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I posted my review of History's "Vikings" on Friday. Now it's your turn. For those of you who tuned in tonight, what did you think of History's first scripted drama series? Did you feel transported back in time, or did the recreation of the era seem cheesey? Did you like Travis Fimmel, and/or did you just wonder how Charlie Hunnam had time to do two series at once? How did you feel about Gabriel Byrne as the earl? Are you intrigued by Ragnar's quest to discover and pillage the lands to the west? Do you look forward to the opportunity to hear the name "Floki" said repeatedly for weeks on end? Could you make sense of when subtitles were and weren't used? And will you watch again?
Have at it. I enjoyed the show, but it's not deep enough to really withstand weekly discussion, especially given the never-ending Sunday drama glut. So barring an unusual episode at mid-season, I likely won't revisit until this first season's done.
A review of tonight's "Girls" coming up just as soon as I dress like a magician's assistant...
A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon I go back for the cat sculpture...
A quick review of tonight's "Shameless" coming up just as soon as I cut off a corpse's toe...
Secrecy in Hollywood is a tricky thing.
When you're dealing with a collaborative art form, you have many people involved and at times, you have so many people involved that there is no way to keep them all locked down and on message, and things leak. I've been the beneficiary of those leaks many times over the years, and I've had filmmakers ask me if there is any way to keep things from getting out. There are ways to do it, but it can be tricky.
One of the most difficult points in the process to keep protected is casting because there is information that gets sent out to agencies, and in many cases, the entire script is also sent. I've gotten some of my best scoops from friends at different agencies, and there are certain films that I put on a list to let those friends know that something is a priority. Sometimes you end up with a story because you've been chasing it, and sometimes things just fall into your hands. It's a very strange process, all things considered.
1. Adele: She culminates an amazing two-year run with a new man: a shiny, gold, bald fellow named Oscar.
2. Justin Bieber: He turns 19. Wonder what The Black Keys’ Patrick Carney gave him for his birthday?
3. Shirley Bassey: James Bond’s true golden girl on Oscar night.
4. Goats, goats, and more goats: We know it will get old in five minutes, but from Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble” to Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer,” was their any song that didn’t sound better this week with the addition of goats bleating? We’re waiting for Goats: the “Ava Maria” version.
5. Stone Temple Pilots: They fire Scott Weiland as lead singer, who learns about his dismissal from the press. Good think he couldn’t get his hands on a velvet revolver.
6. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis: Hip-hop duo releases PSA for “You Can Play” project, which encourages respect among athletes of all sexual orientations.
7. Thirty Seconds To Mars: The Jared-Leto led band takes its name literally as they launch new single by sending it on a cargo rocket to the International Space Station. Beam me up, boys.
8. Simon Cowell: He and YouTube launch “The You Generation,” a global talent competition for “unconventional” talents, including photography and magicians. Can we make this disappear?
9. The National and Passion Pit: The National’s documentary, “Mistaken for Strangers” is picked to open Tribeca Film Festival, while Passion Pit’s will be part of a documentary made at SXSW. When did making a documentary become part of the process for every single act? #overkill
After a two-week hiatus following its strongest episode of the season, “Saturday Night Live” is back with host Kevin Hart. I’ve seen Hart in "Undeclared" as well as in supporting roles in several films, but won’t pretend to be anything remotely related to an expert on his stand-up career. So I’m coming into tonight’s episode with a relatively blank slate. Anything is possible when it comes to this installment, so far as I’m concerned. And that’s a good thing, so near as I can tell. Sometimes the hype can be too much (as will undoubtedly be the case when Justin Timberlake hosts next week), and sometimes negative preconceptions can cripple an episode before it even starts (paging Justin Bieber, who lived down to that hype).