Alfred Hitchcock made Psycho infamous by killing off the main character 30 minutes into the movie. Audiences were shocked — some even walked out of the theater. This had never been done before. Viewers had already invested 30 minutes into Janet Leigh. But her character’s death — as shocking as it was — created an essential space for Norman Bates to emerge and develop. The movie took a twist for the unexpected, and Norman Bates remains one of the most fundamental characters in the history of film.
It took me awhile to get into House of Cards. The series seems to pick up more steam the longer you watch. Kevin Spacey makes me uncomfortable (for good reason). I wasn’t hooked right away. Like Heisenberg in Breaking Bad, we are captivated by the villains — the evil doers. Frank and Claire Underwood are the political equivalent to Bonnie and Clyde. The audience is part of a first-person psychopathic journey through a politician’s road to world domination, and we’re frozen on the edge of our seats.
The turning point for many was the first episode of the second season, “Chapter 14.” Here we are, fully engaged with these characters, rooting for the journalists (I was rooting for the journalists) and waiting to see what amazing one-liners this series would come up with next. And then Zoe died. I had to re-watch the subway scene twice before I believed it was real. It was quick and dirty (just like Frank), an ingenious move on creator Beau Willimon’s part.
It’s the kind of moment where you think about criminal intent and defendants blaming their murders on “insanity.” Frank Underwood is an insane character with direct criminal intent. He didn’t get angry and frustrated and regret his decision. He saw an opportunity to get rid of a pesky journalist, so he took it. We all knew Frank was capable of stepping on anyone (Peter Russo) who was in his way. But this…this was different. This was a character that he had an established sexual and professional relationship with. And he killed her in two seconds. (It was so acrobatic and ninja-like.) That was the turning point for me, the point where I was hooked. Zoe’s death was a classic Hitchcockian move, only viewers had already invested an entire season into her.
The reason why Zoe’s death was so shocking to viewers is because we don’t believe our government officials to be capable of throwing journalists in front of trains when they are getting uncomfortably close to the truth. (9/11 truthers will disagree). In reality, dictatorships and corrupt regimes all over the world have the power to kill and do so regularly. Especially journalists. I find it so interesting that we are fascinated by a concept of unethical government and abuse of power when there is so much damn truth to it. We are romanticizing tyranny. We are making crooked governments into a drama series and it’s enticing and addicting because that’s not how we think we live. It’s dramatic to imagine Congress as a group of blood-thirsty criminals. Things like that “just don’t happen” in this country — so we make it into a TV show.
The fellas of Mad Men showed off their mad manes (sorry) when Jon Hamm and Pete Campbell revealed some pretty epic ‘dos to the public this week.
Let’s start with
Mr. Draper. Apparently in all my research of Jon Hamm (Read: browsing his
free-ballin’ pics), neither I — nor the rest of the
Internet — realized the star had appeared on the short-lived dating show The Big Date in 1996. The USA Network game show was hosted by Mark Walberg (the Antiques Roadshow one, not the triple-nipple one).
Hamm, identified on the show as a waiter, rocked the classic ‘90s parted shaggy
‘do (which I like to call the Shawn Hunter).
And as if that wasn’t enough to confuse your boner (or ladyboner), just watch as he
describes his perfect first date:
(Cut to the 2-minute mark for Hamm’s introduction, but seriously just watch the whole thing).
TOTAL FABULOUSITY! For some unknown reason that will go down as one of life’s biggest mysteries, Hamm did not go on to win a date. FOR SHAME!
OK, fast forward
to modern times at the Mad Men premiere
party last week. Vincent Kartheiser aka
Pete Campbell showed up looking like he started to pull a Britney
before changing his mind and running to the red carpet.
Apparently the actor shaves his bang area (why does that sound so dirty) so his character Pete
can have a receding hairline — because
obviously — but couldn’t he achieve that look with makeup and a bald cap? Or
why not just shave the whole thing? This is especially bothersome to me because, as a child, I was convinced you didn't need to "grow out" your bangs once you grew tired of them, you just had to cut them off. This could have been me:
WHAT IS HAPPENING
Mad Men’s final season premieres Sunday night at 10 p.m. on AMC. Like Breaking Bad, this final season will be split between this year and next. Read more in this week’s TV column.
This week in movie remake fuckery: The Goonies 2 is coming atchu.
David Letterman realized Leno wasn’t backing out of retirement this time, so he hopped on the bandwagon and announced he’d be leaving The Late Show in 2015. Chelsea Handler also recently revealed she’ll be leaving E! when her contract is up in a few months, and is one of many celebs rumored to be considered to take Dave’s place. (Her first change: Swap out Stupid Pet Tricks for Stupid Vagina Tricks. Or maybe just Stupid Tricks, a game show with hookers? Call me for more ideas, Chels!) Stephen Colbert is at the center of these rumors as well, as his Colbert Report contract also ends at the end of this year. Meanwhile Late Late host and Letterman follow-up Craig Ferguson waits in the shadows as 75 percent of Americans still think Craig Ferguson is "the black guy from The Office." Wah waaahhh
Iconic album art
like The Beatle’s Abbey Road can transform
ordinary places into fan destinations. Check out these classic record
covers inserted into their respective Google street view locations.
Normally grown-ass women with a hardcore love for Disney turn me off — everyone’s entitled to a nostalgia fest every now and again, but you should not see Frozen three times in theaters if you do not have a child in your life. And there’s a new announcement for you:
Anna Kendrick hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time this weekend and her debut featured not one but two nods to Disney with her Beauty and the Beast-themed monologue and, later, a Little Mermaid bit. But — as you’ll see from the links — Kendrick’s stint was anything but basic. Bravo, Anna! This will certainly be a highlight episode of the season.
Could you use $500,000? Have you always wanted to be on TV? Are you either a soft-spoken racial minority or a loud-mouthed racist? Big Brother is casting its 16th season and the crew will be in Cincinnati next month to scope prospects. According to the online application, casting is curious about important personal information like applicants' weight, hair color and a “self biography” of a whopping 70 words. Those interested in being locked in a house, recorded 24/7 by 65 cameras and 98 microphones and pitted against some of the worst human beings on the planet can apply in person at Mount Adams Pavilion between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, May 2.
The stoner gods have answered our prayers by way of Taco Bell’s “first meal.” Now folks across the country can start living mas as soon as they wake up, because everyone's favorite south-of-the-border fast food chain now serves breakfast. Taco Bell giant unveiled the new morning menu with a commercial that takes a dig at the golden arches:
Taco Bell breakfast is served 7-11 a.m. — 30 minutes later than McDonald’s, yet still too early for their target demographic. When will fast food restaurants learn that the people who really want to consume waffle tacos do not typically wake before noon?
Yeah, he wore PBR pants to a recent golf outing. NBD.
Of all the terrible reality
shows I relish in, I have never been able to get into The Bachelor/ette. I’m not sure what separates this piece of trash from
the heap of garbage I enjoy — it’s not like the materialistic, bratty children
in Botoxed old lady bodies known as Real
Housewives don’t perpetuate negative female stereotypes, but I enjoy shows
that are somewhat self-aware and poke fun at themselves, and The Bach just doesn’t do that for me.
So, any show in the vein of 2003’s Joe Millionaire
that misleads women who signed up for a TV dating show is a winner in my book.
In a new show coming to Fox, 12 women will compete for the affection of a man
claim to believe is Prince Harry, despite what the smallest amount
of common sense and eyesight would prove — the dude’s just a redheaded
I Want to Marry “Harry” premieres this May. You know when the truth bomb is dropped on these hoes they’ll be all, “How dare this television show orchestrated to create ‘true love’ be fake?!” But in the meantime we can ponder which is worse: a woman trying to meet and marry a prince (of whom she’s obviously never even seen a photo) and believing British royalty would dare be seen on American reality TV or a woman knowing all this mess is some bullshit but riding that gravy train as long as possible?
In what must be the most fabulous robbery ever, three people were arrested for stealing a replica pair of Dorothy’s ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz. The shoes were on display in a Hilton Garden Inn lobby (which is kind of rude). The trio has been released without bail and is due back in court next month. If only clicking your heels got you out of jail.
Lakewood, Calif., Vice Mayor and Los Angeles County Assistant Sheriff Todd Rodgers is running for L.A. sheriff in an upcoming June election. Typically, county election campaign coverage wouldn’t have a place in a pop culture roundup, save for maybe making fun of an unintentionally funny low-budget ad. But those Hollywood types have connections on the West Coast. If I lived in L.A., it would be important for me to elect an official with not only celebrity endorsements, but a good sense of humor as well. Therefore I’d definitely vote for Todd Rodgers, who last week reunited (most of) the cast of Reno 911! for a series of TV spots.
Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver, Ben Garant, Cedric Yarbrough, Niecy Nash, Carlos Alazraqui and Joe Lo Truglio all suited up in their khaki uniforms for the occasion. While the videos haven’t been released yet, you can see photos here.
You may be asking, “Why would a serious candidate for sheriff seek out the cast of a Comedy Central mockumentary?” or “Why wouldn’t he seek endorsements from actors on a show that is still actually on the air?” or “Isn’t Reno in Nevada? What does any of this have to do with a sheriff election?” The answers all lie in Lt. Dangle’s signature booty shorts. But seriously, Reno was filmed at Carson Station in L.A. from 2001-2006, where Rodgers was a captain at the time, so the cast was actually familiar with him and his work. We’ll take any excuse for a Reno reunion, though. Vote for Rodgers!
And here’s Samuel L. Jackson reciting some slam poetry about Boy Meets World.
Children of the ‘80s likely
remember Jem, the glitziest high-tech
cartoon of the decade. The series followed Jerrica Benton (hottest name ever), band manager and HBIC at Starlight Music who used a holographic computer to
transform into the frontwoman of Jem and the Holograms. It’s basically the
blueprint for every show featuring secret alter-egos (lookin’ at you, Hannah
Well, Jem is getting the
movie treatment now, thanks to Jon Chu
(director of fine cinematic offerings like Step
Up 2: The Streets and Justin Bieber:
Never Say Never). This will be a modern, LIVE-ACTION remake. May I make a
For more Jem fun, go here to check out this horrendous/hilarious
Not Safe For Humanity spoof, courtesy of my little sister (pray for her).
Broad City is just the best. Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer rocked the first season of their Comedy Central series — peep the finale tonight at 10:30 p.m. — and the show’s been renewed for a second season. Here’s the duo adequately expressing how I feel when depositing my tax return check.
Want to watch Lady Gaga’s
new music video? Well you better have an hour and a love for all things Bravo.
The vid features the Real Housewives of
Beverly Hills ladies as a family band, Andy Cohen as God, Gaga as a wounded
phoenix or some shit, a synchronized swim team and four minutes of damn credits. Enjoy!
Ever since it was revealed that American Horror Story would follow an anthology format — with each season taking on new characters, settings and themes — audiences have been speculating about where each subsequent season would take us. I always hoped for some kind of dark sideshow set in the early 20th century, like a scarier, grittier Water for Elephants. We’ve seen a murder house over the course of a century, an insane asylum in the ‘60s and nearly the entire timeline of witchcraft and Voodoo. Thankfully for weirdos like me who want to be scared by the creepy underground world of old-timey carnivals, the wait is over. American Horror Story: Freak Show is a go!
Ryan Murphy tweeted the news Monday and here’s what we know so far: This season will take place in Jupiter, Fla., (Palm Beach) in 1950. Jessica Lange, AHS queen for every season (this will be her last), will portray a German Marlene Dietrich-type character running one of the last freak shows in the States. Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Frances Conroy, Angela Bassett and Kathy Bates have all signed on for the season — they will reportedly play the “freaks” at hand. Many other AHS alum are in talks to join this carnival, thought the show tries to keep some details under wraps to surprise the audience (ahem, son of Bloody Face). The season will premiere in October.
So, Kim and Kanye are on the April kover of Vogue. Here’s some behind-the-scenes shit featuring little baby North, who consistently has “Da fu?” face. Get used to it, gurl.
Former TV judge Joe Brown was arrested this week for losing his shit in a court room. The mustachioed judge was later released on his on recognizance, but not before giving us face in his mega-grump mug shot. Judge Joe Brown was cancelled last year.
Bradley Cooper and Louis C.K. both appeared in American Hustle, but a new video circulating connects the two in another interesting way.
Louis C.K. hosts Saturday Night Live this week.
Cincinnati is now a temporary home for Cate Blanchett (this year’s winner of the Best Actress Oscar for Blue Jasmine), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Side Effects, Her), Sarah Paulson (The American Horror Story anthology, 12 Years a Slave) and Kyle Chandler (The Wolf of Wall Street, Zero Dark Thirty, the Friday Night Lights series) as filming for Todd Haynes’ upcoming movie Carol is in full swing! Some of the stars (and a giant movie crew) were spotted filming at their first location, Eden Park, as well as along US 52 in New Richmond and Spare Time Grill in Alexandria, Ky. The Enquirer’s Glenn Hartong was able to catch a glimpse at Mara and Paulson looking straight out of the '50s filming a scene at the now-closed diner.
Photo: The Enquirer/Glenn Harton. See more photos here.
The film is based on is based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel (published as both Carol and The Price of Salt) about Carol (Blanchett), a wife in a loveless marriage on the brink of divorce who falls in love with a young woman, Therese (Mara). The book was revolutionary at the time for portraying a lesbian relationship, and doing so in a non-stereotypical light. Chandler will portray the titular character’s husband while Paulson plays Abby, Carol’s best friend.
Filming continues this week at a home on Grandin Avenue in Hyde Park. Retro Westside institution Maury’s Tiny Cove will be closed April 1 for a day of filming Blanchett and Mara’s characters’ first date. Cincy Magazine tweeted that the Cincinnati Club, where the mag’s office is located, will also be used to shoot the film at an unspecified date. We’ll keep an eye out — the building is right across the street from CityBeat’s HQ. Search #carolmovie on Twitter for the latest dish on the movie and its local filming and tweet us if you have a run-in with any of the stars!
Even if Carol wasn’t filmed exclusively in Cincinnati, the adaptation sounds like a great premise for a film. Unfortunately the same can’t be said about most of the recent movies based on books and other, previous movies. This week in remake fuckery, we have Rosemary’s Baby and The Birds — two classic ‘60s horror films undergoing contemporary reworkings. Zoe Saldana will take on Mia Farrow’s iconic role in a made-for-TV version of Rosemary coming to NBC; Transformers director Michael Bay is apparently producing the remake of Hitchcock’s feathery flick. We can only guess that Bay will replace said birds with laser-shooting Velociraptors.
Now and forever:
Speaking of dinosaurs, paleontologists in Alaska last week discovered a miniature species of tyrannosaurs about half the size of its close relative, the T. rex — essentially, what the prehistoric Paris Hiltons were carrying around in their designer mammoth skin handbags. Teacup-Rex!
A post I found recently on Imgur (because Reddit still confuses/scares me) recalls the story of when the United Way decided to release 1.5 million helium balloons into the air in Cleveland in 1986, breaking the world record. The photos of the event are stunning, but — as anyone with a tiny bit of foresight could tell you — the mega-balloon launch totally backfired. Not only did this result in more than 1.5 million pieces of plastic trash around the region and as north as Ontario, but also reportedly hindered a missing person search on Lake Erie.
Peep this less dismal, totally ‘80s news segment about the event:
Kermit the Frog rang in the New York Stock Exchange Monday. Muppets Most Wanted opens in theaters Friday.
Everyone’s talking about “Strangers Kissing,” a viral video of 20 strangers making out for the first time that’s actually (somehow) an ad for women’s clothing label Wren. A bit contrived, I suppose, but definitely intriguing and pretty hot.
Jimmy Fallon put his own twist on the vid…with puppies and kitties.
But no amount of acclaim and popularity protects a show from parodies — quite the contrary, it seems. Here are a few gems:
And if you're hungry for another crime drama, Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan has a new show in the works. Battle Creek, starring Dean Winters (Law & Order: SVU, 30 Rock, The Mayhem Guy) and Josh Duhamel (Las Vegas, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton, Fergie's hubby) and will follow two detectives named Milton and Russ. Hmmm...
RIP Ke$ha! No, the
trash-pop “singer” didn’t meet an untimely demise, but the $ in her
name (turns out Kesha is her actual birth name) did. Upon her exit from rehab
for an eating disorder, Kesha unveiled a new twitter handle, @KeshaRose, which revealed she
was dropping the $. It’s always great to see people get healthy, and using a
dollar sign as a letter in your name is fucking stupid, but what will these changes mean for
her music/celeb persona? Can the girl who popularized whiskey as dental hygiene
make the leap to squeaky-clean good girl?
And speaking of hot mess makeovers, the new Oprah-backed Lindsay Lohan docu-series Lindsay premiered on OWN Sunday. The mighty O offered Linds $2 million to complete the filming of eight episodes for her network (in addition to one-on-one interviews aired throughout the show). The premiere was considerably boring for being the first “real,” inside look at the troubled star’s personal life. Honestly, it felt more like Celebrity Hoarders than anything. There were some genuinely sad moments — Lindsay was essentially forced to skip an AA meeting due to a crowd of stalkerly paparazzi threatening the others’ anonymity; she struggles to find a stable apartment she so desperately needs for her continuing recovery because no one wants her in their building (without a hefty insurance fee) — and some thinly veiled digs at the actress — an optimistic Linds explains how proud she feels to be independent, only to have the screen cut to her personal assistant moving all of her belongings from one hotel room to another without help. But if the series trailer is any indication, drama is forthcoming — particularly in a scene where Oprah tells LL to “cut the bullshit.”
Zach Galifianakis has been entertaining audiences with his spoof-talk show Between Two Ferns since 2008. The comedian has interviewed some of the most famous actors and personalities as well as Tila Tequila. The latest episode raises the bar by featuring none other than Barack Obama, further proving that the prez should just move to Hollywood in 2017. It is also revealed that Galifianakis has not been filming his segments in some public access studio, but rather the White House. Enjoy:
Everyone with a human heart loves ice cream, but perhaps no one appreciates a good soft-serve cone more than this dog.
Lena Dunham hosted Saturday Night Live last week. The Girls creator did a fine job with the material she was given, which is pretty much the overall consensus of this season (writers, up ya game!). One highlight was how SNL dealt with Girls. Obviously they have to address the show, her nudity and the ridiculous characters in it, but without relying on it as the punchline for every joke. Instead, the Girls spoofery was limited to a previously filmed faux trailer for (The First) Girl, complete with the reprisal of Taran Killam’s spot-on Adam impression.
Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler and other stars are in Cincinnati right now for the filming of the upcoming movie, Carol. We're keeping a close watch on Paulson's Twitter (she's the only star that has an account) and, according to our research, so far she has definitely been to CVG airport and a local CVS. Keep @CityBeatCincy abreast of any celeb spottings you may experience during this magical time!
And just like that, “Awards Season” comes to a close. Does anyone else think it went out with more of a bore than a bang?
were preceded by the Film Independent Spirit Awards Saturday. I was introduced
to this indie movie celebration last year and was pleasantly surprised by the
fun, fast-and-loose nature of the show in addition to its highlighting of
lesser-known, smaller-budget films compared to the Academy Awards. Maybe it was
due to Jameson no longer sponsoring the event/getting everyone wasted; perhaps
it was the fact that many of the winners went on to receive Oscars in similar
categories the very next day. Either way, I found this year’s show, hosted by
Patton Oswalt, to be just a little blah.
See for yourself here.
Sunday night was not much of a departure from that feeling. I do love me some Ellen — she can always deliver consistently funny material everyone can relate to. She picked on stars without being too mean and rocked some fab suits, but it takes more than that to keep me awake through a 15-hour production like the Oscars.
But there were plenty of both touching and funny moments throughout the night. Supporting actor and actress winners, Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong’o, delivered thoughtful, emotional acceptance speeches (while looking freaking gorge). Leto — who I still can’t believe was the oldest nominee in that category — spoke about his mother’s inspiring perseverance, the conflicts in Venezuela and Ukraine and the victims of AIDS as well as discrimination (both central themes of Dallas Buyers Club). He also looked sharp in a cream tux with burgundy tie and the most coveted ombré locks of any human man.