Jolene and Beth

Netflix

"You're all a bunch of f**king c*cksuckers!"

That's how we're introduced to Jolene, a Black girl living at Methuen Home where Beth—the main character—is taken after surviving the car crash that killed her mother. She doesn't get nearly enough attention in The Queen's Gambit, appearing only in the first two and last two episodes to bookend Beth's life as a famous chess player, but she is critical to the plot.

The treatment of Jolene in The Queen's Gambit is quite similar to treatment of Black women in the social and political arenas: only acknowledged when useful in ways that can no longer be ignored.

Jolene, though older than Beth, proves to be more savvy than anyone would expect of a girl her age. In line to get "vitamins," she advises Beth to save the green pills to take at night when they work best.

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The Queen's Gambit

Netflix's The Queen's Gambit rose to prominence last month, becoming the network's most buzzed-about show.

The 7-episode series tells the story of Beth Harmon, a young orphan and chess prodigy whose obsession with chess closely overlaps with drug addiction. Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, the show mostly consists of high-drama chess matches and long shots of Anya Taylor-Joy's massive eyes.

But punctuating Beth's many solo scenes—and perhaps forming the most interesting part of the series—are a number of brief, fractured relationships. When Beth interacts with other people, her actions are usually short and stilted. There is little small talk, no hello and goodbye, and no warmth.

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MUSIC

Slept On: The Latest In Underground Rap

New releases from Baby Smoove, Yung Baby Tate & more

Many of you are waking up to a good amount of mainstream releases this morning. With new releases from YUNGBLUD and Shawn Mendes, pop fans are having a good day today.

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The holidays don't feel the same in 2020, but fortunately, holiday music is alive and well.

Whether you need music for crying alone by the Christmas tree, railing against the capitalist excess of the season, making hot cocoa, or partying your heart out (safely with your pod), this playlist has the perfect song for you. Featuring covers of old classics and brand-new songs designed just for the strangeness of this year, this is our holiday roundup, curated with love and good cheer and plenty of tears just for you.


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TV

Everything You Need for "Euphoria" -Inspired Makeup Looks

Life is short, go for a bold eye like Jules.

Regardless of how you felt about the hit HBO teen drama Euphoria, you have to admit the looks in the show are pretty iconic.

From Rue's grungy over-sized aesthetic to Jules' femme futuristic looks, there are plenty of outfits shown throughout the series to inspire you to reinvent your whole wardrobe. Not to mention the makeup looks, which are so unique and striking as to have inspired hundreds of Halloween costumes last year. But why reserve a neon eye shadow or sequin eyelid look for Halloween when you can channel your inner Maddie or Jules all year long?

Euphoria Season 2 may be a few months away, but HBO is releasing two special episodes much sooner. The first of these specials, "Trouble Don't Last Always," focuses on Rue (played by Zendaya) and just dropped on HBO Max. To celebrate, we've listed some of the most essential cosmetic products to help you make your Euphoria-inspired makeup dreams come true—no drugs required.

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If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.

Popdust's weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.

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