Two weeks ago, it looks like "Survivor: San Juan Del Sur" was coming down to a pair of solid alliances, one masterminded by Josh Canfield and the other led by Jeremy Collins. While "Survivor" history has taught us that we should never expect alliance leaders to run the table, we've only occasionally seen two post-Merge alliances so swiftly stripped of their leaders.
First, Jeremy seemed like he was heading toward elimination, but he won Individual Immunity and was able to steer power duo Jon & Jaclyn against Josh, seemingly leaving that alliance in a weak minority position.
But the following week, after Jeremy pushed Jon a bit too hard to reveal his Hidden Immunity Idol, the former college football player decided that the need to get rid of Jeremy had gone from "eventually" to "immediately."
Viewers saw Jon make his pitch to Jeremy's ally Missy and saw her hesitation. We never saw how Jon brought his alliance together or how Reed became a part of it. Perhaps that's why Jeremy also was confused for a little while.
In this week's exit interview, Jeremy discusses his roller-coaster ride from seemingly in charge to joining Josh on the jury and the mistakes he may or may not have made along the way.
In Cameron Diaz, “Saturday Night Live” has its second consecutive host making an appearance after a lengthy absence. Although Diaz has hosted the show three times before, this is her first time doing so since 2005. Will there be “Annie” sketches? Probably! Will there be a Jamie Foxx and/or Quvenzhané Wallis cameo? Possibly! Will Bruno Mars make an in-sketch appearance in addition to his musical role tonight? Likely! Will this be an exciting episode or one that puts audiences to sleep faster than Thanksgiving dinner? Who knows!
As always, I’ll be liveblogging the show in real time, assigning grades to each segment. As always, I’ll remind you that comedy is subjective and the grades don’t have any more power than you allow them to have. As always, a few of you will ignore that last statement and quibble over a “B-“ versus a “B”. It’s cool. We can all hold hands and sing “Massachusetts Afternoon” together when it’s over.
Perception is not always reality. Especially in the movie business.
Ever since the first trailer for "Paddington" arrived last March, eyebrows were raised. Would this CG-animated-live action hybrid do Michael Bond's beloved literary bear justice? Many thought the teaser looked more "Smurfs" or (perish the thought) "Garfield" than in the vein of a well-regarded "Fantastic Mr. Fox." It didn't matter that "Harry Potter" and "Gravity" producer David Heyman was shepherding the production; this was a movie that ended up having one bad publicity crisis after another.
Say this for "The Amazing Race": I went into Friday's episode tweeting that I didn't remember a thing that was happening this season after a week away for CBS to air a failed awards show and by the end of the episode, 55 minutes later, I was yelling at my screen and getting really anxious about the pending result.
No, I didn't get what I wanted when it came to the episode's elimination.
And no, it wasn't even all that great an episode, though it had great moments.
But when they want to, the "Amazing Race" editors can orchestrate a thrilling climax pitting ostensible heroes against clear villains and they can still make me care.
Let's talk about Friday's (November 21) night's "Amazing Race" episode and its exciting ending after the break...
“The Cosby Show” has become “weird” to watch
“Weird,” says James Poniewozik, “in a way that’s hard to shake.” That’s because Cosby became so intertwined with Cliff Huxtable that it’s hard to separate the two in the wake of the rape allegations. “It seems hard to hear what we’ve been hearing and not feel anything different when watching Cliff Huxtable making faces and dispensing wisdom,” says Poniewozik. "'Innocent until proven guilty’ is a standard for the courts, for good reason. But it’s not a standard for life. If what you know or hear about an artist affects the way you see their work, you can no more will yourself to feel otherwise than you can force yourself not to blink.” PLUS: Cosby is NOT Cliff Huxtable, Cosby is likely earning very little from “Cosby Show” reruns, a “Cosby Show” fan feels a sense of guilt watching the show now, and Cosby spoke Friday about the allegations: "I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos. People should fact check. People shouldn't have to go through that and shouldn't answer to innuendos."
Beyonce is just like you. You are just like Beyonce. When you have a nice hotel room, you trash it, you dance in your underwear, you spill your drink, you wear the first piece of crumpled clothing you can find at the foot of the bed and rock it. When your girlfriends come in, you know your phone is out faster than you can say "Flawless."
I have 100 favorite moments from this "homemade" masterpiece. Beyonce as a roomba. Beyonce as a Christmas present. Beyonce doing that jump-through-your-own-leg move and falling on her ass with a smile. That guy who's trying to escape the frame at 3:24. Phone foot. Undies pyramid.
She just had an intern to make her Precious Moments fresher. Fresher than you.
"7/11" is off of the platinum edition of the "Beyonce" album re-release, out Nov. 24.
When you cover filmmaking and write about the business and the art of it, there are many times you find yourself criticizing a studio for choices that are being made, and sometimes, it starts to look like you're beating up on a particular studio or playing favorites. The truth is much less interesting, though. The truth is that I react to each project, each film, each announcement, as its own thing. I can't count the number of times I've disliked a film's marketing only to end up loving the movie itself, or vice versa, and it's taught me that each movie exists separate from the conversation around it.
So with that in mind, I am not trying to beat up on Warner Bros. I think ambition is a great thing. Without ambition, there is no greatness. Mainstream filmmaking is a difficult balancing act between fiscal responsibility and artistic intent, and any time anyone navigates that the right way, I find it impressive. I hope that we look back at the upcoming run of DC films and say, "Wow, they did something really special and fun and gigantic." I hope we look back at the trilogy of upcoming JK Rowling "Fantastic Beasts" films and say, "That was a great and different extension of all things 'Potter,' and more fun than I would have expected." And now, I hope that when all is said and done, four movies based on Stephen King's "The Stand" is a creatively-driven choice that pays off and not one of the weirdest money grabs I've ever seen.
"Now it all makes sense," Beyonce sings in her new song "Ring Off." "Always know that you’ve got a daughter / That’s so, so proud you took the high road."
"Ring Off" is one of two totally new songs that are included on Bey's self-titled album reissue, out on Nov. 24. It's easy to see why this song -- were it cut last year -- maybe wouldn't have made the initial cut of "Beyonce," released last December. "Ring Off" was off-brand for the landmark year adjacent to that ground-rattling release.
From spring of 2013 to the spring of this year, the singer and entertainer hoofed through her Mrs. Carter World Tour; the very title of the tour itself, as cheeky as it was, brought about the association that Beyonce is not Ms. Knowles, but instead used her year to celebrate being a wife, a new mother, a headliner with strings attached.
"Ring Off" is about divorce, of her mom Tina from her dad Matthew, and becomes an ode to the strength of her mother. Tina and Matthew had an allegedly nasty divorce in 2011 after he had an affair and a child with his mistress. Professionally, Beyonce had her own divorce from her dad-manager shortly thereafter.
That's two years to deal with parents' divorce, one that came after 31 years of marriage. Beyonce's daughter Blue Ivy was born about a year later.
Then Beyonce goes on a Mrs. Carter World Tour a year after that.
The topic of divorce as explored in hip-hop, pop and R&B could fill litters of books, but a pop star of Beyonce's caliber laying out her POV in her parents' divorce is pretty eye-opening, for several reasons. Beyonce famously keeps The Personal close to vest in her songs, and her "Beyonce" album explored more sensuality and togetherness, not separation. She's spent all of last year and 2014 battling or ignoring rumors that her own marriage to Jay-Z is on the rocks. And yet here is a clear-eyed, heart-felt ode, taking a side in her own family concluding: "We can still love again," that her mom is precious and deserves to one day get her swerve back.
This showing-your-hand isn't about Perfect Brand Beyonce, it's about The Actual Life Of Beyonce, which is why it may have not fit on "Beyonce." It would have arrived at a time to make gossip-mongers titter and, likely, Dec. 2013 was too early to pour all that out. My guess is that she sat with "Ring Off" for a good hearty minute. It's the antithesis to "Single Ladies," for those who got the ring on it, and for their own good, had to take it off.
Pile that sentiment on top of a sunny guitar riff that sits somewhere between 1975 and Mary J.'s "Real Love" and a deep, dark synth underbelly that lurks in the minor key, and you've got some stirring material from Queen B.
Which brings us to the other song to leak today, "7/11." Comparatively, this club throwaway isn't likely to move you, even physically. This literally could be any artist, it's like mad-libs for people who get bottle service.
"Beyonce," the platinum edition, is out on Nov. 24 and includes remixes of "Flawless" featuring Nicki Minaj, "Blow" with Pharrell and "Drunk In Love" with Jay-Z and Kanye, and more.
When NBC aired trailers for all its new shows at last spring's upfront, no new series had me more intrigued than "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt," a comedy from the "30 Rock" team of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, starring Ellie Kemper from "The Office" as a sheltered woman who escapes from a doomsday cult and tries to start life over in New York City. It wasn't on the fall schedule, nor was it talked about in any early midseason plans, and I had heard from several comedy veterans that NBC had no idea what to do with a show that was so weird and incompatible with whatever it is their comedy brand is now.
Well, NBC finally figured out what to do: they sold "Kimmy Schmidt" off to Netflix, which has made a two-year commitment to the series, with the first season debuting in March of 2015.