Author Archives: Stacey Nguyen

12 Dark and Twisty Shows to Watch After You Finish Killing Eve

By | December 13, 2018

Killing Eve has rapidly become a critical darling, fleshing out for Sandra Oh an insatiable lead role after her emotional work on Grey’s Anatomy. The British series takes dark and twisty to another level, following Oh’s character, Eve Polastri, as she tracks down Villanelle, a murderess whose creepy MO is castration. However, Eve herself soon becomes Villanelle’s target, their relationship bringing a whole new meaning to fatal attraction.

There’s a lot to love about this BBC series, from its gorgeous and talented main actress to its unnerving cat-and-mouse plot that’ll have you on the edge of your seat. While you wait for more episodes to come out, you can transfer your obsession over to other excellent thriller shows like the ones ahead.

Related: Every Catchy Song You Hear in Killing Eve's First Season

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Instead of Binging The Office AGAIN, Watch These Shows on Netflix

By | December 13, 2018

It’s been five years since The Office ended, but I’m still not over it. Jim and Pam are still my OTP couple, and I’m convinced that Kelly Kapoor is my secret alter ego. You can only imagine what happened to my fragile little heart when Saturday Night Live even dared to tease the idea of a reboot when Steve Carell hosted.

Like Celine Dion says, the heart does go on, and while I still look back at Dunder Mifflin fondly, I’ve since poured myself into new shows. If you find yourself in a hang-up over never finding anything as good as The Office, fret not. Here’s a list of hilarious series that’ll give you your fix of sharp wit and absurd humor, from the inimitably raunchy Big Mouth to the fiercely bubbly Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Bonus: they’re all right on Netflix, so you’ll be able to stream ’em instantly!

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A Very Brief Summary of the Complex Political Story Behind Vice

By | December 7, 2018

Image Source: Annapurna Pictures

Christian Bale is starring in a critical darling this year, though you might not recognize him immediately. In Vice, the transformative actor turns into a familiar political figure: Dick Cheney, the domineering vice president who served alongside former President George W. Bush. Featuring a stacked cast that includes Amy Adams and Steve Carell, the dramedy biopic has already picked up several nominations at the Golden Globes.

Vice dives into the story behind Cheney, whom many a political analyst have dubbed the most powerful vice president in American history. So who was this shadowy figure? Here’s what you need to know about Cheney’s long political career – he’s uncannily similar to Scandal’s twisted Cyrus Beene.

Cheney failed out of Yale twice before eventually earning a bachelor’s and master’s in political science at the University of Wyoming. After deferring the draft a few times and flirting with getting his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, he became incredibly politically active in the ’70s. His early career résumé included interning for Congressman William Steiger, working for Donald Rumsfeld, and then picking up several positions at the White House, eventually assisting Richard Nixon. Under Gerald Ford, he led as chief of staff. The ball kept rolling for him, and he later became a Wyoming representative for several terms. In 1989, George H.W. Bush appointed him secretary of defense, a position in which Cheney helmed the invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Storm.

Cheney took a short break from politics in 1995, becoming the chairman and CEO of Halliburton. Under his leadership, the Fortune 500 company was criticized for not being transparent with its accounting practices and for allegedly artificially inflating its stock prices.

Image Source: Getty / Mark Wilson

But he put this behind him. At the beginning of 2000, Cheney led Bush’s Vice President Search Committee, and as history would have it, Bush then asked Cheney to be his veep. On July 25, Cheney stepped down from his position at Halliburton and signed onto Bush’s campaign. After the controversial election, Cheney took matters into his own hands and began a transition into the Oval Office before waiting for the high courts to sort out the divisive election results. This would be his relationship with the president – he’d handle the details while Bush made the decisions.

After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Cheney said in an interview on Meet the Press, “We’ve got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world. A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly without any discussion, using sources and methods that are available to our intelligence agencies.” A day later, President Bush signed a secret document, which then CIA counsel John Rizzo called “the most comprehensive, most ambitious, most aggressive, and most risky Finding or MON [Memorandum of Notification]” that he’d ever been involved in. Cheney strongly influenced policy around the war on terror, building the basis for Guantanamo, pushing for waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods to be authorized, and going around laws on domestic surveillance. By the end of his second term, Bush, according to political analysts, gradually became more wary of his second in command.

Vice will pull the covers from Bush’s legacy and bring us a closer look at Cheney’s role as a political puppeteer. If you’re a fan of Bale’s recent forays into the biopic genre with projects such as The Big Short and The Fighter, mark your calendars for Christmas Day to see him bring to life one of the most influential and calculating politicians of our time.

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Crazy Rich Asians Definitely Has Oscar Potential – 5 Categories It Could Win

By | December 7, 2018

It has been an unforgettable year for Asian filmmakers in Hollywood, with projects such as Crazy Rich Asians, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and Searching resonating with audiences worldwide. Even the award circuit is taking a hint: Crazy Rich Asians recently picked up two Golden Globe nominations, one for best motion picture in the musical or comedy category and another for Constance Wu in the best actress in the musical or comedy category, which begs the question: will this momentum continue during Oscar season?

Here’s my take on where we might see the box-office hit place on Academy Award nomination slates.

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12 Netflix Shows Like Parks and Recreation That Are Leslie Knope-Approved

By | November 30, 2018

The end of Parks and Recreations perhaps made us sadder than the loss of Li’l Sebastian, and that’s saying something! Seven seasons of the colorful, bighearted Michael Schur series cheered us up relentlessly with its constant gags surrounding everything from Ron Swanson’s mild misanthropy to Andy and April’s goofy shenanigans. It made us fall in love with Chris Pratt and Amy Poehler even harder (yes, it’s totally possible!), while introducing us to the equally wonderful Retta and Nick Offerman. If you’re missing Pawnee’s zany bureaucrats, watch these 12 shows on Netflix that you’ll love even more than Leslie loves waffles.

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The Crimes of Grindelwald: We Demand Answers For This Potential Oversight

By | November 28, 2018

As it builds the wizarding world, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has relied heavily on the fan momentum of the Harry Potter series. That’s why the latest installation, The Crimes of Grindelwald, tickled Potterheads with references to Nicolas Flamel, Professor McGonagall (perhaps anachronistically), and even Lord Voldemort’s snake Nagini. Still, the franchise has somewhat glazed over one of the key objects in the Harry Potter universe that’s actually pretty important during Grindelwald’s rise to power: the elder wand. Where the heck does the elder wand come from at the beginning of The Crimes of Grindelwald after being MIA during the first movie?

As Harry Potter lore has it, a young and power-hungry Grindelwald steals the elder wand from wandmaker Mykew Gregorovitch shortly before stunning him. Grindelwald is in his mid-40s when the Fantastic Beasts franchise begins, so we can assume he’s had it for a while, but we don’t see it immediately in the prequel series. The elder wand makes no appearance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Grindelwald, who Transfigures into Percival Graves during the first film, uses the auror’s wand throughout the movie.

At the start of The Crimes of Grindelwald, though, the undeniable berry-carved wand is in Grindelwald’s hand when he busts out of an American prison by transfiguring (seriously, the aurors need to pay more attention) into the MACUSA employee Abernathy, who’s actually one of his followers. Even though we do see the legendary wand, no one talks about it, so its appearance feels like trivial fan service. What happened to the wand during those six months the dark wizard was in the American prison? We can only assume that if officials did confiscate Grindelwald’s powerful wand, it was kept under Abernathy’s watchful eye. But Grindelwald is clever and wily, so we wouldn’t be surprised if he hid it and had his most trusted followers look over it and bring it to him during the jailbreak.

Is this absence of explanation an oversight, or is there a bigger reveal in the making that’s taking a little while to unfold? Maybe it’s a bit of both. Remember, the physical elder wand differs from its loyalty. According to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, if you defeat the person who owns the wand, regardless of if they were using it during the battle, you now have its allegiance. In the first prequel movie, Newt Scamander distracts and binds Grindelwald while the dark wizard pretends to be Graves. Auror Tina Goldstein then uses the summoning charm to get possession of Graves’s wand. This has led to speculation that either Newt or Tina is now the temporary master of the elder wand. Given that the powerful wand is so crucial in the Harry Potter series, it’d be remiss of the Fantastic Beasts franchise to continue putting its status on the back burner. We need explanations, J.K. Rowling!

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All the Major Events From the Harry Potter Universe – in 1 Convenient Timeline

By | November 20, 2018

It seemed like it was only yesterday when Harry Potter was at Ollivanders getting his first wand. But in reality, the Harry Potter franchise has been two decades in the making. With the Fantastic Beasts prequels, Cursed Child, and tidbits of trivia on Pottermore, the magical universe has undoubtedly become a complicated, rich fandom over the years. From time to time, even hardcore Potterheads find themselves forgetting important happenings in the series and its popular counterparts. That’s why we’ve gathered a digestible timeline to pin down major events in the franchise, including the invention of the Deathly Hallows, the Summer of 1899 when Dumbledore meets Grindelwald, and Harry’s final battle with Voldemort in 1998. There’s a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started!

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Fantastic Beasts: If Nagini Looks Familiar, You Might Know Her From These Blockbusters

By | November 14, 2018

Hardcore Potterhead or not, you’ve probably heard the news that in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Voldemort’s pet snake Nagini is actually a Maledictus, that is, a cursed witch who turns into an animal. It’s a secret J.K. Rowling has kept for a whopping 20 years, and the reveal sparked controversy among fans who found it problematic for an Asian woman, South Korean actress Claudia Kim, to play the Dark Lord’s pet snake. The actress herself defended her casting and hopes fans will see a nuanced side to Nagini once they watch the movie – for all we know, the complexity of her character could even extend to her being Voldemort’s mother!

At the end of the day, Kim’s small- and big-screen reputation exceeds her role as Nagini. The actress, also known as Kim Soo-hyun in South Korea, started her career on Korean TV networks, playing supporting parts on the series Brain and 7th Grade Civil Servant. In 2012, she landed her first leading role on Standby, in which she portrayed a laid-back variety producer. A few years later, her presence outside of Korea amplified when she signed on to play the Mongolian warrior princess Khutulun on Netflix’s historical drama Marco Polo. Her South Korean projects certainly didn’t end after Marco Polo – Kim also starred in all 50 episodes of the 2016 drama series Monster as an intelligence agent.

Even if you’re not into the Wizarding World or Korean dramas, you definitely know the actress from her work in major blockbusters over the last few years. Kim continued her momentum on Marco Polo with parts in recent big-budget movies such as the mind-controlled geneticist Helen Cho in Avengers: Age of Ultron (above) and the seer Arra Champignon in The Dark Tower.

How does Nagini go from a Maledictus to Voldemort’s Horcrux? You might have to watch all five Harry Potter prequels to find out. For now, keep an eye on Kim’s upcoming commitments (and honestly, her fresh style) by following her Instagram handle @claudiashkim!

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All We Want For (Next) Christmas Is a Sequel to The Holiday Calendar

By | November 14, 2018

Warning: This post contains spoilers for The Holiday Calendar.

If you’ve been keeping up with the rush of original Netflix Christmas movies, you may have heard of a sweet little rom-com called The Holiday Calendar, which quietly dropped at the beginning of November. Filled with holiday cheer, the movie revolves around a Christmas skeptic named Abby whose grandfather gifts her with an Advent calendar that predicts all of her dates with a dreamy doctor named Ty . . . or so she thinks. It’s a charming, feel-good movie that features love-triangle drama, millennial career struggles, and Ron Cephas Jones making us cry as a grandpa figure. In other words, it’s the perfect holiday romantic comedy, and the people want a sequel.

The movie ends on a sweet note, with Abby realizing her love for her best friend Josh. The two of them open an art space together called Magic Calendar Gallery, and in a flash forward to a year later, their professional endeavor together appears to be a total success. The conclusion, at first glance, is neatly wrapped like a perfect bow on a Christmas present. Or is it?

In terms of narrative, there are still many possibilities left to explore. It would be adorable to see Gramps Sutton’s life after his late wife’s passing or even watch a prequel about his love story back in the day. A potential second film could even feature an engagement between Abby and Josh. Or maybe we could find a love interest for their friend Fernando or discover a backstory for Abby’s adorably precocious niece Corinne. The point is, there’s a lot of potential for a sequel. But what about the logistics?

Netflix’s romantic projects have been widely popular among viewers, especially To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Set It Up, The Kissing Booth, and A Christmas Prince. Fans and actors alike have been very eager to see sequels for these movies happen. So far, only A Christmas Prince has received an official green light from the streaming service for its sequel, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding. Even with that, we didn’t get an announcement for a second film until months after the original movie’s release. While Netflix dropped the first movie in November 2017, it didn’t announce news about a sequel until May 2018. So should The Holiday Calendar get another installation the following holiday season, we probably won’t find out until a few months from now.

The good news is that the cast seems to be loving The Holiday Calendar and the spirited fan enthusiasm surrounding it. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, leading lady Kat Graham said that while she doesn’t like rom-coms very much (which, we know, is hard to believe!), she couldn’t help but fall in love with the movie when she first read it. Cheesy Christmas movie lovers adore it as well, and we’re hoping that she’ll be down for a follow-up. For now, we’ll just settle with watching all of the romantic holiday movies on Netflix while keeping our ears perked for any updates.

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15 Collaborations That Prove Rihanna Is the Ultimate Musical Team Player

By | November 8, 2018

Besides her bustling acting career and gorgeous makeup line, Rihanna is also, without a doubt, a beloved pop icon. As one of the music industry’s biggest names, she has worked with a range of different artists, including Drake, Nicki Minaj, and even Sir Paul McCartney! With an effortlessly sexy presence and vulnerable, yet powerful vocals, Bad Girl RiRi shines in every project that she’s featured in, from Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy-winning “Loyalty” to an SNL digital short spoof with Andy Samberg. If you can’t get enough of Rihanna, keep scrolling to listen to her very best music collaborations.

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15 of the Greatest Holiday TV Episodes That Netflix Has to Offer

By | November 2, 2018

If you’re not in the mood to crawl into a movie theater and watch the latest holiday hit this year, you always have Netflix and chill – or, in the case of Christmas, Netflix and cozy up under a blanket with a cuppa eggnog in your hand. The streaming site has a fairly decent collection of Christmas movies to watch while you munch on some gingerbread cookies, but if you’re looking for more genre variety, look to its TV series.

Anyone who’s grown tired of the cheesy, feel-good holiday films will surely appreciate The Twilight Zone‘s twisty department store Santa or Supernatural‘s creepy demon anti-Santa. Even if you’re looking for more wholesome shows, you’ll find magical and well-produced holiday specials from Gilmore Girls and Parks and Recreation. Read on to see the very best Yuletide-inspired episodes that you can stream right on Netflix!

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Save People, Hunt Things With These Supernatural Stocking Stuffers

By | October 24, 2018

It’s safe to say that fans can’t get enough of all of the demon hunting, hell raising, and bromance on The CW’s Supernatural. With no end in sight, the show’s fandom is one of the strongest we’ve ever seen. If you’ve got someone in your life who is obsessed with the Winchester boys, they’ll surely appreciate some good ol’ fan swag.

Keep reading to browse the best stocking stuffers for Supernatural fans, from a book all about the show’s mythology to a flamin’ Crowley mug. We’ve also got a few pentagrams ahead, ’cause you never know when a demon will be lurking around!

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Hermione Granger Would Approve of These Magical Stocking Stuffers

By | October 23, 2018

With Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald dropping this holiday season, we’ve all got a bit of Harry Potter nostalgia in the back of our minds. The bookish Gryffindors out there will no doubt be thinking about one of J.K. Rowling’s best characters: Hermione Granger. Clever, brave, and devoted to justice, she’s always there to knock sense into Harry and Ron when their misadventures go awry. Even though it’s been years since the original series ended, Hermione’s fan base is still going strong, and deservedly so. Whether you are dating a Hermione or simply have a hardcore Hermione fan on your Christmas gift list, here are magical stocking stuffers even more charming than the brilliant witch’s Wingardium Leviosa incantation!

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Why Wait? There Are Several Hilarious Holiday Movies on Netflix Right Now

By | October 18, 2018

Sure, Christmas is the season of giving, but it doesn’t always have to be about deeply profound and serious lessons. If you’re not in the mood for another modernized and tragic retelling of A Christmas Carol, that’s why the holiday comedy exists. Luckily, lightening up the mood is no difficult task, with Christmas comedies right at your fingertips. Yup, there are a handful of funny (and not overly schmaltzy) holiday flicks that you can stream instantly on Netflix! Whether you’re into raunchy or goofy humor, we’ve rounded up the funniest Christmas movies that you can watch right now, including everything from Bad Santa to How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

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These Hilarious The Office Mugs Deserve Their Own Dundies

By | October 3, 2018

Still recounting Michael Scott’s every “that’s what she said” joke or calling Jim and Pam “relationship goals”? We know, we are too.

The Office has been over for years, but the Dunder Mifflin fan base continues growing stronger each day. While we love a rewatch binge on good old Netflix, we’re also fans of sharing our love for the show with cool merch. We especially love an affordable, reliable coffee mug, which, might we add, is the perfect gift for your coworkers! From Schrute Farms to Michael Scott quote imprints, here are some hilarious mugs for The Office fans in your life.

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This Is What Amy Sherman-Palladino Said During Her Censored Emmy Acceptance Speech

By | September 17, 2018

Suffice to say, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel had a bustling night at the 2018 Emmy Awards. The writer, producer, and director of the Amazon show, Amy Sherman-Palladino, known for her work on Gilmore Girls, won back-to-back awards, first for writing in a comedy series, then for directing in a comedy series.

If you were paying attention to the hilarious Sherman-Palladino, you probably noticed the telecast of the Emmys was bleeped at the beginning of her second acceptance speech. Holding up both of her awards, Sherman-Palladino started her second round of acknowledgments by brightly exclaiming, “My panic room is going to be so pretty!” Then, we heard a brief bleep, during which Sherman-Palladino dropped an excited F-bomb, followed by audience laughter.

The writer-director went on with her speech to thank members of her crew. “Um, OK, it takes a giant village full of union crew members to make sure that Maisel goes out to the streets of New York and takes away your parking spaces from you. So, to my crew, my crew, my crew: you are my everything. I worship you.”

Sherman-Palladino is the first woman to win for both comedy writing and directing. We can’t wait for the second season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel to premiere.

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Searching: Did You Catch These Hints Throughout the Twisty Thriller?

By | September 10, 2018

Warning: This post contains spoilers for the movie Searching.

Starring the venerable John Cho and Debra Messing, Searching is one of the twistiest thrillers you’ll ever come across. Just imagine a modern-day Hitchcock project that occurs entirely on a computer screen interface. In the film, David Kim, an anguished widowed father, launches a full-fledged internet investigation to figure out what happened to his missing 16-year-old daughter, Margot. While working on his own theories, he gets help from his brother Peter and Detective Rosemary Vick. But, of course, things are not as they seem.

Anyone who made it to the end of Searching will surely appreciate the twists, plants, and buildup that the filmmakers use to create suspense and a logical narrative. Still, even the shrewdest internet sleuths may overlook or glaze over some of the cleverly hidden clues in Searching that point to the shocking reveal of what happens to Margot. Just in case you missed them, we’ve rounded up the most important hints sprinkled throughout the movie.

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Sierra Burgess Is a Loser: Meet the Hollywood Newcomer Behind Veronica

By | September 10, 2018

Netflix has been releasing a bunch of original romantic comedies, including Set It Up and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. The latest project to join its lineup is Sierra Burgess Is a Loser. Sure, we all know Shannon Purser, the actress behind the titular character who also happens to be Stranger Things‘s beloved Barb. Love or hate the movie, Purser’s Sierra is undoubtedly anchored by her co-lead in the film. And nope, we’re not talking about dreamy Noah Centineo’s Jamey. We mean Veronica, the outspoken cheerleader who befriends Sierra. In exchange for tutoring lessons, Veronica pretends to date Jamey for Sierra, who’s really the one texting and calling him.

Veronica is played by Kristine Froseth, a 22-year-old Norwegian actress who’s new to both the small and big screens. At age 16, Froseth went to a modeling casting call at a mall in Norway. (She grew up in New Jersey and Norway, and now resides in New York.) After appearing in European fashion magazines (you may have seen her in ads for H&M, Juicy Couture, and Armani), she caught the attention of the director for a movie adaptation of John Green’s Looking For Alaska. While the film never came to fruition, Froseth ended up with an acting agent. In 2016, the actress starred in The Weeknd’s music video for “False Alarm,” which piqued her interest in an earnest acting career.

Besides her project with The Weeknd, Froseth has held a couple of roles in smaller shows, including Eli in a canceled TV adaptation of Let the Right One In, Jess in the teen series Junior, and Nola in the thriller miniseries The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair. She also played a small part in the J.D. Salinger biopic Rebel in the Rye. While she’s relatively new in the film world, you’re about to see a lot more of Froseth soon. Her upcoming movies include a few thrillers, such as Apostle and Prey.

You can follow the actress’s daily musings and upcoming projects on her Instagram account, where she regularly posts pictures of her travel adventures as well as her adorable friendship with Purser!

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Get Your Ethics Textbooks Ready, The Good Place Is Back for a Third Season

By | September 7, 2018

Hot diggity dog! The Good Place is coming back to NBC for a third season after another clever season finale twist. You can bet your bottom dollar that we’re forking excited, perhaps even more so than Chidi loves studying moral ethics. Ever since it debuted in 2016, the show has charmed fans with its quirky fusion of classic textbook philosophy, goofy gags, and wildly inventive plot twists. While we’d happily rewatch the show from start to finish (and you can on Netflix), we’re excited to see how things go down in the upcoming season. Even without Janet’s encyclopedic knowledge, we were able to dig up everything you need to know about season three of The Good Place.

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Boo! 16 Halloween Movies That You Can Stream Instantly on Netflix

By | September 7, 2018

If you live and breathe Halloween, you probably love spooky films as much as eerie animatronics and spine-chilling costumes. While you could hit the theaters to watch a scary movie, there are plenty of features that you can watch right now without even having to get out of the house. We’ve rounded up a diverse mix of Halloween movies available on Netflix, from goofy, kid-friendly flicks such as Scooby-Doo to haunting classics such as Children of the Corn. Fill up your pumpkin pails with candy, because there are a ton of creepy and festive movies to enjoy on the streaming service.

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