Community premiered in September of 2009, fostering a charming but none-too-flashy pilot about your standard good-looking jackass hoping to bed the down-to-earth blonde whom he comes to meet in the new world to which each of their lives have led them.
The episode introduced alongside said ostensible romantic leads, Jeff (Joel McHale) and Britta (Gillian Jacobs), a quirky supporting cast who'd come at first to stand in the way of the former's sexual conquest, while promising subtly to entrench themselves into his daily routine and, eventually, his heart. The pilot played out largely within the confines of a single room — the same dimly lit library nook that has housed this cast of seven ever since — relying entirely on dialogue between the disparate, at-odds individuals for comedy. From what any viewer of the Community pilot might gather, this would be a show about nutty people existing in an ordinary world.
Three years later, we have these new photos from the approaching fourth season of the sitcom: images of men dressed as women, a man dressed as Olive Oyl (I know he's not supposed to be Olive Oyl, but the similarities are striking... but Community would never do a repeat reference), and college students dodging laser security systems...
In short, the show has changed quite a bit. Community's reality continues to breach its limits, allowing for some of the strangest circumstances imaginable to undertake its heroes week after week. These new images suggest no rest for this expansion.
And while many of us love Community and everything that it has become with its costumes, elaborate heists, Dreamatoriums, and monkey gassings, we have to wonder: how might the show have been different if it stuck to the formula of the pilot? Keeping its world grounded in ours, but having its characters soar high above on their eccentricity alone? Is Community better off as a fantasy of sorts, filled with Deanelgängers and zombie outbreaks, or do we miss the simpler, softer days of people just talking?
Personally, I'm content with the form the show has taken. Community might have adhered more stringently to a cartoon world over the past two seasons, but it has done so with aplomb, not losing its humanity or its capability of sincerity. Yes, things happen on this show that can't and won't in real life, but we're treated just as frequently to genuine struggles between and within the members of the central study group. And oftentimes, as the genre was created to do, it is these elements of fantasy that help the show to acknowledge the pains and problems plaguing Jeff, Britta, Abed, and company.
So, Community might never stick to its musical pledge to "be less weird" than the years preceding. But why bother? The weirdness on its own is great. And when the weirdness is utilized to illustrate everything that makes it humane and relatable, that's when the show is at its best.
[Photo Credit: Vivian Zink/NBC (5)]
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You can’t change the channel between Thanksgiving and Dec. 25 without stumbling upon a Lifetime movie about falling in love with Santa (against all odds) or a variety show starring Blake Shelton, stop-motion Blake Shelton, and a man in a turkey suit. It’s a veritable avalanche of Christmas-themed programming. Meanwhile, Hanukkah programs are few and far between. Luckily, there’s a Sesame Street special that delivers the family friendly variety show appeal of so many non-Shelton Christmas specials: Shalom Sesame Show 6: Chanukah.
The special, which aired originally in 1990, features 17 segments in honor of the Festival of Lights, including a stop-motion video about what it takes to make a bottle of olive oil, starring Joan Rivers as a microphone, narrating the whole story. But if microphone Joan Rivers wasn’t enough, there are not one, but two songs: “Eight Beautiful Notes” and “Do De Rubber Duck.” But the piece de resistance is a little gem they call “Dreidel of Fortune.” Do you like dad jokes? And awful puns? And young teen stars making fun of their elders? Of course you do.
Bear with the educational element of this segment and enjoy the game show that swept televisions playing this program in 1990: Dreidel... of... Fortune!
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: PBS]
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"I dance and jump up and down for her a lot and I have this routine where I'm like, 'Bye, OK I'll be right back...' There is nothing greater in the world... I exercise my right every second of every day to make her laugh and smile and she's a really happy baby... I count my lucky stars every day because she is... really interactive and happy and, like, nice to people. She's a nice person." Drew Barrymore on the joys of motherhood. The actress gave birth to her first child, daughter Olive Barrymore Kopelman, in September (12).
"I never would have guessed that would have been the name. But I was reading a book with my husband. I was three months pregnant and they (the book) said your baby is the size of an olive, and that was it. We never looked back. Once the light was shed, there was just no turning back." New mum Drew Barrymore fell in love with the name Olive early on in her pregnancy. The actress gave birth to her first child, daughter Olive Barrymore Kopelman, in September (12).
First thing's first: if you haven't watched last night's episode of American Horror Story...GET OUT! Right now! This post will spoil a lot of things for you, so don't say we didn't warn you!
Now, back to business: it was an epic evening of episodic television on the Ryan Murphy horror show last night. The revelation that murderer-at-large Bloody Face is in fact none other than our very own Doctor...Oliver Thredson, came as quite a shock to many. (Can anybody say: TWIST!) That's right, the show's beloved Zachary Quinto is, in fact, our killer of women. And while some people may have seen it coming (cough cough I am a television genius cough), others were shocked that the long-built-up serial killer wasn't revealed to be the is-he-or-isn't-he-a-Nazi (he's probably a Nazi) Dr. Arthur Arden, played by James Cromwell.
It was a dark turn for the character many once believed to be the single ray of light to right so many of the erred ways of the Briarcliff staff. Now, we have a whole new set of worries: will Lana live? How has Bloody Face been able to escape prosecution for so long (since he is seen in the 'Modern' sequence, scaring his imitators away from Adam Levine's nearly-dead body)? How many copycats are there? Did this infamy stem from Lana's writing? (Will she live to write the story of Bloody Face?) Will there ever be hope for poor Kit (Evan Peters)? We went right to the source himself, in an interview with Quinto to get some answers.
So how did Quinto feel about his character's dark turn? "I knew from the very beginning [about Thredson being Bloody Face], it was part of the conversation I had with Ryan about coming back to the second installment of the show in the first place," he explained. "As a result I felt that my responsibility then became creating a character that people could trust."
Quinto sees the role as perhaps a bit less foreign to the everyday human experience than most would assume at first glance. "It's more rooted in character and relationships. I like that this was grounded and real, and I'm always drawn to that sort of connection. ... It was an immersion."
But when it comes to playing a serial killer with such deep knowledge of psychiatry? It seems like there's more going on there, huh? Quinto agrees. The slow build to getting the "how" and the "why" of Dr. Thredson's desire to help Lana flee the asylum kept everybody guessing. "I think a lot of his actions in the first four and a half episodes of Asylum were serving some ulterior motive. I think he was trying to gain Lana's trust, gain some proximity and intimacy with her. ... I think he was definitely trying to show her that he could be there for her, that she could rely on him even in as something as ugly as [the process of undergoing aversion therapy treatment]."
Quinto, an openly gay man himself, knows that fans may have found his approval of the therapy unsettling, but asserts that it's just about playing to the times. "... It was a pervasive mentality that homosexuality could be treated ... [Dr. Thredson] was implementing the 'forward thinking' of the time."
That said, Quinto believes Thredson himself doesn't totally believe in it—outside of being a really great manipulation tactic on Lana Winters (Sarah Paulson). "It put him in a position when it didn't work that he could go deeper. ... He knows [the aversion therapy] won't work on some level, I think, and he can sort of be more radical about [getting Lana out] since she already has more faith and trust in him. It's an incredibly manipulative tactic that works."
This, of course, leads to the question: why Lana, of all the patients—someone who, on some level, he must morally oppose (since, you know, he did kill her girlfriend and all)? Well, apparently we're close to finding out! "Next week's [episode] is called The Origins of Monstrosity, so it really dives into a lot of the roots of the characters in Asylum. A lot of things will become clearer and probably more disturbing in the coming weeks." Sounds...ominous.
And while fans can rejoice at the announcement of the third season pick-up, Quinto is staying quiet on his potential role for next season. "I'm so glad it's doing well and people are responding to it...[but] I haven't had any conversations with Ryan about what he's thinking about for a third season."
In the end, Quinto believes that the show is breaking ground, and pushing boundaries that are asking to be pushed in this modern world. "I think there's obviously a sense of collective anxiety in the world that we live in," Quinto explained. "It's very complicated—precariously perched in so many ways [politically and socially], and I think that plays back [in Asylum]. It taps into that kind of primal fear that all of us share, that builds in society, and needs an outlet. ... [Horror shows] stand to serve that purpose ... and I think that's important, actually. It's exhilarating but also a little bit scary that it reflects the world."
Horror shows are certainly reaping the benefits of this fear, it seems, and Quinto agrees. "A story that reflects societal fear back at the audience—on some visceral level—is the most compelling kind of horror, and I think that's what the show's doing in a lot of ways."
What do you think about Quinto's character revelation? Surprised by the Bloody Face unveiling? Sound off in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Byron Cohen/FX]
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Last night’s episode of Arrow was underwhelming, but seeing as how that is the first time I’m saying that in 6 episodes, I’m not too worried about the future of the show. Hey, it’s hard to be perfect 100% of the time! And while I say “Legacies” was underwhelming, I do not mean that it was bad.
Quite the opposite, in fact. I still enjoyed the hour. It just wasn’t as shocking and intense and revealing as past episodes have been. In six episodes alone we’ve had Oliver arrested for being Arrow, we’ve had Diggle finding out Oliver’s secret identity, we’ve had Moira revealed to be in cahoots with The List in some way… where was the reveal this episode?
Answer: there wasn’t one. Unless you count the fact that Diggle emotionally manipulated Oliver to broaden his vendetta and add Starling City’s street crime to his mission of cleaning up Starling City. Arrow has become a full-blown hero now. Although in a neat and tidy turn of events, the street crime, aka the Royal Flush Gang, turned out to have been a family on hard times, a result of Oliver's father's actions, so in a way this still was a part of Oliver's original mission.
One aside: I’m intrigued that Oliver insists on giving each of his targets a chance to redeem themselves before bringing the pain, whether that means turning themselves in to the authorities, or – in tonight’s case – giving up the bank robbing lifestyle. So far, no one has taken the olive branch extended by Arrow, and I hope that we get to see the alternative at some point in a future episode. I’m interested in seeing that option play out, even though it wouldn’t give Arrow the chance to kick some corrupt ass (I’m sure the writers would figure out a way to get that action in regardless. We need shirtless Stephen Amell! We need cool fight scenes! Hardcore parkour!). What would happen if someone on The List actually turned themselves in under the threat of Arrow? What would be the fallout, and how would that affect the city? It might even be better for the people of Starling City, having the corrupt people confess to their crimes. Hey, writers, let’s give this some thought!
Also worth noting, I really felt for Thea this hour. The poor girl developed a crush on Tommy, bolstered by the fact that he came to her for relationship advice that I have to say really sounded like he was talking to Thea about Thea in a cutesy, rom-com kind of way. Too bad he was oblivious to how his words sounded to Thea and was actually looking for advice on how to get back in Laurel’s pants, and kind of her heart, but really just her pants. Upon realizing that Tommy was talking about Laurel (and Tommy drove that point home by calling Thea his little sister… ouch) the crushed girl made a beeline for the bar in her pity party of one. Cue: vomming in the alleyway. Tommy sweetly rescued her and drove her home, and while he had a nice moment with Laurel, I think we’re paving the way for something to happen later on with Thea and Tommy. You know this will be explored at some point.
Meanwhile, Moira confronted Oliver about his habit of disappearing in the middle of family functions. It was bound to happen at some point! His flimsy excuse of opening a night club and all the perils that came with that line of work seemed to pacify Moira, and even though she was still upset about his disappearing acts she didn’t suspect anything. They also had a nice mother/son bonding session in a diner at the end of the hour, giving us a glimpse at the light at the end of the tunnel for Oliver’s family. When all is said and done and Oliver’s mission is complete, he really can go home again.
Follow Sydney on Twitter @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW]
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"I do watch my food. But I’ve been blessed in that I never had any body issues during pregnancy. I loved being able to eat whatever I wanted and the whole experience of giving life. And I never worried about losing the weight afterwards, because breastfeeding burns all the calories up so fast. Breastfeeding - that’s my big slimming secret!" Actress and mother-of-two Isla Fisher left it up to nature to help her slim down after giving birth to daughters Olive and Elula.
The Charlie's Angels star, who has been the face of American cosmetics brand CoverGirl since 2007, is teaming up with Italian firm Intercos to create her own beauty collection for U.S. retailer Walmart.
According to Women's Wear Daily, Barrymore will not announce news of the partnership until January (13), when her spokesperson contract expires with CoverGirl's parent company Procter & Gamble.
The actress, who gave birth to her first child Olive last month (Sep12), will not be the first celebrity to venture into the makeup world - Mexican beauty Salma Hayek and reality TV star Lauren Conrad each have their own ranges.
"It was really low-key because I was pregnant at the time. It was relaxed and nice." Isla Fisher attended her bachelorette party as an expectant mum. The actress wed Sacha Baron Cohen in 2010, and they became parents to second daughter Elula - a sister for five-year-old Olive - later that year.
The actress has been keeping a low profile since giving birth to her daughter Olive last month (Sep12), but she stepped back into the public eye this weekend when she and her husband Will Kopelman stopped by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) for its annual party.
The couple mingled with fellow guests including Barrymore's Charlie's Angels co-star and best pal Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Aniston and her fiance Justin Theroux, as Kubrick and pop artist Ed Ruscha were honoured at the event, which was co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio and featured a performance by British singer Florence Welch.
Will Ferrell, Jeremy Renner, Salma Hayek, Robert Pattinson and Evan Rachel Wood were also in attendance at the bash.