wrote on

On Wednesday, Variety poured fuel on the flames when it reported sightings of Kit Harington, the actor who played Snow, in Belfast where “Game of Thrones” is currently being filmed.

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‘Game Of Thrones’ Will Likely End After 8 Seasons

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gtAs Game Of Thrones films it’s sixth season, speculation continues about the end of the hit fantasy drama. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had been quoted as saying that they’d envisioned the series to run for seven seasons. “Seven seasons and out was never the case,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO Programming, in his first solo executive session today at TCA. “The question is how much beyond (seven seasons) it will go.”

“David and Dan are feeling there are two more years after Season 6, that’s what we’re looking at right now. We hope that they would change their mind, but for that’s how they are feeling now.”

Would HBO consider extending the franchise with a prequel series? “We would be open to anything [Benioff and Weiss] want to do, there is enormous amount of storytelling in that world,” Lombardo said. But at that point, “the focus is on figuring out the next season.”

Lombardo also was asked to address the controversy over graphic content on the show. “This show had violence is part of its many threads from Episode 1,” he said, adding that “there are no two showrunners who are more careful not to overstep the line (than Benioff and Weiss).

Lombardo also put an end to the rampant speculation that Jon Snow (Kit Harington), who died in the Season 5 finale, may not be dead.

“Dead is dead as dead as dead. He be dead. Yes. Everything I’ve seen, heard, read, Jon Snow is indeed dead,” he said.

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Woody Allen On His Relationship With Soon-Yi

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Soon_Yi_Previn_and_Woody_AllenWoody Allen says his 23-year relationship with Soon-Yi Pevin worked because of their previous parent-child relationship.

“I’m 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked,” the 79-year-old director told NPR in an interview published Wednesday. “I was paternal. She responded to someone who was paternal.”

“She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision-making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things,” he continued. “She flourished. It was just a good luck thing.”

But the couple shares contradictory views on why their relationship worked. Previn, 44, told Time  in 1992, “To think that Woody was in any way a father or stepfather to me is laughable.”

The two began their relationship in the late ’80s when Allen was dating Mia Farrow, with whom he adopted several children. Previn is Farrow’s adopted daughter from her failed marriage to composer André Previn.

“I started the relationship with her and I thought it would just be a fling. It wouldn’t be serious, but it had a life of its own. And I never thought it would be anything more. Then we started going together, then we started living together, and we were enjoying it. And the age difference didn’t seem to matter. It seemed to work in our favor actually,” Allen said of their romance.

Allen and Previn married in 1997 and have two adopted children together.

“She enjoyed being introduced to many, many things that I knew from experience, and I enjoyed showing her those things. She took them, and outstripped me in certain areas that I showed her,” he continued. “That’s why I’m a big believer in luck. I feel that you can’t orchestrate those things. Two people come along and they have a trillion exquisite needs and neuroses and nuances and they have to mesh, and if one of them doesn’t mesh, it causes a lot of trouble. It’s like the trace vitamin not being in your body. It’s a tiny little thing, but if you don’t have it you die.”

Acknowledging that it’s often said that relationships require “work,” Allen candidly disagreed with the idea.

“If you feel that you have to work at it a constant business of looking the other way, sweeping stuff under the rug, compromising it’s not working.”

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All Hail Meryl Streep

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Meryl-StreepMeryl Streep is arguably either the greatest actress of her generation or the greatest living film actress — a debate which boils down to the approximate difference between best and best-est. She shape-shifts on screen, changing her look, her accent, the very essence of her being for each role. Her skill is beyond reproach and uncomplicated by a tabloid presence, outspoken politics or activism. She is quite possibly our only megastar famous solely for her talent.

Now, that is not to say Streep’s IMDb page is without questionable choices. There is the garbage hodgepodge of ABBA hits that was “Mamma Mia!” Even in her role as the witch in “Into The Woods” or as titular crappy mom/wannabe rockstar in the upcoming “Ricki And The Flash,” she is really just fine. Admittedly, Mediocre Meryl Streep is still at the level of Great Anyone Else. But we’re so busy hyperventilating over the sheer fact of her existence, she could probably dress in brown face and star as Big Chief Offensive alongside Adam Sandler in “The Ridiculous 6” and maybe still get nominated for an Oscar.

And she’s earned that. Actually, no one can ever earn the right to be an Adam Sandler racism accomplice, but she has earned the right to let loose and have fun on screen, without worry for acclaim. It is possible to be wildly respected in the acting world and fall out of grace. Just look at poor, “Focker”-ed Robert De Niro. Few actors have made the stunning lineup of choices that defined Streep’s fledgling career. She emerged in the 1970s and early ’80s, with the Vietnam War epic “The Deer Hunter,” shortly followed by “Kramer vs. Kramer,” for which she won her first Academy Award, and, of course, “Sophie’s Choice.”

What stands out most about those early years is that Streep was never the ingenue. She was already 28 years old in her breakout role as Anne Marie in “Julia” (1977), 30 when we met her as Woody Allen’s exquisite and sophisticated ex-wife in “Manhattan.” In some part, her longevity is built on that premise for her fame — a bedrock of talent, as sturdy and rugged as her physique in “The Bridges of Madison County.” She didn’t enter the realm of celebrity as the typical factory product of the decade’s ideal woman, nor did she surface as a sex object whose tabloid status overshadowed her acting merits. She was playing real people, real women right from the start.

She’s also, on the topic of age, one of the only stars who has maintained such steady critical acclaim and box-office success since her earliest roles. Glenn Close’s résumé begins around the same time as Streep’s, but is filled with far more valleys than peaks — an 11-year gap between “Fatal Attraction” and “101 Dalmatians.” (Note: That’s not a joke! Glenn’s live-action Cruella is iconic). Then there’s Helen Mirren, notable for her similar role in pop culture as a Beloved Woman Of A Certain Age, though she’s really only been a household name in the U.S. for the past ten years or so, while Streep is closing in on her fourth decade. Also, we spend a whole lot of time talking about how Mirren is a hot old lady.

Streep’s prominence is even clearer when we look to these peers (or lack thereof, really). In terms of longevity, there is Clint Eastwood with his reputation of ridiculous, curmudgeonly behavior, or Jane Fonda, who starred opposite Streep in “Julia” and has long since established a parallel identity in the political sphere. Married to Donald Gummer since the release of “The Deer Hunter,” Streep’s dating life has never been in the spotlight. She pre-dated tabloid culture, but even now has one of the most tame searches in the InTouch archives (see: several articles about other actors mostly saying how great she is).

Nearly everyone even close to the realm of Streep’s fame has established some second identity. Go on, try and think of a celebrity not well-known for their presence in the tabloids, or in the realm of politics or activism, in addition to whatever their talent may be. Examples include George Clooney, Natalie Portman, Leonardo DiCaprio, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and everyone else in Hollywood. Streep is, and always has been, celebrated solely for her craft. That is especially rare.

Being famous for acting and only acting usually requires eschewing traditional celebrity, avoiding the press tours and and obligatory giggling at Jimmy Kimmel in favor of intensity. Consider Daniel Day Lewis. With three Academy Awards for Best Actor, he is a solid comparison point for Streep, at least in terms of decoration. Lewis is so intense, so method, he pretended to be Abe for three weeks before “Lincoln,” lived on a Texas oilfield for “There Will Be Blood” and actually learned to skin animals for “The Last of the Mohicans.” He’s also reclusive and hates fame (and has not even really been in that many total movies).

There are few, if any, true celebrities known only for their craft that emerge and then stay in the spotlight for that very reason. And it would be hard now, given the absurd (and usually sexist) standards by which we try young women in the court of public opinion, demanding sensationalized personalities and punishing them with backlash, to see someone enter the A-list stratosphere based on sheer talent and remain long after their “last f**kable day.” In the small, exclusionary pond of Hollywood, Streep is a rare trumpeter swan who speaks fluent French, and everyone else is a duck. You really just can’t beat Meryl.

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Why Not Spend Summer In HBO’s ‘Hell’?

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7-days-in-hellIt would be tempting to call HBO “7 Days in Hell” the perfect bonbon for summer: This parody of sports documentaries is short, ephemeral and features ridiculous men running around in shorts.

But “7 Days” is so good it could legitimately be enjoyed in the depths of winter or even during an autumn cold snap. We expect HBO to try hard to reach the pinnacle of TV achievement, but sometimes its offerings are most effective when they stop grimly attempting to be Great and settle for being entertaining. On the latter score, “7 Days,” well, scores.

The premise of “7 Days,” which debuted July 11 and is available via all the usual platforms, is simple: Andy Samberg plays Aaron Williams, a bad-boy tennis star who faces down Charles Poole (Kit Harington), a preposterously dumb prodigy, in a legendary 2001 Wimbledon final. To the disgruntlement of the sports commentators who have to narrate the grinding battle, the championship match lasts an incredible seven days.

Very long matches at Wimbledon aren’t actually an unknown quantity, as anyone who sat through the legendary 2009 Roddick-Federer final can attest (that game was actually shorter than a slugfest in the early rounds the following year, which lasted more than 11 hours). Without being showy about it, “7 Days” makes it clear that its creative team knows their tennis lore, but you don’t necessarily need to be a fan of the sport to get some belly laughs from the 43-minute piece. Given how cliched, predictable and cloying they can be, aspirational sports documentaries are ripe targets, and writer/producer Murray Miller and his extremely game cast take aim at some of the juiciest ones.

Of the two leads, Samberg’s is the showier role. Aaron Williams in this tale, he’s the adopted brother of tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams possesses an insane coiffure, a boastful attitude and a heedless abandon that eventually lands him in a Swedish prison. (It looks, as you might guess, like a spa decorated by Ikea.) Samberg’s energy can sometimes be overly dominant (it took the enjoyable “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” some time to calibrate his brash character), but there are so many other good performances and surreal touches that “7 Days” ends up being both balanced and delightfully varied.

Kit Harington’s Poole is a shy Englishman who has a shot at the Wimbledon title, so the home-court pressure is fierce, and he faces some other formidable obstacles as well: His overbearing mother, his own limited intelligence and the emotional maturity of a 4-year-old all combine to sabotage him on and off the court. Harington’s effective brooding in “Game of Thrones” deservedly gained the actor and his impressive hair a worldwide following, but you can sense how much he enjoys playing a very different character, one who really and truly knows nothing and whose brow remains knit in endless confusion. In a lesser work, Mary Steenburgen’s wandering accent as Poole’s supposedly English mother might be a problem, but in this rich, goofy stew, it’s just one more nonsensical element to enjoy.

So how does the Queen of England end up involved? Why was Williams in a Swedish prison? You may well ask, but those aspects of “7 Days” are so winningly goofy that I’ll leave you to discover them for yourself. Williams’ stint as the designer of questionable underwear has something to do with his incarceration, and that’s a tangent that gets more effectively ridiculous the further it goes, but the good news is, unlike many documentaries, “7 Days” isn’t weighed down by too many side plots or a lot of questionable filler. What it does have is more male frontal nudity than the entirety of “Game of Thrones,” for whatever that’s worth.

Actual tennis personalities are deployed to very good effect; John McEnroe, the most famous on-court bad boy of his era, supplies dry wit as a talking head providing context, and Chris Evert and Serena Williams are similarly subtle and slyly funny. Sports commentator Jim Lampley pops up here and there as well, and the pivotal match is peppered with the apparently tennis-hating Lampley offering several variations on the line, “Please, let this end.”

Other lively participants include Lena Dunham, Will Forte and Karen Gillan, but the scene-stealing performance to end all scene-stealing performances belongs to Michael Sheen, who plays a middle-aged, pot- belliedchat-show host whose interest in Poole is creepy to the nth degree. Sheen is clearly having a blast playing the lascivious host, and he ferociously captures a certain kind of oily, disturbing English condescension. I don’t care how great Sheen is in “Masters of Sex” — and he’s often spectacular on that show — this may be his finest work yet. He’s only in a few scenes, but the whole thing is worth watching just for those ridiculous minutes.

I hope Miller isn’t done satirizing sports documentaries or other kinds of documentaries. As much as I love that kind of storytelling, the reflexive dependence on a pose of sober nobility is just too tempting to ignore. The good news is, TV is able to support so many micro-genres now that IFC has commissioned “Documentary Now!,” a documentary-mockery vehicle from Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader; it arrives Aug. 20.

Even if “7 Days” is HBO’s only foray into this sweaty realm, this skillfully crafted comedy was clearly worth the effort that was put into it. It’s by no means the deepest thing you’ll watch this year, but you’d have to search far and wide to find a program that hits its chosen target with such concentrated glee.

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Keith Richards Still Smokes A Joint ‘Regularly’

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kkRolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, 71, still likes to wake and bake.

But he’s fussy about where the weed comes from.

I smoke regularly, an early morning joint. Strictly Californian,” The Independent reports the musician told Mojo magazine for its September issue.

Richards, who is currently promoting his solo album “Crosseyed Heart,” also remarked on the spread of marijuana legalization in the United States.

“One of the most pleasant things to watch is a map of America where it goes, green … green … green … green,” The Independent reports he said. “Whether it’s a good thing in the long run, I don’t know.”

Richards has a well-documented history of drug use, but wrote in his 2010 autobiography, Life, that he’d given up the hard stuff: “People think I’m still a goddamn junkie. It’s 30 years since I gave up the dope! Image is like a long shadow. Even when the sun goes down, you can see it.”

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‘True Detective’ Episode 6: Cuts Like a Knife

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tdThe disparate threads of Season 2’s mystery start to come together in a solid episode

Three thoughts after watching Sunday’s True Detective episode, “Church in Ruins”:

  1. The sprawl of the Caspere case has finally started to take shape.

About half the suspect pool in Caspere’s death was at the sex party Ani (Rachel McAdams) infiltrated, including the Catalyst exec who wants Caspere’s missing hard drive, Frank’s (Vince Vaughn) Russian rival, the Vinci police chief and the attorney general-turned-candidate for governor who now has his hand in the same pockets he was ostensibly investigating a few months earlier.

All that suggests Ani and Co. are getting much closer to bringing the disparate threads of the case together. Based on what the audience has been presented so far, it seems likely that some powerful person or people got wind of Caspere’s blackmail scheme, his shady dealings with the rail corridor, or both, and had him killed.

With the scope of the case now having gone way past the corrupt little burg of Vinci, it also seems headed potentially for a similarly compromised resolution that season one of the show had: The task force may get its hands on the person or people who actually did the deed with Caspere, but the larger network of powerful men running things could easily go on unchecked.

  1. The stuff about family and fatherhood was better integrated in this episode than it has been in the past.

Your mileage may vary on the effectiveness of Ray’s (Colin Farrell) New York Dolls-fueled coke-and-booze bender, but Farrell played comedown extremely well. The lead performances have been the primary draw week to week, and Ray’s desire to do something decent for the kid he’ll probably never see again was touching, even if he was walking around the wreckage of all the models he and Chad had built.

Likewise, Frank’s talk with the son of his murdered henchman Stan was one of Vaughn’s better moments of the season, and it worked even though the show never really explained who Stan was or what he meant to Frank.

The audience also gets some more insight into why Ani is so repelled by her father’s commune. In her molly-fueled haze at the party, she flashes a couple times on a super-creepy bearded man who led her into the woods when she was a kid and presumably did awful things to her. No wonder she’s always carrying knives now.

  1. These extremely wealthy and powerful men should really chip in for some better security at their next mansion orgy.

The big set piece at the party was nicely directed by Miguel Sapochnik (Game of Thrones, House), and Ani’s escape with Vera — the missing woman she first learned about in the season premiere — hit a lot of great notes. In particular, the big brute holding Ani by the throat collapsing after her knife work does its job was a nice riff on a scene viewers have watched a thousand times in other movies and shows.

The blurry camerawork depicting Ani’s fuzzy-minded state also worked better than a lot of other drug-haze shots do. But as Ray and Paul (Taylor Kitsch) took out guard after guard and popped a window latch with a pocketknife, it was hard not to wonder why these super-wealthy men didn’t have 65 security cameras and three times as many goons around their sex palace.

The hero(es) storming a heavily guarded citadel and overcoming long odds is a well-worn trope, and it’s never been high on the realism scale. Something about this particular citadel-storming — that giant moon at the end, maybe? — just seemed a little more far-fetched than usual.

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Bobbi Kristina Brown Passes Away At 22

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bkBobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Whitney Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown, died on Sunday — six months after being found unconscious in a bathtub at her home in Roswell, Ga. She was 22.

“Bobbi Kristina Brown passed away July, 26 2015, surrounded by her family,” the Houston family said in a statement to People. “She is finally at peace in the arms of God. We want to again thank everyone for their tremendous amount of love and support during these last few months.”

Brown had been hospitalized and in a rehab center since Jan. 31. She underwent surgery to replace her breathing tube with a tracheostomy tube in February.

She was rushed to the hospital in late January after her partner, Nick Gordon, found her face down in the tub and called 911. She was then placed in a medically induced coma and never regained consciousness.

Her mother, singer Whitney Houston, was found dead in a bathtub the day before the Grammy awards on Feb. 11, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Houston suffered a heart attack complicated by the use of cocaine, with which she had struggled for many years. Bobby Brown was addicted to cocaine, crack and heroin at various times and had several run-ins with the law as well as recent DUIs.

Brown and her parents’ tumultuous life were chronicled on two reality series. “Being Bobby Brown” ran on Bravo in 2005.

“The duo — occasionally joined by their daughter, Bobbi Kristina, who appears unscarred by that gawkward 1999 ‘Divas’ concert, during which her mother flamboyantly serenaded her — seem, for all their idiosyncrasies, quite genuine. With the singers smoking and tippling and making really bad jokes, theirs is not the tidiest of portraits, but it feels like an honest one,” wrote Gillian Flynn of “Being Bobby Brown” in Entertainment Weekly.

Lifetime’s “The Houstons: On Our Own,” which ran for one season starting in 2012, chronicled Bobbi Kristina Brown’s attempts to move forward after her mother’s death and to launch her own singing career. The show was criticized for being intrusive and exploiting a family’s grief.

Her parents divorced when she was 14, and Bobbi Kristina Brown inherited her mother’s estate. Gordon had lived with the Houston family since age 12, and Brown had said they were married, although the family said the marriage was not formalized. Though Brown had earlier called him her brother, she responded to critics of the relationship explaining that he was never officially adopted by Houston.

In addition to her Gordon, survivors include her father, Bobby Brown’s two children from an earlier relationship, her grandmother Cissy and her aunt and uncle Pat and Gary Houston.

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In the immortal words of her late mother…’crack is whack.’

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I Want My Money! Scott Demands Access To Kardashian Cash

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scottScott Disick is fighting back! After successfully winning time with his kids, has learned he is now demanding his baby mama, Kourtney Kardashian give him access to their shared fortune.

Kardashian had cut him off financially after breaking up with him several weeks ago, according to insiders. And when the two finally came face to face at the Beverly Hills Hotel on July 23, “he was overheard telling her that there was a need for him to have access to money,’ an eyewitness told Radar.

“Scott seemed to be very upset when talking about money,” the source said. “Kourtney seemed to know she held all of the power, and didn’t look as stressed out as Scott was.”

“Kourtney smiled at the servers, and was very pleasant, whereas Scott looked absolutely miserable,” the source continued. “He also seemed to be sweating a lot more that would be normal for someone. There was perspiration around his forehead. A staffer from the hotel seemed concerned enough to ask if Scott needed a wet cloth, and he seemed out of it.”

The insider didn’t hear how much cash Disick demanded, but added, “It obviously was substantial. It seems he has grown accustomed to the extravagant Kardashian lifestyle.”

As Radar reported, Kardashian called the meeting to discuss visitation rights for their kids, Mason, 5, Penelope, 3, and Reign, 7 months.

“She wanted him to know that she was going to go after full custody of their children and that she would allow him visitation rights as long as he is sober during the entire time he spends with the kids,” a source previously said. “For the time being, he is also required to be accompanied by a third party.”

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So, are we all new!!?? It only about the money with these idiots.

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‘Key & Peele’ To End After Current Season

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kkThe comedy show’s current season will be its last, co-creator and star Keegan-Michael Key confirmed to The Wrap on Friday. Key clarified that it was his and co-creator Jordan Peele’s decision to end the show and not Comedy Central’s, where it airs.

“It was just time for us to explore other things, together and apart,” Key told The Wrap. “I compare it to Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. We might make a movie and then do our own thing for three years and then come back and do another movie.”

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