The CW Has Changed Its Mind: It's baaack! The Selection — a Hunger Games-esque pilot based on a novel by Kiera Cass that was initially made for this year, has been given new life. The show is set 300 years in the future, and it stars a young woman named America Singer who goes on a Bachelor-like competition show to be the nation's next queen. Friday Night Lights' Aimee Teegarden starred in the original pilot, but she is not attached to the rewritten version. [EW]
Showtime Goes There: Showtime has lately become known for its controversial programming, and they won't be stopping anytime soon: The cable network has put in development a neo-Nazi drama called The 4th Reich, executive produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Showtime describes the show as American History X meets The Town, and it will focus on a South Boston ex-con who has to balance his old 'Brotherhood' with his status as an FBI informant. [Deadline]
Violet Returns?: American Horror Story: Asylum ends its run tonight, but, as always, creator Ryan Murphy is making plans for next year. He's already confirmed that Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson will return for Season 3, and now he's in talks with a Season 1 star — Taissa Farmiga — on a possible return. If it ends up working out, Farmiga — who played very troubled teen Violet — would be one of the leads. [EW]
New Girl Gets Shameless: A little bit of Chicago is coming to LA! Steve Howey — who plays Kev on Showtime's hit family dramedy — will guest star as an intense pro football player that Winston interviews. He later attends a party at the loft, and sets his eye on Jess... but wait, isn't she taken? [TVLine]
Army Wives Return: The wives of the army are back! Season 7 is set to debut on Lifetime on Sunday, March 10, the network said in a release. This year, there will be some star-powered new blood on the show: Ashanti, Torrey DeVitto (Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries), Elle McLemore (Bring It On) and Jesse McCartney have joined the cast.
My Name is Earl Reunion: Greg Garcia is blending his two TV worlds once again and the cast of My Name is Earl is coming to Raising Hope. Jason Lee will return as faded rock star Smokey Floyd, and Jaime Pressly and Ethan Suplee will play Burt and Virginia’s neighbors Donna and Andrew. But what is causing this amazing reunion you ask? Hope's 3rd birthday party of course! [TV Line] Follow Shaunna on Twitter @HWShaunna [PHOTO CREDIT: FX] MORE: TV Tidbits: Seth MacFarlane's New Series; 'Arrow' Nabs Another 'Doctor Who' Alum TV Tidbits: 'The Vampire Diaries' Takes a Bite Out of Ratings TV Tidbits: Meredith Vieira In Talks To Host Her Own Daytime Talk Show From Our Partners: Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz) Craziest Celebrity Swimsuits Ever (Celebuzz)
When it comes to the classic will they/won't they television couples (Jim and Pam, Sam and Diane, Mulder and Scully), one thing is certain before they eventually get together: There will be a lot of longing glances shared with unspoken declarations of love in their eyes.
And while New Girl's Jess and Nick follow a lot of the same rules that their googly-eyed television ancestors set for them (first and foremost, they're friends with an unmistakable, often flirtatious bond), they are doing something that sets them apart from the rest and breaking the mold: They talk. Like, actually talk, not in code. They talk like honest friends — who may or may not want to have sex with each other and secretly be in love — would talk.
Where others TV couples carefully play their cards close to the chest, Jess (Zooey Deschanel, earning her stripes as one of today's funniest primetime stars) and Nick (the cuter-by-the-week Jake Johnson) say exactly what they're feeling about each other. In fact, they probably say too much and they usually scream it at each other. If that's not true love, I don't know what is. Tonight was a big episode for Nick and Jess, though — sorry shippers — you probably didn't get what you were hoping for. Yet. It all started when Jess, new to the casual sex game, came to Nick for advice on how to use Sam (guest star David Walton) for his sole purpose. Coloring with crayons! Well, that and some hot NSA nookie. Panicked that she was going to ruin things for good with Sam after a ho-hum night together ("We laid there like two old people in The Notebook... waiting to die"), Schmidt suggests all the fellas in the loft take Jess on a date test run. Despite Nick's reservations and failed attempts at getting out of it (that zombie novel isn't going to write itself, people), Schmidt reminds him of an indisputable fact: "Friends help friends get meaningless sex." Only problem was, Schmidt didn't heed his own friend code and ditched the "date" to hit up the club/stalk Cece with Winston by his side. (But more on that in a bit!) That left a va-va-va-voom-y Jess and a very Nick-y Nick ("This place is fancy and I don't know which fork to kill myself with") alone for the evening at a nice restaurant. Their banter was effortless, fun, and flirty. ("He's got a job, too? Poke a hole in that condom.") Their drinks, flowing and free... because Jess packed a cooler filled inexplicably with white wine. It was everything a great date should be. Only, at the end of a truly great date, the two people tend to have sex with each other, not take off to boink a boneheaded hottie named Sam. After a satisfying night of said boinking, Jess asks Nick to go with her to Ikea. (Have these two learned absolutely nothing from other sitcom couples?) Something is very wrong with this picture, indeed. Only neither Jess, nor Nick notice it. Winston, however, does. See! He serves a purpose on this show! Sort of. Winston quickly advises Nick that he has become Jess' emotional fluffer. Hence the title of this episode, "Fluffer." Nick wines (well, she provides the wine) and dines (well, at least the "Add Onions" portion of the menu) while Jess and Sam reap all the benefits. It's an unnerving realization that leads the friends to have their worst fight yet. There was no cute butt shaking here. In fact, that only thing that went below the belt were their digs at one other. After Nick complained about his role in Jess' life as a "boyfriend without the rewards," there was no stopping either of them. Jess told Nick that though she hates his cheapness and his uncanny ability to sigh about everything, she has thought about him in the boyfriend way before. (It was, as it turns out, when Nick was having something of a mental breakdown while talking to a bowl of peanuts at his bar. It was also, as it turns out, one of the funniest flashbacks this show has done to date.) Still, after a night of self-loathing for Nick — and Jess' terrible actual date with Sam — the two emerged from their corners. Nick, despite being told otherwise by Winston, put together Jess' new Ikea dresser. Not because he loves her, but because, as he put it, "It's like high stakes Legos." The two friends have an honest and sincere chat about what exactly their blurry relationship/friendship is and establish some rules. That they can be two friends attracted to each other with no consequences who set their own rules. While that plan will likely fall spectacularly apart, I'll give Nick and Jess and the New Girl writers credit: They are certainly breaking the rules and it's about damn time. Alas, this wasn't an episode focused entirely on the fate and future of Nick and Jess. Schmidt, still clearly harboring feelings for Cece and her "memory foam" breasts, has become the new and improved Barney Stinson. (Which is good, too, considering the How I Met Your Mother characters have become all but insufferable.) In addition to his ongoing quest to become Kanye West's new BFF, Schmidt also pretended to be the (fictional) son of GOP candidate Mitt Romney: Tag/Tug Romney. It didn't take long for Schmidt Romney to be figured out by a group of sorority girls, but we figured out something new about Schmidt last night: He, like fellow sitcom playboy Barney Stinson, has some daddy issues, too. Schmidt opened up about how his father abandoned him and started a new family, causing him to always look for a father figure. Don't worry, Max Greenfield, maybe the Emmys won't get it wrong next year. Oh yeah, and Winston (and apparently his girlfriend, Shelby) was still there, too. Some of the other best lines from "Fluffer": "It's after Labor Day. I'm wearin' whales!" —Schmidt, bustin' out his Kanye-inspired whale belt"Befriending Kanye is the most efficient way for me to jump social strata." —Schmidt"I took Winston with me to prove I can be friends with black people." —Schmidt, about Winston. (So that's what he's on the show for!)"Whoa, I forget what you look like when you're not dressed like a loft troll." —Nick, to Jess on their "date" "I'm sure it's like the real Olympics, only the white people win the sprints." —Schmidt, thinking about the Romney Olympics "Nickels are worse than no money!" —Jess, to serial crappy tipper Nick "Being brown, you have the wisdom of a thousand white women." —Schmidt to his goddess Cece"No picnics, no mini muffins, no Adele" —Winston, on things platonic male and female friends cannot shareBonus best moment(s): Nick's "sexy mix," which includes Paul Simon's "Call Me Al," and the fact that he ties his robe together with an actual rope. Jess, if you don't snag him up, I will. What did you think of last night's episode of New Girl? Are you still holding out for Nick and Jess despite how they defined their friendship? How about Schmidt and Cece? Didn't the fact that she served no real purpose in the episode than to reconnect with Schmidt (with no new boyfriend in sight) means they're bound to be back within the next few episodes? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. [Photo credit: Fox]
'New Girl' Recap: Three Men and a Little Katie
'New Girl': Fox Casting VP Seth Yanklewitz Talks Emmy Nods, Season 2 and Guest Stars
TV Tidbits: Olivia Munn Heads to 'New Girl'
After nearly four-and-a-half months of being without the breakout comedy New Girl and enduring the pain of watching the deserving Max Greenfield lose at the Emmys on Sunday, Fox had mercy on us New Girl fans and presented not one, but two, new episodes to kick off Season 2. It all made me so damn happy I could just burst into a terrible rendition of Deee-Lite's "Groove is in the Heart" right at this very moment. Alas, I shall spare you and recap the eps instead.
When we last left the gang, they too were singing — and dancing — a happy tune in celebration of Nick's return. And they had just as much to be happy about at the beginning of the Season 2 premiere, "Re-launch". After a long, not-so-hard (har har) summer, Schmidt was finally getting his penis cast taken off; Nick was still earning his keep in the loft as the "gypsy alcoholic handyman" ("This isn't a fancy hotel!"); and Winston was…there. The only person who wasn't singing a happy tune was Jess. (Proof positive Jess and Zooey Deschanel aren't the same person, because Zooey would have burst into a song about cotton at this point). Jess' boss Tonya (Rachael Harris) informed Ms. Day that due to cutbacks the school was going to have to lay off non-tenured teachers like herself. And no amount of restraining herself from laughing at kids' hilarious names (lookin' at you, Vaj Rejuv) could save her: Jess was without a job. Much like when Schmidt went through his temporary hippie phase, Jess' unemployment, and subsequent identity crisis, shifted the dynamic of the crew. You know things are off when Crazy Old Man Nick is asking you if you're okay. Schmidt, on the other hand, was too busy planning the re-launch party for his penis and the Schmidt brand as a whole to notice. He did, however, allow Jess to work as a shot girl for his "danger"-themed party (alongside Parker Posey, who is killing it on the guest star front late, this time playing a literal halfwit) with a guest list included his neurologist, Philip Seymour Hoffman, a writer for Crank Yankers, and his ex lady love Cece. It had to be perfect. Of course, nothing is ever perfect, not even at a penis relaunch party. Go figure. Schmidt had to see Cece with her new beau Robbie (played by Nelson Franklin), and the sight of cut him to the core. And not just because he was a commoner "shaped like the Liberty Bell", but because he missed her and it was obvious she had to pick someone less complicated than Schmidt. That's the best thing about New Girl. It can go for "easy" comedy or schtick (i.e. Jess doing the Charleston wearing a tiny top hat as the world's worst shot girl) but it explains why the characters themselves go for laughs. Because, as Nick so perfectly put it while attempting to cheer up a down in the dumps Jess, "Life sucks and then it gets better and then it sucks again". I know, I know, an eloquent and sincere Nick? Maybe that spiritual journey in the desert really changed him, after all. Lest you worry Nick fans, much like Hippie Schmidt, by the time the second episode rolled around, the far superior "Katie", he was back to his usual ways. Jess, on the other hand, not so much. Still in full-on unemployed depression mode, Jess went so far as to pull a Ben Wyatt and make her own equivalent of "Requim For a Tuesday" and painted a picture of her roomies. Schmidt's cutting analysis of the "art": "What picture are you working with? My hair hasn't looked like that in three weeks!" But Jess didn't just, as Nick suggested, go off the grid. She went completely off the rails.After a series of romantic mishaps, including a mixup with wanting to get hooked up with a guy from Nick's bar (she instead got a weird, nebbishy dude named Bear Claw, played by the hilarious Josh Gad of Book of Mormon) and faking an online identity to a cute bar patron named Sam (David Walton). (Sorry, but wouldn't Sam have seen the real Katie's photo by now?) While it was important to see Jess break out of her mold of being a goody-goody (as "Katie" she juggled multiple guys and reveled in the perks of NSA nookie) we know that, like her unemployment, this rambunctious phase and relationship with Sam won't last. After all, Jess is a nice girl and one fine day, she'll have something with Nick. Well that and Walton is only slated for a few eps and Sam is a Creed fan, for godssake. A Creed fan! How do we know that major New Girl factoid about Future Jess and Nick? No, not some How I Met Your Mother-like twist. Rather, Future Nick (played to perfection by Justified's Raymond J. Barry) told Current Nick that someday he's going to have to apologize to Jess and "make her an Old Fashioned". Okay, so it wasn't "real time travel" as Nick had theorized, but really just a crazy old man in a box that curiously knew a lot about him (like, for instance, the fact that he likes to be behind the bar because it creates a barrier between him and other people). Still, when Nick shot Jess that knowing look with his sweet turtle face, maybe Current Nick knew more about his future than ever. I've said it before, and I'll say it again, everyman Jake Johnson is the unsung hero of this show. Speaking of looks, Schmidt was giving some serious sexy eyes to Winston's sister and spent the entirety of the episode trying to get in her basketball shorts. ("I'm like catnip to tough talking African American women", he bragged in his very Schmidty way). Schmidt's storyline wasn't nearly as entertaining as it was in the premiere, it was fun to see him back to his old ways. And besides, he still had way more to do than Winston who, over the course of two episodes, drank fruity cocktails and looked annoyed at Schmidt. In the words of Schmidt, "Winston is Winston". Kudos to the New Girl writers on that for at least acknowledging a little bit with a wink that Winston serves no real purpose on the show. Though "Katie" was an unquestionably stronger and funnier episode, the full hour of New Girl was everything I had been hoping and waiting for all summer. The jokes were fast and sharp, the sweet scenes were pulled off without being saccharine, and we all got some great new Schmidt-isms (His pronunciation of "hummus" would be well worth getting the toots for). I'm no Future Nick, but I see a solid season of New Girl ahead. Here now, are the best moments and lines from "Relaunch" and "Katie". "Re-launch" highlights: - "This is true, pure, unadulterated friendship"- Schmidt, in full penis cast garb (trash bag and all) to Nick, who watched in horror as Jess scratched his "itchy underthings" - Nicholas and Winstonia - Nick and Winston's full names, according to Schmidt - "Now I only wanna make a drink that a coal miner would want. Straight forward, honest, something that says, I work in a hole," - Nick, still clearly pining to be a fancy man. - "I'm Nick! I hate sunshine! When did gum get so fancy? This escalator goes too fast!" - Jess' priceless imitation of cranky Nick - "Get up on the bar and shake that piece of plywood you call an ass"- Nick being "mean" to Jess - "I'm not sure how to end this!" - Schmidt, after his fire twirling routine at the relaunch went downhill quickly "Katie" gems: - "Are you cooking a frittata in a saucepan? What is this, prison?" - Schmidt to Jess - "I can drink at 11…am" - Jess, going off the grid - "The loft just became Big Momma's House!"- Schmidt, upon Winston's mom's arrival - Schmidt's time travel sexual wish list: Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Young Ann Margret, Old Ann Margret - "Ask him about when I meet Kanye" - Schmidt's request for Future Nick - "He brewed me like a fine chamomile" - Jess, post Sam coitus - Nick as "Cricket the Leaper" - Schmidt referring to The Nutty Professor as a "cautionary tale - "Oh no, autocorrect changed body to meat bar"- Jess' sexting mishap- Jess experiencing the phenomena that is "for no reason whatsoever you are irresistible to the opposite sex". (It happened to Schmidt on the third night of the Hanukkah in 1996, better known as "night of the Shoshannas") - Jess confessing she wanted to grow up to be Jenny McCarthy ("She was so beautiful…all that swearing") while Nick, unsurprisingly wanted to be Kurt Loder. ("He is the elder statesman of our generation!")- Nick guessing that the future bad thing he does to Jess is getting drunk and accidentally peeing on all her pretty dresses. - Schmidt hitting himself in the face with a basketball during his face-off with Erica [Photo credit: Fox] More: Hey Giiirl, Whatcha Doin'? Prepping for 'New Girl' Before the Premiere, That's What! 'New Girl' Zooey Deschanel on Her Emmy Chances & Bad News for Nick-Jess Shippers'New Girl': Fox Casting VP Seth Yanklewitz Talks Emmy Nods, Season 2 and Guest Stars
Since his days directing sketches for comedy troupe The State and his seminal debut feature Wet Hot American Summer David Wain has been expertly calculating ways to make his brand of absurdist humor work within the rigid conventional world of Hollywood movies. His latest Wanderlust is the perfect example of a hollow rom-com template that Wain fills to the brim with bizarre jokes and perfectly timed physical humor. His soldier of fortune is Paul Rudd who brings the golden ratio: looks of a leading man and a comedic gravitas that is unmatched. Rudd's at the top of his game whether he's landing a one-liner stretching his face to Jim Carrey-like proportions or reacting to his maniac co-stars the actor delivers—making Wanderlust charming deranged and very funny.
George (Rudd) and Linda (Jennifer Aniston better suited for this wacky comedy than you'd think) are a happily married couple living in New York attempting to live the dream lifestyle without any of the reality to fall back on. It doesn't work—George loses his job Linda fails to sell her documentary on penguin testicular cancer and the two find themselves forced to sell their "micro-loft" in the West Village and move in with George's brother in Atlanta. During their epic car ride George and Linda make a pit stop at a local Georgian B&B only to discover it's a counterculture commune home to an eclectic group determined to live on their own alternative terms. The inhabitants of "Elysium" range from nudists to tai chi experts to organic farmers but they all have one goal: live free. Realizing they don't have too much else going on in their lives (their alternative is shacking up with George's materialistic misogynistic businessman brother Rick played by the amazing Ken Marino) George and Linda dive head first into the off-beat world of Elysium.
Wanderlust dishes out its fair share of oddities when exploring the world of Elysium but isn't content in simply exploiting those quirks. Wain who co-wrote the script with Marino fleshes out the ensemble and makes keen choices so that no character is just a face in a crowd. Comedy pros like Justin Theroux Alan Alda Malin Akerman Joe Lo Truglio Kathryn Hahn Kerri Kenney Lauren Ambrose and more round out the cast and help color the world of Elysium piling laughs on top of laughs with every scene. Theroux stands out as Seth a spiritual leader for the group who begins to woo Linda away from George with his savvy guitar skills and potent herbal teas. Seth's slow and steady demeanor is a welcome change from the usual rapid-fire style seen in the modern comedy (the movie was produced by Judd Apatow so it wouldn't have been a surprise to see the approach replicated in Wanderlust) making us laugh in a zen fashion.
Meanwhile George just can't get anything right from group "truth circle" exercises to drinking coffee made of dirt to Elysium's "free love pact " which gives both he and his wife the chance to sexually explore outside of their relationship. The couple quickly realizes the freedom of their new home divides them and Wain's sensitivity to story and character evolve the relationship in a rather conventional yet desirable fashion.
Wanderlust falls somewhere between a Katherine Heigl romantic comedy vehicle and the pleasantly obscene work of Wain's past—and it may catch some off guard. The movie doesn't mind throwing in a bit of male nudity playing with abrasive repetition or those who find laughs in patience. The movie fully embraces the weird while never lettings its characters slip fully into caricature. Much like George and Linda's own dilemma Wanderlust wants to find harmony between the mainstream and the not-so-much. Thankfully it achieves inner peace.