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The Chi

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On 5/18/2019 at 9:25 AM, Dee said:

Brandon has no idea who Otis really is.

Jerrika seems to have an idea.

On the surface he’s rich because of a number of pizzerias in the hood.  He’s apparently using those to launder drug money.

I’m sure the cops know Otis but they don’t care enough to take him down or Otis bribes enough politicians.  Kind of lie in The Wire where McNulty and others got sick of seeing Avon and Stringer getting away with shit.

I think periodically big cities take down gang leaders and new guys come to take over.  So these street gang leaders don’t get to retire or live off drug trafficking wealth for decades like the mafia guys did.

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Wow here's more info. I didn't even know that Tiffany Boone quit the show let alone over his behavior. Wonder what they'll do about his character. I was living him with both Emmett and Kevin. That scene where he cuts Kevin's hair while Kevin sobs destroyed me.

https://www.hip-hopvibe.com/2019/05/21/jason-mitchell-allegedly-sexually-harassed-the-chi-co-star-tiffany-boone-multiple-women-made-complaints-against-him-details/

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I agree that he had a great storyline on the show, probably the one I enjoyed the most aside from the kids.

It's pretty bad that his harassment was so bad that Tiffany Boone chose to leave the show rather than keep working with him, but that article says that she was not the only actress on The Chi who complained about his behavior. How many people have to complain before something is done? Even in this age of #MeToo, two seasons worth of his costars complaining about his behavior wasn't enough to get him fired. The Chi only got rid of him after he was fired from that Netflix movie.

I'm guessing the producers felt that Jason's character was more valuable to the show than Jerrika's (never mind that they could have just, you know, given Jerrika's character more to do). I'm glad that the producers let her leave instead of forcing her to honor her contract and continue working with him, but it's just another example of not enough being done. Why should she have to leave the show to escape his behavior? He is the one who should have been fired long before she asked to leave.

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8 hours ago, DiabLOL said:

That scene where he cuts Kevin's hair while Kevin sobs destroyed me.

Yes, and in so many ways he's a great character.  I wish they'd just recast the Brandon role rather than lose him altogether.   It's kind of weird, but it's not like it's never happened in TV history.

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Wow. I’m shocked. I hope this means Tiffany Boone will return because her character is great and she’s a fabulous actress. Sad to hear these allegations but Brandon should be recast. Another great character i want to know more about. 

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On 5/18/2019 at 12:25 PM, Dee said:

Brandon has no idea who Otis really is.

Yes, what I thought too.  Don't believe that Brandon knows about the guy's dark side.

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While I'm glad that he's been dealt with, at least from an employment standpoint, I'm sort of sorry that I have read about this before the end of the season.  It will surely influence how I see the remainder of the show.  Sad that the Brandon character has to go, but I doubt it will be recast.  Producers have to be crapping their britches.  #SorryNotSorry

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S2.E7: Blind Eye

Detective Cruz is left to make a difficult choice; Brandon gets some insight into Douda's past; Jerrika drops a bomb about her career; Emmett tries to figure out who Keisha is dating; Ronnie opens up to Jada, who helps him heal old wounds.

Promo:

Clip:

Original air date: 5/26/19

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On 5/21/2019 at 4:16 PM, SuprSuprElevated said:

Yes, what I thought too.  Don't believe that Brandon knows about the guy's dark side.

Well he got warned off by his friends.

But Jerrika has rich people guilt so she quits her job and now Brandon has to earn, not just for them but for Otis.

This is probably the trajectory that ends his character after this season.

Ah ...

Meanwhile, Cruz is an old rookie patrolman, just in 2013.

He upholds the thin blue line to protect a panicky partner who shoots a black man dead.  I guess if he hadn't, his career wouldn't have gotten anywhere and he likely doesn't make detective.

Meanwhile Toussaint also has a back story.  Her teen son is in prison and she has to pay protection money because she killed some gang leader and her son fears for his life in there unless she keeps paying.

Actress really took the usual hard edge off the character as she visited her son in prison.

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S2.E8: Lean Into It

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Brandon takes a big step with Jerrika; a new opportunity forces Emmett's hand; Kevin makes a new friend and a fateful decision; Ronnie spirals out of control.

Original air date: 6/2/19

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Lena Waithe talks about Jason Mitchell's behavior and firing from 'The Chi'

Some excerpts:

Quote

Though an executive producer on “The Chi,” Waithe is not the showrunner — meaning, the person in charge of the show’s day-to-day operation — and wasn’t on set in Chicago on a daily basis. Because she was not given the showrunner job (which is a managerial position as much as a creative one), Waithe has talked obliquely over the past two years about how this stymied her ability to call the shots. “I don’t have the power to fire anybody,” she said during the interview. “I wish I did. I do not. I don't own ‘The Chi.’ I created it, I sold it — I could be fired off the ‘The Chi.’”

“And there conversations that were had, HR was made aware and all the parties involved were like, ‘This thing has been resolved enough that both parties were willing to return to the show. So I was like, ‘OK, if you want to come back, I want to make sure that the environment is different. I made sure that when she came back to set, it was a whole different crew. And there were huge precautions that we took: The writers had extensive sexual harassment training. There was extensive harassment training on set. … And I also said, I’m going to put women in positions of power on the show, because I think if that’s the case, it will be less likely that we will have issues like this again.”

Waithe said things were running “smoothly” in Season 2: “I’m hearing that the set is completely different … and then I get a call from Ayanna saying that things are persisting, not a lot has changed in that area, but you can’t reach out, you’ve gotta sit tight, HR has to handle it. And my biggest regret is that I should have just said, ‘Forget that,’ and not trusted anybody to do my job and just reached out to Tiffany on my own, like, ‘Yo, what’s going on? What can I do? What can Lena do?’ And instead, I trusted someone else to do my job.”

Season 2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd Davis said: “When I took the helm in season two, it was Lena (Waithe) who informed me of the issues between Jason Mitchell and Tiffany Boone (who plays Brandon’s girlfriend Jerrika) from season one, and that Tiffany was thinking of leaving the show because of it. … As a result of this information, I discussed Tiffany’s claims with the studio’s HR department and set up HR presentations for the writers, cast and crew. Ultimately, everyone was well aware of Jason’s behavior and his multiple HR cases, including Lena, the creator and an executive producer of the show, who is very involved at the studio and network level.”

Davis also said that she “became a “target of his rage and inappropriateness and had to report him to HR, as well.”

There are three episodes left in Season 2 and it is not yet clear how Brandon will be written out of the show but Waithe did say that the role will not be recast with a different actor. She also confirmed that Boone asked to be let out of her contract and will not be returning for Season 3.

Re: the Netflix allegations:

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Multiple sources say Mitchell made what one described as highly inappropriate remarks to two actresses in the film while lingering close to their quarters. “There were two incidents in four days,” says an insider. Netflix did a “quick but thorough” investigation by phone and the producers were given the green light to do what they thought necessary.

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Reg has done a little of despicable things, but he got a lot more depth in this episode, mostly because his wrath was in the hopes that Jake's mom will clean herself up one day. His advice to Brandon made sense too. Reg isn't trying to reinvent the wheel. He sees how things are and he figures someone's going to make money so it might as well be him.

Brandon continues to make bad choices. He had so many chances to come clean with Jerrika and instead he decided to make a grand gesture and propose while still keeping a pretty huge fucking secret. The fact that he truly believes he can clean up this mess without her ever knowing what really happened is not a good sign.

I appreciate that Detective Cruz was trying to help Brandon by warning him about the investigation, but the show had to make this into a soap opera situation where he didn't explain everything clearly. Instead of telling Brandon that he found out someone else had been watching him and made these connections, he made it sound like he was accusing him of being part of the gang and selling drugs on the truck.

I was sad to see Emmett quit, but I loved the scene of him and Brandon joking about how they will still be friends. Their friendship has been one of my favorite things season. I am going to miss seeing them work together, but I totally get why Emmett decided to take the other job.

I remember going to the Shedd Aquarium as a kid so I loved that we finally got to see the kids go after all the weeks of that fundraising storyline. And I like that Kevin made a new friend! I know it's just a matter of time before he and Malcolm get busted for selling drugs at the fancy private school, but I still like that he and Kevin are friends and that they get each other.

Oh, Ronnie. You fucked up again. Poor Jada was so happy about their date and he had to ruin everything.

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14 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

And I like that Kevin made a new friend! I know it's just a matter of time before he and Malcolm get busted for selling drugs at the fancy private school, but I still like that he and Kevin are friends and that they get each other.

I went to private school. My neighbor (my age) went to a fancy boarding school, one of the Phillips academies. I could have told Kevin that private schools are full of drugs. When my neighbor told me about all the drugs at his school I was pretty horrified (my school had lots of underage drinking and weed but not a lot of hard stuff; his school had hard stuff), but then I thought, well, yeah. Too much money, not enough to do (the school was in a small New England town).

I like the stuff with the kids because I think the show is really good at showing that even though these kids get put into some adult situations, they are still kids. I think it's particularly important to show that Black kids are just kids (#whentheyseeus). Like, they're just talking about sharks and stuff. That was cute.

I think all the stuff with Jason Mitchell happened in such a way that the show wouldn't have prepared for his exit (timing-wise), so I suspect next season we'll get some "We miss Jerrika and Brandon since they moved to New York after they got married"-type exposition, rather than his storyline ending in a way that ties up the loose ends. If it does, I think it'll be accidental.

Edited by Empress1
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I really like this show and I hope it doesn't end because of all of the troubles they seem to be having.

I like Brandon/Jerrika's story but I think it can survive without them.  Emmett is my favorite and I agree with the poster above that said "Ronnie must die".  I'm over his story and him.  He can't get out of his own way.

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Ronnie just got out of prison.  Where does he have money for the booze and all that stuff?

He was keeping busy but not being accepted as a father and grandfather causes him to unravel?

Yeah it seems like Brandon's story is headed for something we've seen before, a kid from the hood trying to be good but gets caught up on the wrong side of the law despite his intentions.

I thought the kids were too hyperaware of how rich the kids from the private school were.  Maybe they notice them wearing nice shoes or having nicer phones than they have.  They were a little heavy-handed with the kids eating bologna sandwiches while the rich kids were inside, right by the window, eating nice hot dishes.

Looks like Reg got the death sentence.  Really that's the understanding between gangs, restitution isn't enough, they want blood?

What will Otis' underlings think that he gave up one of their own to a rival gang?

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4 hours ago, scrb said:

I thought the kids were too hyperaware of how rich the kids from the private school were.  Maybe they notice them wearing nice shoes or having nicer phones than they have.  They were a little heavy-handed with the kids eating bologna sandwiches while the rich kids were inside, right by the window, eating nice hot dishes.

A big "like" to your whole post but especially this. 

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S2.E9 Guilt, Viral Videos, and Ass Whuppings

Quote

Brandon and Emmett hatch a plan; Emmett starts his new job; Ronnie deals with the consequences of his actions; Kevin gets into hot water with his mom; detectives Toussaint and Cruz make an exciting discovery.

Promo:

Clip:

Original air date: 6/9/19

Edited by ElectricBoogaloo

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I don't even get Otis' plan, to use Brandon as bait for Toussaint.

The 63rd Street Mob bosses have been in prison.  Their activities aren't exactly subtle.

The detectives know what's going on, just a matter of getting evidence on them.  So how is Otis going to avoid prison.  Looks like they already got to Toussaint's son.

I don't think they're trying to write a Wired type of subplot or maybe they are.  I think it would be more interesting to see the gang activity from the POV of people who are trying to be good, avoid it, like Brandon is.

I did like the story about the kids crashing the teacher's meeting but they wouldn't have too much power over the budget.  Presumably the gift from Chance the rapper gets spread all over the city or the school district, not just that particular school.

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Things may have changed since I was a kid, but I remember most field trips I took were either free or low cost because places like the Shedd Aquarium and the zoo have special rates for schools. But even if the kids were paying full price, the current price for an adult (which is anyone over the age of 11) who is NOT a Chicago resident is $40. Admission for kids who are age 3-11 and Chicago residents is $15. Students who are 12 and older get a $3 discount if they show their school ID. There are also specific days when admission is free to Illinois residents, as well as a special museum pass for kids available at Chicago public libraries (it allows a family of four general admission). The Museums for All program is specifically for low income families. The aquarium website doesn't specifically say what the discounted price is for educational field trips, but even if they paid the regular Chicago resident price, that's less than $20 per kid.

In other words, there is no reason why any of these kids should have had to sell boxes and boxes of candy just to go to the aquarium when the admission cost was under $20. Some of the cost of the field trip was probably the bus, but the school district's cost for a bus divided by an entire bus full of kids (30-60 kids?) shouldn't have been so much that they needed to sell so much candy.

I know I have put way too much thought into this, but I know a lot of people who teach at public elementary schools so I know that there is no way that these kids should have had to sell copious amounts of candy for a local field trip. I know it was just the impetus for the viral video, but still. They should at least try to have this make sense in reality.

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Well, I guess that answers the question of whether or not Emmett used a condom with his third child's mother. LORD. I did like seeing him shine as manager though, and I always love his relationship with Brandon. I'll miss seeing that next season.

I like the boys' teacher. That " ... No, I think we should let [Papa] speak" was perfectly delivered, with a little wry smile.

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I'm really gonna miss Brandon's relationships with Emmett & Kevin.

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2 hours ago, Dee said:

I'm really gonna miss Brandon's relationships with Emmett & Kevin.

I am too. The actor is a jerk, but his character is great with both Kevin and Emmett. I did kind of laugh that Kevin’s mom was focused on Kevin’s punishment of no socializing, not the fact that a grown adult was knocking on her door to see her little boy. 

I know violence isn’t the answer to everything but Brandon having Reg beat up the track coach and steal his precious car was fine with me. Emmett was right about that guy grooming young girls since he was obviously dating multiple high school girls. Loved that Sonny’s first instinct was “Siri, call the police!” A+ for the R. Kelly reference. I’m glad people aren’t looking the other way on this shady ass shit anymore. 

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$40 is crazy.

I know kids would prefer the aquarium but pretty sure the Louvre isn't anywhere near that much.

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37 minutes ago, scrb said:

$40 is crazy.

I know kids would prefer the aquarium but pretty sure the Louvre isn't anywhere near that much.

The Louvre is €17 which is about $19. A lot of places have raised their prices (Disneyland is now $97!) but they still have discounts for groups or student field trips.

Just for the sake of comparison, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is now $50 for adults and $30 for kids (3-12). The Birch Aquarium in San Diego is $19.50 for adults and $15 for kids (3-17).

The last time I went to Chicago, I managed to visit during a week with free museum days so I went to the Art Institute, the Museum of Science and Industry, and the Field Museum and paid nothing. We ended up skipping the Shedd Aquarium and the planetarium (also free that week) because we we were too tired. With all the ways to get discounts, there’s no reason why any of those kids should have had to sell multiple boxes of candy!

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I did my museum touring a decade and more ago.

Now too many restrictions and too crowded.

The Louvre and the Orsay have balconies with beautiful views but they won't let you go there with cameras any more.

So no ticket purchase for me.

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SEASON FINALE!

S2.E10: The Scorpion and the Frog

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Brandon is faced with a life-altering decision; Emmett takes a step toward adulthood; Kevin tries out a new look; a trip down south leads Ronnie to confront his demons; detectives Toussaint and Cruz make a big arrest.

Promo:

Clip:

Original air date: 6/16/19

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Brandon really needs to have a seat. First he lied to his girlfriend and when he had to opportunity to tell her the truth, he proposed instead. Then he got arrested and doubled down and continued to lie to her. When she told him that their relationship wasn't working, he attacked her and told her to get out, but as she was leaving, he said, "Don't do this." WTF, Brandon? After what a complete dick he's been to her, I'm more than ready for his character to be gone. Ever since the news broke about him being fired, I wondered how the show would write him off. His dickish behavior this week has me more than glad I won't have to deal with his ass anymore.

It does leave the writers in a lurch since they made Brandon the pivotal part of Toussaint's plan to take down Perry, but I guess maybe they can have Emmett take over the truck to keep that part of the plot in play (although I don't know how the cops would convince him to cooperate). If Jake were a few years older, I could see them trying to get him to do it once he finds out that Perry let Reg get murdered, but he's too young to even drive right now. I'm just glad that poor Jake didn't have to see Reg get gunned down in front of him. I hate that Perry's main motivation for taking Jake in and giving him a job is to turn him into a mini me who is clean on paper but is doing all kinds of shady criminal shit.

I really did feel for Brandon when they found the gun on his truck. He wasn't kidding when he told Toussaint that he's never fired a gun. He really is a nice guy most of the time (his recent shadiness with Jerrika aside) and he didn't kill any of the three people who were shot with that gun, but that doesn't matter to the police.

I'm so glad that Kevin decided to at least consider the private school as an option. I am going to miss his hair though!

Brandon forgiving Ronnie was a great scene.

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I get the sense that the actor playing Brandon hadn't been fired when the finale was shot.

So he was maybe going to be helping to take down Otis in S3.

However, the breakup with Jerrika, maybe the actress was already leaving.

They could just stop the gang story line, now that Brandon isn't involved and they killed off Reg.  Not too many left in the neighborhood with ties to the gang.

They could say he's in witness protection now.

But it would leave a big hole in the show, to get rid of Brandon.  I guess they will have to introduce new characters and/or increase the story lines for other characters.

They got rid of the old school gangsters from S1 with very little explanation so maybe that's how they'll do Brandon.

I don't know how they could have Kevin going to another school and he no longer hangs out with Papa and some of the other kids.

I guess they're going to make Emmet the hard-working, striving, responsible guy now.  But they loaded him up with another baby, just to make sure he had enough handicap.

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9 hours ago, scrb said:

I get the sense that the actor playing Brandon hadn't been fired when the finale was shot.

He definitely hadn't been fired yet when they filmed the finale. He was just fired a few weeks ago and they finished shooting the season months ago.

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1 hour ago, SuburbanHangSuite said:

Right?  I wasn't expecting that.   I had a love/hate thing going with Reg.  

I expected it because Otis made it really clear last week that he was going to sacrifice Reg to keep the peace. He wasn't thrilled about it but he knew it was on Reg due to the stash house incident, which is what the other guy was so incensed about.

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10 hours ago, ElectricBoogaloo said:

I expected it because Otis made it really clear last week that he was going to sacrifice Reg to keep the peace. He wasn't thrilled about it but he knew it was on Reg due to the stash house incident, which is what the other guy was so incensed about.

I guess I thought Reg was off the hook since he explained that he took such drastic measures because Jake's mom was the OD'ing crackhead.  I let my guard down.  Should've known that Douda wasn't that forgiving.

And God help me, I'm still crushing on Otis.  Not Douda.  Otis.

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Probably totally off base here but is it possible that Reg isn't dead?  I mean we didn't actually SEE him dead right?  I told Mr. Metalchik that they are going to have to increase the story lines of other characters since getting rid of Brandon so maybe Reg lives after all.  I think someone else here said they have a love/hate relationship with him - as do I.  

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Former ‘The Chi’ Star Jason Mitchell’s Character to Be Killed Off on Season 3

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“There is a lot of great life in ‘The Chi’ and there’s also death in ‘The Chi’ and that’s how we’ll be dealing with it,” Showtime Networks co-president of entertainment Gary Levine told reporters during the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday.

When a reporter followed up with the question, “So he’ll be killed off?” — referring to Mitchell’s character, Brandon Johnson — Levine responded with a nod.

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Jason Mitchell denies sexual assault allegations 

Quote

The situation related to his dismissal from the film Desperados:

  • “To be honest I’m not 100 percent sure what the allegations themselves were. But I can tell you what happened. I went out with a co-worker of mine and she got drunk. I made sure she got home and the next day it all kind of slapped me in my face, I’m not sure if her and her significant other had a situation…. I actually had a girlfriend at the time too as well, and I felt like I was doing the right thing. The next day they canceled the rehearsal, I told them my side of the story and I don’t know if there was something that I missed.”

The allegations related to costar Tiffany Boone and S2 showrunner Ayanna Floyd of The Chi:

  • About Boone :“If you try her, she will get you together right then and there, you know what I mean? She not takin’ nothin,’ at all. I encourage people to be more like that, because had me and Tiffany ever had a situation where I don’t know, she might have felt sexually harassed, I can bet my bottom dollar, she would have told me about myself in that moment.”
  • About Floyd : "I'm all for the #MeToo movement, but I think in this situation Ayanna tried to use it as a really, really ugly weapon. I might have unintentionally sort of intimidated her and I can take that L. For me I can definitely take my L and say, I could have handled that better. There was a time where I could have just walked off. I didn’t have to say anything to her, I didn’t have to respond.”

He was let go from The Chi due to his behavior on Desperados. 

  • "The actual reason that I got let go was because Disney saw what was going on with Desperados and they just bought Showtime, so they decided not to pick up my option. I've been on the show for what was about to be three seasons. I was nominated for an award, so you know, I was asking for money and all these different sorts of things and they just weren't down to do it." 

In the comments section, there are mentions of some other issues he had besides the ones he addresses (including a 2016 incident in Boston where he got banned from the Ritz for throwing an 18 year old woman on the ground by her hair and calling her a bitch).

You can watch the full interview:

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Tiffany Boone guest starred on this week's episode of Little Fires Everywhere (S1.E6: The Uncanny). She played the younger version of Kerry Washington's character. She discusses Hunters and Little Fires Everywhere here.

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Episode description for S03.E01:

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A wedding alters Kevin and Kiesha's lives; Emmett juggles his business and his growing family; Ronnie struggles to find his way; Jake's estranged brother Trig lands back in town on a mission.

 

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