WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

The New FXX Features Young Adult Fare

0 Comments · Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Starting Monday, FX spawns a new young adult network, dubbed FXX. FX’s hit comedies It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The League will make the jump to the new network along with the nightly talk show Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.  
by Jac Kern 05.29.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

The new season of Arrested Development has been bestowed upon us, premiering seven years after the last episode has aired, on a platform that hadn’t even been invented when the series first debuted. For those (commies) who haven’t watched yet or somehow were able to resist the urge to watch all 15 episodes during the holiday weekend, I’ll keep details to a minimum. They’re far funnier when played out onscreen, anyway. I will say that at least one scene was filmed recently enough to include a reference to that crazy sorority girl email. That was like last month! All in all, I was really happy with the new season. There were some low points, for sure, but the format of each episode focusing on one character, to create a series of overlapping and intertwining story lines, was hilarious and perfect for both Netflix and the show. It’s so hard for a project like this to live up to everyone’s expectations and I think AD deftly avoided taking itself too seriously or trying to make this fourth season something greater than it really is. Best of all, it’s at least as re-watchable as the other seasons, and I look forward to catching more Easter eggs and puns with repeated plays. But we do have something serious to discuss. We need to talk about Portia de Rossi’s face. BuzzFeed agrees. In Arrested Development, Portia plays a self-centered, materialistic wasp, but in real life (because I totally know PDR IRL), I imagine her to be a much more down-to-earth, naturally elegant beauty. In fact, in a recent interview with Los Angeles Confidential, Portia talks about being 40, how she’s proud of her age and being uninterested in clinging to her 20s. She’s also on the cover of Out Magazine’s May issue, sporting a short, Twiggy-inspired look (hopefully Ellen and Portia will continue to just fuse into identical pixie-haired, blonde lesbian goddesses and take over the world). Here, she certainly looks different from her early Lindsay Bluth days, but between adding a few years, an edgy haircut, makeup and Photoshop photography magic, I didn’t think she’d done anything to her pretty little face. I didn’t think Ellen would allow it! And then came the Lindsay episode of Arrested Development.                            WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO YOUR FACE?! The feminist in me is hesitant to go on about whether someone has had plastic surgery. I mean, who cares? It’s her right to do whatever she wants to her (already flawless angel) visage. But it’s so confusing why she’d discuss embracing age in interviews when she so clearly has done something to her mug. Her facial expressions, something so essential to her drama queen character, have seriously diminished in this new season. What’s so ironic is that Lindsay very infamously had a nose job in her youth, and any real-life plastic surgery could have easily been written into the script! Also, I can't even pinpoint any specific plastic surgery that could have happened (total face transplant?), so I'm really worried that someone made a Portia robot and the real PDR is being held hostage somewhere. Anyone? Anyway, if you haven’t yet hunkered down for an AD watch-a-thon, I definitely suggest it (some of the humor would be lost if you spaced the episodes out too much). Just prepare yourself for a few things: cameos galore, an inexplicable number of bird references (particularly ostriches, WTF?) and a surprising new face on Nellie, I mean Lindsay, Bluth. In other FACE news, HBO premiered the anticipated Steven Soderbergh Liberace movie, Behind the Candelabra, Sunday. If you were planning on tuning in for a camptastic voyage of gold lamé, diamonds and gays (well, there was plenty of that), you might be surprised to discover an emotional, heartfelt film. Based on the memoirs of Scott Thorson, Liberace’s companion in the late '70s-mid-'80s, the movie starred Matt Damon as Thorson and a flawless Michael Douglas as Mr. Showmanship himself. (All Behind the Candelabra photos courtesy HBO.) In the film, Thorson meets Liberace through a mutual friend, conveniently just as “Lee’s” handsome protégé is beginning to lose his shine (though not literally — I swear, these guys were covered in so much pixie dust throughout this movie, they’re probably still pooping glitter to this day). It’s not long before Liberace hires Scott as a companion of many sorts — a secretary, a bodyguard, an onstage chauffeur, a lover. They even make plans for Liberace to adopt Thorson (though age was not explicitly discussed in the film, Scott was actually 16 when he met Liberace — there was around 50 years between the two.) It's a very complicated relationship, made even more so when Liberace suggests they get plastic surgery after they’d both let themselves go a bit. An aging “Lee” opts for a major facelift while Scott mainly wants to lose some weight. Their plastic surgeon is played with the perfect amount of tight-faced humor by Rob Lowe:                                                                       This is his "natural look."Doc puts Scott on “The California Diet” of pills, while Lee suggests something more — full facial reconstruction surgery to make Scott look more like him. Viewers see Matt Damon transform from a strapping young stud, to Matt Damon with a fake belly, to a crazy Liberace-Adonis spawn in a sparkly thong.                                                                       Fresh-faced at 15                                                                            Haggard at 22                                                                             Just kidding, look at dat bodyMichael Douglas’ physical transformation takes a much darker turn. Thorson and Liberace’s split becomes inevitable as we see Lee turn his attention to a younger, more innocent new specimen. Scott will soon be replaced much like he took the spot of Liberace's last boy toy, despite the fact that he changed his entire life — and face! — to be with Lee. Scott loses most of his riches in the split between lawyer fees, settlement agreements and his drug addiction. A year later, he’s healthy and back to a more normal life when he gets a call from Lee, who’s dying from AIDS. We get a shocking look at a gaunt, grey Michael Douglas, the most jarring physical transformation of the film. In the end, not all the diamonds in the world could save him. Now, wipe those glittery tears with your mink-lined hankies, because Cincinnati’s in the news, y’all! Esquire named the best bars in America and Arnold’s Bar & Grill made the list. The chosen watering holes can be found on this interactive map, complete with a drink to order at each spot. (Esquire suggests Arnold's 1861 Porter at Cincy’s designated bar.) Celeb hunters, be on the lookout for Emilio Estevez (it’s like he’ll never leave!) and Tyler Shields, both of whom are in town this week. Estevez is in the pr-production phase for his film Johnny Longshot, which begins filming at Lebanon Raceway and across Cincinnati in August. Shields opens an exhibit at Miller Gallery Friday, and should be around the city taking photographs throughout the week. Keep your eyes peeled, star-lovers!                                                                   Just one more for good measure.
 
 

Netflix Saved Our Bluths

0 Comments · Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The Arrested Development story is a TV nerd’s dream come true. A smart, quirky, new kind of comedy struggles to attract an audience. Despite being critically acclaimed, the series fails to draw in enough viewers (and playfully mocks its own demise) and gets canned after the third season. Enter the Netflix era.  
by Jac Kern 05.16.2013
Posted In: Fun, TV/Celebrity, Music at 09:55 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

98 Degrees appeared on Bravo’s late night show, Watch What Happens Live, last week and, shockingly, Justin Jeffre didn’t wear a fedora! But seriously, on the after-show, Nick played “Plead the Fifth” (without pleading the fifth!), a regular game in which host Andy Cohen asks a guest three personal questions, and they can only decline to answer one. Nick revealed, “The best thing about not having Joe Simpson anymore as a father-in-law is that I don't have to play grab-ass under the table on Easter Sunday anymore.” And judging by the reaction (plus the rumors about Joe batting for the other team), he ain’t talking about Jess… But the best part of this episode was the night's bartender, Internet sensation of yesteryear, Sweet Brown! In case you were wondering, no, she still ain’t got time for that. Hold on to your knickers, girls, because Robb Stark (government name: Richard Madden) is going to portray Prince Charming in Disney’s upcoming live-action reboot of Cinderella. If you somehow avoided the Internet late last week, perhaps you missed the genius that is Ryan Gosling Won’t Eat His Cereal, a series of Vine videos by Ryan McHenry. IknowIknowIknow ANOTHER Ryan Gosling meme — but this one will make you spew milk out of your nose. That is, if you’ll ever eat cereal again knowing RG’s disdain for it. Peep them all here, conveniently compiled by Buzzfeed. Well, it’s time. Seven years after cancelling one of the smartest comedies on television, the folks behind Arrested Development  “unmade a huge mistake.” Season Four comes to Netflix May 26 and the first official trailer is here. According to HuffPo, AD goes live at 12:01 a.m. PT, which is 3:01 a.m. our time. Early morning frozen bananas, anyone? After all, breakfast is the most important thing — out of things you eat. Kristen Wiig hosted Saturday Night Live last week (don’t even get me started on that mess) and Vampire Weekend performed two songs from their new album, Modern Vampires of the City. It’s pretty good; you should buy it here. Does anyone know if lead singer Ezra Koenig (right) and actor Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire, A Serious Man) are related?   Seth Meyers, head writer for SNL and Weekend Update host, is now the confirmed replacement for Jimmy Fallon when he leaves Late Night to take over The Tonight Show. Longtime veteran Jay Leno will be stepping down early next year. When the switch goes down, both The Tonight Show and Late Night will be filmed in New York. Lots of questions still remain: Will The Roots stay with Jimmy or stick to Late Night? How will old people react to two goofy, youngish SNL alumni with normal chins taking over their screens two hours each weeknight? Seriously, has anyone checked on Conan O’Brien lately? Is he doing OK? I can be suckered into any number of advertising campaigns (HELLO, TARGET) but it really irks me when an ad tries too hard and I can totally see through it. For example, remember last spring when Mike and Ike billboards were popping up and — oh my gosh, someone vandalized them! Every single one! That’s right, the ads appeared to have either Mike or Ike scribbled out and then a few weeks later, the next wave of ads were released, which revealed that Mike and Ike have “broken up.” I really do not give a shit about boring movie candy. Do kids even know what Mike and Ikes are anymore? I guess that’s the point. Well, a year later, Mike and Ike are back at it. This time, they're getting some street cred thanks to their new friend, Nelly. From a press release: Award-winning hip hop artist, Nelly has teamed up with MIKE AND IKE® to honor their recent reunion after a highly publicized split last Spring! As a long-time fan of the candy, Nelly played a role in helping Mike and Ike get back together and is excited to be part of their new campaign! Read more of this thrilling, newsworthy announcement here. And don’t forget to check out Tom+Chee on Shark Tank this Friday!
 
 
by Jac Kern 04.17.2013
Posted In: Music, Movies, Humor, TV/Celebrity at 09:35 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Upon reading recent entertainment news, you may find yourself wondering, “Are awards shows are still happening?” The answer is yes, but not anything that really counts. The MTV Movie Awards took place Monday night, hosted by the Australian fireball that is Rebel Wilson. She’s stolen scenes in Bridesmaids, Pitch Perfect and Workaholics, and while she made a good host for the second-rate, teen-targeted show, it was kind of disappointing that 90 percent of her jokes were about either her vagina or her weight. Other low points included Taylor Lautner’s attempt at comedy (Side Note: How will the MTV Movie Awards live on now that the Twilight series is over?), Selena Gomez’s possibly offensive Bollywood-inspired performance and the fact that the whole production was essentially a giant lead-up to the premiere of the Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer (Oh, that’s how the show will continue…). But there were some quality moments, namely during the Comedic Genius award presentation. Get More: 2013 MTV Movie Awards, Latest Movie News, Will Ferrell Peter Dinklage presented this prestigious prize to Will Ferrell (they worked together in Elf) and you could tell that The Dinks was thinking, “Don’t these people know I am Tyrion Lannister? I am too good for this shit,” the whole damn time. Ferrell came out in a money-printed suit, dropping classic WF hilarity (aka saying literally anything in his Ron Burgundy voice) and sufficiently creating plenty of buzz for the forthcoming Anchorman sequel. The best part, however, was when a shwasted Aubrey Plaza stormed the stage during Will’s acceptance speech. With glazed-over eyes, a plastic cup of booze and “# The To Do List,” (her upcoming movie) written on her chest, the actress hopped onstage, half-heartedly tried to grab the popcorn award from Will’s hands, quickly realized how this looked to everyone else, then ran back to her seat. Ferrell did not take this opportunity to embarrass her further, as she clearly regretted the stunt immediately.                                        "What the shit was I thinking?! I’m such an idio—Smile for the camera!"Plaza was escorted out of the show after the stunt, and you know you’re at a new level of drunk when you must be removed from an MTV event. On Monday, she gave us this morning-after tweet of shame: Logo’s NewNowNext Awards followed on Monday night. With a fabulous mix guests (Read: drag queens for DAYS) and campy categories, it was a fun event that didn’t take itself too seriously. Which is good, because that shit was hella low-budge. Check out the whole show here. Now that Arrested Development’s Netflix premiere date has been officially announced (May 26!), promotional material and fan-created goodies are rolling out in full force. Designer Josh Cox created these awesome record sleeves for each member of the Bluth clan. My favorite:And speaking of Arrested Development, Brandon Killham, the actor who played young Michael Bluth also played a young Dick Whitman on this week’s Mad Men (and in previous episodes). Oh, and he also played a young Brian Moser/Rudy Cooper on Dexter. Mind = Blown. Why am I obsessed with celebrity Coachella fashion? I don’t know, but if you feel like getting sucked into a denim cutoff-crop top-hippie-hobo abyss, browse photos here. Holy shit, Glee finally did a school shooting episode — sort of. Sue Sylvester’s right-hand woman, Becky, brought her father’s gun to school because, as a student with Down syndrome, she was nervous to graduate and leave the school’s safe haven. She wanted to keep it for protection. The gun went of by accident when Becky was discussing the issue with Sue in her office, and no one was hurt. To protect Becky, Sue took the blame for the gun and was fired. It is not clear if or when Jane Lynch’s character will return, but it is likely. Check out the controversial scene here. Louis C.K.’s HBO special, Oh My God debuted last Saturday and, to no one’s surprise, it was poignant, intelligent and laugh-out-loud hilarious. For such a dark, crude comic, I found the larger themes of many jokes to have something of a positive message. OK, not every joke… Check out the New York Times’ recent interview with Louie here. And now, for a segment I’d like to call “Hold Up, Y’all, Cincinnati’s on the TV!” Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward, the guys behind gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup spot Tom + Chee, announced Friday that they will be featured on ABC’s Shark Tank in an episode airing at 9 p.m. May 17.  Lauren Brown, local chef at Igby’s who starred in the single greatest television show of all time, will also appear on the small screen. Brown will be one of four chefs competing on Chef Wanted with Anne Burrell to be hired on as head chef at Nikki Beach in Miami, Fla. The episode airs at 10 p.m. April 25 on Food Network. The show also featured Jeff Ruby and The Precinct on a recent episode (Spoiler Alert: The winning chef didn’t even end up accepting the job offer).
 
 

Spring TV Preview

0 Comments · Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The snow is melting, crocuses are popping up; it can only mean one thing — a fresh crop of spring shows! Here’s what to look forward to in the coming months.  
by Jac Kern 01.09.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Humor at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Thirteen may historically be an unlucky number, but we’re all sure to be blessed with pop culture gold this year. Sure, Heidi and Spencer are back on TV and Kim Kardashian is cooking up a baby with Kanye West — don’t run for the hills quite yet. The fact that the New Year was rung in by a washed up Jamie Kennedy and a stoned Macy Gray on this low-budge Los Angeles NYE show has to be a good sign of what hot messes are to come. Here’s a peek at what’s to come in 2013. Many spoilers lie ahead; proceed at your own risk. WINTER This Sunday, the Golden Globes (aka the one show where TV and movie stars mingle while drunk) will be hosted by women for the first time ever! OK, the show has only had an official host since 2010, but it’s been Ricky Gervais every year since. This time around, dynamic duo Tina Fey and Amy Poehler run the show. The pair have a long history, back to their improv days at Second City in the ‘90s. Over the past decade+ they’ve proven their comedic chemistry on Saturday Night Live and in Baby Mama, but they’re also awesome in their respective rights, as seen on 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation. Check out some of my unlikely-but-hopeful Golden Globes picks here. The Chinese calendar may deem 2013 the Year of the Snake, but according to my diva calendar, this is definitely the Year of Beyonce. The musical maven, who just celebrated baby Blue Ivy’s first birthday with hubby and baby daddy Jay-Z, is set to sing the national anthem at President Obama’s inauguration Jan. 21. Next, she’ll fly down to New Orleans to headline the Super Bowl halftime show on Feb. 3. Bey is rumored to perform with a reunited Destiny’s Child (FINALLY) and the Hov. Just two weeks later, HBO will premiere Queen B’s full-length documentary on Feb. 16. The Bey-directed doc touts a personal, never-before-seen look at “Beyonce the person” (there’s no way she’s 100% human, but whatever) as opposed to Sasha Fierce the performer. A few things I’m really hoping to see: Jay-Z changing Blue’s Egyptian cotton diaper; Beyonce eating actual solid food; a baby bump shot to put those pesky rumors to rest; at least 13 different hairstyles/weaves. The Walking Dead returns to AMC for the second half of Season Three on Feb. 10. We’ll pick up with the new Woodbury/prison storylines introduced in early December’s mid-season finale. Fan fave Daryl has been captured by the Governor, who places him in the demented fighting arena against his brother Merle (who was pretty much presumed dead by the group after leaving a trail of blood and sawed-off hand behind in Season One). Loyalties will certainly be tested when the Dixon bros meet for the first time and, according to this sneak peak, the Woodbury clan wants them to battle to the death. Back at the prison, Rick questions his leadership role and Tyreese (a character plucked from the comics) will step up as the group’s token black guy. On the other side of the camera, showrunner Glen Mazzara, who took over for Frank Darabont after a rather sluggish second season, will be stepping down. Some speculate the move may be due to a lackluster second half of this season, but Mazzara, AMC and comic creator/exec producer Robert Kirkman all claim the departure is on good terms. We’ll see for ourselves next month; meanwhile, check out this preview: SPRING At first glance, Game of Thrones did not seem like my small screen cop o’ tea. I generally don’t read or watch anything too fantastical/mythical (but bring on the zombies and True Blood), plus the number of characters and settings almost make fictional family trees and note-taking a must. Regardless of TV preferences, though, GoT is an addictive epic. And on March 31, fans will return to Westeros for a third, slightly super-sized season. See, in the past, episodes were generally just more than 50 minutes long. This season promises several eps as long as 57 minutes, ultimately adding up to almost a whole extra episode. Way too nerdy and nitpicky? Well, that’s Thrones for you. But another fun addition to this season is that fans can now drink along with the show as New York’s Brewery Ommegang releases a series of Game of Thrones beer. The first, Iron Throne Blonde Ale, is set to debut in time for the season premiere. And speaking of TV show beer tie-ins, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia will also get its own brew with Aleman and Two Brothers Brewing Co.’s Dayman Coffee IPA, also slated to come out this March. Let’s just hope the gang hasn’t touched the stuff. And since you can’t even read the word “Dayman” without singing: Moving along to May, you better scratch those Star Wars Day and Cinco de Mayo plans. Cult hit Arrested Development is coming back with a new season, to be released on Netflix in its entirety on May 4. Of course, everyone is happy to have a little more Tobias Fünke in their lives, but this is a huge, possibly telling move for television in general. Plenty of failed shows gain a following after their demise on TV, but rarely do these shows actually get picked up again, and certainly not 7 years after cancellation. My only fear is super-fans’ high expectations will be hard to meet in just a single season. 'Til the release, catch up on the series and look out for these Easter eggs. After being pushed from its original Christmas 2012 premiere date, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby will hit theaters May 10. The director is known for his visually exciting films, such at Romeo + Juliet (which starred Gatsby himself, Leonardo DiCaprio) and Moulin Rouge, and likes to blend contemporary music and themes in with those of the films’ eras. For example, in the following trailer, Kanye West's “No Church in the Wild” juxtaposes the 1922 setting. If that's not enough for ya, stay tuned for more 2013 pop culture previews for summer and fall.
 
 

Dear Close Male Friends

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Dear Close Male Friends: There have been times over the years when some or most of you entered into serious, sometimes long-term relationships. I believe I have been extremely patient with each of you, understanding that your respective significant other might be meeting various universal human needs and making your life better.  
by Mike Breen 02.24.2012
Posted In: Music History, Music Commentary at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
arrested-development

This Date in Music History: Feb. 24

Grammys over the years and George Harrison's guitar collection? Now there's an app for that

There have been several Grammy Awards held on this date. Here are a few highlights from three random Feb. 24 ceremonies:1982's 24th Grammy Awards were big for Kim Carnes' one-hit-wonderful "Bette Davis Eyes," which won the Record and Song of the Year trophies. John Lennon won Album of the Year posthumously for Double Fantasy. Fun ones: Orson Welles won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word, Documentary or Drama Recording (?) for the radio version of Curt Siodmak's novel, Donovan's Brain; Sheena Easton was Best New Artist; and former knit-capped member of The Monkees, Michael Nesmith, won Video of the Year for Michael Nesmith in Elephant Parts, a collection of music videos and comedy sketches that helped further set the table for the creation of MTV. Watch Nesmith put his madcap Monkee skills to work all those years later:At 1993's 35th Grammys, the big theme was death. Eric Clapton won the big three categories with his Unplugged album and "Tears in Heaven," a song for his late son. Celine Dion won Song and Record trophies for her ditty from a movie about one of the deadliest maritime disasters in history. Rap was more comfy in its role as a Grammys insider. Some might say Arrested Development (Best New Artist, Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group) was a safe act to hitch its wagon on, but Sir Mix-a-Lot won Rap Solo for "Baby Got Back." You know those Recording Academy voters — they're all about the African garb, conscious lyrics and slammin' booties. Arrested Development are still going. Here's a performance for paste from a few years ago:Lauryn Hill was the big story of the 41st Grammys, held this day in 1999. She pulled a rare Best New Artist/Album of the Year coup, and won three more, all for her stunning debut LP. Dance music-to-Pop producer David Morales scored the excessively titled Remixer of the Year, Non-Classical (no Classical Remixers made the cut). And Elvis Costello won a Grammy for his Burt Bacharach collaboration, "I Still Have That Other Girl." Here's Elvis with a different duet partner, trusty sidekick Steve Nieve. Click the jump for "Born This Day" featuring George Harrison's new iPad app.

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