TIME Royalty

Queen Elizabeth II Eyes Iron Throne on Game of Thrones Set

Britain's Queen Elizabeth looks at the Iron Throne as she meets members of the cast on the set of the television show Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 24, 2014.
Britain's Queen Elizabeth looks at the Iron Throne as she meets members of the cast on the set of the television show Game of Thrones in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast, Northern Ireland, June 24, 2014. Phil Noble—Reuters

Though she prefers a corgi to a direwolf

There’s a lot of royalty in Game of Throne’s Seven Kingdoms, but a real life queen — with impressive longevity compared to the monarchs in George R.R. Martin’s books — visited the set of the HBO hit series Tuesday.

Queen Elizabeth II went to Ireland to see the Belfast set and meet with cast members and show creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss.

While the 88-year-old queen, who prefers corgis to direwolves, stopped to admire props, CBS reports that she politely declined to sit on the sword-covered Iron Throne. She’s got one of her own at home:

BRITAIN-ROYALS-POLITICS
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II (L) delivers the Queen’s Speech from the Throne in the House of Lords next to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (R) during the State Opening of Parliament CARL COURT—AFP/Getty Images

[CBS]

TIME Video Games

Now You Can Be ‘Frankenstein’s Monster': Evolve Inside Scoop

Gamers can finally understand what Frankenstein's creation felt as the angry and armed mob hunted it down

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Developer Turtle Rock, Creator of Left 4 Dead, will soon launch a new multiplayer experience, Evolve. The game is set in a futuristic frontier-like galaxy, where Humanity has colonized a planet called Shear. That’s when the monsters come in. A group of hunters are enlisted as a last ditch effort to save the planet’s colonists. On paper Evolve is a simple concept — four player-controlled hunters versus one player-controlled monster — but from this simple idea for a gaming mechanic, something novel and complex has been created.

“Even prior to creating Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios was keenly interested in the idea of a team of players fighting a giant boss battle, but with the boss being controlled by another player,” said Michael J. Boccieri, Senior Producer at 2K. “Compared to a standard boss battle, this 4v1 multiplayer results in unique gameplay every single match due to the human mind controlling the monster, so no match ever plays out the same way…[Turtle Rock] then drew inspiration from other mediums including film, comic books, literature and more, which was a core driving component to a lot of the aesthetics that make Evolve what it is today.”

The notion of playing as the monster in a game isn’t new, but never before have developers embraced the idea of giving players control quite like this. In Shelly’s Frankenstein (as well as its film adaptations), Frankenstein’s creation is always on the defensive, despite its impressive power. The creature, misunderstood and unmoored, is hunted by an angry village mob, which views it as an implicit threat. But in games, players haven’t really experienced the persecuted monster’s point of view.

Though developers have occasional embraced a “monster” as a narrative’s lead, but those instances are few and far between. In these cases, the game is usually constructed in either two ways:

1) The monster is the protagonist in an anti-hero role, who is tasked with fighting a worse evil, or it is empowered by the developers to hunt and slay others. This can be seen in titles such as Altered Beast, Splatterhouse, Overlord, Demon’s Crest, Alien Vs Predator 2, and more.

2) The monster is just a stock character in a gameplay centric title within either the Fighting or Sidescrollling genres, like Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters Melee or Rampage World Tour.

In all of these titles the developers empower the player to be on the offensive, hunting and killing with minimal regard for the protagonist’s life beyond the threat of restarting a level. Players are rarely, if ever, given an experience where they can inhabit the mind of a monster who is being hunted by an an overwhelming force. That’s where Evolve steps in.

During this year’s E3 gaming expo, the game’s publisher 2K gave TIME the opportunity to competitively play the game. I took control of a monster named Kraken. During my match, I finally understood what Frankenstein’s creation felt like as the angry and armed mob hunted it down. Because Evolve a strategic competitive multiplayer title, I was able to feel the fear of being hunted. At the onset of each match the monster is weak and vulnerable. I was forced to avoid confrontation and scavenge on local wildlife, and in doing so, I could “evolve” (three evolutionary stages in total). With each subsequent evolution I was granted more abilities, and gained the strength necessary to push back my attackers.

“Certainly when you start a match as the monster at Stage One, you are underpowered compared to the hunter team; a savvy hunter team knows this, and will attempt to corral, contain and destroy the monster as quickly as possible,” said Boccieri. “Much as Frankenstein’s creation comes into his own over the course of the novel, so too does the monster player over the course of a match as they feed on the wildlife and evolve, growing more and more powerful. By Stage Two the monster is equal to the hunters, and by the time the monster reaches Stage Three, the hunters actually become the hunted. It’s an interesting parallel to the plot of the novel — by the time we are at the ice flows at the novel’s conclusion, we wonder whether Dr. Frankenstein is hunting the monster, or he himself is the hunted?”

But in those early moments of the game, I was overwhelmed by paranoia. Every move and action I made could be used by the hunters to track me down: my footsteps, birds that had been startled or dead animal carcasses my character left behind. Each time I stopped to eat wildlife, I feared that just beyond my field of vision — the hunters lay in waiting. And that is what’s so unique about Evolve. That perspective flop that gamers rarely have the opportunity to enjoy.

TIME Video Games

Shovel Knight May Be the 8-bit Homage We’ve Been Waiting For

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The music in Shovel Knight‘s launch trailer sounds nothing like the music in the game. I can personally vouch for this.

The trailer (above) is all dour, thrash-y, melodically minor guitars and calf-murdering double-bass drumming. The actual game is scored with scritch-popping chiptunes (that’s the hipster way of talking about 8-bit music in 2014). With respect for Jake Kaufmann, who’s listed as developer Yacht Club Games’ sound designer, the trailer’s music doesn’t hold a candle to the mad genius of his vintage-infused in-game tunes, like this one:

Shovel Knight is an 8-bit-like (coin a genre), a platformer starring a shovel-wielding knight, out to defeat the evil foozle, and his thumb-torturing adventures along the way. It’s like Wizards and Warriors meets Castlevania meets Faxanadu (and I’m told, DuckTales — for shame, I never played that one). It’s the result of a wildly successful Kickstarter that blew past its $75,000 goal by nearly a quarter of a million bucks back in April 2013. It’s the latest release in a sudden parade of mature Kickstarter-spawned games putting paid to crowdfunding’s promise.

Bask in its unabashed genuflection to 1980s game design tropes. Bathe in its classic NES color palette. Chuckle at the notion of a horn-helmed knight nobly brandishing a sharpened spade. William Faulkner said it best: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Faulkner would have understood (and probably played) Shovel Knight.

Shovel Knight costs $15, and you can have it on PC, Mac, Linux, 3DS or Wii U this Thursday, June 26.

TIME celebrity

Gary Oldman Really Doesn’t Like Political Correctness

"Robocop" - Los Angeles Premiere - Arrivals
Actor Gary Oldman arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Robocop" Gregg DeGuire—Getty

And proved it

In a lengthy interview with Playboy magazine, actor Gary Oldman made it clear that he isn’t a fan of political correctness. In fact, the 56-year-old Dawn of the Planet of the Apes star thinks “political correctness is crap…take a f—ing joke. Get over it.”

And, in case you were nervous, Oldman went on to prove his point.

The tangent — which Oldman said he hoped the reporter would “edit and cut… because it’s going to make me sound like a bigot” — began when Mel Gibson came up. When reporter David Hochman asked Oldman what he thought about what Gibson has undergone in recent years, Oldman responded:

“Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him—and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough. He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? But some Jewish guy in his office somewhere hasn’t turned and said, “That f—ing kraut” or “F— those Germans,” whatever it is? We all hide and try to be so politically correct.”

Oldman thought that there was a double standard because Gibson “got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things. We’re all f—ng hypocrites… The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n—-r or that f—ing Jew?”

Oldman went on to defend Alec Baldwin for calling someone a gay slur and accused Hollywood of rendering anyone who didn’t vote for 12 Years a Slave at the Oscars a racist. And as long as he was on a roll — hitting race, religion, and sexuality — Oldman figured why stop there and went for the gender ticket – saying he could “never” get away with calling Nancy Pelosi an expletive based on the female anatomy. “I can’t really say that,” the libertarian-leaning actor said, though he just had — twice.

The interview was timed to help promote Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, out July 11, in which Oldman plays a villain.

[Playboy]

 

 

TIME Television

REVIEW: FX’s Tyrant Is Its Own Downfall

Patrick Harbron/FX

It's about time American TV had a complex, well-drawn drama about the Middle East. This is not that drama.

The best thing I can say about FX’s Tyrant (Tuesdays on FX, premiering June 24) is that the timing is right. The series, in which the estranged son of a Middle Eastern dictator returns to his homeland from a life in the States, comes as the region and the rest of the world try to figure out how its countries can have peace, prosperity and liberty at the same time. Egypt’s Arab Spring attempt at democracy ended in a military coup. Syria’s brutal dictatorship is hanging on in a catastrophic civil war. And Iraq, a decade after one of its own despots was removed by a U.S. invasion, is falling into chaos. In Tyrant, the elderly dictator of fictional Abbudin scoffs at the ingrates in his populace who demand freedom: “Freedom to do what? Kill each other? I give them order and prosperity and all they want is chaos.”

TV could use a good series about these questions. Tyrant is not that series.

On paper, it could be, with a premise designed to give U.S. viewers entree to a part of the world that TV has portrayed more as a problem than a place. Bassam “Barry” Al-Fayeed (Adam Rayner), after two decades as a pediatrician in Pasadena, brings his wife, Molly (Jennifer Finnigan) and two children back to his homeland of Abbudin for the wedding of his nephew. (The fictional Abbudin’s flag is essentially Syria’s with one extra star, and the likenesses between the Al-Fayeed and Assad dynasties are similarly close.)

Barry’s Anglicized name is a good indication of how little attached he is to his father–to the extent that he insists on sitting in the coach seats he pays for when Dad charters an entire jetliner for him and his family. His family, especially teen son Sammy (Noah Silver), are more impressed by the visit, partly because they’re less aware of what the family business is built on; they marvel at the open roads on their limo drive to the presidential palace, for instance, unaware that the authorities have halted traffic just for them. Barry, on the other hand, can’t wait to do his filial duty and leave–until a catastrophe forces him to choose between staying, and becoming Bassam again, or leaving and possibly letting the country fall into deadly chaos.

The show, whose producers include Howard Gordon of 24 and Homeland, was beset before it even started by production headaches and controversies–among them, the casting of non-Arab Rayner in the lead role. But though his Barry is a bit of a stiff, Rayner among the least of the show’s problems. There’s not a fleshed-out character in the show, beginning with Barry’s stock-villainous brother Jamal (Ashraf Barhom), who we immediately meet raping a subject with her own husband and children still in her house. To a person, the characters are types: the shallow American kids, the dissolute playboys, the noble protesters and journalists, the cynical advisers, sneering elites and sad-eyed children. The problem isn’t that Tyrant portrays a troubled region as troubled; it’s that it doesn’t use its time to begin to make this world as real as ours.

The plot in the early episodes drags because it turns on a question–will Barry and his family stay?–that has to be answered “Yes” or you have no show. A series with a strong foundation of writing and character could get past that. But Tyrant simply lurches around, welding terror-thriller hyperviolence to rote political intrigue to telenovela rich-family dysfunction. And if Tyrant is meant to expand on the portrayals of the Middle Easterners peripheral to stories like 24, it fails badly. If anything, those shows do better by the setting, if only because the Abbudinites are central to Tyrant, yet feel like bit players in their own story, there to sneer, suffer and read ridiculous dialogue. (“You’re offending Allah,” a rebel leader says when a woman removes her head covering alluringly. She: “But am I offending you?” Only dramatically!)

Early on, Tyrant makes a production choice that symbolizes about the series’ limitations overall. Although it’s a story about a culture clash–Barry and his American-raised family adjusting (or re-adjusting) to life in Abbudin–the dialogue is entirely in English. Just few years ago, this would not have been noteworthy on American TV. But FX has two successful shows, The Americans and The Bridge (returning next month), that are richly culturally specific–and are largely written in Russian and Spanish respectively.

Now, you could argue that Tyrant would require much more subtitling, but it would not only make sense for native characters to speak English in scenes with Barry and his family, it would add complexity and underscore the way his character has to straddle two worlds. And having “Arabic speaking” characters speak to each other in heavily accented, sometimes stilted English–even a presidential address is shown transmitted across the country in English–alienates the Middle Eastern characters from the audience, rendering them as Other in a story that’s supposed to take place on their own turf.

In other words, Tyrant chooses simple over complex, over and over, in different ways. It’s a shame, because there are the rudiments of rich conflicts here: for instance, whether Barry/Bassam–by arguing to his ruling family for openness and against ugly crackdowns–is really improving things or just helping his clan run a more p.r.-savvy dictatorship. Another potential conflict–Sammy is gay, but embracing being “royalty” in a homophobic society–goes nowhere interesting in the first four episodes. In the end, there’s nothing in the show’s flat, melodramatic depiction of its world you couldn’t have predicted from watching a few world-news segments, Homeland, and a little Dynasty. It promises to explore another world, but instead it’s like a tour from inside a speeding limo, the air-conditioning blasting, the tinted windows rolled up.

TIME the bachelorette

RECAP: The Bachelorette Watch: Italian Cheese and Whine

ANDI DORFMAN, NICK V.
Andi and the gang head to Venice for some typically touristy activities Barbara Zanon—ABC

To be clear: Romeo & Juliet would never have been on The Bachelorette

Welcome back to The Bachelorette, where each week Andi takes another step on her journey to find love among the well-groomed masses of man meat curated for her by the show’s producers. It’s very natural. This week the group heads to Italy, which, much like Connecticut, is the perfect place to fall in love. With hometown dates on the horizon, the tension and competition is ratcheting up. It’s very exciting.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

First Date: Cody is the only one who hasn’t had a one-on-one date yet, so the entire gaggle of guys expect Andi to choose him for the first date. Instead, she opted for Nick. She explains that this is her journey to love and she needs to do what she thinks is right, which is very Kelly Taylor of her. Plus, she probably doesn’t want to be alone in public with Cody, because his elaborate manscaping would reveal the flaws in her own skin-care regime. Nick and Andi play Venetian tourists doing all those Venetian tourist things. Then Nick and Andi ruin thousands of years of superstition by kissing as they glide beneath Venice’s famed Bridge of Sighs, proving that it does not, in fact, guarantee everlasting love. Because these two? No. He’s dead behind the eyes and eventually she will realize that. Later, to reinforce every Venetian stereotype, a masked Andi floats up to meet a tuxedoed Nick for dinner in a heavily frescoed palazzo. This may be the first jealous-worthy date of the season. That is, until Andi lays into Nick about her feelings that he was an arrogant jerk who deemed himself the “front-runner.” He says it’s hard to imagine that anyone else has a connection with her like he does. He swears the men are his friends, but he’s not going to quash his feelings to make them feel better. Andi softens when he stares at his toes and blushes and tells her that he is falling in love with her. Girls are silly like that. She gives him the rose. Sucker.

Suave Update: Suave is scraping the bottom of the Bachelor barrel and giving Renee Oteri a makeover. If you stopped to ask, “Who?” — that is the point exactly. She was one of the many lucky ladies who got to bring Juan Pablo Galavis home to meet mom and dad. I forgot my kindergarten teacher’s name to bring you that factoid.

Worst Analogy: As they don Venetian masks, Nick makes a gag-inducing speech about how he was “masking his feelings for Andi” and is now “unmasking them.”

The Big Mystery: Andi gets another note from her still unnamed secret admirer. It’s not a haiku, so Nick is out. It’s not about himself, so it’s not Josh. It’s not on Indiana Pacers stationery, so Coach Brian is out, and it’s not written in tears and suntan oil, so it’s not Cody. Maybe Farmer Chris?

Best Group Date Ever: The six men on the group date (well, specifically, Farmer Chris, four wannabe men and a pantspreneur) wander the streets of Venice until they stumble into a dark dungeon-like space, where Andi announces that they are all going to take a lie-detector test. Doesn’t that sound fun? The men visibly pale and a few start sweating. Two men straight out of central casting for burly Italian types administer the tests, asking such burning questions as: Are you here for the right reasons? Are you ready for marriage? Do you want kids? Do you wash your hands after you use the restroom? Dylan goes back to the hotel with some mysterious stomach ailment (probably after hearing that someone answered “No” to that last question.)

The Worst Results Ever: The proctors report that at least three men lied during their tests, but Andi told two lies, so they all deserve one another. Andi busts her results open and reveals that she lied when she said she thought everyone was there for the right reasons. Instead of finding out which of the menfolk have their pants on fire, she decides to tear up their results, so now we will never know which of the men murdered their sister’s hamster in second grade. We were robbed.

The After Party: While Cody and Nick sit in the sauna together, Andi bravely walks up cobblestones in high heels to drink wine and make out with five men consecutively. She deserves some serious merit badges for that. During the party, Coach Brian administers his own lie-detector test. They make out. Marcus tells her that he considered leaving, but stayed for her. They make out. Josh borks his alone time and gives Andi cause for doubt. They do not make out. Her batting average improves when Farmer Chris confesses that he is her secret admirer. They make out and he gets the Group Date Rose. FarmersOnly.com is really missing out with this guy. Then Andi leaves, and the men sit around to talk about their feelings. Needless to say, Italy has a lot of whine.

Second Date: Cody finally gets to go on a one-on-one date with Andi and King Chucklehead, as he is fondly known around these parts (my couch), is convinced that if Andi spends just a few minutes of alone time with him they will definitely fall in love. The producers help him out by setting him up in Verona, Italy, a.k.a. the hometown of fictional overly dramatic teenagers Romeo and Juliet. They recreate a few famous scenes (skipping the suicide pact, natch) and then hole up to answer letters that lonely hearts across the world write to Juliet. Cody announces that he’s very emotional, and Andi nods politely and pats him on the back when they leave. Clear sign of no chemistry, whatsoever. At dinner, to prove he’s both vulnerable and ready to get down and dirty, he wears a deep V tee to show his cleavage. He almost redeems himself writing his own letter to Juliet all about Andi. He tells her that he wants to be bold for her. He wants to hug her and squeeze her and “roll around with her.” He goes on and on about how much he likes her and wants to get to know her and never notices that she’s crying and they are not tears of joy. She confesses that she just wants to be friends. His Tintin hair wilts a little at the news. He is shocked (shocked!) to be going home.

The Cocktail Party: Despite already having a rose, Nick cock-blocks everyone at the party by grabbing Andi before she could make the obligatory rounds of the room and pulling her into a room to make out. The men do not approve, and not just because of the germs. Dylan is particularly upset, because no one remembers that he is on the show. Also because he got sick and couldn’t stick around the Group Date long enough to remind Andi that he exists. Coach Brian reads her a letter. They make out. Marcus announces that he is in love with her. They make out. Josh tries to mend the damage he did in their last conversation and assures her that he does have strong feelings for her. Andi and Chris Harrison have an intense heart-to-heart about her feelings and her heart. She is doubting the process, which is just one of the five stages of being The Bachelorette.

The Rose Ceremony: First rose goes to Dylan, which is unexpected and hopefully he comes with his own bottle of Purell. Coach Brian takes the second rose. Marcus comes in third, and Josh takes the final rose.

Who Went Home: JJ, who was looking a little rough around the edges this evening, is leaving to continue pursuing his dream of being a pants tycoon and not just a pantspreneur. Andi gives JJ the same spiel she gave Cody. Namely, she’s just not that into him. Riding in the dump truck to be deported back to the States, JJ bemoans the loss of the future mother of his future children that he can leave his pants empire to when passes away to the great pantsadise in the sky.

Best Reason to Come Back Next Week: Before we head into hometown dates, Andi’s path to love leads the hunky herd to Brussels, and they pack all the drama into their carry-on bags.

Best Misunderstanding: The heavily accented lie-detector proctors wanted to know whether the men had ever fought in public, but every single one of the men misunderstood the question and thought they asked, “Have you ever farted in public?” Every single one of them said yes. Bet Andi wishes she hadn’t torn up those test results now!

MORE: RECAP: True Blood Watch: Season 7 Starts With a Fang Bang

MORE: Laura Prepon Will Be in Every Orange Is the New Black Episode Next Season

TIME movies

These Are the Highest-Grossing Movies of the Year (So Far)

Warner Bros.

The No. 1 movie has just a $6,000 lead

Everything is awesome for The Lego Movie, which is currently the highest-grossing domestic box office release of the year—though Captain America: The Winter Soldier didn’t go down without a fight.

The superhero blockbuster has earned $256,690,279, only $6,038 less than the toy franchise’s first animated movie—despite its bigger opening weekend—according to industry analysts at Rentrak, Deadline reports. But both may end up getting squashed by Optimus Prime and the Autobot gang when Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth film in the Transformer series, flies into theaters this Friday.

Captain America isn’t the only superhero flick hanging out in the top five, either. X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 have grossed around $217 million and around $200 million, respectively.

To dominate the box office, it seems a movie needs two things: spandex and a sequel.

[Deadline]

TIME Music

Prince Wrote a Song About an Internet Meme

Prince performs onstage during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas.
Prince performs onstage during the 2013 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 19, 2013 in Las Vegas. Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images

The Purple One keeps up with the viral web, apparently

The artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince is either the most sincere person in America or looking to troll us all: just a few months after guest-starring on New Girl, Prince revealed he wrote a song about an Internet meme.

Specifically, Prince has a song on his upcoming record called “This Could Be Us.” He told Jon Bream of the Star Tribune that the track was inspired by a picture of him and Apollonia Kotero from movie Purple Rain that got the meme treatment after the hashtag #ThisCouldBeUsButYouPlayin, which is typically paired with awkward photos of couples, took off on social media.

The “joyful ballad” will be on Prince’s first new album since 2009, but fans should really get excited about his next album, undoubtedly destined to feature the songs “#TrueDetectiveSeason2” and “#WorldsMostTalkedAboutCouple.”

[Star Tribune]

TIME Music

12 Breakup Videos Better Than ‘Get Her Back’ by Robin Thicke

From the depressing to the vindictive

Today, Robin Thicke released a truly depressing video about his breakup with Paula Patton involving text messages supposedly exchanged between the couple. But though “Get Her Back” may be the newest breakup music video to bum you out, it’s far from the best.

So whether you’re going through a breakup or just love some JT and T-Swift, here is TIME’s roundup of the best breakup music videos:

“Cry Me a River” by Justin Timberlake

In this classic of the 2000s, Justin Timberlake breaks into what I assume is Britney Spears’ house, spies on someone who looks an awful lot like Britney and sleeps with someone else in her bed. Amazing.

Breakup truism: “Your bridges were burned, and now it’s your turn to cry.”

“We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift

The queen of breakups, Taylor Swift, obviously makes the list. This is probably her most upbeat breakup song: it does involve woodland creatures after all.

Breakup truism: “We hadn’t seen each other in a month, when you said you needed space. What?”

“Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé

“To the left, to the left” is so catchy! Packing boxes never felt so empowering. Note all the times she mentions how she bought all the stuff they share. Yes you did, Bey!

Breakup truism: “I can have another you in a minute. Matter fact, he’ll be here in a minute, baby.”

“Heartless” by Kanye West

Poor Kanye. Despite being an international superstar, he didn’t seem to have a lot of luck in love. He lets it all out in “Heartless.” But don’t worry. It has a happy ending: Kanye West finds Kim Kardashian.

Breakup truism: “I decided we weren’t going to speak, so why are we up 3 am on the phone? What she be so mad at me for? Homie, I don’t know she’s hot and cold.”

“Since You Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson has established herself as an essential part of any breakup routine. You’ll never feel so happy to be with your ex as when you’re screaming, “Since you’ve been gone, I can breathe for the first time.”

Breakup truism: “You had your chance, you blew it.”

“Bye Bye Bye” by N Sync

When you’re doing the breaking up, it can be really hard. Especially if your partner is controlling you with strings like a puppet. Next time you’re struggling with how to end things, take a note from N Sync: “Don’t really want to make it tough, I just want to tell you that I’ve had enough.”

Breakup truism: “I don’t want to be your fool in this game for two.”

“So What” by Pink

Forget awkward lookalikes (the girl in that Robin Thicke music video doesn’t even really look like Patton). Pink’s husband, Carey Hart, actually starred in this video alongside Pink as she sings about the two of them being done. Maybe that’s why the two reunited in 2009.

Breakup truism: “Guess what? I’m having more fun now that we’re done.”

“U Got It Bad” by Usher

Nobody can really tap into your soul like Usher at his peak. Out with someone else, and you’re still thinking about her? Call her constantly? Standing in the rain in front of her trailer? Usher knows your pain.

Breakup truism: “Nobody wants to be alone.”

“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

Nothing fancy here. Just Adele sitting in a chair in an empty house belting out “Rolling in the Deep.” Oh and someone dancing in what looks to be a bunch of dust? Sometimes you don’t need much more than an amazing voice singing about pain.

Breakup truism: “The scars of your love, they leave me breathless. I can’t help feeling we could have had it all.”

“You Oughta Know” by Alanis Morissette

There’s nothing worse than seeing your ex with someone new. You may feel the urge to remind them of how much they hurt you, how messy your breakup was. Alanis Morissette does so in hair-flinging fashion in this very 90s video.

Breakup truism: “Every time you speak her name, does she know you told me you’d hold me until you died?”

“We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey

Okay maybe this will make you more nostalgic for your ex than help you get over the relationship. It may even encourage you to run away from your wedding to the wrong person. But sometimes people are meant to be together, right?

Breakup truism: “I never should’ve let you go. I didn’t know nothing; I was stupid; I was foolish; I was lying to myself.”

“Survivor” by Destiny’s Child

Whoever thought they should put Destiny’s Child on a deserted island, dress them in fatigues and have them and dance in front of an ancient temple was a genius. These girls made girl power mainstream.

Breakup truism: “You thought I’d be weak without you, but I’m stronger. You thought that I’d be broke without you, but I’m richer. You thought that I’d be sad without you, I laugh harder.”

And now what you know what a real breakup video looks like, check out the Robin Thicke version:

TIME relationships

Robin Thicke’s ‘Get Her Back': A Lesson in How Not to Win Back Your Ex

Rule number one: Don't broadcast your private text messages in a bid for public sympathy

+ READ ARTICLE

Robin Thicke is once again proving to be a guy with some serious boundary issues. Now he’s taking his “I know you want it” mantra to another platform: trying to win back his estranged wife Paula Patton—who has notably stayed out of the spotlight—by means of very public, unrelenting peer pressure.

The unsubtle music video for the unsubtle song “Get Her Back,” featured on the unsubtly titled new album Paula, shows a bloody and battered Thicke trying to, well, get her back. And how does he plan to do that? By broadcasting the couple’s private text messages to hordes of fans.

While we can only hope that this was an imaginary exchange, the meta-nature of Thicke’s uber-public “Win back my woman whether she wants it or not” campaign only makes us think that the messages are real. But it doesn’t matter either way. Whether or not Paula wrote the texts, “You drink too much,” “You embarrassed me,” and “I can’t make love to you anymore,” we highly doubt she wanted those sentiments to go viral. (Maybe she should only communicate with Thicke via Snapchat from now on.)

The video is the epitome of male entitlement and an excellent example of faux apology. Thicke attempts to gain sympathy for putting his flaws (drinking) and groveling apologies (“I hate myself”) out there, but really he is attempting to take away his wife’s agency to leave him.

He’s also irreconcilably and non-consensually linking her with his musical success, turning groveling into paychecks. You want to try and forget about me, Paula? Just try as I try to turn my attempts at reconciliation into a summer Top 40.

While Thicke might be going for the sympathy card, his music video makes it clear that he is ignoring his ex’s wishes:

“I wrote a whole album for you,” Thicke texts.

“I don’t care,” Patton responds.

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