Oh. My. God.: Louis C.K. is back on TV! Don't get too excited — it's not his currently-on-hiatus FX hit Louie. Instead, the famed comedian will air a new stand-up special, entitled Louis C.K.: Oh My God. The special will debut on HBO on April 13th at 10PM, and will eventually be up for sale (cheaply) on his website. [Splitsider]
Fox Says Goodbye: Fox has officially finalized its plans for the end of the 2012-2013 television season. Some of the bigger names on the roster include American Idol, which will bow out on May 16, Glee (May 9), and New Girl (May 7). [E! Online]
Simon Cowell Continues Quest for World Domination: Apparently, the many failures of the US version of The X Factor are not enough to stop King Simon Cowell. The infamous Brit announced today that his company, Syco Entertainment, is joining forces with YouTube for an online show called “The You Generation" — which will search for the best talent in photography, cooking, visual art, and... wait for it... magic. Err, illusion. Quick, someone call GOB Bluth! [EW]
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Alison Janney Gets Sexy Guest Gig: No, it's nothing like her role on Lost. Showtime has announced via release that Janney will be playing Margaret Scully, the wife of Beau Bridges’ University Provost Barton Scully, on 5 episodes of their new series Masters of Sex — a drama which focuses on the pioneers of the sexual revolution. [Showtime]
Family Feud: Former One Tree Hill-er Sophia Bush is returning to her drama roots after co-staring in the canceled CBS sitcom Partners. The actress will star in NBC's Hatfields & McCoys, about the infamous feuding families set in present-day Pittsburgh. Bush's Emma McCoy is her clan's eldest sibling and a successful doctor. Meanwhile, Rebecca De Mornay will headline the show as Mary Hatfield, the city's mayor and the matriarch of her powerful family. [Deadline/Deadline]
No more Ryan Shay?: Chatswin's lovable dumb jock might not be returning next year. Parker Young, who plays the fan favorite Suburgatory character, has landed a role in the military comedy Enlisted as one of three brothers working at an Army base in Florida. Geoff Stults plays his older bro. Although Suburgatory boss Emily Kapnek has said that Ryan will return after he heads off to college at the end of the current season, Young's pilot takes priority over his role on the ABC show so it's likely his return will be relegated to guest spots. [TVLine]
[Photo Credit: Eric Leibowitz/FX]
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A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.