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The Morning After
 
by Jac Kern 02.05.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music, Movies at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Super Bowl may have disappointed Broncos fans (and nearly anyone who wanted to see a real football game), but the night brought plenty of entertainment for the rest of us. Joe Namath kicked off the fun, dressed for a late-night pimp stroll across the Arctic. Not that we’d expect anything less!

After the Seahawks crushed the first half, viewers experienced an incredible half-time show.

My bad, that's actually from Puppy Bowl X. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers actually performed, which is funny because you just know execs originally wanted to shoot for the young crowd and then realized 15-year-old girls don’t buy Toyotas or Budweiser, so they just added RHCP last-minute.

Halftime show pros:

Bruno Mars opened with an epic drum solo

Bruno's gold suit

His James Brown moves

Sweet back-up band

Cool Bruno segue into “Give It Away”

Anthony Kiedis is just as fine as ever

Cons:

That’s the only song RHCP played

Their music — along with Bruno Mars’ band — was pre-recorded (but it wasn’t their choice. People made a big fuss about RHCP’s instruments not being plugged in, but pre-recording is generally the rule for a live performance like this. Bruno’s singing and drumming were life, as was Anthony’s singing, while the rest of the music was mimed).

The Pepper guys weren’t wearing only tube socks

After a “messages from our troops” sequence, Bruno Mars sang that awful song from the Us Weekly commercials that totally does not work after a “messages from our troops” sequence”

The realization that I actually just can’t like Bruno Mars

All in all, there were some good performances, just nothing shocking or spectacular. However, being the 10th anniversary of Nipplegate, maybe that was the point.

Now, on to the commercials!

The Church of Scientology tried to trick us into thinking we were watching some low-budget Apple ad with this surprising commercial (and the only religious ad of the night):

Goldie Blox borrowed another Rock song for the toy company’s latest ad — hopefully they got permission this time.

We finally got to see what that Seinfeld reunion rumor was all about: A promotion for Jerry Seinfeld’s web series, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.

Overall, two themes were prevalent in this year’s ads…

America:

and Animals (grab the tissues):

Also announced during Super Bowl commercials was the return of the hit drama 24 coming this May as well as Noah, the biblical epic starring Russell Crowe, Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly in theaters March 8.

On last week’s episode of Workaholics, the guys hire an escort to bang theirv boss so she'll be in a good mood and allow them to host a fish fry in honor of Blake's dead koi fish. All completely acceptable work behavior. Anywho, Blake, Adam and Ders interviewed candidates and guess who appeared in the scene?

None other than Brace, star of the gripping Showtime series, Gigolos. Nice move, guys.

Not that BuzzFeed isn’t always up in our grills, but lately the site’s unleashed an endless avalanche of pop culture quizzes — so much so, the site has even taken to making fun of itself with its “What Arbitrary Thing Are You?" quiz. They’re stupid, but irresistable. So it was kind of funny when Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson took BuzzFeed’s “Which ‘90s Alt-Rock Grrrl Are You?” quiz…and didn’t get herself.

Who doesn’t love The Sandlot? The 1993 coming-of-age comedy followed the adventures of  Smalls, Benny, Ham, Squints, Yeah-Yeah and the rest of their baseball-loving crew in 1962 Los Angeles. It’s a contemporary classic! Unfortunately, 20 years later, most of the child stars from the movie aren’t seen much in the movies and TV shows of today. On that note, meet modern-day Yeah-Yeah, who is a total choad. As seen on The Soup:

The best part might actually be his girlfriend bragging, “I graduated from UCLA,” with a mouthful of deep-fried street food.

Jonathan Banks, who played Mike Ehrmantraut on Breaking Bad, has signed on to be part of Better Call Saul. Awesome.

So you’re probably sick of Grammy-winning Lorde’s hit, “Royals” by now, but this cover is worth checking out. Don’t let the seven-foot sad clown scare you.

(Spoiler Alert: That’s actually impossible)

 
 
by Kelsey Kennedy 02.03.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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'Downton Abbey' Season Four, Episode Five

Bringing the Latest in Uppity British Television

Upstairs:

My gosh, the tiff between the Dowager Countess and Lady Isobel Crawley gains more headway with every episode. Maggie Smith, who I have a fantastical appreciation for, never fails to captivate the Downton audience, especially when she’s acting like a stern old bat, which is all the time. She says things like, “simply ghastly” and “good heavens” when she disapproves of anything (which is everything) and sometimes her voice even slips into a severely low masculine tone. It’s like the opposite of a pre-pubescent voice crack that makes me shiver in fear.

This week, the D C of G loses her ivory envelope opener and her temper with Isobel Crawley. Sassy bell-ringing, eloquently worded cat fights and extreme nose flaring ensues. Let’s just say this one goes to Maggie Smith, “game, set and match.”

While Edith is falling apart because she is pregnant (holy cow) and literally lost her boyfriend (no! Michael Gregson!), Mary pushes Branson about whether or not he will go to America. His reply? “Oh, don’t worry. I won’t go until the pig business is up and running,” which does nothing but vaguely reassure me of his eventual exit from the show.

Meanwhile, Rose planned a surprise birthday party for Lord Grantham involving a “band from the city,” but we all know how he and Mr. Carson feel about the arts — and awkward racial tension. Surprisingly, LG goes with it and decides to enjoy his time with the band.

Evelyn Napier (a potential suitor!) brings his friend Charles Blake, who wants to dismember the aristocracy and take the Grantham family down with him. Not the most suave decision, on his part. The last time he brought a friend to Downton, he ended up dead in Mary’s bed. Mr. Blake better watch his back.

Cora’s half-American, half-English accent makes me cringe. However, strange accents aside, she did save the day when Anna and Bates had a typical can’t-get-a-restaurant-reservation-Seinfeld-moment.

Mary, Tom and Isobel shared a tender moment when they reminisced about their dead partners. Mary isn’t “unhappy, but not ready to be happy,” and they take pleasure in knowing the love that they had was real.

Downstairs:

A simple walk downstairs takes us to the usual thieving, conniving and wit of the servants’ quarters. The absolute best part of the entire episode is when Mrs. Patmore is talking about the Italian movie star Rudolph Valentino and says, “He makes me shiver all over,” then the camera cuts to Mr. Carson’s face immediately after the fact. Carson, old boy — you kill me. It’s the little things about this show that viewers need to pay attention to, because they truly make it.

Julian Fellowes trying to tell us something about 20th century gender roles and the treatment of women — and how prevalent they still are today. Ivy, a kitchen maid, is shamed after Jimmy, the snotty footman, tells her he deserves her “services” because he took her out on a date.

Anna has moved back into the cottage with Mr. Bates, and they both try to make new memories and move on from her violent rape.

Alfred has achieved his life goal of going to cooking school so it’s goodbye to him. Daisy’s heart is broken but they share a tender goodbye. When is Daisy going to find love?

Thomas the horrible head butler is still blackmailing Mrs. Baxter and physically intimidating everyone around him. Carson is blatantly racist and Mrs. Hughes remains saint-like.

The night ends with the upper class dancing to Jazz and genuinely enjoying it, and Mary walking in on Rose’s snog-fest with the lead singer. As usual, the orchestra’s music chimes in at just the right moment.

“Aren’t we the lucky ones.” – Isobel Crawley

 
 
by Kelsey Kennedy 01.27.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 04:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)
 
 
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'Downton Abbey' Season Four, Episode Four

Bringing the Latest in Uppity British Television

Upstairs:

Mary, who looks about five minutes away from death, (yes she is THAT pale) wonders if the children have a “good childhood” and Lord Grantham has too much time on his hands and is super careless with his money. So…what’s new?

The latest development in the settlement of the property is about Mr. Drew, a farmer and side character with a disturbingly cool raspy voice. Mary deserves a medal for going up against her father about financial issues and that’s pretty much all of the excitement I got out of that subplot.

Onto the next one: Branson apparently wants to slum it in America for a while, which makes me really depressed because we cannot afford to lose another handsome face to those classless Americans. What?

Mary smiled with an intensity I haven’t seen all season when Evelyn Napier came to call (OK, am I the only one that’s been calling him “Ethan” for the past three seasons?) Let’s not forget he sort of knows about Kemal Pamuk – the handsome Turkish diplomat that ended up dead in Mary’s bed in season one. How salacious.

Wait a minute, Edith went to London and visited a doctor – this could mean so many things that possibly have to do with her sex life and the fact that she has turned into the most progressive character on the show. Meanwhile Rose had like, two lines the entire episode.

Continuing on with the theme of creativity being a shameful embarrassment, Violet scolds Robert after he expressed himself by saying, “The one thing we don’t want is a poet in the family.”

Elderly British women are kind of like elderly American women but way better and frightfully grand; Their wit is always on point and they have no filter. They walk through the regal gardens with their canes and a persistent banter that never seems to stop. This week, Violet got annoyed with Mrs. Crawley and called her out for being too nice: “I wonder your halo doesn’t grow heavy. It must be like wearing a tiara ‘round the clock.” (That would be a burn, but Isobel seriously doesn’t care).

Downstairs:

Downstairs, there seems to be an exceeding amount of decorative deer antlers on the walls. Carson’s eyebrows are actual caterpillars and Mrs. Patmore refuses any technological advances like refrigerators and sewing machines.

Nothing is more representative of the upper class system faltering then the Grantham’s staff constantly moving on to bigger and better things. Alfred, the tall, orange and handsome footman is “inciting a revolution” and defying gender roles by following his passion and learning how to cook from a pointy-eared Frenchman. His cooking class is like a 20th century Top Chef except at the Ritz and slightly more terrifying. Good on ya, Alfred.

Meanwhile, Thomas is conniving with the new lady’s maid. Mrs. Baxter seems truly likeable until she turns into a devious conspirator with a futuristic sewing machine. Thomas, in his usual form, seems to be blackmailing her in exchange for information from upstairs.

Molesley is a hot mess, as usual. He reluctantly accepts a job before Carson can tell him that he hasn’t gotten it in the most sarcastic butler-voice possible while breathing through his nose. Carson provides so much needed comic relief.

Mr. Bates is persistent in his efforts to persuade Anna into telling him what’s wrong while ominous piano music plays in the background. So he finds out what happened – via Mrs. Hughes – and his reaction is heartbreaking. After he confronts Anna, her lip quivers so violently I may or may not have started sobbing while eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She vehemently defends her rapist so she can save her husband from killing him and going to jail. If that’s not true love I don’t know what is. And Mr. Bates consoles her by telling her, “There is no shame in this” and grabs her face while saying things like, “You are not spoiled. You are made higher to me and holier because of the suffering you have been put through. You are my wife, and I have never been prouder, nor loved you more than at this moment." OMG, swoon. This is why we love Anna and Bates so dearly. But this content feeling never stays long in Downton, and is ruined in the last minute of the episode when Bates reveals he’s out for blood. Cue the ominous piano music. 

“The world moves on and we must move with it” – Lady Mary

 
 
by Jac Kern 01.27.2014
Posted In: Music, TV/Celebrity at 02:36 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Cincinnati Entertainment Awards to be Featured on 'The List'

Tune into WCPO at 7 p.m. tonight

As the dust from last night’s Cincinnati Entertainment Awards settles and musicians/attendees/hosts across the city nurse their hangovers, everybody’s talking about the epic night in local music that is the CEAs. Check out a list of the night’s winners here. Stay tuned for a full recap and photos from the show in this week’s upcoming issue. And tonight, look out for the CEAs as they’re featured on The List on WCPO.

The List is a national pop culture and news talk show broadcasted on local media networks. The 30-minute program airs locally at 7 p.m. on weeknights on WCPO. Each night The List’s hosts Teresa Strasser, Matt Gallant and Conor Knighton discuss trending topics, current events, pop culture news — think BuzzFeed for TV. Each show ends with a local segment; during tonight’s Cincinnati spot, viewers will get the scoop on the CEAs.

Tune in, check it out and remember to keep drinking water.

UPDATE: Here is video of The List's CEA mention:

 
 
by Kelsey Kennedy 01.20.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
mary and tony

'Downton Abbey' Season Four, Episode Three

Bringing the Latest in Uppity British Television

Upstairs Recap:

The ladies of upstairs, with their hair perfectly crimped and curled, are misbehaving as usual.

While the rest of the family pushes “Tony” (Ew) onto Mary, Edith is wearing fashionable arm bracelets and casually losing her virginity. Go Edith!

Edith’s lover, Michael Gregson, has finally achieved Lord Grantham’s approval by winning him some money he lost, so there’s that. Lord Grantham only ever cares about money, anyway. He shared a tender bro moment with Mr. Bates, but after he gave his advice he said, “My goodness that was strong talk for an Englishman.” Chuckles.

Is anyone else enjoying Isobel and Violet’s newly found ceasefire and camaraderie? They no longer fight about village rose garden competitions and anything else they can think of.

My favorite Violet wisecrack of the week: “If we only had moral thoughts, what would the poor churchmen find to do?”

So far this season, Rose has been very well-behaved. On last night’s episode, she seemed pretty preoccupied with sexy Jack Ross who rescued her from deep humiliation — but, of course, her family rejected him.

Tony Gillingham asked Mary to marry him and she is so not ready. Protip: If someone asks for your hand in marriage by using the fact that your ex-husband is dead, run away. I think “He’s dead, and I’m alive,” were his exact words. Solid point, Gillingham. The mere mention of Matthew’s name by someone who never knew him makes my skin crawl. Tony and Mary share a passionate kiss before (probably not) saying goodbye forever.

Downstairs Recap:

Ugh, more sexual assault: Edna took advantage of Branson’s emotional state and lack of sobriety by sneaking into his bedroom late at night. Then she tried to trap him into marrying her with a fake pregnancy. No one can replace Sybil, Edna — everyone knows that. So Branson had his tweed suits all in a bunch until Mrs. Hughes took care of business by basically chasing Edna off the estate (again).

Carson’s sweet and smaller storyline about his dead ex-girlfriend is still ongoing, and Mrs. Hughes gives him a small keepsake to remember her by. Also Carson is my new spirit animal because he is not a morning person: “I always think there is something foreign about high spirits at breakfast.” Me too, Carson, me too.

Jimmy is hitting on Ivy and Daisy hates it because she’s also technically a widow (RIP William, you were so handsome).

Anna has to lie about her assault while sitting next to her rapist at the breakfast table, and things get tense. Mr. Gillingham’s valet, Mr. Green, is forcefully creepy. On top of that, she is dealing with her extremely violent rape in a society that shames all types of emotion, particularly for women. Sound familiar?

What’s most troubling to me is creator Julian Fellowes’ view on the rape scene backlash. When the episode debuted in the U.K. in October, he defended the storyline: "If we'd wanted a sensational rape we could have stayed down in the kitchen with the camera during the whole thing and wrung it out," he told BBC. "The point of our handling is not that we're interested in sensationalizing but we're interested in exploring the mental damage and the emotional damage."

Mr. Fellowes, there is no such thing as an embellished or “sensational” rape. Rape is rape. Therefore, your argument that not showing the rape makes it less rape-y is completely invalid. Watching Anna being brutally attacked and listening to her screams can be just as triggering as the actual event.

Joanne Froggat, who plays Anna, said she supports Fellowes’ the depiction of this heinous rape scene. "I was really proud of the show for tackling a subject like this...I really do believe that Julian's written that in a way that is not gratuitous at all, he does very much go on to explore the emotional journey of Anna and Bates," she told BBC in October. "He's done a beautiful job of hitting the right note with it. I think we all just felt a big responsibility to get it right."

A Gaurdian commenter under the username Bidisha makes a valid point about using the rape for shock value: "The shock attack scene in Downton was harsh and terrifying — which rape is. It was also beautifully shot, like a horror film set in a Past Times catalogue. But we live in a real world context of endemic male sexual violence in which about 90% of rapes go unreported and only 7% of the remaining 10% are convicted … raped women are not objects to be used to shake up a dull plot or add juice to a sanguine character."

Here’s hoping Anna and Bates can have an empowering and happy ending — and in the words of the Dowager Countess:

“I hope you find a way to make friends with the world again.”

 
 
by Jac Kern 01.15.2014
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Movies, Music at 09:57 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough...Golden Globes

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The Golden Globe Awards are a true Hollywood party. Awards are given out for television and film categories, so you get the playfulness of the Emmys and the movie stars of the Oscars without as much seriousness. And it is a widely-known fact that everybody gets their drank on throughout the ceremony. Globes were awarded Sunday night; here are some highlights.

Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey served as ringleaders for this celebrity circus, supplying audiences at home and at the show with tons of laughs. Having a fine eye for detail (HA!), I appreciated that they swapped gown colors from last year’s show.