While I see "Once Upon A Time"'s dark view of Neverland as rich dramatic terrain in which to thrust our main characters, I've been conflicted in how the show has handled the Peter Pan storyline thus far. While this episode delivered at least one gut-wrenching emotional payoff, there were plenty of false steps prior to it to take us out of the moment. Peter Pan may be able to entice a bunch of kids with his skills on the pan flute (nice touch, though), fans of the show may not buy into this storyline so easily.
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A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I have other plans involving dirt and cucumbers...
A review of tonight's "Homeland" coming up just as soon as I say I'm going to Trader Joe's...
A review of tonight's "Boardwalk Empire" coming up just as soon as I earn a D in civics class in 5th grade...
LONDON - You needn’t have seen the 1964 Disney family staple "Mary Poppins" -- though I shudder to think, almost 50 years after its release, of a childhood completed without it -- to be familiar with the practically perfect English nanny’s all-purpose maxim that "a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down." It was a line conceived not by P.L. Travers, the famously prickly Australian author of the children’s books behind the film, but by Richard and Robert Sherman, the Disney studio’s in-house songwriters.
Intentionally or otherwise, it was a cannily appropriate bit of invention: in a sense, it neatly sums up the Disney ethos of using whimsy and cheer to make life lessons more palatable to young viewers. (Or older ones, for that matter.) Disney, after all, was the man who changed the definition of “fairytale” in the public imagination from Grimm-dark allegory to one of mandatory happy endings. Travers, for her part, liked the medicine.
"Saving Mr. Banks," John Lee Hancock’s bright, entertaining and -- inevitably -- somewhat selective overview of "Poppins'" conflict-laden journey to the screen, is a film that aims for the inverse of that formula: a small dose of acrid personal history is applied to make its sentimental study of creative collaboration yielding personal catharsis that much easier to swallow. That's not necessarily a knock against it. If the tidy emotional geometry of Kelly Marcel's script occasionally feels Disney-esque, that seems only right for a film explicitly about the pervasiveness of Disney’s optimistic storytelling principles in popular culture -- and more implicitly about the way even those heightened principles can mirror the odd human truth. Sometimes life is sentimental, and some will fight it more than others.
"The Day of the Doctor" isn't until next month, but that doesn't mean it isn't time to get excited about the "Doctor Who" 50th anniversary special right now. The BBC announced today that the special, which premieres Sat. Nov. 23, will be 75 minutes long and will host a bevy of familiar faces.
1. Miley Cyrus: “Bangerz” slams its way to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, crushing the competition. Even Sinead bought a copy.
2. Justin Bieber: His new movie, “Believe,” will open on Christmas Day. God gave us his only begotten son that day, Bieber gives us his latest film.
3. Morrissey: His autobiography finally comes out and it turns out you’re nobody if he hasn’t had a spat with you. And, for the last time, there will be no Smiths reunion.
4. Hall & Oates: The beloved duo finally lands a nomination for Rock & Roll Hall of Fame after years of lobbying from its fans. But will they lose out because a Kiss is on the list?
5. Lady Gaga: She’ll be spending her Thanksgiving with the Muppets in new TV special. That’s so much better than dried-out turkey with feuding relatives.
6. Taylor Swift: The 23-year old is honored for the sixth time by the Nashville Songwriters Assn. International as Songwriter/Artist of the year. They are never, ever breaking up.
7. Marilyn Manson: In what is actually a perfect fit, Manson is joining the cast of “Once Upon A Time.” The show creator said they wanted someone “with the vocal ability to make our skin crawl.” Oh, so he’ll be singing his lines, then...
8. Robert Plant: He went up to Misty Mountain and came down with some previously unreleased Led Zeppelin recordings. Is the new Beyonce album in the same hiding place?
9. A Tribe Called Quest: Following its Nov. 24 Madison Square Garden show with Kanye West, the seminal hip-hop collective will disband for good... at least until they reunite again.
10: Maxine Powell: Powell, who died this week at 98, held the unofficial title of Chief of Charm for Motown, training artists like the Jackson Five and Smokey Robinson how to dress and treat people. Can you imagine what she’d say to the likes of Rihanna and Miley Cyrus?
We’re only three episodes into the thirty-ninth season of “Saturday Night Live." But that’s not stopping us from making ten observations about the current season as a whole. Who has shined? Who has faded into the background? What trends can we already detect?
Read on to find out about the current state of the show.
WELLINGTON, NZ - Can you really go home again? Orlando Bloom is finding out as he returns to the world of Middle Earth in Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug." Bloom reprises his role as the Elf with a bow, arrow and long luxurious blond hair, Legolas, that he originated in the Oscar-winning "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy. And, frankly, it's not bad timing.