TIME Television

Jessica Chastain Will Not Star in True Detective Season 2

Jessica Chastain during the 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby' photocall at the 67th Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2014.
Jessica Chastain during the 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby' photocall at the 67th Cannes Film Festival on May 18, 2014. Dave Bedrosian—DPA/Landov

Reps for The Zero Dark Thirty actress debunked rumors that she would star in the second season of HBO's critically acclaimed detective drama

Updated at 11:05 am EST

Almost from the beginning of True Detective‘s stellar first season — which starred Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as flawed but fascinating detectives — fans have been speculating who would be cast in the second season of the anthology series. The Nerdist reported Wednesday that the show’s producers offered Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain a spot in the 2015 season.

But reps for Chastain and HBO denied the rumor, according to E! News. Sadly, Chastain will not join the show.

Bring on Chastain would have been a boon for the series. Not only did Chastain storm the film industry in 2011 with starring roles in a total of seven films, she also earned a host of awards and nominations for her role as a determined CIA officer in 2012′s Zero Dark Thirty, including an Oscar nod. (She was also included in the 2012 TIME 100.)

Critics of the show, who thought that it was misogynist and gave no female perspective, have also been eager to see a woman in one of the lead roles for the second season. Creator Nic Pizzolatto addressed the casting issue after the first season’s finale in an interview with Alan Sepinwall at Hitfix: “This is really early, but I’ll tell you (it’s about) hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.”

[E! News]

This post was updated to debunk rumors of Chastain’s casting in True Detective.

TIME Television

RECAP: Dancing With the Stars Watch: And the Winner Is …

ABC/Adam Taylor

The winners were revealed after a three-hour finale that showcased mostly fillers. Oh, and Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX and Ariana Grande made appearances

Welcome to the Dancing With the Stars finale, better known as two hours and 45 minutes of filler with 15 minutes of celebration. It’s an over-the-top ending for an over-the-top show.

Slap on your dress spandex and spray tan and read what happened on Dancing With the Stars:

Best behind-the-scenes moment: Maks bawled his eyes out after last night’s freestyle routine.

Go home voters, you’re drunk: James and Peta “overwhelmingly” won the vote to repeat their freestyle routine on tonight’s show. Only problem is that they were voted off last night. Awkward. Regardless of the snafu, the couple donned their studded halter tops, dance hoodies and guyliner and hit the floor like pros for a repeat performance for the fickle viewing audience.

Walk down memory lane, Part 1: Way back in Latin week, so-called Team Loca was unable to perform its group dance, because team member Amy Purdy had been rushed to the hospital. To help burn up the two remaining hours of prime time, the group — Danica McKellar, Meryl Davis, Candace Cameron Bure and Amy — were invited to finally show the world their routine to Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” because some producer decided that America should not be denied the wonder and the glory of the stars in matching red Spanx.

The problem with live TV: Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX turned up the heat with their track “Fancy,” but ran into technical difficulties when Iggy’s ear monitor went out in the middle of the performance and she had to stop and toss the earpiece on the floor. She performed the rest of the song, but forgot to sing the G-rated version of it, earning a few serious beeps. It was great to see Charli XCX on prime time, though.

Walk down memory lane, Part 2: Just in case you (like me) forgot who took home the Mirror Ball Trophy last season, it was Glee star Amber Riley. She returned to her old stomping ground to promote her new single, perform and, naturally, to help run down the clock.

Drew Carey and Cheryl Burke: Drew and Cheryl repeated their fast-paced jive, even though the audience would probably have preferred a rousing round of Plinko instead.

Best reunion: After winning the gold at the Sochi Olympics, ice-dancing partners Meryl and Charlie White were rudely sundered apart by the evil DWTS producers. To prove that they are still a united front, they hit the dance floor together for a quick freestyle routine filled with lifts, drama and eye contact that surely made Maks jealous.

NeNe Leakes redux: When the Real Housewives of Atlanta star shook it to Beyoncé’s “Grown Woman,” it was clear she was having more fun than anyone else in the ballroom right then. Host Tom Bergeron couldn’t help but blurt, “NeNe Leakes, that woman can move her real estate.”

Danica McKellar and Val Chmerkovskiy: Making the most of ABC’s cozy relationship with the Disney mother ship, Danica and Maks returned to Disney week for some Beauty and the Beast cosplay, complete with animated dishware to really bring the routine to life and appeal to any 7 year olds up past their bedtime.

Cody Simpson: Remember how purported teen dream Cody Simpson danced to his own song “Surfboard” (NB: not Beyoncé’s “Surfbort“) early in the competition, because that is the extent of his business manager’s imagination? Well, he returned to the ballroom to double down on the royalties and perform the song live.

Charlie White and Sharna Burgess: The couple that took an early lead in the competition, before being unfairly felled in the semifinals, returned to the ballroom for another rousing rendition of their high-flying dance to “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.” It killed about three minutes, one prop umbrella and the rest of my patience.

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: James and Peta opted to repeat their routine to Michael Jackson’s Xscape track, and that’s all there is to say about that.

Biggest mystery: Pint-sized chanteuse Ariana Grande stopped by the show to perform her hit “Problem.” Weirdly though, Iggy Azalea, who was featured on the track, did not join Ariana on stage, even though she was clearly in the building as she just performed her own song. Did she get stuck in Disney detention for swearing?

Time to pass the mirror ball: DWTS Season 17 winner Amber returned to the stage to sing and dance while surrounded by approximately 1 million shirtless men, because if you have to go, you may as well leave with a bang.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: For their final routine, Amy and Derek were instructed to get in touch with their inner mad scientist and combine an Argentine tango with a cha-cha. They scored 30/30.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: For their Frankenstein’s monster of a dance, Candace and Mark had to combine a quickstep and a samba. It went O.K. 27/30

Meryl Davis and Maks Chmerkovskiy: Meryl and Maks had the unholy combination of a Foxtrot with a cha-cha. 30/30

Biggest bombshell: While critiquing Meryl and Maks, Len noted that he might not be back next season. If Len leaves, can Grumpy Cat take his place?

The grand finale: As Christina Perri sang her song “Human,” a montage of great moments from the past season played while the three finalists had to awkwardly stand there.

In third place: Candace and Mark.

And the winners are: Meryl and Maks! While Meryl is the ostensible winner, the victory is Maks’. He has competed on 14 seasons, but always been the bridesmaid and never the bride, until now. While the hard-hearted among us would guess that the promise of a victory was probably how producers were able to lure Maks back to the show this season, all reality-TV logic flies out the window when their names are called. Maks has a look of pure joy on his face, matched only by the one on his brother Val’s. It’s a Chmerkovskiy party and, oh yeah, Meryl is there.

MORE: The Bachelorette and the Death of Eric Hill

MORE: RECAP: Dancing With the Stars Watch: Finally, the Finale

TIME Television

The Bachelorette and the Death of Eric Hill

ANDI DORFMAN, ERIC
Andi Dorfman and Eric Hill in a scene from the season premiere of The Bachelorette Rick Rowell—ABC

What happens when a contestant dies after filming a reality show — before America has even had a chance to meet him?

On April 23, Eric Hill died from injuries incurred in a paragliding accident. The 31-year old explorer sought to visit every country in the world, and was documenting his trip, which he dubbed “The Global Odyssey,” on Instagram while collecting footage for a documentary. He was active, energetic and vibrant. He was also a contestant on an upcoming season of The Bachelorette.

While Hill was already off the show when his tragic death occurred — having been sent packing by current Bachelorette Andi Dorfman — his passing put the producers of the ABC reality show in an awkward position. Would they scrap the series? Would they edit him out of the entire show and pretend he had never existed in the show’s strange demi-reality? Would they leave him in situ, knowing that a sad end was in sight for the young man?

Back in April, while Hill was still in a coma, the show’s host Chris Harrison stopped by ABC’s The View to promote the show and host Barbara Walters asked him the question that was on everyone’s mind: “That is a tragedy,” she said. “But how are you going to edit this?”

“The show? I don’t know,” Harrison told her. “We haven’t gotten there yet.”

On May 19, during the show’s premiere, they got there. Harrison opened the show by tackling the issue head on: “Throughout the years, many hundreds of men and women have come on this show in search of love,” he said. “And they’ve all become a part of what we consider The Bachelor family. At this time we’d like to take a moment to honor one of these men — our friend Eric Hill.” A poignant montage of Hill’s travels and somber music played. Harrison dedicated the season to Hill’s memory. Then, he immediately launched into Andi Dorfman’s journey to find love and a fairytale ending. It was an awkward transition from the loss of life to looking for love, but is there anything the show could have done to navigate this impossible situation more deftly?

As Harrison explained in his Entertainment Weekly blog:

[I]t was wise and important for us to slow down and stop and realize that we were upset about this as well and needed to take it all in and mourn and deal with it emotionally and personally, and then try to figure out how professionally we would deal with it. And or first step was to obviously honor him at the top of the show because we had made the decision, I think wisely, to leave him in and not take him out of the show. So the start was to at least acknowledge it there, and then honestly, we’re still figuring it out. We’re still dealing with the day-to-day of how to best respectfully and honorably include him in the show, but at the same time, not sensationalize it and make it anything that it wasn’t.”

It’s rare for reality to strike so close to reality television, but this isn’t the first time that tragedy has affected these shows. “It’s the first time in the 12 years we’ve been doing the show where we’ve had this sort of situation,” Harrison wrote, but there have been others: The Bachelor contestant Gia Allemand took her own life months after she had been a contestant on the show; the producers opted for a brief mention of the loss. The Deadliest Catch lost one of their stalwart sea captains, Phil Harris, mid-season when he passed away from a massive stroke. The death was featured on the show and Discovery aired a special tribute episode to the crab fisherman.

But viewers knew Phil Harris after seasons of watching him haul crab with his sons, whereas The Bachelorette is in the strange predicament of having to introduce viewers to someone who is already gone. It’s a thorny situation that requires cautious navigation, which the show handled well enough — particularly for a show that normally pounces on human vulnerability and throws it into a hot tub with a bottle of champagne while an eager cameraman films it all.

While the producers and ABC chose to leave Hill in the show (and to edit him out would have been equally strange), Hill’s presence on The Bachelorette is tricky. It was chilling that Harrison dedicated the season to Hill and a few minutes later, we saw him step out of a limo with a giant, hopeful grin on his face. Watching him introduce himself to Dorfman, cuddle with her by a fire and talk about his love of adventures and sky diving and base jumping is heartrending. Seeing Hill on camera reminds viewers of his (and their) mortality — it’s not escapist, like most reality TV, and it doesn’t make for light viewing. It’s not clear how far Hill gets in the process, but some reality gossip sites have claimed that he’s among the final four contestants vying for Andi’s heart, and producers have confirmed that he leaves the show before the finale. That’s a lot of searing screen time and if it’s tough to watch as a stranger, it’s impossible to imagine how painful this is for his friends and family.

Mostly, Hill’s presence on the show is a glitch in the matrix of reality television. While people know that the show is pre-recorded, in many ways the audience is made to feel that we are chaperoning Andi’s dates in real time, that our shouts at the television will steer her away from the overly-pomaded dude who’s “not in it for the right reasons.” The passing of Hill reveals the reality of the show that exists behind the curtain of so-called “reality” television. Like any reality, it’s hard to navigate.

MORE: RECAP: The Bachelorette Premiere: Andi Ees O.K.

MORE: Dating Lessons I Learned From The Bachelorette Season Premiere

TIME Television

The Official Girl Meets World Theme Song Is Here

But would Mr. Feeny approve?

In just five weeks, the Disney Channel’s highly-anticipated Boy Meets World spinoff will finally make its debut. If you haven’t heard, it’s called Girl Meets World, naturally, and will document the life of Corey and Topanga’s pre-teen daughter, Riley.

Now you can get yourself pumped by listening to the official theme song: a poppy, catchy tune called “Take On the World” with inspirational lyrics that will encourage you to, well, take on the world. At the very least, the song will encourage you to park yourself on your couch all summer to watch a children’s show as you weep hot tears of regret wondering where your own childhood went. Man, who knew nostalgia could be so insidious?

TIME Television

RECAP: Dancing with the Stars Watch: Finally, The Finale

Amy Purdy on 'Dancing with the Stars.' Getty Images / ABC / Adam Taylor

A DWTS winner will be crowned tomorrow

Welcome to the Dancing with the Stars Thunderdome, where four couples go in, and one comes out with a Mirror Ball Trophy to place on their mantel and make Santa Claus jealous.

For tonight’s finale, the stars will slap on their spray tans, sequins and spandex for two routines. First will be an assigned dance from the Switch Up Week, followed by their freestyle routines, which are, of course, everyone’s favorite, because they show the true power of Dancing! (“Dancing” must be said in the Jon Lovitz voice). One contestant will leave at the end of tonight’s show, based on last week’s votes, while the remaining three compete for the title, the victory and, of course, the Mirror Ball Trophy.

Here’s what happened on Dancing with the Stars:

James Maslow and Peta Murgatroyd: James and Peta lucked out with getting to dance a sultry tango for the final dance, because it let them play up their fake dating for maximum vote-getting. In rehearsal footage they say they are going “to go for it,” as opposed to all the other teams. Len declared it “tighter than a trumpeter’s tweets” which probably isn’t as tight as a dancer’s you-know-what. Speaking of which, Carrie Ann Inaba dedicated much of her critique to the placement of James’ you-know-what, and then made a crass joke that no one could stop because live television is the best kind of television. 29/30

Meryl Davis and Maksim Chmerkovskiy: Olympic ice dancer Meryl already has a gold medal, so she wants to win this competition for Maks’ sake. Their complex, dramatic and beautiful Argentine tango should do it, but who knows anymore, because even though it was practically perfect, as her dearly departed ice dancing partner Charlie White can attest, DWTS isn’t exclusively a talent competition. The judges doled out a perfect 30/30.

Candace Cameron Bure and Mark Ballas: Candace can’t believe she’s in the finals, and neither can Charlie White. (JK?) Mark was injured during rehearsal, and even though he showed up on set in a sling, he had a miraculous recovery that will miraculously translate into votes. Their quickstep was solid, if unimpressive, due in part to the fact that they were in the unenviable position of following Maks and Meryl’s stunning routine. 27/30.

Amy Purdy and Derek Hough: Mark doesn’t get to hog all they sympathy votes this week, though, because Paralympian Amy Purdy is also suffering, albeit minus the vote-inducing ambulance ride. Her back is spasms have returned, undoubtedly due to the fact that she is dancing without feet. She powers through the tears running down her face and delivered a solid salsa routine. 30/30

James and Peta, Freestyle: After a tear-jerking story about how his brother’s coma taught him to follow his dreams, James and Peta hit the dance floor for their freestyle. They came up with a Road Warrior meets Step Up 2 The Streets freestyle mash-up that some how worked. (If Hollywood wants to option that idea, I am open to negotiations.) The routine included a backflip, martial arts moves and a big old sword. 29/30

Meryl and Maks, Freestyle: In a video montage, Meryl’s ice skating friends all came out to support her and explain how happy they are to see her open up emotionally on the dance floor. Then Meryl and Maks came out and left it all in the ballroom in a steaming, passionate, stunning routine that left Carrie Ann bawling her eyes out at the judges’ table. In the words of Joey Lawrence, whoa. She wiped her tears away and demanded that they get married, right then and there. Bruno says it was the perfect example of a work of art. Len (Len!) wished he could turn it up to 11. 30/30.

Candace and Mark, Freestyle: In her pre-dance montage, Candace hit the double whammy of ’90s nostalgia and tear-inducing story about being the slightly (as in, not really at all) chubby teen on a national television show. (Also, Lori Loughlin might be a witch, because she looks exactly the same.) Their freestyle starts off with Candace as D.J. Tanner, who is an actual deejay, in a gold lamé jumpsuit. She and Mark then hit the dance floor to “Canned Heat” for a funky number that didn’t quite connect with the Full House star or the judges. 24/30

Amy and Derek, Freestyle: Amy’s pre-dance montage tells the tragic tale of Amy coming down with bacterial meningitis and having her legs amputated. It also tells the triumphant story of a young woman overcoming adversity to snowboard in the Paralympics and dance each week on national television without feet. Her freestyle involved lots of lifts, flowing moves and ended with an aerial rope act that would make Pink jealous. Len loved the routine, but didn’t think the “rope bit” was necessary. Carrie Ann felt that Amy was “dancing with her soul,” which sounds uncomfortable 29/30

The Leaderboard: Meryl and Maks are in the lead, with Candace and Mark holding down the rear.

Who Goes Home And Who Goes To The Final Finals: Pay attention demographers: apparently DWTS voters are bigger fans of Growing Pains than Big Time Rush. James Maslow was sent home before the finals of the finals.

Best Reason To Come Back Tomorrow: We crown a winner, but give them a Mirror Ball on a stick instead of a crown.

MORE: RECAP: The Bachelorette Premiere: Andi Ees O.K.

MORE: Mad Men: A Brief History of the Real-World Burger Chef

TIME Television

REVIEW: I Wanna Marry “Harry”: Welcome to Bucking-sham Palace

Chris Raphael/FOX

I Wanna Marry "Harry" is practically a shot-for-shot remake of Joe Millionaire, except 11 years later and even more shameless.

Kids, let me take you back to the innocent days of 2003. Outkast greeted listeners with a hearty “Hey Ya!” Americans were enjoying the delicious, jingoistic flavor of “freedom fries.” And a little Fox show called Joe Millionaire taught America to laugh again, at the deceptive premise of tricking a bevy of bachelorettes into trying to win the hand of Evan Marriott, the rich guy who wasn’t.

Reality TV must be old enough to have entered its nostalgia phase. Because now, after Joe Millionaire launched a million has-reality-gone-too-far thinkpieces 11 years ago, the producers of Fox’s I Wanna Marry “Harry” have created what is, for all practical purposes, a remake. The hook behind “Harry” (premiering Tuesday, May 20) is slightly different; rather than a fake rich guy, this one dangles fake royalty: Matthew Hicks, a ginger-haired English bachelor who looks like British Prince Harry, kinda, sorta, if you squint. No one is flat-out told that “Harry” is Harry, but there’s enough royal bunting draped around him to drop the hint.

The original Joe Millionaire was a colossal hit, drawing 40 million viewers for its February 2003 finale. (A sequel in the fall of the same year bombed.) But presumably Fox must believe its participants were too young to be watching at the time, because the opening episode is weirdly similar, down to minor details and scenes. (I haven’t been able to find the original Joe online, but this four-minute clip from its first episode will give you a sense of it.) Hicks, like Marriott, is housed in a bucolic estate. There’s a butler figure/host, as in the original Joe Millionaire, who instructs him about table etiquette and fine stemware in a Pygmalion-esque sequence. Like “Joe,” he even gets fencing lessons. Like Joe’s dates, “Harry”‘s are made to stampede each other to a rack of ball gowns to dress up for the inaugural party. Even the one-on-one interviews repeat the 2003 version, right down to a woman saying “I’m a competitive person.” This is like the Gus Van Sant’s Psycho of sexist reality shows:

Unfortunately, “Harry” also copies Joe in the stereotypical assumptions of its setup: that its women are shallow, materialistic dupes who will let go of their scruples and skepticism to land a golden ticket, or in this case a crown. (To be fair, the first episode does have at least one skeptic who’s seen pictures of the actual Harry and doesn’t believe this is the real royal deal.) The sexist typecasting–the “naughty” one, the self-described “bitch,” the “fairy tale” references–is more or less typical of many dating shows, but with the added, gross dimension of money.

What “Harry” doesn’t have that the original Joe Millionaire did, at least so far, is any real sense of shame. Airing earlier in the reality era, Joe Millionaire was either naive or ambitious enough to add a meta-layer about the show behind the show: we saw Marriott become increasingly, wrenchingly guilty about having to go through with the contractually obligated lie. (At the time, Marriott told TIME that he only found out about the deceptive premise of the show after signing the contract to appear in it.) The original Joe was edited as a reality comedy, but there was a thread of darkness to it, with its night-vision spy cameras and ominous music. It was meant to be titillating, obviously, but the framing at least carried the suggestion that a viewer might see something, well, wrong here.

“Harry,” judging by its first episode, has no such pangs. It’s a product made for an audience inured by a decade of reality shows to duplicitous gimmicks and contrived catfights. Its tone, visuals, and scoring are light, because, hey, it’s just entertainment and these ladies all signed up for a reality show, and whatevs, right? Hicks comes across as a pleasant enough guy, but while it seems to take some work for him to lead the women on–mostly by staying quiet when they ask him whether his other house is Buckingham Palace–he doesn’t seem tortured about it, at least not yet. Maybe that will come in later episodes, with time. Or maybe, in the ensuing 11 years, reality TV has learned to become more controlled, more controlling–lighter in tone yet more slick and ruthless in its self-presentation.

I Wanna Marry “Harry” is like reality dating TV for the era of Game of Thrones, the dark HBO fantasy drama which is recalled in a scene where Hicks greets his dates while fire-breathing and fire-juggling entertainers dance outside the mansion. And if there’s one thing Game of Thrones has taught us, it’s this: sometimes you’re a lot better off just skipping the royal wedding.

TIME Crime

Police: The Shield Actor Told 911 He Shot His Wife

Michael Jace was arrested Tuesday on homicide charges; police are investigating whether marital or financial difficulties played a role

Updated 4:53 p.m. ET

Michael Jace, an actor who played a police officer in FX’s The Shield, told 911 that he shot his wife, police announced Tuesday. Jace was arrested earlier in the day by real members of the Los Angeles Police Department Tuesday for the fatal shooting of his wife.

Detective Dean Vinluan said a police printout of the incident reported that Jace made the comment to a 911 operator, according to the Associated Press. Detectives are looking into whether marital or financial difficulties were a factor in the shooting.

A local CBS affiliate on the scene in Hyde Park reported that neighbors called the police at 8:30pm Monday upon hearing shouting and gunshots coming from Jace’s home. Police found April Jace, 40, dead inside and then took her husband of 9 years in for questioning.

After being detained Monday, Jace, 51, was booked on a homicide charge.

Jace, who played Officer Julien Lowe on the FX show, was also known for a guest appearance in Southland, another show about the L.A. police, and played law enforcement officers in CSI, The Mentalist, Burn Notice, Private Practice, and NYPD Blue. He also had a small part as a black panther in the 1994 movie Forrest Gump.

[CNN]

TIME relationships

Dating Lessons I Learned From The Bachelorette Season Premiere

ABC's "The Bachelorette" - Season 10
In the premiere episode, 25 eligible men come from all over to try and win Andi's heart. Rick Rowell—ABC/Getty Images

Advice best swallowed with the help of cheap white wine

Monday night, five girlfriends gathered in the living room of my sixth-floor walk-up with the cheapest of white wines, for the rightest of reasons: to learn every love lesson The Bachelorette season premiere could possibly teach.

Nonbelievers might argue that it’s a poor idea to get dating advice from a television show that’s entirely based on the concept that it’s possible to find true love after serially dating 25 different visually alluring but vocationally ambiguous suitors in two months. To them I say, shut it and drink your Barefoot white zinfandel. Here are teachable moments, brought to you by Andi Dorfman and her band of merry men:

If you are ever wondering, “Should I get a haircut before this big date?” the answer is always yes. Always. I promise, you don’t look like an affable surfer guy. You look like the Geico caveman. Get a hold of your life.

ABC

Four bros (that’s almost 1/5 of contestants) came with long hair. Three were eliminated. An exception was made for the hairdresser not because his hair was edgy or sexy — it wasn’t, he had a mullet — but I think because he can keep the rest of the guys’ coifs in check for at least a few weeks. (We also never know when Andi is going to want to go ombré again.)

Still, as a general rule people tend to look better in person than they do in their photos. Andi’s matches looked underwhelming in their “Meet the Cast” headshots (ABC even had to add their shoe sizes — lots of 13s — to pique viewers’ interest), they were far cuter when they showed up “in person” at the rose ceremony. Even though, under reality-TV circumstances, “in person” actually means on an HDTV screen after being preened by a team of professional makeup artists, there’s still a lesson to be learned here. So stop dwelling on whether or not he’s photogenic, swipe right, and just meet that guy for coffee already.

If you’re going to use a pickup line, at least use a good pickup line. Even an urgent-care doctor couldn’t be saved after he said, “I think that you have a fever because you are looking pretty hot.” No.

Some people appreciate made-up words more than others. JJ says he is a pantsapreneur. He also called his journey on The Bachelorette a lovequest, which to the uninitiated means “a normal quest to find true love.” We would have dropped him. Andi let him stay. We think we’re right, and not just because it’s all about male short shorts, not pants, this season.

Never come to a first date empty handed. Even if your hand is filled with the gift of a stolen hotel lamp.

(This still is not a recommended gift.)

Talk of butt play does not make for a good first impression. Emil, who introduced himself as “anal with an m” shockingly did not stay around. And it wasn’t just because Andi doesn’t appreciate slant rhymes.

Be grateful that you’ve never had this conversation on a first date: “Tell me about your farm.” “It’s neat.”

When bringing up race, religion or politics, make sure you’re being sneaky about it. ABC isn’t know for being racially inclusive. So black suitor Marquel decided to go for the subtle, “I’m going to address race” route when he gave Andi a tub of cookies and instructed her over and over again to pay special attention to the black-and-white cookie. (Hope you enjoyed it, this will probably be the only racial “real talk” the entire season.)

What lessons did you learn?

TIME Television

RECAP: The Bachelorette Premiere: Andi Ees O.K.

ABC

Twenty-five men, zero mentions of fairytales. Bachelorette Andi Dorfman's quest for love is overshadowed by the death of one of the men competing for her affection

Welcome to The Bachelorette, where the love is real, but the tans are not. This season, proven smart woman (she dumped Juan Pablo) and actual lawyer Andi Dorfman will be looking for love by dating 25 men simultaneously on national prime-time television, instead of skimming Tinder in the bathroom stall during work. Hide your daughters, because they don’t need to see this.

Here’s what happened on The Bachelorette:

Spoiler alert: In this season of The Bachelorette, Andi’s search for love will be overshadowed by the fact that one of the men competing for her love, Eric Hill, passed away in a tragic accident after filming concluded. He didn’t wind up with Andi, but rumor (which is what we’re calling Reality Steve these days) has it that Eric gets fairly far into the process, which means we will be watching a vibrant young man in his last throes of life. And spending every Monday night with a ghost is just going to be depressing.

Most telling moment: Andi pulls her law-school diploma and Georgia Bar certificate off the wall of her office and heads off to find love on reality television. The message being that she may have a JD, but she doesn’t have an MRS. That said, it might bode well for the legal system if the nation’s DAs can’t simultaneously be contestants on The Bachelorette.

Best reminder that Desiree still exists: Much like The Highlander (ask your weird uncle, kiddos) there can be only one Bachelorette, but while it’s currently Andi’s reign, Desiree Hartsock is determined to remind the world that she still exists and is planning to wed rhyming poet and fleece aficionado Chris Siegfried on national television. But before she can be feted, she must be properly product-placed and cross-promoted. To wit, weird Suave ads.

Biggest time waster: For some reason, a solid 10 minutes of the evening is spent with Andi and her sister giggling and trying on dresses to impress the men. They settle on a low-cut gold sparkly number, which Andi promptly changes out of before meeting the herd of eligible breeders. Good use of airtime, ABC.

First out of the limo: A man named Marcus in a suit with no tie and serious lack of hair gel. What the heck kind of season is this?

Best job: According to his chyron, JJ is a “pantspreneur.” Naturally he’s wearing a bow tie and brought Andi a sample of his wares, which are, of course, pants.

First goofy music treatment: Cody, a personal trainer with a popped collar on his sportcoat, a Vaselined smile and Tintin hair was the first to get the Music of Impending Stupidity. He showed up pushing the limo, which he claimed broke down, but was just an excuse to show off his neck girth.

Worst mnemonic device ever: Emil, a helicopter pilot, who tells Andi that the best way to remember his name is this: “It’s anal with an M.” He may have better luck with that line on Grindr.

Worst prop: Brett, a hairstylist with a semimullet and a whole heap of other bad ideas, takes his dressing tips from Bill Nye and advice from his mom, who told him to never arrive empty-handed. So he brought Andi a lamp from the hotel. Chalk this one up to: it seemed like a good idea at the time.

The men: There’s an opera singer with a poorly tied tie, a strangely endearing guy who gives her his phone number and a slightly crazy-eyed former pro baseball player, who also lives in Atlanta, so Andi will be able to get a regular restraining order (and not a plus-size one) when the relationship goes south. There’s Tasos with a faux hawk and a lock in his pocket and Steven who is “stoked” to be here. Rudie an attorney and amateur scrapbooker who spent some time in his craft cubicle and made her a legal contract out of construction paper. There’s Jason, a doctor who diagnoses Andi with a fever ’cause she’s smoking hot. Also in the mix is Eric, an explorer who gives her some dolls given to him by a young girl in Peru. He’s sweet, charming and, sadly, not long for this world. Sniffle.

Biggest lie: Andi walks into the house with a cocktail in hand and a First Impression Rose on a silver platter and tells the gathered men that she believes in the process and knows that the process works. She is convinced that the love of her life is standing in that house. Or so she says until it’s 4 a.m. ex post Fantasy Suite and he’s saying “Ees O.K., ees O.K.” over and over again.

Best use of transfats: Marquel woos Andi with a cookie-tasting flight. He purposefully hands her a black-and-white cookie, which she enjoys despite the undercurrents of symbolism.

Least thrilling drama: Crazy-eyed Chris — one of Bachelorette Emily’s discarded options — shows up at the mansion with a bouquet of roses, a dash of derring-do and a soupçon of desperation. He is left to stew in the staging area while Chris Harrison goes to talk to Andi about the party crasher. Andi says no to the man lurking in the bushes, because she is smart, already has her hands full with 25 guys, and thanks to her job as a DA can probably spot the mentally unstable at a distance. Chris Harrison tells Chris to leave, so he does. Pretty flaccid drama there, Bachelorette.

Biggest missed opportunity: “Tell me about the family farm,” says Andi to Chris, before immediately drifting off and daydreaming of the penal code at the first mention of the fields of corn and soy. Sadly, surprisingly, FarmersOnly.com didn’t parachute in a rapid response team to airlift that guy right out of there and deposit him in a sprawling field in close proximity to a handsome and stalwart farmer’s daughter who would be thrilled to talk about corn and soy crops.

First Impression Rose: Andi creeps into the room to steal the First Impression Rose off the table and hands

The Rose Ceremony: JJ, the pantspreneur gets the first rose. Cue the violins. Eric gets the second rose. Marquel goes third. Then a bunch of men in suits: Craig, pseudo-faux-mohawk Tazos, pro baseball player Josh M., Brian, Bradley the opera singer, Polish speaker Marcus, social-media manager Andrew, some other guy named Carl, a man named Ron, some guy named Chris, Dylan who dresses like an extra from American Psycho, Brett the hairstylist, a guy named Patrick and rounding it out is some dude named Nick S.

The longest goodbye: Strangely, Anal With an M didn’t get a rose, even though it seems unlikely that Andi forgot his name. Also leaving is Rudie, the attorney, who is going home despite the fact “everyone in his life” said he and Andi “were going to get married and have kids.” Jason, the physician with Bachelor Ben’s hairstyle, takes a moment to reflect on his shortcomings, which are mostly just his haircut. Josh B. curses a lot because he was going to meet his wife and instead ended up just embarrassing the bleep out of himself. How will we explain this to his parents? Whom he lives with?

Bachelorette milestone: Andi didn’t say “fairytale” once. It’s very confusing.

MORE: RECAP: Game of Thrones Watch: Snow Castles in the Snow

MORE: RECAP: Mad Men Watch: ‘The Strategy’

TIME Television

Mad Men: A Brief History of the Real-World Burger Chef

Trevor Einhorn as John Mathis and Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson - Mad Men _ Season 7, Episode 6 - Photo Credit; Justina Mintz/AMC
Mathis and Peggy stand outside a Burger Chef franchise. Justina Mintz/AMC—© AMC Film Holdings LLC.

A closer look at the rise and fall of the client that Peggy, Don and the rest of SC&P have been chasing during Mad Men's seventh season

If there’s one thing that Sterling Cooper & Partners (and its earlier iterations) has a knack for, it’s landing clients that never quite reach the pinnacle of its industry. From Richard Nixon in 1960 to Mohawk airlines and the doomed Chevy Vega, Don Draper and Co. always seem a half-step behind the times. That’s never more true than in the case of Burger Chef, the firm’s latest target as well as a company that likely had the show’s younger viewers scratching their heads and Googling the fast food relic.

That the name Burger Chef is all but lost to history isn’t particularly surprising — in a world dominated by ubiquitous fast food chains (McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.), even regional powers like Carl’s Jr. and Dairy Queen have some difficulty raising their profile on the national stage. Back in 1969, however, Burger Chef was very much a player in the fast food industry, and certainly a client that would bring in plenty of billings for SC&P — even if it wasn’t quite the behemoth that McDonald’s is. And if their slogan from that era (“Burger Chef goes all out to please your family”) is any indication, Peggy is certainly on the right track.

Born in the spring of 1958, Burger Chef, whose name was reportedly chosen to present the new restaurant as a more highbrow version of Burger King, got its start in Indianapolis. It was first to market what has since become a fast food staple: the burger-fries-and-drink combo meal, dubbed the “Triple Threat” and sold for just 45 cents. The chain spread quickly, with franchises opening in Des Moines and Louisiana, but Burger Chef took steps to ensure that the rapid expansion did not diminish quality. According to Flameout: The Rise and Fall of Burger Chef, the training process was a remarkably rigorous one by today’s standards: “New franchises were sent to Indianapolis to learn first-hand how to do everything from refilling catsup dispensers to conducting employee interviews to accounting. Potential employees received personality tests, and often needed to be taught how to be proper, dependable and dress neatly.”

By December 1967, Burger Chef had become the second largest restaurant chain in the entire country, trailing only the golden arches of McDonald’s. In 1969, after being acquired by General Foods a year prior, Burger Chef opened its 1,000th restaurant. (The chain would eventually peak at 1,200 restaurants two years later — just 100 fewer than McDonald’s at the time.) Though General Foods had enjoyed success with some of its other brands, including Jell-O, its management style didn’t fit particularly well with the well-developed Burger Chef culture. General Foods issued an ill-advised redesign of the logo and attempted to revive a handful of stalled initiatives that had been abandoned years prior.

If Don and co. can land Burger Chef with Peggy’s family-oriented pitch, it’ll come not a moment too soon. In the real world, McCann Erickson got the Burger Chef account (and its $2.5 million in billings) in 1968, but resigned it in 1971, when Ogilvy & Mather picked it up. By 1982, when Burger Chef was sold to Hardee’s, it had just over half of the 1,200 restaurants it had at its peak in 1971. For comparison’s sake, McDonalds had reached 4,177 restaurants in 21 countries by 1976. In 1996, the final Burger Chef franchise in Cookeville, Tenn. was converted into a “Pleasers” restaurant.

Of course, in the Mad Men world, it doesn’t so much matter what happens to a client after it’s landed — the landing is what counts. And perhaps no pitch has been so important for the show’s protagonists as this one. Either Peggy and Don will finally find a way to work together and flourish as they once did (albeit with a markedly different power structure), or SC&P will likely meet a fate similar to that of the fast food chain it so badly wishes to sign.

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