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<p>The cover of J Cole's &quot;Born Sinner&quot;</p>

The cover of J Cole's "Born Sinner"

J Cole's 'Born Sinner' could top Billboard 200 next week

In light sales week, 'Sinner' may jump to No. 1

With Jay-Z’s 1 million Samsung downloads declared ineligible for the Billboard 200, expect J Cole’s “Born Sinner” to possibly ascend to the top of the chart next week.

A full report isn’t available, due to the July 4th holiday, but Billboard predicts that the album, which debuted at No. 2 last week (and stayed there this week), will move to No. 1 in a slow sales week.

“Born Sinner” will likely sell around 60,000 copies to handily beat any of this week’s newcomers, including new albums from Joe, Hillsong and Relient K, as well as topple this week's chart topper: Wale's "The Gifted."

In the Nielsen Soundscan era, albums tend to arrive at No. 1, as opposed to work their way up the chart. Should “Born Sinner” make the climb, it will be the first album since Bruno Mars’ “Unorthodox Jukebox” to do so. Mars’ sophomore set rose to No. 1 12 weeks after it initially bowed on the chart at No. 2 in December, according to Billboard.

 

 

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Jenny McCarthy may join 'The View'


Jenny McCarthy may join "The View"
Us Weekly reports McCarthy is "in serious talks" to replace Joy Behar.


Watch Dominic West & Helena Bonham Carter as "Burton and Taylor"
The BBC has released the first trailer for the 1983-set Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton film.


"Big Brother" hits an all-time low
Wednesday was the 2nd time this week that "BB" hit a new low. PLUS: CBS seems to enjoy the racism and homophobic comments controversy.


"Game of Thrones" bringing back the "Blackwater" director
Neil Marshall will helm the Season 4 finale. PLUS: Visit "GoT" filming locations.


Michael C. Hall is finishing up 13 years of filming "Six Feet Under" followed by "Dexter" on same lot
In fact, Hall says he and Rita Hayworth are tied for logging the most hours at Sunset Gower Studios. PLUS: Hall makes his directorial debut on Sunday's "Dexter."


Paula Deen the victim of a $250,000 extortion attempt

The FBI this morning arrested a man who threatened to divulge "true and damning" information about Deen. PLUS: Deen dumps her longtime agent.


Nancy Grace banned from "GMA"
CNN boss Jeff Zucker is reportedly banning all CNN and HLN personalities from appearing on rival morning shows.


Seth Meyers gets engaged

The "SNL" Weekend Update star is set to marry his longtime girlfriend, Alexi Ashe. PLUS: Watch a preview of Meyers & Jerry Seinfeld getting coffee, and Meyers is sad he can't do his only "SNL" impression -- John Kerry -- right now.


"Community's" Yvette Nicole Brown visiting "Psych"
Details of her guest appearance haven't been revealed.


Jennifer Love Hewitt quits Twitter citing "threats" and "negativity"

"I'm sad to say twitter is no longer for me," she said in signing off Wednesday.


Rachel Zoe: I'm not pregnant

The Bravo star is denying reports she's expecting her 2nd child.


Watch Don Rickles get coffee with Jerry Seinfeld
It's the latest episode of "Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee."


NBC's "Camp" and USA's "Summer Camp": Too confusing?
The two NBC Universal shows -- one reality, one dramedy -- are premiering within 24 hours of each other.


Some Brooklyn residents worry about MTV's VMAs

An entire neighborhood might have to be put on "lockdown" for the Aug. 25 event.


Kellie Pickler donates her "Dancing" mirrorball trophy to the Country Music Hall of Fame

The Nashville museum will also get her "Dancing with the Stars" costume.


"Downton Abbey"-themed beauty products are coming soon

Marks & Spencer is releasing cosmetics and candles.


"Amazing Race's" Fabulous Beekman Boys wed
Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell tied the knot last Friday.


Kaley Cuoco & Henry Cavill hold hands
The "Big Bang"-Superman couple have made their relationship almost official by their public display of affection.


See more "Veronica Mars" film pics

From the Santa Monica pier.


"Pretty Little Liars" co-stars are dating
Ashley Benson and Tyler Blackburn are officially at item.


Cooking  Channel unleashes "Donut Showdown"
Three contestants will compete for a $10,000 prize in this new donut-making competition.

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<p>Jay-Z</p>

Jay-Z

Credit: AP

Jay-Z's 'Magna Carta Holy Grail': Track-by-Track Review

Where does the album shine and where does it fall short, other than Samsung fail

Jay-Z lives in such a rarified world that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to relate to what he’s rapping about on “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” whether it’s Art Basel, his Lamborghini, sleeping with Beyonce, on and on and on so there’s an immediate distance from performer and listener on his new set. Or at least it seems that way. However, as one digs deeper, on many of these songs, Jay-Z is contemplating issues that dog all of us, regardless of stature: spirituality, parenthood, and doubt.

The raft of guests and samples (h/t to Rap Genius for helping me ID some of them) is only outnumbered by the endless onslaught of products mentioned in the songs: you could stock a car dealership with the references to Maybachs, Lexuses, Bugattis, Lamborghinis, and more here. And that’s just the start: then there’s the designers, the watches, the liquor...etc., etc., etc. Jay-Z is the ultimate consumer. Forget about the $5 million Jay-Z got paid from Samsung for the privilege to release the album to Samsung users on July 4, several days before the official July 9 street date:  If he got money for every plug, he’d be a billionaire.

And a little bit about the Samsung experience: to download the album you had to agree to be data-mined eight ways ‘til Sunday. Then, the actual experience was extremely frustrating. Often, a song wouldn’t play for no apparent reason. I would have to turn off my phone and turn it back on for the download to work. Not a user friendly experience in the least. Having said that, even coming from my Samsung Galaxy Note, the sonics sounded superior, so I imagine on a great sound system, the album sounds stellar.

Below is a track-by-track rating of the album. My overall grade is a very solid B.

“Holy Grail” (produced by J-Roc, The-Dream & Timbaland):  Justin Timberlake takes the lead on this stirring, dramatic tale of  the fickleness of fame. “I’m the ni**a, caught up in all these lights and cameras/but look what that shit did to Hammer/Goddammit, I like it/The bright lights is enticing,” Jay-Z raps before breaking into an interpolation of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”: “We’re all just entertainers/and we’re stupid, and contagious.”  While it may strike some as biting the hand that feeds, it is one of “MCHG’s” most enticing tracks, in large part due to Timberlake’s ringing falsetto (and the end that recreates the same sonics as Timberlake/Timbaland’s “Mirrors.”)  GRADE: B+

“Picasso Baby” (produced by Adrian Younge, J-Roc & Timbaland): A driving track—with a sample of Adrian Younge’s “Sirens”— that will be remembered for comparing Beyonce to the Mona Lisa, if nothing else, and for the sheer number of painters’ names that Jay-Z drops in the song that shows he has more in common with an Upper East Side society matron than many street rappers. A wicked electric guitar comes in about halfway through to add some meat to the boasts.  GRADE: B-

“Tom Ford” (produced by J-Roc & Timbaland): The most interesting part of this song, named after the fashion designer, is the way Jay-Z builds the song around M.I.A.’s “Bad Girls,” but other than that, and learning that instead of “rocking Molly,” Hova’s drug of choice is Tom Ford, there’s not a lot here other than lots of bragging.  GRADE: C

“F*ckwithmeyouknowigotit” (produced by Boi-1da, Timbaland & Vinylz): Featuring Pimp C and Rick Ross, this cascading track moves the locale from New York to Italy, where world citizen Jay-Z rules with his “Black mob” and their Lamborghini Countach. Pimp C’s intro that ties in his African ancestry where “we originated from kings” with “youngsters” wanting “shiny things” seems a bit of a stretch. Ross’s hook also seems a bit out of place as well on this track that seems like a cut-and-paste job even more so than some rap tracks.  GRADE: C

“Oceans” (produced by Pharrell Williams  & Timbaland): Frank Ocean’s line, “I hope my black skin don’t dirty this white tuxedo before the Basquiat show and if so, well f*ck it,” sums up the album: “MCHG” deals with social issues and what it’s like to be a black man in this world, but it’s through the filter of such an elite view that it’s nearly impossible to relate to. Having said that, with Pharrell and Timbaland at the helm, “Oceans” is a stunning track, with Ocean’s smooth voice playing perfect counterpoint to Jay-Z’s gruffness. Even when Jay-Z is patting himself for crashing through glass ceilings, he’s still aware that all is not well in terms of racial barriers: “Only Christopher we acknowledge is Wallace,” he raps, in a nod to Notorious B.I.G., adding “I don’t even like Washingtons in my pocket.” And then he gets on his yacht...  GRADE: A

“FUTW” (produced by J-Roc & Timbaland): This track is all Jay-Z and it’s one of the most socially conscious tracks on the album as he exhorts his African-American brothers to “f*ck up this world,” but in a good way. “America tried to emasculate the greats/Murder Malcolm, gave Cassius the shakes/Wait, tell them rumble young man rumble/try to dim your lights/tell you to be humble/you know I’m gon shine like a trillion watts...” later adding, “it’s our time now.”  If only he measured that success in more than money and Maybachs... GRADE: B-

“Somewhere In America” (produced by Hit-Boy & Mike Dean): A bouncy track, via a sample of Jimmy Norman’s “Gangster of Love (Part 1), which, itself, comes from Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Gangster of Love.” While most notable for Jay-Z’s call for Miley Cyrus to keep “twerking,” the horns and piano and the message about infiltrating neighborhoods previously closed to him dominates. (Jay-Z: it’s called nouveau riche and you’re not the first one). GRADE: B

“Crown” (produced by Mike Dean, Travis Scott & WondaGurl): One of “MCHG’s” most atmospheric tracks, built around a sample of Sizzla’s “Solid As A Rock,” Jay-Z takes on mega-sports agent Scott Boras here, declaring he’s “over, baby,” while bragging about snagging New York Yankee Robinson Cano as one of the first clients for Hova’s new sports agency. (Really? Is taking on fellow sports agents going to be your new beef?). Travis Scott delivers the hook, which is all about “ni**as” trying to keep him down. So by this point, halfway through the album, Jay-Z has complained about how everyone is trying to knock him to his knees, but like a phoenix, he keeps rising...again and again. “See my name come across on CNN/‘Bout 6 minutes, you gonna see it again.”  GRADE: B-

“Heaven” (produced by J-Roc, The-Dream & Timbaland): Lyrically, one of “MCHG’s”strongest tracks as Jay-Z questions all kinds of authority, whether it be power, religion, or other people. He even quotes R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” Musically, the track’s high point is a sweet, angelic voice (uncredited, but believed to be Justin Timberlake) singing a hook “Have You Ever Been To Heaven?” over and over,  juxtaposed against his questioning. GRADE: B

“Versus” (produced by Timbaland): A brief palate cleanser in the middle of the album built around a kicky, retro sample and another chance for Jay-Z to boast that he’s all that and you are not. GRADE: C

“Part II (On The Run)” (produce by J-Roc and Timbaland): A sequel of sorts to “’03 Bonnie & Clyde,” “On The Run” is a dreamy embellished story of their love and all that matters is that they are with each other. “I will hold your heart and your gun,” Beyonce declares as she vows fealty to her man. Jay-Z compares her prettiness to that of his Mercedes and promises that their matching tatts will never come off, even if the rings do. In a world that often celebrates being a playa, it’s a sweet song about their love and devotion to each other with a stellar, soulful performance by Bey. GRADE: B

“Beach Is Better” (produced by Mike Will Made It): Another interlude dogging on a woman for taking so long to get ready —and that she better look as good as Halle Berry or Beyonce —as well as some riffing on spending mad money. Totally non-essential, but Jay-Z sounds great. GRADE: C

“BBC” (produced by Pharrell Williams & Timbaland): An intricate track and one of the album’s most infectious, due to a repetitive pop keyboard loop, and the energy that comes from having Beyonce, Justin Timberlake and former frenemy Nas all blending together in a mish-mash of sonics. The lyrics, some of them in Japanese, and all the name-dropping are totally irrelevant, even the “Britney, bitch” line. This is all about the groove and feel. And it feels great.  There will be some fantastic remixes from this one. GRADE: A

Jay Z Blue” (produced by J-Roc & Timbaland):
Faye Dunaway’s rant from “Mommie Dearest” opens this, and the song even drops in the infamous “No wire hangers ever!” line in this track that shows Jay-Z featuring his doubts about his ability to be a good father, especially given that “my father never taught me how to be a father,” and that, by his own admission, his flight instinct still kicks in sometimes. At the same time, he is clearly so smitten with Blue Ivy. “Nothing could prepare us/for the beauty that you be Blue be.” The song samples Notorious B.I.G.’s “My Downfall.” GRADE: B+

“La Familia” (produced by J-Roc & Timbaland): Uneven track with an interesting off-kilter delivery from Jay-Z that, ostensibly, celebrates family, in all its forms, but ultimately goes nowhere.  GRADE: C

“Nickels And Dimes” (produced by Mike Dean):
Built around a sample of Gonjasufi’s “Nikels and Dimes,” the closing track is a woozy, autobiographical exploration inside Jay-Z’s mind that references Trent Reznor’s “Hurt,” filtered through Johnny Cash. Jay Z’s in a contemplative mood as he once again questions fame (bringing the album full circle) and what it means to come from poverty and make it to millionaire. He has “survivor’s guilt,” and wonders if giving to some who is only going to use the money to get high makes him part of the problem instead of the solution. It’s a reflective, deep way to end this chapter of his life (plus, check out the Lady Gaga veiled reference and the dig at Harry Belafonte).  GRADE: A



 

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Nigel Lythgoe of "So You Think You Can Dance"

 Nigel Lythgoe of "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

'So You Think You Can Dance' to change results format

Nigel Lythgoe responds to fan outrage

It's not often that fans get exactly what they want from a TV show, but it seems that that's exactly what has happened with "So You Think You Can Dance." After the show launched a new format for eliminating dancers, fans took to social media to complain. Instead of saving the elimination for the end of the show, it had been moved to the beginning -- meaning that dancers would have to continue performing with their partners despite having been cut. 

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"Big Brother"

 "Big Brother"

Credit: CBS

Listen: CulturePop No. 20 - 'Lone Ranger,' 'Big Brother,' Steve Silverman

We discuss 'Chopped' and Jennifer Lopez, too

Welcome to our Very Special Sort of Independence Day-themed edition of CulturePop! We invited back very special guest Steve Silverman simply because he's too much fun and we missed him. Plus, we talked about a lot of stuff -- whether or not Jennifer Lopez was irresponsible to perform for the leader of Turkmenistan, whether or not we should see the racist and homophobic comments being made on "Big Brother," why "The Lone Ranger" is a car wreck, plus why Steve loved the openly gay kid on "Chopped." Somehow we ended up talking a lot about racism, homophobia and "All in the Family," but that sounds more serious than it really was. Tune in. Hopefully you'll have just as much fun as we did. Here's the rundown:

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<p>The Minions are cleaning up in &quot;Despicable Me 2.&quot;</p>

The Minions are cleaning up in "Despicable Me 2."

Credit: Universal Pictures

Tell us what you thought of 'Despicable Me 2'

The Minions are already chewing up the holiday weekend box office

With over $34 million already in the bank, "Despicable Me 2" has convincingly Minion-ized the box office, neatly paving the way for the capsule-shaped critters' forthcoming spinoff vehicle -- itself none-too-subtly promoted in the new film's closing credits. But is it any good? Drew McWeeny thinks it does its job well enough, though it's lacking in the story department. I more or less agree: it's bright, disposably fun family fare, though where the similarly fluffy first film had a reasonably smart idea at its core, the sequel loses focus by stripping Steve Carell's protagonist of his conflicted supervillain identity. What do you think? Is this a franchise you're keen to see continue? And in a lean year so far for animation, can this sequel get more Academy love than its unnominated predecessor? Vote in the poll below, and have your say in the comments.

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<p>On &quot;Deadwood,&quot;&nbsp;Captain Turner gets the advantage of Dan.</p>

On "Deadwood," Captain Turner gets the advantage of Dan.

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 3, episode 5: 'A Two-Headed Beast'

Dan and Captain Turner do battle in the thoroughfare in one of the greatest fight scenes ever filmed

For the third summer in a row, we're revisiting David Milch's classic revisionist HBO Western "Deadwood," this time discussing the third season.

While I once upon a time posted two separate reviews so people who hadn't watched the whole series would have a safe place to comment, almost no one bothered commenting on the newbie reviews last year, and they've been ditched. If you haven't finished the series, just avoid the comments of this review and you'll be fine.

Thoughts on episode 5, "A Two-Headed Beast," coming up just as soon as I put that down to drunkenness or a high estimate of athleticism...

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<p>Malin Akerman of &quot;Trophy Wife&quot;</p>

Malin Akerman of "Trophy Wife"

Credit: ABC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife'

Malin Akerman brings a ton of charm to her new comedy

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"Trophy Wife" (ABC)
The Pitch: "Modern-er Family"
Quick Response:I like the shape of "Trophy Wife." And no, I'm not just referring to star Malin Akerman. What I like is the structural integrity of the premise, even if the title is probably a misleading mistake. I don't think the show looks at Akerman's character as a trophy wife and most of the characters don't view her that way. She's a slightly wide-eyed young woman who finds herself plunged into an established an atypical family unit and has to find a way to negotiate her position within that unit. It's just a different way to approach a blended family and the title doesn't really capture that Akerman's Kate and Bradley Whitford's Pete have a very natural and warm chemistry together and while we haven't really gotten to the meat of their attraction, it's implied. But there's also a warmth between Pete and his two previous ex-wives (Michaela Watkins and Marcia Gay Harden) and also with his two teenage kids and his adopted son. So it's a family, but it's a weird family, especially when you include Kate's buddy Meg (Natalie Morales). What I enjoyed about the pilot is how quickly and cleanly it establishes its eight main characters and, more impressively, how quickly it finds the dynamics between the different disparate pieces. It helps that this is a great vehicle for the frequently appealing -- but only occasionally properly utilized -- Akerman, who shows myriad sides to Kate in a short period, playing off familiar "adorakable" tropes -- she gets drunk, she falls down, she says things that would embarrass anybody but her -- but also giving us many reasons to respect and root for Kate all in 22 minutes. Akerman's bubbly energy has instantly great foils in Harden's brilliant iciness and Watkins' loopy mania and also in the sarcastic preppiness that Whitford plays as well as anyone. ABC had a full shelf of family comedies this year, which means lots of kids and I think Gianna LePera, Ryan Scott Lee and Albert Tsai are solid, but I need a bit more time with them. Tsai in particular seems to sometimes be overacting, but there were a couple times I sensed his line deliveries were actually boosting sluggish punchlines. And I really hope they pay close attention to Morales, because she's a lively treat here, but I can just as easily imagine her becoming increasingly overlooked as the show progresses. Knowing that it's hard for a comedy pilot to hit the ground with hilarity, I won't criticize "Trophy Wife" harshly for making me consistently smile, but not laugh.
Desire To Watch Again: Reasonably high. I really like Malin Akerman and will happily watch her on a weekly basis. I think this pilot also suggests writers Emily Halpern & Sarah Haskins have a good sense of what Harden, Watkins and Whitford do well. I don't love where ABC has put "Trophy Wife." It's a much better match with "Modern Family" than "Super Fun Night." "The Goldbergs" also seems like a better match with "Modern Family" than "Super Fun Night." In fact... Seriously, ABC. Give some thought to not airing "Super Fun Night" on Wednesdays at 9:30.

 

Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show' 
All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

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Listen: Jay-Z's 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake and Nirvana tribute

Listen: Jay-Z's 'Holy Grail' with Justin Timberlake and Nirvana tribute

Track from 'Magna Carta Holy Grail' interpolates 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'

Happy Fourth of July!

We'll have a full review of Jay-Z's "Magna Carta Holy Grail," but until then, enjoy half of the title track, "Holy Grail," featuring Justin Timberlake.  Actually, the song way more than 'features' Timberlake. The first verse is his and the third, as he laments "I just can't crack ya code/One day screaming you love me/the next day you're so cold...and I still don't know why I love you so much."

While it sounds like it may be about a woman, upon closer listen, it seems to be about fame, as the two address how fickle a mistress fame is and how it's cut down many a man, including MC Hammer and Mike Tyson, both of whom are namechecked.

Jay-Z also drops Kurt Cobain's name before he and Timberlake go into a "Smells Like Teen Spirit." 

Timberlake sounds fantastic and you'll also recognize Timbaland's  touch on this one (especially at the end when it uses the same sound effects as "Mirrors." Damn if it's not a better vocal performance than almost anything on "The 20/20 Experience." 

What do you think? 

 

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<p>Robert De Niro in &quot;Killing Season.&quot;</p>

Robert De Niro in "Killing Season."

Credit: Millennium Pictures

Karlovy Vary Film Festival: 'Killing Season,' 'Honeymoon,' 'DK'

Travolta and De Niro bring the star power, but the Czechs bring the good stuff

The Karlovy Vary Film Festival is a rewardingly contradictory one. The locale is pure chocolate-box fragility: a bijou spa town in the densely wooded hills of the Czech republic, its buildings appear frosted by professional patissieres. The atmosphere, meanwhile, is more robustly rowdy: wealthy neighboring Russians populate the busy party circuit as cinema-loving students descend on the town by the busload, open-air bars surrounding the festival center dispensing rivers of Pilsner all the while. Neither the setting nor the crowds, meanwhile, immediately suggest the festival’s diverse, tough-minded programming, which trades largely in bleaker realities – or more challenging fantasies, as the case may be.

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<p>&quot;The Michael J. Fox Show&quot;</p>

"The Michael J. Fox Show"

Credit: NBC

Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Michael J. Fox Show'

Michael J. Fox needs you to know it's OK to laugh

[In case you've Forgotten, and as I will continue to mention each and every one of these posts that I do: This is *not* a review. Pilots change. Sometimes a lot. Often for the better. Sometimes for the worse. But they change. Actual reviews will be coming in September and perhaps October (and maybe midseason in some cases). This is, however, a brief gut reaction to not-for-air pilots. I know some people will be all "These are reviews." If you've read me, you've read my reviews and you know this isn't what they look like.]

Show:"The Michael J. Fox Show" (NBC)
The Pitch: NBC gave "The Michael J. Fox Show" a 22-episode commitment without a finished script or a pilot. Safe to say, then, that the title was all the pitch anybody needed.
Quick Response: Before NBC announced its fall premiere schedule, I was going to suggest that it might be a really, really, really good idea to premiere "The Michael J. Fox Show" with two episodes. Then NBC announced they were premiering "The Michael J. Fox Show" with two episodes. And rightly so! It's not that the pilot is bad, but it's basically a PSA. And its message is "It's OK to laugh." It's 22 minutes of Michael J. Fox amiably reassuring viewers not only is it OK for them to laugh at him and his medical difficulties, but since he's laughing at himself, we're actually laughing with him. And I'm not going to scoff at this as an aspiration for this particular pilot. "The Michael J. Fox Show" isn't explicitly autobiographical for Fox, but it's close enough that there's a wave of discomfort that almost every viewer is going to pass through and it's up to the beloved star to make sure that most viewers pass through that discomfort as quickly as possible. Saying that "The Michael J. Fox Show" makes a few jokes about Fox's Parkinson's would be like saying Yakov Smirnoff made a few jokes about differences between life in the USA and life in the Soviet Union. The pilot is almost nothing but jokes about Fox's tremors, his medication and the things he can and cannot do because of his Parkinson's and how that relates to the character's ability to return to a nightly newscast in New York City. You might crack a smile at some of the jokes, but the goal isn't really laughter. The goal, I hope, is to get a ton of information out of the way up-front so that subsequent episodes can begin the gradual process of making the show about a guy who has a job and a family and also has Parkinson's, rather than being A Very Important Show About Michael J. Fox's Health. Everybody involved here is talented enough that it could work, if that corner is turned. As we know from "Good Wife," Fox is actually remarkable at using his condition to turn punchlines on their heads and he still has a gift with physical comedy that's altered, but not abated. There are hints of that here, but they're buried under the well-meaning explanations and meta dialogue like "What if I'm not the guy they remember?" Freed from the shackles that bind Marie on "Breaking Bad," Betsy Brandt is loose and appealing as Fox's wife, though the distraction caused by their height disparity is unavoidable. I kinda love the casting of Wendell Pierce as a news producer and lemme just say that Katie Finneran is much better here than on FOX's "I Hate My Teenage Daughter," though she's kinda in a different, broader pilot from everybody else. And the kids aren't bad, with Juliette Goglia as the early standout.
Desire To Watch Again: The bottom line is that I understand why this pilot was something "The Michael J. Fox Show" had to get out of its system. I didn't love it, but at least they executed the "The More You Know..." side of things in a way that was light, rather than maudlin. Now? Let's see what the series looks like. I'm really eager to see a real episode.

 

All of my 2012 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2011 Take Me To The Pilots Entries
All of my 2010 Take Me To The Pilots Entries

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<p>Kristen Wiig talks about playing a love interest to Gru in 'Despicable Me 2'</p>

Kristen Wiig talks about playing a love interest to Gru in 'Despicable Me 2'

Credit: HitFix

Kristen Wiig discusses her role as the love interest in 'Despicable Me 2'

One of Hollywood's funniest ladies is getting busier every day

One of the weirdest little subcategories of things I like is when an actor shows up in two different movies in a film series playing totally different characters for no particular reason.

Weird, right? But now you can add Kristen Wiig to the list of people who have done that, since she played a very small role in "Despicable Me" as a character named "Miss Hattie," and now in "Despicable Me 2," she is front and center as the so-happy-to-be-a-spy-she-is-giddy new character, Lucy. She is also Gru's unlikely love interest in the film, and the two of them have a loose, easy connection that makes their material a lot of fun.

I am equally entertained by the notion that Wiig and Carrell are going to be paired again in "Anchorman: The Legend Continues," and it looks like Brick has met his match, which should be hilarious. The trailer that was only released to theaters has a little bit more footage, and that's where you get a good look at Wiig and Carrell together, both of them dim bulbs in a big way.

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