Latest Blog Posts

<p>Brent Sexton of &quot;The Killing&quot;</p>

Brent Sexton of "The Killing"

Credit: AMC

Interview: Brent Sexton talks 'The Killing'

'Life,' 'Deadwood' veteran promises building Season 2 momentum
We're still a couple months from discovering if Stan Larsen was in any way responsible for the death of Rosie Larsen.
For now, Stan is just one of a slew of viable suspects on "The Killing" and nowhere near the top of the list at this point, but we keep learning new disturbing facts about the moving company owner and grieving father. 
There's his past as a mob enforcer. That's pretty dark, especially when it has led to violence against other suspects in the case. Then there's Stan's increasing estrangement with wife Mitch (Michelle Forbes) and his increased closeness with Mitch's sister. Oh and then there's the pesky recent discovery things may not be so clear with Rosie's paternity. 
I got on the phone with Brent Sexton last week to discuss the changes in Stan Larsen in Season 2 of "The Killing." The "Life" and "Deadwood" veteran also discusses the season's upcoming momentum and how close he came to solving the show's central mystery.
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<p>Adam Yauch in 2009</p>

Adam Yauch in 2009

Credit: AP Photo

Music Power Rankings: Adam Yauch, Jack White and Michael Jackson

Dave Grohl and Justin Bieber also make the list

1. Adam Yauch: RIP MCA.

2. Amanda Palmer:
The former Dresden Doll raises more than $400,000 on Kickstarter for her next album. That’s kick ass.  

3. Jack White:  One is not the loneliest number: White scores his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 as a solo artist: a feat he never reached as half of the White Stripes.

4. Michael Jackson:
Pepsi deal will result in his image in on more than 1 billion Pepsi cans in the, perhaps oddly, titled “Live for Now” campaign.

5. Skylar Laine:
Another favorite leaves “American Idol” earlier than expected. She’ll be back on a record label near you soon.

6. Dave Grohl:
Add director to the Foo Fighter’s resume: He’s behind a new documentary on Sound City, the Los Angeles’ studio where, among others, Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was recorded.

7. The Grammys: A New York judge dismissed a suit filed by a Latin jazz musician who alleged that the cutting out 31 categories hurt artists’ earning power.

8. Carly Rae Jepsen
: Justin Bieber’s buddy scores her first top 5 hit with “Call Me Maybe.” As the tattoo on the hot dude in the video (viewed 47 million times) states, “The sky’s the limit.”

9. Justin Bieber:
Sure, his video for “Boyfriend” finally debuted, but it’s his “Most Viral Video Ever”  for Ryan Seacrest that deserves the attention: Puppies plus sneezing babies = total win.

10. Casper Smart: Jennifer Lopez’s boyfriend lands the job of choreographing her new tour. Nice perk of dating the boss.

What do you think of this week's Music Power Rankings?  Share your thoughts below.

Follow Melinda Newman on twitter @HitFixMelinda.

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<p>Rihanna and Eli Manning of &quot;SNL&quot;</p>

Rihanna and Eli Manning of "SNL"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Eli Manning and Rihanna

Eli's got more Super Bowl rings, but could he top Peyton on 'SNL'?
Athletes and “Saturday Night Live.” They don’t go together exactly like oil and water, but they don’t exactly mix, either. And while Eli Manning has proven himself on the field (as much as it pains this Patriots fan to acknowledge that), there’s no proof he has the ability to even perform competently in a pre-recorded piece, nevermind live onstage. But who knows? Maybe tonight will be as improbable the Helmet Catch that has haunted my dreams for the past five years. More likely? Rihanna will look amazing and perform the third act of the “Shy Ronnie” trilogy. That will be something. But will it be enough? Only one way to find out!
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<p>&quot;The Avengers&quot;&nbsp;director Joss Whedon on set with actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans.</p>

"The Avengers" director Joss Whedon on set with actors Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans.

Credit: Walt Disney Company/Marvel

Movie Review: Joss Whedon gets 'The Avengers' right

Characters, action and humor all in perfect alignment in Marvel's biggest movie yet

Like any right-thinking nerd with no childcare or other scheduling conflicts, I made sure to see "The Avengers" during the opening weekend. Our movie team has covered the film pretty exhaustively, but as both a longtime Avengers fan (who uses this poster as part of his son's bedtime ritual) and a longtime Joss Whedon fan, I couldn't resist jumping into the fray. I have a spoiler-filled review (as with many of my TV reviews, designed to be read only after you've seen the film) coming up just as soon as I show you my vintage trading cards...

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<p>Kat of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>

Kat of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

Interview: Kat Edorsson talks 'Survivor: One World'

Why is Kat in such a hurry to get a second chance in the game?
After being voted out on Wednesday (May 2) night's "Survivor: One World," Kat Edorsson said that she hoped she might get to return to the CBS series someday to prove that she's not the most naive player in the game's history.
The 22-year-old wasn't referring to not knowing what her appendix was or for occasionally misusing the world "touche."
For the most part, she was talking about the string of bad decisions that led from her ignoring Troyzan's advice to take control of her own strategic destiny to a big mistakes in picking players to join her on the visit-from-home Reward to a complete Tribal Council blindside when she expected Sabrina to be heading home.
In her "Survivor" exit interview, Kat certainly seems to have given some consideration to her downfall, suggesting failings that went well beyond just choosing her Reward partners based on who she wanted to get drunk with.
Check out the interview and you can decide for yourself if she seems introspective enough to deserve another shot... 
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<p>Carrie Underwood</p>

Carrie Underwood

Credit: Mark Humphrey/AP

Carrie Underwood blows away the competition on next week's Billboard 200

Her latest is one of six possible Top 10 debuts

Carrie Underwood will handily score her third No. 1 album next week as “Blown Away” by the former “American Idol” champ could sell up to 300,000 copies in its debut frame.

“Blown Away” is one of six potential new entries in next week’s Billboard 200 as the chart sees some major shifts and many races too close to call between now and when the chart closes Sunday night.  Norah Jones’ excellent “Broken Little Hearts” and “Now That’s What I Call Music 42” are in a dead heat for the No. 2 slot with each slated to move between 95,000 and 105,000 copies, according to Hits Daily Double.

Adele’s “21” remains in the top 5 for its 1000th or so week, most likely at No. 4, while “B.o.B’s” “Strange Clouds” and Lionel Richie’s former No. 1, “Tuskegee” are also too close to call for fifth place.

This week’s top title, Jack White’s “Blunderbuss,” will fall to No. 7.  One Direction’s “Up All Night” and “The Music Of Smash” are duking it out for the No. 8 spot, while Marilyn Manson’s “Born Villain” will crash in at No. 10.


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<p>Walter Bishop (John Noble)&nbsp;goes to work on &quot;Fringe.&quot;</p>

Walter Bishop (John Noble) goes to work on "Fringe."

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'Fringe' - 'Brave New World, Part One'

The show reveals the man behind the curtain...but didn't they already do that two episodes ago?
I’m not going to go into a tremendous amount of speculation about tonight’s “Fringe,” since the first hour of two-part finales are tricky ones to really analyze. Everything truly important will go down next week, with this installment serving primarily as set-up for the major shakeups coming down the pipe in the season (not series) finale seven days hence. My biggest instant reaction to the first part of “Brave New World”? I want that second hour NOW. Not because I need answers this second, although that wouldn’t be awful. Rather, this felt like an unbalanced installment of the series, one that was holding its cards back for future play rather than creating a satisfying hour unto itself.
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<p>Yauch (right) and Woody Harrelson at the National Board of Review gala  in January 2010. Harrelson was there to be honored as Best Supporting  Actor in &quot;The Messenger.&quot;</p>

Yauch (right) and Woody Harrelson at the National Board of Review gala in January 2010. Harrelson was there to be honored as Best Supporting Actor in "The Messenger."

Credit: Getty Images

A look at the awards success of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's Oscilloscope Laboratories

The late multi-hyphenate's impression on the film world lives on

I've been out all afternoon, so the sudden news of Adam Yauch -- better known as MCA of The Beastie Boys -- succumbing to cancer has been all Twitter remembrances and mobile news briefs for me. And all sadness. HitFix's Katie Hasty has plenty to say about it here, Melinda Newman here. Really and truly, I feel like a piece of me went with him. And I think anyone who has grown up with that music knows what it has meant.

But as many movie sites have dutifully pointed out, Yauch's creative reach was significant in the film world as well. And his tenure as a driving force behind indie distributor Oscilloscope Laboratories has ushered brave pick-ups and challenging cinematic material to the fore for the last four years or so.

Awards success greeted a few of those titles. Most significant was a Best Supporting Actor nomination for Woody Harrelson as well as a Best Original Screenplay nomination for Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman for "The Messenger" in 2009, which itself flirted with the first-ever expanded Best Picture line-up during that season.

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<p>From &quot;Lost in the World&quot;</p>

From "Lost in the World"

Watch: Kanye West's Bon Iver collab 'Lost in the World' video finally drops

Tortured, fashionable and slick, just like 'Ye himself

Gone are the ballerinas of "Runaway." Kanye West has recruited a different dancer crew for "Lost in the World."

After 18 months on the market, "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" has finally yielded another music video. "Lost" -- which features vocals from Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and a sample from the late, great Gil Scott-Heron -- is shot in all black and white, with nary a shot of Ye's full face. We do get an eyeful, however, of tortured and slick mirrors and skylines, with a well-placed dancer depicting the heaven and hell in which the rapper wallows.

This Ruth Hogben-directed clip plays out more like a fashion video, though the only style for the ladies here is an XL beefy tee. That makes sense, though. It's a gorgeous way to sell the song.

West has been in headlines lately for the relaunch of his G.O.O.D. music initiatives, including a new song "Mercy" with his cohorts and a controversial remix of Chief Keef's "I Don't Like."

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<p>&nbsp;Adam Yauch, left, in the 'Fight For Your Right' video</p>

 Adam Yauch, left, in the 'Fight For Your Right' video

The death of Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch and my delayed appreciation

It wasn't love at first listen

I remember when I first heard “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (to Party)” by Beastie Boys, I thought it was one of the stupidest songs I’d ever heard.

It turns out Beastie Boys felt the same way: after the irony of the trio lampooning Frat Rock sailed right over more party boys’ heads, Beastie Boys eventually stopped performing the delightfully sophomoric song live. However, by then, its place in the pantheon of top party songs was ensured.

 “Licensed To Ill,” which featured “Party,” came out the week before I moved to New York in November 1986.  I was recently out of college and was going through a major adjustment. The magazine I worked for was in Times Square and the area still resembled a crack den more than the Disneyland it looks like now. I often crunched crack vials under my feet as I trudged the few blocks from the subway (where I would have undoubtedly seen a rat on the A train tracks only slightly smaller than the size of my tiny, illegally-sublet studio apartment).

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Adam &quot;MCA&quot; Yauch</p>

Adam "MCA" Yauch

Passing of a Beastie Boy: Remembering Adam 'MCA' Yauch beyond the five boroughs

Five music and video moments I love best

Growing up in suburban Kansas, I didn't know anybody who didn't own a Beastie Boys album.

Today, in consideration of the passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch, a lot of fans are saying the same things, with the same opening statement: "Growing up in..." "Living in..." "Moving to..."

It didn't matter where you lived. The Beastie Boys trailblazed everywhere. They made hip-hop safe for listeners from all walks, and it wasn't just because they were white, or that "Brass Monkey" was mercilessly catchy. They blended punk and hard rock in hip-hop early times, with a name sounded like a joke (and it was a joke). They were funny as hell.

It was unsafe too.

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<p>Tenacious D</p>

Tenacious D

Watch: Tenacious D's low-brow high-budget music video for 'Rize'

So that's what music critics look like...

Tenacious D have unleashed the dragons in their music video for "Rize of the Fenix," and they don't care if you can see their green screens.

The single is from the album of the same name, due May 15.

While their first video in promoting "Fenix" featured a huge crop of A-list celebrities, this one prominently highlights a guitar you wouldn't be able to take through airline security. It also brings to mind: have you ever seen Jack White, Kyle Gass and Tim & Eric in the same room at the same time?

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