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As nominated by our writers, here are the books of 2014 we can’t recommend highly enough…
Half A King – Joe Abercrombie
Unless you’ve been living in hermit-like seclusion recently, you can’t help but notice that Young Adult fiction is having its moment. Not even a genre a few years ago, it burst into the public consciousness with a flurry of high profile releases and film adaptations. With acclaimed adult authors now entering the fray, 2014 showed that Ya is definitely here to stay. One of those adult authors who knocked it out of the park while writing for ostensibly a younger audience was Joe Abercrombie. Known for his rather more grown-up Third Law fantasy series (which is one of the best fantasy series this century by the way…), Abercrombie proves that you don’t need to compromise to make a Ya novel with wide appeal. His Viking-inspired tale of Prince Yarvi, »
You've pored over our top TV shows of the year, you've checked out our Best of the Rest - now find out which heroes, villains and complex creations stood out for us on TV this year.
These are Digital Spy's best TV characters of 2014 - from corrupt coppers to zombie killers!
Additional material by Catriona Wightman
10. The Penguin
Given the amount of hype and expectation pre-broadcast, it was perhaps inevitable that Gotham - the series exploring Batman's world, in a time before Batman - divided fans and critics. But earning near-universal praise was Robin Lord Taylor's performance as a young Oswald Cobblepot.
The newcomer delivered a standout turn as the Penguin-to-be, by turns menacing, pathetic and amusing. It's the sort of performance - heck, the sort of show - that'll be roundly ignored by awards bodies, but Taylor's work on Gotham »
Great movie songs have served varying purposes over the years. They can both set the scene and act as a theme song (“Fame,” “Falling Slowly” from “Once”), capture a mood (“Things Have Changed” from “The Wonder Boys”), serve up an emotional coda (“My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic”) or even define a character (“Sooner or Later” from “Dick Tracy”).
But how does a single song capture a movie’s essence and bottle its spirit?
Punk rocker Patti Smith, who wrote the lullaby that features prominently in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” “Mercy Is,” says the director “wanted a song that has a nostalgia for Eden, a time before the fall when man was in direct communication with God.”
For her first original film tune, she read the Psalms and the Song of Solomon to get a sense of the appropriate language. “It had to be a comforting and hopeful song, »
- Jon Burlingame and Tim Greiving
Love Actually is a really fun movie that’s just absolutely full of lies. The most obvious lie, of course, is that it’s cute and romantic to try to steal your best friend’s wife away from him, but by far the most blatant lie is that there is anything even a little bit pleasant about the airport around the holidays. Airports are always miserable places, but around the holidays, they reach Dmv levels of soul-suckery. It would take some kind of whip-smart, prickly, freshly crowned Prince of TV Comedy to fully embody all of tha— Oh Hey, it’s Billy Eichner!In true holiday spirit, this stretch of New Girl episodes has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving. Last week, we got Nadia’s present-stomping; this week, we have Billy Eichner as a snide airport employee whose fuse is getting shorter by the minute. His »
- Jenny Jaffe
The Joker is hands-down the greatest comic book villain there has ever been: a homicidal clown with no superpowers but a fiendishly brilliant mind that has made him Batman’s greatest foe, challenging him again and again for over half a decade.
Created in 1940 by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane, the Joker has had a career as rich and varied as the Dark Knight himself. Introduced as a psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor, the character became a goofy prankster in the late 1950s due to regulation by the Comics Code Authority, before returning to his darker roots during the early 1970s. He’s more or less been the sadistic clown fans know and love ever since.
While no sane person would ever condone the actions of the Joker in any of his various forms, that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a »
- Jesse Gumbarge
Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran will go head-to-head at the BBC Music Awards. The two singers have been nominated for the British Artist of the Year prize at the inaugural ceremony, but face competition from music legend David Bowie, modern soul group Jungle, 'One Day Like This' hitmakers Elbow and rock duo Royal Blood. Meanwhile the nominees for the Best International Artist award have also been revealed. Country legend Dolly Parton and 'Shake It Off' star Taylor Swift are up for the honour alongside 'Royals' hitmaker Lorde, 'Happy' singer Pharrell Williams, 'Purple Rain' icon Prince and jazz musician Gregory Porter. The shortlists were selected from a list of the 50 most played artists of the year on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, 1Xtra and BBC Radio 6 from the period of 1st December 2013 to 24th October 2014. Bob Shennan, director of BBC Music, said: ''The BBC Music Awards exist to celebrate the »
When a character’s been around for long enough, and has been passed through multiple different writers, they start to get a little fuzzy round the edges. Sherlock Holmes has certain constants – the Ocam’s razor approach to detective work, the arrogance, the vices, usually some sort of nod to a hat – but there are also flaws with the character that have been there since Arthur Conan Doyle first put pen to paper with A Study in Scarlet, and have only been compounded with time, different writers, and popularity. The same thing happens with any property that’s suitably famous, old and written by multiple people.
The Avengers aren’t quite as perfect as everybody makes out. Batman has had his fair share of issues over the years, which tend to be swept under the rug. But spare a thought for the bad guys, too, since The Joker »
- Tom Baker
This has certainly been quite the week for comic book movie casting announcements! At the top of the list is Warner Bros.’ confirming the lineup for its upcoming DC Comics supervillain team-up film, Suicide Squad. With each actor now settled into his or her role, we can examine who each of these characters are and what their histories entail within the expendable team of the DC Universe. The Suicide Squad, as you may have seen from the recent Assault on Arkham animated film and the second season of Arrow, are a team of villains assembled by the Us Government. Together, they have to perform high-risk missions with little hope of survival in exchange for the lengths of their jail sentences being reduced. As an added incentive, the government had bombs surgically implanted in their heads. Much like any comic book team, there have been many incarnations of the group over the years, »
- Evan Valentine
"SNL" tends to frontload their strongest sketches, so you never know what you're gonna get in the post-"Weekend Update" portion of the show. Luckily "Overly Full Brain" was one of the most hilarious skits of the night, as James Franco's "Brain Dude" plays host to a slew of cringey '90s references including O-Town, Judge Lance Ito and, yes, even the Savage Garden guy. Props also must go to Jay Pharoah's excellent Fresh Prince impersonation. Remember the one-strap overall trend, everybody? What were we thinking? Shame on you. James Franco - Jeremy's Brain - SNL 12-6-14 by IdolxMuzic »
- Chris Eggertsen
Our weekly round-up of the latest news and talking points from the world of screen superheroes, including Suicide Squad, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Justice League Dark, The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Constantine, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, Batman Versus Robin, Doctor Strange, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Jessica Jones, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Deadpool, X-Men: Apocalypse, The Fantastic Four, Powers and more…
There’s been some big casting news this week, and we’ll start things off with Warner Bros.’ 2016 supervillain ensemble Suicide Squad. Just days after Jared Leto stated that he’d “sworn to keep my mouth shut” over talk linking him to The Joker, the Oscar-winner was officially announced as taking on the role of the Clown Prince of Crime in the David Ayer-directed film. Leto will be joined in the cast by Tom Hardy (The Drop) as Rick Flagg, »
- Gary Collinson
I am not terribly excited or thrilled with what is coming from DC, despite it being the comic book company I have gravitated towards. The tone Man of Steel set for everything left A Lot to be desired. There is one project in the forthcoming slate that includes Wonder Woman, Shazam, and others that I have some kind of interest in, and that is David Ayer's Suicide Squad. The film's cast has had a lot of speculation thrown at it, but Warner Bros. has finally made their official announcement on who will be playing these parts. And it is a pretty starry cast. Jared Leto will indeed be playing the Joker, the Clown Prince of Crime himself, and Margot Robbie will be at his side as Harley Quinn. Tom Hardy is turning in his Bane mask to play Rick Flag. Will Smith will take on the role of the assassin Deadshot. »
- Mike Shutt
Provided by ListenFirst Media, Dar – TV measures what entertainment content is resonating most across Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Wikipedia combined. For more on the methodology behind Dar – TV, scroll to the bottom of the article.
Digital Audience Ratings (Dar) – TV Broadcast Monday Nov 24, 2014 – Sunday Nov 30, 2014 Rank Last Week Program Rating(000) 1 1 The Voice 15,274 2 3 Dancing With The Stars 7,542 3 2 America’s Got Talent 4,232 4 4 America’s Funniest Home Videos 2,835 5 6 The Flash 1,608 6 5 The Simpsons 1,565 7 7 Arrow 1,235 8 - The Originals 914 9 - The Big Bang Theory 797 10 9 Gotham 734 -
Cable/Streaming Monday Nov 24, 2014 – Sunday Nov 30, 2014 Rank Last Week Program Rating(000) 1 1 Key and Peele 7,854 2 2 The Walking Dead 5,124 3 4 Top Gear 4,509 4 3 Pretty Little Liars 4,024 5 6 WWE Raw 1,538 6 9 American Horror Story 1,079 7 - Duck Dynasty 1,013 8 - Dance Moms 884 9 - Orange Is The New Black 878 10 5 Sons of Anarchy 802 -
Late Night Monday Nov 24, 2014 – Sunday Nov 30, 2014 Rank Last Week Program Rating(000) 1 1 Jimmy Kimmel Live 30,900 2 2 The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 29,279 3 3 Conan 5,957 4 4 Last Week Tonight With John Oliver »
- Jason Klein
La-La Land has confirmed to Legions of Gotham that the only place to get this amazing CD set will be on their website beginning at 12 noon (Pst) Tuesday!
Limited Edition of 3000 Units
Retail Price: $49.98
In honor of Batman’s 75th Anniversary, La-La Land Records, Warner Bros. and Wea proudly present The Danny Elfman Batman Collection: Batman / Batman Returns: Limited Edition (4-cd Set). Batman swoops back into La-La Land with this thrilling re-issue of our previously out-of-print deluxe editions of Danny Elfman’s classic, original scores to the Tim Burton-directed Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), presented together for the first time! While the programs presented on these discs are the same as found on our acclaimed initial releases, Batman (1989) has been overseen by producer Neil S. Bulk and newly remastered by James Nelson from recently unearthed score elements, »
- Matt MacNabb
Three couples made it to the championships, but only one star could claim victory.
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead
This Dancing With The Stars season 19 championship had everything you could possibly want in a season finale! Big name musical stars, show-stopping dance numbers and a guest dance from (almost) every star that competed this season.
One problem that Dancing With The Stars always faces during their season finale spectaculars is that almost all the viewer votes have already been cast and counted, meaning the episode always feels like two hours of inconsequential musical routines and filler before the contestants' final dances.
However, this season was jam-packed with super entertaining performers and riveting dance routines. So when Tommy Chong, Randy Couture, Bethany Mota, Jonathan Bennett and all the other dancers you loved to watch (or loved to hate) redid their most memorable routines, it was simply »
Remember that time Alfonso Ribeiro broke out his Fresh Prince of Bel-Air moves on Dancing With the Stars? And that other time he danced to Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It"? Well, it wasn't in vain. The '90s star won the 19th season of the dancing competition show this week against cofinalists Sadie Robertson (Duck Dynasty) and Janel Parrish (Pretty Little Liars). "I cannot believe this," he said, upon winning the infamous mirror ball trophy. "I've wanted this forever!" Those who watched - are you surprised? »
Carlton's still got it! Alfonso Ribeiro joined the ranks of ballroom royalty on Tuesday, Nov. 25, when he became the 19th winner in Dancing With the Stars history. After tearing up the floor with three perfect-scoring routines during the show's two-night, four-hour finale, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum triumphed over fellow finalists Sadie Robertson and Janel Parrish. Speaking with Us Weekly after the presentation of the coveted Mirrorball trophy, Ribeiro gushed about what an "absolutely amazing" feeling it was to win. "I was kind of in [...] »
Thomas Roach with five actors who could play The Joker in the new DC Universe…
After Heath Ledger’s tragic death in 2008 and the actor leaving his mark on the world with his iconic portrayal of The Joker in The Dark Knight, the next person to take on the role of the Clown Prince of Crime faces a difficult struggle indeed. With The Joker expected to make an appearance in the rebooted DC Universe as part of the Suicide Squad movie, there’s been discussion as to who could portray a new version of the character. Jared Leto seems to have been tipped for the role in Suicide Squad, but as yet there’s been no solid confirmation. There are so many actors who could bring something very special to The Joker, and here are five I believe would fit the role…
Dafoe has played his fair share »
- Thomas Roach
Find out why Kate Middleton reportedly cried during her appearance - Us Weekly Is this Lady Gaga's least wearable outfit yet? - HuffPost Celebrity Rihanna's new album could drop before Christmas - Lainey Gossip Chevy Chase reportedly pulled a Johnny Depp at a recent event - Dlisted Did Kendra Wilkinson actually sleep with Hugh Hefner? - Et Kendall Jenner's latest model shot will make you do a double take - JustJared Bella Thorne stirs up trouble in her TV guest-starring role - Hollywood Tuna Prince just made a very bold move on social media - Pink Is the New Blog Christian Bale's surprising admission about the new Batman movie - The Superficial »
Bethany Mota had a nice run on season 19 of Dancing With The Stars, but the jig is up. The YouTube beauty icon has been eliminated from ABC's popular reality show, finishing just one place shy of the season finale. Mota, whose participation in DWTS allowed ABC to add a fresh face and attract younger viewers, ultimately finished fourth. She was eliminated during the first night of the reality show's two-night finale, setting up a November 26th showdown between Duck Dynasty'sSadie Robertson, Pretty Little Liars actress Janel Parrish, and Alfonso Ribiero, whose dancing skills should come as little surprise to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air fans. Between their two dances of the evening, Mota and partner Derek Hough scored 76 out of a possible 80 points, including a perfect score on their second dance. Those high marks were not quite good enough, and they earned Hough a rare elimination; including this year, he has »
- Sam Gutelle
The first night of Dancing With the Stars' season 19 finals began Monday night, and the competition was the toughest it has ever been. With four couples who all know their way around a dance floor like nobody's business, it was clear from the first moment that no matter who went home, it was going to be disappointing.
The stars got the chance to show off their skills with two different dances. The first was a routine that they performed earlier in the season, but didn't necessarily get perfect. Each star also had one of the four judges to advise them on how to improve their routine. It was really a night of dancing redemption.
Photos: The Complete (Until Tuesday Night) List of Dancing with the Stars Winners
The second dance would be a freestyle, which allowed the couples to choreograph any type of dance they wanted, and each of the stars brought their very best to »
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