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<p>Lena Dunham in &quot;Girls.&quot;</p>

Lena Dunham in "Girls."

Credit: HBO

Review: HBO's 'Girls' brilliantly channels Lena Dunham's comic voice

A smart, hilarious look at the lives of four New York friends
Our first impression of Hannah Horvath, the heroine of HBO's new comedy "Girls" (Sunday at 10:30 p.m.), isn't an incredibly positive one. We first see her as she's shoveling pasta into her mouth with the gusto of someone who eats more than she should, but also doesn't eat this well except when her parents are picking up the check. And as her parents tell her that, two years after graduating college, they're going to stop subsidizing her life as a would-be writer in Brooklyn, Hannah grows hilariously indignant, telling them "I could be a drug addict! Do you realize how lucky you are?" before announcing that she won't have time to see them again on her trip because "I am busy — trying to become who I am!"
 
Your average television show cares very much about making a good first impression. It wants you to like its main characters, to show you why they're awesome before it even allows for the tiniest possibility that they might have flaws you'll learn to accept because you've already come to love them. But "Girls" is not your average television show — it may, in fact, be the best new HBO comedy since "Curb Your Enthusiasm" — and it takes the exact opposite approach. It introduces you to Hannah and her friends by focusing on how annoying, selfish, myopic and clumsy they can be, and then it makes you love them in spite of all that.
 
It's a trick not many veteran TV show creators could pull off, but 25-year-old Lena Dunham does it on her first time out.
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<p>Last time George Clooney went to space in 'Solaris,' things got a wee bit wackadoo, so here's hoping 'Gravity' is a very different sort of ride</p>

Last time George Clooney went to space in 'Solaris,' things got a wee bit wackadoo, so here's hoping 'Gravity' is a very different sort of ride

Credit: 20th Century Fox

Cuaron's 'Gravity' may send Clooney and Bullock on cutting-edge adventure

Recent comments suggest this film is going to be a technical marvel

All I need to know about "Gravity" to be excited about seeing it later this year is that it's the latest film from director Alfonso Cuaron.

However, based on details that emerged online today, my interest level has skyrocketed, and it sounds like something very special is in store for us when the film does finally arrive in theaters.  It also sounds like next year I should do my best to attend the 5D | FLUX conference at USC, where Chris deFaria spoke about "Gravity" and confirmed some of the things I've been hearing about the film since it began production last year.

The screenplay, by Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron, and Rodrigo Garcia, deals with how a team tries to survive when a missile is fired at a satellite while they're all at the International Space Station, and the explosion creates a chain reaction of debris moving at 30,000 kph, threatening their ability to ever make their way back to Earth.  On the title page, the film is described as "a space suspense in 3D," and it sounds like technology was on their mind from the moment they started work on the film.

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<p>Unfortunately, it looks like the real legacy of Mel Gibson's career is going to be courtroom appearances and accusations of raging anti-Semitism</p>

Unfortunately, it looks like the real legacy of Mel Gibson's career is going to be courtroom appearances and accusations of raging anti-Semitism

Credit: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, Pool

The Bigger Picture: Does Eszterhas versus Mel Gibson benefit anyone?

People love to look at car wrecks, but should they?

When you write about entertainment all day every day, you tend to get caught up in minutiae, and it leads to editorial decisions I would call questionable.  When you're writing breathless headlines about Pez dispensers, you may be working too hard to find relevance in the irrelevant.  Getting hung up on the micro often prevents us from focusing on the macro, but I'd like to take the opportunity to take a step back from time to time to examine 'The Bigger Picture.'

Short version:  don't expect Warner Bros. to produce Mel Gibson's film about the Maccabees any time soon.

When Mel Gibson first announced his intentions to make a film telling the story of the Jewish rebel army that existed around 160 BC, it seemed like it fit well into the larger arc of his career and his fascination with doing films set in a historically violent era featuring the characters speaking in accurate-to-the-age-and-region languages, something that has been a big part of his directing career.  It also sounded like it was going to be a hugely controversial project for reasons that would be obvious to anyone aware of Gibson's ongoing tabloid troubles.

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<p>Kim of &quot;Survivor: One World&quot;</p>
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Kim of "Survivor: One World"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Survivor: One World' - 'Go Out With a Bang'

Will Immunity Idols shake up the 'Survivor' gender split?
Pre-credit sequence. Bats! We're starting Wednesday's (April 11) episode with bats! It's gonna be a good week. Anyway, Day 23 at Tikiano. Jay is beginning to have prophetic dreams, which I had thought was Kat's thing. Poopy Pants and Troyzan discuss the reality of their gender situation. "Those kids are plotting to knock us out one-by-one," Poopy Pants says. Troyzan, however, doesn't want to hear it. He's convinced Mike was coming after him and that Mike was nothing more than another vote with the Women. Troyzan reminds us that he has an Immunity Idol of his own and he's prepared to switch things up if he needs to. Foreshadowing?
 
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<p>Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter in &quot;Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23.&quot;</p>

Dreama Walker and Krysten Ritter in "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23."

Credit: ABC

'Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23': But do trust the Beek from the Creek?

What did everybody think of the new ABC comedy?

I posted my review of ABC's "Don't Trust the B---- in Apt. 23" yesterday. Now it's your turn. Did you trust and/or like the bitch? Dreama Walker as her roommate? The pervy neighbor? The crazy ex-roommate? James Van Der Beek as James Van Der Beek?(*) Was the show too cartoonish, or just right? And will you watch again? 

(*) Fienberg interviewed The Beek yesterday.

Have at it.

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<p>The &quot;American Idol&quot; Top 7</p>
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The "American Idol" Top 7

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'American Idol' Top 7 Performances - Current Songs

How will 'Idol' fill its two-hour block this week with only seven singers?

Back to LA, sports fans! Remind me to tell you all about the medical emergency that caused my 5:50 a.m. flight from Boston to be redirected through Denver. 

But not tonight. Tonight, we celebrate this season's Top 7 and mourn a world without DeAndre Brackensick. In his absence, who will sing with a squeaky falsetto? Who will make the teenage girls squeal? Who will toss his hair with reckless abandon? 

Sniffle.

Based on song spoilers, it appears that Wednesday's (April 11) "American Idol" theme is Current Songs or Songs From The Past Three Years or maybe just Songs Dan Has Never Heard Before.

This could be a disaster... Click through!

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<p>Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard confer on the set of their new film, 'The Cabin In The Woods'</p>

Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard confer on the set of their new film, 'The Cabin In The Woods'

Credit: Lionsgate

Interview: Drew Goddard on 'Cabin' and Spielberg's 'Robopocalypse'

The director talks about collaborating with Joss Whedon and Steven Spielberg

Part of me just wants to run this as a straight transcript and only identify both interviewer and subject by first name, because it would be completely confusing and awesome.  That's just me being glad to meet another Drew, though, because there aren't that many of us.

My first chat with Drew Goddard, director of this week's "Cabin In The Woods," took place in Austin when we did the live-cast chat with him and Joss Whedon together.  Then at the start of this week, he called for a follow-up conversation.  The last few days, reviews have really started rolling in, and while you've got some people taking pretty hardline positions against the film (Rex Reed's review is almost comically inaccurate, suggesting Rex dozed his way through, inventing connective tissue that says a lot about the Freudian dreamscape between his ears), for the most part, people seem to be engaged by the crazy puzzle-box deathtrap that Goddard built.  I'm certainly a fan.  I asked how he's feeling about the response so far.

"The only sad part is that I realize it's never going to be this good again in my career," he laughed. "I couldn't have asked for better reactions.  It's beyond my wildest dreams."

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<p>Britney Spears: Can she do it?</p>

Britney Spears: Can she do it?

Credit: AP Photo

Why Britney Spears is not a good fit for 'The X Factor'

Singer on verge of inking deal for Simon Cowell's talent show

As Britney Spears' signing on a judge on the U.S. edition of “The X Factor” appears to be moving closer and closer to reality, we have serious doubts that the pop singer could add anything of merit to the program.

Instead, her main draw will be to curiosity seekers who tune in to see if she can form a sentence unaided by others. And guess what? The people who view to see a potential  train wreck count just as much in the ratings as those who honestly watch to see the talent competition. And at this point, show founder Simon Cowell, who has not delivered the ratings he bragged his program would, needs a big name to bring in eyeballs. And he’s apparently willing to pay $15 million to Spears to do just that.

Here’s why we have doubts about Spears as a viable draw: While she remains a ubiquitous fixture in the gossip pages as we see pictures of her and her two sons or her and her fiancee out and about, any actual speaking that we’ve heard from Spears in the past few years has been as carefully controlled as a politician’s and about as revealing.

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<p>Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts on the set of &quot;Rust and Bone.&quot;</p>

Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts on the set of "Rust and Bone."

Credit: Sony Pictures Classics

A French-language glimpse of Marion Cotillard in Jacques Audiard's 'Rust and Bone'

Is the 'A Prophet' director's latest bound for Cannes?

Among the major European auteur titles being bandied about in the speculation as to the Cannes lineup, Jacques Audiard's "Rust and Bone" is surely among the most impatiently awaited, not least because it pairs him with his biggest star lead yet: Marion Cotillard, who seems to be balancing the twin pulls of Hollywood and her home industry with impressive ease.

A black mark against the film's Cannes possibilities, however, is its French release date of May 17: the second official day of the festival, but the first of regular programming after Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" officially cuts the ribbon on proceedings the day before. Can a film premiere at Cannes the same day it opens in France? It seems unlikely -- surely it'd have to premiere locally in advance. If the film isn't festival-bound, however, expect a lot of international critics cramming into the public cinemas on the Croisette to take a look at the latest from the director of "A Prophet" and "The Beat That My Heart Skipped."

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<p>Fun.</p>

Fun.

'We Are Young' from fun. continues its good time on the Billboard Hot 100

How many teen idols are in the top 10?

Fun.’s “We Are Young” continues to age gracefully on the Billboard Hot 100 as it spends its sixth week atop the chart.

In doing so, it also becomes the first song to sell 300,000 downloads for six consecutive weeks, according to Billboard. The Hot 100 tallies airplay, social media play/streaming and digital sales. “We Are Young” is the first song to surpass the 3 million mark in digital downloads this year.

No new titles enter the Top 10 this week so it’s really a matter of a little rearranging in the top tier. “Somebody That I Used To Know” by Gotye featuring Kimbra slides  3-2, a position he should easily hold as he appears on “Saturday Night Live” this week. The tune replaces Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which drops from 2 to 5. In between in the top 5 are The Wanted’s “Glad You Came,” which inches 4-3 and  One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful,” which leaps 9-4, in part based on their appearance on “SNL” last Saturday.

In case you had any doubt that we are back in pop land after a long dry spell, that means No. 3-5 are occupied by teen idols. I don’t know if that’s ever happened. If so, it was at least 10 years ago when Backstreet Boys and N’Sync ruled supreme.

Nicki Minaj, whose album “Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded” is at the top of the Billboard 200,  remains at No. 6 with “Starships,” while Flo Rida’s “Wild Ones” featuring Sia holds at No. 7, and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”  stays at No. 10. Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger” falls 5-8 and Katy Perry’s “Part of Me” declines one from 8-9.

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Watch: tUnE-yArDs raise a mighty kid army in new 'My Country' video

Watch: tUnE-yArDs raise a mighty kid army in new 'My Country' video

Merrill Garbus-led project will soon play California's Coachella Festival

Growing up can be a tough thing to do, so why do it?

tUnE-yArDs (typng that never gets old) -- the brainchild of frontwoman/multi-instrumentalist Merrill Garbus -- have released the video for "My Country," the latest single from the 2011 release "w h o k i l l " (4AD Records).

The video features a group of fierce-looking, warpaint-wearing tots who Garbus leads in a frenzied cacophony of dance, music-making and lip-synching. She's obviously having a blast re-living that seemingly carefree chapter of existence (besides her height, she fits right in to the mob). She also lends them a heart before they go off into the big, bright world. The visuals are fitting for the songs' child-like, sing-songy vocals, but there's always something sonically sinister about most tUnE-yArDs songs. Maybe it's the saxophone. 

Watch the video here:


 
tUnE-yArDs is currently on tour, and will play the upcoming Coachella Festival.


What do you think of the video?

 

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<p>Daniel Craig at a press conference earlier this year for &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig at a press conference earlier this year for "Skyfall."

Credit: AP Photo

‘Skyfall’ Set Visit Sneak: Daniel Craig thinks four-year break helped

Get ready for a James Bond media blitz

LONDON –  In case you hadn’t heard, James Bond has been making his way around the world.  Shanghai. Scotland, central London and, soon, Istanbul, Turkey.  Today, however, the world’s greatest secret agent is filming his latest thriller on the appropriately named 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios in the UK.  Yes, after an almost four-year absence, Bond is back in business with November’s “Skyfall.”

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