Latest Blog Posts

<p>Rihanna's &quot;Where Have You Been&quot;</p>

Rihanna's "Where Have You Been"

Credit: Island/Def Jam

Watch: Rihanna gets a dance video with 'Where Have You Been'

Rihanna shows off some similar moves from her recent Coldplay clip

As evident in his work with Pink and Missy Elliott, video director Dave Meyers is a big fan of darkly poppy and bold backdrops for his music videos, sometimes letting those border on fake and cheesy. Meyers has now combined with Rihanna for her latest dance single "Where Have You Been" from "Talk That Talk," and that predisposition continues.

Ri-Ri is finally featured in a dance-heavy video, leading the troupe of nation-less natives around a little bonfire, or inside a teepee or as a heavy-lidded sprite hiding in the forest. Meyers' team makes no qualms about making each locale look shallow, like a diorama from a museum, rather than sending the singer and her team out into an actual wilderness. What troubles the clip, however, isn't the dance team's navigation of these sets, but the director's constant need to shake the frame or blur the focus, like the apocalypse from Britney Spears' "Till the World Ends" apocalyptic journey.

Speaking of apocalypses, Rihanna gives a nod to "Apocalypse Now" with her half-headed emergence from black waters, as she seeks her prey, er, lover. (Lately, though, the 24-year-old lately has been promoting "Battleship," out May 18 in the U.S., which is her first major movie role. She's off the ship and now back into the waves.) The video also alludes to Rihanna's tour video clip for Coldplay's "Princess of China," with the multiple arms fanning out like a Hindu god.

Read Full Post


Listen: Metric unleashes single 'Youth Without Youth'

Band finally gets its Gary Glitter on

Metric were right in that their first single "finally" get to utilize the omnipresent Gary Glitter "Rock and Roll" beat -- it'll have you saying "Hey!" to boot.

"Youth Without Youth" is the initial track to arrive from "Synthetica," and is going on sale on May 1.

The band pushes crunchy, smarmy guitars way up front in the mix as a Muse-like synthy underbelly balances out Emily Haines' penchant creepy-little-girl voice. The child-like front is appopriate for "Youth," which explores what the band describes as a "slow sad story." It tackles "the decaying social state through the eyes of a depraved child... into a teenager," Haines explains in a song commentary, streaming after the track. It ends, predictably, with a bang and a whimper, both sonically and lyrically.

The song certainly has mass appeal, but a lot of instrumental space, too, with sparse verses and a non-traditional chorus. I don't think I'll grow out of it too soon.

"Synthetica" is due on June 12.

Read Full Post
<p>The new season of &quot;Sherlock,&quot;&nbsp;with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, will premiere on PBS on Sunday May 6. </p>

The new season of "Sherlock," with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, will premiere on PBS on Sunday May 6.

Credit: BBC

Keeping things in moderation: 'Sherlock'

Your local TV critic will be heading to New York to talk about a London detective

Turns out Thursday night's "Boardwalk Empire" Emmy panel (which I hope to post clips of sometime in the next few days) wasn't the only TV-related event I'll be moderating over the next week or so. This Thursday, May 3, at 6 p.m. Eastern, I'll be in New York at the Apple Store SoHo to talk about "Sherlock" with writer Steven Moffat and his producing partner (and wife) Sue Vertue, in advance of that show's American premiere on PBS on Sunday, May 6.

Where the "Boardwalk" event was streamed live, my understanding is that this "Sherlock" Q&A (some with me, some with the audience) will be available to download as a video podcast at a later date. I'll offer those details when I have them.

I've seen all three parts of "Sherlock" season 2 and am very excited to have this show back. (Though, as with the first season, the middle episode lagged behind the other two.) Based on the response last year, and my "Doctor Who" coverage during the period when there was a lag between British and American airings, my guess is that many of you have already watched the entire second season, so I'll ask you to be vague in the comments out of respect for both my spoiler policy and the American viewers who haven't seen it yet.

Read Full Post
<p>Michael J. Fox, Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski in &quot;The Good Wife&quot;&nbsp;season 3 finale.</p>

Michael J. Fox, Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski in "The Good Wife" season 3 finale.

Credit: CBS

'The Good Wife' - 'The Dream Team': Kalinda's secret stash

Michael J. Fox and Martha Plimpton team up in a memorable finale

A review of the "The Good Wife" season finale coming up just as soon as I pick out the right sledgehammer...

Read Full Post
<p>Matteo Garrone on the set of 'Reality.'</p>

Matteo Garrone on the set of 'Reality.'

Credit: Fandango

Cannes Check: Matteo Garrone's 'Reality'

Continuing our series of Cannes competition previews

The director: Matteo Garrone (Italian, 43 years old)

The talent: You'd have to be pretty au fait with contemporary Italian cinema to recognize most of the cast members here: the biggest name on offer is Claudia Gerini, best known for supporting turns in Italian hits "Don't Move" and "The Other Woman," as well as minor appearances in "The Passion of the Christ" and "Under the Tuscan Sun." The young actor Ciro Petrone, who made an impression four years ago in Garrone's "Gomorrah" (if the image of a gangly youth in his underwear brandishing a gun comes to mind, you're there), reappears here -- as, on the evidence of some other cast members' CVs, does the director's partial affinity for inexperienced actors.  

Read Full Post
Melissa and Joe Gorga on 'Real Housewives of New Jersey'

Melissa and Joe Gorga on 'Real Housewives of New Jersey'

Credit: David Moir/Bravo

Recap: 'Real Housewives of New Jersey' - 'Poker Face'

Melissa's ballad, Ashlee's goodbye and Joe Giudice's black eye

The full ramifications of Teresa's family-bashing cookbook haven't been dealt with yet, but we're not quite at the breaking point.

Everyone is still trying to play nice this week as Jacqueline deals with Ashlee, Melissa hits the recording booth, Kathy finds a X-rated surprise on her teen son's Twitter and... well... Joe Giudice winds up with a black eye.

Read Full Post
<p>No one has a good time at the big &quot;Mad Men&quot;&nbsp;gala. </p>

No one has a good time at the big "Mad Men" gala.

Credit: AMC

'Mad Men' - 'At the Codfish Ball': The dirty city

Disappointment reigns for Don, Megan, Sally and Peggy

A review of tonight's "Mad Men" coming up just as soon as I spread my legs and fly away...

Read Full Post
<p>Zosia Mamet and Lena Dunham in &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Zosia Mamet and Lena Dunham in "Girls."

Credit: HBO

'Girls' - 'All Adventurous Women Do': You're the inspiration

Hannah gets her STD results, Jessa gets a job and Marnie meets an artist

A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I pass you an STD but enjoy your quirky web presence...

Read Full Post
<p>&nbsp;Vanessa faces her mortality, while Ralph faces Vanessa's cleavage on &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

 Vanessa faces her mortality, while Ralph faces Vanessa's cleavage on "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'I Need Hair To Be Pretty'

Mark & Bopper faces a deficit, but would vanity help them catch up?
All hair vanity and strategic stupidity!
[Yes, that intro started off as a typo and became a pun and I'm sticking to it.]
Without vanity and strategic stupidity, Sunday (April 29) night's episode of "The Amazing Race" would have been possibly the least competitive in "Amazing Race" history. 
And even with vanity and strategic stupidity, the illusion that Sunday's Leg was competitive was generated largely by editing, so it wasn't an especially good episode.
But at least the episode featured lots of blood. I wouldn't necessarily think that'd be enough to redeem yet another dismal Leg for most viewers, but on the off chance that "Amazing Race" is huge in the hematolagnia fetish community... Winner!
Full recap after the break...
Read Full Post
<p>Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

'Game of Thrones' - 'The Ghost of Harrenhal': Three deadly wishes

Plans change rapidly as season 2 reaches its mid-point

A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I'm able to kill people with my mind...

Read Full Post
<p>Amrita Acharia of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>

Amrita Acharia of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: Paul Schiraldi/HBO

HitFix Interview: Amrita Acharia talks 'Game of Thrones'

Daenerys' handmaiden Irri talks Dothraki, off-screen romance and more
Amrita Acharia's Twitter profile describes her as a "Ukrainian-Nepalese actress with a dash of Norwegian-ness sprinkled on top," while her IMDB profile boasts of her aptitude with a slew of languages.
Of course, TV audiences know Acharia primarily for a fictional nationality and for her proficiency in a language that never existed.
On HBO's "Game of Thrones," Acharia plays Irri, Dothraki handmaiden to Emilia Clarke's Daenerys Targaryen. Irri has generally been paired with Roxanne McKee's Doreah. While Doreah has been largely entrusted with coaching Dany on carnal arts, Irri has taught Dany about Dothraki culture and the Dothraki language.
In scenes that we weren't privy to, Irri also was apparently carrying on a love affair with a Dothraki bloodrider named Rakharo, which left her mighty unhappy a couple weeks back when Rakharo's horse returned from a scouting mission with his head, but without the rest of his body.
As Acharia's Twitter followers know, she was in Los Angeles last week and I sat down with the young actress to discuss her language skills, her appreciation of the Dothraki mentality and her early dreams of being a vampire.
Click through for the full interview [No real spoilers, unless you're way behind and even then, nothing really.]...

Read Full Post
<div id="myEventWatcherDiv" style="display:none;">&nbsp;</div>


Credit: AP

Tupac Shakur leads Music Power Rankings for the second week

Beyonce, Maroon5 and Carrie Underwood also make the list

1) Tupac Shakur:  His virtual appearance at Coachella leads to a very real boost in sales as his “Greatest Hits” reenters the Billboard 200 for the first time in 12 years. The title landed at No. 129, with a 571% sales gain over last week.  His track “Hail Mary” saw a 1,530% increase to 13,000 downloads.

2) Beyonce: People names her the World’s Most Beautiful Woman. Blue Ivy coos, “I already knew that.”

3) Record Store Day: The fifth annual event, held April 21, helped indie record stores’ sales soar 26% last week. Guess what? Indie stores are open year round.

4) Ryan Seacrest
:  He will be with us forever and always--or at least through 2014:  He signed a $15 million deal to keep him hosting “American Idol” for two more years.

5) Carrie Underwood: The former “American Idol” champ leads all artists with five nominations for the 2012 CMT Music Awards. Her legs receive 10 nods.

6) Michael Rapino:
The Live Nation head made $11.9 million last year. He can afford to pay the service charge on concert tickets, but what about the rest of us...

7) The Beach Boys:
They kick off their 50th anniversary tour in landlocked Tucson. What? Kokomo was booked?

8) Maroon5: The exposure from “The Voice” continues to pay off for lead singer/coach Adam Levine as the group scores its biggest first week debut ever on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Payphone.” They wanted to call home to share the news, but couldn’t find a working payphone.

9) Death Grips:
They brought in the tastemakers with 2010’s “Exmilitary.”  Now the Sacramento-based industrial hip hop outfit (for lack of a better description) gets ready to grab the rest of the world by the throat with its new Epic Records debut, “The Money Store.”

10) Coachella: The alternative music festival in the desert successfully expands to two weekends with a pair of sellouts and raves all around. As  Mae West said, “too much of a good thing can be wonderful.”

Read Full Post