On May 2, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theaters and at the end, after all the credits, there will be a clip for X-Men: Days of Future Past. While post-credit scenes are old hat with comic book movies (or old mask, if you will), this is noteworthy because Spider-Man is Sony and X-Men is Fox, and, traditionally, disparate comic book movie universes don't overlap. Why it's happening has to do with (500) Days of Summer? Seriously. No, Fox didn't dump Sony and Sony is giving them ad-space to try to win them back. Years ago, Marc Webb signed a contract to make two movies for Fox. The first was Summer. However, instead of making another Fox movie, Sony stepped in with the first Amazing Spider-Man. Variety reports that Fox agreed to let go of Webb if Sony agreed to promote X-Men for free. Though this reasoning might disappoint nerds hoping for a Spidy-X-Men movie crossover, it will delight those who enjoy when businessmen make quirky compromises.
In the new film Fading Gigolo, John Turturro (who also wrote and directed) plays an unlikely escort pushed into the world's oldest profession by his cash-strapped friend (Woody Allen) — though when your clients include comely women played by screen beauties Sharon Stone, Sofia Vergara, and Vanessa Paradis, you don't remain a reluctant gigolo for long. And since there are some similarities between the life of a gigolo and the life of an actor who is paid to occasionally kiss beautiful actresses from time to time, John Turturro rang up Vulture to look back at some of the women he's romanced onscreen, as well as to ponder the nature of the love scene itself.
OMG EMT! is coming to TLC, the network announced today. The four-part series, which debuts Saturday, May 3, depicts "some of the most memorable and unusual emergency calls, told by real-life EMTs who face these stranger-than-fiction scenarios every day," according to the announcement. TLC likes to give new shows a trial run, so if OMG EMT! turns out to be popular, expect a lot more of it very quickly. Not to disparage the important and interesting work that EMTs and other first responders do, but it's hard not to wish for a straight-up reboot of Rescue 911.
Fargo, FX’s much-lauded miniseries (or “limited series,” per the network’s verbiage), starring Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, got off to a perfectly fine start in the ratings Tuesday. The first telecast of the roughly 90-minute bow drew 2.7 million viewers and notched a 0.8 rating among viewers under 50, a number that, by itself, is neither impressive nor disastrous. On the one hand, Fargo drew slightly fewer viewers than FX’s last two drama premieres, The Bridge (3 million) and The Americans (3.2 million). But its audience was also larger than several broadcast series on Tuesday. And when you fold in two additional airings of the show from last night, Fargo was actually seen by 4.2 million viewers, not far behind the 5.1 million who watched ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Assuming Fargo gets a big boost from DVR replays, as most FX series these days do, FX execs will be fine with these ratings. Not over-the-moon thrilled, but just fine.
Let's stop pretending that Cheech and Chong still deserve the crown of weed culture references, because pop culture is full of women taking bong rips big enough to make Snoop Lion look like Snoop Kitten. And guess what, none of them have dreads or listen to Phish. In honor of Weed Week — the Cut's countdown to 4/20 — let's burn one down in solidarity for the beach babes, beatnik rebels, grandmas, and bored suburban socialites who proudly toke in classics like Reefer Madness, Breakfast Club, Dazed and Confused, Smiley Face, and more. Prepare for the holiday with this supercut of women who love the d. (Dank weed, that is).
Two episodes into this season of Game of Thrones, and we're already reeling from another death. Even though we know that such events are part of the natural order in Westeros, it doesn't make it any less shocking when it happens. Recapper Nina Shen Rastogi wrote that the death occurred in "the least heroic, most public, and most calculatedly pleasurable way possible." Some of you, of course, disagreed. You took to the comments section to debate the pleasure factor of seeing a villain die, who did it, and whether it left a void in the show.
Douglas Coupland built a reputation as an author-futurist nonpareil with his first novel, Generation X: occasionally glib or fuzzy but often prescient, never dull, and certainly never idle. Today the former art student spends more time on visual work, including large public projects all over Canada and his own line of furniture. Currently preparing for his first big solo survey in his native Vancouver — where he lives in wooded mid-century splendor with his architect partner and acres of Pop Art — Coupland also happens to have a novel out. Worst. Person. Ever. follows the bizarre exploits of a nasty cameraman named Raymond Gunt. Sent to Kiribati to film an awful reality show, this evil amalgam of Larry David and Mr. Bean endures misfortunes hilarious, disgusting, and well-deserved. Coupland spoke by phone about that, the “torture” of interviews, and much more with Boris Kachka.
Given that Alan Thicke will forever be associated with the 1985–92 sitcom Growing Pains, his latest TV project feels downright Warholian. He stars in Unusually Thicke, a Canadian-produced “reality sitcom” premiering tonight on the TV Guide Network that sends up annoying reality-programming tropes (e.g., intrusively plucky background music, swooping establishing shots showcasing the family mansion’s beige exterior) but also plays out like a scripted comedy. It is surprisingly astute at skewering the ridiculousness of everyday Hollywood, such as when Alan is outed as a swag-bag hoarder and is convinced by his wife, Tanya, and teenage son, Carter, to unload it via a charity garage sale — which, of course, winds up involving Bob Saget doing stand-up for bargain hunters. (Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, LeVar Burton, and Minnie Driver also turn up in the premiere, and future episodes will feature John Stamos, David Hasselhoff, and, yes, Robin Thicke.). Vulture spoke with Thicke about the show, how much Honey Boo Boo he's seen, and the inevitable Growing Pains comparisons.
For his documentary Beyond Clueless, a thematic walk through teen films during an era that ranged from Clueless (1995) to Mean Girls (2004), director Charlie Lyne had to watch "over 300" films. More teen films were produced in that particular era than before or since, he argues, and an entire generation grew up on them — their nostalgia now fuels revivals and reunions galore. (And those are just the ones you remember.) Along with the Jawbreakers and the She's All Thats, there are a slew of interesting and "forgotten" titles from those years. Here are a few of Lyne's favorites.
There's a Sigmund Freud drama in the works, but apparently the birth psychoanalysis is not enough to hang a show on: Freud: The Secret Casebook will turn Freud into a criminal profiler, because everything has to be a cop penis. Show! Cop show! The Secret Casebook, which is still in its early stages of development, is "set in the glittering, but volatile world of early 20th century Vienna [where] Freud will use his startling new theories about psychology to help solve crimes," and should the series air, it will "blend episodic murder mysteries with the on-going story of Freud’s tangled and provocative personal life," according to the production company. The series comes from The X-Files' Frank Spotnitz and Star Trek's Nicholas Meyer, so it could be a cool twist on "profiler" show. But sometimes a procedural is just a cop procedural.
Brooklyn Cyclones Seinfeld Night to Include a Low-Talking P.A. Announcer and Free Tickets for Latex SalesmenBy Joe DeLessio
The Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York–Penn League are known for creative promotions — and for elaborate theme nights, in particular. And so on July 5, the team will mark the 25th anniversary of the debut of Seinfeld by hosting a salute to the NBC sitcom. For starters, the first 2,500 fans will receive a Keith Hernandez "Magic Loogie" bobblehead doll, a nod to the Mets icon's memorable appearance on the show. (Inscribed on the front: "I'm Keith Hernandez." On the back? "Nice Game Pretty Boy.")
The first half of the seventh and final season (got it?) of Mad Men aired on Sunday — albeit to disappointing numbers — with an episode that overlapped the story lines of four of its primary characters: Peggy Olson, Joan Holloway, Roger Sterling, and Don Draper. As Matt Zoller Seitz recounted in his recap, the episode is “about the gap between fantasy and reality, and the ache that we feel as we stare into it.” If the premiere is any indication, we are in for some heavy-duty ennui. Here is your recap of the recaps:
[Spoiler alert, again, just in case.] Last Sunday, on Game of Thrones, Joffrey was killed! While fans rejoiced, how did Jack Gleeson, the actor who played Joffrey, react? Apparently, by photo-bombing a screening of it. His friend posted the below photo to Instagram, with Gleeson posing in front of his dead face with a "what's up with this guy?" expression. More mugging like this and we'll have to call him Jackie Gleeson.
The soundtrack to Frozen is No. 1 again this week, with 133,000 albums sold (presumably because all the children have already worn out their first copy). Meanwhile, it only took 29,000 albums — of Pharrell's eminently listenable G I R L — to land the second spot on this week's Billboard "200." That's the lowest No. 2 sales figure in the Soundscan era. So ... prepare for an album of "Let It Go" remixes, coming soon to minivans near you.
Like any TV series that produces 22 episodes a year, Supernatural's writers grew real tired of the format pretty early on. Urban legend re-creations and ghost procedurals quickly gave way to experimental, self-reflexive commentary on horror, TV tropes, and Supernatural itself. There's the in-show "Winchester Brothers" book series (with accompanying conventions and stans), the monster movie parody, the ghost-hunters parody, and of course there was "The French Mistake," in which Sam and Dean were transported to a parallel universe known as "Canada" and were referred to as "Jared" and "Jensen." So for an episode of Supernatural to have the audacity to call itself "Meta Fiction," it was going to have to really impress with the meta-commentary in order not to disappoint.
Is Megan doomed on Mad Men? Certainly, her marriage to Don seems to be on the rocks, but there are also those persistent rumors that Megan could be murdered, à la Sharon Tate — a theory strengthened by many could-be clues in last Sunday's season premiere. When Vulture caught up with Jon Hamm last night at the Public Theater’s opening night fête for The Library — he was positively beaming when his longtime girlfriend Jennifer Westfeldt, who stars for director Steven Soderbergh in the play, emerged at the after-party — we asked for his take on the Megan-is–Sharon Tate line of thinking. "I don’t give very much credence to it," said Hamm. "Although, certainly it was on people’s minds in the world of the show. It’s an interesting theory, but I don’t know how much validity there is to it. But it’s a great compliment that people are thinking that deeply about the show."
FX has renewed The Americans for a 13-episode third season, the network announced today. The Cold War drama is currently halfway through its second season, and while the live ratings are nothing to brag about, the show does much better once you factor in DVR viewers, too. Even though FX has been promising for several weeks that an official announcement was nigh, it's still a relief to know, officially, that everyone will be back for more espionage. More sexy espionage. And presumably more espionage-y sex, too.
Because X-Men: Days of Future Past uses time travel to unite two expansive ensemble casts — including the actors who starred in the original X-Men trilogy and the actors cast as their younger counterparts for X-Men: First Class — a few returning stars would inevitably be given short shrift, simply so the movie wouldn't buckle under all that allocated screen time. Even so, when reports broke a few months back that Anna Paquin's Rogue would be snipped from the film entirely, fans were upset to hear that one of the primary protagonists from the first X-Men film had gone missing.
Don Draper sleeps with a lot of women. It’s one of his things. You know, like getting drunk at lunch, or committing identity fraud. But throughout the course of Mad Men's six-plus-season run, there have also been some moments where flirtation shockingly did not lead to copulation, moments where a lingering glance and a brush of fingertips have not resulted in an adulterous tryst. On Sunday’s episode, Neve Campbell cameoed as one of these rare beasts: a woman whom Don flirts with and ultimately does not have sex with. Here's a look at all the other times Don didn't seal the deal.
* This slideshow initially said that Phoebe and Bethany were in season 3. As a commenter pointed out, they were characters in season 4.
Louie's fourth season premieres May 5, and now FX has released the first teaser for the long-awaited return. Warning to anyone sensitive to images about suicide: Don't watch this. The clip is a shot of Louie C.K. swan-diving off the Brooklyn Bridge, and though he survives (unlike his bouquet of roses), it's still a very jarring segment. Louie has always been a bleak and cynical show, and last season's "Daddy's Girlfriend Part 2" included Parker Posey standing on the edge of a building's roof, but there are still those among us who might consider using suicidal imagery in a commercial to be in poor taste.