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- 06/12/14--19:45: _The Best & Worst Of...
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- 06/12/14--20:47: _Did Britney sabotag...
- 06/12/14--20:47: _Obama Honors WNBA C...
- 06/12/14--20:47: _10 HBO Shows That P...
- 06/12/14--20:48: _Michael Buble: 'I t...
- 06/12/14--20:59: _Lana Del Rey: Anti-...
- 06/12/14--21:18: _First look at Dane ...
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- 06/12/14--21:37: _Kim Zolciak Tries O...
- 06/12/14--21:38: _Vanity Fair’s Young...
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- 06/12/14--21:40: _Lea Michele: My New...
- 06/12/14--21:41: _Thalia Says Hispani...
- 06/12/14--22:18: _E! Reality Star's G...
- 06/13/14--16:02: _FFAF: June 13
- 06/13/14--17:19: _Barbara Walters Cou...
- 06/12/14--19:54: What WB/DC Comics Is Planning at Comic-Con in July
- 06/12/14--20:13: Who Went Home on The Challenge: Free Agents 2510?
- 06/12/14--20:47: Did Britney sabotage the Gimme More videoshoot?
- 06/12/14--20:47: Obama Honors WNBA Champs Minnesota Lynx At White House!
- 06/12/14--20:47: 10 HBO Shows That Paved The Way For 'Game Of Thrones'
- 06/12/14--20:48: Michael Buble: 'I take my kid to movies and five-star restaurants'
- 06/12/14--20:59: Lana Del Rey: Anti-Feminist?
- 06/12/14--21:18: First look at Dane DeHaan in "Life After Beth"
- 06/12/14--21:37: Kim Zolciak Tries Out Breast Implant Sizes
- 06/12/14--21:38: Vanity Fair’s Young Hollywood Class of 2003: Where Are They Now?
- 06/12/14--21:40: Lea Michele: My New boyfriend is not a gigolo, he's a dating coach
- 06/12/14--21:41: Thalia Says Hispanic People Eat Too Many Tortillas & Don't Exercise!
- 06/12/14--22:18: E! Reality Star's Gay Porn Past Revealed
- 06/13/14--16:02: FFAF: June 13
The second novel is slated to be published in the fall, in time for her October appearance at RomantiCon® in Canton, Ohio (Ellora’s Cave is also selling an ebook version of Abraham’s memoir My Teenage Dream Ended). In The Making stars Fallon Opal, who differs from Abraham in that she’s not a mom, but did reach reality show fame with a high school show called “Cheer Battle.” Fallon is faced with a giant IRS bill and is at a loss as to how to keep her celeb status on the public radar, so she agrees to do a sex tape because it comes with a giant paycheck (as well as conveniently fulfilling her fantasy of making a sex tape).
When I met Abraham while she was signing advance copies of the book at Book Expo America at the Javits Center earlier this month, she was effusive, charming and personable—the perfect celebrity, posing for photos, signing books and giving away mini viewers with each of the covers of her three novels. A group of about 20 people lined up at the appointed time at the Ellora’s Cave booth, where Abraham was surrounded by staffers, muscular guys called “Cave Slaves” and security guards. She asked a woman ahead of me how she got interested in erotica, and gushed about being a Howard Stern fan.
So, back to the book. Amelia asked me to highlight the best and worst parts of it, but here’s the thing about this book: there’s really no separating best and worst.It’s like the phrase “sexy ugly” from the movie “Kissing Jessica Stein.” The book seems to be trying to do two things at once: establish Fallon’s desire to show herself off as the ultimate exhibitionist, while casting disdain on not only the entire porn industry but also her co-star, Jimmy Heinz, and boasting about how much better at sex on camera Fallon is than any professional (a theme repeated throughout the book). Over-the-top would be the phrase that best describes it, from the photos of Farrah and several guys, including one sticking his hand down his only piece of clothing, a pair of briefs, to the sex scene in a jail cell (!), to the way the book bounces from sex scene to sex scene with Fallon constantly telling the reader how amazing she is.
So here are a few highlights from my advanced readers copy—I’ll leave it to you to decide which are the best and which are the worst.
Fallon’s best friend, a gay man named Johnni (“My fabulous gay angel”), brings her sex tapes to watch to get a feel for the genre:
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’d somehow thought the tape would be more, I don’t know, exciting. It wasn’t as titillating as I’d thought it would be with someone as attractive as Kim in it…If I ever did a sex tape, I’d want better quality footage, for sure. The low-quality stuff did nothing for the participants. I’d also want a guy who would make everyone jealous just watching me be with him. By the time we were done for the evening I had an imaginary sex tape all planned out in my head. It would be exciting and have variety, unlike the ones we’d watched where I’d been more interested in checking my phone than listening to another moan.
Fallon at first thinks Jimmy Heinz is so hot he could be boyfriend material, but is over him before they’ve even started filming, and takes every opportunity to disparage him and give him strange story lines (such as having colon cancer):
I’d certainly woken up and realized that Jimmy Heinz wasn’t who I’d wanted him to be. He was a thirty-sex-year-old porn star, who tried to do things outside of porn but would only ever be known for the use of his dick. He wasn’t my Prince Charming. He wasn’t even really stable, but he would be my on-screen heartthrob.
The grossest and second weirdest (after the jail scene) story line involves a sponge Fallon uses because she has her period:
“It needs to be in farther,” Kanity said.
I was about to tell her to mind her own damn business when she put her hand between my legs and pushed the freaking sponge up. Her fingers slid into my pussy and for a split second I couldn’t even think.
This was not happening.
I was not surrounded by crazy people, with a psychopath’s fingers in my vagina. There was no way this was happening. It had to be a nightmare and I’d wake up in a moment.
Here’s Fallon psyching herself up before making the tape, after assuring the reader her real reason for doing so “wasn’t for the money”:
As long as Jimmy played his supportive “Let’s make this girl comfortable” act and went with what I needed to get off, and made this cyclone of different scenes a chance to get me to orgasm each time, the epic fantasy I wanted to bring to life would hold true. Besides, I hadn’t been with anyone for a while. I wanted to fuck. I wanted a hard cock inside of me. I wanted to make a little history in my own life today.
Fallon’s attitude toward her sex tape is as confusing as Farrah’s real-life protestations that her videos were really for “private” use:
My gaze went to Jimmy and I smiled, playing with my lingerie and infusing the feel of the video with the feeling that we’d been dating for a while. “Baby, come on, let’s have some fun while you have the recorder on.”
I held out my hand, no longer Fallon the actress. I was Fallon the best-selling celebrity sex tape star. The one to beat every other wanna-be celebrities before and after me. It was an act, a role to play…except this time I wasn’t just fulfilling a role, I was revealing a side of myself no one else had seen before. It was also an act for Jimmy and everyone who could hear or sneak a peek into the condo. It was a show for the camera, all the watchers behind it and the people who would watch.
For what’s billed as an erotic novel, her sex scenes sound more like she has something to prove:
I felt some pain but I was a sex warrior and I moaned loader to get Jimmy more aroused. The last concern I had faded away, and my body felt like it went into shock. I knew I probably shouldn’t have been ticking myself into not feeling pain, what with my period and incisions. What sex-fiend fantasy was I trying to fool everyone with?
Here’s her post-sex scene shower:
“I retreated to the bathroom and stepped into the shower. It was a long day. It fucking started at sunup and I would still be fucking by sundown. I remembered with boyfriends, we would have sex all day and it was amazing—not exhausting. I was more than ready for a shower, I didn’t do a bukkake scene but it felt like it. My body was swimming with Jimmy semen.”
The sexiest scene, in my opinion, happens not between Fallon and a guy, but Fallon and a sex toy, toward the very end:
I slid my skirt up my thighs and brought the dildo to my mound, tracing the line of my slit. Jimmy wasn’t even watching the camera anymore. His focus was all on me. I pulled my panties to the side, exposing my pink flesh to my audience, and slid the dildo inside of me. It was cool, smooth and a completely different sensation from a cyberskin vibrator or a real cock.
My muscles clenched around the firm length as I slowly pumped it in and out.
Jimmy left the camera on the seat and came to me, kneeling on the floor of the limo. He pushed my hands aside and started working the dildo in and out of me. I leaned back, letting the chilled leather seats cool my heated skin.
Overall, this book can’t really decide whether it wants to be a titillating erotic novel or a revenge story (Fallon also has a falling out with her supposed friends after they leak a story to the media about her). And for a book about a woman supposedly fulfilling her sexual destiny there’s more than a whiff of disdain for actual porn stars, whether from Fallon’s POV (“Johnni had pointed out that HALE’O could try to spin the tape as if they were corrupting me, but it wasn’t as if I were about to spread my legs and become the new adult entertainment superstar. It was just a onetime thing”) or the disclaimer by Marks which puts the fact that Farrah’s sex tapes were “with the same partner in each” in italics. It’s unclear what awaits Fallon in the next two books, but hopefully there’s a little less bitterness and more sexy times. Or if erotica’s not your thing, you can wait for her upcoming Christian parenting book.
Mekayla Diehl may not have won the title of Miss USA 2014, but the Internet hasn’t stopped buzzing about the 25-year-old Indiana beauty since Sunday’s competition. As soon as she strutted her fit physique in the swimsuit portion, social media lit up with praise for her “normal body,” thanking her for not being “crazy skinny.”
Diehl visited the Shape office to chat about how it feels to have so many people talking about her appearance and how she plans to spread the word about body confidence.
Shape: What was your initial reaction to the Twitter buzz about your body?
Mekayla Diehl (MD): One hundred percent surprise. I never thought that my swimsuit body would be the one that everyone is talking about. I’m not a supermodel—I’m the girl from Indiana who works at a dress shop. It’s so inspiring to me that other girls are inspired by me. It just warms my heart.
Shape: How did you feel reading people's comments?
MD: All the responses I got were so positive. It was kind of a sigh of relief since I didn’t make it to the top 10 because of my swimsuit body. Then to see all these reactions thanking me—it was bizarre, because I didn’t do anything. I walked onstage in a swimsuit with my head high for 30 seconds. I just was happy to be in my own skin. The thank yous are appreciated but not necessary.
Shape: Have you always been this confident during the swimsuit portion?
MD: It has always been my favorite part of the competition, because the moment I realized that swimsuit is won from the neck up—your facial expression and carrying yourself in a confident way—I knew that I didn’t have to be the skinniest anymore. I love my body the way it is. I came to terms with the fact that I was never going to look like a supermodel because I’m not magically going to grow four inches, but I can make sure that my body is the healthiest that it can be.
Shape: What’s your usual exercise routine?
MD: Getting ready for Miss USA, I had fitness ADD. I don’t like doing the same thing everyday. So some days I did a bootcamp-style workout with a trainer—flip tires, bang hammers, ropes, kickboxing. I never knew what to expect, which made it exciting to go. With another trainer, I did high-intensity interval training once a week to get that burst of hard-core cardio. And I did a lot of Pilates on the reformer machine. On some days, with so many things on my plate, I could only fit in 10 minutes, so I’ll just do jumping jacks and an abs workout. I make it my goal to do something everyday.
Shape: Have you been active your whole life?
MD: I’ve been an athlete my entire life. From second grade until I graduated college, I played volleyball and ran track. But after school, I didn’t know how to be just overall fit and healthy. I found FullOnFit.com, which was wonderful for me when I was preparing for Miss Indiana. They created a custom workout program, and it didn’t cost thousands of dollars.
Shape: Do you see yourself as a role model for young girls?
MD: I’ve always admired mentoring. My past was rough—being sexually abused, my mom abandoning me, and my dad going to prison—which helps me connect with kids. The people who mentored me were very important in my life, and through pageantry I realized all the opportunities where I could be a mentor to kids as well.
Shape: What message do you want to tell young women who may feel insecure in their bodies?
MD: Be yourself. You just have to own who you are. [Tweet this quote!] And find something that makes you feel good about yourself and feel beautiful. Some girls love to run, some girls love to dance, and some girls love to read—do whatever it is that makes you happy.
Shape: What are your post-pageant plans?
MD: [Miss USA] Nia [Sanchez] and I joked that we are giving ourselves one week to eat everything we couldn’t eat for about six months prior to the pageant—Mexican, Chinese, fries—then go back to clean eating. I’m excited to relax a little bit, but I’m more excited to continue what I’m doing right now—talking about body image and health. It’s not what I thought I’d be doing. I’d like to talk to girls, shake their hands, and have a one-on-one interaction. When I walk in the room, at first they're like, "Oh it’s just another pageant girl." But then I can show them I’ve been in their shoes before, and the look at me so differently. It’s not a crown and sash and high heels anymore—it’s Mekayla, who earned and went after her dream.
We know that Warner Bros Pictures is way behind Marvel Studios when it comes to making movies out of its comic book properties. But I have intel on what is coming up at this July’s Comic-Con from the studio. A lot of stuff remains in flux but my sources have so far:
May 2016– Batman v Superman
July 2016 – Shazam
Xmas 2016– Sandman
May 2017– Justice League
July 2017– Wonder Woman
Xmas 2017– Flash and Green Lantern team-up
May 2018– Man Of Steel 2
There had been talk of a Metal Men and Suicide Squad movie for sometime in 2016 but that project fell off the schedule.
Meanwhile, if you were wondering why Batman v Superman was delayed, it wasn’t the script or Ben Affleck or Jesse Eisenberg but with the fact that this pic will act as a launching pad for the Justice League. According to my source, “Like Marvel’s The Avengers, there will be cameos of superheroes for future installments. The cameos will include the already known Cyborg and Flash. Green Lantern [not played by Ryan Reynolds, thank god] may be introduced. And Aquaman will be seen in the Justice League movie. Problem is, Warner Bros Pictures was still negotiating with the actors for those cameos and future roles, meaning major contracts for multiple JL/character films to follow. The studio didn’t want to move forward until they had more of this secure so they held off starting production for a few months. Seemingly simple reason, but the implications are pretty darn huge.”
Season 25: Episode 10
Challengers compete in Guy/Girl pairs. Each team must cross a river and dig up two sets of puzzle pieces out of the ground, then bring the puzzle pieces back across the river where they must solve the puzzle. First place wins, second and third are up for nomination, and fourth and fifth place are in the draw.
BANANAS/NANY, LEROY/LAUREL, CT/CARA MARIA, JOHNNY/DEVYN, & ZACH/THERESA
Nominated for Elimination:
Elimination: Wrecking Wall
Challengers must punch through drywall to climb up to the bell at the top.
TO BE CONTINUED!
Poor Cara! She’s worked so hard :(. I hope she beats Laurel to stay!
Source: My TV
In a new interview Britney's personal make up artist in the video revealed some details about the infamous videoshoot, saying that Britney refused to follow the written script and decided to just dance on the pole instead. Does this mean the mysterious funeral scenes were never actually shot and the whole storyline with Britney killing fake Britneys was never filmed? The mystery of the video continues yet again...
"What project/job/client are you most proud to have worked on?
One of the defining moments of my career was working with Britney. I was her personal MUA for the Gimme More music video and a couple of photo shoots. She had just shaved her head and was getting a nothing but bad press. She sabotaged the director by refusing to perform and follow the script. So, what we got was her dancing on a stripper pole with her friends. It was an honest and playful performance during a very rough time and I am proud of how gorgeous she was."
Here's the make up artist, Mikal Sky, with Britney on the set of the video
The supposed plot of the original video
It's gloomy .. and everyone is looking down, except Britney who's looking around through her veil at the people …She then looks into the camera and says “Its Britney Bitch” ..She slowly starts to move away from the crowd .. hoping no one sees her, but makes eye contact with a guy in the funeral
…She starts moving a little faster, hiding even a little .. and he starts to follow her … she jumps into her car drives off .. she parks somewhat illegally on a curb .. and begins walking down and then opens a deserted door.
The door open into a dark club ..
She starts walking down a hallway and there are people kissing and dancing on both sides .. and then the camera zooms to one side where there is a Britney dancing on a pole.
The funeral Britney who has now changed into another dark outfit continues her walk down the hallway, then stops and looks around ..Then we see in the distance another white and red dressed brighter Britney dancing with dancers on a stage .. which is the main dance scene …Then the Britney walking through the hallways gets pushed into the wall by the guy who was at the funeral … but when he turns the girl around its not Britney … and now that Britney is lost among dancers in the crowded club … she starts to move through them … while the other Britney is on the stage dancing with the dancers …
Suddenly the on stage Britney is kidnapped and ends up in a dark room with bad pipes and leaking water .. She's tied to a chair with her arms behind her back while girl -who we only see from the back but is assumed to be another Britney- is roughing her up , slapping her.. just being violent .. to the point where eventually we think Britney dies …
We then flash back to the funeral … and somehow we realize there no one in the coffin .. and we're left with the man ..
Going back through all the steps he realizes that the girl on the pole wasn't Britney …The girl rouging up Britney wasnt Britney …And then the man seems lost …The camera zooms out out of Britneys eye while she blinks, throws off her funeral hat onto a bed … and the video fades out .
Some say that the video got heavily censored and altered by JIVE records executives but according to the make up artist's account the intended video and storyline might never have been actually shot on camera! Thus, despite an alternate version leaking in 2011 we still have not seen nor heard the Gimme More video in its entirety
MV info here: http://skagdoll.tumblr.com/post/10253839554/original-rumored-gimme-more-video-concept
It wasn’t quite a campaign promise, but President Obama had a premonition back in September 2012 when he celerated the 2011 WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx at the White House.
“When the Lynx were here in 2012, I told them I had a feeling they’d be back,” he said. “I just want to mention I was right. You can fact check that, PolitiFact.”
The group, led by coach Cheryl Reeve and stars Maya Moore and Lindsay Whalen, presented the president with the traditional Obama Lynx jersey and soaked in Obama’s praise at an East Room ceremony attended by Rep. Tim Walz, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman and Lynx owner Glen Taylor.
“This is such a special time of the year to be able to just remember and celebrate the awesome year we had last year,” Moore said. “It’s kind of strange because when you win the championship, you kind of move on to the next thing: we’re overseas, you think about the next season. So to actually have a moment right now to think about all the great things we did last year was really special.”
Thanks to her success with the Lynx, in the Olympics and with her college squad, the University of Connecticut, Moore was making her sixth trip to the White House, a fact not lost on Obama.
“Basically, there’s like a Maya Moore wing in the White House,” he said. “We've got all her stuff here, she’s got a toothbrush.”
We've survived the fight between the Mountain and the Viper, and (for now) the battle for control of the Wall, and this Sunday brings the grand finale to the fourth season of "Game Of Thrones." In the four years since the show began, a curious thing happened—it became a phenomenon.
The show was the biggest gamble the pay-cable monster had ever taken, a hugely expensive take on a genre that had generally been seen as niche and uncool, with too many dragons to attract the chattering classes that had turned "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" into must-see television, and potentially too much blood and gore to become the mainstream blockbusters that "The Lord of the Rings" films had been.
And yet thanks to an outstanding cast, high production values, and perhaps most importantly, a truly remarkable job of adapting George R.R. Martin's books by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the show picked up stellar reviews and proved to be a hit right out of the gate. But that was just the beginning. Viewing figures have skyrocketed with every season, and it's now not just HBO's biggest ever original series (recently overtaking "The Sopranos"), but one of the biggest dramas on TV, something that would have been unthinkable in the days of network TV dominance.
With this coming Sunday's season finale, we're probably approaching the halfway point of the show, and as such, it seemed like a good point to sit down and take a look back at the road to "Game Of Thrones." HBO had already established themselves as a brand name for quality TV, and so we've picked out ten of their shows that directly or indirectly proved to be forerunners to their biggest ever blockbuster.
"Oz" (6 Seasons, 1997-2003)
Though overshadowed by "The Sopranos" and "The Wire," "Oz," the network's first hour-long drama, is essentially patient zero for the pay-cable drama as we know it. Without it, shows like "Breaking Bad" and "Sons Of Anarchy" on rival networks, and yes, "Game Of Thrones," might not have existed at all. Created by Tom Fontana, best known for his work on "Homicide: Life On The Street," and who had a writing credit on every one of the show's episodes, it's set in the Oswald State Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in which an idealistic manager has set up a unit called Emerald City, a controlled, experimental place with glass walls intended to show that even the most dangerous prisoners can be rehabilitated. It's safe to say that the experiment doesn't work. More than fifteen years since it started to air, it remains something of a high watermark for brutality on television, with rape, racism, death-by-fire and worse all on the cards from the off, and things only getting more grotesque from there. The pioneer of the kind of expansive cast that would come down the line, with early roles from notable TV figures like Christopher Meloni, Harold Perrineau, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dean Winters and Edie Falco, there is still a strange humanism to the show. No matter how monstrous the characters get (and they are particularly monstrous, given that a large number of them are Aryan Brotherhood members, and the most obviously sympathetic character is Lee Tergesen's Beecher, an alcoholic who drunkenly ran over a child), there's a kind of compassion towards all of them, with the twisted romance between Beecher and Meloni's bisexual serial killer being a curiously tender example. Given what's come since, it doesn't quite stand up as the finest example of the genre. The realistic docu-drama style borrowed from "Homicide" jars awkwardly with the absurd Grand Guignol melodrama of the plotting, and the semi-poetic narration by Perrineau's wheelchair-bound inmate often grates. But there's still an enormous amount of compelling drama to be found here, and if nothing else, the way it pioneered making sympathetic figures out of those who'd be villains elsewhere can be reflected all the way through to "Game Of Thrones."
"The Sopranos" (6 Seasons, 1999-2007)
Together with "Sex And The City," "The Sopranos" put HBO on the map as a home for original television as one of the most acclaimed and lauded shows in the history of the medium, and until a couple of weeks ago, the most popular series in the pay-cable network's history (the average audience for "Game Of Thrones" is now over 18.4 million people, beating the 18.2 million that 'Sopranos' got at its peak). "The Sopranos" came from modest beginnings though. It debuted from creator, David Chase, whose previous credits included the beloved "Northern Exposure," but whose sole previously created series, "Almost Grown," had lasted only ten episodes a decade earlier. It featured a cast, led by James Gandolfini and also included Edie Falco, Michael Imperioli and Lorraine Bracco, who would mostly only be familiar to those with an encyclopedic knowledge of character actors in crime movies. And it's central premise—of a mobster who goes into therapy—was shared by a big studio comedy, the Robert De Niro/Billy Crystal vehicle "Analyze This," that landed at almost exactly the same time, and threatened to overshadow it. Instead, it was the other way around, the plaudits for the series, and its eventual huge commercial success, stealing the admittedly successful film's thunder, and paving the way for the endless and idiotic "is TV better than the movies" debate that pops up every so often these days, and which "Game Of Thrones" adds further fuel to the fire of. Ironically, Chase comes down firmly on the side of the movies, admitting that he basically doesn't watch TV, and originally conceiving of "The Sopranos" as a film. We're grateful it was stretched out, though as the deceptively tight plotting melded with a character study of an often monstrous, always human anti-hero, creating the template that so many continue to emulate today. The show proved to be appointment viewing in the same way that "Game Of Thrones" still is today, and like "Oz," proved that a mass audience could deal with stomach-churning violence and creatively foul language without shying away. But perhaps more importantly, it was just terrific, with a caliber of writing and direction that could compete with not just anything else on the air, but anything in theaters too, and it's telling that some of the show's most prolific writers went on to continue the cable drama revolution, like "Boardwalk Empire" showrunner Terence Winter and "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner. And two of the show's most frequent directors, Timothy Van Patten and Alan Taylor, were crucial in establishing "Game Of Thrones" (Van Patten, who helmed twenty episodes of "The Sopranos," directed the second iteration of the "Game Of Thrones" pilot after HBO ordered significant reshoots on the original one, initially helmed by Thomas McCarthy).
"The Wire" (5 Seasons, 2002-2008)
Some might have assumed that "The Sopranos" would always remain HBO's most seminal achievement, but over time, "The Wire" might have just snuck past it. That wasn't the case when it was on, however. The show was always a critical favorite, but struggled in the ratings, often facing cancellation before getting a reprieve, and the cult only grew thanks to the coming of the DVD box set age, where audiences were able to digest it at their own pace. That's the perfect way to do it, really, because the show, a Dickensian epic from David Simon—a former journalist, and Tom Fontana's former colleague on "Homicide" (based on a book by the writer)—was the most obvious example of television as novel, with a frankly intimidating number of characters, sprawling plotting and a generally dense approach to storytelling. To begin with, it starts simply enough, centering around a wiretap investigation into the drug-dealing operation of crime boss Avon Barksdale, but the show's scope expanded more and more over time, taking in Baltimore's dock workers in the divisive second season, the political world in the third, the school system in the fourth, and the press in the fifth. The result wasn't so much a cop show as a portrait of a city, and of society at whole, with a fierce socio-economic viewpoint that extended from every character, from the kids dealing on the street corner to the highest levels of political power (all acted, as is usually the case with HBO, impeccably). It might seem a world away from Westeros, and certainly few could accuse "Game Of Thrones" of social realism. But its ever-expanding scope (reflected by those initially magical opening credits, which have grown every time a new location is featured on the series, and now seem to run about the same length as a network sitcom) and vast cast of characters are direct descendants of Simon's Baltimore tale. Would viewers be able to follow stories from The Wall to King's Landing, and remember all those faces, without having been trained on "The Wire" first? Probably, as the show regularly attracts audiences several times bigger than its predecessor ever attracted. But at the same time, it undoubtedly helped creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss think that they could crack the novels, and HBO to believe they could pull it off.
"Carnivale" (2 Seasons, 2003-2005)
Imagine the outrage that would have resulted from the hardcore if "Game Of Thrones" had never connected with a wider audience, and had been cancelled after two seasons. In fact, imagine if fans hadn't been able to find out what happened from the books, because there were no books. That's essentially the story of "Carnivale," at the time HBO's most ambitious series, and, when it launched, their biggest ever-debut for an original show. A passion project of creator Daniel Knauf, who'd been working on it for over a decade, it's a furiously dense, complex-to-the-point-of-inscrutability piece of work, like a David Lynch version of Stephen King's "The Dark Tower" by way of John Steinbeck, following two-figures in Depression-era Dust Bowl America: Ben Hawkins (Nick Stahl), a young man with healing powers who joins a carnival, and Brother Justin Crowe (Clancy Brown), a terrifying preacher with his own supernatural abilities, who are drawn on an inextricable path towards each other. The show was epic in scope and mythological in background, with the kind of detailed backstory that results when you develop a project for a decade, with Hawkins representing a creature of light, and Crowe one of darkness. It wasn't necessarily any more complex than the still-only-hinted at gods of ice and fire in "Game Of Thrones," but the show as a whole fell between two stools somewhat: too supernatural for the arty 'Wire' crowd, too lacking in immediate genre hooks and T&A for the geeks, and with a melancholy, difficult tone that asked you to do much of the work. Knauf intended each season to tell half of a "book," with three books and six seasons planned, but when ratings plummeted in the second season, and producers couldn't agree on lowering costs, the show was cancelled with many of its mysteries left unrevealed. Still, its cult has grown in the decade since it premiered, and the show's sheer weirdness, while not immediately repeated (although David Milch's "Deadwood" follow-up "John From Cincinnati" might be even more difficult), helped pave the way to "Game Of Thrones."
“Deadwood” (3 Seasons, 2004-2006)
A show whose premature cancellation we will NEVER stop mourning, maybe we need to get beyond the cruel way that the excoriatingly brilliant “Deadwood” was snatched from us, and concentrate instead on what a mini-miracle it was it ever got made at all. Firstly, show creator David Milch originally pitched HBO a show about gold and currency in ancient Rome, but since “Rome” was already in the cards at that point, he was asked if he could transpose his ideas about the formation of civilization from chaos to another historical milieu. Milch chose the American West (and can you imagine what kind of vernacular he would have evolved for Ancient Romans to spout?) and specifically the real-life town of Deadwood (based particularly on the book "Deadwood: the Golden Years") in which to have his epic, grandiose yet immensely grubby stories play out. Next, he attracted a ‘Thrones’-level ensemble of central unknown/rediscovered regulars, surrounded by reliably characterful supporting faces, chief among them, of course, Ian McShane as the indelible Al Swearengen. But the real star of the show was Milch’s dialogue—arch, baroque and anachronistically profane, no show before or since has ever sounded quite like “Deadwood,” and even the most literate and witty of ‘Thrones’ characters can’t hold a candle to the grotesquely brilliant zingers, curses and metaphors that made practically every line so chewy, so rich and so addicting. Otherwise, in terms of the elements it displayed that "Game of Thrones" would go on to use, it has maybe fewer of those than others on this list, but one way in which “Deadwood” could give it a run for its incestuous, head-splitting, torture and murder-loving money, is in the sheer depravity of some of its characters. From ambivalent bastard Swearengen, to ruthless gambling house owner Cy Tolliver, to Wu, the Chinaman who feeds human bodies to his pigs, there’s no perversion, corruption or dreadfulness that the show didn’t positively glory in, meaning you could trace a pretty straight line from that to Joffrey or Roose Bolton’s bastard, if you cared to. Mainly, though, “Deadwood” set a high watermark for just how far we’d be willing to follow a central character, no matter how compromised, if he was well-drawn and well-played enough, and it leaves us with just one overwhelming question: why in name of all that’s holy hasn’t Ian McShane had a guesting role on ‘Thrones’ as yet?
Rest at the Source
Chicken fingers and mac ‘n cheese? Puh-lease! Michael Buble says he takes his 10-month-old son, Noah, to the best spots in town — but it’s only so Buble and his wife, Luisana Lopilato, can bring the tiny tot out along on date night:
“He’s such a tranquil kid that we take him to movies and five star restaurants, and he doesn’t really make much noise. It’s great,” Buble tells Us Weekly.
See? Little Buble is just that well-behaved!
He also dishes on being a dad: “I am Mr. Diaper! I love everything about the kid. Instead of being nervous like I used to at events, I actually sit beforehand and say, ‘You’re Noah’s Dad first, and all of this other stuff is just icing on the cake.’”
A recurring criticism was that her songs about being swept away by love were anti-feminist in their passivity; she contends that she was writing about private, immediate feelings, not setting out doctrine. “For me, a true feminist is someone who is a woman who does exactly what she wants,” she said. “If my choice is to, I don’t know, be with a lot of men, or if I enjoy a really physical relationship, I don’t think that’s necessarily being anti-feminist. For me the argument of feminism never really should have come into the picture. Because I don’t know too much about the history of feminism, and so I’m not really a relevant person to bring into the conversation. Everything I was writing was so autobiographical, it could really only be a personal analysis.”
She has also been denounced for video clips that culminate in her death: by drowning, by falling, by choking. The video for “Born To Die” ends with her in a boyfriend’s arms, inert and covered in blood. She agrees that her videos have often been “exploring ways to die,” she said, adding: “I love the idea that it’ll all be over. It’s just a relief, really. I’m scared to die, but I want to die.” The title song of “Ultraviolence” ventures into precarious territory. In an arrangement that melds Baroque dirge and wah-wah guitar, the singer describes herself as “filled with poison but blessed with beauty and rage,” and goes on to quote a fraught 1962 song from the Crystals, “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss).”
The lyrics also mention a “cult leader,” and Ms. Del Rey said the song looked back to a time soon after she moved to New York City, when she considered following a guru who “believed in breaking you down to build you back up again.” “It sounds kind of weird,” she added, “but that is what it’s about, and having romantic feelings entwined with the idea of being led and letting go and surrendering. That’s always a concept to me, like I’m wavering between independence and falling into lifestyles and being led.”
There’s an underlying pattern to the songs throughout “Ultraviolence”; Ms. Del Rey’s voice appears alone and often fragile in the verses, then is swarmed by instruments and multiple backup vocals. “Each tune fully represents the ebbs and flows, the periods of normality mixed with this uncontrolled chaos that comes in through circumstances in my life,” she said. “It’s your story. If you’re the one writing it, you want to tell your story right.”
Full article at source: The New York Times
"Life After Beth" is a zombie romantic comedy drama (zom-rom-com-drom), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2014. Zach (played by Dane DeHaan) is devastated about the death of his girlfriend Beth (Aubrey Plaza). Things start getting a bit crazy when she isn't as dead as he thinks she is.
One irate Michael Jackson fan is suing his Estate because she thinks MJ was not the lead singer on 3 of his songs on the 2010 CD, "Michael" ... the first release after his death.
The woman filed the suit today in L.A. claiming she bought the disc in 2011, but didn't hear enough Michael on 3 particular tracks.
In the suit she claims she hired an audio expert to analyze her CD and he determined it was very likely that MJ did not sing lead vocals on "Breaking News" ... "Monster" ... and "Keep Your Head Up."
The woman wants this to be a class action -- meaning if the allegation is true the Estate would owe money to everyone who bought the full album, or any of the 3 tracks in question.
The Estate's lawyer, Howard Weitzman, has previously said Michael did provide lead vocals for all the tracks on the album.
She is a mother of six children.
And in a new sneak peek of her Bravo series Don't Be Tardy, Kim Zolciak is looking to go under the knife again to get her body back into pre-pregnancy shape.
The 36-year-old goes to the doctor to try out new breast implants as she considers a tummy tuck, in the preview for season three of her reality show.
At the beginning of the Bravo clip she announces that six children is enough before the teaser launches into a montage of her hectic life as a parent.
Underage drinking is discussed as well as teenage drivers before the sneak peek really kicks off when Kim reveals she is considering going under the knife.
The blonde bombshell can be seen visiting a plastic surgeon's office, where she feels out various silicon breast implants.
A doctor parts Kim's white robe as he probes her bare chest, her modesty protected by a blurred effect in the video.
She is later seen lifting up her shirt as she examines her flat stomach.
The reality star then announces to her husband NFL star Kroy Biermann: 'Once I get my tummy and boobs done, I will kil a b**** if you were to get me pregnant .'
video + article at the source
What would you change about your body ontd?
Shaliene Woodley leads a pack of 23 young actors and actresses in this month’s Vanity Fair. It’s exciting to imagine what these “Next Wave” up-and-comers, photographed by Mark Seliger, will accomplish over the next decade. But—as a wise elder might counsel a teenage protagonist at the climax of a summer action flick—when looking forward, one must, at the same time, look back.
Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen
NOW: Acclaimed designers (their line The Row recently took home a C.F.D.A. award) and legit katrillionaires, the two have mostly hung up their performing gloves. Also, Mary-Kate is engaged to 44-year-old Olivier Sarkozy.
NOW: Wood has established herself as a highly accomplished actress, though her off-screen exploits (she’s been romantically involved with both Marilyn Manson and Billy Elliot) have threatened to eclipse her credits of late. Duff is about to star in a TV Land show and is reportedly recording an album, though she is mostly visible to the public via a steady stream of paparazzi pictures of her walking around Los Angeles (Yes, they must read ONTD!). Lohan, for her part, has barely made a headline in the past decade; our yoga instructor says she heard Lindsay’s been leading a quiet existence on a ranch in New Mexico. Sounds about right!
THEN: Moore broke out with “Candy” in 1999 (it’s impossible to read that previous string of words and not want to immediately hear the song, so we’ll save you some time). She also starred in 2002’s A Walk to Remember, a seriously important film for anyone born in the 80s.
NOW: Moore has been linked to a few different pilots in recent years, and is set to appear in the upcoming CBS sitcom Good Session. She’s also married to Ryan Adams, with whom she is reportedly working on a new album.
THEN: The former Cosby Show actress was set to star in the second season of The Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven.
NOW: Raven recently fronted the short-lived 2011 ABC Family comedy series, State of Georgia, and presumably fields an overwhelming number of “I thought you could tell the future!” jokes in her daily life.
Alexis Bledel and Amanda Bynes
THEN: These two—both with the same initials!—were starring in two very different shows: Bledel on Gilmore Girls and Bynes on The Amanda Show.
NOW: Bynes recently enrolled in fashion-design school after a stint in rehab. Bledel appeared on Mad Men and is now engaged to Vincent Kartheiser, who plays Pete Campbell. (Don’t trust him if he says he wants an apartment in the city “for business purposes,” Alexis!)
You guys know Judy Greer, right? She’s an amazing actress who generally shows up on screen as the “best friend.”
So even when she runs into super hottie Ben McKenzie who is 100% INTERESTED IN HER, she turns him away. But it’s hilarious. This latest Funny or Die exclusive is out to promote Judy’s new book, I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: Confessions of a Co-Star.
It is pretty hilarious seeing the life of the movie best friend. Like, what does she do when her friend is gone?
Apparently, try to hook her up with hot dudes like Ben. Check out the video above and prepare to laugh. And feel sad. And swoon over Ben. Side note: I’m so excited about Gotham.
Funny or Die LINK (Won't embed)
Are you the 'best friend', ontd?
Lea Michele is standing by her man ... TMZ has learned the "Glee" actress has decided to keep dating new BF Matthew Paetz because she's convinced he's no gigolo -- he just coaches 'em.
Sources close to the couple tell us ... Lea was PISSED after we broke the story about Paetz's involvement with Cowboys4Angels -- a website that offers male "companionship" -- and confronted him about it.
We're told Matthew copped to going on a few dates with female clients ... but told Lea he only did it as research -- so he could understand what the gigolos go through and coach them through it.
This guy is good ... 'cause we're told Lea actually bought it, and Matt promised he'd never do it again.
Our sources tell us Lea's not getting the full story ... because Paetz has had more than just "a few" dates while working as a gigolo for almost a year.
follow up to this post
Thalia has come out with an anti-bullying campaign, and now she's tackling the diets. She's in favor of United States adding Vitamin B to corn flour, so that Hispanics can get better nutrition.
Thalia was in New York to promote healthy eating for pregnant women with a lunch. "I think that it's super important to focus on the Hispanic community," she said. "We eat too many tortillas, many tacos and a lot of corn. For this reason, it's important to take part in the FDA initiative, so that it adds Vitamin B, folic acid to corn flour. It's very important for our diet."
She took time to say expectant mothers should take care of themselves. "They need to feel beautiful, like goddesses at this point of their lives," she said. "But they also need to know how to take care of that baby they have inside."
Not only did she come out with a record for children, she also led a campaign with other celebrities against bullying, calling in other famous people, such as Maite Perroni, Lucero and Ninel Conde, to participate. There's probably about two dozen celebrities featured on her Instagram page. They all hold a sign that says, "Bullying is not a game."
Thalia was awarded by Cosmopolitan for Latinas as an example of a strong Latina women for 2014.
A former gay porn model known as “Damon” to fans of hardcore college fraternity fetish site Fratmen (nsfw) makes his reality television debut this week in E!’s Escape Club, a Big Brother ripoff that substitutes an exotic island in place of an actual house.
The 28-year-old began his porn career back in 2006 with a softcore premiere at Fratmen, and has worked as an underwear model under the name “Jesse Blum” ever since. According to gay porn blog Men of Porn, Blum also performs for private audiences on live cam site Flirt 4 Free, and most recently filmed another softcore video for a fairly new site called Gay Hoopla.
According to E!’s “meet the cast” page for Escape Club, Blum is “a nursing assistant who is tired of cleaning bedpans, working 80 hours a week and taking care of sick people.” It also notes that he’s “now known more as a web-cam model than health care provider.”
Perhaps the most refreshing thing to come out of Blum’s gay porn past, which gained traction on social media after the show’s Sunday premiere, is that Blum has been open and honest about his previous work. “Yes I have been nude and done all of that online,” he tells one fan on Twitter. “Not ashamed but want the world to know I’m more then [sic] just a cam model.”
Ugh I have spent so long looking for the right gif for this but just can't find the perfect one. So here is a picture of my cat.
No porn, nudes, spam, fighting, advertising, you know