There’s nothing like a sultry movie to carry you away into your dreamiest fantasies, right? This year has been no exception when it comes to sexy movies, and luckily for us, there’s a wide range of that very definition. There’s a sweeter side of the equation that comes through in romantic movies like the Netflix darling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and the incredible breakthrough hit Crazy Rich Asian. Then there’s straight-up hot, steamy sexiness in movies like the final Fifty Shades film and Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. There are even some LGBTQ+ candidates, like Lizzie and Disobedience! To stave off the chill of the cold Winter months, let’s revisit some serious heated films from the past year.
In the last month, everything I thought I knew about everything began to unravel. I began to see tweets that made me rethink it all. Black Panther took the world by storm this year?! Are you sure that didn’t happen during the prehistoric age, when dinosaurs walked the Earth?! What do you mean the Olympics happened in 2018? I’m pretty sure they were a full decade ago, and I don’t want to hear your lectures about how they technically happen every two years. It was a decade, OK?! With my world turned upside down, I began to sift through the other happenings in the pop culture world from this year. It turns out, there are a lot of things that happened in the last 12 months that I totally forgot about. Are you ready to have your mind blown?!
It really has been a whole-ass year, hasn’t it? In 2018, everything has seemed entirely surreal. When I look back on some of the crazy things that happened, it all feels like a very strange dream. Meghan Markle broke so much protocol (and I lived for it). We all watched entirely too much Netflix. So many people fell in love. So many people fell out of it. But all of these are kind of run-of-the-mill. I want to take a second to call out some of the truly wild, totally one-of-a-kind moments in 2018 that really threw us all for a loop. Some of them were inspiring, perhaps even iconic. Some were perplexing, confounding even. And some felt like the product of a video game’s “random” button. Take this journey with me, won’t you?
Disney is moving forward with its first-ever live-action Star Wars TV series! (Whew, that’s a mouthful.) Behold, The Mandalorian. If the term sounds familiar, it’s because the infamous cult character Boba Fett sports Mandalorian armor. He’s technically from Kamino, but bounty hunters are closely associated with the planet of Mandalore. Anyway, I digress. This week, Disney announced all kinds of fun details pertaining to the new project, which will drop exclusively on its to-be-released streaming service. The sad news is that we don’t have a release date, since the streaming platform itself doesn’t even have a locked-in launch. In the meantime, The Mandalorian is in production, and we have plenty of fun tidbits to hold you over.
It’s no secret Netflix has gone all the way in on the true-crime trend; with big shows on its roster like the gripping Making a Murderer, the unsettling mystery of The Keepers, and even the brand-new docuseries The Innocent Man, the streaming platform is practically running the gamut on our culture’s strange, murderous obsession. And there’s no sign of slowing down; this week, details emerged surrounding its latest impending release, a docuseries about the crimes and trial of Ted Bundy. If you’re finding that you’re morbidly curious about the project, we’ve assembled the key details for you. From the sound of it, this one’s going to be pretty dark.
After months of wondering whether or not there would be a Doctor Strange sequel, we have pretty solid confirmation that it is, indeed, a thing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel has finalized a deal with the director, and the search for a screenwriter is underway. Given the fact that the latest Marvel phase will end with the highly anticipated Avengers: Endgame in April 2019, the Doctor Strange sequel would effectively launch us into the fourth phase of the ever-expanding universe. This, of course, carries great weight when you consider the cliffhanger at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Let’s dig into the possible ramifications (and more sequel news!) ahead.
On Friday, Janelle Monáe appeared on CBS This Morning to watch and comment on the 2019 Grammy Award nominations in real time. That meant that we got to see her emotional reaction when her critically acclaimed 2018 album, Dirty Computer, received a nod for album of the year! After the moment in question, she explained how much the album and its nomination mean to her.
“Being a young, black, queer woman in America, there was something I had to say .. a group of people I wanted to celebrate, and I’m happy to be representing them. I hope they feel seen, I hope they feel heard. I hope they feel loved. & I hope they feel celebrated” –@JanelleMonae pic.twitter.com/eXPZXyIgWe
– Norah O’Donnell🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) December 7, 2018
“This album is so much bigger than me. It’s not about me. It’s about a community of ‘Dirty Computers’ and marginalized voices,” she said. “Being a young, black, queer woman in America, there was something I had to say, and there was a group of people I wanted to celebrate, and I’m happy to be representing them. I hope they feel seen. I hope they feel heard. I hope they feel loved. And I hope they feel celebrated.”
It’s no secret that Monáe’s album was laden with deep meaning and personal allegory. Her first single from the album, “Make Me Feel,” has been hailed by many as a bisexual anthem, while “Pynk” had a clear feminist message stitched into its fabric . . . and the fabric of those vagina pants. So, yeah, it’s a pretty big deal that an album rife with so much commentary on today’s issues has gotten such supreme recognition! We’re rooting for you, girl! Take home the gold!
Has your American Horror Story well gone dry? Are you thirsty for more? In my experience, the need for more AHS is unquenchable, which is why I’ve already begun to dig around for details pertaining to the ninth installment. You may be tempted to think there’s nothing out there, just a bunch of silly theories that aren’t based in anything. But I’m here to tell you there’s more than you think. Yes, it’s a lot of supposing, reaching, and putting two and two together, but at this point, it’s better than sitting in the dark, waiting to fall prey to another day of nothing! Let’s go over everything I was able to unearth about the next chapter.
The TV and film industry may have its up and downs, but you can always count on the literary world to put out a good book. Whatever you found yourself yearning for this year, 2018 was happy to provide. There were smashing, fantastical debuts from emerging writers like Hank Green and Tomi Adeyemi. There were gripping tales from experienced scribes like Stephen King and Liane Moriarty. New, sharp wit from David Sedaris. Thrillers, mysteries, and sensational fiction. If you’re looking for things to add to your reading list, look no further than this staggering list of 2018 books. It should keep you busy for all of next year – and hey, plenty of these are perfect for POPSUGAR’s 2019 Reading Challenge. Not sure about you, but I’m not seeing a downside.
On Tuesday night, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry celebrated another benchmark in their royal marriage: the two attended their first Christmas carol service together! The tradition is an annual one for Harry, who went alone last year just after announcing his engagement to Meghan.
At the service, which benefits the Henry van Straubenzee Memorial Fund to help schools in Uganda, Africa, Meghan read from “Our Deepest Fear” by Marianne Williamson, People reports. It’s another small but sweet milestone for the couple. And with a baby on the way, 2019 should be that much sweeter. Read on to see the pictures of Meghan and Harry’s lovely little outing!
Over the weekend, Dolly Parton dropped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about her work on Dumplin’, the new Netflix film. The project, starring Jennifer Aniston, is about a “self-proclaimed fat girl” who’s on a journey to find her own confidence and who takes a lot of inspiration from the sweet serenades of Dolly herself. During her chat with Jimmy, Dolly revealed she was delighted to contribute original music for the film and she was thrilled to work with Jennifer. And, well, it turns out she wasn’t the only member of the Parton family to share that enthusiasm.
“My husband is crazy about her,” Dolly shared after Jimmy asked about her relationship with Jennifer. “I think he kind of fantasizes, like, a threesome with us.” As if that wasn’t enough to get the audience (and Jimmy) giggling, she then followed with a truly beautiful roast: “I think he can’t even get it out to pee, much less get it up for three.” Cue Jimmy falling onto the floor, and frankly, I’d do the same. Oh, Dolly, we love you so much. Between this and your consistently stunning performances, we hope you don’t ever change.
Going into Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, I sort of had high hopes. I thought, sure, the first film wasn’t that great, but maybe they’d be able to find their footing during the second one, and then it would be smooth sailing for the final three films! America, I was wrong. This film was a real hot mess every step of the way, from the casting controversies to the strange back-and-forth about Dumbledore’s sexuality, to the final execution of the film. At the end of the (very long) day, The Crimes of Grindelwald may be worse than its predecessor. It undermines the Harry Potter canon with a wonky timeline, and it even manages to undo some of the charm from the first film. Wondering what, exactly, makes it such an egregious addition to the franchise? I’m here to break down my own biggest grievances.
As we continue our long journey to the final Game of Thrones season, we have some extra news that may add just a bit more pep to your step. The previously announced prequel is already moving ahead with full force! Although the project technically hasn’t been given a series green light by HBO, those involved are working hard on a pilot episode that will hopefully blow the socks off the studio’s executives. Luckily, we haven’t totally been kept in the dark; we’ve gotten plot details, special filming information, and casting announcements to keep you updated. We thought it high time to put everything in one place.
Remember in 2017, when Margot Robbie casually confirmed that a Harley Quinn spin-off film was in the works? Well, it’s happening. The new project has been confirmed by multiple sources, including Robbie herself, and it’s going to be called Birds of Prey. Robbie has already called it a “girl gang” film in the DC universe, and while details are still hazy and up in the air, we’ve still managed to wrangle a handful of exciting tidbits related to the project. Yes, it’s still going to be quite some time before the film hits screens (we don’t even have a release date yet!), but the information that’s already out there is very exciting and encouraging. Here’s what we were able to assemble so far.
Winter is almost here, and the wait for the final season of Game of Thrones is long. Luckily, there’s another season that comes every year without delays or postponements: the holiday season! This year, we have the perfect way for you to ease your favorite Thrones fan’s pain, specifically those who are hoping any member of the Stark family ends up on the Iron Throne. (I mean, with Sansa, Arya, and Jon Snow as strong contenders, their odds are pretty good.) Take advantage of your generous holiday spirit and soak up all these North-related products! There’s got to be something to make the long, cold wait just a little more comfortable.
Warning: Some light spoilers for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald are down there.
When it comes to the Fantastic Beasts franchise, some of the most exciting moments come from the connections to the Harry Potter books. Luckily for us die-hard fans, The Crimes of Grindelwald delivers a hefty dose of nostalgia. This movie has everything: we’ve got Voldemort’s dear Nagini, a young professor McGonagall, and even a vaguely gay Dumbledore. But, that’s not all! There’s another character in the film that hearkens all the way back to the very first book: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s Nicolas Flamel!
If you don’t quite recall the significance of the character, it’s because Nicolas Flamel is only mentioned in passing during the book. During one scene, Hermione points out a book passage for Harry and Ron to read:
“The ancient study of alchemy is concerned with making the Philosopher’s Stone, a legendary substance with astonishing powers. The Stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life, which will make the drinker immortal.
There have been many reports of the Philosopher’s Stone over the centuries, but the only Stone currently in existence belongs to Mr. Nicolas Flamel, the noted alchemist and opera-lover. Mr, Flamel, who celebrated his six hundred and sixty-fifth birthday last year, enjoys a quiet life in Devon with his wife, Perenelle (six hundred and fifty-eight).
As you might remember, Hogwarts is keeping the Stone safe in the first book, tucked away under lock and key behind a series of puzzles. With the help of Professor Quirrell, Voldemort attempts to get his hands on the Stone. Obviously he’s hoping to attain life everlasting. As we all know by now, Harry and co. nip that plan right in the bud. Though Flamel is alive in the year the book is set, we never see him in the flesh. That’s where Fantastic Beasts comes in.
At the very beginning of the film, Dumbledore tells Newt of a safe house in Paris. It turns out the be the actual house of Flamel! We discover this when Jacob has a hilarious run-in with the alchemist, who reveals he’s pretty old and frail. Nicolas is pretty instrumental, even in his small role. He helps Jacob figure out where to find Queenie, and even participates in that epic final spell that defeats Grindelwald’s fire dragons. We even catch a glimpse of the Stone itself, tucked away safely in Flamel’s safe. Talk about a fun cameo.
As I mentioned, Flamel continues to live his very long life until the end of the first book. With the Stone completely destroyed, he and his wife will finally be laid to rest. “They have enough Elixir stored to set their affairs in order and then, yes, they will die,” Dumbledore tells Harry. “To one as young as you, I’m sure it seems incredible, but to Nicolas and Perenelle, it really is like going to bed after a very, very long day.” He then says, “You know, the Stone was really not such a wonderful thing. As much money and life as you could want! The two things most human beings would choose above all – the trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things which are worst for them.” Ugh, his mind!
Since we can’t seem to have one quiet week without something ridiculous happening, this collection of days has been brought to you by a very unfortunate new doll that’s supposed to be Idris Elba. Yes, the beautiful actor only just became People‘s Sexiest Man Alive, but you know what they say: every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In this case, it’s a 17-inch figurine, reportedly created by a British handcrafted doll manufacturer named Emperis. (We couldn’t find the doll on their site, but given the nature of this news event, you can probably venture a guess as to why that is.) Oh, and it’s apparently being priced at $1,100 (£850)?!
Naturally, as the internet is wont to do, the doll was quickly turned into a social media conversation. Most commentators were simply trying to figure out who the doll looks like, since it’s decidedly not Idris Elba. Solid ideas included Aladdin‘s villain Jafar, Montel Williams, and William from This Is Us. But the most popular suggestion was Romany Malco, best known for his roles in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Think Like a Man, and Night School. He was so inundated with tweets that he actually responded, several times over. We still have no word from Idris, though. In the meantime, you can see what Romany and the rest of the internet shade-masters had to say.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get more insane on American Horror Story: Apocalypse, it seems like the show is pulling out all the stops for the finale. All season long, fans have been theorizing hard about the return of three Coven favorites who have, up until now, been absent. They are, of course, the biggest players from the season in question: Fiona Goode, Madame Delphine LaLaurie, and Marie Laveau. And it wouldn’t be out of the question for them to pop up! After all, Jessica Lange already returned for an episode, and Kathy Bates has had a huge role in the original season. And as for Angela Bassett, she seemed ready to jump back in during a recent interview.
Well, guess what, witches? We may have just gotten confirmation that all three of these queens are coming back. The first sliver of evidence comes from the preview for the season’s final episode. In one flash, you can see Michael violently pushing Constance up against the wall. Some of the footage from the teaser has been recycled from earlier in the season, yes, but this is one scene that did not appear in the “Return to Murder House” episode.
This means Lange will almost certainly appear in the finale! And, I mean, if she’s already on set as Constance Langdon, it would be pretty easy for her to throw on a black dress and cast some spells, right?! Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but I feel like it would be remiss not to include Fiona, one of the most iconic characters from Coven, in a season that’s basically amounted to Coven Part Two. And as for Bassett, I’m pretty sure you can spot her, in all her glory, during a split second shot from the very same preview.
Tell me that’s not the gorgeous, perfectly toned arm of my immortal voodoo queen! Tell me those aren’t her glorious butt-length tresses! It’s really seeming like Cordelia might bring back some of the biggest guns to defeat evil for good. Who knows, maybe she even gives Papa Legba another ring after a change of heart. And as for Bates? I mean, we know she’s in the episode, too, so it wouldn’t be out of the question to expect an appearance from Madame Delphine LaLaurie. (Then again, I guess she’s not technically even a witch, just a horrible racist white woman who was cursed with immortality by Laveau. I digress!)
To make matters even more suspect, we have the final nail in the coffin: a note so subtle Instagram post by the AHS creator himself, Ryan Murphy.
“They Know What They Need To Do,” Murphy wrote in the caption. Well, considering Miss Mead is on Michael’s side, this would definitely add weight to Delphine coming back. As for Lange, Murphy could be talking about Constance, it’s true. Constance would be instrumental in defeating Michael if some kind of time reversal thing happened. And, well, Bassett hasn’t appeared, so this basically double confirms her appearance. And, I mean, he refers to them as such a unit, I’d have a hard time believing he’s talking about Constance over Fiona.
So there you have it. Seems like AHS is really about to bring it home with a mind-melting conclusion.
You may be tempted to take these photos at face value, that they’re simply snaps of Ezra Miller at the Paris premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. And, well, in some plane of reality, you’d be right. But clearly that’s not the same plane of reality as the one in which Ezra Miller dwells, so extra care must be taken. Here we have a beautiful human, nay, a specimen, dressed head to toe in black puffy jacket splendor, perhaps heading next to a goth Winter ball in Iceland, or maybe even a symposium in Hell (once it’s frozen over).
This is high fashion decadence, people! It’s literally a look from the Moncler 1 Pierpaolo Piccioli Fall 2018 ready-to-wear collection! If there were only one person on this great, green Earth who could make it look like standard red carpet wear, that person would be, and is, Ezra Miller. Please respect my privacy as I try to absorb all this information: that he looks fantastic in it, that his ultrasharp cheekbones may have torn fabric, that I want this outfit so I can wear it to my husband’s funeral, in Antarctica, after he’s died of mysterious circumstances.
I’ve included every photo I could find of the whole affair. It’s what Ezra would want.
True, we’ve only just made headway into Freeform’s Countdown to Christmas schedule, but the pièce de résistance is here: the network has released its full lineup for the 25 Days of Christmas, its annual holiday movie spectacular! Truly, it’s a sight to behold. So, you know, once you’re finished burning through all of Netflix’s brand-new holiday offerings and essential classics, rest assured that you can park yourself right in front of the TV and let Freeform take you away into a Winter wonderland. Where’s my cocoa?!