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<p>Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga)&nbsp;in &quot;Bates Motel.&quot;</p>

Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) in "Bates Motel."

Credit: A&E

Review: A&E's 'Bates Motel' gives 'Psycho' killer Norman Bates some teen angst

Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga are terrific, but is there a TV show here?
“Everyone seems better in old movies — even bad ones,” Norman Bates explains in an early episode of A&E’s “Bates Motel,” which debuts tonight at 10.
 
Norman should know from old movies, what with him being the villain of one of the greatest of all time: Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 black and white masterpiece “Psycho,” in which Janet Leigh has the unfortunate luck to stop for rest and a shower at the Bates Motel.
 
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"The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

 "The Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Credit: Bravo

'The Real Housewives of Atlanta' recap: Is Walter stalking Kenya?

Or is Kenya just overreacting to seeing her ex?

I think the greatest drawback of being on "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," other than the invasion of privacy and the shrieking, has to be the non-stop social calendar. It's like being a member of the British aristocracy in the 1800s, when no one had television and everyone had to talk to one another because they had nothing better to do other than die of consumption. It seems like there isn't just one party per episode; there are many, meaning everyone just has time to rush home, select a fresh ball gown, pick a new wig, and head out all over again. Yes, I realize these things are edited to compress time, but still. Lotta parties. 

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<p>Max and Katie learn about pho in Vietnam</p>

Max and Katie learn about pho in Vietnam

Credit: CBS

Recap: 'The Amazing Race' - 'Your Tan Is Totally Cool'

Teams head pho pho away to Vietnam
Hmmm...
 
Well, I guess you pulled a fast one this time, "The Amazing Race," but I don't think you'll be able to get away with that again.
 
Sunday (March 17) night's "Amazing Race" installment was able to maintain at least a modicum of tension to the very end due to the producers' [correct] sense that viewers at home wouldn't necessarily know the show's rules. We the exact same situation ever to be repeated in a later episode, there's no way that that episode could be edited this same way, because we're all wiser now.
 
So... Thanks for the "Amazing Race" rules lesson, "The Amazing Race."
 
More after the break...
 
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Watch: Jared Leto talks Thirty Seconds to Mars' new 'Up in the Air' and music video

Watch: Jared Leto talks Thirty Seconds to Mars' new 'Up in the Air' and music video

'Artifact' heads to SXSW as the band heads out of the studio

AUSTIN -- Jared Leto was not only busy promoting his 30 Seconds To Mars doc "Artifact" at SXSW, but he was also getting ready to push his rock act's new song.

Leto shot the music video for "Up in the Air," the band's forthcoming new single, and was editing the clip during his visit to Austin for the film fest. In less than a day, the song will be revealed, and overall, "It's very different, it's a complete departure," the actor/musician told me on the red carpet to "Artifact."

The band last released their album "This Is War" in 2009, after warring with their label Virgin; "Artifact" is a making-of chronicle of that set and the industry conflict behind it.

Check out what else Leto had to say about the space-bound track, and what's up with the winter coat in an central Texas spring.

 

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Listen: Beyonce drops new track 'Bow Down / I Been On'

Listen: Beyonce drops new track 'Bow Down / I Been On'

Gritty track produced by Hit-Boy

“I took some time to live my life, but don’t think I’m just his little wife,”  sings Mrs. Shawn Carter, i.e. Beyonce, on “Bow Down/I Been On,”  a track she dropped via SoundCloud on Sunday.

[More after the jump...]

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<p>Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker</p>

Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker

Napster's founders talk 'Downloaded' and Spotify at SXSW

Copyrights are artists' big fight

AUSTIN -- If there's anybody who had a front row seat on the dismantling of the traditional music industry model, it's Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker, the two founders of Napster. They put that show on. Peer-to-peer sharing indisputably was part of weakening labels, falling sales and creative disputes between artists and the companies that were supposed to support their artform, and Napster was one of the first companies to do P2P well. In turn, it was the lightning rod to the storm to come.

Fanning and Parker were on hand for the premiere of "Downloaded," a documentary on Napster, at this year's South By Southwest film conference, and further spoke of Napster's influence on today's modern industry landscape during a SXSW interactive panel. They told crowds here first-hand what it was like to be the darlings and the "criminals" of the internet era, and just what the hell they can do about it today, 14 years after Napster was founded.

Watching "Downloaded" at SXSW was like watching my own personal history. I remember scrolling through millions of available songs in the millions of free libraries and it shaped the music listener I am today. I remember Napster's various interfaces, MTVs coverage, Metallica media interviews, even the Senate hearings, but even more so, I remember the high of falling in love with new artists because a free, curated and boundless archive was an obnoxious dial-up modem sound away.

There's also that faint remembrance -- a turn of the stomach, really -- when I realized it wouldn't be this free forever, when the RIAA was suing users, when artists I liked were being hurt because contracts and monetizing systems weren't up to par. Copyrights are still the center issue today as hundreds of companies work to take chips out of iTunes' seller dominance and streaming discovery services try to break through mainstream and make their own money.

Like the hoards of music artists converging on Austin, millions of artists are online and dying to be heard. And so then there's Fanning and Parker, again, front row.

Parker is an investor and board member of Spotify (and he and Fanning are tapping another technology, Airtime, in hopes that it clicks with video consumers).

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<p>Lena Dunham as Hannah in the &quot;Girls&quot;&nbsp;season 2 finale.</p>

Lena Dunham as Hannah in the "Girls" season 2 finale.

Credit: HBO

Season finale review: 'Girls' - 'Together'

Hannah's OCD gets worse, Marnie and Shoshanna make big decisions, and Adam goes for a run

A review of the "Girls" season 2 finale coming up just as soon as I diagnose myself from reading Louisa May Alcott...

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<p>Laurie Holden as Andrea in &quot;The Walking Dead.&quot;</p>

Laurie Holden as Andrea in "The Walking Dead."

Credit: AMC

Review: 'The Walking Dead' - 'Prey'

Andrea, Milton and Tyreese all begin to have their doubts about the Governor

A review of tonight's "The Walking Dead" coming up just as soon as I'm sent home to do some knitting...

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"The Amazing Race"

 "The Amazing Race"

Credit: CBS

Reality TV Roundup: The latest on 'Amazing Race,' 'Project Runway' and more

It's been a busy week, so get all your reality news here, now
Welcome to Reality TV Roundup -- a quick look at some of the reality TV-centric stories that have recently popped up across the fine, old Interwebs. Click away, my couch potato friends. But before you do...
 
SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! One more time: SPOILER ALERT. If you watch any competition shows, the latest elimination for each show is probably revealed in the text below. The hope is that, if you missed this week's program and would rather clear out your DVR than watch the episode, you can get a quick hit here. But don't come crying to me if you find out something you didn't want to know. You've been warned. Also note: lots of non-competition reality info lurks below, too. 
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<p>Justin Timberlake</p>

Justin Timberlake

Credit: NBC

Music Power Rankings: Justin Timberlake narrowly tops David Bowie

Pink and Dave Grohl also make the list

1. Justin Timberlake: First he conquers “Saturday Night Live,” then he slays it on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” for five nights in a row. #EGOTby35

2. Luke Bryan: The country star lands his first No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with “Spring Break...Here to Party.” Are we the only ones that find it a little creepy that at 36 he’s still celebrating Spring Break?

3. David Bowie: His first album in 10 years, “The Next Day” looks like it will enter at the top of the charts next week. Not bad for someone who did absolutely nothing to help promote the set.

4. SXSW: Hipsters decry the annual music convention in Austin is so over as they simultaneously whine that they can’t get into the Prince or “Sound City” shows.

5. Dave Grohl:
His status as most-beloved rock star remains intact after a passionate, soul-stirring keynote at SXSW.

6. Quincy Jones:
The legend turned 80 this week and he’s still more active than four 20 -year olds combined.

7. Pink: It’s looking like the biggest hit from “The Truth About Love” is still to come as “Just Give Me A Reason,” featuring fun’s Nate Ruess  soars 47-18 on the Billboard Hot 100.

8. The Grammys: NARAS will produce a Grammy-themed cruise with Norwegian Cruise Lines. Grammy winners and nominees will perform and there will be more than 4,000 Grammy artifacts on board.

9. AEG: In quite the surprise move, the concert promotion/live venue company is taken off the market (after not getting the $8 million it was asking for) and longterm majordomo Tim Leiweke departs. Is that just the start of the changes?

10. Yahoo: Because the world needs another festival, Yahoo announces “Yahoo on the Road,” a 21-date summer outing featuring such acts as Fun., The Lumineers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons.

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<p>Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates in &quot;Bates Motel.&quot;</p>

Freddie Highmore as Norman Bates in "Bates Motel."

Credit: A&E

'Bates Motel' producers Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin on bringing 'Psycho' into the present

How will the A&E drama about young Norman Bates work on a weekly basis?
Carlton Cuse and Kerry Ehrin both have experiencing handling material created by others. Cuse became co-showrunner on “Lost” midway through the series’ first season after it had been created by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof, and Ehrin was one of the original staff writers on “Friday Night Lights,” which had been adapted from the movie (and before that from the non-fiction book). But neither has been given control of a property quite as famous as the one they have in “Bates Motel,” the new A&E drama that debuts on Monday night at 10.
 
Though Cuse has stressed that “Bates Motel” is not a direct prequel to “Psycho” — it takes place in the present, and the writers aren’t married to the idea of taking the characters down the same path we see in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic — it still involves the teenage years of Norman Bates (Freddie Highmore) and his disturbingly close relationship with his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga).
 
At press tour in January, I spoke with Cuse and Ehrin about the challenges of working with one of the most notorious killers in screen history, how they see the Bates family’s story working as a weekly series, and more.
 
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<p>Uh-oh.</p>

Uh-oh.

Credit: A24

Tell us what you thought of 'Spring Breakers'

Harmony Korine's new spin on disenchantment opens in limited release this weekend

I've offered up my defense of Harmony Korine's "Spring Breakers," a hypnotic depiction of the disenchantment of youth and a state-of-mind film that gets more right than it doesn't. Pity, though, that there are those seemingly willing to make an opinion without diving into the film. But I guess from the outside, I can understand why this one smells a certain way to a certain type.

"It's a rather potent study of 'spring break' as a state of mind, the desperate race for greener pastures that grows like a fungus in small town America," I wrote of the film on Thursday before planting a flag for James Franco's awards hopes. But whether this one finds that kind of rhythm at the end of the year or not (likely not), I'm happy with considering it one of the year's best films so far. But I want to know what everyone else thinks, because I anticipate even more varied reactions as it makes its way to the public. So when and if you get the chance to see the film this weekend or when it expands wider next week, give us your thoughts in the comments section, and feel free to vote in the poll below.

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