Come for 'The Rehearsal,' stay for 'The Bear,' and more weekend recs

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Come for 'The Rehearsal,' stay for 'The Bear,' and more weekend recs

Our recommendations for your weekend.

Image: FX; BlueTwelve Studio; Rolling Stone

This week we’re herding cats, stressing out over “The Rehearsal” and “The Bear,” and getting the backstory on #ReleaseTheSnyderCut.

‘The Rehearsal’ isn’t for the faint of heart

Nothing can quite prepare you for “The Rehearsal,” comedian Nathan Fielder’s follow-up to his Comedy Central series “Nathan For You.” While it follows the same broad strokes of what Fielder fans have taken to calling reality comedy in the vein of Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Rehearsal” reaches unprecedented, profound heights by asking difficult questions about social anxiety and the lengths to which humans will go to avoid feeling emotional pain. It is equal parts deranged dark comedy and alarmingly cathartic reality TV, with a dash of Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York.”

The show, which aired its pilot last week, is not for everybody; like his past work, cringe-sensitive viewers may find themselves literally sick to their stomachs by Fielder’s willingness to push situations to the extreme. But “The Rehearsal” is worth the discomfort for the sheer range of emotions it will yank out of you before you’ve even recognized the magic trick it’s pulling off before your eyes.

And neither is ‘The Bear’

In case “The Rehearsal” wasn’t stressful enough, Christopher Storer’s drama “The Bear” will shave a year or two off your life. The dramedy about a struggling sandwich shop in Chicago newly helmed by a former professional chef can be so intense in its camera work, lightning-fast dialogue and realistic portrayal of toxic restaurant work environments that real-life chefs have admitted to not making it through a single episode because of how close it hits to home. But the eight-part series, now renewed for a second season, is so fresh, raw and well-acted that it is impossible not to recommend — it’s no wonder “The Bear” currently holds a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Just prepare your heart rate in advance.

Here, kitty kitty

There’s not much you really need to say about Stray, a new adventure game from French developer BlueTwelve Studio and Annapurna Interactive. The main character is a cat, and anyone who's seen the trailers should know why that makes it an instant must-play for pretty much everyone. Also, it does an excellent job of moving past its premise to tell a touching and adorable narrative about resilience and survival while also featuring some beautiful environments and clever puzzles.

Stray keeps itself interesting through its non-human robot characters, telling the story of a ruined world while also centering its emotional journey on the “Homeward Bound”-like adventure of its titular feline. The game is available for the time being as part of Sony’s PlayStation Plus Extra/Premium subscriptions this month if you don’t feel like purchasing it outright.

A game for people who don’t play games

British studio Supermassive Games’ latest release is a fantastic entry in the complicated and often messy market for games that are more like interactive movies. Like its past title Until Dawn and many of the Hollywood-aspiring releases from developers like Quantic Dream, The Quarry’s interactivity mostly centers on making pivotal choices about the fate of its characters.

But the freedom it gives you and its schlocky B-movie horror influences make it a perfect game for people who don’t play a lot of games, with plenty to love if you’re a fan of slasher flicks and monster movies. With its twisting narrative and strong replayability to unlock different endings and uncover more secrets, The Quarry succeeds as arguably the best version yet of this particular take on video game narrative.

Fake accounts fueled the ‘Snyder Cut’ online army

Remember #ReleaseTheSnyderCut? The social media movement that led Warner Bros. to release a second “Justice League” version on HBO Max was unprecedented — and likely driven by bots tied to a now-defunct Los Angeles ad agency, according to an internal investigation conducted by the studio that Rolling Stone recently got its hands on. Some of Zack Snyder’s real fans took things even further, harassing studio executives and journalists alike. The craziest part of the story, however, is Snyder’s own role in all of this, which allegedly involved taking hard drives from the studio lot and reshooting scenes in his own backyard.

A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.


Judge Zia Faruqui is trying to teach you crypto, one ‘SNL’ reference at a time

His decisions on major cryptocurrency cases have quoted "The Big Lebowski," "SNL," and "Dr. Strangelove." That’s because he wants you — yes, you — to read them.

The ways Zia Faruqui (right) has weighed on cases that have come before him can give lawyers clues as to what legal frameworks will pass muster.

Photo: Carolyn Van Houten/The Washington Post via Getty Images

“Cryptocurrency and related software analytics tools are ‘The wave of the future, Dude. One hundred percent electronic.’”

That’s not a quote from "The Big Lebowski" — at least, not directly. It’s a quote from a Washington, D.C., district court memorandum opinion on the role cryptocurrency analytics tools can play in government investigations. The author is Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui.

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Veronica Irwin

Veronica Irwin (@vronirwin) is a San Francisco-based reporter at Protocol covering fintech. Previously she was at the San Francisco Examiner, covering tech from a hyper-local angle. Before that, her byline was featured in SF Weekly, The Nation, Techworker, Ms. Magazine and The Frisc.

The financial technology transformation is driving competition, creating consumer choice, and shaping the future of finance. Hear from seven fintech leaders who are reshaping the future of finance, and join the inaugural Financial Technology Association Fintech Summit to learn more.

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The Financial Technology Association (FTA) represents industry leaders shaping the future of finance. We champion the power of technology-centered financial services and advocate for the modernization of financial regulation to support inclusion and responsible innovation.

AWS CEO: The cloud isn’t just about technology

As AWS preps for its annual re:Invent conference, Adam Selipsky talks product strategy, support for hybrid environments, and the value of the cloud in uncertain economic times.

Photo: Noah Berger/Getty Images for Amazon Web Services

AWS is gearing up for re:Invent, its annual cloud computing conference where announcements this year are expected to focus on its end-to-end data strategy and delivering new industry-specific services.

It will be the second re:Invent with CEO Adam Selipsky as leader of the industry’s largest cloud provider after his return last year to AWS from data visualization company Tableau Software.

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Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Image: Protocol

We launched Protocol in February 2020 to cover the evolving power center of tech. It is with deep sadness that just under three years later, we are winding down the publication.

As of today, we will not publish any more stories. All of our newsletters, apart from our flagship, Source Code, will no longer be sent. Source Code will be published and sent for the next few weeks, but it will also close down in December.

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Bennett Richardson

Bennett Richardson ( @bennettrich) is the president of Protocol. Prior to joining Protocol in 2019, Bennett was executive director of global strategic partnerships at POLITICO, where he led strategic growth efforts including POLITICO's European expansion in Brussels and POLITICO's creative agency POLITICO Focus during his six years with the company. Prior to POLITICO, Bennett was co-founder and CMO of Hinge, the mobile dating company recently acquired by Match Group. Bennett began his career in digital and social brand marketing working with major brands across tech, energy, and health care at leading marketing and communications agencies including Edelman and GMMB. Bennett is originally from Portland, Maine, and received his bachelor's degree from Colgate University.


Why large enterprises struggle to find suitable platforms for MLops

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, and as larger enterprises go from deploying hundreds of models to thousands and even millions of models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

As companies expand their use of AI beyond running just a few machine learning models, ML practitioners say that they have yet to find what they need from prepackaged MLops systems.

Photo: artpartner-images via Getty Images

On any given day, Lily AI runs hundreds of machine learning models using computer vision and natural language processing that are customized for its retail and ecommerce clients to make website product recommendations, forecast demand, and plan merchandising. But this spring when the company was in the market for a machine learning operations platform to manage its expanding model roster, it wasn’t easy to find a suitable off-the-shelf system that could handle such a large number of models in deployment while also meeting other criteria.

Some MLops platforms are not well-suited for maintaining even more than 10 machine learning models when it comes to keeping track of data, navigating their user interfaces, or reporting capabilities, Matthew Nokleby, machine learning manager for Lily AI’s product intelligence team, told Protocol earlier this year. “The duct tape starts to show,” he said.

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Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye is an award-winning multimedia reporter digging deep and telling print, digital and audio stories. She covers AI and data for Protocol. Her reporting on AI and tech ethics issues has been published in OneZero, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, CityLab, Ad Age and Digiday and heard on NPR. Kate is the creator of RedTailMedia.org and is the author of "Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media," a book about how the 2008 presidential campaigns used digital media and data.

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