Author

Shannon Houston
  • 3 Reasons 'The Boondocks' Can't Come Back Soon Enough
    By: Shannon Houston Apr 03, 2014
    Adult Swim/Cartoon Network Okay, let's address the bad news first. The creator of The Boondocks, Aaron McGruder, is not going to be a part of the show's forthcoming new series. This is tragic, horrible, unfortunate news. Will the show be as awesome as it was in the past? Maybe not. Will everything we love about the show be exactly the same... or better? Well, we can only hope. While it's disappointing to know that McGruder is not on board, we still can't help but get excited for the April 21 FX premiere. Here are three hilarious clips to help you get excited too. As if you aren't already losing your mind over the return of Huey, Riley, and Thugnificent! Speaking of Thugnificent So many questions for our favorite thug with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication! Last we saw, Otis was working for UPS. Will he try to make a comeback in the rap game when the new season  kicks off? Will Sway make any guest appearances? And what's the status of his hair? Riley, in All His NSFW Glory It's impossible to pick one Riley Freeman moment, which is why we're grateful to the YouTubers who've made these excellent compilation videos. Riley defending R. Kelly  and "the whole peeing thing"? EPIC. Huey, We Love You He's militant, he's intelligent, and he understands the complex racial and social politics of R. Kelly. We need more Huey in television and, thus, we need more Boondocks. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 6 Brilliant Movie Directors Who Should Take a Crack at TV
    By: Shannon Houston Apr 02, 2014
    Focus Features via Everett Collection If you watched the pilot episode of Alfonso Cuarón's highly anticipated new series Believe, you might be thinking that filmmakers should stick to the big screen. Forever. But the Gravity director still has time to convince people that Believe isn't the worst show ever. There's something exciting about a brilliant filmmaker taking on a television series, so here are five fantasy projects from some amazing directors who should definitely come to the small screen. Terrence Malick The day that Terrence Malick comes to the Sundance Channel with a television series developed from his The New World script will be a great day for us all. A mini-series about Pocahontas and/or her progeny? Yes, please. Kathryn Bigelow Back in 2010 her Broadway-inspired show The Miraculous Year was rejected by HBO, but it's time for Bigelow to get back out there. Considering the nature of many of her films (Zero Dark Thirty, Hurt Locker), people might be surprised to know that she's also an accomplished painter. It'd be great to see her team back up with Jessica Chastain for some kind of artsy period piece set in the 70s, when she was studying art with some of the best. Tim Story Now that he and Kevin Hart are proven box-office gold (Think Like a Man, Ride Along), this could be a great time for the duo to bring it to the small screen. Throw in a little Tracy Morgan (Story also produced First Sunday) and voila! Best show ever. Guillaume Canet This year he released his first English-language film (Blood Ties) and we can only imagine what a series (perhaps another crime drama) directed by him and starring him would look like (it'd probably look awesome... and really hot). Oh, and obviously his flawless significant other and frequent collaborator Marion Cotillard would be on board.  Miranda July It's been forever since Me and You and Everyone We Know, but those two little boys deserve their own spinoff series. And the world is just a better place when July is creating things. Wes Anderson There's no real pitch here. It's just that some of us want to watch something, anything, by Wes Anderson every single week for the rest of our lives. Starring Bill Murray and Gene Hackman as two patriarchs who live next door to each other? Jason Schwartzman doing odd-jobs? Whatever. Who cares about the plot? It would be amazing!  Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 5 Reasons You Never Got Over Cristina And Burke on 'Grey's Anatomy'
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 28, 2014
    ABC Isaiah Washington is getting ready to make an epic return to ABC's Grey's Anatomy. With his controversial exit way behind him, there's only one way to celebrate: by honoring the greatest couple to ever exist on the hospital drama. Cristina Yang and Preston Burke were it. Yes, we love Owen Hunt. And we don't necessarily wish that things had turned out differently. But as fans prepare to say goodbye to Sandra Oh (who is getting ready to make her departure from the show), we've gathered a small collection of Yang and Burke scenes from the good ol' days. Thanks For The Coffee Can we just take a moment to appreciate the chocolatey goodness of Isaiah Washington's body circa 2005?  Best Dance Party Ever When Preston started neck rolling so hard that he got a crick, you knew they were in love. You just knew it. And then... the whole "other apartment" thing got in the way of it all. Sigh... these two. The Syphilis Line Who could forget this moment? It took a hospital-wide syphilis outbreak to get them to officially confirm their exclusive relationship status. Monogamy is a beautiful thing folks. THE WORST Dammit Burke! She was ready! She was totally going to do it! Sort of! Booooo! Seriously. The end of Cristina and Burke was the worst, although that moment with Meredith and Cristina and the poor, innocent wedding dress (who was really the victim in all of this) was pretty sweet. No, These Two Really Were the Cutest This clip has everything in it that makes life happy, including Chinese food and the Corinne Bailey Rae song you wish could be the soundtrack to your life. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • The Miley Cyrus College Course Is Actually a Great Idea
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 28, 2014
    WENN Perhaps you've heard by now that the first-ever Miley Cyrus-centric course is making its way into academia. Skidmore College is doing the unthinkable and offering a class on the "Wrecking Ball" singer, and a lot of people are... not pleased. "What a waste of insane amounts of private school tuition money! Is this what they're teaching the kids nowadays?!" are some of the cries of protest you might have heard over the announcement. But hold up on the hate for a minute. Further investigation tells us that this course actually sounds like a great idea. For one, it's a little bit more complex than what you might assume a Miley Cyrus class to be (this is not Twerking 101). This is a summer sociology course taught by Carolyn Chernoff, a visiting professor at the college with a joint Ph.D., in Sociology and Education/Culture/Society. We're going to assume that she knows her stuff, or at least a lot of stuff. The full title of the course is "The Sociology of Miley Cyrus: Race, Class, Gender, and Media," and the course description is actually rather intriguing: -Gender stratification and the hyper-commodification of childhood-What happens to Disney stars as they age (see Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and more)-Allies and appropriation-Uses of culture across race, class, and gender-Bisexuality, queerness, and the female body See? No twerking involved... although the issue might come up in the appropriation or cross-culture discussions. Interestingly enough, courses like this that delve into cultural theory and gender as it plays out in the media are the very courses we need for people (like Miley Cyrus, in fact) to understand the difference between sexual expression and sexual exploitation. Hopefully, Miley Cyrus herself will find time to sit on a class or two. It could certainly do her some good to see how her work translates when it's under a theoretical or analytical lens.  For some people, it's still difficult to accept Cyrus as a cultural phenomenon, worthy of higher education's attention. But, like other artists who are now being taught in universities (Jay Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West, etc.), she is hugely relevant, even if her talent and skills are a matter of opinion. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 'Scandal' and 'The Good Wife' Are the Absolute Worst Right Now
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 27, 2014
    ABC/CBS This past week in television has been absolutely devastating for fans of ABC's Scandal and CBS's The Good Wife. If you watch either show, you're probably still reeling from the most recent episodes, both of which included death sentences for beloved characters. And if you watch both shows, you're probably reading this from the glass case of emotion from which you cannot remove yourself. First, let's discuss Scandal. Last Thursday, Gladiators everywhere tuned in to find out #WhoGotShot. Some of us were expecting the end of white hat-rocking David Rosen. Others thought James Novak should take the bullet, especially since he was flip-flopping (once again) over what to do about his political animal of a husband, Cyrus Beene. We were ready, weren't we? We were ready for someone to die because we'd been told in the previous week that someone was totally going to get shot! But then it happened, and we were slapped in the face with the cold, hard reality of the end of James, lying face-down in the concrete. Really, truly, actually dead. Actually, even this wasn't so bad. But when Jake walked over to him at the end of the episode, and we had to watch him talk James through his final moments? And promise him that his daughter would be fine? And kind of, sort of, legitimately apologize for having to kill him, and having to make him suffer so the murder could look like a car-jacking and not a job done by a professional? The worst. The absolute worst. Or was it?  Don't watch this video unless you're in a place where it's okay to start inexplicably crying: Sunday night, fans of The Good Wife waited for an eternity for that ridiculously annoying show that shall remain nameless to finally roll credits so that we could see what was up in the land of Alicia and Will. And whaddayaknow? Out of nowhere — seriously, we were not warned, there were no hints in the previews — Will gets shot. He's moments away from winning the big case, but the kid he's defending (Hunter Parrish, who many of us know as Silas from Weeds) can't take it anymore and opens fire on an entire courtroom. We might have been able to predict the death of James, but the death of Will was a horrifying, horrible, horror-inducing horror. Yes, that many variations on horror are necessary to explain the shock and awe of that character's final moments. But every dark cloud has a silver lining (allegedly), so let's look on the bright side. We'll get to see more of James A.K.A. Dan Bucatinsky in an upcoming NBC series Marry Me. And he also has another project in the works with Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. There's no word for sure on what's next for Josh Charles, but he did stop by The Late Show With David Letterman and made it clear that he's been wanting to move on for some time now. So here's hoping we get to see him in something new soon. Not that anything could assuage the loss of Will Gardner. Case in point:  How Alicia looks at the 1:27 mark? Yes. That's exactly how 99% of us feel right now. So basically... The Good Wife and Scandal writers? You are all the worst right now. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Tony Goldwyn and Other Reasons 'Scandal' Gladiators Will Love 'Divergent'
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 24, 2014
    Summit Entertainment Divergent is now in theaters, and not doing too shabby a job at the box office either. Fans of the book series and Shailene Woodley fans have flocked to screens in large numbers to catch the film. But if you haven't read the novels or heard too much about them, you may be unsure as to whether or not you'd be into the storyline. Well, there's at least one group of people who definitely have a reason to check out the flick: Gladiators. ABC's Scandal has a host of superfans the world over and if you're one them, we have a few reasons you're going to want to check out Divergent. Politics as Usual Scandal fans love the political drama that drives much of the show's plot. Dirty politicians, philandering presidents, stolen elections, and super-secret CIA factions called B6-13 all exist in America the beautiful. In Divergent, society appears to be functioning well with very specific plans in place. But it soon becomes clear that all kinds of problems are brewing underneath it all. Those in charge are often the very folks who can't be trusted and it will take the work of some very dedicated rebels (think: Gladiators) to change the game.  Strong Women Abound Olivia Pope, Mellie Grant, Abby Whelan — so many of the most compelling characters on Scandal are women, and we have more of that to look forward to in Divergent. With Shailene Woodley as Tris, Zoe Kravitz as Christina, and Kate Winslet as Jeanine we can expect to meet another group of complex, confident women. Duh, Tony Goldwyn I mean, need we say more? President Fitzgerald Grant A.K.A. Tony Goldwyn will be playing the father of Tris, and even though he won't be rocking his presidential gear, we can assume that he'll still be looking pretty handsome. Get Showtimes and Tickets for Divergent Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Can 2014 Be Another Big Year for Black Cinema?
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 24, 2014
    Duly Noted/Homegrown Pictures Last year was celebrated as one of the biggest years in black cinema, if not the biggest. Such a year (with films like Fruitvale Station, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, and 42) culminated with 12 Years A Slave taking home the Academy Award for Best Picture. And now that 2014 is offically underway, one wonders if we can expect another big year for black films and black directors. Will there be room for more than just one film about the black experience at next year's Oscars? Well the good news is that there are a number of exciting new projects set for a 2014 release. Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler will team up with Michael B. Jordan again for the movie Creed (a quasi-Rocky spinoff), and Spike Lee's highly-anticipated Da Sweet Blood of Jesus has completed filming and is set for a 2014 release. Although Oldboy flopped and his 2012 film Red Hook Summer left much to be desired, many of us still can't resist a good ol' Spike Lee joint.  One film that's also been getting lots of buzz is Justin Simien's feature debut Dear White People. First off, amazing title. And secondly, the film snagged Sundance Film Festival's Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Talent this year and their trailers and clips pretty hilarious: Belles is another film we're excited about. The period piece, set in 18th century England, tells the complex story of mix-raced young woman raised in nobility. Amma Asante will direct the movie (her second feature film), inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle. And although there is no release date yet for the new Lee Daniels movie (featuring the first gay action hero, played by Alex Pettyfer), the follow-up project to last year's The Butler has us plenty excited (along with his upcoming Janis Joplin biopic with Amy Adams). This year Daniels will also team up with his Precious lead Gabourey Sidibe again, along with Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson for a new FOX television series Empire.  Many other directors of color are on the rise this year and it's definitely a good thing. Here's hoping critics and audiences take note and embrace some of these great talents and their upcoming work. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Hide the Kids and Check Out These Must-Watch NC-17 Movies Streaming on Netflix Now
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 23, 2014
    City Lights Pictures via Everett Collection Watching an NC-17 movie has a very strange effect on the psyche. First off, you feel beyond bad ass. Chances are you've been watching R-rated movies for a while now, but the first time you saw a NC-17 rating you probably didn't even know what it was. And if you asked your mom, there's a good chance she rushed you away from that big sign in the movie theatre so you guys could go watch Pleasantville. Well, you're all grown up now, and while there's nothing against Pleasantville (great flick actually), there's nothing quite like putting the kids to bed, turning on Netflix, tip-toeing back to the kids' room to make sure they're really asleep this time, going back to Netflix and picking a big, bad NC-17 flick. Here are a few you should definitely check out. And remember 1.) Kids to bed, 2.) turn on Netflix, 3.) double back to kids' room and confirm Zzzzs, 4.) pick one: Bad Lieutenant Harvey Keitel plays a coke-sniffing, gambling lieutenant (you know, the bad kind) who works to solve a nun's rape case. I'm not going to tell you what she was assaulted with, or what Keitel's body looks like in the nude, but suffice it to say, this movie really works hard to earn its rating. Descent Disclaimer: Descent is considered by some to be the worst movie... ever. But doesn't that kind of make you want to see it more? Rosario Dawson plays a college student who goes on a revenge rampage like no other after being assaulted. Inside Deep Throat Yes! A documentary with a NC-17 rating! Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato take us inside one of the highest grossing movies in film history, Deep Throat. The original 1972 pornographic flick (starring Linda Lovelace) introduced the world to porno chic and nothing's been quite the same since then. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Ciara's 5 Best Instagram Videos
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 23, 2014
    Instagram If you've been Instagram-stalking Ciara like some of us, you've probably been having a grand ol' time checking out her fabulous maternity fashion. Well, the singer/dancer is getting ready to pop soon, so the maternity wear is on its way out. But her Instagram account will still be one of the coolest places to hang out. One thing that we really appreciate is that Ciara has been sharing these awesome videos, many of them throwbacks to the days of old. Don't worry Ciara. You'll get those abs back in no time. Here are five of the best Instagram videos from Ciara's account. The Ciara Matrix Because the "Like a Boy" video will never, ever get old. Parisian Car Party The black hat, the wavy hair, the goofy friends. Ciara's living the dream.  Impromptu Dance Party Pretty sure she just did the cabbage patch. And made it look cool. Which is no small feat, folks. Throwback CiCi Oh, the things this woman could do to a little black chair. And then this happened: Moonwalk + Baby Bump = Ciara is just the cutest! Seriously. Who does that in front of a bunch of floral arrangements? Adorbs. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Celebrate Women's History with These 10 Life-Changing Performances
    By: Shannon Houston Mar 21, 2014
    New Line Cinema via Everett Collection Last year alone, films like Blue Jasmine, 12 Years a Slave and Philomena were driven by the brilliant transformations of actresses like Cate Blanchett, Lupita Nyong'o, and Judi Dench. And as we celebrate Women's History Month (looking forward to more exciting performances from these and other great actresses), let's take a look back at just a few of the many, many life changing performances in some of the best biopics and period pieces from recent years. Q'orianka Kilcher, The New World You thought you knew the story of Pocahontas until director Terrence Malick introduced us to a whole new world. Kilcher's performance was so awe-inspring it practically re-told and re-wrote history itself. Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Julia Stiles, Ginnifer Goodwin, Julia Roberts, Mona Lisa Smile Yes. Pretty much every actress you love is in this movie. Set in the 1950s, this amazing film tells the story of a group of Wellesley students who get their lives shaken up when Julia Roberts shows up as their free-thinking art professor.  Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose When Cotillard won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Lead Role for her role as beloved French singer Edith Piaf, nobody in the world cried foul. Because there aren't enough awards in the world for what she did in La Vie en Rose. A stunning, haunting, fitting tribute from one French star to another. Viola Davis & Octavia Spencer, The Help Spencer took home the Academy Award in 2012 for her portrayal of Minny Jackson, a black maid working for a particularly cruel white woman in the '60s, and costar Davis was nominated. As far as the clip above, one YouTuber describes it as "The most satisfying scene in cinematic history." We're inclined to agree. Cate Blanchett, The Aviator Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn? Damn near flawless. Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth But Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth? EVERYTHING! Angela Bassett, What's Love Got to Do with It No offense to Tina Turner, but Angela Bassett was the best Tina Turner of all time. Laura Linney, Kinsey It may have been Liam Neeson's flick, but Linney played the wife of the famed scientist and, for many of us, absolutely stole the show. Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn If you've somehow managed to go through life not being in love with Michelle Williams, then you clearly have not seen My Week with Marilyn. Do yourself a favor and make it happen. NOW! Jennifer Lopez, Selena If you can make it through J Lo's performance of Selena Quintanilla's life and work without crying, you are a martian robot lacking the full understanding of Selena Quintanilla.  Kate Winslet, The Reader Granted there are other Kate Winslet movies to choose from. But when you really get down to it... no. No, there aren't. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //