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<p>Art &amp; JJ of &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>
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Art & JJ of "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Bust Me Right In the Head with It'

Watermelons, harps and bottles cause trouble for the Racers
We're moving into an awkward portion of this "Amazing Race" season, wherein  I watch a really good Leg, featuring difficult challenges and intriguing strategic decisions, and all I can think is this:
Any "Amazing Race" Leg that doesn't end with the elimination of Rachel & Brendon is going to be a disappointment to me.
Rooting against awful teams and jeering their awfulness is part of the fun of "The Amazing Race" (and any competition reality show), but the level of visceral annoyance caused by the mere presence of Rachel and, to a slightly lesser degree, Brendon is sucking a lot of the pleasure from this season. They aren't a team I love to hate. They're just a team I don't want to have around anymore and I especially don't want to see them, relatively speaking, succeeding. 
The longer they last, the more central Brendon & Rachel are going to be to each week's storyline and that can't possibly be a good thing. Putting these two retreads on the show was a huge mistake and I'm having trouble getting past it. 
But anyway... Ugly "Big Brother" contestants aside... 
Sunday (March 4) night's "Amazing Race" episode was definitely the season's strongest and one of the better episodes in recent installments. People did hard things, made hard choices, staged exciting comebacks, experienced nail-biting suspense and even made determined moral stands. It was a good episode. And yet all I have emblazoned in my mind is Rachel's butt and Rachel hacking and crying her way across the mat. 
More after the break...
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<p>Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

'The Walking Dead' - 'Judge, Jury, Executioner': Over hill, over Dale

Dale argues for a man's life, while Carl goes exploring

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I make some new arrows

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<p>Richard Kind in &quot;Luck.&quot;</p>

Richard Kind in "Luck."

Credit: HBO

'Luck' - 'Episode 6': A peck of pickled peppers

Joey hits rock bottom, Rosie makes a tactical mistake and Ace's plan moves forward

A review of tonight's "Luck" coming up just as soon as I flag you for bad breath...

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Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan

Credit: AP

Watch: 'SNL' parodies Bravo with 'The Real Housewives of Disney'

Lindsay Lohan and Kristin Wiig give Disney princesses the bad girl treatment

Cinderella as a lush? A gay Prince Charming? A broke Jasmine having sex with... a parrot? "Saturday Night Live" skewered every cliche we've come to know in "The Real Housewives" franchise in its parody sketch, "The Real Housewives of Disney." The verdict? If the "SNL" writers responsible for this sketch ever need work, we think they'd do a bang-up job at Bravo.

Though Wiig made the biggest splash as a drunken and debauched Cinderella (read: Kim Richards from the Beverly Hills part of the franchise), Lohan acquitted herself admirably as a judgmental Rapunzel. She also gets one killer punchline which you have to watch to appreciate (it involves a tiny hat). Kudos to "SNL" for skewering so many of the shows in the franchise, from Atlanta and New York (Belle's impression of talentless Kim Zolciak and/or The Countess attempting to sing), to Beverly Hills (Kelsey Grammer got a dig) to New Jersey (Jasmine going broke brought up shades of Teresa Guidice) and beyond. The parody was so spot-on, in fact, it might make a pretty good show of its own -- if Disney would ever go for it. Watch the entire sketch below.

What did you think of it? 

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<p>The &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;panelists from PaleyFest&nbsp;(plus your moderator hanging in the back row).</p>

The "Community" panelists from PaleyFest (plus your moderator hanging in the back row).

Credit: Kevin Parry / The Paley Center for Media

'Community' comes to PaleyFest confident in renewal chances

Cast and producers also talk Jim Rash's Oscar, and what would happen in a movie

"Community" — which finally returns to its old NBC time slot on Thursday, March 15 at 8 p.m. — became the first show in the history of PaleyFest to be invited three years in a row, and it was easy to see why at Saturday night's panel, which I had the pleasure of moderating. The cast (minus Chevy Chase and Donald Glover), creator Dan Harmon and producers Neil Goldman, Garrett Donovan and Russ Krasnoff were smart and funny and overflowing with affection for each other and for the very loud, enthusiastic group of fans who came to the Saban Theatre for the event.

If you couldn't go to LA, or to the simulcast at the New York Paley Center (where I'm told fans came in costume and even built a blanket fort), or watch the live stream from your computers, the panel will be archived on Hulu starting March 15, and I have to assume it'll eventually turn up in the Paley Center's own online archives. Because I was moderating, I couldn't take notes on the event, but I can give you the highlights — including some fairly mild spoilers (in terms of the premises of a few upcoming episodes) — coming up just as soon as I Britta the whole thing...

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<p>Lindsay Lohan on &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>
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Lindsay Lohan on "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' - Lindsay Lohan and Jack White

Did we just witness the start of the LiLo comeback?

I’m not terribly interested in passing judgment either way on Lindsay Lohan in tonight’s “Saturday Night Live” recap. Plenty of ink, both actual and virtual, have been spilled in the name of detailing her every high and low over the past decade. What I’m here to do is judge this particular episode of “SNL,” and her hosting duties on it. There’s no doubt that there will be plenty of jokes made at her expense, either directly or indirectly. So I’ll talk about that as much as it pertains to the sketches. Other than that? It will be the usual complaints about the underuse of Abby Elliot and a general confusion about the musical guest. Oh, it’s Jack White? Sweet. Someone I actually know. It’s been a “get off my damn lawn” year for me, musically speaking, on “SNL”.

Onto the recap!
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<p>&nbsp;Justin Bieber</p>
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 Justin Bieber

Credit: Marco Ugarte/AP

Music Power Rankings: Adele tops Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey

Plus, we say goodbye to a Monkee on a steed

1) Adele: She celebrates week No. 22 at the top of the Billboard 200. She’s got one more week in her for sure, before Springsteen comes in with the Wrecking Ball.

2) Whitney Houston: She becomes the first woman to ever land three albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 simultaneously, but achieves the feat by paying the ultimate price.

3) Justin Bieber: The Bieb turns 18!  “I’m in the middle without any plans/I’m a Boy and I’m a Man/I'm eighteen and I don't know what I want...”

4) Kid Cudi:
Universal Republic’s decision to only ship 55,000 copies of his duo's self-titled project, “WZRD,” leaves him  PSSD.

5) Mariah Carey:
Mimi returns to the stage for the first time since popping out Moroccan and Monroe in a 40-minute free concert for fans. She’s just another working mom.

6) Bret McKenzie: This Conchord takes flight over the birds in “Rio” as “Man or Muppet” snags the shiny naked gold man at the Academy Awards for best original song.

7) Don Henley: His reps sound off about Frank Ocean lifting “Hotel California” for “American Wedding.” Doesn’t Ocean realize that he can check out, but he can never leave? 

8) Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose:  Khalifa does what Kanye did not: He puts a ring on it.

9) Mike Dungan:
One of Nashville’s most loved and respected execs switches from Capitol to Universal, although when the EMI merger goes through he’ll be reunited with Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and all his friends. Score one for the good guys.

10) Davy Jones: I’ll always be a Daydream Believer and you’ll always be my white knight on a steed. 7A.


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<p>The Tusken Raiders were just one of the many elements of 'Star Wars' influenced by the remarkable vision of Ralph McQuarrie, who passed away today at the age of 82</p>

The Tusken Raiders were just one of the many elements of 'Star Wars' influenced by the remarkable vision of Ralph McQuarrie, who passed away today at the age of 82

Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Ralph McQuarrie, visual designer of 'Star Wars,' passes away at 82

We look back at one of the industry's greatest illustrators

Ralph McQuarrie is probably more directly responsible for the texture of my dream life between the ages of 7 and 13 than any other visual artist.  Simply put, the choices he made regarding the design of the world of "Star Wars" were one of the main reasons that film resonated not just with me, but with generations of viewers now.

There was a time when people ended up in the film industry after living other lives, after learning other skills, after working at a trade.  Ralph McQuarrie was a technical illustrator working for Boeing, and that led him to working on animated coverage of NASA's Apollo missions for CBS News.  He sort of backed into the film industry through that work, which caught the attention of Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins, who were part of the same circle of friends that included other young filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, and George Lucas.

It was 1975 when McQuarrie was first hired by Lucas to create some paintings that would help people make sense of the script he was writing at the time.  Those paintings, many of which are now iconic, not only helped pin down the designs of characters like Chewbacca and Darth Vader, but also were a big part of what convinced 20th Century Fox to make the movie. 

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"The Voice"

"The Voice"

Credit: NBC

Reality TV Roundup: 'Amazing Race' goes to the clowns and a 'Survivor' victim turns villain

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now

Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch "The X Factor," "Survivor," "Top Chef," "Project Runway," "Celebrity Apprentice" or any other competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too.

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<p>A glimpse of the &quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;animated webisode &quot;Abed's Master Key.&quot;</p>

A glimpse of the "Community" animated webisode "Abed's Master Key."

Credit: NBC

'Community' gets animated in new webisodes

'Abed's Master Key' helps bridge gap until March 15 return

As mentioned a few times in the last week, I'm in California for the "Community" panel at PaleyFest. As this is being posted, the live audience is watching the first episode that will air when the show comes back on March 15, the funny, Shirley-centric "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts" — the live stream of the event should begin right after the screening ends — and Dan Harmon has just announced that on this Wednesday, March 2, Hulu and are going to launch a three-episode webisode series called "Abed's Master Key" to provide hungry fans with some "Community"-related content before the show returns to TV.

I'm writing this up in advance of the panel (since I'm otherwise detained at the moment), but the press release explains that "In the three-part sequence of 'Abed’s Master Key,' Dean Pelton hires Abed as his temporary assistant. Entrusted with a Greendale Master Key; Abed abuses his power to help his friends, and after Britta confronts Abed, she heads down the same dark path." The series was co-written by Dave Seger and Tom Kaufman, who created the series "Sex Teenagers" for Harmon's Channel 101 project.

For those who won't get to attend or watch the stream tonight, I'll try to write up some highlights of the panel tomorrow morning. (If you want to wait, Hulu will have an archive of the video in a couple of weeks.) Hopefully, a fun time is being had by all as you read this.

Here's a teaser to the animated webisodes.

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<p>Harvey Weinstein, wife Georgina Chapman and some dog at The Weinstein Company's post-Oscar party last week.</p>

Harvey Weinstein, wife Georgina Chapman and some dog at The Weinstein Company's post-Oscar party last week.

Credit: AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

France thanks Harvey Weinstein with the Légion d’Honneur

He'll receive the country's highest decoration

Of course, these things are arranged too far in advance -- July last year, to be exact -- for the exchange to be quite as neat as it sounds, but the timing of this announcement underlines it anyway: in the same week that Harvey Weinstein won France its first Best Picture Oscar, the French in turn have honored the super-producer with its highest form of official recognition, the Légion d’Honneur.

Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Légion is approximately equivalent to the Queen's Honours in Britain, noting outstanding individual contributions to French society and culture -- previous recipients in the film world range from Ennio Morricone to Kristin Scott Thomas to Clint Eastwood, alongside any number of homegrown talents. Weinstein was selected for the honor by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, as a measure of gratitude "to someone who has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema which you have enabled so many Americans to discover."

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<p>Robert De Niro in Paul Weitz's &quot;Being Flynn.&quot;</p>

Robert De Niro in Paul Weitz's "Being Flynn."

Credit: Focus Features

Paul Weitz says Robert De Niro wanted to play a real person again in 'Being Flynn'

'About a Boy' filmmaker on the long journey to get Nick Flynn's memoir to the screen

To be quite honest, I've never been a big fan of Paul Weitz.  Along with his brother Chris, the Weitz are two of the nicest and most engaging filmmakers you'll meet in the business, but their work often has been wildly inconsistent.

After breaking through on "American Pie," Paul co-directed the underrated Chris Rock comedy "Down to Earth" with his brother and then both helmed the overrated "About a Boy" a year later. The solid "In Good Company" followed, but then it sort of all went wrong for Paul.  His political satire "American Dreamz" just didn't work on any level and he followed that with "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" which was another costly mess for Universal and hardly the franchise starter they'd hoped for.  He made it up for the studio by agreeing to direct "Little Fockers," but ended up shepherding the least successful film of the once lucrative franchise. Considering he could easily find himself in movie jail or producing yet another "American Pie" movie (whoops, too late), it's a relief to reveal that his latest endeavor, "Being Flynn," is something of a satisfying surprise.  Of course, considering the subject matter (Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City") isn't the happiest of tales that's a sincere compliment.

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