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Lifestyle

Oscar Nominee Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Normal People’ Sets BBC, Hulu Dates

“Normal People,” a BBC and Hulu 12-part drama, will bow as a boxset on BBC Three in the U.K. on April 26, and will be released in the U.S. on April 29, it was revealed Tuesday. It will also air on BBC One, and RTE in Ireland, dates for which are yet to be confirmed.

The series is an adaptation of Sally Rooney’s international bestselling novel of the same name, and is produced by Element Pictures (“The Favourite”). It is directed by Oscar-nominee Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”) and BAFTA-winner Hettie Macdonald (“White Girl”). The cast includes Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Cold Feet”) and theater actor Paul Mescal (“The Lieutenant of Inishmore”) making his TV debut.

The series follows the complicated relationship of two teenagers from the end of their school-days in small town Ireland to Trinity College, Dublin.

Rooney adapted the novel for television alongside Alice Birch (“Succession”) and Mark O’Rowe (“Broken”).

The series was filmed across Ireland, Sweden and Italy.

“Normal People” is an Element Pictures production for BBC Three and Hulu in association with Screen Ireland.

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Beauty and Fashion

Is Anybody Else Obsessed With Rob's Leather Jacket on High Fidelity?

Is Anybody Else Obsessed With Rob’s Leather Jacket on High Fidelity?

Zoë Kravitz dresses pretty similarly to her character, Rob, on Hulu’s High Fidelity, which I binged in three days. That’s saying a lot for me. I normally fall asleep 20 minutes into episodes, even if I’m really into a show. It wasn’t just the fashion I was obsessing over, it was the storyline (adapted from John Cusack’s 2000 High Fidelity film). But OK, it was predominately the fashion I was obsessing over. Because everyone knows Zoë Kravitz can pull off anything from edgy separates with a ’90s feel to feminine dresses (hello, just look at her Audrey Hepburn-inspired wedding dress!).

I love the outfits that Cherise and Simon wear, too. As Rob’s best friends and employees at her record store, naturally they’ve got to master their own blasé vibes. But no clothing item is so iconic as the worn-in leather jacket Rob wears throughout the show. It even gets its own moment when Rob visits her ex Mac for the first time in episode five. “You’re still rocking the jacket,” he comments. “Yep, yep I am. I tried switching it up recently but ’twas not the groove,” Rob replies. “No, don’t do that. That’s your look,” Mac says. And that was the moment I was just like, “Yes, Mac. YAASSSS.”

The leather jacket itself was purposefully made to stand out, according to costume designer Sarah Laux, who broke down each of the key pieces in Rob’s wardrobe for Harper’s Bazaar. The original Rob also had a similar leather jacket in the movie from 2000, so Laux took one of her own Banana Republic jackets and made it the prototype. Her team remade the design for the amount of times Kravitz had to wear it during filming. “They just kind of hang off the body in this really great way, so it’s part cape, part protection or armor, part just ‘throw-away stupid thing I don’t care about,'” Laux said to describe it.

Image Source: Hulu

But that makes this jacket sound pretty “whatever” to me, when in reality, this amazing coat is ubiquitous in Rob’s wardrobe. I like how she plays with proportions, trying out the swingy thing with mom jeans and boots just as often as she does with pleated miniskirts. It also has a subtle purple interior lining, but I swear I wasn’t sitting there watching the screen with a pair of binoculars, OK? I just really, really love this jacket.

Since I’ve now written nearly a 500-word essay about it, I’m going to pause to let you take in the beauty of the coat as Kravitz wears it throughout the show. Once you do, you’ll likely be in the mood for some shopping, just like me. Take a tip and go for something faux if you can. I’ve now found some top contenders, and I’m currently adding my favorite to the shopping cart.

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Lifestyle

‘Hillary’: Clinton Docu-Series on Hulu TV Review

As both Hillary Clinton and the team behind “Hillary” know very well, it’s nigh impossible at this point for someone to approach her with total objectivity. Throughout her life, Clinton has been a uniquely polarizing figure both in her own right and because of her marriage to former President Bill Clinton, himself a perpetual lightning rod of controversy. Clinton has distinguished herself as a sharp thinker, a powerful politician and a woman who’s responded to the fact of extraordinarily public life by doubling down on her beliefs and blunt way of appraising nonsense when she sees it. Depending on whom you ask, Clinton is a heroic trailblazer, a ruthless neocon, a feminist icon or an embodiment of everything wrong with politics. Dissecting and portraying the truth of her life is a mammoth task — and one that “Hillary,” despite its best and most ambitious intentions, struggles to pull off.

The new docu-series from Hulu and director Nanette Burstein, which premiered in its entirety at Sundance on Jan. 26, tries to convey the sweeping arc of Clinton’s personal story and how it intersects with some of the country’s most formative historical moments. It includes extensive interviews with Clinton, her staff, her old classmates and journalists who have followed her career, all threaded through with archival footage of Clinton as a student, lawyer, first lady and politician. Buzziest of all, Burstein got exclusive access to Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, which, over the course of the series, we get to watch crash and burn all over again as her team struggles to adjust to the unprecedented challenge of running against first Bernie Sanders, then Donald Trump. (That Clinton and the docu-series alike position Sanders and Trump as equally daunting opponents is perhaps one of the most unintentionally revealing aspects of “Hillary” overall.)

In the interviews, Clinton is simultaneously forthright and guarded, warm and wary. She insists that she’s “an idealist and an optimist” who in the next breath emphasizes the importance of being “willing to work in the system.” She’s extremely aware of her singular place in history and the frenzy that follows her every move, and vacillates between blaming the press and blaming herself for stoking it, accidentally or otherwise. She hopes, as she says in the first episode, that people might come away with the knowledge that she is “neither as good nor as bad as people said.” The docu-series itself treads the line between outright adulation and overt disdain carefully — at first. By the end, it frames Clinton as the gate-crashing spark that set the #Resistance on fire after Trump’s election. As with everything regarding Hillary Clinton, this framing might ring true for some while feeling offensively false to others. Burstein’s “Hillary” is fascinated by this duality, but nonetheless has trouble providing a three-dimensional explanation of it.

One of the biggest problems with “Hillary” is that it’s broken up into four episodes that, despite overtures to corresponding themes between Clinton’s past and present, rarely feel like episodes unto themselves. (It would honestly be unsurprising to learn that Burstein finalized an overall cut before chopping it into four hourlong segments in order to fit the TV brief — that’s how scattered its organization feels.) With so much material to work with, and the additional burden of wanting to shed new light on the 2016 election and Clinton’s heretofore undisclosed feelings on it, “Hillary” bounces between timelines under the guise of drawing parallels that only rarely align.

The closest it comes to working is in the third episode (“The Hardest Decision”), which flashes between Trump attacking Bill Clinton’s infidelity to deflect from the “Access Hollywood” tape and how the Clintons worked through Bill’s lying about Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment scandal. (Bill, in expressing regret that Lewinsky’s life has been “unfairly” defined by this moment, is perhaps as candid as he’s ever been on the subject; Hillary, in admitting it was difficult to keep the family together but without explicitly mentioning Lewinsky at all, is typically careful with her words.) Not only do these incidents link up thematically, but this episode doesn’t jump between 2016 and the past nearly as much as the others, instead homing in on a turning point that demands room and attention. Then comes the final episode (“Be Our Champion, Go Away”), which speeds through her first senatorial run, her 2008 presidential campaign and her ascendance to secretary of state within half an hour. Each of these are is a fascinating chapter of Clinton’s career with events that foreshadow the 2016 campaign. All deserve more than the CliffsNotes version “Hillary” gives us in its race to the finish line.

As a whole, “Hillary” is a fittingly messy, compelling portrait of an equally messy, compelling person with some moments that will no doubt provide even more fodder for the endless speculation about her private thoughts and motivations. But it could have been so much more, perhaps by bifurcating itself into two documentaries: one on the life of Hillary Clinton (the woman, the myth, the legend) and one specifically on the optimism and ultimate horror of her 2016 campaign. As a mashup of all the above, “Hillary” quickly becomes far more overwhelming than enlightening.

“Hillary” premieres March 6 on Hulu. 60 mins. (4 episodes; all reviewed.)

'Hillary': Clinton Docu-Series on Hulu TV Review

Production:Executive producers: Nanette Burstein, Howard T. Owens, Ben Silverman.

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Celebrities

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Premeire Cancelled By Hulu After Coronavirus Fears

Hulu has decided to cancel the upcoming premiere of Little Fires Everywhere.

The streaming service shared the news with attendees, writing that “the current state of affairs has altered the daily lives of many people, including our cast and crew. After hearing from many of you, and out of an abundance of caution, we are canceling tomorrow’s Little Fires Everywhere premiere screening and celebration.”

The network continued that they are “extremely proud of this series and can’t wait to share it with you when it debuts on Hulu on March 18. Thank you for your understanding.”

Little Fires Everywhere stars and was executive produced by Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

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TV and Movies

Little Fires Everywhere Review: Hulu's Bland Book Adaptation Fizzles Out

You could easily watch a few scenes from Little Fires Everywhere, with Reese Witherspoon starring as a tightly wound mom ruling over a rich suburb, and get fooled into thinking you’re watching a new season of Big Little Lies. But trust me: You’re not. Hulu’s adaptation, which debuts Wednesday, March 18 (I’ve seen the first three episodes) is a resounding disappointment, considering the star power behind it — a flat, formulaic melodrama that hits all the wrong notes. It’s almost a case study in a good book adaptation versus a bad one. Little Fires is like a photocopy of Big Little Lies made on a faulty copier that’s running out of ink: The basic shapes are there, but all of the detail and shading is missing.

Like Big Little Lies, Little Fires Everywhere starts with a mysterious crime and works backwards: We see a huge fire engulfing the lavish home of Elena Richardson (Witherspoon)… but who started it? The unquestioned queen bee of a mid-’90s Ohio suburb with impeccably manicured lawns, Elena is (of course) an overbearing, Type A Mother of the Year candidate, the type who only has sex with her husband on pre-approved days. (“It’s so much more fun when we plan it,” she tells him with a smile.) Witherspoon is always great — she probably should have an Emmy for Big Little Lies already — but frankly, she could do this kind of role in her sleep by now. She might as well be playing BLL‘s Madeline McKenzie here… except with all the nuance drained out of her.

Scandal alum Kerry Washington co-stars as Mia, a single mom new to town who’s living out of her car with her teen daughter Pearl (Lexi Underwood). Elena bends over backwards to help Mia out of a sense of white guilt, and we can sense a uncomfortable tension between them, but their relationship never produces the type of dramatic sparks we see on BLL. Mia and Pearl have a sweet bond, and Mia is clearly haunted by her murky past — but as a character, she’s a total enigma. We’re never given proper insight into what she really thinks and feels; when she suddenly lashes out at Pearl, it comes from out of nowhere.

The scripts awkwardly circle around issues of race and class in a very ham-handed fashion. (The series is set in the ’90s, but it often feels like a ’90s throwback, too, in the worst way.) The themes are applied not with a fine brush, but with a sledgehammer. The dialogue is uninspired and riddled with clichés. (Elena’s sullen teen daughter Izzy, played by Megan Stott, mutters bon mots like “The world is bulls–t.”) The characters are too thinly sketched to embrace: As Elena’s husband Bill, Joshua Jackson is stuck playing a stock husband, with no discernible personality of his own. All of the yelling and domestic strife verges on melodrama, and it ends up playing like a low-grade Lifetime movie.

I haven’t read Celeste Ng’s original novel, so I can’t speak to its quality, but if it had any fresh characterizations or perspectives to offer, they didn’t transfer here. There’s a twist at the end of Episode 3 that does add some mild intrigue, but even that is clumsy and overwrought. Pearl stands out as the only character with any warmth or dimension; I’d like to see what Underwood could do with a stronger role. But even veterans like Witherspoon and Washington struggle here. Little Fires Everywhere, I realized, must be what watching Big Little Lies is like for people who don’t like Big Little Lies. In my eyes, though, that show managed to find a way to elevate this kind of soapy, pulpy material into something great. Little Fires Everywhere, sadly, does not.

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TV and Movies

Coming To Hulu (March 2020): FX's Devs, Plus New Movies, TV Shows, And Originals

March is a good time to get outside and remember that life isn’t the cold, pale existence we’ve come to know over the past few months. However, with streaming services like Hulu, you may just want to stay inside and binge-watch a bunch of movies and TV shows. Here is what is coming to the streaming service in the upcoming month along with a few recommendations.

On March 1, Hulu is dropping plenty of new content, primarily movies you will want to check out again and again. If you’re looking for some scares, keep an eye out for The Descent and its sequel. The films follow a group of spelunkers who venture into a cave and find a group of monsters in there, hunting them down one by one. These movies are especially creepy if you have claustrophobia.

If you’re looking for something brand-new, FX has some TV shows coming to Hulu beginning in March, and the first show exclusive to the streaming service is Devs. Arriving on March 5, The series stars Sonoya Mizuno (Maniac), Nick Offerman (Parks & Recreation), and Jin Ha (Hamilton) and follows a Silicon Valley tech company that is dealing with theoretical quantum computing. This is a limited series, consisting of eight episodes.

In her review of Devs, Meg Downey said, “It’s obvious that FX spared no expense in allowing Devs to exist exactly how Garland envisioned it, complete with staggering practical sets, spine-tingling horror-flavored scoring, and visual effects that ooze style at every turn. Those key factors, in addition to the strong cast and crisp writing, make Devs feel like an art piece that will be worth revisiting and analyzing time and time again.”

Below, you’ll find everything coming to Hulu for the month of March, as well as what is leaving the streaming service as well. On March 31, movies like Jigsaw, Bachelor Party, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie are all leaving, so watch them before they’re gone for good.

What’s new to Hulu in March?

Available March 1

  • OK K.O, Let’s Be Heroes!: Complete Season 3 (Cartoon Network)
  • 50/50 (2011)
  • Abduction (2011)
  • Blue City (1986)
  • Cantinflas (2014)
  • Charlotte’s Web (1973)
  • Danny Roane: First Time Director (2007)
  • Deck the Halls (2011)
  • Destiny Turn on the Radio (1995)
  • Eyes of an Angel (1994)
  • Foxfire (1996)
  • Free Willy (1993)
  • Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995)
  • Free Willy 3: The Rescue (1997)
  • Friends with Kids (2012)
  • Furry Vengeance (2010)
  • Good Morning, Killer (2011)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • Hide (2011)
  • Hornet’s Nest (2012)
  • Innocent (2011)
  • The Interview (2014)
  • Lady in a Cage (1964)
  • Leap Year (2010)
  • Major League II (1994)
  • Man on a Ledge (2012)
  • Natural Born Killers (1994)
  • Night of the Living Dead (2006)
  • Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection (2012)
  • Richard the Lionheart (2013)
  • Ricochet (2011)
  • Righteous Kill (2009)
  • Silent Tongue (1993)
  • Silent Witness (2011)
  • Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)
  • Swingers (1996)
  • Tenderness (2009)
  • The Cooler (2003)
  • The Descent (2005)
  • The Descent: Part 2 (2010)
  • The Skull (1965)
  • Up in the Air (2009)
  • Wayne’s World (1993)
  • Kinsey (2004)
  • Notes on a Scandal (2005)
  • Waiting to Exhale (1995)

Available March 3

  • Breeders: Series Premiere (FX)
  • Real Housewives of New York City: Complete Season 11 (Bravo)

Available March 4

  • The Men Who Stare at Goats (2010)

Available March 5

  • Devs: Series Premiere (FX on Hulu)
  • Dave: Series Premiere (FX)

Available March 6

  • Hillary: Docuseries Premiere (Hulu Original)
  • Into The Dark: Crawlers: Episode Premiere (Hulu Original)
  • Cake: Season 2 Premiere (FX)
  • Better Things: Season 4 Premiere (FX)
  • Knives and Skin (2019)

Available March 7

  • The Most Dangerous Animal of All: Docuseries Premiere (FX)

Available March 9

  • Monos (2019)

Available March 11

  • Fire Force: Complete Season 1 (Funimation)

Available March 13

  • Love Island: Australia: Complete Season 2 (ITV)

Available March 14

  • Keeping up with the Kardashians: Complete Season 17 (E!)

Available March 15

  • 4 Lovers (2013)
  • Always Shine (2016)
  • Hello I Must Be Going (2012)

Available March 17

  • Attack on Titan: Complete Season 3B (Funimation)

Available March 18

  • Little Fires Everywhere: Three Episode Series Premiere (Hulu Original)

Available March 19

  • Motherland: Series Premiere (Freeform)
  • Pet Sematary (2019)

Available March 20

  • Big Time Adolescence (2020)
  • Real Housewives of Potomac: Complete Season 4 (Bravo)

Available March 23

  • After School Dice Club: Complete Season 1 (DUBBED) (Funimation)
  • Kemonomichi: Complete Season 1 (DUBBED) (Funimation)
  • A Good Old Fashioned Orgy (2011)

Available March 26

  • Brown Girl Begins (2018)

Available March 27

  • Baghdad Central: Complete Season 1 (Fremantle)
  • Fairy Gone: Complete Season 1 (Funimation)

Available March 28

  • Stand My Heroes: Piece of Truth: Complete Season 1 (DUBBED) (Funimation)

Available March 29

  • Archer: Complete Season 10 (FX)

Available March 30

  • IHeartRadio Music Awards 2020: Special (FOX)
  • Santee (1975)

Available March 31

  • Hoshiai no Sora (Stars Align): Complete Season 1 (DUBBED) (Funimation)
  • Pawparazzi (2019)

Leaving Hulu in March:

March 31

  • Awakening the Zodiac (2017)
  • Bachelor Party (1984)
  • Barbie A Fashion Fairytale (2010)
  • Barbie and the Diamond Castle (2008)
  • Big Fish (2003)
  • Blood Diamond (2006)
  • Bug (1975)
  • Captivity (2007)
  • Dangerous Curves (1989)
  • Dancer (2016)
  • Downfall Racer (1969)
  • Dracula 3000 (2004)
  • Drop Dead Sexy (2006)
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  • Fallen (2017)
  • Fathers and Daughters (2016)
  • The French Connection (1971)
  • The Ghoul (2016)
  • Girl in Progress (2012)
  • Gone (2012)
  • Grace Unplugged (2013)
  • Gridiron Gang (2006)
  • Habit (2017)
  • Jigsaw (2017)
  • Little Richard (2000)
  • Meet Joe Black (1998)
  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
  • Mimic (1997)
  • Mud (2013)
  • Music from another Room (1998)
  • Mystery Team (2009)
  • Pacific Heights (1990)
  • Pi (2007)
  • P2 (1998)
  • Precious (2009)
  • Project Eden (2017)
  • Renoir (2013)
  • Some Kind of Wonderful (1987)
  • Suburbicon (2017)
  • Swimming with Sharks (1995)
  • Tangerines (2015)
  • Two Family House (2000)
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989)

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TV and Movies

Hilary Duff to Disney: Let Us Move the Lizzie McGuire Revival to Hulu

Hilary Duff has more than just a couple words to say about the state of her Lizzie McGuire revival.

After hinting earlier this week that the revival is considered too adult for Disney+, Duff took to Instagram on Friday to address the delay, formally asking Disney to allow the Lizzie revival to move to Hulu so it can explore more adult themes.

“Was incredibly excited to launch Lizzie on [Disney+] and my passion remains!” Duff said in her post. “However, I feel a huge responsibility to honor the fans’ relationship with Lizzie who, like me, grew up seeing themselves in her. I’d be doing a disservice to everyone by limiting the realities of a 30 year old’s journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating. It’s important to me that just as her experience as a preteen/teenager navigating life were authentic, her next chapters are equally as real and relatable. It would be a dream if Disney would let us move the show to Hulu, if they were interested, and I could bring this beloved character to life again.”

Disney+’s Lizzie Maguire revival was first announced last August, with Duff reprising the title role; it would find Lizzie about to turn 30 and working as an assistant to a fancy New York City decorator. The series is also bringing back original cast members Hallie Todd (mom Jo), Robert Carradine (dad Sam), Jake Thomas (brother Matt) and Adam Lamberg (friend Gordo).

But production was halted in January when original series creator Terri Minsky stepped down as showrunner after just two episodes. Disney said at the time that “we concluded that we need to move in a different creative direction and are putting a new lens on the series” — but when Disney+ moved its Love, Simon spinoff to Hulu amid reports it was too adult for the streamer, Duff wrote “Sounds familiar” in an Instagram caption, leading to speculation that Disney+ might be wary of the Lizzie revival exploring more mature themes as well.

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