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Finally, Band Tees Are Cool Again

There are two kinds of concert-goers: Those who have the good sense to skip the merch table and those who insist on buying an overpriced T-shirt at every single show. I’m the latter, of course. How else will people know that I’m so cool I go out on weeknights sometimes? How else will they realize I have great taste in music and definitely, maybe heard about that band before they were big?

I still remember the rush of buying my first concert tee, way back in 2006 at a show featuring The Academy Is…, Panic! At the Disco, Acceptance, and Hellogoodbye. (A slightly embarrassing lineup to me now, but I was 16 and angsty about…things, I guess.) It was the first time my parents let me drive to a show in the city unsupervised. I was there with my best friend and my crush. This was LIVING, and I wanted to mark the life-changing milestone with a shirt. I picked one that had a purple monster on it because I was 16 and dumb. I think every concert tee since has been chasing that first high.

The point is: I have a lot of T-shirts and no savings. But that’s okay, because band tees are cool again! (The trend was declared “dead” in 2016, after Kendall Jenner was spotted at Coachella wearing a Megadeth shirt.) Thanks to the one-two (and three- and four-) punch of A Star Is Born, Bohemian Rhapsody, Vox Lux, and Rocketman this fall is all about wearing your musical tastes on your literal sleeve.

And there are so many options to wear your band love. Pick up a vintage find on Etsy, à la Lady Gaga (her character in A Star Is Born, Ally, wears a Yes tee), or go modern with a Beyoncé crop top. Either way, a Look Is Born.

Why Jamie Lee Curtis Drinks Strawberry Milk In Halloween

The new Halloween is a film which discounts every previous sequel in the franchise in order to pay homage to the original film from 1978. While many of the film’s references may be obvious to fans of the original, there’s one subtle moment that may have passed by many eagled-eyed viewers. In one scene, Jamie Lee Curtis is seen making herself a glass of strawberry milk, a decision that was made by Curtis because, when director David Gordon Green asked the actress what Laurie Strode might be doing on any given morning, she figured it would be the exact same thing she would have been doing as a teenager. According to Curtis…

It’s a minor detail, but one that makes a lot of sense considering the film. In the new Halloween Laurie Strode is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. The events of the original Halloween have damaged her severely and she’s either unwilling or unable to find the help necessary to deal with the trauma. To that end, Jamie Lee Curtis remembered one of the things her character did in the original film, starting the day off with a glass of strawberry milk, and decided she would still be doing that today because in her head she’s still the same 17-year-old girl.

It’s that sort of attention to detail that has helped make the new Halloween a hit, taking the box office crown for the second weekend in a row. Even if you didn’t make the strawberry milk connection, I certainly didn’t, it’s that sort of detail that shows that the people involved in the new film were committed to making the new Halloween work by being a real follow up to the original film. There’s little argument that at some point (exactly where may be up for debate) the Halloween sequels lost their way. The new movie is designed, among other things to be a course correction.

It’s nice to see how collaborative a process the new Halloween movie was. Clearly writer and director David Gordon Green had ideas about the story he wanted to tell, but he considered Jamie Lee Curtis to be part of the team creating the story, not just an actress performing in the film. She tells Time she was given an opportunity to bring her own history with the franchise into the new movie and help craft her character the way she thought Laurie Strode would be after 40 years.

Halloween is in theaters now.

How I Prepared Myself to Have a Preventive Double Mastectomy

Alejandra Campoverdi is the former director of Hispanic media for the Obama administration, a previous congressional candidate for California’s Thirty-fourth District, founder of the Well Woman Coalition, registered holistic cancer specialist, and a BRCA-2 pre-vivor. Just this month she underwent a preventive double mastectomy to remove her healthy breasts. This is her story, as told to Glamour‘s Macaela Mackenzie.

My breasts have been getting a lot of attention lately. To be clear, this is a totally new and strange thing for me. I was flat-chested until I was in my early twenties, and after my breasts finally did show up, they were never really a topic of conversation. So what’s changed? For the past few years, I’ve been planning to have a preventive double mastectomy. Last week I had my perfectly healthy breasts removed.

I have never known a time in my family without the presence of breast cancer. When I was a baby, my great-grandmother died of metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body). When I was 16, my abuelita, who was like a second mother to me, died of metastatic breast cancer. In my early twenties, my mother developed breast cancer; although luckily, she survived. Since then, two of my aunts have also been diagnosed with the deadly disease. (This year alone it’s estimated that more than 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.)

With each diagnosis it became clear that there was something hereditary going on. But it wasn’t until recently, with genetic tests for risk factors like mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes becoming more accessible, I realized I might actually be able to do something about it. So in 2013 I decided to find out for sure—I tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation, meaning I had an 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer in my lifetime. (For women without BCRA1 or BCRA2 gene mutations, the risk of developing breast cancer is less than 4 percent.)

“Now I have battle scars—almost like a badge of honor. I actually think they’re kind of beautiful.”

When I found out, I didn’t tell anyone, not even my mom, for months. I wanted to make a decision about what to do on my own. I was the one that would have to deal with the ramifications for the rest of my life—I didn’t want anyone else’s fears or judgments getting in my head.

In the end I listened to my gut: The chance to reduce my risk of developing breast cancer from 85 percent to under 4 percent was a no-brainer. I knew I would have a preventive double mastectomy; it was just a question of when.

Since 2013 the surgery has never been far from my mind. To prepare myself, I started a relationship with a breast surgeon a few years ago. I wanted to make sure that I knew the person, and that they knew me—and my breasts—very, very well. My surgeon told me I should aim to have my mastectomy when I was 10 years younger than my mom had been when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. So we set a date for 2018.

In the meantime I had to keep up with a grueling yearly regimen of screening tests—breast MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, monthly self-exams, and blood tests. Thankfully, I was able to get insurance coverage for the care I needed, but navigating the convoluted system made the political firestorm around health care, especially for women and people of color, personal.

When my mother was fighting her own battle with breast cancer, I became her primary caregiver, chasing down HMO doctors and persuading them to prioritize her care. She felt like a number. That experience was one of the main reasons that I went to work unpaid on then Senator Obama’s campaign in 2008. It is why one of my proudest moments serving as a White House aide to President Obama was the passage of the Affordable Care Act and why its potential repeal in 2017 led me to run for Congress. Unfortunately, when it comes to debates over the quality, access, and affordability of medical care, women are standing directly in the crossfire.

Breast cancer has been present in my family since the day I was born, in one way or another. Coupled with the challenges that women of color face when it comes to getting screenings and medical care, that’s why I’ve founded the Well Woman Coalition, a resource to help empower women to have agency over their health by arming ourselves with information and making intentional, empowered choices. There is no right or wrong answer—whether you choose increased screening or to have a preventive surgery, that’s very personal—being informed and engaged with your health is the important piece.

Six years after I first found out about my BCRA2 mutation, I finally had my preventive double mastectomy—a life-altering surgery to remove my breasts that were still healthy—earlier this month.

Now I have battle scars—almost like a badge of honor. Personally, I actually think they’re kind of beautiful. After seeing so many women in my family go through tough battles with cancer and some of them lose their lives, my scars are a symbol to me of empowerment and progress and choice.

Follow Alejandra’s journey on Instagram and at Well Women Coalition.

How I Prepared Myself to Have a Preventative Double Mastectomy

Alejandra Campoverdi is the former Director of Hispanic Media for the Obama Administration, a previous congressional candidate for California’s 34th District, founder of the Well Woman Coalition, registered holistic cancer specialist, and a BRCA-2 previvor. Just this month, she underwent a preventative double mastectomy to remove her healthy breasts. This is her story, as told to Glamour‘s Macaela Mackenzie.

My breasts have been getting a lot of attention lately. To be clear, this is a totally new and strange thing for me. I was flat-chested until I was in my early twenties and after my breasts finally did show up, they were never really a topic of conversation. So, what’s changed? For the past few years, I’ve been planning to have a preventative double mastectomy. Last week, I had my perfectly healthy breasts removed.

I have never known a time in my family without the presence of breast cancer. When I was a baby, my great-grandmother died of metastatic breast cancer (breast cancer that has spread beyond the breast to other organs in the body). When I was 16, my abuelita, who was like a second mother to me, died of metastatic breast cancer. In my early 20s, my mother developed breast cancer, though luckily, she survived. Since then, two of my aunts have also been diagnosed with the deadly disease. (This year alone, it’s estimated that over 40,000 women will die from breast cancer.)

With each diagnosis, it became clear that there was something hereditary going on. But it wasn’t until recently, with genetic tests for risk factors like mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes becoming more accessible, I realized I might actually be able to do something about it. So in 2013, I decided to find out for sure—I tested positive for a BRCA2 gene mutation, meaning I had an 85 percent chance of developing breast cancer in my lifetime. (For women without BCRA1 or BCRA2 gene mutations, the risk of developing breast cancer is less than 4 percent.)

Now I have battle scars—almost like a badge of honor. I actually think they’re kind of beautiful.

When I found out, I didn’t tell anyone, not even my mom, for months. I wanted to make a decision about what to do on my own. I was the one that would have to deal with the ramifications for the rest of my life—I didn’t want anyone else’s fears or judgments getting in my head.

In the end, I listened to my gut: The chance to reduce my risk of developing breast cancer from 85 percent to under 4 percent was a no-brainer. I knew I would have a preventative double mastectomy—it was just a question of when.

Since 2013, the surgery has never been far from my mind. To prepare myself, I started a relationship with a breast surgeon a few years ago. I wanted to make sure that I knew the person, and that they knew me—and my breasts—very, very well. My surgeon told me I should aim to have my mastectomy when I was 10 years younger than my mom had been when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. So, we set a date for 2018.

In the meantime, I had to keep up with a grueling yearly regimen of screening tests—breast MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, monthly self-exams, and blood tests. Thankfully, I was able to get insurance coverage for the care I needed but navigating the convoluted system made the political firestorm around healthcare—especially for women and people of color—personal.

When my mother was fighting her own battle with breast cancer, I became her primary caregiver, chasing down HMO doctors and persuading them to prioritize her care. She felt like a number. That experience was one of the main reasons that I went to work unpaid on then-Senator Obama’s campaign in 2008. It is why one of my proudest moments serving as a White House aide to President Obama was the passage of the Affordable Care Act and why its potential repeal in 2017 led me to run for Congress. Unfortunately, when it comes to debates over the quality, access, and affordability of medical care, women are standing directly in the crossfire.

Breast cancer has been present in my family since the day I was born, in one way or another. Coupled with the challenges that women of color face when it comes to getting screenings and medical care, that’s why I’ve founded the Well Woman Coalition, a resource to help empower women to have agency over their health by arming ourselves with information and making intentional, empowered choices. There is no right or wrong answer—whether you choose increased screening or to have a preventive surgery, that’s very personal—being informed and engaged with your health is the important piece.

Six years after I first found out about my BCRA 2 mutation, I finally had my preventative double mastectomy—a life altering surgery to remove my breasts that were still healthy—earlier this month.

Now I have battle scars—almost like a badge of honor. Personally, I actually think they’re kind of beautiful. After seeing so many women in my family go through tough battles with cancer and some of them lose their lives, my scars are a symbol to me of empowerment and progress and choice.

Follow Alejandra’s journey on Instagram and at Well Women Coalition.

All The Big Netflix Shows That Recently Got Cancelled

Netflix went a very long time without canceling very many of its original offerings, and almost seemed adamant about avoiding such decisions. It doesn’t feel that way anymore, though. The streaming service has dropped quite a few shows in 2018, with several big announcements coming just in October that have shocked and saddened some shows’ dedicated fanbases. Here’s the latest look at everything recently lost in Netflix’s purge.

Luke Cage

Luke Cage‘s Season 3 renewal felt all but certain following Season 2’s premiere, but Netflix blindsided fans by making it the second Netflix Marvel series to be cancelled. It’s been reported that Season 3 fell through after creative differences between the staff and the streaming giant couldn’t be resolved. Other reports have alleged other reasons may be the cause, particularly a large decrease in viewership between season. But we may never know the true reason the seemingly indestructible Luke Cage got dropped.

Regardless of the causes, the show’s main star Mike Colter took the cancellation with grace. After an initial span of silence, he hopped on Twitter to thank fans and both Netflix and Marvel for their support.

I am forever grateful to Marvel and Netflix for letting me portray such a prolific character, and I thank you amazing fans. As one door closes, another has opened, with the birth of my daughter this week. A lot of great memories. Time to make more. Always forward, forward always.

Harlem’s Hero may not see a Season 3 on Netflix, but the verdict is still out as to whether or not he’ll return for another villain-busting outing. Fans still have hope for a Heroes For Hire series, or that he and Misty Knight will resurface in one of the surviving Marvel shows. Some are even wondering if the series could continue on another platform, although the details regarding rights to the hero are still unclear at this time, with Disney’s streaming service still on the way.

Iron Fist

Iron Fist‘s cancellation was somewhat less surprising than Luke Cage, but was still almost equal in viewer shock value. The series was initially renewed after a harshly critiqued Season 1, and Season 2 was an improvement for the series by many accounts. The second season finale also introduced a plot twist that guaranteed to shake things up in the Fist-iverse going forward. So it feels as though the cast and crew were not expecting to be cancelled.

Finn Jones was happy about the time he got to spend as Danny Rand nonetheless, and while his statement featured no shoutouts to Netflix or Marvel, he showed plenty of love elsewhere.

With every end is a new beginning. I have an enormous amount of love and respect for everyone involved with the last two seasons of this show. Defending the greatest city in the world amongst the most talented and warmest people has been a privilege and a joy. Blessed to have taken this journey and grateful for the ongoing support.

The situation with Iron Fist‘s future is fairly similar to what’s going on with Luke Cage. The only real difference between the two is that Iron Fist’s continuation was teased in a joint statement by Marvel and Netflix, which may make the odds greater that audiences will see Danny Rand again. It’s still not known, however, whether that would be as a quick cameo in an upcoming Jessica Jones season, for instance, or in an entirely new series.

American Vandal

American Vandal took the popular true-crime genre and blended it in an absurd way with the modern high school experience. In its two seasons, the series featured two separate situations that hooked viewers in with over-the-top and completely fake mysteries that won points for uniqueness. It was a cool twist on Making a Murderer and The Jinx‘s format, but apparently not successful enough for Netflix to justify bringing it back for Season 3.

Though American Vandal is no more, one wouldn’t know it looking at Tyler Sage Alvarez’s social media. The Peter Maldanado portrayer was hanging out recently with Season 1 actress Genevieve Hannelius, around the same time the cancellation news broke. In the vid below, he referenced her character being the true culprit behind the freshman season’s dick-drawing crimes.

American Vandal may be done at Netflix but could appear elsewhere. It’s being reported that CBS TV Studios is looking to shop the series elsewhere and that Peter Maldanado and Sam Ecklund may one day return to solve another high school incident. If that doesn’t happen, the silver lining is its anthology format ensured no story was left open-ended at the end of Season 2 so the series can be enjoyed as is without lingering questions.

All About The Washingtons

All About The Washingtons premiered, and was thereby cancelled, in the span of two months. So it wouldn’t be entirely surprising if non-fans had completely missed it. That said, the comedy starred hip-hop legend Joseph “Rev-Run” Simmons and his wife Veronica, and one might’ve assumed it would have brought in more eyes than it did. Alas, that wasn’t the case, and the series is now done on the streaming service.

Much like the situation with American Vandal, though, the cast and crew didn’t spend time lamenting the loss of the series on social media. Rev Run tweeted about an upcoming event he was going to be a part of on the day the cancellation came out, but had nothing to say about All About The Washingtons ending. His post did get a reply from a fan apologizing for the cancellation, however, and well wishes towards his future.

Sorry to hear about the cancellation of your show, the Washingtons. My family and I liked this show a lot and was looking foward to the 2nd season. Love and prayers to you and Justine!

All About The Washingtons, which was originally pitched to air on ABC, received some harsh criticism from critics upon release. That may not have completely factored into the show’s cancellation, since Netflix isn’t always influenced by opinions over viewership. Still, it couldn’t have helped when some complained the comedy series was unfunny, and others said being on reality television — Run’s House, in this case — does not give one the ability to act. That’s rough, but it’s sometimes like that, and that’s the way it is. (Long live Run DMC.)

Orange Is The New Black

Orange Is The New Black fans received quite the shock recently when the cast shared a touching video that revealed 2019 would host the final season of the long-running prison dramedy. Technically, the series has yet to receive an official cancellation by Netflix, and the full details behind how this came to be haven’t been revealed. It does feel as though, however, it wasn’t necessarily the OITNB cast and crew’s decision to end things.

Many in the cast had nice things to say in the announcement video about their experiences, although few did so as eloquently as Crazy Eyes actress Uzo Aduba. The Emmy-winning star talked about what she was grateful for, and teased a bit of what’s to come in the final episodes.

I’m so grateful for the fun times, the knowledge, the friendship, the love, the family that we have created together. . . . Season 7: you will not be disappointed. It is a season you will not forget and we’re going to give you everything and more that you could have ever wanted.

In the scheme of things, Orange Is The New Black getting “cancelled” after Season 7 isn’t a bad run at all. The writers and cast still get a chance to bring the show’s long-running story to an end so that it can be enjoyed by future generations of Netflix viewers. If there is a good way for a television series to get cancelled, this is probably one of the better options.

Netflix is always renewing and canceling its shows, so be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for the updates regarding the streaming giant’s biggest moves. For a look at what else is coming to television in the near future, visit our fall premiere guide.

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I Always Take My Kids Trick or Treating. This Year I Was Fired.

This Halloween marks the official end of my 17-year tenure as a trick or treat chaperone. It was a good run. Like a well-behaved mother of the bride, I kept my distance, took lots of pictures and helped myself to refreshments—Mike and Ikes and the occasional paper cup of cider (preferably spiked). I always looked forward to those chilly fall nights as the season opener of my down vest. I have no regrets. So when my 11-year-old announced my retirement, it took me a minute to understand what was happening. She said, “Mommy, I was thinking I’d go trick or treating alone this year.”

I said, “Won’t that be a tiny bit sad?”

A look of pity passed over her face and, suddenly, I knew what was coming—knew it right down to my fingertips, the same ones that carried her pumpkin when it was overflowing. This was a service I provided: candy sherpa.

“Oh,” she said. “I’m going with my friends. Just, like, without you.”

Of course I gave her my blessing. Who am I to stand in the way of an independent giraffe?

**

I hated Halloween as a kid. Dreaded it. Even in the years when I would have given anything to be someone else, I loathed dressing up. Sweet or frisky? Black cat or Madonna? And then there was the whole issue of who to trick or treat with and which neighborhood to go to and what kind of bag to carry and whether or not I’d need a coat. Windbreaker or cardigan? I was relieved when I outgrew the whole ordeal.

From there, trick or treating evolved into Halloween parties, including one where I had my first-ever long chat with my now-husband; and the occasional wacky colleague wearing an antenna headband on October 31. Realizing, Right, it’s Halloween. How liberating it was to buy my own fun-size Kit-Kats instead of asking a stranger to fork them over! I developed an appreciation for gourds, candy corn and pumpkin ravioli.

And then I had kids. For the first few years, I planned their costumes with my mother-in-law; she’s crafty, I’m lazy. My older daughter was an apple, then an eggplant—we were going for a produce theme—and then a dinosaur (Diner Horse, as she called it). At two-and-a-half, she came to visit me in the maternity ward in all her green felt splendor, spun around for the nurses and warily offered peanut M&Ms to her hours-old “sister-brother.” She was on the fence about the brother part.

The next Halloween, he was a black cat and she was a ladybug. We read books featuring witches, goblins and Clifford the Big Red Dog dressed as a ghost. We carved pumpkins, toasted the seeds, baked pumpkin muffins (from a mix, but still), marched in parades, trick or treated in our apartment building and went to a costume party where, in the space of an hour, every guest ran the gamut from elation to hysteria. I bought a pair of jack-o-lantern knee socks at the drugstore. I was fully-invested in Halloween.

Pretty soon my kids started planning their own costumes. The oldest and youngest were twin zebras; Dorothy and the Tin Man; a ladybug and a bumblebee. My son was Superman, LeBron James, and then LeBron James again. When he entered his Harry Potter phase, I perfected the lightning bolt scar on his forehead. It couldn’t be black or red; it had to be a realistic rust-color. I watched a YouTube video multiple times just to get it right.

Every year, my kids asked why I didn’t dress up. Some parents did—the fun ones who would put a red nose on the grill of their minivan in December. I told them I was a witch the other 364 days of the year; on Halloween I preferred to be a nice mom who said yes to everything. Now I wonder, why didn’t I put on a costume? How hard would it have been to go as the Cowardly Lion or Hermione?

What are you? It’s a surprisingly meaningful question. For me, October 31 is as good a time as any to mull it over. Anything is possible. Isn’t that the whole point of Halloween?

Two years in a row, hurricanes swept through our town—first Irene, then Sandy. Both times, we were without lights, heat or hot water, so trick or treating was the least of my concerns. But after Sandy, a friend who had power invited the neighbors over to her house, where kids trick or treated from room to room. Superior parents chose high-traffic zones like the mudroom and the living room; I grabbed a bag of Snickers and high-tailed it to the third-floor bathroom where I gorged in peace, huddled under a fleece blanket. When I finally emerged, I found a pack of monsters with masks on top of their heads, little hands wrapped around bowls of homemade chili. Someone handed me a goblet of wine. I took a deep breath—warm and spice— and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this was the best Halloween we’d ever have. I was right.

But power or no power, rain or shine, my favorite moment of the holiday has been the same year to year. It’s the one when my kids and their friends finally get to answer the question they’ve been waiting for since the day they picked their costumes months ago, usually round the Fourth of July or when the first Halloween catalogs start arriving in the mail.

The question is simple, and constant through the ages: What are you?

Ask this of a group of kids on a crisp October night when the leaves have just started to fall and the sky isn’t quite dark and the neighborhood echoes with “Trick or treat” and “I’ll trade you Almond Joy for Nerds!” Shoulders straighten; chins lift; feet plant firmly on the ground, each one claiming the space it deserves.

One little girl says, “I’m Wonder Woman.” Another says, “I’m Cleopatra.” A third: “I’m Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” (The lucky ones will grow up to be a combination of all three.) Even the boy dressed as a carton of milk announces himself proudly, as if he’s ready to get poured into the best cup of coffee you’ve ever had.

What are you? It’s a surprisingly meaningful question if you tend to overthink things, as I do. When was the last time you asked this of yourself? Some people wait for January 1. For me, October 31 is as good a time as any to mull it over. Anything is possible. Isn’t that the whole point of Halloween?

This year, I’m ready to step into my new role at the front door. Let some other mom smile at her toddlers from the end of my walkway. Vampires and fairies, Oreos and bananas, Pete and Arianna, Meghan and Harry—you’re all welcome at my house. Even you, Melania (but leave your husband on Air Force One). I won’t ask too many questions of our visitors because my teenagers will be waiting in the wings, mortified. But I do want to know what you are, and I want to give you one piece of advice, the same one I’m giving my giraffe: Tomorrow, be yourself.

11 Best Under-Eye Patches for Dark Circles and Puffiness

You’d think that by this point in time we’d have three day weekends, but alas, it seems like we’ll never reach the impossible dream. Instead, feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead is reserved for the smart people who head to bed at 9:30 P.M. every weeknight, while the rest of us chug caffeine and spellcheck every other sentence. The beauty world has come up with a solution: eye masks soaked in serum that promise to brighten our undereyes, smooth any fine lines, and deflate puffy bags in 20 minutes flat. Sound too good to be true? You haven’t met the next gen of undereye patches. Glamour‘s editors took home the cream of the crop for testing, and documented their Monday morning experiences. Scroll on for their honest reviews.

Prince Harry Already Has an Adorable Nickname for the Royal Baby

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry‘s extensive royal tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand has already given us so much: lots of royal PDA, tuxedo dresses and fantastic shoes, and stirring speeches.

But we’ve also been able to gather a few nuggets about Harry and Meghan’s little royal nugget, due to arrive in spring 2019. Over the weekend, the Duke of Sussex revealed one of his nicknames for Baby Sussex during a speech in New Zealand. “From myself and my wife and our little bump, we are so grateful to be here,” he said. “We bring blessings from my grandmother, the Queen, and our family.” Watch here.

“Our little bump,” plus an adorable smile, was enough to send the world into one giant collective, “Aww!”

The Duke And Duchess Of Sussex Visit Fiji - Day 1

PHOTO: Getty Images

Of course, this tour kicked off with the happy announcement from Kensington Palace that another royal baby was on the way: “Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the Spring of 2019.” And Harry has obviously gotten more comfortable publicly speaking about the new addition to the family since the early days of the tour. “We also, genuinely, couldn’t think of a better place to announce, uh, the upcoming baby, be it a boy or girl, so thank you very much,” he said during a welcome reception back on October 16.

As for what else we know about their “little bump,” Harry (and much of the globe) is hoping for a baby girl. (When a fan shouted out, “I hope it’s a girl”, Harry replied, “I do too!”) The couple also has a long list of possible baby names. “We’ve been given a long list of names from everyone,” Markle said, noting that she and Prince Harry are “going to sit down and have a look at them.” And the Duchess of Sussex has been using yoga to battle her jet lag and early pregnancy symptoms.

Needless to say the countdown is on for the newest royal baby. Is it spring yet?

HeroBlend #28: Wonder Woman Date Change, Daredevil Spoiler Talk And A DC Titans Review

Speaking of Marvel shows on Netflix, the flagship series, Daredevil, just premiered Season 3 last week, and we’ll give a (mostly) spoiler free review for you. How do they bring back Wilson Fisk? Was the new villain worth waiting for? Does the action still excite like in seasons past? Do they give us a plausible reason for Matt’s survival at the end of The Defenders? Those questions and many more will be answered! Lastly, DC Universe was two weeks into its first live action superhero show, Titans, when we recorded, so we had to talk about it. We’ll break down our thoughts on the performances, plots, tone, action, overall look of the show and more! Sit back and relax, folks, because this is one chat you’re not going to want to miss! Ready to dive in? Great! Listen for yourself above!

Aquaman Will Have Key Flashbacks To The Hero’s Past

To use the genre parlance, James Wan’s Aquaman is primarily a solo character adventure, being set after the events of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, but it is also an origin story. Part of the film’s mission is to explain where the eponymous hero comes from and who he is meant to be, and as a result there are segments of the narrative dedicated to his past. Specifically, there are numerous flashback sequences throughout the blockbuster — and while I was on the set last year, I learned key details about a few of them.

In July 2017, literally the day after San Diego Comic-Con, I joined a small group of other journalists on a trip to Melbourne, Australia to visit the set of Aquaman while it was still filming, and the day started off with a tour of the War Room — a meeting space in the production office that has walls covered in concept art. While looking at these pieces, production designer Bill Brzeski took us through what we were looking at, including some key moments in the life of Arthur Curry (played as an adult by Jason Momoa).

The first we learned about is set at the Boston Aquarium, which Arthur visits when he is 10 years old. The facility famously has a giant aquarium that stretches stories high, and our young hero is pushed up against it by some bullies. This gets a notable reaction from all of the sentient life in the tank, and they quickly take action. Said Brzeski,

All of a sudden all the creatures in the aquarium… start banging on the glass, coming to rescue him, and he doesn’t even understand why. All the other kids freak out. So we’re in this aquarium. It’s beautiful. All of a sudden, all these animals are banging on the glass. Sharks are trying to get him and get the other kids. Everybody freaks out. So that’s one flashback.

Clearly this is an early preview of Arthur Curry’s important relationship with undersea life, though in this instance he doesn’t communicate with the fish on purpose. After all, at age 10 he doesn’t known that his mother is Atlanna, the queen of Atlantis who is played by Nicole Kidman in the movie. It isn’t until later that he learns the truth, which is a moment that is captured in another one of Aquaman‘s flashback.

Featured as a teenager, Arthur is having some summer fun with some other local kids, and when he sees a girl on a boat he decides that he wants to impress her. He tells his friends about this shipwreck that rests on the seafloor, and dives down to go explore. Unfortunately, he gets startled by an eel and hits his head — knocking him unconscious, but the good news is that his special gene-based powers start to kick in. Said Brzeski,

It looks like he’s dead, and then he comes back to life, and he goes, ‘What the … I’m alive?’ He gets this water in his lungs, and all of a sudden his eyes change color… What happens is his body reacts positively to being underwater, because he’s got Atlantean blood in him, and he can swim down there, and he can do stuff. And he doesn’t drown. It’s a very traumatic scene. It’s like a real scene where somebody drowns. We’re shooting it actually underwater in a tank here, and he survives. He gets home, and said, ‘Dad, what’s going on? Come on.’ So then the father starts to tell him a little bit about who he is, and they find a [quindent] in the house.

These won’t be the only flashbacks featured in Aquaman, but they certainly do give texture to how the movie is going to be approaching the titular heroes important backstory. In a world where we are regularly seeing more standard origin stories play out on the big screen, this sounds like a welcome reprieve.

Aquaman will be in theaters on December 21st.

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