Latest Blog Posts

"Orphan Black"

 "Orphan Black"

Credit: BBC America

'Orphan Black' recap: Bad news for Kira, clones and Fe on 'Entangled Bank'

Dr. Leekie proves he's not one to be tangled with
I was going to make some "Clone Wars" jokes, or maybe rehash some Cheech and Chong material, but given the way this week's episode of "Orphan Black" ended I'm not much in the mood for humor, are you? It was an awful, sour note on which to end and one that didn't entirely make sense, but one that I'm sure will reveal more strange layers once Sarah gets to the hospital.
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<p>Ben&nbsp;Affleck and Fred&nbsp;Armisen on &quot;Saturday Night Live&quot;</p>

Ben Affleck and Fred Armisen on "Saturday Night Live"

Credit: NBC

Ben Affleck sends up 'Argo' and his Best Picture Oscar acceptance speech on SNL

Putting a bow on last year's awards season with a few laughs

You didn't think "Argo" and its Oscar run was through with you yet, did you?

Tonight on "Saturday Night Live," last year's golden boy Ben Affleck took up hosting duties for the fifth time in his career, bringing the 38th season of the show to a close and putting a big bow on the 2012-2013 Oscar season.

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Ben Affleck, Kanye West, and Fred Armisen

Ben Affleck, Kanye West, and Fred Armisen

Credit: NBC

Recap: 'Saturday Night Live' – Ben Affleck And Kanye West

The "Argo" actor/director joins the Five-Timers Club in the season finale.
We’re here at the end of another season of “Saturday Night Live,” and just like last season, there are changes afoot. This will be Bill Hader’s last show. Seth Meyers will leave the show at the end of the calendar year in order to take over the post-“The Tonight Show” slot. Both Fred Armisen and Jason Sudeikis are rumored to also be leaving? To which I say: awesome. That doesn’t take away anything from what these four have brought to the table. But change is the lifeblood of the show, and no single person is ever truly irreplaceable. In fact, having Meyers leave might be the shot in the arm this show really needs. While its easy to point to onscreen talent as the cause for any woes the show has had this season, it all boils down to the writing. If that’s not up to snuff, no amount of comedic talent in front of the camera can overcome that. If Meyers’ departure shakes up the writer’s room dynamic, and allows new voices to emerge, it might be just what the doctor ordered for the slightly ailing “SNL”.
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<p>Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara on &quot;Doctor Who.&quot;</p>

Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara on "Doctor Who."

Credit: BBC

Season finale review: 'Doctor Who' - 'The Name of the Doctor'

The Doctor uncovers Clara's secret and comes face-to-face with a surprising figure

A quick review of the "Doctor Who" season finale coming up just as soon as I retire and take up watercolors or beekeeping...

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"American Idol"

 "American Idol"

Credit: Fox

Reality TV Roundup: 'American Idol,' 'Survivor,' 'Amazing Race'

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 any 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. 

I talked to Penn Jillette before the season began, and here's why I think he can win it. Not just the ice cream, either. 
A recap of the final performances. It was a tight race, but HitFix had a favorite, dawg. 
A chick won this time. Here's a recap. 
Mariah Carey says she didn't lipsych during the finale. Okay. But really, everyone does it. 
HitFix talks to the winner, John Cochran, about the show and his "bipolar" strategy. 
Erik and Eddie talk about the show. And also not winning.
And here's a recap of the season finale. Which includes winning. 
Christina's coming back. Which I don't think anyone is too excited about, really. 

Teresa and Melissa are fighting, this time over "On Display." Whatever. 
Watch how much "Life Below Zero" sucks as a lifestyle choice. It's, like, way cold and there are no supermarkets. Or roads. 
Exclusive survey! People hate polygamy! But watch "Polygamy, USA"! Crazy, huh? 
Barbara Walters is retiring from TV. This happens next year, so don't get all worked up just yet. But she was more than just the old lady on "The View," and don't you forget it. 
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<p>Tahar Rahim and Lea Seydoux in Rebecca Zlotowski's &quot;Grand Central.&quot;</p>

Tahar Rahim and Lea Seydoux in Rebecca Zlotowski's "Grand Central."

Cannes Review: Tahar Rahim is radioactive in impressive 'Grand Central'

Love and radiation in a nuclear world

CANNES - After making her feature film debut with 2010's "Belle Epine," director Rebecca Zlotowski returns to Cannes with the compelling new drama "Grand Central."  While Zlotowski benefits from the presence of a number of critically acclaimed French actors this is the sort sophomore jump that will cement her status as one to watch within the global filmmaking community.

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<p>&quot;Star Trek IV:&nbsp;The&nbsp;Voyage Home&quot;&nbsp;held the franchise record for Oscar nominations alone until J.J. Abrams came calling.</p>

"Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" held the franchise record for Oscar nominations alone until J.J. Abrams came calling.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

'Star Trek' at the Oscars

How has the franchise fared at the Academy Awards over the decades?

J.J. Abrams' "Star Trek Into Darkness" has arrived. From here the film goes out into the unforgiving summer and we'll just have to see where it stands fiscally on the other side of things. But I imagine at the very least its various craft achievements will be in the awards discussion at the end of the year.

So with that in mind, how has a franchise that spans 12 films over 34 years fared at the Academy Awards all this time? It seemed like something worth digging into for our purposes here and with the new film on screens, so let's take a look…

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<p>Benicio Del Toro in &quot;Jimmy P.&quot;</p>

Benicio Del Toro in "Jimmy P."

Credit: Worldview Entertainment

Cannes Review: Benicio Del Toro clears his head (but not much else) in dreary 'Jimmy P'

Competition's first outright dud is a major letdown from Arnaud Desplechin

CANNES - Something's ailing Benicio Del Toro's title character in "Jimmy P. (Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian)," but let's lay that to one side for now. More pressingly, what is up with Arnaud Desplechin? The French writer-director is typically one of his country's liveliest talents, with big, crowded, unapologetically chaotic films like "A Christmas Tale" and "Kings and Queen" bristling with emotional and intellectual curiosity -- but he's come a cropper in this lethargic, self-important psychiatry study, which he himself seems to have directed from the couch.

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<p>The &quot;Nikita&quot; finale</p>

The "Nikita" finale

Credit: The CW

The 'Nikita' Season 3 finale sets the endgame in motion - How did it do?

Would Nikita kill the President or not?
Roughly once per season I like to check in on The CW's "Nikita."
It's a show I continue to watch largely because it's on on Fridays where I don't have any DVR conflicts, which isn't really a very good excuse for watching things unless you're a TV critic and a completist. And it's one of many CW shows that Sepinwall doesn't watch, so I like to keep vaguely in the loop, just in case it's urgent that somebody at HitFix know what's happening on "Nikita." It hasn't happened yet, but I keep waiting.
The third "Nikita" season wrapped up on Friday (May 17) with an episode I've already seen fans calling "shocking," but which left me really cold. I'd be contemplating dropping the show from my viewing roster, except that The CW has announced that "Nikita" has only a six-episode final season coming up at a TBD point next fall. I can stick it out for six more episodes, even if nothing about where the show is going seems especially interesting to me.
Click through for my thoughts on the finale and the season and then, assuming y'all have thoughts, you can chime in. If not? I'll know why I only write about "Nikita" once a year.
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<p>Demi Lovato</p>

Demi Lovato

Credit: Dan Steinberg/AP

Vampire Weekend, George Strait, and Demi Lovato battle for No. 1 on Billboard 200

Who is in the lead?

Vampire Weekend, George Strait and Demi Lovato walk into a bar... wait a minute, that’s not right. Actually the three artists are in a tight race to debut at No. 1  on the Billboard Hot 100 next week.

Going into the weekend, it looks like Vampire Weekend’s “Modern Vampires of the City” has the edge and is poised to sell up to 135,000 copies. The other two titles are both going to top the 100,000 mark as well. George Strait’s “Love Is Everything” will move up to 120,000 copies for No. 2, while Demi Lovato’s “Demi” is looking good for 115,000 units, which will land her at No. 3.

Unless Amy Grant’s latest sneaks in, that looks like it for debuts next week. Dropping 2-4 will be “The Great Gatsby” soundtrack. Though it moves downward, it is still targeted to sell up to 95,000, according to Hits Daily Double. This week’s No. 1, Lady Antebellum’s “Golden,” will likely drop to No. 5 with sales of 65,000.

“Now That’s What I Call Music 46” will be at No 6. Justin Timberlake’s “The 20/20 Experience” and Michael Buble’s “To Be Loved” are in a dead heat for the No. 7 spot, with each looking strong to sell up to 45,000 copies.

The chart ends on a country note with Pistol Annie’s “Annie Up” at No. 9 and Kenny Chesney’s “Life On A Rock” at No. 10.

The chart closes Sunday night.


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<p>One of the tamer scenes from &quot;Stranger by the Lake.&quot;</p>

One of the tamer scenes from "Stranger by the Lake."

Credit: Les Films du Losange

Cannes Review: 'Stranger by the Lake' is a stylish new entry in the porn-noir genre

Un Certain Regard entry sets pulses racing with surfeit of steamy gay action

CANNES - Nothing I've seen at Cannes so far -- not even the current Palme d'Or favorite, Hirokazu Kore-eda's button-cute parenthood drama "Like Father, Like Son" -- has, to my ear, pushed the end-credits clap-o-meter quite as far into the red as Alain Guiraudie's Un Certain Regard entry "Stranger by the Lake." Elated whoops and whistles greeted this minimalist French thriller's final fade to black: not the reaction you'd usually expect from a civilian festival crowd for a work of such sleek, stark nihilism as to prompt visions of Robert Bresson adapting Patricia Highsmith. All of which leads me to at least one conclusion: audiences out there are really starved for gay sex.

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"All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

 "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice"

Credit: NBC

'All-Star Celebrity Apprentice' finalist Penn Jillette talks Trump, honesty

The magician just might beat the 'pretend game about pretend business'

I suspected Penn Jillette was going to make the finals of "All-Star Celebrity Apprentice." No, I'm definitely not psychic. I'm not deeply in tune with the production, or worse, Donald Trump. But I had a feeling before the show even began that the magician who makes up half of Penn & Teller might go a little further on the franchise this time around. 

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