I’m not terribly interested in passing judgment either way on Lindsay Lohan in tonight’s “Saturday Night Live” recap. Plenty of ink, both actual and virtual, have been spilled in the name of detailing her every high and low over the past decade. What I’m here to do is judge this particular episode of “SNL,” and her hosting duties on it. There’s no doubt that there will be plenty of jokes made at her expense, either directly or indirectly. So I’ll talk about that as much as it pertains to the sketches. Other than that? It will be the usual complaints about the underuse of Abby Elliot and a general confusion about the musical guest. Oh, it’s Jack White? Sweet. Someone I actually know. It’s been a “get off my damn lawn” year for me, musically speaking, on “SNL”.
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1) Adele: She celebrates week No. 22 at the top of the Billboard 200. She’s got one more week in her for sure, before Springsteen comes in with the Wrecking Ball.
2) Whitney Houston: She becomes the first woman to ever land three albums in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 simultaneously, but achieves the feat by paying the ultimate price.
3) Justin Bieber: The Bieb turns 18! “I’m in the middle without any plans/I’m a Boy and I’m a Man/I'm eighteen and I don't know what I want...”
4) Kid Cudi: Universal Republic’s decision to only ship 55,000 copies of his duo's self-titled project, “WZRD,” leaves him PSSD.
5) Mariah Carey: Mimi returns to the stage for the first time since popping out Moroccan and Monroe in a 40-minute free concert for fans. She’s just another working mom.
6) Bret McKenzie: This Conchord takes flight over the birds in “Rio” as “Man or Muppet” snags the shiny naked gold man at the Academy Awards for best original song.
7) Don Henley: His reps sound off about Frank Ocean lifting “Hotel California” for “American Wedding.” Doesn’t Ocean realize that he can check out, but he can never leave?
8) Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose: Khalifa does what Kanye did not: He puts a ring on it.
9) Mike Dungan: One of Nashville’s most loved and respected execs switches from Capitol to Universal, although when the EMI merger goes through he’ll be reunited with Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and all his friends. Score one for the good guys.
10) Davy Jones: I’ll always be a Daydream Believer and you’ll always be my white knight on a steed. 7A.
Ralph McQuarrie is probably more directly responsible for the texture of my dream life between the ages of 7 and 13 than any other visual artist. Simply put, the choices he made regarding the design of the world of "Star Wars" were one of the main reasons that film resonated not just with me, but with generations of viewers now.
There was a time when people ended up in the film industry after living other lives, after learning other skills, after working at a trade. Ralph McQuarrie was a technical illustrator working for Boeing, and that led him to working on animated coverage of NASA's Apollo missions for CBS News. He sort of backed into the film industry through that work, which caught the attention of Hal Barwood and Matthew Robbins, who were part of the same circle of friends that included other young filmmakers like Steven Spielberg, Brian De Palma, and George Lucas.
It was 1975 when McQuarrie was first hired by Lucas to create some paintings that would help people make sense of the script he was writing at the time. Those paintings, many of which are now iconic, not only helped pin down the designs of characters like Chewbacca and Darth Vader, but also were a big part of what convinced 20th Century Fox to make the movie.
Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch "The X Factor," "Survivor," "Top Chef," "Project Runway," "Celebrity Apprentice" or any other competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too.
As mentioned a few times in the last week, I'm in California for the "Community" panel at PaleyFest. As this is being posted, the live audience is watching the first episode that will air when the show comes back on March 15, the funny, Shirley-centric "Urban Matrimony and the Sandwich Arts" — the live stream of the event should begin right after the screening ends — and Dan Harmon has just announced that on this Wednesday, March 2, Hulu and NBC.com are going to launch a three-episode webisode series called "Abed's Master Key" to provide hungry fans with some "Community"-related content before the show returns to TV.
I'm writing this up in advance of the panel (since I'm otherwise detained at the moment), but the press release explains that "In the three-part sequence of 'Abed’s Master Key,' Dean Pelton hires Abed as his temporary assistant. Entrusted with a Greendale Master Key; Abed abuses his power to help his friends, and after Britta confronts Abed, she heads down the same dark path." The series was co-written by Dave Seger and Tom Kaufman, who created the series "Sex Teenagers" for Harmon's Channel 101 project.
For those who won't get to attend or watch the stream tonight, I'll try to write up some highlights of the panel tomorrow morning. (If you want to wait, Hulu will have an archive of the video in a couple of weeks.) Hopefully, a fun time is being had by all as you read this.
Here's a teaser to the animated webisodes.
Of course, these things are arranged too far in advance -- July last year, to be exact -- for the exchange to be quite as neat as it sounds, but the timing of this announcement underlines it anyway: in the same week that Harvey Weinstein won France its first Best Picture Oscar, the French in turn have honored the super-producer with its highest form of official recognition, the Légion d’Honneur.
Established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Légion is approximately equivalent to the Queen's Honours in Britain, noting outstanding individual contributions to French society and culture -- previous recipients in the film world range from Ennio Morricone to Kristin Scott Thomas to Clint Eastwood, alongside any number of homegrown talents. Weinstein was selected for the honor by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, as a measure of gratitude "to someone who has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema which you have enabled so many Americans to discover."
To be quite honest, I've never been a big fan of Paul Weitz. Along with his brother Chris, the Weitz are two of the nicest and most engaging filmmakers you'll meet in the business, but their work often has been wildly inconsistent.
After breaking through on "American Pie," Paul co-directed the underrated Chris Rock comedy "Down to Earth" with his brother and then both helmed the overrated "About a Boy" a year later. The solid "In Good Company" followed, but then it sort of all went wrong for Paul. His political satire "American Dreamz" just didn't work on any level and he followed that with "Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant" which was another costly mess for Universal and hardly the franchise starter they'd hoped for. He made it up for the studio by agreeing to direct "Little Fockers," but ended up shepherding the least successful film of the once lucrative franchise. Considering he could easily find himself in movie jail or producing yet another "American Pie" movie (whoops, too late), it's a relief to reveal that his latest endeavor, "Being Flynn," is something of a satisfying surprise. Of course, considering the subject matter (Nick Flynn's 2004 memoir "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City") isn't the happiest of tales that's a sincere compliment.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Adele’s “21” is a lock to stay at No. 1 for another week on the Billboard 200.
For those keeping count, that means the Grammy-winning title will ratchet up 23 non-consecutive weeks at No. 1. With an estimated tally of 225,000 copies, it will also approach a total sales figure of 8 million copies. But “21” isn’t alone, “19,” Adele’s first album, remains in the Top 10 at No. 7, according to Hits Daily Double.
Mourners continue to express their grief by buying Whitney Houston. She has an astounding four titles in the next week’s Top 10: Her “Greatest Hits” is No. 2 with 115,000 copies, while “The Bodyguard” soundtrack, which features a number of tunes from Houston is No. 4 at 55,000 copies. Her self titled set is poised to land at No. 8 and “I Look To You” at No. 9.
That leaves four spots for other acts and room for only one debut: WZRD’s self-titled set at No. 3. WZRD is the duo composed of Kid Cudi and Dot da Genius. Cudi made headlines this week after he tweeted his extreme dismay that Universal Republic was shipping only 55,000 copies to retail. Given that the title is projected to sell up to 80,000, clearly a fair amount sold via digital retailer.5-problems-with-his-rant
Tyga’s “Careless World: Rise of the Last King” likely drops only one spot to No. 5; “Now That’s What I Call Music” is slated to also fall one space to No. 6 and Drake’s “Take Care” rises 13-10.
So who looks to spoil Adele’s party? Bruce Springsteen, that’s who. The Boss’s 17th studio album, “Wrecking Ball,” comes out March 6 and could bump label mate Adele out of the top spot.
Mariah Carey performed an intimate show for her lambs last night at New York’s Gotham Hall.
As is clear from this clip of “Shake It Off,” Mimi is in fine form, 10 months after having babies Moroccan and Monroe. The tune, from 2005’s “Emancipation of MiMi” is barely a song at all, but it’s nice to see her back on stage regardless.
[More after the jump...]
I’ll get around to writing about Nick Lowe’s new video, “Sensitive Man” as soon as I finish my practicing my Smile Pile and my Rollover Whispers.
Lowe hasn’t made a video for years, but he’s brought the funny with this one. Though he simply plays the song up against a pale green background, his performance is interspersed with a session of sensitivity training for a group of men all of whom are either trying to get in touch with their softer side or have been sent there by women and agreed to it in hopes of ever getting laid again.
[More after the jump...]