You have to admire FX's relentless quest to have a show set in every single epoch in world history. As soon as the seventh season of Sons of Anarchy comes to a close, SoA creator/showrunner Kurt Sutter will be visiting 14th century England in his new pilot The Bastard Executioner, "the story of a warrior knight in King Edward III's charge." We're not saying it should be exactly like SoA set in the 1300s, but we're not going to be too upset if that's what organically occurs.
In a move anyone familiar with his oeuvre can get behind, Childrens Hospital's Rob Huebel has joined American Storage as an "eccentric man" living in a storage unit. Newbie John Karna will play the storage facility employee who discovers Huebel's makeshift pad. How has this never actually happened on Storage Wars? Has it? The premise of this show might be the most satisfying and logical extension of American television today.
Of course. Of course Beyoncé just dropped a new "exclusive visual album" with 14 songs and 17 videos and absolutely no promotion – and yes, that includes a video for every song. Of course Jay Z and Blue Ivy are on the album. Oh, and the title? Beyoncé. The name of Beyoncé's fifth solo album is Beyoncé.
"I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it," Beyoncé explained in a press release. "I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans. There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans."
It's nice to see John Lutz's grandnephew doing so well for himself. Maybe it's some kind of emotional holdover from Thor: The Dark World. Maybe it's the battle skirts. Hell, maybe it's the lightning whip, but we think The Legend of Hercules trailer looks downright fun. It's definitely not a great sign that the movie opens January 10, but still. There's a lightning whip.
Wait, since when Huck does get to unilaterally vote people out of OPA? At the end of Scandal’s explosive midseason finale, Quinn goes back to Huck, and instead of apologizing for removing her teeth, he banishes her. Okay, maybe Quinn deserves it for not fessing up sooner about being caught up in Charlie’s crap, and sure, she really liked stabbing that security guard — but Huck kills people. And he licked her face. Friends don’t slobber on friends! More than anyone else caught up in the maelstrom of Operation Remington and Mama Pope vs. Papa Pope and the vice president’s secret bid to unseat Fitz, it’s actually Quinn whose life has been turned completely upside down. So what if Olivia can’t pick between two hot guys? Quinn needs dental work, a new job, and probably a new boyfriend! Vulture spoke with Katie Lowes about how Quinn’s world got shot straight to hell.
The Heat director has signed on to an as-yet unnamed pitch from screenwriter Melissa Stack. While few details are available, the film is based on an idea from Feig, will star "a group of ethnically diverse comic actresses," and will be produced by Fox's Feigco, which is dedicated to R-rated comedies. Say no more. Actually, say as much as you want, but Feig would have to biff this one pretty hard to lose our ticket money. It would be almost inconceivable, the size of the biff it would take.
The telephone book, traditionally the benchmark for awkward material a great actor can nevertheless bring to life onstage, has a new challenger in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Coleridge’s 626-line poem about a seaman’s supernatural journey, written in 1798 and partly memorized by generations of schoolchildren thereafter, is studded with deathly obstacles to theatrical presentation.
Saturday Night Live held auditions for a black, female cast member in a sold-out showcase at Groundlings in Los Angeles last week. The auditions were a secret, report Gothamist, Splitsider, and many of the comedians themselves. The lineup reportedly included Bresha Webb, Nicole Byer, Amber Ruffin, Simone Shepherd, Tiffany Haddish, LaKendra Tookes, Damirra Brunson, Azie Dungey, Beth Payne, Misty Monroe, and Gabrielle Dennis.
The show had come under considerable criticism for replenishing its depleted cast with five white men and one white woman, which cast member Kenan Thompson attributed to black female comedians not being “ready.” The writers addressed the issue (humorously!) by making host Kerry Washington play three different black women in one sketch last month, but a better case for diversity on television might be Simone Shepherd’s Beyoncé impression. Also, Damirra Brunson’s.
Sometimes, between shooting scenes as Scandal's monstrous chief of staff Cyrus, Jeff Perry slaps himself in the face. Or he curses. It’s how he summons whatever inner tornado he needs to step into the shoes of his volatile alter ego. But one afternoon in early November, while shooting a scene from what would be last week's seismic episode, he wanted to hunker down alone in a corner with his thoughts because it was time for his character to do the unthinkable: He needed to cry. It was a rare moment of remorse for the take-no-prisoners politician, revealed last week to be the result of his husband finally catching on to how diabolical Cyrus can be — and it surprised Perry. I was waiting on set to interview him, and he asked if he could reschedule. The next day, his day off, we met up in an office in Scandal headquarters at Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles, a few doors down from where series boss Shonda Rhimes conjures up so much madness. I found him lounging on a sofa in a light gray T-shirt and striped short-shorts, free of Cyrus’s stately suits. Perry didn’t need to explain to me, but did anyways, that his work the day prior was “intense and fucked up,” which he, of course, meant as a compliment. “It’s not exhausting so much as cathartic. Actors vent.”
It's always tricky to remember where things stand as you head in to see another installment in a movie trilogy, and this is especially true of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which requires viewers to keeping track of what happened in the original Hobbit book, the previous Hobbit movie, the Lord of the Rings films, and the LOTR appendices. So while this could have been a simple affair, it might feel like you need to be a wizard of Middle-earth to remember what's already happened, who all these characters are, and why these folks are on a quest in the first place — and what's that Arkenstone thing again? But rest assured, you do not need to speak Elvish or Orc to watch the new Hobbit. Here are nine things you need to know to get back in the (riddle) game.
It seems forever ago now, but yes, 30 Rock concluded in 2013, way back in January. But the dearly departed NBC show was just one of the many long-running series and franchises that said ta-ta in the year gone by. How do they all compare? We ranked eleven favorites from the world of TV, movies and books by how satisfying their finishes felt to us, from most satisfying to least. [Hint: Spoilers abound.]
CBS has ordered 29th and 30th seasons of its still-chugging veteran reality series Survivor, the network announced today. Sweet Lord, that is so much Survivor! Even The Real World is only on its 29th season. But this is what America's heart desires, apparently. The show's currently airing the tail end of its 27th season, and season 28 will start up in the spring, so this renewal takes Survivor through 2015. At that point, CBS is legally allowed to declare Jeff Probst the supreme ruler of all nations.
Yesterday, Vulture singled out five cable networks struggling with their identities, either because of ill-defined brands or poor programming. But it's not all doom and gloom in the land of cable. As we noted in the earlier post, it's actually been a great year for cable, with record ratings and a near monopoly on pop-culture buzz. You've likely read about the biggest milestones: the massive audiences for The Walking Dead and Duck Dynasty, the big numbers for TBS's reruns of The Big Bang Theory, the Emmy love for HBO and Showtime. But 2013 also brought triumphs for some networks that don't regularly make headlines or necessarily score huge ratings. Here's a look at three that quietly triumphed this year:
Aw, man, Showtime's Vatican drama is not moving forward after all, according to Deadline. Ridley Scott directed the pilot, and the show was going to star Matthew Goode as a papal secretary and Kyle Chandler as a Cardinal. Apparently the pilot was not up to snuff, though, and now we are simply left to wonder what a priestly Kyle Chandler would be like. This does free him up to be on Nashville, though, as the straight-shooting cowboy type who can finally give Rayna the love and support she needs.
As American Horror Story: Coven continues its twisted journey, the identity of the next Supreme has fast become this season’s most important mystery. The buildup started slowly, with rules and requirements for the Supreme subtly doled out: She’s got to be healthy and she’s got to be able to perform the “7 Wonders.” But how strict is this “glowing-bill-of-health” rule, anyway? Do mental deficiencies count? How about not being alive? And what are the 7 Wonders, exactly: specific powers or magical tasks? Even last night’s episode didn’t really clear anything up (SPOILERS! HERE COME THE SPOILERS!): Queenie’s maybe-death doesn’t even necessarily take her out of the race. Like us, you’re probably keeping track at home of which witch has the edge to succeed Fiona: Here’s where the Supreme Watch stands after last night’s episode, and don’t place any bets until you’ve taken our odds into consideration.
Remember when Community was a show about studying for Spanish? Times were so simple then. In this new trailer for season five, all things have gone to hell. Like literally. Greendale looks like actual hell — well, if the devil were super pop-culture literate. Jeff’s back, Britta’s in power, Chang’s masturbating everywhere, and Troy's making the meta joke we’ve all been waiting for. See you on January 2. The whole world will be watching — oh, wait.
Despite having more screen time than many of the human actors in Inside Llewyn Davis, the Coen brothers’ much-heralded film about the Greenwich Village folk scene in the sixties, the cat who becomes the title character’s accidental companion doesn’t receive an acknowledgement in the credits. Maybe that’s because the red Mackerel, which goes nameless for much of the movie, is actually portrayed by three tabbies, making onscreen crediting cumbersome. But the pesky feline — whose name the flailing folkie played by Oscar Isaac ultimately learns is Ulysses — figures prominently in the story. As Joel Coen explained at the Cannes Film Festival last May, “The film doesn’t really have a plot. That concerned us at one point; that’s why we threw the cat in.” Maybe the Cannes jury members were cat lovers; they awarded the film the festival’s 2013 Grand Prix prize.
Not long ago, I was invited to give a talk about Joni Mitchell at the University of Pennsylvania. The event was billed as the Joni Mitchell Songfest, and the format was simple: Each speaker was asked to choose a Mitchell song and prepare a short presentation — a little riff on the song’s meaning, cultural import, what-have-you. My fellow speakers, quite sensibly, picked great, iconic, canonical Mitchell songs: “Both Sides Now,” “Woodstock,” “California,” “Amelia,” “All I Want,” “Urge for Going.” I decided to go in a different direction, selecting a song widely regarded as a Mitchell lowlight: “Dancin’ Clown,” from her thirteenth studio album, Chalk Mark in a Rainstorm.
Remember when movie sequels were rare, trilogies were reserved for a holy few, and franchises that extended on to five, six, or even seven movies were strictly the domain of slumming series like Police Academy or Nightmare on Elm Street? Cling to your memories, because your kids will find those stories awfully quaint in twenty years, when you’re taking them to the multiplex to decide between Iron Man 15 and the fourth series reboot of Spider-Man. These days, you’re nothing if you don’t have a megafranchise running in perpetuity, as evidenced by this week’s bonanza of sequel news: Paramount is moving ahead with sequels to World War Z and Jack Reacher, the new Terminator film has begun casting, Disney has acquired rights to future Indiana Jones movies, and Universal is working on a radical rewrite of the seventh Fast and Furious movie. But which studios have the biggest and best franchises, and which are still playing catch-up? Here’s a thorough analysis of what the big six studios currently have to offer.
It’s just not true that “Every boy, every girl, every child around the world/From the nineties up until today was made off me,” as R. Kelly suggests on his twelfth solo studio album, Black Panties. Statistically speaking, the claim is far-fetched. I personally know of one child whose conception was soundtracked by Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin; the percentage must be further adjusted to account for Sade. And think of Fairfield County, Connecticut: High school classrooms in Greenwich, New Canaan, and Westport would be empty, surely, if not for Dave Matthews’s “Crash Into Me.” Still, the idea that R. Kelly is responsible for every child born in the last two decades, either by siring them himself or by providing the sonic aphrodisiac, feels true, is poetically true — and poetry, after all, is the realm in which Kelly operates. Consider another Black Panties lyric: “Make her love come down till I drown that pussy/And I take my time in it, that's the scenic route/Sex Trainer, I work pussy out.”
- 1. Fact-Checking the Age-Old Rumors of Walt Disney’s Dark Side
- 2. All the Snubs and Surprises From the 2014 Golden Globe Nominations
- 3. The 2014 Golden Globe Nominations Are Here!
- 4. Watch Amy Poehler and Billy Eichner Force People to Sing Christmas Carols on the Street
- 5. Ryan Murphy Talks Self-Policing, Jessica Lange’s Exit, and What’s Next on American Horror Story: Coven
- 6. See Every Absurd Outfit Jennifer Love Hewitt Wears on Season One of The Client List
- 7. Damian Lewis Apologizes For Inadvertently Insulting Sir Ian McKellen
- 8. Former American Idol Contestant Danny Noriega Joins RuPaul’s Drag Race
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