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Bachelor Nation’s Mike Johnson Dishes On His New Book and the “Power of Vulnerability”

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Related: “Bachelor” Franchise Will Film Despite COVID-19

Mike Johnson won the hearts of many Bachelor fans when he appeared on Hannah Brown‘s season of The Bachelorette.

As Mike exclusively explains to E! News, he thought he was just looking for love on The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, but he found something so much better. In both of those shows he left as a single man, but he came away from the experiences with a wealth of knowledge not on just relationships, but himself.

Now he’s passing on those words of wisdom to his followers, whether they are single or not, because the way he sees it, it’s never too late to learn and grow. He shares all this and more in his book Making The Love You Want, a self-help novel of sorts.

To learn what readers can look forward to and hear his opinion on Tayshia Adams taking over for Clare Crawley on The Bachelorette, check out the Q&A below!

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A Brief History of Bachelor and Bachelorette Finales

E!: Congratulations on your book, that’s exciting.

MJ: Yeah, it makes me smile. It’s extremely scary because I truly am being so vulnerable. When I was on TV for trying to find the love of my life, that doesn’t seem as vulnerable as this. To me this is like, I feel like I’m an artists and I’m sharing the world my baby, my creation that I worked so hard on.

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E!: What inspired you to write a relationship book like this?

MJ: Like most people, I spent a lot of time in my life looking for love out in the world, trying to explore new experiences, even through reality TV. In trying to find the love that I was in fact looking for all along, I found out it was within me. And then when I realized all love begins with self love–really standing up for yourself and being true to your values, quite honestly–is the key to success. Everything changed at that moment. I knew I wanted to share that truth and my truth with more people and that is what inspired this.

E!: Some tips in the book are about how to stop looking for external validation and look inward. How do you personally achieve this when it comes to living in the spotlight and absorbing that public opinion?

MJ: It’s one thing to see the public opinion but another thing to absorb it, right? I think the things that I do absorb are things from my mom, my sister, my grandmother, my best friends–my homies, as I call them–that’s what I do absorb. And then quite honestly, from there, when I wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, that’s who I have to validate. No one else. And so I have my written words on my mirror, my little mantra; my mantras that are within my book have literally been on my mirror and so it’s just me, myself and I. Beyonce said it, and that’s what it is.

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Riker Brothers
GROOMING: Crystal Tran
STYLING: Apuje Kalu

E!: What did you learn about yourself from your time on The Bachelorette?

MJ: A lot. I would say one of the things I learned from being on The Bachelorette is the life-changing power of courage, the power of vulnerability. The book definitely goes there. It gives you an inside look at my life and some of that stuff will come from what I experienced on TV. But the hope is that you and other readers can see parts of yourselves or struggles in my experiences. Quite honestly, being on a show, being around so many different cultures, so many different personalities for sure, a lot of alpha men in the house I learned that love self, love all. That’s pretty much everything.

E!: What have you learned about what you need in a relationship and how are you going about finding that?

MJ: I have been in love before. I went on the reality TV show to find my last chapter, or my first chapter to my new beginning, and I simply learned it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s not cowardly to show your vulnerability, it’s actually cowardly the hide your vulnerability.

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Riker Brothers
GROOMING: Crystal Tran
STYLING: Apuje Kalu

E!: What is your relationship status? Are you still looking for that final chapter girl?

MJ: I’m single. I am looking to find someone that has passions that are similar to mine.

E!: You were on Paradise with Tayshia Adams. What do you think about the shakeup and how do you think Tayshia will be as the Bachelorette?

MJ: Firstly, I definitely think that representation is incredibly important. There’s nothing that I support more within that franchise than having more people of color, having people of color in a lead role. Whether it’s me, Matt James, Tayshia Adams, I love seeing the progress and we’ll be cheering them both on, whether it’s on the show or off the show. I think that Tayshia will be a great Bachelorette. I know her personally, we’ve had lots of conversations about relationships and about real life, current events and she is an incredibly thoughtful person. Her emotional awareness, her EQ level is off the charts.

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Riker Brothers
GROOMING: Crystal Tran
STYLING: Apuje Kalu

E!: You mention Matt James… Now that some time has passed since a petition called for The Bachelor to cast a Black lead and they picked Matt, how do you feel about the decision they made? So many fans were rooting for you.

MJ: I think that [ABC] still needs to do a whole lot more within hiring Black people and people of color in high positions, not just in the bottom tier. I think choosing Matt James, he’s a pretty phenomenal dude, I think he’s pretty awesome. He has a great smile. I’m hating on him because he’s a little bit taller than me but he’s a great guy. I felt that I’m a bit unsure of the timing. I think that that was a bit off but as far as Matt James as an individual, I think he’s a great guy.

E!: Is there anything from your book that you want people to take away from it?

MJ: I am not a reality TV personality that decides to write a book on a whim. I would say that I am an avid reader, I’ve read hundreds of books. I am pretty much a nerd. I was a financial advisor before going onto The Bachelor franchise. I am a very analytical type of individual and this book is the most incredible accomplishment that I’ve ever been able to do and I hope that touches so many people.

Mike’s book, Making The Love You Want, will be released on World Smile Day: Friday, October 2, 2020 and is available for pre-order now.

(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)

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Netflix is developing a live action ‘Assassin’s Creed’ show

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Netflix announced this morning that it’s partnering with Ubisoft to adapt the game publisher’s “Assassin’s Creed” franchise into a live action series.

The franchise jumps around in history, telling the story of a secret society of assassins with “genetic memory” and their centuries-long battle the knights templar. It has sold 155 million games worldwide and was also turned into a nearly incomprehensible 2016 film starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, which underperformed at the box office.

The companies say that they’re currently looking for a showrunner. Jason Altman and Danielle Kreinik of Ubisoft’s film and television division will serve as executive producers. (In addition to working on adaptations of Ubisoft’s intellectual property, the publisher is also involved in the Apple TV+ industry comedy “Mythic Quest.”)

“We’re excited to partner with Ubisoft and bring to life the rich, multilayered storytelling that Assassin’s Creed is beloved for,” said Netflix’s vice president of original series Peter Friedlander in a statement. “From its breathtaking historical worlds and massive global appeal as one of the best selling video game franchises of all time, we are committed to carefully crafting epic and thrilling entertainment based on this distinct IP and provide a deeper dive for fans and our members around the world to enjoy.”

It sounds like there could be follow-up shows as well, with the announcement saying that Netflix and Ubisoft will “tap into the iconic video game’s trove of dynamic stories with global mass appeal for adaptations of live action, animated, and anime series.”

Netflix recently placed an eight-episode order for “Resident Evil,” another video game franchise that was previously adapted for the big screen. And it also had a big hit with its adaptation of “The Witcher,” which is based on a fantasy book series that was popularized via video games.

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Original Content podcast: ‘Lovecraft Country’ is gloriously bonkers

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As we tried to recap the first season of HBO’s “Lovecraft Country,” one thing became clear: The show is pretty nuts.

The story begins by sending Atticus “Tic” Freeman (Jonathan Majors), his friend Leti Lewis (Jurnee Smolett) and his uncle George (Courtney B. Vance) on a road trip across mid-’50s America in search of Tic’s missing father. You might assume that the search will occupy the entire season, or take even longer than that; instead, the initial storyline is wrapped up quickly.

And while there’s a story running through the whole season, most of the episodes are relatively self-contained, offering their own versions on various horror and science fiction tropes. There’s a haunted house episode, an Indiana Jones episode, a time travel episode and more.

The show isn’t perfect — the writing can be clunky, the special effects cheesy and cheap-looking. But at its best, it does an impressive job of mixing increasingly outlandish plots, creepy monsters (with plentiful gore) and a healthy dose of politics.

After all, “Lovecraft Country” (adapted form a book by Matt Ruff) is named after notoriously racist horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, but it focuses almost entirely on Black characters, making the case that old genres can be reinvigorated with diverse casts and a rethinking of political assumptions.

In addition to reviewing the show, the latest episode of the Original Content podcast also includes a discussion of Netflix earnings, the new season of “The Bachelorette” and the end of Quibi.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also follow us on Twitter or send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

And if you’d like to skip ahead, here’s how the episode breaks down:
0:00 Intro
0:36 Netflix discussion
3:18 “The Bachelorette”
6:30 Quibi
14:35 “Lovecraft Country” review
31:32 “Lovecraft Country” spoiler discussion

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The short, strange life of Quibi

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“All that is left now is to offer a profound apology for disappointing you and, ultimately, for letting you down,” Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman wrote, closing out an open letter posted to Medium. “We cannot thank you enough for being there with us, and for us, every step of the way.”

With that, the founding executives confirmed the rumors and put Quibi to bed, a little more than six months after launching the service.

Starting a business is an impossibly difficult task under nearly any conditions, but even in a world that’s littered with high-profile failures, the streaming service’s swan song was remarkable for both its dramatically brief lifespan and the amount of money the company managed to raise (and spend) during that time.

A month ahead of its commercial launch, Quibi announced that it had raised another $750 million. That second round of funding brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

“We concluded a very successful second raise which will provide Quibi with a strong cash runway,” CFO Ambereen Toubassy told the press at the time. “This round of $750 million gives us tremendous flexibility and the financial wherewithal to build content and technology that consumers embrace.”

Quibi’s second funding round brought the yet-to-launch streaming service’s funding up to $1.75 billion — roughly the same as the gross domestic product of Belize, give or take $100 million.

From a financial perspective, Quibi had reason to be hopeful. Its fundraising ambitions were matched only by the aggressiveness with which it planned to spend that money. At the beginning of the year, Whitman touted the company’s plans to spend up to $100,000 per minute of programming — $6 million per hour. The executive proudly contrasted the jaw-dropping sum to the estimated $500 to $5,000 an hour spent by YouTube creators.

For Whitman and Katzenberg — best known for their respective reigns at HP and Disney — money was key to success in an already crowded marketplace. $1 billion was a drop in the bucket compared to the $17.3 billion Netflix was expected to spend on original content in 2020, but it was a start.

Following in the footsteps of Apple, who had also recently announced plans to spend $1 billion to launch its own fledgling streaming service, the company was enlisting A-List talent, from Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro and Ridley Scott to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez and LeBron James. If your name carried any sort of clout in Hollywood boardrooms, Quibi would happily cut you a check, seemingly regardless of content specifics.

Quibi’s strategy primarily defined itself by itself by its constraints. In hopes of attracting younger millennial and Gen Z, the company’s content would be not just mobile-first, but mobile-only. There would be no smart TV app, no Chromecast or AirPlay compatibility. Pricing, while low compared to the competition, was similarly off-putting. After a 90-day free trial, $4.99 got you an ad-supported subscription. And boy howdy, were there ads. Ads upon ads. Ads all the way down. Paying another $3 a month would make them go away.

Technological constraints and Terms of Service fine print forbade screen shots — a fundamental understanding of how content goes viral in 2020 (though, to be fair, one shared with other competing streaming services). Amusingly, the inability to share content led to videos like this one of director Sam Raimi’s perplexingly earnest “The Golden Arm.”

It features a built-on laugh track from viewers as Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan lies in a hospital bed after refusing to remove a golden prosthetic. It’s an allegory, surely, but not one intentionally played for laughs. Many of the videos that did ultimately make the rounds on social media were regarded as a curiosity — strange artifacts from a nascent streaming service that made little sense on paper.

Most notable of all, however, were the “quick bites” that gave the service its confusingly pronounced name. Each program would be served in 5-10 minute chunks. The list included films acquired by the service, sliced up into “chapters.” Notably, the service didn’t actually purchase the content outright; instead, rights were set to revert to their creators after seven years. Meanwhile, after two years, content partners were able to “reassemble” the chunks back into a movie for distribution.

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