Rubicon


1363363851-rectifyAden Young (above) as Daniel Holden, a Paulie, Georgia man released from death row after nearly 20 years incarcerated.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/rectify-gets-second-season-order-450176

After 4 episodes of The Sundance Channel’s Rectify, we feel like we know enough about the show to know this much: after the finale of S1, which will air on May 20th, we will be pining for the new original drama’s 10 episode return in the Spring of 2014, and its subsequent renewals, we hope, into 2015 and beyond.  As long as series creator Ray McKinnon (the creepy reverend from Deadwood & the very odd lawman from S4 of Sons of Anarchy, Lincoln Potter), and Breaking Bad EP’s, Melissa Bernstein and Mark Johnson are at it with this show, there will be no rectifying what ails Paulie, Georgia, where this show is set, and its pervasive, institutional ignorance.  Paulie is a dry town, for that matter, where the attitude prevails, even in Daniel Holden’s “family”, that if a jury convicted him, he must be guilty.

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And that a judge has set aside his conviction due to new DNA evidence does not quite seem to matter all that much.  Not when prosecutors, politicians, and even kin are loaded with ulterior motives that range from the obvious Machiavellian ones like Senator/former DA Foulkes (Michael O’Neill), whose career has been riding on this case for years, and who now does not particularly care “where the jizz landed.”  What he does care a whole hell of a lot about though is extra biscuits, as does the new prosecutor, who, when meeting with Daniel’s lawyer about a retrial, has her secretary interrupt the meeting to bring her biscuits with her dinner, which she claims, is the only interruption she permits.  Now we know how an AMC style drama works, which Rectify most certainly is, as AMC is the parent network for Sundance, and we must say, we are very pleased at how AMC dramas play out, with the patience that most of their dramas have been allowed to exercise in developing plot.  Only Rubicon has met an early end (which was probably a good decision), and much to our surprise and happiness, even The Killing and Hell on Wheels, which are not exactly run away hits, are coming back for 3rd seasons.  We anxiously await The Killing’s premiere in early in June.

Now if you spoke to us early last June, you’d have caught us positively incensed at the slow pace of The Killing, and all of the plot misdirection, which had many in the audience miffed at how the murder of Rosie Larsen was being dragged out.  And sure, in real time, the investigation probably did not take that long, but it is indeed frustrating when every single character, basically, except Linden, was a suspect at one time or another, as it is, in a sense, dishonest production, especially when we all know that the Danish version of the show and the Larsen murder wrapped up in one season.  But given time, we have come to really love Linden and Holder, and we understand that more than the case, it is they who make the show.  So forget the other characters here for a moment, and what you might consider trite or predictable dialogue (like Hal Holbrook’s soliloquy to Daniel’s new/competent lawyer Jon Stern, played by Luke Kirby).  Daniel Holden’s character makes this series go and we see it going far because of him, and the strong ensemble cast around him and quality production team.  Do we feel the show is a bit rough and clipped in its intros and breaks and whatnot?  We do.

We also feel that they have already set up some really interesting plot points, as a story like this one requires constant setup, and that Johnson and Bernstein, if they have learned one thing from Vince Gilligan, and they have obviously learned more than that, it is the use of Deus Ex Machina, which we don’t necessarily consider to be such a contrived and ill fitting device that lazy writers use for the sake of convenience, unless they are indeed lazy writers who are using the device for the mere sake of convenience.  While the Holbrook soliloquy was just so cliche that it had us shuddering, it is no doubt the way of the world in Paulie, Georgia, which, as Daniel’s mother suggests at Daniel’s homecoming barbecue, is caught in a most onerous time warp, sadly, like a lot of places in this country, where the progression of people is markedly less evolved than even those in Maycomb, Alabama in 1930’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”  Atticus Finch knew he had to fight for Tom Robinson.  In Rectify, Rutherford Gaines (Hal Holbrook) was hoping to get Daniel Holden life in prison.

Life imitates art, and art imitates life, and in real life, let us not act as though there is no foreshadowing as to what is to come.  Obviously there has been some overt foreshadowing here, like with Amantha (Abigail Spencer, Suits) and Jon seeing the creepy brother of the murder victim in that bar a town or two over, and abruptly hightailing it out of there.  Of course we see where this is probably going, that the creep has a twisted crush on the way hot younger sister of Daniel, and could mean her harm in a revenge sort of way for what he perceives her older brother did to his younger sister.  And then there’s Senator Foulkes and his careless affair with the trollop from the diner, which will probably get him at least emotionally extorted at some point by Daniel’s lawyer, who will most definitely need to pull out every last bit of artillery he has in order to keep Daniel on the outside.

What drew us to the show before we even knew of it was not McKinnon or the “other” producers of BrBa, but a quick preview flashed in a Sundance montage for their network, in which Daniel is pacing in his prison cell, some tiny concrete box, juxtaposed with him pacing a tiny rectangular avenue on the carpet of his bedroom, that he has returned to, and that still has the feel and decor of a kid’s room, one who went off to college and returned to it as an adult.  Daniel has certainly gotten an education, you could say, as he reveals to callous moron step brother Ted Jr (Clayne Crawford), on the golf course, telling him of the regularity with which he was sexually abused when he first got to prison.  While Daniel was somewhat at ease with the revelation, we wouldn’t call him casual.  Daniel’s reacclimation–the subject of the snippet we saw–may never happen, which makes Ted’s petty concerns about Daniel wanting his shit job at the tire shop, or even his wife, so inconsequential that you want to reach into the television and slap the motherfucker and say “grow the fuck up!”  Especially since, when Ted’s wife Tawney (Adelaide Clemens) hugs Daniel, he gets a hard on which scares the fuck out of her, considering that he was on death row for rape/murder going on 20 years and they were, at that moment, alone together in a field by some remote woods.  And Tawney is this ultra naive, chaste, bible banging moron, who basically describes how the lord fills her up, causing us to recall Eric Cartman describing how he couldn’t get enough of Jesus’s juices all over his face.

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Newsflash to Ted: Daniel is inheriting the tire shop one way or another, and will probably bag the Jesus freak as well, probably right before he gets sent back to death row, as fate will likely have it.  In a certain way, this show reminds us very much of Enlightened (unfortunately cancelled by HBO), in that nothing is easy, few things work out, and the only real constant is hardship.  At the end of the day, Daniel has some very caring and upstanding blood relatives, and a whole hell of a lot of problems, and may be safer on the inside, with his one friend, a fellow death row inmate convicted of killing and raping a young girl, than on the outside.  As Daniel explained it, he made peace with death.  We count on him, however, having more trouble making peace with life.

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Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

AMC’s new series The Walking Dead, the latest original series from the network that gifted its viewers the masterpieces Mad Men and Breaking Bad, and the flawed but watchable Rubicon, debuted on Sunday night–fittingly–on Halloween.  The new show starring Andrew Lincoln moved slowly and cryptically.  They got to the zombies alright, but did little to explain their presence, or the world that Sheriff Grimes wakes up in, in which humans are scarce and the walking, or staggering majority, are flesh fiending undead.

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Don’t get us wrong.  We aren’t killing this show, pardon the pun.  We like a good, dark show, and we appreciate shows that take the time necessary to properly develop plotlines.  We like Lincoln as the choice for lead, and the premise, if not original, that the few humans left must have this back to the wall, edge of the world mentality to survive.  But a little more information about the nature of the zombies and the state of the world and its new world order would have been appreciated.  The dead, we have gleaned, have more than just primal instincts.  We learn as much in the opening scene when Grimes accosts a little girl, who we only learn is a zombie when she turns and reveals her decaying puss riddled face, after the Sheriff calls to her over and over, “Little girl!  Don’t be afraid!”  What we first see of her, before we get clued in, is that she bends down to retrieve a teddy bear.  So there’s more to these zombies than the mantra, “just eat flesh.”

They also seem to feature one zombie very prominently in camera shots in Atlanta, where Grimes gallops to on horseback, thinking that he’ll find life.  It’s an ironic sequence, where the Sheriff, unable to find gas for his car, tames a lonely horse by telling the horse he wouldn’t hurt him and that they could go to Atlanta together where there would be food, people, and other horses.  As soon as they arrive in the city, the walking dead smell fresh meat, seemingly led by one zombie, formally attired in a jacket and tie, and with a Frankenstein style mullet of hair.  The next thing you know, Tanto is being eaten alive by zombies while the Sheriff crawls up into an abandoned U.S. Army tank for cover, after briefly having his revolver to his head for a second.

So the army seems not to have survived the onslaught of the walking dead, but marital strife, we are glad to know, has made the cut in post apocolyptic zombie U.S.A.  This poor Sheriff, rightfully concerned about being eaten alive, also has a bitchy wife at home to worry about, who complains to him in front of his son that ‘she doesn’t know if he even cares about them.’

Obviously Sheriff Grimes has his work cut out for him in what we think will be a quality series.  That’s not to say that Community–what we know is a quality series–didn’t beat The Walking Dead to the punch last Thursday with a Halloween zombie themed episode that was more entertaining and that better explained why the Greendale campus became flesh eating monsters.  Dean Pelton (Jim Rash), one of two prominent male NBC characters that evening to dress as Lady Gaga for Halloween (Gabe, The Office…btw, respect to The Office and guest star Timothy Olyphant, Deadwood and Justified star, on his guest run as a Dunder Mifflin paper salesman), mistakenly orders a radioactive chemical thinking it’s taco meat for Greendale’s Halloween party.  Pierce (Chevy Chase), dressed for the party as Captain Kirk, gets sick and proceeds to bite Star Burns while Dr. Rich (Greg Cromer), the pottery ringer from last year’s episode “Pottery 101”, and our favorite Community hottie Annie (Alison Brie, below, who also plays Trudy Campbell on Mad Men) administer care to him.  Annie calls Star Burns (Dino Stamatapolous) Star Burns to his face, to which a panicky, infected Star Burns replies insultedly, “My name is Alex!”  Quickly thereafter, just about everyone is a zombie, and the study group, along with Dr. Rich barricade themselves into their study area as mayhem ensues.

The acerbic Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), dressed as David Beckham for Halloween (in an Italian suit holding a soccer ball), reels off a superb one-liner at his old nemesis from pottery class, Dr. Rich.  “Now would be a good time to mention,” he says “that I hate you.”  And in a stunning Community development, Senor Chang and Shirley (Yvette Nicole Brown) do the deed while locked in a bathroom out of reach of the zombies–gross–all while Dean Pelton’s iPOD plays Abba and a loop of the Dean’s verbal memos to self throughout the campus, making for a temporary hell on earth indeed.

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We were disappointed that 30 Rock skipped out on giving us a Halloween episode last week, considering the creative genius behind the show.  We were expecting, in the least, some very clever costumes.  We guess that since they did it live a few weeks back–twice in fact–for each coast, they didn’t have to do it for Halloween.  But at least they did it with Mad Men star Jon Hamm.

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Crack (http://crackbillionair.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

9 PM EST, AMC NETWORK…

Walter White played by Bryan Cranston (above).

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Now for some news the gib heads aren’t going to love.  The AMC top drama, Breaking Bad, starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul as meth makers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, will not return to the air in March, where it debuted and aired in its first 3 seasons, but instead will return in July of 2011, making the hardened legion of BrBa faithful very unhappy.

July 2011 seems a long way away, doesn’t it? It sounds almost… futuristic.Unfortunately, that futuristic date will be the premiere of Breaking Bad‘s fourth season, which has been pushed back four months from its original March start date, according to Deadline TV.

“”I think what AMC is thinking here is there will be less competition for us — particularly from the broadcast networks — if we launch our season during the summer than if we come back again like we did this time in March,” shared star Bryan Cranston, who plays the main character Walter White on AMC’s hit series.

If you’re worried about still having a year to get your Breaking Bad fix, don’t worry. AMC will be churning out mini-episodes for you over the break. The show goes back into production in January, when these short clips (less than five minutes) will be filmed.

http://www.tvovermind.com/cable/amc/breaking-bad/breaking-bad-season-4-delayed/27843

Interstitials?  Meaningful ones that advance the plot during our long, painful separation from that sick blue crystal?  I hope Cranston, who also directs most episodes, is right, but we are skeptical, especially after watching and being less than impressed with Trueblood’s meaningless, random, and haphazard minisodes.

What about Breaking Bad coming back in July–when Mad Men has always debuted?  Is AMC prepared to steal Sunday nights next summer with a blockbuster lineup that includes what many regard as television’s top two dramas?  Could the more popular Mad Men be moved up to March, where it can probably better handle the competition that Breaking Bad is trying to avoid?  Because of Mad Men’s production schedule, a move to March on short notice might not even be possible.

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And will the slow moving Rubicon prove itself to be a worthy cornerstone of Sunday night programming by the time that either season 4 of Breaking Bad or season 5 of Mad Men begins?  We’re pulling for Rubicon, but we haven’t seen anything so far to warrant the status of a show that will achieve even cult popularity.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/08/10/rubicon-they-hide-in-plain-sight/

At least Breaking Bad fans who watch Entourage have gotten a little Saul Goodman fix of late.  The hilarious Bob Odenkirk has a recurring role on Entourage this season as Mark Cuban’s business associate. 

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

AMC, the top dog in creating cable dramas, even ahead of the always busy new programming department at HBO, debuted its third original program this summer–Rubicon–starring James Badge Dale, who you may have caught in HBO’s Pacific.  Their first two originals, Mad Men and Breaking Bad, are probably finest A and finest B, when it comes to acted dramas on television right now.

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The bar is obviously set high on Dale, who will no doubt be compared to Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston, and on a show that takes its name from the Greek pass that the Roman army took on the orders of Caesar in 49 B.C., and which has come to mean “a limit that when passed or exceeded permits of no return and typically results in irrevocable commitment.”  Dale, playing Will Travers, an intelligence analyst at a high level think tank, is a widower who lost his wife and daughter in 9/11, and who mostly lives an isolated existence.  Travers’ father-in-law and boss, David Hadas (Peter Gerety), is killed in a train crash, and Will is quickly offered his old job of team leader.  While Will was conflicted about remaining in their employ, he takes the job so he can pursue the mystery of what really happened to his father-in-law, who sent him a number of clues as part of a code he wanted Will to break in relation to his murder, we presume, which started with him parking his car on the morning of the train crash in spot # 13–something the superstitious Hadas would never do unless he was trying to get someone’s attention.

Before the crash, Travers was depressed, and had confided to Hadas that he missed his family and that he hated his job.  After the crash, Will is quickly offered the promotion, though the dirt wasn’t dry on Hadas’ casket, literally.  Will is approached by Kale Ingram (Arliss Howard), who is the highest ranking employee to work “downstairs”, at  Hadas’ funeral.  Will says he’s going to reject the offer, but pleas from co-workers, and more importantly, clues from David, compel him to change his mind.  A retired analyst, Ed Bancroft (Roger Robinson), who Will has just met but who may now be his only confidante, figures out that a piece of information that David left Will was a match book code–one where each person has the same book, and they look up a series of letter postions to put a message together–ingenius, because it can never be cracked without knowing what book was used.  David had given Will a book right before his death, and Will looks up the letters which form the sentence, “they hide in plain sight.”

Obviously Hadas is referring to Will’s co-workers and superiors.  Will’s assistant (Jessica Collins) happens to be secretly giving info to Kale Ingram about the different members of the team.  Kale makes a point of asking if Will is overly preoccupied with David’s murder.  Kale may very well know what happened to Hadas, and their boss, Truxton Spangler (Michael Christopher), it looks like, may be part of the group responsible for Hadas’ death.  Will’s first meeting with Spangler was tense, at which, Spangler shows them a picture of George Beck, a German Muslim person of interest to the agency, and says of the two guys in the photo with him, “I’d like to know who they are.”

Will, who walked up to the roof and stood out on the ledge for a minute, before walking in and taking his new job, has eyes on him.  His rooftop dalliances are being photographed (by Isiah Whitlock Jr., who played state senator Clay Davis on The Wire), and Will is being followed.  David, who gave him his motorcycle before he died, left Will a revolver, and a strip of coded numbers inside the seat–numbers we would later learn correlated to the dates the Yankees won their 27 championships, something David knew Will would know. 

David wasn’t the only person to die early on in Rubicon, as in the very first scene, we see billionaire magnate Tom Rhumor (Bill Murray buddy Harris Yulin), upon seeing a green four leaf clover on his morning paper, take out a gun and blow his brain’s out.  The clover was significant to Will, who spotted a trend in the crossword puzzles of a few major papers, that there was a pattern of clues representing the 3 branches of government, and the fourth–the intelligence community–all represented by a four leaf clover.  Will would piece together the signifcance, that the crosswords were a go code for revenge killings, after another analyst tells him that a similar pattern in 11 newspaper crosswords in 1983 came right after a terrorist attack, and that a few days later, a number of senior Hezbollah money men went missing.

Will thinks that David’s train crashed because of that go code, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this all connects to George Beck, and has terrorist implications.  It wouldn’t surprise me–in fact–I predict that at some point we will learn that the agency where Will works knew the towers were going to fall.  Will, to find the truth, must pass the rubicon, and probably has already.  Dale plays an intellectual, not a brute, so it should be interesting to see how he handles himself with that gun, and with the weird shadowy types who are following him.

Will Travers may not be Don Draper or Walter White, and the vague intrigue of Rubicon may not yet compare with beauty of Mad Men or the grit of Breaking Bad, but Will is a character to root for on an intelligent show.

Will Travers, welcome to the Layer Cake.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/welcome-to-the-layer-cake/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/18/layer-cake-author-on-the-drug-problem-we-should-be-more-grown-up-about-it/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com, www.crackbillionair.com)

Jon Hamm and girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt (above).

The man who stars as Don Draper on the iconic hit Mad Men, actor Jon Hamm, has told August’s Parade magazine that he has no intention of marrying or having kids, despite his long love affaair with actress girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt.

“I don’t have the marriage chip,” Hamm told the Aug. 1 issue of Parade magazine, “and neither of us have the greatest examples of marriages in our families.”

The “Mad Men” star also doesn’t plan to become a father anytime soon.

“I like kids but I also like the option to close the door,” he said. “Becoming a parent is a whole other life, and it doesn’t stop.”

But don’t get too excited, ladies. Even though Hamm doesn’t plan to walk down the aisle or into the delivery room anytime soon, he said Westfeldt – who he’s been dating for 13 years – is a keeper.

“Jen is the love of my life, and we’ve already been together four times longer than my parents were married,” says the 39-year-old actor.

http://www.nydailynews.com/gossip/2010/07/29/2010-07-29_mad_men_star_jon_hamm_i_dont_have_the_marriage_chip.html

For more on Westfeldt, check out:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0922724/bio

Mad Men began season 4 Sunday on a high note, to it’s best ever ratings debut.

Last night’s season four premiere of Mad Men scored drew 2.9 million viewers, making it the most-watched season premiere of the Emmy-winning series. Its viewership was up 5 percent from the 2.76 million people who watched last season’s debut episode. Mad Men‘s first season averaged 925,000 viewers.

http://news-briefs.ew.com/2010/07/26/mad-men-premiere-ratings/

Read our take on the Mad Men premiere below:

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/27/mad-men-don-and-betty-up-to-old-and-new-tricks/

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

January Jones (top), Jennifer Aniston (middle), and Jason Sudeikis (bottom).

In recent weeks, both Jennifer Aniston and Mad Men star January Jones have been linked to Saturday Night Live performer Jason Sudeikis, but it is Jones who continues to be seen in public with Sudeikis, who she reportedly was all over at the recent ESPY awards.  These reports coming just a few weeks after Jones left the scene of an accident in Los
Angeles at the behest of Bobby Flay, and it has been whispered that Jones left the scene of the accident because she was drunk.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/13/january-jones-seeing-chef-bobby-flay/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/january-jones-in-4-car-crash-thursday-night-fleeing-paparazzi-nipple-shot/

It also comes just weeks after many magazines prominently linked the 34 year old Sudeikis with 41 year old Jennifer Aniston, after the two seemed to get very close after working in film together.  One report went so far as to say that Aniston forced Sudeikis on a studio intent on signing her to play the lead in an upcoming film, and that Sudeikis was given the leading man role opposite Aniston.

January Jones and Saturday Night Live‘s Jason Sudeikis may be Hollywood’s newest item.

Reports surfaced that that the Mad Men star, 32, and Sudeikis, 34, were making out all night at an ESPY after party and spending a lot of time together on the set of Sudeikis’s new movie. Thursday, the maybe-duo was spotted hanging out again.

Sudeikis, who in June was briefly linked to Jennifer Aniston, recently divorced his wife of six years, 30 Rock writer Kay Cannon. Jones has been recently linked to Entourage‘s Jeremy Piven and to Oscar winner Adrien Brody.

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20402671,00.html

More on Aniston-Sudeikis:

Move over Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper, Jason Sudeikis is Jennifer Aniston‘s latest rumored beau! The Saturday Night Live star is now being linked to his Bounty Hunter costar. According to gossip website PerezHilton.com, a source claims the two have been on a few secret dates and “are enjoying taking things to the next level.” 

According to the source, “he is just what Jen needs — a solid, low-key, funny man. It’s early days, but she’s quietly thrilled.” An insider alleges that Aniston, 41, provided comfort to Sudeikis, 34, in the wake of his divorce from 30 Rock scribe Kay Cannon and that the two didn’t start seeing one another until the filming of their movie was over and his divorce was finalized.

http://www.ivillage.com/jennifer-aniston-dating-snls-jason-sudeikis/1-a-210829

Let’s give a hand to Sudeikis, obviously a fast worker, who seemed to bag January Jones and Jennifer Aniston this year–way to go, stud.  For those of you who do not watch movies or Saturday Night Live, you may know Sudeikis as Liz Lemon’s ex boyfriend on 30 Rock, the one who proposed to his new girlfriend on Good Morning America.

As for January Jones, she reprises her award winning role as Betty Draper in the season 4 premiere of Mad Men, Sunday at 10 PM EST on AMC.  Read about Mad Men and the lovely ladies of Mad Men at the links below.

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/mad-men-christina-hendricks-this-months-cover-of-health-magazine/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/mad-men-season-1-marathon-8-pm-est-amc/

http://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/04/esquire-picked-scarlett-over-christina-for-may-cover-lady-pics/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/03/battle-of-the-moolighting-mad-men-wives-alison-brie-versus-peyton-list-picture-show/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/mad-men-rubicon-set-for-725-premieres/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/mad-men-half-dead/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/04/16/my-old-kentucky-home/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/sal-romano-we-hardly-knew-ye/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/tara-jackie-and-joannie-holloway/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/community-jeff-and-britta-do-the-deed-finally/

https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/01/community-finale-winger-chooses-door-3/

Can’t wait for season 4, episode 1 (# 53), entitled “Public Relations”…

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

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