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‘Kevin Can F**k Himself’ and ‘Physical’ review: Annie Murphy and Rose Byrne star in different spins on desperate housewives

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Aside from one of those titles seemingly designed to drive copy editors crazy, “Kevin” turns out to be highly inventive if a little too slow moving: A woman whose interactions with her husband unfold like an old-time sitcom, complete with laugh track, and whose scenes apart from him are shot as a stark drama, where she plots how to escape him, murder being her best option.

The genre-bending approach to this AMC series (which already premiered on its streaming service) proves bracing in the pilot episode, as Allison (“Schitt’s Creek’s” Annie Murphy) smiles along during the sitcom portion with husband Kevin (Eric Petersen), a doughy, sports-loving Neanderthal who treats her like little more than a nagging maid.

Living in Worcester, Mass., he obsesses about the local Boston teams and constantly hangs out with his moronic best buddy (Alex Bonifer) and dad (Brian Howe), both of whom always seem to be in the living room, in a manner unique to sitcom families.

Outside of that multi-camera space, Allison is angry in a way sitcom wives aren’t allowed to be — living a life of utter despair, working at the liquor store and pining for an old flame (Raymond Lee) who has just moved back to town. As the episodes progress, she increasingly contemplates doing away with her husband, but her ineptitude orchestrating that only reinforces the sense that she’s messed up her life and doesn’t really know what to do about it.

Murphy is extremely good navigating between the two worlds, taking delight in minor acts of defiance, while the conceit dreamed up by series creator Valerie Armstrong represents a playful commentary about not only gender dynamics but television in general. The structure recalls the way “WandaVision” spoofed sitcom conventions through the prism of more serious drama.

The eight-episode show would benefit from picking up the pace (four episodes were previewed), at times feeling as confined by the format as its protagonist.

Those quibbles aside, “Kevin” brings a sharp eye to the image of sitcom wives through the years, set up as straight women for men who behave like little boys. The extent to which viewers can relate to that might dictate whether “Kevin” will leave them laughing or crying, but most of all, it should leave them thinking.

Rose Byrne stars in the Apple TV+ series 'Physical' (Apple TV+).
“Physical,” meanwhile, is about the 1980s aerobics craze in the same way “GLOW” was about women’s wrestling in that era — which is to say, providing a backdrop to explore a lot of other issues, including the state of women’s rights at the time.

Rose Byrne stars as Sheila, dealing with a frequently tone-deaf husband, Danny (Rory Scovel), who works as a professor in San Diego but has chosen to mount a bid for political office. He’s thoroughly oblivious to his wife’s inner turmoil, articulated through constant narration by the little voice inside her head, which identifies the anger and doubts that gnaw at her, past and present.

Sheila almost literally stumbles into an exercise class run by Bunny (Della Saba), whose boyfriend Tyler (Lou Taylor Pucci) produces videos on the side that run toward the exotic. Since the Apple TV+ show is told via flashback — introducing Sheila as a workout queen — it’s presumably going to take its time puttying in the five-year gap back to 1981, when she’s enmeshed both in Danny’s campaign and a secret entrepreneurial bid to break free of her invisible shackles by donning aerobic leggings.

With its look back at California politics during the Reagan years, “Physical” has a lot to say about the times, then and now. But the show devotes too much time to developing peripheral characters of unequal interest, while resorting to the stale tactic of Sheila’s narration contradicting what actually comes out of her mouth too often, punctuated by those rare moments of candor when she says what’s truly on her mind.

As noted, “GLOW” clearly represents a close cousin, and fueled by songs that propel you back to that time, “Physical” creator Annie Weisman zeroes in on the way the priorities of women were overtly dismissed both in the home and at the workplace.

How long “Kevin” and to a lesser degree “Physical” can sustain their routines remains to be seen; still, in terms of the characters’ resentments and lives of quiet desperation, you can already feel the burn.

“Kevin Can F**k Himself” premieres June 20 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC and is streaming on AMC+.

“Physical” premieres June 18 on Apple TV+.

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Pune may impose fresh restrictions as concerns over ‘Omicron’ variant abound, says Ajit Pawar

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As concerns regarding the new COVID-19 ‘Omicron’ abound, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the Guardian Minister for Pune on Saturday said that new restrictions may soon have to be imposed in the district.

While speaking to ABP Majha, Pawar said that the current situation in Pune is stable, however, with the new variant spreading globally fresh restrictions may have to be imposed in the future.

Pawar also said that passengers arriving in Pune by flights will not have to spend too much time at the airport for verification of COVID-19 norms due to relaxation provided recently.

He said airline operators check the vaccination or RT-PCR status of all passengers at the time of selling tickets as well as boarding, so the norm of waiting at the airport here for a few hours after arrival has been relaxed.

The state will follow the norms laid down by the Central government for international passengers, he added.

Addressing a press conference, Pawar said cinema halls and auditoriums can operate at 100 per cent capacity but patrons will have to wear masks and follow pandemic protocols strictly, while open-air programmes will also be allowed with adequate precaution.

Meanwhile, in Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has called a meeting of senior officials at 5:30 pm today with regard to the variant.

The meeting is called by BMC Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.

According to BMC, the members of the COVID task force, dean of COVID hospitals, ward officers, health officers will attend the meeting.

The measures and restrictions to deal with the new variants will be discussed in the meeting.

In the meeting, they will also discuss testing and contact tracing of passengers coming from other countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also chaired a meeting on the situation relating to COVID-19 and vaccination with top officials.

India has also added several countries to the list from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing for infection.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently added Hong Kong and Israel to the list of countries from where travellers would need to follow additional measures on arrival in India, including post-arrival testing considering the detection of the new COVID variant ‘Omicron’ in South Africa.

After the variant was detected, the epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant, the WHO informed in a statement.

“In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021,” the statement said.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa.

(With agency inputs)

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Published on: Saturday, November 27, 2021, 02:28 PM IST

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MAGA Congressman Falsely Claims Omicron Variant Is Part of Plot to Rig 2022 Election – Mother Jones

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The new coronavirus variant, Omicron—which was first detected by virologists in South Africa—has sparked concerns among public health experts. The United States quickly imposed travel restrictions on certain African countries. Scientists say that much about the new variant remains unknown. But it’s apparently not too soon for members of the US Congress to begin spouting ridiculous conspiracy theories about it.

In a tweet Saturday, Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), who served as White House physician for Barack Obama and Donald Trump before running for office on a hard-MAGA platform, dubbed the new strain “the Midterm Election Variant.”

According to this latest crackpot theory, Democrats are going to use Omicron to “push” mail-in ballots during the midterm elections, which will supposedly enable massive amounts to cheating. 

There’s a lot to unpack here. When does Jackson think the midterm elections are? How could the Democrats be using a new variant discovered in November 2021 to impact elections that are a full year away? Are the South African doctors who reported it to the World Health Organization also part of Democrats’ plan to steal the elections? What about the other countries Omicron has been detected in? What role do they play?

Jackson’s tweet manages to hit on two conspiracy theories popular among far right: that the pandemic is somehow being manipulated by Democrats for political gain, and that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. It should go without saying that both of these theories are false. But as we approach the two-year mark in the pandemic, much of the world remains unvaccinated and patience is wearing thin. Ignorant tweets like Jackson’s will only fuel more conspiracy theories about the virus and endanger more lives. 

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Widely Hyped RTS Title Finally Has a Release Date on the Nintendo Switch!

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On the occasion of its second, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is getting a much-needed Nintendo Switch port, and this has got the fans really excited. This was announced in a live stream earlier today, as seen in the video below.

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 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim announced for Nintendo Switch

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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is one of the best games to play on PlayStation 4, and now it is on its way to the Nintendo Switch. The port will be arriving on Switch in Japan on April 14, 2022, which means players have to wait a while.

The pre-orders for this game will be going live from tomorrow.

This game will be priced at 6.980 Yen for the physical copy, which will include a reversible jacket. Every character will also receive two weapons which might require players to shell out an extra 26 Yen. The Japanese release will also feature recorded English voices as well.

The western release of the game’s Switch version is scheduled in North America and Europe for April 12, 2022, which is two days ahead of the Japanese launch. Watch the announcement trailer below.

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 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is a massive hit for PS4

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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim is one of the most massive hits for PlayStation 4 and has sold more than 300,000 copies worldwide. The game has obtained widespread reach in both Japan and the West ever since its launch in 2019.

13 Sentinels portrays the narrative of 13 youngsters who are forced to protect mankind against an all-powerful army of enormous monsters. Each high schooler, of course, flies their own Sentinel — enormous robots capable of battling toe-to-toe with mankind’s enigmatic foe.

The game will feature an insane amount of twists and turns but will definitely keep its players engaged to the core in its 30 hours of runtime. The characters are quite endearing and fit really well to support the narrative.

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What do you think of 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim? Let us know in the comments.

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