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The Best Answers from Idris Elba's Reddit AMA

Idris Elba is known for many roles: Taraji P. Henson's creepy stalker, Stringer Bell from the greatest show of our time, and soon-to-be voice of Shere Khan of Jon Favreau's Jungle Book, but until recently we were unaware that he was a big fan of Mary Poppins. His Friday Reddit AMA changed that! Here are some other things we learned: Elba would totally be the next James Bond, does Muay Thai to stay fit, loves The Champ, and wants to work with Christopher Nolan. Read below for the highlights where he talks about when we might be seeing Luther again, re-confirms a story about Nicholas Cage's obesssion with vampires, and uses lots of adorable British spellings. You can imagine him reading this to you in any accent that pleases you.

How was working with Cary Fukunaga? »

The Knick Recap: Open or Closed?

A nugget of wisdom, from his memoir On Writing, by Stephen King: “Story is honorable and trustworthy; plot is shifty, and best kept under house arrest.” “Start Calling Me Dad,” the sixth installment of the first season of Cinemax’s The Knick (an Amiel/Begler/Soderbergh joint as per usual), is all plot, akin to watching chess pieces moving around the board, readying a future attack. There can be suspense in this kind of storytelling, but the episode feels more like housecleaning for the inelegant way it resolves certain narrative threads while awkwardly setting up others.

This week, the story machinations mostly subdue Soderbergh... »

Many Famous People Were Unhappy With That New York Times Piece on Shonda Rhimes

Earlier this week, New York Times' TV critic Alessandra Stanley wrote what many critics and pretty much all of Twitter considered an "imbecilic," "disastrous," self-contradicting review of ABC's upcoming Shonda Rhimes-produced show How to Get Away with Murder. (The piece's first line is, "When Shonda Rhimes writes her autobiography, it should be called 'How to Get Away With Being an Angry Black Woman.'") Slate's Willa Paskin wrote that Stanley missed the pointVox called it "careless and obtuse"; and Vulture's very own Margaret Lyons did a paragraph-by-paragraph riposte calling the article "inaccurate, tone-deaf, muddled, and racist." The article also spawned two Twitter hashtags, #IWasAnAngryBlackWoman and #LessClassicallyBeautiful.

Responses from Viola Davis, Kerry Washington, and Ellen Pompeo. »

  • Posted 9/19/14 at 5:00 PM

Charles Dance Might Be Back on Game of Thrones

Though he was last seen suffering the most humiliating death in Game of Thrones history, Charles Dance hints that he might not be gone for good. While promoting Dracula Untold, Dance told MTV, "I'm not completely missing out on the next series. You haven't seen the last of Tywin Lannister." This is big news not just because it means we get more Charles Dance (every show needs more Charles Dance!), but also because it adds more weight to rumors that GoT is abandoning its no-flashbacks policy, which has frustrated fans hoping for more of that good fantasy lore. Or it could just be his corpse. But if we're getting flashbacks, could Sean Bean achieve his own dream of returning to the show?

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  • Posted 9/19/14 at 2:18 PM
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There Are Just So Many Things Wrong With the New York Times’ Shonda Rhimes Article

New York Times television critic Alessandra Stanley has a long history of being wrong about a great many things. But her newest article, an ostensible paean to Shonda Rhimes, is inaccurate, tone-deaf, muddled, and racist. "Wrought in Their Creator’s Image: Viola Davis Plays Shonda Rhimes’s Latest Tough Heroine" is a mess. Let's take a look.

Good lord. »

Robert Forster on Sci-fi, Lucky Breaks, and Better Call Saul

Robert Forster knows a thing or two about reincarnation. The 73-year-old character actor has reinvented himself more than once, most notably with his Oscar-nominated 1997 role as bail bondsman Max Cherry in Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown. Now he’s occupying a new body, as the shadowy hit man Frank Shepherd on the life-after-death sci-fi mystery Intruders, which BBC America is showcasing tomorrow from 4 to 8 p.m. with a marathon of the show’s first four episodes, leading up to the new episode featuring Forster at 10 p.m. “When I was 9 or 10 years old, I was sure reincarnation was how life progressed,” Forster says. “Why waste a whole life on one person if you don’t get another one? I haven’t been at all sure about the subject matter since.” Forster is sure about a few other things, however, like the fact that his legendary Breaking Bad character, the Disappearer, will return in the AMC spinoff Better Call Saul, as he exclusively revealed to Vulture in this wide-ranging chat.

“Suddenly people start pointing and saying, ‘Hey, how ya doin’?’ What a thrill at this point in my career!” »

  • Posted 9/19/14 at 12:48 PM
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CBS Is Making a New Version of Supergirl

CBS is joining the superhero arms race: The Eye network has commissioned Supergirl, partnering with producers Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Mysteries of Laura), Ali Adler (Chuck, Glee), and Sarah Schechter for a new take on the DC Comics character. Word of the project first leaked out a few weeks ago, with DC and Warner Bros. TV then pitching the idea to various networks around Hollywood. CBS landed it after agreeing to a so-called series commitment, which means the network will have to pay Warners a massive financial penalty if it opts to back out of Supergirl (This makes it very likely the show will end up on the air, though nothing’s ever for sure at CBS, as the producers of How I Met Your Dad can attest). 

All five English-language broadcast networks now have comic book-inspired projects on their rosters. »

14 TV and Movie Characters Whom Wilco Helped Grow Up

When we call Jeff Tweedy and Wilco "dad rock," we're speaking both literally — Tweedy's new album Sukierae features his son Spencer on drums — and figuratively. The music of Wilco has long been the reigning sound of "maturity" in pop culture, soundtracking the moments when countless fictional children and man-children had to learn to grow up and embrace responsibility. 

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  • Posted 9/19/14 at 11:30 AM
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How I Met Your Mother Finally Explained ‘The Pineapple Incident’

It was the longest of all of HIMYM's long-running mysteries: How did that pineapple end up on Ted Mosby's bedside table in season one's "The Pineapple Incident"? As a new deleted scene from the show's last season reveals, like seemingly everything in HIMYM's later seasons, the solution revolves around the Captain.

Season nine's "Daisy" saw the show trying to answer as many of its lingering mysteries as possible. »

Which You’re the Worst Character Was the Worst in Season 1?

You’re the Worst — the FX comedy that wrapped up its stealthily fantastic first season last night — is replete with selfish sometimes-sociopaths who all, to varying degrees, do horrible things to each other and themselves. In an effort to put my power-ranking skills to good use during the Pretty Little Liars off-season, I have conducted a thorough investigation of everyone and everything that could potentially be the worst in the series and offer the results below. Of course, since there is an inverse relationship between how terrible these characters are at heart and how amazing they are to watch in action, this is also a ranking of the best things about You’re the Worst, arranged from least worst to the actual worst.

On You’re the Worst, the worst characters and things are also the best. »

Billy Crystal and Jimmy Fallon Remember Robin Williams

Coming mere weeks after Robin Williams's death, Billy Crystal's tribute at the Emmys was incredibly well done. Last night on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon thanked him for it. Then the two proceeded to trade wonderful stories about Williams. Stupid Dukakis.

Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer Producing ‘Untitled Cocaine Project’

Hollywood's foremost purveyors of big-screen blow-'em-ups have received a pilot order from TNT for a series temporarily being called "untitled cocaine project." Per Entertainment Weekly, the series is based on the 2006 documentary Cocaine Cowboys and will be “a serialized character drama that brings the audience into the captivating, wild and unpredictable world of the Florida drug trade in the 1970s." No word on casting yet, but we’re sure Bay and Bruckheimer won’t have trouble finding stars who want to take part in an untitled cocaine project. Heyo!

How the Creator of You’re the Worst Went From Recapping TV to Making It

You've probably already heard about FX's You're the Worst: the racy rom-com about two assholes who get together after a wedding and find out that they actually like each other. Is this the beginning of TV's rom-com renaissance? The show's creator Stephen Falk isn't completely sure, but with a past in recapping reality shows like Nick and Jessica: Newlyweds, he's definitely a bona-fide expert in true romance. Before tonight's season finale, Vulture spoke with Falk about the power of will-they-won't-they, one-night stands, and how one goes from recapping Temptation Island to creating one.

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The Roosevelts: Even When Imperfect and Overreaching, Ken Burns Is Still Titanic

This review originally ran on Friday, September 12, 2014, but we're still catching up on DVR — maybe you are, too!

It took quite a long time for me to come around to the idea that Ken Burns is a master filmmaker; that’s probably because his documentaries are driven mainly by voice-over narration, photos, and talking-head interviews, all of which we’re conditioned to think of as un-cinematic (and that, in lazy hands, often are). But if you instead think of Burns as a minimalist — somebody who, at this point in his career, could make any sort of nonfiction film he wanted, but who continues to make films the Ken Burns way — you start to understand how supple and expressive and unobtrusive his technique is, and how much emotional power he summons from the handful of filmmaking tools he’s permitted himself. Less truly is more with Burns — though of course, considering his running times, he often gives us too much of less is more. 

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Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn on Season 4, Olitz’s Complicated Love, and That Closet Scene

Scandal’s Olivia Pope and President Grant have one of the most contentious love affairs on television. Is this a great love story, or are they torturing each other? Are they destined for greatness, or are they both going to end up emotionally vacant husks? What’s going to happen to them in season four — which begins next Thursday night at 9 p.m. — now that Olivia has run away? I asked Tony Goldwyn about their complicated attraction, that closet scene, and whether or not Olivia and Fitz will get a happy ending.

“The Olivia and Fitz relationship is extreme, but what Shonda does very, very well is create outrageous, extreme situations that are kind of a mirror for real life.” »

Tina Fey’s Description of SNL Kids’ Playdate Will Destroy You

Warning: This clip is real cute. We know you clicked on it expecting cuteness, but it's cuter. Apparently, while shooting The Nest, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch, and Tina Fey had a playdate for all their kids. Towards the end of the clip, Fey talks about how easy it is to tell which kid belongs to which actress, and it will destroy you. Okay, we have sufficiently warned you. Bye, forever.

How Shonda Rhimes Became Television’s Most Celebrated Showrunner

Thursday nights on ABC now officially belong to Shonda Rhimes: The 44-year-old writer/producer will premiere How to Get Away With Murder next week, an hourlong show starring Viola Davis that will round out a beyond impressive three-hour block of ShondaLand programming. (See also: Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.) But how did she get here? Where did she come from, and what came first? From Crossroads to Scandal, here's a rundown of Shonda Rhimes and how she became television's most celebrated writer.

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Fall TV Ratings: Fox’s Red Band Society Opens Weakly

It’s not a red-letter day for Fox’s Red Band Society: The pediatric ward drama, the first big series premiere of the new fall season, drew just 4 million viewers with its first airing and averaged a modest 1.3 rating among Fox’s target demographic of viewers under 50. Red Band came in sharply lower than Fox’s fall 2013 Wednesday lineup: Last year, the season-three premiere of The X Factor delivered 6.8 million viewers and a 2.3 rating among viewers under 50. On a positive note, Red Band pretty much matched its lead-in (Hell’s Kitchen, which averaged 3.9 million viewers and a 1.4 rating).Today’s numbers also don’t measure how well Red Band will do once time-shifted viewers are tallied; the fact that the show skews young suggests it might (underline might) get a notable bump from DVR viewing. Those numbers will be in by early next week.

The news was much better for Mysteries of Laura. »

Key and Peele Go Big-Budget in This First Clip From Season 4

Key and Peele return for the fourth season of their Comedy Central show on Wednesday, September 24. And in this first clip from the episode, they've gone big-budget — an alien invasion has hit earth, and the only way to tell who's who is to ask racially fraught questions.

Darrell Hammond Set as SNL’s New Announcer

This morning NBC will announce that former cast member Darrell Hammond will be taking over for Don Pardo as the announcer for Saturday Night Live, after Pardo passed away a month ago. Hammond had filled in a few times over the years when Pardo had laryngitis, but Lorne Michaels told USA Today that Hammond won't be doing an impression moving forward: "I just knew it wouldn't be anybody who sounded like Don or replicated him." He added, "It can't be what it was, but it could sort of be in the same tradition." Hammond said, " When he passed, they wanted me; it felt right for me to be the one to replace him. It's been a very improbable life; I didn't expect something like this, but it feels real good." Appearing on the show from 1995–2009, Hammond is SNL's longest-running cast member, and Michaels expects him to be "helpful in ways we haven't yet figured out." Watch Hammond do his best Pardo during the James Van Der Beek episode and Pardo talking about a time Hammond filled in for him below, and then try to guess how Hammond will say, "muuuuusical guests."