While "Silicon Valley" has been pilloried for whiffing the ball when it comes to current techie misbehavior in Palo Alto, I suspect that was never really a hard target for co-creator Mike Judge and company. A lot has been made of the fact Judge worked in Silicon Valley 25 years ago, but, other than using the setting as a backdrop for a few inside jokes, the show pretty clearly has a broader aim. There's certainly a laser-sharp parody of Silicon Valley to be made, but this isn't it -- and, I think, doesn't want to be anyway.
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A review of tonight's "Game of Thrones" coming up just as soon as I taste some grilled seagull...
The 23rd annual MTV Movie Awards were held Sunday evening live from downtown Los Angeles. "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" walked away with top honors for Movie of the Year, Best Male Performance (Josh Hutcherson) and Best Female Performance (Jennifer Lawrence). Mark Wahlberg and Channing Tatum were honored with special prizes while Conan O'Brien hosted the ceremony. Check out a full list of the nominees and winners below, and read through Louis Virtel's live blog of the show over at HitFix Riot.
Bill Clinton congratulates Stephen Colbert, Conan says Colbert is the “right person” to replace Letterman
The former president, who got on Twitter thanks to Colbert, tweeted congrats to Colbert “for keeping us laughing & thinking.” Meanwhile, Conan O'Brien reacted to the news, saying: "I wasn’t up for it. I’m very happy where I am, but I love Stephen. I think Stephen is great. I’m a huge fan of his as a comic and as a human being. I think it’s fantastic. I’m really glad that he got the job. I look forward to seeing his show.”
Billy Crystal’s new FX show will revisit his famous “SNL” characters
That’s according to co-star Josh Gad, who says: “I grew up watching ‘SNL’ religiously, so seeing (Crystal) re-create some of his characters on this show and doing some of that stuff is a dream come true.”
GLAAD names “The Fosters” TV’s best drama
The Jennifer Lopez-produced ABC Family drama topped last year’s winner, “Orphan Black.”
Jimmy Fallon was at a bar when a brawl broke out around him
“Fallon was pretty shaken up,” a source tells the NY Daily News of the Thursday incident. “He was at the wrong place at the wrong time, and chaos erupted around him.”
"Once Upon a Time’s” Ginnifer Goodwin & Josh Dallas are now a married couple
Goodwin, who is expecting a baby with Dallas, got engaged last October.
“Banshee” adds 3 newbies
The Season 3 cast will include at least four new additions.
Benedict Cumberbatch: I will never play “Doctor Who”
“I'm never gonna play the Doctor – and nothing to do with the Whoniverse,” he said at Australia’s Comic-Con this weekend.
“Modern Family’s” Mitch & Cam make a cameo on “Family Guy”
Check them out palling around with Peter Griffin.
Jimmy Kimmel sidekick Guillermo started off on the show making $8 an hour
He started off as Kimmel’s parking security guard. Now he has a contract that pays him much, much more.
“Kitchen Nightmares” returns to Amy’s Baking Company, and cursing ensues
“Gordon Ramsey can go f**k himself” was heard on Friday’s broadcast.
“Wheel of Fortune” contestant loses out on $1 million because he couldn’t pronounce “Achilles”
"Mythological hero...A Chili's?"
A 14-foot model of David Hasselhoff pulled from auction
The model of The Hoff in his “Baywatch” trunks was yanked one week after appearing on Jimmy Kimmel.
CALGARY - I've been on two Martin Freeman sets in the past year, so I'm prepared for his process.
I can't tell you the details of what Freeman's Lester Nygaard is actually doing in the scene being filmed on this beautiful March day in the hills just outside of Downtown Calgary. "Fargo" is simultaneously shooting the seventh and eighth episodes of its 10-episode season and things are getting a wee bit climactic on the FX limited series.
It's not spoiling much to say that Lester Nygaard is under pressure in this particular moment. Lester is under pressure for most of "Fargo," which draws inspiration, but very little plot, from the Coen Brothers' Oscar-winning film. From the beginning, Lester is a slightly-less-than-normal guy whose life is turned upside-down by a chance meeting with Billy Bob Thornton's appropriately malevolent Lorne Malvo. As befits what is now the "Fargo" franchise, this meeting leads to violence, murder, deceit, intrigue and frequent dark hilarity.
In the initial take of the scene, though, Freeman seems to be under no real pressure. It's a straight-forward and solid reading of a potentially emotional scene and, if you didn't know better, you'd think it was just fine. After a brief conversation with "Fargo" series creator Noah Hawley, Freeman settles in and although his scene partner delivers a performance that's nearly identical to the first take, Freeman's reading is now completely different. It's not just that the emotion has been dialed up, though. Emphasis has been put on a different assortment of words and without changing a breath of the dialogue, Freeman has shifted the heft of the scene. The camera and lighting set-ups change and, again, Freeman's co-star remains consistent -- And really good, don't get me wrong -- but Freeman again steps up the emotion and punches a different assortment of words, highlighting a different potential meaning.
As I learned on the set of a different Freeman production last summer -- I'm not sure if I can say what it was, but it certainly wasn't "Sherlock" -- this is what the "Office" veteran does. He starts off with the basics, but builds with each take and tries to give directors as many choices as possible, tries to give himself as many choices as possible. After watching many actors on many sets, I can assure you that this isn't the case with everybody. Freeman is notable both for how responsive he is to direction, but also for the variations he imposes on himself.
While "Fargo" is a deep ensemble, with Freeman and Thornton joined by veterans like Keith Carradine, Bob Odenkirk and Adam Goldberg, as well as newcomer Allison Tolman, this is a long day for Freeman and, as I don't want to over-explain, this scene is intense and growing moreso with each take.
As a result, though many of the "Fargo" stars are able to spare long stretches of time with a small pack of reporters visiting the set, Freeman's window is more limited. Between scenes, in the time technically set aside for lunch, he's able to carve out 30 minutes and there are five reporters. With a publicist closely monitoring a stopwatch, we each get five minutes with Freeman, who doesn't stay in character at all times, but does retain his slightly sing-song-y Minnesota accent.
It's like speed-dating I tell him as I sit down, wasting five of my seconds.
"Only without the bell," he agrees, taking another five seconds.
Pleasantries dispatched, in this brief Q&A, Freeman discusses the initial draw of "Fargo," which premieres on April 15, both in terms of script and its limited nature. He talks about finding empathy and sympathy for a character who is something of a sad-sack. And he describes the on-set dynamic with the intriguingly eclectic cast.
Check out the speed-dating Martin Freeman interview below and stay tuned over the next week for "Fargo" interviews with Thornton, Tolman, Carradine, Hawley and a slew of others...
It’s almost five years to the day that Seth Rogen last hosted “Saturday Night Live.” (Somewhat amusingly, his “Neighbors” co-star Zac Efron hosted the very next week.) Meanwhile, over the last five episodes, “SNL” itself has survived a rather rocky start to the post-Seth Meyers Era with a string of solid albeit non-classic episodes after the Jim Parsons-hosted debacle. Heading into its final break of the season, it will be interesting to see if the show ends on an upswing or downswing heading into the final stretch of this flawed yet fascinating season.
The soundtrack to “Frozen” will spend another week at No.1 on the Billboard 200 next week with no competitor coming within 100,000 of the Disney juggernaut.
Fast National ratings for Friday, April 11, 2014.
With "Blue Bloods" delivering Friday's top scripted numbers and "Shark Tank" hitting a recent low, CBS dominated primetime overall and also moved up into a tie with ABC among young viewers.
FOX was a close third in the key demo thanks to the two-hour premiere of "Kitchen Nightmares," which didn't draw an especially huge overall audience, but easily exceeded the numbers for "Rake" and various comedies. FOX notes that "Kitchen Nightmares" was up 33 percent from its October 2012 premiere.
Among other notables, The CW's "Hart of Dixie" added viewers from last week, but delivered the same low demo number, while NBC's "Hannibal" did the same.
On to the numbers...
Before we knew anything else about former cheerleader and "Survivor: Cagayan" contestant Morgan McLeod, we knew that she was comfortable with her place on the Beauty tribe and that she was prepared to use her physical attributes to get what she wanted.
Soon, though, LJ came to look at Morgan as a threat, because of a hot girl scorned and she became a target, stuck in a not-especially-successful alliance with the previously eliminated Brice. [Somehow I forgot that LJ picked Morgan for not-elimination in the very first seconds on the beach. I'd have asked about that if I remembered. Apologies!]
Morgan was never shy about saying what she thought of people. She called LJ old. She called Kass old and ugly.
And it's a favor that was returned this week. Flip-flopping Kass compared Morgan to a useless old dog, while Tony said that because of Morgan's laziness, "you can't tell if she's a pillow or a person."
Morgan was never the biggest threat for... anything, but the members of the Brawn-y alliance decided that nobody would waste an Idol trying to save her. For her part, Morgan tried to defend herself by claiming that she would be a good and easily beatable person to take to the end. Morgan's argument didn't work and she was voted out.
In this week's "Survivor" exit interview, Morgan discusses her failures this season and owns up to how some of her catty comments looked. She also remains confused by Kass hated her so much and reveals what Kass told everybody she does for a living.
Click through for the full Q&A...
One of my most anticipated films of the year has to be Alejandro González Iñárritu's "Birdman." Of course I love the auteur's work and will leap at the chance to check out anything new he might conjure, but I'm also pretty fascinated by the involvement of Michael Keaton in the film. Keaton seems to be wading slowly back into more consistent on-screen work these days; he has three films hitting theaters just this year.
A review of tonight's "Hannibal" coming up just as soon as my dog likes applesauce...
With a title like "Afflicted," and the skin-crawling movie posters that have accompanied, there's no question a creature is coming.
But for "Afflicted" co-stars/co-directors Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, it's all about the timing and emotional expenditure to get to that first true scare in their horror film.
It was back in late 2013 that I talked to longtime friends and collaborators Lee and Prowse, as they took their small budget film to genre-loving Fantastic Fest in Austin. On film, they happen to also play filmmaking friends Derek and Cliff, who travel overseas and are suddenly sidelined by a newly contracted health condition.
It was just this past week the pair finally unleashed their found footage/documentary-style film into theaters, on a small enough scale that the film's greatest thrills and even its central creature have not been spoiled, to some degree.
Below, however, are some spoilers. Check out what Lee and Prowse had to say about their budget, the makeup, making found footage work and why vampires are still a lasting legend in the movie-making world.