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Shannon Houston
  • The Brilliant Ways In Which ABC’s ‘Scandal’ Deals With Race
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 09, 2013
    ABC Last week ABC’s hit series Scandal made its third season premiere, and with 10.5 million viewers tuning in, it’s safe to say that creator Shonda Rhimes is doing something right. Well, we’d say she’s doing a lot of things right, and one of those things is the way in which she deals with race. The season premiere had two especially brilliant moments that subtly/not-so-subtly brought up the question of race and racial politics in Washington D.C. and in American society. First, there was the explosive conversation between main character Olivia Pope (played by Kerry Washington) and her father, who we are just now getting to know. Olivia’s father comes down on her hard for her recent troubles, having been outed as lover to the President of the United States. Without saying anything specific about the fact that they are black professionals working in a system/country where they are the minority, he simply demands that she repeat the one lesson he has taught her since she was a young girl: You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.  And instead of dwelling on what that really means — and how powerful (and true) that statement is — the characters move on, and the show goes on and we’re left with our jaws on the floor. And because of that, we love Shonda Rhimes. We also love that the Vice President on the show is a total right-wing, conservative Republican woman who — in the middle of the season premiere — comes down on the gay White House Chief of Staff and casually throws this one out there:  I have never once mentioned what I think of your Godless homosexual lifestyle and that poor sweet brown baby you dragged into it. Whew! And then the characters move on, and the story goes on and — once again — we’re all left with our jaws on the floor. Even though Rhimes and her writers do not appear to dwell on the issue of race, it shows up in every episode just as it did in the recent season premiere. The very fact that the main relationship on the show is an interracial one is significant, but it’s complicated by the fact that Olivia Pope is not just a black woman in love with a white man; she’s in love with the President of the United States. And he’s in love with her. Race, though a real issue that comes up at times between them, is not the primary issue and this alone makes for a compelling racial narrative. We’re excited to see the other brilliant ways Rhimes handles the complexities of this subject throughout the new season of Scandal. Oh, and if you’re not already watching, then what—pray tell—are you doing with your Thursday nights? Follow @Hollywood_com //
  • The Best Not-So-Scary Kids Movies We Still Love To Watch
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 08, 2013
    Disney Halloween is just around the corner, and while there are plenty of R-rated scary movies to indulge in for the holiday, we love a good not-so-scary kid flick as well. Folks like Tim Burton and stop-motion master Henry Selick have been making powerfully good movies for years, and even though alternate universes and headless pumpkin kings don’t scare us like they used to, we still love watching these films. The Nightmare Before Christmas Jack The Pumpkin King has become as much of a staple around Halloween time as witches on broomsticks, and ghosts and ghouls. He’s an icon -- a rock star -- and we all fell in love with him when Burton and Selick brought us the unforgettable story of holiday worlds colliding. Paranorman The phrase I see dead people took on new meaning with this story of a little boy with a special, frightening gift. Little Paranorman may have been unique in that he communicated with the dead, but his story has a universal message, where outcasts and so-called geeks trump bullies and the popular crowd. And, naturally, they end up saving the world from the wrath of the dead. Coraline Another brilliant work from Henry Selick, we’re going to have to be honest and admit that this not-so-scary kid movie is actually pretty damn scary at times. Little Coraline finds a portal to another universe, discovering that Other Mothers and Other Fathers are not always so awesome, once you start seeing what’s behind their black-button eyes. Frankenweenie Tim Burton’s Oscar-nominated film put a fun spin on a familiar story. A young boy loses his beloved dog, and decides to bring him back from the dead. Of course, Sparky the dog is much changed and the dramatics ensue. Visually, Frankenweenie is a great piece of work -- a black and white film, classic Burton, plus the voices of actors like Winona Ryder and Martin Landau make this one a not-so-scary kid movie must-see for adults. Hocus Pocus Don’t act like you haven’t been waiting around all year for this one to start popping up on ABC Family. Hocus Pocus defined many-a childhood and introduced a lot of us to a Sarah Jessica Parker that is long gone, but never forgotten. Follow @Hollywood_com // More:It’s Now Seasonally Appropriate To Watch ‘Hocus Pocus’Best Indie Horror Films On NetflixCelebrity Halloween Costumes You’ll Love From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • Unsurprisingly, Carey Mulligan's New Movies Look Awesome
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 07, 2013
    WENN Can we talk about Carey Mulligan for a second? She is everything. Between her past work in brilliant movies like Drive, Shame, and An Education (for which she received an Oscar nomination), and this year’s performance as Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, it has to be acknowledged that Mulligan absolutely has the goods. And we have a few more reasons to get excited about the British actor and her impending rise to awesomeness. Here are a few details about her upcoming projects. Inside Llewyn Davis The new film from the Coen Brothers has everyone talking, and we can't wait for it to hit theatres either. We've only seen a couple of trailers, but there's a good chance that Mulligan's character Jean is already, most likely our favorite.  Far from the Madding Crowd Mulligan will play the lead role of Bathsheba Everdene, a beautiful young woman who ends up in relationships with three very different men. Based on the novel by Thomas Hardy, we're not sure how the new adaptation will fare compared to the 1967 movie starring Julie Christie. The best part about the cast (other than Mulligan, of course), is Belgian hottie and Rust and Bone actor Matthias Schoenaerts. Fingers crossed that he plays one of the lovers. Hold On To Me We don't know too much about this next project, but we're excited to see Mulligan alongside Robert Pattinson, who's well on his way to shedding that Twilight image. Oscar-winner James Marsh is directing the film, and it looks like we can expect good things. Follow @Hollywood_com More:'Inside Llewyn Davis' Will Be Quintessential Coen BrothersCarey Mulligan And Justin Timberlake Are AdorableNobody Does Indie Like Kate Winslet From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • Here Are Some Non-Violent, Practical Ways For Kanye West To Handle The Paparazzi
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 07, 2013
    Victor Boyko/WireImage) Look Kanye West, we kind of get it. Although we're not famous, and although we've never actually sat inside a Lamborghini like the one you own, we get that the paparazzi are pretty much the worst. We don't disagree with your labeling them 'bloodsucking mosquitos,' and we also would be freaked the freak out if we came home at 4AM to find a bunch of dudes in our driveway shoving cameras in our faces. We're not celebrities, but we feel for you. And because we feel for you we have a few suggestions for how you might deal with the unpleasanet phenomena that is the 'razzis. Because, seriously dude. We don't want you to go to jail for smashing anymore cameras...or faces. There's A Song Here, Man Kanye is so lyrically on point, there's no reason he hasn't made a brilliant song about his experiences with the paparazzi. If he can rap about dropping out of school, losing his mother, dating Kim Kardashian, and pretty much everything else under the sun, he should be able to channel his 'razzi rage into one dope track. Oh, and he should get Alec Baldwin to feature on the song, or to at least spit a few ad-libs. There's Always Paris Kim and Kanye have spent plenty of time in the city of lights, and while the paparazzi follow them around there as well, we all know nothing beats Paris. The laws there are far more strict (at least since, y'know, that whole Princess Diana thing) and since Yeezy's been getting back into fashion, he might as well build a second home there for his new family, so he doesn't have to deal with the insanity of Hollywood photographers every day. Put that money to work and save yourself, Yeezy! Be The Change You Want To See In The Paparazzi Laws Kanye's a pretty fun dude when he's not losing his mind on Twitter (actually, he's kind of fun then too), and lots of folks want to hang out with him. He should strongly consider befriending a local politician who can help him jump start his political anti-Paparazzi movement. Sometimes, you gotta be the change you want to see in the world, as opposed to the guy pummeling the crap out of paparazzi at the airport. You can do it, Yeezy! Follow @Hollywood_com // More:Finally: A Second Photo Of Baby North WestKanye West Blasts Paparazzi On TwitterHere's Who We Want To See On The 'Yeezus' Tour From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • Okay, Really: Who Is This Cara Delevingne?
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 07, 2013
    Getty Images When the internet gets buzzing about one particular star, you can't help but hit up Google to try to figure out who the person is, where they came from, and why you should be obsessed with them. Supermodel Cara Delevingne started out as yet another -- albeit striking -- face on the catwalk. Modeling for the likes of Chanel and Burberry she made a name for herself at a young age. But if you've ever stumbled across her IMDB page, or spent hours Instagram-stalking her,  you know what all the fuss is about. And no, it's not just those signature eyebrows! Let's get to know this chick once and for all. She's BFFs With Rihanna Spend five minutes on Rihanna's Instagram account and you'll be bombarded with images of her and Cara out and about, having more fun than (seemingly) anyone else. The same can be said for Delevingne's account. These two are truly best friends, which makes sense as they both have mastered the art of developing a kind of bad girl, #givesnof**ks attitude that only a supermodel and a pop star can really get away with. The Anti-Model Along with that bad-girl image comes with a real desire to destroy any pretty-girl image she might have garnered. Those super-thick, dark eyebrows help with that, but Delevingne's Instagram is full of screw-faces and weirdness, lest we confuse her with an emotion-less, boring supermodel. Tyra Banks Considers Her To Be An Icon A little while back the iconic Tyra Banks released a brilliant series of photos in which she posed as some of her favorite supermodels of all time (Kate Moss and Cindy Crawford included). The photo of her in Cara Delevingne-face was probably one of the most popular of the series, and definitely got folks excited about the young British model. She's On Her Way To Becoming A Legitimate Actress One little-known fact about Delevingne is that she actually had a small but significant role in the 2012 Oscar-winning film Anna Karenina. Delevingne played the marriage interest of Aaron Johnson's Count Vronsky, and she was absolutely gorgeous on screen. She's now making a serious break into acting, having expressed some interest in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie, and now filming Kids In Love. We can all expect to see more of this beauty both on the catwalk and on the big screen. Follow @Hollywood_com // More:The Best Fashion BlogsSurprisingly Affordable Celebrity FashionBest Celebrity Instagrams From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • 'Grey's Anatomy' Actors Who Should Make Appearances on this Season Of 'Scandal'
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 04, 2013
    ABC If you’re watching ABC’s hit show Scandal (which you obviously are) and you’ve ever experienced Grey’s Anatomy -- another big show from the great mind of Shonda Rhimes -- you’ve probably recognized a handful of familiar faces. Many characters who played minor roles on Grey’s (like, Meredith Grey’s father, actor Jeff Perry) have gone on to have major roles on Scandal (Perry is now better known as the somewhat insane and beloved White House Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene). Scandal’s First Lady of the United States Mellie Grant (played by Bellamy Young) also had a small but memorable role in a couple of episode of Grey’s. We love that Rhimes is putting all these great actors to work on her latest show, and we think the Scandal cast is pretty much flawless. Still, there are a few old faces from Grey’s Anatomy that we’d love to see make a special guest appearance (or two) on the upcoming season of Scandal. Jeffrey Dean Morgan AKA Danny Duquette Ohhh, Denny! The hot patient who totally looked just like Javier Bardem, who we lost when a somewhat illegal heart transplant went wrong (poor Izzie) – we need to see his face on telelvision again. Morgan was such a great actor, and we’d love it if he popped up as a new client of Olivia Pope’s. T.R. Knight AKA Dr. George O'Malley O’Malley! Can’t you just see him now working his way onto Scandal as a sort of Gladiator-in-training, or Gladiator for a day? Fumbling and falling all over himself (and probably falling for Quinn in the process)? It would be adorable. Patrick Dempsey AKA Dr. Derek Shepherd AKA McDreamy We have no real plans for his cameo appearance, other than that he shows up and looks really, really hot... errr dreamy. We’ll let Shonda Rhimes figure out what to do with him, we just mainly want more McDreamy everywhere in life. Follow @Hollywood_com // More:Lisa Kudrow Joins The Cast Of ‘Scandal’Kerry Washington Still Wins At LifeObviously, You’re Watching ‘Scandal’ From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • You Know You Can't Wait For 'The Best Man Holiday'
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 04, 2013
    Universal Pictures Is the universe ready for a sequel to the 1999 hit movie The Best Man? Yes. Yes, we finally are. A few months back the trailer for The Best Man Holiday hit the internets and for those of us who never get tired of the glorious faces of Morris Chestnut and Nia Long, it was a pretty good day. As the November 15th premiere date approaches, let's review the trailer and mentally prepare for the awesomeness headed our way. So here's what we've learned so far. Everyone Is Still Hot Seriously! Did these people age at all? No, no they didn't. The entire cast looks as hot as they did back in '99! Between Chestnut, Long, Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan and pretty much everyone else, there's enough eye candy for all. Speaking of Candy... Candy the stripper (played by actress Regina Hall) is back and all cleaned up! Looks like she's gone good while Julian's crazy ex Shelby has gone bad. That bedroom scene with Terrence Howard's character is going to be all kinds of epic.  Nia Long Trades In Dark Chocolate For White Chocolate So, Long's character Jordan is an interracial relationship with hottie Brian McDaniels (played by real-life hottie Eddie Cibrian). Harper may or may not approve, but we're totally and completely into it. There's A Synchronized New Edition Performance Going On Did you catch that moment at the 1:30 mark where all the guys started doing their Can You Stand The Rain thing and panties were thrown? We expect that this scene alone will be worth the price of admission. Follow @Hollywood_com More:Check Out 'The Best Man Holiday' TrailerAre Rom-Coms Changing For Good?Celebrity Cameos In 'Don Jon' From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • 'Revenge,' 'Scandal,' and 'The Good Wife': Life Lessons From TV's Leading Ladies
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 04, 2013
    Richard Cartwright/ABC This was a huge week for some of television's leading ladies. Revenge (starring Emily VanCamp), Scandal (starring Kerry Washington), and The Good Wife  (with Julianna Margulies) all had (or are about to have) pretty epic season premieres, and the women heading up these dramas seriously know how to run a show. Between Emily Thorne's revengenda, Olivia Pope's white hat, and Alicia Florrick's...well, everything...there's plenty to learn from these women. Although they're all very different and (to be fair) Alicia Florrick really is in a class by herself, they share a few common factors that we need to zone in on if we're going to get better at life. Step 1: Get New Clothes Every superhero has his or her costume and when Emily, Olivia, and Alicia are out saving the world (each in their own unique way), they are always dressed for the job. Emily’s a Hampton socialite, Olivia’s a DC lawyer/fixer, and Alicia is a lawyer/governor’s wife, but they all have a similar style. Whether in business attire or dressed for the after-party, they manage to pull off sexy, classic, and chic all at the same time. By the time you throw in the perfect hair (please note that they all either go for the side or middle part) and the shoes – you’ve got three women who simply exude power. Step 2: Even When You’re Reckless And/Or Unsure, Appear To Be Ridiculously Confident In Yourself Let’s be real—these leading ladies are not exactly good girls… at least not all of the time. Shonda Rhimes has had to come to the defense of her Olivia Pope character, saying that she’s too human to be a role model. All of these women have, at some point or another, lied or cheated or even done something wholly unforgiveable to a loved one. But they have, like, this thing in their jawline (we think it’s called intelligence) where they almost never falter, never look remotely unsure of themselves. We like that. Plus, it makes their vulnerable moments seem all the more real. Step 3: Get Yourself A Die-Hard Crew Emily has her Nolan, Olivia has The Gladiators, and Alicia has a variety of folks (lawyers, clients, friends) who -- depending on the situation -- have her back. But they’ve all also proven their loyalty at some point, so first get loyal, then get yourself a crew. Step 4: Try Your Best To Make Out With Good-Looking Men Whom You Also Respect No, really. This is important. It’s come to our attention that all of these women make out with good-looking men who they also respect. Granted, some of the men are not exactly available, some of them have made questionable moral decisions, and one of them is the President of the United States. But that’s not the point! If you’re looking to be successful in life, you start by pretending you’re either Emily Thorne, or Olivia Pope, or Alicia Florrick – and only make out with good-looking guys who you also respect. Or women. Depending on your preference. Follow @Hollywood_com // More:Can 'Revenge' Return To Its Former Glory?You Absolutely Must Watch 'Scandal'Get To Know Shonda Rhimes From Our PartnersStars Pose Naked for 'Allure' (Celebuzz)20 Grisliest TV Deaths of 2012-2013 (Vulture)
  • Fantasy Soundtrack For 'The Best Man Holiday'
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 03, 2013
    WENN.com We are getting more excited for The Best Man Holiday, the sequel to The Best Man, than we probably should. The first trailer was released months ago, but the November 15 release date is fast approaching and we need to get ready. One of best parts of the trailer had to be the moment where Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs and the rest of the gang performend a synchronized rendition of New Edition's "Can You Stand The Rain." Here's hoping there's more of that in the film, and if not, here are a few songs that we humbly suggest should appear on the soundtrack. New Edition, "Candy Girl" Judging from the trailer one of our favorite characters is no longer working as a stripper, but she still goes by the name of Candy. And since it's impossible to hear that name without singing the New Edition song in your head, we'd love to hear "Candy Girl" at some point in the movie. SWV ft. Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliot, "Can We" We're expecting a whole bunch of awkward hook-ups in the sequel, especially since the original Best Man consisted of plenty o' awkward hook-ups. And seeing as how "Can We" is one of the best hook-up songs of the '90s, we think it's appropriate. R. Kelly, "Half On A Baby" In the sequel Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs (Harper and Robyn) appear to have already taken R. Kelly's advice, since Robyn shows up totally pregs. We don't know if there will be any flashback scenes, but we'd like to celebrate the conception of their baby with one of the greatest R&B songs ever. But cover your ears kiddies -- this one's for the grown folks. R. Kelly, "Down Low" The trailer also showed us what has to be the most hilarious hook-up ever between Terrence Howard and Melissa De Sousa (Quentin and Shelby). Seeing as how those two were mortal enemies in the last movie, we expect that "Down Low" will be their theme song. Mariah Carey, "All I Want For Christmas" Because there can be no holiday movie without Mimi's rendition of "All I Want For Christmas." We don't care when they play it, we'll be ready. Follow @Hollywood_com // More:'The Best Man Holiday' Is ComingFantasy Casting 'Fifty Shades Of Grey'Anyone Else Nervous About The TLC Biopic? From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)
  • Celebrity-Inspired Halloween Costumes
    By: Shannon Houston Oct 02, 2013
    This is a difficult time for adults everywhere, as many of us are faced with a very serious problem known as the super-cool, grown-up Halloween costume. Because, basically, once you're out of your teens it can look a little ridiculous if you're not careful. But we're here to help! Some of the best costumes are celebrity-inspired and we can think of a handful of celebs who are just begging us to dress up like them for Halloween this year. Here are a few costume ideas for the celebrity-obessessed. Applause Lady Gaga It's very simple. Step 1: Get some face paint. Step 2: Smear said face paint liberally all over your face. Step 3: Wear whatever else you want, just make sure your heels are six inches-plus. Step 4: Look really, really pleased with your personal, sexual, and artistic life choices at all times and voila! You are Lady Gaga promoting her "Applause" single! Met Gala Kanye West & Kim Kardashian Who can forget the moment Kanye West and Kim Kardashian hit up the 2013 Met Costume Gala? Nobody can, which means that when you and a friend/partner show up dressed like the most talked about celebrity couple of the year, you'll be a huge hit. This costume is also fairly simple -- one of you wears a tux (and an inflated -- though perhaps well-deserved -- sense of self-importance), and the other wraps a lovely floral curtain around themselves repeatedly. Or uses the actual floral fabric from an actual couch, since that's what everyone compared to Kim's Givenchy gown. MTV Video Music Awards Miley Cyrus Okay, here's what you do. First, you get bold enough to actually go out in public wearing nothing but nude-colored underwear (if you can get ahold of some plastic underwear, and you can bear the chafing, then go for it). Then you do your hair à la Cynthia doll from Rugrats. Next, get a giant foam finger and... well... you know what to do with it. Great Wall Of China Justin Bieber This is also an extremely simple costume to pull off, if you have two willing friends. Make sure your friends are bigger than you, although it's not necessary that they be as large as Justin Bieber's bodyguards. And then get them to carry you around on their shoulders for the entire night, including (especially) up and down any stairs. You could also wear a hat or name tag that says "Biggest Pop Culture Douche Ever," in case people need clarification. Follow @Hollywood_com // More:Why Justin Bieber Needed To Be Carried Up The Great WallMiley Cyrus Jokes About Her VMA  Performance For 'SNL'It's Now Seasonally Appropriate To Watch 'Hocus Pocus' From Our Partners:40 Most Revealing See-Through Red Carpet Looks (Vh1)15 Stars Share Secrets of their Sex Lives (Celebuzz)