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True pop culture connoisseurs are willing to give just about every genre, series, miniseries, director or film a try. But even though they're just as excited for the new Marvel movie as they are the latest indie from Richard Linklater, or watch both Breaking Bad and The Bachelorette, there's still one genre that most TV buffs are reluctant to sample. We are, of course, referring to the cooking show, likely the preferred Sunday afternoon programming of your parents. But cooking shows are more than just drawn out recipes from stiff, snobby chefs; they're exciting and interesting and sometimes, even dangerous. In an effort to encourage television fiends to expand their horizons even further, we've pulled together some of our favorites and matched them to their pop culture equivalent, so you can find the show or competition that's right for your appetite. Even if you don't find a new addition to your DVR, at least you've got something new to eat during your next Netflix binge.
If You Like Nancy Meyers’ Movies, Try Barefoot Contessa If you’re watching a Nancy Meyers film, you’re probably someone who appreciates a middle-aged romance, a linen pant and an expensive kitchen. Ina Garten’s show is ostensibly about teaching people how to cook delicious, rustic dishes, but it’s really about her beautiful home in the Hamptons, where’s she always throwing together something in her impeccably designed kitchen for an impromptu – but perfectly designed – get together. And since her husband Jeffrey often wanders in to fawn over her, all it’s really missing is Diane Keaton.
If You Like Scandal, Try Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee On Scandal, Olivia Pope can solve even the most intimidating, impossible-looking presidential problems with efficiency, and spends a significant amount of time contemplating her life while drinking wine in an expensive cardigan. Sandra Lee does the exact same thing on Semi-Homemade, only the problem is how to turn a bunch of processed, canned foods into something that’s even remotely edible. Unlike Olivia, unfortunately, she doesn't always succeed.
If You Like Channing Tatum, Try Anything with Bobby Flay Channing Tatum has carved out a niche in Hollywood by being good-looking and likable, no matter what kind of film he’s in. Comedy, romance, action, it doesn’t matter – you’re not really there for the plot, you just want to watch a Channing Tatum movie. When you want that kind of comfortable entertainment from your cooking shows, turn to Bobby Flay. It doesn’t matter which show you choose. He has a million of them, and they’re all just as likable and inoffensive as the others.
If You Like True Blood, Try Nigella Feasts Chances are you lost track of the plot of True Blood about three seasons ago and are now just tuning in for the sheer amount of skin on display. What’s Joe Manganiello saying? Who cares, just look at him. If you’re looking for a cooking show that will be equally uncomfortable to watch with your parents, you’re looking for Nigella Lawson, who treats food the way the rest of us treat Alexander Skarsgaard and Ryan Kwanten. What’s she making? It doesn’t matter. Just look at it.
If You Like Glee, Try 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray Only a few people have stuck with Glee this long into its run. They’re the kind of people who are willing to ignore just about anything in favor of upbeat dance numbers, familiar characters, and bright colors. They’re also the kind of people who would love 30 Minute Meals with Rachael Ray, another acquired taste. You want questionable dialogue? People talking enthusiastically in the loudest, most theatrical voice possible? Comfortable guilty pleasures? A set designed in shades of tangerine? This is the show for you.
If You Like Everything Michael Bay's Created, Try Guy’s Big Bite You’re a person with simple tastes: you want loud, explosive action scenes, very little plot, lots of incoherent shouting and as many punching robots as humanly possible. Sure, you might get teased by friends who think they have better sensibilities, but you know you’re not alone in your preferences. Luckily, there’s a cooking show just for you, hosted by the culinary equivalent of Michael Bay – Guy Fieri – in which he makes loud, obnoxious, potentially explosive food that forgoes any kind of subtlety for punching you in the face with flavors.
If You Like True Detective, Try Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown This isn’t a straightforward cooking show, but then True Detective isn’t a straightforward murder mystery show. Both feature a complicated, charming anti-hero with a penchant for foul language, who sets out in search of meaning and mystery. it just so happens that instead of solving a crime, Anthony Bourdian is hunting down obscure delicacies. All of the action, adventure, beautiful cinematography, and potential for weird crushes are still in tact, though. Don’t you worry.
If You Like The Hunger Games, Try Top Chef Do you like televised competitions in which one person must outsmart, outwit, and out-maneuver everyone else, please judges who have the ability to bestow gifts and advantages on them, utilize their individual skills in creative ways, form alliances and teams in order to support one another, all in hte interest of coming out on top? The only difference between The Hunger Games and Top Chef is that nobody dies on the latter. Although, someone did cut off a finger once…
If You Like Harry Potter, Try Jamie Oliver For many people, the Harry Potter series was an introduction to a lifelong love of reading, British culture, fantasy worlds and fandom, among other things. Likewise, Jamie Oliver is often an entryway into the world of cooking shows. He’s handsome and charming, easy to follow, and cooks simple, classic meals with all of the manic enthusiasm of Daniel Radcliffe. The first time you ever saw someone make traditional British food? It was probably Jamie Oliver. Plus, like Harry, he’s the star of an epic series of his own, with somewhere between two and 12 shows airing on some channel at any given time.
If You Like Friday Night Lights, Try Chuck’s Day Off As many Friday Night Lights fans know, sometimes the best programs are the ones very few people are watching, and that’s true of the Cooking Channel show Chuck’s Day Off. In this series, our culinary Tim Riggins, Chuck Hughes, takes us through the process of cooking classic, simple food with his laid-back, good ol' boy charm. At some point, before you’re entirely ready, you’ll be done with all the episodes, feeling empty, hungry, and a little bit in love. And like with Friday Night Lights, you’ll spend a significant amount of time trying to convince your friends to give it a shot, promising it’s “not just about cooking, I promise!”
Former Lostprophets stars would have killed frontman Ian Watkins if they had realised he was a child molester. Watkins, 36, was convicted of a catalogue of sickening abuse last year (13), including the attempted rape of a baby, and he was sentenced to 35 years behind bars for his crimes.
His bandmates initially hoped the allegations were "all a mistake", but they were horrified when Watkins pleaded guilty, and now they have insisted they would have reacted violently if they had known about the singer's abuse before he was arrested.
Guitarist Lee Gaze tells BBC Newsbeat, "How could you know? How would you know? Who would disclose such a thing to five people who have eight children? You just wouldn't because they would be killed on the spot."
He went on to add that the rest of the band had grown so distant from Watkins that he believes they would have split up regardless of the abuse case, adding, "He was doing his own thing. That just grew worse over the years, the more he was using drugs. He could be in the same city as me and I wouldn't hang out with him, even if we weren't playing shows."
Lostprophets split in the aftermath of Watkins' arrest, and the five remaining bandmates - Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - formed a new group, No Devotion.
Former Lostprophets star Stuart Richardson smashed a platinum record to pieces in anger at frontman Ian Watkins' sickening child sex offences. Watkins was convicted of a number of shocking abuse charges, including the attempted rape of a baby, last year (13). He was sentenced to 35 years behind bars and the band, which formed in Wales in 1997, split shortly after.
Now members Richardson and Lee Gaze have spoken out about their shock and disgust for their disgraced ex-bandmate and the music they made with him.
Speaking to Britain's The Guardian, bassist Richardson explained how he believes their music has been tarnished by Watkins' actions, and he recently vented his fury by smashing an award he received for sales of their hit third album Liberation Transmission.
He says, "I don't know how his badness can't cancel out our music. We had platinum records in our houses, awards. I smashed Liberation Transmission the other day. The rest are in the garage and they'll probably never come out again."
Glaze adds that he will never be able to listen to their material from that time again: "I can't. It's tainted, because he was the voice of the band, and it was his lyrics."
They also reveal how they confronted Watkins in 2012 when his drug taking got out of hand. Glaze adds, "We had an intervention with him to get him off coke, and he denied he was doing it, and then a year later he was addicted to crystal meth. The gigs in 2012 were awful - on tour, he was barely functioning; he'd miss cues for songs and wasn't interacting with (the) audience. He really didn't spend much time with us. I'm quite a loner, anyway, and we weren't close... We were operating on a fractured basis, where we would only get together to do our job."
The pair has since formed a new band, Lost Devotion, with other ex-Lostprophets rockers Mike Lewis, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson. Former Thursday star Geoff Rickly is acting as frontman.
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Whether you loved the way it neatly wrapped things up or hated the cheesy fairy tale ending it gave the series, the epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been, for the most part, the only real glimpse that fans got at the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their time at Hogwarts concluded. Though many have been able to get their fix of the Wizarding World through the snippets that J.K. Rowling has posted on Pottermore, she's been silent on the fate of the Golden Trio and the rest of Dumbledore's Army... until Tuesday morning, that is. In honor of the Quidditch World Cup — which conveniently coincides with the muggle world's World Cup — the author has released a series of short stories and mock articles about the game, its history, and now its famous spectators.
But while the always reliable Rita Skeeter has filled us in on what Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have been up to in the years since school (working as an Auror, helping George run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, working up the ranks in the Ministry, and becoming a Quidditch reporter, respectively), there are still so many more characters whose fates were not addressed. In fact, Rita's article brings up more questions than answers, since everything it reveals leaves us wanting to know more about the Wizarding World. On the off chance that Rowling is looking for inspiration for another Pottermore update, we'd recommend she start by tackling some of these burning questions:
Where’s Draco Malfoy? We don’t expect Draco to be hanging out with Dumbledore’s Army any more now than he did when they were all at Hogwarts, but does Rowling really expect us to believe that he would pass up any opportunity to swan around a VIP area and brag about his success, real or exaggerated? Surely, if everyone were gathering at the World Cup, he would be there, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle and ready to start a fight, just as he always was. Draco Malfoy never shies away from a potential spotlight.
Did Lee Jordan Ever Make It as a Quidditch Announcer? Perhaps the greatest sports announcers – real or fictional – of all time, Lee Jordan had a gift for adding color and sass to even the most boring of calls, and even if Professor McGonagall didn’t appreciate his admittedly biased reporting, readers certainly did. It’s hard to imagine a career that suits the Weasley twins’ former partner-in-crime better.
How Does Rita Have Trouble Telling the Weasley Boys Apart? They might all have red hair, freckles and hand-me-down clothes, but all of the Weasley boys are distinct entities, and if she’s already got Ron and Bill down, it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to figure out the other three. Here’s a cheat sheet: if he looks self-important, slightly nerdy, and wears glasses, it’s Percy; if he’s ruggedly handsome and desert-worn, it’s Charlie, and if he has one ear, is constantly joking around and seems like there should be another one of him standing right there, it’s George.
Has Luna Mellowed Out Since School? Rita seems intrigued by Luna’s World Cup outfit, but we’re a little disappointed by it. What happened to the elaborate roaring lion’s head she broke out for a Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match in the sixth book? Where are her radish earrings or her Spectrespecs or her colorful shoes? This is the tamest Luna costume we’ve seen, and it makes us a bit worried that she’s lost some of her unique, spacey edge.
What Did Hannah Abbott Do Before She Married Neville? The epilogue revealed a bit about what the other potential Boy Who Lived has been up to since school has ended, but we know next to nothing about the new Mrs. Longbottom. What were her school years like? What did she get her OWLs in? How did she and Neville meet and fall in love? How long have they been married? What did she do for work before deciding to become a Healer and move to Hogwarts with Neville? Forget the Marauders; we want to hear a lot more about Neville and Hannah.
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Where’s Angelina Johnson? There’s no way that the former Gryffindor Captain would let her husband George Weasley attend the Quidditch World Cup without her. After all, this is the one person who was as obsessed with the sport as Oliver Wood, who captained the team with a drive and determination that would have made even her predecessor request a day off. The only possibly explanation, therefore, is that she’s a Chaser on the English National Team and was getting ready for the match at the time Rita observed her friends.
Is Hagrid Still Working at Hogwarts? That mention of Neville and Hannah hoping to move to the school’s grounds reminded us of the only non-dormitory living quarters we’ve seen: Hagrid’s hut. So, naturally, we’re curious as to what the Wizarding World’s foremost foster parent to dangerous animals is up to now. Is he still working as the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds? Did he and Madame Maxime ever manage to work things out? Did he ever get his pet dragon? For the sake of everyone else on the Hogwarts grounds, we’re hoping the answer to that last one is still “no.”
Is Professor McGonagall Still Headmaster? She was, after all, the natural successor to Dumbledore. And more importantly, is she still the toughest, kindest, smartest, most sensible and admirable woman in the Wizarding World? Actually, we can just answer that one ourselves. She definitely is.
Who’s the Current Minister of Magic? We know that the Department of Magical Transportation falls under Percy’s jurisdiction, and that Hermione is, as expected, quickly working her way up the ranks at the Ministry, and is currently the Deputy Head of Magical Law Enforcement. But what we don’t know is who Hermione would potentially be outsing as Minister of Magic, should she ascend to the position. Last we heard, it was Kingsley Shacklebolt, but knowing the Wizarding World as well as we do, it’s entirely possible that power has changed hands since then.
Who Is Still Hiring Rita Skeeter as a Writer? Was the Daily Prophet so desperate for subscriptions that they kept her on? Or does the Wizarding World have its own version of TMZ, where Rita can write and publish all of the gossip her QuickQuotesQuill can possibly come up with? Is there a publication out there that could keep up with the sheer number of slander lawsuits she’s probably had filed against her?
Charlie Weasley Is Basically the Wizarding World’s Equivalent of George Clooney, Right? Handsome bachelor, more focused on his glamorous job than his love life, unlikely to settle down any time soon, but making people swoon everywhere he goes? All Charlie needs is a villa in Italy, and they’d be the exact same person.
The former stars of defunct Welsh rock group Lostprophets have returned to the spotlight as No Devotion to release a new single on Tuesday (01Jul14). The Streets of Nowhere hitmakers split in October (13) shortly before their frontman Ian Watkins pleaded guilty to a string of sickening sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby.
The singer was jailed for 35 years, and his former bandmates - Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - have gone on to form a new group without him.
They returned as No Devotion, fronted by former Thursday star Geoff Rickly, and released their debut single, Stay, on Tuesday. They plan to head out on tour later this month (Jul14).
The Notebook star Jamie Anne Allman is pregnant with her third child. The actress and her husband, True Blood's Marshall Allman, will become parents next month (Jun14), according to Us Weekly.
The couple wed in 2006 and became parents to premature twin boys Asher and Oliver in January, 2013. The boys were born 81 days before their due date and spent almost three months in hospital before they were allowed to go home.
The Allman's third child will be a girl.
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend's funeral was held in Leicester, England on Friday (02May14). Townsend died in April (14) aged 68 after suffering a stroke. More than 500 friends and family attended the service, including British actor Stephen Mangan and TV chef Jamie Oliver.
The former members of Welsh rockers Lostprophets are working on new music under a different name following the child abuse conviction of frontman Ian Watkins. The Streets of Nowhere hitmakers split in October (13), shortly before Watkins pleaded guilty to a string of sickening sex offences, including the attempted rape of a baby, telling fans they could "no longer continue making or performing music as Lostprophets".
The singer was jailed for 35 years in December (13), and now the remaining members of the band - Lee Gaze, Mike Lewis, Stuart Richardson, Jamie Oliver and Luke Johnson - have reunited to start anew.
They have teamed up with ex-Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly to record new music for his Collect Records company, although he is only working with them as their label boss.
Discussing the new project, he says, "I think if ever there was a group of people that needed a second chance, it's those guys - and they're going to take full advantage of it. People don't really think of what happens to the other members. That took away their life. What happened is just devastating for them.
"It's been my honour to work with them on their new band from a label perspective. People are not going to know what hit them when the new band comes out. It's like everything I grew up on: a little bit of New Order, a little bit of Joy Division, little bit of The Cure. It's just so forward-thinking."
The name of the new group has yet to be announced.
Oliver Stone will no longer direct a planned biopic about civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. due to creative differences. The controversial filmmaker had been tapped to take charge of the DreamWorks/Warner Bros. production, which is expected to document the activist's life from his days as a preacher in Atlanta, Georgia, to his rise as a non-violent civil rights leader and his 1968 assassination, but he has since parted ways with producers.
Breaking the news to fans on Twitter.com on Friday (17Jan14), he writes, "Sad news. My MLK project involvement has ended. I did an extensive rewrite of the script, but the producers won't go with it.
"The script dealt w/ (with) issues of adultery, conflicts within the movement, and King's spiritual transformation into a higher, more radical being. I'm told the estate & the 'respectable' black community that guard King's reputation won't approve it. They suffocate the man & the truth."
Representatives for the movie studios have yet to comment on Stone's exit, which was announced ahead of Monday's U.S. bank holiday in honour of King, Jr.
The activist's children Dexter, Bernice and Martin Luther King III will all serve as producers for the film, alongside DreamWorks Studios' Steven Spielberg.
Jamie Foxx was last linked to tackle the lead role in October (13), but it is not yet known if he is still involved.
British pop star-turned-actress Kym Marsh is single again after her divorce became official on Friday (10Jan14). The former Hear'Say star split from British actor Jamie Lomas in October (13), weeks after reports emerged suggesting Marsh had become romantically involved with her Coronation Street co-star, Oliver Mellor.
The break-up has now become official following a hearing which reportedly lasted no longer than a minute in London, according to Britain's Daily Mirror.
The couple exchanged vows in Cheshire, England in 2012 and is parents to two-year-old daughter, Polly.