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HBO Max sends out mysterious email, everyone makes the same joke

HBO Max sends out mysterious email, everyone makes the same joke

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3…

Subscribers to an HBO Max mailing list received a strange email from the streaming service on Thursday night, leading to everyone making the same jokes.

As shown in a screenshot posted by writer David Gardner, HBO Max sent out an email around 8:30 p.m. ET titled “Integration Test Email #1.” The text shown in the email body read, “This template is used by integration tests only,” with no attachments. 

So, despite it looking like a straight-up phishing scam, it was a pretty standard test email that most companies would rather stay internal. Turning the mistake into a gleeful opportunity for clever tweets, people jumped on Twitter to make jokes only HBO viewers and creators could. Read more…

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First ‘Gossip Girl’ reboot trailer has intrigue, Instagram, and the return of a familiar voice

First 'Gossip Girl' reboot trailer has intrigue, Instagram, and the return of a familiar voice

“Did you miss me? I know I’ve missed you.”

Gossip Girl is back in the first full trailer for HBO Max’s revival of the glitzy 00s teen soap, complete with the perfect Frank Ocean needle drop. Kristen Bell, the original’s impeccably smarmy voice of Gossip Girl herself (or *sigh* himself), returns to remind you in those familiar insinuating tones that while the cast might be new (and significantly less white than the old gang), the super-rich-kid problems and power struggles of Upper East Side teens promise to be as dramatic and delectable as ever. And this time, they’re playing out — where else? — on Instagram. Read more…

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Paramount+ will launch a $4.99 monthly ad-supported subscription

If you didn’t want to shell out $9.99 per month to watch the meme-worthy iCarly reboot, now you won’t have to. On Monday, Paramount+ will launch its ad-supported Essential Plan, priced at $4.99 per month.

This less-expensive plan will replace the CBS All Access plan, which included commercials, but also granted access to local CBS stations. If you’re currently subscribed to that $5.99 per month plan, you can keep it. But starting Monday, it won’t be around anymore for new subscribers. 

What makes the Essential Plan different from CBS All Access? Subscribers on the new tier will get access to Marquee Sports (including games in the NFL, UEFA Champions, and Europa Leagues), breaking news on CBSN, and all of Paramount’s on-demand shows and movies. This includes offerings from ViacomCBS-owned channels like BET, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, the Smithsonian Channel, and more. But, local live CBS station programming will no longer be included. So, if that’s a deal-breaker, you might want to subscribe to CBS All Access this weekend. 

The existing Premium Plan ($9.99 per month) removes commercials and adds support for 4K, HDR, and Dolby Vision. Like other streaming services, only Premium subscribers will have access to mobile downloads. 

Both plans include access to parental controls and up to six individual profiles. The service doesn’t have a watch list at this time. But that has become a baseline feature for being competitive in this space, so it’s not a matter of if, but when. 

For comparison, the basic Netflix plan costs $8.99 per month, but only lets you watch on one screen at a time. That makes it harder to share an account with family or friends. Their standard tier is $13.99, making it a bit pricier than Paramount+.

Earlier this week, HBO Max unveiled their own lower-cost, ad-supported subscription tier, priced at $9.99 per month. The WarnerMedia-Discovery merger could also have major implications for the popular streaming service, though how that shakes out in terms of content libraries, or even possibly a combined streaming app, remains to be seen. 

Ultimately, consumers will make their decisions about which services to pay for based on a variety of key factors including content, pricing, and user experience. On the content front, Paramount+ plans to announce a slate of big-name titles when the new plan goes live on Monday, in hopes of wooing new subscribers. But the low-cost plan may also appeal to those who don’t necessarily care about top movies – they just want an affordable add-on to their current streaming lineup that provides them with access to some of the programs Netflix lacks. 

Paramount+ owner ViacomCBS said it added 6 million global streaming subscribers across their Paramount+, Showtime OTT, and BET+ services in Q1, to end the quarter with 36 million global users. Most of those come from Paramount+.

You want clips from the HBO Max ‘Friends’ reunion? We’ve got ‘Friends’ reunion clips.

You want clips from the HBO Max 'Friends' reunion? We've got 'Friends' reunion clips.

For a show that ended more than 15 years ago, Friends is still pretty popular.

HBO Max subscribers were treated on Thursday to the highly anticipated Friends: The Reunion special (aka “The One Where They Get Back Together”). The two-hour event brought the show’s main cast back together for some games, celebrity moments, behind the scenes reminiscences, and table reads.

You’ll need an HBO Max subscription to check out the whole special of course, but on Saturday HBO released a trio of clips that offer a taste of the full thing. This first clip sees Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston, and David Schwimmer re-enacting a scene from “The One Where Everybody Finds Out,” and the iconic moment where Kudrow’s Phoebe catches Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) being intimate. Read more…

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What the hell is up with Ridley Scott’s fixation on milk in ‘Raised by Wolves’?

What the hell is up with Ridley Scott's fixation on milk in 'Raised by Wolves'?

This article contains some spoilers for Alien and Raised by Wolves Season 1.

Listen, I love Ridley Scott as much as the next girl — and I’m also never one to kink shame. 

But for sanity’s sake alone, we need to discuss the indisputable fact that the seminal sci-fi director has a milk fetish. At the very least, the man has a notable artistic fixation with milk, to the point where it is now a staple of his filmography, from Alien to his new HBO Max series, Raised By Wolves.

Egregious uses of milk are as common a visual motif in Scott’s work as women’s feet are in Quinten Tarintino’s movies. Yet for some reason, we’re not ready to call a fig a fig when it comes to Scott’s persistent ingenuity in finding new ways to feature high-production titty juice every chance he gets. Read more…

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HBO Max just announced how much you’ll pay for 10,000 hours of content

HBO announced on Tuesday that their streaming service HBO Max will launch in May 2020 for $14.99 a month (existing HBO customers and HBO Now direct subscribers will get it bundled for free), as well as a feature it calls “human-powered discovery.” 

“Talent & influencers will be the humans behind our Recommended by Humans feature, sharing the content they love and why it’s worth watching,” it announced in a tweet.

The service will also offer “co-viewing”, a joint profile that gives recommendations based upon joint views without interfering with personal profiles.

In addition, the company announced a Game of Thrones prequel as the crown jewel in their upcoming slate for HBO. Co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal, the Targaryen prequel House of the Dragon will also be written by Condal, and both he and Miguel Sapochnik will act as showrunners. Read more…

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