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"The Bachelorette"

"The Bachelorette"

Credit: ABC

'The Bachelorette' heads to Germany and Ben battles Michael G.

Bryden has a surprise for Des, and it's not a good one

The bachelors and Des are off to Munich, so… lots of beer, yodeling and sledding! Because "The Bachelorette" has never met a cultural cliche it doesn't like! This will be great fun, I'm sure, but the big nail biter in this episode is the dreaded two-on-one. As in seasons past, the most loathed creepazoid will be sharing the date with Des with a likable guy we doubt she'll pick. 

Even though I'm fairly sure this will play out the way all of these dates play out (the creepazoid gets the rose and we scream at the television), I'm hoping against hope that Des fights back against producer manipulating her to follow the formula and actually kicks the jerk to the curb. And you know which jerk I mean -- Ben. It's not even anything I have against Ben (though I don't care for him a bit). I'd just like to think this show isn't as thoroughly predictable as it seems to be. Still, this episode starts throwing big curveballs before the first hour is over -- so I'll withhold judgment, briefly.

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<p>Richard Matheson</p>

Richard Matheson

39th annual Saturn Awards to be dedicated to the memory of author Richard Matheson

The genre legend was to receive the organization's visionary award

By now you may have heard the news of the unfortunate passing of author Richard Matheson, a titan in his field who leaves behind him a rich, vast, deep legacy of material that will continue to be enjoyed and mined for years to come. And his impact on cinema as we know it is nowhere near negligible. Indeed, consider the beginnings of Steven Spielberg's career, whose calling card adaptation of Matheson's short story "Duel" catapulted him to Hollywood's attention.

"Richard Matheson's ironic and iconic imagination created seminal science-fiction stories and gave me my first break when he wrote the short story and screenplay for 'Duel,'" the director said in a statement. "His 'Twilight Zones' were among my favorites, and he recently worked with us on 'Real Steel.' For me, he is in the same category as Bradbury and Asimov."

Matheson was set to receive the Visionary Award at the 39th annual Saturn Awards Wednesday night, presented by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Pity the award will now be presented posthumously, but the ceremony will now be dedicated to his memory.

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Paula Deen's multi-million dollar empire is now riding on her 'Today' interview


Paula Deen's multi-million dollar empire is now riding on her "Today" interview
The former Food Network star hasn't lost all her endorsements -- Paula Deen Inc. in 2010 generated about $10 million from licensing agreements, speaking engagements and other deals. PLUS: Why Paula deserves her Food Net job back, many in the South are willing to forgive Paula, Smithfield under fire for dropping Paula, and why Paula's demise feels so sweet.


Netflix putting up "House of Cards" and "Arrested Development" lawn signs

Homeowners in upscale neighborhoods who display the signs can receive a six-month Netflix subscription, a $50 Red Cross donation in their name or a $50 AmEx gift card.


"Breaking Bad" releases a new promo
Where's the new footage?


Check out "Dexter's" bloody end-of-series cake

Celebrating eight "great seasons." PLUS: Showtime selling "Dexter" cupcakes.


James Gandolfini was the Marlon Brando of TV
Just as Brando changed movie acting in the '50s, Gandolfini transformed TV acting in the '00s. PLUS: A private wake is scheduled for Wednesday.


Eva Longoria juggles being a prominent Latina voice while defending "Devious Maids"

Longoria has had to battle criticism from Latinas that her Lifetime show promotes stereotypes. PLUS: Meet the "Devious" amputee.


Are you hate-watching "Mistresses"?

The ABC summer drama could be the new "Smash."


Kurt Sutter: "At this point, I'll kick down the Emmy door any way I f*cking can"

Says the "Sons of Anarchy" creator: "T-Girls, Best Fake Tits, Most Profound Tongue Biting. I'm considering dressing Jax in a fur cap and replacing the Harleys with Golden Unicorns."


"Full House's" Jodie Sweetin is ending her 3rd marriage
The 31-year-old Sweetin has filed for legal separation from her husband and father of her 2-year-old daughter.


Report: There are 146 babies named Khaleesi in the United States

Babies named Khaleesi has jumped 450% since "Game of Thrones" debuted in 2011.


Jurnee Smollett-Bell did her "True Blood" audition from her in-laws' basement in Detroit
She also talks about playing vampire-rights activist Nicole.


Jon Lovitz launching a video podcast

"Lovitz or Leavitz's" 1st guest: Dana Carvey, his "SNL" pal.


Watch Chris O'Dowd take a fly out of his mouth on British TV
O'Dowd was trying to kill the fly while on Graham Norton with Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig.


Why Season 6 was "Mad Men's" best season yet
This was the season that "Mad Men" stopped being a period piece, says Troy Patterson. "Among the signs of artistic growth that mark the show's sixth season as its best to date," he says, "is that it is has stopped using the past as a crutch to prop up its scenarios." PLUS: Hershey's was "thrilled and incredibly flattered" by its cameo, "Mad Men" regressed and became simpler this season, and did the finale reveal America's aversion to telling the truth?


Did Kate Gosselin mock Asians?
The mother of eight half-Korean kids appears to be mocking Asians in a new photo that has surfaced.


Watch Comedy Central's "Drunk History"
The cable network has posted a full episode featuring Dave Grohl, Jack Black, Adam Scott and Bob Odenkirk.


Has "Duck Dynasty" jumped the shark?

The reality sitcom seems to be running out of ideas.


"Suits" casts Harvey's dad

"Rescue Me's" James McCaffrey will guest-star on the USA series.


Bethanny Frankel's estranged husband doesn't want their daughter on her talk show

It's the latest sticking point in their divorce battle.


What if John Lennon auditioned for "The Voice"?
He'd probably fail.


How Mt. Airy, North Carolina transformed itself into "Mayberry"

When textile plants shut down, the town of less than 10,000 transformed itself in 1990 into an "Andy Griffith Show" tourist destination.


HBO's "Luck" lives on in the art world

An artist teamed with a "Luck" writer for a web series based on the artist's "Luck"-inspired sketches.


Nudity wasn't part of the original "Naked and Afraid" plan
"Well, we didn't develop the show to be exploitative, ever," says the Discovery show's producer. "We always developed it with our filter being “how do we protect and it make it a pure survival experience?"


"The Descendants" casts Julianne Nicholson
The "Boardwalk Empire" and "Law & Order: CI" alum will play the female lead on the Sundance series.


"Under the Dome" hooks you in -- CBS is on to something
The Stephen King-Steven Spielberg limited series lives up to the hype with its "intriguing as hell" first hour, especially since CBS went big to make it an event, unlike many other summer series. PLUS: The first episode is so addictive it'll be hard to not watch the 2nd episode, and we've seen this story before.

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Watch: Wale previews Nicki Minaj and Jerry Seinfeld collaborations on video
Credit: Atlantic Records

Watch: Wale previews Nicki Minaj and Jerry Seinfeld collaborations on video

Check out the clip for 'LoveHate Thing' feat. Sam Drew

Wale's new album "The Gifted" -- out tomorrow -- is looking to be fairly eclectic. As evidenced by three recent videos, he's gone the ratchet route, the comedy route and the soulful route.

We'll start with the first, the loveable and articulately cross-bred "LoveHate Thing," featuring crooner Sam Drew. The singer is the anchor for this Wale's cool-headed sonics and personal reflections.

And check out the Bruno Marsian influence on that instrumental ensemble:

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Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald in "Killing Kennedy"

 Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald in "Killing Kennedy"

Credit: NatGeo

Photos: Michelle Trachtenberg, Rothhaar as Marina and Lee Harvey Oswald

How do they compare to Rob Lowe and Ginnifer Goodwin's Kennedys?

We've already seen early images of Rob Lowe as JFK and Ginnifer Goodwin as Jacqueline Kennedy in NatGeo's "Killing Kennedy" (currently filming), and now we have the other couple at the center of the story -- Michelle Trachtenberg as Marina Oswald and Will Rothhaar as Lee Harvey Oswald. Do you think they measure up? 

See the images below: 

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<p>'I Am Legend' may have been his most frequently-filmed story, but his legacy is so much richer and deeper than that.</p>

'I Am Legend' may have been his most frequently-filmed story, but his legacy is so much richer and deeper than that.

Credit: Warner Bros

Remembering the legacy of Richard Matheson, creator of 'I Am Legend'

It is sad to see him go, but he leaves behind an amazing body of work

Richard Matheson was a giant.

We don't have writers like him today because we don't have any idea what to do with them. Matheson was born in 1926, and as much as any author in any genre, his work defined and reflected the tumult of the 20th Century. He had a remarkable voice as a storyteller, and it should come as no shock to anyone to see the laundry list of authors who claim that he was their primary influence.

First published in 1950, Matheson was on fire from the moment he was introduced to a readership. I can't imagine how amazing it must have been to be part of the The Southern California Writing Group in those days, with members like Matheson, Charles Beaumont, William Nolan, Ray Bradbury, and George Clayton Johnson, all masters in their own right.

As much as Rod Serling, Matheson was responsible for what we think of today as the "Twilight Zone" style of storytelling. Short, effective pieces that immediately create a sense of time and place and voice, and which end with a punch of some kind. Matheson had a real gift for creating a fantastic scenario and then somehow finding the very identifiable reality within that.

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<p>Skillet's &quot;Rise&quot;</p>

Skillet's "Rise"

Credit: Atlantic Records

Album Review: Skillet's 'Rise' burns with intensity

From sin to salvation in 12 hard-churning songs

With “Rise,” platinum Christian hard rock bank Skillet has its eyes set on creating its own rock opera a la Green Day’s “American Idiot.”

Lead singer John Cooper, who comes off like a raspy Chester Bennington from Linkin Park, told Billboard  that the album, out Tuesday (25) is filtered through the eyes of a teenage “coming into adulthood and he’s faced by the horrors that we see every day — floods, bombings, earthquakes school shootings... It’s about his path to salvation and wanting to be significant in some way.”  Along the way, he is bombarded ceaselessly with images and feelings  of horror, cynicism, and despair.

The album opens with the title track, which serves as a call to arms: “The time to change it all... united and fight to make a better life,” Cooper screams.  “Tonight we rise,” he says in a clever take off on the more traditional “tonight we ride.” As he and drummer/vocalist Jen Ledger trade off vocals (as they do on several tunes), the song takes on a Paramore-like feel.

At the end of the song, we hear a 911 call from a teacher telling the operator “there’s a guy here with a gun,” as she tells the children to take cover, as well as news reports about economic failure. It’s meant to reflect the stress of the times (our protagonist’s father is also telling him he’ll never amount to anything), but the 911 call  just sounds exploitive.

The aggressive album vacillates between the full-throttled angst and anger that comes with being a teen, such as on the hardest-rocking song on the album, single “Sick of It,” and songs that double as traditional love songs or about one’s relationship with God or Jesus, such as on “Fire and Fury”:  “Destiny’s gotta hold on me/I guess I never knew love like love knows me/I need to feel you here with me/I will burn/I will die for you.” It’s to Skillet’s credit that the songs never sound watered down,when it comes to faith, but are universal enough in their appeal to speak to whomever is listening.

Skillet goes into overdrive on the  tremendously-busy “Not Gonna Die.” Strings are furiously played, drums stomp, all in service of trying to replicate the urgency of the “stand and fight forever” lyrics. Fans of Evanescence will appreciate the “Wake Me Up” feel of the tune.

The one-two punch continues with “Circus For a Psycho,” an unrelenting slab of angst that opens with an Yngwie Malmsteen-like guitar lightning round that threads its way through the song.

From there, the tension breaks into ballad, “American Noise,” one of the album’s strongest cuts, and a welcome relief from the bombast. If we were still in a vinyl era, “American Noise” would start side two.  After reaching a breakdown, the rocking isn’t over, but the desire to find some relief and take back some power starts to prevail.

On the swaggering “My Religion,” Cooper declares, “Who’s going to make me whole/nobody but you... you’re the only sanctuary that I know,” before declaring that he needs no steeple or priest or pew, in a song that some will see as heretic, while others will see as a direct profession of faith. The inclusion of “Amazing Grace” is a nice touch.

By the  time Cooper and Ledger are singing “Down on my knees, you are what I believe” on closing tune, “What I Believe,” there’s no doubt that one journey has ended, while another is just beginning.

Skillet, which hasn’t released an album since 2009’s platinum “Awake,” takes an all-in approach to “Rise,” and their level of commitment is admirable. Every note of the Howard Benson-production  feels like it is there to convey an emotion and there is a laudable sense of in-the-moment intensity that makes up for any of the overwrought moments.

 

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Jason Silva

 Jason Silva

Credit: NatGeo

'Brain Games' Jason Silva talks pot, porn, white lies and more

Season two might include an episode about 'altered states of consciousness'
If you haven't watched "Brain Games" on NatGeo yet, consider tonight's season finale (Mon. June 24 at 9:00 p.m.) a chance to have your mind blown. Dedicated to the fine art of lying, the show asks the question whether there's an upside to bending the truth -- and yes, you might be surprised. The show, hosted by Jason Silva, puts viewers to the test (don't worry if you flunk) and explains why our minds do the crazy things they do. I spoke to Silva about tonight's finale, and somehow we ended up talking about pot and porn, too. 
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'SNL' posts disastrous unaired Justin Bieber-Bill Hader sketch -- with commentary


"SNL" posts disastrous unaired Justin Bieber-Bill Hader sketch -- with commentary
"Greatest trainwreck ever," says Hader, whose "Song for Daddy" got no laughs from the mostly teenage Bieber fan audience.


"Mad Men's" Season 6 finale matches last year

About 2.7 million watched last night.


Chris Harrison blames "The Bachelorette's" low ratings on "The Voice," Memorial Day premiere
"They literally could not have picked a worse time!" says "The Bachelorette" host. 'We were also up against the final three weeks of The Voice. When I found out I was like, 'Great, I won't even be watching the premiere!'"


Watch rapper Wale in studio with Jerry Seinfeld
Check them out recording "The Outro About Nothing."


See Michelle Trachtenberg as Lee Harvey Oswald's wife

Here she is as Marina Oswald in "Killing Kennedy."


"Game of Thrones" will bring back a Season 1 character for Season 4
Alliser Thorne didn't appear at all in Seasons 2 and 3.


"Real Housewives of Miami" cast gets shaken up

Marysol Patton and Ana Quincoces have been demoted to recurring roles, while Karent Sierra isn't seen in Season 3.

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Listen: Firewall & Iceberg Podcast No. 188

Dan and Alan talk James Gandolfini, 'Mad Me,' 'Hannibal,' 'Under the Dome' and more

The

Happy Monday, Boys & Girls!
 
It's a busy week, so expect two installments of The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast this week.
 
In this regular Monday installment, we talk about finales for "Mad Men" and "Hannibal," review CBS' "Under the Dome" and we pay tribute to James Gandolfini and Gary David Goldberg.
 
Later in the week, we'll cover "Dexter" and "Ray Donovan" and we'll do this week's rewatch, which was "Mary Tyler Moore" and "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
 
Here's today's breakdown:
James Gandolfini & Gary David Goldberg (00:2:10 - 00:20:30)
"Under the Dome" (00:20:40 - 00:27:05)
"Hannibal" (00:27:10 - 00:47:50)
"Mad Men" (00:47:50 - 01:39:25)

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

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Watch: Yeah Yeah Yeahs first band ever to shoot music video atop Empire State Building

Watch: Yeah Yeah Yeahs first band ever to shoot music video atop Empire State Building

Watch: 'Despair' gets an aerial view

Apparently, no music video has ever been shot on the top of the Empire State Building. Until now.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the New York band, took to a New York icon for their new clip for "Despair," the second single from their latest album "Mosquito."

Patrick Daughters -- who's totally our favorite -- shot the clip, which has the band meeting at the peak of the 102-story building in parts, with Karen O's vocal track starting out a capella. It crescendos to the rising of the sun at the same time as O sings (you guessed it) "my sun is your sun."

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 188: 'Mad Men,' 'Under the Dome,' 'Hannibal' & more

Dan and Alan also pay tribute to the late James Gandolfini and Gary David Goldberg

The

Even before the tragic deaths of James Gandolfini and Gary David Goldberg, Dan and I were looking at splitting this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast into two installments. Once we lost those two TV giants, the decision to split was easy. So you get tribute talk, an "Under the Dome" review and finale discussion of "Mad Men" and "Hannibal" today, and later in the week you'll get "Dexter," "Ray Donovan" and our pilot rewatch of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show." 

The lineup:

James Gandolfini & Gary David Goldberg (00:2:10 - 00:20:30)
"Under the Dome" (00:20:40 - 00:27:05)
"Hannibal" (00:27:10 - 00:47:50)
"Mad Men" (00:47:50 - 01:39:25)
 
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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