Tag Archives: drama

Oslo: Fleabag’s Andrew ‘Hot Priest’ Scott’s chilly political drama hits SoHo

Oslo (R16, 113mins) Directed by Bartlett Sher ***½

Two years of multi-national negotiations have achieved nothing.

Trapped in a process incapable of building trust, the Israeli government and Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) officials cannot find common ground, in order to end their increasingly deadly conflict.

But while much of the rest of the world has seemingly washed their hands of the pair’s inability to end the cycle of violence and enmity, two Norwegians believe they can help find a solution. Having witnessed first-hand events in the Middle-East during postings there, married diplomats Mona Juul (Ruth Wilson) and Terje Rød-Larsen (Andrew Scott) believe the way forward is to facilitate intimate discussions between people from both sides.

 

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However, with the Israelis having declared it against the law for anyone from their government to meet with the PLO, initial meetings need to be held in secret and using other members of “the small country’s intelligentsia”. Yair Hirschfeld (Dov Glickman) is a professor of economics who sees many benefits in a negotiated peace and, after an initial London-based chat with the PLO’s Ahmed Queri (Slim Daw) goes well, Juul and Rød-Larsen decide to up the ante, by inviting them both and others to an informal summit at a remote country house near Oslo.

There are those within the couple’s own government though, who believe their optimism is foolhardy and their goal simply unachievable. “In the last few years, the Berlin War has fallen, Russia has broken up, what better time to attempt the impossible?” Rød-Larsen retorts.

chilly political drama hits SoHo
Supplied

Andrew Scott plays Terje Rød-Larsen in Oslo.

While the prospect of near two hours of “drama” focused around real-life conflict resolution and political negotiations from almost 30 years ago may fill many a potential viewer with dread, Oslo manages to skilfully wring plenty of compelling tension out of the premise.

Of course, it helps that screenwriter J.T. Rogers’ tale was already a Tony Award-winning play. Like Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon, this does a great job of re-creating the stage version’s tensest and thought-provoking moments, while attempting to craft something more cinematic.

Director Bartlett Sher is best known for capturing Met Opera productions and there are certainly some eye-catching and well choreographed scenes, while the production design and costuming is top-notch.

Ruth Wilson is Oslo’s Mona Juul.
Supplied

Ruth Wilson is Oslo’s Mona Juul.

 

Not everything gels though, some of the flashbacks to Juul’s time on streets of Gaza feel a little manipulative and forced, while the shared names of significant women in two of the main protagonists lives weirdly reminds one of Batman vs Superman.

Scott (Fleabag’s Hot Priest) and Wilson (The Affair, His Dark Materials) are solid, if unspectacular as the leads, the likes of Daw and Munich’s Igal Nagor (who plays the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ legal advisor) providing most of the verbal fireworks.

Perhaps the true scene-stealer though is Geraldine Alexander’s Toril, the Norwegian house’s cook who manages to defuse increasing tensions via her addictive waffles (having earlier threatened disaster by suggesting putting roast pork on the menu).

Despite not always being truly engrossing, Oslo does manage the impressive feat of making a photocopier jam a moment of almost unbearable intensity.

Oslo debuts on SoHo at 8.30pm on Sunday, July 11. It will be available to stream on Neon from July 17.

Olympic road races yield early drama for delayed Tokyo Games

There are five different cycling disciplines at the Olympics. Here’s what you can expect in each this summer.

The men’s and women’s road races kick off the cycling program at every Summer Olympics, yet the pair of races that will depart from Musashinonomori Park and finish at Fuji Speedway in late July could not be more different.

The men’s race should be a wide-open affair with dozens of potential winners, many of them coming off a grueling slog at the Tour de France. The women’s race will amount to the four-woman Dutch team taking on everyone else.

All eyes will be on the races, too. They offer two of the first gold medals for an Olympics that has been delayed an entire year by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that many in Japan still believe should not happen. And they come on the heels of the Tour, which Olympics partner NBC will have been broadcasting daily on its networks for much of the previous month.

“Everybody in the world is trying to figure out how to beat the Dutch girls,” said Jim Miller, the high performance director for USA Cycling. “The only way to deal with them is isolate and reduce their numbers, but they’re super strong. They have three world champions and their fourth rider will be at some point. All are super fast, capable of going long — any scenario.

“It’s the Dutch’s race to win or lose,” Miller added, “and every other nation is going to race off how they control the race.”

That doesn’t mean it’s a foregone conclusion that 2012 Olympic champion Marianne Vos, 2016 gold medalist Anna van der Breggen, world champ Annemiek van Vleuten or recent La Course by Le Tour de France winner Demi Vollering will continue an era of Dutch dominance. But the men’s road race and the other cycling disciplines — the time trial, mountain biking, BMX freestyle and racing and the track program — should prove a whole lot more difficult to handicap.

That includes the women’s time trial, where three-time Olympic champion Kristin Armstrong has retired. She now coaches Chloe Dygert, the American standout who is coming back from a catastrophic crash at last year’s world championships.

And the men’s time trial, where the form of riders coming off the Tour usually plays a big role in who captures gold. Geraint Thomas of Britain is example No. 1 — he dislocated his shoulder during a crash in Stage 3, and how the the Ineos-Grenadiers leader recovers on the roads of France will have a big impact on how he performs on the roads of Japan.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Organizers shuffled the Olympic program to insert mountain bike between the road races and time trials, effectively moving the event from one of the last of the entire Summer Games to the opening weekend of competition.

In the men’s race, defending champion Nino Schurter of Switzerland will go for his fourth consecutive Olympic medal. Swiss teammate Mathias Fluckiger, Britain’s Tom Pidcock and Mathieu van der Poel — who wore yellow during the Tour de France but will switch to the dirt for the Olympics — should contend for the podium.

Loana Lecomte has dominated the World Cup season, but French teammate Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and the American team of Haley Batten, Kate Courtney and Chloe Woodruff promise to be in the mix at the course in the Shizuoka Prefecture.

BMX FREESTYLE

The new discipline for the Tokyo Games should be a medal bonanza for the U.S., which features two of the world’s top five men (Justin Dowell and Nick Bruce) and women (Hannah Roberts and Perris Benegas). The X Games-style trick competition at Ariake Urban Sports Park, which has been added to the Olympic program in a bid to attract a new and younger audience, is the only cycling discipline in Tokyo that will be decided by judges.

BMX RACING

The U.S. also should factor into BMX racing, which debuted at the London Games in 2012. Gold medalist Connor Fields and silver medalist Alise Willoughby return five years after their success in Rio to lead a team that could sweep the top step.

Worth watching is whether the lack of competition over the past two years gives an off-the-radar rider a chance to snare a medal. More than any other discipline, the pandemic has wreaked havoc with BMX events around the world.

TRACK CYCLING

Britain has dominated events in the velodrome during the past two Olympic cycles, and despite a scandal that caused major changes to the team structure, Jason Kenny and Co. should be hard to beat at the track in the small city of Izu.

Kenny, who has come out of retirement, has six gold medals and a silver on his resume, and another gold would break a tie with Chris Hoy for most among British cyclists. Kenny’s wife, Laura, will try to add to her own four gold medals.

Returning to the program is the Madison, an event for two-rider teams that was dropped for the London Games because there was no equivalent event for women. Now, the men will be joined by the women in the Madison for the first time.

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Author: DAVE SKRETTA AP Sports Writer
This post originally appeared on CBS8 – Sports

Colin Farrell unrecogniseable in new Hull drama The North Water

A brand new BBC drama will showcase Hull in all its glory with Colin Farrell starring as the lead.

The North Water, set both in the city as well as the chilly Arctic, sees Colin completely transform.

Farrell plays Drax, a harpooner and force of nature.

Read more: From Orchard Park to Amazon Prime: The Hull actor told he would never make it

The actor’s character Henry Drax has long dark hair and a large beard.

Based on the novel by Ian McGuire, the five-part series tells the story of Sumner, a disgraced ex-army surgeon who signs up as ship’s doctor on a whaling expedition to the Arctic.

As the true purpose of the expedition becomes clear, confrontation between the two men erupts, taking them on a journey far from solid ground and beyond the safe moorings of civilisation.

To sign up for the Hull Live newsletter, click here.

The series is set in Hull and on the ice floes of the Arctic in the late 1850s, where shooting took place on the frozen seas north of the Svalbard archipelago.

The new BBC Two drama went to great lengths to film sequences.

The cast travelled as far as 81 degrees north to film in pack ice, the furthest point north it is believed a drama series has ever filmed.

The drama also stars Jack O’Connell as Patrick Sumner and Sir Tom Courtenay as the ship’s owner Baxter, as well as Peter Mullan, Sam Spruell and Roland Moller.

The North Water will air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this autumn.

Author: [email protected] (Lucy Marshall)
This post originally appeared on Hull Live – Celebs & TV

'Dreck' to Drama: How the Media Handled, and Got Handled, by COVID

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

For well over a year, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest story in the world, costing millions of lives, impacting a presidential election, and quaking economies around the world.

But as vaccination rates increase and restrictions relax across the United States, relief is beginning to mix with reflection. Part of that contemplation means grappling with how the media depicted the crisis — in ways that were helpful, harmful, and somewhere in between.

“This story was so overwhelming and the amount of journalism done about it was also overwhelming and it’s going to be a while before we can do any kind of comprehensive overview of how journalism really performed,” said Maryn McKenna, an independent journalist and journalism professor at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who specializes in public and global health.

Some “Heroically Good” Reporting

The pandemic hit at a time when journalism was under a lot of pressure from external forces — undermined by politics, swimming through a sea of misinformation, and pressed by financial pressure to produce more stories more quickly, said Emily Bell, founding director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, New York City.

The pandemic drove enormous audiences to news outlets as people searched for reliable information and increased the appreciation many people felt for the work of journalists, she said.

“I think there’s been some heroically good reporting and some really empathetic reporting as well,” said Bell. She cites The New York Times stories honoring the nearly 100,000 people lost to COVID-19 in May 2020 and The Atlantic’s COVID Tracking Project as exceptionally good examples.

Journalism is part of a complex, and evolving, information ecosystem characterized by “traditional” television, radio, and newspapers but also social media, search engine results, niche online news outlets, and clickbait sites.

On the one hand, social media provided a way for physicians, nurses, and scientists to speak directly to the world about their experiences and research. On the other hand, it’s challenging to elevate the really good work of traditional media over all of the bad or unhelpful signals, said Bell.

But, at the end of the day, much of journalism is a business. There are incentives in the market for tabloids to do sensational coverage and for outlets to push misleading, clickbait headlines, Bell said.

“Sometimes we’ll criticize journalists for ‘getting it wrong,’ but they might be getting it right in their business model, but getting it wrong in terms of what it’s doing for society,” she said.

“We need to do a self-examination on when or if the dust from this ever settles is how much of the past year was viewed as a business opportunity and did that get in the way of informing the public adequately,” McKenna said.

Digital platforms and journalists also need to reflect on how narratives build on one another, particularly online, said Bell. If you search for side effects of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, for example, you will see a list of dozens of headlines that might give you the impression this is a major problem without the context that these effects are exceedingly rare, she notes.

There was also a personnel problem. Shrinking newsrooms over the last decade meant many outlets didn’t have dedicated science and health reporting, or very few staffers, if any. During the pandemic, suddenly general assignment and politics reporters had to be science and health reporters, too.

“You have a hard-enough time with these issues if you’re a fairly seasoned science journalist,” said Gary Schwitzer, a former head of the healthcare news unit for CNN, journalism professor at the University of Minnesota, and founder of the watchdog site HealthNewsReview.org.

And outlets that had the staffing didn’t always put science reporters to full use, McKenna said. In March and April of 2020, major media outlets should have sent science reporters, not politics reporters, to President Donald Trump’s White House press briefings, which often included incorrect statements about COVID-19 science.

“I just don’t feel that the big outlets understood that that expertise would have made a difference,” she said.

New Challenges, Old Problems

Some of the science journalism done during the pandemic has been some of the best ever seen in this country, said Schwitzer. But between the peaks of excellence, there is “the daily drumbeat coverage of dreck,” he added.

Many of the issues with this dreck coverage aren’t new or unique to the pandemic. For example, over the last year there have been far too many news stories based solely on weak information sources, like a drug company press release or a not-yet-peer-reviewed preprint article that hasn’t been put into proper context, said Schwitzer.

“We know that the media in general tends to portray science as more certain than it is.” Dominique Brossard, PhD

A quality science story should always include an independent perspective, he said, but many COVID-19 stories missed that perspective. This isn’t a new issue for science coverage — at Health News Review, Schwitzer and his colleagues saw stories without appropriate independent sources every day for 15 years.

It’s also challenging to write about uncertainty without over- or underselling what scientists know about a particular phenomenon. “We know that the media in general tends to portray science as more certain than it is,” said Dominique Brossard, PhD, professor and department chair at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and an expert on the intersection between science, media, and policy. This can lead to confusion when the science, and the advice based on that science, changes.

“The public has a really difficult time understanding what uncertainty means within science,” said Todd P. Newman, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who studies strategic communication within the context of science, technology, and the environment.

“I think the media generally has been good on the subject,” said Paul Offit, MD, director of the Vaccine Education Center, attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and a prominent expert voice throughout the pandemic. “I think where they’ve been imperfect is they tend to be a little more dramatic in terms of how we’re doing.”

Offit isn’t the only expert to point to the drama of COVID-19 coverage. A study published in March 2021 by the National Bureau of Economic Research found 87% of stories by major US media outlets leaned negative in the tone of their COVID-19 reporting, compared with 50% of stories from non-US major outlets and 64% of articles in scientific journals. The negative emphasis persists even around positive developments, like vaccine trials and school re-openings.

John Whyte, MD, chief medical officer for WebMD, said he is very proud of the way WebMD and Medscape ramped up production of video series and other content to give healthcare providers the most up-to-date guidance on a rapidly evolving medical situation.

“But I think as [we] started to make progress — especially in the last 6 months — the coverage was never balanced enough; any positive news was immediately proceeded by negative,” he said.

“You want to be honest, but you also don’t want to be alarmist — and that’s where I think the challenge is at times in the media,” said Whyte. “We didn’t put enough optimism in at times, especially in recent months.”

“Any good coverage on vaccines immediately [was] covered by [we] might need boosters in the fall. Why can’t [we] have an opportunity to breathe for a little while and see the good news?” he asked.

Variants or Scariants?

Negativity and fear shaped much of the coverage around variants and vaccines earlier this year. In February 2021, Zeynep Tufekci, PhD, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Information and Library Science, wrote in The Atlantic about how much reporting has not reflected “the truly amazing reality of these vaccines,” and has instead highlighted “a chorus of relentless pessimism.”

This felt especially true earlier in 2021, when lots of coverage repeatedly emphasized what vaccinated people still could not do.

Eric Topol, MD, editor-in-chief of Medscape and executive vice president of Scripps Research in La Jolla, California, said New York Times editors told him earlier in the pandemic that he couldn’t use the word “scariant” in an opinion piece about the media’s overly fearful and sometimes inaccurate reporting around COVID-19 variants because they worried it would seem like the Times was coming after other media outlets.

“A variant is innocent until proven guilty,” said Topol. Had journalists approached the subject from that point of view, he said we would have seen “much more faithful reporting.”

Brossard and Newman worry that focusing on uncommon negative behavior, like people who break social distancing and mask rules by gathering at the beach or the bar, makes those actions seem more common than they actually are.

The evidence suggests that “if you show these kinds of things to people, you encourage them to do the same behavior,” said Brossard.

There have been other mistakes along the way, too. Early in the pandemic, many outlets pointed viewers to official government sources of information, some of which, like the White House press briefings in March and April of 2020, ended up being some of the most virulent spreaders of misinformation, said Bell.

Before that, a handful of journalists like Roxanne Khamsi were the few pushing back against the dominant media narrative in early 2020 that the novel coronavirus was less concerning than the seasonal flu.

“Science journalists have always been writing about studies that sometimes contradict each other, and what’s happened is that has only been condensed in time,” said Khamsi, a healthcare reporter for outlets like WIRED magazine and The New York Times and a former chief news editor for Nature Medicine.

Politics and Misinformation

It’s impossible to talk about media coverage of COVID-19 without touching on politics and misinformation.

Coverage of the pandemic was politicized and polarized from the very beginning, said Sedona Chinn, PhD, an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison who researches the prevalence and effects of scientific disagreements in media.

By looking at network news transcripts and articles from national outlets like the Washington Post and The New York Times, Chinn and her colleagues were able to determine politicization of coverage by counting the mentions of politicians vs scientists in COVID-19 coverage and polarization by looking at how different or similar the language was surrounding mentions of Republicans and Democrats.

If the two parties were working together or on the same page, they reasoned, the language would be similar.

From mid-March through May 2020, Chinn and fellow researchers found politicians were featured more often than scientists in newspaper coverage and as frequently as scientists in network news coverage. They also found polarized language around Republicans and Democrats, particularly in stories describing duels between the (at the time) Republican national government and Democratic state and local leaders.

It’s possible that polarization in news coverage helped contributed to polarized attitudes around the virus, the authors write in the study, which was published in August 2020 in the journal Science Communication.

The politicization and polarization of the issue is mirrored in our fractured media environment, where people tend to read, listen, and watch outlets that align with their political leanings. If that trusted outlet features misinformation, the people who follow it are more likely to accept that false information as truth, said Matt Motta, PhD, a political scientist at Oklahoma State University whose research includes public opinion and science communication.

This is true across the political spectrum, he said. When it comes to COVID-19, however, right-wing media outlets like Fox News and Breitbart are more likely to promote conspiratorial tropes and misinformation about the pandemic, according to Motta and his collaborator Dominik Stecula, PhD, a political scientist at Colorado State University who studies the news media environment and its effects on society.

Across the media ecosystem, reporting on the “infodemic” accompanying the pandemic — the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation about the virus — has been a major challenge. Outlets may not be creating the misinformation, but they are the ones choosing to give it a platform, said Motta.

By repeating a false idea, even with the goal of debunking it, you can unintentionally cause the information to stick in people’s minds, said Brossard.

“Just because something is controversial doesn’t mean it’s worth covering,” said Motta. Using vaccines as an example, he said many reporters and scientists alike assume that if people have all the facts, they’ll land on the side of science.

“That is just fundamentally not how people think about the decision to get vaccinated,” he said. Instead, the choice is wrapped up with cultural factors, religious beliefs, political identity, and more.

The factors and challenges that shaped the media’s coverage of the pandemic aren’t going anywhere. Improving science and medical coverage in the future is a collective project for journalists, scientists, and everyone in between, said Newman.

“I call on scientists, too, to think really deeply about how they’re communicating — and especially how they’re communicating what they know and don’t know,” he said.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Medscape Medical News Headlines

'Awkwardness and tension': Royal 'buffers' deployed by family to diffuse drama with Harry

The so-called “Firm” has grown, developed and modernised over the years.

Body language expert Judi James claimed the Royal Family uses a “buffer” at awkward family outings to help dispel negative optics and subsequent rumours.

She said: “Like all other families the royals suffer their spats, rifts, and fall-outs.

“But unlike all other families, those battles tend to take place on the world stage, with millions of eyes scrutinising every move and often, as in the case of William and Harry, taking sides.

“While royals like the Queen might have learned to master the important techniques of body language masking and emotional suppression, others have shown over the years that they can struggle with the stoic technique known as the ‘smile and wave’.

READ MORE: Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s first image after Philip funeral: ‘Stupendously beautiful’

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
Read More

Louis Partridge looks convincing as Sid Vicious on set of new Sex Pistols drama

Author: Dorothy Howbrook
This post originally appeared on Showbiz – The Scottish Sun

ACTOR Louis Partridge looks so convincing as Sex Pistol Sid Vicious you’d be forgiven for thinking the musician’s death was a Great Rock ’N’ Roll Swindle.

Louis, 17, plays the bassist in Danny Boyle’s new six-part drama about the punk band.

Louis Partridge on set as Sex Pistol Sid Vicious

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Louis Partridge on set as Sex Pistol Sid ViciousCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA

The young star looks uncannily like the real Sid Vicious, pictured here with girlfriend Nancy Spungen

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The young star looks uncannily like the real Sid Vicious, pictured here with girlfriend Nancy SpungenCredit: Getty – Contributor

He was filming in Deal, Kent, with Emma Appleton who plays Sid’s girlfriend Nancy Spungen.

Jacob Slater portrays Paul Cook, Anson Boon takes on Johnny Rotten and Toby Wallace kits up as Steve Jones.

They were filming in a theatre which staged the band’s last performance for the children of striking firefighters.

Based on the memoir of Sex Pistol bassist Steve Jones, Danny Boyle has described the Sex Pistols emergence in the mid-70s as the moment that British society and culture changed for ever.

But Johnny Rotten himself isn’t so sweet on the film – who branded the biopic “disrespectful s**t” amid threats to take legal action against its production.

Emma Appleton plays Sid’s girlfriend Nancy Spungen

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Emma Appleton plays Sid’s girlfriend Nancy SpungenCredit: Getty

The crew were filming in a theatre which staged the band’s last performance for the children of striking firefighters

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The crew were filming in a theatre which staged the band’s last performance for the children of striking firefightersCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The new drama is based on the memoir of Sex Pistol bassist Steve Jones

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The new drama is based on the memoir of Sex Pistol bassist Steve JonesCredit: Getty

Anson Boon and Jacob Slater were also spotted filming the new drama

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Anson Boon and Jacob Slater were also spotted filming the new dramaCredit: Getty

Anson Boon, pictured, takes on the role of Johnny Rotten

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Anson Boon, pictured, takes on the role of Johnny RottenCredit: Getty

Magenta Devine interviews Sex Pistols front man Johnny Rotten 1987 interview for Network 7

‘Waka & Tammy’ Preview: Tammy’s Daughter Charlie, 15, Breaks Down In Tears Over Drama

Author Avery Thompson
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

Tammy Rivera finds Charlie crying over dating problems in this EXCLUSIVE preview of ‘Waka & Tammy’ and thinks it may be time for Charlie to figure things out herself.

Tammy Rivera stumbles upon some teenage drama in this EXCLUSIVE preview of the April 22 episode of Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka. Charlie’s friend explains what’s going on. According to another girl, Charlie didn’t tell her that she went on a date with a guy. The girl found out because Charlie was on his live. Tammy tries to get to the bottom of the drama.

Tammy knows that Charlie’s beefing with this girl. “Why the f**k are you going to let someone make you cry?” Tammy asks Charlie. Tammy doesn’t care what’s going on, Charlie shouldn’t be crying over this. Tammy admits that she doesn’t have any “patience” for this kind of drama.

Waka and Tammy
Tammy’s daughter Charlie cries in this exclusive preview. (WE tv)

“I came to Baltimore to try to get some type of… just a little bit of peace and try to reground myself, and now I found myself in the middle of what Charlie has going on in her drama,” Tammy says in her confessional. “I think this is the hardest part about being a parent because you want to keep your children with you every step of the way and you want to be there for them as much as possible, but I’m realizing that there’s going to come a time where even I might have to let her figure it out. Because if I don’t, I’m going to go crazy.”

As they’re walking out, Tammy tells Charlie, “That’s exactly why I don’t want your ass dealing with nobody.” When Charlie turns around, she’s got tears in her eyes. Tammy says Charlie needs to fix her face because she doesn’t want people thinking she’s all upset over a girl. Charlie begins sobbing in front of her mom.

Waka and Tammy
Waka Flocka & Tammy Rivera have been married since 2014. (Rob Latour/Shutterstock)

In a previous episode, Charlie told her stepdad, Waka Flocka Flame, that her girlfriend was going to be her date to her quinceañera. “Charlie is just a huge inspiration,” Waka recently told The Mix. “She’s just the apple of my eye. I thank God I had the opportunity to raise her because it showed me another side of females.” Waka told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY during our podcast interview that his bond with Charlie strengthened during the pandemic. “She literally is my life,” Waka said. Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on WE tv.

'American Idol' recap: Drama, danger and victory as the Top 12 are revealed

NEW YORK — The drama of the first LIVE ‘American Idol’ of the season began before the contestants even took the stage.Judge Luke Bryan had to sit out the show after testing positive for COVID-19.

While he is resting and recovering at home, original ‘Idol’ judge Paula Abdul returned as a special guest joining Lionel Richie and Katy Perry to pick two contestants who would join America’s favorites next week.Fans cast their votes for their Top 10 after watching the Top 16 perform on Sunday night.

One more twist heading into the show, we learned Wyatt Pike dropped out of the competition.

Ryan Seacrest also revealed that this season is so close that some contestants were separated by fewer than 900 votes.

Casey Bishop
Casey Bishop earned a spot in the Top 12 thanks to the viewers’ votes. She opened the show performing “House of the Rising Sun” before taking a seat in the “victory zone.”

Colin Jamieson
22-year-old Colin Jamieson was the first contestant to land in the “danger zone” – not earning enough votes. So, he was the first to sing for this life in front of the judges. Colin chose what he described as a fight song called “Waves” by Dean Lewis.

“You have grown so much right before our very eyes,” Katy Perry said. “Every time you come on stage it’s like a celebration. It’s always high energy and fun.”

Deshawn Goncalves
Ohio native Deshawn Goncalves advanced to the top 12 thanks to the viewer votes. Donning a sparkling gold jacket, he performed Stevie Wonder’s classic “Higher Ground” to try to land a spot in the next round. Deshawn had Paula dancing as he headed to the victory zone.

Cassandra Coleman
Tennessee’s Cassandra Coleman earned her place in the Top 12 and performed “Light On” by Maggie Rogers.

Caleb Kennedy
Country singer Caleb Kennedy landed in the Top 12 thanks to the viewers and performed the unfinished original song “Nowhere” that he featured during his audition.

“You’re gonna fool around here and become a great songwriter,” Lionel Richie said.

“You are extremely talented and so young,” Paula Abdul added.

In the middle of the show, former ‘Idol’ judge Randy Jackson made a surprise appearance, face timing to say hi to Paula and Ryan.

Madison Watkins
Madison Watkins took her game to the next level performing “Gravity” on Sunday night, but it was not enough to win enough votes from the fans. Madison headed into the danger zone singing “Hotline Bling” by Drake hoping for the judges’ save.

“You have this whole time brought the light,” Katy Perry said. “That good karma is going to pay off.”

Ava August
The youngest contestant left in the competition moved on to the next round thanks to the viewers. 15-year-old Ava August rewarded them with a moving performing of “Love of My Life” that had the judges standing in ovation and left Paula Abdul speechless.

“You make me forget 15,” Lionel Richie said.

Beane
Another contestant who had to sing his way out of the danger zone was Beane. He performed “Grow As We Go” by Ben Platt.”I’m a card-carrying Beane baby fan,” Katy said after the performance while Paula said everything about Beane is special and unique.

Chayce Beckham
Another of America’s favorites, Chayce Beckham sang “What Brings Life Also Kills” into the victory zone.

Alyssa Wray
Alyssa Wray has such an amazing voice but may have come up short singing Whitney Houston’s “Greatest Love of All.”

“You are magnetic on stage. I love how brave you are because it’s not easy to take on a song from Whitney Houston unless you are going to have a defining moment,” Paula Abdul said. “It’s great to be brave, but in the future of this competition for everyone, make sure you are picking the songs that allow you to shine in your own beautiful way.”

Alanis Sophia
She expanded her range on Sunday night, but Alanis came up short with fan votes. She performed “Heart Attack” by Demi Lovato hoping for a judges’ save.

Willie Spence
Headed into the victory zone, Willie Spence sang the song that made him go viral covering Rihanna’s “Diamonds”

“You are brilliant,” Katy perry said.

Grace Kinstler
Grace Kinstler and her powerful voice landed in the victory zone where she expanded her horizons singing “Dangerous Woman” and won praise from Lionel Richie.

Hunter Metts
Hunter Metts landed the last spot in the victory zone. His vocals were near perfection for “Can’t Make You Love Me” by Bonnie Raitt.

Graham DeFranco
If closing the show is not enough pressure, Graham DeFranco was singing to keep his ‘Idol’ dreams alive! The pilot from Rockwell, Texas chose “Cover Me Up” by Jason Isbell to try to land a spot in the Top 12.

“You are a pilot but you’ve finally taken flight yourself,” Katy Perry said of his performance.

After a commercial break, the judges decided on which of the 2 contestants in the danger zone would make it into the victory zone.

Madison Watkins and Beane were chosen to continue their journey as members of the Top 12. In addition to Graham DeFranco, Alanis Sophia and Colin Jamieson also saw their ‘Idol’ journeys come to an end.

The top 12 contestants will perform Oscar-nominated songs in hopes of securing America’s vote into the top nine on a live coast-to-coast edition of “American Idol” on Sunday night. It’s also the first night of real-time voting!

And then Monday, 10 finalists from last season will get a chance to perform for the first time on the ‘Idol’ stage. One of them will earn a spot to compete in the Top 10.

You can see every performance on American Idol’s YouTube channel and watch the full episodes anytime on Hulu.

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Katey Sagal, Andy Garcia star in new ABC drama 'Rebel'

LOS ANGELES — Katey Sagal is a TV favorite, starring in hundreds of episodes of sitcoms, dramas and animated shows. She’s adding a powerful new role to that resume, with Andy Garcia joining her for the ride, as they lead the cast of ABC’s “Rebel.””Rebel” is inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich, who’s also an executive producer of this series.

“We are not doing an autobiography of Erin Brockovich. So even though she is everywhere, yeah, there is enough freedom to find these people within all that,” said Sagal.Sagal plays a legal advocate who fights to help those who need it. She doesn’t have a law degree. But Garcia’s character, a longtime friend, does.

“She basically, metaphorically, dumps things on my desk, you know? She goes, ‘Here it is,'” said Garcia.

“He comes from the same place. I mean, he’s all about justice and he’s all about, I mean, in my interpretation, and also giving voice to people who don’t have a voice,” said Sagal. “That’s kind of what they’re united in. She just moves a little quicker, I’d say. She gets like a dog with a bone. She’s on it, and so there is really no stopping her. And unflappable is a great word for her.”

The two longtime actors have found they are kindred spirits on the set.”You’re holding hands through this journey together on a daily basis and you want someone you can play with, you can trust, people who are generous, who are professional,” said Garcia.

“Rebel” airs Thursday nights on ABC.

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