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‘The Boys’ Cast Knew They Had a Hit When They Saw Spice Girls Fan Art

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Ah, the sweet smell of success! Within the universe of Amazon’s The Boys, success probably smells a lot like burning flesh, whale guts, and a freshly popped can of Fresca. Thankfully the cast and crew of behind the success of The Boys don’t have catch a whiff of any of that to know that their show is a major hit in the real world. As the cast recalled during a visit to the set of The Boys Season 2 last fall, they could tell that the show was a hit just from the reviews and reactions of everyone around them. Everyone from random TV critics online to their friends and family had something to say about the show—and thankfully those early reviews were positive, because they woulda really harshed one cast member’s vibe.

“I try to stay away from reviews,” said Laz Alonso, sounding every bit as cautious as his character, Mother’s Milk. “I’ve gotten in my own head when I read reviews. Being able to read [reviews] at first, was the first thing that really gave me like—’Oh shit, we might be good.’”

The early reviews were good—which isn’t a given considering just how much superhero content there is to consume. There’s a lot of competition, so for The Boys to not only stand out in the crowd but stand out for the right reasons was a feat.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 03: (L-R) Erin Moriarty, Antony Starr, Jack Quaid and Karen Fukuhara attend Amazon Prime Video's "The Boys" Season 2 Drive-In Premiere & Fan Screening on September 03, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Getty Images

“I’ve been in movies that you put your whole heart and soul in and then people just kill it! Just annihilated!” said Alonso. “Even Avatar, in the beginning, they were calling us Smurfs. They were calling us all kinds of fucked up shit.” Not so, with The Boys! “When I started reading the [critics], the people that live and breathe this and cover everything and everybody, and they’re giving [The Boys] good reviews? I was like, alright! Maybe we’re onto something!… When it came out, man, it was just like, people really bought in. They bought in, and they loved the fact that we’re not the typical show. We’re something different.”

The show’s success with critics early on just validated what the cast felt while filming Season 1. “We know something special is happening,” said Tomer Capon, who plays Frenchie. “We felt that, even in Season 1. Now that we’re getting the feedback for it, it’s amazing.”

The cast then had to deal with, y’know, being on a hit show—which is a bit surreal considering that the superpowered half of The Boys is all about the pressures and danger of sudden fame. In a way, both Starlight and the actor who plays her, Erin Moriarty, endured a similar career trajectory. Of course, Moriarty’s rise to fame was way, way more positive anything Starlight went through when she joined the Seven.

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 13: (Top L-R) Antony Starr, Jessie Usher, Karen Fukuhara, Laz Alonso and (Bottom L-R) Chace Crawford, Jack Quaid, and Erin Moriarty of Amazon Prime Video's 'The Boys' pose for a portrait at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on February 13, 2019 in Pasadena, California.
Photo: Getty Images

“The environment on the show is a really supportive one, and it’s a really lovely one,” said Moriarty, whose superhero Starlight has no such comfort on the Seven. “We’re all a family off set. Luckily, it’s been a much more positive experience for me… For me, I’m just working on an awesome job with people I love. I’m much more fortunate than her.”

Jack Quaid—whose mild-mannered Hughie was designed to be the most relatable character on the show—knew they had a hit on their hands when he learned that the teens, the most reliable arbiters of cool, chimed in. “My little sister, she just went to boarding school—she’s like 13, and very much not allowed to watch this show,” said Quaid. “But she has friends that are coming up to her, I think they saw a photo of me on her phone or something, and they were like, ‘Oh, Hughie!’ And she was like, ‘You watch The Boys?’ Apparently, a lot of teenagers do—which they totally shouldn’t be! But that was the moment I was like, ‘Oh, teenagers are sneaking this show in. That’s something.’

Nathan Mitchell—who plays the Seven’s murderous man in black, Black Noir—has enjoyed the show’s rise from a unique vantage point. Since his face and voice have yet to be seen or heard on the show, he gets all the perks of being on a hit show and his day-to-day is more or less the same. “Only the people who are really into the show will know me. I still have this degree of privacy,” said Mitchell. But if you think that Boys fans haven’t figured out who’s under that cowl, then you don’t know Boys fans. “We got off at the airport for Comic-Con, and somebody walked up to me and was like, ‘Hey, can you sign this?’ It was me in the [Black Noir] suit. I was like, ‘Okay!’ That was before the show had even come out.”

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 19: (L-R) Jessie T. Usher, Chase Crawford, Anthony Starr, Tomer Kapon, Erin Moriarty, Laz Alonso, Eric Kripke, Jack Quaid and Karl Urban speak onstage at the #IMDboat at San Diego Comic-Con 2019: Day Two at the IMDb Yacht on July 19, 2019 in San Diego, California.
Photo: Getty Images

When the show came out, the cast—specifically Karen Fukuhara, who plays the silent killer Kimiko—was surprised to find that Boys fans had been hiding in plain sight all along. “I think when a lot of my friends from Japan, and also America, reached out to me and they said, ‘I’m a comic book fan and I read this in high school,’ which is crazy, by the way, ‘and it was just translated so well on screen.’”

Thus a diehard fandom was born—and you better believe they started making fan art. “I was walking down the street, checking Instagram—which is a very unsafe thing to do—and somebody tagged me,” said Quaid. “It was this person who made fan art of The Boys as The Spice Girls. [Laughs] I was Baby Spice, because, of course. It was cool. You could tell that she put some thought into which Boy would be which Spice Girl. It was at that moment that I was like, okay. If people are making fan art, typically that’s a good sign.”

The Boys did more than inspire fan art; it inspired the fans themselves. There was somebody who came up to me at one of the conventions who said Hughie dealing with anxiety really helped her with her anxiety,” said Quaid. “We had this very real talk about—because I’m an anxious person, for sure—just talking to her about what that’s like and how it goes away, and how you deal with it. That got way deeper than I ever thought I would get with fans. That was really cool.”

The Boys are changing lives, one bloody brawl at a time.

New episodes of The Boys Season 2 hit Amazon Prime Video every Friday.

Stream The Boys on Prime Video

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The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses

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When it comes to online gambling, the industry is thriving in 2020. Although casinos are banned in many countries, people still find ways to enjoy their favorite games of chance. However, considering the level of competition on the market, it may be difficult for a beginner to find a good online platform and take advantage of all offers. In this article, you will learn the benefits of casinos’ welcome bonuses.

What Is a Sign-Up Bonus?

As we have already established, the industry is growing rapidly and companies are desperately looking for new ways to attract customers. A welcome bonus is often used by online casinos to get new leads and players in the future. However, the best casino bonuses can be easily used to the player’s advantage. Here are the main reasons you should not neglect this offer.

  1. It saves your money

Quite obvious, right? Well, this is the main reason why you should always use welcome bonuses in online gambling: it is always better to not risk your own money. It is especially true for beginners. Since they have no experience, it is fairly common for beginners to lose their initial investment and be done with gambling for good. However, if you use your welcome bonus as a way of getting the basics skills, the chances of success will rise significantly.

  1. It allows you to try several games

Another common issue beginners face is a lack of understanding of which types of games they want to try: slots, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, etc. If you use your sign-up bonus, you will be able to play several games and choose the ones you like better. Moreover, you can take advantage of a welcome bonus on several online gambling platforms. That way you will try out even more options.

  1. It will make future gambling more profitable

Besides beneficial sign-up bonuses, good online casinos usually have great loyalty programs. For instance, the company may double up to five first deposits on the platform. If you invest 100 USD, you will get 200 USD to your account. More money — more games — more chances of winning.

Although a welcome bonus is a great way of upping your gambling game, there are a few things you should pay attention to. Firstly, a good bonus does not equal a good platform. Before choosing a casino, make sure that the company is legal and trustworthy. Since there are many scams right now, it is essential if you want to save your money. Moreover, check the available deposit/withdrawal methods and their terms.

We hope that this article has shown the true power of online casinos’ welcome bonuses and how you can use them to your own advantage. Follow our tips while choosing a platform and enjoy the best gambling experience.

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3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack

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Blackjack is the most popular casino game in the world. The card game, sometimes referred to as ‘21’, accounts for an average of 31 percent of all casino table traffic – this is consistent both online and in physical casinos. For reference, the second most popular is roulette (24%) followed by poker (21%).

It’s easy to understand blackjack’s popularity. It’s a simple game to grasp and offers players a mix of luck and skill: luck in the cards that are drawn, skill over how those cards are dealt and a player’s eventual hand. Compare that to roulette, which is based entirely on luck, and poker, which has a huge skill element to it.

However, while the beauty of blackjack is in its simplicity, there are also a number of complexities to the game, and as is the case with almost anything in life, you learn more from mistakes than successes.

With that in mind, here are three key mistakes to avoid when playing blackjack that can significantly increase your chances of winning, while limiting your losses.

Choosing the Wrong Table

Before a single card is drawn, being at the wrong table – whether live or online – is the first mistake to avoid.

First of all, each blackjack table will have different minimum bet requirements so avoid choosing one that is out of your budget. For instance, if you choose a table with a $100 minimum bet and your budget is $200, you might only play two hands.

Secondly, check the payout odds on the blackjack table. These are typically 6:5 and 3:2 and will affect how much gets paid out when you hit blackjack and land other bonus wins. Where possible, choose a 3:2 table as it pays out higher.

Thirdly, choose between a virtual and a live table. This is not so much a mistake to avoid but more comes down to personal preference. Virtual tables allow players to play against an automated computer, so you can play at your own pace, while live tables are usually quicker paced as human dealers are keen to move the game along.

When to Hit and Stand

As a general rule, most blackjack players know to hit when the hand is 12 and to stand when the hand equals 17. However, there are plenty of variables to consider that could influence when to hit and stand. Getting these right can really boost your chances of beating the house, while getting it wrong could prove costly.

One key move to implement is to always hit on a soft 17 – when the two cards are an ace and a six. This means that if you draw a 10 or picture card (jack, queen, king), then you convert your hand into a hard 17. It also gives greater flexibility if you draw a smaller value card as the ace can be used as a one.

While many players adopt a strict ‘never bust’ policy, meaning they always stand when their hand equals 12 or more, this can be ill-advised as it depends almost entirely on the dealer going bust.

Instead, analyze the value of your two cards compared to the dealer’s first card and weigh up the risk factor in drawing another card before the dealer draws their second. As a strict rule, if your first two cards equal 17 or more, then stand – anything else can be hit depending on the situation.

When to Split and Double

If you are playing in a blackjack tournament, either online or live, learning when to split and double can make all the difference to your chances of success. The same also applies to individual games of blackjack.

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Splitting is when you split two cards when dealt the same value cards, so a pair of eights for example. Doubling is when you are given the option to double your bet after being dealt your initial two cards.

While it can be tempting to split and double at every opportunity to increase your winning, doing at the right time is the key.

It is not recommended to split when:

  • You are dealt two picture cards or two 10s
  • You are dealt two 9s
  • You are dealt two 5s
  • The dealer holds a 10 or picture card

It is best to split when:

  • You are dealt two 8s
  • You are dealt two aces
  • The dealer holds a 5 or 6 (as this is the highest probability of a bust)

Similar to knowing when to hit and stand, take a brief moment to assess the dealer’s drawn card compared to your own two cards and determine whether the probabilities are in your favour.

Likewise, knowing when to double down – when not to double down – can change the complexities of your blackjack game. A simple rule to know when to double is if your two cards equal 10 and the dealer’s card is between 2-9. Additionally, if you hold an ace, you can consider a double as these have the flexibility of playing as 11 or 1. But if the dealer’s card is an ace, ignore the double.

Conclusion

Blackjack may be a simple game but there are some important strategies to keep in mind next time you head to the virtual or live table. The game itself is still rooted in luck so there are never any guarantees to long-term success. However, by keeping these three important rules in mind, you can at least avoid making avoidable mistakes.

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Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students

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The life of college students is sometimes too complicated. They have to face tons of homework assignments that steal their time. Many students get stressed because of continuous learning. They seem to forget how to relax. If you’re a busy student, you should remember that you’re still young and shouldn’t waste this precious life stage. You can undertake some entertainment activities sometimes. Take your friends and organize funny games to unwind and let off some pressure. We asked writing experts from a professional essay service Smart Writing Service to share their ideas and provide you with top-5 entertainment activities for college students you may like. 

Who Are You?

Students, especially freshmen, don’t know each other perfectly. They may be taken by surprise when some of them tell something quite unexpected about their hobbies, preferences, and so on. If you want to know other students better, suggest playing a game called “Who Are You”.

Form at least three teams. If there are many folks, you can form more teams. Choose a speaker of the game. It may be even one of your teachers or professors. All groups will be given topics to discuss. The speaker is supposed to announce a new topic every few minutes. You may discuss and answer the following topics:

  • What is the greatest challenge you are facing?
  • What do you like or hate most about yourself?
  • What is your greatest value in life?
  • What emotions do you express easily?
  • What is the most valuable thing in friendship?
  • Who you want to become in five years?
  • What is your major objective for next year?
  • Is there something you want to improve about yourself?
  • What motto do you try to live by?
  • Where would you like to travel?
  • If you were to study abroad, what country would that be?

Students should write their answers on index cards. The speaker should gather the answers of every student and shuffle them. Afterward, he/she redistributes them randomly to students. Each person should guess whose card he/she is holding. Play this game after you spend some time together and already know at least something about one another.

Sentence Completion

Another fun activity is “Sentence Completion.” Most people like it because it’s commonly accompanied by laughter and good mood. It’s necessary to prepare a list of sentences. Those sentences should have a beginning, but with no end. Every student should finish the sentence he/she gets. Oftentimes, students give funny answers. At times, they are quite serious, and we can learn something important about other students. Here are several sentence beginnings you may choose:

  • Before I came to college, I was interested in…
  • When I was a child, I wanted to become…
  • The best moment I remember most about high school is…
  • My favorite pet is…
  • The things I value most are…
  • Five years from now I hope to be…
  • My greatest personality trait is…
  • My favorite subject at high school was…
  • If I could change one thing in the world, it would be…
  • My greatest fear is…
  • After I graduate from college, I…

The Reception Line

You may likewise try another entertaining activity for college students. It is called “The Reception Line.” Gather all the mates eager to participate. Divide yourselves into two groups. If you form more, it won’t fit the rules of the game. Each person talks to the person in front of him/her until he/she must move. The person at the end of one line goes to the end of the other line. This method makes it possible to meet new people. Thus, students will learn more about each other. You can make shifts every next topic or set a limit. For example, the pair should discuss 5 topics and afterward move to change partners. Here are some interesting topics to discuss:

  • Where would you like to travel?
  • What motto do you try to follow?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What music do you like?
  • What is your favorite hobby?
  • Why did you choose this college?
  • What do you like about college life the most?

Take Sides

You can likewise suggest a game, which offers only two options. It’s called “Take Sides.” Create a list of questions with two answers. Students should obligatorily choose one of them. Afterward, you may discuss the answers. Let everyone explain his/her choices. Thus, you’ll learn more about each other, and it will bring you closer. Here are several suggestions:

  • Watermelon or banana?
  • Sweat or bitter?
  • Short trips every weekend or a journey around the world for three months?
  • Partying or hiking?
  • Listen or speak?
  • Rock or pop?
  • Morning or night?
  • Superman or Batman?
  • Robocop or Terminator?
  • Harry Potter or the Lord of the Rings?
  • Los Angeles or New York?
  • Liberal or conservative?
  • American football or ice hockey?

My Most Embarrassing Moment

You can likewise tell each other about the most embarrassing moments. It’s important to be honest and don’t imagine a story that never took place. All the participants should agree on this term. Commonly, it is a very entertaining activity. Students tell funny stories they’ve been through. It commonly makes them closer.

These activities for college students are very simple to follow. They are really entertaining. Mind that we have mentioned only 5 of them. However, you can try a hundred activities more. Use our examples to have fun and relax. They may inspire you and your friends to look for other entertaining activities.

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