This week's Parks and Recreation marks a return to Pawnee and, strangely enough, feels like a return to the show's third (and, in my expert opinion, best) season. Leslie (Amy Poehler) is consumed with fierce pride for her town and equally fierce hatred of the neighboring Eagleton, led by their version of Councilwoman Knope, Ingrid de Forest, (played by guest star Kristen Bell). When the towns meet for a yearly high school basketball competition, Leslie mocks the snobs to bump up her poll numbers in the upcoming recall election.
But Chris (Rob Lowe) and Ben (Adam Scott), back in money management mode, cross town lines to find that their snooty neighbors are flat broke. When they try to find a way to help, the two are met with resistance from Leslie. While Leslie's conflict with Ben falls a tiny bit flat, all of her Eagleton burns are top notch (and by top notch, I mean corny and hilarious). However, Leslie finally realizes that the only way to both help Eagleton and protect Pawnee is to combine the two towns, so she sucks it up and takes the heat from the rowdy citizens on both sides of the border. In the past, it's felt like Leslie's hatred for Eagleton has crossed over from funny to pathetic. But right now, with the federal government more inefficient then ever, it is somewhat cathartic to see a competant bureaucrat taking idiots like the fat cats in Eagleton to task, and yet winding up willing and capable of helping them in the end.
Meanwhile, April and Ann take a road trip to Bloomington for April to check out the veterinary school, and Anne to unexpectedly realize that maybe the chemical wasteland of Pawnee is not the best place to raise a child, all of a sudden providing an out for her and Chris to move later in the season. While that is a nice and simple way to start the process of moving those two on, it also makes April, never the sweetest, seem mean as she knee-jerkedly rejected the school Ann worked hard to help her gain acceptance to on the basis of one slightly annoying tour guide. April may have inadvertantly helped Ann, but she isn't helping herself. Hopefully the show isn't so afraid of losing Aubrey Plaza that they limit the character, who could use some forward momentum.
And finally, if they had to do an episode full of Windows product placement, at least it was couched in the very in-character Tom and Donna spending a whole day enjoying the social media grid as Ron tries fruitlessly to escape it. Ron's attempts are foiled in a very reasonable conclusion that as a husband and father, he has to just barely be a part of society.
Questions, Comments, and Concerns:-Ron's first Vine is a thing of beauty. "Delete all pictures of Ron!" -April only agrees to go on the college tour if she can pretend Ann is her 65-year-old grandmother, and Ann gets a little too into it. "'Youngsters'? Am I 65?"-The top two sexiest things Ben's ever said to Leslie both are about slamming Eagleton. "Yes, because Eagleton sucks." -Chris Bosh is a member of the Eagleton high school basketball team, and he's a little bit of a showboat. No need to keep dunking when you're 50 points up.-It's useless to compare apples and oranges... but the oranges are made of Swavorski crystals, while the apples have all been recalled due to a G-Coli breakout. Oh, no, it's way harder to treat than E-Coli.-Leslie's Powerpoint presentation on "helping" Eagleton featured very little practical advice and mostly just pictures of her holding champagne, jumping on graves, and doing a jig with #BROKE superimposed on top.
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British actress/model Donna Grant has escaped a jail term for fraudulently claiming more than $50,000 (£33,300) in benefits. Grant, who has enjoyed a role in children's TV show Young Dracula, failed to inform officials at Haringey Borough Council in London that she had been working while claiming $51,172 (£34,115) in housing benefit and income support for a year from July, 2009.
Editors at British newspaper the Haringey Independent report she pleaded guilty on Thursday (26Sep13) to a charge of failing to notify authorities of a change in circumstances and was sentenced to four months in prison, which was suspended for 18 months.
She was also ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work in her local community and to repay the illegally claimed benefits as well as $750 (£500) in legal costs.
RuPaul’s Battle of the Seasons tour may be wrapped up, but we’re still hungry for some more Drag Race excitement. While we wait for the next batch of queens to grace our screens with more eleganza extravaganzas, let’s take a walk down memory lane and take a look at some of the show's best lip syncs that left audiences gagging for more.
Latrice Royale & Kenya Michaels: “Natural Woman” (Aretha Franklin) Latrice Royale is one of the most loved and most memorable queens on the show, and her Aretha Franklin lip sync against Little Kenya Michaels was absolutely chilling. While Kenya bounced around the stage like a bunny in heat, Latrice barely moved from her place, letting her face do all the talking. At that moment, Latrice was Aretha.
Raja & Carmen Carrera: “Straight Up” (Paula Abdul) The awesome Alexis Mateo flat out referred to Raja and Carmen Carrera’s lip sync as soft porn, so that should tell you enough. The 2 “Heathers” were gutted to have to go up against each other, but ended up turning out one of the most memorable performances in RuPaul’s lip sync history. From Carmen stripping down to virtually nothing and Raja leaving her lipstick mark Carmen’s shoulder, this lip synch was straight up hot.
Raven & Jujubee: “Dancing On My Own” (Robyn) In the All Stars season, squirrelfriends Raven and Jujubee were forced to lip sync against each other to Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” The lip sync was extremely emotional, with Jujubee and Raven barely even having any oomph in them left to compete against each other. The performance was so moving that RuPaul uttered the magic words to both queens: “Chante, you both stay.”
Alyssa Edwards & Coco Montrese: “Cold Hearted” (Paula Abdul) This was it, guys!! One of the most anticipated sync-offs in Drag Race history. Alyssa Edwards and Coco Montrese made no secret of their history-laden, drama-filled beef with each other that seemed to transcend countries, eons, and wars. Although both queens had their ups and downs, they had somehow managed to avoid being pitted against each other in the be-all end-all lip sync… until now. Paula Abdul’s “Cold Hearted” was ridiculously apt for the 2 stars and though Coco got to stay, Alyssa left us with some of the best moments from the show (see: “… Back rolls?”)
Roxxxy Andrews & Alyssa Edwards: “Whip My Hair” (Willow Smith)The only time we actually wanted to listen to “Whip My Hair” was during Roxxxy and Alyssa’s crazy lip sync to it. The performance was full of helicopter hair-flinging and sharp dance moves, but when Roxxxy took off her wig only to reveal another wig underneath (!!!!), even RuPaul’s jaw dropped to the floor. Roxxxy may have been petty at times, but she could bring it like no other. The legendary lip sync marked the first time that RuPaul let both contestants stay, because even she knew that all that hair-flipping was no joke.
Manila Luzon & Delta Work: “MacArthur Park” (Donna Summers) What the hell was Manila on during this lip sync? No one will ever know, but we do know that whatever it was, it helped her churn out one of the weirdest yet fiercest performances ever. Looking smoking hot in her yellow Big Bird dress, Manila turned it up all the way – we’re talking eyes popping out, mouth wide open, arms to the sky, crazy queen realness. Her performance was so good that she ended up sending fellow “Heather,” Delta Work, home.
Jinkx Monsoon & Detox: “Malambo No. 1” (Yma Sumac) Hands down one of the greatest lip syncs of all time – the lovable Jinkx Monsoon and the incomparable Detox. The showdown was bound to be intense, since both queens were extremely talented in completely different ways. As fiercely as Detox was bringing it, though, Jinkx stole the show without question. “Malambo No. 1” was made for Jinkx – her over-the-top character and goofy personality complemented her crazy awesome dance moves, and even the always-perfect Detox couldn’t even come close.
Dida Ritz & The Princess: “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” (Natalie Cole) It’s nerve-wracking enough to have to perform in front of Her Royal Majesty RuPaul, but having to perform a song by the original performer of that song makes it even more high pressure. In Dida Ritz’s best performance, she forced The Princess to sashay right the f**k away with her high energy, carefree lip sync to Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be,” done in front of Ms. Cole herself. The performance was so awesome that Dida got handkerchief waves from all the judges.
Jujubee & Sahara Davenport: “Black Velvet” (Alannah Myles) While Raja vs. Carmen was seductive in a porno kind of way, Jujubee’s lip sync of “Black Velvet” was seductive in a classy kind of way. Performing against the lovely Sahara Davenport, Jujubee killed it with her rock chick style and emotional syncing. You really believed that Jujubee was singing the song herself, and her flawless performance sent Sahara packing.
Nina Flowers & BeBe Zahara Benet: “Cover Girl” (RuPaul) One of the best lip syncs for the titles was performed in the very first season of Drag Race – the showdown between Camerooooooooooon (aka BeBe Zahara Benet) and one of the best drag queens in the world, punk rock majesty Nina Flowers. The queens had literally polar opposite styles and their fight for the very first Drag Superstar title was as fierce as expected. Performing to RuPaul’s classic “Covergirl,” the queens battled it out and left audiences everywhere begging for more.
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Veteran hitmaker Giorgio Moroder has unearthed a treasure trove of lost Donna Summer recordings. The producer and the late disco queen collaborated on a number of hits and he's fronting a new tribute album inspired by the singer's music - and he reveals there could be new material from his old friend.
He tells Rolling Stone, "I did some recordings, not even demos, like two years ago, and she still had a voice like she didn't change one thing. So Donna would be perfect now.
"In fact, I found two or three 24-tracks, and there may be some Donna songs, which we never released. So I have to transfer it from 24 track to digital to hear it."
Summer, who was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame earlier this year (13), died in May, 2012.
Legendary hitmaker Giorgio Moroder's autobiography plans have been rejected by multiple publishing houses because he refuses to name and shame his famous friends. The mogul, who produced and composed a string of hits for the likes of Donna Summer, Blondie, Daft Punk and Freddie Mercury from the late 1970s through the 1980s, admits he'd love to write his life story but publishers are only interested in scandal and controversy.
He tells RollingStone.com, "I was offered to do biographies, at least three or four. A biography is only interesting if you have something really interesting to say, and I can't talk about my girls and their stuff.
"And then you talk about friends, and, if you tell the truth, they get all p**sed. So I'm trying to avoid it, actually. When I'm dead, somebody can write my biography."
Justin Timberlake will be showing off his Spanish-speaking skills in new movie Spinning Gold after signing on to play bi-lingual 1970s music mogul Neil Bogart in the biopic. The pop superstar will be using the Spanish he has picked up on his travels and his good ear for language to perfect his portrayal of the Casablanca Records boss.
He tells WENN, "I can barely speak English but I do have a pretty good ear, so I'm good at mimicking things that are told to me in Spanish.
"If it was an all-Spanish speaking movie I feel it would be my responsibility to learn the language, but, as it turned out I play a guy from Princeton who has to learn a little Spanish. I know a little bit from travelling."
Timberlake admits he can't wait to start work on Spinning Gold, which is still in development: "We have a great screenplay for it and I can only imagine when we get the right director on it that's it's gonna get even better. It's a really exciting project but we're not gonna rush it, but I hope it comes together soon because I'd like to make that movie soon. I think it's a great story."
The Suit & Tie hitmaker launched the project at the Cannes Film Festival in France, where he was joined by Bogart's son, writer-producer Tim Bogart at a party aimed at seeking distributors.
The late Bogart was the man behind the careers of Gladys Knight, Bill Withers, Donna Summer, The Village People and Kiss.
Ashton Kutcher and his girlfriend Mila Kunis have jetted to Israel to attend the funeral of leading Kabbalah teacher Rabbi Philip Berg. The religious leader, who founded the celebrity Kabbalah Center in Los Angeles, died on Monday (16Sep13) after battling a long period of ill health following a stroke in 2004.
A memorial was held in the city of Safed, the spiritual centre for the Judaism offshoot, on Wednesday (18Sep13), and Kutcher, a devout follower of the faith, was spotted among the mourners, who wore all white.
Kunis accompanied her boyfriend to the funeral, while fashion designer Donna Karan was also in attendance.
Late great disco queen Donna Summer is set for an album tribute from the likes of longtime collaborator Giorgio Moroder, Afrojack and Hot Chip. The beloved 2013 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee will be honoured with an album full of remixes of her most famous tracks.
Moroder has re-imagined her Love to Love You Baby hit from 1975, while Afrojack will offer his take on I Feel Love, and indie electro artists Hot Chip will interpret Sunset People on the album, titled Love to Love You Donna.
Also included are remixes of Hot Stuff by Frankie Knuckles and Eric Kuppe and Laidback Luke's remix of MacArthur Park.
Actress Edie Falco battled against 150 competitors in a charity paddle board race in New York on Saturday (17Aug13). The Sopranos star hit the water at Sag Harbor in the Hamptons to take part in the Paddle and Party for Pink, a race to raise money for America's Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
The event raised $1.2 million (£800,000) for the fund, which helps pay for research into the deadly disease.
After the race, competitors mixed with celebrities and socialites at a special party, held at the home of fashion designer Lisa Perry, with guests including Martha Stewart, Donna Karan and Hilary Rhoda.