Welcome to 2021! It’s cold, the sun is still setting too early, and now that we’ve been living in pandemic times for *checks calendar* almost a YEAR, your list of TV shows to get through has probably been whittled down to just a few holdouts. I’m always a proponent of watching all 22 seasons of SVU, but if you’re trying to infuse your TV viewing habits with some new blood, I put together this list of shows that are debuting (or returning) in the next couple months. There’s a little bit of reality, comedy, drama—basically, if you don’t like any of these shows maybe you’re just too picky.
Assuming that you’re still spending the vast majority of your time at home (good work, you’re saving lives!), here’s what you should be watching while you continue to wait for the vaccine. Oh, and if you need MORE to watch, lots of the shows from this list are still rolling out new episodes, too. Don’t tell me you’re bored!
‘Search Party’ – 1/14
All the previous seasons of Search Party are on HBO Max, so you have time to catch up. This show is equal parts dark and hilarious, and it is criminally underrated. Also, I’ll say this for the real fans: Elliott and Portia walked so David and Alexis could run. The first three episodes of season 4 are out now, and the rest will drop in weekly three-episode batches.
‘Selena + Chef’ – 1/21
In the last year, we’ve seen plenty of quarantine-inspired projects, to varying degrees of success, but Selena + Chef is easily one of my favorites. In this cooking show, which is returning for a second season on HBO Max, Selena gets a cooking lesson via Zoom from a different professional chef each episode. The way it’s filmed doesn’t make the Zoom aspect feel lame at all, and the different personalities keep every episode fresh and entertaining.
‘Walker’ – 1/21
Jared Padalecki, whom you might know as Dean from Gilmore Girls, and who just finished a 15-year run on Supernatural, returns to The CW in this new reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger. Sorry Chuck Norris, there’s a hot new sheriff in town. In the new reboot, the widowed main character struggles to move on with his career after his wife passes away. I have no idea if this will be any good, but we get Dean in cowboy clothes, so it’s worth a mention.
‘Euphoria: Jules’ – 1/24
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Sadly, there’s still no public timeline for when we can expect season 2 of Euphoria, but at least we still have the second special episode to look forward to. Last month, we got a deep dive into Rue’s story, and this time, it’s Jules’ turn. We have no idea what to expect from this special, but if the Rue installment is any indication, it’ll probably be an emotional roller coaster.
‘Firefly Lane’ – 2/3
Is 2021 the year of the Katherine Heigl comeback? Perhaps! The Grey’s Anatomy alum stars in Netflix’s limited series adaptation of the hit novel Firefly Lane, which tells the story of two childhood friends who go through a lot of sh*t across a span of three decades. The story starts in the 1970s in the Pacific Northwest, so there’s sure to be some great 70s/80s fashion, and yeah, you’ll probably cry a lot.
‘Summer House’ – 2/4
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Summer House is the one show on Bravo that actually makes sense to film in a quarantine environment, and the crew is back for a fifth season. If you’ve never watched but you’re missing the messy glory days of Vanderpump Rules, this might be right up your alley. Based on the sneak peek, we can expect another season of drunken antics, relationship drama, and maybe even a wedding? Lots to consider.
‘Clarice’ – 2/11
If you love The Silence of the Lambs, listen up. CBS made a brand-new series centering on Clarice Starling, the FBI agent famously played by Jodie Foster. The show takes place shortly after the events of the movie, and will give us a much deeper look into Clarice’s background, as well as some gritty new mysteries. The title role is played by Rebecca Breeds, whom you may remember as Nicole on Pretty Little Liars, and the trailer looks dark and twisted, just the way it should.
‘Punky Brewster’ – 2/25
After their well-received Saved By The Bell reboot, Peacock is keeping the throwback vibes going with a new version of the ’80s classic Punky Brewster. Original star Soleil Moon-Frye returns to play a much more grown-up version of her iconic character, who is now a single mom raising three kids. To sweeten the pot, Freddie Prinze Jr. joins the cast as Punky’s ex-husband. Aaaaand I’m immediately interested.
‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ – 3/19
This week, we’re finally getting our first Disney+ Marvel series with WandaVision, but we won’t have to wait long for the next one to arrive. Up until now, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s characters have been supporting players in the MCU, but they’re finally getting their starring turn in this action-packed miniseries. The story picks up after Avengers: Endgame, when (spoiler) Falcon has taken over the reins as the new Captain America. Obviously, there are bad guys, and it looks like we’re in for a good time.
Images: Courtesy of Netflix; HBO Max, The CW Network, Netflix, CBS, Peacock, Marvel Entertainment / YouTube; euphoria, bravobybetches / Instagram
This might sound dramatic, but there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting forever for your favorite show to come back. Even for shows that stick to a strict annual schedule, the off-season can be a lonely time, and sadly, the pandemic has really messed with TV calendars. When Euphoria’s first season concluded in August of 2019, we assumed that it would be a while before the second season rolled around, but we had no idea just how long the wait would be. With no premiere date set for season 2, luckily HBO came through in a major way, and decided to give us two special episodes of Euphoria to bridge the gap between the seasons. The first special, “Trouble Don’t Last Always,” dropped over the weekend, and it shows us what’s happening with Rue shortly after the conclusion of the first season.
If you haven’t watched yet, there will be spoilers ahead, but it’s no big secret that this isn’t like a normal episode of Euphoria. We only see Rue, Ali, and Jules (briefly), and the majority of the episode is one long conversation at a diner. It’s deep and emotional, and while it may not have all the bells and whistles that you expect from Euphoria, it’s an impressive character study that we wouldn’t get in an episode with 20 other subplots happening. Keep reading for the five biggest takeaway from the first special episode.
1. Rue Is Not In A Good Place
In the season 1 finale, we saw Rue relapse after being left by Jules on the train platform. After a sort of dream sequence of her perfect life with Jules, the special finds Rue at the diner with Ali, and she’s in really bad shape. Ali quickly sees through her unconvincing act of having her sh*t together, and he spends the next hour getting real with her about a wide range of topics relating to addiction. I don’t know about you, but I was barely keeping it together for most of the episode, and I f*cking lost it when Rue said she didn’t plan on being around much longer. By the end, it seems like Ali may have finally gotten through to her, but as we know, addiction isn’t a problem you just solve right away. But as they drive off in the rain, it does seem like there is hope that our main character will find her way out of this dark time.
2. Rue Is An Unreliable Narrator
In season 1, Rue literally told us that she can be an unreliable narrator, but at the time we didn’t know if that detail applied to what we were watching. But after taking Rue’s relationship with Jules at face value last year, the special reveals that some of that sh*t never happened. The big reveal here is that Rue and Jules never actually got the lip tattoos we saw them getting in season 1—they just talked about doing it. In the grand scheme of everything that’s happened on this show, it’s a small detail, but it could open the floodgates in terms of what little lies Rue has told the audience.
We also see that for the first time, Rue is confronted with the realization that she and Jules were never officially in a relationship. We’ve all been there, and it sucks, but Rue had to figure it out sooner or later. You always have to DTR!! This wasn’t necessarily new information to us, but during season 1 it was definitely tempting to see things from Rue’s perspective. As much as I love Rue, Jules didn’t actually cheat on her, and honestly, she should probably just focus on herself for a while.
3. Jules Is Next
Now that we’ve gotten a deeper look at the aftermath of the season 1 finale for Rue, it only seems fair to get Jules’ side of the story. HBO has confirmed that “Rue” is the first of two special episodes, and while we don’t have a premiere date for the second one yet, it should be coming soon, considering that Zendaya referred to the two specials as “the Christmas episodes.” As for the content of special #2, it appears that it’ll show us what’s going on with Jules. In the “Enter Euphoria” featurette for the special, series creator Sam Levinson discusses the limitations of Rue’s perspective, saying “it leaves open the other side of the story, which is… Jules’ side.”
So basically, we’re getting a Jules special, is really exciting for a couple reasons. Up until now, the entire show has been more or less told through Rue. Her narration guided season 1, and as we just discussed, she’s not always the most accurate. It’s going to be a whole different experience to hear Jules telling her own story, and this opens up a lot of possibilities for future storytelling methods and character development. Also, we have no idea what happens with Jules after she gets on that train! In her special, we could meet new characters, or encounter other characters we already know, or who knows, it could literally be Jules talking to herself for an hour. The possibilities are endless!
4. Are We Getting A Spin-Off?
This is less of a takeaway and more of a vague conspiracy theory. Season 2 of Euphoria was originally supposed to begin production in March of this year, and was put on indefinite hold just days before as everything shut down. Sam Levinson quickly pivoted his focus, and we found out over the summer that he had secretly made a movie during quarantine starring Zendaya and John David Washington. The movie, Malcolm & Marie, is coming to Netflix in February. So, you ask, what does this have to do with Euphoria? Well, in the special episode, we find out that Ali has a daughter named Marie (!!!) who resents him for his past.
This could be a total coincidence, but considering that both stories were written by the same person, it’s fun to imagine that the stories could be somehow connected. We’re going to be waiting a while for season 2 of Euphoria, so maybe we can pretend that Malcolm & Marie is another special episode. Either way, I’m excited for it.
5. What About Season 2?
So yeah, about season 2. While I loved the special episode, it was nothing like a normal episode, and I won’t pretend that I didn’t miss all my favorite characters, like Maddy and Cassie and Lexie and Kat and Ethan and okay I really just love all of them except Nate. The special gave us some insight about what’s ahead for Rue (hopefully getting sober again), but the other storylines are still completely up in the air.
As for a timeline of when we can expect to see the second season, don’t hold your breath. Filming won’t start until early 2021, and the cast has frequently discussed how long and complex the Euphoria shooting process is. In a new interview with Cultured, Alexa Demie said “there is a possibility that it’s out next year,” so I definitely wouldn’t expect a premiere date until later in the year. Either way, season 2 is definitely happening, so let’s hope it’s worth the wait.
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Images: HBO; Giphy
After the massively underwhelming second season of Big Little Lies, which may as well have been called “The One Where Meryl Streep Calls Reese Witherspoon Short,” it was nice to tune into Euphoria, a show whose drama is actually riveting. I’ve never used that word non-sarcastically, so this is a big moment. The season finale gave us so much, including world’s most beautiful sociopath, Jacob Elordi, throwing a temper tantrum; Zendaya performing a very morbid musical number; Barbie Ferreira making a case for dominatrix fashion; and Hunter Schafer confirming that Avril Lavigne’s black streaks are still very much not a good look. But I’m greedy and I need more, which leads me to my first of many questions: Will there be a Euphoria season 2?
Francesca Orsi, Senior Vice President of Drama Series at HBO, told Entertainment Weekly, “We are so grateful that chose HBO as the home for this groundbreaking series. We look forward to following these complex characters as their journeys continue through the challenging world they inhabit.” Yay! Then Zendaya retweeted HBO’s announcement and said, “Literally just got the call. Can’t say thank you enough for the support we’ve seen, wow.” She types with the same enthusiasm level as my dad, who responds to all of my good and/or exciting news with a resounding “yea.” Anyway, this is amazing news and I am f*cking happy about it, as is the rest of the world. Look, even though exactly zero of my season one finale predictions came true, I’m still in the game of guessing the future, so keep reading for my Euphoria season 2 predictions!
Jules Will Go M.I.A.
This is model-turned-insanely-talented-actress Hunter Schafer’s first acting gig ever, which is shocking considering I’d nominate her for a f*cking Oscar if the Academy would let me. Back to my theory: the finale ended with Rue and Jules boarding a train for an unspecified place, but right before the train left the station, Rue started to have very responsible second thoughts. I’m proud of her for thinking of someone other than herself (her mom and sister), but also disappointed because this love story gave me all the life I’ll ever need and I don’t want it to end. So being the badass b*tch she is, Jules still boards the train! Will she come back? Honestly, probably, because I can’t imagine this show getting the exceedingly high ratings that it did without her, but also because she is such a fan favorite.
I think she will be living in the Rue’s memory for the first episode or two via flashbacks and then she’ll just reappear with some gorgeous pastel hair color and make everyone (me) really happy. I am getting Serena going to boarding school after f*cking Nate vibes from her right now, and I’m not mad about it.
Rue Will Relapse
Real talk: addiction is a disease, and many addicts relapse at some point on their roads to recovery. Rue admitted in the pilot that even after rehab, she had no intention of staying clean, which is sad because she was in a drug-induced coma for four days and nearly died. As we know, she meets Jules, and Jules’ beautiful existence on this earth is enough to convince Rue that life is worth living. I think, though, that with Jules taking her amazing eye makeup game to a different city, Rue will fall back into old habits and start using again. I’ve cried so many times watching this show and I know that Rue battling with whether or not she should swipe a pill in season two will def bring me to tears. I’m not prepared for this, y’all.
Am I devastated to watch Rue undo all of her progress? Yes. Is this a drama about a teen drug addict? Yes. My point is Rue is 17 and is addicted to pills, so the chances of her staying off drugs are slim to none. So sad, but so inevitable.
Nate Will Come Out
But not in the way most people do. He’s definitely going to sexually assault a guy he thinks is cute and then go home and think, “What a good time! Should I
blackmail text him? Or is it too soon?” I’m not a psychologist, but I do have working eyes and have observed that every time anyone insinuates that Nate may not be 100% straight (is anyone, though?), he gets more violent and spirals out of control. I mean, I literally had to close my eyes when he was having a Lottie in A Little Princess moment in his room because it was so terrifying. His very real internal battle will definitely start to come out. Pun fully intended.
This may be far-fetched, but I think he will take after his dad and prefer the company of wildly inappropriate sexual partners and it will all explode in his face. Hoping that also happens to his dad because he is a disgusting child abuser who needs therapy/jail time pronto.
Fez Will Have More Lines
Minus that time he attacked and robbed a rich man in front of said man’s young son who will probably be traumatized for life, Fez has been the unsung hero of this show. Not going to lie, I didn’t understand his character when the show first started and for a hot second, I thought he may be Nate’s long lost brother since he has two and we’ve only met one, but now I am really happy that they aren’t related. Fez was kind of a wildcard because I hated him for enabling Rue all these years, but at the same time, dude’s gotta eat! For real, though, Fez has a big heart and I’m happy he cut Rue off because he seems to genuinely care about her and she him. Unlike a few important people in her life, Fez has seen and helped Rue when she was at her lowest points, so hats off to you, Fez. We love you.
I think Rue will lean on Fez in Jules’ absence and he will become much more of a central character in the show. I also think Mouse, that terrifying dude rocking a few face tats, will give him trouble for the raid and Rue, as always, will accidentally be present when sh*t goes down and ruin everything. Of course, Fez will save her and we will fall further in love with him.
Think I’m completely wrong about one or all of my predictions for season two? Let me know, but make sure that if you come for me in the comments, you have facts to prove me wrong. Do you have any predictions for Euphoria season 2?
Images: Giphy (4)
Based on my last Euphoria article, it’s no secret that I am f*cking obsessed with this show. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, here’s how obsessed I am: I had ~plans~ with my FWB on Saturday and just as we were about to like, start, Euphoria came up in the convo and he admitted he had never heard of it, so I made him sit there and watch three full episodes. Yep, this nympho put sex on hold for a few hours so that one more soul could be touched by Euphoria. Was I doing God’s work last weekend? I’ll let Her decide, but I think yes. This show is incredible and if you disagree, I
will fight you respect your opinion.
If Euphoria has given you more than just a reason to stay up past 10pm on a Sunday night, you are probably all caught up and have a few ideas about what’s going to happen in the finale. But because this show is one gigantic curveball, it’s hard to know for sure. All I’m saying is that I’ve literally gasped out loud at least twice during every episode because I was so shocked. I truly can’t believe this season is already over, but like all good things, it must end. Yeah, I’m crying, whatever. Ok, so in light of the season finale that will most definitely have the world shaking, I have a few predictions up my sleeve that I’d love to share with you all. Here we go.
Rue Is Dead
As in, she’s been dead the whole time. Tbh, I didn’t come up with this theory, but I read it on this really reliable source called the internet (ever heard of it?) and I kind of believe it. Here’s why: after reading said theory on the World Wide Web, I went back and watched the first episode because I needed to fill the hole in my day that my friends fill with their boyfriends, and I realized that Rue’s language is really cryptic and completely omnipotent. Maybe the directors just did this for stylistic purposes and so that we, the audience, can know wtf is going on, but maybe, just maybe, she’s like a beautiful, crop top-wearing, drug-taking spirit who has all of this v private knowledge about the characters because she’s already dead and ghosts know everything.
And as for the concrete reasons I believe the above to be true? For starters, remember when Rue fully overdosed in the first episode? What if, instead of Gia finding her just in time, she got there a little too late and Rue died? And the rest of the season had already happened pre-overdose and she’s recalling all these events based on her memory? That would actually make a lot of sense, considering it’s really hard to remember things that happened when you were high (or so I’ve heard…). She’s even admitted that she’s not super reliable. One more point: the last episode is called “And Salt the Earth Behind You,” which, like, yeah. I feel like HBO just confirmed that I am right with that one.
Cassie Has An Abortion
I know what you’re all thinking. Of course she has an abortion! But think about all of the shows that feature some sort of unplanned underage pregnancy. Everyone either has the baby or has a miscarriage. No television show that I can think of (not even SATC) has touched abortion. I think Euphoria will be the one to go where no other show has gone before. And honestly, just knowing Cassie, she’s not going to be down to become the next Juno of her school.
The fact that McKay is also very not down to have a baby has to influence her at least a little bit. It may be her body and her choice, but if the man she loves adamantly does not want to become a teen dad to their unborn child, it’s not that crazy to think that she may agree with him. As her pathetic excuse for a father so insensitively ingrained in her, parenthood isn’t something to be taken lightly, so if you’re not 100% down to have kids and care for them for at minimum the next 18 years, don’t f*cking have kids.
Fez Is Going To F*ck Nate Up
And not in the way Nate likes it. I fully believed Fez when he promised Nate that he’d kill him if he (Nate) didn’t stop tormenting Rue and her friends. Obv Nate didn’t really care and is 110% going to keep messing with them, which makes me think that Fez will pull a gun on him just before he has the opportunity to do something really horrible to Jules and/or Rue. In the preview for the finale, someone in a ski mask (really?) is seen pointing a gun at someone else, and while a few people think it’s Rue holding the gun, I know for a fact it’s Fez. How do I know this? Look at those f*cking eyebrows! Those are Fez’s! Would anyone really be that shocked that the “dropout drug dealer” has and uses a gun from time to time? Now, I have no idea what Nate will actually do to incite this totally terrifying gun violence, but I definitely know it will be something bad. Like, worse than that time he made a fake dating app account using the identity of a man that he savagely beat up right before framing said man for rape, and then flirting with Jules on the fake account to use as blackmail against her. Is there even something worse than that? If so, Nate sure as f*ck would know what it is. Honestly, poor Jules. How did this even happen to her?
I don’t think Nate will die, though. Mostly because, even though he’s a complete psychopath, he’s too damn beautiful to die. Secondly, later in the trailer (I’m assuming it’s chronological), someone is pinning him to a wall. From the looks of it, the person doing the pinning kind of seems like it’s Rue, but unless she’s part Hulk, I think it might be her dad? He’s the only other curly-headed person on this show. If it is him, that would also explain my earlier theory re: Rue narrating this entire season from the past. It would also explain why Nate hates Rue.
Daniel Is Kat’s Creepy Admirer
Ok, hear me out! Remember at the end of the last episode when Kat starts stripping at the command of someone who masked his voice and blacked out his screen? If he was just a rando creep on the internet, he wouldn’t have done that because he wouldn’t have had a reason to. Anyone else who Kat’s banged this season also wouldn’t have had shame in admitting they think she’s a sexy kween because, hello, they already had sex with her. Yes, technically, Daniel also had sex with her, but during it, he
lied said he had zero recollection that the two of them dated for five months back in the day. And by “back in the day,” I mean four years ago. Unless POS Daniel has brain damage, there’s no way this little skeeze wouldn’t remember that. I think he has been into her this entire time, but is too much of a p*ssy to admit it, which is why he Skypes her while covering his camera and changing his voice. Is SVU hiring? I’m on a f*cking roll with the detective sh*t here.
One more theory about this and then I’ll move on. Him being into Kat would def explain why he’s not into Cassie: they’re polar opposites. It’s almost like the popular boys are expected to be into someone like Cassie and not into someone like Kat, which is both f*cked up and completely proves my point.
What are your theories? Let me know!
Images: Giphy; HBO
For those of you who haven’t seen Euphoria because the trailer gave you absolutely zero insight as to what this show is actually about, you are not alone. I, too, had no idea what the f*ck this show had in store for people who miss Skins and are finally old enough to have an HBOGo account. But because I am a huge Zendaya fan and had no plans on the Sunday that Euphoria premiered, I gave it a watch. And may I just say, I am blown the f*ck away?
Because recaps aren’t really my thing and this show deserves more than that, I’m going to let you just watch it to find out what it’s about, but I will sum it up in one sentence for the purpose of this explanation. Euphoria is about 17-year-old Rue (Zendaya) who spent her summer in rehab for a nearly fatal drug overdose. I spent my junior summer working at Le Pain Quotidien, but to each her own, right? Anyway, you know how in Orange Is the New Black, Piper Chapman is obv the star of the show, but each episode is, like, about a different character? Euphoria is like that, but instead of a privileged white girl running the game, it’s Zendaya. *drops to knees* * bows down*
The main themes of this show are sex, drugs, etc. but not in a Gossip Girl kind of way that will make you physically ill from rolling your eyes so hard. Euphoria is actually at least somewhat relatable and 100% better in every way. Because this show has more layers than an ogre, I’m going to break each of these themes down to explain wtf this show is and why everyone with eyes is talking about it. Before diving in, though, I just want to say that, yes, this show is about a group of high school kids, which isn’t a novel idea for a television show, but Euphoria delves so much deeper into issues that we either have or are currently experiencing, and to me, that is why everyone is so obsessed with it.
Ok, this needs to be said: I’ve seen more d*cks on Euphoria than I have IRL. Honestly, it’s too much at times. I’d be totally happy with no d*cks at all, but I’d def cap it at two per episode. Ok so, the sex in this show isn’t the kind of sex I’m used to seeing on TV, which is always missionary for exactly two seconds and then both parties finish at the exact same millisecond and are also perfectly satisfied with what just happened. Nopers, not in Euphoria! The sex in this show is mostly, like, concerningly violent and almost always involves some sort of v specific fetish. Like, Nate’s dad whose version of foreplay is sticking his entire hand down his
victims’ partners’ throat. Also, if you’re wondering what his type is, it’s underage twinks at sketchy motels. He also films them and stores the tapes in a color-coded file cabinet. Okay, so maybe this is less of a fetish and more of a pathology? He isn’t the only one who works out his issues in the bedroom, nearly all of the characters do this and HBO literally shows it all. Another thing most shows don’t do!
We all went through a drug phase (except me, mom…) when we thought narcotics were really cool. Right? Rue even says that drugs are pretty awesome. In fact, the only real drug-related regret she has is that horrific scene when her adorable little sister found her unconscious and covered in her own vomit (been there) after an overdose (have not been there). This is another reason why people love Euphoria. Because it shows the not-so-pretty sh*t that other shows won’t! While TV dramas love drugs, most never actually give us any of the sh*t drugs do to people. It’s all just, like, quietly whispered under everyone’s breath because they don’t want to get into the horrible, terrifying, and sickening sh*t that drugs actually inflict in the people who take them. Seriously, drugs are not pretty, y’all. Euphoria is all about realness and that’s evident in, like, every scene.
Ok, that’s it from my D.A.R.E. campaign.
I don’t entirely know how to address this because the ~love~ on this show is def not the Friday Night Lights sh*t we grew up with. It’s like, very volatile and pretty toxic a lot of the time. But even though it’s riddled with so much violence and just generally awful sh*t, I don’t doubt that Nate really does love Maddy or that Cassie loves McKay. Like, did Nate verbally/physically attack Maddy? Yes. Are these relationships complicated af? 100%, but that’s the reason why the women feel like they can’t just walk away. I appreciate that this show proves adults can’t and shouldn’t chalk young love up to nothing serious because, at the end of the day, love is love. It doesn’t matter how old you are, and it feels real when you’re in it. Euphoria proves that in a really nuanced way that I def appreciate after two hours of listening to Jed’s bullsh*t on The Bachelorette.
All in all, this show is incredible because it’s doing what no other show on television is doing. It’s an actual reflection of the ups and downs of life when you’re young. Except it actually shows the ups and downs.
Images: Giphy (3); HBO