It's Going to Be a Nerdy Spring! The Big Bang Theory Set to Stream Exclusively on HBO Max

If there was ever a moment to cry, “Bazinga,” it’s now, folks! HBO Max has officially acquired the rights to stream The Big Bang Theory, one of the very few major franchises that hasn’t been licensed for binge-watching yet, aside from the final season being available on CBS’s own CBS All Access. The streaming site has exclusive rights to all 12 seasons of the show and will have all 279 episodes available to stream when HBO Max launches Spring 2020.

As part of the deal with Warner Bros. Television, the comedy created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady has also extended its syndication deal with TBS and will air on the network through 2028. While the exact price of the acquisition hasn’t been made available, it’s safe to say that the series came at a pretty hefty price. Considering that HBO Max paid $425 million over five years to nab Friends from Netflix, we can assume that buying the longest-running comedy series ever would cost somewhere in the billions.

“I am forever grateful to have been part of something as extraordinary as The Big Bang Theory,” Lorre said in a statement. “All of us — Bill Prady, (producers) Steven Molaro, Steve Holland and the amazing writing staff, cast and crew — recognize that 12 seasons of laughter is a gift to be cherished. And now we are extremely excited that TBBT will be joining the HBO Max lineup and be available to both existing and future fans of the show. Laughter has legs!”

By adding The Big Bang Theory and Friends to an already-impressive roster featuring titles from HBO’s portfolio like Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, as well as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Pretty Little Liars, and new seasons of CW fare including Batwoman and Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene, HBO Max is definitely giving other streaming sites a run for their money. The exact launch date for the site hasn’t been announced, but we’re keeping an eye out on Spring 2020!

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History of the ’90s podcast: Looking back at the Girl Power phenomenon

On this episode of History of the ’90s, host Kathy Kenzora looks back at Girl Power, a 90’s phenomenon that introduced a generation of young girls to feminism and empowerment.

If you think of the Spice Girls when you hear Girl Power, you’re not wrong.

But before the Spice Girls were kicking it for the girls with hit songs like “Wannabe,” the Riot GRRL movement of the Pacific Northwest was also blazing a trail for young women.

We’ll talk to authors Alison Yarrow and Anne T. Donahue as we track the Girl Power movement from Riot Grrl to the Spice Girls and try to understand how it impacted music and society in the ’90s and today.

If you enjoy History of the ’90s, please take a minute to rate it, tell us what you think and share the show with your friends.


Twitter: @1990shistory

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Anne T. Donahue 

Twitter: @annetdonahue

Instagram: @annetdonahue

Allison Yarrow, author of 90s Bitch: Media, Culture and the Failed Equality Promise of Gender Equality

Twitter: @Aliyarrow

Instagram: @Aliyarrow

We LOVE that you are loving the “History of the 90s” podcast! If you haven’t subscribed yet — what are you waiting for?

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Break Out Your Chanel Boots, Because The Devil Wears Prada Is Coming to Broadway

If you’ve ever watched The Devil Wears Prada and thought that the soundtrack could’ve used more Elton John, then prepare yourself for some very good news. The hit 2006 film starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, inspired by Vogue‘s notoriously prickly Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and adapted from Lauren Weisberger’s novel, is coming to Broadway. The long-awaited musical will premiere at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago in the Summer of 2020.

The musical — directed by Anna D. Shapiro, the artistic director of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company — is set to play in Chicago from July 14 through at least Aug. 16, 2020, according to a Chicago Tribune interview with lead producer Kevin McCollum. “It was important to Anna [Shapiro] that we premiere in Chicago,” McCollum said, adding that the show is expected to move to Broadway sometime between 2020 and 2021.

Just like he did for 1997’s The Lion King and 2008’s Billy Elliot: The Musical (both of which took home the trophy for best musical honors at the Tony Awards, it’s worth noting), John will be in charge of scoring the new musical. “Re-imagining The Devil Wears Prada for the musical theatre is super exciting,” the singer said in a statement in Jan. 2017. “I’m a huge fan of both the book and the feature film and a huge aficionado of the fashion world. I can’t wait to sink my musical teeth into this hunk of popular culture.” John will be working alongside lyricist Shaina Taub and writer Paul Rudnick and will no doubt ensure the musical is just as fabulous as the film.

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How to Cook a Meal (Almost) Entirely Out of Flowers

How do you create a flower-centric restaurant that doesn’t feel like a bridal shower? If you’re Alessandra and Mario De Benedetti, you ask your good friend, the artist and writer Leanne Shapton, to paint your walls with a geometric watercolor mural, and you ask Elizabeth Roberts, the architect known for her light-filled, thoughtfully reworked Brooklyn brownstones, to design the rest. The result is a high-ceilinged oasis on 28th Street in Manhattan, a stone’s throw from the flower district, bedecked in pale wood and Patricia Urquiola chairs imported from Italy. The space, Il Fiorista, which opened yesterday, doesn’t so much look like a bouquet of flowers — rather, it offers the calming, rapturous effect of smelling one.

This is the couple’s first restaurant project: Before they moved from Milan to New York two years ago, he worked in private equity, and she was a law professor. But when Alessandra developed an obsession with learning about flowers, and when the couple realized that spending some time in another country might offer a nice change for their family, an idea was born — and then one idea quickly became dozens.

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The restaurant will begin with dinner service. Its menu, developed by chef Garrison Price (formerly of Il Buco Alimentari), focuses on all the ways that humans can eat and drink flowers: chamomile-rubbed chicken with rose-petal-infused harissa, crudos sprinkled with fennel pollen and pickled fennel flowers. He and bar director Gates Otsuji (who was previously Chef de Bar at the Standard Hotels in New York) have spent the past weeks fermenting, preserving and pickling enough flowers and flower-adjacent items that the venue has taken on a second life as a sort of mad botanists’ laboratory. Next will come lunch, breakfast, coffee and, of course, tea; there will also be a table at the front of the shop with a la carte stems of flowers that diners can buy to take home with them, plus a variety of bouquets arranged by the florist Mindy Cardozo; they will be selling books and home goods in their on-site shop, and hope to develop their own line of kitchen and beauty products sometime soon. The couple’s main goal, though, is to educate their customers about the health and wellness properties of edible flowers: “We want to create what we call a new flower movement,” Alessandra said, citing a study she read that observed how patients in geriatric and pediatric hospital wards had shorter stays, on average, when someone placed flowers in their room.

Their other aim is to focus on sustainability and local sourcing whenever possible. “Obviously we have to manage the problem of what we are going to do in winter,” Alessandra said, “because the farmers are telling us, ‘we can produce maybe some saffron in the greenhouse, or eucalyptus, but not a lot.’” They are considering buying flowers from Florida once their upstate purveyors (such as Allora and Treadlight Farms) stop growing for the season, but don’t want to go any farther afield. Luckily, they’ll also have access to the larder that Otsuji and Price are building. On a recent afternoon, in the back room that will act as both a private dining and event space for a wide variety of classes, Otsuji brought out two glasses: one filled with a salmon-colored shrub of tomato, strawberry and chiloe peppers; another of the same beverage, but spiked with gin. He’s devised a brilliant style of garnish, wherein he draws a line up the side of a highball glass with a slice of lemon, then rolls the glass in dried flowers to create a floral seam. Both cocktail and mocktail offered the vague sense of waking up in a garden, lush and vibrant. To create that feeling at home, the Il Fiorista team shared their advice and recipes on how to bring floral notes into your next dinner party — without overwhelming your guests.

1. Pair Blooms With Seeds

These seeded crackers taste like the best kind of health food — that is, the kind you can’t stop eating. A great way to explore how far flowers can go in the kitchen is to find flowers that produce other edible things — like sunflowers and their seeds. Here, the latter whizzes up into a luscious, ridiculously creamy dip bolstered by sunflower seed oil and topped with sunflower shoots and petals. The dish is a great example of a food that pulls its inspiration from flowers, but is in no way floral-tasting.

Seeded Crackers With Sunflower Dip, Petals and Shoots

Serves 2 to 4 people as a snack or at the beginning of a meal

Ingredients for the seeded crackers:

1 cup chia seeds

1 cup flax seeds

¼ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

2 cups water

2 tablespoons salt

Parchment paper

Ingredients for the sunflower dip:

2 cups sunflower seed butter

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons water

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon salt

10 sunflower petals for garnish

10 sunflower shoots for garnish

1 tablespoon toasted sunflower seeds for garnish

A note about sourcing: Generally, culinary ingredients like fennel pollen can be found at specialty grocers; dried flowers can be found at tea shops or, more easily, at online tea wholesalers. If you’re buying fresh flowers for garnishing or eating, head to the farmers market or try to find an organic/pesticide-free florist.

1. In a bowl, combine all of the seeds, water and salt. Then, allow the seed mixture to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes up to two hours so that the water can fully absorb into the seeds.

2. Place about 2 cups of the seed mixture on a piece of parchment paper the size of your baking tray. Place another piece of parchment paper on top and use a straight edge or rolling pin to smooth out the seeds in a single layer one-eighth-inch thick. Then repeat with the remaining seed mixture.

3. In a preheated, 250-degree oven, bake the seed mixture for about 45 minutes until very dry and lightly toasted. Then, allow the cracker sheets to cool, carefully remove the parchment paper and break the crackers into pieces of whatever size you desire.

4. Store the crackers in an airtight container, in which they will last for up to a week. The crackers can be baked again to make them crispier.

5. In a blender, combine the sunflower seed butter, lemon juice, olive oil, water, garlic clove and salt. Pureé the ingredients until smooth. Store the sunflower dip in the refrigerator for up to five days. Serve the dip in a bowl and garnish the dip with sunflower petals, sunflower shoots and sunflower seeds. Serve the seeded cracker alongside the dip.

2. Embrace The Entire Plant

“This fluke crudo comes from the idea of: What do we do with flowers in January?” explains Price of his multivalent treatment of fennel: He pickles the flowers for garnish; cures his Montauk fluke with fennel pollen (dried and ground in-house); and tops the dish with preserved slices of fennel bulb. Play around with other types of pollen and vegetables you might find at your farmers market — like flowering broccolini, or even, yes, cauliflower.

Fluke Crudo With Fennel Pollen, Citrus and Shaved Fennel

Serves 4 people


8 ounces large fluke filet, skin removed and split down the middle separating the top and bottom loins

1 orange or blood orange cut in segments, juice reserved

1 mandarin orange cut in segments, juice reserved

1 ruby grapefruit cut in segments, juice reserved

1 lime, juiced

1 teaspoon fennel pollen

1 tablespoon salt

¼ cup fennel sliced very thin, reserved in cold water

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup fennel fronds

Chilled plates for serving

1. Place the fluke loins on a sheet of plastic wrap. Season the fish on both sides with the fennel pollen and salt. Wrap the fish and refrigerate for two hours before serving. This step infuses the fish with the salt and fennel pollen flavor but also lightly cures the fish and firms it up to make it easier to slice.

2. In a bowl, combine the orange, mandarin orange, grapefruit segments with the juice and lime juice together. Reserve in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

3. Remove the marinated fluke from the refrigerator and place it on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice the fish into thin slices about 1/8-inch-thick and 2 inches long. Place the fluke slices on your chilled serving plates in a single layer. This step can be done ahead of time and reserved in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

4. To finish the dish, spoon the citrus segments and juice over the fluke slices. Place the fennel slices on top for texture, along with the fennel fronds. Drizzle the dish with olive oil and serve immediately.

3. Don’t Ignore Dried Flowers

“For me, chamomile and chicken go really well together,” Price says. “I love afternoon tea, and so I used to make a chicken salad with chamomile in it.” At the restaurant, he uses dried ground chamomile flowers — yes, just like what you find in dried chamomile tea — and rubs them onto chicken with salt and pepper. The effect is beautifully subtle, and makes for a chicken that doesn’t need much decoration, though a bed of spiced yogurt and rose-petal harissa don’t hurt.

Roasted Chicken With Chamomile Yogurt and Rose-Petal Harissa

Serves 4 people


1 3.5-pound chicken cut into 8 pieces

2 tablespoons ground dry chamomile flowers

2 tablespoons ground black pepper

2 tablespoons salt

2 cups Greek-style yogurt

½ cup harissa paste

2 tablespoons dry rose petals

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 heavy bottom sauté pan to sear the chicken

1 baking sheet to roast the chicken

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. For the chamomile seasoning, combine the ground chamomile, ground black pepper and salt. Reserve this seasoning for the chicken and yogurt. The seasoning will keep in your spice cabinet for up to 2 months and can be used in place of salt and pepper in many applications.

3. For the chamomile yogurt, mix 1 tablespoon of chamomile seasoning into the 2 cups of yogurt. Reserve in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.

4. For the rose-petal harissa, mix the harissa paste, olive oil and rose petals in a bowl until combined. Allow the mixture to sit covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to combine and the rose petals to absorb the oil. This harissa will keep for several weeks refrigerated and can be used in place of hot sauce in many applications.

5. For the chicken, season generously on all sides. Heat a large heavy sauté pan over medium heat and then add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is hot, place the chicken pieces skin-side down to sear until golden brown for about 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

6. To serve, place the chicken on a platter, drizzle the rose-petal harissa over the chicken and serve the chamomile yogurt in a bowl on the side.

4. Infuse Thyself

Instead of using store-bought — or even housemade — orange blossom water for his panna cotta, Price steeps dried orange blossoms in milk, then uses the infused milk for his dessert. “It’s a different flavor” from the store-bought stuff, he says. “You’ll even find it even adds a little bit of bitterness, instead of being too sweet, which helps.” If you’ve never been into orange blossom-flavored desserts because of their inherently floral taste, consider this more subtle solution. Or experiment with other dried flowers: rose petals and rose hips, or lavender, are a great place to start.

Orange Blossom Panna Cotta With Concord Grape and Candied Violet

Serves 4 people


2 cups heavy cream

1 cup whole milk

⅓ cup sugar

1 envelope unflavored gelatin (about 1 tablespoon)

1 ½ teaspoons ground dry orange blossom flowers or 1 teaspoon orange blossom water

1 cup concord grapes sliced 1/4-inch-thick, seeds removed

½ cup concord grape juice

2 tablespoons candied violets whole or lightly chopped

1. In a large saucepan combine the cream, milk, sugar and orange blossom over medium heat to a simmer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the gelatin and allow the mixture to rest for 2 minutes to allow the gelatin to fully bloom. Divide the mixture between 4 serving bowls and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. To serve, garnish the top of each panna cotta with sliced grapes and 1/2 tablespoon of the candied violets. Place the panna cotta in front of each guest and tableside pour or spoon a small amount of concord grape juice over each.

5. Get Creative With Garnishes

As you may expect from a flower-focused restaurant, Gates chooses his garnishes carefully — and zinnias are his latest go-to right now. “They are a very hardy flower; at home, you can garnish your drinks with zinnia or echinacea before the guests arrive and not worry about whether the flowers will still look beautiful later on.” These two flowers are sturdy enough to stand up to a cocktail, such as this floral, cacao-infused spritz, while your guests arrive — and save you from scrambling over drinks one they’re there.

Petal Pusher

Serves 1 person


⅛ ounce chocolate liqueur, such as Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao

¼ ounce Cardamaro

½ ounce St. Germain


Zinnia, for garnish

Add ice to a white wine glass and pour in chocolate liqueur. Follow with Cardamaro and St. Germain. Finally, top with the prosecco of your choice, and garnish with a freshly cut flower. Stir briefly, then serve.

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Mandy Moore Releases Her First New Song Is Over a Decade — Watch the Dreamy Video

Mandy Moore is finally back with new music! On Tuesday, a week before her hit series This Is Us returns, the singer unveiled her first song in more than a decade, “When I Wasn’t Watching.” In the accompanying music video, we see Moore don several gorgeous outfits as she sings about taking a step back from her life and rediscovering herself. Pretty fitting for her big comeback song.

During POPSUGAR Play/Ground this Summer, Moore discussed how great it has been to get back into the studio after all these years. “It’s joy. It’s elation. But it’s also knowing myself. It’s knowing the wealth of life that I’ve lived in the last decade since I’ve made music and put out a record. I’m pouring all of that into what the music is sort of becoming.”

While we’re already obsessed with Moore’s new track, the good news is that there are plenty more songs to come. During Play/Ground, Moore revealed that she’s already recorded a handful of new tracks with hopes of releasing more later this year. We can’t wait!

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Renewed rumours of Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy separating after CCTV gala show

SINGAPORE – Two months after Chinese actress Angelababy and actor Huang Xiaoming refuted talk that their four-year marriage is on the rocks, rumours are once again flaring up.

Huang, 41, and Angelababy, 30, married in 2015 and have a two-year-old son, but have faced persistent scrutiny of their relationship due to the little interaction between them on social media.

The state of their marriage became a hot topic again last week after they did not perform togetherat Chinese broadcaster CCTV’s Mid-Autumn Festival Gala on Friday (Sept 13) evening. Huang performed with Chinese singer Yi Liyuan, while Angelababy performed with Chinese singer Cai Guoqing on the show.

There were several celebrity couples who performed together, including Hong Kong actor and television host Wong Cho Lam and his wife, actress Leanne Li, as well as Chinese actor Bao Beier and his wife, actress Bao Wenjing.

Taiwanese model Lin Chi-ling and her husband, Japanese singer Akira, were reportedly dropped from the programme due to Akira’s nationality.

Reports said that when the rehearsal was held in Huaian city in Jiangsu province on Thursday (Sept 12), Huang and Angelababy arrived separately. They were not seen together and there was little interaction between them backstage.

To add fuel to the rumours, eagle-eyed netizens noted the couple were initially put down as “husband and wife Huang Xiaoming and Angelababy” on a list of performers, but the phrase “husband and wife” later disappeared.

Angelababy has said in a recent interview with a fashion magazine that she would treat the rumours as a joke and has even shared them with her team, saying that they were like those in movie scripts. She added that she felt helpless sometimes when even acquaintances asked her if the rumours were true.

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After Watching Netflix's Unbelievable, Listen to the Podcast About Marie's Story

Warning: The following story contains descriptions of sexual assault, as well as spoilers for the TV show Unbelievable.

Netflix’s Unbelievable takes root in the shocking true story of Marie, a rape survivor who gets charged with false reporting. The miniseries draws from a few sources, mainly T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong’s Pulitzer-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.” Clearly, the written piece is a powerful read. But anyone following the case should also listen to the emotional 2016 This American Life podcast episode about Marie’s story titled “Anatomy of Doubt.”

Reported by Armstrong and Robyn Semien, the This American Life episode was made in partnership with ProPublica and The Marshall Project, the organizations that produced the article. We hear from Marie herself, in addition to her former foster mothers and the detectives on her case. The audio medium captures her vulnerability and anger as well as the guilt and frustration from everyone in the investigation. Below, we break down the podcast’s key revelations about the case.

The Investigation Gone Wrong

The first act of “Anatomy of Doubt” focuses on Marie’s investigation. The young woman reported to the police that she had been gagged, bound, and raped in her apartment in Lynnwood, Washington. As the title suggests, Marie encountered doubt when she told people about her assault. Neither the police nor the people in her life trusted her story.

We hear from Peggy, her last foster parent, and Shannon, a former foster mother with whom she stayed in touch. The women cited various reasons for doubting Marie — for Peggy, it was Marie’s attention-drawing personality, and for Shannon, it was how detached Marie seemed about the situation. Peggy expressed her doubt to the police, who coerced Marie into recanting her statement. Marie herself believed that she must have imagined the scenario. She was charged with a misdemeanor, forced to pay court fees, take counseling sessions, and go on probation. Marie faced bullying from her housing project managers and former classmates as well as hounding by the media.

The Investigation Gone Right

The second act brings us to Detectives Stacy Galbraith and Edna Hendershot. In 2011, these Colorado officers connected over similar sexual assault cases, one in Golden and another in Westminster, where the perpetrator took pictures with a pink camera. There was a third similar case in a nearby town, and so the detectives did what different police departments didn’t usually do: work together. They picked up trace DNA across the crime scenes, learned that the suspect had a leg birthmark, and figured that he drove a Mazda truck.

Galbraith and Henderson found the rapist: Marc O’Leary. When they dug through his files of the victims, they discovered a picture that he took of Marie. O’Leary, who pleaded guilty to five rapes and over 20 other crimes, confessed that he stalked the women and went to different areas because he knew police departments rarely collaborated.

The Survivor’s Story

Marie received an apology from the Lynnwood police. She later sued the city and the organizations that managed her housing. Shannon apologized to Marie, heartbroken that she didn’t believe her before. Both Shannon and Peggy are still in Marie’s life as of the time the episode aired in early 2016.

To say that the This American Life episode is a tearjerker wouldn’t be enough. It’s downright devastating, but absolutely worth a listen to hear Marie tell her story herself.

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I Can’t Stop Thinking About Whatever Is Going On With Jeremy Renner

  1. reader

How Jeremy Renner went from action star on the rise to a guy with a busted app and an Amazon camping store.

ByAnne Helen Petersen

There was a moment, back in the early 2010s, when Jeremy Renner really did it for me. The strong forearms, the relative shortness (5 feet 9 inches) — so taciturn, the perfect addition to my pantheon of Busted-Face Hollywood Men. Renner rose to prominence in the midst of a catastrophic worldwide recession, a model of the sort of working-class (white) masculinity seemingly under siege on all fronts. Like George Clooney before him, he’d spent decades toiling on the fringes of Hollywood, taking roles in commercials, television pilots, and indie films. By the time he arrived at stardom — cemented by back-to-back Oscar nominations for The Hurt Locker and The Town (2010) — he seemed mature, fully formed, confident in his skill and his role.

But around that same time, Renner was plucked up as the next American action hero — and over the next few years, his image began to sour. He looked the same, he acted pretty much the same; he became a father and doted on his daughter. But what kind of celebrity was he? Was he an indie darling, or the only Marvel superhero not on the Infinity War poster? Was he a humble guy just flipping houses, or a guy putting on fake concerts in the desert for a series of Jeep commercials? Was he a hot, likable movie star on the rise, or kind of a tool?

That tension came to a head earlier this month, when the Jeremy Renner Official app was shut down after being beset by trolls (again). There was some of the normal, run-of-the-mill trolling (death threats, misogynistic shit). But the real implosion was incited by the sort of trolls, like Deadspin’s Stefan Heck, who tried to see what would happen if, in answer to Renner’s question about plans for the weekend, he answered “looking at porno.” The sort of troll that posed as “Jeremy Renner’s Evil Twin” to suggest that he had put his “balls all over” Renner’s onion rings — or pretended to be an official account for Casey Anthony, and then, in turn, pretended to be Jeremy Renner defending Casey Anthony’s right to have an account. On Sept. 4, Renner publicly announced, “Due to clever individuals who were able to manipulate ways to impersonate me and others within the app I have asked ESCAPEX, the company the [sic] runs this app to shut it down immediately.”

It was a shitshow that, rather than sparking much hand-wringing over the toxic state of online discourse, primarily prompted most of the internet to wonder: Why does Jeremy Renner have his own app?

No one would ask that question about a fan website, or a forum or Facebook group. But a personal app communicates a weird mix of hubris and desperation: It’s a more crass and complicated version of Instagram, explicitly monetizing the “personal” content and interactions that the rest of social media provides for free (Escapex apps like Renner’s provide a tightly policed positive-commentary conduit between a celebrity and their superfans, wherein users can purchase the ability to “boost” their comments to prominence).

Renner in a 2019 Jeep commercial.

That sentiment is part of what’s fueled the long internet tail of the Renner app demise. It’s rare and oddly fascinating to watch a star so brazenly flaunt so many Hollywood PR directives. On one level, I’m totally turned off; on another, I clearly cannot stop thinking about his app, or the font he used to announce its demise (Bradley Hand!!!), or his declaration that it “jumped the shark. Literally.” I keep watching the Jeep ads and reading about this supposed (is it still happening?) relationship with Lady Gaga, and cringing when Jon Hamm and Ed Helms don’t know what to do with themselves when Renner takes over “Sister Christian” during Carpool Karaoke. I have a column on Twitter that’s just tweets about Jeremy Renner and it gives me continuous pleasure. Like Chrissy Teigen, apparently I NEED MYRENNER. Am I a Renn-head, or am I what Renner described in his app-shuttering note as “everything I detest and can’t and won’t condone”?

James Cagney, Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen — the stars to whom Renner is most often compared — all railed against the boundaries of the iteration of Hollywood in which they found themselves. Renner, in his own way, is doing the same. The difference is that we’ve so much less tolerance now for men’s bad behavior and impetuousness, their hubris and allergy to the very systems that benefit them. There’s something almost charming about Renner’s current moment, but there’s something deeply insufferable, too. It’s novel only insofar as we’re unaccustomed to watching manly action men be the ones to stumble as they attempt to navigate the line between authenticity and self-commodification.

For years, Renner’s production company has been developing a biopic of Steve McQueen — there’s even a script, written by James Gray. In 2012, Renner was asked about its status, and his enduring interest. “I think he’s a compelling individual,” he explained. “He was a walking paradox, a dichotomy: the most masculine and powerful man you could probably meet and, at the same time, very insecure. I want to dive into who he was.”

Every star is more complicated, more fallible, and less comprehensible than their mainstream image suggests. Yet every time that complication is revealed by something weird that slips through the cracks of a star’s PR apparatus, it’s still treated as a sort of titillating mini-betrayal. Two of Renner’s most famous costars have been there before — see the Cruise couch jump of 2005 or Downey Jr. waking up in a neighbor’s bedroom in 1996 — even if it feels like centuries ago in internet time. Each of those moments asks: Who is this star we thought we knew? And why is he acting so strangely? The implosion of the Renner app is simply that revelation happening in real, obsessively internet-documented, time.

Renner tried, and failed, to insulate himself from the toxic reality of packaging a human identity for public consumption as a digital brand — and now he’s back out here in the swamp, with everyone else. Twenty-first-century stars: They really are just like us. ●

  • Anne Helen Petersen is a senior culture writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in Missoula, Montana.

    Contact Anne Helen Petersen at [email protected]

    Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

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Shawn Mendes, Camila Cabello send fans into frenzy with ‘kissing’ video

It’s the moment Camilizers and Mendes Army members have been waiting for.

Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello have posted a video of themselves sharing a sloppy “kiss” on social media in response to online trolls on Thursday.

“So, we, um, we saw, like, on Twitter and stuff, you guys saying stuff about the way we’re kissing and how it looks weird, like we kiss like fish,” Mendes, 21, said while sitting beside Cabello, 22.

“Yeah, really hurt our feelings,” Cabello said in the video.

“We just wanna show you how we really kiss,” the In My Blood singer said before pulling in Cabello for a sloppy kiss. Cabello rubbed her tongue all over Mendes’ open mouth in the comical makeout session.

Cabello couldn’t contain her laughter at the end of the video.

A post shared by Shawn Mendes (@shawnmendes) on

Cabello and the singer from Pickering, Ont., sparked dating rumours in June when they released their single, Señorita.

They were also spotted together at a 4th of July party and have been travelling together.

Cabello joined Mendes on stage to close out the North American leg of his tour in Toronto on Sept. 6. They performed their hit collab, Señorita.

Similar to their 2019 VMAs performance, the pair got up close and personal, sharing the microphone at the end of the song and appearing to share a kiss as well.

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‘A Cowboy Has to Sing’: Scenes From a Chuck Wagon Jamboree

DURANGO, Colo. — Every summer night throughout the American West, hundreds of tourists and western music fans sit down to a meal and a show at a modern-day chuck wagon. At these venues, a throwback to the covered wagon kitchens that were part of cattle drives, audiences polish off plates loaded with meat, baked beans, a potato, applesauce, a biscuit and cake, and then watch a house band tell corny jokes and play cowboy songs popularized by people like Roy Rogers and Gene Autry in the 1930s and ’40s.

The bands are not just the entertainment; they are the main attraction of the chuck wagons, and carry the same names. The Circle B Ranch in Hill City, S.D, has the Circle B Cowboys, for example, and the Flying J Wranglers perform at the Flying J Ranch in Ruidoso, N.M. Each group typically includes the owner, some of his family members and performers who have played with the band for decades. They are informal affairs. Chuck wagons do not have green rooms; instead the performers spend their time before their shows helping to serve food and pour lemonade.

The chuck wagon season, which for most runs from Memorial Day weekend until about Labor Day, wraps up each year with a two-night jamboree. This year, on Sept. 3 and 4, six groups gathered at the Bar D in Durango, Colo., for the Chuckwagons of the West Association’s 43rd annual Chuckwagon Jamboree, and 700 of their fans came with them.

The chuck wagon dinner and music business in the West can be traced back to 1953, when Ross Wolfe opened the Flying W Ranch in Colorado Springs, Colo. And many of the current chuck wagons have their roots back at the Flying W.

Cy Scarborough, below, spent 15 years performing with the Flying W Wranglers. He opened the Bar D Chuckwagon in 1969.

But for the last seven years, since a fire burned down the ranch, the Flying W Wranglers have had to play on the road. Construction is underway to rebuild the venue, and next summer’s Jamboree will be held there.

As the crowds wait for the dinner and music to commence, they can wander the grounds and take part in the activities the chuck wagons provide. At the Jamboree, they could pose for photographs in a painted cutout of John Wayne, shoot an old-West-style six-shooter, practice lassoing, take a tractor ride or buy belt buckles or CDs from the chuck wagons’ various merchandise shops.

“It’s not Disney Land,” said Scott Humphrey, who now performs with and runs the Bar J Chuckwagon in Jackson, Wyo., which his father, Babe Humphrey, founded. “But with the gift shops, train rides and things like that, it’s not that different.”

The camaraderie runs deep among the bands. They will join each other for jam sessions in each other’s gift shops. And this year, during the after-party at Francisco’s Restaurante y Cantina in Durango, they joined forces to sing songs like “Have You Ever Been to Colorado,” popularized by Merle Haggard.

The chuck wagons have truly devoted fans.

Nirankar Ambriz was just 3 when her family took her to the Bar D, a tradition now going on some 20 years. She and her fiancé, Ty Horaka, are planning to have the Bar D Wranglers play at their wedding in October.

Jean Rice, who started coming to the Bar D in 1974, has now been to 32 end-of-season gatherings. “I was competing with my friend Tom Greiner to see who could go the most Jamborees,” she said. “He was two years ahead of me, and then I missed two more years for health reasons, so he pulled even farther in the lead. But he passed away three weeks ago, so I am here carrying our tradition on for him.”

Between the singing and yodeling, the bands joyfully tell groan-inducing jokes. As the Circle B Cowboys, from Hill City, S.D., told the crowd during a set that included “Riders in the Sky” and “Ride Cowboy Ride,” it would be “corny cowboy jokes all night.” Like this one:

“Did you know that when cows get scared, they hide in trees?”

“What are you talking about? I have never, in all my years, seen a cow in the trees!”

“Well there, see how good they are at it.”

And of course there is the food. At this year’s Jamboree, the $45 ticket got you a roast beef or chicken breast dinner. (For an extra $15, a rib-eye steak could be had.) The menu over the years has hardly varied.

“It started with roast beef,” said Joel Racheff, the upright bass player for the Bar D Wranglers, who also grilled steaks for the crowds. “Three decades later they introduced chicken and then two decades after that they added steak.”

Though the chuck wagons have their die-hard fans, the demographic trends are a significant concern. Most of the musicians are above 50, and most of the fans above 60.

“It gets tough getting younger folks excited about continuing this kind of business,” Scott Humphrey said.

But the chuck wagons exert a pull that the band members can’t resist. Jeanne Martin, part of the Blazin’ M Cowboys from Cottonwood, Ariz., who often open their shows with “A Cowboy Has to Sing,” is one of them.

“The annual Chuckwagons of the West Jamboree is very special to me, because it gives all of us that are passionate about keeping the music and culture of the American West alive a time to come together and share that love with our terrific friends and fans,” she said. “When we are together we share a special bond, and it is like coming home to family.”

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