Latest Blog Posts

<p>Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in &quot;Homeland.&quot;</p>

Damian Lewis and Claire Danes in "Homeland."

Credit: Showtime

Showtime's 'Homeland' & 'Dexter' to return in September

Terrorists and serial killers best beware, now that the dramas have season premiere dates

Because the most recent season of "Dexterand the first season of "Homelandboth premiered on Showtime in September of 2011, the assumption was that both shows would return around the same time of year in 2012. And that assumption was correct, as Showtime has announced that both series will return on Sunday, September 30, with "Dexter" again at 9 and "Homeland" again at 10.

The announcement's a bit earlier than usual for this sort of thing, but it's also confirming the obvious, so it's not earth-shaking news, either. Everyone knows, for instance, that HBO will air "Boardwalk Empire" again in the fall, but it's not official yet.

I stopped watching "Dexter" a few episodes into last season — then was amused to see how the entire Internet seemed to figure out the "shocking" twist many, many, many episodes before the "Dexter" writers expected anyone to — but I loved "Homeland" season 1 (and was a big fan of the finale, which I know some of you weren't) and am very much looking forward to seeing what happens next.

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<p>Morena Baccarin guest-starred on last night's &quot;The Good Wife.&quot;</p>

Morena Baccarin guest-starred on last night's "The Good Wife."

Credit: CBS

'The Good Wife' - 'Long Way Home': Yes, sir, that's my baby

Guest stars Dylan Baker and Morena Baccarin clash, while Alicia has a real estate problem

A review of last night's "The Good Wife" coming up just as soon as we split the check...

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<p>Think of how much more successful Jennifer Lawrence would be if only she'd been born attractive.</p>

Think of how much more successful Jennifer Lawrence would be if only she'd been born attractive.

Credit: HitFix

Watch: Jennifer Lawrence talks about Katniss, archery, pressure and 'The Hunger Games'

The star of the spring's most anticipated film talks about tuning out expectations

Jennifer Lawrence is not yet a movie star by the classic definition.  She is not yet enough to guarantee a film an opening weekend.  I suspect all of that is about to change soon, and once the "Hunger Games" films are all in release, she's going to be able to choose the career she wants.  And while she might not be a "movie star" yet, it really is just a matter of time.

Right now, I'm not sure even she is fully able to define what the ideal career would look like.  She seems to me from the times we've spoken to be torn between a desire to vanish into her work and an awareness of the way this industry works and what it takes to build a career.  She is, in my opinion, ready for the public to catch up to how talented she is, and if "The Hunger Games" is the project that introduces her to a larger audience, then that's a good thing.

On the day I did my interviews for the film, I had my six-year-old with me because we had to drive over to the press day directly after his baseball practice.  When we walked into the room where Lawrence was waiting, she said hello to him, and then they launched into a long discussion of Little League and how she used to play and what position he plays, and the whole time, I was laughing about how there are grown men who would give a kidney to just casually shoot the breeze with Lawrence for a few minutes.

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<p>There was lots of laughter at the "Community" PaleyFest panel..</p>

There was lots of laughter at the "Community" PaleyFest panel..

Credit: NBC

Watch: The 'Community' PaleyFest panel

Singing! Dancing! Oscars! And Britta!

The Hulu archive of the "Community" PaleyFest panel that I moderated has gone up earlier than expected. If you didn't get to attend in New York or LA, or to watch the Livestream feed, you can see it now, embedded below.

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<p>A scene from &quot;Electrick Children&quot;</p>

A scene from "Electrick Children"

Credit: Live Wire Films

SXSW: 'Electrick Children' offers a charge that's more promising than profound

Film heralds the arrival of an exciting but unsure voice

AUSTIN, Texas - Following in the footsteps of “Sound of My Voice” and “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” the indie world’s fascination with cults – or cult-ish behavior – continues at the 2012 South by Southwest film fest with Rebecca Thomas’s “Electrick Children,” a quirky portrait of two Mormon teenagers searching for meaning in suburban Las Vegas.

Inspired by the filmmaker’s own experiences as a Mormon growing up outside Sin City, the film explores faith in delicate, sensitive ways, particularly in the face of secular temptation. But it eventually acquiesces to indie-film clichés instead of digging deeper into its intriguing philosophical quandaries, ultimately creating a portrait of divine providence that’s more promising than profound.

Julia Garner (perhaps ironically, “Martha Marcy May Marlene”) plays Rachel, a devout teenager who gets introduced to the world beyond her insular Mormon community after her father Paul (Billy Zane) records her religious testimony on a tape recorder. Fascinated by the mysterious technology, she sneaks out to listen to it at night, and among the interview recordings she finds a cassette tape with music on it – the first rock & roll she’s ever heard.

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<p>Tom&nbsp;Hanks and Jonah Hill on &quot;Saturday&nbsp;Night Live&quot;</p>

Tom Hanks and Jonah Hill on "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Jonah Hill and Tom Hanks send up Oscar season on 'Saturday Night Live'

"You lost, man. You don't get no Oscar."

Oh, you thought awards season was over? Well, it is, but there's plenty of room to drag out its last throes on late night, like Jonah Hill did to kick of "Saturday Night Live" last night.

The whole thing just reminded me of something that kind of nagged at me last season, even if I didn't have an issue with it in principle: I still don't get how Hill got as far into the season as he did. I mean, yeah, he grew up in Beverly Hills and has plenty of friends pulling for him in the industry, but I just never thought his performance in "Moneyball" was much more than serviceable (as I note now, the same word I used to describe the work back in September), and familiar.

But I'm not trying to take anything away from the guy. I'm happy for him and it looks like he's poised to hit 2012 running with "21 Jump Street." Still, I don't think he really moved much beyond his comfort zone for that role.

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<p>Rachel and Brendon of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Rachel and Brendon of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Taste Your Salami'

Tempers rise for two teams, while another suffers from illiteracy
You weren't fooled for a second, were you, Regular Readers?
After last Sunday delivered season's best "Amazing Race" episode to date, it was completely inevitable that this week's installment would be, to put it kindly, far inferior.
Titled "Taste Your Salami," Sunday's (March 11) episode was marred by uninspired challenges, bickering dysfunctional couples, product placement that threatened to crush the episode under its very weight and a team that fell impossibly behind almost immediately due to a stupid mistake and never had a chance to catch up.
Oh yeah, and...
[More after the break...]
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<p>Jon Bernthal as Shane on &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Jon Bernthal as Shane on "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Better Angels': What a Shane

Tensions rise and new discovers are made in the season's penultimate hour

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as the couch and I become old friends...

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<p>Michael Gambon in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Michael Gambon in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

'Luck' - 'Episode 7': Ashtrays to ashtrays

Most gambles fail to pay off, and syntax becomes a big problem

A review of tonight's "Luck" coming up just as soon as I watch my barn get put on the Facebook...

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<p>Drew McWeeny, Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon talk 'Cabin in the Woods'</p>

Drew McWeeny, Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon talk 'Cabin in the Woods'

Epix HD, Lionsgate and HitFix present a live-chat with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

Drew McWeeny moderates a special discussion with the makers of 'Cabin In The Woods'

10:30 AM, I had to be downtown at the San Jacinto Ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel, where I would be moderating a special discussion with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, the creators behind the new movie "The Cabin In The Woods" at noon local time.  Since I'm not on either coast, I'm almost constantly confused about the time in other places right now.  It didn't help that the night before, I'd seen a midnight movie that started an hour late and thanks to Daylight Savings time, I'd also lost an hour to the time change.

This is our archived version of the final interview, and I'll confess that this was an exciting interview for me.  Somehow, even after all the time I've been writing online, I'd never met Whedon.  The entire reason Hercules The Strong ever went to work for Ain't It Cool News is because when I met him, we started talking about our mutual adoration of the TV show "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," which was still in early days at that point.  I was on the set of "Serenity," but it was more about observation and listening to a presentation by Whedon.  I would hardly consider it a meeting of any kind.  I've liked much of his work, and I've certainly written my fair share about him over the years.

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<p>&quot;Bob's Burgers.&quot;</p>

"Bob's Burgers."

Credit: FOX

Review: 'Bob's Burgers' cooks up more weird family fun for season 2

Quirky animated comedy deftly mixes the bizarre with the sweet
I wasn't sure what to make of "Bob's Burgers" when it debuted last spring. Where FOX had been content for a while to let its Sunday animated lineup be dominated by "The Simpsons," "Family Guy" and related series, here was an idiosyncratic cartoon not involving Matt Groening or Seth MacFarlane, but created by Loren Bouchard, whose last show for network television was "Home Movies," which UPN canceled after 5 episodes back in 1999. (Adult Swim later picked it up and produced several more seasons.) It had Bouchard regular H. Jon Benjamin in the title role as struggling burger chef and family man Bob, presiding over one of the more eccentric brood of kids I'd seen on TV in a while, including hormonally confused adolescent Tina (Dan Mintz), amoral schemer Louise (Kristen Schaal) and loudly incompetent Gene (Eugene Mirman).  
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<p>Katy Perry</p>
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Katy Perry

Credit: Dan Steinberg/AP

Music Power Rankings: fun. has a good time this week with Katy Perry and Garth Brooks

Taylor Swift and The Boss make the list

1) fun.:  We are Young, We are the first rock band to take our first charting single to No. 1 since Nickelback in 2001. And people don't hate us nearly as much.

2) Taylor Swift: She tops the likes of U2, Kenny Chesney, and Lady Gaga to be named Billboard’s Top 40 Money Makers 2012 list.  The magazine estimates she took home (not grossed) more than $35 million in 2011 from touring and assorted royalties. Money can’t buy her love, but it sure can buy everything else.

3) Vevo: It’s a good week for the video streaming site as it reunites with MTV following a 2010 dispute and it gets a spiffy new redesign in preparation, supposedly, for its upcoming deal with Facebook.  Viva la Vevo

4) Bruce Springsteen: The Boss is back with the timely, excellent “Wrecking Ball,” which may swing Adele’s “21” right out of the No. 1 spot. Plus, his appearance on Jimmy Fallon shows both his funny side on “Sexy and I Know It” and shows that he makes a 40-year old gem like “E Street Shuffle” sparkle and shine.

5) Monkees: As we’ve seen all too much recently, death means a boost to album sales. Following Davy Jones’ death, all the Daydream Believers boost the group’s album sales 1, 265% over the previous week.

6) Metallica: The metal band picks “Predators” director Nimrod Antal for its 3D concert/narrative film. We bet it will be some kind of monster.

7) Katy Perry:
She’s one step ahead of Metallica. Her 3D film, “Part of Me,” will come out this summer. Hey, 3D worked for “Glee,” didn’t it... Oh yeah... 

8) Fiona Apple: Her album titles alone have more words than the average pop song. #nooneneedsa23wordtitle

9) Garth Brooks: The superstar gets the highest honor a country artist can receive: induction into the 2012 Country Music Hall of Fame (alongside Connie Smith and studio musician Pig Robbins)   He has friends in high places.

10) The Allman Bros.: They are part of an $8 million settlement made by Sony Music over digital royalties. Just as sales even off and stop plummeting, labels are going to have to reach into their deep pockets to make up for potentially shortchanging artists for years.


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