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Welcome to the most insane night of television that I can ever remember, in what I've dubbed Dramageddon 2013.
Following its appearance on the Season 39 opener of “Saturday Night Live,” hosted by Tina Fey, Arcade Fire kept the music going with “Here Comes The Night Time,” a trippy, 30-minute special on NBC that aired immediately after “SNL.”
The double shot was in service to promote “Reflektor,” the band’s new album out on Merge on Oct. 29. It will be the Montreal-based group’s first set since 2010’s “The Suburbs,” which won the Grammy for Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammy Awards.
In addition to current single/title track, “Reflektor,” and “Afterlife,” which the band performed in “SNL,” Arcade Fire debuted three new songs from the forthcoming album during the special.
UPDATED: Arcade Fire has tweeted a link to audio of the three new songs
A bizarre trailer featuring paper mache versions of the band members that surfaced Friday set the tone for the equally strange, theatrical special that felt like a cross between a hipster’s Halloween and New Year’s Eve party. It opened with Arcade Fire’s lead singer Win Butler, clad in a red and white suit with a black bandit mask painted across his eyes, leading a conga line, filled with costumed characters, including a bunny, from the “SNL” set to The Salsatheque a club in their hometown. The show opened with new song “Here Comes The Night Time,” which exploded from a English Beat-like bouncy to a rave-up with Butler joining the dancing, costumed crowd.
The club crowd line danced to new song, the new wave-y “We Exist,” as if they were re-enacting “The Time Warp” from “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
James Franco, Aziz Ansari, Ben Stiller and Bono—the latter two with the big paper mache heads featured in the “Reflektor” video— and a Spanish-speaking Michael Cera, posing as an irritated, Arcade Fire-hating bartender in the club, all made cameo appearances. In a oddly unfunny sketch, Bill Hader and Zach Galifianakis posed as astronauts who beamed in with Butler wishing them a safe return because “we need another ‘Hangover’ movie.”
The band then changed gears and clothes and the millieu for an ‘80s vibe (intercut with the current club scene), with Rainn Wilson as their bearded, bandana-ed roadie named Carl and Jason Schwartzmann as a centaur for the chaotic “Normal Person.”
In addition to “Reflektor,” the band is also scoring Spike Jonze’ new movie, “Her.”
We'll post video of the special as soon as it's available, but in the meantime, enjoy AF's performance of "Reflektor" from "SNL."
LOS SANTOS - It seems strange to realize that "Grand Theft Auto V" may well be the final game I buy for the Playstation 3.
Shortly after "Grand Theft Auto III" was released, I was at the apartment shared by my friends Josh and Kevin, and they had the game on. I'd heard the title a few times, but I didn't own it, and I hadn't played it. Once I watched Kevin play for about ten minutes, I left their place, went directly to a store, and bought the game and a Playstation 2. I played it incessantly for a while, and when I finally set it aside, I felt like I'd gotten everything out of the mayhem and the free-roaming lunacy that I could get. It was depraved, it was ridiculous, it was damn near impossible to finish as a game, and I loved every bit of it. The game seemed like the sort of thing that the authorities were going to catch wind of and shut down as soon as possible, and that made it even more fun.
Morality in gaming is a funny thing. When I played "Mass Effect 2" and "Mass Effect 3," I found that I couldn't make the renegade choices, no matter what. The way the narrative worked and the way I played Shepard, I felt it necessary to try to be as moral and as compassionate as possible. It seemed like the only way to navigate the political landscape of the games and come through it with my crew intact. The same was true of "Skyrim" when I played that for a few months. I never even considered playing it as anything but a hero. Even when I digressed to finish missions involving the Thieves Guild or whatever, I found myself overcompensating to make sure I was as far on the side of right as possible.
"SNL" gets a cameo out of "Breaking Bad's" Jesse Pinkman
Aaron Paul appeared in several sketches tonight, including one to promote eMeth. He also appeared on Weekend Update. PLUS: Tina Fey plays "New Cast Member or Arcade Fire?," and watch the best of Cecily Strong's debut on Weekend Update. PLUS: Watch "SNL's" parody of "Girls," which Lena Dunham called a "true honor."
"Breaking Bad's" Michael Bowen malnourished himself to play Uncle Jack
The actor, who auditioned with the leather jacket he wears on the show, says of his massive weightloss: "There's a specific look that ex convicts have. There's kind of a gray color to them, kind of a leathery feel to them. I tried to get all of those physicalities in there for Uncle Jack. I was essentially malnourishing myself. I got a blood test, and my vitamin D was way down, so it was kind of an idiot move, but it looks good on the character." PLUS: NFL jumps on "Breaking Bad"-spoofing bandwagon.
"Glee's" Heather Morris gives birth to a baby boy
The actress named her child Elijah.
Is Aaron Sorkin dating CNN's Ashleigh Banfield?
Will "The Newsroom" next season feature a hot female anchor with nerd glasses?
1. Kanye West: He compares himself to Michael Jackson, declares himself the No. 1 rock star in the world, and gets in a Twitter fight with Jimmy Kimmel. His work here is done.
2. One Direction: Music’s billion-dollar boys top Billboard’s 21 Under 21 list. Sounds like that decision was made before the VMAs... #mileywasrobbed
3. Drake: The rapper so many critics love to hate will make a major splash on the Billboard 200 next week as “Nothing Was The Same” will sell up to 690,000 in its debut, making it second only to Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” for highest selling premiere of the year.
4. Paul McCartney: He appears on “Jimmy Kimmel” and performs a 15-song concert for the 10,000-strong crowd on Hollywood Blvd., far and above the performance shown on the broadcast. That’s how you stay a star for 50 years.
5. Justin Timberlake: He also plays on “Kimmel” (even though sick as a dog), but the real highlight is his and Jimmy Fallon’s #hashtag skit. #funnystuff #istherenothingJTcantdo? #Questloveisthebest #JTEGOT
6. Lorde: Her star continues to rise as her debut album comes out Monday and is sure to bow in the Top 10 on the strength of mega-hit “Royals,” while she also finds a slot on the “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” soundtrack.
7. Mumford & Sons: The British folk-rock group announces it will go on hiatus. Marcus Mumford wills his vest to The Avett Bros. for the duration.
8. Avicii: Six songs from his album debut, “True,” land on Billboard’s dance/electronic songs chart this week. The only artist to ever land more debuts in one week? Daft Punk with 12. Wake me up, indeed!
9. Rock The Bells: The bell tolls for the once-mighty hip-hop festival which sadly cancels the last two dates on its festival circuit due to lack of ticket sales.
10. Jack Johnson: Part-time musician/full-time surfer dude Jack Johnson scores his fourth No. 1 album on the Billboard 200. Not bad for an artist who releases albums with very little fanfare.
[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:"Growing Up Fisher" (NBC)
The Pitch: "It's an odd, quirky, historically non-specific 'Wonder Years' knock-off." "No thanks." "But ABC had a 'Wonder Years' knock-off and FOX has a 'Wonder Years' knock-off." "Does CBS?" "Ummm... Maybe." "Fine. We'll take it."
Quick Response: "Growing Up Fisher" isn't *exactly* a "Wonder Years" knock-off. After all, it's set in the present. However, it's being narrated from sometime in the future by a grownup version of the main character (Jason Bateman for the voiceover and Eli Baker for the story) who reflects on his childhood experiences with a mixture of wry sarcasm, cloying sentimentality and twist-teasing dramatic irony. Between this and "The Goldbergs" and "Surviving Jack," there's a lot of not-quite-getting what what worked on "The Wonder Years" 20+ years ago. So far, none of these shows have had their main character reflect on the first time they watched "The Wonder Years," but it's getting close. Complicating matters is the initial proclamation that "The following is inspired by a true story," which must mean that DJ Nash wrote it from the future and mailed scripts back to 2013? Yeah. I dunno. I am a sucker for JK Simmons. I even found him funny in "Family Tools" and nobody else can say that. But here, he's giving a performance that almost has to work against one of the most self-consciously quirky characters I've ever seen on a TV show. He's playing the main character's father and he's an attorney, but he's blind and basically nobody knows that. How is that possible? How is that sustainable? How is that workable? Well, the "Bernie's" series did two films in which nobody knew the eponymous character was DEAD, so I guess fooling people into thinking a blind guy can see isn't the most absurd thing ever, but it's definitely a thing that requires way more perpetual suspension of disbelief than I was willing to put in. The oddest part is that Simmons, often prone to going big with comedy, is underplaying a character who has been *written* absurdly big. There's a clash of tones. There's also a clash of tones with the mother, who has been written as five or six different things, basically a pipe-smoking teenager in the body of a woman-of-a-certain-age. Parker Posey had no clue what the character was and her performance in the pilot was an incongruous mess of ticks. It wasn't her fault in the slightest. She's subsequently been replaced by Jenna Elfman, but she may just have escaped. The person who probably needed replacing was director David Schwimmer, who has been a solid director in the past, but I tend to blame directors when tone gets as out-of-synch as it is here. The thing "Growing Up Fisher" has working in its favor is that at least for the pilot, I liked leading man Eli Baker, who sometimes makes things funny even if it's not always in the same way as things around him are trying to be funny. "Surviving Jack" is, as I've said, the best of the three "Wonder Years"-style comedies premiering this year, but Eli Baker may be the best of the young central stars. That's a building block and since "Growing Up Fisher" is rebuilding anyway, we'll see how things go.
Desire To Watch Again: Well, it's a guarantee I'm gonna watch again, what with the major recasting. There are so many things happening in the pilot, that I want to see a second episode just to get a feeling for what the weekly series is here. And how Simmons' character can possibly work longterm. But this isn't a very good pilot and it doesn't seem to have much upside for NBC.
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Gang Related'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The 100'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Resurrection'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Surviving Jack'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'About a Boy'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Believe'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Us & Them'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Star-Crossed'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Intelligence'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Crisis'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Rake'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Mom'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Lucky 7'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Dads'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Super Fun Night'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Welcome to the Family'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Millers'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'The Goldbergs'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Ironside'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'We Are Men'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Almost Human'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Back in the Game'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'Sean Saves the World'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'Reign'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'The Crazy Ones'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Enlisted'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Betrayal'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: NBC's 'The Blacklist'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: The CW's 'The Tomorrow People'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: CBS' 'Hostages'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow'
Take Me To The Pilots '13: ABC's 'Trophy Wife'
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
First of all, welcome back to another season of “Saturday Night Live” recaps! Second of all, sorry about the promotional photo to the left of this paragraph and the nightmares it will undoubtedly inspire. That’s on NBC, not us.
Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium" was met by a far more mixed response than his break-through film "District 9," but that doesn't change my enthusiasm for whatever he's working on. This is one of the few people working right now who has a taste for science-fiction and who is able to get original work produced. In the case of his next film, we're talking about "Chappie," which Blomkamp has described as a "comedy," about a robot policeman who is held hostage by a couple of punks.
Sharlto Copley, who is Blomkamp's go-to guy, will be playing the robot police officer, and the two things were cast a while ago, with Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er from Die Antwoord both onboard.