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Oh No They Didn't! -

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    Power Rangers Super Megaforce 01

    With the Licensing International Expo just about to get under way, Saban Brands have officially unveiled the 2014 Power Rangers series, entitled Power Rangers Super Megaforce, via a press release and an official teaser poster. Power Rangers Super Megaforce will follow on as the second half of Power Rangers Megaforce, with footage adapted from the 35th Super Sentai series Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.

    The press release is as follows:

    "Saban Brands announced today that it will launch Saban'sPower Rangers Super Megaforce, the newest season of Power Rangers, in 2014 on Nickelodeon. Power Rangers, one of the top rated and longest running boys live-action series in television history, offers SUPER MEGA action, excitement, humor and entertainment, while maintaining core themes of friendship, teamwork, fitness and helping others.

    "As Saban Brands and Power Rangers celebrate the 20thAnniversary of the iconic franchise this year, it is more apparent than ever that the show has a strong connection to fans of all ages and backgrounds," saidElie Dekel, President ofSaban Brands. "We are happy to continue our partnership with Nickelodeon and we look forward to entertaining our fans with more action-packed, SUPER MEGA adventures in 2014 withPower Rangers Super Megaforce."

    The upcoming season ofPower Rangers Super Megaforcefocuses on the Rangers' mission to defeat a massive alien army Armada that was sent to conquer Earth. To face this threat, Gosei, a supernatural guardian who has protected Earth for centuries, gives the Rangers special morphers and keys, which allow them to morph into Super Megaforce Rangers. The Rangers also have an added special ability to morph into any team of Power Rangers from the past. These super-sized adventures can only mean one thing: the all-newPower Rangers Super Megaforcehas arrived!"

    Video of the Super Megaforce Rangers making their first public appearance at Licensing International Expo:

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    AD Cover Picture - Miley Cyrus

    Miley Cyrus is living the high life -- maybe in more ways than one. In a candid new interview with Rolling Stone for the magazine's July 4 issue, the 20-year-old "We Can't Stop" singer hints that all the talk about her stoner reputation could be more than just talk.

    "You can't ask someone that and expect them to say yes," she tells the mag, laughing, when the interviewer asks flat-out if she's a stoner."I did a song with Snoop Dogg called 'Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,' so people can put it together for themselves."

    Cyrus famously denied smoking marijuana after she was videotaped using a bong in late 2010; she claimed at the time that it was salvia, a legal hallucinogen. However, she later joked that she smoked "way too much f--king weed" when her friends gave her a Bob Marley cake for her 19th birthday.

    "I think alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana -- people can be mad at me for saying that, but I don't care," she tells Rolling Stone. "I've seen a lot of people spiral down with alcohol, but I've never seen that happen with weed."

    "As long as it isn't illegal, there are far more dangerous things," she adds. "And it's legal in the state of California. So I'm happy to live in California, a place where you can be whoever you want to be."

    Cyrus, it seems, would be who she wants to be regardless. She makes no apologies for what she wears, how she acts, or what she believes -- nor does she think she should.

    "I'm too honest. But this is who I am," she tells the mag."I can't sing 'We Can't Stop' and then be some shy, closed-off person. The reason I never really loved acting was because you can't be yourself. I don't want to be an actor -- I want to be an artist."

    To that end, the former Hannah Montana star has given herself and her music an edgy new makeover. "People thought I was gonna be this dumb white girl that was, like twerking around and had no real thoughts," she says. "Since I was 13, I put my work before everything else in my life. Now that I'm 20, I'm putting my life and my career at the same level of importance."

    That life includes an on-again, off-again engagement to Hunger Games actor Liam Hemsworth. Asked about the current status of their relationship, Cyrus says simply, "I wear a ring every single day. I don't talk about my personal life, so that's enough of an answer."



    A few years ago, Miley Cyrus learned firsthand the perils of unguarded moments in the digital age when video surfaced of her using a bong, supposedly to smoke a legal substance called salvia – an incident she later spoofed on Saturday Night Live. While the pop singer doesn't exactly cop to smoking pot in a new interview with Rolling Stone's Rob Tannenbaum, she doesn't deny it, either.

    "I did a song with Snoop Dogg called 'Ashtrays and Heartbreaks,' so people can put it together for themselves," Cyrus says. "I think alcohol is way more dangerous than marijuana – people can be mad at me for saying that, but I don't care. I've seen a lot of people spiral down with alcohol, but I've never seen that happen with weed."

    Marijuana users tend to be more laid-back, Cyrus observes, noting,"As long as it isn't illegal, there are far more dangerous things. And it's legal in the state of California. So I'm happy to live in California, a place where you can be whoever you want to be."

    Pot isn't the only illicit substance Cyrus discusses: there's molly, too. The form of ecstasy has popped up in hip-hop this year, to the chagrin of Rick Ross and the disgust of Kendrick Lamar. The way Cyrus pronounces a word in her new song "We Can't Stop" has prompted speculation that she's singing about molly, though she insists she says "Miley."

    "I have an accent! So when I say 'Miley,' it must sound like 'molly,'" she says. "You're not allowed to say 'molly' on the radio, so it obviously says 'Miley.' I knew people were gonna wonder what I'm saying in that song."

    Not that "Miley" is free of drug connotations, either. "People refer to [cocaine] as 'Miley Cyrus,'" she says, citing Ross' verse on Meek Mills' song "Believe It." "My name is used in hip-hop songs to mean that. So even if I'm saying 'Miley,' people could still find something wrong with it."

    The full Q&A with Cyrus will be available in the July 4th summer double issue of Rolling Stone.


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    Fifth Harmony's Camila Cabello disturbing use and encouragement of the n word and f word has been discovered recently.

    Her old twitter account ratchetandsassy has a disturbing number of tweets either tweeted, favorited, or retweeted, that contain racist/homophobic language.

    The tumblr posts with the n word are very recent.

    She also retweeted and favorited tweets calling Zayn Mexican and using disgusting Mexican stereotypes that are completely untrue.

    She also retweeted this tweet during 1D's trip to Africa

    Another more recent discovery is her use and encouragement of the f word.
    She favorited the below tweets with homophobic language calling Harry styles a f*g.

    She also favorited tweets mocking Perrie, especially her relationship with Zayn. Also, I found a holocaust joke favorited and tweets about Louis being gay.
    There are a lot more tweets like this on her old account and I just picked the ones I found to be the worst. Her fans call her the n word regularly (affectionately) and use it generally because of these tweets and she always responds.


    To whom it may concern:

    I believe this article is ridiculous and untrue slander. Camila Cabello is not a Racist nor Homophobic! Using the word "Nigga" does not make you racist due to the fact at the time of the tweets you are referring to in the article.. EVERYONE no matter how old or young they were were using the word. It use to be the cool thing. She did not mean it in a negative way especially when she is a supporter of our President Barack Obama so how can she be racist. As you mentioned..Normani of Fifth Harmony.. they are BEST FRIENDS. She has no negativity towards her nor any other person you seem fit to say she is racist towards and offends. Also, the Mexican tweets... Camila IS Mexican. And the word Faggot and Fag is the trend everyone is using. She was a young teenager during these tweets and most of the tweets are RETWEETS. She did not write them herself. I am homosexual and Camila looked me in my eyes and told me I was beautiful and that she loved me. She does not care what color skin you have or what nationality nor what sexuality you are. She treats everyone with love and respect. She loves people and even responds to hate in a positive and polite way. Please take down the article because it is untrue and slandering her good name. That so called fan Harmonizer on the article is not a fan whatsoever. If they were they would KNOW Camila. Just how untrue this is and how wrong it is to even think let alone write such a horrible article. Camila is Mexican and Cuban. Before writing an article you should really dig deeper. She is a wonderful person and I wish you would do your own research on her CURRENT TWITTER! @camilacabello97

    I would appreciate it if you would take the article down immediately before it is seen by her and hurts her deeply! Haters have nothing else on her so they resort to this which is a disgusting display of hate and ridiculousness! I am not a teenage and in my 20s. I am not naive and definitely know what a homophobic racist is and it is NOT Camila Cabello! She is one of the sweetest young girls I have ever met in my life. She welcomed everyone with a hug and spent time with over 100 people individually. She has saved lived. Helped young people stop cutting, thinking of committing suicide and feeling depressed and alone. Bringing her down before her career is starting to take off is wrong. I hope you do the right thing and remove the article.


    Read more at ONTD:

    cr: ratchetandsassy + TUMBLR
    I am hoping to shed light onto this, so hopefully she can apologize for this and tell her fans to stop. As a fifth harmony fan, it's uncomfortable how many of her fans act exactly like she did especially with Normani in the group. If she doesn't, then I am afraid I can't support a group with a person like this any longer. Mods, I know a person has been posting her racist tweets in the comments, but I have added a lot more horrible tweets including homophobic language. mod note: this is her confirmed past twitter and confirmed tumblr (the tumblr she still uses as of right now). here's her wikipedia page that has it. also, it's common knowledge in the fandom that these are her accounts.

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    With all the hoopla and listicles outlining the so-called wackiness her baby daddy spouted in his New York Times interview last week, comparatively little has been made of Kim Kardashian’s own public outpouring (and we’re not talking about her birthing fluids – Mazel Tov!).

    A week before Kim gave birth to her and Kanye West’s child – almost a month earlier than scheduled (you’re welcome, gossip rags!) – she tweeted a series of distressing tales of paparazzi subterfuge, claiming when she denied them pictures of her, “they threatened my life & said if I continue to block shots then they will make my world dangerous to live in! How dare they threaten my life & my unborn child! This has gotten way out of control!”

    “For years I've always been so gracious,” she continued, “Let me enjoy this last month of pregnancy please without threats & being scared to leave my home due to what dangerous thing they just threatened to do to me.”

    What is clearly a cry for safety and privacy, though, will surely fall on deaf ears. If the paparazzi were willing to barricade Kim inside her car to get a shot of her at her most embargoed, it’s frightening to wonder what lengths they’ll go to snap a picture of the holy vessel with daughter of Yeezus.

    There is a sense of feigned surprise each time Kim denies the public access to her personal life. She did, after all, make a sex tape, pose for Playboy and broadcast her wedding to millions of strangers. What falls by the wayside during these discussions, though, is the pure and simple fact that she is well within her rights to set boundaries. Expecting Kim to passively and graciously accept every request – or threat – that comes her way because of the ways she’s chosen to present her life to the public in the past is akin to expecting a woman who hires a professional photographer to capture her wedding to be as obliging to a creep taking upskirts of her at the park or on a train. Existing as a woman in public spaces is difficult and dangerous enough for non-celebrities, and the issue of consent is one that permeates tabloid culture.

    I am, admittedly, approaching this subject from an immediately defensive place. I’ve watched all seven season of Keeping Up With the Kardashians – and their myriad spinoffs about “taking” US cities outside of Calabasas – and have actively followed the fairytale story of Kim and Kanye over the last 18 months. But I was also living in New York when Kim wed Kris Humphries and, less than three months later, filed for divorce (never mind the fact that they’ve remained legally wed until earlier this month, when Kris finally settled). I watched as the entire world proceeded to slut-shame a woman who married a man and, upon realizing the marriage was not working – something no viewers of Kourtney and Kim Take New York Season 2 could dispute – call an end to it. What would you expect, they cried, from someone made famous on the back of a sex tape? In a heartbeat, the phrase “72 days” became short-hand for poor decision-making.

    Even the most sex-positive feminists are quick to dismiss Kim for the way in which she rose to public consciousness. It brings to mind the flawed and damaging Tina Fey version of feminism, in which only some women – those who are educated, driven, undamaged, well-spoken and tattoo-less – are deserving of our support. Let your boyfriend film you having sex in your early twenties and have the results distributed against your wishes five years later? Sorry, you don’t fit the requirements to join our club and you’ll soon get what’s coming to you.

    The fact that she posted selfies to Instagram following her demand for respite from paparazzi was all the gossip rags needed to deem her point moot. This situations falls into the larger issue of Kim’s control of her image. Sure, she allows a camera crew to film her life and that of her family; sure, she broadcast her second wedding on TV for millions to see; sure, she is active on social media and takes pictures of herself constantly. But she’s in control of those images. The fact that Kim takes iPhone snaps of herself and appears in photoshoots for brands and magazines does not negate her need for privacy. These acts are not comparable to those committed by paparazzi. She is rarely seen without make-up and opulent outfits on camera, because her image is her livelihood. When that is threatened, she is allowed to be angry.

    “I get I live a public life,” Kim tweeted. “I live my life on a reality show for the world to see. I love my life, but when the cameras stop, that doesn't mean I don't want a break too.”

    And at the end of the day – particularly the day she became a mother – she is entitled to privacy. The breadth and longevity of the Kardashian empire means that it is without comparison and the rules are being written as their fame continues to grow. We deride the cult of reality stars for cashing in on short-lived attention, but seasons of a network-rescuing show and billions of dollars in sponsorship and endorsement are hard to scoff at. The public is still learning what to make of it all.

    Kim’s pregnancy has played out – just like most aspects of her personal life – on the covers of magazines purely for the pleasure we get from seeing the beautiful and successful falter. We want to see them damaged. We hate when people are perfect and we love to kick them when they're down. We derive pleasure when we see the woman with the perfect, unattainable body expanding in front of our eyes like a sexy Augustus Gloop, and we want to sit back and count the days her partner is not by her side, spouting “I told you so”, patting ourselves on the back for knowing the girl with a slew of famous break-ups and make-ups can’t hold down Life's Most Important Thing: A Man.

    Just because Kim is representative of tabloid culture, doesn’t mean that she’s neither responsible for - nor safe from - it.

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    Serena Williams is letting the press back into her life, big time. If you're unfamiliar, this is the "Serena comes out of her shell" part of the Serena dialectic, which is only a few pungent quotes from a full retreat and the "Why won't Serena let herself be loved?" stage.

    The latest entry is a Rolling Stone profile, which comes on the heels of John Jeremiah Sullivan's Times Magazine cover story last August and a new documentary on Serena's tennis life with her big sis. The RS story is by Stephen Rodrick, author of the new book The Magical Stranger and this great Dennis Rodman profile that you can read at The Stacks. He visited Serena in Florida three months ago, and she gave him, well, a few pungent quotes.

    Here, for instance, is Serena with an unfortunate "she wore the dress" take on Steubenville:

    We watch the news for a while, and the infamous Steubenville rape case flashes on the TV—two high school football players raped a 16-year-old, while other students watched and texted details of the crime. Serena just shakes her head. "Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don't know. I'm not blaming the girl, but if you're a 16-year-old and you're drunk like that, your parents should teach you—don't take drinks from other people. She's 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn't remember? It could have been much worse. She's lucky. Obviously I don't know, maybe she wasn't a virgin, but she shouldn't have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that's different."

    While on the phone with Venus, Serena didn't do much to conceal some bad-mouthing of a fellow WTAer:

    "There are people who live, breathe and dress tennis. I mean seriously, give it a rest." Serena exits the car and the conversation moves on to a Top Five player who is now in love. "She begins every interview with 'I'm so happy. I'm so lucky'—it's so boring," says Serena in a loud voice. "She's still not going to be invited to the cool parties. And hey, if she wants to be with the guy with a black heart, go for it."

    Rodrick takes an "educated guess" that it's Maria Sharapova since her boyfriend is Grigor Dimitrov, an ex of Serena's (unless, for some reason, Serena thinks that Redfoo has a black heart, which maybe we can't disagree with).
    And Serena says what we long knew about her relationship with Sloane Stephens, and we hope this puts an end to it all:

    I don't know where all that mentor stuff came from. I am definitely not that girl's mentor.

    We'll let you know when Rolling Stone puts it online (ETA: here it is). Wimbledon begins next week.


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    It’s one thing to have a passing familiarity with fanfiction — to know a little bit of the vocabulary, or have stumbled across a few fics on Tumblr — and another thing entirely to immerse yourself in it for days. Hours disappear into following one writer’s recommendation or another, or starting a promising piece only to realize that it’s hundreds of thousands of words long and will take more time than you were planning to give.

    On Archive of Our Own (AO3), a massive, fan-created trove of tales, there are nearly 5,000 stories tagged as belonging to A Song of Ice and Fire, and more than 2,600 tagged Game of Thrones. They span alternate universes from modern London to Romanov-era Russia; they envision the story post-”A Dance with Dragons”; they revel in character studies and beloved pairings. (Was Arya/Gendry ever so popular before viewers saw Joe Dempsie’s abs?)

    And, of course, they offer lots of inventive, carefully labeled smut. If you assume that all fanfic is of the Harry-and-Draco-get-it-on-on-the-Quidditch-field sort, you might be surprised (or disappointed). Plenty of “Thrones” fic stays on the straight side, exploring the moment Catelyn and Ned fell in love, or imagining a burgeoning relationship between Myrcella Baratheon and Robb Stark. Still, sometimes Margaery and Sansa make out; sometimes Theon and Robb get really, really close. There’s something for everyone, provided you’re willing to see George R.R. Martin’s characters in ever more compromising positions.

    Not that you have to read the sexy stuff. I searched Tumblr tags, skimmed LiveJournal communities, and searched and AO3 for fanfic that disproved the common assumptions about it — that it’s bad, or all porn, or a waste of time for everyone involved. Here’s what I found.

    Stumbling into fanfic without a guide will make you feel like a tourist

    Where do you start? Do you read inside your comfort zone, or go exploring? Do you brave the more than 100 fics that pair poor Theon with his tormentor, Ramsay Bolton, or do you look for a happy(ish) ending in the stories that find various Starks rebuilding Winterfell after the war? You can have absolutely anything you imagine (which makes it very difficult to make definitive statements about fanfic as a whole). You just have to figure out what that is.

    AO3 has a pretty fantastic search engine, and will let you pick only long fics, or tame ones, or those about Dany and her Khal. Tags are clickable, so you can easily find all eight of the stories tagged both “A Song of Ice and Fire” and “Women Being Awesome.” But figuring out what you want and how to find it only eases a little bit of the touristy feeling. Fanfic is an immersive, collaborative world, and to be just a reader of it is to miss a lot of what makes it tick: writers taking prompts, writing stories for friends, beta-reading each others’ work, inspiring and being inspired by the stories that might sprawl across fandoms. It’s unexpectedly lonely being just a reader when it’s so clear how much action is going on behind the scenes.

    Subverting the subversive

    Martin’s books are often hailed for subverting genre conventions and reversing fantasy tropes; as Ned Vizzini points out, “The characters who stay alive are the despoiled,” rather than fantasy’s beloved heroes and innocents. So what does fanfic, which thrives on subverting expectations, do with this? It skips over Tyrion and Littlefinger, Varys and Tywin, and goes straight to the young’uns, telling stories about a less war-hardened Robb or having Sansa tame the Hound, à la “Beauty and the Beast.” The tone is flipped: brutality and loss linger around the edges rather than filling the screen. Writers set stories before or after the war, finding ways to explore characters in quieter moments, or strip out the high stakes, imagining Westeros as high school, run by mean girls and jocks.

    A few goofy, clever fics play fast and loose with the settings and characters — like “For Those About to Rock, We Salute You,” in which Robert is the lead singer of Westeros’ most popular band. When he dies, his useless, cocky son steps in. (Extra points for the inclusion of an entertaining press release.) Tired of Theon being miserable? Visit the alternate universe in which he and Robb form a folk group.

    Sansa Stark: The girl with the most lemon cakes

    Sansa dominates in fic. She’s the Queen in the North; she’s married to the Hound; she’s paired up with Jon Snow; she’s befriending a new queen or escaping her captors.

    Why Sansa? Maybe it’s because she’s so caged up that writers want to free her, whether to rule, to explore, or to marry someone of her own choosing. Her story is still one of potential, and fic writers find endless ways to explore that, and to play with the clichés that a younger Sansa took for granted. She’s the closest thing Westeros has to an innocent, so putting her in the foreground is a swift and logical subversion of Martin’s world, where no one could possibly become a ruler without killing at least a few hundred people first.

    It’s also easier to be a fan of Sansa quietly, without having to explain repeatedly that she isn’t just a stupid little girl who betrayed her sister because she wanted to wear pretty dresses and live like one of her beloved stories. There’s no shame in loving feisty, self-sufficient Arya. To identify with Sansa is to admit that you were once young and oblivious, that you don’t disdain traditionally feminine things. To write really good fic in which Sansa grows up, gets smart and beats Westeros’ conniving families at their own game? That’s not just satisfying; it’s potentially downright empowering.

    I just want to be reading “The North Remembers”

    The problem with a lot of the fics I started reading wasn’t that they were bad; it was that they weren’t “The North Remembers.” Written by a woman who goes by the pseudonym Silverblood, “The North Remembers” runs for almost 500,000 words and is virtually guaranteed to appear in any list of fanfiction recommendations.

    The reason for this is simple: It’s good. Silverblood picks up at the end of “A Dance With Dragons,” giving point-of-view chapters to minor characters, acing a creepy scene beyond the Wall, and inventing impossibly convincing plot points. Her versions of the characters sound like themselves, and her story marches so steadily off in all the right directions that you may begin to suspect she knows something the rest of us don’t. It lines up so neatly with Martin’s narrative that it will mess with your head: I’m on chapter eleven of “The North Remembers” and already having to remind myself that these things didn’t “really” happen.

    No results found for “feminist game of thrones fanfiction”

    If someone has written an epic feminist re-envisioning of A Song of Ice and Fire, they haven’t made it easy to find. (I hold out hope.) But while “Game of Thrones” has failed some of the books’ female characters, watering down Cersei and muting Catelyn, fic writers have got their backs. Few fics are explicitly labeled as feminist, but many put queens on the throne, explore minor female characters, or invent moments between two women who’ve rarely or never had a chance to talk. In “The Summer Queen,” honey_wheeler has Queen Sansa choosing an entirely female Queensguard; her point-of-view characters switch between the queen and her soldiers, and the resulting story, a snippet of life after the war, more than passes the Bechdel test even as it’s largely concerned with who Sansa’s king might be. Netgirl_y2k gives Dany’s doomed handmaiden, Doreah, a complicated second life in “They Will Crown You, They Will Take Your Legs,” envisions Cersei as a young mother hoping for the best for her children in “A Lion Among Ladies” — and imagines a still-troubled Westeros in which women inherit in the too-short “Our Marvellous Inheritance,” which hews closely to Martin’s established world even as it turns it entirely on its head.

    Sturgeon’s law still applies

    Ninety percent of everything is crap, and fanfiction is no exception. A lot of tabs get quickly closed, whether for unreadable writing, basic failures of punctuation, aimless plotting, inane characterizations or just sheer boredom. (Or, depending on your predilections, the wrong pairings; I cannot convince myself that Jaime and Brienne are meant to be a couple.) Fanfic is rife with awkward titles taken from song lyrics or quotes; many stories sound the same, relying on a breathless present-tense style. The forced immediacy gives these pieces a dreaminess that’s at odds with Martin’s sturdy storytelling.

    But not everyone wants to feel like they’re in the author’s sandbox. Even the crap serves a purpose, and probably makes somebody somewhere very happy, whether the writer, or the reader who requested a story to scratch a particular narrative itch. The easy thing to forget when reading fanfic is that it isn’t necessarily for you, or for me — us mundanes who don’t create it, and don’t play our own roles in the world that fic creates. Their universe is self-sustaining; we’re just visitors with our own narrative urges. Don’t like what you find? Write your own.


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    The former Gossip Girlstar was looking a little worse for the wear last night (June 17) as he was helped out  of Cirque Du Soir Nightclub in London around 4am.


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    ETonline was interviewing the Orphan Black creators when this happened:

    ETonline: Tatiana and I joked about this, but if your show keeps growing in popularity and in scope, there's a chance she could be asked to play dozens of clones simultaneously at some point. Do you have an internal ceiling for how many clones can be on the show at a given time?
    Fawcett: There's no definitive answer to how many clones there are [in the writer's room]. I know that no one is willing to commit to anything. I can also say that as a director, trying to stick 30 Tatiana's in one scene is never going to happen ... at least until we hit the feature film version of the show.

    ETonline: Is a movie something you would actually consider making?
    Fawcett: I think Graeme and I could consider a feature film at some point.
    Manson: Sure!

    'Orphan Black' Creators Talk Season Two!
    By Jarett Wieselman

    There's a decent chance you didn't listen when I began shouting "ORPHAN BLACK IS THE BEST SHOW ON TV RIGHT NOW!!!" back in April. But in the two months that followed, as additional episodes reaffirmed my assertion, people were joining The Clone Club in droves and Tweeting about their newfound obsession with BBC America's endlessly inventive genetic mystery series. And while a huge amount of that adoration has been (justly) lavished on star, and Critics Choice Award winner, Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black would be nothing without creators John Fawcett and Graeme Manson.

    Inspired by a single idea -- "Wouldn't it be cool if you saw yourself on a train platform and then you killed yourself?" -- Fawcett and Manson embarked on a journey that gave birth to countless clones, 2013's best new series and one of the most unexpectedly topical TV shows in recent memory.

    With season one recently wrapped and the writer's room hard at work on breaking season two, I caught up with the guys to talk about their shining star, the biggest surprise of season one and what fans can expect from season two!

    ETonline: What was the casting process like for you two?
    John Fawcett: We knew we had a show that really hinged on the abilities of our lead actor. She is essentially all the female leads, so we knew how important the casting of that role was -- we'd either knock it out of the park or we'd go down with the ship. So we put a lot of pressure on ourselves in casting and spent an awful lot of time seeing everyone. We saw Tatiana early-ish in the process, but we wanted to make sure we kinda saw everything. There were some very talented women who came in, but inevitably, there was always one thing missing: you wouldn't like her Cosima or you didn't buy her British accent. It was really like casting five roles at the same time. It's been unbelievable to see Tatiana received in the way she has been. She's elevated the show beyond where we thought it would be in season one.
    Graeme Manson: One of the other things about Tatiana's winning of the role was the incredible sense of play she brought and her ability to shift gears between characters. To have her absolutely own that part and the technical aspects of it, she deserves every lick of recognition she’s getting now. It's great for her and it's obviously really great for the show.

    ETonline: Looking back on season one, do you feel like it accomplished everything you set out for it to?
    Fawcett: The thing I like about our partnership is we set the bar really high for ourselves. We want the best for the show, and it's always been us pushing to outdo one another and to outdo one episode with the next episode. We've always put that pressure on ourselves; we're kind of perfectionists. I'm really proud of season one. To some degree, I wasn't thinking about how it would be received, I wasn't thinking about how Tatiana would be received. It was about what makes us super excited and then making that as good as it can possibly be. The response to the show has been very overwhelming.

    ETonline: The show has an incredible social consciousness; tackling everything from women's roles in society to morality in science. Was it important to you guys from the outset that Orphan Black "say something?"
    Manson: It's really important -- our writer's room is where we set the bar high on the storytelling side of things. What turned us on in the beginning was the dramatic richness of nature versus nurture, and the longer you spend picking it apart, the more interesting it gets.

    ETonline: Genetic patenting, a big reveal in your season finale, has been in the news a lot with the Supreme Court ruling that human genes cannot be patented. Talk about good marketing!
    Fawcett: [laughs] Any time there's something in the news that has bearing on the direction of genetic science right now, it's fantastic for our show. We like to stay current too -- I think we use what's possible right now in science as a jumping off point. First and foremost we wanted to make an incredibly engaging mystery thriller, but on top of that, we knew we wanted to take the nature vs nurture concept and create these really interesting characters for Tatiana to play. We want to avoid cliches, and if you saw something coming, we'd go in the other direction. Graeme and I set out to pull the rug out from under people and never let them know where we’re going.

    ETonline: Well you certainly accomplished that in the finale by killing Helena. I didn't see that coming at all. Even though it's unlike a traditional show where the actor stays on even if you kill their character, is it hard to say good-bye to the clones?
    Manson: We don't treat the clones like cannon fodder, so death is a huge deal for us. We will not line them up and knock them down. This is a character drama and we want the audience to invest in them. It's a huge decision either way -- just like it was also a huge decision to have Cosima be sick.
    Fawcett: As far as [killing] Helena, we knew where that storyline was going the entire time. We had made the decision [to kill her] in episode 10 when we started. This was a character we, essentially, set up as a serial killer, so we planned to, about halfway through he season, pull the rug out and start to make her sympathetic.

    ETonline: What was a bigger surprise: the fans love for Helena or their love for Alison?
    Fawcett: [laughs] Hmmmm. You know what, I don't know. Alison was my favorite when we started developing the show. I really was invested in people loving Alison because I thought she was a gas. Helena, for me, turned out to be a bit more of a surprise. I didn't know if that was going to work out. So if I'm talking pure surprise, it’s Helena. Some of the moments with her in episode 9 really surprised me -- they were so much deeper and more emotional than I would have suspected from reading the script.
    Manson: And that's so much thanks to Tatiana -- the things she brought to her little monster were some of the greatest things of the season. She was the one who decided Helena was motivated by love. She was the one who made that decision and when we had that conversation with the writers, it was a moment where we all said, "Oh! That's it!" And we started writing to that.

    ETonline: As her biggest fan, what excites you about where the season finale leaves Alison, John?
    Fawcett: To me, Alison is very much on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She's been drinking and pill popping and still puts on the happy face for everyone ... for the most part. For me, that's a character who will always be fun to play with. She's a paranoid, conspiracy theorist, gun-carrying, pill-popping alcoholic housewife in the suburbs -- you can't tell me that in season two and beyond you won't have a blast with a character like that!

    ETonline: While we've met other clones, Sarah feels like the lead of your show, and protecting Kira has been her singular focus for the duration of season one. What can you say about Kira's abduction looking to season two?
    Manson: Sarah's drive to protect Kira, regardless of her methods, has been the drive of our show since day one and that was the huge cliffhanger for the first season. Obviously Sarah is going to come out of the gate in a big way next season. She's got suspects in her sights, and a big one is Rachel.

    ETonline: How about Mrs. S? That character was a bit of a slow-burn for me, but it's clear she's got a lot of secrets of her own.
    Fawcett: We knew there was more to do with Mrs. S from the beginning, but in developing season one, Mrs. S became even more of a slow burn than we had expected. You can pretty much count on the fact you’ll see more of her in season two and a new side to her as well.

    ETonline: Can you say if season two will pick up where season one left off or if there will be a time jump?
    Fawcett: We gotta hit the ground running. The bottom line is Kira's gone and that means there's a fire under everyone's ass. You won't come back into the season with a one month or six month time jump.

    ETonline: We got hints of Kira's specialness all season long -- she can heal and is the first child of a clone. Will season two be about discovering what she is?
    Manson: Yes. We're very interested in the biology that makes Sarah the one mother among the clones and what that means for her offspring. There's a long mystery to be followed there.

    ETonline: Tatiana and I joked about this, but if your show keeps growing in popularity and in scope, there's a chance she could be asked to play dozens of clones simultaneously at some point. Do you have an internal ceiling for how many clones can be on the show at a given time?
    Fawcett: There's no definitive answer to how many clones there are [in the writer's room]. I know that no one is willing to commit to anything. I can also say that as a director, trying to stick 30 Tatiana's in one scene is never going to happen ... at least until we hit the feature film version of the show.

    ETonline: Is a movie something you would actually consider making?
    Fawcett: I think Graeme and I could consider a feature film at some point.
    Manson: Sure!

    Orphan Black season two premieres in 2014, while the season one DVD is available July 16.



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    Watermelon in cookie form. The perfect summer food?

    Nabisco hopes Oreo purists and non-fans alike will be taking a bag of the new, limited edition fruit-flavored cookies to their next picnic.

    The Watermelon Oreos, available only at Target (TGT) for $3 a package, feature a bright pink and green creme filling between two vanilla-flavored cookies; the creme bears a strong resemblance to Play-Doh. Two cookies contain 150 calories, 7 grams of fat and 21 grams of carbohydrates.

    Food bloggers had plenty to say about the new summer flavor. JunkFoodGuy wrote that he was expecting an “awful fake watermelon smell to come wafting out” but there was none. “As soon as I bit into one of these Limited Edition Watermelon Golden Oreos, I got an immediate light watermelon taste. I’ll just say it right off the bat…I liked these. A LOT.”’s conclusion: “The vanilla cookies take up most of the space on the flavor profile pie chart. Seventy-five percent or so. But it’s the subtlety of the cream that makes the cookie work as a whole. Too much watermelon, and the effort would be a mess.”
    "We think that Watermelon is a fun summer creme flavor that goes great with our Golden Oreo cookie," a spokeswoman for Mondelez Global (MDLZ) said in an email. (Mondelez owns Nabisco, which makes Oreos, in addition to other snack foods including Triscuit, Wheat Thins, Chips Ahoy and Ritz. It was formerly Kraft Foods Inc. and is a spinoff of Kraft Food Groups, Inc.)

    Weird, counterintuitive flavors aren’t new; newfangled concoctions are one way snack food makers have to differentiate themselves in a crowded industry. Earlier this year Lay’s (owned by Pepsico Inc.) unveiled Cheesy Garlic Bread potato chip flavor, the winner of its $1 million "Do Us a Flavor" contest. And (in an arguably stomach-turning move) Pringles last year introduced White Chocolate Peppermint and Pumpkin Pie Spice potato chip flavors.
    “These line extensions have been happening for quite some time and will continue to happen. It brings excitement to a category and brings consumers to a particular aisle in the grocery store,” says Erin Lash, a senior equity analyst at Morningstar who covers consumer product companies. Consumers are still keeping a tight grip on their wallets, and have even shown more willingness to trade down to lower-priced offerings, Lash says. So branded companies have to continuously innovate to compel consumers to stay loyal and continue to purchase their items over a cheaper private-label brand.

    Oreo itself has a history of limited-edition cookies, which has included gingerbread, candy corn, dulce de leche, birthday cake, Creamsicle, and Shure, Bert, another recent addition.
    Snack food makers seem to be taking a cue from fast food chains by ramping up their limited time offers as an added inducement to consumers (McDonald’s had Fish McBites during Lent and Einstein Bros. offered St. Patrick’s Day bagels in March).
    Junkfoodguy author Eric Adam Huang says brand name companies such as Frito-Lay, Nabisco and Pepperidge Farm are responding to flavor trends being tested either by smaller companies or competitors. Pringles released limited-time only Frank's Hot Sauce flavored Pringles shortly after Ruffles came out with their Molten Hot Wing flavored potato chips. And when, for example, a small gelato company such as Talenti starts gaining nationwide traction, Haagen-Dazs releases their own complete gelato line, Huang says.

    Cool Mint Oreos or BUST. What's your favorite cookie/cookie recipe, ONTD?

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    Mr. Smith Josh Duggar goes to Washington.

    Well, at least he will be, now that the 19 Kids and Counting star has accepted a job with the Family Research Council.

    Much to the dismay of GLAAD, though

    After Duggar announced on Monday during an interview on FRC President Tony Perkins' radio show that he would be serving as executive director of FRC Action, an affiliate of the Family Research Council, GLAAD didn't hesitate to make its feelings known.

    "If Josh Duggar wants to make a living dehumanizing and denigrating LGBT people and their families, that's his business, but FRC's lies and stereotypes need to be treated as such," GLAAD spokesperson and actor Wilson Cruz said in a statement posted on GLAAD's blog. "Josh's new boss, Tony Perkins, has actually accused LGBT equality advocates of being pawns of the devil. Fans of his family's reality show ought to know that."

    GLAAD's comments, of course, aren't too suprising seeing how the group was very outspoken when Duggar was merely in talks about possibly joining the FRC back in March.

    "Family Research Council is without a doubt one of our country's most dangerous hate groups, led by the most anti-gay man in America, Tony Perkins," GLAAD president Herndon Graddick told E! News at the time. "Not only has Perkins compared gay people to terrorists, he also supports the ludicrous idea that gay youth should be subjected to harmful therapies that aim to make them straight."

    Duggar will reportedly be moving to Washington, D.C., with his family between now and the end of the month.

    "So grateful for this opportunity to serve!" the eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar tweeted.

    Duggar and his wife, Anna, welcomed their third child, a son named Marcus, on June 5.


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    Miley Cyrus is NOT a good role model, according to a new poll. surveyed 2,407 parents from across the country -- all of which had at least one child over the age of 8 -- and discovered that 58 percent admit that they believe celebrities should not be used as examples of positive role models for their children.

    Those same parents then voted on which famous figures were the worst role models -- and here's what they came up with:

    1. Miley Cyrus (68%)

    2. Lindsay Lohan (65%)

    3. Kim Kardashian (63%)

    Also making the list: Amanda Bynes, Farrah Abraham, Rihanna, Ke$ha, Kourtney Kardashian, Heidi Montag and Taylor Momsen.

    When asked why they had chosen the female celebrities in question, the majority of parents cited the celebrity’s inability to make positive life choices, while others said the star had "no actual talent" or felt they were being "oversexualized" in the media.

    For the men:

    1. Chris Brown (71%)

    2. Kanye West (67%)

    3. Justin Bieber (65%)

    Also nabbing a spot on the top 10 list: Lil Wayne, Charlie Sheen, Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, Jay-Z and Bruce Jenner.

    According to those polled, the majority cited the celebrity male's "arrogance" as a deciding factor, while others said their lack of fidelity was a contributing reason, as well as their questionable talent.


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    He'll focus on upcoming projects and leave the series to Buddy Miller.

    When ABC's Nashville returns for its second season, the country music drama will be without the services of T Bone Burnett.

    The show's executive music producer will not be returning to the series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Burnett, who is married to Nashville creator Callie Khouri, oversaw the creation of more than 100 original recordings and personally produced or co-produced dozens of original songs featured on the Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere drama.

    "His slate of other film, television and recording projects would have made it impossible for him to return for a second season," Burnett's manager said in a statement, noting the busy producer initially only planned to stay for one season. "He became close to many of the actors on Nashville, and wishes all of them -- as well as the show’s producers, writers and crew -- all the best with the coming season."

    In addition to guiding the show's musical direction, Burnett also co-composed the score for each of the show's 21 episodes. Buddy Miller, who was Burnett's No. 2 during Nashville's freshman run, will now take over the role.

    Burnett is currently prepping music for the Coen brothers feature Inside Llewyn Davis, a biopic of the singer-songwriter who navigates New York's folk music scene in the 1960s. Oscar Isaac stars as Davis, with Carey Mulligan and Justin Timberlake among the cast.

    "T Bone's schedule this year is so overwhelming with the Llweyn Davis movie coming out and several other producing projects that he has: Elton John's record and so on," Khouri told THR. "We're going to do Nashville's second season with Buddy and some of the other producers that we worked with. T Bone set the gold standard for the show. His commitment to the quality of the music, the sound for the characters and all of that was something that we were very lucky to get him for."

    Nashville returns in the fall on ABC.

    The Hollywood Reporter

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    Iggy Azalea surprised her NY fans yesterday by bringing out T.I. and Trae tha Truth at her sold-out show at the Bowery Ballroom — but before that she swung by Sway in the Morning and explained why she titled her debut "The New Classic" and her desire to pursue rap.

    She also revealed that the album is due in September.

    The Australian MC plans to release the album worldwide at the same time. “It will probably be the first week in September,” she said. “Fortunately for me, I have a great problem to have, which is that I’m trying to figure out an international release date so it can release in every country at the same time.”

    The project has already spawned the singles “Work” (and “Bounce” out in European markets next month) and next up is “Change Your Life” featuring T.I. “It’s a big record,” Iggy told Rap-Up TV. “I think it will be good to have T.I. on that single and just show that we’re together, we’re still family. It’s definitely not me trying to make my silent exit from Hustle Gang.”

    The album may also feature a collaboration with Rihanna called “Designer Drugs.” “It sounds like if someone was playing an acoustic guitar, but then you went out into a tepee in the middle of the desert and got really drunk and started hallucinating,” she said.

    This Grand Hustler also weighs in on twerking and whether her butt is real or fake. During her visit to Sway, she also freestyled about her ex-boyfriend.

    Watch her honest interview below and enjoy Iggy’s acapella freestyle.


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    On feminism:‘Why am I not a feminist? Because… I have a penis. Seriously, I believe in respect, I believe in equality. If someone’s an asshole, then you treat them like an asshole. If they’re a woman and they’re an asshole, then you treat them like a female asshole.’

    On objectifying women:
    ‘I get objectified all the time. We’re objectifying people as much as mainstream entertainment objectifies people. I haven’t done extensive research but Metro, from what I’ve seen of it, you objectify the s*** out of everybody, which is fine – it’s your job and it sells.’

    On his parents:‘There’s nothing really to be embarrassed about. I mean, it’s the equivalent of saying, when Brad Pitt goes home for the holidays, are his parents embarrassed about what he’s done?’

    On Lindsay Lohan:
    ‘I didn’t really know anything about her before the movie. I knew who she was, obviously, she’s Lindsay Lohan! I’d never even heard of Mean Girls, what’s Mean Girls?’

    On the future:
    ‘Kids have never interested me, they’re always sticky. They have, like, jam hands. But I like the idea of getting married – I would enjoy that.’


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    Hilary Duff carries her adorable son Luca on her hip while out with husband Mike Comrie on Saturday (June 15) in Beverly Hills, Calif.

    The 25-year-old actress and her 32-year-old hockey player hubby enjoyed an early Father’s Day luncheon with their 14-month-old son.


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    The premiere comes to Athens on Tuesday night, sandwiched between the storm clouds and the picket lines. Its future is uncertain, its schedule in flux. The government pulls the plug on state broadcaster ERT, which pitches the city into disarray. The forecast is for rain, necessitating a last-minute change of venue from outdoors to in. There are beggars on the street, protesters outside the parliament and a caterpillar of riot police closing in on Syntagma square. "Welcome to Greece," says film producer Amanda Livanou, overseeing the arrivals outside the theatre. "Greece is a mess."

    Inside, sheltered from a downpour that never materialises, the guests watch Before Midnight, a new film from the American director Richard Linklater. Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke play Celine and Jesse, rattling through Greece on their way to a showdown. The route leads us past amber ruins, slowly baking in the summer sun, and into lonesome chapels where the eyes of the saints have long since been scratched out. Celine and Jesse love each other and that should be enough. But their life together has grown hobbled, scratchy and fraught with challenge. In the end they are something of a mess themselves.

    Before Midnight is Linklater's third film about Celine and Jesse (his fourth if you count their woozy cameo in 2001's animated Waking Life. We saw them first as footloose inter-railers, skipping through Vienna in 1995's Before Sunrise; jousting and flirting, their whole lives up ahead. In 2004's Before Sunset we found them in Paris, recast as pensive thirtysomethings, desperate to rekindle an old flame. This time, after the customary nine-year gap, they have moved on again, ostensibly united yet still in search of a happy ending.

    "The dynamic of the first two films was pretty similar," Delpy tells me. "It was about connecting and then reconnecting. This one is different in that it concerns the problems that stem from being connected. It's about being tethered, feeling trapped."

    Hawke takes a more charitable view. "The first film is about what could be," he explains. "The second is about what should have been. Before Midnight is about what it is."

    Actually I love all three pictures – in so far as I am even able to see them as separate, stand-alone entities. Far better, I think, to view each instalment as an ongoing conversation, or a periodic catchup with distant friends. Jesse can be an exasperating showboater, at once passive and vain. Celine is gamey, capricious, quick to anger. Yet we feel that we know these people inside and out. Implicitly we are invited to measure our lives against theirs. Almost as an aside, their garrulous sparring provides one of the richest, most truthful depictions of a relationship ever sent before a camera.

    The beauty of the Before Sunrise movies is that they feel as if they have been spun from gossamer, lifted from life. But of course that is an illusion. In reality, this easy ebb and flow is the result of a painstaking writing collaboration between Linklater and the stars, polished by an intensive rehearsal period and then shot in choreographed long takes that Delpy likens (rather melodramatically) to being tortured. "But obviously we're blurring the lines," Hawke acknowledges. "People tend to think this is really us, that Julie and me live together. And that's something we've fought really hard to create. The films aren't autobiographical, but they are built entirely around our own emotional truths. The things we believe – that we've felt and experienced. It's like this parallel universe that we can all step into."

    It transpires, though, that these films have a fourth collaborator; a ghost in the machine. In 1989, Linklater spent a night in Philadelphia with a young woman named Amy Lehrhaupt and it was this encounter that first sparked the story. Linklater recently learned that Lehrhaupt had died in 1994 – killed in a motorcycle accident just weeks before the first film began shooting. Before Midnight is, belatedly, dedicated to her memory.

    "I'm one of the few film-makers who will admit to autobiographical impulses," he says. "But by the time you've physically manifested that impulse, it's been changed so much. So yeah, that happened to me and we did lose touch. But the encounter was a little different to what you see in the movie."

    "In what way was it different?" Delpy asks him. "Did you have sex or not?"

    Linklater laughs; he is not about to say. "Frankly, I can't even remember what we talked about. That night in the 80s when I met her – it's all so long ago. Besides, the impulse was purely emotional. It was about that feeling between two people. It could have been anywhere. It could have been anyone."

    Preparing for Before Midnight, Delpy and Hawke sat down to watch their younger incarnations. At the time of the first picture both were rising stars; skittish, ambitious and a little unformed. He had cropped up in Dead Poets Society and wrestled the wildlife on an adaptation of White Fang. She had been a muse for Godard and Krzysztof Kieslowski and shot a film, Voyager, alongside the playwright Sam Shepard. But their experience on Before Sunrise was like the roof coming off. For Hawke, it showed that acting need not be about angsty posturing and empty emoting. For Delpy, it encouraged her to trust her own voice.

    "I so wanted to write and direct," she says. "I mean, I had written screenplays before but I was extremely insecure because I read some lines to Sam Shepard and he said: 'You're pretty. Please don't write.'"

    Hawke guffaws. "You're pretty"? That's not very supportive."

    "Jeez," says Linklater. "Here's my comment on your writing: you're pretty."

    Hawke chips in. "Here's my comment on your writing: show me your tits."

    "Yeah, well," shrugs Delpy. "It made me insecure for years."

    Before Sunrise, she says, restored her confidence. In the intervening 18 years she has written and directed four features and now considers herself more of a film-maker than an actor. Hawke, too, has endured and prospered. He has married (and divorced) Uma Thurman, picked up an Oscar nomination for Training Day, published a brace of novels and is perched at the top of the US box office thanks to a starring role in The Purge. Both insist they are altogether more content, more fulfilled, more genuinely happy than they were in 1995.

    This, I confess, comes as something of a surprise. If there is any underlying message to the Before Sunrise pictures, it is that life gets messy, passions fade and the best any relationship can aspire to is a kind of ongoing, negotiated compromise. Celine and Jesse started out as gorgeous, blessed, self-absorbed young adults, giggling merrily at a fractious middle-aged couple who share their train compartment. They wind up, barring a few kinks and quirks, as the very thing they laughed at all those years ago.

    Before Midnight catches the lovers at the end of a summer holiday in the Peloponnese. They are together and have children. But old wounds still smart and their circumstances are a drag. The mood is plaintive, melancholy, verging on fatalistic. Where Jesse and Celine once seemed to welcome change, they have now grown to fear it. Where they once regarded themselves as the centre of the world, they now realise they are merely bit-players, utterly dispensable and already halfway towards the exit door. At one stage an elderly woman informs them they are merely passing through. At another Jesse laments the failure of an ambitious novel with a cumbersome title: Temporary Cast-Members of a Long-Running But Little-Seen Production of a Play Called Fleeting. Down by the seafront, Celine watches the sun sink below the line of an island. "Still there," she says. "Still there ... Still there ... Gone."

    It is surely no accident that Linklater chose to shoot the whole thing in Greece with a local crew. Greece, after all, is the perfect backdrop for the film's domestic squalls, the perfect metaphor for Celine and Jesse's relationship. Linklater's lovers are struggling to decide what has been ruined and what can be preserved. And Greece – at least Greece in its current state – gives us the idyll run aground. Teetering on the brink of default and "grexit", it offers its citizens a front-row seat for the break-up and breakdown; the one big premiere no one wants to attend.

    Delpy would go along with that – but only up to a point. "You might say this film is smashing the first film, ruining the dream. But isn't it somehow more optimistic to show what comes next? Before Midnight is about the hardship of being together. So you either find that depressing, because you want to keep the idealistic fantasy of a love that is unsustainable. Or you grit your teeth and move forward. For me, that's not destroying the first film. That's building on it. And yes, it's a bit like this country. It's built on ruins and it's in a lot of trouble. But it's still ongoing, it's still surviving. You just have to keep on building."

    After all the fuss and panic, the Athens screening goes off without a hitch. At the end, once the credits have rolled, the guests emerge to find the landscape magically transformed. During the intervening two hours, the protesters have gone, the riot police have vanished. Outside the cinema, the bunting has been removed, the cordons stacked away. The street that a few hours before played host to the premiere is now just an everyday street again, with stragglers on the kerb and some vagrants in the doorway. The movie has finished and the circus has moved on.

    Will we meet Celine and Jesse again, another nine years down the road? The film-makers don't know, or aren't saying, and on balance I think that's probably for the best. The Before Sunrise movies remind us that life is precious. They tell us there are no givens and no guarantees, and no way of knowing when the last meeting will be. Everyone – protesters and reporters, movie actors and star-crossed lovers – is merely passing through, temporary cast-members in a play called Fleeting. Still there, still there, and then suddenly gone.


    Well, she's an Oscar nominated writer now.

    Re-watched Before Sunset last night. Soooo good. These movies are magic.

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    Vice magazine recreated the means of suicide of seven female literary icons in a fashion spread called “Last Words.” But this morning, Vice, which normally prides itself on refusing to bow to the gods of taste or opinion, has removed the post from its website following general outrage after the spread was published online.

    Of course, the images are still available in the print edition. Still, this seems to be a rare time when Vice has backed down and removed an offending photo spread from the Internet. When we emailed to find out more, we received this statement from Vice:

    “Last Words” is a fashion spread featuring models reenacting the suicides of female authors who tragically ended their own lives. It is part of our 2013 Fiction Issue (, one that is entirely dedicated to female writers, photographers, illustrators, painters, and other contributors.

    The fashion spreads in VICE magazine are always unconventional and approached with an art editorial point-of-view rather than a typical fashion photo-editorial one. Our main goal is to create artful images, with the fashion message following, rather than leading.

    “Last Words” was created in this tradition and focused on the demise of a set of writers whose lives we very much wish weren’t cut tragically short, especially at their own hands. We will no longer display “Last Words” on our website and apologize to anyone who was hurt or offended.


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    Exclusive in-depth interview with Iggy Azalea. In part 4 Iggy talks to Nick Huff Barili about how she fell in love with Hip Hop listening to Tupac's Baby Don't Cry at age 12 and how she used to be obsessed with rap lyrics, making sure her and her friends were saying the right words. Her first attempt at writing rhymes was to impress a boy letting him know that he was the silver lining of her life. Iggy says that she felt very alone growing up in Australia because her parents had a bad relationship. In 5th grade her father left her a note at school saying he had left her which was the beginning of her isolation from people around her. Iggy was scared of her father growing up but now that she is older she gets him and they get a long well. Iggy shares that she was very depressed growing up and that music was the only thing that kept her going. Iggy had a lot of jobs to save money which included working at a supermarket, at a record store (before she got fired for stealing an Ashanti single) and cleaning houses with her Mom. Her Mom gave her $200 to go to a recording studio to record her first song, which meant a lot to Iggy because she knew how hard her Mom worked to get that money. Ultimately working with her Mom helped Iggy appreciate her Mom even more and brought them closer.

    On men, dreams, twerking, and her style icon: Fran Drescher.

    We met up with Iggy Azalea at the Island Def Jam office before the second of her New York City shows. Despite sharing the spotlight with hip-hop mogul TI last night, she held her own and brought explosive energy to the stage, twerk team in tow. Since coming to the states from Australia when she was 16 and living in Miami, Houston, Atlanta and Los Angeles, Iggy Azalea has released a collection of mixtapes and tracks with artists such as Steve Aoki and Diplo and is due to release her first full-length in September. In the meantime, we’ve got the scoop on what’s inspired her throughout her journey. -KIRA COLE

    Were you always into hip-hop and rap when you were growing up?
    I’ve always been into it. Not from birth, but I think nobody is really into a same type of music until, probably, they hit puberty and decide to do their own thing. And you want to wear not the clothes your mother gave you, and you want to listen to your own music and have your own style and be your own person. So from that point, I’ve always loved rap music.

    What does your debut mixtape’s title, “Ignorant Art,” really mean?
    I see an ongoing theme in my music as experimenting with rap and different styles of sounds and blending them. There’s this funny kind of culture in rap music of hip-hop purists who believe that rap music should sound one way, and that’s the correct or right way for it to sound–the “real rap” sound versus something else–and I think that something else sometimes gets labeled as ignorant. I think art can be ignorant or really crude. Basquiat was an artist that I based my cover off because I think his art was very crude and sometimes misunderstood. Crude not in a rude way, but in a raw way. Not polished. If I tell a story, then that’s real rap, but if I talk about vaginas, then that’s not art anymore. What is real rap? What is art?

    “The New Classic” is coming out in September?
    It’s a bit more story telling. It’s stuff that you can dance to. Definitely high-energy things, but I talk a bit more about relationships and stories that I have about different relationships that I’ve had with guys. Or, I talk a lot about chasing your dreams or chasing my dreams. Dreams, men, and twerking are the three subjects.

    What role does fashion play in your art?
    I think that it’s really important–fashion. But, I love fashion in the costume way. Not to say that how I dress is a costume, but I love movie characters, and I love the fashion of costumes and characters more than I like to look at a runway.

    Do you have style icons?
    I really like Grace Kelly. I just think she’s so chic and she had great classical tailoring. I like characters. I like Grease. I like Lola Bunny from Space Jam because she’s always wears high-waisted shorts and a crop top when she plays basketball, which I wear quite often. I have her bang. My ponytail could be her rabbit ears. I like The Nanny girl Fran. She’s my style icon, Fran Drescher. I love her suits! They’re so gaudy and awesome.

    What have been the challenges of being a female rapper?
    I think it’s hard to be aggressive and not be masculine. It’s very hard to balance that and still be feminine. And to have people want to listen to you, sonically: your tone and also your message. When somebody is too masculine as a woman I even think it’s a bit cringe-y. It’s a difficult tightrope walk.

    What differentiates you from other women in hip-hop?
    We have our own story to tell or things that we want to say. Some of us just want to say that we dress well or that we’re the baddest bitch. Everybody is something. Sometimes people don’t necessarily have a story. For me, I just always feel like I want to be powerful, and that’s what my music is about, whether it’s telling a story–like “Work,” about how I got to where I am and for that to hopefully make other people feel motivated to follow their dreams or just making a badass song like “Pu$$y,” where it makes you feel confident. My reoccurring theme is just trying to make you feel like you’re powerful.

    In three words, how would you describe your sound?
    I think it’s energetic, probably experimental–it’s not crude–but it’s taboo. It’s like, ‘Did she really just say that?’ Yeah, I said it.

    In three words, how would your mom describe your sound?
    In the gutter.

    Iggy Azalea is performing at the Echoplex in LA this weekend and then she’s off to play the European festivals. Click here for her full schedule.


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    Robin Thicke spends a second week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Blurred Lines," featuring T.I. and Pharrell. Pharrell, meanwhile, thanks to Daft Punk's 3-2 lift with "Get Lucky," on which he's featured, becomes the first artist in four years to place songs at Nos. 1 and 2 simultaneously. Imagine Dragons additionally fire up a piece of Hot 100 history, completing a record-establishing trek to the top five.

    "Lines" locks up the Hot 100's top spot as the chart's top Digital and Airplay Gainer. The track spends a third week at No. 1 on Digital Songs, gaining by 18% to 371,000 downloads sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and reaches the top five on Radio Songs and Streaming Songs: it bound 8-4 on the former chart (96 million all-format audience impressions, up 32%) and 8-5 on the latter (3.7 million U.S. streams, up 6%), according to Nielsen BDS.

    "Lines" concurrently notches a second week at No. 1 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and a fifth week atop the R&B Songs chart.

    "Lines" maintains its command on the Hot 100 with an impressive 18% jump in overall chart points, holding off Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," also featuring Pharrell (billed as featuring Pharrell Williams on the song), which climbs 3-2 (up 1%). The track racks a fourth week at No. 1 on the subscription services-based On-Demand Songs chart (2.1 million, down 14%); holds at No. 2 on Streaming Songs (4.7 million, down 12%) and No. 4 on Digital Songs (195,000, up 1%); and charges 6-5 on Radio Songs (95 million, up 19%).

    With Pharrell credited as a featured act on the Hot 100's top two songs, he's the first artist to rank at both spots concurrently in almost four years. The Black Eyed Peas last accomplished the feat for four weeks in June/July 2009 when "Boom Boom Pow" spent its last of 12 weeks at No. 1 while follow-up "I Gotta Feeling" waited at No. 2 before the tracks switched positions for two weeks. Among soloists, T.I. had last managed such a double with "Whatever You Like" and "Live Your Life" (the latter title featuring Rihanna) for six weeks in October/November 2008.

    "Lucky" dominates the Dance/Electronic Songs chart for a fifth week.

    Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Can't Hold Us," featuring Ray Dalton, slips 2-3 on the Hot 100 after ruling the tally for five frames (down 7% in overall points). Still, "Hold" continues to gain slightly in airplay, bulleting at No. 2 on Radio Songs (135 million, up 1%) for a third week. The track also crowns Rap Songs for a ninth week.

    Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" climbs 6-4 on the Hot 100, reaching the top five for the first time in its record-setting 42nd week. The song bests the 34-week ascent to the region of Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise," featuring Nelly, a longevity mark set just three weeks ago. ("Cruise" descends 5-6 on the Hot 100, although it logs a 16th week at No. 1 on Hot Country Songs).

    Whereas "Cruise" made its lengthy journey by starting at country before crossing over to pop and adult formats, "Radioactive" has traveled its scenic path by starting at rock (it led Alternative Songs for 13 weeks) before finding support at pop and adult radio; it reaches the Pop Songs top 10 (14-10) and bullets at its No. 12 peak-to date on Adult Pop Songs this week.

    "Radioactive," atop Hot Rock Songs for a 13th week, reaches a new peak on Digital Songs, rising 5-2 (207,000, up 8%) and, as on Pop Songs, enters the top 10 on Radio Songs (14-10; 69 million, up 22%). It pushes 4-3 on Streaming Songs (4-3; 3.8 million, up 6%).

    Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors" drops 4-5 on the Hot 100, after peaking at No. 2, although it rules Radio Songs for a fifth week (154 million, down 3%).

    Below Florida Georgia Line's "Cruise" at No. 6, the songs at Nos. 7 through 10 on the Hot 100 remain in place from last week: P!nk's former three-week Hot 100 No. 1 "Just Give Me a Reason," featuring fun.'s Nate Ruess (7-7); Selena Gomez's "Come & Get It" (8-8); Ariana Grande's "The Way," featuring Mac Miller (9-9); and Icona Pop's "I Love It," featuring Charli XCX, (10-10).

    Check tomorrow (June 20), when all rankings, including the Hot 100 in its entirety and Digital Songs, Radio Songs, Streaming Songs and On-Demand Songs will be refreshed, as they are each Thursday.

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    NBC’s “Hannibal” concludes what’s been a fantastic first season tomorrow night at 10. What could have felt like a bad retread of — well, of all the other serial killer dramas and movies that have been ripping off the original Hannibal Lecter stories for the last few decades — turned out, under the guidance of producer Bryan Fuller (“Pushing Daisies”), to be a riveting, nightmarish story about the impacts and causes of violence, and the effect investigating the crimes of a man like Dr. Lecter (played in cool, hypnotic fashion by Mads Mikkelsen) would have on criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy).

    Last week, I spoke with Fuller about how he chose to approach the material — the show spins out of a few passages in Thomas Harris’ first Lecter novel, “Red Dragon” — the casting of Mikkelsen, the care taken to creating Dr. Lecter’s disgusting and yet beautiful meals, and more. I'm splitting this interview into two parts: 1)This first one about Fuller's approach to the familiar source material(*), his philosophy about Dr. Lecter's meals, and other things that won't spoil the finale; and 2)A second interview that will be published after the finale airs, discussing the events of it and what may be coming down the road (including when or if the series might be adapting the main plots of "Red Dragon" and "Silence of the Lambs").

    (*) Note: Because I've read the books, seen the movies, etc., this interview alludes at times to things that will happen down the road for Graham, Lecter and Laurence Fishburne's Jack Crawford. If you're ignorant of the future of these characters and want to remain so, you might want to skip.

    Let's talk about your approach to the material when you started. This is very well-trod material: "Red Dragon" has been adapted into two different movies; everyone knows Lecter in some way. What was your approach going into this to make the material seem like something people hadn't seen before?

    Bryan Fuller: I think it was about covering a portion of the story that literally people hadn't seen before. We hadn't seen Lecter as a practicing psychiatrist and a practicing cannibal. That felt like it was fresh territory, even though it's so intrinsic to who the character is. We understand him as this cannibalistic psychiatrist, but we never saw it. It was all told to us in backstory. For me, that felt for me like a great opportunity to really see, arguably the most interesting part of Hannibal Lecter's life.

    But the way you write, and Mads Mikkelsen plays, the character, it doesn't feel like it's a rehash of Hopkins or Brian Cox or anyone else.

    Bryan Fuller: One of the reasons I wanted to cast Mads Mikkelsen is that he is not either of those actors. And he would be doing something completely different from what people expected. I was a fan of his for a while, not just seeing him in "Casino Royale" and "Clash of the Titans," but films like "After the Wedding" and "Valhalla Rising.""After the Wedding" was really the movie that cemented him as Lecter in my mind, because it's such an emotional performance. He's so vulnerable. American audiences who had been exposed to Mads were probably used to seeing him as some kind of villain, or a character with an eyepatch. They hadn't seen the bulk of his fantastic work as an actor in Danish cinema. So I felt really compelled that we could do something different with the character, keeping his European mystique from the literature, but giving it this sobriety and taking away the wink. That felt like it was a really grounded way to deliver the character to audiences who may have been familiar with who he was, whether it be Brian Cox or Anthony Hopkins, and give them a completely different version of the character, in an unexplored part of his life.

    How did you, whether on your own or with (director) David Slade, come up with the visual depiction of Will Graham's gift? We've heard in those films, and in all the Thomas Harris imitators, about profilers who learn to think like serial killers, but I've never seen it visually portrayed quite this way before.

    Bryan Fuller: There's one line in the "Red Dragon" book. The pendulum device is all in the scripts. It's a very precise method to do not only the decriminalization, but also a little bit of time travel and psychic protection, all wrapped up in one lightsaber/windshield wiper aesthetic. That started from Thomas Harris, who said when Will Graham goes into the Leeds house and starts to think about how the killer maneuvered in that space, very expressly, that he closed his eyes and a pendulum swung. That, to me, was all I needed to kind of create a new visual motif for it. Also, it was important for me to see the character of Will Graham and the actor Hugh Dancy performing the murders so we can feel as an audience what it's like for him to project himself into someone else's shoes that we now are given a device to see him actually commit those crimes, and understand how hard it is to think about killing people — even though it's to save a life.

    How much thought do you and the other writers put into coming up with these really baroque, memorable images from the murders? How much is it about what the visuals are supposed to mean, as opposed to, "Oh my gosh, it's going to look so cool and creepy if we see flesh angel wings"?

    Bryan Fuller: (laughs) What we figured out in the process is there are a lot of crime procedural shows that show a lot of different crimes. The bulk of them are kind of rapey, stabby, shoot-em-up, direct types of murders. For me, as a fan of Thomas Harris, and a student of the literature, I felt it was important that we do murders in the show that are representative of the Thomas Harris-ian purple, operatic quality of the villains we read in his literature. So we have Hannibal Lecter, who is a cannibal psychiatrist. You have Francis Dolarhyde, who is a man experiencing a midlife crisis and also may or may not have a serious personality disorder and sees himself transforming into a godlike creature. And Buffalo Bill, who wants to be a woman so badly he's willing to make a woman's suit out of real women. The bar was set from those types of villains. I felt we had to rise to that and have this purple operatic quality to our crimes in order to be Thomas Harris. So having a guy who is looking for connections in the world, so much so that he doesn't relate to human beings as much as he does to mycelium, which is always in a state of trying to connect, felt not only purple, but a little poetic, and not like something you'd see on another show. And a gentleman who is suffering from a brain tumor that causes him to see people in a different light and wants to turn them into angels to watch over him as he sleeps, it felt once again like there was a poetry to it. So we're constantly looking for, "What is the poetry of the murder? What is the art of the murder?"Initially, it was like, "Well, Hannibal Lecter as the Chesapeake Ripper provides these fabulous death tableaux." But then it becomes, "I want the Ripper to be killing every episode, because i want to be dazzled cinematically and philosophically and poetically with these murders." It's in order to heighten them from a standard kill. The more real the murder is, the less interested I am in seeing it. It's hard enough to watch the news. If there's going to be some kind of murder or death tableau investigation, it's gotta be above and beyond something that feels real. So all of these murders have a heightened quality to it. If we were doing real-life, ripped from the headline murders every week, I would swallow a bullet. it's depressing enough to write about murderers, but then to make it real is compounding the problem. So for me, the only way to write this show is to give the villains a larger than life, operatic quality. So I, as the writer, can be very clear that I am writing a work of heightened fiction, as opposed to documenting horrible things that happen every day in the world. Which I have no interest in doing.

    How much of what Hannibal serves should we assume features human ingredients? All of it? Some of it?

    Bryan Fuller: (laughs) I think if there is some kind of meat product on the table, whether it be a broth or an organ of some kind, that that is very likely a human being. But when, for instance, he served Dr. Sutcliffe, and it was very clearly a pig leg, I think that was somebody from the Island of Dr. Moreau. No, not literally. In those cases — when it's visually a piece of chicken bone or something like it that is visually indicative of an animal — then it's the animal. Everything else is people. [OP: SALAD WAS MOST DEFINITELY PEOPLE]

    I know you've put a lot of work into Hannibal's meals, and consulted with Jose Andres about it. How do you feel about the fact that so many people say that watching the show makes their mouth water?

    Bryan Fuller: I think it's wonderful, because food is art, I believe. If you are going to be serving a living thing, you have to honor that living thing with some kind of care and thought and preparation to rationalize the taking of that life in some way. Where if you're just grinding up hamburger at McDonald's, I see that as a bit of an affront to living things. You're not really honoring the life. So as an animal lover and as a sometime-meat-eater, I've read so much about the emotional sophistication of pigs and cows and sheep that I do think twice when I do still eat them on occasion. When I'm at home and I'm preparing my own food, it's all gluten-free, or fish and it's healthy, but when I go to someone else's house, I'll eat what they put in front of me because I don't want to be an asshole. But I do think it's very interesting to blur the line between eating human beings and eating animals, because I do think people should think more about what they put in their bodies, whether it is nutritionally or philosophically. I'm not saying meat-eating is wrong, because I do think it is a personal choice. But I think it's interesting to blur those lines, because I do love animals so much, and have a great respect for them emotionally and intellectually, because they are so different from human beings. One of the things I loved about working with Jose Andres is that he wasn't precious about eating people. It's like, "Well, it's kind of there." Obviously, there are greater philosophical issues that I'm making light of, but it is an interesting discussion to look at all that food, that is beautiful in its presentation, and to know in terms of the story that it is another human being. There was the episode where he was having the dinner party and he wrapped the heart in bacon and stuffed it full of delicious things. I don't think I've ever eaten heart, but I hope when I do, it tastes as good as that looks.

    How relieved are you that you're going to be able to do a second season? Was there a point during this season, when the ratings were what they were and NBC wasn't saying anything at all, and the upfronts came and went with no decision — how worried were you that this would be it? And were you surprised when they called you up to say season 2 was a go?

    Bryan Fuller: I knew there was going to be a second season, regardless, whether or not it was on NBC.

    Because of the foreign deal?

    Bryan Fuller: Because of the foreign deal and because of other interests that had stepped forward and said, "If NBC doesn't pick up the show, we want to." So I knew there was going to be a second season. I just didn't know whether it was going to be on NBC.

    They had this property, they seemed really happy with it, to the point where (NBC entertainment president) Jennifer Salke has said they passed on "The Following" because they had you and loved you. And yet you wound up being held for a very long time in the season, get put into a timeslot where they've really struggled for a few years now. What do you think happened?

    Bryan Fuller: I think there was certainly caution on NBC's side. They supported the show creatively and really allowed me to make the series that I wanted to make and tell the story that I wanted to tell. There was relatively no interference and a lot of support on really delivering a very complicated psychological tale. What happened is that you have the people who are supporting the creative and championing the show with me, and when you get to programming, which is a different head of the hydra, that there's no telling where the programming department will feel safe putting a show. But that had no reflection on Jen Salke's support, or Vernon Sanders'. The day to day executives who interacted with the show were all, "We believe in this show. This show is amazing." Part of what made the show so doable on a network was that they were so supportive, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can influence who's programming the schedule or where they put the show based on advertising dollars. The reason they didn't announce us at upfronts is that they wanted to remove this show from a ratings conversation. Upfronts are all about ad sales. The advertisers are like, "Wait, you've got 2 million people watching it live, and 5 million watching it time-shifted," and that doesn't necessarily give them a lot of confidence. So I think them removing "Hannibal" from the upfront conversation was a way to safely pick it up for the future — to keep it as far away from a ratings and ad sale conversation as possible.

    In terms of NBC being hands-off and supportive, I know you talked to Kate Aurthur at length about the decision to pull episode 4. In hindsight, are you comfortable with how that all played out?

    Bryan Fuller: In hindsight, it probably would have been fine to air. But at that time, every time we would open the Daily Beast or Huffington Post, there were children with crosshairs over their faces who had just been killed due to gun violence. It was really indicative where we were media-wise at that time. In retrospect, it would ahve been fine to air, but at that time, I feel like that was the informed decision to be cognizant of what was happening in the nation regarding children and violence and particularly gun violence. Hindsight is 20/20, and if I was faced with that decision right now, I probably would jave just said, 'Eh. Air it.' We can only react to the time in which we are living. At that time, it felt like it was the best decision on behalf of the network, on behalf of the creatives on the show. Maybe it was making more of something than it should have been, and maybe it wouldn't have gone as noticed and maybe it was reactionary, but in that time it felt like the right decision to make. Now it's a different time, we're at the end of a season, and there's been such a satisfying story told that maybe it might not have been a distraction to the show. It's tricky with that sort of thing, because you want to be honest with the audience and the story, and also tell something that — at the time we were telling that story, it felt so heightened and unreal, that it felt like a place to go for the show creatively, and then it became a little too real. It was a little too real for a while. I'm torn. Part of me thinks that if I were to do it again, I would just push for the episode to air, but I don't have a time machine.

    Alan Sepinwall may be reached at

    Hannibal‘s Will is in a bad way going into Thursday’s season finale (NBC, 10/9c), and this exclusive sneak peek from the episode doesn’t reassure us one bit.
    As Caroline Dhavernas‘ Alana and Laurence Fishburne‘s Jack talk/argue/worry, one thing becomes clear: They’re sure Will is responsible for Abigail Hobbs’ murder. (At least Alana thinks there’s hope for her friend; Jack’s somber face, on the other hand, looks like a closed book.)


    Make dinner, not people

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