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Jimmy Kimmel: You could hear a pin drop during my Kanye West interview

Jimmy Kimmel: You could hear a pin drop during my Kanye West interview

Says Kimmel: "One thing I learned on the radio is the value of shutting up and listening. He had a lot to say and he seemed very passionate and I felt like I was absorbed by it, and I thought the audience was too." PLUS: Gloria Allred blasts Kanye over his Kimmel remarks.

Is "House of Cards" ending after Season 2?
A producer suggested that Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright want to go back to the movies after the 2nd season is done filming.

Brie Larson returning to "Community," Robert Patrick and Ben Folds to guest-star

They'll appear in the same episode with Paget Brewster.

CW orders more scripts for "Reign," Tomorrow People" and "The Originals"
Three original scripts for each freshman show have been ordered.

Robin Thicke portrays himself as the victim in Miley Cyrus VMA twerking controversy
In an interview with Oprah, Thicke says, "People ask me, 'Do you twerk?' I go, 'I'm the twerkee. I'm twerked upon."

ABC orders more "Shark Tank"
Two more episodes will bring this season's total to 24.

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No, Lorde's 'Royals' is not racist. Can we dial back the lyric parsing?

Must every song and action be picked apart for signs of offense?

It all started, as these things often do, with a blog post. A few days ago, Veronica Beyetti Flores on the Feministing website, alleged that Lorde’s “Royals,” the No. 1 song in the U.S. is racist.

It took a few days, but by last night, her accusations had blown up with news sites like CNN and Time weighing in on the made-up controversy.

Flores’ interpretation of the song is that Lorde, by mentioning elements sometimes associated with rappers—and her rejection of them— is being deeply racist. She cites the lines “But every song’s like gold teeth, Grey Goose, trippin’ in the bathroom/Blood stains, ball gowns, trashing the  hotel room/ We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams/But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece/Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash/We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.”

“While I love a good critique of wealth accumulation and inequity, this song is not one; in fact, it is deeply racist,” writes Flores. “Because we all know who she’s thinking when we’re talking gold teeth, Cristal and Maybachs. So why shit on black folks? Why shit on rappers? Why aren’t we critiquing wealth by taking hits at golf or polo or Central Park East? Why not take to task the bankers and old-money folks who actually have a hand in perpetuating and increasing wealth inequality? I’m gonna take a guess: racism.”

What? I don’t doubt that Flores truly somehow sees the song that way, but I don’t really understand the giant leap she’s making. The song is a rejection of material things, not of blacks or anyone who wants these things. It’s written from the standpoint (or at least my interpretation of it) of a teenager who realizes she is being sold to at every moment and has decided not to buy into the conspicuous consumption.  As she sings: “And we’ll never be royals/It don’t run in our blood/That kind of luxe just ain’t for us.”

And yes, while we may hear more rappers bringing up Maybachs or Cristal than a country artist, the fact is that rap songs are the pop music of the day. Kanye West had it absolutely right when he said that rap stars are the rock stars now so these symbols are touchstones of wealth for anyone who is listening to pop music, whether they are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian or any other ethnicity.

Lorde has not responded to Flores' colum, but, as the CNN piece points out,  earlier told NPR, "I was just sort of reeling off some of the things which are commonly mentioned in hip-hop and the Top 40. I've always loved hip-hop, but as a fan of hip-hop, I've always had to kind of suspend disbelief because, obviously, I don't have a Bentley. There's a distance between that and the life I have with my friends." How does that make her racist? It just makes her like the 98% who can't afford a Maybach.

Have we gone so overboard that we are now parsing every lyric of every song and every movement of every artist?  In just the past few months, the critique of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” developed after a blogger wrote that she found the song “rapey.” The song had been out for a few months before that and no one seemed to have much of a problem with it. And while that one probably had a little more validity than these others, next came a blogger accusing Miley Cyrus of being racist because when she twerked on the VMAs she was appropriating black culture and because all of her dancers were black.

We’re getting into dangerous territory here. There is so much true racism that still exists in the world that we should be fighting against instead of looking for signs of it that aren’t there. Has Cyrus shown any kind of pattern of racism? None that I can see. Is there anything else on Lorde’s album that could be interpreted as racist? Not that I heard-- but then I didn’t hear racism in “Royals.”  We can probably find something offensive in every song if we want to and if we are so desperate for page views, but sometimes, it’s just not there. And every time we spend the energy trumping up a controversy, it takes our eyes off the real offenders.

Do you find Lorde's "Royals" racist?

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<p>Chloe Moretz cleans up well, but she was more than willing to get dirty and damaged to play the lead character in 'Carrie'</p>

Chloe Moretz cleans up well, but she was more than willing to get dirty and damaged to play the lead character in 'Carrie'

Credit: HitFix

Chloe Moretz on why she has more in common with 'Carrie' than you'd guess

She may not be the most obvious choice, but she feels an affinity for the character

Since the moment they announced that Chloe Moretz was set to star in Kimberly Peirce's "Carrie," I've been wondering about the casting. Moretz is a very talented and intuitive young actor, and I certainly don't think you cast people only to play themselves in films. But I do believe you cast to someone's strengths, and Moretz is so self-confident, so at home in her own skin, that she seems like strange casting for a character who is the very definition of bully-bait.

There's a protracted series of scenes in "Kick-Ass 2" where Mindy, aka Hit-Girl, has to contend with mean girls, a threat her father never taught her to handle. The way she finally handles them seems entirely within character, and she refuses to allow herself to be pushed by someone she sees as weaker than her. That seems like what we've come to expect from Moretz and the characters she plays.

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<p>Sandra Bullock in a tense scene from &quot;Gravity&quot;</p>

Sandra Bullock in a tense scene from "Gravity"

Credit: Warner Bros.

Composer Steven Price on scoring the soundscape of 'Gravity' and the power of Atmos

How breaking down various aural elements enhanced the immersive quality of the film

In a film such as Alfonso Cuarón's "Gravity," which takes place in orbit and embraces the reality that "in space, no one can hear you scream" -- or anything else, for that matter --  music was always going to have an expanded role in the experience. The director was very determined from the outset that, like so many other elements in the film, the score would need to serve the immersive ends he was aiming toward. It was always going to be sort of moving around the audience in the theater, making you feel as though you were part of the action taking place on screen.

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<p>Daniel Radcliffe during a press conference for &quot;The F Word&quot; at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.</p>

Daniel Radcliffe during a press conference for "The F Word" at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Credit: AP Photo/Evan Agonisti

Is Daniel Radcliffe having the time of his life? You bet he is

'Kill Your Darlings' star has had a busy two years

Let's be frank.  Daniel Radcliffe made enough money starring in eight "Harry Potter" films to never have to work a day in his life gain.  And, even at 25, that's an intriguing proposition.  Instead, like his co-star Emma Watson, Radcliffe has been working his butt off.

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<p>Shia Le Beouf is just one of the stars who is getting dirty for Lars Von Trier in the upcoming 'Nymphomaniac,' and we've got a whole gallery of new character posters from the film for you today.</p>

Shia Le Beouf is just one of the stars who is getting dirty for Lars Von Trier in the upcoming 'Nymphomaniac,' and we've got a whole gallery of new character posters from the film for you today.

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Lars Von Trier releases 'O-face' posters for Thurman, Le Beouf and Dafoe in 'Nymphomaniac'

The year's craziest campaign turns it up a notch with new character posters

Lars Von Trier is a big fat troublemaker.

That may, in fact, be part of why I love the guy. He seems perfectly happy to roll a hand grenade into a press conference just to see what will happen, even if it means he's going to get blackballed by the Cannes Film Festival. He doesn't seem like he's able to control himself, but that's part of what defines his work, and I don't think he could or should change.

Another thing that makes me love him is that I honestly believe awards are the last thing on his mind when he starts a new piece of work. He seems driven by his own particular sensibilities and his own particular interests, and he seems more than happy to make audiences so uncomfortable that they don't know how to react.

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Naomi Grossman and Barbara Tarbuck

Naomi Grossman and Barbara Tarbuck talk to HitFix

Credit: HitFix

Watch: 'American Horror Story: Asylum' stars talk about 'diehard fandom'

Naomi Grossman, Barbara Tarbuck talk to HitFix at "AHS" sleepover

I had the chance to talk to Naomi Grossman and Barbara Tarbuck during an extremely spooky sleepover at the abandoned (and supposedly haunted) Linda Vista Hospital in Los Angeles as part of a kickoff for the DVD release of "American Horror Story: Asylum." Needless to say, we were probably all a little unnerved by the setting.

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"American Horror Story: Coven"

"American Horror Story: Coven"

Credit: FX

'American Horror Story: Coven' premiere breaks records

The season opener was the most-watched telecast in the series' history

"American Horror Story" has put a spell on viewers. This season's premiere could become the most-watched program in FX history. Take that, "Wilfred"!

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 205

Dan and Alan discuss 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland,' 'Walking Dead' and more


Happy Thursday, Boys & Girls!
It seems like forever, but we're back with our first new Firewall & Iceberg Podcast in 10-ish days. Apologies for the delays and apologies for not having the opportunity to tell you to avoid basically every new network show premiering last week and maybe this week.
Actually, we got in under the wire on ABC's "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," which premieres tonight. We also reviewed the new season of AMC's "The Walking Dead." We talked about the early season successes and failures -- this podcast was completed mere minutes *before* ABC picked up a back-nine for "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." -- and we answered a couple pieces of mail.
No podcast next Monday in honor of Columbus Day, but hopefully we'll be back sometime next week!
Today's breakdown:
"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (00:01:40 - 00:16:20)
Season 4 of "The Walking Dead" (00:16:25 - 00:26:25)
Early Season Successes and Failures (00:26:30 - 00:49:30)
Listener Mail - Spinoffs (00:50:05 - 00:56:15)
Listener Mail - Showtime meddling (00:56:20 - 01:04:55)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. [Or you can always follow our RSS Feed.] 

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.



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'American Horror Story' scores record ratings with 'Coven'

"American Horror Story" scores record ratings with "Coven"

The premiere was seen by 5.5 million, beating everything on broadcast TV except "Modern Family."

Study: One-third of millenials don't watch broadcast TV

They either watch online video only or no TV at all.

Is sexism destroying "Survivor"?
This season, says Linda Holmes, "has quickly ripened into the most distastefully bro-worshiping, wife-fearing season yet."

Natalie Zea heads to Amazon
She'll play the wife of a football team owner in "The Outlaws."

"Big Bang's" Kunal Nayyar is writing his memoir

The actor will recount his childhood in India through a series of humorous essays.

Miley Cyrus had the most-watched "SNL" since March
Ratings could've been even higher had "Saturday Night Live" not been delayed 27 minutes by college football.

PBS will air a "Downton Abbey" special in December

"Return to Downton Abbey" will offer "a tantalizing taste" of Season 4.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 205: 'The Walking Dead' & more

Dan and Alan also discuss the new season's early winners and losers


Better late than never, it's time for a new Firewall & Iceberg Podcast. When last we left you, we were going to review some of the fall's lesser shows like "Super Fun Night" and "Sean Saves the World," and then do another podcast on Monday discussing "The Tomorrow People," "American Horror Story: Co-ven," etc., but life got in the way repeatedly. The planets finally aligned today, however, and while we had to skip a bunch of premieres, we were still able to discuss tonight's debut of "Once Upon a Time in Wonderland," the return of "The Walking Dead" on Sunday, early winners and losers of the new fall season, the flood of spin-offs being developed and all the rumblings about Showtime executives interfering with "Homeland" and "Dexter." 

With the Columbus Day holiday on Monday, don't expect the next podcast til Tuesday at the earliest.

The rundown:

"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" (00:01:40 - 00:16:20)
Season 4 of "The Walking Dead" (00:16:25 - 00:26:25)
Early Season Successes and Failures (00:26:30 - 00:49:30)
Listener Mail - Spinoffs (00:50:05 - 00:56:15)
Listener Mail - Showtime meddling (00:56:20 - 01:04:55)

As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.

And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.


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<p>&quot;Karama Has No&nbsp;Walls&quot;</p>

"Karama Has No Walls"

Credit: Hot Spot Films

Eight documentary shorts make Academy's Oscar shortlist

Which three won't make the nomination cut?

The Academy has announced this year's field of contending documentary short subject films for the 86th annual Academy Awards. The crop has been trimmed down to eight, from which five nominees will be chosen.

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