Author Archives: Ryan Roschke

Even at Just 5 Minutes, This Short Cloverfield Film Is Pretty Damn Good

By | August 7, 2018

Remember how Netflix dropped The Cloverfield Paradox out of nowhere after the Super Bowl this year? And how it was kind of a confusing mess that barely connected to 2008’s Cloverfield? At the time, the takeaway seemed to be that another decent movie in the Cloverfield universe was just not meant to happen. Yes, 10 Cloverfield Lane was a solid entry, but neither film really captured the raw excitement of the first entry into the “franchise.” And just when we were about to give up hope, a new addition has suddenly emerged.

Megan is a short film that is not technically part of the Cloverfield canon, at least not yet. That’s because it’s more of a fan’s dedication to the lore of the series than it is an addition with a J.J. Abrams stamp of approval. Megan is directed by Greg Strasz, with writing and story credits by Giuseppe Mercadante, Jean de Meuron, and Strasz himself. At this point, it’s merely a “proof of concept” piece, meaning the short clip is meant to demonstrate how effectively the story could function as a feature-length film. But with such a unique take on the franchise and a captivating introduction, we’re hoping it gets the big-screen treatment it deserves.

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38 Badass TV and Movie Dudes You Can Be For Halloween This Year

By | August 2, 2018

When it comes to TV and movies, the inspiration for Halloween costumes is practically endless. And 2018 has been ripe with dazzling pop culture costume ideas that are sure to make you look like the coolest cat at the party. To get even more fun going, I’m going to zoom in on the men, mostly because the past year has been jam-packed with superheroes, superstars, and yes, supervillians. So whether you’re looking to save the world or save some lives a la Grey’s Anatomy, we’ve got scores of characters for you to sink into. Prepare your spandex.

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A LOT of Sh*t Is About to Go Down on Ozark, and the Full Trailer Proves It

By | July 29, 2018

To kick off their Ozark panel as part of the Summer TCA press tour, Netflix has dropped a full-length trailer for the show’s second season. In the new footage, it’s clear that Wendy (Laura Linney) and Marty (Jason Bateman) are having a hard time keeping everything together. Their dark misdeeds are catching up to them – they’ve certainly made a few powerful enemies – and every dark decision seems to be leaking into their personal lives as well. There’s only one thing left to do: descend into the chaos. Check out the trailer above, then circle back to soak up all the other exciting details we’ve amassed on the next chapter so far – including the premiere date!

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6 Characters Who Are Set to Appear in American Horror Story: Apocalypse

By | July 27, 2018

We’re closing in on American Horror Story‘s eighth season, and excitement is at an all-time high. The next installment of the series has been titled Apocalypse, and don’t worry – we’ve already gone all the way in on theories and other miscellaneous speculation. But there’s one aspect of the season that continues to allude us: who, exactly, will appear? We’re not talking about the official cast, which grows with each passing day. No, we’re talking about the characters who will show up once the episodes start airing. Luckily, we do have a handful of names who are expected to appear. Let’s go over what we know so far.

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As Usual, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles Made Our Hearts Flutter at Comic-Con

By | July 23, 2018

For the umpteenth time, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki breezed in for Supernatural‘s annual panel at Comic-Con in San Diego. Naturally, we got a few exciting new tidbits about the future of the series, including hints about episode 300 and a bunch of other season 14 details. But even more importantly, we got to witness tons of cute moments between our favorite Supernatural dads. Behold all the fun and laughs, from the in-panel interactions to the press photocall smiles. Clearly, the boys’ amazing friendship is still in full bloom, and it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

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The Walking Dead Cast Is Cozier Than Ever at Comic-Con This Year

By | July 21, 2018

As is their annual tradition, the cast of The Walking Dead descended on San Diego for the weekend’s Comic-Con festivities. But with news that Andrew Lincoln is leaving the show, it seems the reunion has been tinged with just a bit of sadness for fans of the show. After all, with Lincoln’s imminent departure looming on the horizon, it may very well be the case that this is his last time at Comic-Con representing Rick Grimes with the rest of his TWD crew.

Even though we’re crossing our fingers that he mystically appears next year, we’re going to wallow (and bask) in these adorable pictures of the cast from Friday’s photocall. Nothing beats a sweet hug chain featuring Lincoln, Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Danai Gurira, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. There’s even a little Funko pop doll of Carol Peletier aka Melissa McBride to round out the group. So, if you can bear to stop watching the season nine trailer for a few moments, we’ve got a whole avalanche of cute pictures for you.

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer Is Getting Rebooted – With Joss Whedon!

By | July 20, 2018

On July 20, 20th Century Fox Television announced some very exciting news: Buffy the Vampire Slayer is getting a reboot! Joss Whedon, the originator of the series, has signed on as an executive producer, and has been working on a script with Monica Owusu-Breen. Previously, Whedon and Owusu-Breen worked together on ABC’s Agents of SHIELD.

Before you start screaming for Sarah Michelle Gellar to reprise her role, there’s an exciting twist on the new project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a black actress will be stepping into the iconic shoes of the destined vampire slayer. The project is still in early stages; it has not been attached to a network, nor does it currently have a director or a star. Listen, though: we might not be getting Gellar in her original role, but that doesn’t mean we can’t hope for a cameo . . . right? Maybe like a Yoda situation? Something? Anything? We’ll place some calls.

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5 Ways the Apocalypse Could Play Out on American Horror Story

By | July 20, 2018

Hear ye, hear ye! FX has revealed the title of American Horror Story‘s eighth season, and it really packs a punch. The next installment, previously confirmed as a Coven/Murder House crossover, will be called Apocalypse, and we can already feel the nightmares creeping up on us thanks to the first promotional images. Anyway, now that we know the end of times are on the horizon, we’re doing what we do best: theorizing.

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This Character MUST Be the Key to Unlocking American Horror Story: Apocalypse

By | July 19, 2018

Ever since we first got confirmation that American Horror Story‘s Murder House/Coven crossover season would happen during season eight, our minds have been spinning out of control. Now, everything’s been blown out of the water: FX confirmed that the season is called Apocalypse, which is making us more eager than ever to figure out what, exactly, is going on. What will the crossover entail, and how will it tie into this major revelation?! Over time, small details have leaked out. We know for sure that Emma Roberts will be back as Madison Montgomery, which may provide a tenuous connection to Murder House in its own right. But we’re looking to a more concrete source: the creator of AHS himself, Ryan Murphy.

Despite the fact that Murphy only recently confirmed the show’s eighth season as a crossover, he’s actually been talking about the Murder House/Coven season for quite some time. There’s an Entertainment Weekly interview about the whole ordeal that stretches back to January 2017, in which we found a pretty interesting quote describing how the crossover might occur. “It’s a character from season one that will be thrust into the world that you are left with at the end of Coven, which is sort of like the male/female/witch academy,” Murphy said at the time.

In the case of Murder House, many have looked to bigger characters to return, like Constance (Jessica Lange), Tate (Evan Peters), Violet (Taissa Farmiga), and Vivien Harmon (Connie Britton). If you ask me, though, the most likely crossover candidate only shows up in the final scene of Murder House. We’re talking about the Antichrist himself, Michael Langdon.

Michael seems to be the most apt candidate for a run-in with the witches of New Orleans. He’s still alive at the end of the season one, and the fact that he’s part human and part spirit must have imbued him with some kind of supernatural power. But it’s really more than that.

With season eight details hinting at a dystopian future, many fans have picked up on Radioactive as a possible title or theme. After all, it’s not going to be called AHS: Crossover. It’s just a season in which this major crossover is set to occur. With an end-of-days twist to whatever terror might unfold, Michael Langdon is the perfect fit. After all, The Antichrist is meant to be a marker of the apocalypse; Michael could very well be the big bad of the season.

Looking for even more proof that Satanism, the occult, and other demonic sh*t will crop up in season eight? Well, FX has just unveiled their AHS exhibition at Comic-Con, and it’s filled with references to satanic worship and other such evil leanings. Now we’re left to wonder: if we do end up seeing the end of the world, where will we go next? Is this the first concrete indicator that all of AHS is taking place in different circles of Hell? It’s really only a matter of time before we find out. Season eight premieres this September.

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Hello, Please Watch This F*cking Adorable Troye Sivan and Ariana Grande Video

By | July 19, 2018

On Thursday, Troye Sivan released the music video for “Dance to This,” his dreamy new single with Ariana Grande. In the video, Sivan performs for a bunch of unimpressed onlookers in some kind of bingo hall or recreation room – it might as well be purgatory with those halogen lights, am I right? All seems bleak until our “God Is a Woman” songstress struts up to join in on the fun. Commence a sweet video of lighthearted dancing and bopping around the room. It’s so electrifying, some of the other patrons can’t help but join in. So, yes, “Dance to This” may not be the Summer jam of the season, but we’ll be watching this video (and sliding around to the beat) all day long.

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5 New Hints About American Horror Story: Apocalypse, Courtesy of Comic-Con

By | July 19, 2018

It’s that time of year! One of the most interesting aspects of Comic-Con, in my humble opinion, is the mysterious presence of American Horror Story. In 2016, a strange VR experience clue gave us the first traces of what we could expect from Roanoke. Last year, in addition to the Cult title announcement, there was an equally strange exhibition that really got our wheels turning. Which brings us to this year.

Once again, AHS pulled off quite the exciting title announcement in 2018, revealing that season eight is called Apocalypse. On top of that, there’s a rather interesting installation that is surely dropping hints about what we can expect from the next chapter. Worry not, we’ve already got our thinking caps on. Obviously, the Comic-Con exhibition is a bit hard to get details on, given the fact that the madness is only just unspooling and FX is, I assume, keen on keeping the insides under wraps. Luckily, we’ve done some extensive internet sleuthing to unearth a few exciting details.

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A Timeline of Every Single Important Date in the American Horror Story Universe

By | July 17, 2018

With seven seasons under its belt and an eighth (and even a ninth!) season on the way, American Horror Story has become quite the vast and complex universe. There are so many connections between seasons, crossover characters, and recurring stars, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything. And on top of that, you’re telling me we have to keep a bunch of important dates in mind? Ha! Get real. In an effort to help you fully prep for the next gripping installment, we’ve decided to create a timeline of all the major dates you need to remember as you move forward. Brace yourself – things get really messy after 2010.

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Scarlett Johansson Apologizes For Accepting the Role of a Transgender Man

By | July 13, 2018

In early July, Scarlett Johansson faced quite a bit of backlash when news broke of her next big role: she had signed on to play a transgender man in Rub & Tug. The film would tell the true story of Dante “Tex” Gill, who prospered in Pittsburgh’s massage parlor and prostitution business in the ’70s and ’80s. After news of the casting surfaced, the internet was incensed. Many transgender actors vocalized their unhappiness, since Hollywood has a history of excluding transgender talent from telling the stories they would arguably be best equipped to tell. To make matters worse, Johansson used this fact as ammunition in her statement, not realizing that it was a historically problematic Hollywood precedent. “Tell them that they can be directed to Jeffrey Tambor, Jared Leto, and Felicity Huffman’s reps for comment,” her rep said.

Finally, after more than a week of heated outcries against the casting, Johansson dropped out of the film and released a lengthy apology. And yes, she even apologized for the misguided statement put out by her rep.

“In light of recent ethical questions raised surrounding my casting as Dante Tex Gill, I have decided to respectfully withdraw my participation in the project. Our cultural understanding of transgender people continues to advance, and I’ve learned a lot from the community since making my first statement about my casting and realize it was insensitive. I have great admiration and love for the trans community and am grateful that the conversation regarding inclusivity in Hollywood continues.

According to GLAAD, LGBTQ+ characters dropped 40% in 2017 from the previous year, with no representation of trans characters in any major studio release. While I would have loved the opportunity to bring Dante’s story and transition to life, I understand why many feel he should be portrayed by a transgender person, and I am thankful that this casting debate, albeit controversial, has sparked a larger conversation about diversity and representation in film. I believe that all artists should be considered equally and fairly. My production company, These Pictures, actively pursues projects that both entertain and push boundaries. We look forward to working with every community to bring these most poignant and important stories to audiences worldwide.”

Johansson’s decision to drop out and apologize is encouraging, especially since she participated in a white-washing of the popular anime series, Ghost in the Shell, in 2017. At the time, Rupert Sanders (who is also set to direct Rub & Tug), adamantly defended the casting choice. At this point, it’s unclear if this project will move forward with a transgender actor or sink without a trace. While we certainly hope it’s not the latter, we’re glad to see that Johansson has decided to bring attention to an important issue and that she’s trying to be part of the solution.

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Hello? Police? Dictionary.com Just Straight-Up Roasted Kylie Jenner

By | July 12, 2018

This week, Forbes caused a bit of a stir by releasing a new cover story on Kylie Jenner. The title of the issue is “America’s Women Billionaires,” and a little blurb describes the reality star: “At 21, she’s set to be the youngest-ever self-made billionaire. Welcome to the era of extreme fame leverage.” Listen, there’s no denying the power of Kylie, who, earlier this year, wiped more than a billion dollars in Snapchat’s market value with a single tweet. Even so, the consensus on the internet is that she isn’t quite self-made.

Yes, Kylie has created an empire in the beauty landscape with Kylie Cosmetics. But where would she be without Keeping Up With the Kardashians? And would she have gotten to this place in her life without the privilege and wealth of her family, and the masterminding of Kris Jenner? I mean, probably not. Though many were quick to point this out in the wake of the Forbes cover drop, no commentary was quite as succinct and searing as that of Dictionary.com.

As if it wasn’t enough for the digital dictionary to unleash a definition of “self-made” that clearly excludes Kylie, their sentence is especially salacious, as though Forbes is the only force on Earth trying to put Kylie and “self-made” in the same wheelhouse. Then again, maybe it wasn’t shade or a roast at all, and Dictionary.com was just providing a service. After all, as noted in a different tweet, searches for the term had sky-rocketed more than 18,000 percent that day. But, you know, I’d argue the best kind of shade or reading is easy to dispute and hard to detect. Touché, Dictionary.com. May we all have such ruthless tact in our own future endeavors.

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All the Thorny Details We Uncovered About the Sequel to Maleficent

By | July 10, 2018

If you found yourself worshiping at the altar of Angelina Jolie in 2014’s Maleficent, we have excellent news. A sequel is on the way! While murmurs of a follow-up film have been permeating throughout Hollywood for quite some time, Disney confirmed that the film was moving full speed ahead in late May. In the time since, plenty of exciting details about the new project have trickled out. Now, we have a loose story, a whole bunch of exciting new cast members, and even a release date! We can’t wait for the drama to unfold on screen again. Those wings! Those horns! Those cheekbones! Check out everything we were able to dredge up about Maleficent 2 thus far.

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The Cast of Game of Thrones Is Saying Goodbye With Some VERY Interesting Instagrams

By | July 10, 2018

We still have a ways to go until the eighth season of Game of Thrones hits TV screens, but production is slowly winding down. As the cast and crew check off each and every last moment (they just finished a huge battle back in April!), all we can do is sit tight and wonder what might go down. Luckily, there is one place we can look to piece things together: Instagram. Many a cryptic hiatus post has come to light as season eight production chugs along, but more recently, something else has been cropping up here and there: goodbye posts.

That’s right – as our favorite stars film their final scenes, they’re pouring their thoughts out in captions and snaps, and we’re doing our best to eke each and every spoiler out of the whole situation. Take Maisie Williams, for example, who posted a snap in early July. With the hashtag “#lastwomanstanding,” we couldn’t help but wonder if she was slyly hinting at Arya’s triumph. Her post along with Nathalie Emmanuel’s and Emilia Clarke’s are only just the beginning. We assume. Let’s review all the goodbyes so far.

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Oh, You DEFINITELY Know the Man Who Plays Frank Curry on Sharp Objects

By | July 10, 2018

Image Source: Getty / Jeff Kravitz

Like many hungry thriller fans, we positively devoured the premiere of HBO’s Sharp Objects. Based on the novel by Gillian Flynn, the story follows a journalist named Camille who returns to her hometown to investigate a string of murders. Following the first episode, we were struck by one big thing: the recognizable cast! Sure, we’re talking about Amy Adams and Chris Messina, who are reuniting after appearing in Julie and Julia together. But there’s another very familiar face among the group that’s a bit harder to place: Frank Curry, Camille’s editor in St. Louis, MO. If you were scratching your head trying to place where you’ve seen him, we’re here to help.

Frank is played by Miguel Sandoval, a 66-year-old actor who hails from Washington DC. The most obvious place you may have seen him is on ABC’s new Grey’s Anatomy spinoff, Station 19. Sandoval is in the cast as Pruitt Herrera, the father of heroine Andy and former captain of the fire station. But that’s not the only notable role Sandoval has inhabited. In fact, he has more than 150 roles that span a career of nearly 40 years.

Image Source: ABC

So, what else has he been in? You may recognize him as Rostagno from 1993’s Jurassic Park. He also played Ernesto Escobedo in 1994’s Clear and Present Danger and Mr. Escobar in 1995’s Get Shorty. In addition to his film roles, he’s done bit parts on everything under the sun, including Seinfeld, Doogie Howser, M.D., Frasier, Law & Order, ER, The X-Files, The West Wing, 7th Heaven, Alias, and even Grey’s Anatomy! He’s also been featured in meatier recurring roles on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Entourage, Medium, and funnily enough, L.A. Firefighters. Talk about a rsumé. At this point, it seems like it’s not a question of where you’ve seen him – it’s more like where haven’t you seen him?

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Um, This Hilarious Captain America Clip Just Keeps Getting Better and Better

By | July 9, 2018

Thanks to the magic of the internet, we now have a pretty solid idea of what it would be like if Billy Eichner had been cast as Captain America. Eichner, of course, is well-known for his hilarious Billy on the Street sketches, which have included Julianne Moore acting, Tina Fey doing her best, and some quality time with Sarah Jessica Parker. Anyway, I digress. The clip at hand is actually a snippet from Captain America: Civil War, but it’s featuring audio from a Billy segment called “Lesbian Lightning Round.” The clip may only be six seconds long, but I’ve probably watched it, like, 600 times. There’s just something special about Cap rallying a bunch of lesbians.

Even better, Billy Eichner himself noticed the clip on Monday, and even reposted it and tagged Chris Evans. And then Chris Evans responded. Good day.

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How 1 Small Tweak Gave Alia Shawkat the LGBTQ+ Film She REALLY Wanted to Make

By | June 21, 2018

Image Source: Getty / Jamie McCarthy

When it comes to actor Alia Shawkat’s sexuality, the past few years have been a revelation. Perhaps not in private; when we spoke on the phone in early June, she told me she’s been aware of her own queerness for a long time. “I had always found myself attracted to women, but didn’t know how to really make a move, for lack of a better word,” she told me with a laugh. But her identity as a bisexual woman has only recently become a part of her career and public persona.

Despite dozens upon dozens of acting credits that stretch nearly 20 years, the queer aspect of Shawkat’s art is relatively new. She’s best known for playing Maeby Fünke in Arrested Development, Lila on Transparent, and Dory Sief on TBS’s critical darling Search Party. Her handful of sexually fluid roles on screen include Dalia in 2013’s May in the Summer, Jean in 2014’s Wild Canary, Laura in 2015’s Me Him Her, and Lola in 2016’s The Intervention. She even played Ilana Glazer’s look-alike lesbian lover for a single (glorious!) episode of Broad City.

Off the page, Shawkat’s visibility as a bisexual woman is even fresher. She didn’t officially come out until 2017 – not because she was afraid to, she tells me, but because no one had really asked her directly – when she casually mentioned her bisexuality in an interview with Out Magazine. “Now I consider myself bisexual,” she said at the time, “and I think balancing my male and female energies has been a big part of me growing as an actor.”

On June 30, Shawkat’s new film, Duck Butter, will be available to stream on Netflix. Shawkat wrote, produced, and starred in the film, which seems to be her most brazen venture into the queer space yet. She stars as Naima opposite Sergio (Laia Costa); the two women meet in a bar and decide to spring ahead in their relationship by spending a full 24 hours together. In the earlier drafts of the script, though, the story didn’t always play out in the same way. In fact, the original idea was meant to depict a supernova romance between a man and a woman. It wasn’t until Shawkat began a deeper exploration of self in her personal life that the gender flip of her fictional love, Sergio, manifested as the best way to tell the story.

Shawkat has found herself in a powerful new position as the year rolls on, becoming a beacon of representation for queer women both on screen and in real life. For her, embodying queerness is all about nuance. It’s not as simple as just putting queer women in stories, but figuring out more focused ways to depict them. It’s not as basic as just being a bisexual, Arab-American woman in entertainment, but fostering spaces of safety, respect, and empowerment for others therein.

Just in time for LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we spoke to Shawkat about being public about her bisexuality, her delicate work on Duck Butter, and her continued efforts to honor the #MeToo movement in as many different ways as she can.

POPSUGAR: Last year, you casually came out in an interview with Out Magazine. Can you tell me more about that moment?

Alia Shawkat: It wasn’t anything that I was preparing to announce, necessarily, in that interview. It was kind of the first time I was asked. It came up in a conversation about stories that I want to make, and how my personal life has started to become one and the same with who I represent in my work now. In that statement, I was saying, “As a woman, as someone who’s bisexual, Arab-American, you know, these are all things that I want to be a part of my work now.”

I’m not incredibly well-known, but when you’re somewhat of a public figure, you’re not aware of that aspect of it – that people would even be interested in that fact. So when I said that . . . it’s interesting, like friends of mine were sending me photos. They’re like, “Hey, congratulations.” [Laughs] I’m like, “Oh, thanks.” Not to make it sound flippant, but it wasn’t something that I was gearing up [for], like, “When will I share this?”

PS: I don’t think that sounds flippant at all. It’s nice to be in a spot where it doesn’t feel like a big deal.

AS: Oh, yeah. And you know, there’s a lot to be said about the timing of my world and a society that allows it to be that way. I’m lucky to do a lot of work that lines up with that.

PS: Do you remember when the thought dawned on you? Like, “Wow, I think I might be bisexual.”

AS: Yeah. I had always found myself attracted to women, but didn’t know how to really make a move, for lack of a better word. I was like, “How does this actually happen? Maybe, I don’t know.” And then [it] kind of just happened with somebody. I remember there being the first time that I kissed a girl. I was excited by it, but also nervous, like, “Oh, how do I . . . I don’t know, is there a set of different rules for anything?” And there definitely wasn’t.

There was a time where I was like, “Maybe I’m gay.” I really wasn’t attracted to men for a while. A lot of my friends who were gay were like,

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Looking For Background Noise While You Clean the House? These TV Shows Are PERFECT

By | June 21, 2018

The unfortunate thing about housework is that it never ends. Luckily, there’s a way to combat the infinite nature of dust-collecting: with a nearly infinite collection of TV shows to stream on Netflix. When you’re stuck inside trying to make your house nice, sometimes it’s great to have a stellar TV offering to keep you company. That’s why we’ve collected a handful of series that are great for playing in the background. They’re incredible shows that aren’t too confusing or convoluted (we’re looking at you and all your crazy timelines, Westworld), plus they’re just great fun. Naturally, Netflix’s catalog is pretty massive, so this is by no means an exhaustive list. But it’s certainly a great place to start! Keep reading for a bunch of shows that will make cleaning feel like a breeze.

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