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TV Reviews

"The Mandalorian" Teases the First Order: Season 2, Episode 4

Carl Weathers directs Season 2's most revealing chapter yet

Baby Yoda has a bad feeling about this

Disney+

"Chapter 12: The Siege" premiered Friday, November 20 on Disney+.

Before getting into spoilers, let's discuss the episode's set up. Din Djarin, the titular Mandalorian, and Baby Yoda are en route to the forest planet of Corvus to find Ahsoka Tano. Their ship remains badly damaged from the events of the previous two episodes, so they decide to take a detour for repairs. Okay, it's spoiler time!

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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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Hip-Hop has always consisted of larger than life personalities. Rappers have unique backstories and ways of storytelling that essentially make them into characters, so the fact that many of them have made the transition from music to film and television is a no brainer.

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TV Reviews

Review: Bo-Katan Kicks Ass in "The Mandalorian" Season 2, Episode 3

Bo-Katan and the Power Rangers arrive

"Chapter 11: The Heiress" is the most exciting and important episode of Season 2 by almost every measure.

Directed by Bryce Dallas Howard and written by show creator Jon Favreau, Episode 3 goes all in with the action, set design, and story revelations.

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Culture Feature

6 of the Best Comedy Bits Spawned from Donald Trump's Insanity

A tribute to the people who have made the last 500 years a little more bearable.

With the election behind us, and the Trump team's spurious legal cases being thrown out of court left and right, it's beginning to look like America will finally be able to leave the Trump era behind.

As many problems as we are still going to face after January 20th, it's a relief to know that we will no longer have to think, "Oh, god, he's the president..." every time Donald Trump says or tweets something offensive, dangerous, or moronic.

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