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“The Rehearsal” has never been an easy series to pin down. Throughout the magnificent first season, questions stacked up with each new episode: Is it real, or is it fake? How much is real, and how much is fake? What does “real” even mean, in the context of a show about rehearsing for life’s biggest moments by playing out every possible scenario ahead of time? And among the dialogue-free birthday parties, dialogue tree conversations, and a bar on a soundstage that just happens to have an operating liquor license, don’t get me started on what might constitute a “fake.”

Where some saw incisive commentary on reality TV, others saw actual reality TV. When some fans compulsively rewatched episodes to appreciate the intricate construction, impressive production, or jokes they missed the first time from laughing too hard, others were physically repulsed by what they considered diabolical cringe comedy. What was too extreme to believe for some proved too believably extreme for others.

Defining a series so eager to be indefinable isn’t a requisite… until it comes to awards. The Emmys ask contenders to submit to specific categories, and — befitting the vast landscape of television — more than 100 winners are named across three separate ceremonies. Reality TV shows could compete in Unstructured, Structured, or Competition categories. Variety shows have Talk, Sketch, and two Special categories (Live and Pre-Recorded). There are Documentary and Nonfiction Series and Specials, Emmys for Special Merit, and, of course, the big three: Comedy, Drama, and Limited Series. Where a series submits (and in what subcategories) have become press scoops, as each artist, program, and network jockeys for position in the annual gold rush.

So where oh where did “The Rehearsal” land? Right where it belongs — and where it’s needed: Comedy Series.

Belongs is debatable. There’s an argument to be made Fielder’s work fits the Unstructured Reality race, given the category is “for programs that contain story elements driven by the actions of civilian and/or celebrity participants and lacking a consistent, structured template and standardized pattern of action.” A story driven by the actions of a civilian? Like, when Robbin, a civilian-turned-celebrity, drove his Scion TC 100 miles per hour? Or when Robbin drove Nathan around — at much safer speeds — while high as a kite? Or, if we don’t take “driven” so literally, when the back-half of the season is taken over by Angela’s one endless rehearsal? And while I would happily watch Nathan help out one participant per week, like in the premiere episode with Kor, the series never conforms to a “consistent, structured template.”

Still, that lack of consistency is partly why it’s hard to accept “The Rehearsal” as a reality show. Last year’s nominees in the Unstructured category include “Love on the Spectrum,” “Selling Sunset,” and “Cheer.” None of those series set out to accomplish the same goals as “The Rehearsal,” nor do they pursue their own ambitions in similar ways. “Love on the Spectrum” is an earnest character study of people on the autism spectrum looking for romance. “Cheer” is closer to a straight-up documentary, tracking a college cheerleading team on its path toward a national title. “Selling Sunset” offers exceedingly dumb melodrama meant to elicit gasps over L.A.’s palatial homes and the realtors’ diva behavior. In other words, they’re not trying to be funny — they’re not comedies, and so much of what makes “The Rehearsal” great is rooted in its shrewd humor.

Similar separations keep “The Rehearsal” out of Documentary and Variety categories (though I’m not sure it would’ve ever qualified for the latter), but perhaps more important than where it technically belongs is where it’s actually needed. And it’s clear (to this critic, at least) that the Best Comedy Series race needs “The Rehearsal.”

Why? For one, it was the best show of 2022, and the best show of any given year should go after whatever Emmy category offers the most renown. But looking at this year’s top Comedy Series contenders, it’s clear we need a little chaos energy — check that. We need a little positive chaos energy. A slew of former nominees seem destined to snag slots, despite falling off in their latest seasons. “Ted Lasso” Season 3 is like watching the slowest, longest train wreck of all time. “Only Murders in the Building” still has its dynamite cast and comforting design, but Season 2 could’ve used a few decision trees to avoid devolving into such a mess. And “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’? I’m told it’s still around, and that the fifth and final season is better than the last, but let’s not pretend it’s still among the eight best comedies on TV.

Old hangers-on have a way of bogging down awards races, but I can’t say there’s much to be excited about among the favored freshman comedies, either. “Shrinking” and “Wednesday” may not seem like they have much in common, but both barely qualify as comedies and there’s but one award-worthy element to be found in each: Harrison Ford and Jenna Ortega, respectively. And speaking of not-comedies: How did “The Bear” convince everyone it’s among the funniest shows out there? Don’t get me wrong: The FX production available only on Hulu is compulsive viewing, but it’s also incredibly stressful and steeped in tragedy. You could say the same thing about “Barry,” another top contender, but at least Bill Hader’s nearly complete HBO series has always been a dark comedy — and even at its bleakest, there are still jokes.

“The Rehearsal” has jokes, too. Lots of jokes. It also has incredible production value for craft artisans to appreciate and an elaborate structure writers can admire. Each faction of the TV Academy should find something to love about the first season — even the acting branch. Whether they think it’s scripted or more off the cuff, Fielder is giving a performance that holds the show together. He’s simultaneously the prankster and the heartbeat; the antihero and the hero. Those that see the show and connect with it should have no problem voting for it across the Comedy category. From my review of the finale:

“’The Rehearsal’ tells audiences what it is from the start: It’s a TV show, and Nathan Fielder is the protagonist. […] Amid the ever-expanding flowcharts and rehearsals within rehearsals, the series needed a core, it needed a throughline, and what better to serve as a story’s beating heart than its central character’s beating heart? […] It’s Nathan’s search for answers that holds the first season together, and the resolution he comes to that makes this ‘complex emotional experience’ so rewarding.”

To be clear: “The Rehearsal” is a long shot just to be nominated. Ratings were always of the “cult hit” variety, and the internet’s favorite show doesn’t always overlap with the TV Academy’s preferences. (It wasn’t that long ago “Modern Family” won the category four times, preceding other populist picks like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Schitt’s Creek.”) But seeing it among the eight nominated comedy series would be a win for the Emmys as much as the show. The race needs a disruption — if not to honor a worthy entry and engage TV fans, then to make voters think twice about checking the box for the same shows — and “The Rehearsal” was built to disrupt.


By: Ben Travers
Title: ‘The Rehearsal’ Is the Perfect Chaos Pick in the Best Comedy Race
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Published Date: Fri, 12 May 2023 19:30:00 +0000

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Olly Murs welcomes his first child with wife: ‘Our mini Murs has arrived’

Olly Murs is officially a dad, having welcomed his first child with his wife Amelia Tank. 

The 39-year-old singer took to Instagram to announce that they had welcomed a baby girl, posting the first look at his family of three leaving the hospital.

The picture showed the couple holding hands, with the Dance with Me Tonight singer carrying his bub in the car seat. 

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Olly Murs and wife Amelia Tank

The joint post read: “Our mini Murs has arrived. Madison we love you so much already x.”

Murs married his bodybuilding wife, Tank, 31, last year in July at a star-studded wedding ceremony on Osea Island in Essex. 

It featured a festival called Murs Fest, where the singer performed on-stage for his attendees.

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The pair announced they were expecting a new addition to their family in December, and they also told fans via an announcement on Instagram.

Olly Murs and wife Amelia Tank

Both dressed in Christmas jumpers, Murs held a picture of their ultrasound scan whilst pointing at Tank’s growing baby bump.

He wrote: “Baby Mars due 2024” in the caption. 

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Before finding out that he was going to become a dad, Murs told OK! Magazine that the pair were ready for a baby.

Singer Olly Murs is engaged to girlfriend Amelia Tank.

“Married life has been lovely; I haven’t been around much, really, because I’ve been touring, so it’s nice to be home. I’m not sure I’m going to go for six kids, but of course, I’d love to have children.”

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“We’re ready to have our own little Murs running around. It’s so special that we’ll be able to take our kids to Osea Island one day and say: ‘This is where we got married’.”

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Title: Olly Murs welcomes his first child with wife: ‘Our mini Murs has arrived’
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Published Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2024 22:04:00 GMT

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‘It wasn’t worth it’: Why Tom Selleck took a three-year break at the peak of his career

Tom Selleck has made a name for himself in Hollywood with an impressive CV to boot, known for his roles in Magnum PI, Blue Bloods and Friends.

Despite becoming a household name, Selleck has learned that family always comes first.

While his career was thriving, starring as the lead for Magnum PI, Selleck made the sudden decision to take a break from acting.

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The decision came out of Selleck’s desire to step back from the Hollywood lifestyle.

“I quit Magnum, not because I didn’t like it or I was tired of it,” Selleck told People magazine.

“I was tired from it, And I wanted a three-dimensional life because I didn’t have one.”

Selleck has since revealed that the decision came after his daughter, Hannah, was hospitalised with viral pneumonia, People reports. 

“I got off that train,” he told People in a recent interview as he promotes his upcoming memoir.

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PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 09:  Actor Tom Selleck (C) with wife Jillie Mack (R) and daughter Hannah (L) arrive at the 31st Annual People's Choice Awards held in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on January 9, 2005 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

The star had, at the time, signed on to star in the 1992 film Christopher Columbus: The Discovery. He committed to the film but missed a lot of the preparation while his daughter was receiving treatment. 

“I had agreed to do the picture because Marlon Brando was in it,” Selleck told People. 

“I missed all the rehearsal and everything. We got Hannah home, and then I went, but I didn’t like that.”

After the film, despite having the opportunity to work with Brando, Selleck says “it wasn’t worth it”.

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Tom Selleck and Jillie Mack attend CBS' "The Carol Burnett Show 50th Anniversary Special" at CBS Televison City on October 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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“It was never going to be worth it,” Selleck told People.

“And I said, this is crazy. I quit Magnum really, to have a family, and now I’m jumping at every movie that comes along.” 

This realisation sparked a self-imposed three year hiatus for the star in which time he prioritised time with family.

Reflecting on the time off with People in 2020, Selleck said that he “put up” with reporting that he had “disappeared” and that ultimately the “big lull” in his career helped the star “put a lot of things in perspective”.

Today the actor is balancing time with family with his work on the police series Blue Bloods.

He is living with his wife, Jillie, on their ranch in Ventura, California.

“I’ve always treasured the balance between work and time with my family. It’s always about them,” he told People.

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Title: ‘It wasn’t worth it’: Why Tom Selleck took a three-year break at the peak of his career
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Published Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 04:04:00 GMT

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‘Shameful’: Sydney Sweeney reacts to producer’s negative comments

Actress Sydney Sweeney has hit back at comments from film producer Carol Baum who said Sweeney is “not pretty” and “she can’t act.”

In a statement to E! News on April 17, a representative for Sweeney commented, “How sad that a woman in the position to share her expertise and experience chooses instead to attack another woman.

“If that’s what she’s learned in her decades in the industry and feels is appropriate to teach to her students, that’s shameful.”

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Sydney Sweeney at the 2024 Vanity Fair Oscars Party

“To unjustly disparage a fellow female producer speaks volumes about Ms. Baum’s character.”

Baum, who was a producer on films such as Fly Away Home, Father of the Bride and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, made the comments during a conversation with the audience after a screening of her 1988 film Dead Ringers on April 11.

Speaking with New York Times film critic Janet Maslin before an audience of fans, the director said.

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Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell in ANYONE BUT YOU

“There’s an actress who everybody loves now, Sydney Sweeney… I don’t get Sydney Sweeney.”

Baum explained that she began watching Sweeney’s recent film Anyone But You but eventually found it “unwatchable”.

She recalled asking her class USC School of Cinematic Arts where she teaches, “I said to my class, ‘Explain this girl to me. She’s not pretty, she can’t act. Why is she so hot?'”

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Maslin, who moderated the talk, later took to X, formerly Twitter after the backlash, explaining, ”We brought up Anyone But You because it’s been the rare smash hit rom-com at a time when they aren’t working. Not because we wanted to take cheap shots at anyone.”

Many came to Sweeney’s defence after the comments were first revealed, with Teddy Schwarzman, a producer on Sweeney’s new film Immaculate, writing on X formerly Twitter, “I’ll enlighten Ms. Baum that two-time Emmy nominee Sydney Sweeney is not only one of the most talented actresses I’ve worked with, but also incredibly smart, kind and humble.

“I’m not sure why someone who claims to still be a producer would make such terribly ugly comments.”

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Title: ‘Shameful’: Sydney Sweeney reacts to producer’s negative comments
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Published Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2024 03:04:00 GMT

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