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Hello! Welcome to your daily roundup of what’s going on in pop culture.
When was the last time you saw a Hollywood movie with a Chinese villain? Chances are, it’s been a while, since negative depictions of the country became bad for business (the size of China’s box office overtook North America’s earlier this year). Plus, Brad Pitt hasn’t been able to enter the country since he starred in the 1997 film “Seven Years in Tibet.” Today’s episode of The Daily digs into how China became a force in the movie industry, drawing on this fascinating Times report and investigating the ways America underestimated the new superpower.
1. Tom Cruise’s P.S.A.
The actor posted an extremely sincere video to his Twitter feed yesterday, in which he and Christopher McQuarrie (who’s directing the “Top Gun” sequel) offer advice on how to turn off motion smoothing on high-definition TVs. The setting tends to give even big-budget movies a “soap opera” look that some viewers — and filmmakers — find very irritating.
2. Mrs. Maisel is back
Are you in the mood for great hats, rich people problems and snappy Amy Sherman-Palladino dialogue? The second season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” is now on Amazon, and it has all of those in spades. Plus it was the first streaming show to win an Emmy for best comedy, so if the hats don’t convince you to watch, maybe that will. Read our review here, and see how the show recreated 1950s New York.
3. Cardi B says she’s getting a divorce
The rapper posted a video to her Instagram announcing that she and her husband, Offset of the rap group Migos, are getting a divorce months after the birth of their daughter. They had seemed to bond over more than marriage: “Business is the couple’s romance language,” Joe Coscarelli wrote in his profile of Offset, who has a solo album dropping next week.
4. Netflix will be there for you, after all
There was a bit of a kerfuffle this week when a note was attached to “Friends” on Netflix announcing “Availability Until 1/1/19.” Fans of the hangout comedy tweeted furiously, and then Netflix said it would keep the sitcom until the end of next year. The price was high, though: The show cost $100 million to license, up from $30 million a year.
5. Our critics’ favorite movies of 2018
This year Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott’s best-of-the-year lists are framed a little differently: Dargis’s opening essay considers the movie industry that could have been, had women and minorities been given more space to create. Both choose 10 films from the last year, and interestingly three of Scott’s picks are Netflix films.