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Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake kicked off their Legends of the Summer tour last night (17) at Toronto’s Rogers Centre to a generally positive slate of reviews, especially praising the pair’s enthusiasm and integration of their material. Here’s a round-up of what the critics had to say:
[More after the jump...]
USA Today’s Celine Wong: "After opening the show together, the duo has found a new rhythm with one performing alone for a song or two and then handing it off to another. It keeps the beginning of the show moving at a frantic pace and is a testament to their deep catalog of hits."
Billboard's Karen Bliss: "As rehearsed and planned-out as the show no doubt is — how to integrate their material, when to perform solo and when to come together, all the while utilizing their crack 14-piece soul/rockband — the two-and-a-half-hour set was smooth and fun and playful and didn’t have that air of my-turn, your-turn. It just seemed natural, almost off the cuff in places, which can happen when a guy can rap and a guy can sing...Jay Z has always been a masterful rapper, but what Timberlake displayed throughout the night was just how musical he is. His past concerts have so many dancers bounding this way and that, and him joining them, that it’s distracting and takes away from his significant talents: his ability to deliver his soulful and grinding pop tunes as the frontman of an expert band and highlight his own musicianship, playing upright piano, keyboards and electric and acoustic guitar— which he did on some of his songs and some of Jay Z’s."
Toronto Star’s Ben Rayner: "It was an indisputably badass night out, regardless: mammoth hit after mammoth hit after mammoth hit delivered with deserved, cocksure swagger amidst insane production values.
Rather than engaging in the one-upmanship that might result from splitting the bill, Js “T” and “Z” opted — as Jay-Z did on his 2011 Watch the Throne tour with Kanye West — to present the night as a chummy back-and-forth that integrated and expanded upon the numerous, overlapping collaborations in their catalogues...The multi-tasking Timberlake also sat in on keyboards with the deft, 14-piece backing band arrayed up and down the four-tier, LED-blazed stage from time to time, even strapping on an acoustic guitar for “Like I Love You” and later an electric to drop the riff from Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” into a gargantuan assault on Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” Yngwie Malmsteen he ain’t, but if we were to view the night as a contest, it was probably his to take."
Exclaim.ca’s Stephen Carlick: “The medleys, of which there would be plenty, were novel at first, but they quickly wore thin; tracks that should have received full-track treatment felt rushed, while the transitions often felt clunky and ill-conceived...Problems with set list construction persisted throughout the show: Timberlake's epic "Lovestoned/I Think She Knows," of which fully half was cut in order to hurry to the next song, built up momentum by getting the entire floor area dancing only to be followed by a full-length iteration of the dragging "Until the End of Time"...It was Timberlake's show. Jay's trilogy of "99 Problems," "Public Service Announcement" and "Hard Knock Life" was the best song run of the night, but it was Timberlake's ability to control the crowd, and his animation onstage, that made him the clear crowd favourite, and his performances of songs like "Cry Me a River" and "What Goes Around... Comes Around" were head and shoulders above most of Jay's."
Idolator’s Adam Pyarali: "As opposed to performing two separate sets, Jay-Z and JT performed a combined list of 39 songs, similar to Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne Tour with Kanye West; the two stars took turns switching off amongst their own material and often duetting. The pair performed their new material but also hit iconic older cuts like Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’” and “99 Problems,” and JT’s “Rock Your Body” and “Cry Me A River,” to appease both old and new fans. The show ended with an unexpected but touching tribute to Trayvon Martin, as the “legends” performed Jay-Z’s 2010 hit 'Young Forever.'"
SET LIST (h/t USA Today)
I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)
Rock Your Body
Excuse Me Miss
On to the Next One
Like I Love You
Jigga What Jigga Who (Originator '99)
U Don't Know
99 Problems / Walk This Way
Bonnie & Clyde
Public Service Announcement (Interlude)
Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)
Heart of the City (Ain't No Love)
Pusher Love Girl
Until the End of Time
Let the Groove Get In
Take Back the Night
Cry Me a River
What Goes Around … Comes Around
New York New York / Empire State of Mind
Run This Town
Suit & Tie
Forever Young / Young Forever
Happy Thursday, boys and girls! It's day 1 of Comic-Con, but the entertainment gods decided to mess with us by making it also be the morning that the Emmy nominations were announced. Since Dan and I were in the same city at the same time as the HitFix video team, we decided to sit down for a quick chat about today's nominations, including the quality glut that led to so many "snubs," exactly how good a day it was for Netflix, which nominations (and omissions) surprised us the most, and more.
As I've said, we should be recording our annual road trip podcast in the traditional audio form on Sunday night as Dan drives me to the airport. Look for that sometime Monday. In the meantime, here we are in bright technicolor from the couch in my hotel room. The glitz! The glamor! The t-shirts!
UPDATE: This is now the full 17-minute-plus version. Enjoy.
"The Simpsons" to visit "Family Guy"
In an episode titled "The Simpsons Guy," Peter Griffin and his family will go on a road trip that ends up in Springfield, where they'll meet the Simpsons, voiced by the actual "Simpsons" cast.
"Happy Endings" alum Adam Pally joins "The Mindy Project"
He'll play a new doctor as part of a multi-episode arc.
"Pee-wee's Playhouse" is being remastered
All 45 episodes will get a Blu-ray release next year.
Overabundance of Good TV? It's time for Emmys to expand to 10 nominations for major categories
As Tim Goodman notes, "The job of Emmy voters this year was nearly impossible (especially factoring in the notion that you can't overlook the achievements of broadcast television even though there's so many better options on the cable side, and Netflix, to boot). Even if Emmy voters were on their game about what’s current, what’s fading, what’s even out there -- which they clearly were not -- their job would have been impossible."
—These days, Emmy nominations get almost everything right
—"The Americans" dissed -- even the wigs deserved nominations
—"It’s a phenomenal feeling," says Emilia Clarke of her "Game of Thrones" nomination
—"Orphan Black's" Emmy snub may be the best publicity it has ever received
—Some more snubs: Jeff Probst, Julianna Margulies, Mads Mikkelsen
—Even more snubs: Jennifer Carpenter, the rest of the "Game of Thrones" cast
—Netflix exec: "We’re thrilled. We're a little giddy about it"
—Julia Louis-Dreyfus breaks Lucille Ball's Emmy nomination record
—Celeb reactions: Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Don Cheadle, Homer Simpson
—PBS down 34 nominations from last year -- what happened?
—Netflix creating quality shows has led to fewer outrageous Emmy noms
—Don't get excited about Nextlix's noms: It's basically being celebrated for 1 show
—Eric Stonestreet: "I don't feel snubbed, so please don't feel snubbed for me"
—Jon Cryer wasn't even nominated after winning last year
—Steven Soderbergh nominated 3 times, but only once under his real name
—Elisabeth Moss overwhelmed by her 2 noms -- 1 for "Mad Men," 1 for "Top of the Lake"
—"Big Bang Theory" and "Homeland" didn't deserve their nominations
—Bill Hader partied with Jon Hamm last night, not expecting his nomination
—Louis CK has 7 nominations and other Emmy tidbits
—Kerry Washington reacts to her Emmy nod
Jon Hamm may become the Susan Lucci of the primetime Emmys
The "Mad Men" star was nominated for the 6th time today, but he's not likely to win. PLUS: Did "Mad Men" deserve its Emmy nomination?
NBC bringing a Hologram James Spader to Comic-Con
Crowds will be able to interact with his "The Blacklist" character.
"Veep's" Anna Chlumsky celebrating her daughter's birth and her 1st Emmy nom
Chlumsky gave birth to daughter Penelope Joan So last Thursday.
Watch a Cory Monteith video shot 1 week before his death
The "Glee" star filmed the video for a flight attendant aboard a plane from Japan to Vancouver.
Kris Jenner lands an exclusive interview with daughter Kim Kardashian
Kim K will show off her post-baby body on her mom's talk show.
"Big Brother" racist Aaryn Gries getting PR help
Aaryn's mom has hired a PR firm to help redeem her daughter's reputation.
"Person of Interest" unveils a George Washington-themed Comic-Con poster
Says exec producer Jonathan Nolan: "In light of the news about PRISM, we felt this poster celebrated both our panic at America’s descent into an Orwellian nightmare and our excitement over all the free marketing we’re getting out of it.”
Power Rangers releasing a 98-disc DVD box set
It's the 20th anniversary of the children's series.
I had a moment of panic as I walked into the room with Famke Jannsen on the recent press day I attended for "The Wolverine" in New York. I have spent much of the past fifteen years referring to her in print as "The Dutch Treat," and as long as I am just a faceless person on the Internet, I can enjoy a silly way of acknowledging that she has always been a strikingly lovely and intriguing performer.
But I've had several moments recently where I had a conversation with someone and realized that they've read the site and that, more specifically, they've read things I've written about them. I am always pleased to hear that and happy to then dig into the conversation afterwards, but in Jansen's case, I had a sort of mini panic attack because I have no idea what she'd think about that nickname, and since she is seven feet tall when wearing big crazy high fashion heels, as she was that day, I was pretty sure she could kick my ass easily if she didn't like the joke.
Thankfully, Jannsen seemed to in a great mood. It helps sometimes when you're the last person scheduled for an interview that day, because you walk in and they're in this sudden great mood because someone just told them this is the last one. They get that one last blast of energy, but by that point, they're sort of punchy, and that can be the perfect condition to be in for an interview. It also might help that I was a bit punchy myself because of the travel I had just done.
Whatever the case, talking to her about this particular film should be a difficult thing because I don't want to give away too much of what she does in it, but I also wanted to really discuss it as a choice. If you don't want to know how she fits into the film, bookmark this page and then come back to it once the film is out next weekend. If you aren't afraid of a tiny bit of spoiling, then you might enjoy our conversation here.
When we talked about how this builds off of the ending of "X-Men: The Last Stand," it came through clearly that she was frustrated by that film and by the way it wrapped up a storyline in which she was the focal point. We talked a bit about how this film redeems some of that one, and it felt like things wrapped up very quickly. Once the cameras were off, we talked about the film's biggest surprise, and then they told her she was done for the day. Considering the last few films in the series, it was great to talk to her about the way the series seems to be rebounding now.
See for yourself when "The Wolverine" opens everywhere July 26, 2013.
She was definitely a dark horse in the Emmys race, but it's still a little hard to believe that the voting members of Academy of Television Arts and Sciences couldn't find a little love for "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany. The Canadian actress did not receive a nod in the Best Actress category this morning, and this is the kind of oversight that only helps to make the awards show look shamelessly, ridiculously biased in the face of impressive work it's supposed to applaud.
So the 2013 Emmy nominees were announced this morning. Poor Kate Mara had engine trouble (her plane, not her) in New Mexico and so Emmys host Neil Patrick Harris filled in at the last minute to announce the lucky names alongside "Breaking Bad" star Aaron Paul.
Looking over the nominees, yeah, okay, right, that's expected, oh that show's still on?, etc., etc. I rarely find much to get excited about in an Emmy announcement, I mean. I had all my hopes on Rob Lowe's facelift getting a supporting actor nomination for "Behind the Candelabra" and somehow they spring for the window dressing of Scott Bakula. Huh?
My favorite notices, however, came for HBO's "Veep," my favorite comedy show on television right now. Last year it got a handful of looks including, naturally, leading lady Julia Louis-Dreyfus, but this year Tony Hale and (this next part is so awesome) Anna Chlumsky got to tag along in the supporting ranks and that's just awesome.
We are in the middle of a massive glut in quality scripted television. Every other week, it seems, some new channel — or, in the case of Netflix, some new content delivery service — gets into the original programming game, and starts churning out product that at least merits awards consideration.
So you can look across the 2013 Emmy nominations list and be outraged by all the quality performances and series that weren't included. (And, on occasion, by the sorts of people and shows that were.) Or you can look at it as the Emmy voters just trying to keep their head above water and recognize what they could, even as they knew they wouldn't come close to covering everyone who deserved recognition.
Emmys: Netflix scores with noms for "House of Cards," Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey
"Arrested Development" didn't score a best comedy nomination, but "House of Cards" made history, becoming the first digitally distributed series to score a major nomination, bumping "Boardwalk Empire." Overall, "House of Cards" scored nine nominations and "Arrested" had three nominations. Kerry Washington scored her first Emmy nomination for "Scandal." "American Horror Story" and "Game of Thrones" had the most nominations, with 17 and 16, respectively. PLUS: Read the full list of nominees.
—The biggest snubs: "New Girl," "Parks and Rec," Timothy Olyphant, "The Good Wife"
—More snubs: Jay Leno, Melissa McCarthy, "The Newsroom," "Sons of Anarchy," "The Office"
—Noms by series: "American Horror" 17, "Game of Thrones" 16, "SNL" and "Candelabra" 15
—Kerry Washington is the 1st black lead drama actress to be nominated since 1995
—"The Bible" facing "American Horror Story," "Phil Spector" and "Behind the Candelabra"
—Neil Patrick Harris filled in for Kate Mara, whose plane had mechanical trouble
—Nominations by network: HBO 108, CBS and NBC 53
—Kevin Spacey: "House of Cards'" 9 noms an "incredible acknowledgement of the work we’ve done"
—Don't blame Emmy voters: There's a glut of quality TV shows
—Lena Dunham reacts to all the "Girls" nominations
—"New guard": Jimmy Kimmel vs. Jimmy Fallon in variety category
Jane Lynch gets emotional talking to Jay Leno about Cory Monteith
She told Jay Leno of her "Glee" co-star: "Cory's one of the biggest hearts, was a real bright light. He was one of those guys that…you know, he knew he was breathing rarified air…the gifts that this wonderful show gave us." PLUS: Finn Hudson was a revolutionary character, Monteith's mentor recalls dining with him two days before his death, and did the drug treatment system fail Monteith?
More Netflix viewers watched "Breaking Bad" and "Mad Men" than "House of Cards"?
During one week in April, "House of Cards" amounted to less than 1% of TV shows viewed by Netflix viewers, according to research firm GfK.
Charlie Sheen is a grandpa
Sheen's 28-year-old daughter, Cassandra Estevez, has given birth to a baby girl named Luna.
Keith Olbermann will host "SportsCenter" for a week
He'll return to his old ESPN stomping grounds in the week before his ESPN2 late-night show premieres.
Billy Campbell joins Syfy's "Helix"
He'll play the lead in the thriller about a team of doctors investigating a disease outbreak.
See "Next Top Model" alum's mugshot
Cycle 8's Renee Alway was arrested after a six-hour standoff with police.
"Revenge" books "Pan Am" alum
Karine Vanasse will guest as Margaux.
Watch Karen Gillan on "NTSF:SD:SUV"
The former "Doctor Who" star is a "gadget girl."
"Sons of Anarchy" giving away temporary Opie tattoos at Comic-Con
With the message: "I Got This." PLUS: Ryan Hurst buys a mansion.
TV Guide Network orders a Wendy Williams reality show, plus "Tequila Sisters"
Country singer John Rich is also getting his own TV Guide show.
"Breaking Bad: Alchemy," a companion book, is now available for download
The electronic book features more than 100 pages of original content.
Alan Thicke lends his voice to son Robin Thicke's new song
The "Growing Pains" alum can be heard on "Ain't No Hat."
"Under the Dome" unveils a half-cow Comic-Con poster
The CBS series is scheduled for a Sunday session.
Discovery will air a documentary on the White House Chief of Staff
The Sept. 11 broadcast is from the Naudet brothers, who filmed the 1st plane striking the World Trade Center.
"Super Fun Night" adds Rebel Wilson's Aussie sketch partner
Australian Kate Jenkinson will play a neurotic lawyer on the ABC comedy.
Jason Sudeikis: A lost a lot of weight by having sex with Olivia Wilde
"I have the greatest workout partner in the world," he says of his fiance.