Latest Blog Posts

<p>Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif)&nbsp;tends to Trixie (Paula Malcomson)&nbsp;on &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif) tends to Trixie (Paula Malcomson) on "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 1, episode 9: 'No Other Sons or Daughters' (Veterans edition)

A change is gonna come to the camp, and not everybody likes it.

After a week off, it's time to resume our trip back through the first season of David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood," and we're continuing to do it with two separate but largely identical posts: one for people who watched the whole series and want to be able to discuss it from beginning to end, and one for people who are just starting out and don't want to be spoiled with discussion that goes past the current episode. This is the former; click here for the newbie-safe version.

A review of episode 9, "No Other Sons or Daughters," coming up just as soon as I ask you what you think of my frock coat...

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<p>Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif)&nbsp;tends to Trixie (Paula Malcomson)&nbsp;on &quot;Deadwood.&quot;</p>

Doc Cochran (Brad Dourif) tends to Trixie (Paula Malcomson) on "Deadwood."

Credit: HBO

'Deadwood' Rewind: Season 1, episode 9: 'No Other Sons or Daughters' (Newbies edition)

A change is gonna come to the camp, and not everybody likes it

After a week off, it's time to resume our trip back through the first season of David Milch's epic revisionist Western "Deadwood," and we're continuing to do it with two separate but largely identical posts: one for people who watched the whole series and want to be able to discuss it from beginning to end, and one for people who are just starting out and don't want to be spoiled with discussion that goes past the current episode. This is the latter; click here for the veteran-friendly version.

A review of episode 9, "No Other Sons or Daughters," coming up just as soon as I ask you what you think of my frock coat...

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<p>Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds spend a considerable amount of time discussing the logistics of handling each other's junk in 'The Change Up,' and hilarity ensues.</p>

Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds spend a considerable amount of time discussing the logistics of handling each other's junk in 'The Change Up,' and hilarity ensues.

Credit: Universal Pictures

Review: 'Change-Up' wastes talented cast, makes Reynolds and Bateman too slimy

Leslie Mann stand-out in cast, still stranded by script

There was an episode of "The Sarah Silverman Program" in their final season where the large gay couple played by Brian Posehn and Steve Agee switched bodies when they both touched a Chinese dragon phone at the same time.  It was exactly as ludicrous as that sounds, and the entire episode was a very knowing riff on this entire weird subgenere of comedy.  There have been countless variations on this basic formula, so doing it today requires something different, some new perspective or insight or metaphorical journey that the body switch can illustrate.  The good news is that finally, date rapists and people who think Tucker Max is too "old-fashioned" have their very own "Freaky Friday."

It's a shame because the bare bones of the premise is fine, exploring the perceptions of married and single life from the other side of the fence.  You can absolutely do the smart version of this, but instead, this is the urgently dirty version, and it's too focused on shocking to do much else.  Here, when the film reaches for heart, it feels false.  It makes for a really uneven experience, a misfire of tone, and it commits the cardinal sin for me of being frantic instead of funny.

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<p>Brendon of 'Big Brother'</p>
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Brendon of 'Big Brother'

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'Big Brother' Wednesday - PoV Night endangers the Veterans

Will Brendon and Rachel be separated on Thursday night?

Last time on “Big Brother”: Daniele won Head of Household, Adam wore an elf costume, and Rachel and Porsche nearly caused the San Andreas fault to crack by running concurrently inside the house. Yikes. That was some bouncy TV, y’all. Also: Brenchel might be over, with the pair put on the block for elimination this week. Let’s see if the veteran alliance can hold in the face of their toughest challenge yet. But it still can’t be as tough as every time I have to type out the word “Brenchel.”

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<p>Bobcat Goldthwait's 'God Bless America' is one of the ten films that will be part of Toronto's Midnight Madness line-up this year at the International&nbsp;Film Festival.</p>

Bobcat Goldthwait's 'God Bless America' is one of the ten films that will be part of Toronto's Midnight Madness line-up this year at the International Film Festival.

Credit: Darko Entertainment

Toronto 2011: Midnight Madness features Bobcat, bad cops, nightmares to spare

Exciting line-up announced for this year's festival

Even before I started attending the Toronto International Film Festival, I was well aware of the reputation of their midnight movie programming, and in the years I've been attending, that reputation has been backed up with great choice after great choice. There was one day this spring, at the start of April, where something like three different choices from the previous year's programming was all released theatrically at the same time.  And these movies were some of the most talked about indie releases of the year, including "Insidious," "Super," and "Stakeland."

I was out this morning seeing something else when the announcement went live this morning, but all week long, Colin Geddes has been dropping hints and linking out to photos from the films, and I was guessing, and except for the one film that I've already seen, all of my guesses were wrong.

I'm okay with that.

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"So You Think You Can Dance"

 "So You Think You Can Dance"

Credit: Fox

Recap: 'SYTYCD' is just one week away from the finale as the top six compete

It's a Live Blog of one of the toughest weeks of the competition

Okay, I'm recapping from the TCAs and watching this on a teensy computer screen, so if I describe a performance as "blurry," well, that just means I've forgotten myself. But let's get started! Times are EST, not PST, even though I'm PST. Well, you get it. 

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<p>Director Nick Broomfield in a scene from his new documentary &quot;Sarah Palin - You Betcha!&quot;</p>

Director Nick Broomfield in a scene from his new documentary "Sarah Palin - You Betcha!"

Sarah Palin, Comic-Con and Werner Herzog highlight 2011 Toronto Film Festival doc selections

Oscar winning filmmakers debuting new documentaries

The Toronto International Film Festival announced a new wave of documentary screenings for this year's festival and they include some premieres from notable filmmakers.  Morgan Spurlock, Wim Wenders, Jessica Yu, Alex Gibny, Nick Broomfield and Toronto regular Werner Herzog will all have documentaries debuting.  Additionally, Jonathan Demme's doc "I'm Carolyn Parker: The Goo, the Mad, and the Beautiful" was announced along with the bulk of the narrative selections last week.  

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<p>Lady Gaga</p>

Lady Gaga

Credit: AP Photo

Watch: Lady Gaga raises a glass to Tony Bennett for his 85th birthday

Bennett announces duet with Amy Winehouse will benefit charity

Tony Bennett turns 85 today and none other than Lady Gaga is sending a shout out to the hippest singer around. A green-haired Lady Gaga sent Bennett a little YouTube message and raised a glass of whiskey in his honor.

Lady Gaga and Bennett recorded a cover of “The Lady is a Tramp” for “Tony Bennett: Duets II,” which will come out Sept. 20.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Eric Church</p>

Eric Church

Credit: AP Photo

Eric Church debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200, while Winehouse soars

Country singer's 'Chief' leads the tribe this week

Country singer Eric Church snags his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 this week as “Chief” lives up to its name and leads the tribe.

The title sells 145,000 copies, soaring above the first-week sales of his last album, 2009’s “Carolina,” which sold 31,000 in its opening frame, according to Billboard.

Church is a true story of artist development as he’s consistently increased his fan base through near non-stop touring even though he has never had a song chart higher than No. 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart.
His arrival at the top pushes Adele’s “21” down to No. 2, but if that album has proved anything in the last six months, it is its ability to bob back up to the top repeatedly.

Former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland starts at No. 3 with her third solo album, “Here I Am,” which sells 77,000 copies, according to Billboard. First single, “Motivation,” spent seven weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.

Soaring 9-4 is Amy Winehouse’s “Back To Black.” The title came back on the Billboard 200 last week following the British singer’s death July 23. Her first album, “Frank,” rises 57-33.

Church shares Top 10 space with two other country acts: Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party” moves 8-5, while former No. 1, Blake Shelton’s “Red River Blue” falls 6-8.

Rounding out the Top 10, Beyonce’s “4” drops 4-6, “Kidz Bop 20” slips 2-7, Joss Stone’s “LP1” debuts at No. 9 and Bad Meets Evil’s  “Hell: The Sequel” rise 11-10.

Overall album sales are running about 2% ahead of the same time last year.

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<p>New &quot;CSI&quot;&nbsp;leading man Ted Danson in a scene with Marg Helgenberger and Jorja Fox.</p>

New "CSI" leading man Ted Danson in a scene with Marg Helgenberger and Jorja Fox.

Credit: CBS

Press tour: Ted Danson brings a lighter touch to 'CSI'

The 'Cheers' alum will play a scientist modeled on Phil Jackson

Ted Danson has an impressive body of dramatic work on his resume, from "The Onion Field" and "Body Heat" in his early days to "Damages" in recent years. Still, he'll always be identified first for his comedy work, and the "CSI" team is counting on him to help add a lighter touch to the show as it enters its 12th season with him as the new lead.

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<p>&quot;Community&quot;&nbsp;co-stars Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi yukking it up at Comic-Con.</p>

"Community" co-stars Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi yukking it up at Comic-Con.

Watch: 'Community' co-stars Ken Jeong, Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi at Comic-Con

Have some laughs with three of primetime's funniest performers

The Comic-Con video interviews I posted last week were fairly brief, done as part of the usual assembly-line process that takes place in the Con press rooms. With the "Communitycast, though, I got lucky. The cast (minus Alison Brie, who was still filming her movie "Save the Date") was in town a night early so they could see Donald Glover's House of Blues show, they had some time to kill beforehand, and so I got a good chunk of time with most of them in two groups.

The results will only occasionally offer insight into the creative process of making "Community" (most of that will come from Ken Jeong), but they will give you a very good idea of what makes the "Community" cast one of the funniest and quickest on television.

In the first of our two interviews, I was placed with Jeong, Chevy Chase and Danny Pudi. Chase has, at times, been disruptive at public events involving the whole cast (like last year's Comic-Con panel), but he was relatively subdued at this year's panel, and he, Jeong and Pudi played off each other extremely well that night.

I hope you like it, and that it helps tide you over a bit until the "Community" season 3 premiere on September 22.

With any luck, later today I'll be posting the second interview, with Joel McHale, Yvette Nicole Brown and Jim Rash. (Glover was prepping for his show, and Gillian Jacobs hadn't made it into town yet.)

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<p>The new &quot;Two and a Half Men&quot; cast, including Ashton Kutcher, couldn't make it to press tour, but we sure talked about them a lot.</p>

The new "Two and a Half Men" cast, including Ashton Kutcher, couldn't make it to press tour, but we sure talked about them a lot.

Credit: CBS

Press tour: CBS boss Nina Tassler on Ashton Kutcher & more

A livelier-than-usual CBS exec session still wound up stable in the end

CBS has the most stable executive team in network television, with most of the key people at the network having been in place for 15-plus years. It has one of the most stable schedules on network TV. It has the most familiar ratings story on network TV, being the most-watched overall network every year but usually trailing behind in younger viewers.

It is reliable, dependable, always there - and for that reason, usually not the most exciting network to cover at press tour. There was a period in the mid-'00s where the most controversial question at each CBS executive panel had to do with whether "Joan of Arcadia" would ever come back. (Hint: no.)

This year, though, CBS was the stable network with a whole lot of crazy stuff happening.

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