“Snatched” Is Proof That White-Women-Behaving-Badly Comedy Needs A Break

Emily Middleton, the thirtysomething New Yorker that Amy Schumer plays in Snatched, is a gross miscalculation of a character. But that realization takes a while to settle in. From afar, Emily looks like she might be a variation on the comedic persona Schumer has honed and weaponized in her standup and on her TV series, Inside Amy Schumer. You know the type — the Schumerian hot mess, the one who shuts the bar down, who’s unruffled to find herself waking up next to a stranger, who’s ditzy and lazy, and who parties and selfies as hard as she can to escape her feelings of inadequacy.

When Emily describes her plans for her upcoming Ecuadorian vacation to someone, they consist of how she hopes to transition from poolside cocktails in the day to red wine and then scotch at night. But after she’s divested of her retail job and her musician boyfriend (a welcome cameo from Randall Park) in quick succession, she’s left with no one to take with her on the nonrefundable trip.

No one, that is, except for her divorced, anxiety-ridden mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn, making a questionable choice for her first role in 15 years), a necessity the film treats as deeply embarrassing. And so the two women travel to a resort, and soon find themselves kidnapped and held for ransom, then figure out a way to flee their captors and end up getting lost in the Amazon.

It’s a misadventure in which Hawn acquits herself better as the neurotic straight woman than Schumer does as, basically, an asshole. Snatched, which is directed by 50/50’s Jonathan Levine and written by Katie Dippold (of The Heat, Ghostbusters, and this legendary tweet), is a talent-packed, terrifically unfunny movie that, more than anything else, underscores just how difficult it is to translate Schumer’s sharp-elbowed stylings to the conventions of a movie.

This was a challenge for her first big-screen leading role in Trainwreck, too, a better film that reveled in her character’s sloppy, standards-defying splendor only to then “solve” her with monogamy and sobriety. Snatched does much worse by having Emily let it all hang out without a hint of the savage self-awareness or sly feminism with which Schumer, not always perfectly, infused her show. Emily is Schumer’s vapid white girl schtick shorn of any of the underlying commentary, the movie treating her terribleness as endearing, right on through the two people she accidentally murders (lol!).

That Snatched plays those incidents for uncertain laughs is an indication of how unsure it is of who it’s making fun of. It makes a joke about Linda’s xenophobic fears by having her mishear a “welcome” cocktail as being full of “whale cum” and react in horror, but it also affirms them by having her and her daughter abducted by a group of glowering South American stereotypes who prey on female tourists. Their leader, the crime lord Morgado (Óscar Jaenada), lambasts the Americans who come to his country only to stay in the resorts, but Snatched presents itself as one big warning against leaving those luxury confines.

It’s on a day trip in the company of a suave but possibly sinister Brit (Tom Bateman) that the women get grabbed, and in their subsequent escape, they trek miles through the wilderness, get infected with tapeworms, and almost fall off a cliff. Meanwhile, Ike Barinholtz, as Emily’s agoraphobic brother, tries to annoy the State Department into helping out, and Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack get underused as a pair of platonic (they insist) fellow vacationers with a particular set of skills.

More than anything else, Snatched feels like an exhausted dead end for a type of comedy that Schumer and Lena Dunham, in particular, became famous for in the last decade — a comedy that consists of pitilessly self-lacerating white-women-behaving-badly scenarios that leans into its characters’ uglier tendencies while also inquiring into the standards by which those characters get judged.

It’s a type of comedy that has had a marvelous capacity to enrage, either because its depictions of obliviousness, immaturity, and narcissism get misread as endorsements, or because its performances of calculated awfulness have a way of triggering misogynistic reactions in people who prefer women onscreen to be likable and free of bodily functions. At its best, their work pushes at chauvinistic expectations of female behavior and appeal while also attempting to acknowledge and mock the privileges their characters do enjoy and never want to think about.

But there’s never any of that cuts-both-ways balance to Snatched. Its setup implicitly excuses both Linda’s soft racism and Emily’s adult toddler routine, running only with the white-women-behaving-badly part of the equation before segueing into an arc of sincere and unearned self-actualization. It melds Ecuador and Colombia into one crime-ridden jungle backdrop against which its main characters can reconnect and air their grievances — because maybe Emily’s problem isn’t that she’s selfish, it’s that she never got enough encouragement from the lonesome mother she contacts only when she needs things.

The film’s nadir involves Linda and Emily stopping by a village where Emily joins in on the day’s work by — and this part isn’t a joke — taking a bucket another one of the locals has walked all the way over to her, then pouring it into a well while being praised by Linda for helping. Upon learning that the women do all the work in the community, Emily raises her eyebrows in a very I could teach these ladies something way.

If it weren’t played totally straight — if Emily didn’t, end up doing nonspecific volunteer work abroad — it would be a fantastic, biting bit. Imagine: His American gal gets carried half dead out of the jungle with killers on her trail, and upon waking, proceeds to self-righteously lecture the indigenous strangers who saved her life about gender. That’s the kind of scathing angle you can almost imagine being an Inside Amy Schumer sketch — the kind that would be ruthless about the character she’s playing in the film.

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Meet The Woman Who’s Writing Weird, Sexual, Relatable Women For TV

Phoebe Waller-Bridge at the Amazon 2016 Summer TCA Press Tour. Charley Gallay / Getty Images

“I’m bathing in how many amazing shows there are about women at the moment,” Phoebe Waller-Bridge said enthusiastically, pulling her legs up so she could sit comfortably cross-legged on a chair inside The London hotel in West Hollywood. The writer and star of Fleabag, Amazon’s six-episode series that premiered July of last year to rave reviews, is as bawdy and animated in person as her onscreen persona. She also has the same short brown hair, and she’s frequently tucking it behind one ear; it becomes disheveled when she gesticulates, and she gesticulates a lot. Her speech is fast and unfiltered, often peppered with “fucks” and “shits,” and the words come even quicker when she’s talking about something that excites her — in this case, women currently on television. “When it became very obvious that the appetite for complex stories with female leads had resurfaced, all this amazing stuff came out!”

Waller-Bridge, a new and powerful voice in TV, is as much an avid consumer as she is a creator. She just finished Big Little Lies and cried during the finale — “it’s always women standing up for each other, and women acting in solidarity gets me more than anything else” — and she’s one episode into The Handmaid’s Tale — “Jesus Christ, it’s bleak.” But Fleabag stands apart from most onscreen women for many reasons, chief among them her brazen ownership of what’s often considered socially taboo.

This reclamation of the darker parts of womanhood, so often swept under the rug, are on full display during Episode 4 of Fleabag. “Sluuuts!” an unseen, random man in the distance shouts at Fleabag (Waller-Bridge) and her sister Claire (Sian Clifford). The slight rings out just as Claire rings the doorbell to Mindful Farm, a women’s-only silent retreat outside London where their father has gifted the sisters a getaway — a lovely weekend of washing floors and gardening together in forced tranquility. Claire, pressed and professional even in her casualwear, looks aghast. But without missing a beat, Fleabag gleefully responds. “Yeees?!” she yells back, smirking mischievously, owning the insult.

“Ahh, sluts!” Waller-Bridge tittered as she remembered that scene. During the same episode, Fleabag discovers a men’s-only retreat, Better Man, next door — undoubtedly where the “slut!” shout came from. The male attendees hurl insults at female blow-up dolls — trying to exorcise their anger in the hopes of emotional reformation — while the women trim tiny shrubs in mandatory quietude mere feet away. “The received idea for women is to be passive and quiet and clean the house,” Waller-Bridge explained of writing that juxtaposition. “And for men, it’s to scream and own the language that they’ve been given, the language that they’ve been using against women. That cracks me up, people who are really trying,” she laughed. “Really, I just thought it was a funny gag.”

Fleabag is never directly addressed by name in the series — we know her only as “Fleabag,” the name she’s given in the show’s credits. “I couldn’t think of anything that summed her up,” Waller-Bridge said of struggling to name the character (and the original 2013 one-woman play the series is based on). But then her mother phoned and addressed her by her family nickname, “Fleabag,” and she just knew. “My sister was ‘Mouse’ and my brother was ‘Mole,’ but ‘Flea’ has really stuck. I was like, ‘Ahh, fuck!’ when I realized it. It’s going to be such a pain in the ass, because now everyone’s going to be like, ‘It’s you!’ But I love the idea that the title gave the subtext of her emotional state.”

Fleabag’s dark, underlying emotional state throughout the series is masked by sexual bravado and perfectly applied red lipstick. Cripplingly depressed beneath her rouge, reeling from both her mother’s death and her best friend’s accidental suicide (“She didn’t actually think she’d die, she just found out that her boyfriend fucked someone else and wanted to punish him by ending up in hospital,” Fleabag drunkenly word-vomits to a cab driver in the first episode), she copes with grief almost entirely through sex. “I wanted to give the feeling of a woman who’d been completely desensitized by her own need for validation through sex,” Waller-Bridge said. “Someone who had blurred the line between ‘It’s fun and feels good!’ and ‘Actually it’s kind of filling a void.’”

That use of sexuality, and “the need to have sex but the simultaneous need to not connect with somebody at the same time, but be needed and be wanted,” is something Waller-Bridge related to viscerally in her early twenties. “I remember thinking, like, That’s the main element of control I’ve got in the world.

A minute and a half into the first episode, Fleabag’s having anal sex with her on-call yogi fuckboy. In various moments throughout the series, she masturbates to an Obama speech on her laptop while her milquetoast boyfriend dozes next to her, tries to low-key seduce a patron of her café by dropping a cucumber, and awkwardly hits on her doctor mid–breast exam. We even learn that she’s the “someone else” her dead best friend’s boyfriend fucked. When she can’t secure a drunken hookup for even one night, she shows up on her emotionally withdrawn father’s porch, unable to be alone with her heartache. “I have a horrible feeling that I’m a greedy, perverted, selfish, apathetic, cynical, depraved, morally bankrupt woman who can’t even call herself a feminist,” she half-cries. “Well,” her father stammers after a long moment, seemingly unable to contradict her, “you get all that from your mother.”

But Waller-Bridge doesn’t categorize Fleabag as “unlikable” by any means. “I didn’t see her like that,” she said immediately. “She did morally ambiguous things and made morally ambiguous choices, but I felt like she was clearly in pain and that’s what was driving all that. When people really go for unlikable characters, especially female ones, it’s because they can’t see why they’re behaving like that.” And the 31-year-old isn’t surprised that people, especially women, find Fleabag so relatable. “We have our versions of ‘normal.’ Me and my friends, we talk like this, we feel like this, and this is our version of ‘normal,’ and I put it into Fleabag. As a young woman you’re supposed to be, first and foremost, attractive. I really felt like that, and I could see that everyone else felt like that as well, and it made me so sad.”

A “really committed” tomboy until age 11, Waller-Bridge credits Buffy Summers from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Eddy and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous as her earliest onscreen heroines — but she still related to boys’ narratives much more. “I had my hair short, wore boxer shorts, was called ‘Alex,’ the whole thing,” she cackled. She wanted to be Cody from Disney’s animated feature The Rescuers Down Under just so she, too, could ride on the back of an eagle.

But she believes women’s narratives are changing for the better, despite a continued lack of eagle-riding young girl characters. “I have to say,” she said, half-jokingly pointing a finger to emphasize her point (always toeing the line between serious and slapstick, like Fleabag), “I think it’s changed so much in the last few years. Some of these shows that are coming out now make me weep with happiness that these stories are being told.” And what’s the trick to keeping those stories coming? “Empowering female writers. There’s only so much a man can get under the skin of a female character. And vice versa.”

Waller-Bridge attends the British Academy Television Craft Awards in April 2017. John Phillips / Getty Images

Waller-Bridge will continue to personally contribute to the growing landscape of complicated and flawed onscreen women, in creation and portrayal. Fleabag is what landed her an audition and — eventually — an undefined major role in 2018’s untitled Han Solo Star Wars anthology film. She won’t confirm or deny the rumor that she’ll be playing the first significant female droid in the Star Wars canon — “can’t say anything, can’t say anything,” she repeated with the same robotic intonation (much like a droid). Right now she’s finishing up penning the script for Killing Eve, an eight-episode spy thriller for BBC America that follows the obsessive relationship between a psychopathic assassin and the woman charged with killing her; she’s also showrunner and executive producer on the project.

Then, very possibly, she’ll return to Fleabag for a second series. “We’re still negotiating it all at the moment,” she clarified about her deal with Amazon Studios. “I really didn’t want to do another [series], I didn’t want to fuck it up. [But] when will I ever get to play that character again, at a different stage in her life and my life? I think I’d regret not doing it.”

Even if it’s not via Fleabag, Waller-Bridge wants to continue telling real and relatable stories, regardless of likability. “I think there’s a responsibility for us to keep telling the most honest stories about women in their complexities,” she said, “and not hide away from the uglier side of the female psyche — which are the bits I get really excited about.”

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Don't Worry, There's Another Shondaland Show Coming Next Season To ABC

1. Inhumans

ABC/Michael Muller

Who’s in it? Eme Ikwuakor, Ken Leung, Anson Mount, Serinda Swan, Isabelle Cornish, and Iwan Rheon
Who created it? Scott Buck, Jeph Loeb, and Jim Chory
What’s it about? ABC’s Marvel partnership continues with this sorta spin-off from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the Inhumans (a race of superpowered humans) were first introduced in Season 2. This show revolves around a royal family of Inhumans who flee to Hawaii following a revolt.

2. The Mayor

Craig Sjodin / ABC

Who’s in it? Brandon Micheal Hall, Lea Michele, Bernard David Jones, Marcel Spears, Yvette Nicole Brown
Who created it? Daveed Diggs, Jeremy Bronson, Jamie Tarses, James Griffiths
What’s it about? A young rapper runs for mayor of his hometown as a publicity stunt — and wins.

3. The Gospel of Kevin

Ryan Green / ABC

Who’s in it? Jason Ritter, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Cristela Alonzo, J. August Richards, Chloe East, Dustin Ybarra, India de Beaufort
Who created it? Michele Fazekas, Tara Butters
What’s it about? An oblivious and self-centered man encounters a spiritual entity who tasks him with saving the world.

4. For The People

Angela Weiss / Getty Images

Who’s in it? Britne Oldford, Lyndon Smith, Ben Rappaport, Susannah Flood, Wesam Keesh, Regé-Jean Page, Ben Shenkman, Hope Davis, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Anna Deavere Smith
Who created it? Paul William Davies, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers
What’s it about? Young lawyers on both sides — prosecution and defense — duke it out in federal court, specifically the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Which apparently, according to the logline, is called “The Mother Court”? We’re learning things already from this new Shondaland show. (And the lawyers socialize together too!)

5. The Crossing

Bob D’amico / ABC

Who’s in it? Steve Zahn, Natalie Martinez, Sandrine Holt, Rick Gomez, Jay Karnes, Marcuis Harris, Simone Kessel, Kelly Missal, Rob Campbell, Grant Harvey, Bailey Skodje, Jon D’Leo, Luc Roderique, Tommy Bastow
Who created it? Rob Bowman, Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie, Jason Reed
What’s it about? Five hundred refugees try to escape their war-torn country. When they arrive in a small stateside fishing town, there are only 47 remaining. The mystery is: The refugees are American and the war they’re trying to escape hasn’t happened yet. Dun dun dun.

6. Untitled Zach Braff/Matt Tarses project

Craig Sjodin / ABC

Who’s in it? Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, Hillary Anne Matthews, Michael Imperioli, Elisha Henig, Audyssie James
Who created it? Zach Braff, Matt Tarses, John Davis, John Fox, Alex Blumberg, Chris Gilberti, Matt Lieber
What’s it about? Braff plays a married dad and “brilliant radio journalist” who decides to quit his job to start a company. This show, which Braff also directed, is loosely based on StartUp, the podcast.

Note: In mid-May every year, the five television broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW — present their new shows and upcoming schedules to advertisers at events called “the upfronts.” That’s why you see an onslaught of new programming in May, as well as the cancellation of current shows. This post will be continually updated.

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How “American Gods” Pulled Off That Explicit Gay Sex Scene

BEVERLY HILLS — “I remember when they sent me the script describing somebody being filled by an ejaculation of flames,’” Neil Gaiman recalled late Wednesday night during a panel for the Starz series American Gods. “I’m going, ‘This is beautifully written in the script. Obviously they won’t actually do this … Only a madman would write this.’”

The British author was referring to a scene from the upcoming episode “Head Full of Snow.” In what might be one of the most explicit gay sex scenes ever shown on television, Salim (Omid Abtahi), a Muslim man from Oman, and the Jinn (Mousa Kraish), a fiery-eyed genie disguised as a taxi driver, make love in a New York hotel room. It begins with full-frontal male nudity, and then the men are shown thrusting in and out of each other, first on a bed and then in a faraway desert — and yes, there is an “ejaculation of flames.”

Showrunners Michael Green and Bryan Fuller took extreme care with this strange yet tender moment, as they adapted Gaiman’s seemingly unadaptable 2001 novel American Gods, which is about feuding deities who live among men.

“We wanted to make sure that it was undeniably beautiful for even those who were uncomfortable with same-sex romance,” said Fuller during the moderated Q&A, which, in addition to Gaiman, also included Kraish and Abtahi. Each took turns talking to a crowd of fans and newcomers to the series after an advance screening of the episode hosted by GLAAD.

Salim and the Jinn’s narrative is not a coming-out story, Fuller said. “As a gay man looking at gay entertainment, there are a lot of coming-out stories, and we didn’t need for it to be a coming-out story; we just needed it to be a connection between these two men.”

That’s why Fuller and Green decided to take some creative liberties with the characters’ storyline: For example, they rewrote a blow job in the book as a penetrative sex scene on the show. They wanted the scene, furthermore, to portray a moment of intimacy rather than a meaningless one-night stand — a vision Fuller inspired in Green.

Abtahi, Kraish, Michael Green, Bryan Fuller, and Neil Gaiman Joe Scarnici / Getty Images

“That was something that Bryan brought that helped me understand what the goal was going to be, and why it was going to be worth doing something that, on a production level, was very hard,” Green said. From there, he “approached it as a straight man just thinking, This is a beautiful romantic story between two people who find each other … I saw it as a story of a god giving a man permission to be himself and to enjoy sex and to be made love to.”

Although Salim and the Jinn’s sex scene is noteworthy for its graphic nature, it’s also a rare depiction of Muslim characters — who typically aren’t afforded any displays of intimacy on television, let alone same-sex romance, or even narratives that portray them simply as human beings.

“Sex scene aside, just seeing two Middle Eastern men represented in that way — with humor and love and joy…It’s taken me 11 years to get to that,” Kraish, who has been acting since the early 2000s, said of his first-ever sex scene. “I want to see more of that.”

He and Abtahi had known each other for 10 years before working together on American Gods; their comfort level with each other helped them establish Salim and the Jinn’s chemistry during what was otherwise a very technical, unsexy shoot.

“As lovely and spiritual and beautiful as that scene is, there was a lot of giggling going on. We had to shoot it twice because our gentlemen here are heterosexual, the director [Guillermo Navarro] is heterorsexual, and there were some positions that were just not conducive for anal penetration,” Fuller explained.

Abtahi said he attempted to do some “research” to prepare for the episode. “I tried to watch, like, gay porn, and I was like, I don’t think this is how it really works in real life, similar to heterosexual porn,” he said. “But I do have a very dear friend who’s in this audience, who allowed me to ask him all these embarrassing questions about how this works. I was like, ‘Hey, man, can you have an orgasm without jacking off?’”

Kraish was particularly nervous about whether his nude body would feel “exploitational” to viewers, and he expressed his concerns to Fuller prior to filming. As Fuller explained it: “There was a moment early on before Mousa would agree to drop the towel. We had to have a conversation about the intention of the sex scene, and it was wonderful because he just wanted to make sure that it was not exploitational, and that we weren’t just showing cock because Starz loves cock.”

As for why Gaiman decided to include a gay romance in American Gods, the author said he merely wanted to reflect the people around him.

“As I’ve said many times in interviews, I didn’t regard the things I was writing about on American Gods … as contentious,” he said. “Obviously it’s a book about immigrants, it’s a book about all sorts of cultures, it’s a book about all sorts of people; obviously there will be LGBTQ characters in here, because there are LGBTQ characters in life and amongst my friends.” He wasn’t doing it for the recognition of being a champion of diversity: “There was no feeling at any point that I was getting any magic virtue points.”

Kraish, who has admired Gaiman since his teenage years, praised the author for including Middle Eastern and LGBT characters in his story: “You truly are representing the world in this show, and that makes me proud to be a part of this.”

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12 Things You Need To Know About The Twins From “The Devil Wears Prada”

When The Devil Wears Prada debuted in theaters in 2006, the insanely quotable movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway became an instant classic.

Fox 2000 Pictures

In the film, Runway magazine assistant Andy (Hathaway) is given the responsibility of delivering the publication’s next issue to her boss, Miranda Priestly (Streep), at her home, which is where Andy unexpectedly runs into Priestly’s daughters.

Fox 2000 Pictures

Now, more than 10 years after the movie’s release, BuzzFeed News chatted with Colleen and Suzanne Dengel who played Miranda’s twins, Caroline and Cassidy, respectively.

Courtesy of Colleen and Suzanne Dengel

“It was so long ago that sometimes we forget that we were in it,” Suzanne said. “It’s such a great movie and we felt so honored at the time and we still feel so honored just to have shared the screen with so many amazing people. It’s such an iconic movie and we had no idea that it was going to be what it was.”

“When we look back and think when we actually got the part, we literally had no idea what we were doing,” Colleen said, before playfully coming down on her own performance. “If my part was cut out, that would be my favorite movie.”

Here’s what we learned:

1. Colleen and Suzanne auditioned for David Frankel, the director, and Wendy Finerman, who served as producer.

Courtesy of Colleen and Suzanne Dengel

The 15-year-old twins found out about the audition while they were taking an acting class in Philadelphia. Suzanne told BuzzFeed News that they made Frankel and Finerman laugh, which they think worked in their favor.

2. Though the twins’ audition went well, they didn’t know if they landed the part for another two weeks.

“We were told the director needed to see another set of twins from LA,” Suzanne said. “He saw them and we were still his choice, so they ended up casting us.”

3. It was one of the first times they were able to work together as a pair.

Courtesy of Colleen and Suzanne Dengel

Before Prada, they mainly acted in commercials alone, so they were excited to be able to do a project together.

4. And they were most excited about working with Anne Hathaway.

Courtesy of Colleen and Suzanne Dengel

“We freaked out because we were going to get to work with Anne Hathaway because we loved The Princess Diaries,” Suzanne said. Colleen added, “Our mom was was, like, crying over Meryl Streep and we were like, ‘But Princess Diaries!’”

5. They got to “learn the craft” from “the best people” in the industry, Suzanne said.

“Everyone was very accessible,” Colleen said. “That’s one thing I’ll always take away from that set. No one was really too big for other people,” including Streep and Hathaway, whom the twins worked with really well. “Meryl was there to answer questions,” Colleen continued. “Wendy Finerman, who produced major movies at the time, like, I still can’t believe we were cast by her. She was so sweet. She invited us into her trailer for a tea party when we arrived. We just got incredible experiences and we got to know people that were major in the business.”

6. Streep was very much in character on set.

“Meryl didn’t talk to Anne at all and stayed in character the whole time,” Suzanne said.

7. And that scene in which Andy is tasked with dropping off the Runway book at Miranda’s home was all improv.

Fox 2000 Pictures

“We went into that not knowing what improv was,” Suzanne said. “They were like, ‘Just go with it.’”

“[Hathaway] played off us so well — we played off of each other so well,” Colleen added. “That was just something we did with Anne and it made the cut.”

8. Though the scene was improvised, it took some time to get it just right — three days, according to Colleen.

Fox 2000 Pictures

“They were so determined to get this specific shot of us upstairs. I think like, inspired by The Shining or something,” she said.

9. No, the twins did not get advance copies of the last Harry Potter novel, and they were disappointed because they’re actually Potterheads.

Fox 2000 Pictures

“We had people asking us every single day if we had that Harry Potter I think for like three years after that movie came out. And, for the record, it was all gibberish. There was nothing in that book,” Suzanne said. Colleen said they ended up auctioning off the books for charity.

10. And it took some time to get adjusted to their newfound fame.

Courtesy of Colleen and Suzanne Dengel

Suzanne described the attention they’d get in high school as very “intense” because they’re not “attention seekers.” “We’d get embarrassed, we’d leave football games, and now as adults, I look at it as a much more ‘feather in my cap’ sort of experience,” she said. “I still can’t believe we managed to pull off getting that part, let alone being in that movie. When people find out now … they get excited and they’re not mean about it … like, they can’t believe it was us and we look drastically different than we used to as kids. So it’s fun to tell people now.”

Colleen added: “I’m more proud of it. We were very humble, very scared kids. And now I’m like, ‘Well, we did that and that was really cool.’ … It’s one of those things that not everyone has the privilege to do and we’ll never forget.”

11. They walked away from the industry for a while because of a bad audition experience.

“We actually don’t act as much as we used to. We actually took a step back a couple of years ago because the industry is vastly different out here than it is in New York,” said Colleen. (She and Suzanne both live in California now.) “I think we lasted auditioning every day for about nine months.”

Because they’re twins, they were sometimes told that casting directors wouldn’t want to see “the same person,” even though Suzanne and Colleen are vastly different. Colleen described the experience as “devastating,” but they said that they’d eventually come back to the industry and be in front of the camera if the right opportunity came along.

12. The twins are now 25, they live in Southern California, and they’ve ventured into writing more than appearing onscreen.

Courtesy of Colleen and Suzanne Dengel

“We really discovered that we like writing and we want to write something for ourselves,” Colleen said.

They both received degrees from Southern New Hampshire University, majoring in communications, new media, and marketing. They hope they’ll be able to one day “promote our writing ideas and sell them,” Colleen said.

One of the projects they’re working on will address LGBT representation, which is very important to both twins, especially Suzanne, who recently married her wife.

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This “Wheel Of Fortune” Puzzle Is Confusing The Hell Out Of People

1. On a recent episode of Wheel Of Fortune, there was one particular puzzle that was quite…puzzling. In the final round (which automatically fills in the letters RSTLNE) the contestant had a board that looked like this:

3. One Twitter user was very confused because the answer that made the most sense wasn’t quite right:

4. After the original tweet, several people added their own solutions:

sick at work?

— Carley Star (@starlitup)

My mothers answer to this was lick it dork. But suck it dork works too.

— Carly (@CarlyGroff)

8. Some people were frustrated:

Love this but we all know that RSTLNE are given so it caN’T POSSIBLY BE SUCK WHY ARE YOU LIKE THIS

— Michael W Bradburn (@MWBII)

What else could it be? And how dare Wheel of Fortune tell me to suck it?!?!

— Eric J. Krause (@ericjkrause)

10. Others were amused:

I wouldn’t of been able to answer the puzzle because I would be on the floor laughing

— Sean ♠️ (@Seanismoney)

The comments on this thread are outstanding

— Ryan Blake (@ryguyblake)

12. But, finally, the mystery was solved. The answer was…BACK AT WORK.

Watched this tonight and my thought was “suck it work,” so I was very impressed when the contestant got “back at wo…

— Alex Carroll (@aloysiuscc)

13. Which is honestly pretty lame compared to all the other glorious possibilities.

  1. So, what did you see?

    1. Suck it dork

    2. Sick at work

    3. Fuck at work

    4. Pick at Pork

    5. Lick it dork

    6. Back at work

    7. Something else, and I’ll tell you in the comments!

This “Wheel Of Fortune” Puzzle Is Confusing The Hell Out Of People


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    The CW Revives One Of The Most Iconic Shows Of All-Time

    1. Dynasty

    Aaron Spelling Productions

    Who’s in it? Grant Show, Elizabeth Gillies, Nathalie Kelley, James Mackay, Alan Dale, Sam Adegoke, Robert Christopher Riley, Rafael de la Fuente
    Who created it? Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Sallie Patrick, Esther Shapiro, Richard Shapiro, Brad Silberling
    What’s it about? A modern day update of the iconic 80s soap about a rich and shameless family.

    2. Valor

    Brownie Harris / FOX

    Who’s in it? Matt Barr, Christina Ochoa, Charlie Barnett, W. Trè Davis, Corbin Reid, Nigel Thatch, Melissa Roxburgh
    Who created it? Bill Haber, Anna Fricke, Kyle Jarrow, Michael Robin
    What’s it about? A military drama about an elite team of helicopter pilots who execute secret missions at home and abroad.

    3. Black Lightning

    Warner Bros

    Who’s in it? Cress Williams, Nefessa Williams, China Anne McClain, Christine Adams
    Who created it? Greg Berlanti, Salim Akil, Mara Brock Akil, Sarah Schechter
    What’s it about? Jefferson Pierce (a.k.a. Black Lightning) left his secret identity behind years ago, but he’s pulled back into life as a vigilante when his family gets mixed up with the wrong people.

    4. Life Sentence

    Getty Images

    Who’s in it? Lucy Hale, Elliot Knight, Dylan Walsh, Gillian Vigman, Jayson Blair, Brooke Lyons, Carlos PenaVega
    Who created it? Erin Cardillo, Richard Keith, Bill Lawrence, Jeff Ingold, Oliver Goldstick, Lee Toland Krieger
    What’s it about? After being told she has terminal cancer, a young woman lives life without consequences — but after she finds out she’s not dying, she’s forced to reckon with all the choices she made.

    Note: In mid-May every year, the five television broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW — present their new shows and upcoming schedules to advertisers at events called “the upfronts.” That’s why you see an onslaught of new programming in May, as well as the cancellation of current shows. This post will be continually updated.

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    “Scandal” Is Reportedly Ending Next Season

    It appears the story of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) will come to an end after Scandal’s seventh season. The news was first reported by TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, who wrote that, “Shonda Rhimes made the call to conclude the series, and ABC accepted her decision.” The Hollywood Reporter also reported that the show will end after Season 7.

    Neither ABC nor ShondaLand — Rhimes’ production company — would confirm the reports.

    The Rhimes-created show premiered on ABC in April 2012, and was not an immediate ratings success. But in its second season, not only did the ratings improve to make it a genuine hit, but the show — with its insane twists, and everyone-is-a-murderer ethos — became a zeitgeist drama: You couldn’t miss it, lest you be spoiled.

    Most important, its diverse cast changed the optics of television, creating a “Scandal effect,” which showed previously reluctant network executives that it was good for business to have lead actors of color on TV. Rhimes’ vision for television, beginning with Grey’s Anatomy in 2005, and leading to Scandal, which featured Washington as one of the only black female leads in decades, has proved to be revolutionary. It paved the way for Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat, Empire, and Jane the Virgin on the broadcast networks.

    The Rhimes-produced How to Get Away With Murder, starring Viola Davis, premiered in Sept. 2014, forming — along with Grey’s — an entire Rhimes night Thursdays on ABC, which the network branded as #TGIT. The Scandal cast — along with Rhimes — have been adept users of social media, live-tweeting the episodes, which helped the show gain traction in its second season.

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    Fox Looks To Mutants And The Sky This Fall

    1. The Gifted

    Who’s in it? Stephen Moyer, Amy Acker, Sean Teale, Jamie Chung, Coby Bell, Emma Dumont, Blair Redford , Natalie Alyn Lind, and Percy Hynes White
    Who created it? Matt Nix, Bryan Singer, Lauren Shuler Donner, Simon Kinberg, Jeph Loeb, and Jim Chory
    What’s it about? An ordinary couple discover their children are secretly superpowered mutants and team up with an underground mutant communuity to fight off the are insidious government agents who mean to do them harm.

    2. Orville

    Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images

    Who’s in it? Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, and Chad Coleman
    Who created it? Seth MacFarlane
    What’s it about? The futuristic dramedy is set aboard the Orville, a spaceship designed to explore the galaxy beyond Earth.

    3. Ghosted

    Who’s in it? Craig Robinson, Adam Scott, Ally Walker, Adeel Akhtar
    Who created it? Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten, Jonathan Krisel
    What’s it about? A skeptic (Robinson) and a brilliant believer (Scott) work for a clandestine government entity to investigate paranormal activity in Los Angeles.

    4. LA To Vegas

    Who’s in it? Dylan McDermott, Kim Matula, Ed Weeks, Nathan Lee Graham, Olivia Macklin, Peter Stormare
    Who created it? Lon Zimmet, Steve Levitan
    What’s it about? A workplace comedy about the passengers and crew who fly, every weekend, from Burbank to Las Vegas in hopes of winning big.

    Note: In mid-May every year, the five television broadcast networks — NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and The CW — present their new shows and upcoming schedules to advertisers at events called “the upfronts.” That’s why you see an onslaught of new programming in May, as well as the cancellation of current shows. This post will be continually updated.

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    Martha Stewart’s 6 Rules For Being Good At The Internet

    Martha Stewart has dedicated the last 35 years of her life to helping other people lead the most beautiful, most delicious, and fullest versions of theirs: first through her best-selling cookbooks, then with various talk show appearances, an eponymous magazine, and — eventually — her own hugely successful lifestyle television show.

    Over her illustrious career, she’s built a true media empire and inspired generations of like-minded food, decor, and etiquette-obsessed fans. But she’s also found an entirely new and thoroughly modern kind of fame recently: social media darling.

    Stewart’s tweets have been written up by Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Adweek, and BuzzFeed; her Instagram posts are equally beloved; hers was one of the first major media lifestyle companies to produce recurring television-quality Facebook Live programs; and her online series Kitchen Conundrum recently won a prestigious James Beard Award.

    “Society as a whole now, everybody wants to know what’s going on,” Stewart told BuzzFeed News of our collective social media obsession. “They want what they’re thinking about to be known by as many people as possible. It’s a very, very different society than the society in which I grew up.”

    It’s a fact that Stewart struggles with but also relishes in. “Substance is very important to me. Superficiality is not terribly important to me. Just showing something for the sake of showing it — say, a new pair of shoes or a derriere décolleté — is not necessarily the important thing to me,” she said. “But privacy has become almost secondary to celebrity in a life like mine. Celebrity is a big deal nowadays. If you are a celebrity, look at the numbers: The more of a celebrity you are, the more you hang out with other celebrities, the more viewers and the more followers and the more responders you have.”

    And when it comes to numbers, Stewart’s are impressive: She has 3.73 million followers on Twitter, 1.5 million on Instagram (between her personal and her brand accounts), and 2.2 million on Facebook. Stewart’s Facebook video content also received more than 68 million views last year — numbers she could only dream of when making her TV show. “And this isn’t even daily,” Stewart exclaimed. “If we did it daily, just think what the numbers would be. … What I try to do with each and every one of our Facebook Lives is teach something. It’s for information, it’s for inspiration; that’s what it’s all about for me.”

    It’s clear little has changed over the last three decades in terms of people taking cues from Stewart — other than the platform from which she spouts her teachings. With that in mind, BuzzFeed News asked Stewart to lay out a few of her personal rules for being good at the internet.

    One of the features Stewart cherishes most about her online experience is how quickly she gets responses. “I can get a read on a question, on a problem, on a thing we’re doing pretty quickly and that’s really what I like about it,” she said. “It’s almost instantaneous” — a fact she was quickly reminded of in June 2016 when she tweeted a seemingly innocuous question at the Daily Mail: “do you know this guy?? He says he is well known,” she wrote underneath a photo of Kardashian-family consort Jonathan Cheban. The internet quickly took notice. “We Should All Aspire to Tweet Like Martha Stewart” was the headline on Time’s online story.

    “I had no idea who he was,” Stewart said with a laugh. “I didn’t know at all and he was so mad at me. But then he saw all the attention he got, so now he loves me. He calls me and he emails me. But I had no idea because I had never watched the Kardashian program … I didn’t know he was part of the coterie of people who hang out with her. Now I know — big time!”

    2. Use your platform properly.

    Martha Stewart during a Facebook Live taping. The Martha Blog

    What you share is almost as important as where you share it, according to Stewart. While Twitter is good for getting answers to questions, she believes some are using it in inappropriate ways. “It’s used by the president so strangely,” she said. “I don’t think it’s a tool for that kind of information. It was so good for news breaking and for, again, taking the temperature of a conundrum or a challenge or something. I still use it for that. … Every now and then I almost forget to use Twitter because of the president, basically. But I still support Twitter.”

    Stewart — who was a beta tester when Facebook was rolling out its live video platform — has fallen deeply in love with just how much it offers her, creatively speaking. “Facebook is more complete to me,” she said. “To be able to answer questions, live questions, instantaneously is very valuable.”

    As for Instagram, Stewart says, “Instagram is for informing people of the kinds of things I’m up to. … It’s just incredible how much inspiration you can get across in a couple of Instagrams on a daily basis. I think of all the social media platforms, that’s the most addictive.”

    3. Set limits.

    Like all of us, Stewart has fallen into a rabbit hole after going online to look at one specific thing, which is why she’s fastidious about setting rules for how much time she can spend online every day. “When Twitter started, it was five minutes a day — at the most,” she revealed. “My makeup artist … she devours [Instagram]. It’s a daily ritual for her. And it’s not just daily, it’s hourly. I’m astonished.

    “I put up something and I just look sometimes for research sake to see who is liking me and I can’t believe that these people have the time to do that. They should be punished,” Stewart said in jest. “They should be absolutely beaten because they shouldn’t be looking at Instagram so much.”

    Even if Stewart has exceeded her recommended daily dose of Twitter, she will always make an exception when something is just too good to keep to herself. Like the Jason Derulo pop-up concert she simply had to live-tweet. “I’m at a concert, it’s a 125 degrees on the coast of the Riviera and I’m watching Jason Derulo dripping sweat; what else am I going to do?” Stewart said of her 2016 tweetstorm about the singer and his rapidly disappearing clothing. “Now Jason derulo is singing for us Quite a show It’s hot and he is shedding his clothes,” she wrote. “Down to his shirtsleeves,” she tweeted next. And then: “Jason really did shed his shirt and continued the amazing show.”

    “He’s a very good performer and I was shocked at what a great dancer he was,” Stewart said looking back. “I’d never seen him perform live so it keeps me kind of interested in that kind of performance to photograph it and tweet about it. I’m learning something while I’m doing it, so that’s good for me.”

    Whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, Stewart has one hope for anyone engaging with her social media platforms: that they learn something. “That’s what I care about,” Stewart said, before paraphrasing what she wishes her fans walk away from her accounts saying. “’Oh, I learned so much from Martha! You should see her blog today. On her Facebook Live, I learned how to organize my bathroom. I learned that I should wipe down my shower every day when I get out of it instead of leaving it to get moldy.’”

    6. And most importantly, never read the comments!

    Thanks for all your positive feedback on our @TMobile commercial @JohnLegere @SnoopDogg It turned out super duper!

    — Martha Stewart (@MarthaStewart)

    Stewart has forged into the darkest corners of the internet once or twice, but she’s become a member of the “Never read the comments” camp. “I try not to read comments very often, but every now and then for research sake I’ll read some comments and I’m quite astonished that there’s nasty people out there with nasty things to say,” she said. “And they’re always so anxious to correct your grammar, your spelling… I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me because I’m supposed to be so perfect that they love to catch me up or something, but I didn’t think that’s the case. I think they do it to everyone. I do not take it personally. If people have something nasty to say, I think they should write a letter.”

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