TIME Recaps

The Walking Dead Watch: “Spend”

Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee - The Walking Dead _ Season 5B, Fog Gallery - Photo Credit: Ben Leuner/AMC
Ben Leunee/AMC—© AMC Film Holdings LLC. "Wait, what just happened?"

Back to the show's gory, gory roots

“Spend,” episode 14 of the fifth season of The Walking Dead, doesn’t skimp on the gore. Perhaps the title is a nod to what the producers anticipated having to do to pull off so many stomach-churning (also, stomach-dismembering) visual effects. Or perhaps it’s a nod to the writers’ willingness to let blood toward the end of a season. Whatever the case, this isn’t one to watch while eating.

The group is now more or less fully integrated with the Alexandria community. Daryl is out recruiting. Abraham is working on the construction gang. Noah wants to be an architect. Maggie is part of the town government. Glenn, Tara, and Eugene are doing scavenging runs. And Rick and Carol are preoccupied with the mundane whodunnits of small-town life.

Carol and Rick slowly suss out that something’s not quit right about the town doctor. He’s probably hitting his wife, Jessie, and maybe their son, Sam, Carol decides, before telling Rick the family drama is going to end in bloodshed. Meanwhile, Abraham shows himself a born leader at the construction site by saving one of the workers and taking command of the terrified crew.

But most of the action occurs at the warehouse where Deanna’s son, Aiden, leads a scouting party to find parts to fix the community’s power grid. Things go fubar almost immediately: Aiden is impaled on some metal shelving when he accidentally sets a grenade off; Tara is also knocked unconscious. While Eugene takes care of Tara, Glenn, Noah and the coward Nicholas try to un-impale Aiden to no avail. They fail, and he gets slowly, squishily eaten from the middle out by a pack of walkers.

When Glenn, Noah and Nicholas find themselves trapped inside a revolving door, the coward Nicholas makes a run for it, sacrificing Noah in the process. He gets slowly, squishily eaten from the face out by a pack of walkers. Glenn, Eugene, Tara and the coward Nicholas make it out alive.

The show ends with a prophetic warning. Gabriel tells Deanna that Rick’s group is corruption itself and to be wary for what is sure to come in episodes 14 and 16.

Zombie Kill Count
1 bullet to the head by Noah; 1 knife to the skull by Tara; 1 rifle shot to chest-mounted grenade by Aiden; 1 knife to the head by Noah; 1 shot to the head by Glenn; 9 shots to the dome on the construction site; 7 swings of a construction implement by Abraham; 1 shot to the head by Eugene; 4 shots to the head by Noah; 3 shots to the head by Glenn.
Estimated total: 29

Read next: The Walking Dead Spinoff Coming This Summer

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Watch John Oliver Get Mad About March Madness

"The only other people who say 'they're not employees' that much are people who run illegal sweatshops"

Just as March Madness swings into high gear, John Oliver squared off against the NCAA on Sunday’s Last Week Tonight.

Oliver is troubled by the fact that the NCAA makes money hand over fist on the sweat of so-called student athletes thanks to sponsorships and TV deals and yet adamantly doesn’t pay them for their services. While the NCAA holds that student-athletes are amateurs who are compensated for their services with an education, Oliver argues that the athletes are employees of the colleges for which they play.

Oliver points out how poorly some universities treat some of their athletes, the sub-par education that some student athletes receive, the fact some students are actually starving while playing for these teams, and caps it all off with a disturbing montage of coaches spewing epithets at their athletes, which would definitely disappoint Coach Taylor. All that and less than 2% of NCAA players go on to lucrative careers with professional sports teams.

Luckily Oliver has a suggestion that can help the NCAA earn more money: an ultra-realistic video game that shows what it’s really like to play ball in the NCAA.

Watch the full clip below:

Read next: 6 Ways to Win Your March Madness Office Pool

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‘There It Is. You’re Caught.’ The Jinx Gets Its Man

However it plays in court, the gobsmacking HBO true-crime finale was a once-in-a-lifetime stunner.

Spoilers for the finale of HBO’s The Jinx follow:

“There it is. You’re caught. You’re right, of course. But you can’t imagine. Arrest him. I don’t know what’s in the house. Oh, I want this. What a disaster. He was right. I was wrong. And the burping. I’m having difficulty with the question. What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”

Folks, I ain’t no fancy city lawyer. I can’t tell you what Robert Durst did or did not mean by every line of the hot-mike men’s room aria that closed The Jinx. I don’t know how a team of well-paid lawyers could spin it in court. (This is, as we’ve learned, a man who hacked his neighbor in Texas to pieces and got off on self-defense.) I cannot prognosticate what will happen with the murder charge on which, with synergistic timing, Durst was arrested the day the finale aired.

But I can, beyond reasonable doubt, pronounce The Jinx‘s finale guilty of killing me with tension and of aggravated sticking of the landing.

I would not have thought that HBO could deliver another cut-to-black to compete with the one Tony Soprano went out on. But holy hell, I have never seen anything like this on television, and I could say that for each of The Jinx‘s final three episodes. At this point, my gob is numb from being repeatedly smacked.

The final episode, though slotted for an hour, was a brief 40 minutes, an efficient drill targeted at one end, the final interview. Having discovered, in the previous episode, an envelope from Durst matching the handwriting and misspelling (“BEVERLEY”) of a note sent to police after the murder of his friend Susan Berman, Andrew Jarecki tries to cajole Durst into one more talk to spring the discovery on him. (Their banter is dissonantly friendly–“Bob” chatting with “Jarecki,” who learns Durst has lied to him about a vacation to Spain and seems to be putting off an interview.) Then–the percussive soundtrack steadily pumping up our collective blood pressure–he and producers huddle about how to structure the interview.

But as simple as it was, there was a lot going on here. We saw how the making of the documentary became a factor in the documentary itself. When Durst was arrested for trespassing in 2013–for violating an order to stay away from his brother Douglas’ home–his attorneys needed access to footage of him, which, Jarecki said, gave them “a lot of leverage.” We saw Jarecki’s admission that, after all he’d seen, he wondered if he should be afraid to confront Durst.

And then there was that bathroom soliloquy itself. Forget the legal implications, how it might play in court. It was just a stunning glimpse inside Durst’s head. The wheels turning, the recrimination, the playing back the tape and analyzing his fumbles. (“And the burping.”) The apparent attempts to game out more answers (“I’m having difficulty with the question.”) It was, structurally, a perfect, diamond-honed internal monologue. It was James Joyce, it was Pinter, it was Mamet. But it was real.

And in the court of TV at least, it was roll credits, game over. What The Jinx couldn’t answer, what may be beyond human ken, is: why? Why the hell did Robert Durst talk? Here’s a remote, cold man who does not seem to give much of a damn what people think of him. Why try to give his side at all? Hubris? Anger? Ego? His own lawyer, he noted, had warned him: “You can’t help yourself.” Maybe that’s what he meant by “He was right. I was wrong.”

It was an amazing ending, made more so by the meta-assist of Durst’s real-life arrest. HBO and Jarecki busted open a cold case that several jurisdictions had been unable to make. But there will be plenty of questions to come about how they did it, what they shared with police and what they withheld, and how that will affect the investigation.

A long New York Times story gets at some of this. The producers’ lawyers feared that bringing the letter to police too soon would damage its admissibility, but they got in contact with authorities in 2013. Had they co-operated beyond a point, they might be treated as law-enforcement agents in court. And–and I’m not quite sure how this could happen–it was ages before producers even found the bathroom audio. (The current version of the Times story says “more than two years,” but Durst’s trespassing arrest was in August 2013. In general, The Jinx could have made its own timeline clearer.)

The events all raise more questions than I claim the legal background to unravel: At what point should Jarecki and company gone to the cops? Would it have compromised the police investigation? The documentary? What exactly was the timeline here? Were the producers motivated not to blow what was looking (correctly) like a documentary gift from God? Was this a kind of documentary citizen’s arrest, or vigilante action? Would that be a bad thing, given that proper legal authorities failed to make a case against Durst repeatedly?

(Oh, and when did Durst or the producers discover he was still wearing his mike? That’s the kind of thing you notice eventually, right?)

Much of The Jinx‘s unfinished business will have to be hashed out in a court of law. But judged as riveting crime TV, The Jinx is a slam-dunk. Jarecki and company took a cold case, already investigated with great publicity, and seemingly impossibly, found explosive evidence and built a compelling theory.

That itself would have been a hell of a show. But as Jarecki’s fictional forebear Colombo used to say, there was just one more thing. Their confident, hubristic quarry (who after all, came to them) turned out to be their best partner. He got himself to wear a wire, slipped off to the men’s room and–just possibly–as we listened flabbergasted, flushed his defense straight down the toilet.

Read next: How Robert Durst Was Acquitted of Murder Years Before The Jinx

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TIME Television

Glee Stars Open Up About Final Days on Set

The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA - "Glee" - Inside
Frazer Harrison—Getty Images HOActor Chris Colfer and Amber Riley on stage at The Paley Center For Media's 32nd Annual PALEYFEST LA - "Glee" at Dolby Theatre on March 13, 2015 in Hollywood.

Two-hour series finale airs on March 20

Glee is entering the final week before its two-hour series finale on March 20, but Darren Criss said the last days of shooting were beautiful – not sad.

“I remember the very last shot, we were all crying and holding on to each other and Chord [Overstreet] just started bursting out laughing because, at that point, those emotions were all next to each other,” Criss, 28, told reporters at PaleyFest in LA on Friday.

Criss was joined at PaleyFest to take part in a panel with castmates Overstreet, Amber Riley, Chris Colfer, Dot-Marie Jones, Heather Morris, Jane Lynch, Mark Salling and Lea Michele.

Missing, but never forgotten, was former Glee star Cory Monteith, who died in 2013 at age 31.

“I really think that [creators] Ryan [Murphy], Brad [Falchuk] and Ian [Brennan] and the rest of our writers had a difficult task in wrapping up everyone’s story lines and also making sure everyone was happy and making sure to honor Cory and do all of that in one episode,” Michele, 28, said. “And they really did a great job to make sure that the fans were happy and that they were respectful of everyone in the story line.”

“As I’m sure a lot of people would tell you, the last setup was very emotional because we never knew when the last take was going to be,” Criss said. “People kept asking me, ‘Will you cry? Will you cry?’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t know. I probably will.'”

The end of the show hasn’t meant the end of everything Glee: The cast said they’ve saved several mementos from the set.

“I stole that plaque that had [Cory’s] picture on it and put it above my piano, and a pair of shoes,” Salling, 32, told PEOPLE.

Overstreet said he took his letterman jacket; Lynch said she kept three tracksuits. “Darren took a couch you guys!” Michele told reporters.

But not her. Michele said shared a “great little moment” at the start of that last day with the four other original Glee-sters: Colfer, Riley, Jenna Ushkowitz and Kevin McHale.

“We took a little shot and said, “Let’s make this last day great,’ ” she said.

Jones, who this season saw her character come out as a transgender man, said she kept something even more personal: Coach Beiste’s ring, now locked in her safe.

The future holds a host of different things for the cast, now that Fox’s six-season musical has wrapped. Lynch said she’s planning a vacation (“maybe a silent retreat in Portugal”) and Michele is very, very excited to get to work on her second album.

But they’ll always have Glee.

“It’s hilariously tragically wonderful it’s over,” Criss said. “But holy crap – did we just really do this?”

This article originally appeared on People.com

TIME Television

HBO Wants More Game of Thrones

Creator George R.R. Martin says the network hopes for more than seven seasons

George R.R. Martin has offered his take on EW’s story this week about the future of Game of Thrones.

As we reported, the hit fantasy’s showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss believe the rest of Martin’s saga will take seven seasons to conclude on screen. HBO, however, would actually prefer more than that—but also emphasized the network wouldn’t want to drag out the story if the writer-producers sincerely believe additional seasons would be detrimental to their creative vision. “We know basically how many hours are left in this story,” Benioff says. “It’s about finding that sweet spot so it works for us and for HBO and, most of all, it works for the audience.”

Writing on his blog, Martin confirmed HBO wants more than seven seasons (“I continue to hear similar sentiments from HBO every time I have meeting with them,” he says). But he cautioned that nothing is yet decided and might not be for awhile: “Right now, Game of Thrones is guaranteed only six seasons. That’s all HBO has officially committed to, by contract. We can speculate about additional seasons beyond that, but that’s all it is, speculation. Weird stuff happens in television, and there are sooooo many factors involved. Budgets. Actors’ contracts. New shows in development. Ratings … Around the time that the second episode of season six is showing, HBO will order season seven, we hope … or maybe, just maybe, they will order seasons seven AND eight. But even if they just order season seven, that doesn’t mean that the show will end in seven; it could just represent a return to the original policy of committing to only one season at a time.”

As we pointed out in the piece, one option is for HBO to order a split extended seventh season—like AMC did with the final season o fBreaking Bad and HBO with The Sopranos – which would extend the show into an eighth year without having to renegotiate with the cast or commit to another 10 episodes.

Martin also addressed the idea of ending the series with a movie. He points out (correctly) that this idea did not originate with him, but since he’s gone public with the concept that he’s the person the media tends to cite on the subject. “It was a notion suggested to me, which I have enthusiastically endorsed… but since I was the first person to raise the possibility in public, somehow I am being seen as its father. Sure, I love the idea. Why not? What fantasist would not love the idea of going out with an epic hundred million feature film? And the recent success of the IMAX experience shows that the audience is there for such a movie. If we build it, they will come. But will we build it? I have no bloody idea.”

For more, check out Martin’s “Not a Blog.” And for more about season 5 of Game of Thrones, pick up this week’s double issue where we go behind the scenes of season 5 across three countries for 30 pages of content about the show’s past, present and future. Get the issue here or subscribe to EW instantly and get every issue on tablet and in print.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Television

Lena Dunham Is Going to Mess Everything Up on Scandal Next Week

The Girls star has a guest role on the ABC drama

As if Olivia Pope didn’t have enough problems, Lena Dunham is set to guest star on the next episode of Scandal, and if the promo is any indication, she’ll bring all the destructive energy of her Girls character Hannah Horvath.

Dunham plays a writer with a book that threatens to reveal some of Washington’s dirtiest secrets, which spells big trouble for Pope. The episode, “It’s Good to Be Kink,” airs Thursday March 19 on ABC.

TIME Television

Review: The Ridiculous Royals Puts the Nasty in Dynasty

The Royals - Season 1
Paul Blundell/E! Entertainment

But it's neither good enough, nor so-bad-it's-good enough, to keep up with the Kardashians.

One of the benefits of American independence is being able to take a tourist’s-eye view of the British royal family. We can follow their foibles, gawk at their weddings, or coo over their babies without the burden of feeling invested in a national tradition. We get to visit the ball without paying the bill. So it’s a little odd that, amid our soap operas about oil dynasties and political dynasties and hip-hop dynasties, we don’t have a Dynasty about a dynasty.

On March 15, E! aims to remedy that with The Royals, about a scandal-plagued, wealth-corrupted, TMZ-in-the-UK clan who may be Britain’s last ruling family ever. But it ends up with a wan, chintzy soap that can’t compete with reality–either Britain’s or E!’s.

The unnamed royal house in The Royals isn’t really a fictionalization of the Windsors, who have upped their p.r. game in the Kate Middleton era, but it begins with a Princess-Di-like tragedy: the noble, popular Crown Prince Robert, has died in an accident. The family he leaves behind are a much less palatable bunch. Queen Helena (Elizabeth Hurley) is a vicious, status-besotted Royal Housewife of London. Princess Eleanor (Alexandra Park) flashed the paparazzi while dancing sans panties in a Paris nightclub. Playboy Prince Liam (William Mosely) has scandalized his family by bedding Ophelia (Merritt Patterson), the American daughter of the palace head of security. Throw in a polymorphously pervy royal uncle, Cyrus (Jake Maskall), and various Anglotrash cousins, and the whole debauched scene has so demoralized King Simon (Vincent Regan), that he is planning to ask Parliament to abolish the monarchy. (One advantage of fiction: better names.)

There are a lot of ways you could go with this setup, and a big problem with The Royals is that it tries to go every way. (I’ve seen five episodes, not all in order.) It’s at its worst when it tries to be on its best behavior, as when, with King Simon, it wants to make serious statements about nobility, honor and duty. (As the ramrod-straight king, Regan feels like he took a wrong turn on the set of Downton Abbey.) Other times, it’s a mushy, sentimental young-adult drama (creator Mark Schwahn produced teen soap One Tree Hill) focused on the star-crossed, high-and-lowborn romance of Liam and Ophelia, who have all the chemistry of two cold noodles on a plate. (Oddly, given that it’s not even our monarchy, it’s this streak of sincerity that makes The Royals feel most American.)

The best version of The Royals is also not good, but it can be entertainingly bad: a filthy, blackhearted dissection of the 0.0001%. This is a family of spoiled cats, fattened on the rich milk of inheritance, and when Simon threatens to take the saucer away, the claws come out. Sharpest are those on Cyrus and especially Helena, who infights viciously to protect her status and to separate Ophelia and her son. Hurley’s performance isn’t nuanced, but she has fun with it. (In later episodes, Joan Collins turns up as Helena’s mum, in a sort of passing of the soap-villainess torch.)

Mostly, The Royals is bespoke trash; like the artfully ripped Sex Pistols shirt Eleanor wears in one episode, it feels deliberately distressed, trying too hard. But it knows how to get your attention with its ripe raunchiness. One moment, Helena walks into her daughter’s quarters, wrinkle her nose and announce, accurately, “Smells of sex in here;” another, she sniffs Liam and says, “I smell supermodel.” The whole family has an aroma about them, as when they’re herded together in a bunker beneath the palace in an emergency, and they turn on one another like the “zoo animals” King Simon describes them as.

But underneath its racy dialogue (“And I’d prefer it if your daughter weren’t blowing my son. We can’t always get what we want, can we?”), The Royals is a dated primetime soap, not fresh enough to justify the uneven tone, awful dialogue or rampant overacting. Ultimately it becomes a dirty-but-moralistic story, straight out of an ’80s soap, of sibling rivalry and a battle between the family’s rottenness and the attempts of Liam, Eleanor and Ophelia to discover their deeper good.

There is a glimmer of an idea behind it, though: social media, and how it’s depreciated the old currency of status. In The Royals’ palace, nobles carry smartphones like Shakespeare’s carried rapiers; they have “social media advisers” in place of valets; the abbreviation “FML” comes up more often than “HRH.” But all this means that the royal family is just one more set of boldface names vying for the public’s attention with all the media-enabled commoners out there. They’re hustling on the same ground as entertainers and reality stars. One episode, for instance, finds Helena and Eleanor putting on rival fashion shows, as if they were Lucious and Cookie throwing competing parties on Empire.

I suppose the success of Empire means there may be room on the public’s social calendar for a raw but throwback soap like this one. E! certainly seems to think so, having already picked it up for a second season before the first debuted. It’s ironic, though, that an old-school scripted soap opera about old-world status would come from a channel that has created exactly the kind of celebrity-reality shows that have superseded it.

E!, after all, already has a hit serial about a royal family navigating the pressures of fame in the social media era. The hour before The Royals’ March 15 debut, it’s airing the tenth-season premiere of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

TIME Television

Watch President Obama Read Mean Tweets About Himself on Jimmy Kimmel

“You know, the lol is redundant when you have the haha”

With his approval rating hovering below 50%, there’s no shortage of Americans who take issue with President Barack Obama.

The Commander in Chief faced the music on Thursday night when he appeared on the famed #MeanTweets segment of Jimmy Kimmel Live to read some of the more comical musings about his performance as President and his decision to wear “THOSE jeans.”

Watch the full video here.

Read next: Watch Jimmy Kimmel Read Mean Tweets About Himself and His Pro-Vaccination Message

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TIME Television

Andy Samberg to Host the 2015 Emmy Awards

Andy Samberg attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Feb. 22, 2015.
Pascal Le Segretain—Getty Images Andy Samberg attends the 2015 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Feb. 22, 2015.

The actor-writer-comedian promises "it’s gonna be a wild ride"

Who can argue with this choice: Actor-writer-comedian Andy Samberg will host the 67th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards when the ceremony airs on Fox this year. The Brooklyn Nine-Nine and former Saturday Night Live star will oversee the proceedings from the Nokia Theatre on Sunday, Sept. 20.

“The moment the Emmy Awards’ host was brought up, we said it had to be Andy,” said Gary Newman and Dana Walden, Chairmen and CEOs, Fox Television Group. “He is fearless, hilarious, an award-winning comedian, singer, writer and actor with incredible live TV experience. We know he’ll deliver the laughs and give viewers an incredible night they will enjoy.”

The Emmy telecast rotates among the Big 4 networks and traditionally the network airing the ceremony selects a personality from their talent ranks to host the show. When the Emmys aired on NBC last year, Samberg’s fellow former SNL co-star Seth Meyers was the host.

Samberg released the following statement. Just try not to hear his voice in your heard as you read this: “Buckle your seat belts, Emmy viewers! Like, in general you should buckle your seat belts in your car. In fact, even if you’re not an Emmy viewer, you should buckle your seat belt. It can be dangerous on the road. Also, if you’re not an Emmy viewer, you should strongly consider becoming one this year, because I’m hosting, and it’s gonna be a wild ride. So buckle your seat belts.”

Bruce Rosenblum, chairman and CEO of the Television Academy, had this (less entertaining) statement: “It’s wonderfully fitting that we have Andy Samberg, an Emmy Award winner himself, as our host for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. Andy has excelled in all aspects of the television universe, both from behind and in front of the camera. His humor, insights and charisma will be an exciting addition to our annual celebration of television’s best and brightest.”

If you’re wondering what project Rosenblum is referring to when he points out that Samberg previously won an Emmy, that would be Samberg co-winning an award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics in 2007 for “Dick in a Box.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Television

Kerry Washington to Star as Anita Hill in HBO Movie

Kerry Washington
Richard Shotwell—Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Kerry Washington arrives at the 32nd Annual Paleyfest : "Scandal" held at The Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 8, 2015, in Los Angeles.

Washington will play the lawyer whose sexual harassment allegations muddied the confirmation hearings for Justice Clarence Thomas

Actress Kerry Washington has been tapped to play Anita Hill in an upcoming HBO original film.

Washington will play the woman whose sexual harassment allegations against then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas muddied his confirmation process. The film, aptly titled Confirmation, is centered on the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings.

According to the The Hollywood Reporter, which broke the news of Washington’s involvement, the made-for-TV film will be written and executive produced by Susannah Grant, known for her work on Erin Brockovich.

[The Hollywood Reporter]

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