If you love Bob's Burgers and the punny burgers of the day names, then you probably love Cole Bowden's Tumblr, The Bob's Burger Experiment. Bowden takes the names you see on Bob's chalkboard, creates a recipe, and then crafts an outlandish, gourmet burger from scratch. NPR's The Salt reports that after two years of making the internet drool, Bowden's recipes for such inventive dishes as "I Know Why The Cajun Burger Sings," "The Foot Feta-ish Burger," and "A Good Manchego Is Hard To Find," among others, will see print.
True Blood's Mehcad Brooks will exchange the paranormal for the extraterrestrial on CBS's Supergirl, where he's been cast as James Olsen. In this iteration of the character, Olsen will be a photographer at CatCo, the media company where Kara Zor-El (aka Supergirl, Melissa Benoist) works. According to DC Comics lore, the character could also be a potential love interest for Kara. (If you just yelled spicy, give yourself a high five and then picture Stefon saying "CatCo is National City's hottest new club.")
The literary follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy is coming in August, according to the Guardian. The book, That Which Does Not Kill, was reportedly completed in November by David Lagercrantz, after the original author, Stieg Larsson, died in 2004. Although plot details are currently unavailable, this next installment will again feature Lisbeth Salander in the spotlight — because how can it not?
The Americans is the best show most people aren't watching. Given how uncompromising it is, and how many games it plays with our sympathies, that's not a surprise. The whole show is so slippery that it's hard to find anything in it to hold onto. No sooner has a scene or subplot become emotionally concrete, and sometimes hugely affecting, than it takes a surprising or alarming turn, and flips your sympathies upside-down. This Reagan-era time capsule about Russian spies posing as American travel agents is one of the better current examples of antihero TV. The entire point of that mode has been — or at least should've been — to let us approach familiar institutions and bits of received wisdom from strange moral and ethical angles, so that you can see the things in mitochondrial form. It's one thing to look at marriage, parenting, fidelity, and patriotism through the eyes of conventional middle-class bourgeois Americans, as the vast majority of TV shows do. It's quite another to see them enacted, subverted or mocked, in an alternately sincere and calculated way, by Soviet secret agents.
Sundance Review: Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce, and Kevin Corrigan Reinvent the Rom-Com in Andrew Bujalski’s ResultsBy Bilge Ebiri
Set in the world of Texas fitness instructors and starring some big-name actors, Andrew Bujalski’s Results looks at first like a concerted attempt to cross over into the world of mainstream rom-coms. But look again. Bujalski, a onetime “mumblecore” wunderkind (yeah, though he hates the M-word, and with good reason), has always toyed structurally with familiar stories. And Results feels so free-form, so liberated from the shackles of genre, that it becomes its own wonderfully alive and unpredictable thing. Plus, it’s funny as shit.
Conventional romantic comedies may be on the wane, but there's an upside to that: These days, unique spins on that genre finally have the room to break out. Consider, then, the trailer for Sean Mullin's Amira & Sam, which has found a warm reception on the film-festival circuit and opens this weekend. It stars Freaks and Geeks alum Martin Starr (here all grown up and filled out) as war veteran Sam, who strikes up a relationship with Amira (Dina Shihabi), who's at risk of being deported back to Iraq. The love that grows between them is almost as unconventional as the film's third important piece of casting: Vampire Diaries heartthrob Paul Wesley gets into the mix as a monologue-spouting relative of Sam's who confidently pushed shady hedge-fund deals.
"My schedule's been pretty full doing television work for the past five or six years, and I only have a couple months to do something else," Wesley told Vulture last week. "If I'm going to do something in my off-season, it's got to be something pretty different than what I do every day, and this character [in Amira & Sam] is a really misguided Wall Street guy whose moral compass is a little off. I've never played a character like that before. I didn't know anything about Wall Street, to be honest with you. I hope I pulled it off!"
Despite the massive success of Vampire Diaries, Wesley has spent his career mostly eschewing big studio films in favor of passion-project indies like this one. "I have a real deep connection with New York City independent filmmaking," he said. "I grew up in Jersey and spent a lot of my childhood in Manhattan, always around this indie-filmmaker world." In fact, it's while hanging around the production office of another indie that Wesley met Amira & Sam director Sean Mullin, and after he screened Shihabi's audition tape, "I knew the movie would be phenomenal."
Now that Wesley has directed two Vampire Diaries episodes, does he have plans to go off and make his own indie? "I've learned so much doing Vampire Diaries so that when I really do it and put a sizable budget together, I don't want to let people down!" he said. "But it will happen. It's in the works."
"Looking Back: The Ninth White Columns Annual," Selected by Cleopatra's
320 West 13th Street, through February 21
Quick message to all those forever worrying that art is going to hell, that the art world is corrupt, that money is dominating the airways, or who endlessly accuse others of having bad values: This packed wunderkammer of a show tells us that art is taking good care of itself, isn't in bad shape, and that if one takes the time to get around, keep one's eyes open, and isn’t guided by agendas, there are choice diamonds spread throughout the rough of the supposedly complicit art galleries. At least that's the message of the ninth installment of this annual survey, where outside curators select works of art that have been seen in New York over the previous year. This year, curators from the excellent collective Cleopatra's give us Josh Kine's embedded wall fridge of bottles of Red Bull and DayQuil; Lily van der Stokker's pink painted Yelling Woman; Guy Goodwin's huge colorful cardboard wall-thing; and much else that belies the doomsaying of moralizers and Chicken Littles.
Maybe it’s the new people, maybe it’s the new twist (people, or "skeletons," whom the seven strangers have issues with in their actual life come to the house), but as this season continues, The Real World: Skeletons keeps on proving the show's humble beginnings are very much in the past. Remember when simply slapping someone or pushing them hard enough could get a housemate kicked out? Last night showed that now the housemates are forced to watch a play-by-play of their brawls instead, as if they were puppies and the producers were shaking their mess in their faces, saying, Look what you did.
Just in time for the Super Bowl, Key and Peele released another "East-West Bowl" clip, featuring the likes of Legume Duprix, Takittothu' Limit, and J.R. Juniors Junior Jr. This time, there's a twist — some of the names are the real names of actual football players, who decided to play along because they are the definition of good sports. How will you know which ones are real? Here's a hint: They're the guys who aren't Key or Peele.
Just think: When you've been getting down about the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world, you could have been trademarking the phrase This Sick Beat, which Taylor Swift just did, at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It's one of a few 1989-related phrases the singer trademarked, along with "Party Like It's 1989," "'Cause We Never Go Out of Style," "Nice to Meet You. Where You Been?" and "Could Show You Incredible Things," which Swift seeks to prevent others from using on "Paper products; Printed products; Printed publications; Stationery; Stickers; Decals; Decalcomanias; [and] Removable tattoo transfers," among others. Fortunately, that weird squealing "Stay!" from "All You Had to Do Was Stay" remains in the public domain.
Welcome back to Stay Tuned, Vulture's TV advice column. Each Wednesday, Margaret Lyons answers your questions about your various TV triumphs and woes. Need help? Have a theory? Want a recommendation? Submit a question! You can email email@example.com, leave a comment, or tweet @margeincharge with the hashtag #staytuned.
I've been rewatching The League recently while waiting for my newfound love You're the Worst to return. What would you recommend that I watch for comedy/rom-dramedy to hold me over until next season? I've watched Californication, but it didn't really charm me as much as those other two. HIMYM and Happy Endings just aren't cutting it for me in the meantime. —Sadie
Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs — a gigantic game of musical chairs that has seen David Fincher, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and Sony all think differently about their involvement — started filming this week, which means it is now a lot harder for everyone in the cast to quit. Here is the official list of actors who managed to be sitting down when the music stopped: Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as Apple CEO John Sculley, Kate Winslet as Macintosh marketing chief Joanna Hoffman, Michael Stuhlbarg as developer Andy Hertzfeld, and Inherent Vice's Katherine Waterston as Jobs's girlfriend Chrisann Brennan. Universal also revealed that the last of the film's three long scenes will take place in 1998, at the Apple product launch that introduced the iMac. Go get those royalty checks, New Radicals.
I was in the first press audience to screen Z for Zachariah, and I walked out practically skipping, along with several of my fellow journalists, because we’d been so enthralled by this tense, quiet drama, set against stunning New Zealand scenery, in which Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Chris Pine play the last people on Earth. Our reviewer Bilge Ebiri, who saw the movie the next day, felt otherwise. But we both agree that the performances were outstanding. An adaptation of Robert C. O’Brien’s 1974 postapocalyptic children’s book, Z for Zachariah is a step toward more mainstream filmmaking for director Craig Zobel, who made waves at Sundance two years ago with Compliance, based on the true story of a prank caller who manipulated fast-food managers into conducting harrowing interrogations of their employees.
The sixth season of Justified keeps humming along with "Cash Game." Written by Dave Andron and VJ Boyd, and directed by Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest), the episode's crisp storytelling is reminiscent of the show's superior, even-numbered seasons, which laid out a series of parallel-seeming subplots that converged with wit and grace. Here we saw Boyd's bank robbery, Ava's informing on Boyd, the machinations of the big-bearded real-estate fixer Ty Walker, all converging. As was the case last week, we got the sense of an endgame in progress, not just for all the main characters' stories, but for Harlan County as established in the previous five seasons. Everything is changing; an old way of life is passing away. The obsession with land, ancestry, and old grudges always simmered in the background, but now it's in the foreground.
True Blood's Alan Ball and Elton John are teaming up with HBO to make a pilot for "an hourlong period drama set against the complex and volatile backdrop of 18th century Vienna," writes The Hollywood Reporter. To be called Virtuoso, it centers around musical prodigies at the Academy of Musical Excellence — like Fame for genius-types. You know there will be wigs! We're in.
The rise of Fox’s Empire has been swift and stunning: Following an unexpectedly high-rated debut three weeks ago, the music-driven soap opera from Lee Daniels has managed the exceedingly rare feat of adding audience in each of its subsequent airings. It’s passed ABC’s How to Get Away With Murder as TV’s No. 1 new show this season among viewers under 50. And while the series is reaching millions of viewers of both genders and all ethnic groups, Empire is a bona-fide phenomenon in African-American households: Nielsen reports that last week’s episode was seen in a jaw-dropping 33 percent of all black homes — or five times as many as the No. 2 scripted broadcast show last week, NCIS: Los Angeles. History and gravity suggest Empire will cool down a little, perhaps as soon as tonight’s installment. But even it does, it will still rank as one of the most successful series launches in the past couple years, and serve as a much-needed ego boost to a broadcast-TV industry continually being written off as extinct. The question now: Will Empire have an impact beyond its 9 p.m. Wednesday time slot — both for Fox and for the TV business in general?
Yesterday brought the long-awaited news about who, exactly, would be inheriting the Ghostbusters mantle in Paul Feig’s upcoming reboot. Melissa McCarthy and a trio of Saturday Night Live–affiliated actresses: show alumna Kristen Wiig, current cast member Kate McKinnon, and recent SNL addition Leslie Jones.
After playing True Detective's ultimate weirdo, Glenn Fleshler is bringing his particular brand of menace over to broadcast. TVLine is reporting that Fleshler has joined the cast of Hannibal as Cordell, a nurse who cares for the newly recast Mason Verger. His character is apparently "quiet, very intelligent and definitely creepy." If you've read the Hannibal novel, you know that Cordell spends a lot of time in the company of flesh-eating pigs, so congrats, Glenn, you've found the one show that's more disturbing than True Detective.