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Saturday Night Live Recap: Fifty Shades of Nope

49 minutes ago

Last night's SNL was always going to have its work cut out for it. That's what happens when you follow up a legacy-cementing three-and-a-half hour victory lap celebration with a regular episode. Being the first new SNL after that 40th anniversary special means being unfairly weighed down with the burden of justifying newly won over viewers. ("You've seen our glorious past, now please gaze into the future!") It almost seems like the choice of suddenly infamous Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson as host was a signal to the audience not to get its collective hopes up. Because ultimately, unless those hopes were for an off-night partially saved by one corker of a digital short, those hopes were probably dashed. Johnson appeared nervous from the start, her cue card-fixated turn in the cold open, and remained so during the monologue and most of the show. But it would be »


- Joe Berkowitz

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House of Cards Season 3, Episode 4 Recap: Take Me to Church

1 hour ago

One of my lingering concerns about HoC is how some of the most compelling, devastating things the Underwoods do just disappear from the story altogether, never to be referenced again, while the more tedious points in the plot—the education bill, AmWorks—never go away. Frank is a murderer; why has there been no follow up on this point? Doesn’t Zoe Barnes have a family? Did no one look into Peter Russo’s suicide? It’s not so much about the plausibility of Frank getting away with it; it’s that these are opportunities for tension and drama that HoC just skates right over. If his actions have no consequences, why should we keep watching?But this episode is promising on all fronts: for once Frank comes face-to-face, over and over again, with the consequences of his actions. He cannot pretend his ambition doesn’t have a body count. »


- Jessica Goldstein

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Will Smith's Focus Takes the Weak Weekend Box Office

1 hour ago

The grifter film Focus, starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, brought in $19.1 million in its opening weekend. It didn't have much competition: The other new wide release, The Lazarus Effect brought in $10.6 million. Focus dethroned Fifty Shades of Grey, which slipped to fourth place with $10.9 million. Kingsman: The Secret Service stayed in second with $11.7 million and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water brought in $11.2 million. Overall, it was a weak box office, with the top 12 films bringing in $95.4 million. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Alicia Keys's New Baby Photo Is Adorable

2 hours ago

Obviously, most celebrities have the wherewithal (money) to stage elegant family photographs, but this one is still pretty great. Alicia Keys and husband Swizz Beatz (non-stage name: Kasseem Dean), who welcomed new baby boy Genesis Ali Dean back in December, have posted their first photo of the youngest member of their family on Facebook. In addition to the parents and the newborn, the shot features Swizz's son Kasseem Jr. and middle-child Egypt. And yes, Egypt is totally stealing everybody's thunder in this photograph. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Lady Gaga and Vince Vaughn Jumped Into Freezing Lake Michigan

2 hours ago

On Sunday, Lady Gaga and Vince Vaughn joined forces with other crazy kids to jump into the freezing waters of Lake Michigan for the annual Polar Plunge, an event to raise money for the Special Olympics. Well, just how cold was it? Well, according to the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, the surface temperature of Lake Michigan was -6 degrees Fahrenheit. Translation: ice daggers to your bones.Here's Lady Gaga with her boyfriend, Taylor Kinney: Frozen Gaga: Let it go, Vince: »


- E. Alex Jung

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Leonardo DiCaprio Might Finally Get to Play a Criminal with Multiple Personality Disorder

3 hours ago

Leonardo DiCaprio has long been interested in playing the role of Billy Milligan, the first person to successfully use multiple personality disorder as a defense in the courtroom, in The Crowded Room. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project has been dormant for nearly a decade, but now has renewed life as Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg have been hired to adapt the script from Daniel Keyes's nonfiction book about Milligan and his court trial where he was charged with robbery and raping three women at Ohio State University. Milligan's various personalities included Adalana, a lesbian who took responsibility for the rapes, and Ragen, a Yugoslavian communist who admitted to the robbery. DiCaprio is going to be doing a lot of Acting. »


- E. Alex Jung

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House of Cards Season 3, Episode 3 Recap: Kiss of Death

4 hours ago

This is the show I have been waiting for all season (which has only been two episodes but feels like much longer, perhaps because of the interminable recovery of Doug Stamper). Events that actually move the plot forward! Weird sexual power plays! Political struggles that feel high-stakes and violent and terrifying! The Underwoods weathering the schemes of other, inevitably lesser forces, and emerging victorious! Claire Playing Beer Pong!But let’s begin at the beginning. Russian President Petrov is visiting the United States as protests against him rage outside the White House. Pussy Riot will be in attendance; they have a list of issues they want the presidents to discuss, but Frank doesn’t even read it. “Just tell them I did it,” he says. Frank is such a pure political animal: It’s fascinating to watch how he goes from completely ignoring/humoring Pussy Riot, when their agenda is at odds with his own, »


- Jessica Goldstein

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Carly Rae Jepsen Finally Releases Followup to 'Call Me Maybe'

5 hours ago

Carly Rae Jepsen has finally released a new single, "I Really Like You," from her upcoming album. Can it live up to the monumental, zeitgeist-y, too-big-to-follow-up 2011 single, "Call Me Maybe"? Jepsen's manager, Scooter Braun, certainly thinks so. "I told her that she couldn’t come out with anything unless it was on the level of 'Call Me Maybe,'" he told Billboard. "And, now we have a new one that is on that level." "I Really Like You" is a sonic wall of bubblegum pop, with unabashedly simple lyrics: "I really really really really really really like you." You might think this single is at odds with your current winter doldrums, but maybe when the daffodils are in bloom and you see all those fine looking people outside you'll just think, Yes To This Carly. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Dakota Johnson Joins Isis in Controversial SNL Sketch

6 hours ago

Dakota Johnson hosted SNL for the first time last night. No doubt it was a proud moment for her (her parents were even there!). The show played off of her youthful naivete in a (controversial) spoof a Toyota Camry commercial  featuring a father tearfully dropping his daughter off at the airport. In the original ad, the young woman is joining the army, but here, of course, she's joining an extremist Islamic militant group. As you might imagine, some thought this was offensive; others that it was edgy. It all probably depends on whether or not you laughed. »


- E. Alex Jung

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And the Title of Kanye's New Album Is...

8 hours ago

So Help Me God. Kanye tweeted the name of the newly-christened album, along with some religious iconography, which the plucky people at Reddit have determined is a 13th century monastic image of the Virgin Mary. The continued religiosity makes sense, especially in light of Yeezus's most recent interview with Zane Lowe, where he called the album a "joyful noise unto the Lord." He then said it was "like the song 'Amazing Grace' — coming out of the worst pain possible and making the most beautiful song possible." Basically the album is going to sound like an extended version of "Only One." »


- E. Alex Jung

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There Will Be Adventure Time the Movie

28 February 2015 2:41 PM, PST

The Land of Ooo is headed to the big screen. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is developing the beloved Cartoon Network show Adventure Time into a film. The movie will be produced by Roy Lee, one of the executive producers of The Lego Movie, and Chris McKay, the man behind Robot Chicken. The show, currently in its sixth season, loosely follows a 12-year-old boy named Finn and his dog, Jake. Other details haven't been announced yet, but hopefully we will see a bevy of princesses, all of whom the Ice King will be obsessed with. »


- E. Alex Jung

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William Shatner Will Miss Leonard Nimoy’s Funeral

28 February 2015 1:38 PM, PST

William Shatner will not be attending the funeral for his Star Trek co-star Leonard Nimoy. In a tweet, he said that because he is scheduled to attend a Red Cross ball in Florida Saturday night, he won't be able to make Nimoy's Sunday memorial in California. This isn't the first time Shatner has missed a big event: He was notably absent at George Takei's wedding to his husband, Brad Altman. That said, he has some very lovely things to say about his old friend. »


- E. Alex Jung

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House of Cards Season 3, Episode 2 Recap: Meet Me Halfway

28 February 2015 11:33 AM, PST

Claire is unflappable. This is her most envy-inducing trait: She’s icy cool in the hot seat. She cannot be rattled. Except when she can. We find her at her confirmation hearing, hoping to become the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She is calmly, carefully laying out her qualifications — even though we’ve seen how dirty she had to let her hands get in order to achieve any of those accomplishments — as a champion of sexual assault reform and a leader who built a small nonprofit into “a major global player.” Claire believes she has demonstrated her “effectiveness,” which is not a surprising choice of words for her. Effectiveness is the number-one trait of House of Underwood, the way loyalty matters to Gryffindors and debt-repaying to Lannisters.But Senator Mendoza trips her up; Claire accidentally says the phrase “The U.S. military is irrelevant,” and Mendoza keeps »

- Jessica Goldstein

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Michelle Rodriguez Says She Wants ‘Minorities’ to ‘Stop Stealing’ Superhero Roles From White People, Then Apologizes [Updated]

28 February 2015 9:57 AM, PST

Michelle Rodriguez quickly shot down rumors that she might star in the Green Lantern, and it seems like it might be out of principle. "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard," she told a TMZ reporter. "I think it's so stupid because of this whole minorities in Hollywood thing. It's so stupid. Stop stealing all the white people's superheroes. Make up your own. What's up with that?" So we're guessing she's not onboard with getting Idris Elba to play the next James Bond?Don't worry guys, Michelle Rodriguez has posted an apology! (No, she doesn't address whitewashing in Hollywood.) "I guess it got taken out of context, because a lot of people got offended or whatever," she says from her bed. "What I really meant was that ultimately at the end of the day, there's a language. And the language that you speak in Hollywood is successful franchise. And I »


- E. Alex Jung

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Fear Not: The Cops Have Found Lupita Nyong’o’s Oscar Gown

28 February 2015 9:30 AM, PST

Lupita Nyong'o's ravishing pearl-encrusted Oscar gown (by Calvin Klein), which was reported missing earlier in the week, has been found! The Lapd says it found the dress Friday afternoon at the hotel from which it was taken. TMZ reports that the thief stashed it in a garbage bag underneath a sink after he had a couple of the pearls appraised and learned that they were fake (or "worthless"). Um, no. In a statement to Wwd, Nyong'o said, "It is a timeless and priceless piece of art." Basically, that dress was Everything. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Glee Recap: Friday, I’m in Love

28 February 2015 8:47 AM, PST

Last night's Glee suffered from a touch of the Ruby Problem, a syndrome I invented while watching a particularly unfortunate story line unfold in the final season of Parenthood. Like Glee, Parenthood had a short final season with (presumably) a reduced budget. To compensate, Parenthood gave one of its secondary characters a troubled teenage daughter and a beleaguered ex-wife, and then spent an awful lot of the season exploring their story. It's not that Ruby's story was bad or that the performers involved in it weren't talented (on the contrary, Ray Romano and Jeanne Tripplehorn were both incredible). It's just not what Parenthood's viewers had tuned in to its final season hoping or expecting to see.I'd imagine that's how Glee fans felt about last night's newbie-centric episode — although as soon as I typed that sentence, I clicked over to Twitter and found at least three "Yay! Newbie stories! »


- Lauren Hoffman

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Kelly Osbourne Reportedly Quits Fashion Police Over Giuliana Rancic’s Zendaya Jokes

28 February 2015 8:21 AM, PST

Kelly Osbourne has quit E!'s Fashion Police, reportedly because of co-host Giuliana Rancic's comments that Disney star Zendaya's dreadlocks smelled like "patchouli oil" and "weed" at the Oscars. The network announced her departure in a boilerplate statement, thanking her for her "many contributions" and saying that Osbourne was leaving "to pursue other opportunities." She hasn't released a statement herself. After Rancic's comments, Zendaya posted a statement on Instagram, writing, "There is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair." Rancic posted a video apology for her comments, which Zendaya accepted and Osbourne seemed to have. In the initial dust-up, Kelly Osbourne tweeted that Zendaya was a friend of hers and threatened to quit unless the matter was resolved. Us Weekly reported that there was some backstage rancor, with »


- E. Alex Jung

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Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer Play ‘Truth or Truth’ With Jimmy Fallon

28 February 2015 7:38 AM, PST

Who better to play games with than Broad City's Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer? The duo played "Truth or Truth" with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, asking such salacious questions as "Have you ever stolen anything?" and "What's your favorite song to make love to?" There were no dares involved, because obviously you only do those when you want to have sex with Jeremy during a hurricane. »


- E. Alex Jung

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House of Cards Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Road to Recovery

28 February 2015 6:16 AM, PST

Fade in on a peaceful country lane in Gaffney. All is calm, all is bright. A motorcade cuts through the quiet. President Frank Underwood steps out of the car with flowers in his arms. He’s in town to pay respects to his dearly departed father. And by “pay respects,” I mean literally piss on his dead dad’s tombstone.“Oh, I wouldn’t be here if I had a choice,” he tells us, waiting approximately 30 seconds before breaking that fourth wall. “But I have to do these sorts of things now. Makes me seem more human. And you have to be a little human when you’re the president.” This is what we want from House of Cards. Symbolic acts of destruction foreshadowing real acts of destruction. Ruthlessness and ridiculousness in equal measure. Kevin Spacey talking directly to us. This is what we get from the rest of this »


- Jessica Goldstein

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Secrets and Lies Is As Unoriginal As They Come

27 February 2015 3:44 PM, PST

Good morning, America! It's time for Secrets and Lies. We begin with shots of a man running through the rain, bellowing in existential panic. Cut to a shot of a dead boy in a red slicker lying face up in muddy water, rain spattering his face. A child is dead! A poor innocent child! Suffer the innocent children of prime time. Also women, many of them prostitutes for some reason, found in fields or ditches, strangled or hacked up. But I digress.The boy has a name: Tom. The local homeowner who discovered the dead child is named Ben Crawford (Ryan Phillippe). He tells the chief police investigator, Detective Andrea Cornell (Juliette Lewis), that "it's terribly shocking what happened," but in a moment or two we start to think how he found the child is a little bit weird. Normally Ben's daughter babysits the child "two or three days a week, »


- Matt Zoller Seitz

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