The trailer for Netflix's upcoming Space Force series looks pretty funny, but don't be fooled. Space Force is a tragedy in the making.

The premise of Space Force certainly sounds funny. Steve Carell stars as Mark Naird, a 4 Star General and former number two of the United States Air Force. Naird has always wanted to command his own service branch, and he's about to get his wish, albeit with a Monkey's Paw twist. The service branch Naird is being put in charge of is the (unnamed) POTUS's newest endeavor: Space Force.

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John Krasinski Launches "Some Good News" with the Help of Steve Carell and Twitter

The star of The Office and Jack Ryan has a new, homemade show that is guaranteed to lift your spirits

Some Good News with John Krasinski Ep. 1

On Sunday night, John Krasinski launched a new media empire designed with one goal in mind: To make us all feel a little bit better about the world.

While Krasinski says he's been thinking about something like this for years, the project really got going last Wednesday when he reached out to his followers on Twitter, asking them to share uplifting stories with the hashtag #SomeGoodNews. By the weekend he had enough positive content to surprise us all with his new news network—also known as a YouTube channel—"Some Good News." Sitting in front of a colorful logo that his daughters painted by hand, Krasinski describes SGN as "a news show dedicated entirely to good news."

Some Good News with John

By that measure, the first installment certainly delivers, featuring 15 minutes of heartwarming, tear-jerking content from around the world, with an emphasis on celebrating the healthcare workers who are putting their lives on the line to keep us all safe during the current crisis. Krasinski, looking dapper in a suit coat, tie, and pajama pants, shared footage from Spain, England, and the US, where communities were erupting in cheers, applause, and flashing lights to show appreciation for the difficult and vital work that hospital staff are putting in to save lives and make sure we get through this as quickly and safely as possible.

Krasinski also had some help spreading cheer, with two guests joining him via video call. The first, who should be familiar to longtime fans of Krasinski's, was his Office co-star Steve Carell, AKA Michael Scott. Their hit sitcom, which has only grown in popularity as a new generation has discovered it through Netflix, aired its first episode in late March of 2005. In honor of the 15th anniversary, the two shared a number of their favorite moments from the series, reminiscing about the talented team of actors they worked with and speaking hopefully about the possibility of some sort of reunion in the future. Whether that happens or not, the genuine friendship and warmth between the two was clear, with Krasinski expressing how much he has missed Carell, and Carell lighting up as he said, "Just to see your face is so great!"

Finally, Krasinski interviewed 15-year-old Coco Johnson, who came home from her final chemo treatment last Tuesday to find friends, family, and neighbors lining her block to cheer and welcome her home from a safe distance. Her mother had shared the footage of Coco's delight and surprise with Krasinski using his hashtag, and that cheerful, positive attitude continued throughout their interview. She was, in Krasinski's words, "the mic drop of all good news."

After expressing how much it had meant to have her community come out to show their love and support, Coco took the opportunity to thank everyone watching—on behalf of all immunocompromised people—for participating in social distancing. Finally, she thanked the medical teams at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and at City of Hope for helping her throughout her treatment and for continuing their good work in these trying times. Krasinski then closed his video saying, "If that girl isn't the epitome of goodness, I don't know what is."

It's not yet clear how often Krasinski is planning to release episodes of SGN, but it's a welcome ray of sunshine in what could otherwise be a dreary time—so hopefully we won't have to wait long. Anyone with a lead on some nice, happy, uplifting news is welcome to contribute by tweeting about it with the hashtag #SomeGoodNews.

© NBC Universal, Inc.

Pretty much everyone who has Netflix watches The Office.

The US version of The Office is known for its savage moments, from paper salesman/romantic lead Jim Halpert's (John Krasinski) constant pranks on beet farmer/bear expert/"assistant to the regional manager" Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) to temp-turned-CEO Ryan Howard's (B.J. Novak) biting one-liners. But while plenty of the characters have their share of savage moments, it's always the quiet, reserved ones that surprise us the most.

Enter Phyllis Vance (Phyllis Smith, originally a casting director for the show), the sweet Mother Goose-esque saleswoman who also happens to be The Office's ultimate savage.

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Film News

A Dissection of the Confusing Feelings We Have About Timothée Chalamet's Mustache

The new The French Dispatch trailer has left us feeling upset and...horny.

THE FRENCH DISPATCH | Official Trailer | Searchlight Pictures

There's a lot of expected things going on in the new trailer for the upcoming Wes Anderson film, The French Dispatch.

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Paul Rudd's "Living With Yourself" Is Extremely Normcore

This article contains spoilers for Netflix's "Living With Yourself."

Netflix's new series Living With Yourself has two major things going for it.

The first is Paul Rudd. The man has a charm to him and an ageless youthfulness that makes him a delight to watch even as the schlubby, nihilistic Miles, who is only distinguishable from New Miles by his messy hair and eye bags.

The other main positive is the premise, which apparently occurred to creator Timothy Greenberg in a recurring dream. In the series, Rudd plays a worn-out and downbeat man who decides to fork over $50,000 in order to undergo a mysterious operation meant to make him into a "happy" person. He visits a spa and then wakes up underground. It soon becomes clear that the procedure was actually a cloning process, and now there are two Paul Rudds—one loving and upbeat (also known as New Miles), the other as down as ever, albeit more confused.

That's about the extent of the weirdness of Living With Yourself, an impressive fact in and of itself—the show takes a complex sci-fi concept worthy of Black Mirror in its eeriness and makes it palatable, inoffensive, and simplistic. In its eight episodes, it's heavy on lackluster humor, benign upper-middle-class suburban surroundings, and cookie-cutter characters.

That's not to say that it's a bad show. At risk of shattering any residual illusions of journalistic objectivity, I admit my personal vendetta against it may come from the fact that I've been interested in personal duality and its intersections with technology for years, and I've spent a good amount of time researching and writing about it. The concept that each person contains a dark side and a light side within them is ancient and primal, and the show's plotline had all the makings of a fascinating or at least intriguing psychological journey. Also, the question of whether—if given the choice—we would eliminate our sadness and internal turmoil and allow ourselves to be replaced by happy-go-lucky clones touches on larger philosophical debates about genetic engineering, medication, artificial intelligence, and technology on the whole, questions that we'll have to face sooner rather than later.

Instead of addressing these themes, the show's creators opted for a light, almost anachronistic rom-com vibe, relying heavily on Paul Rudd's charm while asking for relatively little critical thought from the audience. The vast existential implications and science of the cloning process are sidenotes at best. Out of all the characters, I personally related most to Weinraub, the insane FDA employee running a cloning interrogation room in a spare office.

All that said, Living With Yourself has ample charm. It will certainly appeal to anyone who's ever been stuck in a repetitive rut, wondering what would happen if negative thoughts could be completely wiped out of their brain. It's careful to practice some element of social awareness, too. Though it centers on Paul Rudd, it offers its leading woman—Miles' wife Kate (Aisling Bea)—a nuanced if initially underwritten storyline, giving her some piercing clapbacks and context and refusing to allow her to be pigeonholed or idealized. Miles' relationship with Kate is probably the show's most complex aspect, for better or for worse.

Living With Yourself is also embedded with gentle critiques of toxic masculinity and other harmful tropes. The original Miles recoils when New Miles cries, and he's afraid of showing emotions and connecting to others, which is a core part of his sadness. That he has nothing else to be sad about is indicative of his class privilege (among other kinds), but it's also something that everyone can probably relate to in some way. Still, Miles' sadness is mostly expressed in doleful glares and sighs, and ultimately the show fails to actually make a piercing emotional impact in any way, either in the humorous or emotional sense. It lacks the rigor of Black Mirror, the quirky vibrance of Russian Doll, or the vulnerability of Modern Love, a show that has been criticized for its dreamy idealism but that seems deep and nuanced compared to this one. There's nothing wrong with Living With Yourself, but it's missing a spark.


Mindy Kaling: "In This Country, American Means White"

Kaling quoted Toni Morrison and called out the academy for attempting to exclude her from a list of "The Office" producers.

Mindy Kaling

Image Press Agency/NurPhoto/Shutterstock

Mindy Kaling told Elle that when The Office was nominated for an Emmy, the organization in charge of the awards attempted to remove her name from the show's list of producers.

At the time, Kaling was the only woman of color on the team.

"They made me, not any of the other producers, fill out a whole form and write an essay about all my contributions as a writer and a producer," Kaling said. "I had to get letters from all the other male, white producers saying that I had contributed, when my actual record stood for itself."

In response, the academy delivered a statement that completely denied that racial bias had any part in the claims. "There was an increasing concern years ago regarding the number of performers and writers seeking producer credits," it read.

"I *was* singled out," Kaling responded this afternoon. "There were other Office writer-performer-producers who were NOT cut from the list. Just me. The most junior person, and woman of color. Easiest to dismiss. Just sayin'." She continued to Tweet, "The point is, we shouldn't have been bailed out because of the kindness [of] our more powerful white male colleagues," she added. "Not mentioning it seemed like glossing over my story. This was like ten years ago. Maybe it wouldn't happen now. But it happened to me."

Kaling was quick to emphasize the fact that this is a systemic issue. Though recent diversity initiatives may be improving things, the fact is that writers and producers of color in Hollywood—specifically women of color—still face steep barriers to success. "In this country, American means white. Everybody else has to hyphenate," Kaling said, quoting Toni Morrison. She added, "It really doesn't matter how much money I have ... I'm treated badly with enough regularity that it keeps me humble."

While Hollywood has made a conscious effort to perform and prioritize diversity in the past decade, many Hollywood TV writers still face an uphill battle. A March 2019 report from the Think Tank for Inclusion and Equity stated that diverse writers—a term that includes people of color, queer and nonbinary people, and people with disabilities—are "routinely isolated within writers rooms, often relegated to lower levels where writers possess little agency or power to contribute."

The report found that the "diversity hire" position, a staff writer position typically reserved for a person of color, is almost always an entry-level position at the lowest pay grade. According to WGA West's Inclusion Report for 2017-2018, while people of color made up 45% of TV writers' room staff, they made up only 12% of executive producers and showrunners.

Some writers of color who have been given this position have complained of feeling stigmatized for being chosen for it. Recently, writer and actress Amanda Idoko told the Chicago Tribune that "There's definitely an implicit bias in the system. There are shows that have a revolving door diversity slot — they hire a new diverse writer from one of the diversity programs every year, immediately let them go as soon as they are no longer free, and repeat," she said. "Instead of actually investing in the diverse writers they hire, these shows cycle diverse writers, usually POC, in and out, with no intention of actually promoting them, slowing down the advancement of their careers. It's a disgusting abuse of a system that was put in place to promote diversity, and it needs to stop."

And let us not forget that even these "diversity hire" positions came after intense struggle and protestation from people who had been systematically kept out of the industry since its inception, as Mindy Kaling was during her years spent helping The Office become the beloved if poorly aged phenomenon that it was and is.

Hollywood can't use the excuse that women of color aren't writing and producing great content, of course, and things are changing for the better. With shows like Jane the Virgin and Black-ish knocking ratings off the charts and star producers like Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay making waves in every aspect of the industry, it's clear that times are changing. But as Mindy Kaling reminds us, it's taken us a long time to get there—and there's a very long way to go.