The Roots drummer Questlove has challenged fellow musicians to write protest songs in response to recent U.S. grand jury decisions to clear cops over the deaths of two men. Last month (Nov14) it was ruled police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted after gunning down teenage thief Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August (14).
On Wednesday (03Dec14), a grand jury reached a similar conclusion over the case of Eric Garner, who died in July (14) after he was placed in what appeared to be a 'chokehold' by New York officer Daniel Pantaleo as he was arrested for illegally selling cigarettes.
Following the latest ruling, thousands of protesters took to the streets of New York, and many celebrities have echoed their sentiments on social media.
Among them was musician Questlove, who took to Instagram.com to point out contemporary music's lack of political activism.
He wrote, "I urge and challenge musicians and artists alike to push themselves to be a voice of the times that we live in. I'm kinda/sorta addressing the hip hop nation I really apply this challenge to ALL artists. We need new (Bob) Dylans. New Public Enemys. New (Nina) Simones. New (Zack) De La Roachas. New ideas!
"I'm not saying every song gotta be 'Fight The Power' but in times like these we need to be more community minded... I mean real stories. Real narratives. Songs with spirit in them. Songs with solutions. Songs with questions. Protest songs don't have to be boring or non danceable or ready made for the next Olympics. They just have to speak truth...
"My soul is aching man. Seriously just one or two songs that change the course. This is something I feel the need and urgency to put out there."
Stevie Wonder has also spoken out about the controversies, taking time out during a gig in Seattle, Washington on Wednesday to tell the audience, "Can you believe that within one month, two grand juries - secret grand juries - declined to indict two policemen for the killing of two black men? I just don't understand that... I do understand that something is wrong, real wrong. And we as family, Americans, all of us, of all colours, need to fix it with a quickness real soon."
The pre-votes are in, and we finally have the nominee list for the 2014 People's Choice Awards thanks to the People's Choice blog. And man, oh, man is it a hefty list.
With a total of 58 categories, the awards show covers music, movies, and television with categories from "Favorite Action Movie Star" to "Favorite TV Anti-Hero" to "Favorite TV Bromance." This year's top contenders are Glee (with 8 nods), Katy Perry (5 nods), and Sandra Bullock (5 nods). And don't worry about Bullock's Gravity co-star George Clooney feeling left out — the two of them snagged a nod for "Favorite Duo." (You already know what we think about their magical pairing.)
We've got the entire list of nominees for you... have fun scrolling!
Favorite MovieDespicable Me 2Fast & Furious 6Iron Man 3Monsters UniversityStar Trek Into Darkness
Favorite Movie ActorChanning TatumHugh JackmanJohnny DeppLeonardo DiCaprioRobert Downey Jr.
Favorite Movie ActressGwyneth PaltrowJennifer AnistonMelissa McCarthySandra BullockScarlett Johansson
Favorite Movie DuoChris Pine & Zachary Quinto (Star Trek Into Darkness)Jennifer Aniston & Jason Sudeikis (We’re the Millers)Robert Downey Jr. & Gwyneth Paltrow (Iron Man 3)Sandra Bullock & George Clooney (Gravity)Sandra Bullock & Melissa McCarthy (The Heat)
Favorite Action MovieFast & Furious 6Iron Man 3Star Trek Into DarknessThe WolverineWorld War Z
Favorite Action Movie StarBrad PittChanning TatumHugh JackmanRobert Downey Jr.Vin Diesel
Favorite Comedic MovieGrown Ups 2The Hangover Part IIIThe HeatInstructions Not IncludedWe’re the Millers
Favorite Comedic Movie ActorAdam SandlerBradley CooperChris RockJames FrancoZach Galifianakis
Favorite Comedic Movie ActressEmma WatsonJennifer AnistonMelissa McCarthySandra BullockScarlett Johansson
Favorite Dramatic MovieCaptain PhillipsGravityThe Great GatsbyLee Daniels’ The ButlerPrisoners
Favorite Dramatic Movie ActorChanning TatumChris HemsworthHugh JackmanLeonardo DiCaprioRyan Gosling
Favorite Dramatic Movie ActressAmy AdamsEmma StoneHalle BerryOprah WinfreySandra Bullock
Favorite Family MovieDespicable Me 2Monsters UniversityOz the Great and PowerfulPercy Jackson: Sea of MonstersThe Smurfs 2
Favorite Horror MovieCarrieThe ConjuringHansel & Gretel: Witch HuntersInsidious: Chapter 2Mama
Favorite Thriller MovieA Good Day to Die HardThe CallNow You See MeRed 2White House Down
Favorite Network TV Comedy2 Broke GirlsThe Big Bang TheoryGleeHow I Met Your MotherModern Family
Favorite Comedic TV ActorChris ColferDarren CrissJesse Tyler FergusonJim ParsonsNeil Patrick Harris
Favorite Comedic TV ActressJane LynchKaley CuocoLea MicheleMelissa McCarthyZooey Deschanel
Favorite Network TV DramaChicago FireThe Good WifeGrey’s AnatomyNashvilleParenthood
Favorite Dramatic TV ActorJim CaviezelJosh CharlesKevin BaconMark HarmonPatrick Dempsey
Favorite Dramatic TV ActressJulianna MarguliesMariska HargitayPauley PerretteSandra OhStana Katic
Favorite Actor in a New TV SeriesAndy SambergJonathan Rhys MeyersJoseph MorganMichael J. FoxRobin Williams
Favorite Actress in a New TV SeriesAllison JanneyAnna FarisMing-Na WenRebel WilsonSarah Michelle Gellar
Favorite TV Crime DramaBonesCastleCriminal MindsThe MentalistNCIS
Favorite Competition TV ShowAmerica’s Got TalentDancing with the StarsMasterChefThe VoiceThe X Factor
Favorite Cable TV ComedyAwkward.Cougar TownHot in ClevelandMelissa & JoeyPsych
Favorite Cable TV DramaDownton AbbeyPretty Little LiarsSons of AnarchyThe Walking DeadWhite Collar
Favorite Premium Cable TV ShowCalifornicationGame of ThronesGirlsHomelandTrue Blood
Favorite Cable TV ActressAngie HarmonClaire DanesCourteney CoxLucy HaleMaggie Smith
Favorite TV Anti-HeroDexter Morgan (Dexter)Jaime Lannister (Game of Thrones)Norman Bates (Bates Motel)Rick Grimes (The Walking Dead)Walter White (Breaking Bad)
Favorite TV BromanceBlaine & Sam (Glee)Ryan & Esposito (Castle)Sam, Dean & Castiel (Supernatural)Sheldon, Leonard, Howard & Raj (The Big Bang Theory)Ted, Marshall & Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
Favorite TV Gal PalsCaroline & Max (2 Broke Girls)Lily & Robin (How I Met Your Mother)Meredith & Cristina (Grey’s Anatomy)Penny, Bernadette & Amy (The Big Bang Theory)Rachel & Santana (Glee)
Favorite On-Screen ChemistryCastle & Beckett (Castle)Damon & Elena (The Vampire Diaries)Derek & Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy)Emma & Hook (Once Upon A Time)Kurt & Blaine (Glee)
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV ShowBeauty and the BeastOnce Upon A TimeSupernaturalThe Vampire DiariesThe Walking Dead
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV ActorAndrew LincolnIan SomerhalderJared PadaleckiJensen AcklesStephen Amell
Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV ActressEmilia ClarkeGinnifer GoodwinKristin KruekNina DobrevTatiana Maslany
Favorite TV Movie/MiniseriesAmerican Horror StoryBehind the CandelabraThe BibleSharknadoThe White Queen
Favorite Daytime TV Host(s)Ellen DeGeneresKelly Ripa & Michael StrahanDr. Phil McGrawRachael RaySteve Harvey
Favorite New Talk Show HostArsenio HallBethenny FrankelJenny McCarthyQueen LatifahRoss Mathews
Favorite Late Night Talk Show HostConan O’BrienDavid LettermanJimmy FallonJimmy KimmelStephen Colbert
Favorite Streaming SeriesArrested DevelopmentBetween Two Ferns with Zach GalifianakisHouse of CardsLosing It with John StamosOrange Is the New Black
Favorite Series We Miss Most30 RockBreaking BadDexterFringeThe Office
Favorite New TV ComedyBrooklyn Nine-NineThe Crazy OnesDadsThe GoldbergsThe Michael J. Fox ShowThe MillersMomSean Saves the WorldSuper Fun NightTrophy Wife
Favorite New TV DramaMarvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.BetrayalThe BlacklistDraculaHostagesOnce Upon a Time in WonderlandThe OriginalsReignSleepy HollowThe Tomorrow People
Favorite Male ArtistAviciiBlake SheltonBruno MarsJustin TimberlakeMichael Bublé
Favorite Female ArtistBritney SpearsDemi LovatoKaty PerryP!nkSelena Gomez
Favorite Breakout ArtistAriana GrandeAustin MahoneIcona PopImagine DragonsLorde
Favorite Pop ArtistBritney SpearsBruno MarsDemi LovatoJustin TimberlakeKaty Perry
Favorite Country ArtistThe Band PerryBlake SheltonCarrie UnderwoodLady AntebellumTaylor Swift
Favorite Country Music IconAlan JacksonGeorge StraitTim McGrawToby KeithWillie Nelson
Favorite Hip-Hop ArtistDrakeJay ZKanye WestLil WayneMacklemore & Ryan Lewis
Favorite R&B ArtistAlicia KeysCiaraJustin TimberlakeRihannaRobin Thicke
Favorite BandImagine DragonsMaroon 5One DirectionOneRepublicParamore
Favorite Alternative BandFall Out BoyImagine DragonsMumford & SonsMuseParamore
Favorite SongJust Give Me A Reason (P!nk feat. Nate Ruess)Mirrors (Justin Timberlake)Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)Roar (Katy Perry)When I Was Your Man (Bruno Mars)
Favorite AlbumThe 20/20 Experience (Justin Timberlake)Bangerz (Miley Cyrus)Based on a True Story… (Blake Shelton)Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)To Be Loved (Michael Bublé)
Favorite Music VideoBest Song Ever (One Direction)Heart Attack (Demi Lovato)Just Give Me A Reason (P!nk feat. Nate Ruess)Roar (Katy Perry)Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus)
Favorite Music Fan FollowingBritney Army (Britney Spears)Directioners (One Direction)KatyCats (Katy Perry)Little Monsters (Lady Gaga)Lovatics (Demi Lovato)
We're impressed you read the whole list.
The 40th annual show will be hosted by 2 Broke Girls stars Beth Behrs and Kat Dennings on CBS on Jan. 8 at 9 PM. Final voting ends on Dec. 5.
Rapper Kendrick Lamar will lead the way at the 2013 Soul Train Awards after scoring six top nominations. The hip-hop star's good kid, m.A.A.d city release will compete for Album of the Year, going up against Jay Z's Magna Carta... Holy Grail, Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience and Rihanna's Unapologetic, while his track Poetic Justice, featuring Drake, is up for both song and Video of the Year.
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Chris Brown's Fine China and Tamar Braxton's Love and War have also been shortlisted for the two categories, while Poetic Justic will be in the running for Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year too.
In addition, Lamar has earned mentions for Best New Artist and Best Collaboration for his verse on Miguel's How Many Drinks.
Meanwhile, Brown, Thicke, John Legend, Bruno Mars, Miguel and Charlie Wilson will do battle for Best R&B/Soul Male Artist, and Alicia Keys, Braxton, Kelly Rowland, Janelle Monae, Fantasia and Chrisette Michelle will compete for the female equivalent.
The Best Dance Performance rundown features Thicke (Blurred Lines), Timberlake (Suit & Tie with Jay Z), Brown (Fine China) and Ciara (Body Party), while the Centric Certified Award will be a fight between the likes of Talib Kweli, Joss Stone and Solange.
The 2013 Soul Train Awards will take place in Las Vegas on 8 November (13) and will be presented by actor Anthony Anderson.
Chris Lilley is bringing our favorite Summer Heights High character back with Ja'mie: Private School Girl. This time, she's left public school and back on her old stomping grounds, Hillford Girls Grammar School, where the lawns are more manicured and the trash bins are less random. We love Ja'mie for her brutal honesty, her words of wisdom, and her tireless goal of helping others. She's such a strong character that sometimes we forget that she's played by Australian actor Chris Lilley, who makes playing a schoolgirl look so natural and believable. We tip our hats to Mr. Lilley for creating one of the best female characters played by a man in comedy history. To celebrate Ja'mie's triumphant return, we're taking a look back at the best cross-dressing moments in comedy. (And of course, a feathered hat must be tipped to Eddie Izzard, one of the few real-life out transvestites in comedy.)
Dustin Hoffman's gender-bending role as Miss Dorothy Michaels is one of his most memorable. Out-of-work actor Michael Dorsey (Hoffman) dresses up as Dorothy and auditions for a female part on a popular soap opera. He lands the part and becomes a famous actress, but soon faces complications with his new identity, as he falls in love with his costar Julie and is courted by Julie's father. Tootsie earned 10 Oscar nominations, one of which was won by Jessica Lange as Julie, and the American Film Institute ranked it as the second funniest film of all time.
The Kids in the Hall (1988-1994)
The boys of The Kids in the Hall made playing girls a regular thing on TV. In fact, playing women was one of their trademarks, but they weren't in drag, they were just playing regular women. They made cross-dressing and playing the opposite sex seem normal, natural, and comfortable, paving the way for characters like Ja'mie. Two of our favorite characters are secretaries Cathy and Kathie, whose sketches often feature all five of the members playing women.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Robin Williams was born to play Mrs. Doubtfire. After his character, Daniel, loses custody of his kids in his divorce, he finds a way to stay in their lives by applying to be their housekeeper. With the help of his makeup artist brother, he transforms into hefty Scottish matriarch Mrs. Doubtfire. His family has no idea that Mrs. Doubtfire is actually Daniel, and he is able to fully take on the role of their housekeeper, learning to be a better parent to his kids along the way.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Terence Stamp, known for playing villains and intimidating types, steps out of his comfort zone and into gorgeous gowns as Bernadette in this critically acclaimed Australian comedy. His stage partners are played by equally unlikely actors, Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce. The trio travel in a purple school bus named Priscilla through the Australian outback to reach their gig in Alice Springs. They encounter many interesting characters along the way, and Bernadette questions her path in life.
To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything! Julie Newmar (1995)
Coming off the success of Priscilla, To Wong Foo is a similar twist on the buddy-movie genre. Three professional drag queens, Vida Boheme (Patrick Swayze), Noxeema Jackson (Wesley Snipes), and Chi Chi Rodriguez (John Leguizamo) take a road trip from New York to LA and get into several mini adventures in the small towns along the way. In their encounters, the three ladies teach the townspeople valuable life lessons on self-confidence, chivalry, and love.
The Birdcage (1996)
This remake of the Franco-Italian classic La Cage aux Folles stars Robin Williams as Armand, the owner of a South Beach drag club, and Nathan Lane as Armand's domestic partner and star drag queen. When Armand's son, Val, gets engaged to Barbara, whose father is an ultraconservative Republican senator, Armand must create the illusion that he is a straight man when he invites Barbara's parents over for dinner. The ruse gets complicated — but hilarious — when Albert (Lane) uses his talents for cross-dressing and pretends to be Albert's wife.
Sorority Boys (2002)
It's definitely not the most eloquent example of cross-dressing in cinema, but Sorority Boys is proof that the tactic can been used in any genre, even teen sex comedies. Three mysgonistic playboys are accused of embezzlement and get kicked out of their frat, and their only option to stay on campus rent-free is by dressing up like women and joining the sorority Delta Omicron Gamma (D.O.G.). Not the best message, but their past mistreatment of women does come back to bite them in the ass, and they learn a few lessons in the process.
White Chicks (2004)
In this movie, not only do Shawn and Marlon Wayans have to become a different sex, but also a different race. The premise is ridiculous, but that's part of the film's appeal. Brothers and FBI agents Marcus (Marlon) and Kevin (Shawn) Copeland must pretend to be socialite sisters Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (this was when the Hilton sisters were still relevant) in order to catch a serial kidnapper. The movie might not go down in film history, but pop culturalists will forever be haunted by those faces.
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If you were wondering what Hollywood will look like in the next five or 10 years, look no further than this talented group of young actors. Their impressive performances have put them on the map, and it doesn't look like they'll be going anywhere anytime soon. With a talent pool that includes film festival darling Ezra Miller, serious drama actor Dane DeHaan, and quirky ingenue Juno Temple, the future of film has never looked brighter.
Mackenzie FoyYou probably know her as Bella and Edward's half-human, half-vampire baby, Renesmee, from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, but Mackenzie Foy also appeared in this summer's The Conjouring with Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga. Next up, she'll star in the coming-of-age movie Wish You Well with Ellen Burstyn and Josh Lucas, and is signed on to voice a character in the film adaptation of French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's famed novella The Little Prince. Not bad for a 12-year-old.
Dane DeHaanAfter churning out haunting and powerful performances in the supernatural thriller Chronicle and cop thriller The Place Beyond the Pines, Dane DeHaan is officially on our radar. He's also appeared alongside Hollywood heavyweights in Lawless and Lincoln. Currently, DeHaan is bringing his Beat Generation movie, Kill Your Darlings, to the film festival circuit. DeHaan plays darkly alluring musician Lucien Carr opposite Daniel Radcliffe as Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Both the film and DeHaan's performance have earned rave reviews from critics. Next up, he'll star in Reese Witherspoon's dark murder drama Devil's Knot. We're sensing a theme for this talented young actor.
Bella ThorneAt just 15, Bella Thorne is already a seasoned pro in the industry. She's been making appearances on TV and in film since she was only 6 years old. Since 2010, she's starred on the Disney Channel dance show Shake It Up, which helped her score a record deal with Hollywood Records. Next up, she'll star in the film adaptation of popular kids book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day alongside Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell.
Ezra MillerAfter his star-making performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, everybody was talking about Ezra Miller. The movie was a hit at Cannes and Miller became an indie sensation overnight. He saw success again when he starred in last year's film adaptation of beloved teen novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Next up, you can catch Miller as Léon Depuis in Sophie Barthes's adaptation of Gustave Falubert's masterpiece Madame Bovary.
Juno TempleJuno Temple has had steady work since her childhood, appearing in acclaimed movies like Notes on a Scandal, Atonement, and The Other Boleyn Girl. Recent movies have shown that Temple is more than comfortable with her sexuality, such as Dirty Girl, Jack and Diane, a horror romance about two women who are lovers, and the Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace, in which Temple plays Linda's best friend. Next up, Temple will appear in Malificent with Angelina Jolie, and the highly anticipated sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
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Anchorman: The Legend Continues, the highly-anticipated sequel to Will Ferrell's 2004 film of the nearly-identical name (Anchorman) has the Internet wrapped around its little finger. Seriously: it seems as though every day there is a new photo released, a cameo uncovered, a secret spilled, or — as is the case of today — a trailer turned out. Well, OK, so this is the first trailer for the film in about a year, but still: Anchorman obsessives are on high alert. And if you forgot why, this new teaser should remind you.
Star Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and Steve Carell, the trailer below falls in the same vein as the last one: playing out much the same way, with similar success. Personally, I'm hoping some of the 8 billion other stars involved in this project (including Christina Applegate, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kanye West, David Koechner, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Dylan Baker, Meagan Good, Harrison Ford, John C. Reilly, Greg Kinnear, Josh Lawson, Vince Vaughn, Luke Wilson, and Nicole Kidman... just to name a few) get their own moment in the trailer sun.
Now, do the classy thing and watch the new trailer:
Anchorman: The Legend Continues hits theaters December 20, 2013.
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MTV has officially become an Amy Poehler-I'm-a-cool-mom parody of itself — and Sunday night's iteration of its Movie Awards seemed to prove just that. We're not in the 80s anymore. But in an attempt to hold onto that young demographic with all of its might — while still portraying an image of hipness — they recruited current comedy it-girl Rebel Wilson to host the event.
With an opening number featuring some of her Pitch Perfect costars (following an Iron Man and James Franco-featured opening video), the Aussie made sure to push the boundaries of edgy humor all night with talk of extra nipples, pubic hair (so much pubic hair), Australian kisses (like a French kiss...down unda! Zing!), underage drinking, and more. There was truly no limit to what the comedian would skewer.
It was a night filled with awkward speeches, spotty musical numbers, and all of the iconic/trailblazer/genius/whatever awards the show could afford to create in order to get celebrities in the seats. But how did Rebel handle it? That's where you come in. We want to know — did you dig Rebel's hosting style, or were you cringing the whole way through? Take our poll below and sound off in the comments!
&lt;a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/7037129/"&gt;How Did Rebel Wilson Do at the MTV Movie Awards?&lt;/a&gt;
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James Franco poked fun at himself and his Oscars hosting debacle as he opened the MTV Movie Awards with host Rebel Wilson on Sunday night (14Apr13). The Oz: The Great & powerful actor pretended he had trekked to the comedienne's native Australia - "the real Oz" - and found Wilson sitting outside a tent in the outback, where he told her she had been "chosen" to host the awards show.
Recalling his own Oscars night disaster when he co-hosted the Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway, he joked, "Hosting is a blast. You are not gonna regret it for a second... Trust me, nobody will ever say anything bad about you. It'll be totally fun, cool, yes."
Wilson then stepped into an Iron Man suit Franco called Iron Man-gina and 'jetted off' to the Sony Pictures lot in Los Angeles for the ceremony, where she fell from the rafters and announced, "I don't know if I can do this", before breaking into song and performing a parody of Eminem's Lose Yourself and a mash-up of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' Thrift Shop and Alicia Keys' Girl on Fire.
Well, This is Awkward: Rejoice, fans of, well, awkward teenager interactions: MTV's Awkward has obtained a Season 3 premiere date. The third go-round of MTV’s teen comedy will premiere Tuesday, April 16 at 10PM. Apparently, [SPOILER] Jenna will go through a major change when a classmate is tragically killed, resulting in a tumultuous junior year. [TVLine]
Ben Actually Gets a Job: Well, unfortunately, Nat Faxon's titular Ben and Kate character is no more. But the actor himself has rebounded, with a currently guest but likely to be regular (if picked up) role on the ABC single-camera comedy Spy. And while he won't be an actual spy, he WILL be dating the ex-wife of one. That sort of counts, right? [TVLine]
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The Voice Sings Louder: Since reality shows have never heard of too much of a good thing, the spring cycle of The Voice is one again expanding to compete against a Fox rival: this time, American Idol. First, they'll air a one-hour episode on Wednesday, May 8, then two expanded Tuesday episodes, on April 30 and May 7. [Deadline]
Girls Ratings Only So-So: Despite the fact that everyone is talking about it, the Season 2 finale of Girls only drew in 1.1 million viewers across its 3 airings last night. Pretty bleak, but since Season 3 is already underway, Lena has nothing to worry about... yet. [Variety]
Rainn Wilson Heads to CBS: Dwight Schrute has left The Office once and for all, but his real-life counterpart has taken on a role in the new CBS pilot, Backstrom. Wilson will play the title character (as well as nab himself a producer credit), Detective Everett Backstrom: a cantankerous coot who tries and fails to change his self-destructive behavior. [Deadline]
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Sayonara, Bachelor Pad: The Bachelor and The Bachelorette's down-and-out cousin with a flair for dramatics will not be returning for a fourth season this summer. Producer Mike Fleiss confirmed the news via Twitter. Looks like you'll have to find your self-respect elsewhere, folks (just kidding we all know there's none of that to be found in that drain hole). [EW]
Cinemax Ratings Up: HBO's sister network has been slow to hop on the scripted programming success bandwagon, but is starting to see some pick-up in the last year. Thanks to the well-reviewed Hunted and now the ratings boon for Banshee, which nabbed itself the largest audience a Cinemax original series finale has ever seen. The Alan Ball-created series (he of Six Feet Under fame) had 455,000 viewers during its 10 PM viewing, and 655,000 viewers total for the night. [Deadline]
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[Photo Credit: MTV]
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Life after The Office: for some people, the thought illicits sadness and terror: how can one let go of the kooky antics of Jim, Pam, Dwight, and the rest of the Dunder Mifflin Paper Company crew now that the series' finale is mere weeks away? For one of Scranton's finest, Dwight Schrute (aka Rainn Wilson), there was hope for a future in a spin-off series dubbed The Farm: a look at life through the truly bizarre eyes of clan Schrute. Unfortunately for our kooky beet farmers-to-be, NBC put the kibosh on the spin-off months ago, but still managed to fold much of the already-shot pilot into an episode of The Office. So what's the verdict? Well, let's just say, it's no wonder they put The Farm show out to pasture.
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The whole thing felt like a weird take on country-living that at times felt more belittling than anything else. The show focused primarily on ne'er-do-well brother Jeb is a marijuana farmer in California (thanks to what we can only imagine would've been a bunch of ~wacky and zany~ misunderstandings), Dwight himself, and his sister Fannie, a single mother living in the "big city" (Boston). There were crow beaks thrown and smashed (a sign of desired courtship), a clueless urbanite little boy desperate for a father figure, a whole bunch of cousins, angry chickens, a goat mistaken for a cow, and a dead person getting a 21 gun salute...to the chest.
You see, Dwight's beloved Aunt Shirley has died, and a funeral took place on the farm to plant and/or bury said lady into the ground (where she will not grow because the soil is terrible). Only problem is? What to do with the farm, of course! In Shirley's video will, she explained it plainly: whoever moves home to the farm and takes care of it gets to keep it. The perfect set-up for Dwight's departure from The Office, no doubt. A cavalcade of kooks, plucked out of their element, forced to work together? Sounds like the perfect set-up for a series. Only, the jokes were stale — perhaps afraid of being too offensive to country folk, but still wanting to play in that Schrute-y weirdness Office fans have come to know so intimately. The most successful bit of this came in the shooting of already-dead Shirley to ensure she was "completely dead" (apparently a series of locals were accidentally buried alive, surprising grave robbers and the — I guess? — deep sleepers alike). But even that one amusing bit couldn't save the rest.
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Even during some of the worst episodes of The Office, a chuckle or two has often been elicited, but throughout the duration of The Farm, I was just waiting for the episode to end. Not all Office spin-offs can blossom into Parks & Recreation (heck, P&R didn't become great until the middle of season two. And yes, the show did start off as a spin-off of The Office, even if it didn't end up that way), but the forced nature of it all was painfully obvious. It's as if NBC was hoping to cash in on nostalgia for a show that hasn't even left yet. Dwight's opinion on the matter felt like a commentary direct from the execs themselves: "nostalgia is one of the great human weaknesses," something worth exploiting for personal gain (in his case, getting the family to agree to stay on the farm and take care of it together). And perhaps its that very nostalgia for the good ole days that NBC hoped would carry the show forward — a comical thought given The Office isn't even six feet under yet. Perhaps the biggest issue is this: the Dwight character worked because his weirdness was balanced out by Jim's straight man. On a farm left to thrive in his own curio, well, that's just too much Schrute.
What did you think of The Farm? Sound off in the comments!
Follow Alicia on Twitter @alicialutes
[Photo Credit:Tyler Golden/NBC]
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