TLC Postpones Funeral-Themed Show: Last week in TV Tidbits, we told you about TLC’s upcoming special Best Funeral Ever—a show in which the Dallas-based Golden Gate Funeral Home where a staff is ready to organize the most unique and extravagant funerals ceremonies. However in light of Friday’s tragedy, the network has decided to delay the one-hour special until Sunday, Jan. 6 after Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’s Halloween special. [The Hollywood Reporter]
The People Spoke, Discovery Listened: Soon after Friday’s elementary school shooting in Connecticut, outraged citizens began posting angry messages on the Facebook page for Discovery Channel’s docu-series, American Guns. On Monday it was announced that American Guns will not be receiving a third season and the pro-gun series has been cancelled. [Deadline]
9021-Oh!: Looks like Jennifer Love Hewitt is getting a handsome new vistor when Lifetime’s The Client List returns next year. 90210’s Trevor Donovan is temporarily leaving his posh Beverly Hills show and headed over to The Rub—the secret prostitution massage parlor where Hewitt’s character, Riley Parks, works. Donovan will guest star in an upcoming episode as an NFL quarterback who has an odd dessert-driven fetish. Yum. [Zap2it]
Jack Black Starts New Web Project: According to a press release on Monday, Jack Black’s newest web comedy series is set to debut in Spring 2012. “Ghost Ghirls follows the comedic antics of two young female ghostbusters, played by Amanda Lund and Maria Blasucci--a pair of investigators attempting to solve the mysteries behind paranormal phenomena.” Jake Johnson, Molly Shannon, Jason Schwartzman and many others will gues star in the upcoming scripted paranormal procedural produced by Shine America and Black’s Electric Dynamite Productions.
Nashville Casts a New Face: Actress Ming-Na, known for her sporadic TV roles on E.R., Two and a Half Men, and Eureka, has been tapped to guest star on an upcoming episode of Nashville. Ming-Na will appear on the ABC drama’s 11 episode as Calista Reeves, a successful L.A. music label executive who is determined to lure Reyna (Connie Britton) away from Edgehill Records. [TV Line]
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It was the trickle of pee heard around the world. Cannes attendees were aghast and/or amused an infamous scene from The Paperboy that shows Nicole Kidman urinating on Zac Efron; this is apparently a great salve for jellyfish burns which were covering our Ken Doll-like protagonist. (In fact the term protagonist should be used very loosely for Efron's character Jack who is mostly acted upon than active throughout.)
Lurid! Sexy! Perverse! Trashy! Whether or not it's actually effective is overshadowed by all the hubbub that's attached itself to the movie for better or worse. In fact the movie is all of these things — but that's actually not a compliment. What could have become somethingmemorable is jaw-droppingly bad (when it's not hilarious). Director Lee Daniels uses a few different visual styles throughout from a stark black and white palette for a crime scene recreation at the beginning to a '70s porno aesthetic that oscillates between psychedelic and straight-up sweaty with an emphasis on Efron's tighty-whiteys. This only enhances the sloppiness of the script which uses lines like narrator/housekeeper/nanny Anita's (Macy Gray) "You ain't tired enough to be retired " to conjure up the down-home wisdom of the South. Despite Gray's musical talents she is not a good choice for a narrator or an actor for that matter. In a way — insofar as they're perhaps the only female characters given a chunk of screen time — her foil is Charlotte Bless Nicole Kidman's character. Anita is the mother figure who wears as we see in an early scene control-top pantyhose whereas Charlotte is all clam diggers and Barbie doll make-up. Or as Anita puts it "an oversexed Barbie doll."
The slapdash plot is that Jack's older brother Ward (Matthew McConaughey) comes back to town with his colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) to investigate the case of a death row criminal named Hillary Van Wetter. Yardley is black and British which seems to confuse many of the people he meets in this backwoods town. Hillary (John Cusack) hidden under a mop of greasy black hair) is a slack-jawed yokel who could care less if he's going to be killed for a crime he might or might not have committed. He is way more interested in his bride-to-be Charlotte who has fallen in love with him through letters — this is her thing apparently writing letters and falling in love with inmates — and has rushed to help Ward and Yardley free her man. In the meantime we're subjected to at least one simulated sex scene that will haunt your dreams forever. Besides Hillary's shortcomings as a character that could rustle up any sort of empathy the case itself is so boring it begs the question why a respected journalist would be interested enough to pursue it.
The rest of the movie is filled with longing an attempt to place any the story in some sort of social context via class and race even more Zac Efron's underwear sexual violence alligator innards swamp people in comically ramshackle homes and a glimpse of one glistening McConaughey 'tock. Harmony Korine called and he wants his Gummo back.
It's probably tantalizing for this cast to take on "serious" "edgy" work by an Oscar-nominated director. Cusack ditched his boombox blasting "In Your Eyes" long ago and Efron's been trying to shed his squeaky clean image for so long that he finally dropped a condom on the red carpet for The Lorax so we'd know he's not smooth like a Ken doll despite how he was filmed by Daniels. On the other hand Nicole Kidman has been making interesting and varied career choices for years so it's confounding why she'd be interested in a one-dimensional character like Charlotte. McConaughey's on a roll and like the rest of the cast he's got plenty of interesting projects worth watching so this probably won't slow him down. Even Daniels is already shooting a new film The Butler as we can see from Oprah's dazzling Instagram feed. It's as if they all want to put The Paperboy behind them as soon as possible. It's hard to blame them.