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Piers Morgan slams ‘Friends’ as ‘most overrated show in TV history’ amid HBO Max reunion release



Piers Morgan has made it clear he’s not a fan of “Friends.”

On Thursday, the day the highly-anticipated reunion special was released on HBO Max, the former “Good Morning Britain” co-host ripped the beloved sitcom starring  Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and Lisa Kudrow.

Taking to Twitter, Morgan, 56, railed against the series for the praise its received for decades. It ran on NBC from 1994-2004 and viewers were quite delighted to learn some never-before-heard revelations from the cast members themselves.

When Morgan’s son, Spencer Morgan, took to Twitter to poke fun at the people who “think you’re too clever to like Friends,” the TV personality shared his unpopular opinion with his 7.9 million followers.


“Friends isn’t funny. Never has been, never will be,” Morgan’s tweet reads. 

He also referred to “Friends” as the “Most overrated show in TV history.”

Morgan’s tweet garnered mixed reactions from Twitter users, with some of his followers admitting they’ve never seen one episode of the series, while several others used the opportunity to rail against him for his negative commentary.

“Come on Piers.. It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear. And it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year,” one user wrote.


“Which one of them turned you down to incite this level of hatred? Rachel? Monica? Chandler?” another asked.

FRIENDS -- Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in 'Friends', circa 1995. 

FRIENDS — Pictured: (l-r) Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green, David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Matt Le Blanc as Joey Tribbiani, Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay in ‘Friends’, circa 1995. 
(NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)

“I liked you until now. It’s like your intent on losing followers,” another claimed.

One person defended the show, writing, “Friends isn’t about being laugh out loud funny all the time. More about the warmth you develop for the characters.”


Piers Morgan ripped ‘Friends’ as being the ‘most overrated show in TV history.’

Piers Morgan ripped ‘Friends’ as being the ‘most overrated show in TV history.’
(MWE/GC Images)

“Piers is actually right for once I’m afraid,” another person wrote, siding with Morgan.

“Never watched it, and I never will. Seen enough clips to be certain of that,” another reacted.

“I usually agree with what you say but you have this so wrong! Friends is the best sitcom of all time!” one person wrote.


The streaming special featured the entire original cast including LeBlanc, Perry, Aniston, Cox, Kudrow, and Schwimmer and series co-creators David Crane and Marta Kauffman. During the various segments, it was revealed the LeBlanc, who played lovable goofball Joey Tribbiani, sustained a “cringe-worthy” fall and was seriously injured.

In another memorable moment, Aniston and Schwimmer revealed their prominent romance on “Friends” almost bled into real life.

“The first season, I had a major crush on Jen,” Schwimmer, 54, admitted (via The New York Post). “At some point, we were both crushing hard on each other — but it was like two ships passing [in the night], because one of us was always in a relationship.”

“We never crossed that boundary — we respected that,” Schwimmer added, prompting his co-star Matt LeBlanc to jokingly call “bullsh–” on his co-stars. 


However, Aniston, 52, backed up Schwimmer’s claim noting that she too had a crush on him but that the timing never worked out for them.

“I remember saying at one point to David, ‘It’s going to be such a bummer if the first time you and I actually kiss is … on national television!’ Sure enough, the first time we kissed was in that coffee shop,” she explained. “So we just channeled all of our adoration and love for each other into Ross and Rachel.”

In other noteworthy onscreen moments, Justin Bieber, Cara Delevingne and Cindy Crawford made appearances.

“Friends: The Reunion” is now streaming on HBO Max.

Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.

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‘Covid’s not done with us’: Nations rush to contain Omicron



BRUSSELS: Taking an act-now-ask-questions-later approach, countries around the world slammed their doors shut again to try to keep the new omicron variant at bay Monday as more cases of the mutant coronavirus emerged and scientists raced to figure out just how dangerous it might be.
Japan announced it would bar entry of all foreign visitors, joining Israel in doing so just days after the variant was identified by researchers in South Africa. Morocco banned all incoming flights. Other countries, including the US and European Union members, have moved to prohibit travelers arriving from southern Africa.
Travelers infected with the new version have turned up in a widening circle of countries over the past few days, including now Spain, and cases in Portugal and Scotland have raised fears that the variant may already be spreading locally.
“Many of us might think we are done with Covid-19. It’s not done with us,” warned Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization.
Days after the variant sent a shudder through the financial world nearly two years into the pandemic that has killed over 5 million people, markets had mixed reactions Monday, with European stocks and oil prices rebounding and Wall Street opening higher, while Asian markets fell further.
The infections showed the difficulty in keeping the virus in check in a globalized world of jet travel and open borders. Yet, many countries tried to do just that, even against the urging of the WHO, which noted that border closings often have limited effect and can wreak havoc on lives and livelihoods.
Some argued that such restrictions could provide valuable time to analyze the new variant. Little is known about it, including whether it is more contagious, more likely to cause serious illness or more able to evade vaccines.
While the initial global response to Covid-19 was criticized as slow and haphazard, the reaction to the new variant came quickly.
“This time the world showed it is learning,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, singling out South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for praise. “South Africa’s analytic work and transparency and sharing its results was indispensable in allowing a swift global response. It no doubt saved many lives.”
The WHO has praised Botswana as well as South Africa for quickly alerting the world to the presence of the new variant, and many have warned that the countries should not be punished for their speed.
But that did not hold von der Leyen back from successfully pushing the 27-nation EU to agree on a ban on flights from seven southern African nations over the weekend, similar to measures many other countries have taken. On Monday, EU members Spain and Poland followed through by announcing travel and quarantine restrictions.
Cases had already been reported in EU nations Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands before Portuguese authorities identified 13 omicron infections among members of the Belenenses professional soccer team. Authorities reported one member had recently traveled to South Africa. A game over the weekend had be abandoned at halftime for lack of players.
Spain also reported its first confirmed case of the variant. It was detected in a traveler who returned Sunday from South Africa after making a stopover in Amsterdam, one of Madrid’s major public hospitals tweeted.
Quarantining also became an issue when Dutch military police had to arrest a husband and wife who left a hotel where they were being held after testing positive and boarded a plane bound for Spain.
“Quarantine is not obligatory, but we assume people will act responsibly,” spokeswoman Petra Faber said.
And after Scotland reported its first six cases, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon warned that “there might already be some community transmission of this variant.”
Taking no chances, Japan, which has yet to detect any omicron cases, reimposed border controls that it had eased earlier this month.
“We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said. The new measures begin Tuesday.
Israel likewise decided to bar entry to foreigners, and Morocco said it would suspend all incoming flights for two weeks starting Monday.
Despite the global worry, scientists cautioned that it is still unclear whether omicron is more alarming than other versions.
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health, said no data as yet suggests the variant causes more serious illness.
So far, doctors in South Africa are reporting patients are suffering mostly mild symptoms, but they warn that it is still early. Also, most of the new cases are in people in their 20s and 30s, who generally do not get as sick from Covid-19 as older patients.
“We’ve seen a sharp increase in cases for the past 10 days. So far they have mostly been very mild cases, with patients having flu-like symptoms: dry coughs, fever, night sweats, a lot of body pains,” said Dr. Unben Pillay, a general practitioner in Gauteng province, where 81% of the new cases have been reported.
The variant has provided further proof of what experts have been long been saying: that no continent will be safe until the whole globe has been sufficiently vaccinated. The more the virus is allowed to spread, the more opportunities it has to mutate.
“The emergence of the omicron variant has fulfilled, in a precise way, the predictions of the scientists who warned that the elevated transmission of the virus in areas with limited access to vaccine would speed its evolution,” said Dr. Richard Hatchett, head of CEPI, one of the founders of the U.N.-backed global vaccine sharing initiative COVAX.
In some parts of the world, authorities are moving in the opposite direction.
In Malaysia, officials went ahead with the partial reopening of a bridge connecting it to Singapore. And New Zealand announced it will press ahead with plans to reopen internally after months of shutdown, though it is also restricting travel from nine southern African nations.
“We’ve come through the past two years of Covid in better shape than nearly anywhere in the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, pointing to low death rates, a growing economy and high vaccination rates.

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Dhamaka Review: Kartik Aaryan’s Thriller with Plot holes



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A typical day for hesitant radio station personality Arjun Pathak (Kartik Aaryan) is going to flip around. He is flung into the centre of a tremendous emergency. A man calls in asserting he will explode the Mumbai Sea Link. Subsequently, there’s a boisterous bang and outside his window, somewhere far off, Arjun sees portions of the milestone span falling into the ocean.

Thriller is a class of film that one relishes assuming it is all around created. Dhamaka, which stars Kartik Aaryan, Mrunal Thakur and Amruta Subhash, attacks news channels that are about the ‘news business’ rather than journal ethics and morals.

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A negative, disappointed and vain, Arjun Pathak is an ex-prime time news channel show anchor who has been downgraded to a Radio Jockey. Additionally, his own life also is going through a troublesome landscape. His significant other, Soumya Mehra Pathak (Mrunal Thakur) has sought legal separation on shared assent. Soumya is working with Arjun in the same organisation, TRTV, as a senior reporter. She is known to be a columnist who follows the standards of news-casting in her work.

One day, Arjun gets a threatening call and this changes his life. Taking it as a chance for making a career comeback, Arjun decides against informing the police about the caller and negotiates a deal with the channel head, Ankita Malaskar (Amruta Subhash). He asks his prime-time slot back in exchange for this exclusive story. Eventually, tempted by the opportunity to rake the ratings of the channel, she agrees.

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‘Dhamaka’, a remake of the 2013 Korean film ‘The Terror Live’’ lays out an increasingly familiar collision course. It shows the differences between TV channels with their insatiable greed for higher ratings and ordinary people lacking financial and social clout. These are people who find themselves out of the orbit of profiteering corporations masquerading as media that only peddle sensation. It is a theme worth exploring but was lost in the clunky execution.

Satisfactory Portrayal of Characters

A positive of the film is the acting of the leads. Kudos to Kartik Aaryan, Mrunal Thakur and Amruta Subhash for playing their character well. It’s encouraging to see Kartik stepping out of his comfort zone of being a romantic hero. His character forever lives in the quandary between ethics, success and limelight. He depicts the hypocrisy of Arjun Pathak when he transitions through his key phrase: Jo Kahunga Sach Kahunga (Whatever I say, will be the truth).

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Also, Ankita Subhash gets into the skin of the vicious and manipulating head of a channel. Her spiteful personality always reminds her employees: We are not doing journalism. We are in the business of news!

Further, Mrunal Thakur pays her due in the screen-time. Although her screentime was smaller, it doesn’t appear too little to be dismissed. She holds a grip on her character of a righteous and ethical journalist.

Image source: Times of India

Anticlimax End to Kartik Aryan’s Well Starting Thriller

As a disgraced TV anchor who wants his prime-time slot back, donning zero power glasses ‘to look serious’, Kartik starts well enough. So does Ankita, with not a single empathic bone in her body, barking orders to ‘go live, go live’. But soon enough, you realise that the crucial elements of a thriller – the urgency, the tension, the terror that the characters on screen are meant to be feeling are missing.

That’s because everything that’s happening on-screen feels contrived and improbable. None of the ‘breaking news’ situations, the tragedy unfolding on the damaged bridge, or action happening within the newsroom feels real. The whole film feels like a set. And everyone feels like they are acting out set-pieces.

TV channels in real life with their shrieking guests and debates have more drama than the fictional Bharosa 24/7. Ram Madhvani’s  ‘Neerja’ and ‘Aarya’ worked so well with creating believable characters, interesting scenarios while keeping us on the edge. However, here’s a man teetering on the edge of sanity and another who is confronting his demons. Their lives are hanging by a thread but we don’t buy a thing.

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Who stars in the ITV drama?



MISMATCHED Detective duo McDonald and Dodds will be back for four brand new feature length episodes in 2022.

Ahead of the launch of the show’s third series, here’s who’ll be returning to the show – and which newbies to keep an eye out for…

McDonald and Dodds series 3 cast: Who stars in the ITV drama?

The first episode of series 3 will kick off with the discovery of a young woman’s body sitting in a deckchair, with a wide smile still plastered across her face.

Each of the four episodes will then follow the Detectives as they attempt to solve a different murder mystery.

They’ll also be under the watchful eye of new boss, Chief Superintendent Ormond, played by former Outnumbered star Claire Skinner.

Jason Watkins as DS Dodds

Jason Watkins plays reserved Detective Dodds


Jason Watkins plays reserved Detective Dodds

Jason Watkins plays the shy and unassuming Detective Dodds who’s quite happily spent most of his career sitting behind his desk.

When his boss forces him out onto the frontline, Dodds initially struggles, but rapidly finds he has a hidden knack for solving crime.

BAFTA-winner Jason has also starred in Des, The Crown and Line of Duty.

Tala Gouveia as DCI McDonald

Tala Gouveia's character DCI McDonald is significantly more ambitious than her partner


Tala Gouveia’s character DCI McDonald is significantly more ambitious than her partner

The second half of the quirky detective team is DCI McDonald, played by Nottingham native Tala Gouveia.

Unlike her partner, DCI McDonald is fiercely ambitious and determined to advance her career, having spent years patrolling the streets of South London before accepting a transfer to sleepier Bath.

Fans might also recognize Tala Gouveia from her roles in Eastenders, Holby City, Cold Feet and Plebs.

Claire Skinner as Chief Superintendent Ormond

Outnumbered star Claire Skinner is joining the cast for series three


Outnumbered star Claire Skinner is joining the cast for series three

Outnumbered actress Claire Skinner will be joining the cast of McDonald and Dodds for series 3, as brand new big boss Chief Superintendent Ormond.

Claire revealed that she was a “big fan” of the series before joining the cast, and added that her character would be “quietly intimidating”.

As well as her role as Mum Sue on hit sitcom Outnumbered, Claire has also appeared in Bridget Jones Diary, Doctor Who and more.

Jack Riddiford as DC Darren Craig

Jack Riddiford is the only other detective to appear in all 3 seasons


Jack Riddiford is the only other detective to appear in all 3 seasons

Jack Riddiford plays another member of the Bath-based force as police officer Darren Craig.

The actor has also appeared in Dunkirk, Murder On The Orient Express and 2021 TV series Deceit.

Series three will also include a number of guest appearances and cameos, including:

When will McDonald and Dodds series 3 start on ITV?

Filming for McDonald and Dodds series three began in mid-2021.

The new series will be made up of four feature length episodes and is set to drop in early 2022 – but there’s no exact release date yet.

Inside ITV’s Palooza as reality stars hit the dance floor before leaving all partied out

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