Warning: The following contains mild spoilers for The Boys Season 2, Episode 6.
Shawn Ashmore returns to his superhero roots with this Friday’s The Boys — but his supe, Lamplighter, couldn’t be more different from the heroic Iceman he played in the X-Men movie franchise. For starters, the fire-wielding Lamplighter was responsible for the murder of two children, a tragedy which still haunts the supe. And as viewers discover in Episode 6, there’s a lot more to the story of what happened to Mallory’s grandkids.
Below, Ashmore digs deep into the character’s morally complex actions and shares his reaction to Lamplighter’s memorable costume. Plus, the actor takes on the all-important question: Who would win in a fight, Iceman or Lamplighter?
TVLINE | You’re no stranger to superhero/comic book movies. How did this experience compare to X-Men for you?
In a lot of ways, from a character and an acting perspective, it was completely different, obviously, but that’s kind of the point. Lamplighter is the complete opposite to Bobby Drake, to Iceman. So from that perspective, it was completely different, although working in the same space with the effects and the powers, that felt very familiar. But also, the thing that amazed me about The Boys is what a huge production it is. The X-Men films, obviously, are big tentpole films. But when I got on the set of The Boys, it felt familiar. It’s a huge, huge production, from the amount of detail they spend on their visual effects and the costumes, and even just the time to shoot scenes. It doesn’t feel like a traditional TV show or network TV show. So I loved that. It felt very similar to being on a film set versus a television show.
It’s a fun set. I was a big fan of the show coming in, so it was exciting. It was a little nerve-wracking, because whenever I get to be a part of something I’m a fan of, I don’t want to screw it up. [Laughs] You don’t want to be the weak link. But coming on, I felt very, very welcomed, and obviously, all the actors and the whole production, they’re very welcoming to all the cast that come on, and they want you to be really good. So everybody’s there to support you and to bring you up to speed. It was a really good time.
TVLINE | The Boys have quite a reaction to your Lamplighter costume. What did you think of it when you first put it on?
I loved it! It was, like, ridiculous in all the best kinds of ways. It was so ornate and detailed. From the cowl and the tight-fitting costume codpiece, the boots and the cuffs on everything, it was amazing. I had such a fun time. And it was a long fitting process, way longer than I ever spent on the X-Men films: so very detailed, [a] very dedicated team, and I love the costume. I thought it was perfect. It went through a few weeks of fittings and iterations and stuff like that. When I finally put it on for the first time, which is the scene where Lamplighter’s walking down a red carpet, I felt like a superhero again. You put it on, and you can’t help but walk a little differently and handle yourself in a different way.
TVLINE | Your powers between the two roles are pretty much polar opposites, ice and fire. Is there one that you think would beat out the other in a fight?
That’s such a hard question. We don’t see the fire versus ice battle in The Boys, but in X-Men, Iceman did win that battle. So I’m not sure where to go here. If we were doing a fight between Iceman and Lamplighter, I think that Iceman would probably win. That being said, Lamplighter is insanely powerful and does a lot of damage on the show. His abilities are very useful, but maybe between the two, if it was Bobby Drake versus Lamplighter, maybe Bobby would win. But I think Lamplighter might fight a little dirtier, so you never know what would happen.
TVLINE | Lamplighter is a lot more morally gray than Iceman, but he does show some remorse for what he’s done in this week’s episode. So where would you say he falls in the spectrum of supes on the show? We’ve seen everything from Homelander and Stormfront as absolutely the worst to Starlight, who’s trying to do good from within.
I think that’s what’s interesting about this show. I don’t see the supes as pure villains. Maybe Stormfront. Stormfront’s pretty bad. But even Homelander, the most effective scene for me, really, in the whole first season was the scene where Homelander freaks out about the blanket when he’s doing a walkthrough of his house, and it flashes back to him as an infant in this lab, and it’s like, “Oh, I totally understand it.” It broke my heart. It made me understand why he can be such an evil guy. But again, he’s not a villain. He’s a human being who’s had these horrible things happen to him, which then affects how he behaves and how he relates to the world and how he relates to people, which is horribly. But that’s what I love about The Boys: It’s not these evil villains. It’s human beings that were given the serum, were given powers that nobody would be capable of handling properly, and then lifted to these heights of fame and power. It’s just how the human psyche unravels, and some people handle it better than other.
I think when Lamplighter was part of The Seven and he was protected by this machine and was lifted up, he probably was behaving badly and thought he could get away with anything that he wanted to. And also, the things that he was asked to do… That’s the other thing that’s very evident is that The Seven is asked to do things that they don’t necessarily want to do, but you’re part of the program, the train’s rolling, you’re on board. So you kind of have to [go] along. Otherwise, who knows what’s gonna happen to you?
Now where we find Lamplighter in Season 2, he’s been kicked out of The Seven. His identity is gone. This important person that he was is gone, and now all he’s left with is dealing with the actions that he has done, the bad things that he’s done. So I still think he’s a bad guy in a lot of ways, he’s done a lot of bad things, but I think what [showrunner] Eric [Kripke] and the writers are trying to do with Lamplighter is sort of show a few more layers of who these supes are, and watch them deal with and have them handle the awful things that they’ve done in the past. And I think Lamplighter has PTSD from the horrible things that he’s done. He’s living in a hole, and it’s pretty sad. He’s just trying to deal with the horrible things that he has done and is continuing to be asked to do by Vought. So it was a pretty heavy character, but it’s what I really like about the show.
Have you watched Episode 6 yet? If so, grade it below, then hit the comments! And if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for?!
The Advantages of Online Casino Welcome Bonuses
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
3 Key Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Blackjack
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.
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.
Top 5 Entertainment Activities for College Students
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.
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?
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.