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<p>Matthew McConaughey in &quot;Magic Mike.&quot;</p>

Matthew McConaughey in "Magic Mike."

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Roundup: Soderbergh's plea for 'bananas' McConaughey, and other campaign oddities

Also: Critics split on 'Les Mis,' and stage elite pick their film directors of 2012

Today's most enjoyable Oscar-related feature comes from Steve Pond, who has rounded up a selection of the more notable and/or quirky campaign maneuvers from the season thus far, from curious merchandise (a "Lincoln" cookbook, haggis crisps for "Brave") to an Academy rule violation by shortlisted doc "The Invisible War." My favorite, though, is a typewritten letter to BFCA voters from the campaign-averse Steven Soderbergh on behalf of Matthew McConaughey: "I'm breaking my longstanding embargo regarding pleas for recognition... we found [his performance] to be completely bananas in the best sense of the word. As he says in the film, 'The moon is just a chip shot away!'" Now one for for Channing Tatum, please. [The Wrap]  

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Lea Michele on 'Glee'

Lea Michele on 'Glee'

Credit: Fox

'Glee' recap: 'Swan Song'

New challenges for New Directions

"Let's just enjoy this week and look forward to our big comeback next year." - Finn

I've reached a point with "Glee" where even when I enjoy a lot of things about an episode -- as I did with "Swan Song" -- it doesn't matter. The recent string of unbearable episodes has completely severed my connection to the show (a connection that survived through Season 2 and Season 3), possibly for good.

It'll take a lot more than a halfway decent episode to bring it back, and I just don't see that happening given the current state of the show.

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<p>The gang was all there at the New York premiere of &quot;The Hobbit:&nbsp;An&nbsp;Unexpected Journey&quot;</p>

The gang was all there at the New York premiere of "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"

Credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

Andy Serkis and Martin Freeman talk forging a new path for 'The Hobbit' at New York premiere

Are you ready for three more years?

NEW YORK -- Warner Bros. spared no expense tonight ringing in the arrival of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" with a New York premiere and an ornate after-party at Guastavino's on the east side. The space's "soaring granite arches and catalan vaulted tiled ceiling," to steal from its own PR, served as a perfect palette for Middle Earth-inspired wares. Wooden tables decked with candelabras and other similar decor offered a comfortable dose of Hobbiton as Jackson, stars Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and Ian McKellen, "Argo" director Ben Affleck, actors Patrick Stewart, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler and many more filled the room to capacity.

The toast, of course, is to Jackson's accomplishment, the first in a new, sure-to-be-expansive trilogy of films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's intro to "The Lord of the Rings." And hopes are rightly high that the film will land just right with fanbases both old and new to send this one soaring at the box office. But while the film's aesthetic and feel certainly hearkens back to the franchise Jackson launched in the early aughts, there were attempts at mining a new identity, and much of that was inherent in the enterprise.

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"Project Runway All Stars"

 "Project Runway All Stars"

Credit: Lifetime

'Project Runway: All Stars' recap: 'Green Dress for the Red Carpet'

It's an eco challenge, but some designs really stink up the joint

It's the eco challenge this week, and while I find this to be an admirable effort, I don't have high expectations. Too often green is considered synonymous (at least to designers) with earthy, nutty granola looks that make me hope someone plopped some Birkenstocks on the accessories wall. There's no reason for it, except that sometimes the designers want to make it abundantly clear that their dress is GREEN, and how will you know unless it's ugly? 

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"The Vampire Diaries"

 "The Vampire Diaries"

Credit: The CW

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'We'll Always Have Bourbon Street'

Delena is in full effect, but what is Professor Shane up to?

 

It's time for Delena! After so, so many episodes of futile yearning and goopy, lusty eyes between Damon and  Elena, they're finally free to pursue their wanton desire for one another. But I get the sense this love connection is not to last. First hint? The sire bond possibility floated last week by Caroline and Stefan. The second hint would be entirely about editing. Yeah, editing.

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<p>On &quot;Parks and Recreation,&quot;&nbsp;Ron (Nick Offerman)&nbsp;gets Leslie's thumbs of approval.</p>

On "Parks and Recreation," Ron (Nick Offerman) gets Leslie's thumbs of approval.

Credit: NBC

Review: 'Parks and Recreation' - 'Ron and Diane'

Lucy Lawless, Megan Mullally and Christie Brinkley add up to a sweet, funny episode

A review of tonight's "Parks and Recreation" coming up just as soon as it's about to get warm all up in my jazz...

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<p>Jessy Schram and Jay Hernandez in &quot;Last Resort.&quot;</p>

Jessy Schram and Jay Hernandez in "Last Resort."

Credit: ABC

Review: 'Last Resort' - 'Cinderella Liberty'

A crisis disrupts a visit from the crew's family, and James flashes back to what started this mess

A quick review of tonight's "Last Resort" coming up just as soon as the pen is mightier than the sword...

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<p>Carly Rose Sonenclar of &quot;The X Factor&quot;</p>

Carly Rose Sonenclar of "The X Factor"

Credit: FOX

Recap: 'The X Factor' Top 6 Results - Two eliminations plus Ke$ha performs

Last year's winner, Melanie Amaro, also drops by

We're getting closer to the end on "The X Factor." Tonight? We eliminate two more singers and cut down to what the show is calling The Semifinals. 

We'll also enjoy performances by Melanie Amaro and Ke$ha. Or we'll try to enjoy them. 

Click through for the full results live-blog!

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<p>&quot;Argo&quot; will receive the Ensemble Performance Award at the Palm Springs fest.</p>

"Argo" will receive the Ensemble Performance Award at the Palm Springs fest.

Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Palm Springs fest to honor 'Argo' ensemble and Sally Field

Could Ben Affleck's thriller regain its autumn buzz?

The Palm Springs Film Festival, which takes place next month, has been gradually spilling their list of honorees over the last few weeks, with Naomi Watts, Helen Hunt and Robert Zemeckis all booked in to be celebrated for their achievements this year. Though I was only yesterday discussing the individual value of smaller awards, naming Zemeckis their Director of the Year is about as far as the festival strays from the Oscar conversation with their picks -- every year, the timing of Palm Springs makes it a handy stop on the campaign trail for awards hopefuls.

That'll certainly be the case for the festival's latest two selections: "Argo" will receive the Ensemble Performance Award, while Sally Field, currently riding high in the Best Supporting Actress race for "Lincoln," is to be honored with a Career Achievement Award. Both will be presented at the festival's awards ceremony on January 5 -- days before the Oscar nominations are announced, presumably with good news for Field and "Argo" alike.

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<p>Justin Bieber</p>

Justin Bieber

Credit: AP Photo

Justin Bieber's manager Scooter Braun tells Grammys 'U blew it'

Braun vents over Bieber's Grammys nomination shut out

Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, practically lives on Twitter, so it should come as no surprise that he took to the social medium to declare his extreme displeasure at Bieber’s shut-out in yesterday’s Grammy nominations.

Though he graciously told “all those nominated... you do deserve it,” he pled the case for Bieber’s inclusion... albeit, obviously too late.

“Grammy board u blew it on this one,” he tweeted. (Board? Really? It’s the Grammy voters who select the nominees, not the board. That’s beside the point here, though Braun should know that's how it works).  “This time there won’t be any wise words, no excuses, I just plain disagree. The kid deserved it.”

He never mentions Bieber by name, but continues, “The hardest thing to do is transition, keep the train moving. The kid delivered. Huge successful album, sold out tour, and won people over.”

And continued. “...this time he deserved to be recognized and I don’t really have any kind nice positive things to say about a decision I don’t agree with.”

As we previously reported yesterday after One Direction found itself in a similar boat, The Grammys have never really figured out how to deal with teen idols.

At least, unlike 1D, Bieber did get a best new artist nomination last year.

Braun does go on to end on a positive note by praising Carly Rae Jepsen, who records for his label and who received two nominations, but he can’t quite let it go with her either, noting “thought u deserved a best new artist nom.”  We totally agree on that one.

Oddly, he does not mention his other clients, The Wanted, who were, like Bieber, shut out.

By the end of his myriad tweets, he was already looking on the bright side and vowing to use the perceived adversity to his advantage, quoting, of all folks, David Brinkley: “A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.

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<p>James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Robert Iler in &quot;The Sopranos&quot; final scene.</p>

James Gandolfini, Edie Falco and Robert Iler in "The Sopranos" final scene.

Credit: HBO

Don't stop believing in even more 'The Revolution Was Televised' link-blogging

A 'Sopranos' excerpt, a public radio interview and a Deadspin chat highlight recent coverage

My improvised publicity blitz continues for "The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers and Slayers Who Changed TV Drama Forever," and here are the latest links, including one that I suspect will prompt more discussion here. (You can find all the review and interview links at AlanSepinwall.com, along with a FAQ, a list of links to all my online writing about the shows in the book, purchasing links to all the different formats, and more.)

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<p>Daniel Craig in &quot;Skyfall.&quot;</p>

Daniel Craig in "Skyfall."

Credit: Columbia Pictures

Roundup: Bond rules Britannia

Also: The Grammys' movie music picks, and 'Lincoln''s date with the Senate

It may currently be sitting at #6 in the US box-office chart for 2012, but impressive as that is, "Skyfall" is a phenomenon on a different scale across the pond. In its sixth week of release in the UK, James Bond's latest outing has surpassed "Avatar" to become the highest-grossing film in British box-office history with a total of nearly $152 million. (Yes, we are a smaller country.) As well as being the best possible golden-anniversary gift for the franchise, it's also likely to be labelled a major victory for comparatively old-school, adult-oriented commercial cinema that doesn't even boast 3D premiums to jack up the numbers. The question from an awards standpoint now is whether BAFTA will dare ignore it in the top categories. Daniel Craig got nominated in 2006, so could  007 be in line for its first Best Film nod? [The Independent

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