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  • Posted 10/20/14 at 11:42 PM
  • Tv

Shonda Rhimes Responds to Twitter Criticism of Gay Sex Scenes on Her Shows

Shonda Rhimes had some choice words for one of her Twitter followers on Sunday night, in response to the tweeter's complaint that "The gay scenes in scandal and how to get away with murder are too much. There is no point and they add nothing to the plot.” In response, Shonda unleashed a torrent of furious Twitter wisdom upon us all (while simultaneously demonstrating top-notch use of the phrase 'Bye Felicia'):

Leslie Jones Promoted to SNL Featured Player

Deadline reports that SNL staff writer Leslie Jones has been promoted to featured player ahead of this week’s Jim Carrey show. Jones became a writer for the show following the talent search in early 2014 that resulted in the hiring of Sasheer Zamata, but her guest spots on "Weekend Update" — from her relationship advice segment on this year's season premiere to her controversial "No. 1 Slave Draft Pick” bit about slavery last May — proved that she can hold her own in front of the camera as well. Congrats Leslie!

HBO’s Documentary About Domestic Violence Is Difficult to Experience, Essential to Watch

It took longer for me to get through Private Violence, a feature-length profile of an advocate for battered women that airs on HBO tonight at 9 p.m., than any TV documentary I've seen. The filmmakers should consider this a compliment. I kept starting the damned thing and then stopping it after ten minutes, then watching it another ten minutes, then stopping, always to collect myself, or steel myself. If I'd seen it in a theater I might have left for a while, or watched certain scenes through splayed fingers. Anybody who's experienced the situations chronicled in this film will understand why: Domestic violence is a door marked "Do Not Open," and here is Private Violence, opening it, and saying, "Step inside, have a look." 

The key to the movie's effectiveness is the way it makes familiar stories concrete and immediate. »

Bethenny Frankel Returning to The Real Housewives of New York

Bethenny Frankel will return to The Real Housewives of New York City when the show comes back for its seventh season, Bravo announced today. (No word on when, exactly, the season will start, but probably around February or March, if history is any indicator.) Frankel was an original cast member and lasted for the show's first three seasons, eventually developing enough reality-TV momentum to tour as a solo act; she had two other Bravo shows, a short-lived daytime talk show, and a permanent spot in the tabloids chronicling her business ventures and ongoing divorce. Perhaps you can go home again, Bethenny. But will the other Real Housewives have changed the locks?

  • Posted 10/20/14 at 2:00 PM
  • Tv

The Game of Thrones Costume Department Is Trolling George R.R. Martin

There's an apocryphal story in Game of Thrones fandom that goes like this: Around 1997, author George R.R. Martin saw Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin, and, like many other people, hated it. Martin's ire was particularly drawn to George Clooney's infamous bat-nipples, and he began looking for a way to get literary revenge. Whether or not the story is true, this much is fact: Starting with 1998's A Clash of Kings, the author introduced a new phrase to the Westerosi lexicon: "as useless as nipples on a breastplate." So far in the "Song of Ice and Fire" series, Martin has used the expression to describe everything from dragonglass knives to Grand Maester Pycelle. It's clear: Despite how much GRRM loves nipples in other contexts, he really does not like them on breastplates.

Why is why it's so funny to see these costumes from the show. »

  • Posted 10/20/14 at 1:46 PM
  • Tv

You’ll Be Able to Stream Every Simpsons Episode Ever Starting Tomorrow

Commence cow-having: Simpsons World, the app/website/legal drug offering access to every episode of The Simpsons, will finally launch Tuesday. It’ll be available via website (SimpsonsWorld.com), the FXNow iOS and Android apps, Xbox, Apple TV, and Samsung Smart TVs. (If you need a guide as to which episodes to watch, we've compiled the 100 best for you right here.) And in addition to letting you watch any episode you want (with commercials, FYI), FX promises these features at launch, per a release announcing the unveiling:  

“The Simpsons Heartbeat,” which organizes the complete catalogue of episodes by popularity. »

  • Posted 10/20/14 at 1:00 PM
  • Tv

American Horror Story Creators to Do 2015 Horror-Comedy Anthology Titled Scream Queens

Glee will soon be gone, but Fox won’t be without a Ryan Murphy show next season: The network has green-lit production on Scream Queens, an American Horror Story–like anthology series that will mash up comedy and horror into 15 hour-long episodes. Each season will feature different settings and story lines, along with two female leads. (Not clear: whether the female stars will recur each season.) Murphy and co-creators Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan have already started writing the show, with production slated to begin in the spring for a fall 2015 debut. “We are having a blast writing Scream Queens,” Murphy said. “We hope to create a whole new genre — comedy-horror — and the idea is for every season to revolve around two female leads. We’ve already begun a nationwide search for those women, as well as 10 other supporting roles.” Murphy and Co. have become the masters of anthology, with their FX series American Horror Story giving FX its biggest audiences ever and plans in the work for the true-crime-driven American Crime Story.

  • Posted 10/20/14 at 11:40 AM
  • Tv

The Simpsons’ Stanley Kubrick Tribute Was the Best ‘Treehouse of Horror’ Parody in Years

Twenty years ago (wow!), The Simpsons aired what is arguably the best Treehouse of Horror episode ever, "Treehouse of Horror V," which featured the show's parody of The Shining. Last night, on this year's installment, the show went back to the Stanley Kubrick well hard. It centered on a Clockwork Orange parody, which means you finally get to hear Moe talk in Nadsat, but along the way, the show nails a bunch of other Kubrick films — Full Metal Jacket, 2001, Eyes Wide Shut, and even Barry Lyndon ("Even I forget what this is in reference to") before giving us a yellow version of the director himself. Watch a short clip below. Or if you have Hulu Plus, you can watch the full episode there, Uncle Moneybags.

Homeland Recap: The Spy Who Loved Me

We probably should've seen that coming, right? Homeland wouldn't just introduce an attractive teenage boy and not have him be seduced by Carrie Mathison. The moment Carrie first spotted Aayan on that satellite camera surveying the corpses of his murdered family more or less started a countdown clock to when Carrie would be mouth-attacking him, and this week, that countdown hit zero. At this point, Carrie might not even be capable of sexual intimacy if it's not either self-destructive or necessary for a mission, but her seduction of Aayan is right up there with her stalking of Brody when it comes to over-the-top bad ideas to which Carrie has no qualms resorting. At its best, Homeland engages in what amounts to a game of chicken with audience sympathies. We know we want to see Carrie behave terribly in the name of righteous justice, but it's at the constant risk of going too far and rendering her wholly unsympathetic. Her seduction of Aayan is certainly one of the weirdest and most inappropriate things she's ever done, and that's saying something.

Aside from that agonizingly awkward scene, "Iron in the Fire" was an exercise in restraint. »

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Recap: Ms. Pac-Man’s Nipple

I’ve already come out strongly in favor of Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s all-cast-antics episodes, particularly when it comes to reprising one of my favorites, last year’s Halloween team-up to steal Holt’s Medal of Valor. This year, the quarry was his watch, a gift from Kevin Cozner’s dying father (but please don’t call it the “death watch”). And even though I could see two of the twists coming from a mile away — Holt winning this year because Peralta beating him twice would throw off the balance of power between the two, and Fingers the thief stealing the watch once he got a chance because duh — I still enjoyed watching it all go down.

I sometimes worry that Peralta, while hilarious, can be kind of a void at the show's emotional center. »

The Good Wife Recap: Like I’m in a Bruckheimer Movie

I watched last night's episode of The Good Wife with my friend Amy, who's currently plowing through the show's earlier seasons but hasn't seen any recent episodes. "I don't understand," she said shortly after the second triumphant swell of xylophone music and just before the opening credits. "Has the tone of the show really changed?" I spent a good deal of time assuring her that it hasn't — scary, dancing dream-clowns notwithstanding — but last night's episode was so wobbly and all over the place that I certainly can't blame her for asking.

To be fair, after four packed, plot- and character-heavy episodes, we were probably due for a lull. »

The Walking Dead Recap: A Matter of Taste

Spoilers for this week's episode follow. Do not read below this line.

There’s been a lot of chatter from the show’s cast and creators about how crazy this season will be. Like off-the-charts, zombies-gone-wild gonzo. That big talk is expected during the usual media frenzy before a new season kicks off. But so far, they’re backing it up. A pair of episodes in, and we’re now two-for-two in terms of gasp-inducing shockers. Last week, it was the scene at the trough, as Gareth orchestrated a gory throat-slitting symphony. And last night, just when the gang got a little too comfortable, Bob is knocked out, kidnapped, Hershelled and placed on the menu of Georgia’s hottest new pop-up restaurant.

The gang’s faith in humanity has reached an all-time low. »

  • Posted 10/20/14 at 12:52 AM
  • Books

Mark Frost Is Writing a Twin Peaks Book

As you may have heard, that gum you like is going to come back in style (read: Twin Peaks is returning to TV). And to prepare fans for the return of the cult hit 25 years after it first debuted, David Lynch's co-creator, Mark Frost, plans to release a novel titled The Secret Lives of Twin Peaks to catch us up on what has happened to the characters since we last saw them. "This has long been a dream project of mine that will bring a whole other aspect of the world of Twin Peaks to life, for old fans and new,” Frost said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Jason Momoa’s Game of Thrones Audition Tape Is Terrifyingly Good

This video of Jason Momoa's (a.k.a. your future Aquaman) audition for the part of Khal Drogo has been circulating on the internet for a couple of years now, but it just recently got our attention (sorry, it happens). According to Time, Momoa, who is Hawaiian, does a haka dance, a traditional war cry associated with the Maori people of New Zealand. Watching it now, his intensity makes him seem destined to play the Dothraki leader. It was written in the sun and stars.

Letterman’s Cue-Card Guy Was Fired After Assaulting a Staff Writer

David Letterman's cue-card guy, Tony Mendez, is out of a job after assaulting staff writer for the show Bill Scheft. Mendez told the New York Post that there had always been tension between the two because Scheft "encroaches" on his work: "Bill was always undermining me — making himself out as Dave’s No. 1... Trying to pretend that I wasn’t even in the room." It all came to a head on October 8, when Mendez told Scheft to "Get off my back." According to Mendez, Letterman said, "Tony, your sour disposition isn’t helping," which prompted him to reply, "You’re the one who has the sour disposition, motherfucker." He says the two had the kind of relationship where they regularly traded barbs.

Mendez believed Scheft was "trying to create a wedge" between him and Letterman. »

Jada Pinkett Smith Auditioned for Gotham With a Man on a Leash

While much of the Gotham panel at PaleyFest Saturday centered on executive producer Danny Cannon hemming and hawing on what he could and couldn’t tease (Fox ordered a full season for the show last week), Jada Pinkett Smith, who plays the devilish Fish Mooney, served up the juiciest detail of the night. The first time she met Cannon for an audition, Pinkett Smith said she showed up dressed in a long, flowing gown, with her short, black Mooney wig and a young man on a leash in tow. He was shirtless and had LIAR scrawled across his forehead in lipstick. "I said, 'Forget it, instead of talking about who Fish Mooney is, let me just show you,'" said Pinkett Smith. "I went Method." Thus, a monster was born.

Robin Lord Taylor has a trick for remembering how to limp. »

Doctor Who Recap: Physical Graffiti

Honest to Pete, it’d be nice if this season could deliver just one truly awful installment so as a recapper I could have a little fun tearing into the show for a week. (Somewhere out there someone’s saying, “Dude, you had your chance with 'Robot of Sherwood,' and you blew it.”) “Flatline” continues this unexpectedly wonderful season of Doctor Who by delivering an alien threat unlike anything the series has ever showcased. It simultaneously harkens back to Tom Baker’s swan song, “Logopolis,” in which the TARDIS shrank with the Doctor inside.

Read More  »

7th Heaven Dad Stephen Collins May Not Be Prosecuted for Molestation After All

Stephen Collins may now be known best as a wolf in sheep's clothing, playing Reverend Camden on the Christian family show 7th Heaven while abusing children. Even though it appears that he admitted to molesting and exposing himself to kids on three separate occasions in a leaked therapy session with his estranged wife Faye Grant, TMZ now reports that neither the LAPD nor the NYPD will prosecute him because they are hampered by statute of limitations. Neither police department has made any official statements, and they are still investigating the matter. Grant also alleges that Collins molested another child while shooting 7th Heaven from 1996 to 2007, but the victim has not stepped forward as of yet.