“NASA’s early-warning asteroid intruder alert system spotted an asteroid as it passed by Earth last night, and I think I speak for all of us when I say, ‘Come back, asteroid!'” –Seth Meyers #nevertrump #neverhillary
Donald Trump’s campaign has to be getting a little worried because of some of the new poll numbers. Even Trump himself actually admitted that he’s somewhat behind in the polls but not by much. But remember, this is a guy that thinks a million dollars from your dad is just a small loan. –Jimmy Fallon
On Friday, a massive cyber-attack brought down several websites for 11 hours, including Twitter. Experts say it was the best thing to happen to Donald Trump’s campaign in weeks. –Jimmy Fallon
Trump has received his first and only endorsement from a major newspaper — the Las Vegas Review-Journal said that Trump does not represent the danger his critics claim. Which is not exactly a ringing endorsement. That’s like a restaurant review that says this place probably won’t even give you food poisoning. –James Corden
Many news outlets are saying Donald Trump will almost certainly pivot to media and launch his own TV network after the election. Which means as early as next year we could see Trump TV filing for bankruptcy. –Seth Meyers
We would be remiss if we didn’t start off by wishing Hillary Clinton a happy birthday. It must be tough being a close friend of Hillary. I mean, no matter what you get Hillary Clinton for her birthday, it will never be as good as the gift Billy Bush gave her. –James Corden
Happy birthday to Hillary Clinton, who turned 69 today. She made a wish, and then deleted the candles. –Seth Meyers
The two worst people in America debated last night. Donald Trump was not intellectually capable of challenging Hillary Clinton’s long history of bad decisions and poor judgement throughout her career. Clinton was better prepared, and it didn’t take much to out-debate a buffoon like Trump. It is a shame that Jill Stein and Gary Johnson weren’t allowed to participate and provide a more meaningful challenge to Clinton.
George W. Bush and Barack Obama both recovered from poor debate performances to win reelection. Sanders did better against Clinton as the debates went on. Maybe Trump will do better in future debates, but I’m not sure that he has the ability to improve. He did start out looking like he had a chance, trying to look calm and presidential in the first half-hour. Watching Donald Trump trying to remain calm was like watching Bruce Banner, wondering when he would turn into the Hulk. It didn’t take long for Trump to repeatedly interrupt Clinton and look foolish making faces while she was speaking.
The debate was primarily a contest based upon such superficial matters, with limited consideration of the issues. Without Stein or Johnson present, nobody was going to look at the issues which neither major party candidate has any interest in, such as ending the state of perpetual warfare started after 9/11, or curtailing the surveillance state.
The initial polls, such as from CNN, showed Clinton to be the winner, but I doubt that many supporters of either candidate will change their minds based upon the debate. The debate might help Clinton with some undecided voters, but McClatchy found Clinton to lose some support among swing state voters in their focus group.
NPR has the full transcript with fact checking.
I also noticed a reversal in the red/blue partisan color coding at this debate. Donald Trump wore a blue suit while Hillary Clinton wore a red pantsuit. Next debate, Donald Trump should be required to wear the red pantsuit.
A farce like this provided a lot of material for the late night comedians. Jimmy Fallon had this to say: There were actually 1,000 people in the audience tonight and they were instructed not to applaud or cheer during the debate. As people watching were like, “What about sobbing? Can we quietly sob?”
Jimmy Kimmel summed up the entire election campaign: This was expected to be the most-watched debate ever. The ratings were expected to rank up with the finale of “Cheers,” the finale of “M.A.S.H.” Makes sense, in a way this election feels like the series finale of America.
The difference in the debate was preparation, as Stephen Colbert explained: Hillary was so prepared, my new nickname for her is Preparation H.
Below is the video of Colbert’s coverage of the debate:
Seth Meyers took A Closer Look at the debate. Video below. He even fact-checked Clinton: Ahead of tonight’s debate, Hillary Clinton posted an article on Twitter pointing out that no living president has endorsed Donald Trump. Nice try, Hillary, but it just so happens that Vladimir Putin is living.
Despite protests from Sanders supporters and controversy, Hillary Clinton has won the role call vote for the Democratic nomination. The Democratic Party is now firmly under the control of DLC Democrats and neocons. The irony of the Clinton camp trying to convince voters that Clinton is not a tool of Wall Street and the big banks at Wells Fargo Center.
Highlights from the first night of the convention included Michelle Obama plagiarizing a speech from the 2024 Republican convention. (Wait eight years and you will see that I am right.)
If the goal tonight was to win the support of those of us who have opposed Clinton, it was a failure. Not a word on ending the damage from neoconservative military interventionism because the nominee is herself a hard core neocon. Not a word on restoring the civil liberties which have been violated in the war on terror, because the nominee is extremely conservative on civil liberties. Not a word on separation of church and state as the nominee has promoted an increased role for religion in public policy. Not a word on increasing government transparency as the nominee is a life-long opponent of open government.
We now have an election with the two worst, and unpopular, candidates in memory. Both will seek to win by making voters hate the other even more. For Clinton, the election could partially come down to how much more unfavorable news comes out. The Clinton camp is already expressing fears over more revelations via WikiLeaks, sounding like an acknowledgment that they have even more they are trying to hide. This also gives them the opportunity to distract by attacking Russia, furthering the neoconservative goals of further conflict and war. On the other hand, leaks might not be necessary to sink Donald Trump’s campaign. He could do this with his own mouth.
With candidates as awful as the racist, xenophobic Trump and the corrupt warmonger Clinton, the only rational course this year is not to back a candidate but work to bring down the two party duopoly which preserves the status quo. It is an uphill battle but this year the polls show that the majority are receptive to this goal.
Stephen Colbert described the events of the first day of the convention.
And more from Seth Meyers above.
“Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a son this weekend. Unfortunately, due to his young age, he’s a Sanders supporter.” –Seth Meyers
“Congrats to Chelsea Clinton, who welcomed her second child over the weekend. After the birth, Bill brought flowers, while Hillary brought a focus group to help name the baby.” –Jimmy Fallon
“At a meeting with nearly 1,000 evangelical leaders today, Donald Trump told the attendees that Hillary Clinton is not worthy of their prayers. Although I’m pretty sure Hillary’s prayers were already answered when Trump won the GOP nomination.” –Seth Meyers
“According to the Social Security Administration, the most popular baby names in 2016 are Noah and Emma. Least popular baby names? Donald and Hillary.” –Jimmy Fallon
“The NRA on Friday endorsed Donald Trump for president. I guess that reaffirms their commitment to absolutely zero background checks.” –Seth Meyers
“Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she would like to see the FBI investigation of her emails wrapped up. Hillary then said, ‘Or deleted, whatever is easiest.'” –Conan O’Brien
“Donald Trump tweeted that a Hillary Clinton presidency would be ‘four more years of stupidity.’ As opposed to a Trump presidency, which would be one year of stupidity followed by three years of war with Mexico.” –Conan O’Brien
“Meanwhile, Trump says that he’s narrowed his list of candidates down to four or five. Though, if it’s a woman, she’ll definitely be a 10.” –Stephen Colbertt
“Despite her promises to be tough on Wall Street, a new report has found that groups supporting Hillary Clinton have received $25 million from the financial industry using so-called shadow banks. Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has received a new waffle iron for opening a savings account.” –Seth Meyers
“And last night he shocked the world when he gave his victory speech using a teleprompter. A teleprompter. This from a guy who got this far by shouting whatever comes into his mind. Trump using a teleprompter is like the Flash calling an Uber, Aquaman taking a ferry, or Bernie Sanders using a comb.” –Stephen Colbert
“NASA scientists have discovered over 1,200 planets that are possibly habitable — where humans could live. In other words, if Donald Trump does become president, Canada’s not your only option.” –Conan O’Brien
“One of the ways that Trump is treating the convention like a reality show is holding off announcing his running mate. As one Trumpling said, ‘Announcing the vice-presidential nominee before the convention is like announcing the winner of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ before the final show is on the air.’ It’s an apt metaphor, because this year’s Republican convention will be the series finale of America.” –Stephen Colbert
“The latest polls show Hillary Clinton now leads Donald Trump by 12 points nationally. I guess she’s getting some traction from her new slogan, ‘Come with me, if you want to live.'” –Seth Meyers
The Americans concluded its fourth season (spoilers ahead) with the death of another charter, and presumably the end of the biological weapons story line. Technically William had not died by the end of the episode, but if he should survive into the next season it will only be briefly. This was a season which included the deaths of some characters, and the possible loss of others to the show. Notable deaths include Nina and Gantt, dying in quite different manners. Plus the finale introduced another character which was mentioned previously–Philip’s long lost son from before he began working with Elizabeth.
With The Americans renewed for two more seasons, we can safely predict that Elizabeth and Philip will not be discovered in the near future, but this has been a major theme since Paige revealed their secret to Pastor Tim. Over the course of the season, Paige has developed into a reluctant but effective junior spy. The risk from Pastor Tim and his wife now seems much lower, but it will always hang in the background.
While William didn’t seek to betray Elizabeth and Philip, he did provide Stan with a small amount of information: “couple of kids…American dream. You’d never suspect them. She’s pretty. He’s lucky.” This fits far too many people for Stan to suddenly think of his neighbors across the street, but if he is ever given stronger reason to suspect them, he is bound to remember this.
Gabriel did strongly advise Elizabeth and Philip to leave the country, but left the ultimate decision up to them. If they are at risk, I think the greater risk would be that Philip might reach the point where he cannot go on. EST might help him, or it might lead him to question what he is doing even more. Of course he couldn’t fully explain his difficulties in leaving his job when he had to go with the travel agent cover. Plus the world will change for him with the Soviet Union heading closer to its collapse and the introduction of his son.
Instead of Elizabeth and Philip deciding to leave, Oleg made that decision to help his mother. Arkady appears to be leaving involuntarily. Martha has been in the Soviet Union for months. We may or may not see these characters again.
Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields were interviewed at Speakeasy:
The finale seemed to set a lot up for the fifth season, but at the same time, a lot of stories were left in a cliffhanger-y spot. So did you know when you wrote and shot the finale that the show had been renewed?
Joel Fields: Yes. FX is very generous and communicative about that stuff. They really helped us as we were turning a corner from the end of this season toward the last couple of seasons by putting the creative choice of how to end the show in our hands. And I think in a lot of ways we were able to be thinking through that as we were finishing up Season 4.
Was any of what happened to William in the finale based on a true story, the way he infected himself with the lethal Lassa virus to get out of the mission (and to get out of spending the rest of his life in jail)? There’s got to be tons of stories about spies like William getting disgruntled after all those years.
JF: We did a lot of research into disgruntled spies, into biological weapons. We never saw a story of someone intentionally infecting himself, but, there are stories of people who actually worked on these biological-weapons programs getting accidentally infected, and the horrible, horrible way that they died. So I think that that would be the closest thing to it being based on something real.
How long had you been planning to introduce the Philip’s son plotline?
Joe Weisberg: It’s funny, because we were reminiscing about season 1, when, in fact, [you didn’t know] whether or not Philip actually had a son. It was ambiguous. Was Irina making that up? Or was it true? And we didn’t have an answer to that, ourselves. We liked that ambiguity. We thought that was really interesting. So, introducing that plotline meant making a final decision that that was a real person and a real character, which is probably more satisfying.
JF: Yeah, and that’s that case where much of the time you really plan these things out years in advance, seasons in advance. But this part of the story unfolded organically, as the story was told, like in that first episode with Irina when she mentioned the son? That was something that blossomed out of the script, and these other pieces fell into place over the course of the seasons.
More at Vulture:
The most surprising development in the entire season for me was the relationship between the family and Pastor Tim. I’m surprised that he made it out of the season alive. But I’m even more surprised that he seems to actually be their friend now!
JF: I don’t think we ever considered killing him off. As much as everybody was speculating that he was about to go, we were really exploring the question of how these characters would deal with being in this box, and how would that [situation] unfold?
Also, Tim is a character with whom we had a lot of sympathy. He really does, on some level, want to do the right thing — that’s been his whole problem all along. And the Pastor Tim thing also was an opportunity to explore a lot in terms of these character dynamics.
JW: It was pretty apparent to us early on that [the Soviets] couldn’t kill Tim because of the effect it would have on Paige. It would destroy her parents’ relationship with her. And that was it. The question then became, with that constraint of not being able to kill him off, what else could we do? The fact that he ends up being actual friends with them did take us a little bit by surprise, but [once we figured that out], that changed our sense of who this guy was, and how we would always see him from the moment we got to know him. And so we followed that through the season, and throughout the story, he just could not open his heart up to them.
JF: But it also led to one of my favorite lines in the season, which was in episode ten, when Paige was convinced that her parents had something to do with his disappearance, and Elizabeth says, “God, why would we do something as stupid as leave Allison, and, God, she thinks we would do that? If she only knew everything we did to not kill him!”
Are we ever going to see Martha again?
JW: We’re not going to answer that!
JF: What kind of a spoiler-y question is that, Matt?
I’m sorry I disappointed you with that question, guys! I have no idea why I asked that.
JW: Come on! Why don’t you just go ahead and ask us what the last scene of the show is going to be? [Laughs.]
Okay: So you have two more seasons to go after this one. Is two a number that FX gave you, a number that you asked for? And are you happy with it?
JF: We’re thrilled with it. They came to us some time ago and said, “As you start thinking about the end of season four, we’re all thinking about how the show’s going to wrap up. What do you need? How do you want to tell the story?” That was something they really put on our end, which was generous and allowed us creatively to figure out what we thought would be best.
At TV Line:
TVLINE | We’ve seen Elizabeth have some hesitation this season about the things she has to do, specifically with regards to Young-Hee. Is she starting to understand Philip’s point of view about the job?
JOEL FIELDS | Philip has gone through a major personal transformation over the course of the show, [which] on a deep level is about marriage. When you’re in a marriage with somebody, you can’t help but be affected if your partner changes. She’s started to go through her own changes, although much smaller and at a much different pace than Philip. We’ll see how all of that plays out for them as a couple, her as a mother and her as an individual.
TVLINE | We’ve said goodbye to a lot of characters recently —Nina, Martha, Gaad, Arkady and possibly Oleg now. All the departures almost made it feel like you were reaching the end of the series. But then there was a two-season renewal.
WEISBERG | We did not have any particular intention or idea [like], “Oh, let’s gets rid of a lot of characters. Oh, it’s supposed to end. Oh, let’s start over.” There was no thinking like that at all. Every bit of this is just following stories where they were going. The two major storylines of Nina and Martha were coming to their end, and they happened to be coming to their end at the same time, which is fundamentally coincidental. There is no reason one of them might not have come to an end in a different season, [but] they happened to come to an end in the same season. It is probably less coincidental, in terms of storytelling, that the Gaad storyline ended soon after the Martha storyline, but there’s certainly a world where we could have kept Gaad or not killed Gaad. But ultimately, after what happened with Martha, he just wasn’t going to survive any longer in that job. The choice to have him die and how that was going to impact other people and other elements in the story seemed like a better choice to us.
TVLINE | Martha wasn’t killed off, and you’ve had scenes in Russia with Nina and various other characters. Will we see her in that setting at some point?
FIELDS | She’s not dead. So on The Americans, that’s something to hold on to.
TVLINE | What about Oleg? What can you say about his status?
FIELDS | Also not dead.
TVLINE | But he’s leaving America? He hasn’t changed his mind?
FIELDS | We’ll see. He was pretty clear on that
“Since it’s clear that Coulson is Team Cap, Jed [Whedon] and Maurissa [Tancharoen] have fiendishly put Coulson on the spot, because Hive [Brett Dalton] turned out to be the living embodiment of all the reasons why you would be afraid of Inhumans,” Gregg says. “He was the greatest argument that the people who support the Sokovia Accords could ever have for locking them all up. Coulson had to ride the line where he was trying to respect these new iterations of humanity as friends and allies, and at the same time stop Hive at all costs.” Fortunately, S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to stop Hive, but it certainly came at a steep price with Lincoln’s death, Daisy’s disappearance and Coulson’s demotion.
So, who is the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D.? The executive producers played coy ahead of the finale, which means Gregg is in the dark, too. “I was not given a clear answer,” he says. “I don’t know that it’s been determined. I thought I was going to find out when I saw Civil War, but it’s not at all clear. It all depends when the glorious Nick Fury [Samuel L. Jackson] returns from the cold and the shadows. I suspect, in the wake of the Sokovia Accords and the end of Civil War, the people involved in choosing who the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be are other than in-house S.H.I.E.L.D. people. If I know my government bureaucracies, I have a feeling it will be someone somewhat less qualified than Coulson to run S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Screen Rant has information on a new character being added on The Flash. Supergirl has had a casting call for five new characters including Lex Luthor’s sister, plus they are finally going to show Superman. Vicki Vale is being added on Gotham. As for the comics, Bleeding Cool looks at the relationship between Batwoman and Rachel Madow (who once discussed the character on Seth Meyers’ show).
FXX has announced that You’re The Worst will return on Wednesday, August 31.
The CMT has picked up Nashville following its cancellation by ABC. It sounds like a good fit. Cable and streaming services have provided multiple ways for canceled shows to return. I still haven’t given up hope that The Food Network will revive Hannibal.
Screen Rant reports that Peter Capaldi has teased the possibility of the Doctor and Clara meeting again:
Speaking at a Doctor Who panel at Awesome Con in Washington, D.C., Capaldi hinted that there might be more to the Clara situation than what we saw at the end of season 9. While Clara won’t be returning as the Doctor’s companion, she may not be completely forgotten either. Capaldi stopped himself before he revealed too much, however:
“I think that the thing about the Doctor is that he’s quite mysterious – hence the name, Doctor Who – um, and I’m not sure how successfully Clara was able to wipe his mind. And in fact, I just did a… I was about to tell you something I can’t tell you yet.”
While Amy Sherman-Paladino is finishing up work on the Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls, Amazon has picked up a new pilot from her:
Sherman-Palladino’s dramedy The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which she wrote and executive produces, is about a 1950s housewife who decides to be one of the first female standup comics. Sherman-Palladino is currently in post-production on the four Gilmore Girls movies for Netflix, which serve as a sequel to her signature dramedy series.
Related genre post from earlier in the week: A Lanister Always Pays His Debts–But Not Donald Trump. Plus chart of which Game of Thrones character is most like 2016 candidates.
“Hillary Clinton said on ‘Meet the Press’ yesterday that the FBI has not reached out to schedule an interview with her regarding her private email server. When asked how she’d respond to such a request, Hillary said, ‘Oh, I’d delete it.'” –Jimmy Fallon
“Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz today denied accusations that she is taking sides in the primary election season, and said, ‘There is no shred of evidence to suggest that I’m favoring Hillary Clinton over Bernie Socialist — I mean Bernie Sanders.'” –Seth Meyers
“The big New York primary, which happens next Tuesday, is looking pretty good for Hillary Clinton. In fact, website FiveThirtyEight says Hillary has a 99 percent chance of winning the primary for New York. When he heard, Bernie Sanders said, ‘My God, I’ve become part of the 1 percent!'” –Jimmy Fallon