Here’s What’s New To All Of The Streaming Platforms In October

It’s the 1st of the month, which means the streaming sites are being replenished with new content to stare at, absorb, and reflect thoughtfully upon. Below, here’s what’s coming to Amazon Prime, HBO Now, Hulu, and Netflix in October.


Coming To AMAZON PRIME (These are only the free Prime options)

Available 10/6
American Horror Story: Freak Show

Available 10/9
Amazon’s Red Oaks, Season 1

Available 10/29
Curious George, Season 9

Available 10/1
The Other Son (2012)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind*
Someone Like You
John Carpenter’s Vampires
Max Dugan Returns
The Impostors (1998)
The Fly (1958)
Light It Up
March of the Penguins
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
The Secret Garden (1993)
Astro Boy

Available 10/7
Alpha Omega 2
Alpha Omega 3

Available 10/14
Bark Ranger

Available 10/23
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1
While We’re Young

Available 10/29
Tom at the Farm

Available 10/30
Danny Collins

Coming To HBO NOW

Available 10/1

28 Days
Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London
Alvin and the Chipmunks
Bee Movie
Blazing Saddles
Blood Diamond
Burn after Reading
Ella Enchanted
Happy Feet
House on Haunted Hill
License to Drive
Like Mike
Like Mike 2: Streetball
Little Miss Sunshine
Lost in Translation
Mrs. Doubtfire
Return to House on Haunted Hill
Revenge of the Nerds
Rugrats in Paris: The Movie
Rumor Has It
The Kid
The Rock
Trick ‘R Treats

Available 10/3
American Sniper

Available 10/10

Available 10/17
Taken 3

Available 10/24
Bad Words

Available 10/31
The Purge: Anarchy
The Pyramid

New Original Programming

The Leftovers, Season 2 Premiere (10/2)
El Negocio, Season 2 Finale (10/2)
Magnífica 70, Season 1 Premiere (10/9)
Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo (10/17
Doll & Em, Season 2 Finale (10/18)
How to Dance in Ohio (10/26)

Coming To HULU

Available 10/1

TV Shows
Chicago P.D.: Season 3 Premiere (NBC)
Alaska: The Last Frontier: Complete Season 4 (Discovery)
Cake Boss: Next Great Baker: Complete Seasons 2 – 4 (TLC)
Deadly Women: Complete Season 8 (ID)
Fast N’ Loud: Complete Season 6 (Discovery)
Gator Boys: Complete Season 6 (Animal Planet)
Hoarding: Buried Alive: Complete Season 8 (TLC)
How Do They Do It?: Complete Seasons 7 & 8 (Science)
Leah Remini: It’s All Relative: Complete Season 1 (TLC)
Long Island Medium: Complete Season 7 (TLC)
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding: Complete Season 3 (TLC)
My Five Wives: Complete Season 1 (TLC)
My Strange Addiction: Complete Season 5 (TLC)
MythBusters: Complete Season 16 (Discovery)
Say Yes to the Dress: Complete Season 12 (TLC)
Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta: Complete Seasons 5 & 7 (TLC)
Say Yes to the Dress: Randy Knows Best: Complete Season 3 (TLC)
Street Outlaws: Complete Season 3 (Discovery)
Tanked: Complete Seasons 7 & 8 (Animal Planet)
Toddlers & Tiaras: Complete Seasons 7 & 8 (TLC)
Who Do You Think You Are?: Complete Season 5 (TLC)
Yukon Men: Complete Season 4 (Discovery)
3 Geezers! (2013)
666: The Beast (2015)

A Touch of Unseen (2014)
Addicted (2014)
All Is Lost (2013)
Altergeist (2014)
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
Avenged (2013)
Bandits (2001) (*Showtime)
Ben Stiller’s Comedy Roundtable #2 (2013)
Billy Mize & The Bakersfield Sound (2014)
Blair Witch Project, The (1999)
Blood Simple (1985)
Blue Chips (1994)
Cantinflas (2014)
Carrie (2013)
Casa Amor: Exclusive for Ladies (2015)
Cat’s Meow, The (2001) (*Showtime)
Cesar Chavez (2014)
Come Out and Play (2013)
Craig Ferguson: Does This Need To Be Said? (2011)
Dear White People (2014)
Defiance (2008)
Demons (2015)
Devil’s Rejects, The (2005) (*Showtime)
Donovan’s Echo (2011) (*Showtime)
Doomsday Book (2012)
Dragonheart (1996) (*Showtime)
Dukale’s Dream (2015)
Expendables 3, The (2014)
Fightville (2011)
Fish Tank (2009) (*Showtime)
Flashdance (1983)
Frankenstein vs. The Mummy (2015)
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013)
Girl Most Likely (2013)
GLOW (2015)
Hannah And Her Sisters (1986)
Hard Ride to Hell (2010)
Harsh Times (2005) (*Showtime)
Hercules (2014)
Hooked Up (2013)
Hugo (2011)
Hunger Games, The: Catching Fire (2013)
I Am I (2013)
I, Frankenstein (2014)
In A World… (2013)
Infernal (2015)
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2013)
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013)
Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty, Sexy, Funny (2014)
Jim Breuer: And Laughter for All (2013)
Jim Breuer: Comic Frenzy (2015)
Jim Jefferies: Fully Functional (2012)
Jim Norton: American Degenerate (2013)
Jim Norton: Contextually Inadequate (2015)
Joe (2014)
Justin Beiber: Never Say Never (2011)
Katy Perry: Prismatic World Tour (2014)
Kids for Cash (2013)
La Repetition (2001)
Labor Day (2013)
Last Play at Shea (2010)
Lewis Black: Old Yeller – Live at the Borgata (2014)
Liar’s Autobiography, A: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman (2011)
Lisa Lampanelli: Back to the Drawing Board (2015)
Little Jerusalem (2005)
Love or Whatever (2012)
Lunarcy! (2012)
Men, Women & Children (2014)
Miles To Go (2012)
Monkey Shines: An Experiment In Fear (1988)
Most Wanted Man, A (2014)
Much Ado About Nothing (2013)
Nebraska (2013)
Noah (2014)
Pain & Gain (2013)
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2013)
Patton Oswalt: Tragedy Plus Comedy Equals Time (2014)
P!nk: The Truth About Love Tour (2013)
Please Be Normal (2014)
Poltergeist of Borley Forest (2013)
Primal Fear (1996)
Private Parts (1997)
Psycho Beach Party (2000)
Pulp Fiction (1994) (*Showtime)
Rabbit Hole (2010)
Rise of the Footsoldier (2007) (*Showtime)
Riviera (2005)
Robocop (2014)
Run, Hide, Die (2012)
Russell Brand: Messiah Complex (2014)
Serendipity (2001) (*Showtime)
Shelter (2015)
Skeleton Twins, The (2014)
Skipped Parts (2000) (*Showtime)
Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)
Swimming Upstream (2003) (*Showtime)
Tales from the Hood (1995) (*Showtime)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
The Breakup Girl (2015)
The Butterfly Tattoo (2009)
The Cutting Room (2015)
The House at the End of Time (2013)
The Inkwell (1994) (*Showtime)
The Innkeepers (2011)
The Last Keepers (2013)
The Program (2015) (*Showtime)
The Quitter (2014)
The Ravine of Goodbye (2013)
The Story of Luke (2012)
They Came Together (2014)
Tom Papa: Freaked Out (2013)
Tony: London Serial Killer (2009) (*Showtime)
Transformers: Age Of Extinction (2014)
Vanish (2015)
Weapons (2007) (*Showtime)
Who Bombed Judi Bari? (2012)
William Shatner’s Get a Life (2012)
Wolf Of Wall Street, The (2013)
World War Z (2013)
You’re Next (2013)
Young Hunters: The Beast of Bevendean (2015)

Available 10/2

Bones: Season 11 Premiere (FOX)
Sleepy Hollow: Season 3 Premiere (FOX)
Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014) (*Showtime)
I Am Giant: Victor Cruz (2015) (*Showtime)

Available 10/4

Saturday Night Live: Season 41 Premiere (NBC)


Available 10/1
A Christmas Carol (1938)
About Alex (2014)
Alexander: Theatrical Cut (2004)
American Pie (1999)
Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics Collection: Collection 1
Batman Begins (2005)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Curse of Chucky (2013)
Dark Was the Night (2014)
Design on a Dime Collection: Collection 1
El Tiempo Entre Costuras (2013)
Extreme Homes Collection: Collection 1
Fixer Upper: Season 1
Genevieve’s Renovation: Season 1
Glass Chin (2014)
House Hunters Renovation Collection: Collection 1
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Million Dollar Rooms Collection: Collection 1
Monkey Thieves: Seasons 1-3
On the Town (1949)
Pal Joey (1957)
Pepe (1960)
Pressure (2015)
Property Virgins Collection: Collection 1
Reasonable Doubt (2014)
Richard Pryor: Icon (2014)
Robin Williams Remembered – A Pioneers of Television Special (2014)
Some Came Running (1958)
Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)
The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
The Devil at 4 O’Clock (1961)
The Great Food Truck Race Collection: Collection 1
The Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story (2014)
The Nightmare (2015)
Throwdown with Bobby Flay Collection: Collection 1
Uncle Grandpa: Season 1 (more episodes)
Vanilla Ice Project: Seasons 1-4
Wakfu: Season 1
White Rabbit (2013)
Wild Horses (2015)
Worst Cooks in America Collection: Collection 1

Available 10/2
Anjelah Johnson: Not Fancy (2015) – NETFLIX ORIGINAL
La Leyenda de la Nahuala (2007)
Reign: Season 2
The Vampire Diaries: Season 6

Available 10/3
Alpha and Omega 5: Family Vacation (2015)

Available 10/5
Team Hot Wheels: Build the Epic Race (2015)

Available 10/6
American Horror Story: Freak Show (Season 4)
Last Man Standing: Season 4
The Flash: Season 1
The Originals: Season 2
Tremors 5: Bloodline (2015)
iZombie: Season 1

Available 10/7
Arrow: Season 3
Flor Salvaje: Season 1
Legends: Season 1
Supernatural: Season 10

Available 10/8
American Heist (2014)
Strangerland (2015)

Available 10/9
Mighty Med: Season 2
The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show: Season 1 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Winter on Fire (2015) – NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 10/10
Lalaloopsy: Band Together (2015)

Available 10/11
Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me (2014)
Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Season 3

Available 10/12
Jane the Virgin: Season 1

Available 10/14
Lazarus (2015)

Available 10/15
Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery: Season 1
Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live! (2015)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven: Part 1 / Part 2 (2004)

Available 10/16
All Hail King Julien: Season 2 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Anthony Jeselnik: Thoughts and Prayer
Beasts of No Nation (2015) – NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Some Assembly Required: Season 2 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Principal: Season 1

Available 10/18
Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

Available 10/20
Lego DC Comics: Batman Be-Leaguered (2014)
Marvel’s Avengers Assemble: Season 2

Available 10/22
Results (2015)

Available 10/23
Hemlock Grove: Season 3 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Available 10/24
Jack Strong (2014)

Available 10/25
Walt Disney Animation Studios Short Films Collection (2015)

Available 10/27
August: Osage County (2013)
Manson Family Vacation (2015) – NETFLIX EXCLUSIVE

Available 10/28
Chasing Life: Season 2
The Gunman (2015)

Available 10/29
Return to Sender (2015)

Available 10/30
Popples: Season 1 – NETFLIX ORIGINAL

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Rate your friends like they’re restaurants with Peeple

A ‘Yelp’-style app for rating people is not a new idea, but nobody’s been terrible enough to actually build one in real life — until now. A startup company has launched an app called “Peeple” which has already raised $7.6 million in venture capital, according to theWashington Post. It lets anyone with a Facebook account and cell phone rate another person and assign them a star rating out of five in one of three categories: personal, professional and romantic. Though Peeple calls itself “a positivity app for positive people,” the idea of the app is largely being panned on social media.


For the many, many people who raised concerns about online bullying and shaming, Peeple founder Julia Cordray told the Post that the app’s “integrity features” will largely stem such problems. Namely, you must be 21, have a Facebook account at least six months old, and make reviews under your real name. In addition, you must affirm that you know the person you’re reviewing and input their cellphone number if they’re not in the database. Negative ratings for people won’t show unless they’ve registered for the site, and you have 48 hours to dispute a negative rating if you do register.

As Twitter users have already pointed out, there are a host of potential issues, however. Isn’t assigning a person a number Orwellian and ridiculous? What about the aforementioned bullying? What about the fact that reviews for restaurants, objects or sites are usually biased, a problem that could be exponentially worse with people? What if you give your phone number to someone on a date and they decide to use it to rate you romatically? And finally, what if you don’t want unsolicited opinions? Even the founder thinks that’s a bad idea, apparently.


Such issues haven’t discouraged the team, however — they think they’re “bold innovators” who help people get “feedback” on their lives. In fact, they created a blog post dedicated to themselves called “An Ode to Courage,” saying that “people are scared and they don’t understand” the app. “We are… sending big waves into motion and we will not apologize for that because we love you enough to give you this gift.” (We’re assuming the whole thing isn’t a joke, of course, because it certainly seems like one.)

Ironically, for a time they set the Peeple Twitter account to private following the deluge of criticism, though it’s now public again. In response, one Twitter critic said, “color me shocked; two blond-haired, conventionally pretty, well-off white women can’t conceptualize of why a ‘Yelp for people’ is a bad idea.”

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Graph Search – coming to a Facebook near you

If your Facebook language is set to US English, you might find that your account has added a new feature from today.

Facebook is rolling out Graph Search, a new search tool that will allow users to quickly find out information from across the site. Essentially, it’s an attempt tokeep hold of an active user base by keeping them on the site for longer.

In some ways, Graph Search is simply a natural extension to the News Feed. In the book about her experiences while at Facebook, The Boy Kings, Katherine Losse writes:

“The general concept of News Feed was simple: An algorithm was now surfacing content that it believed, based on your activity on the site (what you looked at), you would find interesting.”

Now, instead of having to follow a social graph containing your friends’ activities, Graph Search opens up your information even further. You can ask Facebookquestions about your friends and find out the results, quickly.

Facebook would argue that they are making it easier to find useful information that’s relevant to you. Say, for example, you’re planning a holiday to Istanbul and you’re looking for somewhere to stay. You’ve gone through Trip Advisor and every hotel that you’ve looked at has one of those delightful one-star reviews (“I was sitting by the side of the glorious pool when I suddenly saw one of the catering staff push a little child into the pool. DO NOT RECOMMEND.”).

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Planned Parenthood Supporters Rally To Stop Funding Cuts

Following a summer of slanderous attacks against Planned Parenthood and repeated attempts by Congressional Republicans to cut its funding, several hundred people turned out in Foley Square today for a #PinkOutNYC rally in support of the organization that serves nearly 50,000 patients in New York City alone. That number might well start going up, given the opening of a new Planned Parenthood center in Long Island City—that is, unless a cut in government funding keeps the organization from providing its essential services.

The latest charge against Planned Parenthood was sparked by a series of highly edited and misleading videos put out by the so-called Center for Medical Progress, a dummy group of anti-choicers masquerading as medical professionals to con their way into conversations with Planned Parenthood executives and clinicians.

Those videos purported to show that Planned Parenthood illegally sells fetal tissue at a high profit margin, and even now, after numerous investigations have turned up absolutely no evidence that the organization is doing anything other than allowing patients to donate fetal tissue for medical research—research that has helped with the development of rabies, polio, and chicken pox vaccines, to name a few—the morbid charge alone has been enough to rekindle a right-wing movement to bring us back to a pre-Roe v. Wade era.

At the #PinkOutNYC rally, many activists and local politicians addressed the crowd, all of speaking out against these attacks on Planned Parenthood, which PPNYC President and CEO Joan Malin said were based on “outrageous and patently false claims.”

Planned Parenthood provides a range of services in addition to abortion (though downplaying its role as an abortion provider, some have argued, is actually detrimental to the cause). Pap smears, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and routine pelvic exams are among those services that would be affected if the government were to cut funding—which, by the way, does not fund abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is in danger. You can thank theHyde Amendment for that.

In the vein of the #ShoutYourAbortion movement started by Amelia Bonow and Lindy West, activist Diana Danielli, 29, spoke openly about having an abortion last summer, when she learned she was two weeks pregnant while seeing a doctor for a kidney infection.

“I very rarely think about that day, but I have no problem talking about it,” she said. “When I got pregnant, I was not destitute; I wasn’t too young; I was not a victim of abuse. I didn’t struggle with my decision. After going through with it, I felt no regret, no guilt, no shame. No one would make a movie about my story, and yet I’m fairly certain that it resembles the story of countless people in the US who are lucky enough to make this choice and to have access to this care.”

Also in attendance was Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City, who condemned Congress for punishing women who have nowhere else to turn for healthcare.

“I know firsthand that Planned Parenthood provides excellent services,” McCray said. “My daughter, who’s 20 years old, knows that Planned Parenthood provides excellent services.”

Poet Staceyann Chin recalled her visits to Planned Parenthood when she had first moved to the city without health insurance, describing it as “the kind of place that looks after your vagina.” Upon becoming a mother several years ago, she said, she feared she might become distanced from the pro-choice movement—but carrying her daughter to term actually had the reverse effect.

“As soon as I had the experience of being a woman who was pregnant, I thought to myself, only women who want this should have this,” Chin said. “Only women who actually want to be pregnant should be pregnant. In other words, we should have choice.”

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Microsoft beefs up Windows Phone voice recognition technology

Good news for Windows Phone owners in the US: you can now shave 0.5 seconds off the time it takes to find a decent pizza in Seattle by speaking to your smartphone.

Okay, this isn’t earth-shattering news, even for pizzaphiles. But Microsoft is excited about the technology behind this development: improvements to the speed and accuracy of Windows Phone’s voice-to-text and voice search features.

“Now when you compose a text message or search using your voice, Bing will return results twice as fast as before and increase accuracy by 15 percent,”announces Bing’s speech team in a (possibly dictated) blog post.

The team has been working with Microsoft’s research division for a year to improve the technology. Here’s the science bit:

“To achieve the speed and accuracy improvements, we focused on an advanced approach called Deep Neural Networks (DNNs). DNN is a technology that is inspired by the functioning of neurons in the brain. In a similar way, DNN technology can detect patterns akin to the way biological systems recognize patterns.

By coupling MSR’s major research breakthroughs in the use of DNNs with the large datasets provided by Bing’s massive index, the DNNs were able to learn more quickly and help Bing voice capabilities get noticeably closer to the way humans recognize speech.”

Actually, there’s an even deeper science bit in a separate post on the Inside Microsoft Research blog, where senior researcher Dong Yu contributes this anecdote on a crucial point in the project:

“I first realized the effect of the DNN when we successfully achieved significant error-rate reduction on the voice-search data set after implementing the context-dependent deep-neural-network hidden Markov model. It was an exciting moment. I was so excited that I did not sleep that night.”

Don’t laugh: this is a genuinely charming insight into the work going on behind the scenes of the technologies we increasingly take for granted. Not least because Yu’s sleepless night may contribute to a much wider range of benefits than just slightly-quicker ordering of a deep-pan Hawaiian with extra pineapple.

It’s the smartphone battle between Apple, Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry and other platforms that’s pumping investment into speech recognition, voice search and related technologies with wide applications.

Or, as Yu puts it: “I believe this is just the first step in advancing the state of the art. Many difficult problems may be attacked under this framework, which might lead to even greater advances.”

Microsoft’s challenge is to make the fruits of this research a big selling point for Windows Phone, as it tries to secure a bigger foothold in the market against iPhone and Android, which both feature their own prominent voice recognition features.

Many people’s purchase decisions will come down to more basic questions: whether the phone looks nice, how good its camera is and whether their favourite apps are available for it, rather than its speech recognition speed and accuracy.

Nokia is working hard on the design and camera questions, while Microsoft seems well aware of the challenge faces on the apps side of things. Just this week, Business Insider claimed it is paying some developers up to $100k to bring popular apps to its platform.

In some areas, like games – N.O.V.A. 3, Temple Run: Brave, MapQuest, Jetpack Joyride, Rayman Jungle Run and Angry Birds Rio in the last month alone – its efforts are paying off. Elsewhere, even long-term holdout Instagram is rumoured to be on its way to Windows Phone, possibly as soon as the end of this month.

Microsoft’s efforts, whether in the research labs with DNN technology or out in developers’ offices with a cheque book, are important.

Apple and Google’s fierce rivalry with iOS and Android means neither can afford to rest on their laurels, but stronger competition from a third player in Microsoft / Windows Phone (with BlackBerry, Firefox OS and Tizen all hoping for a say as well) is good news for smartphone owners. Whatever their pizza preferences.

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Marvel/Netflix’s ‘Jessica Jones’ trailer: Is there more, or less, than meets the eye?

NETFLIX has now released two trailers for its forthcoming show “Jessica Jones,” and the title character has still received less face-time than her clock.

It’s a sly ploy that has put the “tease” in teaser trailer. Now, we get a second trailer (“Nightcap”) that’s nearly a minute, and we still don’t even get action. All is aftermath, as Jessica (Krysten Ritter) steps around the writhing, bloody man-slugs of the fallen as if they’re mere salted insects.

Following in the nimble footsteps of Marvel/Netflix’s hit “Daredevil,” this is Jessica’s Hells Kitchen now, and we await Luke Cage, Kilgrave and Harper.

For now, though, ahead of the series’s Nov. 20 debut, we offer immediate impressions of the footage we’ve been given, so teasing and yet somehow pleasing:

MICHAEL CAVNA: So, what most strikes you about the trailer, good or bad?

DAVID BETANCOURT: What strikes me most is how little they’ve shown, considering how much interest there is. No action. No dialogue. Both trailers — including the first international one — have relied on classic songs and are super-quick. With Daredevil’s first looks, fans got a whole lot to dive into. But Marvel had to do that because they had to assure people Daredevil was in good hands. Now we know Marvel knows what it’s doing with Netflix and making us wait and see.

MC: I’m struck, too, by how much this is nearly the opposite of a new “Supergirl” trailer — instead of a bright smile and earnest eyes glowing front and center, we are denied even a glimpse of her face. This is a power move as strong as Jessica herself. Instead, we get bloody dukes, a kicking juke and kickass boots. From long shot to whiskey shot, this is one big wallop of shadowy swagger.

So, between her alarm-clock smash and her slain-saloon bash, what can we tell about Netflix’s JJ so far?…

DB: She’s not Daredevil. That’s for sure. DD was about double lives and secret identities. JJ is who she is, and she’s that person for all of Hells Kitchen to see.

MC: That almost seems like a meta-joke of these trailers: After her superhero stint has failed, all of Hells Kitchen gets to see her — except us, the viewers, so far.

As for the music: How sly is it that one “JJ” (Joan Jett) is used to effectively soundtrack the swagger of another “JJ” (Jessica Jones)? And how fitting is it that amid the bloody and the fallen — and close-ups of Jessica’s crimson knuckles — the tune they picked happens to also be Ronda Rousey’s walkout song?

Meanwhile, seems Netflix could continue this same dynamic — a mysterious-faced strongwoman who keeps smacking around appliances — for a whole series of teaser trailers. Next up: She strides into a Hells Kitchen quickie mart and spin-kicks the living daylights out of an air-conditioning unit, as Bow Wow Wow’s Annabella Lwin purrs, “I Want Candy.” Or delivers a fatal haymaker to a massage-parlor Roomba [cue Bikini Kill]. This has so many possibilities before the show debuts.

So, do we even need to see JJ’s face prior to the first episode?…

DB: These short, hide the face trailers have been great. But it’s making me want a real trailer each time.

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Believe in the Bengals: ‘Average’ Andy Dalton’s hot start is no fluke

For most NFL fans, the book on Andy Dalton has been written in permanent ink. He is neither good nor bad; neither exciting nor conservative; neither a promising young star nor a veteran on the decline. Rather, he represents the quarterback embodiment of the word average. There is even a running joke known as the Dalton scale, which states that any quarterback above the Dalton line is a keeper, and anyone below it is a guy his team is looking to replace.And such characterization has been well-earned. Dalton entered the NFL fully-formed, an experienced quarterback who started an incredible 50 games in college. Since then, he’s produced solid but unspectacular numbers, while the Bengals have posted a winning record each season while not winning a single playoff game. From 2011 to 2014, there were 40 quarterbacks who threw at least 600 pass attempts; among that group, Dalton ranked 20th in pass efficiency, as measured by Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt.

[Can anyone out-scheme the NFL?]

So, through three weeks, it’s easy to dismiss the great numbers that Dalton has produced as the product of a small sample size. On 94 passing drop backs, he’s thrown for 866 yards and 8 touchdowns with just two sacks and one interception. That translates to a 10.32 Adjusted Net Yards per Attempt average, the best in football through three weeks. But is there any reason that Dalton, who has had hot streaks before, can maintain this level of play?

Dalton’s strong numbers are driven by three factors: a large increase in yards per completion, a big spike in touchdown rate and a decrease in interception rate. It is not unusual for a quarterback to have stellar numbers over a short sample size in each of these three metrics, but there are also promising reasons to think Dalton can at least remain an above-average quarterback for the rest of the 2015 season.

In each of Dalton’s first four seasons, he averaged between 11 and 12 yards per completion; in typical Dalton fashion, that is right where the league average has been, too. But in 2015, Dalton’s Bengals receivers are averaging 14.2 yards per completion, the third best mark in the league. Even discarding the 80-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green, Dalton has still averaged 13.1 yards per catch on his other 60 completions.

It isn’t a fluke that Dalton’s yards per completion average has increased this season. Last year, the Bengals quarterback’s average completion came 5.44 yards down the field, according to information collected by the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, while Cincinnati’s receivers averaged 5.56 yards after the catch on each completion. In other words, just over half of all of Dalton’s passing yards came after the catch, a sign of the horizontal passing game Cincinnati employed.

 This year, Dalton’s average pass has come 7.52 yards downfield, representing a much more vertical style (that average is sixth highest in the NFL through three weeks). Bengals players are gaining 6.67 yards after the catch per completion, and while that is likely unsustainable, the increased emphasis on downfield passing is likely to stay. Dalton’s top deep threat, Marvin Jones, missed the entire 2014 season due to injury, while superstar wide receiver A.J. Green was limited or out for stretches in 2015 due to a toe injury. This year, Dalton has attempted 15 passes to Green or Jones that were 15 or more yards beyond the line of scrimmage; he’s completed 11 of those for 368 yards and four touchdowns. By the end of this year, we may come to the realization that Dalton would have had a breakout season last year had Jones and Green stayed healthy in 2014.

Dalton is averaging a touchdown pass every 11.5 throws, a significant improvement over his 2014 after (25.3). And again, the return from injury of Green and another player — in this case, tight end Tyler Eifert — is paying big dividends. A first-round pick in 2013, Eifert played well as a rookie before missing nearly all of 2014 with a dislocated elbow. But the former Notre Dame tight end has looked outstanding so far in 2015, with three touchdowns in three games (and a fourth overturned on a questionable call on review). With Eifert and Green healthy, Dalton should continue to be effective in the red zone.

Perhaps the least sustainable aspect of Dalton’s strong play this year is his interception rate. In general, interception rate is one of the least consistent statistics in football; Dalton himself threw just one interception over the final six games of 2011 before throwing three in the playoffs. Dalton has also been the beneficiary of a positive game script: he has thrown only six passes while trailing this year, compared to 75 while playing with the lead.

Dalton’s history suggests he won’t continue to avoid throwing interceptions, particularly in games when the Bengals are trailing, but a rejuvenated supporting cast could signal a career year for the fifth-year quarterback.

It is easy to assume that at 27, what you see is what you get with Dalton. But he made steady strides during first three seasons, improving his yards per attempt averages (from 6.6 as a rookie to 6.9 in 2012 and then 6.9 in 2013) and touchdown totals (20 in 2012, then 27, then 33), while the Bengals won one more game each year. Last year, Dalton took a step back statistically, but that was likely due to the injuries to his top weapons. As he enters his physical prime, and with one of the best supporting casts in the NFL, the stars are aligned for Dalton to no longer be synonymous with average.

Chase Stuart writes about the historical and statistical side of football at his site,

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PUP enter the studio to begin work on new record


PUP, that band on SideOneDummy that you’ve heard so much about, are entering the studio today to begin work on their second LP. Check out a tweet from the band confirming the news below.

PUP released their self-titled debut record in late 2013, and re-released the album in 2014 after signing with SideOneDummy records. The band spent a short stint on Warped Tour this summer and will head out on tour with Modern Baseball, Jeff Rosenstock, and Tiny Moving Parts later this fall. Are you heading to any of the upcoming shows? Let us know in the comments.

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How To Get Into Comics

With The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers posting record performances at cinemaplexes, it can be easy to forget that not everyone can rattle off the names of Bruce Wayne’s parents or the address of the X-Men’s school off the tops of their heads.

Comics’ reach through pop culture seems to get bigger every day, meaning that more and more people are having to wade through the medium’s wild jungles without so much as an Adamantium machete. Well, Kotaku wants you to explore all that comics has to offer and has come up with a plethora of starting-out tips that should help out even the most inexperienced of sequential storytelling neophytes. Let’s get started!

Where to Get Comics

  • Support your local comic shop. Don’t let the Simpsons character scare you off; most comics shops have friendly staff ready to steer you towards great material that you’ll probably love.
  • Back issue boxes are your friends. Almost every comics shop has a cache of recent and older comics—single issues, mostly, but sometimes trade paperback collections as well. Older copies of a single issue can be had for as cheap as a dollar, or even a quarter. Back issues can let you explore various titles and talents at a lower price point, which is great for anyone trying to figure out what they like.
  • You’d also do well to check out online subscription services like DCBS. Their sister site, in-stock trades boasts RIDICULOUS prices on trade paperbacks. Other sites like Khepri specialize in exclusives that come directly from creators.
  • If you don’t have a comics shop nearby or don’t have the square footage to stockpile loads of printed material in your home, then think about digital comics. Most of the major publishers have digital storefronts where new comics are available on the same day as they arrive in stores. You’ll also find selections from their back catalogs, usually at a big discount, in digital comics stores.
  • If you really, really like something, buy it in print. It’s been noted in several examinations of the relatively new digital comics market that you may not own those digital comics you get through a website or an app store. At least, not in the traditional sense of physical ownership. Devices break or become outdated and web services mutate and fracture. (Look at how cable TV providers are feuding with various channels for an example of how wrong things can go.) But you’ll always be able to dig out a paper version of a comic you love. Besides, most comics are designed for the printed page. The way writers and artists use layout, color and other storytelling techniques are generally going to be best experienced that way.
  • For those interested in digital comics, the main thing you want to check is Comixology, an app for iOS, Android and other devices that sells comics from most of the big and medium-sized publishers, with the notable exception of Dark Horse Update 09/28/2015: Dark Horse is on Comixology now. (those folks publish Star Wars, Buffy, Sin Cityand other cool comics; so check their app out, too). Comixology ties your purchases to your account, so while they don’t let you outright download a file for the comics you buy, they do let you download them to any app they support. You can also read them through their website. Comixology sells most new comics from major publishers, day and date with release, so that’s around noon ET on Wednesdays. They usually add about 100 issues of older comics to their back catalog at the same time. One of the nice things about their service is that they run a lot of sales and drop the price on most new comics after about a month (they usually go down a dollar). Sales run throughout the week, but the big ones consist of 99-cent-per-issue Marvel sales on Mondays and Fridays and frequent weekend sales, including a 101 or 201 (that’s 101 or 201 comics for 99 cents each) from DC about once a month. Dark Horse and Comxology also have lots of free comics, so check their free sections, too.
  • Ask friends for recommendations and loaners. Seriously. The people you know who read comics are REALLY into their comics. They are unfulfilled prophets and will happily lend you anything worth reading that they think will convert you to the tiny tribe of comics-readers.

What Kinds of Comics to Get

  • You don’t have to read superheroes. Seriously. If you think that comics are just home to the big bruisers and babes that make it onto the screen, you should know the capes-and-cowls set isn’t all the medium has to offer. Memoir, historical non-fiction and beautifully allegorical creativity all thrive in comics. Comics remain a relatively cheap field to produce work in, which means that there’s a plethora of styles, voices and viewpoints to experience.
  • Don’t ever buy anything because it’ll be “worth something.” Anything touted as a collector’s edition is most likely going to be so mass-produced that it won’t actually ever be rare enough to fetch an astronomical price at auction. There will probably plenty of copies of the Get-It-Now-Edition of the “Death of Captain ZOMG” twenty years from now.
  • If you want a true collectible, get a commissioned sketch or page of original art by an artist you like.
  • Read some webcomics. The best part about comics work designed for the internet is how it can use pacing and technology differently than paper comics.
  • Buy trade paperbacks, or TPBs, for short. Sorry, monthlies lovers, but there are no ads and you get a story all at once, making them a much better way to read a comic.
  • If you’re reading this guide, don’t go jumping into continuing superhero storylines without guidance. They’re a tangled mess of canon and backstory that will just confuse you. Aim for classic, standalone pieces. So, don’t just pick up Superman. But Superman: Red Son? Pick it up.
  • Follow your favorite writers and artists, not favorite series or characters. More specifically, follow writers and writer-artists as opposed to artists. Everyone likes cool illustrations, but it’s a far worse experience to read a badly-written comic with good art than it is to read a well-written one with bad art. So learn which writers you like; most of the best have excellent runs on a surprising array of creator-owned and company-owned work. Maybe you’re a Garth Ennis person. Maybe you’re a Brian Michael Bendis person. Or maybe Warren Ellis is more your speed.
  • Don’t worry about starting in the middle. Publishers of serialized super-hero comics sometimes advertise that such-and-such issue is a great jumping on point for new readers. Non-readers, meanwhile, fret that most ongoing comics will be too impenetrable for them to understand. Forget about all of this. Jump into the middle of something. See if there’s anything you like about it and then, if you’re intrigued, load up on back issues.The longest-running arcs in comics right now are things like Brian Michael Bendis’ 8-year run on an array of Avengers comics and Grant Morrison’s 6-year run on a batch of Batman books (both concluding in the next 12 months by the way). Even those massive runs are chopped up into 4 or 6-issue arcs, so you’re never more than a few issues from being at the start of something. You can always go back and fill in from the way beginning if need be.
  • Size up your wish list and plan to fulfill it accordingly. Many of the books people will rave to you about—Watchmen, Maus, Ice Haven, We3, to name a few—can be read in an afternoon with time left to read a second. These comics are no bigger a risk to your time and budget than a dinner at a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Longer, iconic series such as Sandman, Preacher, Transmetropolitan, Y The Last Man orThe Walking Dead run 60-100 issues (and still going, in the last one’s case). These longer runs take much more time to read can cost more than $100 to obtain in print. This may drive you toward piracy. Avoid temptation!; comics creators get paid crap money as it is. Consider either getting the trade-paperbacks, which is still pricey or doing legit digital downloads, which, if you catch a sale, is way cheaper. But, remember, you probably have a friend who can lend you a collection of one of these longer runs so that you can see if it’s your thing.
  • Read some modern comics, and then read some Will Eisner’s The Spirit(look for a best-of collection; skip the early part of the run) or Jack-Kirby-drawn Fantastic Four (sampling the first few issues of that is fine). These two guys are seen as the pioneers of the field and probably the two greatest artists in its history, but both did work that’s an acquired taste. The same holds true for alt-comics godfather R. Crumb. Trust us. It may seem backwards, you should try to attain your literacy in modern comics before going back to try to appreciate the masters. But, when you do, you’ll be in for a treat.

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