Latest Blog Posts

<p>The Cure</p>

The Cure

The Cure, Mumford & Sons, Phoenix, NIN top Lollapalooza 2013 headliners

Vampire Weekend, The Killers and Kendrick Lamar also on Chicago fest bill

Mumford & Sons, The Cure, The Killers, Phoenix, and Nine Inch Nails are among the acts that will play Lollapalooza 2013.

The Aug. 2-4 fest, which takes place at Chicago’s Grant Park, will also include a reunited The Postal Service, Vampire Weekend, New Order, Queens of the Stone Age, The Lumineers, Kendrick Lamar and The National.

[More after the jump...]

Read Full Post
<p>Peggy Siegal</p>

Peggy Siegal

Credit: AP Photo

Peggy Siegal on Oscar's build: Hathaway's Valentino snub, Clooney's Dujardin revenge

If you have a little more room for last year's Oscar season...

I read publicity maven Peggy Siegal's Oscar weekend diary at The Huffington Post with the expected mixture of fascination and disgust. You find yourself smiling at the gluttony of Hollywood during awards season until you don't, as the cup of excess runneth over. And Siegal's diary is a perfect record of all that superficiality.

Read Full Post
<p>TBS&nbsp;has extended Conan O'Brien's talk show through November 2015.</p>

TBS has extended Conan O'Brien's talk show through November 2015.

Credit: TBS

TBS renews Conan O'Brien talk show through 2015

'Conan' has drifted into the background of the late night wars, but O'Brien and company get to keep making it

In all the shuffling going on right now in late night talk, Conan O'Brien has become something of a forgotten man. Jon Stewart's taking the summer off to direct a movie. Jimmy Kimmel's in a new timeslot. NBC is preparing to replace Jay Leno with Jimmy Fallon, and already speculation has turned to whether CBS will eventually replace David Letterman with Craig Ferguson or try to bring someone in from the outside.

Read Full Post
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Are you Team Kenya or Team Porsha?

Porsha wouldn't dress in character, but was Kenya justified in kicking her out?

Sure, some not-so-important things happen during the season finale of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta." Phaedra and Kandi test tasers for Phaedra's new product line of pain-inducing electrical equipment (Phaedra Sparks? Well-played, Phaedra). Kordell and Porsha go to therapy (we may have to touch on that later). But really, this episode is all about Kenya's super fabulous, extra special, one-of-a-kind coming out gala. You know, the one we've been hearing about for weeks because Kenya can't stop talking about it. It's not just a gala, mind you. It's meant to make regular galas look like really crappy kiddie parties that don't even have bouncy houses or cupcakes. No, this is the gala to end all galas, the "Star Wars" of galas, the frozen hot chocolate of galas, the most exciting thing to happen in Atlanta since the airport. And peaches. And Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles. We should all just be grateful we can be a part of it through the magic of television. 

Read Full Post
<p>Andrew Lincoln as Rick in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;&nbsp;</p>

Andrew Lincoln as Rick in "The Walking Dead." 

Credit: AMC

Season finale review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Welcome to the Tombs'

The Governor's forces converge on the prison, while Andrea and Milton get a room

A review of "The Walking Dead" season finale coming up just as soon as I know how the safety works...

Read Full Post
<p>Caroline is good at working the pole on &quot;The Amazing Race&quot;</p>

Caroline is good at working the pole on "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Be Safe and Don't Hit a Cow'

Welcome to Africa... Goats and donkeys.
Darnit, "The Amazing Race." Why can't you keep momentum going? 
Last week's episode sucked, but you came back with a new episode immediately.
This week's episode was really solid, so naturally "The Amazing Race" is taking next Sunday off in favor of one of the 75 country music award shows I'm basically convinced are elaborate charades to help Taylor Swift feel better about her various breakups. 
To that, I can only say, "Boo."
But regarding tonight's episode? An agreeable, "Yay." Sunday's episode featured some amusing and photogenic nature, some interesting and difficult tasks, some previously unexplored travel miscues, minimal cultural myopia and racism and a reasonably exciting conclusion. When folks say that I judge "The Amazing Race" by too high a standard, I say, "Not true." And this can be a good illustration for a solid, engaging episode of "The Amazing Race."
More after the break. Then I'll take a week off. Except for all of the other things I do.
Read Full Post
<p>Kit Harington as Jon Snow in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

Season premiere review: 'Game of Thrones' - 'Valar Dohaeris'

It's back to Westeros... and beyond the Wall... and across the Shivering Sea for season 3

"Game of Thrones" is back. I offered a general review of the start of the season on Thursday, and I have specific thoughts on the season premiere, "Valar Dohaeris," coming up just as soon as I drink with the harlots...

Read Full Post
'Game of Thrones' star Isaac Hempstead-Wright discusses hanging with and from Hodor

'Game of Thrones' star Isaac Hempstead-Wright discusses hanging with and from Hodor

Bran finds a new form of transportation this season
Try not to pay too much attention to it, but Isaac Hemsptead-Wright is growing. 
Perhaps more than his "Game of Thrones" siblings Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams, Hempstead-Wright has become markedly larger than the wee Bran we watched gambol along the rooftops of Winterfell in the series premiere. Bran does very little gamboling these days, what with his Lannister-induced paralysis, so that means we can't be distracted by his growth when he's standing alongside other characters, but it also means that he's spent a lot of time strapped to the back of Kristian Nairn's Hodor, which'll cause extra problems if/when they're the same height. 
Unavoidably, I brought up the issue with Hempstead-Wright on the recent "Game of Thrones" premiere red carpet in Hollywood. Fortunately, the young actor explains that he goes from Westeros Baby Bjorn to being carted via cart for most of the show's upcoming third season. On Hodor's behalf, we all say, "Whew."
Check out the full interview above with Hempstead-Wright teasing the new season. Check out the full interview above. And you should also check out my red carpet interviews with George R.R. MartinRose LeslieNikolaj Coster-WaldauOona ChaplinNatalia Tena and John Bradley.
Plus, I have a longer -- text only, sorry -- interview with Natalie Dormer
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO on Sunday, March 31.


Read Full Post
<p>Natalie Dormer and Jack Gleeson of &quot;Game of Thrones&quot;</p>

Natalie Dormer and Jack Gleeson of "Game of Thrones"

Credit: HBO

Interview: 'Game of Thrones' co-star Natalie Dormer discusses her Margaery Tyrell

How is this new aspiring queen different from Anne Boleyn?
Over the past couple weeks, I've been posting my interviews from the "Game of Thrones" red carpet premiere in Hollywood. At the event, I got a couple minutes with many of the show's stars, but the actor I was most disappointed to miss may have been Natalie Dormer. 
The British actress, who I first noticed in "Casanova" and playing Anne Boleyn on the first two seasons of "The Tudors," is giving what I think is one of the most interesting performances in the deep "Game of Thrones" ensemble. 
Dormer's Margaery Tyrell is surprising partially because she has almost nothing in common with the child-bride introduced in the "Song of Ice and Fire" novels. As Dormer plays her, Margaery has an interesting and pragmatic understanding of the game that gives the HBO drama its title. She knows what she has to do to secure her position in Westeros and she's prepared to do it, whether it meant accommodating Renly's secretive sexual orientation or Joffrey's not-so-secretive ickiness. And as the new season begins, Margaery is showcasing a different, even more complicated, side with the help of her feisty grandmother the Queen of Thorns, played by Dame Diana Rigg. 
Having missed her on the red carpet, I got on the phone last week for a longer conversation with deeply invested and fiercely thoughtful actress. 
The full Q&A is after the break. It contains information, but I wouldn't think to call any of it "spoilers." 
Read Full Post
<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: AP

Music Power Rankings: Justin Timberlake beats Ariana Grande for the top spot

'The Voice' makes the list, so do the Rolling Stones

1. Justin Timberlake: “The 20/20 Experience” has the highest sales week of a male solo artist in nearly 5 years. JT’s not only bringing sexyback, he’s bringing salesback.

2. Ariana Grande:
“The Way” with Mac Miller soars to No. 1 on the iTunes chart. That’s some kind of “Victorious” feat for the Nickelodeon star

3. MTV Awards: 
To commemorate the 30th anniversary, the awards show is moving to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.  It’s time to break out “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” for the promos.

4. “The Voice”:
Blake and Adam return with new friends Shakira and Usher as the talent show’s rating tower over “American Idol,” which scored its lowest rating ever on Thursday.  There’s a new sheriff in town.

5. Rolling Stones:
They are set to headline Glastonbury Festival. What? they didn’t want to wait until their 75th anniversary?

6. J Dash: His song “WOP” brings new life to his career after Miley Cyrus posts a video of her twerking her way through the tune in a unicorn outfit. Girl, you better Twerk!!

7. Marilyn Manson: The shock rocker is the new poster boy for fashion brand Saint Laurent because when we think high fashion we think the pasty-faced Manson....

8. Public Image Ltd: The Johnny Lydon -led band gets cleared to play in China, and yet China bans Kraftwerk from playing. Is Xi Jinping a closet Sex Pistols fan?

9. Michelle Shocked: Her craziness continues as she shows up to protest the cancellation of her gigs with duct tape over her mouth and a ski mask. Will someone please get her some help?

10. Rick Ross: Just because the word “rape” isn’t used, doesn’t mean it’s not unwanted sex. Shameful....


Read Full Post
<p>Jenna Louise-Coleman as Clara, the new &quot;Doctor Who&quot;&nbsp;companion.</p>

Jenna Louise-Coleman as Clara, the new "Doctor Who" companion.

Credit: BBC

Review: 'Doctor Who' - 'The Bells of Saint John'

The Doctor meets the 21st version of Clara as Jenna-Louise Coleman joins the cast full-time

"Doctor Who" is back, and I have some thoughts on tonight's episode, and the current state of the franchise, coming up just as soon as I invent the quadricycle...

Read Full Post
The Essential Phil Ramone: 10 Recordings that defined the legendary producer's career

The Essential Phil Ramone: 10 Recordings that defined the legendary producer's career

From Bob Dylan to Paul Simon to Billy Joel

Phil Ramone worked with such a vast array of artists over 50 years that it’s impossible to narrow down his essential work to only 10 recordings, but we’ve given it a shot. While we left out his work with Dionne Warwick, Tony Bennett, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Rod Stewart, Lesley Gore and his Broadway productions, as well as so many projects, they are all worth exploring. Ramone, who died today at age 79, won 14 Grammys and was nominated 33 times.


Read Full Post