Some pretty damn terrible stuff happened in 2012. On the serious side, there was war, poverty, starvation, and Hurricane Sandy. On the less serious side, there were annoying doomsday prophets, the death of Twinkies, the introduction of "YOLO" into the public vernacular, and the movie Playing for Keeps. In short, there were plenty of reasons for us to completely lose our s*** and ugly cry as a form of public catharsis this year. But these folks — real, or imaginary — took it a step further. They just wouldn't. Stop. Crying. So, to give them something to be happy about, we've given them all an award — a spot on our 'Top 5 Ugly Criers of 2012' List! Behold!
5. The Drunk Crier: Deena Nicole Cortese, Jersey Shore
Poor Deena. Being arrested for public intoxication on public television is never fun. It's even worse when your mother shows up and scolds you for your irresponsible behavior. We don't really feel sorry for you since you do it to yourself (and make tons of money for it), but your mascara tears have earned you the number 5 spot on our list. Congrats?
NEXT: Someone who just can't catch a break4. The "Everything I've Ever Known is Falling Apart" Crier: Juice (Theo Rossi), Sons of Anarchy
Juice, Juice, Juice. You know, you could have just told the club that your father was black, and that whole RICO case dilemma — as well as having your soul torn apart by being stuck in the middle of the epic battle between Jax and Clay — would never have happened. Honestly is always the best policy, and you certainly learned that the hard way this year when you had to betray your beloved father figure. Here's to hoping for a better Season 6, Juicey.
NEXT: Middle school problems3. The "My Crush Doesn't Like Me Back" Crier: Eponine (Samantha Barks), Les Misérables
Girl, we need to have a chat. It happens to the best of us — you see a cute guy, he seems pretty damn perfect, then he falls for the cute perky blonde. It sucks. But you know what? Marius ain't all that great. He has a weird habit of singing to empty chairs at empty tables, and he chose to like freaking COSETTE over you. (Cosette, for all of you non-book readers, spends chapters staring at her mirror, thinking about how pretty she is. Really.) You're gorgeous, you're brave, you have an amazing singing voice, and there are a ton of hot French dudes who would be more than happy to date you. Stop focusing on that "heart full of love" pretty boy and go to town! You're young!
NEXT: Someone who fell in with the wrong crowd 2. The "My Life Legitimately Sucks" Crier: Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), Breaking Bad
Like Juice, you could easily argue that Jesse deserves everything he gets, because he chose "the life." But Jesse (unlike Juice) is being played by the best manipulator on TV, Walter White (Bryan Cranston, if you live under a rock). He started out as a dumb but relatively innocent kid who wanted to make some cash, but now he's completely stuck with this madman, who has let Jesse believe that he was responsible for poisoning a child. (He wasn't.) Jesse still tortures himself for this, and has overcome a terrible drug addiction and horrible family issues only to be continuously manipulated by Walt, who really has no concern for Jesse's well-being. He tried his best to make an exit this year, but with Walt in the picture, a happy ending for poor Jesse doesn't seem likely.
NEXT: The undeniable MVP 1. The Muhammad Ali of Ugly Crying: Carrie Matheson (Claire Danes), Homeland
Come on, was there ever any doubt? Claire Danes took ugly crying and turned it into an Emmy award-winning art form. Her character's bipolar disorder and chaotic lifestyle does give her a lot to cry about, but this one is truly a special case. It will go down in the TV ugly crying history books for sure.
Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna
[PHOTO CREDIT: AMC; Showtime; MTV; Universal Pictures; FX]
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Anne Hathaway may not be known as one of the most publicly political celebrities in Hollywood, but, when it comes to Saturday Night Live, the actress and politics go together about as well as Catwoman and black latex. Take Hathaway's first appearance on SNL — the actress oversaw an October 2008 episode that brought us the now-classic parody of Sarah Palin and Joe Biden's vice presidential debate. ("I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers.") And now, just over four years later, Hathaway has come full circle, hosting the sketch comedy show for the third time just days after President Obama was re-elected for a second term, inviting a stellar, if a bit bittersweet, Romney sign-off. But Saturday's show managed to shine the more it strayed away from politics. And the more it featured its host. Because Hathaway continued to prove to SNL audiences that Catwoman bares some sharp comedic claws.
And, sure enough, the beginning of SNL started with a farewell — what was likely the final sketch to feature Jason Sudeikis as the conceding presidential candidate, Mitt Romney. The sketch — which featured a disappointed, milk-swigging Romney who still showed Mormon-approved optimism — was well-written, if a bit oddly staged. (The silence-filled gaps between Taran Killam's amusing Tagg/Matt/Josh Romney pop-ups felt longer than the wait to hear Obama's Tuesday night victory speech.) Still, the scene was a nice departure from the ripped-from-the-TV-screen political sketches of yore, and bonus points for the series' take down of election night's real loser, when Josh Romney tells his father to come to the living room: "Donald Trump is doing a very amusing thing where he's racist."
Sudeikis again seemed to acknowledge his final months with SNL — the actor is leaving the show in January — during Hathaway's monologue, during which he talked about his "wild ride" on the show and what he's learned "after you've been here for eight seasons." But the Les Misérables star's voice eventually took center stage during the fifth musical monologue of the season. (For the record, there have only been seven new episodes — WWJRS? That is, What Will Jeremy Renner Sing?) Of course, this one made more sense than the rest — Hathaway's voice alone would be enough to invite awe, but the Les Mis-inspired tune (about the thrills of Sunday for the SNL cast) was more than chuckle-worthy, reminiscent of Steve Martin's memorable "Not Gonna Phone It In" monologue in 1991. (And Hathaway's Stefon impression? It. Had. Everything.) With the new cast, are the SNL glory days of the '90s back?
The series is certainly allowing its newbies to flex their comedy muscles more than previous featured players. New cast members Cecily Strong and Aidy Bryant headlined the first post-monologue sketch of the night as, respectively, a teen and her best friend-turned-third wheel. It was an amusing sketch that showcased Bryant's droll talents — and certainly hit home for any girl who ever attended high school — even if the spot seemed more appropriate for the back third of the show. (But, speaking of the '90s, did the sketch — and Hathaway's valley girl impression of the new bad girl in school — remind anyone of SNL's "Delta Delta Delta" days?)
But the next sketch, the pre-taped "Legend of Mokiki," was far from SNL convention. Featuring episode MVP Killam as a human experiment who becomes famous for doing a dance called "the sloppy swish" — and Hathaway as the poor soul who falls in love with him — the sketch was as random as it was obvious that it came out of a late-night, exhausted writing session. But even when shorts like these make little sense, it's impossible not to enjoy the glimpse we get into the deranged inter-workings of the writers' minds.
More audience-friendly was the following sketch, which proved Hathaway has another celebrity impression under her belt: Homeland's Emmy-winning Claire Danes. The actress' take on Carrie Matheson, complete with the character's patented ugly cry, was flawless — even simple phrases like "And do what?" were indistinguishable from her Showtime counterpart. But Hathaway wasn't the only one to score in the sketch — Bill Hader's Saul was as impeccable as the actor's Alan Alda, and Killam, once again, stole the scene with his Agent Brody, whose "mouth is so small, it's hard to hear the words."
Far less tasty was the lazy McDonald's sketch, featuring Strong and Bobby Moynihan as two delinquent employees dead-set on insulting all of their colleagues, and Hathaway's uptight boss. But Moynihan more than made up for the groan-worthy sketch with his Drunk Uncle, yet again the highlight of Weekend Update. ("If Nationwide is on my side, how come Obama is president? Jews-papers!") Unfortunately, the rest of Weekend Update wasn't nearly as funny — in fact, the writing proved to be just as progressive as Moynihan's uncle, who lamented in his day "You couldn't vote unless you had a cane, monocle, top hat, fancy!" Seth Meyers using the record number of women elected to office as an opportunity to make a joke about pantsuits? Really, Seth? Really?! And a joke about all women hating sports to boot? I say it again: Really?! Thank god for Moynihan and Hader, and Fred Armisen, who made up for the lackluster segment — which included a predictable Obama impression from Jay Pharaoh — with their gay couple from Maine, who are celebrating their newly established ability to wed by registering with L.L.Bean.
But SNL was quickly back in business with the brilliant Kate McKinnon as a cheerfully exhausted Ellen DeGeneres. The sketch was more or less an opportunity for the episode to showcase Hathaway's hysterical Katie Holmes impression, but McKinnon also inspired laughs as the controversy-adverse daytime host. ("It was a big week in politics, so I'm going to talk about eating some popcorn yesterday.") And Hathaway proved her physical comedy prowess with a unique sketch about the conception of Grant Wood's American Gothic painting, which, in SNL's world, really portrayed two goofy models who loved corn puppets.
SNL closed out the show with a "Happy Fun Ball"-esque sketch for "Flaritin," a medication for those who suffer "a made-up allergy" to gluten, cigarette smoke, yogurt, rice, meat deodorant, squirrel dander, Los Angeles, small penises, rap, and Italians for attention. But, strangely enough, any portion of the show that didn't include Hathaway — including musical guest Rihanna's bizarre performance of "Diamonds," which looked to be set in front of a karaoke music video — suffered without the host. She even managed to invite a laugh in her goodbye, telling the audience, "Thank you so much to Katie Holmes and Claire Danes." Would it be too much to call our Catwoman the cat's pajamas? (Yes. Yes it would.)
What did you think of Saturday's show? Did Hathaway's taste of Les Mis in the monologue enough to keep you wanting more?
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The first teaser for the eagerly anticipated second season of the addictive Showtime drama Homeland lasted all of 10 seconds. (Of course, in those 10 seconds, I'm certain Claire Danes' troubled CIA operative Carrie Matheson would have been able to pull out crucial clues and hints at what's in store.) Now a second trailer for the Emmy-nominated series has been released, and Homeland fans can finally breathe a sigh of relief: there's more! A full 25 seconds more!
The preview delves deeper into the busy mind of Carrie. Or, at least the fragments that may be left of it after the harrowing, heartbreaking electroconvulsive therapy procedure she endured in the Season 1 finale. With snippets of what sounds like dialogue from both last season and this upcoming one (which premieres on Showtime on September 30), there's no denying that Carrie won't rest until she reveals the truth about Brody. As we hear in a profound Carrie voiceover (no, not this kind): "You are a traitor and a terrorist and now it's time to pay for that." Look at the thrilling, albeit short, clip below. And then look again: More:
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It feels cruelly fitting that the teaser trailer for Season 2 of Homeland leaves viewers waiting with baited breath and a flurry of questions. After all, it's those very things that hooked fans in during the Golden Globe-winning Season 1.
It's also fitting that the criminally short clip (10 seconds, to be exact) puts an emphasis on the word "obsession," as it's both the thing that drives CIA op Carrie Matheson (a continually impressive Claire Danes) to prevent terrorism on U.S. soil and discover the truth about POW Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) and that drives us to keep watching. "You wait. You lay low. And then you come to life," Danes says in a voiceover, leaving us with the notion that Carrie may have been down in the Season 1 finale, but she is most certainly not out of the game. Watch the preview here:
"Her obsession hits home." Damn. What does it all mean?! Rather than break down every frame of the teaser by printing them out, tacking them to our wall and making a detailed timeline with laser-like focus and unrelenting determination, instead we'll ask the questions that need to be answered in Season 2 of the Showtime drama. Well, other than why in the hell does Jessica call her own husband Brody? (Seriously, that's just weird.)
1. How much will Carrie remember? In those devastating last few moments of the Season 1 finale we witnessed the mentally and emotionally drained Carrie undergoing shock treatment in an attempt to manage her bipolar disorder, and maybe to some degree, forget some of the things that haunt her. But will the treatment simply level her out or give her all-encompassing amnesia like Rory Gilmore (okay, fine, Beth) on Mad Men? Right before undergoing the procedure Carrie had a flash back to Brody calling out Issa's name in his sleep during a nightmare and asked those around her to help her remember that important detail, but it fell on deaf ears. Will Carrie be able to recall that major revelation? How long will it take? Or will it, tragically, be gone forever?
2. Will Brody actually run for Congress? While the former Marine Sergeant turned Al-Qaeda operative didn't carry out his suicide bomb mission, he assured Abu Nazir that he could do what he needs and infiltrate U.S. policy from the inside if he were to win a seat in Congress. But, as evidenced by his change of heart, Brody's allegiances tend to change. If he were to win, would he actually attempt to make changes in the name of Issa or would he wield his power to his own benefit? More over, hasn't he left too dirty a trail — including that damning post-suicide confession tape, killing and his affair with Carrie — to run an effective campaign?
3. What happened to Aileen Morgan? Like Brody, another homeland terrorist, Morgan was brought back by Saul as she attempted to flee to Mexico. Morgan had allies and help all over and those tied to her were likely not thwarted by her capture, nor Raquim's death. What happened to Aileen when she was brought back to D.C. and, more importantly, what happened to those who were working with her?
4. How much will Saul be able to do alone? Since Saul spent the better half of Season 1 kicking ass and taking names, including terrorist accomplices, the horrible VP and David Estes, it's unlikely the newly single (sorry, Saul) CIA chief will let this case, especially now that he knows about the drone attack that killed all those children, will let this one rest. After the suicide bomb attack and sniper shooting in D.C., can Saul crack the case that Carrie was so close to doing without her help anymore?
5. WHO IS THE MOLE? Seriously. This one is killing us.
Those questions and so many, many more will hopefully be questioned when Homeland returns to Showtime on September 30.
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A decade-long gap between sequels could leave a franchise stale but in the case of Men in Black 3 it's the launch pad for an unexpectedly great blockbuster. The kooky antics of Agent J (Will Smith) and Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) don't stray far from their 1997 and 2002 adventures but without a bombardment of follow-ups to keep the series in mind the wonderfully weird sensibilities of Men in Black feel fresh Smith's natural charisma once again on full display. Barry Sonnenfeld returns for the threequel another space alien romp with a time travel twist — which turns out to be Pandora's Box for the director's deranged imagination.
As time passed in the real world so did it for the timeline in the world of Men in Black. Picking up ten years after MIB 2 J and K are continuing to protect the Earth from alien threats and enforce the law on those who live incognito. While dealing with their own personal issues — K is at his all-time crabbiest for seemingly no reason — the suited duo encounter an old enemy Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) a prickly assassin seeking revenge on K who blew his arm off back in the '60s. Their street fight is more of a warning; Boris' real plan is to head back in time to save his arm and kill off K. He's successful prompting J to take his own leap through the time-space continuum — and team up with a younger K (Josh Brolin) to put an end to Boris plans for world domination.
Men in Black 3 is the Will Smith show. Splitting his time between the brick personalities of Jones and Brolin's K Smith struts his stuff with all the fast-talking comedic style that made him a star in yesteryears. In present day he's still the laid back normal guy in a world of oddities — J raises an eyebrow as new head honcho O (Emma Thompson) delivers a eulogy in a screeching alien tongue but coming up with real world explanations for flying saucer crashes comes a little easier. But back in 1969 he's an even bigger fish out water. Surprisingly director Barry Sonnenfeld and writer Etan Cohen dabble in the inherent issues that would spring up if a black gentlemen decked out in a slick suit paraded around New York in the late '60s. A star of Smith's caliber may stray away from that type of racy humor but the hook of Men in Black 3 is the actor's readiness for anything. He turns J's jokey anachronisms into genuine laughs and doesn't mind letting the special effect artists stretch him into an unrecognizable Twizzler for the movie's epic time jump sequence.
Unlike other summer blockbusters Men in Black 3 is light on the action Sonnenfeld utilizing his effects budget and dazzling creature work (by the legendary Rick Baker) to push the comedy forward. J's fight with an oversized extraterrestrial fish won't keep you on the edge of your seat but his slapstick escape and the marine animal's eventual demise are genuinely amusing. Sonnenfeld carries over the twisted sensibilities he displayed in small screen work like Pushing Daisies favoring bizarre banter and elaborating on the kookiness of the alien underworld than battle scenes. MIB3's chase scene is passable but the movie in its prime when Smith is sparring with Brolin and newcomer Michael Stuhlbarg who steals the show as a being capable of seeing the future. His twitchy character keeps Smith and the audience on their toes.
Men in Black 3 digs up nostalgia I wasn't aware I had. Smith's the golden boy of summer and even with modern ingenuity keeping it fresh — Sonnenfeld uses the mandatory 3D to full and fun effect — there's an element to the film that feels plucked from another era. The movie is economical and slight with plenty of lapses in logic that will provoke head scratching on the walk out of the theater but it's also perfectly executed. After ten years of cinematic neutralizing the folks behind Men in Black haven't forgotten what made the first movie work so well. After al these years Smith continues to make the goofy plot wild spectacle and crazed alien antics look good.