Latest Blog Posts

'Survivor' editors end strike after 1 day

“Survivor” editors end strike after 1 day
Editors are headed back to work after Mark Burnett’s production company agreed to give them union recognition.


Taylor Swift plays “Ew!” with Jimmy Fallon
Wearing glasses, braces and pigtails, Swift appeared as nerdy Natalie on last night’s “Tonight Show.” She also confirmed she’s performing at the VMAs.


Watch NBC’s “A to Z’s” pilot right now on the web
The Cristin Milioti-Ben Feldman comedy is being made available via iHeartRadio seven weeks early.


“Today’s” Savannah Guthrie welcomes a baby girl
Vale Guthrie Feldman was born on Wednesday morning.

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Victoria on Big Brother 16

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - Who's Most Embarrassing?

Who was the most embarrassing houseguest this week? Match your rankings with ours.

I wish Gilbert Gottfried, who voiced Otev last night in "Big Brother's" traditional POV challenge centered around the fictional boss, had really ripped into the houseguests and said in his trademark screech, "What an annoying bunch of houseguests this year! What horrible voices! For Christ's sake! MORONS."  

Because they are annoying this year. Frankly, with Jocasta out of the house for now, we're really missing a core type of personality in the game: a happy person. Yeah, Cody is sort of affable. Christine seems friendly, and I loved her HOH blog this week. Donny is part possum, and possums always seem satisfied. But Jocasta truly beamed. She was never dogged by being on the block, and she usually responded to the threat of elimination by dialing herself up on a fake phone and throwing down an incoherent one-liner about God. Oh, how I miss it. Rumor is God does too.

This was an unusually embarrassing week for many of the houseguests. I thought we'd honor the memory of Jocasta, our Biblical bow-tied bisexual bae, by ranking the remaining houseguests in order of ascending embarrassment this week. Ahem:

9. Derrick (least embarrassing)

As far as I can tell, Derrick is still playing a flawless game of "Big Brother." To call him an embarrassment would be calling the very institution of "Big Brother" an embarrassment, and we know that's impossible because nothing about a show with contestants who spell out "CALTORU" and hope it's a real word is embarrassing. I was mesmerized listening to Derrick narrate Frankie's attempt to endear his alliance by coming out as Ariana Grande's brother/stalker/oldish superfan. It was like he'd been watching his own season on TV along with us. "He's throwing a line and hoping somebody grabs on," Derrick explained. "Frankie is extremely intelligent, he realizes that his back is against the wall, and he needs something else to spin this house around. He kind of diverts all the attention from the fact that he's told a bunch of lies these past couple weeks." Perfect description, Derrick. It makes me believe Derrick can really mastermind something unbeatable against Frankie when the time comes. For this alone, I forgive Derrick for having a head shape and eyeholes that resemble a bowling ball exactly.

8. Christine

Did you know that "BB" fans consistently rank Christine as their least favorite houseguest? Here's a complicated question I have about that: Why? She's goofy, not petty, strategic enough, and clearly a fan of the game. I swear to God the average "Big Brother" superfan watches the show just to idolize the contestants who ask to be idolized. Note: Of all the cocky contestants in "Big Brother" history, only Dr. Will is worthy of that reciprocation. The others are just horrifying raptors in swimsuits. This week HOH Christine was forced to replace Zach on the chopping block with basically the only other conceivable pick, Nicole. You hate to watch Christine officially side with the Detonators over Christine, but that upshot wasn't embarrassing so much as awkwardly inevitable. I think a Derrick/Christine final two would make for an exhilarating, competitive final debate for the $500,000. Imagine BB15 winner Andy Herren in the final two arguing with someone like Helen for the final prize. Not saying she'd win, but she'd certainly be able to complete a sentence without screaming, "I'm an open book!" or "Miss you, Nick!" in GinaMarie's emphysemic smoker rasp. 

7. Cody

Cody is a floater. Definitive floater. But he's not annoying in any way, so no one really cares to call him a floater. "Floater" is a term most often hurled at diplomatic contestants that people have already decided to hate. It's like when Madonna gets called "old." The snarker is pretending to have a point when they're just pointing out that the houseguest/pop superstar is doing her job: surviving and thriving. But Cody has lucked his way into the pillowy embrace of Derrick and the good graces of Zach and Frankie; I'm waiting to see when he makes a move to eliminate Derrick, the true manipulator of this season, and become his own player. He's had it so easy in this game that an attack on Derrick is really the only move he needs to make. 

6. Donny

Ohhhh, Donny. I want you to be the wizard of this game, magically winning POVs in a clutch and casting a spell of infallibility over the CBS lot. But you lost that damn Otev-branded POV almost immediately, and now it looks like you're about to be sent home in a near-unanimous vote. If you didn't sound so much like the twangy brother to "South Park's" Mr. Garrison (like the Spike to Mr. Garrison's Snoopy), I'd be less bothered by your elimination. But as such, you just don't have enough game to compete on "Big Brother," even if you seem aware of the qualities that make a good player. So long, moonshine Merlin.

 

5. Caleb

Caleb's been less embarrassing since Amber left the house, but he still is not self-aware enough to realize he says horrible things. Did I hear it right when he told Frankie, "If we were out of this house, I'd have kicked you straight in the teeth"? And he said that because... Frankie admitted his sister sometimes collaborates with Iggy Azalea? That's worth a quick slap, not a kick in the teeth. (Iggy Azalea is basically just the freshman girl waiting for Gwen Stefani under the bleachers in "Hollaback Girl." Harmless, sassy, and a little scared.) I also cringed during the Otev-starred POV challenge when Caleb declared that he wasn't a tool. The gray henley tanktop says otherwise, kid.

4. Victoria

It seems unfair to call Victoria embarrassing because it's only right to call her nothing. But come on. How can you be a functioning adult with a pituitary gland when you literally believe "escapegoat" goat is a word? "Escapegoat." She said it. She said it loud. There was no escape(goat) from it. And then she had the nerve to break down when she Zach blabbed to her about Derrick's shifty allegiance. Basically, Victoria was horrified to learn that people on "Big Brother" are playing "Big Brother." She thinks "Big Brother" is a conversion camp for people who want to be Sims. Except Victoria could never be a Sim because her gibberish isn't funny enough. 

3. Nicole 

It's unfair to put Nicole this high. Her Cindy Lou Who whine has its charms, and her rapport with Hayden was always adorable. But man, when she got backdoored into potential elimination this week, her Diary Room complaints were awfully pathetic. With the most sluggish, pained wail I've heard this season, she cried, "I don't want to be around these people, honestlyyyyy." Well, that's convenient. They're nominating her for eviction! It all works out.

2. Zach

On paper, Zach was the most embarrassing player this week even though he won the POV. He caterwauled that he'd "marry" his veto medallion, he screamed that Frankie "built a house of lies," and he sincerely wept on camera when Frankie admitted he's on "Big Brother" for charity. "I have no chance! I have no chance!" Zach screeched about his game. "This kid's playing for f*cking children in Africa. Why wouldn't he win? This guy already won Fan Favorite! He's donating the money to kids in Africa. Why the f*ck isn't he not going to win? Give him the f*cking money, I'm wasting my f*cking time right now!" He was about a nanosecond from ending that speech with, "And I live in a van down by the river." So histrionic and egomaniacal and extreme and hilarious. But as Mariah Carey once proved with her woozy, pre-hospitalization appearance on "TRL," there is such a thing as being so embarrassing that you become heroic somehow. But then again, Mariah Carey never told Frankie Grande that he was "the smartest, funniest guy I've ever met." Now I need to be hospitalized for exhaustion just remembering that. Ugh. Zach! Come on!

1. Frankie (most embarrassing) 

I wouldn't hate if Frankie won "Big Brother." He's sly enough to win. And his hair has morphed into a strange Neapolitan ornament on an ice cream cake from hell, so what can you do but fear and honor him, you know? I hope we can all admit that he's got a good head for this game. But right after we admit that, we must also admit that Frankie's soliloquy about his sister's true identity this episode was pathetic. Why did he have to bring up having "1.5 million subscribers"? Why did he have to call Ariana a "mega, mega pop star" when she has three singles and two mod dresses to wear? And most importantly, who did he think he was going to endear with that tale? Derrick diagnosed Frankie's intentions explicitly and no one else seemed too in the dark either. It was one of the weirdest moments of the season, and I hope Frankie reverts back to effective manipulation very, very soon. Or else this ice cream cake is going to melt into irrelevance fast. 

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Celine Dion and Rene Angelil

Celine Dion goes on hiatus to care for husband/manager Rene Angelil

He is still recovering from December cancer surgery

Celine Dion is taking a career hiatus to devote her time to helping her husband/manager, Rene Angelil, as he deals with cancer.

In a statement, the singer announced she will take an indefinite break from her  Caesars Palace residency in Las Vegas and has also canceled this fall’s Asian tour.

"I want to devote every ounce of my strength and energy to my husband's healing, and to do so, it's important for me to dedicate this time to him and to our children. I also want to apologize to all my fans everywhere, for inconveniencing them, and I thank them so much for their love and support,” she said.

Angelil had a tumor in his throat removed last December, but his healing has been very slow. Additionally, Dion has had her own health issues, including a throat inflammation that had made it impossible for her to perform since her last Las Vegas performance on  July 29. Dion suffered from a similar inflammation in 2012, which caused the singer to cancel two months of shows in Las Vegas.

Angelil previously had treatment for throat cancer in 1998, four years after he married Dion. The pair have three children— a 13-year old son and a pair of 3-year old twins. Dion's last studio album, 2013's "Love Me Back To Life," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 last fall.

 

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Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora battle James Marsden in 'Black Widow' music video

Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora battle James Marsden in 'Black Widow' music video

'Telephone' and... eep, 'Your Love?'

Iggy Azalea played up your "Clueless" nostalgia with her "Fancy" video earlier this year, and now she's stabbing you in the gut with "Black Widow" feat. Rita Ora, channeling "Kill Bill."

Yup, she and Ora grab katanas, with James Marsden topping both of their Kill lists, as they ride cycles, wield badassery and play poker in zip-up catsuits. Close... but not enough to warrant a Tarantino lawsuit. It was co-directed by Azalea and Director X -- the latter of whom may help explain that T.I. cameo.

The dual nature of wreaking havoc after a diner encounter may ring the Beyonce and Lady Gaga "Telephone" line, but another rival may also be paying attention to that samurai swagger. Nicki Minaj wagged her own weapons in her "Your Love" (remember that one?) video in 2010. I think Nicki did it better. Though none can compare to Big Wanda.

"Black Widow" is off of Azalea's "The New Classic." She and Ora will perform the song during the MTV VMAs on Aug. 24.

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<p>Eva and Linder on &quot;The Bridge.&quot;</p>

Eva and Linder on "The Bridge."

Credit: FX

Review: 'The Bridge' - 'Harvest of Souls'

Bullets fly and bodies drop on a pivotal installment

A quick review of tonight's "The Bridge" coming up just as soon as I leave my gum on your lobby sculpture...

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<p>Elijah Wood and Jason Gann in &quot;Wilfred.&quot;</p>

Elijah Wood and Jason Gann in "Wilfred."

Credit: FXX

Series finale review: 'Wilfred' - 'Resistance'/'Happiness'

Ryan and the audience finally get answers about what Wilfred is

A few thoughts on the series finale of "Wilfred" coming up just as soon as I pull a dove from behind your ear...

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'Silicon Valley' to add at least 2 new major female characters

“Silicon Valley" to add at least 2 new major female characters
In a Twitter Q&A today, Mike Judge was asked about the lack of females in major roles on his HBO series. His response: "Yes. We're writing now and 2 new main female characters so far.”


Carla Gugino is headed to HBO’s “The Bring”
She’ll play a super lawyer who happens to be U.S. Secretary of State Tim Robbins’ wife on the HBO comedy.


Carrie Underwood for Super Bowl halftime!?
Sports gossip website claims the former “Idol” is closing to landing next year’s Super Bowl gig.


“House of Cards” creator says “Bravo” to Jimmy Fallon’s spoof
"Def gonna write some tootsies & hookahs into Seas 3!” tweeted Beau Willimon.


Debunking Shark Week is all the rage this year
There appears to be more of a backlash to Discovery’s Shark Week programming this year than in previous years. Twitter users have even responded with the #FakeSharkWeekFacts hashtag. PLUS: Shark Week is alienating scientists.


Comedy Central orders late-night talk show pilot "Gettin’ Some Strange with Kurt Braunohler”
The potential talk show will have comedian and “@midnight” regular Braunohler covering the day’s strangest stories.


Quality TV writers are getting harder to find thanks to the explosion of scripted shows
There were 144 original series on cable in 2013 compared to 29 a decade ago.


“Orange is the New Black” casting director explains how each role was cast
"I never want someone in Litchfield who is recognizable,” says casting director Jen Euston. “As soon as you do that, you cross the line and you’re not in prison anymore.”


Participant on “True Life: I'm Addicted To Pills” is suing MTV
David Nickell claims a producer instructed him to buy pills. And since it was captured on tape, he was arrested and sent to prison for seven months.


“Girls” adds “Obvious Child” star
Jake Lacy’s role is being kept under wraps.


“Mad Men” final season “Part 1” DVD details revealed
There will be featurettes on “Gay Rights” and “Gay Power” on the DVD box set, due out Oct. 21.


“Outlander” already has an official store
Shop at OutlanderStore.com to buy a Pocket Jamie or an “Outlander” herb box. PLUS: “Outlander” star auditioned for “Game of Thrones” 7 times.


“The Originals” casts a “Badass” Werewolf
Colin Woodell will recur in Season 2.


Seth Meyers explains why he doesn’t make fun of celebrities
The “Late Night” host also talks about hiring Fred Armisen as his bandleader instead of a DJ.


Peter Capaldi cringed when read the "Doctor Who" fan letter he wrote at age 15
Capaldi was confronted with the letter during a Q&A in Australia. PLUS: Gay couple’s “Doctor Who” engagement photo goes viral.


Some “True Detective” fans want to know: “Who the hell is Thomas Ligotti?”
Who is the author that Nic Pizzolatto is accused of plagiarizing from?


Conan O’Brien gets “Wheel of Fortune” to bend its rules
"You Can't Buy A Consonant!"


ABC’s “Astronaut Wives Club” loses director Nick Cassavetes
Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig will take over for Cassavetes, who was too busy to work on the ABC midseason series.


Watch Chris Pratt sing the “Entertainment Tonight” theme, dance like Michael Jackson on the “Everwood" set
“ET” dug out its first interview with Pratt from 2002.


Lauren Bacall once left Anderson Cooper in tears…when he was 14
She was ticked off over his stance on the Middle East.


Watching Sean Bean on “Legends” is like watching Michael Phelps in a kiddie pool
The TNT series, says Matthew Gilbert, "could have been a fascinating dissection of self and Bean’s performance could have been tied to something expansive. But ‘Legends' is knee-deep at best, relying on feeble plots of the week and high-tech wizardry that borders on the unintentionally comic. The supporting cast is as shallow as Bean is deep, particularly Ali Larter as team leader Crystal McGuire.” PLUS: It’s refreshing to see a show doesn't pretend to be more than it is, it plays like a parody of the kind of show it wants to be, and there are too many "Remember this guy?” flashbacks.

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'Thick' girl anthems: On Meghan Trainor and BJ The Chicago Kid's 'perfect' songs

'Thick' girl anthems: On Meghan Trainor and BJ The Chicago Kid's 'perfect' songs

Women of all sizes deserve better than songs like 'Perfect' and 'All About That Bass'

BJ The Chicago Kid released his new song and video for "Perfect" this week, just as Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" rises more in radio ranks and singles sales.

Both of these songs are addressing body positivity, particularly for women who don't fit beauty standards found in fashion mags and, well, music videos. They both define what is "perfect" about "thicker" girls. And they are both imperfect in this pursuit.

BJ The Chicago Kid's fresh R&B jam is seemingly part of a suite, with his previous "Fly Girl Get 'Em" (which I prefer) playing part one. "I see you trying to disguise that potential," he sings in the latter. "She put her hair up in a ponytail / No make-up on her face / A wrinkled t-shirt and some jogging pants."

BJ's new ode "Perfect" turns his eyes again toward appearances, but more specifically to the body. He calls "Perfect" an "homage" to Fabolous' song "Thim Slick" feat. Jeremih, using that song's hook and beat. But you could also call "Perfect" a counter-argument to "Thim Slick"...

"Thim Slick"  (a tip of the hat to "slim thick" girls, follow?) reaches into the D-cups, ogles his girl, wolf whistles over 34-24-36 dimensions.

"That ass in the gym; squat life... 'This is all from my mama, this is not knife.'"

Oh, well as long as it's authentic. Cue to girls in spin class with lacy daisy dukes because that's how we do spin class.

"Perfect," on the other hand, has BJ's lady love gazing into the mirror, shorthand for his gaze at her. It comes complete with NSFW ass shots and bare side-boob, sending her out to the balcony to pose in unmentionables (just like Fabolous says in "Thim Slick").

BJ departs from "Thim Slick" by showing the "ugly" side of getting into cute clothes, like that jump-and-jimmy move at 1:25 that any woman who's tried on slim-fit knows by heart. Her bathroom vanity is covered with crazy bottles and makeup kits. Her shoes are are in masses on a shelf.

And yet this woman, too, is "perfect."

"She say her ass ain’t big enough / She feel her breast ain’t big enough / She think her abs ain’t flat enough"

Well, I wonder who gave her that idea.

His lady flips through a fashion magazine. Skinny Rihanna is on a cover. Skinny white women hold perfume bottles and pose. (Shhh, she has not yet discovered YouTube.)

"That body perfect, ain’t matched / No matter what they say, everything be just right."

Wait, what are 'they' saying?

"You got that blessing in disguise."

If we can just get past the patronizing effect that a girl's weight/size has anything to do with "disguises," we're left with that whole "blessing" notion. Blessing for whom, exactly? Going back to what BJ sang in his "Fly Girl," those thick bodies with no makeup are apparently "disguises," disguising "potential" and "blessings."

That hot breath you feel on the back of your neck may be a pickup artist, who puts you down first.

"Real n*ggas need love too / just because she's thicker than you doesn't mean a n*gga can't have fun with you too"

Thanks for the reminder. We nearly forgot about the guys.

"Got better head than she got body"

OK, ENOUGH. This so-called body positive song and video emphasizes the "blessing" women's bodies are for men, for the sake of pleasing the man. This video showcases a beautiful black woman without those exacting 34-24-36 dimensions, but says her perfection comes not from within, but in the eye of the beholder, who is beholden to her blowjob whether her hair's up or down with no makeup and sweatpants.

This: in a line of pop and R&B songs that pander to women's insecurities, the "I see you're pretty, even if you can't" syndrome that drips from John Legend’s "You and I," Bruno Mars' "The Way You Are" or One Direction’s "What Makes You Beautiful."

"Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top."

With newcomer Meghan Trainor singing the words, the delivery and context of "perfect" changes -- but only slightly. This adorable video for "All About That Bass" is matched with an equally memorable hook, hearkening back to 1950s and '60s girl groups and doo-wop, while also calling to mind Nicki Minaj's perfect* single "Super Bass." Lyrically, Trainor (who is GORGEOUS, btw) lays it out.

"I see the magazine, workin' that Photoshop / We know that sh*t ain't real... You know I won't be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll"

Again, the issue of The Authentic Women mixing with women/women's media prescribing unrealistic body standards unto other women.

"Cause I got that boom boom** that all the boys chase"

Which, as we've established, is very important.

"Yeah, my mama she told me don't worry about your size / She says boys*** like a little more booty to hold at night"

"My mama told me..." is a cliche that works well with this style of pop song. But, to paraphrase, "body acceptance comes from the sexual desires of men and not from within" means your mom needs to take a different tack.

"Go ahead and tell them skinny bitches that / No, I'm just playing, I know you think you're fat / But I'm here to tell ya / Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top"

Do you remember the scene in "Young Adult," where Charlize Theron's character has a meltdown in the front lawn and plucks at Elizabeth Reaser's cardigan and whinnies "I love your sweater" in that high school girl voice where, back in the day, you couldn't tell she was being sincere or mocking you? Trainor frames her well-meaning "I feel your struggle" lyric against another stereotype, the music video's representative "skinny bitch" as a vapid, fun-hating, vain girl. It becomes binary, distinguishing girls with (b)ass from those with treble, right smack dab in the middle of a song that is purposefully celebrating bigger girls as superior. THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT, FOR US TO TURN AGAINST EACH OTHER.

 

"All About That Bass" says larger women's bodies are "perfect" because

1. Boys like them
2. Meghan Trainor says so

"Perfect" extolls "real-er" bodies as "perfect" because

1. Boys like them
2. BJ The Chicago Kid says so

As weight and size preoccupy many women, including young girls, I'm thrilled any song that spurs conversation has made its way up the charts. I love a loveable, smooth R&B song trying to project something "good" at its core female audience -- though it parades as one thing but doesn't hold up under scrutiny. I love a pop song from a bigger woman singing about bigger women, dancing with women of all colors and (many) sizes -- though it's flawed in its execution.

Women of all sizes deserve better.
 

* This song is not perfect but it's damn
** Boom-boom-boom-boom boom-boom-boom-boom you got that super bass
*** Not All Men, LOLOLOL

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An emotional 'Ask Drew' looks back at the life and work of the great Robin Williams
Credit: HitFix

An emotional 'Ask Drew' looks back at the life and work of the great Robin Williams

This one was really tough to get through

"Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems."
- Robin Williams, "World's Greatest Dad"

This is a very emotional "Ask Drew." This is, I would suspect, the closest you're ever going to see to me losing it on camera completely. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised when there was a Robin Williams question, since it's still so fresh and so raw for so many people, but I couldn't have known just how hard it would be to talk about him.

I mean, I have stared at the blinking cursor on my blank document page for almost two days now, grappling with one question:  how in the hell do you even remotely begin to sum up someone as huge as Robin Williams?

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Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss on keeping the secrets of 'The One I Love'
Credit: HitFix

Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss on keeping the secrets of 'The One I Love'

Plus we talk about some of the film's technical challenges

Let's be clear: I don't actually think "The One I Love" hinges on a twist.

Instead, I think it's a very clever, very clearly laid-out fantastic premise on which to hang questions of character and behavior. There is a reveal early in the film, and another late in the film, and that's it. And honestly, telling you that doesn't ruin anything. It can't ruin anything from this film. This is a movie about behavior. It's about the delicate, fragile fabric of marriage and how easy it is to unravel once you start picking at it.

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Terry Crews explains why he gets benched for 'The Expendables 3'
Credit: HitFix

Terry Crews explains why he gets benched for 'The Expendables 3'

Wait a minute... Rocket Racoon was the action unit director on this?

I would happily sit down with Terry Crews once a week just to get the Terry Crews news update.

I can't believe how well the system has done at figuring out how to best utilize Crews, a very strong actor on all fronts, because I'm so used to seeing talented people of color trapped by opportunity or the lack thereof. Crews has been acclaimed for both drama and comedy, and it feels like directors and writers he works with keep finding new challenges to throw at him, and he keeps knocking them out. He's really good in pretty much everything and when I tune in to "Brooklyn Nine Nine" this coming season, he's absolutely part of that appeal for me.

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The World’s Smallest Woman joins 'American Horror Story: Freak Show'

The World’s Smallest Woman joins “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Jyoti Amge, who stands just over 2-feet tall due to a genetic disorder called Achondroplasia, will be part of the cast next season, Ryan Murphy announced on Twitter.

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