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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Misfits) has been cast alongside Paul Higgins, Alexandra Roach and Neil Maskell to headline an ensemble cast for a new C4 6-part, 6-hour series titled Utopia.

    To be directed by Marc Munden, from a script written by Dennis Kelly, Utopia's synopsis reads:

    The Utopia Experiments is a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery. But when Ian, Becky, Grant and Wilson Wilson, a small group of previously unconnected people find themselves in possession of an original manuscript of the fabled book, their lives suddenly and brutally implode. Targeted swiftly and relentlessly by a murderous organisation known as The Network this terrified group are left with only one option if they want to survive: they have to run. When help appears to come in the form of the mysterious Jessica Hyde, who promises to keep them safe, what choice is there but to believe her? As their world goes dark and all they previously knew is wrenched from them, the four strangers must shed their past and come together in order to survive this violent new future.

    No cast assignments yet, but Nathan Stewart-Jarrett is one of the 4; it's just a question of which, and what his character's contribution to the overall narrative is.

    Audiences will be engaged with the series via multiple platforms, encouraging debate around some of the drama's biggest themes.

    Currently filming, Utopia will be produced by Kudos Film & TV for Channel 4, Rebekah Wray-Rogers, and executive producers are Karen Wilson, Jane Featherstone, and Dennis Kelly.


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    When aspiring young food writers ask how I learned the trade — Was culinary school the first step? A journalism degree? Apprenticeship in a three-star kitchen in France? — I brace myself to disappoint them. I didn’t do any of those (extremely practical and admirable) things.

    “The thing is,” I begin, “I was named after Julia Child.”

    Child was born 100 years ago Wednesday, and without her, the phrase “aspiring food writer” would probably have never been uttered in the United States. Being named for her was certainly a nudge in the direction of food, but I didn’t grow up with a silver spoonful of chocolate mousse in my mouth. I simply watched my parents make dinner (sometimes beef bourguignon, more often burgers) and absorbed their notion that food was interesting and entertaining, not just fuel.

    This didn’t happen in many New York families in the 1970s. Parents who did cook served meals of “wheatloaf” and carob cake; those who didn’t were busy raising their consciousnesses while the children ordered in Chinese food.

    Today, the “family dinner” (preferably home cooked, from responsibly sourced ingredients) is widely considered a necessity, and even toddlers have favorite chefs.

    It was Child — not single-handedly, but close — who started the public conversation about cooking in America that has shaped our cuisine and culture ever since. Her “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was published in 1961, just as trends including feminism, food technology and fast food seemed ready to wipe out home cooking. But with her energy, intelligence and nearly deranged enthusiasm, Child turned that tide.

    Today, in an age of round-the-clock food television and three-ingredient recipes, her book strikes many cooks the way it does the writer Lisa Birnbach, who told me: “Here’s the thing about Julia Child and me. While she has been a figure in my life for a long time, I have never actually used her cookbook.”

    Indeed, it can be daunting. Not only are many recipes long and detailed, but they often call for ingredients that are no longer easy to find, like ground thyme and frying chickens, and equipment like ramekins and asbestos mats. Her insistence that tomatoes be peeled, chickens trussed and eggs beaten with a fork, not a whisk (all elements of the professional training she imbibed) now seems needlessly persnickety.

    But in its fundamental qualities, the book and its many successors in the Child canon aren’t dated at all. Their recipes remain perfectly written and rock-solid reliable. And many home cooks, including me, have a Julia Child recipe or two that will always be a part of their repertory. They are recipes that, unlike her cassoulet, come together in minutes, not days.

    These are not the showpieces you make once in a lifetime (and talk about forever) like her coq au vin or pâté en croute. They are under-the-radar basics, like the tomato sauce with Provençal notes of orange peel and coriander seeds that my family makes every September, when bushels of overripe plum tomatoes arrive at local farm stands. Do we peel and seed the tomatoes? No. Do we have cheesecloth on hand for wrapping the herb bouquet? Sometimes. But is it always Julia Child’s recipe, and a great one? Absolutely.

    Alpana Singh, a sommelier in Chicago, often makes clafoutis from the master recipe on Page 655.

    “You’re just making a batter and pouring it over some gorgeous seasonal fruit,” she said. “I love it because it’s like a Dutch baby pancake, but it’s somehow an elegant dessert, and it’s not too sweet.”

    The notion that Child’s fundamental recipes have lost their relevance makes some cooks downright indignant.

    “I don’t see how there could be an easier recipe,” said Reges Linders, a home cook in Arlington, Mass., referring to the book’s classic gratin dauphinois. And indeed, after rubbing the baking dish with garlic and slicing the potatoes 1/8-inch thick, there isn’t much more to be done except pour in milk, cheese and a half-stick of butter.

    What of the many modern cooks who recoil from recipes with carbohydrates and butterfat? Well, Ms. Linders countered, she still uses Child’s marinade seche for grilled pork tenderloin: “really just a dry rub, but so good; it’s the allspice that really makes it” and “her braised leeks make a great side dish for almost anything.”

    “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” was an odd beast from the beginning, an attempt to forge a mind-meld between professional French chefs and untrained American housewives, many of them content with the era’s convenience foods like frank-and-bean casseroles and Tang.

    During the nearly 10 years she worked on it, Child had an absolute conviction — shared by almost no one — that her book would be useful to American cooks. The manuscript was rejected by the original publisher; another house cautiously agreed to take it on, offering a $1,500 advance to be shared with the book’s French co-authors, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck.

    “They expected it to sell a few thousand copies,” said Bob Spitz, the author of “Dearie,” a new biography of Child.

    But the review in this newspaper by Craig Claiborne (in the section then known as “Food Family Fashions Furnishings”) was glowing, calling the book “comprehensive, laudable and monumental.” (An accompanying headline raved “Text is Simply Written for Persons Who Enjoy Cuisine.”) And more significantly, Child began her popular programs on public television.

    “It was going on television in 1963, the same year as the Beatles, that made it possible for her to become a popular icon,” Mr. Spitz said.

    Her books have now sold more than six million copies and inspired cults around certain recipes, made up of cooks who may have nothing else in common. Virginia Willis, a cook and writer in Atlanta, and Scott Anderson, a yoga teacher in the Bay Area, are both devoted to the book’s Reine de Saba, or Queen of Sheba, a dense and nearly flourless chocolate cake that is virtually foolproof and very beautiful, ringed with toasted sliced almonds.

    And her French potato salad, made without mayonnaise but with warm potatoes, shallots, herbs and glugs of olive oil, is equally loved by Mary Hubbard, a retired teacher in Texas who said it reminded her of her German grandmother’s recipe, and by Alex Young, the chef at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor, Mich.

    Many cooks fall back on her pillowy gougères, super-impressive but fast cheese puffs. One is Ken Oringer, the chef at Clio and other restaurants in Boston, who has pushed for, and just received, permission to erect a bronze statue of Child in the city. She lived in nearby Cambridge from 1963 to 2001, and died in California in 2004.

    “She loved bone marrow and truffles and pigs’ trotters, but the gougères are the pure essence of Julia as a chef,” Mr. Oringer said. In other words, the recipe is precise, encouraging and functional.

    The same goes for Child’s no-boil method for hard-cooked eggs.

    “One of her favorite things to make for lunch when we were working was SA-LADE NI-ÇOISE!” said Sara Moulton, the chef, breaking into the fluty warble that spawned a thousand parodies. She was Child’s assistant on television and book projects, and said that because of her, she is incapable of taking certain shortcuts in the kitchen.

    “I can’t not peel asparagus and broccoli because of her,” Ms. Moulton said. “I feel her looking over my shoulder.”

    Many cooks feel the same. For Judith Norell, a vegetarian and owner of the Silver Moon bakery in Manhattan; for the writer Julie Powell, who spent a year cooking every recipe in the book for the blog that became “Julie & Julia,” the movie; and for the chef Laurent Géroli at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Ky., Child’s famously fussy method for ratatouille — in which the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes are all diced small, cooked separately — is still the only way.

    “By going the longer road, she keeps the flavor and texture of all those vegetables robust and intense,” Ms. Powell said.

    Naomi Duguid is a cook, writer and photographer who worked with Child on the cookbook “Baking With Julia” and other projects. She herself never cooks from recipes, she said (and as she spends much of the year in Southeast Asia, cooking from “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” would hardly be practical). But she thinks of Julia Child often: when she makes an omelet, when she needs to improvise and when things go terribly wrong.

    And they do, in all kitchens: cakes get stuck, mayonnaises break, chickens catch fire. But Child was unflappable in the face of culinary disaster.

    “It was Julia’s basic course in good conduct: she stayed calm and learned to laugh about mistakes rather than getting angry or frustrated,” Ms. Duguid said. “She was the marvelous opposite of a control freak, and that translates for me every day in the kitchen.”


    Food post?

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    Classic film actress Lupe Vélez was a dynamo whose talent popped off the screen. The Mexican-born beauty, who came to fame in Douglas Fairbanks' 1927 adventure, "The Gaucho," could do anything — comedy, musicals, drama.

    Vélez may have paved the way for Latino actresses who followed her in Hollywood, but her career ended tragically.

    Lupe had numerous affairs, including a particularly torrid one with a young Gary Cooper, and a tumultuous marriage to "Tarzan" star Johnny Weissmuller. But in 1944, at age 36, she found herself pregnant with the child of a little known-actor name Harald Maresch, who would not marry her. A Catholic, Vélez wouldn't have an abortion, but she also couldn't handle the shame of being pregnant and unmarried. She wrote a suicide note to Maresch and took 80 Seconal pills.

    Loves: Gary Cooper, Johnny Weissmuller, and Harald Maresch
    Lovers: Gary Cooper, Johnny Weissmuller, and Harald Maresch

    Her suicide note blamed him and when that information came to light, any future career that he may have had in Hollywood was over. Despite the fact that Maresch emphatically claimed that it was all a misunderstanding and that he loved her and he did intend to marry her, it was too little, too late. Lupe Vélez was dead, and Harald Maresch was the reason! He returned to Europe and was barely heard from again.
    Lupe Vélez died in her bed, as she intended. Eighty Seconal pills washed down with a glass of brandy took the life of her unborn child…and herself. Suddenly, the world knew that the woman who didn’t care what anyone thought of her or her antics had a breaking point. The shame of an unplanned pregnancy, and out of wedlock, was too much for her to bear.

    Her suicide note read:
    "To Harald: May God forgive you and forgive me, too; but I prefer to take my life away and our baby's, before I bring him with shame, or killin' [sic] him.

    Vélez was discovered by her secretary in her bed surrounded by flowers.

    Her death took a sordid spin some 40 years ago when Kenneth Anger proclaimed in his controversial book "Hollywood Babylon" that Velez had in fact been found drowned with her head in the toilet, and that account took hold as a salacious urban legend. Vélez has even been the butt of jokes on the NBC sitcom "Frasier" and Fox's animated"The Simpsons." The details in the book was dramatized by Andy Warhol and Edie Sedgwick, who also died after overdosing on pills. 

    Australian writer Michelle Vogel dispels the myths surrounding Vélez in her new book, "Lupe Vélez: The Life and Career of Hollywood's 'Mexican Spitfire.'"

    "Lupe Vélez was a very complex person," Vogel said in an email interview. "She was, most likely, undiagnosed bipolar. Hollywood, with all of its luxuries and trappings, only served to heighten her personality. She was always manic, extremely high-strung. As a result of her moods, she had knock-down, drag-out fights with the men in her life, and even with some of her female costars."

    The actress, Vogel said, "had no filter, and in those days, when studios expected their stars to convey a public image that was respectable, Lupe Vélez said what she thought, often without thinking about the repercussions."

    Vogel believes Vélez's bipolar disorder may have played on her suicide. "Her hormones would have been raging because of the pregnancy, no doubt setting off thoughts and feelings that were once again exasperated further by her mental illness."

    Vélez's heyday was the early 1930s, when her saucy persona was a perfect fit with the sexually open pre-code movies such as 1932's "Kongo" and "The Half-Naked Truth."

    "She did the Mae West thing, which is to say pushing the boundaries of what you could do or say in a film at a time when Hollywood was trying to police itself," said Charles Ramírez Berg, professor of media studies at the University of Texas at Austin and author of "Latino Images in Film."

    But when Hollywood's production code was enforced in 1934, Vélez struggled. She appeared in forgettable "B" movies, returned to Mexico for a film and did a short-lived Broadway musical. She starred from 1939-43 in the popular RKO "Mexican Spitfire" comedy movie series, in which she played Carmelita, a stereotypical Latina who spoke in a heavily accented "Spanglish" that was peppered with malapropisms.

    Lupe as Carmelita (with Leon Erroll) in "Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost" (1942)

    Still, said Berg, she made the most out of the role, proving she was a great physical comedian. Velez also managed to ad-lib some lines in Spanish in the films.

    "It was just a couple of sentences, but what she is doing is talking to us Latinos in the audience, in a way winking at us and making us part of the film's conversation in a real interesting way," he said.

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    And yes he brought Lanchen...

    Plus Lanchen admits to dating someone (and lbr, it's Josh.)

    Here's a little information on Lanchen

    Lanchen Mihalic
    Thirst meter: High
    Lanchen is 19 years old and is also a singer/song writer/model/etc living in LA. Her song 'what good is a boy' was featured on the movie No Strings Attached soundtrack. She met Josh while they were both living in the infamous Oakwood Apartments. It seems like they have been off and on hook up buddies/dating but insist they are now good friends. Ever see the video of Josh Hutcherson in Hawaii? That was uploaded by Lanchen and featured her in it. She also uploaded the video to Tumblr after Josh's fame skyrocketed. Lanchen has admitted to dating him in the past though. A fun fact about Lanchen, she believed that being a homosexual is unnatural. Her thirst level is high with her constant interaction to his fans, answering about Josh's life, name dropping and who can forget the picture she posted about his rug implying they fucked on it. Many fans believe that they are currently together. You can find her twitter here

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    Following the June announcement that Jennifer Hudson will be joining the cast of NBC's musical drama Smash, in a multi-episode arc for next season, comes news that Sheryl Lee Ralph has been cast to play her mother on the series, Vulture learned earlier today.

    J-Hud will play Veronica Moore, a Tony Award-winning Broadway star whose presence directly influences the lives of Karen (Katharine McPhee) and Ivy (Megan Hilty).

    "Her character will represent someone who reached their Broadway dream but also paid a price for it,” said NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt.

    As for what kind of character Sheryl Lee Ralph will play as her mother, no word on that yet, but I assume there'll be some singing involved. Ralph began her career on the stage and was nominated in 1982 for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Deena Jones in Dreamgirls - one connection both ladies have.

    Ralph's most recent employment has been with the Cartoon Network, providing the voice for Amanda Waller, in an episode of the animated series Young Justice.

    Today's casting news should be a good look for her.


    I remember seeing her in a few things as a kid. And I thought she was so beautiful. 

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    We LOVE watching Ian Somerhalder play Damon on the Vampire Diaries, (who doesn’t?) but there is more to this vampire-playing cutie. He launched the Ian Somerhalder Foundation to empower, educate and collaborate with people and on projects to change the planet and its creatures.Here is what he had to say about his foundation.

    Can you tell us about your foundation and why you launched it?

    After witnessing the devastation of the oil spill in the Gulf, I knew I had to do something. I drew tremendous inspiration by the outpouring of compassion from others just as grief stricken as myself. I soon realized the immediate need for a platform for these amazing people to come together and have their voices heard. 

    How will your work to build an animal sanctuary help troubled youth? 

    We feel that animals and people have the ability to engage, enlighten and strengthen each other on a number of levels. A troubled youth coming to the sanctuary has the opportunity to create a lifelong bond with an animal that sympathizes with his or her struggle. The youth then further understands compassion and acquires leadership skills by forming these intricate and reflective relationships.

    What are some ways teenagers can get involved with your foundation?

    To dig right in, they can apply to be one of our Mobsters and help with everything from writing articles for the website to brainstorming new initiatives and directions to explore. Another easy way to get involved is to stay connected through our Twitter and Facebook.  

    What is the greatest accomplishment your foundation has achieved so far?

    I am extremely proud of all the exquisite connections that ISF has helped people form. We have supporters from across the globe, in all walks of life and of every age, who have come together to work on numerous projects and therefore have formed life long bonds. 

    Your foundation’s 2nd birthday is coming up, any ideas on how you will celebrate?

    The one thing I can say for sure is that this second birthday will involve celebrating our progress, while simultaneously looking ahead to what we hope to be many more years of positive change. I can also guarantee that it will be full of gratitude towards our amazing supporters and anyone out there who has been helping us make the changes this planet and its creatures deserve!


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    Kim Kardashian isn't planning to marry Kanye West. At least not now, according to sources close to the situation. TMZ reports that Kim told her circle that she isn't trying to get the divorce with her ex-husband Kris Humphries finalized so that she could speed through a quickie wedding to Kanye.

    Allegedly after Wednesday's court hearing, Kim said, "Kris is the first person I ever had to break-up with and that f**ked with my emotions."

    "He told our producers he would destroy my career and me if the show wasn't edited right," she reportedly also said.

    Neither Kim or Kanye have spoken publicly about any plans to marry. Kim and Humphries' famously marriage was ended after only 72 days in 2011.


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    Braxton Pope, the producer of Lindsay Lohan's upcoming thriller neo-noir "The Canyons" (directed by Paul Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis) published the following message earlier today on the movie's official Facebook page:

    DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK (she’s been here for years)

    Well, perhaps in some ways it is a comeback since she had actually been gone for awhile. And now that we’ve wrapped THE CANYONS, it is probably a good time to answer the question that everyone keeps asking: how was Lindsay Lohan?

    I can start with a short, declarative sentence: she was good. Very, very good. But the question with Lindsay has never been her acting skill which people sometimes forget, nor her range or her ability to apprehend the truth of a role. It has always been about a lifestyle that has overwhelmed her professional experiences and interrupted a career that could so easily take her wherever she wants to go. Lindsay, I think, is emblematic of modern celebrity. There is a lifestyle and media fascination and strange symbiotic relationship with paparazzi that are at once the eleventh biblical plague (after locusts, lice, incurable boils, darkness), a swarm of pestilence recklessly tailing her and violating all reasonable privacy expectations and rules of the road while a great amplifier of fame.

    It would be inappropriate to speculate on some of the forces at play in the Lohan landscape and it is weird to get calls from media outlets asking very personal questions about Lindsay and her family as if nothing about Lindsay could be personal at all. So, we’ll stick to the filming process and the work and what she accomplished on the film and let the gossip gears grind on their own. (With a brief thanks to Dina for the popcorn and beverages at casa Lohan while Lindsay was getting ready for some nighttime filming).

    There is no question that Lindsay channels stars of an earlier era and has classic cinema fluency. We were sitting at one of our locations, The Churchill, and she was getting ready to go upstairs to film the final scene and she cited Veronica Lake (the iconic noir actress who was the model for Jessica Rabbit) as an inspiration for her particular mien. Maybe it was being in Palm Springs recently where Marilyn Monroe is alive and well, looking at me from my hotel room at the Riviera, from the lobby of the Saguaro, a giant Marilyn statue on the main drag, or maybe it was Schrader’s interest in the John Huston film "The Misfits," Marilyn’s last completed film as well as Clark Gable’s, but you can’t help but feel some parallels between Marilyn and Lindsay.

    It is impossible to not be impressed by Lindsay’s command of the script, her ability to run off pages and pages of dialogue flawlessly, her active and vital engagement in the storytelling, in camera angles, in the mechanics of filmmaking. She is extremely alert, likely in part from acting at such a young age. And, like Marilyn, there is an affinity for the camera. Lindsay looks great. She is what the French call ‘La Femme Eternelle.” She has a beauty, a facial architecture that is naturally stunning and best suited for capture with the least amount of makeup. There was a continuing dialogue between Schrader and Lindsay and her talented make-up artist David Hernandez about which makeup schemes to use, and production always advocated the same thing: less is more. We wanted Lindsay to just be Lindsay. Hard to see how you could improve on her natural beauty. That combination, her dramatic skill (Marilyn of course wanted to be taken seriously as a dramatic actress because of her success with lighter, comic fare and Lindsay I think having grown up in big, commercial, mainstream Disney family films also aspires to demonstrate her mature talent) and her beauty puts in her in a rare category. Elliot Erwin said of Marilyn, “the camera was crazy about her…it was hard to take a bad photo of her.” And so it is with Lindsay. Working with an auteur like Schrader, in a finely observed, dramatic and dimensionalized script by Bret Ellis, showcases her in a new way.

    Gone is the vulnerable, sweetly disposed tween of "Mean Girls." Schrader terms the current Lindsay as ‘brassy’ and I think her husky voice and command of the screen evokes a certain toughness adding depth to her beauty. Add, of course, her charisma, that sine qua non of a true star, and that is what you get. I think she could be brilliant in a classic film noir.

    So, did I say good? She was actually great. Not that the shoot was without its challenges. Do I want to drive in a car with Lindz?

    No. No I don’t. Ever. Of course, with Schrader’s maniac driving the jury is out and whom you least want a ride from on the production.

    But would I make another film with her? Absolutely. And I can’t wait to finish post and for the world to see her performance and the chemistry between her and her fellow actors in a film that tries to circumvent the traditional studio model. "The Misfits" commenced after John Huston struggled with a film he was trying to make about Freud, unable at the time to prune a dense, lengthy script by Jean Paul Satre. It was made on the margins of studios battling competition from television. Let’s hope that "The Canyons" is blessed with more good health and luck for its participants. I think people will really enjoy the completed film—Schrader is completely on top of his game—and I am excited for the next chapter in Lindsay’s career.



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    Kristen Stewart has been sending dozens of love letters and heartfelt text messages to Robert Pattinson in a bid to get him to forgive her for cheating.

    The actor's world was blown apart after Kristen confessed to having an affair with her 'Snow White and the Huntsman' director Rupert Sanders and he moved out of the couple's Los Angeles home four weeks ago.

    But the 22-year-old actress still believes their four-year relationship can be saved and in the notes she has been sending Robert she tells him she ''made the biggest mistake of her life'' and begs him to take her back.

    A friend of Robert's told Life & Style Weekly magazine: ''She's sent Rob handwritten notes - dozens of them - begging him to take her back. She says things like, 'I can't live without you. I love you. You are the one, and I made the biggest mistake of my life.' ''

    Kristen is so desperate to get back together with Robert, 26, she has even offered to go to couples therapy.

    The pair - who play lovers Bella Swann and Edward Cullen in the 'Twilight: Saga' film franchise - are still on speaking terms which is giving screen starlet Kristen hope they could save their romance.

    The source added: ''Kristen has offered to do everything to win Rob's heart back - she even suggested couples therapy, which is a big change for her/ She said they could talk everything out with a third party. She simply won't back down.

    ''She text-messages him all day, and Rob just sends one-word answers back.''


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  • 08/16/12--15:01: Robot Chicken DC Special
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    First they came for the Simpsons and now they want SpongeBob Squarepants. The Ukraine is considering a move to censor several children's shows after a new study from a conservative commission labeled the shows "a real threat" to the country's youth.

    The Ukraine's National Expert Commission for Protecting Public Morality released the report, which attacks several U.S. and international programs as detrimental to the country.

    Psychologist Irina Medvédeva is quoted in the study, alleging that children aged 3 to 5 years old, "pull faces and make jokes in front of adults they don't know, laugh out loud and repeat nonsense phrases in a brazen manner," after viewing the shows.

    The Ukrainian paper Ukraínskaya Pravda reported on Thursday that some of the shows under fire include "Family Guy," "Futurama," "Pokemon," "The Simpsons" and "Teletubbies," which the report says are, "projects aimed at the destruction of the family, and the promotion of drugs and other vices."

    The Wall Street Journal reported that the study results first appeared on "fringe Catholic website Family Under the Protection of the Holy Virgin."

    While the accusations sound a bit silly, a 2011 study by a University of Virginia professor claimed that watching just nine minutes of SpongeBob could adversely affect the attention span and learning abilities of 4-year-olds.

    The Ukrainian commission had previously attempted to ban other shows, including "The Simpsons."

    Some of the accusations leveled against the programming in the study:

    SpongeBob Squarepants: "gay"
    Teletubbies: "Deliberately aims to create subnormal (men), who spend all day in front of the television with their mouths open swallowing all types of information," and promotes the "psychology of losers."
    Shrek: "containing sadism"
    South Park: "reincarnation propaganda"
    Japanese Anime: "A clear example of sexist propaganda"
    The study concluded that the programming represents "a large-scale experiment on Ukrainian children" to "create criminals and perverts."


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    Last week, soap opera fans were shocked to hear that Ronn Moss would be leaving Bold & Beautiful.

    What went haywire in his contract negotiations? A personal rep for Moss says the actor plans to make an explanatory announcement within the next few days.

    In an interview on Tuesday, showrunner Bradley Bell responded to Moss’ departure, saying that the character will not die.

    Moss had been with the show since it started in 1987. He filmed his last scenes on Tuesday.

    The 60-year-old actor went to Facebook to tell his fans directly that he will be leaving.

    “Try and not be sad, angry, disappointed.. It's been a great run and all good things end eventually. As this door closes, others are opening,” he wrote.

    Bell admitted that the departure “came out of the blue,” although, “I did have a plan in place because when it's contract time you have to be prepared.”

    Bell then explained how the show will deal with the character, noting that he will not be killed off. “Right now I can only tell you this: Ridge will not be dead or presumed dead. He will just not be in the picture. he said. “This will be a Brooke story. Ridge is a pivotal part of the show and he will be back in a matter of time...and probably not all that much time.

    I will continue writing for the character. I'm looking at this in two phases, really. There will be a period of time without Ridge, which is where some new, interesting avenues for Brooke will come into play. But at some point it will be necessary for Ridge to return to the show. Who will be playing the role at that point remains to be seen.”

    He also said that he “might go a little younger” when recasting Ridge.


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    by Darren Franich

    We are living in one of the great periods in TV history. The last decade saw the expansion of the cable universe and the popular rise of serialized shows, a pair of major evolutionary changes that pushed the boundaries of the medium. A show’s protagonist no longer had to be a good guy, or even particularly likable. Storylines could run for months, or years. The Internet provided the foundation for a hyper-attentive new strain of TV fandom. We began to talk about TV shows the way that people in the ’70s talked about movies, or the way that people in the ’20s talked about literature. Shows like Sopranos, Arrested Development, Mad Men, and The Wire had set a new benchmark. A host of new TV shows arrived, shows with sky-high ambition, shows that wanted to be great.

    And then some of those shows turned out to be terrible.

    This is the story that led, at least in part, to the rise of “Hate-Watching” — the practice of watching a TV show that you know is bad, for the specific purpose of enjoying that badness. “Hate-Watching” has achieved a certain prominence this year, with the debut of a pair of TV shows that positively radiated huge ambition. Smash was the big NBC debut of the midseason, with a pilot that promised “West Wing on Broadway” and a cast of big names. The show quickly descended into self-parody, then descended into self-parody-parody, then had a Bollywood number. (New Yorker critic Emily Nussbaum’s piece, “Hate-Watching Smash“ brought the hate-watching phenomenon into the open.) Smash was followed, this summer, by The Newsroom — a series with an impeccable pedigree, a great cast, a beloved TV auteur, and so so many themes! Newsroom belly-flopped, but watching it weekly and luxuriating in its particular badness has become a kind of Twitter parlour game (How many pratfalls? How many speeches? How silly can the female characters be?).

    “Hate-Watching” is NOT the same as a guilty pleasure. You wouldn’t tune in every week to hate-watch a really “bad” reality show — that’s a guilty pleasure. Generally speaking, hate-watching requires a TV series with high ambitions and features a certain amount of aesthetic perfection — Smash and The Newsroom are both glossy productions with talented actors — yet fails consistently and badly enough to make it compelling. It helps if a show moves quickly: A typical episode of Glee mixes several dozen inane subplots with six or seven auto-tuned music sequences. Likewise, the sheer overabundance of Sorkinian dialogue gives Newsroom a guaranteed jolt. That said, the pace doesn’t need to be fast. The Killing was prime territory for hate-watchers precisely because its lugubrious pace felt built for MST3K-esque zingers.

    I was a proud hate-watcher of The Newsroom until the fourth episode, when the combination of preachy dialogue, the recurrence of a Sasquatch subplot, and the extended Coldplay montage left me feeling that my time would be better spent by watching every new episode of Breaking Bad twice. But I’m interested to hear, readers: Are there any shows that you find yourself hate-watching? Perhaps a once-great TV series that has devolved into self-parody (Hello, Gossip Girl!) Or an aesthetically tasteful drama that can’t live up to its gorgeous set design? Or maybe you just loved to hate Girls? Tell tell!


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  • 08/16/12--16:03: Revenge Recasts a Role.
  • When ABC's Revenge returns this fall for a second season of devilish fun, there will be yet another twist involving Emily's mysterious revenge master, Satoshi Takeda - he'll have a new face!

    Due to the unavailability of the character's original portrayer, Hiroyuki Sanada, the part will now be played by Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa. According to producer Melissa Loy, Sanada's jam-packed film schedule (including a role in the Hugh Jackman-led movie Wolverine) necessitated the change. "Geographically, with our schedule being what it is, it was getting a little bit challenging," Loy explains. "We would have had to fly him in and out of Australia [where Wolverine was filming], but [still] wouldn't have had him on the days we necessarily needed him. We tried to figure out a bunch of different scenarios, but ultimately it was too difficult."

    Tagawa, who has appeared on Heroes and Hawaii Five-0, will debut in the Sept. 30 season premiere and is "fantastic," says Loy, who adds that the 10-year age difference between Takeda #1 (age 51) and Takeda #2 (age 61) was of no concern. "We didn't want to try to trick our audience," she says. "We wanted to bring somebody in who brought something fresh, different and new to the character." Something the men have in common: both were born in Tokyo and boast an impressive list of Japanese film credits.

    Loy says Takeda will stick around as long as "Emily has revenge-school stories." And there are many new tales to be told this season - particularly in flashbacks showing Takeda working with both Emily and another vengeance-seeking pupil named Aiden.


    Just needed a reason to make a Revenge post!

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    Noel Gallagher dedicated 'Wonderwall' to "Stratford's finest Oasis tribute band" at a War Child benefit gig in London tonight (August 14).

    Noel made the jibe in reference to his brother Liam's appearance at the Olympic Games closing ceremony on Sunday night, which saw the younger Gallagher performing 'Wonderwall' with his band Beady Eye.

    The High Flying Birds frontman played an intimate acoustic set at Dingwalls in Camden as part of Xfm's Legend Series in aid of War Child, airing a number of Oasis tracks including 'Wonderwall', 'Supersonic' and 'Don't Look Back In Anger'.

    Noel also performed the song 'Angel Child', the B-side to 1997's 'D'You Know What I Mean' for the first time live, telling the crowd: "I've not heard this since I recorded it."

    He also dedicated 'Supersonic' to British Olympic champion, the "great Mo Farah".

    Noel Gallagher played:

    '(It's Good) To Be Free'
    'Talk Tonight'
    'If I Had A Gun'
    'AKA... What A Life!'
    'D'Yer Wanna Be a Spaceman?'
    'Half The World Away'
    'Angel Child'
    'Don't Look Back In Anger'

    And in related news...

    Singer Noel Gallagher has revealed that he turned down an invitation to play at the Olympics closing ceremony after organisers asked him to mime.

    The former Oasis star told Xfm's Danny Wallace that he was also put off by the secrecy surrounding the ceremony.

    "They wanted me to do it acoustically and then they wanted me to mime," he told Wallace on Wednesday.

    "I'm all for miming in TV shows, but if you're in a stadium with 80,000 people and you're pretending? I can play live!

    "In the end, I was just like, 'you know what? I'd rather watch it on the telly.'"

    Gallagher, who launched his solo career fronting The High Flying Birds in 2011, told Wallace he was asked to perform at Sunday's closing ceremony "ages ago".

    "I was like... 'who else is playing?' and they were like, 'we can't tell you, you've got to sign a confidentiality agreement' - it's like it's the Iran nuclear programme or something.

    Liam Gallagher sang the Oasis hit Wonderwall at the ceremony
    "I mean what do they think is going to happen? ITV are going to get hold of it and put on a gig the night before with the same bill?!

    Ultimately, Gallagher was replaced by his brother - and ex-bandmate - Liam, who performed the Oasis hit Wonderwall with his new band Beady Eye.

    But the track, originally written by Noel, had to be re-recorded. Noel said he only gave final permission for the performance to go ahead two days before the ceremony.

    "I did play a bit of cat and mouse with them for a few days," admitted the singer.

    "I took it 'til Friday night at ten o'clock before I said yes.

    "I was like 'meh... it's alright.... I'm not sure with this new string arrangement' and they were like, 'the gig's on Sunday!' so I was like, 'okay, alright, you can have it then.'"

    Noel later took a swipe at Beady Eye's performance, dedicating his own performance of Wonderwall to "Stratford's finest Oasis tribute band" in a gig on Tuesday night.

    Oasis split up three years ago after an argument backstage at a concert in Paris.

    David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones all reportedly turned down the chance to appear in the Olympic Games Closing Ceremony, according to The Guardian.

    Jessie J, Elbow, Take That and The Spice Girls were among those who took part in the Olympic finale, directed by artistic director Kim Gavin.

    Sources: (1) (2)

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    His old alter ego, Dr. Frasier Crane, may want to analyze this one.

    Appearing on The Tonight Show Wednesday, Kelsey Grammer claimed he was overlooked by Emmy voters for his excellent work on Boss mainly because he's a Republican.
    In the series the 57-year-old thesp plays a shady fictional Chicago mayor facing progressive dementia.

    The statement came after Jay Leno asked him why he won a Golden Globe for the Starz drama but failed to score an Emmy nomination.

    "Yeah, it's hard to figure," said Grammer. "It may have to do with several things, honestly, but I think it's possible. I mean, I'm a declared out-of-the-closet Republican in Hollywood."

    Given that Grammer has scored 14 Emmy nominations for such hit shows as Cheers, Frasier, The Simpsons and Wings and won five trophies previously, it's hard to fathom that his politics played a major role in the snub.

    But the actor insisted otherwise.

    "Do I believe it's possible that some young person, young voting actor—or even older voting member for the Emmys—would sit there and go, 'Yeah, that's a great performance, but oooooooh, I just hate everything he stands for'? I don't believe that's possible," Grammer noted sarcastically.

    He added that in his view he's been persona non grata ever since he publicly declared his conservative bona fides back in 2006 following his last Emmy win (and has since hinted he'd consider running in real life for mayor of New York!).

    "It's nothing personal. I've been overlooked because the work is not up to standard," he deadpanned.

    Leno countered with a more likely explanation.

    "You know what it is? You're on Starz, and that's not an obscure network but you have to search to find it," replied the funnyman.

    Leno's got a point. Despite being a critical fave, the fact is Boss airs on a premium cable network and has attracted less than stellar ratings.

    Boss' second season premieres on Friday at 9 p.m.

    To be perfectly honest I never even heard of this show before he won the Golden Globe for it and before this article I didn't know what it was about or what channel it was on.

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    Nick Jonas and his Worldwide Wickets softball team took to the field in Central Park today as part of the Broadway Show League's softball playoff tournament.

    While the Wickets beat the team from Phantom of the Opera in the first game by a score of 21-3, they were knocked out of the playoffs in the second game of the doubleheader by the team from Once/Death of a Salesman by a score of 10-5 (I think.)

    Afterwards Nick tweeted a picture of himself in his uniform, declaring "We'll get 'em next year!"


    Also, the Jonas Brothers will be guests tomorrow morning on Ryan Seacrest's radio show with a "big announcement". And according to their group twitter account they will also be appearing on the Plaza on the Today Show this Monday. Not sure if they are performing or just promoting their various projects together.

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    Twilight star Kristen Stewart’s latest film On The Road was given a low-key UK premiere tonight in the absence of its leading female.

    The actress caused a stir last month when it emerged she had cheated on her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, and did not fly to London to promote the film, based on Jack Kerouac’s 1957 book of the same name.

    Organisers insisted the actress never planned to attend, and rolled out the red carpet at Somerset House for her British co-stars Sam Riley, Tom Sturridge and Harry Morgan instead.

    Morgan said it was “sad” Stewart was not with them, while Riley said he had “no idea” how the beleaguered actress was doing.

    “It’s none of my business,” he said.

    Riley plays the protagonist and narrator, based on Kerouac himself.

    Dressed casually in trousers and a denim jacket, he admitted he was feeling the pressure ahead of the film’s release.

    “The book is well loved the world over. People have their own feelings about it and how it ought to look and you’re bound to disappoint half of them,” he said.

    Sturridge, who welcomed a baby daughter with girlfriend Sienna Miller just five weeks ago, turned up to the Film4 Summer Screen event in a suit and beanie hat.

    The actor, who is a good friend of Pattinson, said: “I don’t talk about my friends behind their back.”

    On The Road, which is produced by Francis Ford Coppola, is out in October.


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    I wonder who the photographer is? Her new hair stylist canceled his root canal appointment to be at the photoshoot today!!! Awww.

    * It's even more exciting because RCA were uploading and testing her new OFFICIAL SITE layout yesterday and confirmed it's coming very soon!

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    "Country-pop singer Taylor Swift has shot to the top of iTunes in 25 countries with her new single "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," and is poised for a record digital sales debut on next week's Billboard chart.

    The song went to the top of iTunes in the United States just an hour after it was released on Monday, and has since reached No. 1 in Australia, Canada, Brazil, Finland and 20 other nations."

    "Released on Monday night, the song is reportedly heading to first-week downloads in the 600,000 range, which would make the breakup anthem the fastest selling song ever by a female artist. (Lady Gaga currently holds that record with “Born This Way,” which was downloaded 448,000 times in its first frame.)

    There’s one song Taylor probably will probably not outsell, though: “Right Round” by Flo Rida feat. Ke$ha, which sold 636,000 songs in a single week in 2009. Still, if she climbs past Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” which moved 521,000 editions in its first week, she’ll have the second-best sales week in digital history. Not too shabby."

    Source | Source

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