With season 4 of Community just past its halfway point, and approaching the only week off in its 13-episode schedule, it’s time to look back on some of the most divisive episodes of the TV season.

Almost no art or culture can exist in a vacuum. To a certain extent everything owes a little to what came before it. On television, some shows do their best to keep their influencers hidden or to present as singular a vision as possible. Community was never one of these shows. Dan Harmon and the other writers of the show’s first three seasons decided to acknowledge that pop culture played such an integral role in their own and their characters lives that it would futile not to acknowledge it.

They started doing episodes that were direct homages to other art (“Contemporary American Poultry” and Goodfellas), then they moved on “doing” different genres (“Modern Warfare” and all testosterone-soaked action films). And throughout it all they had at least one character (almost always Abed) aloofly pointing out the sitcom conventions in their day-to-day lives.

Acknowledging that the show could not exist in a pop cultural vacuum is part of what made it so watchable and occasionally great in the first place, but it also might be what is curbing some fans’ enjoyment of it in this post-Harmon, soon-to-be post-Chevy Chase season.

Life outside of context: all the behind-the-scenes drama, the departures, the rehirings and reshuffling would do very well for season 4 of Community. But Community fans are too culturally-savvy and perhaps too invested in the inner-workings of the show to be able to watch it without context.

Community taught its fans to watch the show very closely for three seasons: for easter eggs, running jokes and pop cultural homages. And now those fans are watching season 4 so closely that can’t help but notice subtle differences. Maybe the Dean is just 2% more flamboyant or Jeff Winger’s speeches feel 3% less inspiring or the Troy and Abed relationship is 1% less authentic. But those small differences can feel enormous when you watch something so analytically while also loving it so dearly.

And it’s a shame because these seven episodes have not only had their excellent moments but have also been very invested in preserving all of the qualities that Dan Harmon instilled in the show: off-the-wall humor, cultural consciousness and true ambition. It’s noticeably not the Community of old, but it’s also not exactly a pale comparison.

It’s also worth noting that it took Community more than seven episodes initially to develop all of those qualities that we now hold dear. Late season 1 and seasons 2 and 3 are usually what comes to mind when we think of Community‘s brilliant moments. If anything season 4 seems most similar in tone to early season 1 of the show, with more stories revolving around the school itself and the machinations of the study group. It’s missing the manic touch that Harmon was able to bring to the show’s later episodes, but it’s not for lack of trying.

Sadly, we can never know what it would be like to watch season 4 out of context. As helpful as it would be to lock a TV critic and fan in a dungeon for a year then let them emerge to watch season 4, not knowing that anything changed behind the scenes, it would also be highly illegal. It would also be helpful if we could bend space and time to have season 4 immediately air after season 1 to a test audience and see if they noticed a dramatic difference. But obviously we can’t do that either (and if you could bend space and time, please be sensible and kill Hitler first, rearrange Community seasons later).

New showrunners Moses Port and David Guarascio deserve fair praise for turning in something close to Community. But until we can watch season 4 in another timeline, it’s always going to feel a little like a bodysnatcher.

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

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It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Stream ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’:

Spotify users can easily stream The Hamilton Mixtape below. You can also listen here via Apple Music.:

And you can purchase a physical copy from Amazon here (you know all the Hamilton fans in your life will want a physical copy):

Hamilton Mixtape tracklist

1. No John Trumbull (Intro) – The Roots
2. My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix] – The Roots
3. Wrote My Way Out – Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc
4. Wait For It – Usher
5. An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude] – Watsky
6. Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) – Sia
7. Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) – Regina Spektor
8. Valley Forge (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
9. It’s Quiet Uptown – Kelly Clarkson
10. That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
11. Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) – K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
12. You’ll Be Back – Jimmy Fallon & The Roots
13. Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) – Ashanti
14. Take A Break (Interlude) – !llmind
15. Say Yes To This – Jill Scott
16. Congratulations – Dessa
17. Burn – Andra Day
18. Stay Alive (Interlude) – J.PERIOD & Stro Elliot
19. Slavery Battle (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
20. Washington’s By Your Side – Wiz Khalifa
21. History Has Its Eyes On You – John Legend
22. Who Tells Your Story (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) – The Roots
23. Dear Theodosia (Reprise) – Chance The Rapper & Francis and The Lights

What are our favorite performances on ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’?

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

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Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

There’s some real gold in there, but the best part is when he realizes that fans really want to see some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence — who doesn’t have her own social media accounts — and proceeds to very decidedly not include her!

Update: He did it again.


See some of the hilarious posts from Chris Pratt below:

Finally got that selfie with Jen y'all wanted. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Just hanging with my bestie Jen. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here Jen and I pose with @elrubiuswtf

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here's an extremely artistic and meaningful video I made in which Jen is heavily featured. #passengersmovie

A video posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Another day down with me and my best buddy Jen. #London #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Not going to lie — we’re almost as excited for the press interview videos as we are for the movie itself!

‘Passengers’ hits cinemas on December 21

J.K. Rowling and the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have just announced that the play is coming to the United States.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open on Broadway in Spring 2018 at The Lyric Theatre, which is currently home to Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour show.

An exact Cursed Child Broadway opening date has not been set, but theater owner ATG “plans a multi-million dollar renovation to completely transform, remodel and reconfigure the 1,900 seat theatre and turn it into a scaled down, more intimate playhouse, with approximately 1,500 seats.”

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J.K. Rowling and the producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have just announced that the play is coming to the United States.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will open on Broadway in Spring 2018 at The Lyric Theatre, which is currently home to Cirque Du Soleil’s Paramour show.

An exact Cursed Child Broadway opening date has not been set, but theater owner ATG “plans a multi-million dollar renovation to completely transform, remodel and reconfigure the 1,900 seat theatre and turn it into a scaled down, more intimate playhouse, with approximately 1,500 seats.”

While the script book hasn’t been well-received by fans, attendees of The Cursed Child show in London (including this writer) have adored the two-part event. The magic, characters, humor, and special effects are all remarkable and definitely worth seeing live.

The story follows Harry, Ron, Hermione, and their children 19 years after the events of Deathly Hallows as dark forces return to the Wizarding World.

Here’s the inside of ‘The Cursed Child’s’ Broadway theater

Harry Potter Cursed Child Broadway opening date

Said producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender said in a press release, “We are thrilled about ATG’s ambitious plans which will provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a unique theatre space tailored to the specific needs of the production over the play’s two parts.”

“The remodeled Lyric will include a smaller auditorium redesigned to the specifications of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child team, as well as an adapted proscenium and stage that can house designer Christine Jones’ glorious set without swamping or compromising director John Tiffany’s brilliant staging. The spacious front of house environment will also be transformed to optimize the atmosphere and audience experience.

“But above all, ATG’s plans will provide Harry Potter and the Cursed Child with a bespoke home that will be intimate enough for a drama, yet big enough for us to deliver on our commitment to provide audiences with access to low priced tickets throughout the auditorium.”

J.K. Rowling added, “I’m delighted we are one step closer in bringing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to Broadway and very excited by the proposed plans.”

‘Cursed Child’ Broadway ticket on sale date.

The Cursed Child Broadway ticket on sale date was not announced today. In the U.K. tickets went on sale roughly eight months in advance, so maybe they’ll be on sale by this time in 2017.

The West End production put 60,000 tickets on sale in early November, keeping the show running through February 2018.