0 Comments · Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Syfy isn’t exactly known for its high-quality, critically celebrated programming...But its new series Helix (10 p.m. Fridays) — from Battlestar creator Ron Moore — is seriously good.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
The Internet is a scary place, and anyone who’s browsed 4chan can attest
to that. But this creepy technological web can connect strangers and answer
questions, often with unexpected results. The latest example: Jenna Jameson
exchanged an unverified story and super sad, semi-nude pics for information
about her former agent who Jameson said turned out to be a con man and is sabotaging her
online presence. She was given the man’s phone number, address, social security
number, credit score an more private information within the hour. Cool?
David Lynch fans will likely recall the last episode of Twin Peaks, where Laura Palmer tells Agent
Cooper she’ll see him in 25 years. Peaks
took place in 1989, which means she was referring to this year — 2014. Hence,
Lynch is filming new episodes of the cult series, as evidenced by a Twin Peaks casting call.
It’s always exciting to see Cincinnati on the big screen — not just a
mention, but actual shots of the city. It’s certainly not the most exotic
locale, and many scenes of a Cincinnati-based movie could probably be
replicated in a Hollywood studio. So movies that do make the trip Midwest tend
to be very special to locals. Rain Man, Traffic and The Ides of March all brought a spotlight and stars to the Queen
City. Next up: Cate Blanchett and
Rooney Mara make their way to Cincinnati this spring to film Carol. Based on the Patricia Highsmith
book also known as The Price of
Salt, the movie will be set in 1950s New York City, but shot exclusively in
Cincinnati. Blanchett and Mara in vintage garb, traipsing around town?
Celeb-stalking will be in full force, #ClooneyWatch style. Read more here.
In case you missed it, Shia LaBoeuf has lost his damn mind. Exhibit A.
But, due to my undying love of Louis Stevens, I still anticipate seeing his
wiener (again) in Nymphomaniac.
We’re a week into 2014 but, judging by the proliferation of “best of”
articles and continued obligatory year-end reflection posts on Facebook, it
appears most people are still in #RIP2013 mode — so we’re going to follow suit.
Now that our marathon New Year’s hangover has passed (and since awards season
doesn’t kick off until this week's People’s Choice Awards and Golden Globes), let’s look back at some of the highlights — and low points — of 2013.
The most photographed location on Instagram was a Bangkok mall; the most “popular” is this shot of Will Smith and the Biebs, with more
than 1.5 million likes.
A sacrifice to the Xenu gods? No such luck.
Moving on to Twitter, the most re-tweeted post was a somber one — Lea
Michele of Glee’s photo of herself with boyfriend Cory Monteith, who died of
a drug and alcohol overdose in July.
A close second was the announcement of actor Paul Walker’s death in
OK, enough with the sads! The most illegally downloaded artist of the
year was Bruno Mars. Not sure whether that means he’s even more popular than his record sales show,
or if people are just really ashamed to buy a Burno Mars album. Either way, the
guy who penned, the exquisite phrase, “You
and me baby making love like gorillas,” will be performing at
halftime during next month’s Super Bowl. Good luck topping last year’s!
During awards shows and in end-of-the-year roundups, we often take a
moment to remember people that have passed away. Since just looking at that
Cory Monteith photo makes me want to sob and hide in a room full of Pug puppies and
body pillows, actual real humans are out of the question. So, as a variation of
this trend, let’s look back on some of the important TV characters we lost this
Game of Thrones
After the main protagonist of Game
of Thrones, Ned Stark, was shockingly beheaded in the first season, audiences
quickly learned any character on the series could find themself chopping block
at any time. But who (besides, of course, those who’ve read A Storm of Swords) would expect Ned’s
widow and oldest son to join him so quickly — and in such a terrifying fashion? The episode “The Rains of Castamere” brought the
merciless death of Catelyn and Robb Stark plus Robb’s wife, Talisa, their
unborn baby and direwolf Grey Wind, in addition to at least a dozen others at the "Red
Wedding" alone. Earlier in the season, Ros — one of my favorite “working ladies”
on television — fell victim to the insufferable Joffrey. While she played a much
smaller role than the Starks, her death was heartbreaking and shocking. You’ll
all be missed!Boardwalk Empire
A Prohibition gangster drama is bound to rack up a serious body count. For
some of the historically-based characters, like Al Capone, viewers have a
pretty good idea about how long they will last. The fictional characters, however,
can meet their maker at any point. While I’m still not over Jimmy and Angela’s
demise, Boardwalk fully crushed my
heart by having Richard Harrow go out in a completely un-badass style. Harrow
was more than just a talented sniper with half a prosthetic face. He was a hero
in the show. He killed — a lot — but usually only the true bad guys, and often
to protect others. He was sensitive and strong, but slipped in his final
scenes, accidentally killing Chalky’s daughter instead of his target, Narcisse.
As soon as he missed the shot, I knew he was done for — Harrow, by definition,
always hits his mark! Sure enough, after a dream sequence in which Harrow
reunited with his family, we were jolted back to reality to find the wounded
war vet dying peacefully under the boardwalk. The show will go on, but won’t
have the same heart without him.Dexter
Oh, Debra. I never much cared for Dexter’s little sis — the phony fowl
mouth act just rubbed me the wrong way. But she definitely played an important
role in the series, especially once she found out about her brother’s “dark
passenger.” Dexter seriously declined
after its fourth season, and this final one was a doozy. But it still didn’t
prepare us for Deb’s death. After surviving a shot to the stomach, Deb appears
to be recovering at a hospital. While Dexter was busy chasing down his sister’s
shooter, Deb’s health turned for the worse, leaving her brain-dead. As a
hurricane hits Miami, sending the hospital staff into a frenzy, Dex is able to
pull the plug on his sister — sure she would not want to continue on in a
vegetative state at a hospital for the rest of her days — and takes her body on
his boat, to be whipped into the stormy sea. It seems like Deb and Dex died
together in the water, until we meet up with a bearded, lumberjack Dexter in
some mysterious woodsy locale, living in solitude. The fuh?
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead killed off a number of significant characters between the end of Season
Three and first half of Season Four this year. Andrea, who once shared a bed
with the Governor, ended up dead because of him. The Gov. hunted and captured
Andrea after she attempted to run away to her group at the prison. Trapped in a
torture chamber with the ticking time-zomb™ that was Milton, Andrea was unable
to protect herself from a deadly bite. Michonne made it to her BFF Andrea’s
side, only in time to put her down before she turned. And, after making an anticipated
return to the show, Merle also fell victim to the Governor. His brother, Daryl,
was tasked with killing zombie-Merle in a super-sad scene.
The Governor’s path of terror finally came to an end at the prison, but
not before he was able to take out Hershel (the closest thing the group had to
a doctor, not to mention Maggie and Beth’s father and the sweetest one-legged
man to make it in the apocalypse). The villain was finally taken down in a big
shoot-out between his group and Rick’s, which left all the survivors in
disarray. Also, baby Judith is MIA, probably in a zombie’s belly. :(Breaking Bad
I made up my mind early on that Walter White needed to die at the end of
Breaking Bad in order for the story to retain its authenticity. Walt got into
the meth business in order to pay for his medical costs and provide ample
support for his family if and when he succumbed to cancer. We all know he stuck
with the game for so long because, as he finally admitted in the finale, he
liked it. He was good at it. “I did it for me,” he tells Skyler in their final
scene. Most fans probably expected Walt to die, and he did so in a truly epic
fashion, while protecting Jesse. His brother-in-law Hank also went out like a
champ, after a brutal desert showdown. The saddest death of all was the end of
the show itself, but Breaking Bad will
surely stand the test of time as one of the greatest American dramas.
Talk about a surprise ending! After breaking free from countless
near-death experiences, Nicholas Brody was captured and killed. Viewers got a taste of a Brody-less Homeland this season, as the character
was on the lam and not present in much of this season. But the show was so much
better with Brody in it — somehow, he balanced Carrie’s cray, despite the fact
that he was a damaged man who flipped every chance he got. This death gives the
show an opportunity to take a completely new route. Hopefully we’ll still check
in on his family (am I the only one who still cares about them?) but
we’re definitely going to have a little bit of Brody in the form of his child
with Carrie. How a fetus could survive the stress, cigs and booze she put it
through proves that this is definitely a Marine baby.
0 Comments · Monday, December 23, 2013
Trends — whether in fashion, music or on
television — are only slightly noticeable as they emerge, but become
abundantly obvious in hindsight. From fleeting fads to more memorable
0 Comments · Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Many popular series take a break this week for the holiday, which is kind of a bummer — for some of us, the Real Housewives
are the closest thing we have to family! But it does give us a chance
to feast on some buzzed-about shows on streaming sites and devices. Here
are some great choices to enjoy between football and plates of grub.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 20, 2013
The last time audiences saw queen
bee-otch Ja’mie King, the Australian high school student had just
finished a term as an exchange student at — gasp! — a public school in Summer Heights High. Now she’s back on her home turf, wrapping up her senior year on-camera in Ja’mie: Private School Girl (Series Premiere, 10:30 p.m. Sunday, HBO).
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Combining dramatized history, a late-’50s
American setting and the topic of sex is guaranteed to attract an
audience to nearly any show. But Masters of Sex (10 p.m.
Sundays, Showtime) delivers beyond these popular tropes to explore the
real-life early scientific study of human sexuality.
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 6, 2013
As fans of Eastbound and Down (10
p.m. Sundays, HBO) know, the show, albeit hilarious, delves into some
pretty dark waters. Danny McBride’s notorious baseball bad boy Kenny
Powers walks the line between making us laugh and raising concern with
his seriously disturbed behavior.
by Jac Kern
Jac's roundup of pop culture news and Internet findings
The Walking Dead is getting pretty crazy this season, and so is its after-show, Talking Dead. Sunday night’s guests
included Jack Osbourne, TWD Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd and a very entertaining, probably
inebriated Marilyn Manson. His long-winded, unfocused comments were punctuated
with references including Hitler, “scissoring” and the character Carol’s likeness to Jamie Lee
Curtis (“Activia!"). Poor Osbourne could barely get a word in as Manson constantly interrupted.
He’d often cut off Hurd as she made interesting point from, you know, the
perspective of someone who helped create the show, to blab on about is own
confusing theories. It was watchable for all the wrong reasons and host Chris
Hardwick wasn’t having any of this shit.
The Entourage movie is
officially happening, for real this time.
One of television’s magic tricks (cut to Gob: “ILLUSIONS!”) is its ability to make locations around Hollywood look like places in cities
across the world. Alas, It’s Always Sunny
in Philadelphia is not actually filmed in Pennsylvania and Pawnee City Hall
seen in Parks and Recreation is
actually Pasadena City Hall. A.V. Club traveled around L.A. to track down memorable exterior TV locations from shows
set outside of California including Dunder-Mifflin (The Office), American Horror
Story’s original “Murder House,” the New
Girl apartment and other spots from popular shows.
Angeles plays itself (and the settings of The Office,
Parks And Recreation, It’s Always
Not every girl wants a stupid, one-sided public marriage proposal, as seen in
of a woman who thought she was on The Today Show to promote her nonprofit organization but
was actually there to get proposed to by her lame, misguided boyfriend.
The Daily Show began as a news satire show but, over the years, Jon Stewart & Co.
have exposed some actual Washington dumb-fuckery, inspiring real political
change. Case in point: TDS’ Aasif Mandvi interviewed North Carolina GOP precinct chair Don Yelton
about the state’s voter I.D. laws and Yelton responded in a shocking and
perhaps the most racist way possible. Yelton was forced to step
down from his position the next day.
It bears repeating that this was not a fake/satirical/scripted bit.
Yelton really admitted voter ID laws are in place to restrict Democrats. He actually
said he doesn’t understand why black people can say “nigger” but he can’t. And he backed all of this with the fact that he has a black friend. Jesus, take the wheel!
Yelton didn’t even have an “oh shit” moment the next day — he continues
to stand by his comments. His party, however, does not and asked Yelton to step
down less than 24 hours after the interview aired.
Can we make this Wes Anderson horror film (via Saturday Night Live) a real thing,
Emile Hirsch will portray comedic legend John Belushi in a new biopic.
Sesame Street is decidedly directed toward little kids, teaching them how to
count and share and interact with gigantic talking animals. But, like Yo Gabba
Gabba!, the show is nice enough to tip the hat at adults in the audience. I loved their take on True Blood and Sons of Anarchy, and now the Muppets have put their stamp on Homeland.
Of course, I am rarely around small children so I actually just watch puppet spoofs of TV shows for sheer pleasure.
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 30, 2013
NBC’s Parenthood (10
p.m. Thursdays), now in its fifth season, is loosely based on the 1989
Ron Howard film starring Steve Martin. This hilarious offering from the
quotable ’80s movie vault sets the stage for its contemporary series
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 23, 2013
All Hallows’ Eve might not be for another
week, but judging by the number of “fun-size” candy bags on sale,
pumpkin patch photo shoots on Instagram and Halloween-inspired
television offerings, it appears this quintessential fall holiday is
already upon us.