Articles on this Page
- 01/30/13--10:11: _Joss Whedon Would L...
- 01/31/13--16:06: _Meryl Streep in Dis...
- 01/31/13--16:25: _The Hobbit - Graham...
- 01/31/13--16:25: _ANOTHER Green Day d...
- 01/31/13--16:25: _Siva Kaneswaran is ...
- 01/31/13--16:38: _So long Hollywood: ...
- 01/31/13--16:39: _Uncle Ruckus coming...
- 01/31/13--16:39: _Lifetime orders "Wi...
- 01/31/13--16:59: _o rly now
- 01/31/13--16:59: _Lena Dunham Will Ha...
- 01/31/13--17:38: _And your new Ben & ...
- 01/31/13--17:54: _Oprah Fires Back at...
- 01/31/13--17:54: _A Bit of Informatio...
- 01/31/13--18:01: _10 Ways ‘Star Wars’...
- 01/31/13--18:01: _A Gemma Arterton Post
- 01/31/13--18:04: _This is a 30 Rock F...
- 01/31/13--18:18: _Vampire Diaries pom...
- 01/31/13--18:50: _30 Rock Who? Let's ...
- 01/31/13--19:10: _Britney leaving a H...
- 01/31/13--19:16: _Glee: "Diva" Promo
- 01/30/13--10:11: Joss Whedon Would Love To Bring The ‘Firefly’ Cast Back Together
- 01/31/13--16:06: Meryl Streep in Disney's Into The Woods
- 01/31/13--16:25: The Hobbit - Graham McTavish Interview/Appreciation Post
- 01/31/13--16:25: ANOTHER Green Day documentary to be released!!!
- 01/31/13--16:25: Siva Kaneswaran is Ireland’s Best Dressed Man
- 01/31/13--16:38: So long Hollywood: Katie Holmes heading to law school
- 01/31/13--16:39: Uncle Ruckus coming to the Big Screen in LIVE-ACTION!
- 01/31/13--16:39: Lifetime orders "Witches of East End" to series
- 01/31/13--16:59: o rly now
- 01/31/13--16:59: Lena Dunham Will Have a New HBO Show
- 01/31/13--17:38: And your new Ben & Jerry's 30 Rock inspired flavor is....
- 01/31/13--17:54: Oprah Fires Back at Twitter Troll Who Calls Her 'Old as Hell'
- 01/31/13--17:54: A Bit of Information About Series 4 of The Mary Crawley Show
- 01/31/13--18:01: 10 Ways ‘Star Wars’ Has Influenced J. J. Abrams
- 01/31/13--18:01: A Gemma Arterton Post
- 01/31/13--18:04: This is a 30 Rock Finale Post.
- 01/31/13--18:18: Vampire Diaries pomo 3x13 'Into the Wild'
- 01/31/13--18:50: 30 Rock Who? Let's Talk About Happy Endings
- 01/31/13--19:10: Britney leaving a Hotel in Beverly Hills
- 01/31/13--19:16: Glee: "Diva" Promo
Nearly two years ago fans rallied to raise money for Joss Whedon so he could purchase the rights t Firefly nd ideally, bring the series back to TV. The effort was brought on in response to a joke made by Whedon where he said if he won the lottery he’d bring the show back. Unfortunately for the fans who pledged their support, Whedon and co. did not approve of the movement and it was immediately shut down.
That certainly doesn’t mean that Whedon doesn’t want to see Nathan Fillion suit up once again as Captain Malcolm ‘Mal’ Reynolds. In fact, bringing the crew of th Serenity ogether again is something he’d “love to do.”
In chatting with Steve Tilley of th Toronto Sun ewspaper, Whedon reflects on the canceled-too-early sci-fi television series that won the hearts of millions, many of them after the show ended its short run on the air, leading to an eventual feature film Serenity.
“I’ll never really accept it. And I always, in the back of my head, think, ‘What if I could get the old gang back together?’ “
Is Whedon actually interested in bringing back the cast o Firefly? After all, they did have a near-complete reunion at Comic-Con last summer which resulted in a very emotional “thank you” to the fans, while providing a reminder of just how special the chemistry was for everyone involved.
“Well, you know, it’s something I would love to do. When I made Serenity (2005′s feature film continuation of Firefly’s storyline), I said here’s one thing I’ll never do again — a movie based on something that some people know about and some people don’t, with tons of characters who all know each other and who you have to introduce… And then my second movie was The Avengers.”
Is such an endeavor possible given Whedon’s commitments after having signed a three-year exclusivity deal with Marvel Studios to not only develop the S.H.I.E.L.D. V show for ABC and to write/direc The Avengers 2, but to help oversee all of the Phase Two Marvel movies?
“Part of me is like, ‘God, it would be great when I finish Avengers 2 to do that. I suspect very strongly that after Avengers 2 the next thing I do will be a one-man show. Possibly one monkey.”
While Whedon’s words could very well be getting fans’ hopes up, by the tim The Avengers 2 eleases in 2015, some of the key cast members will have more availability. Nathan Fillion is currently tied up wit Castle, while Morena Baccarin is keeping busy with the award-winnin Homeland.
Serenity equel or a follow-u Firefly iniseries would ideally see the return of stars Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Gina Torres, Morena Baccarin, Jewel Staite, Sean Maher and Summer Glau. For obvious reasons, Alan Tudyk and Ron Glass would likely not.
Mr. Krane has composed dance music and arrangements for 29 Broadway shows. Additionally he worked with Michelle Williams for her Golden Globe-winning and Oscar-nominated role as Marilyn Monroe in “My Week with Marilyn,” and more recently with Michael Douglas in his preparation for the role of Liberace in “Beyond the Candelabra,” to be released later this year.
The London opening of “Qatar’ is just part of the current flurry of activity in Mr. Krane’s life, activity that includes a decision to sell the Roxbury home he shares with his spouse, Richard Brainard.
“I am coming into an exciting time,” said Mr. Krane in a telephone interview from New York City. “My show, “The Road to Qatar,’ is being presented in London next month and then I am doing a revival of an old show, ‘Good News’ at the Goodspeed Opera House. And then the biggest news—they are doing a movie of the musical ‘Into the Woods.’ Disney is going to make the movie and I will do the arrangements. Meryl Streep will be the witch and it will be the first time I have worked with her since 1977 when we did ‘Happy End.’”
Mr. Krane remembers happily his association with the young Ms. Streep and looks forward to the new collaboration. Similarly, he is enthusiastic about working again with director and choreographer Rob Marshall, with whom he worked on the Oscar-winning film, “Chicago” and “Nine.”
HSX.com listed Meryl in the cast a few months ago, I guess now it's confirmed; it also lists Allison Janney, Anna Kendrick and Patrick Wilson.
Source, 2 pic: tumblr.
So theater lovers: yay/nay? I have no idea what this is about but I adore Meryl and I'm happy she's working
Empire Magazine: The Hobbit Interviews -- Graham McTavish On Dwalin
'I’m the scary biker of the group'
Putting the 'war' into 'dwarf' is Dwalin, Graham McTavish's belligerent rabble-rouser and sidekick to Thorin Oakenshield on the quest for regain Erebor. If Thorin's company was anything like Alan Sugar's in The Apprentice, Dwalin would be the one to mix the studied ferocity of Margaret and the cool-headed detachment of Nick. This is our analogy, not his. McTavish prefers Charles Bronson. The Dirty Dozen it is, then.
Tell us about Dwalin...
I’m the scary biker of the group. I was actually hoping to call my pony ‘Harley’. Dwalin is the sort of the tough warrior, Thorin’s trusted right-hand man, his lieutenant who would follow Thorin to the gates of hell and pretty much does, I guess. The interesting thing as we go along is we discover we all have slightly different agendas. My attitude to all of them, personally, varies. There are some that I would trust with my life and others I wouldn’t trust as far as I could throw them. We’re kind of like the Dirty Baker’s Dozen.
So which one does that make you?
"The dwarves are like a little group of Special Forces that can run around wherever they want."
I’m thinking Charles Bronson. He was always one of my favourites. That’s how I see myself in the group: Dwalin’s good at fighting and has a very big hammer.
Did you have to do extra training?
Yeah, I started doing a lot of physical training about three or four months before I came out here: five days a week, including a hard day of absolutely puke-inducing horror, it was just terrible, but it got me very fit. It’s not necessarily about being muscular, it’s about endurance.
Do the tattoos have a meaning?
Ah yes, the tattoos. Well, I asked for all sorts of different ones because it’s like an illustrated history, but “if you can read this I must be punching you in the face” is one of them.
Have you had to learn Dwarvish?
We know a bit of Dwarvish. I won’t embarrass myself by doing it here but, yes, we do have a few little choice dwarf lines, mainly abuse.
As in Dwarvish swear words?
Those ones won’t be subtitled.
How’s the singing?
‘Misty Mountains’ is a beautiful song — a beautiful lament — and there is a much more boisterous drinking song in Bag End, which was an incredibly complicated sequence, but it should look incredible. So yes, lots of singing.
Do you think small?
No, and that’s why it’s very important to create that martial sense of a group, because the danger is when you mention dwarves you imagine Snow White and all that kind of malarkey, lots of people sort of waddling around. But these guys are very, very fierce. They’re like a little group of Special Forces that can run around wherever they want.
This man and his glorious Twitter presence. He can rock a mohawk and leather or a suit and waistcoat with equal ease...
Edited to add: grahammctavish.com!
American Idiot musical documentary, "Broadway Idiot," to premiere at SXSW 2013
In the wake of the premiere of Green Day's ¡Cuatro! documentary, another Green Day documentary, Broadway Idiot, has snuck up on us. Broadway Idiot tells the story of how Billie Joe got involved in turning American Idiot into a Broadway musical.
"Broadway Idiot follows Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong from a punk rock concert at Madison Square Garden to the opening of his musical American Idiot on Broadway - only ten blocks away, but worlds apart. From behind the curtain, share in the crazy journey of turning the mega-hit album into a punk rock musical - and ultimately see how the world of theater transformed Billie Joe."
Broadway Idiot will premiere at the South By South West Music and Film Festival in Austin, Texas on March 15th.
God, I love this band.
Siva Kaneswaran Beats Colin Farrell, Niall Horan and Bressie to become Ireland’s Best Dressed Man
The Wanted boy band member, Siva Kaneswaran, has beaten off some serious stiff competition to become Ireland’s best dressed man. The 22-year-old singer, who grew up in Blanchardstown, Dublin, has been top of RSVP’s best dressed man poll for the last number of days with 42% of the votes. Nearly 18,500 readers of www.rsvpmagazine.ie voted over the last two weeks, but Siva was a clear winner ahead of other hot dressers like, Nicky Byrne, Colin Farrell, Brian Ormond and Mullingar’s finest Niall Horan and Bressie.
Siva was absolutely over the moon with his award telling www.rsvpmagazine.ie
“It is an honour to be voted as Ireland’s Best Dressed Man! Thank you to all the people who voted for me!”
Siva, who is known for his sultry good looks as well as his singing abilities, is currently enjoying worldwide success with boy band The Wanted, who were formed in 2009 and made their debut release in June 2010. The group consists of members Max George, Nathan Sykes, Tom Parker, Jay McGuiness and Siva. After domineering the charts in the UK and Ireland, the boys began to see success in the US and Canada in early 2012, with hit single “Glad You Came” selling three million copies and becoming #3 on the billboard chart. The Wanted are embarking on a world tour this year to support the release of their third studio album called Third Strike, which is scheduled for release in March of this year. The tour will see Siva back on home soil as they are playing Live at the marquee in Cork on June 16th.
Siva, whose father is Sri Lanken and mother is Irish, comes from a very talented family, he is the younger brother of former Dove member David and former Popstars; The Rival contestant Hazel. His eldest sister Gayle and twin brother Kumar are also well known models. Siva started modelling at 16 and appeared in various ads and along with his brother Kumar landed a contract with Storm Model Management. The twins took part in Rock Rivals, televised in eight episodes in 2008. Siva played the role of Carson Coombs and his brother that of Caleb Coombs. The brothers also appeared briefly in one episode of Uncle Max. The episode “Uncle Max Plays Tennis” aired on 11 July 2008. Siva was spotted through his modelling campaigns and recruited as a result for the band.
Although music has always played a big role in the Kaneswaran family, they didn’t have a record player when Siva was young so as a little boy his dad would bring him to his neighbour’s house and they would sit for hours and listen to music, it clearly paid off.
Siva’s style and good looks are obviously a big hit with the ladies but the talented star is currently in a long -term relationship with Nareesha McCaffrey.
RSVP thinks Siva is a very worthy winner and is looking forward to seeing him back in Ireland this coming June.
After almost a decade of relentless interest in her private life, Katie Holmes has seen the dark side of being a celebrity (as the former Mrs. Tom Cruise, my guess is she’s seen a lot more than that!!). Point is, I can totally see how Holmes might be a little disenamoured with the whole movie star thing.
Especially since her film career in recent years has been one misfire after another. And based on recent reports, the second career as fashion designer isn’t going so well either. So what’s a yummy mummy to?
According to a new story in the National Enquirer, the actress is planning a total about face by enrolling in law school. “Katie started acting when she was a teenager, and she’s grown tired of that world,” says the NE‘s source. And I can see it. Especially since (as discussed) acting also appears to have grown tired of her.
Source further explains that Katie wants to be a positive roll model for daughter Suri, who (at this point) would be forgiven for thinking that being a girl means wearing fur and applying lip gloss. (Both of which Little Sci does with considerable skill.)
This story, when you consider K-Ho’s history, isn’t such a shock. Prior to landing her career defining role on Dawson’s Creek, she was scheduled to start law school and both her father and brother are lawyers. Katie’s dad Martin Holmes was said to be instrumental in advising her on the legal side of her recent divorce.
And speaking of the split heard round the world, it’s certainly possible that Katie has become more interested in the law having gone through one of the more public legal side-shows in celebrity history. Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly in round one, but as I have said many times—it’s possible Tom Cruise is biding his time while building up a case to win back primary custody of Suri. (He has p.c. of his other two kids and TC is not one to walk away from a fight).
So perhaps Katie is going to law school as a preemptive measure. Maybe she plans to defend herself in round two. Now there’s a Katie Holmes vehicle we’d all pay to see.
From THE BOONDOCKS comic strip and animated series on ADULT SWIM, the legendary UNCLE RUCKUS is coming to the big screen in LIVE-ACTION
WHO IS UNCLE RUCKUS?!
Those of you familiar with THE BOONDOCKS already know who Uncle Ruckus is. He's the hard-working, slur-spitting handyman you love to hate. If you're not familiar with Uncle Ruckus, it's difficult to even describe him without violating Kickstarter's hate speech policy.
If you do know who Uncle Ruckus is, you either really love him or really hate him. But if you’ve made it this far, you probably love him like we do. This is your movie.
To that end, we are raising funds for an R-rated theatrical comedy featuring Uncle Ruckus, to be produced this year. The movie will be written and directed by AARON MCGRUDER, and stars GARY ANTHONY WILLIAMS - who does the voice of Uncle Ruckus on the animated series. The story, which is currently being written, will not involve any of the other regular BOONDOCKS characters, but rather explore a part of the Ruckus family not seen in the show.
WHY LIVE ACTION?!
From our PRODUCTION BLOG (Coming soon):
“There’s always been interest in a live-action Boondocks movie, which to me was out of the question considering Huey and Riley are essentially impossible to cast. The animated feature would cost around 20 million, but a live action Uncle Ruckus movie could cost a fraction of that. So just for the hell of it we had the costume made and it was pretty amazing. To see Gary actually transform into Uncle Ruckus... it’s quite the surreal experience. I never expected the transition to be so completely seamless.”
First, because SONY (who produces THE BOONDOCKS animated series) is not involved with this project in any way. In fact, there are no investors, corporate or otherwise, involved with the movie as of this moment. This whole thing is kind of an odd idea, so we're starting with Kickstarter on this one and we'll just see what happens.
Crowd funding, however, is a big deal. It represents an entirely new relationship between fan and creator. It also represents a new financial model for making stuff, and that’s exciting.
Uncle Ruckus has a lot of supporters out there. If they want this to happen, they can make it happen.
idk how to tag this :/
Lifetime has given a series order to Witches of East End.
The cable network has picked up 10 episodes of the scripted drama starring Julia Ormond, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rachel Boston and Madchen Amick.
Based on the novel by Melissa de la Cruz, Witches of East End follows the adventures of Joanna Beauchamp (Ormond) and her two adult daughters Freya (Dewan-Tatum) and Ingrid (Boston) -- both of whom are unknowingly their family's next generation of witches -- who lead a seemingly quiet, uneventful lives in East Haven. Amick plays Joanna’s mischievous witch sister Wendy.
“We’ve been thrilled about Witches of East End and its powerful premise since the moment we bought the property, and our friends at Fox 21 helped develop it for television," said Rob Sharenow, executive vp programming at Lifetime. "This is one of the most exciting ensemble casts we’ve seen and the whole show is fresh, original and just right for Lifetime.”
Just got the book and can't wait to read it. This sounds pretty interesting!
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo - I'm a Recovering Homosexual
The man behind the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax -- a deeply religious Christian -- told Dr. Phil he believes he suffers from homosexuality ... and desperately needs to "recover" from it.
During his interview, Dr. Phil asked Ronaiah Tuiasosopo straight ... "Are you gay?"Ronaiah replied, "If you look at this situation and everything that I've been through, I would say yeah I'm gay. But honestly I'm so confused."
Ronaiah -- who admitted he had deeply romantic feelings for Manti -- added, "It takes a lot of courage to recover from homosexuality and this type of thing and coming back to your real life. As hard of a task it is, I'm going to do all I can to live right."
Dr. Phil was blown away by Ronaiah's response, saying, "This is for another time, but I have so much to say to you about what you just said, because a lot of it bothers me so much." He added, "But we will talk about that another time."
And you thought she was a one-trick pony. Girls creator, star, and perennial think-piece subject Lena Dunham is developing another series for HBO.
She and co-Girls executive producer Jenni Konner (the grown-up of the show) are going to write a project based on the life of Betty Halbreich, personal shopper for Bergdorf Goodman. HBO has optioned Halbreich's upcoming memoir, All Dressed Up and Everywhere to Go.
Halbreich seems like a ripe candidate for interpretation.
In a New York profile from 1998 she was illustrated thusly: "A brassy Chicago native with a manner that’s part Angela Lansbury and part Lucille Ball, Halbreich believes in taking chances with color and accessorizing lavishly. And because she loves clothes so much, she feels more deeply let down by them when they’re dowdy and uninspired."
This past September the New York Times described Halbreich as "the indomitable, irascible and semi-legendary personal shopper at Bergdorf’s, a woman who has shaken money from the pockets of half the plutocrats in this town."
Judith Thurman published her own pierce on Halbreich in the New Yorker this November in which Patricia Field explained that the Chicago native borrowed from the classics in cultivating her New York persona: "The wisecracks, the attitude, that El Morocco voice are all out of Damon Runyon."
Halbreich joined Bergdorf's in 1976, has worked with a number of celebrity clients, and had a hand in the fashion of Sex and the City, Woody Allen films, Broadway shows, and even Gossip Girl.
Now some version of her life is set to be captured on the small screen, by no less than the most discussed of HBO ingenues.
During tonight's series finale of 30 Rock, Ben and Jerry's announced their new flavor inspired by 30 Rock...
Hmm....not my first choice of flavor but not unexpected.
Ever wonder if the always-bus Oprah akes the time to check her Twitter mentions? She seemed to do so on Monday night, firing back at a tweeter who said she looked "old as hell" during an interview with the mother of the late Whitney Houston:
The response must have come as quite a surprise to @kp1lady, and many of Oprah's 16 million followers were quick to jump to her defense. "You look like a beacon of white light illuminating the universe. Making TV brighter with your #WISDOM," wrote @CaseysCreations. Another user had a slightl more vulgar esponse.
Oh Twitter, where there's never a boring day.
Do you think it's cool that Oprah fired back, or should she have kept quiet? Give us your take in the comments.
idk. This was just the picture included with the article. I was too lazy to go looking for a different one. Anyway, Mary invites you in to find out more about series 4 of her show. Click the cut!
Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary Crawley could be under siege from suitors in the fourth series of Downton Abbey, which starts filming next week.
Casting directors have auditioned scores of actors who had to tick the following boxes: ‘Posh and pretty.’
Plus, they should be aged around 35, and dashing enough to catch Lady Mary’s eye after her husband Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, was killed off at Christmas in a car crash, leaving his widow with an infant son.
Candidates have trooped in and out of casting sessions, but none, so far, has been suitable.
‘Some were too dark, some too blond, some too bland — though a couple have been put on a shortlist that the producers and creative people will discuss,’ a source on the production told me.
‘The main criteria for him is that he should be posh — and pretty.’[Promising!]
Gareth Neame, the executive producer for NBC-Universal International, told me Lady Mary’s storyline will dominate series four.
‘Mary’s a catch, and her story will be the spine of the next series,’ he said.[Spine of the next series, eh? YES GOOD.]
Downton creator Julian Fellowes told me Lady Mary will have no problems attracting a man.
‘She’s very beautiful, but she still has an absolute sense of control, power and brain work,’ he said, adding that she inherited the strength of her grandmother, the dowager duchess, played by Maggie Smith.[Yep, Mary is every inch Violet's granddaughter.]
But will the chap who seduces Mary be the right one? I’m told it will all depend on who gets cast. If he ‘gels’, then he’ll continue; but if he doesn’t, the plot will introduce other men — perhaps even an American beau.
The ITV drama’s core cast members are signed up for two more series, but as we saw in the last one, anything could happen.
The Americans love Downton, and it beat mega-shows such as Homeland for the best ensemble award from the Screen Actors Guild — a huge win.
I am actually REALLY looking forward to series 4. Mary kind of took a back seat in series 3, but it seems like she'll be at the center of series 4 like she was for series 1 and 2.
Note: I actually do like a LOT of other characters on this show. I am just sick of people trying to act like Mary hasn't always been one of the central characters on this show.
Ever since we got the official, Jabba-sized news that J.J. Abrams will be directing Episode VII of Star Wars, we’ve all been wondering how the director will approach the new film. The Internet being what it is, needless to say there’s already been a good deal of speculation, predictions, expectations, and way too many lazy lens flare jokes. It’s the nature of the movie fan beast to wonder what a prominent director like Abrams will inevitably impose on the Star Wars franchise through his involvement. Most importantly, will it be for the better or the worse? The key to determining Abrams’ suitability and what his venture into a galaxy far, far away might be like isn’t to ask how he’ll influence Star Wars. It’s to ask how Star Wars has influenced him.
Thanks to his Amblin Entertainment photocopy of a movie, Super 8, Abrams has ensured he’s widely perceived as a devoted Spielberg disciple. What many have never considered is whether the director might also be similarly influenced by George Lucas. Especially since he took on that other widely popular space franchise. Yet look closer at the room of Joe – Abrams’ auto-biographical surrogate in Super 8 – and you’ll see Star Wars posters and a model TIE Bomber hanging from the ceiling. Then there’s Abrams openly professing that Star Wars is one of his favorite movies of all time. Most telling is a conversation with Bryan Curtis of Grantland that reveals he’s very much a “Lucasite” who admits that “[the] lessons I’ve learned from George, as a filmgoer, that have informed how I approach movies, as a filmmaker, are legion.” If you start to explore Abrams’ work with that in mind, you realize he is as much influenced by Lucas’ Star Wars as he is Spielberg’s canon.
We’ve gathered together ten examples that sample how Lucas’ original trilogy echoes throughout J.J. Abrams’ career. It should be noted that our intent here isn’t to maliciously find parallels to expose derivativeness. It’s to highlight Abrams’ affection for the series and how much he has been impacted by it. We do so in order to suggest that we don’t have to worry about whether Abrams knows how to make a good Star Wars movie. He does. Because he’s been making Star Wars movies in increments for years.
The Strong Female Protagonist Who Still Has to Appear Half Naked
One of Star Wars’ greatest legacies is Leia Organa, who remains one of science fiction’s most empowered, admirable female characters. She’s an intelligent warrior who is as courageous as she is caring, and more than comfortable asserting her authority (and superiority) over the men around her – frequently with a sharp tongue. The bun-haired rebel is also a somewhat problematic feminist figure, given that she’s a princess prone to needing to be saved by men, is saddled with being narratively defined by who she loves, and is famously sexualized and objectified in that slave girl metal bikini. J.J. Abrams’ female characters all very much evoke the range of Leia’s characteristics and portrayal. Abrams’ work is frequently defined by bad-ass women like Kate Austen (Evangeline Lilly) in Lost, Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) in Alias, Uhura (Zoe Saldana) in Star Trek, and Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) in Fringe, who are all inevitably required to strip down to their underwear and be ogled.
The Absentee Father
If you strip away all the space opera and battles, one of the core elements of the original Star Wars trilogy is Luke Skywalker’s relationship with his father. That’s why the true denouement of the series isn’t the victorious Battle of Endor, but the poignant moment when Luke removes Darth Vader’s mask and looks upon Anakin Skywalker for the first time. Of all the influences Star Wars may have had on J. J. Abrams, this is the one that has found its way most into his work. Super 8, Alias, Lost, Fringe, and Star Trek all have central characters who struggle or have struggled with absentee fathers.
The Dead Parent Who Is Revealed to Be Alive … and Evil
The paternal reveal of The Empire Strikes Back remains one of cinema’s greatest twists, even if it’s now so famous it’s hard to imagine it shocking anyone anymore (though the Internet proves that presumption wrong). Abrams faithfully recreated the “guess they ain’t dead!” revelation in Alias. Like Luke and his father, Sydney Bristow was told her mother had tragically died only to find out her mom — Irina Derevko — was a nefarious Russian agent and very much alive to cause all sorts of headaches for the Bristow family.
The Unexpected Sibling
Star Wars is full of familial surprises, but the ickiness of the twist that Leia and Luke are twins might very well surpass the shock of Darth Vader’s “I’m your father” moment. The revelation and arrival of a previously unknown sibling isn’t anything new. Television soap operas are full of them. So it’s no surprise that soap operatic shows like Lost and Alias have half-siblings turn up (Jack and Claire in the former, Sydney and Nadia in the latter). Still, you consider the fact that — like Luke and Leia — the Alias and Lost siblings are also the children of absentee parents, and it’s not a stretch to count this as one more plot element that stuck with Abrams.
A Motley Crew of People Who Come Together to Win the Day
It’s been repeatedly noted how much George Lucas was influenced by Akira Kurosawa films and a healthy dose of Seven Samurai. Which is exactly why so much of Star Wars is about a whole slew of different kinds of people (and giant fuzzballs) coming together to work with each other and beat seemingly impossible odds. J.J. Abrams loves people coming together. He loves teams. Everything he has done — Lost, Alias, Armageddon, Fringe, Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek — follows the model laid out by Star Wars demonstrating the power of camaraderie to blow stuff up good. And, you know, save the day.
Gemma at the Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters premiere in Australia
I just got back from H&G and I had a blast. I'm convinced Gemma is not human because it's impossible to be that perfect.
Behind The Scenes At The Final Days Of "30 Rock"
Swordplay! Solemn introspection! Intense feelings for inanimate objects! Tom Ceraulo, writer for the beloved, imminently departing comedy, reflects on his time in the trenches.
I remember the moment when I realized exactly how lucky I was to work in the 30 Rock writers' room.
It was very late at night on Nov. 5, 2008 — late enough that it was already Nov. 6. I'd been a writers' assistant at the show since July, tasked with keeping track and making sense of the rapid-fire joke pitches flying around the room. The table read for the Valentine's Day episode was happening the next day, and we were hopelessly stuck on a crucial second-act scene in which Alec Baldwin's Jack Donaghy sees the face of Jesus in a bowl of soup.
Robert Carlock, Tina Fey's co-showrunner and the room's resident indispensible genius, was out sick with pneumonia. Tina, who'd joined us after a 14-hour day of shooting, was literally slapping herself to stay awake. Writer-producer Jack Burditt (astute 30 Rock viewers may know him from his appearances as The Colonel on the show, though they probably refer to his character as "White Bum"), who'd been running things while she was on set, insisted that she go home and sleep, but she refused. There had been and would be later nights, but few that seemed as dire as far as getting a script ready. The mood was grim, and if a similar thing were happening at any other job, I might have fantasized about jumping out a window —yet I still felt thrilled to be there. It was, without question, the most awesome horrible experience I could have imagined.
Alec Baldwin's last day shooting in Jack Donaghy's office.
I had arrived at the show as a true believer. A Saturday Night Live nerd since age 10 — I'd learned about the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players the same week as the '86–'87 cast, and an astonishing number of my childhood drawings were of SNL logos — I'd also been a fan of Tina's since 1998, when I saw her do monologues at ASSSSCAT, the Upright Citizens Brigade's heralded long-form improv show. So when I was given a DVD of the 30 Rock pilot in the summer of 2006, I watched it immediately and was totally on board. "I want to work on that show," I said — aloud, to no one — as the disc ended.
At the time, working on the show didn't seem like it was in the cards. Working in television didn't seem like it was in the cards. I was just returning to the TV world at age 30 as a production assistant after a four-year period in which I pretended I was a singer-songwriter. Starting over as a PA often made me feel like Billy Madison returning to elementary school, and I wasn't sure I had it in me to tough it out. But within a year I found myself in the script department at Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and a year after that, I was hired by Tina and Robert. Just being able to tell them how much I loved the show, I recall, meant a lot to me. I was grateful that I'd persevered.
In a lot of ways, I experienced my first season at the show as a 30 Rock fan: taking everything in, being as delighted by pitches, outlines, scripts, and table reads as I had been by watching the show at home during the first two seasons. I hung on every word in the writers' room — which, when you consider that one of my duties was to take notes, was actually quite helpful. But it got to the point that I'd take notes on the comedy bits that would organically break out, unrelated to the show. I stopped doing this after Tina looked through a list of potential story ideas and discovered one I'd typed about a medical condition in which a patient has a small penis growing in his or her mouth that gets aroused by hunger. "Our writers' assistants may be a little too thorough," she laughed, and I was mortified — but as with everything that happened that year, still pretty thrilled.
While that level of enthusiasm returned at many points over the next few years, it became impossible to sustain. My love for the show could get lost in the task at hand — the long hours, the relentless schedule, the constant emails, the missed social gatherings, the restaurant selection. (We wrote and shot primarily at Silvercup Studios in Queens, and as such, we mostly ordered from one of four terrible places every day.) I rarely lost my sense of dedication — in fact, I may have been too dedicated — but I occasionally lost sight of why I was so loyal. At certain points, I may have even wished aloud for the last day to come. And when an end date was set, I may have even breathed a sigh of relief.
As that date approached, however — you may know where this is going, but it was a surprise to me, possibly because I'm an emotional moron — every ounce of my wide-eyed enthusiasm for 30 Rock came rushing back, and then some. I made it a point to take in as much as possible over the following few weeks, since it didn't — and doesn't — seem likely that I'd be part of such a thing again.
We wanted to do read-throughs for the final two episodes back-to-back, since they would air as an hour-long episode. The storylines weren't totally settled on until just before Thanksgiving, however, and the read was set for the Thursday after Thanksgiving. Over the holiday weekend, Robert and Jack Burditt wrote a draft of the first half hour as Tina and Tracey Wigfield wrote the second.
Once the writer or writers of an episode handed in their draft, the staff would read it and discuss it at length. Then the rewrite room would go through the script, scene by scene, tweaking it, beating jokes, and overhauling scenes as needed. We started rewriting part one of the hour-long finale on the Sunday afternoon of Thanksgiving weekend. The writers' drafts were strong, but it's rough getting two 30 Rock scripts in shape under any circumstance, and doing it with the last two episodes of the series seemed daunting. Sure enough, though, the adrenaline kicked in, and by Tuesday it started to seem feasible.
On Wednesday night, Tina finished shooting and asked me to print out the existing version of Liz Lemon's final scene with Tracy, which includes a nod to the pilot episode. A short time later, she came back with handwritten changes, some really beautiful dialogue — touching, honest, and perhaps reflective of Tina and Tracy's actual relationship, yet still 30 Rock–funny. She then stayed in the room for the end of the rewrite and for the "ceremony" of checking the final scene number on the whiteboard. It was the first real instance of "this is the last time we'll do this," and though we weren't done until 1:30 a.m., I was a little sad when the night was over.
The last table read was a blur. One by one, people started breaking down, and I spent much of the read trying not to follow suit. I didn't cry, but came very close. I'm actually most surprised that John Lutz's performance didn't make me cry with laughter.
Before I left for the night, I flipped through Robert and Tina's table drafts, as I'd often do in order to be aware of things to remind Robert about during the next rewrite. (I remained in my writers' assistant chair even after I became an official member of the staff; I was a valuable asset to Robert there, and it allowed me to stay in the loop at all times, which pleased the 30 Rock historian in me.)
On the last page of Tina's script, the words "END OF SERIES" were circled, and "–30–," journalism jargon for "end of story," was written beneath them. I'd typed "END OF SERIES" into the script the night before without thinking much of it, but seeing it there alongside the show creator's handwriting was profoundly moving. I snapped a photo and put it up on Instagram.
Tina noticed it and emailed saying she was honored by the gesture. "You were meant to be trapped in that room with us," she wrote, and she was correct.
The table read for the second-to-last episode.
My duties in the writers' room limited the time I could spend on set, so once there were no more major rewrites to do, I made sure to spend as much time there as possible.
Legendary SNL writer Jim Downey appears in a two scenes in the first half hour of our finale, so of course I made it a point to hang out on set while he was shooting. He did not disappoint, telling Chris Farley stories, recounting sketches, doing bits, and making everyone laugh a lot.
At one point Jim and Alec Baldwin got to reminiscing about character actor Jay Robinson, who gave over-the-top performances as the lunatic emperor Caligula in '50s films The Robe and Demetrius and the Gladiators. They watched clips on YouTube, did impressions of the actor, and did an excellent job of convincing me that I needed to see The Robe and Demetrius and the Gladiators. Some days later, Jack Burditt and I were at SNL on show night and ran into Jim. His eyes lit up when he saw us, and he immediately announced that he'd written a Jay Robinson sketch. The 10-year-old SNL fanatic within me was delighted, and once more I stood in awe.
Because most of my time was spent in the writers' room, when I watch the show it's often impossible to separate what I'm seeing from my memory of it being written. I'll lament material that didn't make it past Standards and Practices, compare what made it on-screen to how it was conceived, and many times just recall the circumstances surrounding the writing of the episode being shown. The significance of these recollections ranges from "That was the day 'Sully' Sullenberger landed that plane in the Hudson" to "That was the day we ordered lunch from that horrible sub place Wigfield said was good," but the point is, even if I had been present when a scene was captured on film, my first thought is generally of its inception.
Alec Baldwin and Robert Carlock on location in downtown Manhattan for Jack Donaghy's final scene.
The last scene Alec Baldwin filmed as Jack Donaghy will likely prove to be an exception to this. It was shot by the water in lower Manhattan after sundown on Friday, Dec. 14. Much of the writing staff planned to head to set for the second half of what was sure to be a long night. The horrifying school shooting in Newtown took place that morning, however, and once I started seeing the unbearably upsetting reports, I decided to head downtown immediately and take solace in friends, 30 Rock, and anything but the news.
Being there was undoubtedly a tonic for the soul. It was a peaceful and beautiful location, as calm a night as you could hope for. Most the writing staff turned up, and we all had dinner together at P.J. Clarke's with Tina, Alec, and director Beth McCarthy-Miller.
As he had been throughout his final week, Alec was upbeat. He seemed, for the good of his performance, not to want to focus on the approaching milestone: "I'll see you at the wrap party," he said to more than one person that week, as if to say, "Let's not get emotional, we haven't reached the end yet." This strategy certainly worked for him, but it was hard to forget why we all gathered on location that night, especially with Lorne Michaels gracing the set as our 3 a.m. wrap approached.
While it was unfortunate that Alec wasn't able to be at Silvercup on the very last day of production the following week, the scheduling provided us with one more grand occasion to spend together, bidding farewell to Jack Donaghy. I'm fairly certain that decades from now, I'll see the completed scene and think of being there. Then of course I'll catch myself getting lost in the memory and instantly get pissed that I have to rewind my iZorp to the start of the scene.
Carlock going samurai on a defenseless exercise ball.
A sword lived in our writers' room for over a year. I believe it was part of a George R. R. Martin costume that was given to co-executive producer Matt Hubbard. When it was new, Robert would strap the sword behind his back in its scabbard and pretend he was an incompetent Conan the Barbarian, incapable of reaching the weapon to unsheathe it but determined to try just the same: "Hang on, I've got it... Just a sec... I'll get it... Hang on..." It was delightfully dumb.
A portion of the staff was gathering in the writers' room in the morning of the last day of filming. Prior to sitting at the table, Robert picked up the sword for the first time in a long while. I thought he might go into the Conan bit, but instead he lightly jabbed at the giant exercise ball we kept (yet rarely used for exercise) for as long as I'd been at the show. It immediately started to deflate as semi-sad laughter filled the room.
Throughout the final season, producer Eric Gurian had been conducting interviews with cast and crew for a series of web shorts looking back on 30 Rock's run. I kept giving him a hard time, claiming I had more important things to do than be interviewed; I thought of it as being like Neil Young refusing to be filmed at Woodstock, but it was probably more like Bill Belichick being a dick at a press conference. It may also have been an indication I was on some level trying to put the end of the show out of my mind.
Luckily, Gurian conducted some more interviews in the last two weeks of production, when I was mentally ready to nut up and do one. He asked about jokes I loved that hadn't made it to air, my favorite episodes, and memorable moments. The fact that I failed to bring up "Kidney Now" (the episode in which Jack Donaghy enlists the help of a small army of amazing recording artists, all of whom came to Silvercup to shoot, in order to find his father a kidney donor) is criminal.
McBrayer being interviewed by Eric Gurian (sitting with his back to camera) in Jack Donaghy's outer office on the last day of shooting.
And while I did note our two live episodes, which allowed me to realize a dream of working on live TV in SNL's studio, a number of mind-blowing moments from those didn't come to mind: sitting with Robert and Tina as they wrote Leo Spaceman material for Season 5's live broadcast; marveling at Lorne Michaels' calm as he gave notes on dress rehearsal a half hour before we were to air on prime time; and watching the East Coast broadcast of this past April's live episode so close to Paul McCartney that it would be more accurate to say that I was watching Paul McCartney watch the East Coast broadcast of April's live episode. But the experience of working on the show was as packed with highlights as the episodes were packed with jokes, so I was bound to overlook things.
But his final question — "What will you miss the most about working at 30 Rock?"— only had one answer. "The people."
Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, and Jack McBrayer were all interviewed by Eric on that last day. Tracy was heartbreakingly funny, singing "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" from the Cooley High soundtrack (as he would do on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Jan. 10), referring to Robert Carlock as "Coca-Cola" (according to Robert it began in their SNL days as the much more gettable "RC Cola"), and being overcome with emotion when asked about Tina. Jane provided a flood of memories; every time she'd mention an episode or scene, she'd think of another that topped it, then another. McBrayer, who'd wrapped the day before, spoke fondly of his Chicago bond with Tina and recalled meeting Elaine Stritch for the first time — and having her treat him like a page.
The assembled crew in Liz Lemon's living room watching the final shot of 30 Rock. Tom Ceraulo (center) looking at his phone.
Around 7:30 that night, the writing staff joined a large gathering of cast and crew in Liz Lemon's apartment to watch Tina's last shot. It was a quick pop of Liz walking on her treadmill, and it took no time at all. When it was over, Tina stood on Liz's living room steps.
"A lot of times in interviews people will say to me, 'How are you different than Liz Lemon?'" she said to the gathered crew. "I can't believe I didn't think of this answer until tonight, but the way that I'm different from Liz Lemon is the TGS crew are a bunch of jerks who don't help her ... They don't care. And in real life, nothing could be farther from the truth."
As the applause died down, I glanced on a shelf and noticed a prop DVD case for the fake film Camp of Approval. I instantly remembered our former colleague Donald Glover pitching that title in season three (it appears in "Gavin Volure," the episode that costarred Steve Martin). I laughed aloud and emailed Donald, who wrote back recalling how proud he'd been of the pitch.
I recall the rest of the evening in flashes: an inconsolable Tracy Morgan at craft services, talking about how much he'd miss the coffee machine; getting choked up upon seeing The Girlie Show sign leaning against the wall on the Stage 2 floor; Tracy singing and dancing to Michael Jackson on Stage 1 with most cast and crew on hand; and at the end of the night, drinking bourbon with the staff in the writers' office while listening to a mix of songs Jeff Richmond (30 Rock executive producer as well as Tina's husband) had composed for the show.
Tracy Morgan and crew dancing on set just before the series' final scene.
Throughout the final season, I kept referring to the day upon which I would destroy the projector in the writers' room. I sat next to that machine for several years — typing into the script as it was projected on the wall, making adjustments when the image was blurry or distorted, and having to block it while checking my email so the room couldn't see my inbox — so I felt that a catharsis was in order. The staff agreed, and there were debates on how the destruction would come to pass. I initially wanted to heave it off the roof, old-school Letterman-style. Then I became enamored with the idea of hitting it with a sledgehammer. Doing one and then the other was discussed. And no matter what, we were going to film it and it was going to be satisfying.
But on the day, I couldn't do it. I didn't have the heart. As with everything else surrounding the show, I'd come around on the projector. After all, it survived 30 Rock, just as I had, and whatever it represented to me when I was fantasizing about its destruction now I could only associate with the total experience of working on the show. So I pardoned it.
As we were getting ready to leave Silvercup for good, Jack Burditt suggested to me that, as the person who spent the most time with it and spared its life, I was responsible for the projector. I hesitated, then shrugged, disconnected it, and put it in a giant Hefty bag along with everything that remained in my office. I'm planning on using it to screen episodes on my wall, but it also may come in handy if money gets tight and I resort to staging raves in my apartment.
I'm generally quick to beat myself up, but looking back on my 30 Rock experience now, I wish that I'd been more consistently cognizant of the finite nature of the experience. It's too easy to take things for granted, especially when the production calendar is so punishing. But I'm grateful to have gotten a chance to have realized that before it ended, and to have said a proper good-bye to a show that I wanted to be a part of from the start.
"I hope you're so proud of the work that we did," Tina told the crew during her emotional speech in Liz's apartment. "'Cause a lot of shows work long hours, but we worked hard during those long hours, and what we made was really good. And it's gonna stand the test of time And you will all be home now to watch it [in syndication] on Fox."
The Sexual History of 30 Rock’s Jenna Maroney and Mickey Rourke, in Pictures
In seven seasons of 30 Rock, we have met Jenna's mother, fans, and drag impersonator/husband. But there is one important figure in her life that we have heard quite a bit about but have never actually seen: Mickey Rourke. At sporadic times, she'd surprised us with a tidbit from their tempestuous and often life-threatening liaisons, like, "Your new vibe is a double-edged sword, much like the kind Mickey Rourke tried to kill me with," or, "I'm gonna have to reinvent you. Break you down completely and build you up from scratch. Just like Mickey Rourke did to me sexually." And yet we've never seen the two together to get a real sense of the magnetism that drew these two hot-headed and -blooded thespians together. With the series ending this Thursday, we recruited illustrator Kyle Hilton to bring to life four of their most torrid flings, whether occurring in a catapult or on a catamaran. Get ready for a love affair that makes Nine 1/2 Weeks look like 3 Men and a Baby.
Mods, please post this after 30 Rock airs, so around 9-10 EST, I think. Thank you :)
A few weeks back, Mark-Paul Gosselaar (aka Zack Morris aka Peter Bash aka My Future Best Friend) appeared on Happy Endings as Max’s new, super cool, hot-tub-having, cable-package-upgrading roommate. As we discussed at the time, the episode ended with his character vowing to get revenge on Max after the gang accidentally (and unknowingly) spilled the beans that he was using the apartment as a big city love shack to boink a bunch of women who were not technically his wife. We all wondered at the time if that meant he was coming back, and sure enough, he is, later this season. HuffPo’s Maureen Ryan has the details in a post titled “Why You Should Watch Happy Endings.”
Mark Paul Gosselaar, who’s carved out a nice comedy career for himself (he was also very funny on “Don’t Trust the B”), will return as Chase, who wants to ruin his former roommate Max’s life, but then he “realizes Max may not have a life to ruin. So Max, resenting this, begins to build a life, with Jane’s help. But only for an episode — he’ll still be Max,” Groff said. [HuffPo]
Given Tuesday’s excellent prank-related episode, he may want to be careful about all that. You really don’t want to cross Max. You could end up getting slimed, or shot with paintballs, or confused about your ancestry, or glued to a toilet, or, well, getting slimed again. And you really don’t want to cross Alex, now that we know what we know about her. Watch out for that tiny pyscho, Mark-Paul.
In addition to video games, couch-friendly food, and not grooming, Max Blum is a lover of sports. But how far is he willing to go in the name of fandom? In an upcoming episode of ABC’s screwy-funny-you-really-should-watch-it-or-it’s-going-to-go-away sitcom about six friends and lovers, “Max gets to walk on the straight side for a little bit and finds out that he still doesn’t love it,” hints Adam Pally of his character. Translation: Max meets a woman in a bar (guest star Abby Elliott) who takes a romantic interest in him. Given that he’s gay, her gender is a deal breaker… until he discovers that she gets really good Bulls tickets. And as you can see in the photos below (including one from the table read for this episode, titled “Flowers for Al-gernon”), he’s willing to go to the mat mouth for them.
Also in the episode, Alex (Elisha Cuthbert) gets smart — and not just in a master-prankster kind of way — when she tires of her friends’ ridicule and decides to give up her love of trashy reality TV for more scholarly pursuits. “It’ll be interesting for viewers to see her so intellectual,” teases Cuthbert. “This is one of her biggest transformations — the furthest removed from her actual self.”
Happy Endings returns to the schedule in late February in its Tuesday-at-9 slot, with back-to-back episodes.
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The last 2 episodes were GOLD. ILU Kerkovich sisters
The pop princess is rich enough to splurge on whatever designer item she fancies. But instead the blonde prefers to wear her comfy old favourites. And even though her leggings were falling apart Britney still chose to wear them for an outing at the upmarket Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday.