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Oh No They Didn't! -

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  • 03/13/13--10:55: ONTD Roundup
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  • 03/13/13--11:32: Celebrity Picture Post
  • Kesha Hosts Pure Nightclub's Anniversary Bash and hangs out in Venice

    Demi Lovato
    Jessica Alba departs a book signing event on Long Island in New York and at the MTV studios

    Candice Swanepoel and Alessandra Ambrosio on Extra! and with Karlie Kloss promoting VS

    Diane Kruger at The Grove

    Allison Williams arriving for Jimmy Fallon

    Gwen Stefani in Los Feliz

    Emilia Clarke on Letterman and outside the Cort theatre

    Eva Mendes in NYC

    The Voice UK launches in London

    Kate Moss in London

    Alicia Keys performs in LA

    Kirsten Dunst - ‘Upside Down’ Special L.A. Screening

    Olivia Wilde on the Tonight show

    Lana Del Rey in London

    Ashley Benson

    Amanda Seyfried in West Hollywood

    Naomi Watts

    January Jones and Xander in Santa Monica

    Rachel Weisz in New York

    Snooki at the NBC studios

    Anne Hathaway and Adam Shulman in NYC

    Halle Berry on the Tonight Show

    Emmy Rossum in Beverley Hills

    Kelly Rutherford at the School of American Ballet 2013 Winter Ball in NYC

    Susan Sarandon and Padma Lakshmi at The Endometriosis Foundation's The 5th Annual Blossom Ball in NYC

    Kristen Bell

    Eva Longoria at the 2013 Laureus World Sports Awards

    The premiere of Bates hotel

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    Let's get this out of the way: If you're not yet watching FX's latest drama, "The Americans," why not? It is fantastic, and it has gotten better each week.
    Yahoo! TV had the chance to talk with FBI counterintelligence agent Stan (Noah Emmerich) -- whom movie fans know as a scene stealer in flicks like "Beautiful Girls," "The Truman Show," "Little Children," and "Pride and Glory" -- about his compelling character, his decision to take on his first regular TV series role, his conflicted feelings about Twitter, his "Glee"-ful singing past, and his celebrity friend and fellow a cappella singer, "Scandal" and "The West Wing" star Joshua Malina.

    Last week's episode was kind of a game changer all the way around, definitely for Philip and Elizabeth and their relationship, but also for Stan, in this big plan that he has for Nina. Stan's juggling a lot … his work, his relationship with his family, his new friendship with Philip, a lot of tension in all those areas, and obviously a lot we still don't even know. Which aspect of the character are you having the most fun playing?
    The most interesting work is always the complexities and the colors and the textures of the experience of, ultimately, life, which is less about plot and more about the human relationships and our understanding of ourselves and our understanding of our place in the world and how we relate to those around us, our family, our co-workers, our friends, the affairs of the human heart, I guess.

    All those relationships have different offerings and possibilities and nuances that I find equally interesting, because they're in completely different realms. There's a loneliness to Stan. And Philip, I think he's interested in … again, it's hard for me talk about it, in a way, because we're in the middle of it. I feel that Stan should speak for himself. I don't think Noah Emmerich should talk about Stan, to some degree. I don't want to tell people what to think or what's interesting or what's not interesting, but I can just tell you that for me, as an actor, all those relationships hold a lot of potentially interesting areas to explore, in terms of friendship, love, family, responsibility, morality, obligations, identity of self, identity within a family, identity within a job, identity within a social structure, a neighborhood, a father, a husband, a co-worker.
    All those things are quite dynamically being explored in different degrees in different episodes. Hopefully, over the course of the whole series, it will be a full, interesting picture.

    But they're all interesting to me in different ways and different aspects that, hopefully, people relate to it in their own lives, whether or not you're a counterintelligence agent or a schoolteacher. These are things, hopefully, that have a commonality to our understanding of ourselves and our relation to the world around us that will resonate somehow.

    "The Americans," like most other FX shows, is very smart. It assumes the audience can figure out things without having to be hit over the head with them. Is that one of the things that attracted you to the show?
    Yes, there's definitely an inherent intelligence to the piece. All I read was the pilot. It was one script. It definitely, to me, stuck out as extremely intelligent and not pandering and loaded with potential for all kinds of interesting possibilities, which, I guess, is what you're looking for in a pilot. To be honest with you, like I said, I have never done a series before. I was resistant, for various reasons, to the idea. It was really actually my friend Gavin O'Connor who directed "The Americans" pilot, and who I've worked with a large amount. All the movies he's made I've been in, and we have a great friendship, professionally and personally. He called me and said, "You're crazy if you don't think that you should do this."

    I said, "Really? Why? What do you mean?" The truth is, from the very beginning, I thought, "I don't want to do a TV show where I carry a gun or a badge. I'm done with guns and badges. I just don't want to do that anymore." When I first read it I thought, "Yeah, it's really interesting and really good, but I don't want to be an FBI guy. I don't want to do that for five years. I can't do it anymore." Not that I've done this specifically before, but I have played a lot of cops and done different things like that.

    It was Gavin, actually, who shifted my perspective and opened my eyes to the potential that it held and gave me the impetus to really give it a hard, second look. Then I realized that I agreed with him, that actually there were a lot of, that it wasn't about guns at all, really, and I was being somewhat superficial in my aversion to [playing] anybody with a badge. I don't know why we're so fascinated with badges and guns on television, especially. And in films, as well, but as an actor it was a great joy to do that many times. Every kid wants to play a cop or a warrior. But after you've done it enough times, I started to feel like, "Couldn't I do something different?"

    But anyway, this show is not about that. The show really is, at the center, about a marriage and family. And then there are the fractals of that. I think Philip and Stan, in some ways, are two sides of the same coin. In some ways they're the same person, actually. And I thought, "OK. Don't be blinded by the badge. Look at what they're really talking about, what [series creator] Joe Weisberg is really writing about." It was really interesting, and it was really intelligent and unusual, and it stood out from the pack.

    And no regrets?
    No. I love that they're continuing with that. That was one of my apprehensions, because it could have turned into just a rote television procedural series, where they force the actors to just talk exposition and explain the plot. A lot of times you're just explaining plot.

    They have totally not done that. It's incredible that they do give great credit to the intelligence of the audience. If some people are confused now and then … Friends of mine will say, "Who was the guy that…?" And other people get it all. At times, maybe you need to look at it twice. That's OK. I think asking the audience to lean forward as you lean towards them is a healthy dynamic.

    I'm a big of John le Carré novels. I love all those, and the films, as well. "Tinker Tailor Spy," I thought, was great. I think we're in that neighborhood … trying to be, at least. It's OK if the audience has to catch up or do a little bit of work to understand what's going on. Life is like that.

    And it's so much more satisfying to watch a show like this. Do you like the experience, the process, of making a TV show, the hours …
    Yeah. It's very intense. It's very long. I love it. I love working. I love long hours. If it's in service of something that's interesting and worthwhile, I love it. I'm a workaholic. [TV] is a different medium completely and a different project completely. I'm thinking about it as sketching versus oil painting. It's charcoal. It's pencil. You don't have time to revisit over and over. You have two or three takes and you've got to move on. You've got to make your day. But there are all sorts of interesting possibilities …
    It also helps that we have great people. We have a great cast, and we have a great crew. We have great writers. It's quite fun. I really look forward to going to work every day.

    You said you had really just the pilot before signing on … how much did you know about Stan, then? There's obviously a huge backstory to the character, and his time undercover with the white supremacist group, that we have yet to find out.
    Not a lot. Well, I knew a lot, and then I knew not a lot. It's an evolving reality. That's another thing that's interesting. It's dynamic, and a lot is not set. It's not written yet. When we started the pilot, I met with Joe Weisberg, and we had a long conversation about what Stan was for him and where he saw Stan going … in the interim, that's changed quite a bit. Things have changed quite a bit, and they evolve, and that's part of the thing that's really shocking about television. In Episode 3, they may drop a piece of information into the storyline about the character that didn't exist before Episode 3, but of course, it resonates all the way back through his life. It's like improvisation. You're constantly finding things out about the character that you didn't know, that didn't exist, that's just been invented.
    Even the backstory about the white supremacists … when we started shooting the pilot, that wasn't established yet. That had not been invented yet. We had a different backstory when we began the pilot, and then it changed in the middle.

    I knew sort of the foundation of the character. It's almost like a child, you know? It's born into the world and a lot of it is genetics (are established), but you don't know what you're going to get. It's the same with television characters. You don't know what's going to happen throughout the season. I think the writers also become peaked by certain colors or tones or notions and players. And as this is happening, they decide, "Well, let's go more with that. Let's come up with that." So it's a collaborative, evolving, living, sort of thing.

    Are we going to get a little deeper into his experience with the white supremacists, which has obviously impacted his career and family in a major way, as the season goes along?
    I hope so. But I don't really know. I get the scripts between two and four days before we start shooting.

    Switching to another great show that you were a part of, have you kept up with what's happening on "The Walking Dead" since your pivotal role as Dr. Jenner in Season 1?
    Somewhat, but I guess I would have to say no, not this year. When I filmed the show, I don't think any of it had been aired yet. My repertoire of knowledge of television shows is pretty slim, unfortunately. I don't watch a lot. But I watched that show a few times, and I thought it was fantastic. Really, really well done.

    You have become a more regular Twitterer, though your account isn't verified … so is that really you on Twitter?
    @NoahEmmerich. That's me. Yeah, I'm not really an active Twitterer, but I have just started doing some of it. I don't how you get that verified … someone said that to me the other day, that you have to get verified, but I don't know how to do that. I don't have a publicist, so maybe that's the problem. I don't have the machinery in place to be verified, but I feel like I'm verifiable. Just, here I am.

    According to, you were in a Yale a cappella group called the Spizzwinks(?) … true?
    That is very true. The Spizzwinks(?) are the second oldest collegiate singing group in the country. They were formed after The Whiffenpoofs, which was the first collegiate singing group in the country. The Spizzwinks(?) were formed in 1914, and they were named after … that was the year after there had been a crop blight I believe in Idaho. I think it was in Idaho or maybe Iowa. It was a bad corn year. The farmers blamed the bad crop on this mythological sort of elfish creature called the Spizzwink, which I think never would have lasted in history if not for a bunch of Yale undergrads who decided to name their group "The Spizzwinks(?)" And the spelling of The Spizzwinks(?) includes a question mark at the end of the word.

    But it's just one of those a cappella groups, four part harmony. I was a musician as a kid. My mother's a pianist. I grew up as a trumpet player, and when I got to college I put down the trumpet, but I took up the voice as a way to sort of continue with music in my life. I had a great time doing that. We toured all over the world singing goofy Cole Porter, great mid‑century, and some modern stuff, a cappella. Now I guess it's a really incredibly hot activity, with the "Glee" phenomenon. But when you arrived at Yale your freshman year, the first week is sort of a bunch of orientation activities, and Yale undergraduate singing is a big deal. There are like 12 groups there. It's a big niche extracurricular. And one of the events they had at first week freshman orientation is a big jam concert where all the groups performed, and they encouraged people to come out and try to join them. And that concert was just like, for me, a great moment. "Wow. I want to do that." I remember growing up, I was a fan of Sha‑Na‑Na.

    Yeah, exactly. (Sings) "Do‑do‑do‑do-do, goodnight." So there it was in full glory, and they were great. Some really great singers were there. So I was like, "I want to try." I auditioned and rushed … in fact, a real piece of trivia, Joshua Malina, the actor who's on "Scandal," was my college roommate. And we were in The Spizzwinks(?) together.

    We thought we saw a tweet from him about you, encouraging people to watch "The Americans."
    Oh yeah. He's a very heavy pressure in my life to get involved on Twitter. He's a real twitterer (@JoshMalina), and his tweets are hysterical. He's one of the funniest people I know, and his tweets are quite wry and funny. I met him through The Spizzwinks(?) and we've been friends ever since.


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  • 03/13/13--11:32: kit, stop making that face.
  • This Week's Cover: 'Game of Thrones' wildest season yet!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    You may think you know how brutal HBO’s beautiful dark twisted fantasy Game of Thrones can get, but to paraphrase Wildling temptress Ygritte: “You know nothing about season 3.” Based on roughly the first half of the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the fan-favorite A Storm of Swords, this season continues the ultra-complex story of rival families vying for power in a fantasy kingdom where winter and summer last for years. It includes some of the most rousing jump-off-the-couch moments of triumph in the saga’s five-books-and-counting history — as well as its most bloody casualties. In geek terms: It’s The Empire Strikes Back of the Thrones-verse. “Emotionally, this season really goes for the jugular,” Thrones executive story editor Bryan Cogman tells Entertainment Weekly in this week’s issue. “In some cases, quite literally.”

    The emotional ramp-up couldn’t happen at a better time. Game of Thrones is bigger than ever, and about to get bigger still. Last year viewership climbed to rank as HBO’s third most-popular show of all time, averaging 11.6 million viewers weekly across all the company’s platforms. With season 2’s DVD release breaking the network’s sales records last month, it’s a safe bet that Thrones viewership will soon catapult to even greater heights. But will season 3 also be the best one so far, as fans dearly hope?

    Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss are reluctant to raise expectations any higher, but are optimistic. “Like the book, it builds,” Benioff says. “Once the season kicks into gear, we’ve already seen stuff that makes me think it will be the best one yet. And it ought to be.” While season 2 poured a disproportionate amount of resources into the final couple hours, this round has major moments throughout; a “hammering propulsion,” as Weiss puts it. “There’s major massive events happening like I don’t think we’ve ever had before,” Weiss says. One particular “Scene Which Shall Not Be Named,” as Benioff called it, left the Thrones team devastated. “I’ve never seen the crew so emotional,” Benioff says. “If the scene has that effect on the people making it who know what’s coming, if they’re that overpowered, I think it’s going to have an overwhelming effect on people watching it.”

    This season, the Lannister family backstabbing is ratcheted to a new level now that Lord Tywin (Charles Dance) has returned to King’s Landing. Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) struggles to purchase a merciless eunuch army. Kingslayer Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) attempts to escape the confinement of his noble escort Brienne (Gwendoline Christie). Jon Snow (Kit Harington) infiltrates the rival Wildling camp led by Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), while comely Ygritte (Rose Leslie) tries to melt Snow’s heart. And that’s really just the beginning — there’s dragons and direwolves and bears (oh my!).

    In this issue, Entertainment Weekly goes behind the scenes of Game of Thrones on the set in Northern Ireland with exclusive interviews with the producers, HBO, Martin and the cast — including our cover duo of Clarke and Harington (an ice and fire pairing!). Details include what to expect from all the major characters this season (spoiler free), how production pulled off Jon Snow’s action scenes after Harington shattered his ankle, and hints about HBO’s long-term planning for the show.

    Pick up the new issue — on stands Friday, March 15— or buy it now by clicking here or the button below. And be sure to bookmark our Game of Thrones hub as we present 15 Days of Thrones, featuring a new interview every weekday until the March 31 premiere.


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    Production for the film has announced, via facebook, that The Learning Curve has been accepted to screen at the New Media Film Festival in Los Angeles on June 11th and June 12th. As well as the Inaugural Monadnock International Film Festival in Keene, New Hampshire at the Colonial Theatre on April 6th at 11:00 a.m where a Q&A will be held afterward with members of the cast and crew.

    For tickets to attend the Los Angeles screening click here.
    To purchase tickets for the New Hampshire screening click here.

    'The Learning Curve', an adaption of New York Times best selling author David Sedaris' 'The Learning Curve' from his book 'Me Talk Pretty One Day', follows Sedaris (Gubler) as he becomes a creative writing teacher at a local college.

    Source: MeTeachPretty1& 2

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    For those of you that have not had their chance to get their hands on a copy of Doctor Who Magazine as yet, the BBC has announced a special Doctor Who episode of BBC quiz show Pointless will air on March 23rd at 6pm, just one week before Series 7b arrives on our screens!

    Pointless sees contestants tested on their obscure knowledge, with the answer that is least well-known (and correct) being the most desirable.

    Appearing in the special edition of Pointless will be classic Doctor Who actors and actresses including Sylvester McCoy (the Seventh Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Louise Jameson (Leela) and Frazer Hines (Jamie).

    From the new series, specifically the David Tennant years, there will be Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble) and Andrew Hayden-Smith (Jake Simmons). You’ll all recognise the show’s host Alexander Armstrong from his turn in Doctor Who’s 2011 Christmas special The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. He also played the computer Mr Smith for five series of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

    Overseeing everything as usual will be stats man Richard Osman but for the special he’ll also be joined by K-9, the Doctor’s ever faithful robot friend.

    You can read the behind the scenes account of the filming of the special in the newest issue of Doctor Who Magazine.

    The Doctor Who edition of Pointless will be on BBC One on 23rd March at 6pm.

    Nicola Bryant has aged so fucking flawlessly, I can't get over it.

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    "White smoke has risen from a chimney above the Sistine Chapel, indicating that Roman Catholic cardinals have elected a successor to Pope Benedict XVI." - CNN


    *Past updates will be put under a cut*


    3:14 pm - It appears the new pope is from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    3:12 pm - HABEMUS PAPAM is announced


    3:06 pm - Lights have started to turn on by the balcony.

    [Updated at 3:03 p.m. ET] It will be interesting to learn not only who the new pope is, but also what name he has chosen for himself. Popes often take a regnal name (like Benedict) that a previous pope used, and it generally is meant to point to a tone that the new pontiff wants to set, CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen says.

    2:55 pm - Pope to emerge at any moment.

    [Updated at 2:48 p.m. ET]
    Here's what we're going to hear from the cardinal who will introduce the new pope:

    "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum: Habemus Papam! Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum (FIRST NAME OF NEW POPE) Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem (LAST NAME OF NEW POPE) qui sibi nomen imposuit (POPE’S NEW NAME)."

    Roughly translated:

    "I announce with great joy: We have a pope! The eminent and most reverend lord, Lord (FIRST NAME OF NEW POPE) ... Cardinal (LAST NAME OF NEW POPE) who was taken the name (LAST NAME OF NEW POPE), who has taken the name (POPE'S NEW NAME)."

    [Updated at 2:41 p.m. ET] CNN senior Vatican analyst John Allen, on the moment that we will see the pope on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica: "First impressions last. ... It will be very interesting to see how the new pope comports himself here tonight and makes his introduction."

    [Updated at 2:38 p.m. ET] It shouldn't be long before we find out who the new pope is. When Benedict XVI was elected in 2005, about 45 minutes passed between the appearance of the white smoke and the appearance of the cardinal who introduced the new pope.

    Today, the smoke appeared just after 2 p.m. ET (7 p.m. in the Vatican).

    [Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET] The crowd at St. Peter's Square continues to swell. "People are literally running up the block (so they can see the pope) when he comes out on the balcony for the first time," CNN's Anderson Cooper reports from the Vatican.

    [Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET] From CNN's Jim Bittermann at the Vatican: The crowd waiting for the new pope represents all sorts of nationalities "everybody from around the world."

    "You see a lot of religious folks are here, different orders of nuns and priests, packing in all afternoon," as well as tourists, he said. "There are more people just as I'm speaking. All of the sudden there's been a surge of people coming in."

    [Updated at 2:23 p.m. ET] Like the one in which Benedict XVI was chosen in 2005, this election didn't take long. The white smoke comes on just the conclave's second day.

    We have a few steps to take before we learn who the new pope is. Here's what we've been told will happen next:

    The new pope will leave the Sistine Chapel to put on his papal robes, then re-enter the chapel for prayer with the cardinals.

    The cardinals will then line up to congratulate the new pope and promise their obedience to him.

    The pope will then go back to Pauline Chapel to pray for a few moments.

    Only then will the pope prepare to reveal himself to the public. At the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, proto-deacon Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran (assuming Tauran himself wasn't elected) will appear and announce the new pope's old name, and the name he will be known as from now on.

    – The pope will then appear on the balcony.

    [Posted at 2:09 p.m. ET] White smoke above the Sistine Chapel have made it official: The Roman Catholic Church has a new pope.

    Bells are ringing at the Vatican, and thousands of people gathered in the square are cheering.

    We'll find out in the minutes to come who the new pope is. Stay with us as we find out.

    Mods - please approve - I'll be updating the article as it gets updated.


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    Since my last post about 'The Face' had more of a response than I expected, I figure you guys might enjoy the Twitter shades being thrown between Naomi and Coco.

    Started with Coco

    Then Naomi suggests that Coco is discriminating ZiLin (Coco said on the show she couldn't understand ZiLin's accent).

    Coco wants to show she's taking the higher road~ in the competition

    And tweets her support to Karolina (which Karolina retweeted)

    But Naomi clearly doesn't give a shit about that & retweets this

    To which Coco has this to say

    But before that she retweeted Margaux's tweet

    And since I'm talking about Margaux, here's what she had to say when someone told her to watch her words about Naomi:

    As for Karolina, she retweets supportive/shady things here and there but overall she seems to be taking the whole situation lightly. Example given:

    sources: naomi's, coco's&karolina's twitters.

    I think Naomi is taking the piss and having fun with this whole thing, hence how she retweets things the girls from the other teams wrote & congratulates them, whereas Coco seems to be taking it way too serious. Or they're probably doing all this for the drama & ratings. Either way, I love it.

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    Did SNL plagiarize their latest "Rosetta Stone Thai Edition"  sketch? It definitely looks like it.

    Brandon Broussard, creator of Youtube sketch show, Purple Stuff TV, and appeared in Season 5 of Millionaire Matchmaker, claims the writers of SNL plagiarized his sketch, 'Rosetta Stone for Whores' in a recent episode.


    The show in question was hosted by Maroon 5 lead singer, Adam Levine on January 26th. The sketch that Mr. Broussard contends is a knock off is the 'Rosetta Stone Thai Edition'. Beyond the fact that they are both sketches parodying the late night Rosetta Stone informercials, Broussard specifically points to lines in the scripts he alleges are identical to the ones from his sketch that was posted two years ago.

    The lines are "Learn Phrases like: how much? is that for the whole night? Oh My God, what have I done?"


    In an exclusive statement to Carlton Jordan, Broussard states,  "Clearly, someone saw ours then went in and pitched an abridged version but that part with the phrases like and then the husband in the bedroom and it's thai!"

    Check it out for yourself to see:

    Purple Stuff Version:

    SNL Version:

    Who's zoomin who? Is SNL scouring YouTube now for sketch ideas? Broussard is considering taking legal action, especially after an attempt to reach NBC resulted in the following response:

    Thanks for your email. NBC values your comments, but unfortunately, due to the volume of emails we receive, we cannot respond to each one. Please check our FAQ section to see if your question is answered there.


    Source: Carlton Jordan

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    Jim Sturgess stars in a sci-fi film as one half of a love forbidden by a totalitarian and barbaric oligarchy on a future earth. Yes, again. And ironically enough, his new movie, Upside Down, was shot long before last fall's colossal, 3D, mind-bending, big-budget think piece, Cloud Atlas. It's just taken Argentine director Juan Solanas this long to put the whole thing together.

    The movie is semi-high concept, featuring a pair of twin planets that touch at the north and south poles. The lower planet, where Sturgess lives, is a moribund police state that has been pillaged for its natural energy, which is sent up through a trans-world corporation to the rich higher world (a not-so-veiled allegory; Solanas says that he was commenting on the first and third worlds, and the terror of his nation's former dictator, Augusto Pinochet). Kirsten Dunst co-stars as the girl that Sturgess meets and falls in love with as a teenager, before the pair is torn apart by the authorities.

    The film hits theaters in limited release this month; the hope is that it will perform better (relatively) than Cloud Atlas, a domestic bomb ($27 million) that disappointed Sturgess.

    "It was a shame to me that maybe American audiences didn’t pick it up so much. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was a shame," he says. "It was a shame that people didn’t even get to have an opinion, it didn’t really get kind of distributed in a way that people were even able to know it was on, I guess."

    The Hollywood Reporter: I spoke to Juan a few minutes ago and he said once he met you, if you didn’t say yes, he’d kill himself.
    Sturgess: No pressure, right? He told me the same thing. "If you don’t do this, I’m going to kill myself." I felt obliged just to keep him alive.

    THR: Had you ever had a director tell you that?
    Sturgess: No, never, no. But it’s nice to hear.

    THR: It’s a good negotiating strategy.
    Sturgess: For sure. I might try it with a director. If you don’t give me the part, I’ll kill myself.

    THR: I couldn’t tell how much of the film was post-production visual effects versus filmed on real life sets. How much were you talking to a tennis ball?
    Sturgess: There wasn’t as much as I thought, actually. I knew it was going to be a fairytale kind of fantasy film, so I was prepared for that, okay you’re going to be probably stuck in a green room talking to a green tennis ball hanging on some green wires. And I was just amazed they built these incredible sets and try to make it as real for you as possible. There were loads of stuff we shot on location, on the streets of Montreal and in actual buildings.

    THR: Cloud Atlas, it didn’t do well here in America, yet it did much better overseas, especially in China.
    Sturgess: The Asian culture, it’s an idea they’re much more familiar with, the afterlife and life rippling through time, that kind of thing. So it was interesting that they really connected with the material. It was a shame to me that maybe American audiences didn’t pick it up so much. It wasn’t a surprise, but it was a shame.

    THR: It was at least a very different experience from most movies.
    Sturgess: Back in the day, when there was a cinematic event, something that was new that you could all go see and watch and have an opinion on whether it was good or bad. It was a shame that people didn’t even get to have an opinion, it didn’t really get kind of distributed in a way that people were even able to know it was on, I guess.

    THR: Off topic, but I was wondering if you ever met Paul McCartney after making Across the Universe?
    Sturgess: I never met Paul McCartney. I met Ringo [Starr]. I went to a screening that he was at. Me and Evan Rachel Wood were actually in Los Angeles at the time and we were having dinner together, and we suddenly got a call from Julie Taymor saying, "Where are you in the world?" And I said "I’m in Los Angeles, I’m with Evan right now." So she said, "Go to the screening, Ringo is there, he’s watching the movie for the first time." So we jumped out of the restaurant, jumped in a car, went over there, and we spent the whole time watching him watch the movie. It was weird, like wow, that’s actually one of the Beatles sittin' right there. And in London, George Harrison’s family all came to the screening, and I ended up having a really, really really long conversation with George Harrison’s wife. And another time, I was sitting at a restaurant and George Harrison’s son, Dhani, came up to me. He said, "Oh, you were the guy in the Beatles movie -- I’m George’s son," and he looked just like him.

    THR: So they liked it?
    Sturgess: Yeah, George Harrison’s wife was in tears and was really touched by it. It was a really special moment. And then when we were shooting The Way Back, I became friends with Mary McCartney, she came onto the set and did some photographs, because she’s a great photographer, so we got to know each other quite well.

    THR: What did you think of [One Day co-star] Anne Hathaway’s Les Mis performance?
    Sturgess: I haven’t seen it to be totally honest. I haven’t had a chance to see it. There’s a lot of films I didn’t make, and normally I’m good, I try to see everything especially around awards season, but I’ve been busy.

    THR: Back to Upside Down, there were political elements that were personal to Juan in this film, with allusions to the rule of Pinochet in Argentina. How much did you talk to him about it?
    Sturgess: I realized how much of a personal story it was to him quite early on. One of the first days of filming was when I was in a burning house and they were pulling me from my Aunt Becky and Juan said to me, I searched high and low for this particular car, this old vintage car -- the Ford Falcon - and he said to me I had to use this car, because that was the car I remembered as a kid, people coming and taking people away to kill them in Argentina. I was like wow, holy shit, that’s a big thing to have in your mind.

    THR: So what is next for you?
    Sturgess: In the world of independent filmmaking, you’re never quite sure what’s happening when and where. But there’s a film called The Big Shoe, and then another called The Lion’s Share, which I’m very excited about. Which is set in Africa, based on the point of view of the Somali pirates.

    THR: That’s a bold point of view to take.
    Sturgess: I was really blown away when I read the script. It really gives a voice and a perspective to a big problem. But you see the origins and foundation of where the problem came from. And of course, it comes out of desperation and the situation they’re in. It gives them a definite voice. Sometimes you read a script and you just think, "Wow, I would love to go and tell that story and I don’t even care what happens to the film, I would just love that experience." And often that mentality makes a great film. So go to Africa and spend some time there is something I’d kill to do anyway.

    THR: So when’s it happening?
    Sturgess: Hopefully it’s happening at the end of this year. It’s a director named Nathan Morlando. I met him and you could just tell when someone has the passion and energy behind making that project. His wife is his producing partner and they seem really invested in the story and spent a lot of time in Africa... An amazing African actor, Djimon Hounsou, who was in Blood Diamond, he’s going to play the head Somali pirate. He seems like the man for sure, he’s an incredible actor.

    THR: So is it your ship he's hijacking?
    Sturgess: No, I play a journalist who basically goes to try and uncover that story and that world. An American guy who goes to Africa with a pretty naive head on his shoulders and soon gets taught a few lessons.

    THR: Well as you said about independent films, it’s got to be interesting to follow these projects around and not be sure when and if you’ll see them.
    Sturgess: It’s a dice game. It’s so crazy. You see all the work that goes into it, even all the work that goes into it before it gets to the actual production. What Juan had to go through to get this idea on screen. It takes a warrior to get it through, but that’s where the passion is. It can be so frustrating. Sometimes there’s not enough money behind it, it can collapse last minute with the distribution, lots of things can come into play. But it’s exciting.

    THR: It’s nice to see people want to play in that sandbox.
    Sturgess: You find most of the interesting stories are the ones that are slightly harder to get made. Are you looking for is something interesting or fun or says something about the world, and often they’re in the independent world a bit more, which is a shame.

    THR: So have there been movies you’ve made and didn’t make theaters?
    Sturgess: Very recently. I made a British independent film [Ashes, co-starring Ray Winstone and Luke Evans] with a friend of mine, called Mat Whitecross. We made it for no money, so much heart. It was a story, his father had just died of Alzheimers and he wrote this really clever script, he wanted to write something about Alzheimers as a way of dealing what he was going through. He’s a very smart guy, a great filmmaker, and he didn’t want to make a heavy brow, depressing movie about the disease, and the horrible things you go through when someone you know and love is suffering through dementia, so he used the disease as a way of fragmenting the story, he basically made a thriller. You follow this guy, you’re not quite sure what he’s done in his past, and he can’t quite remember, and as he’s piecing together these fragmented memories, you discover more and more about the dark past this guy had.

    It was a film I was really proud of, we worked so hard on it, and unfortunately right at the very last minute, when it got to the distribution, the distribution company seemed to fold, and it was the last one they had to distribute and they kind of slipped by the wayside. And it was so painful to know it was going to go straight to DVD and it wasn’t going to get much of a life, and it was not a testament to the quality of the film at all.


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    Hear 2NE1 and's Long-Awaited K-Pop Collision 'Take on the World' 2NE1 / Photo by Getty Images

    It's finally here.

    A year ago at this time, both Girls' Generation and 2NE1 looked poised to steamroll the American market and shush those that might suggest K-Pop's increasingly global conquest would stop here. The former had a Snoop Dogg cosign (and Letterman appearance) in their handbags, and 2NE1, having already stormed Times Square in December of 2011, were rumored to be in the lab with known chart terrorist, It was only a matter of time. But then summer arrived and so did "I Love You," to relatively little fanfare. Girls' Generation went largely silent, and then came Psy. You know the rest.

    But as of this afternoon, the wait is over: The first listen from the sessions has surfaced online in the form of "Take on the World," a spacious, house-informed hunk of stadium-ready pop that drops the foursome's (often coagulated) vocals in front of a strangely familiar backdrop. All the hallmarks of the Black Eyed Peas mastermind's production — synth warble, Auto-Tune yarble, etc. — are in place, a far cry from the more aggressive techniques used in-house at Y.G. But then again, that's what the world-conquering chorus is for. They're baaaa-aaaaack.


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  • 03/14/13--18:10: Matthew Goode for Esquire

  • English actor Matthew Goode photographed by Tomas Falmer for the April 2013 issue of Esquire magazine.

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    TV-related prayers really do get answered, or else God just happens to have great taste in brilliant-but-canceled programming.

    Yes indeed, hot on the heels of Arrested Development‘s new life on Netflix — and a Friday Night Lights movie script reportedly in existence – Veronica Mars fans on Wednesday took Kickstarter by storm and pledged the $3 million necessary to start production on a film version of the dearly departed CW series.

    With so much good TV mojo in the air, we thought we’d brainstorm a list of seven more shows that could (and should) go the Veronica Mars route — thanks to their cult followings and relatively low budgets — and three that wouldn’t really fit that particular model, mostly because their special-effects and stunt budgets would make the costs unfeasible.

    Kickstart YES!: Wonderfalls

    WHY IT WILL WORK | Grads Caroline Dhavernas and Lee Pace recently booked big-name projects (NBC’s Hannibal and AMC’s Halt & Catch Fire pilot, respectively), which would lend a lot of buzz to a big-screen adaptation. What better way to spend a hiatus from their current jobs by revisiting the one that gave them both their break? Add in that creator Bryan Fuller has been a vocal advocate for reviving his past projects, and it’s only a matter of time before Jaye’s lion figurine starts dispensing wisdom again.

    Kickstart YES!: Pushing Daisies

    WHY IT WILL WORK | Take the previous Wonderfalls slide, subtract Caroline Dhavernas, add Anna Friel and — voila — a PD movie is born!

    Kickstart NO!: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

    WHY IT WON’T WORK | For one, you’re going to want Joss Whedon hands-on with any follow-up, and the guy’s kinda busy these days. As is, his most recent pet project, the low-budget Much Ado About Nothing, took a year-and-half to come into being. Two, most every major cast member is busy starring in an existing series (Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter) or steadily guest-starring (James Marsters, Michelle Trachtenberg). Lastly, lest you want the Scooby Gang battling a 100-percent humanoid, lo-fi baddie, $2 million is a pretty small “stake.”

    Kickstart NO!: Chuck

    WHY IT WON’T WORK | First and foremost, fans were given a decent amount of closure with the well-designed series finale — especially if you subscribe to the theory that Sarah did get her memories back. Secondly, unless you are copacetic with Team Bartowski sitting around jibber-jabbering in an actual, rented-out Best Buy and not engaging in the occasional action/fight sequence, Kickstarter cash won’t cut it.

    Kickstart NO!: Fringe

    WHY IT WON’T WORK | At this moment, it’s simply too soon. We’ve had no time to miss these characters. Plus, the series finale brought the final season full circle, so unless you want to “Search for Walter!” for 90 minutes, a must-see storyline may be hard to come by. But really, the budget’s the dreambuster here, if a proper studio isn’t game to finance the trademark far-out FX.

    Full list of Kickstart Yes! Shows:
    Freaks and Geeks
    Pushing Daisies
    Gilmore Girls
    The Comeback

    List of Kickstart No! Shows:
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer


    Do you agree or disagree with the list ONTD? What would you add?

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    The Wesen – or fairytale creatures of NBC’s Grimm – are a highly principled bunch. Yes, some of them are ruthless killers and others are cagey con artists, but all abide by a long-standing code of honor: Don’t reveal your true nature unless absolutely necessary.

    A few Wesen flaunt that rule in this week’s episode (Friday, 9/8c) by using their monstrous faces as disguises while robbing banks. When Hank and Nick bring the crimes to Monroe’s attention, Silas Weir Mitchell tells TVLine his alter ego finds the practice “totally uncool.”

    “It’s kind of like that whole thing that yogis aren’t supposed to do their [tricks], like levitate, just to show people,” Mitchell explains. “The primary Wesen code is: You cannot do this because the entire… world will collapse around you. You’re tearing at the reality of the world by doing that.”

    After all, the reformed blutbad works hard to keep his wolfish side in check (we’ll just chalk his Halloween shenanigans with the neighbor kids up to holiday highjinks). But Weir says the issue at the heart of Friday’s installment “transcends that completely.”

    “Even if you are [a Wesen] who likes to go hunting still, you don’t use it against normies. It’s like killing civilians,” he says. “It’s like against the rules of war. It’s just completely wrong.”

    Meanwhile, Portland’s resident Grimm has a vested interest in capping the unsanctioned practice, too. “I don’t want people to screw with the balance,” says portrayer David Giuntoli, adding that Nick now has a lot of Wesen buds who “are terrified that there’s going to be a witch hunt [for] these people… It’s a pretty heightened storyline because of that.”

    And if you liked the midseason premiere’s fisticuffs in the forest, Giuntoli promises even more action on deck.

    “There’s a huge amount of gunplay” in the hour, he previews. “It’s pretty big, loud and frightening.”

    Someone is breaking the Wesen Code on this week’s Grimm and it has the rest of the town’s Wesen population sweating.

    As you can see in this exclusive clip, Monroe and Rosalee must do damage control after some Wesen go on a robbery spree in their fully morphed forms (a serious violation of the Wesen Code as it allows humans to see them). But how will they help stop it? Find out on Friday’s episode.

    Meanwhile, check out the clip below:

    This post brought to you by Juliette's bitch face. Also anyone else WTFing during her & Renard's hate sex?


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    Jules Stewart wants to emerge from 'Twilight' shadow

    One of Hollywood's biggest movie stars often retreats to a nondescript building on a quiet industrial street in Van Nuys. For Kristen Stewart, the hide-out provides an escape from prying eyes of the paparazzi, a place where she can play arcade games and read scripts in her own private office. And if the 22-year-old ever needs motherly advice, all she has to do is walk down the hallway.

    That's where her mom, Jules Stewart, is busy plotting her own career. At 58, the elder Stewart is trying to emerge from the shadow of her daughter, who rocketed to fame on the vampire franchise "Twilight."

    After spending three decades as a script supervisor on films such as "Mortal Kombat" and "Little Giants," Stewart's directorial debut "K-11" will hit theaters Friday. But she's worried that people will think the only reason she got her $3-million gritty, L.A. jail drama made was because of her famous offspring.

    "It's extremely frustrating for me, because she's 22 years old and I'm almost 60," said Stewart, who looks almost Goth with her long jet-black hair, chunky silver rings and sleeve of tattoos. "In terms of life experience — hello! — I have it all over her. It's not like I came out of nowhere."

    Stewart has worked on dozens of films since arriving in Hollywood at age 16 from her native Australia. Her knowledge of the industry helped her daughter break into the business: The young actress' first role — she had no lines — was in 1999's "The Thirteenth Year," a Disney Channel television movie on which her mom was also employed.

    Director Brian Levant, who has collaborated with Stewart on pictures such as "Are We There Yet?" and "Snow Dogs," said he has long felt Stewart had the potential to command a set. As a script supervisor, she learned a lot about how directors work, serving as the liaison between the director and the editing room. She monitored shoots on sets daily, taking notes on what scenes have taken place and ensuring the internal continuity of the movie by making sure actors looked and sounded the same from shot-to-shot.

    "She's a very strong woman. She's got a black belt, for God's sake," he said with a chuckle. "On my movies, she would come up to me and whisper, 'Isn't this scene really about so-and-so?' She wasn't just marking the tape and making people match. She was really more concerned with the big picture."

    "K-11" was initially supposed to feature Kristen Stewart, who was willing to take a supporting role in the picture even after she became a household name. Her mother — who co-wrote the movie with Jared Kurt — eagerly reworked the part, tailoring it to Kristen — but when the actress' schedule became too hectic, she dropped out.

    The role may have been a stretch for the tween star anyway. The film is set in a dormitory called K-11 that houses self-identified gay and transgender inmates in Los Angeles' Men's Central Jail. The Sheriff's Department began K-11 — real name: K6G — in 1985 in an effort to protect gay inmates from sexual and physical abuse.

    Kurt actually spent time in the module and came to Stewart to help him make a movie loosely based on his experience.

    "You would think [it] would be really easy to get financiers if [Kristen] was attached, but it wasn't," Stewart said. "You can't take ['Twilight's'] Bella Swan and put her in jail with a bunch of transvestites and expect people to go, 'Oh yeah, no problem.'"

    Still, "K-11" is trading on the actress' name to promote the film. In email blasts to reporters, Jules Stewart is being touted as "more than just Kstew's mom."

    In fact, "Youth in Revolt" star Portia Doubleday took on the part once envisioned for Kristen Stewart, joining a little-known cast that includes "E.R." veteran Goran Visnjic and Stewart's 27-year-old brother, Cameron, who makes his living as a grip and has his acting debut in "K-11."

    The project, Stewart said, was financed by two French businessmen she met at a dinner party who were looking to get into show business; she declined to identify them by name.

    With scenes of rape and drug-dealing, "K-11" doesn't stray from dark subject matter — but Stewart has long had an interest in the macabre. Her Valley-based production company, Libertine Films, is decorated with vintage weaponry, oversized crucifixes and numerous images of wolves. Stewart has actually rescued wolves, and keeps four as pets. (And no, Twi-hards, her obsession has nothing to do with Jacob.)

    "I was that weird little kid that sat in front of the TV set and watched 'Frankenstein' and 'The Werewolf' and 'The Mummy,'" she recalled. "Those are like the ultimate stories. It's sort of like bad news travels fast. No one cares that you're rich and you're happy and you're beautiful — they want to know that you're sick and there's some crazy secret."

    It's clear then, that Stewart understands the public's fascination with her daughter — though it often enrages her. Last summer, after Kristen Stewart was caught cheating on her then-boyfriend and "Twilight" costar Robert Pattinson with her married "Snow White and the Huntsman" director Rupert Sanders, tabloid reporters walked into Libertine seeking juicy details on the affair.

    "My daughter is an adult, and she's perfectly capable of running her own life. Not only did I not want to comment on it, but it's not my relationship," Stewart said. "She really is not very interesting in terms of conflict. She's a homebody.... She doesn't go anywhere because she gets hounded."

    To protect her daughter, Stewart designed a garage-door entrance at Libertine so that Kristen can drive her car directly inside the complex without being photographed. At the same time, she's amassing an archive of her daughter's career, collecting press clips, props and wardrobe memorabilia in file cabinets in the office. She even painted an illustration on the door leading to Kristen's office that reads "Stew's shoes"— it depicts Converse sneakers, combat boots and high heels — meant to illustrate the different sides of the actress.

    There's no doubt that she's a proud mom. Still, she struggles to curb her competitive instincts with her own daughter.

    "To the world, I have no name. I am 'Mama Stew'— that's what they call me, all of her zillions of fans. Or I'm Kristen's mom; I'm famous for being her mom," she said with a shrug. "Most of the female directors that are successful in this business came up through the ranks. And I'm hoping to follow in their footsteps. I have my own career. My own thing going on. And I would hate to think that it's because of my 22-year-old that I got to direct a movie."

    Even the star of her movie understands her frustration. Visnjic, who plays an inmate who mistakenly lands in K-11, said that in the weeks leading up to the film's 15-theater release, he's noticed that the majority of the reports about the film is about Kristen.

    "I just read some review about the film, and it was really good, but the big title was, 'Kristen Stewart's new movie,'" the actor said. "Underneath, they explained she only gave a voice-over for one tiny little scene. People try to make it about Kristen, but the fact is, this is Jules' movie, and Kristen doesn't have anything to do with it."


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    Image via the BBC

    While she notoriously shies away from interviews, footage has surfaced of Kate Moss reading an excerpt from your mum's favourite book, Fifty Shades of Grey. BBC Radio 1 promised its listeners that if they raised £200,000 for the Comic Relief charity then the supermodel would read a passage from this piece of 'erotic romance' literature. The queen of bed head hair and bedroom eyes puts on her best raspy voice and does E. L. James' novel proud.

    Source: OysterMag

    Not even this p.o.s. book can taint the perfection that is Kate

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  • 03/14/13--19:57: Sky Ferreira Megapost

  • Shot by Nick Knight for AnOther Man Magazine. Contains a couple NSFW images.

    S Moda

    Arezzo Winter 2013

    Forever 21

    Hysteric Glamour SS13

    Givenchy Fall/Winter 2013

    Saint Laurent Fall 2013

    D-TOUR @ SXSW 2013 - FULL SET 3-11-13


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    The rise of the antihero in American dramatic television has been nearly fifteen years in the making. Since Tony Soprano revealed a gangster as touching as he was menacing in 1999 (those ducks!), television has introduced programming with a level of thematic and ethical complexity at a consistency never before achieved in the medium. A glimpse at the major award circuit in the past half-decade reveals not only a critical interest in this turn, but a popular one, as well. Mad Men, Breaking Bad, and most recently, Homeland are just three shows that have achieved widespread recognition for their presentation of morally compromised protagonists.

    FX, known for its “There is no Box” brand, is no stranger to this breed of conflicted character. Its breakthrough program, The Shield, was a benchmark in the era of the antihero, considered by many to be an answer to HBO’s oft-discussed flagship. But where Tony Soprano was already a ringleader in an entrenched system of corruption, Vic Mackey was a crime-fighter, one of the good guys. Yet, in his Machiavellian lust to thwart baddies, we witness him torture, blackmail, plant evidence, and murder. In that sense, The Shield can be seen to usher in what has become the current antihero paradigm: where moral ambiguity abounds in spaces beyond the expected arenas of gangsters and thugs—among doctors and high school teachers, ordinary people.

    It’s fitting, then, that FX is the first network to attempt a redirection of this trend in its newest drama, The Americans. Though it is as flush with moral ambiguity as its predecessors, Joe Weisberg’s creation offers an altogether different breed of protagonist. Some antihero dramas attempt to portray the slow degradation of character (Breaking Bad), others show us how obsession deepens madness (Dexter, Homeland), and others still allow the vicarious experience of power and its consequences (Mad Men, Boardwalk Empire). What separates The Americans is its foregrounding of the simplest device in the history of narrative: love. In effect, The Americans is an extended remarriage plot. Sure, it’s replete with the trappings of espionage, but all the mad chases, brutality, and political intrigue function in service of its romantic core. What leaves viewers clinging to their armrests in these moments of pulpy thrill is the underlying terror that, at any moment, the fledgling relationship between protagonists Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (played by Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell), will suffer a blow—whether physically, emotionally, or both—that it cannot survive.

    Discussion of The Americans, thus far, has been largely centered around its relation to Showtime’s Homeland. However, the shows bear little resemblance to each other beyond their basic conversation about what it means to be a double agent, or, in a broader sense, to lead a double life. Homeland is sparked and sustained by a central terrorist plot. The romance that springs up between Claire Danes’s Carrie Mathison and Damian Lewis’s Nicholas Brody is, if a bit predictable, a delectable garnish. Specific motives correlate to known and desired effects (how will sniffing out a new piece of information help Carrie & Co. develop more effective counterterrorist responses?), and these propel the show.But neither Elizabeth nor Philip has a specific agenda—in typical Cold War style, there is no clear, overarching object—so the long-form conflict that emerges is largely character-driven, supplemented by action.

    In this way, The Americans bears a closer likeness to HBO’s Deadwood, a show more interested in how communities are constructed than in marinating in its own conceits. But where Deadwood’s magic lay in its expansive cast, The Americans’ charm is in its limited focus; there’s something intoxicating about its tight ecosystem of quiet moments, its emphasis on the accumulation of gestures in meaning-making. If anything, a discussion of lineage is important here in a global sense; there’s a certain degree of predictability to any show, but after over a decade’s worth of writers willing to put their darlings through the ringer, we know better than to let ourselves get comfortable when things appear to go well for Mr. and Mrs. Jennings. In the episodes following the emotional high of the pilot’s climax, we see the two confront past and present infidelities (Philip’s sexual manipulation of the assistant to the undersecretary of Defense to ascertain information, Elizabeth dealing with her years-long love affair with a “co-worker”), professional dilemmas that generate disputes that feel more personal than political (the Reagan assassination attempt is used to great effect here in underscoring their differing loyalties), as well as a new boss (played by Margo Martindale) who informs them that work is about to become even more life-threatening than it already was.

    A romance is only as good as its obstacles, and, as aforementioned, we find no shortage of obstacles in The Americans. If anything, the degree of coincidence incorporated in creating these barriers has been, for some viewers, the show’s primary shortcoming. But when coincidence deepens conflict instead of helping to resolve it—imbuing a certain degree of inevitability rather than deus ex machina—most are quick to forgive. So, when FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich’s savvier analog to Breaking Bad’s Hank) moves down the street from the Jenningses, we’re more interested in the “loaded gun” stress this generates than decrying its improbability. In the end, we don’t want Philip and Elizabeth to have an easy go until they’ve really earned it, and we’re rewarded amply for our masochism.

    Repression and the unspoken form the dramatic fulcrum of The Americans. Much in the way that 1960s gender roles cast character conflict in Mad Men, the Jenningses’ employment as spies operates as a sort of de facto silencer. Like all effective period dramas, this speaks both to the ethos of the 1980s—the carefully constructed veneer of safety in spite of deep-rooted anxieties—and to the current post-9/11 zeitgeist. So, when Philip approaches Elizabeth about defecting to America in the pilot, we realize that multiple layers of psychological maneuvering are afoot. Though they’ve duped everyone around them—their children included—they’ve always known that their marriage is just a vehicle for their true marriage to the KGB; it’s their cover in American suburbia. The moment it gets in the way of a mission is the moment it loses efficacy. As such, when Philip pushes for defection, Elizabeth is not only confronted with deciphering his intentions—he could be on a private mission from headquarters intended to test her loyalty—but navigating the undercurrent of his now apparent feelings for her (particularly in light of the emotional distance she’s cultivated with anything related to her American life), how to respond to his eroding patriotism (her training would dictate she report him to headquarters), what this dichotomy will mean for them, and lastly, having been pitted between the two most important things in her life, negotiating her own feelings for Philip.

    Moments like this are hardly isolated. In some way or another, paranoia looms behind every action taken, every choice made. Unlike the usual tropes of romance, Philip and Elizabeth already have all the physical manifestations of domestic bliss: the house, the car, the kids. They’re older. They’ve lived past the age of youthful naivety and impulse, and, because of their work, they understand the fragility of life. At the same time, these are also two people who made the decision to dedicate their lives to country as teenagers—not to mention the fact that they’ve spent years kidnapping and murdering—and their emotional self-awareness suffers commensurately. Their silence isn’t just professional. Love necessitates vulnerability, and, particularly for Elizabeth, whose loyalty to “the cause” has been unflinching, this is an unbearable idea.

    Which maybe helps explain why the romantic moments we see unfold here are more touching than just about anything else on television. The premium channels seem to have adopted a per-episode sex quota, and meanwhile, The Americans encapsulates passion in handholding, meaningful looks, and veiled apologies. And the moments of spillover, whether pronounced or Victorian, are downright gut-wrenching. We know what’s at risk, what makes it so difficult for them. Once we understand the kind of traumas (emotional, physical, self-inflicted) Elizabeth has suffered, for instance, no amount of nudity, one night stands, or marital harmony elsewhere can better capture our affections than when, in spite of a seeming incapacity for tenderness, she reaches out and puts her hands on Philip’s shoulders. Sometimes, these romantic moments converge with violence, as in the pilot’s climax, and the effect is so powerful that it manages to transform Phil Collins’s “In the Air Tonight” into something anthemic, hard-hitting, and steamy.

    If, under the lens of perspective, we suspend the remnants of latent anti-Communism, we come to realize that Philip and Elizabeth may in fact be the worst antiheroes ever written insofar as being antithetical to heroism. That may sound semantic, but the pair is principled, in some respects similar to Vic Mackey. But unlike Mackey, it is absolutely clear that neither relishes in harming others; even if their capacities for love and violence can seem disturbing at times, we also see an underlying desire to do good. In a sense, this show lets us eat our proverbial cake: we get the grime and complex ethical scenarios, but we can root for our heroes the way we might those in classical epics.

    As we’ve witnessed over the past fourteen years, television is an incredible medium for portraying slow deterioration. But The Americans reveals that television is equally capable of showing the opposite: the precarious steps we take to build community, how we maintain in the face of obstruction, and how we teach ourselves to love and be made vulnerable in a world that knows exactly how to exploit and destroy us. In the course of Breaking Bad, Walter White becomes the self he is apparently always capable of being, and we watch how his obsessive pursuit of power brings his whole life—and with it, any true sense of fulfillment—crumbling around him. In The Americans, though, Philip and Elizabeth begin from a place of alienation and move toward redemption, just as their world becomes an even more dangerous place.
    The best art is that which both imitates life and helps us to escape it. Within exotic, exciting, and fantastical contexts, we still crave reflections of ourselves and the worlds we inhabit. The Americans is a show about dealing with the consequences of the choices made in youth, about trusting intuition and loving in spite of fear, about accepting that what we love most in each other is also what we can come to most hate or fear. Even for those of us not steeped in a paranoid existence, the world can at times feel like a hard, lonely place. With the inescapability of our mortality, the best we can hope for is true human connection while we still have time for it. That kind of redemption, which The Americans seeks to offer, is a rare beacon—something, without realizing it, that we’ve been desperately waiting to see.


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