Latest Blog Posts

<p>Kanye West: Your own personal Yeezus</p>

Kanye West: Your own personal Yeezus

Listen to a mash-up of Kanye's 'Black Skinhead' and Depeche Mode's 'Personal Jesus'

Your angriest dance

Mash-ups aren't over. Not yet.

As I noted in my review of "Yeezus," Kanye West's "Black Skinhead" is the rap/producer's one (1) allotted Gary Glitter song. It also reminded Dan Chamberlain of a another very popular song, and thus, that song plus Depeche Mode's intensely popular "Personal Jesus" combined DNA for "Personal Yeezus." Or, rather, it was immaculately conceived.

Chamberlain is a comedy and mash-up producer, and you can hear the potent Jesus-Yeezus mix here.

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Publisher drops Paula Deen, won't publish her No. 1-on-Amazon cookbook

Publisher drops Paula Deen, won't publish her No. 1-on-Amazon cookbook
Ballantine Books announced it won't publish "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up," which soared to No. 1 amid Deen's N-word controversy even though it's release date was in October.

Anderson Cooper: Why isn't Alec Baldwin getting flak for his homophobic tweets?
"Why does #AlecBaldwin get a pass when he uses gay slurs?" Cooper tweeted, in response to calling a British reporter a "a toxic little queen" on Twitter. "If a conservative talked of beating up a 'queen' they would be vilified," Cooper added.

Melissa George joins "The Good Wife"
She'll play Governor Florrick's in-house ethics counsel. PLUS: Kalinda gets a new love interest.

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Outstanding Comedy Series - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

Outstanding Comedy Series - Emmy Nomination Preview 2013

What will replace 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' in the field?
"Curb Your Enthusiasm" is gone! And that would be really great if you happened to be a new show in the running for the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy, except that there aren't any new shows that are even semi-viable contenders, unless you include "Arrested Development" as a new show, which you probably shouldn't. 
I predicted two changes in this category, but it could just as easily only be the one.
Check out my full slate of candidates...
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<p>Pixar Animation&nbsp;Studio in Emeryville,&nbsp;Calif.</p>

Pixar Animation Studio in Emeryville, Calif.

Credit: AP Photo

Pixar strikes a compromise between original concepts and sequels

The animation studio plans to aim for one original film every year

I've certainly voiced my share of regret with regard to Pixar sequels. I'm honestly not against them in principal (some might argue the "Toy Story" films got better with each subsequent installment), but I do understand frustration from those who'd like to see the animation studio steer away from the brand expansion market and back to original concepts.

That said, it's odd to me that "Monsters University" seems to be such a last straw for so many. I couldn't stand "Cars 2," and yes, I'm pretty perturbed at the notion of my favorite Pixar film receiving the sequel treatment while a film that seems to be aching for it -- "The Incredibles" -- remains singular. But I was charmed by the new "Monsters," which landed to one of the biggest openings in the studio's history last weekend. It's not the poster child here, in my opinion.

Nevertheless, it seems Pixar has heard the moaning and taken it to heart. In an interview with Pixar president Ed Catmull, Buzzfeed reveals that the studio is planning to scale back on sequels and aim for one original film each year.

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5 'Glee' stars won't return next season as series regulars

5 "Glee" stars won't return next season as series regulars
Heather Morris, who is pregnant, Amber Riley, Harry Shum, Jr. and Mark Salling and Dianna Agron won't be series regulars next season, but they may return for guest appearances.

Jimmy Carter: I gave advice to Paula Deen
The former president says: "I advised her to let the dust settle and to make apologies. And she has some very beneficial human programs in Savannah, Georgia, where she lives...I advised her to get some of those people who she's helping every day to speak out and show that she has changed in her relationship with African-American people, with minorities in the last number of years." PLUS: JC Penney drops Deen.

Roseanne Barr's NBC sitcom is close to getting a Charlie Sheen-type 10/90 order
NBC will be the first network to try the 10/90 model, in which 10 episodes are ordered. And if a certain ratings threshold is met, 90 more episodes are ordered, as was the case with Sheen's "Anger Management."

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<p>A scene from &quot;Nymphomaniac.&quot;</p>

A scene from "Nymphomaniac."

Credit: Magnolia Pictures

Sex or sweeties in first clip from Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'

It's fair to say the film isn't revealing its hand just yet

Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" -- a supposed sexual odyssey with a starry cast including Shia LaBeouf, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Uma Thurman, among others -- is currently enjoying such a feverish level of anticipation that it could announce a new typeface for its credits and the internet would collectively freak out for a minute. So it's inevitable that the first, minute-long clip to be revealed from the film has been eagerly seized upon by the web -- and even more inevitable that von Trier has punked us with a wholly chaste clip that, alluring as it is, doesn't reveal much of anything (or any of its famous faces). Come on, you didn't think Lars was going to let the cat out of the bag just yet, did you?

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<p>Ilkka Koivula in Aki Kaurismaki's &quot;Tavern Man,&quot; part of &quot;Historic Center.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Ilkka Koivula in Aki Kaurismaki's "Tavern Man," part of "Historic Center." 

Credit: Urban Distribution International

Edinburgh Film Festival: Auteurs at play in 'Historic Center,' and other short treats

Also: one to watch in the Best Animated Short Oscar race?

One of the pleasures I’ve allowed myself at this year’s Edinburgh fest is more time than usual to graze the handpicked short film programme – annually a point of pride for the festival, though inevitably swamped in the attention stakes by even the most negligible features in the lineup. That’s understandable: it’s hard to cover films that your readers have no certain way of accessing, and even with advances in online exhibition, distribution of shorts remains a niche affair. Taking aside from the annual release of those fortunate shorts rather randomly singled out by the Oscars, civilian cinemagoers are unlikely to see any at all.

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Shark Week adds a late-night talk show: 'Shark After Dark'

Shark Week adds a late-night talk show: "Shark After Dark"

This year's Shark Week programming has been announced, including "Air Jaws," "I Escaped Jaws," "Spawn of Jaws," "Sharks Behaving Badly" and ""Sharkpocalypse."

Nik Wallenda will offer commentary when Discovery re-airs his Grand Canyon walk
"Nik Talks The Walk" will be shown on Sunday.

James Gandolfini's funeral program for sale on eBay for as much as $1000
"The Gandolfini ghouls are out," says the NY Daily News.

New Yorker's Bert & Ernie cover first surfaced 1 year ago

Artist Jack Hunter's image was first submitted to a Tumblr blog. PLUS: Why the cover is infantilizing and offensive, Bert & Ernie cover gets a "Seinfeld" parody, and why is the cover being taken so seriously?

"Duck Dynasty" adding a beardless brother
Alan Robertson, Phil Robertson's eldest son, is joining the show for Season 4 after quitting his day job as a PR manager.

"Game of Thrones" casts Prince Oberyn Martell
Chilean actor Pedro Pascal will take on the major Season 4 role.

"Once Upon a Time in Wonderland" is getting extra episodes
The ABC limited series will expand beyond the 13 episodes ordered.

Netflix launches "Max," a virtual assistant who will recommend TV shows to watch

Netflix says Max is "rumored to be the child of Siri and Hall 9000."

Watch Larry David's full-length HBO "Clear History" trailer

Featuring Larry with a beard and without a beard.

Chicken-eating Dax Shepard rejects PETA's "Sexiest Vegetarian" title
The "Parenthood" star, who was named "Sexiest Vegetarian" with Kristen Bell, said he tried veganism for a year, but stopped six months ago.

"Shark Tank" adds the New York Giants' Academy Award-winning co-owner

Steve Tisch will serve as a "guest shark."

Daniel Radcliffe returns to "The Simpsons," this time to voice a dog

Radcliffe's first cameo on the show was in 2010, as the vampire son of Dracula.

Kim Zolciak caught smoking while pregnant
The "Real Housewives" star was also captured smoking during her last pregnancy.

"Lost's" Rebecca Mader to guest on "Warehouse 13"

She'll appear in one of the Syfy show's final episodes.

History Channel seeking Hitler lookalikes

Also wanted: Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt lookalikes for a new miniseries.

Read the Emmy episode submissions from 10 comedies
From "Louie" to "Girls." PLUS: 10 drama submissions.

"The Taste" cuts 1 judge

Chef Brian Malarkey won't be back for Season 2.

Gilbert Gottfried tackles "Breaking Bad"

Check him out reading a Walter White monologue.

Watch Rob Lowe as Arsenio on "SNL"

Arsenio Beckman.

"Family Ties" and "Spin City" cast members pay tribute to Gary David Goldberg

Michael Gross, Connie Britton, Alan Ruck and more pay tribute to Goldberg, who died last week.

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<p>Britney Spears</p>

Britney Spears


Watch lyrics float by in Britney Spears' lyric video for 'Ooh La La' from 'Smurfs 2'

Sometimes a lyric video really is just a lyric video

Sometimes a banana is just a banana and sometimes a lyric video is just a lyric video. Such is the case with Britney Spears’ lyric video for “Ooh La La,” her song for “Smurfs 2.”

[More after the jump...]


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<p>&quot;Looper&quot;&nbsp;star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was invited to join the actors branch</p>

"Looper" star Joseph Gordon-Levitt was invited to join the actors branch

Credit: AP Photo

Jason Bateman, Lena Dunham and Prince among 276 invited to join the Academy

As well as...Chris Tucker?

The Academy has announced its annual list of invitees to its esteemed membership, including 276 names from actors Jason Bateman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jennifer Lopez and Milla Jovovich to directors Steve McQueen, Todd Phillips and last year's wunderkind Benh Zeitlin.

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<p>Stark Sands, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in &quot;Inside Llewyn Davis.&quot;</p>

Stark Sands, Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake in "Inside Llewyn Davis."

Credit: CBS Films

'Inside Llewyn Davis' soundtrack, featuring Justin Timberlake and Marcus Mumford, out in September

The T Bone Burnett-produced folk collection is sure to be a hipster favorite

American audiences will have to wait until December 6 to see "Inside Llewyn Davis," the Coen Brothers' folk-scene study that wowed critics (and Steven Spielberg's jury) at Cannes last month. But take heart: you can hear it -- well, sort of -- a few months earlier, as the film's excellent (and highly integral) soundtrack is released on September 17. That's in time for Grammy consideration, by the way -- and while it won't be eligible for any music Oscars, they may as well start engraving the Best Compilation Soundtrack Grammy statuette right now.

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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 189: 'Dexter,' 'Ray Donovan,' Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore

Dan and Alan also answer your mail


Time for the second of this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast installments, in which we discuss one old and one new Showtime drama, answer some mail, and continue our summer pilot rewatch with "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show."  Next week's homework: "Hill Street Blues" (note: Hulu has placed the first two episodes together as one video, so you can stop around the 48 or 49-minute mark, when the pilot clearly ends) and "The Shield." 

The lineup:

"Dexter" (00:01:15 - 00:13:00)
"Ray Donovan" (00:13:00 - 00:27:30)
Listener Mail - Best New Shows (00:27:45 - 00:34:55)
Listener Mail - What counts as TV? (00:35:00 - 00:44:40)
Summer Rewatch: "The Dick Van Dyke Show"/"Mary Tyler Moore" (00:44:45 - 01:04:20)
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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