In Michael Winterbottom's first Trip movie (and BBC TV series, which the movie was edited from), Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon played fictionalized versions of themselves going on a food tour of north England. Though it was highly enjoyable, it partly felt like the three men behind it did it just to get someone else to pay for fancy meals. It was doing Michael Caine impressions for your supper, if you will. This time around, in The Trip to Italy, Coogan and Brydon got to, well, take a trip to Italy to have fake arguments but eat real foods. The series version of it is currently airing in England, with the theatrical release coming Stateside on August 15. So, if you weren't feeling bad enough about your lacking Pacino impression, you'll also get to be jealous of movie characters' summer vacations.
Did the planet just backflip off its axis? Are pigs doing cartwheels across the sky? Did Michael Jackson moonwalk out of his grave and buy a ticket to Shrek 5? Because something impossible just happened: Supernatural based a whole episode around female characters. Three-dimensional ones, even! None of them love interests. And with a recurring character to boot. What show was this? I know, I know, by now all complaints about Supernatural's casual misogyny — whether by omitting multi-dimensional females or simply fridging them — are admittedly tired by now. But "Alex Annie Alexis Ann" proved that perhaps the complainers were right all along. This was a heavy, thoughtful, and tremendously well-written episode of television, and it couldn't have been possible without strong female characters. Who knew! Oh, right. We all did.
When the great spiritual songress of our time, Ms. Katheryn Elizabeth "Katy" Perry (née Hudson) sings about fireworks, they are figurative, people who are so inspiring that their light and hope explodes in the sky for all to see. When the Real Snail Shells of Clam Bake Fire Pit talk about fireworks, they are literal, the Chinese creation that takes off at least one drunken father’s ring finger every Independence Day. They do not have time for figurative language; they are too busy creating displays of attraction and noises of repulsion to really do anything else. And sometimes they mistake the figurative for the literal. Often it is funny.
Amazon announced today that it will be the exclusive streaming home for HBO shows, and that HBO Go will be available on Fire TV, Amazon's recently released set-top box. Starting May 21, Amazon Prime will be streaming The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Rome, Big Love, Deadwood, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Enlightened, Treme, Flight of the Conchords, plus some seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood, HBO original movies, HBO comedy specials, miniseries including Band of Brothers and Angels in America, and several documentaries. Girls, The Newsroom, and Veep will eventually make their way to Amazon, too. (The announcement does not mention two of HBO's notable series: Sex and the City and Game of Thrones. Hm.) "Suck on that, Netflix," the press release might as well have included.
Netflix has made no secret of its desire to be the new HBO; CEO Reed Hastings told GQ last year that "The goal is to become HBO faster than HBO can become [Netflix]," and in yesterday's quarterly earning report, Netflix again reiterated the same idea: "We are approaching 50 million global members, but that is far short of HBO’s 130 million. We are eager to close the gap," the letter said. Now that HBO shows are going to be available to stream on Amazon, it looks like that just got a tiny bit harder.
On the title track off her new album, Sheezus, Lily Allen praises other pop divas ("RiRi isn't scared of Katy Perry's roaring /Queen B's going back to the drawing /Lorde smells blood, yeah, she's about to slay you") while swaying in trippy tribal blacklight. Is this what heaven (or hell) looks like? Either way, when you get there, you might just meet Lily Allen, and she'll remind you that you once got your period, so stay grounded: "Periods, we all get periods /Every month, yo, that's what the theory is."
Two-thirds into “The Rooster Prince,” a Bemidji police-department custodial worker shaves Vern Thurman’s name off his office door with a razor blade. Deputy Molly Solverson’s expression sinks. Her heart too. Not only is timid former Deputy Bill Oswalt (Bob Odenkirk) the new chief, but her friend and mentor is both dead and displaced. Funny thing is, Bill’s not that bad a deputy, even if he’s over his head in the catbird’s seat. He suggests that Pearl and Vern’s killer(s) might be a drifter, or gang of them, which isn’t entirely untrue. When he disciplines Molly for harassing “poor Lester,” she’s reassigned to head an inquiry into the premiere episode’s frozen, boxers-preferring corpse. Odds are, that investigation will (much to her dad’s lament) bring her head on with their mystery man from the hospital. Nor is Chief Oswalt wasting anyone’s time or resources by contacting state police, lest any of them having recently encountered someone off-putting.
Sometimes men cry. Sometimes it is during the ending of Frozen. Sometimes it is during the middle of Frozen, after Idina Menzel hits that big note in "Let It Go." And sometimes it's when you are leaving your dream job and your boss of seven years shows you how much he appreciates you. That's what happened to John Oliver, as he explained on The Tonight Show last night. Deal with it, America. Deal with it, Great Britain.
I'll say this for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: It knows how to do a cliffhanger. This week's "The Only Light in the Darkness" ratchets up the stakes with one pivotal plot development: Skye now knows that Ward is working for HYDRA — but if he figures it out, he'll kill her. It's a big moment for the series, and it probably could have been drawn out longer. But with just three episodes to go this season, it makes sense for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to stop dropping all its bombshells now — and after irritating viewers with a slow start, the series feels poised for a comparatively big finish.
“From the tall and white to the short and white, I’ve sampled an eclectic range of men,” Mindy tells her young new patient in her opening voice-over/lampshade of the continuing criticism of her lack of diverse romantic interests. This precipitates her declaration that she’s planning to give up on love for now, which, you know, would probably be a good idea if she were a real person. Like, she was just totally decimated by the probable love of her life, Danny, five minutes ago, so staying home with the DVR instead of going out with more dudes sounds healthy to me. But I don’t want to watch that show, and this show is always better when Mindy is pursuing her romantic-comedy dreams, which is why this episode was so much fun. Because, of course, it was filled with hints of romantic intrigue despite her momentary dating hiatus. Mindy Project can pull off the occasional non-romantic week, but it’s just not as special when it’s in more traditional sitcom territory.
Over the weekend, he made fun of Jay Z with a fondue reference. Last night, swear to God, he started using a lint-roller courtside. Here's the Vine. Why didn't you tell me that basketball games were this fun?
I watched last night’s Glee with a friend who gave up on the series a couple of seasons back; when we were a few minutes into the episode, she asked, with sincere curiosity, “Do people like Rachel?” It’s a perfectly valid question, considering the fact that she spent most of the episode “cybercutting” and being horrible to her friends in the face of their genuine, generous kindness. Don’t get me wrong — I really liked the episode, but I don’t think I like Rachel much, and I’m a little confused about whether I’m supposed to like her. But we’ll get to that.
Did you hear, did you hear: Stephen Colbert is taking over for David Letterman next year? As he admitted on The Late Show last night, this wasn't the first time he tried to get a job under Letterman. Colbert was once hired to be a Letterman intern back in the '80s, but he turned it down for lack of pay. He also told the story of how he once applied to write for Letterman, but the show took too long to get back to him. Man, the alternate-dimension story of how Colbert got The Late Show is much cuter. "Letterman Intern Gets His Turn as Next Letterman," the headlines would read. Watch him tell these stories and read the Top 10 List he submitted as a writing sample, and imagine what could've been.
Chewbacca, R2-D2, and C-3PO didn’t emerge fully formed from George Lucas’s brain in 1977—he had help from storyboard artists like Alex Tavoularis, Joe Johnston, and Ivan Beddoes. The new book Star Wars Storyboards: The Original Trilogy collects the early drawings that gave the Star Wars movies their visual inspiration. Click through the gallery ahead to see nascent versions of a pipe-smoking Yoda, young Luke Skywalker, and more.
The Last Testament: A Memoir by God, a comedy book by former-Daily Show head writer and executive producer David Javerbaum, is being adapted for the stage and is scheduled to open on Broadway in 2015. The book is billed as God's celebrity autobiography, as transcribed by Javerbaum, who continues to serve as a mouthpiece for the almighty on his popular Twitter account, @TheTweetOfGod. Javerbaum also co-wrote the musical Cry-Baby and penned songs for Neil Patrick Harris when he hosted the Tonys. “I am deeply disappointed that Jeffrey Finn has decided to produce this show,” Javerbaum said in a statement. “It will force me to continue my unwanted professional association with God, an abstract entity who has given me nothing but discomfort and agita. It is my desperate hope that we close out of town.” Irreverent religious humor has been working pretty well for the Book of Mormon, so hopefully Javerbaum and Finn will be able to replicate some of that success. Having The Daily Show on your resume seems to be kind of a golden ticket these days too, so we're optimistic.
Today, Rebel Wilson tweeted the first photo from the Pitch Perfect 2 rehearsals, which shows some of the cast posing adorably in front of a graffiti mural. Elizabeth Banks is directing the follow-up to 2012's a capella comedy, which will follow Wilson's and Anna Kendrick's characters through their university graduation. We hope that it will be aca-mazing, but at very least, it will be aca-something. The film isn't slated for release until May 2015, but you should probably start practicing inserting "aca" into different words now.
Here's a first look at NBC's new pirate drama Crossbones, which stars a goateed, deep V-rocking John Malkovich as the dread pirate Blackbeard (predictable tagline: "genius, madman, legend"). The show, set in the golden age of piracy, focuses on Blackbeard's relationship with physician-assassin Tom Lowe (Richard Coyle) whom he enlists to help find an elusive treasure. As you might expect, there's plenty of swashbuckling, flouncy period garb, and cryptic Malkovichian lines like "I suspect that God is a clockmaker" and "I'm not the devil ... I've cast out the devil," because of course. The show premieres May 30.
According to THR, Twentieth Century Fox has picked up screen rights to Flash Gordon, the beloved '30s comic turned '80s movie, with Star Trek 3 scribes J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay on board to write the script. Hollywood has been trying to bring the savior of the universe to the screen for eons, so we're not holding our breaths. Still, any excuse to listen to Queen's awesome theme song is fine by us. Flash! Ah-ahh!
Filmmaker Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City, Underdog) has optioned film and TV rights to Peeps candy, according to Deadline. Just Born, the company which makes the Easter-themed treats, has accepted a full-length animation pitch from Rifkin and his partners to direct a "Lego Movie-esque family epic" in which a wayward Peep gets misplaced the night before a Peeps diorama contest (which is a thing, apparently!) and must adventure through different-themed dioramas before the contest begins. So, a lot like The Lego Movie, only replace the universal appeal of Lego with the ugh please no more I feel sick of Peeps. Anyway, welcome to the future of cinema, in which a Disney ride and a bird-shaped marshmallow candy will battle for box-office supremacy. Enjoy your 2017 Academy Awards!
Deadline reports that Disney has tapped National Treasure series helmer Jon Turteltaub to direct a film adaption of their "It's A Small World" ride, which is being envisioned as the start of a possible franchise for the studio. Disney has had luck with ride-inspired films in the past — namely, Pirates of the Caribbean — but we have to say, "It's A Small World" doesn't really provide much to work with in the way of narrative momentum. Still, if you enjoy long, slow, musical boat rides accompanied by animatronic dolls embodying national stereotypes, you will maybe enjoy at least the first of these movies.
Netflix has inked a rare multi-year deal with Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz to produce, develop and create new series for the online streaming site, according to Deadline. “It is incredibly inspiring to get to produce for Netflix, a company that not only doesn’t resist change, but is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone in forging it,” Hurwitz said today in a statement. “The fact that I’m also getting one month of their streaming right to my TV or Xbox free … well, it really takes the sting out of buying that Xbox.” Hurwitz has a successful history with Netflix, after the streaming giant gave new life to Arrested Development seven years after its cancellation on Fox. No word on what the new deal means for a fifth Arrested season, although it certainly doesn't hurt its chances. Then again, this whole deal could also just be an elaborate ploy to bring the world more Koogler. We would be okay with that.