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HBO’s The Third Day Is a Riveting Psychological Thriller and a Stunning Showcase for Jude Law

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Jude Law paces on a bucolic road, shouting into his phone about money and police. He hikes through sun-dappled woods, cues up “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence + the Machine, sits down next to a waterfall, sobs operatically for a while, then gently places a child-sized striped T-shirt in the bubbling river and watches it float away. On the way back to his car, he stumbles upon a teenage girl and a younger boy, arriving just in time to see her hang herself from a tree branch and her companion run off into the forest. He saves the girl’s life and drives her home, to Osea Island, whose eccentric residents are preparing for a festival. If you’ve seen The Wicker Man, you can probably guess that things only get weirder once they arrive.

Yet for all its familiarity, The Third Day, an eerily beautiful psychological thriller co-produced by HBO and Sky UK that will premiere Sept. 14 on HBO, rarely comes across as derivative. Creators Felix Barrett (who founded Punchdrunk, the immersive theater company best known for their long-running Macbeth riff Sleep No More) and Dennis Kelly (who created the cult-hit British thriller Utopia) seem keenly aware of the mysterious-island trope. More than a pastiche, their story accesses layers of emotional resonance in centuries’ worth of lore, encompassing The Tempest and The Island of Doctor Moreau as well as more contemporary tales like Lost and Shutter Island.

Law, a classically handsome movie star who’s been one of the most fascinating actors alive since coming to TV for the title role in Paolo Sorrentino’s deeply bizarre HBO drama The Young Pope, is the perfect choice to play a character that contains multitudes. The protagonist of the first half of the six-episode series, subtitled “Summer,” Law’s Sam finds himself stuck on Osea, a real island off the coast of England whose causeway is submerged at high tide. The couple that operates the local pub (a creepily folksy Paddy Considine and his prickly wife, played by Emily Watson—a veteran of Lars von Trier’s mysterious-island masterpiece Breaking the Waves) insists he stay overnight, but Sam discovers the room he’s been assigned is already occupied by a woman (the always-great, perennially under-appreciated Katherine Waterston). Reality, dreams, substance-induced delirium and possible psychosis start to blur together. The third day of this adventure—as chronicled in an episode for which Law’s disoriented, often solo and silent performance, deserves an Emmy nomination—truly is a doozy.

L-R: Nico Parker, Charlotte Gairdner-Mihell and Naomie Harris in ‘The Third Day’

Liam Daniel/HBO

To say much more about the plot would detract from the sense of confusion the show creates—one grounded enough in the characters’ consciousnesses to build suspense rather than cause frustration. “Summer” director Marc Munden (another Utopia alum and a British TV stalwart) renders Sam’s journey in startlingly bright, overexposed color, fixating on details that mingle natural beauty with death and decay: a metallic-orange dragonfly whose exoskeleton bursts to reveal swarming ants; a cute rodent with its gut slit open, surrounded by its own slick, neatly extracted, ruby-red organs. Filmed from above, luxuriant shots of the winding causeway flooded with pale turquoise water are like National Geographic photos.

The second half of the miniseries, “Winter,” is also set amid the inscrutable community on Osea. Along with a new main cast, led by Moonlight Academy Award nominee Naomie Harris, this story has a different director, Philippa Lowthorpe (The Crown, Call the Midwife)—although the frosty, gray seasonal backdrop might deserve more blame than the cast and crew for its initial tedium. In any case, the action picks up toward the end of the first hour. My take on “Winter” may also be lacking some crucial narrative context; its airing will be preceded by “Fall,” billed as a “live theatrical event” broadcast on the Internet that will follow Law and his cast mates through a day on the island in real time. This, ostensibly, is where Barrett’s expertise comes in.

Much of the project’s success is riding on “Fall”—in terms of its artistic execution as well as the number of viewers it attracts, and for how long. (Then again, has there ever been a better year to catch millions of us at home all day in search of entertainment? I’ll certainly be watching, and especially with theaters closed, fans of live performance are sure to be intrigued.) And after five episodes I’m worried the show’s finale, which wasn’t sent to critics, won’t have room to adequately resolve its most ambitious themes: grief, parenthood, spirituality, the darkness lying dormant within the human soul. A Lost-level disappointment seems at least as likely as a bonkers Wicker Man show-stopper. Still, on the strength of “Summer” and in anticipation of the experiment in hybrid storytelling that is “Fall,” The Third Day more than earns the benefit of the doubt.

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Chrissy Teigen Shares New of Her Heartbreaking Miscarriage

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Chrissy Teigen revealed Wednesday night that she suffered a miscarriage after she had been rushed to the hospital earlier this week for excessive bleeding.

Teigen said doctors were unable to stop the bleeding “despite bags and bags of blood transfusions.”

“We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” Teigen wrote in an Instagram post. “We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital.  But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack.  So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.”


Also Read: Chrissy Teigen Sets Quibi Game Show About Telling ‘Edible Creations’ Apart From Ordinary Objects


She added, “To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you.”

Teigen concluded her post by writing, “We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience.  But everyday can’t be full of sunshine.  On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.”

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We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough. . . We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital.  But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack.  So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever. . . To our Jack – I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you. . . Thank you to everyone who has been sending us positive energy, thoughts and prayers.  We feel all of your love and truly appreciate you. . . We are so grateful for the life we have, for our wonderful babies Luna and Miles, for all the amazing things we’ve been able to experience.  But everyday can’t be full of sunshine.  On this darkest of days, we will grieve, we will cry our eyes out. But we will hug and love each other harder and get through it.

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Teigen and husband John Legend are parents to 4-year-old daughter Luna and 2-year-old son Miles. The model and entrepreneur has been open about the fact both children were conceived via in vitro fertilization. This pregnancy was a surprise to Teigen and a source told People in August that she “never thought it would be possible” to get pregnant naturally.

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The Ringwraiths from The Lord of the Rings explained

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Their faded existence means the Ringwraiths don’t take up much physical space in the real world. Sure, they can wear clothes, wield weapons, and ride horses, but their primary existence is spiritual in nature. In essence, they dwell in an “unseen” shadow realm through which they dimly interact with the “seen” world. This leads to some of the paranormal phenomena that take place when others come into contact with them.

For instance, when Frodo puts on the Ring, he too enters that spiritual dimension and is able to see the Ringwraiths in all of their otherworldly horror. When Merry and Êowyn stab the Witch-king in battle, both of their arms immediately go numb. Their weapons also disintegrate, with Merry’s burning like a piece of wood and Éowyn’s breaking into splinters. In the book The Fellowship of the Ring, it’s even implied that characters like Gandalf, Aragorn, and Glorfindel are uniquely suited to resist the Riders. This isn’t because they hurl flaming brands through the air, Viggo Mortensen-style, but rather because of their stamina and effectiveness in the spiritual realm — a realm that the Ringwraiths are very familiar with.

As a quick footnote, while physical fire does appear to have some effect on the Ringwraiths, it’s really water that they seem to abhor. In Unfinished Tales, Tolkien’s son, Christopher, says the fear was never really explained, but a healthy respect for that good ol’ H2O can certainly be seen as they chase Frodo and company across rivers and through floods.

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The Walking Dead Showrunner Reminds ‘Donnie’ Fans That Daryl Still Hasn’t Given Up Hope That Connie’s Alive

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Fans of The Walking Dead have seen neither hide nor hair of Connie since February’s “Squeeze,” in which Carol appeared to blow to smithereens BFF Daryl’s first real chance at a romance. And while showrunner Angela Kang won’t say whether it’s smart of us to keep the faith that Lauren Ridloff’s character somehow survived, she will allow that Norman Reedus’ gruff-but-tender alter ego certainly hasn’t written her off as dead.

“A part of him just has a hard time giving up on anybody,” the EP tells TVLine. “You know, like with Rick. Daryl saw a bridge blow up and catch fire, and he was like, ‘No, that guy’s not dead’ and searched the river for him for years.

“I don’t think he gave up on wanting to find Beth when she was gone, either,” she adds. “In that same way, I don’t think he’s given up hope of finding Connie.”

The trouble is, Daryl’s a bit distracted at the moment, what with the Whisperers and their horde descending on his friends’ hideout in Season 10’s fauxnale (airing on AMC Sunday, Oct. 4, at 9/8c). “So he’s just trying to cope the best he can,” Kang says. “He’s got Judith, who is basically like a goddaughter to him. She’s got no parents left, and they’re in the middle of this crisis, so he’s having to focus very much on what’s right in front of them.

“But,” she continues, “I don’t believe that he’s entirely given up hope that Connie might be alive.” What about you, Dead-heads? Do you think Connie, like Magna, survived the disaster at the cave? Hit the comments with your theories/fears.

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