Aly Semigran
Staff editor Aly Semigran is a New York City native who grew up in Philadelphia and spent the better part of her youth trying to figure out what the Philly Phanatic was (an anteater?), quoting 'The Simpsons,' and learning all about movies from her dad. After graduating from Temple University, where she studied journalism, she moved back to NYC and began her career as a freelance entertainment journalist. Her work has been published in Entertainment Weekly, Maxim, Philadelphia Weekly, Philadelphia City Paper,, and She is thrilled to be a part of the team and she is still quoting 'The Simpsons.' ('I'm Idaho!')
  • Adam Sandler's 'Jack and Jill' Sweeps The Razzies
    By: Aly Semigran Apr 02, 2012
    Adam Sandler's so-bad-it's-unfathomably-bad-that-it's-actually-kind-of-genius 2011 movie Jack and Jill added another bragging right to its already rich film heritage. In addition to being the first (and fingers crossed, last) movie to feature Oscar-winner Al Pacino rapping about Dunkin' Donuts, the universally panned flick became the first movie in Razzie history to sweep the, eh, 'prestigious' awards. The 32nd Razzie Awards, which cleverly moved from their usual pre-Oscar ceremony date to April Fool's Day, was dominated by the stunningly inept comedy about an ad exec  named Jack (Sandler) who is visited over the holidays by his annoying twin sister Jill (Sandler, in drag.) As chosen by the 657 members of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, Jack and Jill emerged victorious in all ten categories, including Worst Picture, Worst Screen Ensemble (which was chosen by voters on Rotten Tomatoes and narrowly edged out The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part I), Worst Director (Dennis Dugan, who also earned that for his work on Sandler's other 2011 misfire Just Go With It) and Worst Actor and Worst Actress (both of which were won by Sandler, another Razzies first.) While Sandler opted to not pull a Sandra Bullock or Halle Berry and show up to collect his Razzie(s), the star will likely get another shot next year with his upcoming feature That's My Boy. The guy is an awards show (dedicated to horrendously bad movies) darling if there ever was one. Check out the full list of "winners" -- including some of Jack and Jill's supporting cast members like Pacino, Katie Holmes, and David Spade-- from the 2012 Razzies here: Worst Picture: Jack and Jill Worst Actor: Adam Sandler, Jack and Jill and Just Go With It Worst Actress: Adam Sander (as “Jill”), Jack and Jill Worst Supporting Actor: Al Pacino (as “Al Pacino”), Jack and Jill Worst Supporting Actress: David Spade (as “Monica”), Jack and Jill Worst Screen Ensemble: The entire cast of Jack and Jill Worst Director: Dennis Dugan, Jack and Jill and Just Go With It Worst Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel: Jack and Jill (remake/rip-off of Ed Wood’s cross-dressing camp classic Glen or Glenda) Worst Screen Couple: Adam Sandler and either Katie Holmes, Al Pacino, or Adam Sander, Jack and Jill Worst Screenplay: Jack and Jill, screenplay by Steve Koren & Adam Sandler, story by Ben Zook Jack and Jill, in case you inexplicably missed it in theaters, is currently out on DVD. More: Jack and Jill Review Jack and Jill Trailer Jack and Jill Clips
  • Mega Millions Mania: Let's Hit The Pop Culture Jackpot!
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 30, 2012
    $640 million. If we're talking in terms of Peeta Mellark, that my friends, is a lot of dough. But while the odds may not be ever in your favor to actually win the Mega Millions jackpot (according to the Associated Press, it's somewhere around 1 in 176 million), it's still pretty easy to get swept up in the lottery frenzy. In fact, half the fun of playing is daydreaming about what you'd do with all that cash. (All the fun, of course, would actually be winning the damn thing.) So while most of us have spent the past week with our head in the clouds dreaming up glorious scenarios with newly-purchased mansions... and yachts... while booking five-star vacations... and calling Sallie Mae for the last time, we here at have been imaging what winning the pop culture lottery would feel like. Sure, The Smiths announcing a comeback tour or the creators of Lost explaining what it was all about are about as likely as having your numbers called during tonight's Mega Millions drawing... but hey, you never know! What makes our pop culture jackpot wish list: -- Justin Timberlake signs on as a full-time Saturday Night Live cast member. Bring it on down to Studio 8H, JT! -- Jennifer Aniston, Justin Theroux, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie all move to a remote, paparazzi-free island to harmoniously live together. -- J.K. Rowling promises all of her new books will only be a continuation of the Harry Potter saga. -- Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet announce their next project together... as real-life husband and wife. -- Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul return to American Idol. (Okay, Dunkleman, you can come, too!) -- Jon Stewart announces he's running for President. Or at the very least, Pizza Mayor of New York City. (What? That's a thing!) -- To make up for lost time, Mad Men promises no re-runs for the rest of their run on television. -- The Gallagher brothers patch things up and Oasis release a flurry of new albums. -- The Comeback gets a shot a comeback. Hey, if Matt LeBlanc gets a second shot at television glory, Lisa Kudrow should, too. That's what Friends are for. -- 98 Degrees announce a reunion tour. (Fairy tales do come true! It could happen to you!) @AlySemigranFollow Aly on Twitter More: 'The Office' Recap: Lotto Hugh Jackman Hopes For Lotto Luck With Ticket Giveaway Couch Potatoes Anonymous: TV Christmas Wishlist
  • Madonna To Cover Up For ABC?
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 30, 2012
    Truth: Madonna can still cause a stir. According to the The New York Post, the pop icon, who is no stranger to controversy, is in hot water with ABC. The network reportedly wants Madonna, whose latest album MDNA was released last week, to alter the new ad for her fragrance Truth or Dare. "ABC execs ordered producers of the perfume ad to digitally alter offending shots of her body in the 30-second black-and-white ad," the Post reports. Watch the allegedly too-hot-for-TV spot in question below. While a source told the Post, "ABC viewed the ad [and] came back with a list of changes. They say they want her bra digitally made bigger, and to extend higher to cover more of her chest, and her corset longer to cover more of her bottom. ABC also wants to cut another suggestive scene where Madonna writhes around," a rep for ABC told, "We never comment on our client’s business, but we do review all commercial material to ensure it’s appropriate for a mass audience and is scheduled in appropriate time periods.” So will, or should, Madge — whose risqué video for"Girl Gone Wild" currently has an age restriction on YouTube — have to cover up for television audiences? (ABC reportedly wants the edited ad to only run after 9 p.m.) Or have you seen more skin in a Victoria's Secret commercial? Additional reporting by Lindsay DiMattina Follow Aly on Twitter @AlySemigran More: Can Madonna Still Shock Us? Piers Extends Madonna TV Ban Madonna Calls M.I.A.'s Super Bowl Middle Finger 'Negative' and 'Irrelevant'
  • 'Bully': Will the MPAA Controversy Actually Help the Cause?
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 30, 2012
    In the devastating trailer for Bully, a heartbreaking message flashes between the footage from Lee Hirsch's documentary about the bullying epidemic amongst youths. It reads, simply, "The problem is being ignored." Fortunately, thanks to the documentary, which arrives in theaters in limited release this weekend, that may no longer be the case. The film — which has received high-profile support from the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Jimmy Fallon, Zooey Deschanel, Hugh Jackman, Mariah Carey, Russell Crowe, Kim Kardashian, and The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus, among many others — may actually wind up getting the most help for its cause from its unlikeliest foe: The MPAA. In one of their most controversial ratings to date, the MPAA gave Bully an R rating, a decision that prompted the film's distributor The Weinstein Company to campaign to reverse the rating. Despite TWC's efforts — as well as a petition on signed by nearly half a million people — to overrule Bully's rating, the MPAA did not back down. While some theater chains will still release Bully as an R-rated feature, TWC has refused the R-rating and will release the film as unrated. So how will this bode for Bully at the box office? Here's where things get complicated. While the MPAA's refusal to change their stringent R-rating rules (they'll only allow so many curse words to differentiate between an R and a PG-13. Just ask The King's Speech) hurts the film's chances to be seen by its target audience, the rating has also given the documentary more positive publicity than it could have possibly asked for. (Here is a movie in which people are actively campaigning to ensure it's seen by the masses. Can't exactly say the same for this weekend's "big" release Wrath of the Titans, can you?) Of course, this isn't the first time a film has faced off against the MPAA. In 2010, the haunting indie drama Blue Valentine was surprisingly slapped with an NC-17 because of a sex scene. The Weinstein Co. once again appealed the rating and ultimately wound up with their desired R rating. While the film was by no means a box office smash (it earned just $9.7 million in the U.S. alone), the controversy brought some extra attention to the movie, which ultimately earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for its leading lady Michelle Williams. In fact, many MPAA-feuding small releases often catch the attention of the Academy. As chronicled in the compelling ratings documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated (which, wouldn't you know know, is unrated), movies such as Boys Don't Cry and The Cooler, whose filmmakers battled the MPAA after getting slapped with an NC-17, found redemption with the Academy. While both films eventually earned their R ratings, neither were box office hits (they earned $11.5 million and 10.4 million, respectively). But Hillary Swank earned a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of Brandon Teena in Boy's Don't Cry, while Alec Baldwin earned a Best Supporting Actor nod for his work in The Cooler. But even though these films also had the odds stacked against them (a lethal MPAA rating, independent distribution, controversy), Bully has yet another obstacle in its way: It's a documentary film. Three of the top-grossing docs of all time are more family-friendly fare: Earth, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, and March of the Penguins. Then again, the highest-grossing documentary in movie history, Michael Moore's Farenheit 9/11 ($119 million in the U.S. alone) opened to a heap of controversy and came out at a time when people demanded more content about the subject matter. Perhaps Bully won't be so ignored, both at the box office and come Oscar season, after all. More: The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus Stands Up Against Bullying Ellen DeGeneres Battles R Rating for Bully Weinstein's Bully To Be Unrated 
  • 'Happy Endings' recap: Deceit, served with a side of dip
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 29, 2012
    While recent episodes of the clever comedy have felt increasingly sitcom-y (the episode when the gang couldn't find a restaurant for Penny's "cursed" birthday felt awfully reminiscent of a Seinfeld rerun) last night's episode, called "Big White Lies," was a hilarious reminder that Happy Endings is not only aware it's Friends 2.0, it's also waving that flag proudly. (Or, in last night's case, Three's Company 2.0.) "You know that I love low-stakes, classic '80s sitcom danger!" cried Max, creator of the "Trove." (That's one-part stove, one-part trash can, and totally disgusting.) He was in luck, because that's exactly what he and the rest of the gang found themselves in, all thanks to Penny. After running into Daphne (It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Mary Elizabeth Ellis), an annoying childhood friend who wanted nothing more than to have a tea party, Penny sets forth a chain of lies to avoid her at all costs. In the span of the episode Penny, who has been doing everything in her power to avoid the inquisitive Daphne since childhood (even going so far as impersonating a Girl Scout), and her pals used turf toe, water damage, tiny lake house, a fake baby, a fake baby shower, fake lesbianism, a fake death, and losing their money to Bernie Madoff as white lies to reject her invitation. Meanwhile, '80s sitcom danger enthusiast Max and his roommate Janet Dave found themselves smack dab in the middle of a good, old-fashioned Three's Company scenario when their pesky landlord Darren (Bridesmaids' hilarious Ben Falcone) refused to fix their oven until they stopped having so many overnight guests. Still, despite all their failed whacky plans, in perfect sitcom fashion, Darren and Daphne find each other and get off everyone else's case. Never mind the self-awareness that truly sets Happy Endings apart from classic comedies of sitcom past, but when you've get an episode that's also filled with Revenge, Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, and Hello Kitty (well, Greetings Feline, anyway) references you realize we're in a new era of comedy. Now we don't need a laugh track to tell us when something's funny: The show's whip-smart writing and the cast's hilarious performances do that for us. Best Penny line: "Schmos like us need people to think we're nice. It's all we've got! The only people that can get away with being mean are rock stars or brain surgeons or Mr. Phil." Best Brad line: "A suit?! Why does a baby need a suit? What does he have a job? He's not fooling anyone, he's a baby!" Best Jane line: "No, I am not pretending I am pregnant anymore! This is not eighth grade gym class." Best Dave line: "Our stupid landlord won't fix the over and he keeps pervin' out on my chicks." Best Alex line: "I'm Ellen! I figure if I'm going to be a lesbian, I might as well go straight to the top." Best Max line: "The beauty of the machine is that it cooks the food, while it incinerates the magazines. I'm basically a young, handsome Ron Popeil." What did you think of last night's episode? Do you think Happy Endings paid a perfect comedy homage to Three's Company? Can you believe next week already marks the season finale? More: The Best Show You're Not Watching: 'Happy Endings' Zachary Knighton and Adam Pally of 'Happy Endings' Talk New Romances
  • Chloe Moretz Offered Role In 'Carrie': Is She The Right Choice?
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 27, 2012
    Against all odds, Carrie White has become the comeback kid. The tortured, titular character from Stephen King's terrifying best-seller Carrie, who was made iconic by Sissy Spacek in the 1976 horror classic, continues to get her moment in the spotlight.  In addition to once again hitting the Broadway stage, Carrie will be heading back to the big screen. (And no, we're not counting 1999's The Rage: Carrie 2. Because that never happened.) According to Deadline, MGM, Screen Gems, and director Kim Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) have chosen Hugo star Chloe Moretz to fill Spacek's blood-soaked shoes for an upcoming remake of the chilling telepathy-gone-awry tale. Sure, the baby-faced 15-year-old actress isn't even of prom-attending age herself yet, but the increasingly busy star could be just the right girl to wreak total havoc on her on-screen classmates. Case in point: Setting aside her memorable performances in lighter fare like Hugo, (500) Days of Summer, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Moretz has proved she, like Carrie, can hold her own in situations with horror (Let Me In), violence (Kick-Ass) and religious fanaticism (Bolt.) (Okay, maybe not that last one.) Perhaps most impressively, though, is how Moretz is continues to prove herself a force to be reckoned within young Hollywood, in an era of tabloid fixture 'tweens. Moretz, unlike her fellow young cohorts such as Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez, has managed to make headlines for landing plum roles like those in Tim Burton's update of Dark Shadows, the Beach Boys biopic The Drummer, and now, possibly, the remake of Carrie. Much like Dakota Fanning (another name reported that was in talks for the Carrie role) Moretz seems poised to make the transition from child star to full-fledged adult with an increasingly impressive resume to her name. (And Moretz doesn't even have those pesky rape scene or perfume ad controversies to shake off.) Plus, she went toe-to-toe with Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy on 30 Rock and bested him. Those high schoolers don't have a prayer. What do you think? Did the makers of the upcoming Carrie reboot let the right one in with Chloe Moretz? Or are you just disappointed that Hollywood is remaking yet another classic? Do you agree that Moretz is one of the most promising young talents out there? Will she be able to do Sissy Spacek justice? More: Almost A-List: Young Hollywood's Tipping Point 8 Child Actors And Their First Grown-Up Roles Chloe Moretz And Rupert Grint Join Beach Boys Biopic [Deadline] (Photo by David Edwards- © 2011- All Rights Reserved)
  • Steve Holt!: A New Movement To Bring Back The Beloved 'Arrested Development' Character
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 27, 2012
    Not since the fine folks of a Chicago suburb rallied together to Save Ferris has there been a more important pop culture rescue mission. With the impending return of the beloved cult comedy Arrested Development, fans of Justin Grant Wade's character Steve Holt (Steve Holt!) have started a, er, foundation to ensure that Steve Holt (Steve Holt!) will appear in the new episodes come 2013. On their website, creators Robert Adamson and Nick Blancarte, two enthusiasts of the fist-pumping third-year senior, shared their concern that Wade "has not yet been asked to return to the show to reprise the role" and in turn are hoping fellow Steve Holt (!) fans will tweet their support with the hashtag "SAVESTEVEHOLT" and buy their custom-made Save Steve Holt t-shirts. Wade himself even appears in a video on the site (though he looks noticeably different sans letterman jacket and sporting a beard) to confirm that he would also love to see the return of Steve Holt! Hey, if the Internet can band together to re-launch the career of Betty White or try to help Dustin Diamond get his house back, why can't we all join forces to urge the folks at Arrested Development to give Steve Holt a second (or third) chance? Steve Holt! (Photo credit: Fox) More: Netflix To Air All-New Episodes Of 'Arrested Development' 'Arrested Development' Cast Signed On For New Season 'Terra Nova' To Join 'Arrested Development In Netflix Lineup?
  • 'The Hunger Games' Face Racism On Twitter
    By: Aly Semigran Mar 27, 2012
    The Internet can bring out the very best in people and, alternatively, the absolute, most disheartening worst. (Just ask Jason Russell, the head of the Kony 2012 movement, who pulled off the rare double whammy of showing both to the world in the span of a week.) For anyone that saw The Hunger Games over the weekend (and the odds are ever in your favor that you probably did based on those massive box office returns) social media likely played a big role in the experience. The highly anticipated adaptation of Suzanne Collins' wildly popular Dystopian saga had excited fans checking in on Foursquare and bragging about their spot in line at the theater on Facebook. The Hunger Games was, unsurprisingly, a trend on Twitter throughout its opening weekend. Unfortunately, in the midst of all those harmless "Katniss Rules!" or "Team Peeta" tweets, a disturbing trend caught fire: Overtly racist diatribes regarding the casting of African American actors for the roles of Rue, Cinna, and Thresh. (Played by Amandla Stenberg, Lenny Kravtiz, and Dayo Okeniyi, respectfully.)  A fan Tumblr called "Hunger Games Tweets," which was created to expose HG "fans on Twitter who dare to call themselves fans yet don't know a damn thing about the books," posted a series of unsettling tweets regarding  the race of the beloved characters. Despite the fact that in her book Collins' described Rue, the sweet, innocent District 11 tribute as having "dark brown skin" (Thresh also had the "same dark skin") tweets like, "why does rue have to be black not gonna lie kinda ruined the movie," "for the record, im still pissed that rue is black", and "rue is too black for what I pictured" were discovered. (Even more disturbingly, as unearthed, some Twitter users went as far as calling Stenberg a "black b---h" and "n----r.) While many of the accounts have reportedly been deleted or made private since the shocking remarks ("call me racist but when i found out rue was black her death wasn't as sad") have been brought to the public's awareness, the outrage and backlash regarding the rants has not disappeared. (Some horrified tweeters combated the nasty sentiment from certain moviegoers with a sense of humor, like one Twitter user who cracked "I hear Donald Trump is trying to prove that Rue wasn't even BORN in Panem.") Of course, this isn't the first time a series of shocking tweets have caught the attention, and outrage, of the web. rightly pointed out that "we have a really big problem here, society" when they shared disturbing tweets from young women who proudly boasted things like "I would let Chris Brown beat me up anyyy day" after his performance at the 2012 Grammys. But, will exposing these sort of un-PC tweets actually make much of a difference? One can only assume that these tweeters have the shared knowledge that unless they make their Twitter private, they are sharing these musings with the entire world. So, will it make people think twice about what they put out in the universe? Or will we simply have to live with the understanding that with the wonderful right of free speech, sometimes we will simply have to see and hear things we don't always like? Does this cast a cloud over The Hunger Games or will the true spirit of its most devoted fans prevail? Let the debates begin. More: 'The Hunger Games' Has Massive Debut At The Box Office 'Hunger Games' Fans Create Detailed World Map Home Of 'The Hunger Games' Photo Credit: © 2012- Lions Gate Entertainment- All Rights Reserved