WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

HBO Miniseries Explores Small-Town Relationships

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 29, 2014
It’s a familiar tale: A sleepy town’s beguiling picturesque landscape hides the flaws of the people who call it home.    

HBO Expands Summer Doc Series For Year-Round Films

0 Comments · Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Sometimes a true story is far more fascinating than anything Hollywood could dream up. If you’re a fan of interesting documentaries and you’ve already conquered Netflix’s detailed doc genre list, tune into HBO on Monday nights. The network has expanded its popular summer documentary series to a year-round schedule of entertaining, thought-provoking programming.  

What the Heart Wants

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 21, 2014
This Sunday, HBO offers another look at the early AIDS crisis, also based on true events. The Normal Heart, adapted from Larry Kramer’s semi-autobiographical Tony Award-winning play, explores the social, medical and political responses to an unknown disease attacking the gay population in early-’80s New York City.  
by Jac Kern 09.30.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity at 02:46 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

One of the greatest television shows of all time came to an end Sunday with the series finale of Breaking Bad. Without going into spoilery detail about this last episode, the finale was truly satisfying for fans of the show. Often times, even great shows can have disappointing endings that leave storylines ambiguous and questions unanswered. Breaking Bad wrapped up fully, touching on nearly every main character and plot point. Alas, it is still emotional to say goodbye to a beloved series. Thankfully, we’ll get a little more Bad with the latest spin-off, Huell’s Rules! Huell's Rules from Lavell Crawford      Just kidding. But the Better Call Saul spinoff is actually a go (although it is a comedy and will likely be a prequel, having nothing to do with Breaking Bad aside from the Saul character). Bad creator Vince Gilligan also has his next project lined up —a CBS cop drama titled Battle Creek, which Gilligan actually wrote for the network more than a decade ago. Cop drama? CBS?! OK… Natalia Rojas compiled the profile pictures of every single Facebook user and the finished product looks like this: Zooming in, you’ll find more than 1.2 billion people, in order of when the user first signed up for the soul-sucking site. Nothing but grains of sand, amirite? Check out The Faces of Facebook here. While some of us are still trying to process Lifetime’s hot mess of a biopic, Anna Nicole, New York City Opera recently staged a show based on the ill-fated pop culture icon’s life (which happens to have the same inventive title). Read Vice’s glowing review (loljkjk). Anna Nicole Smith has her own opera. Wasn’t Anna Nicole the human a parody in and of herself? Ever notice your favorite HBO shows having overlapping actors? The HBO Recycling Program, while two years old now, charts the actors that have appeared in at least three episodes of an HBO scripted series from Oz to Game of Thrones.                                                                                                Woooooahhhhh Kanye West and Jimmy Kimmel are in a feud. It all started with Kimmel's sketch about the rapper’s recent BBC interview, which barely can be considered a parody as the child actor in “Kimmel Kid Re-Kreation” is directly quoting Kanye. The skit rubbed ‘Ye the wrong way, sparking an onslaught of angry tweets (since deleted) and even a personal phone call to the late-night host. Kimmel, who was behind the viral “Worst Twerk Fail EVER” prank video, swears this is not a fake feud. Pete and Pete have a podcast! Danny Tamberelli and Mike Maronna, co-stars of the ‘90s Nickelodeon series The Adventures of Pete & Pete and members of the Ginger Hall of Fame have teamed up on a new monthly podcast. The first episode takes the TV brothers to Portland, Ore., site of Petefest, an actual festival for Pete & Pete fans. Listen to the first installment of The Adventures Of Danny And Mike here. Hate your job? Got a shitty boss? Live vicariously through this chick who quit her editing job at Next Media Animation (the folks who create those funny animated interpretations of “news stories” like Charlie Sheen’s 2010 reign of terror at the Plaza Hotel) by making her own viral video.   Here’s a Cracked article poking fun BuzzFeed list-icles. Pot, meet kettle. Between Two Ferns is back! Zach Galifianakis’ interview with Justin Bieber might actually be the best PR move for the teen angst-ridden drop-crotch enthusiast. Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: Justin Bieber from Justin Bieber     
 
 

Real Talk

Comedy and commentary veteran Bill Maher returns to Cincinnati's stage and HBO's screen

1 Comment · Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Bill Maher knows his niche. The king of political comedy, Maher stops by Cincinnati for a stand-up show Sunday just as his HBO show, Real Time with Bill Maher, returns from summer hiatus Friday. Busy with touring and hosting an Emmy-nominated weekly talk show, he won’t be making another documentary like 2008’s Religulous anytime soon.  

'Boardwalk' Barrels Beyond Atlantic City for Season Four

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 4, 2013
As HBO’s gripping period piece Boardwalk Empire (Season Premiere, 9 p.m. Sunday) returns for a fourth season, months have passed since last year’s explosive finale. It’s February 1924. Nucky Thompson has been lying low, eventually making peace with mob boss Joe Masseria.  
by Jac Kern 04.09.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Music at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Country music is kind of one of those love-it-or-hate-it genres. You often hear people with limited exposure to music say “I listen to anything but Country;” at the same time, area Country music concerts draw huge crowds (CityBeat readers even voted the 2012 Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw show the best concert of the year. Sigh.) — and we’re north of the Mason-Dixie line. Sure, it’s pretty easy to make fun of the stereotypical redneck Country music lover, but Country is making its way more and more into the mainstream, popular stage with crossover artists like Taylor Swift. And you don’t have to be a toothless moonshiner to like her squinty-eyed ass, right? Brad Paisley just set the genre back a few decades with his new single, “Accidental Racist.” The song is meant to explain how just because someone is southern and proud of his roots, doesn’t mean he wishes we still had slaves. See, all Paisley wants is to be able to wear a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt to Starbucks without some black barista thinkin’ he’s a racist (and who hasn’t been in that situation). Between that target of a song title and the poorly-written lyrics, Paisley’s gotten a lot of backlash. He appeared on Ellen Tuesday to rectify the song and his intention and started the conversation like any good non-racist should: by citing that one of his best friends is black (LL Cool J, who appears on the track). The song is being pulled from YouTube and music sites faster than you can say “publicity stunt,” but you can see the lyrics here. One gem of note is LL’s chorus: "If you don't judge my do-rag/I won't judge your red flag/If you don't judge my gold chains/I'll forget the iron chains." See, guys? If you just stop being afraid of black guys who wear bling, all that white guilt can go away because we’re forgiven! What’s that sound? Oh, it’s Conan O’Brien quietly weeping in the shower, because Jimmy Fallon is officially taking over for Jay Leno by this time next year. Fallon’s Late Night is by far my favorite of all the nightly talk shows, so I think he’ll kill it in the earlier slot with the help of his trusty house band The Roots and Saturday Night Live’s Lorne Michaels as producer. The Tonight Show will move back to New York with this change, the first time in 40 years, when Johnny Carson hosted. Rumored Late Night replacements include current SNL “Weekend Update” host, Seth Meyers. Imagine if you were the sibling of a popular ‘90s singer/actress, trying to make your own name in the business. You release a couple mediocre albums, leak a sex tape with your no-name girlfriend, even star in a VH1 reality show. Years pass and, somehow, that big-booty trick you propelled into the spotlight is now about 700 times more famous than you. What do you do? Well, if you’re Ray J, you release “I Hit It First,” a song with “Kim K” written all over it. And if lyrics like “She might move on to rappers and ballplayers/But we all know I hit it first” weren’t obvious enough, the single cover is a pixelated photo of Kanye’s baby mama: Cincinnati on TV Alert: The Cooking Channel debuts a new series, America’s Best Bites, on April 20 (a perfect program to accompany your munchies. Yes, I am 17 years old). Hosted by Natalie Forte, the show travels across the country to showcase local fare and favorites. Nothing revolutionary here, but Cincy’s own Daniel and Lana Wright of Abigail Street and Senate will appear on the show’s third episode. Check out Abigail Street on ABB at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4. Move over sloths. Step aside, oil-covered birds getting Dawn baths. My new favorite quirky cuties of the animal world are pets with cleft palates.                                                  You say deformity, I say givemeonenoooowwwww Meet Lentil. This little pup has had a rough road due to his irregular palate, but thanks to a feeding tube and a wonderful foster family, this little bean is growing to be healthy and adorable. Follow his heart-melting story on Facebook. Palate mutations are not just exhibited in dogs, though. Take it from Lazarus, vamp-kitty! Lazarus was a sickly alley cat when he was rescued, but now maintains a relatively normal kitty life, even without a nose and several teeth! And, on the topic of online pet stalking, it would be remiss to not highlight the animal Internet trend du jour: dogs in pantyhose. Big thanks to HBO for the shout out in their new HBO Go commercial!  
 
 
by Jac Kern 02.20.2013
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Drinking at 01:13 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Beardwatch 2013 Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites premiered last week and Cincinnati’s Matt Bischoff (whom we interviewed here) made it through the first episode, officially making it further than Cincinnati’s last castaway. Despite my wide-ranging TV prowess, I haven’t watched Survivor in about 20 seasons. But having an interesting local character like Matt actually makes the show pretty watchable. Survivor, like every reality show, follows a set of standard rules in editing, and if you read between the lines it appears Matt could be on the show for a substantial amount of time: He got enough airtime to intrigue viewers, but not so much that it seems like they’re gearing up for his departure. Elsewhere, Matt pulled his weight. He stood up to the cocky Marine barking orders but not actually doing anything, but soon after paved things over, showing that he’ll put a dude in his place, but not be a dick about it. He helped construct the tribe’s shelter and brought them to victory in the immunity challenge. But Matt isn’t the only hometown boy kickin’ it in the Caramoan — Sharonville native and Ken Doll lookalike Reynold Toepfer, now a San Francisco resident, joins Matt in the Gota Tribe. Reynold is a Princeton High School and Miami University grad, but he’s moved away from the Queen City so he’s DEAD TO US. Just kidding, but seriously, he’s kind of a d-bag. He formed an alliance with Laura because she flew under the radar by not being “the cutest, not anything.” Gag. Then, no sooner than night one, dude was getting into some straight-up heavy petting with Alli during sleepytime.                              Matt, looking like an island ninja, checking out the "sleeping" situation going on with two of his tribe-mates.Isn’t this supposed to be a family show? Not that I’m worried about “the children,” it’s just my feeling that if you’re going to be kind of a sleazy reality show, you should just be a really sleazy, self-aware reality show. Predictably, the show has portrayed Matt as something of an outsider. In one particular scene, four of the young, attractive, conventional Survivor types (Reynold being one of them) dubbed themselves the “cool kids lunch table” (gag again) and then the camera panned out to Matt, looking alone in the ocean. In the show’s defense, Survivor’s core audience probably relies on this type of blatant stereotyping to understand what’s going on. More Beardwatch to come! The Internet acts as a platform for feedback for companies. So when a TV show gets or cancelled or a product is removed from shelves, many consumers can share their critiques online. Now, usually this quickly turns into a bullshit sounding board — just read a Yelp review from a bitter customer — but sometimes the public can harness the power of technology and allow its collective voice to be heard. Case in point: Maker's Mark made news last week when the company announced that the bourbon would henceforth have a reduced alcohol content in order to keep up with demand. If the bourbon was diluted just a bit, they could produce enough booze to meet sales demands, but that shortcut would affect the alcohol volume by about 3 percent (from 45 percent ABV/90 proof to 42 percent/84 proof). Bourbon drinkers weren’t havin’ none of that. So guess what? Maker's changed their minds! The bourbon recipe will remain untouched. Long live Maker's Mark! For a couple of Grammy-winning musicians, the Black Keys sure have a lot of time for extracurriculars! When they’re not making completely random, ponytailed cameos on Workaholics, they’re trolling Beliebers. Well, drummer Patrick Carney is. Justin Bieber tweeted that Carney (“the black keys drummer”) needed to “be slapped around” in response to a comment Carney made to a reporter about Beiber’s Grammy “snub.” Carney went on to change his Twitter name and profile picture to Justin Bieber and JB fans were pissed. He’s back to assuming his own identity but you can read the hilarious trolling tweets here. And because I look up any topic on the always-reliable Wikipedia before writing about it, I discovered that Carney was married to (and later divorced) writer Denise Grollmus in a ceremony officiated by Will Forte. Yes, MacGruber. WTF CARNEY. Beyonce’s documentary debuted on HBO Saturday, drawing in more viewers (1.8 million) than any HBO doc in nearly a decade. A little self-serving and definitely over-the-top, fans and critics alike had a field day with Life Is But A Dream. Basically, Beyonce records her every waking moment, which, according to this doc, includes lots of traveling, dance rehearsals and iMac confessionals. We finally got a good look at mini-Jay, Blue Ivy:                                                                 “We’re not worthy!” Beyonce even tried to convince us she was down-to-earth by rocking some crazy braids in the interview portions, filmed inside her childhood home. Here are some quick and dirty deets from NY Mag including number of manicure close-ups and number of Destiny’s Child mentions (ZERO!). We got a couple peeks at her preggo belly, but there were not enough shots of her eating French fries and too many shots of private helicopter rides to convince me she’s 100 percent human and not an Illuminati alien goddess. Three stars.
 
 
by Jac Kern 02.05.2013
at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings

Sunday’s Super Bowl was arguably one of the most entertaining sporting events for even the most athletically clueless. Admittedly, I fall into that category ­— this was probably the most recent football game I’ve watched since last year’s SB — and generally watch for the commercials and half-time show/to justify eating my weight in cheese and crackers/to feel like a real American. But from on-field brawls and the post-Beyonce power outage to the tense final minutes of the game, this shit show was truly a spectacle! Bravo, NFL. Bravo, America. Queen Bey’s half-time extravaganza was flawless, lip-synching or not. She booty-popped her way through a handful of hits and even summoned recently-reunited Destiny’s Children Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams (no, not her) to perform a couple classics in coordinating outfits (obvs). Kelly was looking extra fabulous and, as a friend pointed out, that's really saying something about a chick dancing alongside Beyonce. Michelle, as always, played the cute third wheel role. It appeared that her mic was off for half of her time onstage, which was probably the stipulation for Beyonce even allowing Michelle to be included in the reunion. DC superfan note: Michelle always gets the shaft. Hours after the epic, show-stopping (literally — you know Bey caused that outage) show, Beyonce’s summer tour was announced: The Mrs. Carter Show. Be still, my heart. For those who care even less about football than me but still want to check out the over-hyped commercials, see a roundup here. 30 Rock came to a bittersweet end Thursday. Tina Fey’s hit changed the comedy landscape and the way we look at snack foods (I’ll never eat a cupcake the same way again!). Take one last jaunt through TGS memory lane with every trucker hat Frank wore throughout the series. While Girls’ Lena Dunham is still new to the TV scene, the love-her-or-hate-her writer/director/producer/actress will embark on a new HBO series with Girls co-executive producer Jenni Konner. Conan O’Brien a certified comedy demigod — one of the most beloved late night hosts of the 21st century. Despite the buzzed-about drama with Jay Leno and Conan’s move to TBS, the show retained its core audience and it’s clear people still love them some Coco. And, after watching last week’s Occupy Conan episode, it’s clear Coco loves us, too. Back in November, the late night host announced he’d present a fan-generated episode. Viewers were invited to re-imagine their own episode based on the Aug. 16, 2011 show with Anne Hathaway and Fun. Tons of original content was submitted and mashed together to create an epically weird and hilarious version of that episode. “Occupy Conan” featured animations, live-action interpretations, puppets and even submissions from the likes of Tina Fey, Fred Armisen and Joel McHale. I hadn’t actually seen the original episode, which is unfortunate as Anne Hathaway gave the most WTF-worthy rap performance only a white girl could pull off (or not — you decide). I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a new TV trend for shows with particularly ambitious/obsessed fans. Check out the full fan-sourced episode here. In hatchet-wielding homeless hitchhiker news: A delusional man in Fresno, Calif., claiming he was Jesus, purposely hit a PG&E worker with his car. Thankfully, help was on the scene: Sa-Mash.
 
 
by Paul Smyth 07.20.2012
Posted In: Boxing at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Hometown Boxer Adrien Broner to Defend Title on Saturday

Westwood resident will defend Junior Lightweight World Champion title at U.S. Bank Arena

Cincinnati resident and elite boxing prospect Adrien "The Problem" Broner will make his second WBO Junior Lightweight World Champion title defense at the U.S. Bank Arena Saturday. The Cincinnati pugilist (23-0, 19 knockouts), who lives in Westwood, faces Vicente Escobedo (26-3, 15 knockouts). The fight will be broadcast on HBO's Boxing After Dark and represents the next step in a career that may propel Broner into the highest levels of the sport. This will be Broner's fifth appearance on HBO.   Broner is the youngest current U.S. title holder after winning the WBO Junior Lightweight belt with a third-round knockout of Vicente Rodriguez last November. His first title defense came in February of this year, also in Cincinnati. He easily defeated Eloy Perez, prompting additional fan, cable and promoter attention. His second title defense this Saturday may be a turning point, leading to the next tier of exposure and reward — and perhaps much tougher fights.    Escobedo is a 2004 US Olympian, though he did not medal. He's fighting at 130 pounds, having tasted defeat as a pro at 135 pounds in a split-decision title fight loss versus Michael Katsidis in 2009. After four victories in the new weight class, the 30-year-old Escobedo now faces one of the most highly touted prospects in boxing today in Broner.  In the ring, Broner's athleticism, speed, power and preparation, as well as his side-on fighting style and offense-from-defense positioning, have led to comparisons with current pound-for-pound great Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Broner says he doesn't watch tape of opponents but prefers to adapt in the ring.   Outside the ring, he's known for a flamboyant style that also has brought comparisons to Mayweather's flashy persona, but Broner shows adaptability in the arena of life as well. Broner describes strong and apparently nourishing interests, including recording his own music. So far, when it's time to focus — in the ring or answering serious questions about his claims to elite status — the 22-year-old can be frank, direct and thoughtful.   But he's also being called over-the-top. A rare talent. And, of course, undefeated.   Cincinnati sports fans are on notice that maybe, just maybe, they have a new, hometown, world-class athlete worth following on the international stage.   Broner-Escobedo headlines an extensive undercard on Saturday, July 21. U.S. Bank Arena doors open at 5 pm. HBO Boxing After Dark coverage begins at 10 pm. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster.
 
 

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